Saturday, January 8, 2011


Are you an intentional person? I don't mean a person that intends to do a certain something and then doesn't. And I don't mean a person who tries to do something with good intentions but ends up making a mistake.

Intending to do something or having good intentions don't indicate a result. Or a plan. But, actually being intentional does. For example, I can intend to get my laundry done today, but I have to intentionally do it. I can have good intentions to be patient with my kids today, but I have to intentionally exercise patience. See the difference?

I am motivated by intentional people. They have energy and drive. They have a plan and a purpose. They are focused and driven. They get intended results by first being intentional.

Anyone can get results because any thought or action or decision has a result. There's no escaping that. But, to actually get the right results - the results you want - requires being intentional.

That's what I want: intentional results.

Intentional results with my husband. I want my husband to know I'm his biggest cheerleader and that his home is a safe haven where he can wear his heart on his sleeve. But that won't happen if my nagging wants constantly trump his actual needs. It won't happen if my eyes wander and play the comparison game. And it certainly won't happen if I criticize or belittle him. I have to intentionally choose to serve, love, and respect him -

Intentional results with my kids. I want them to know, love, and serve Jesus. But that won't happen if I assume my church and its Sunday school program is responsible for teaching and guiding their impressionable hearts. It won't happen if I let the TV primarily entertain them. And it certainly won't happen if I pass up daily opportunities because I'm too busy, too tired, or too indifferent. I have to intentionally teach them -

Intentional results with my ministry. I want to pour myself openly and deeply into the lives of others. But that won't happen if I take more than I give. It won't happen if I depend on the approval of others rather than the approval of the One I minister for, And it certainly won't happen if I listen to excuses that tell me I'm too busy to serve others. I have to intentionally minister to others -

Intentional results with my spiritual well-being. I want to intimately know Jesus and live for his fame. But that won't happen if I'm lazy in reading his truth and talking with him. It won't happen if I'm distracted by the here-and-now instead of focusing on the purposes of eternity. And it certainly won't happen if I have unconfessed sin and a prideful heart. I have to intentionally pursue, know, and live his truth -

And so it goes if you want intentional results anywhere else. Intentional results with finances. Intentional results with business efforts. Intentional results with educational pursuits. Intentional results with relationships.

But, are you ready for this? Just because you may be intentional in your efforts does not guarantee success or your desired outcome or a reached goal. Wanna know why? Because God is God and you are not.

Nonetheless, the God I serve is a God of excellence and I believe he asks for excellence in all I do. Mediocrity isn't an option in my marriage or in raising my kids or in ministering to other people. Apathy won't make my marriage strong, point my kids to Jesus, or encourage others to live for what's eternally important. I have to be intentional.

An intentional person with intentional results. That's what I want to be.


  1. I love this, Sarah. I am going to bookmark this post and read it again occasionally, to encourage me (or convict me, more likely).

  2. Beautiful post, Sarah! Funny thing is that I titled & wrote a post on January 6, 2010 entitled the very same thing, "Intentional"...but I just this week noticed it still sitting in my blog "Drafts"...I felt God laying intentionality on my heart last January, but for some reason I was not very intentional about posting that blog entry...and perhaps also not as intentional as I should have been in my endeavors over the last year...hmmmm. I pray that I will do a better job this year in being intentional & obedient!

  3. What a great post! I've been reading your blog for some time now. I'm an empty nester,I enjoy reading about your wonderful family. This post just struck a cord with me today ,life sometimes gets in the way, & God takes a back seat. Thanks for reminding me why I'm here!!

  4. have no idea how many times I have cried over this very thing. I long to be "intentional" in every area of my life. I don't want to just be a wife...I want to be intent on being the wife God wants me to be...same with parenting, same with ministry. I will pray for you as you pray for me, friend!