Tag Archives | intentional living

Living Intentionally: A Confession and Evaluation

I started this year determined to focus on living life intentionally. We were doing family game nights, I was doing monthly meal planning, I wanted to be sure the year didn’t slip away from me. Well now it is almost October. we only have three months left in this year, my year of living intentionally, and honestly? I feel very conflicted about how I’ve done.

We let family game nights slip. My husband was (and still is) working a ton of hours, and it was really hard for him to commit to it. I felt bad doing a “family game night” that didn’t include him.

My monthly meal planning has gone out the window. I haven’t even been doing weekly meal plans!

On the other hand, our family finally took the step forward to join Wycliffe Bible Translator. As I shared in my post about the changes coming for us here, this is something we have felt called to for several years now. Our application process was intense, and took a lot of time and mental and emotional energy. My husband and I are currently completing an on-line training course that takes several hours of work each week, and next month our family will go to Florida for two weeks of training at Wycliffe USA’s headquarters. We’ve accepted an assignment in Papua New Guinea, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

I think living intentionally is still a great focus for this year. We have done that in a major, life-changing way! But I do feel the need personally to re-focus on some of the smaller areas I planned to be intentional in. I’m not sure what the solution is for some of those areas… Our schedule is so varied right now that monthly meal planning won’t work, and once a week grocery shopping has been a struggle with my husband’s schedule, one vehicle, and the fact that my oldest is in a leg cast and I can’t get her out of the house on my own. Something needs to change though, since going to the grocery store 5 times a week for “just a few things” is getting exhausting.

I also want to be sure, even more with everything that is going on for us, that I make an intentional effort to focus on my children. I want to find ways to fill their cups to overflowing, and help them truly know how valuable they are to me. I’m not sure what that will look like yet, but I am going to be praying about it, and I would love to hear some of your ideas in the comments!

If you had a New Year’s Resolution, or goals for this year, how are you doing? What have you learned? What are some ways you are intentional about meals, home management, and your relationship with your children?


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Summer Bucket List: Tent Tuesday’s #1

This week we are linking up with Sunflower Schoolhouse and several other great bloggers to talk about Summer Bucket Lists!


I shared in my post yesterday that the main item on my Summer Bucket List was to start Tent Tuesday’s. You can read that post here. Tent Tuesday’s consist of three key elements (but they don’t have to happen on Tuesdays):

  • Build a “tent” somewhere cozy and throw in whatever you need to make it comfy.
  • Read whatever the kids want to read all day long. Playing is okay too!
  • No electronics. That means no tv, no blogging or e-mail, and no chatting on the cell phone.

Our first day was a huge success, but I did learn a few things.

  • Try to “set the scene” the night before. If possible, have any chores or errands run the day before, so you don’t have to worry about them the day of.
  • Drink lots of water. Reading for hours non-stop is a big strain on your voice, even if you are used to talking a lot. Ask me how I know…
  • Picnics in the tent are fun, so plan for easy “picnic” foods like sandwiches. I made deviled eggs, and that wasn’t the best food ever with a toddler in the tent! On the other hand, the sheer fun of having s’mores in the living room in a tent while reading books would make the mess worth it!
  • Pick a good audio book to listen to as well, to give your voice a break. We were only able to spend about 4 hours of “tent time” today because we got a late start and we had to run some errands later in the day, but a whole day would definitely require some breaks.
  • Accept that it won’t all be perfect, but soak up the moments that are perfection.

Here’s a photo journal of our day!

We got off to a bit of a bumpy start! The girls had a few chores that they needed to finish before we could get started, and they were dragging around a bit. Finally…

We were so fancy. Dining room chairs! Floor mats to help with the hardwood floors.

He was so excited! And oh my goodness, I love the curls.

A basic sheet transformed the chairs into our tent for the day! I think next week we may set up our actual camping tent, but we need daddy’s help for that one ;)

This took less than five minutes, but their faces were priceless. All we need to add now are pillows, blankets and books.

See what I mean?! Perfection.

This was at the top of her reading list! We didn’t get to finish it, but we did read a few chapters.


And then he tried to pull it down, and Mommy said no….

Cuddles with my sweet girl!

What’s better than sister giggle fests? Sister giggle fests in a tent!

