Grace to Live Intentionally Everyday

intentional by graceBy Leigh Ann Dutton

Why do I seek to live intentionally by grace every day? What does that really mean?

First, let me ask you something. Have you ever tried to explain to someone how to tie a shoe without being there to show them how it’s done? Describing the steps it takes to successfully tie a shoe without being able to show them is difficult.

When I was asked to write about why I live intentionally, I procrastinated. However, I have thought about how to answer this question every day for over a month.

Trying to explain why one does anything is difficult. Trying to explain why one does something that goes against the grain of Western culture is even more difficult. Add to that, intentional living is often misunderstood even in our churches and you have yourself a mighty fine mess (said with a thick Tennessean accent).

Explaining why I live intentionally is like trying to explain how to tie a shoe. It’s hard without being there with you to answer questions and walk through it together. But alas, we cannot sit down for a cup of coffee today. I must do my best to explain it through the perfunctory flashing cursor on my computer screen.  

In the last year or so, I have learned that living intentionally often becomes synonymous with legalism  -changing what God intended as a means of experiencing grace into a means of earning grace (Living the Cross Centered Life, pg  115).

Therefore, think of living intentionally as a means by which we place ourselves in the path of God’s grace so that we can experience His grace fully.

Living intentionally is the pursuit of holiness. It is the pursuit of godliness. I want to be like Christ.

Living life intentionally, for me, means that I take time to look at everything I do through the lens of scripture.

I wrestle with scripture.
I wrestle with culture.
I wrestle with theology.
I wrestle with people.
I wrestle with my mind.
I wrestle with my heart.
I wrestle with emotions.
I wrestle with feelings.
I wrestle with logic.

Because I do not trust my sinful heart, I wrestle with everything that comes before me in the hopes that I may bring God all the glory that He so rightly deserves. In essence, I want to walk in a manner worthy of my calling (Ephesians 4:1).

I did not become a Christian until I was 22 years old. I wasted a lot of years, and I spent many nights crying with my husband over all the missed opportunities. I mourned for my wasted years, and all the while, I trusted in the sovereignty of the Lord. Yet, I emerged from this season of mourning with a passion to never let an opportunity be wasted again – for me or anyone God would bring my way.

I live intentionally so that I don’t miss a moment.
I living intentionally so that I’m not so caught up in my own self-centered world that I fail to notice others in need of God’s gracious care.
 I live intentionally so that I may have finances to give away.
I live intentionally so that I may have a body fit for the work of the Lord.
I live intentionally so that my children will remember the care of their parents, and hopefully associate our care with the ultimate care and love of Jesus Christ.
I live intentionally because I want to share Jesus with the world.
I live intentionally because I want to change the world for the glory of God.  

I am a stay-at-home wife and mom. I would argue that I have the best job in all the earth. However, contrary to popular belief, my dreams did not die when I came home from my office job. My dreams have only just begun. I am pursuing ambitions that only God could have implanted in my soul. I want to create a home that makes it impossible to not think about God.

Mark Driscoll stated in a sermon from his 2001 Proverbs series that thinking is an act of worship to God. It’s not the only way we worship God, but it is another way for which we can bring God glory. If we fail to think, we fail to worship.

The truth is that only what we do for Christ will last. Therefore, I live intentionally so as to pursue that lasting city that is to come, and hopefully, I will inspire a few others to join me in this journey of raising my hands in worship to my everlasting God and Savior. Living intentionally doesn’t always mean that things will go the way you planned (or even hoped). Living intentionally doesn’t mean you “get it all done.” But living intentionally does mean that when you have bananas, flour, and boogers covering your pants you remember why you love it so much. Living intentionally means you won’t fail to see the ordinary moments as extraordinary. Living intentionally means that you will place yourself in a position where you cannot help but think about God – a means of experiencing grace.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

Resources that spur me on to live intentionally:

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney
All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon
Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey
The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George
Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey & Stacy McDonald
The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

5 Comments to “Grace to Live Intentionally Everyday”

  1. […] But I did it. I wrote out an explanation of why I think it is important to live intentionally by grace every day. Click over to Women of God Magazine and read more. […]

  2. As in all things in the Christian life, there is balance. Living intentionally AND living by grace are both simultaneously possible!

  3. I completely agree, Anne. And, I think you do a great job at this!

  4. […] parents, learning how to include your kids in the kitchen, fashion tips from a fashion blogger, grace to live intentionally everyday, articles on homeschooling, working from home, and interviews with godly women such as Rachel […]

  5. Jeri Lynn says:

    Leigh Ann, I just love the way you said this. . .”Living intentionally means you won’t fail to see the ordinary moments as extraordinary.” Living intentionally {to me} means living “on PUROPSE”. . .that purpose being HIS.