Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Was A Year (Intentional Living)

2013 was a year.

This is what my husband and I said to each other last night, in the wee morning hours after our house was finally empty.

Sidenote: Last night for New Year's Eve we planned to have 3 other families over for dinner. 8 adults, 6 kids and 2 babies. I made ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, green been casserole and corn. The house was full crazy, chaotic and wonderful. But guess who had to work last minute? Sigh. 

But 2013 was a year. We added our second beautiful daughter but other than that it just… was. Not a bad year. Not necessarily a good year either, though. Kendall was born early in the year and after that we didn't really have anything we were working towards. The hubbs was set in his job, his career is going so well. Reese didn't start any new activities really. Kendall was a super easy baby. I was stumbling through my first time as an event planner for The Influence Conference.

Honestly, it felt like we were just going through the motions this year.

I'm going to go all anti-blogger once again here, but I've never bought into the whole "Word of the Year" thing. That is, until this year.

I feel like the word "intentional" has been pressed on my heart for 2013 but I totally ignored it so I'll use it for 2014. There are so many areas where I feel like I personally, professionally and we as a family are really lacking in intentionality.

I look at these two little girls and see how big they've gotten already and I realize they aren't going to be little forever. And y'all, I am missing it. My husband is missing it. We are getting so focused on the daily grind, the social media sites, the wishing we lived near family, that we are missing out on the hear and now. And really, we are missing out on what the future could be.

I'm not usually one for making resolutions and I know that all my striving means nothing without Jesus taking the wheel but I know that this year its a little different. These aren't really resolutions, just desires of my heart when it comes to being more intentional.

I want to be more intentional in my relationship with The Lord. I want to actually be in the word every day. I signed up for a women's study at my church and I plan to keep up with She Reads Truth more regularly. She Reads Truth had a big impact on my personal study time and if you are looking for something, I one hundred million percent recommend you looking into it (and its free! hurrah!)

I want to be more intentional in my marriage. The hubs and I have gone on literally 3 dates since Kendall was born. 3 dates in 8 months does not a health date life make. Now, we have a good relationship and a strong marriage (or at least we try) so that's not what I mean. Something that is easy for us to fall into (because of his job? because we've been married for 6+ years? because its just easy to fall into anyways?) is treating each other like partners. Splitting errands. Splitting some chores. You-go-get-the-tomatoes-and-I'll-go-get-the-milk-and-we'll-meet-up-in-the-bread-aisle kind of living. Its a little difficult for us to get date nights away since we are so far from family and I just found out our sporadic mother's helper is moving to Colorado this week aghhh. We have two littles who haven't slept since we took our big east coast trip and we are tired. The husband works a stressful job and needs to decompress. So we spent far too many evenings creeping on Facebook and binge watching Breaking Bad and not enough laughing over a glass of wine or gazing into each others eyes barf, I know. Not this year

I want to be more intentional with my girls. Reese is something else. She is so tall that sometimes I forget she's only 2. She is so active and so smart. I have talked before of my own (sinful) worry about my kid being that kid. Instead of worrying and putting my own issues on my children, I want to equip them with every tool possible to be the best person they can be. I want to take this wonderful strong willed little girl and help her focus her gifts and skills. I want to continue on our homeschool path and gymnastics but I want to help her in her daily skills, too. And little Kendall. She is the sweetest and she is growing at the speed of light. She already walks with a walker (at 8 months!) and I'm sure we won't have too long until she's off on her own. And y'all, I feel like i missed out on a lot with her this year. I mean, I know its just different when you have two kids but I don't think I spent enough time on the floor with her and surrounding her with kids her age. Basically, my girls are these two wild and wonderful little girls and I want to soak it up and help them hone it.

I want to be more intentional in my home. Truth time here- I pretty much suck at being a homemaker. Cook? Yes.. I rock it.. and the dishes are never left in the sink overnight. But other than that? I pretty much fail. I have cleaned laundry, pulled clothes out of the never folded basket, and ended up having to wash them again without any of those clothes ever seeing the inside of a drawer far too many times. But you know what? I don't want my girls to grow up like that. I want them to be proud of our home and be able to eventually keep up their own home. Now, don't get me wrong.. I clean our house. Its not really dirty so much as cluttered. A little mail here, a pile of stuff there and it really adds up. This needs to change.

I want to be more intentional with my friendships. I've already talked about the weirdness that is friendship in your very late 20's  before. But for us, we don't super want it to stay this way. We want to log the hours with those near us that we don't see nearly enough. We want to keep up in a real way with friends who live elsewhere. We're kicking off this year with a trip to Pasadena for the BCS National Championship Game why yes I am the best wife ever… Go Noles that we've extended to include Disney with my friend Ali and her family. I want to let the people in my life know how valuable they are to me.

I want to be more intentional in my business life. At this point, after a successful conference, a whole year as a network, 2 years pulling in albeit meager income through this blog, its time for me to just admit that this is a business. Not necessarily a business that I plan to do full time to pay all our bills, but its a business nonetheless. And if this was not my business, if I was an employee online, I'd probably be fired. This is dumb because I have so many resources at my fingertips. I mean, hello, that's what The Influence Network is all about. I know #allthethings that we tell women to do, I believe them to be true, but for some weird reason I don't implement them myself as evident by me writing this post at noon on new years day. I need to work smarter and not harder here. I'm going to go through Lara Casey's Power Sheets that Jessi and Hayley gifted the core team. I'm really pumped about it.

So what about you? Do you have any plans for 2014? How do you plan to intentionally live out this new year?


  1. love this :) These words do help. I hope you'll update us on how your word is used throughout the year. I've done this word of the year for the last two years and while at first I saw NO POINT God softened my heart and has used it quite a bit. <3

  2. I really enjoyed this, Ash. I did the Power Sheets in 2013 and they helped me stay focused soooo much (well, except for when life would happen and i would forget to do them, but hey...). I am using Emily Ley's Simplified Planner and Lara's The Challenge ebook this year. I bought the sheets and God clearly told me to give them to a younger girl i mentor to help her with her business she is starting. Anyhoo...i always love how real your posts are and i plan on posting my "new year" post as soon as i come up for air from drinking in all the wonder that is Felicity Grace :-)

  3. I love your heart and your honesty Ashley. I can relate to you in many of these areas of struggle and I love your word. My prayer is that I can connect more intimately with Jesus and partner with Him in every area of my life more effectively. I want my year to be about things of eternal, rather than temporary value. xoxo

  4. You, my friend, are one of the few blogs I can read and nod my head in agreement with over and over. I hear you on being intentional. Great word! :)

  5. SO "be intentional" was my phrase for 2011 and I totally fell short about 2 weeks in. And last year was just the same. I have a bad habit of letting time go by without seizing any moments or taking hold of opportunities. But at the same time, I'm sort of okay with 2013 being that year. I am so ready for 2014 though. After a lot of dreaming and planning and lots of prayer I have some serious goals for this year that I am giddy to get going on. This is the year girl. Go get it!!

  6. I love this post!! I love the "be intentional". To me it means so much more than just having a resolution.

  7. Yes! Intentional is one of my two words for this year too! I pray that 2014 is your best year yet!!!