Monday, April 20, 2009

Coffee Gal Calling Back: Be Intentional

Well, its Friday Monday, and I am getting this post out late because sometimes life catches you by surprise...and deadlines become moot.

Anyway, today is the first installment in the CoffeeGal: Calling Back series.

Its been hard to think about where to start, so let's start at the very beginning.....(Go ahead Tiffany...sing away girl).

I've always been a "romantic" domestic. I have always loved the idea of staying home, raising kids, keeping house. I dreamed of sleeping babies; delicious homemade dinners; obedient children; lovely parties set in a clean, home decorated by Pottery Barn...

However, I couldn’t ever get my ideas and reality to matchup in those early baby years.

This was (is) especially true when I compared myself to others who seemed to live their lives seamlessly. 

There came a point in my life (soon after child #2 was born) when I began to get a hunch that the appearance of having it all together didn't really indicate reality

So I began to look around and really observe the women around me who were exceptional homemakers, wives, mothers and friends. After almost a year, I came to an interesting conclusion.

The women I observed were independently different: Some had lots of money, some had none. Some had an eye for decor, some didn’t. Some had amazing organizational skills, others had to work at them. Each were uniquely gifted, but these ladies all had one very important thing in common:

They were all intentional.

Intentional with their time.

Intentional in their relationships.

Intentional with their words.

Intentional with their homes.

Intentional in pursuit of the Lord.

These women were intentional in the way they went about their lives. They had a sense of purpose. In this way it didn't really matter how their homes were decorated, or how yummy the dinner tasted. What mattered is that you left their home feeling like you didn't really want to leave.

It was then that I decided this was the key: Don't be worried about what you don't have but be intentional with what you've got.

So, I looked around at what I had and decided to go from there. We had just purchased our first house, a modest home (with horrendous pink carpet), a sweet little family and a handful of friends and neighbors that I loved. I had used furniture, a small backyard, and heart that was willing. 

With these in hand, I realized that my wants weren't all that sophisticated.

In a chaotic world, I wanted my home to be peaceful. I wanted my home to be a place that my family could relax. A place the The Mister would look forward to coming home to at night.

I wanted those who visited my home to feel like they could come and be at ease; to take their shoes off and have a soft place to land. 

This was where my first steps in being intentional took place.

Running a household and being domestic doesn't come from being particularly gifted, or talented or self-disciplined. It isn’t from having an eye for decor, or a well padded budget. Being hospitable and running a home stems from a desire to be intentional with the things that God has purposed me to do, and with the desires of my heart. 

I couldn’t start CoffeeGal: Calling Back without being clear about my humble beginnings. In part because there are a few of you who read this blog that lived those early years with we stumbled (and sometimes failed) together trying to figure it all out...but i also want to start in this place because living isn’t just about a beautiful home and cute kids. Its about actively, purposefully, intentionally pursuing the desires of my heart. 

Even when sometimes they don’t look exactly how I thought it would...

Being intentional isn’t about getting your way, or forcing your hand. Its all about clearly setting about something you desire to do, or have, or be. 

Being intentional has served me well in more than just housekeeping and hospitality. It has helped as we have moved from place to place; it has helped as I have raised my children; it has been pivotal in communication with that hunk of man I am privileged to call The Mister...My Mister. It has helped in long distant relationships, and most importantly in my pursuit of God.

With that said, next time I will write about how I decided to be intentional with the kids regarding Family Traditions...and how it turned out differently (but better!) than I thought it would.

La Vida Dulce!


Gretchen said...

Oh, I needed this today, Kellie. So thankful for the reminder of intentionality. Can't wait for more.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read your entire blog start to finish, but of all your posts that I've read, I think this one is my very favorite. Such a good, true word and one that I needed to remember even today. Seriously, yay. I'm excited about this series Ms. Dulce!!

Anonymous said...

What a great post! It kinda goes with the saying, "Home is where the Heart is." Like it is what you make of it. I am really looking forward to these posts :-)

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

This is good stuff, Kellie.

I so want to be intentional with my time, relationships, and pursuits...but I fear sometimes I find myself way off track.

