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It was many years ago that a wise woman I know exhorted myself and ladies from my Bible Study group to live “intentionally.”  Since then, the idea has resonated within my heart with great intensity at times —  only to lose steam as the “unintentional” realities of life crowd in and take over, and vision and enthusiasm wane.

Which brings me to the New Year.  I suppose it seems silly to take hold of an idea and claim it for yourself in a life-changing manner as if all one really needed to effect such change was a different date on the calendar.  If dates held that much power I would have years of tall and thin and living behind me.

And yet, there’s no denying the palpable feeling of possibilities as the holiday season gives way to a New Year that stretches before us with great promise — it gives me an unusually generous dose of “go for it” gusto.

And so, in addition to donning my running gear, cooking healthier meals and watching fewer hours of television, I am proclaiming 2012 as my year to live intentionally.

The trick here, of course, will be to intentionally take hold of the little things. To “see” where I am from moment to moment, and not wish it were more, less or different.  To plant seeds and sieze moments as they come.  Because fabricated pleasures can be compromised by the planning.

Intentional moments will include reading a book to my little one, treasuring her daily notes that really all read the same, but each one, a gift.  Watching a 7-year-old whose little ministry is making lunch for her siblings and tucking in a precious personal note.

A hug from a sweet young boy who’d rather do just about anything else than lean into his mama, a bedtime conversation with a tween struggling to make sense of nonsensical teenage …stuff.  I will savor these things.  How about an opportunity to encourage each child, or “intentionally” bless them with a cup of hot chocolate, a pack of gum, or simply listening and engaging at that moment, even though I’m mentally pulled elsewhere?

Quietly watching my husband wrestle or work puzzles with the boys.

Hugging on that hubby, appreciating him, a favorite meal…heck, even leading him upstairs. (blush)

Thankful living, peaceful living, intentional living.

This year, I will not strain to crest the mountaintop, but will rest in the valley, if that’s where God wants me.  I will be still and listen and I will be bold and proclaim.  I will bless others in earnest and gush lovingly when blessings come my way.  I will seek opportunites to help others because this may not be their “intentional season.” And life and sad news and hearteache can make us feel tiny and rob us of our vision unless an intentional friend whispers truth and lends us her glasses, so we can “see.”

This year I will seek, I will sieze and I will savor. Intentionally.  And I will praise Him.