Archive for intentional living

Five Minute Friday: Roots

“There are two lasting gifts we can give to our children: one is roots, the other, wings.”

It’s a famous quote. My mother cross- stitched it way back when and hung it in my room. I installed it last year on the wall for a friend who is wonderful at giving roots to her children and her grandchildren as her family grows and grows.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, though I might not have used those words.

We live a fairly good “American Christian” life, I’d say. Church every Sunday, lots of family friends who share our values, careful choices about media and technology and activities to protect our children and family time, occasional project-y service and giving efforts and lessons thrown in.

But what do I really want to root my children in? Comfort? What do I want them to fly toward? Worldly success? If I take an honest look at our life, I’m pretty sure that’s what we are teaching. Good job, comfortable home, nice vacations, new clothes every season, college funds…and we take it all for granted.

Yet the answer I really want: rooted in Jesus. His love for them, and nothing else. Flying to Jesus, and nothing else.

It’s creating a lot of tension in my heart and mind, and I’ll be wrestling with it for a while.


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With just 5 minutes

If you know me at all, you know that housekeeping is um, not my strength. As I just said to someone recently, you know it’s bad when I’d rather exercise than clean!

Sadly, this is one attitude I’ve been able to pass on to my children with great success. With any reference to picking up or cleaning, lots of moaning and procrastinating ensues.

So lately, I’ve been trying a new tactic. With no notice, I’ll issue this decree: Let’s spend 5 minutes and see how we can make this house look better. Or, what can you do while I finish dinner to clean this up?

Its actually met with some success! Especially the short chunks of time, because then they know they can move on to something else. They won’t be trapped in their disaster areas rooms all day.

It hit me this morning that I should be posing the same sort of questions to myself throughout the day. Some issues in the world seem so overwhelming. I can’t possibly make a difference, and so it’s easier to just look away.

So instead, what if just asked this question more often: what can I do to make this world a better place right now? How can I be Jesus’s hands and feet in the next 5 minutes? How can I take quick action to move more toward restoration? What can I do with this 5 minutes that might be more redemptive than checking Facebook. Again.

It might be a quick phone call to encourage a friend. It might be educating myself just a bit on an issue. It might be a quiet moment with God, or it might be quickly filling a big of old children’s books for the local shelter.

The heart to use each moment well is at least as important as the what I actually do. Time is one of the most precious gifts He has given us, but it’s limited. What can I do to not just throw it away? There’s no such thing as “just” 5 minutes.

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A few quick lessons on margin

Tweet from Bob Goff: @bobgoff: If we don’t leave some margins, there won’t be places for God to write into our lives. It’s Thursday! What are you going to quit?

Tweet from me: @lgiltmier: @bobgoff I’m slowly learning this. And it’s GOOD.

Reply tweet: @bobgoff: @lgiltmier Take lots of notes and let me know what you’re learning…

I purposely quit some “good things” in my life this year as I sensed God calling me to be more intentional about my commitments, and either be “all in” or “all out.” It has resulted in more margin in life, and I am much more at peace with the pace of life than I have been in a long time.

What I’m learning about margin – my quick, unedited, not fully processed thoughts:

1) I have to create margin intentionally. The world won’t leave me any.

2) When I’m not creating it, I still crave it. So I start hoarding my time for myself to make sure i have some time to do “nothing.”

3) When I create more, I feel freer with my time. I may end up just as busy, but with better things. God things.

4) Quick examples so far: extra day at the food pantry even though I was just committing to once per month. Field trips with my son who truly LOVES me being there. Encouraging a friend. Just because on short notice, I could say, “Yes, I can do that.”

5) I’m quicker to say yes when I know it “fits” with my priorities.

6) I’m quicker to say no when I discover it doesn’t.

These aren’t profound shifts in how I spend my time; I haven’t suddenly had extraordinary things happen in that space in my schedule. But it’s progress, and it’s good. God’s working some things out in my heart and head these days, so I know it won’t end here.

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