Looking forward to more, friend.

meh said...

Oh, it is so, so true, dear Kellie. True and Right! And beautifully communicated!

And may I add that some of the sweetest memories I have (and always will have) of friendship and love and family and ministry are of you guys, being intentional, on that pink carpet and used furniture!

Carrie and Jim said...

This is something I have always wondered. Thank you for sharing your wisdom from experience on here. It is so easy to dwell on what we don't have and forget to appreciate what we do have. Thanks for the reminder and I am looking forward to your next installment.

Unknown said...

I love this idea of being "intentional". It is so easy to just drift on, not realizing the impact we are having on our families, and our witness to others too.

Great series :)

stephanie j. said...

AWESOME!!!!!! I was just thinking about this today! Now that I am really beginning to homeschool the girlies in earnest, I definitely need a dose of intentionality. My home is just not where I want it to be. And I know that sitting and complaining about how much time I DON'T have certainly won't get that laundry folded any faster! Thanks for the realistic encouragment.

Tiffani said...

"..a very good place to start, when you read you begin with A, B, C.." okay, I'll stop. :)

Seriously, though. WOW. This thoughts have been on my heart and mind as well and you just totally plucked them out and wrote them down FOR me!

I love your honesty, heart and how you say are such a great woman and a very special friend, indeed!

Carpool Queen said...

Oh man - did you have to end this post? I could have kept going. I intend to discuss this with you the next time we hang out.

Such The Spot said...

I'm really liking that you have a series first of all. But even more so I'm really loving this first installment. Everything you said here was so true. I guess I've just never put a word to it but intentional is a perfect description. And my oh my do I have something I need to get intentional about: these kids of mine. They're sprouting up so dang fast that it all feels very, well, unintentional. I need to be more intentional about soaking more up. Even when--especially when--it doesn't look like I'd planned for it to.

Great post Kellie.

LJ said...

I remember that pink carpet (and a dead pickle too). I have always been inspired by your willingness to open your home and welcome others into your life. You really have the gift of hospitality - not the fancy everything hospitality - but the warm hearted hosting that makes people feel happy to have been there! I have to admit though, I miss the owners of that pink carpet!

Michele said...

Girl . . . your posts never cease to amaze me. I think this one puts the icing on the cake though. Intentional . . . what a great word that can produce GREAT things if put into action! I can't wait to read about your family traditions. I love that you recognized the strong points in the friends you observed. We are all very, very different and that ISN'T a bad thing. In fact, we are very wise to surround ourselves with those who are stronger in areas which we are weaker in.

Rae said...

Hi Kellie! I too am a "romantic" domestic (I love how you summed that up so perfectly)! I oft times get discouraged when my romantic notions do not translate into reality. Thanks for the wonderful words of wisdom!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Kellie. It's a timely reminder that goes along with where I have been heading lately. I'll have to come back and read this once a week to keep inspired! K2

Shelley @ My Treasure Hunt said...

Kellie, I love what this post says, how you wrote it, and the fact that it has me thinking...great job. I try to remind myself so often to stop comparing myself to others and do what I can do-- "being intentional" makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

It's tough to be intentional when distracted so easily. I WANT to be intentional. I STRIVE to be intentional. But those distraction prevent me from reaching my goals. Little by little ... prayer by prayer ... day by day. THANK YOU for sharing this!

Jewel said...

I have really been looking forward to this post. And you definitely exceeded my expectations by really challenging me. I think that's what's missing in my life lately as I've felt more like I've been riding the waves. So, I've been thinking about this now since you posted it the other day and I've decided to start with being intentional about journaling. There I said it, so now I have to do it;)

Thank you for being willing to share where you've come from and what has helped you.

The Buntens said...

Great advice, Kellie.

I have issue being intentional because I am so scatterbrained!

But I needed to hear this today. Thanks girl.

Beth said...

I loved this! When I read it, everything about it struck me to the core. You have a way of communicating everything so effectively, eloquently, yet in a way that is so down-to-earth--love that about you, Kellie!