Intentional, Directional Motherhood

“Direction, not intention determines your destination." 

-Andy Stanley

I had to sit with that idea for a bit...

Because I'm an optimist. A dreamer. A visionary (ok, ok, that might be too far...) I want to believe the best, and keep hope alive. So intention is a word I can get behind. Intention holds promise. There is possibility in intention. Intention is a beginning.

But intention also falls short. Intention on its own can be hollow and meaningless. Intention, without action transforms from an inspiring beginning to an unceremonious end.

We want intentions to be a good thing. We want them to count for something, for others and for ourselves. Often- usually, even- I have the best of intentions...I tend to think most people do (optimist, I tell you). In my work, in my marriage, in motherhood- I want to do well. I want to love well. But are those intentions being fulfilled? Or to put it less passively: Am I backing up my own intentions with thoughtful direction? 

Because I can want to be a good mother, a better mother, a more organized mother, a more patient mother, and more (everything, anything, all-the-things) mother, but intentions alone will not get me there.

I mean, not to get too dramatic (me? never!) but there is a reason "The road to hell is paved with good intentionsis a saying.

Good intentions are easy to have, but they'll never lead us to our desired destination unless we're facing...and moving in...the right direction.

So I can intend to do and be a lot of things, but until I point myself directly and consistently towards the one source of true goodness, I will fall short. And actually...even when I do manage to get my direction right, I'll still fall short. I can look to Jesus every morning and still be off course by lunch. (Or maaaaaaaybe five minutes after breakfast.) So I have to force myself to constantly evaluate my direction. Am I giving myself too much credit for my intentions, and missing the fact that my direction is off course?

It's so easy to look around my current situation and get frustrated when it doesn't match my intentions or ideals. How did this house get so messy? Do we really not have a single vegetable in our 'fridge? Why do we all seem so cranky with each other? 

intended better for all of those things. I want to have a tidy home, and nutritious snacks, and a loving family, but wishing for it doesn't make it so. I can hardly be surprised at where I end up when I'm not being conscious of direction on my way there. Turns out I actually have to clean the house, and buy the vegetables, and speak kindly to others...not just mean to do those things. 

So in a time when "intentional" has become a buzz word within Christianity, and motherhood, and life, I think we're called to more. I think we're called to be directional, with our eyes and feet pointed towards the cross. So let's keep the intentions, support it with action, and in all of it, maintain a focus on Christ who goes before us, and prepares our path.

Connect with Courtney on her blog, Bowdenisms or @Bowdenisms on Instagram

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Giving God our real selves

Giving God our real selves