Hi everyone! My name is Heather, Judah’s wife. Judah and I have been very excited about JesusHacks and the opportunity to share about how God has been using the whole concept of living intentionally in our lives.
As a wife and mom, taking practical steps towards intentional living, especially this past year, has been a daunting but very rewarding journey. But before I get into that I’ll share a little bit about myself.
I am originally from Colorado, but spent twelve years with my parents and seven siblings in Outer Mongolia as missionaries (which is where Judah and I met when we were 12 years old).
After getting married in 2011, we came out to Northern Colorado to attend a small discipleship school for a year, and have been here ever since!
We have three precious kiddos; Jude – our always-moving, ever-inquiring 3-year-old, Jenesis – our very girly, sweet, expressive 1-year-old, and Jeneva… who will be entering the world in just a few short days!
I love being a wife and mom, which has been my dream since I was about 5 years old. Along with that, I enjoy playing piano and singing, writing, DIY projects, reading books, and good coffee… to name a few! And, most importantly, Jesus is my number one pursuit and my highest prize. I desire Him to be glorified in everything I say and do in every aspect of my life.
Now that you know a little bit about me, I’ll get back to the focus of this post, which as I mentioned, is how the concept of intentional living has had such an impact on my life, specifically as a mother and manager of our home.
I’ve always been someone who thrives off of routine.
Even throughout my teenage years, I had patterns that were essentially kept every day – waking up early, exercising, quiet time, breakfast (usually the same thing every day… for years), dressed, school, etc. And I loved it. In fact, it would almost make me feel disoriented whenever this pattern was thrown off kilter.
When I got married, I wasn’t quite prepared for just how difficult it would be to develop a new rhythm of life, and it continued to get harder as we began having children and more practical responsibilities came into play in the household.
It was after welcoming our second child that I realized just how much the lack of consistency was affecting me and the atmosphere of our home. No matter how hard I tried to keep on top of things, I always felt as if I was always on the side of “just trying to keep my head above water.”
And, it’s rather embarrassing to admit, but I was too prideful to try anything Judah would suggest – I always had an excuse for why it wouldn’t work. But I was keenly aware that if I wanted to see my home be a place of order, rest, and productivity, something was going to have to change.
Well, at the end of last year, Judah began his “New Year Plan,” which ended up being far more in-depth than I would have guessed.
It wasn’t long before my attitude went from being “good for you, but I don’t think I need to do that” to, “Ok… I’m really intrigued. Can you help me with one, too?”
We spent hours talking, praying, and allowing God to give us a vision for the next year of our lives, and ultimately to see it in light of how He desired us to live – with excellence and intentionality for His glory.
Being someone who a) can’t stand failure, and b) doesn’t like to try new ways of doing things, I was a little hesitant to begin implementing the new patterns and ways of doing things for fear that they wouldn’t work.
But God began changing my mindset, realizing that this was a process – that any system or tool we tried that didn’t work was an opportunity to grow and then find something else that did work. So with a gulp and a lot of prayer, I dove in.
And let me tell you… I was quite unprepared for the results. Literally, within two weeks, I could hardly believe the changes I was seeing in our home. Things actually began functioning in a smooth, orderly way. And all-of-a-sudden, I wasn’t quite as intimidated by trying new things.
I actually began to look for ways to improve our systems, and rhythms, and get excited about every new area that we applied them to.
Things weren’t perfect overnight (in fact, they’re not perfect a year later, either), but I look back now at how our life was before we took these steps, and I am so thankful that God gave us a vision for something better.
I want to share a few practical ideas in closing that I hope will be an encouragement to you as you think about what changes you may want to make in your home and routines.
1. It’s a Process
Remember, structures that are the most solid usually take the most time to build.
And this is true with establishing an intentional lifestyle. It’s one of constantly learning, humbling ourselves when something doesn’t work, and trying something new.
Just like in our walk with Jesus, we don’t become experts at overcoming fear or studying and applying Scripture or any other spiritual aspect of our lives overnight. It often takes years, of investing our time and energy into pursuing the Lord, repenting of sin, and cultivating spiritual disciplines to see the fruit come.
So, ask the Lord for wisdom in where to start, and then simply… start. He’ll continue to give wisdom as you seek to glorify Him in every area of your life (James 1:5).
2. Have a Game Plan
In order to really see long-term results, there has to be a long-term game plan.
Don’t just dive into it head-first with your eyes closed and hope for the best. Take time to map out a general plan, and then gather the practical tools and resources that will help you stick with this for the long haul.
3. Entrust it to God
God is the one who created order and set systems in place for success (just take a look at any aspect of creation and you’ll see it everywhere). So, as you seek to glorify Him in the way you live, don’t discount the fact that He is the One who will ultimately provide the grace to have the right motivation, mindset, and long-term mission for every aspect of living.
Start by making Him priority in your life, and He will sustain that vision and continue to expand it far beyond what you can even imagine. Allow Him to give you an eternal mindset for the daily tasks right in front of you. He gives strength and peace to those who put their trust in Him (Psalm 29:11).
Whether you are the CEO of a company or a stay-at-home mom with little ones, a life of intentionality is what God desires for you. He doesn’t want you to flounder or live in anxiety.
The details of how these things are worked out will look different for each person and circumstance, but as we trust that He has put us into our particular roles, we can also trust Him to use us in our fullest potential for each and everything He calls us to!
This is why I am so thrilled about my husband’s upcoming course. He’ll be sharing the principles of Intentional Living that God has been walking us through, and our desire is that this will be a tool the God might use in your life to encourage you and give you some practical first steps in allowing Him to grow this area of your life! So – stay tuned for more!