Thursday, June 7, 2012

Living Intentionally

Because I am living outside my limits, I need to begin living intentionally.

About 3 years ago, we were in a good rhythm of life, we were living intentionally. We had a speaker come to our MOPS group and she talked about Intentional Living. Stacy Yoder shared with us some practical ways to get our life in track. Yes, it included chore lists and routines. I took to heart what she had to share and put it into practice. Her system literally changed my life...until we adopted. This is crazy, but we have had Nina for 2.5 years and I am still functioning on survival mode. No wonder i am living outside my boundaries!

So I sat down with the girls today, and I told them we were all going to have chores. We made a list, Monday through Sunday, and each day has some chores. My chores include a load of laundry every day, and making a weekly menu and shopping list.

This is what I appreciated about Stacy, she said, "when your chores are done, you are done, and you have the rest of the day. Your goal is not to get everything done in one day, but every day you have small things to do." And she also encouraged us, "If you miss a day, don't worry about it, the point is not to catch up."

The girls and I also worked on our bed-time routines. They have one, and I have one. For example, mine includes:
  • Pick up stuff on the floor
  • Check calendar
  • Make to do list for next day
  • Charge cell phone
  • Write down a schedule for the next day on a dry/erase board (this helps a lot with Nichole and her transitions)
  • Know what is for lunch and dinner the next day
  • Get clothes ready for the girls
Stacy also gave us a nice little notebook. Mine is divided into sections:
  • To do list
  • On-going to do 
  • Shopping
  • Routines
  • Prayers
  • Miscellaneous
  • Wish list
  • Writing 
This little notebook really helped me out! I had a calendar in there and somehow my life felt organized.

So now that I am taking my life back, I am getting back to Living Intentionally. Now that my girls are older, it is exciting that they can participate.

Stacy does not have a blog, or I would send you her, so instead I will be asking her to share her wisdom with the rest of us here. She is amazing!

What do you do to live intentionally? What works for you and your family? What are the things that make all the difference between finishing a day with a feeling of "well done" as opposed to feeling like "barely made it!" Would love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I love this! I am living in survival mode for sure. I keep saying, "once we find a house, once the adoption is final...." I need to make some changes. Thanks for the kick in the butt! : )

    1. Survival mode is no fun, no fun at all! I am not naturally drawn to lists, chores, and routines, but I do remember what a blessing it was when we were doing it. I actually felt great freedom and at the end of the day felt "accomplished." So hopefully you and I will get our lives back!

  2. Oh Goodness! I am right there with you. We are still living in survival mode and we've added two more the old fashioned way since we adopted. I'm thankful for your attention to this as it is making me think about how I need to get back into routine as well.

    The thing that most effects my day for the better or worse is the kitchen. If I stay on top of the kitchen, everything else is fine. When I wake up in the morning my day is totally effected by the cleanliness level of the kitchen. It's a the center of our home, so if it is clean, the house feels clean. If it is not...I feel like my life is chaos and out of control. That's the first thing I try to get on top of daily so that I feel able to function.

    1. For me it is the living room (I rarely touch the kitchen, except to cook, Andy takes care of the clean-up...thank goodness!)

      I find it interesting that I always thought to myself "give it a year after the adoption" and it has taken longer...and it is okay! We have had so many changes, and so have you, that I think it naturally takes longer. But I am ready to get back in track!

  3. Loved this post Ellen. I too feel my life is out of balance since our third baby was born- two months ago. I am trying to get back into living "intentionally". I have done menu planning and keeping an on-going grocery list. I also cook extras so that I can freeze them and have fast meals when we don't have a lot of time. Chores are still in the future for us- since my kids are so young. But I include them in helping wherever I can. They help break lettuce when we make salads. They help water the plants in the garden, etc.

    1. Oh babies are so hard! They are so demanding and they need you constantly, not to mention the other kids that all of a sudden have to share you. Baby stage is so difficult, good for you for trying to get some sense of balance again. Don't worry if it takes a while to get that balance, I know how it is with babies: you get into a routine, and they have moved on from 3 naps to 2, from sitting to is ever changing.
      I think it is wonderful you already make your kids help in ways they can, I wish I would have done more of that.

  4. This is a very good post. It has gotten my gears churning wondering how I can fix the system that feels so broken. We have been through some huge transitions these past few years and it seems like when I get used to it "normal"changes. Adoption, oldest son moving out 3 mos later, daughters traumatic divorce 4 mos after that, helping her move out 4 mos after that, move home 3 mos after that, middle sons wedding 6mos later, youngest sons graduation a week later. I've lost all of my free labor and have a little one, it doesn't seem like I should feel overwhelmed but as I type it out it really is a lot. I mentioned to husband last week how I needed a new chore chart. You've hit the nail on the head. If it was all spread out and written down it might not feel so overwhelming.

    1. Yes Anna, that is a lot! So many transitions in very little time. I know having those written down helped me a lot, so we are doing that again. Funny, it helps ME have my chores up too!


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