This weekend I attended an overnight retreat with some ladies from our church. It was a much needed breath of fresh air for me. It hasn't been a glorious week or month or probably even year of me being gracious and kind to my closest people. The speaker at the retreat has written a book entitled "Pursue the Intentional Life". This seems to be what God is his gentle voice is reminding me. To intentionally see... each person, each circumstance, each emotion, each pain, each pleasure-to be in the moment, whether happy or painful. The theme verse was Psalm 90:12... Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. The inspiration for her book came from an epiphany that she had when she was 50 years old. She wondered what kind of old woman she would be. She realized that she would be the same kind of old woman as she is young(er) woman- only intensified. Making this assessment of my own life I definitely see some places I do not want to intensify as I age. I see some anger and walls that I have built to protect my heart that will only get bigger, thicker, tougher to tear down.
She encouraged us to intentionally think about the rest of our lives and how we want it to be. I want to be able to look back on my life and see a woman who lived for and loved Jesus above all else but loved others too. One who was encouraging and kind. One who was a positive person and more often than not saw the good not the bad in people. One who loved her husband, family well.
A favorite quote from her book is "God is not asking me to number my days to increase my pace but rather to examine my route, not to increase my efficiency but to see where I must make course corrections in heart, character, and actions. If I step back and take a look at my past days, I see a few places where I need to make a course correction if I want my epitaph to be what I want it to be.
Martin Luther defined beauty as a "Deluge of Grace". I love that. I want to be a graceful woman of God. I want to be a grace-FULL woman of God. I choose to do the opposite in times of distrust and anger. I choose to speak and know truth in the presence of lies and deception. I choose to keep my mouth shut when I am "right" and feel the need to be justified. I choose to love in times of hurt. I choose to not only see beauty I choose to BE beauty to others-to be a "deluge of grace". I choose to pursue an intentional life in the kingdom of God and not "fritter away my life."