Nehemiah didn’t have any problems continuing his usual routine in the tent!

You know what I didn’t miss the whole time?

Tent Tuesday was so wonderful that I’ve been inspired to add a few more things to our Summer Bucket List.

  • A pajama run. Put everyone to bed in their pajamas, and then surprise them by getting them right back up to hop in the car and run to Sonic or somewhere for a treat! This will be even more fun if grown-ups are in pj’s too.
  • An after-dark hike. A national park near us is doing a “nocturnal hike” soon, and I know my kids will love it!
  • Root beer floats. I’ve realized my kids have never had them. This must be remedied. Stat.

Tomorrow Jeniffer and I will be sharing about something we worked on together, and then later this week she will be sharing some of her Summer Bucket List, so be sure to stay tuned!

If you have a Summer Bucket List, how are you coming with checking things off? What’s been your favorite so far?

Don’t forget to check out the other great bloggers participating this week!

Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse

Joy @  My Home In The Smokies

Tonya @ The Traveling Praters

Tara @ Feels Like Home Blog

Lisa @ Creativlei

Nancy @ Proverbs 31 Jewels

Jennifer @ Teaching Boys

Kelli @ Adventurez In Child’rearing



Read full story · Comments { 9 } in Keeping it Real, Motherhood

Summer Bucket List: Tent Tuesdays

Hey everyone! This week we are linking up with Sunflower Schoolhouse and several other great bloggers to talk about Summer Bucket Lists!

The whole idea of a summer bucket list is new to me. It’s something I’ve seen as I’ve browsed pinterest, and I’ve been intrigued. However, I honestly found some of the lists overwhelming. One more thing to feel like I wasn’t doing quite well enough. Anyone hear me? So I was conflicted about whether to participate in this week. At the same time, I want to live this year intentionally. I don’t want this summer to slip away from me like so many have. My children only have so many summers in their childhood, after all!

After thinking and praying about what I should put on our list (that would work in the over 100 degree whether we’ve been having!), and what I should share today, one idea in particular kept coming back to me. Tent Tuesday.

Tent Tuesday has been born out of three different areas that I’ve been concerned about.

We love to read here. But “just for fun” reading is typically squeezed in at bedtime, and if we are busy, even that often gets bumped out in favor of the kids getting the sleep they need. I’ve been thinking about the need to have a day where we just catch up on reading.

Then I started seeing these ideas for tents and forts on pinterest, and I loved them! I really do want to create a hideaway like this one for my munchkins. But even before I get that done, I can fashion a tent or fort out of blankets or sheets, something my kids are always asking me to do. All to often they are met with “A little later” or “Not right now.”

I’ve also been convicted that my kids need more of me. Yes, we homeschool and I stay-at-home, and we are in the same physical space almost 24/7, 365 days of the year. But I am often distracted by my cleaning, cooking, blogging, schooling, or just plain distracted! Since my girls got older and my kids play so well together, it’s been easy to stop playing with my children. We’ve also resorted to way to much tv time.

So what do all those pieces have to do with each other, and what is Tent Tuesday?

Tent Tuesday is going to start tomorrow here, and I hope to make it a regular occurrence, at least through the summer.

  • Build a “tent” somewhere cozy and throw in whatever we need to make it comfy.
  • Read whatever my kids want to read all day long. Playing is okay too!
  • No electronics. That means no tv, no blogging or e-mail, and no chats on the cell phone.

Will the whole day be perfect magic? I’m sure it won’t! I’ll probably still get irritated. They will probably bicker. Diapers will need to be changed. But in the midst of the craziness of real life, I hope my children will get the message that they are so very important to me, and I hope that sweet memories will be made that will last a lifetime.

Check back tomorrow night to see pictures of our first Tent Tuesday and hear how it went!

Do you have a Summer Bucket List? What’s on it?

Be sure to check out the other great posts at the blogs below!

Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse

Joy @  My Home In The Smokies

Tonya @ The Traveling Praters

Tara @ Feels Like Home Blog

Lisa @ Creativlei

Nancy @ Proverbs 31 Jewels

Jennifer @ Teaching Boys

Kelli @ Adventurez In Child’rearing


Read full story · Comments { 8 } in Keeping it Real, Motherhood