A joy-filled life is possible...And you can have it right where you are.
Those desires that tug on your heart and keep you up at night—the big dreams, grand adventures, new experiences—require purpose and planning, time and effort. Is it possible to follow your passions while still finding joy and meaning where God has you right now?
With the voice of a close friend, Karen Stott offers insight and inspiration from her story of juggling motherhood and multiple businesses while leading Pursuit, a global entrepreneurial community. You will be empowered to...
prepare space in your day for the endeavors that matter most to you and yours discover clear ways to keep your home, family, and work in healthy balance enjoy fresh moments of grace and gratitude as you make sure you are in your life
If you are aching for more than a cycle of never-ending demands and not-enough peace, be inspired by how God can help you discover your purpose and cultivate An Intentional Life.
I chose this book from Net Galley because I liked the title. I thought it would offer suggestions on how to live a more intentional life. Because you see, I’m a Jonah. I’m a Jonah who runs away from challenges when I want instead to be a Daniel who is intentional in his decisions.
An Intentional Life is not a how-to manual. It’s the story of a woman who has had a lot of experiences that she uses to guide her readers to greater intentionality.
When we think about something that is intentional, we think of something done on purpose or with purpose. Is that the way you’re living your life? Or are you, like me, sometimes sleepwalking through choices and life experiences?
The introduction starts: “Do you ever ache for more?”
Yes! Of course we do. We want what she has, or at least what social media tells us she does. The noise from the era we live in is so great that sometimes we can’t even hear our inner desires. We have learned to tune out the still, small voice that echo the desires of our Creator, the dreams that God has placed in our hearts.
An Intentional Life is divided up into three parts: Passion, Purpose and Presence. As you would expect, each section goes into detail about how each of the three Ps tie into intentional living. Karen invites us to change the way we think about our calling.
No longer should we look at it as something static that takes forever to find and can only be done in the context of our careers. “A calling isn’t a destination.” she says. “It’s a lifestyle.” Are you ready you involve your calling in every aspect of your life?
Often the desires of our heart reveal the very thing that we were called to do. As I read this book, God led me through a series of events so that I could realize that something I have been craving from my local church is tied to one of my spiritual gifts.
The desire of my heart points to a ministry that I need to provide for the members of my church.
Know God – An Intentional Life reminds us that when we know who God is, it makes it easier to trust him when he asks us to do things that we wouldn’t ordinarily do. He has a lot that he wants to say to us, but we must be quiet enough to hear it.
Know yourself – What’s your personal history? What are the things that shaped you and left an impression on your life? Why do you do the things you do?
Knowing the answers to these questions will go a long way to helping you to understand what drives you now. It will help you to figure out how your personality and life experiences impact the calling that God has for you.
Run your race – A big part of running our race comes from guarding our hearts. If something causes you pain, cut it out of your life.
Instead of allowing the media to cause you to lust after things that you do not have, cut it out of your life. Limit the time that you spend exposed to the things that create envy. Spend more time appreciating what you have.
We Jamaicans love to say, “every tub has to sit down on its own bottom”. All this is saying is that we will all be judged by our own actions. Since this is the case we need to pay attention to the things that we are doing. Satan wants us so distracted that he can draw us into sin.
There’s something about the way God works to help us fulfill our purpose: oftentimes we find ourselves doing things we never even imagined. It starts when we say yes. Yes, to the impossible dreams that God has put in our hearts. Yes, to doing things that are greater than we can do in our own strength.
“No one is immune to the plans of God. Those seemingly insignificant little inklings that are embedded in your soul were placed there on purpose.”
How many times have we dismissed the things that we desire as unimportant? I don’t mean an ice-cream craving. I mean a desire for something more – for a life lived without fear, maybe. Or for more confidence walking the path that is set before you. It may be time to have a closer look at those desires to see what they’re trying to tell you.
“What derails our destiny most is coveting what we would rather have for our lives instead of being thankful for what God has given.”
Who hasn’t found themselves looking longingly over into someone else’s lane? But that kind of hankering only leads to discontent and envy. It shifts our focus from looking at God and staring instead at the beautiful but dangerous pleasures of the world.
“You can’t live in your mission or walk in your calling if you don’t know what it is, where you’re going, or the steps you need to take to get you there.”
I have tried to do this. I have a vague idea of where I want to go but no clue as to how I am going to get there. Without a plan or small, measurable goals, a mission begins to feel more like a suicide mission than a calling.
God speaks a direction in our lives, the enemy will quickly come and bombard us
with many other voices to cause confusion and derail us from our destinies.”
This is why Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.”
If we don’t know that voice of our Master, it become very difficult to determine what comes from him and what is meant to be a distraction. Therefore, it is important to spend time getting to know the character of God. As we work on our relationship with him we learn which desires come from him and which ones come from the enemy.
“What’s your alternative ending?” This reminds us that once we have life we have hope. We can choose another path, a better way. Too often we believe the lie that our lives are set in stone. We think that because we’ve always done something a particular way, we have to keep doing it that way “because”. Karen reminds us that if something isn’t working for us we have an opportunity to change it.
This was a good read. It showed me how to look at my calling in a slightly different way. A way that makes me see that I have been walking in my calling all along. And because I now understand what it is I can embrace it instead of shying away from it.
Have you read An Intentional Life? What did you think about it? I received a free copy of the book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. Get your copy on Amazon today.
Writer, photographer, and visionary, Karen Stott uses her creative gifts to encourage women to lead lives of intentionality while cultivating joy in their business and home environments.
After nine years in the business of wedding photography, working alongside her husband of 14 years, Isaac, Karen was led to create Pursuit Community for other creative business-women juggling all of their roles.
Now with over 10,000 members and bi-annual conferences, Pursuit is a growing community of women creatives and solopreneurs empowering one another to find the balance within faith, family, and business. Karen resides in the Northwest with her husband and 3 kids.