• aftergrace16

The Year of Intention


To do something with purpose; with a goal in mind.

A plan that you intend to carry out.

If you mean something, it’s an intention.

To do something in a caring way.

To be intentional.

If I were to google New Year’s Resolutions, I can almost guarantee that one of the first things I’d see is, “to lose weight.” You got me, I haven’t googled it…but if I had to guess, I think that would be one of them. And I can also guess that some of you who are reading this right now have thought up that same resolution. “I want to be skinnier this year, and maybe I will feel better.” “I want to look different.” “I’m gonna try that new diet pill, maybe this one will work.” “The diet starts in January.”

But I am also curious to see the second and third and fourth goals on those googled lists.

And I’d wonder if the word intention would be anywhere on them.

This past year, I made myself a list of goals, and for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what was on the list. Probably a good ole ‘travel more’ or ‘find a guy.’ And, you know, I probably put ‘lose weight’ on there, myself. But, as I sit here and really think about those goals I wrote up for myself this time last year, I realize that I don’t truly remember any of them. They didn’t matter enough to me to feel a need to carry through with them.

Here is the point; the good stuff.

I don’t want to spend another year stuck on goals that don’t matter for the betterment of who I am as a person. And I hope that you don’t either.

Listen up, sis. Do your squats and your lunges and loose a few inches off the waste if that’s what you believe can improve your life a little more this new year. Book a trip to Spain if that’s what your heart needs this new year. Perfect your photography skills if that talent will give you more life this new year.

But I challenge you to do everything this year with intention.

I knew I wanted this new year to be different than last, but I couldn’t exactly pinpoint every goal I wanted to set for myself, as I usually do. In prayer, I like to focus on one word per season of life and really dig into it. So, as I’m thinking and praying about what I need more of this year, what I want to focus on, I received intention. What. A. Freaking. Powerful. Word. A word that deserves a whole year.

And so, what does an intentional year look like?

(Cue first paragraph of blog post)

For me, being intentional looks a lot like being present in my moments. It means doing things with a purpose. Being emotionally and physically aware of all things around me. Seeing every sunrise as a new opportunity. When I do my squats, I remember that I have a body that moves and glorifies and is healthy, and that I am thankful. When I travel, I observe and enjoy every bit of newness. When I hang out with people that I love, I am there and they have my whole attention. When I make my bed in the morning, I remind myself that I’ll have a nice space when I get home from a long day of work. When I go to work, I take care of every person I interact with, because I don’t know their lives behind work. When I take bites of my food, I want to enjoy and savor and not just stuff down. When I see something beautiful, I want to speak it out loud. When I pray, I want it to be from the heart. I want this year to have meaning, and I want to be present to that meaning.

So, there’s my challenge for you too; let this be the year of intention.

Last but not least, have grace on yourself if you are inspired to be intentional this year; because you will not thank every piece of food on your plate or be grateful for every pair of pants in your closet or always be present to people when you hang out together. You are human, and you will do the best you can.

The glory for this goal does not come from me, I admit. Right before the year ended, a good friend that was close to many of my friends passed away. Genaro. I had never met him before, but had only heard beautiful things about him. A spirited man. A patient man. Kind. Lively. He was a year younger than myself, and his life never reached my age. The news of Genaro passing has stayed attached to me, randomly coming up in moments and prayer. I mean, what in the world? And why? And as I prayed into my goals for this year, Genaro’s life came into mind. The reality is, we just never know when it’s our time. We truly cannot predict. And, we have to stop living for things that don’t matter, and setting goals that will get us nowhere. We have to step back, look at our priorities in this life, and remind ourselves of them, daily. We need to start living for the things that matter. And I hope, in this new year, you can learn the abundance of living intentionally.

May the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Genaro, this year’s for you.

Whoever's reading this, this year's for you.

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