In Gratitude, I Seek Intention: A Renewal

I haven’t been living with intentionality of late. Even when I know how I should act, and how I want to act, I find myself incapable of turning intention into action. Impatience turns my head. Irritation twists my words. Even when I feel gratitude, I don’t exude it. Sometimes I make myself smile in the hopes that my expression will worm its way into my heart and settle me down.

It’s an effort.

Mostly, I think this stems from the fact that in just a week, we’ll have spent a year abroad. First, there are the practical matters: uprooting your entire life and starting anew means a lot of bureaucratic things are up for renewal at the same time. International driving permit renewals, lease renewals, car registration, immigration documents…the list goes on. What was once confusing and nerve-wracking before becomes confusing and nerve-wracking again, and it all takes a lot of effort to sort out.

And then there’s the heart renewal: where you realize you’ve survived a year. One year is ending and another begins. The honeymoon is over and you are no longer new transplants. You don’t make mistakes nearly so often, but when you do goof up, people cut you less slack because you’ve been here longer. You should know better.

But moving to Thailand in the first place was an act of living life with intention. It was a demand we placed upon ourselves to live exactly the life we wanted, not one prescribed for us. And I am grateful for the freedom we have to make such choices. In gratitude, we wanted to make the most of our freedoms. We pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone to remind ourselves exactly who we were when all else was stripped away. We questioned our most basic assumptions and molded a foundation of our own making. We created our blueprint for life.

But that blueprint is not a one-time deal, or we would negate the very action that helped us create it in the first place.

Living with intention is not something you do just once. It’s a habit of thought, a daily challenge for the soul.

So today, one week before our year anniversary of living abroad, I want to renew my vow to live life with intention. In gratitude, I seek to remember the purpose of this day. Let me not turn over the keys to my autopilot. Let me steer my own ship. And when the waters grow rough, let me guide my vessel with a steady hand and leave the waters smoother in my wake.

Join in celebrating this month of gratitude with the Bigger Picture community!
This week, you can find us at Alita’s!

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8 thoughts on “In Gratitude, I Seek Intention: A Renewal

  1. this is beautiful. We can all remember to live intentional, abroad or local. And while people may not cut you as much slack, He always provides the grace you need.

    I think making yourself smile leads to smiling, and that's always better than not smiling! :) :):):)

  2. Jade, thank you for stopping by an allowing me to find your beautiful blog. I love this post. I think when we live our day-to-day lives, so many things happen that we have to be intentional about being intentional :) I totally feel you though, having moved a lot being in the military sometimes it takes me a while to get used to a new place. And I am about to experience that once again in a few months. So hang in there and sending prayers for gentle days and nights. Be blessed,

  3. {I have missed you like whoa. Coffees have gotten me through it, but I'm so glad to have you back!}

    This here: Living with intention is not something you do just once. It’s a habit of thought, a daily challenge for the soul.

    It's what I've spent the entire time BPB has been alive trying to learn and the act on it. Here's to renewel, Jade — to living in the moment and seeking to be intentional about the ones we're so graciously given. love you, friend!

  4. I have really enjoyed reading about your year in Thailand; you bring such a fresh perspective to life! Sometimes it's easier just to turn on the autopilot; but I have no doubt that you will continue to live intentionally. :)

  5. You are speaking to me today friend. I'm so thankful I found you as I linked up at Bigger Picture blogs. Intentionality!!! It's stirring in my spirit. I long for it. Blessings.