Intentional (adjective)  1. done on purpose; deliberate 2. by conscious design

Every which way we turn, this particular word hits us in the face.  We are encouraged to be intentional about our diets, our exercise, our relationships, our marriage, our parenting, our finances, our communication, our faith, our kindness, our generosity, and our expressions of love.  There are probably infinitely more things for which we need to be intentional.  The word and admonition has been used in every workshop we’ve attended recently,  and most of the messages we have heard at Church.

Being intentional is something that Steve and I weren’t very good at in the early years of our marriage and parenting.  I would honestly say  that we were more reactive than proactive…more defense than offense.   Maybe it was because we were in survival mode with jobs, kids, sports, bills, and all the other details of daily life and our intention got stuffed into our leftover time (of which there was none).   I am making excuses, I know, and I don’t aim to do that.  I just wish we’d had someone to mentor us, and that may have made a huge differences to help us form our intentional goals.

NOW I see the wisdom of doing something on purpose, and being deliberate by conscious design.  It makes it way more likely to happen if goes at the top of our list rather than the bottom.  And we are doing much better I am happy to report.  Intentional has become our WORD.   So…I am going to encourage You to be intentional about POURING.  I am not trying to get something FROM you; I am trying to get something FOR you.  Carve a notch of time in your schedule….at the top.  Be fearless.   Just say yes to….one  . small . step .

Define your target group in the generations coming behind.  Is it young children?  Is it teens?  college kids?  young employees where you work? engaged couples?  young marrieds?  young parents? single moms?  There is a veritable buffet of generational choices at your fingertips.  Which group would you feel most comfortable interacting?  Which group breaks you heart in ways that you would like to make a difference?  Were you that neglected child that became invisible?  Go find someone like that?  Did you you follow the crowd in those teen years letting your peer group cause you to make some pretty bad decisions?  Go connect with that kid, make a connection, and be a different kind of voice speaking into their life?  Did you go a little crazy wild in college?  Take a college kid under your wing and help them right their plane.  Were you the newbie at work and felt like there were rules that you didn’t know or things you should have known? Be a mentor without them even asking.  Do you have a lot of things that you wish someone had told you in the early years of your marriage?  Go befriend that engaged couple or young married one and help them to have good conversations and be intentional about the choices they make together.  Do you remember the minefield of fatigue and of the early years of parenting?  Find that young mother that could use an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on or maybe just someone that would read a story to their child so they could unwind or take an uninterrupted bath.  Or that single mom?  Maybe you were one of those and can give support, wisdom, and empathy like no other.

Define your life experiences  which are those things buried in your treasure chest that we wrote about earlier.   In what areas would you feel comfortable in sharing your stories?   Perhaps you have a passion for building self esteem, career directions/job interviews, marriage issues, parenting or finances.   You have traveled far and wide in your journey.  You have picked up more wisdom through your experiences than you can possibly imagine.  You do NOT need to be an expert, you are a veteran of LIFE.  You are there to build relationships, listen, encourage and be touch stones to bounce questions off.  You are not expected to know everything.  You are there…because you have been there before.

Define your connecting points using some of your talents.   Perhaps you are really good at conversations, art, music, baking, sewing, playing chess, computers, or sports.   Use those as a connecting point to build a relationship.  I met a man this week, in a coffee shop in Athens, who uses the game of chess to connect with young boys.  He pulls them in with the game and then shows them that the game is a metaphor for life.  He teaches them to think ahead to build strategies.  He shows them that even the pawns have power.  What a wonderful way to connect.  What could you use?   What do you like to do that could be a way to connect with someone?

We realize that you have to want to do this.  You have to feel that it is right, for you.  We are trying to encourage you.  We are trying to get you to join us, wherever you are, in your own brand of pouring.   It looks different for everyone.  But, I promise, if you become intentional about it, it will not only ROCK your world….it will rock THE world!!  just POUR!!!

Our intention creates our reality ~  Wayne Dyer


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