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Intentionally Intentional - Issue 258
July 20, 2012
Hi there! ....

Our family is on a six week overseas adventure visiting Turkey, Italy and Switzerland. I am taking a bit of a break from my regular blogging and newsletter writing schedule to enjoy this time with my family. So I have scheduled this newsletter to arrive in your inbox - it is a reprint, but one I hope will be as helpful today as when it was written.

We hope to be blogging as a family on our trip so pop over to our Not a Holiday blog and see what we've been upto.

Live life with your kids!

If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Intentionally Intentional

I am sure we all have an idea of what we would like for our children when they become adults: I would like for my children to:

  • love, honour and serve God.
  • be active members in the body of Christ.
  • be seen as upright citizens, people with character, people to be relied upon in good times and in bad, people involved in the community.
  • be responsible for their time, money and possessions and to be able to work hard.
  • be able to talk intelligently to all sorts of people and to know the correct manners and etiquette for a variety of social situations.
  • choose wisely when they consider a life-long marriage partner.
  • be prepared for marriage and the responsibility of family life.
There is so much I want for my children.

But how is this going to happen? Peter and I believe that parents need to be intentional – they need to make deliberate steps towards the things that are in their heart for their family. Whenever we talk about our children’s relationship with Jesus, their character development, their life skills, their creative expressions, their academic learning – all of these areas of life need input from a parent we need to have purpose, to have a plan. Do you know how you are going to do this? Are you intentional?

Being intentional means having a plan, being conscious of your decisions, being aware of the principles you are living your life based upon. Being intentional is both big picture plan as well as day by day decision making. The opposite of intentional is accidental. Does life just rush past you and you find yourself, incidentally, accidentally, by co-incidence, in a certain situation. It maybe a good situation, but you never knew you were going there! It isn’t that these things don’t happen to an intentional parent, but most of the day we know the purpose behind our decisions.

The other side of being intentional is that ultimately God is in charge. The Bible says, Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Whenever I hear this verse I remember an image I read of in a devotional many years ago. Life’s path is like a windy, hilly country road and we are in a car at night time. The headlights beam out in front and yet can only see so far. We can only see to the top of the hill, not the other side, not until we get there. This is like God’s Word – the lamp unto my feet – I can only see so far. Intentional parents need to trust God, we need to ensure we don’t run off and do things our own way, in our own strength but always relying on God and His Word.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and without reproach,
and it will be given to him.
But let him ask in faith,
with no doubting,
for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea
driven and tossed by the wind.
For let not that man suppose that
he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:5-8

When we are unintentional it is a bit like this, we become double-minded, unstable, tossed in the wind. We need to know what it is we are asking God for, we need to know what it is He wants for our family. And the promise is there – if we don’t know – ask Him and He will answer.

Are you exhausted? This week I had two situations where I was left wandering around, fairly purpose-lessly for a period of time. The circumstance was out of my control. I was surprised how tired, how exhausted I was – afterall, I hadn’t done anything. Having a vision, having a purpose gives one energy. Going around in circles is exhausting!

Are you overwhelmed and confused? There are so many voices out there telling us what to do with our children. We need to hone in on the one voice that matters – Jesus. What is Jesus saying to you?

Are you distracted? So many good opportunities come our way – be it family activities or curriculum choices. We must be able to discern the good opportunities from the God opportunities.

Are you discouraged? When we listen to the world we end up thinking we aren’t doing enough, we aren’t good enough, we don’t make the grade. This is condemnation.

There is therefore now no condemnation
to those who are in Christ Jesus,
who do not walk according to the flesh,
but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1

If you feel pressure, guilt, condemnation - know that this is not from Jesus. This is the enemy trying to distract you. Conviction now that is different. Condemnation comes with all the voices that you aren’t good enough whereas, conviction comes when we know things are not right from God’s perspective, and we cry out for Jesus’ help knowing that He loves you!

Michael W Smith’s song comes to mind:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

As you discover your purpose, your intent, your design for your family, turn your eyes to Jesus and the life that he has for you and your family!

I'm not blogging at the moment - though you can dig through the archives. Live life with your kids!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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