Friday Feature: Escaping Reaction, Embracing Intention
Jacey Verdicchio of The Balanced Wife recently published an e-book called "Escaping Reaction, Embracing Intention." Immediately when I saw the title of it, I knew it was going to be a must-read. The words balance and intentional are the latest buzz words in society. Jacey looks into the meaning of these words and how they can truly be lived out in our lives as believers. What does it mean to live a "balanced life"? How can I live intentionally and focus on the things that truly matter? As I read this book, I felt like Jacey was speaking right into my heart. She met me on every page. As a wife and small business owner, I often find myself filling up my simplified planner with long to-do lists and full days. Deep down, I desire to do it all. Jacey described this perfectly when she said "our eyes are bigger than our stomachs when it comes to our calendars, our ambitions, our ideas, our desire to help others." Can I hear a loud "amen" from other "I-can-do-it-all" women out there? My eyes are absolutely much larger than the time I have. I fill my planner with dreams and things that need to be done, but end each day feeling overwhelmed and that I didn't do enough.
The other night, as I've laid on my bed at night dreaming and going through all that I didn't get done, the Lord reminded me of this one simple truth from Luke 10:42: "Choose what's necessary: spending time at My feet." In order to choose what's best in life, I must change my view of what living a balanced, intentional life looks like. As a matter of fact, the more time I spend in the Word of God and in prayer, the more balanced my life becomes. Why? Jesus shapes my time and my priorities. Through reading Jacey's ebook, the Lord began to show me a few areas in my life that lack balance and steal joy:
- stress : When my eyes get "bigger than my stomach" and I take on too much, I get stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted. Usually this affects my sleep and then my relationship with my husband as well as friends. Stress is a major cue that I am focusing on what too much on things that don't matter. When our eyes are simply on Jesus, everything else falls into place.
- self-centeredness : Being intentional means taking my eyes off of myself and focusing them first on Jesus, then on others. When I am constantly thinking about myself and my business, my priorities are backwards. I love what Calvin Miller said: "success is not busianity, it is Christianity." To be successful in this life isn't gaining followers and friends and making money, it is falling madly in love with Jesus and seeing Him as the source of true life.
- social media : I often feel like social media will be a balancing struggle for the rest of my life. It is an inevitable part of society that we can't run from. We must learn to embrace it and spread the Gospel through it, rather than letting it rule us. When I am constantly checking Instagram, my email and Facebook, my heart becomes set on what other people think of me. After all, we usually don't check those things to build other up, but rather to be built up. God has been calling me to be more disciplined in this area and not allow "reacting" (as Jacey describes) to notifications rule my time, but instead to schedule it.
I have never realized how much of my life I live out of "reaction." Jacey's ebook opened my eyes to areas in my life that I need to commit to Jesus and give to Him. The hard, yet freeing truth is, I can't do it all. I, Gretchen, cannot do everything, nor should I do everything. However, I can do the things God has called me to well and live with a heart that longs to love Him.
If you have ever felt like you are swimming under a pile of to-do lists and your time is flying by so fast you can't keep up, I highly recommend you read "Escaping Reaction, Embracing Intention." It will challenge you, encourage you and call you to live life different from culture. Plus, when you purchase the book, you also receive some incredible "Intention Sheets" that will help you go through the book. By the end of this book, you will have a plan of action and feel like you've met a great friend. Jacey's heart is evident in her writing and her blog, The Balanced Wife, is proof of that she is seeking to live out what she says.
As Jacey described, I long to be a woman who lives intentionally, not constantly reacting to things thrown at me, but living with clear, defined goals. I want to be a hard-worker, focusing on things that truly matter and patiently pursuing God's best. Will you join me?
You can purchase the book here! Plus, if you use the promo code lifelivedbeautifully, you will receive $2 off! It's an incredible deal just for Life Lived Beautifully readers! Grab your own copy of Jacey's ebook today!
Let's live life intentionally for the glory of God,