Last week, I participated with other New Hope Community Church members in a week of prayer and fasting. The fast that the Holy Spirit led me to do was a fast from making my own plans in order to listen more closely to his voice. Among other things, doing this required that I put on hold my book writing, greatly reduce my “things-to-do” list, and cut down the time I spent on FACEBOOK.

God rewarded me with amazing answers to prayer, a fresh awareness of his love, and renewed energy. I thought I’d continue in the same “not-planning-just-listening-to-God” mode this week. Isn’t that the more spiritual thing to do?

Not according to the Bible. Obedience to God involves listening and acting, hearing and doing–paying careful attention to all of these things.

When we commit to the Lord whatever we do, he will establish our plans (Proverbs 16:3 NIV) and that without careful planning we will fall behind in accomplishing our goals (Proverbs 21:5 MSG).

After a day or two of not planning, I discovered I was drifting away from the goals that God has given me for this year; I needed to get back to being intentional—make plans and follow through with those plans. (This does not mean I stop listening to the Holy Spirit–my GPS.)

One of my goals for the year is to finish writing my current book—the second one on emotional freedom.  To be intentional about this, I must put writing time on my calendar; I must think through what I need to have when I write, and I must prepare for my writing time.

The things that I need in order to accomplish my writing task for the day are a quiet space, peace-of-mind, a clutter-free desk, physical energy, and an alert mind. My mind is most alert in the morning. So, I prepare for my writing time by clearing off my desk before I go to bed.

The next morning, to make sure that I have peace-of-mind, I pray for God’s guidance; to assure myself of physical energy and an alert mind, I eat a nutritious breakfast and (since I stand at my computer) put on supportive shoes so that my legs do not ache; I am blessed with quietness, as my husband is either not here or quite content being by himself.

I am also intentional during my writing time. I do not check FACEBOOK or my email or answer my phone (I do glance at it and make some exceptions for people I know and care about, or I call back later). Before I start to write, I set my timer; I do not move away from my desk until it goes off.

Most importantly, being intentional requires that I pay attention not only to what I am doing but also to what I am thinking.  This, perhaps, is the hardest part of intentionality.  However, it is essential because thoughts are the seeds from which both our feelings and actions grow—as my following poem indicates.

Questions I Must Ask Myself

What seeds am I sowing each day, every night?
What thoughts am I storing in my  heart?
Are they pure? Are they lovely? Are they true? Are they are kind?
Take care! Both feelings and actions begin in my mind.

What seeds am I sowing each day, every night?
What words am I silently speaking?
As I play, as I work, as I eat, in my sleep?
Take care! It’s certain—what I’ve planted I will reap.

What seeds am I sowing each day, every night?
Which voices am I choosing to embrace?
What songs am I singing? Am I aware? Do I know?
Take care! What I’ve welcomed will take root and it will grow.

Which seeds am I sowing each day, every night?
What questions am I asking myself?
What will happen if I allow “that thought” to give birth?
Will I have joy in God or be more attached to earth?

6 Responses

  1. Jane:

    This is very timely for me and my life right now.
    I like your blog posts. They are helpful and make me think about things I need to think about.
    Thank you for sharing.


  2. What a blessing to me reading this. It’s inspiring me to pay attention the this intentionality.
    Thank you Jane

    1. Thank you for the intentionality on your part, Jody; You took time to read my post and comment on it. I feel encouraged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.