January in Ohio brings dreary days. Grey skies are the general daily occurrence, with cold temperatures and snow and ice. Many people fall prey to the problem of seasonal depression. I certainly can relate to their emotion. I found myself talking this week about being intentional. And quite honestly, being intentional applies all year round. Winter just brings about the thought a little more.
Be intentional about finding sunny days amidst the grey ones during the long winter season.
Be intentional about getting up and running (or exercising in any way) when it's really cold out.
Be intentional about finding good moments in the midst of the bad days.
Be intentional about smiling to those who are grumpy and full of negativity.
Be intentional about being different. (there's my 2015 word coming around again)
Be intentional about taking time to pray and to spend time with Jesus- it makes a difference.
Be intentional with your words. Words carry a huge power- the simple act of a sentence can make or break a person's day at times. I know because I've been on both sides of that. (haven't we all??) Be intentional with what you say. Not wishy washy or full of fluff, but intentionally thought through.
Be intentional about being kind, especially to those you feel least like treating that way.
Be intentional about time- it goes quickly and gets wasted so often on worrying or on complaining, when in reality, it could be being filled with fun and memories and new joys, I just have to be intentional about it.
Be intentional about being in the moment- pay attention to the conversation instead of the phone or the computer game; talk and listen instead of pretending you are; sip coffee a bit longer instead of hurrying off to the next appointment. Be in the moment, not worrying about the next one.
Be intentional in loving others. That's really what we are called to do. It's not about how much you do, who you know, or how many lists you check off- it's about the unconditional, never-ending love of Jesus flowing through me to others. That's part of what makes me different, but can only shine make a difference if I allow myself to be intentional about it.
I cannot control others around me, but I can control my actions, my responses and my attitudes. I choose to be intentional.
Being intentional. Specifically being intentional in the winter months is harder than when it's sunshine and blooming flowers out. But, being intentional carries a world of difference if and when we let it.
TGIF, my friends. What will you be intentional about today?