November 18, 2008 | 11 comments

I returned home last night from a three-day weekend retreat called Cursillo with a challenge from a pastor to “be intentional.”

What, he asked, are we going to do to be intentional in our lives? What are we really going to do to intentionally change the thing that needs changing?

I knew the answer. Didn’t want to admit it. But I knew it.

Yes, something had to change. I needed to be intentional.

And then, I was home. Two little girls — one celebrating her 7th birthday — were waiting for me with leap-into-your-arms hugs. We ate ice cream sundaes, unwrapped presents, sang Happy Birthday, played Calico Critters. I tucked the girls in bed, and thought about the challenge that the pastor presented before me.

What do I need to change, Lord? I asked Him.

His answer came immediately: You’re too busy.

God put the first signpost atop my packed calendar, filled with obligations, meetings, appointments, and deadlines. He left the answer right there, on top of all the stuff that I had committed to. He left it in the form of a handwritten note from the birthday girl, written to her mother while she was away at “Mommy Bible Camp.”

I found the note neatly folded and placed just where she knew I’d find it. She was intentional in where she placed it.

Here are her words:

“Dear Mom. I prayed for you in church today and I sat good in church too, and I sang with daddy and I listened to music. I love you sooooooo much!!! … Right here right now I am writing you this note and I am listening to a song called Above All. I love you. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Love Lydia.”

Lydia, Thank you for your sweet note. It reminds me of what’s most important in my life. I know I have to cut some of the other stuff out. Otherwise, it could crowd out the time I need to save for you, and for the God who gave you to me, and for the Daddy who shares you with me. Honey, I am going to be intentional — which is a fancy way of saying I intend to keep my promise. And one more thing … I love you, too. xoxoxo Love, Mommy.

by | November 18, 2008 | 11 comments


  1. gabi dickinson

    this is just beautiful…thankyou for the conviction I needed to become intentional once again. I’d been neglecting that part of my heart.

  2. Minister Mamie L. Pack


    I can relate to this posting in so many ways. I, too, have learned to say no and cut out some things so that I can stay focused on what is truly important. It is easy to get caught up and lose focus. I sounds as if you had a wonderful time on your three day retreat.

    with blessings,

    Minister Mamie

  3. lynnrush

    Thanks for this post. A gentle reminder on intentional living.

    It’s so easy to get bogged down by daily things.

    I’m glad you had a good experience at Cursillo.

    God bless.

  4. Carey

    Thanks for the reminder to as GOD what to be intentional about.

  5. Billy Coffey

    Leave it to children to jerk us from the wrong path and set us aright, all with only a love note.

    God bless them, and God bless yours.

  6. Chris Godfredsen

    Praying for you and more and more Cryfest’s as you intentionally seek more and more of Him! Pray the same for me, please!

  7. Chris Godfredsen

    Praying for you and more and more Cryfest’s as you intentionally seek more and more of Him! Pray the same for me, please!

  8. journeyman

    For the record – I hereby witness that Lydia was indeed good in church.

  9. superstar70

    WOW, WOW, WOW!!! I just can't get enough…i remember chatting with you that one day when your heart was sad that you would be away for that particular weekend & i prayed for you & continued to do so because i knew she would welcome you home no matter what time you stepped through the doorway…you have such an amazing bond with your girls that I, myself, have never seen…Keep it up, my friend as your writings continue to inspire me & make me want to be a better person! Love you!

  10. Jesse and Sarah

    I cried when I read this….and I couldn’t stop because I knew…I just knew……..

    I had been feeling God telling me something so similar. He’s calling and calling me to get back to where I need to be, by His feet worshiping and praising Him. ‘Why do I get so distracted God?’ I cried to Him with disgust over myself.

    I had been feeling like God has been screaming ‘Get offline!!’ so often yet I find myself emailing friend after friend after friend….it’s ridiculous. All because I don’t want them to feel I let them down by not replying. God has placed two verses on my heart that I printed out and carried all day today. LOL….it’s even next to me now on the chair I’m in.

    God hates to see us in busywork. It’s like Mary and Martha…who do you want to be??? Who do I want to be???

  11. Alexandra Mikaela - Awareness Warrior

    I think I know who that pastor was…at least a couple times a week I listen to “Intentional Living” with Dr Randy Carlson on Family Life Radio…gotta love that guy; he’s so real. The world needs more “real” people in it…and more “intentional” ones, too!
    Lydia is so precious…I wonder who she gets it from? =)


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