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How to Turn Your Good Intentions into Loving Actions, Without Trying too Hard

Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet? Lucy Maud Montgomery

Often times we think God will just magically produce the plans we have in our minds. “Poof” and it will all appear just as we envisioned. No hard work required. No planning. No preparations. Just good intentions, right?

Magically, our children will grow to love the Lord. Magically, our marriages will be healthy. Money would magically appear in the bank, or better yet the tree in the back yard. Magically, that book I always wanted to write would be written. Life would be as planned, with just a little good intention.

Yeah, you know life happens.

One of the kids wake up with a bad attitude and accidentally drops a carton of milk all over the floor… before 7am. You can only imagine how that turned out. For a second I catch a glimpse of the mom who just thirty minutes earlier, in prayer, I vowed not to be. Over spilled milk? And did I mention we are already late?

I find the reset button and I start again. If I don’t all is lost for the day and I will be crying over spilled milk. Peace is restored for the time being.

The thing is, the way you live today determines how you live tomorrow. And how you live tomorrow determines the next day. Until each ordinary day shapes your destiny. Plans and great intentions don’t always unfold the we expect. Life happens. And before we know it’s March and all our plans seem to be just plans with no actions.

Even our greatest intentions would never add up to one single action. Because the thing is our intentions don’t always become actions. And our actions are not always loving and don’t seem to add up to much.

So what if we decided to add action and love to our intentions?

“…we must not love with words or speech, but with truth and action.” 1 John 3:18

I have found three ​daily rhythms that help accomplish what needs to be done and enhance relationships while maintaining peace and order.

Planning.

If you want to fill your day with meaning and purpose you have to start with a plan. I asked myself what areas of my life do I want to see improved? Spiritual? Physical? What relationships did I want to cultivate? Am I doing something now that I should not be doing? How can I improve my marriage and family? What is working? What is not? Who is God calling me to minister to?

Action.

Our grandest intentions can never add up to one act of kindness without action​. Small actions done in love daily will lead to grand purpose and accomplishments.

Write out simple actions to work toward your overall plan. Keep it simple and remember one step at a time.

For example, I wanted to cultivate women’s relationships in my church so I began to have lunch with a different woman each week. Or maybe you want to read more or you long to grow spiritually in a certain area, plan a time each day to read and study, even if it is a short time. Write a list of people you care about and send them notes or encouraging words. Plan dates, say, “I love you” more. Be intentional about your relationships. Most nights I lay with each of my children at bedtime to hear about their days in order to deepen our relationship.

Love.

“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24 I realized early on that actions without love are meaningless. Activity done from a place of duty or obligation will leave you disappointed and empty.

“…if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything” 1 Peter 4:11.

Actions done from a place of love, seeking only His glory will produce eternal reward and will bring refreshment to your soul and spirit.

So, make a plan, take action and fill your actions with love, and allow yourself grace. Keep moving forward, even when plans don’t unfold as envisioned. I believe we’ll see growth in our lives and the lives around us when we choose to live a life of intention.

Wherever you are on your journey!

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