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How to Enjoy the Blessings of Intentional Living

Do you want to live with intention? Learn how to enjoy the blessings of intentional living by considering two key elements of living intentionally. Skip perfection, choose service, and start living with intention, today.

Have you ever thought about the true definition of intentionality? Sure, it’s a buzz-word these days, but what does it really mean to be intentional? What does it look like and how do we live an intentional life when we are worn out and craving some time to unwind?

how to enjoy the blessings of intentional living, magnolia journal, joanna gaines

I’m Kristin of The Peculiar Treasure Blog, a Faith and Lifestyle blogger, with a passion for helping women understand their worth, their capabilities to live well, and their responsibility to live out their calling. I am particularly passionate about growing in God, rejecting the temptation to settle for less than the best, and learning how to be faithful in the little things.

How do we live with intention?

Joanna Gaines addressed this matter in the Spring (2018) issue of The Magnolia Journal, and as always, she had wise words to share. Joanna has this way about her, and she almost always makes me feel challenged to do better in life, while still feeling like I am being showered with love and grace.

Magnolia Journal Spring 2018, Joanna Gaines, Intentional Living

So naturally, after reading this article, I found myself inspired to learn how to live my life intentionally, and how to listen to others and slow down enough to hear what they need from me. Curious to know what lessons I learned from Joanna Gaines? Keep reading to find out.

Live with Intention, not for Perfection

The first thing I learned was that being intentional is far more important than perfection. Everyone tends to focus on outward appearances– how clean the house is, how many courses we plan to serve our dinner guests, or how perfectly we accomplished our newest project. But if we look closely, I think we will find that the people around us want our presence and our time, not our accomplishments or bent towards perfection.

Consequently, we will also find that if we pay attention to the meaningful moments that are in front of us right now, our hearts will be full. However, if we are too busy trying to create the “perfect moments,” we will find ourselves stressed and missing out on what matters.

Magnolia Journal, Spring 2018, Joanna Gaines, Dinner: The Most Important Meal of the Day

Joanna used an example from her own family to illustrate this point. She said that lately, she and her family have been gathering around the dinner table at night and not only eating but really talking together and cherishing their time. She said that it’s not really as important what she cooks or how it looks, it’s about the time they spend together.

“Intentional time with your loved ones isn’t one more thing to overdo or plan to perfection… This is my new pursuit of intentionality: less doing, more listening.” – Joanna Gaines

At the end of the day, our kids don’t care if our meals look magazine-cover-worthy. Our husband’s don’t care if our chicken pot pie is better than everyone else’s. They don’t care if the house isn’t spotless, and they don’t care that we didn’t check off every item from our to-do list. But what they do care about is the time we give to them. They care that we hear them, love them and are willing to carve out intentional moments with them. If we really listen, it will eventually become evident what our family and friends need in this season, and we can choose to be intentional in giving that to them, whether it will be perfect or not.

This is my new pursuit of Intentionality: less doing, more listening. Joanna Gaines

Take time to think through people’s love-languages, and pay attention to what people need right now, in this current season. This will take effort on our part. We must be willing to listen well, and put what we hear into action by serving our family and friends.

Intentional Living is Serving Others

What is it that makes our loved ones feel important and cherished? How can we better love our spouses, parents, siblings, and grandparents? How can we best shower affection on our friends and neighbors? The answers to these questions will help us be more intentional in our day-to-day activities.

Living life in an intentional way is an act of service. As Joanna said: “It may take your most selfless self to do what would be most prized by your loved ones.”

Living with Intention is an Act of Service

You may enjoy your after-dinner Netflix binge, but if being intentional means you help your husband in his weight-loss journey by skipping the couch and opting for a walk around the neighborhood instead, then that will require sacrifice on your part. Or maybe you are like Joanna and cooking feels like a chore, but you know your family cherishes the dinners you all share around the table. It won’t be easy at first, and you’ll have to get creative, but surrendering yourself to the task at hand (i.e. preparing a meal for the family) can bring great joy through embracing a mindset of intentional living. You may even end up loving it. Joanna did!

Living Intentionally is a Blessing

Whatever it is that requires your attention in this current season of life, choose to be intentional with it. It may be tough and it may require selflessness on your part, but living intentionally is a blessing. Living intentionally reaps little fruits that are worth the effort. Living intentionally might be just what we need.

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Jasmine Hewitt

Thursday 30th of August 2018

being present and intentional is a goal i try to reach daily! this was a good read!


Thursday 30th of August 2018

I just love your perspective on intentional living. So often I read it as something you do for yourself, but using intention to serve others is such a wonderful thing - and ultimately it makes you feel great too. Also, who doesn't love Joanna! Such a gorgeous woman, inside and out :)


Thursday 30th of August 2018

Joanna is such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing and reminding me to live intentionally. So important as the school year kicks back into gear!

Kristin Cook

Thursday 30th of August 2018

She really is! And thanks, Bailey! I am glad you enjoyed it!

Crystal // Dreams, etc.

Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Less doing, more listening. I love that! It's so true! I feel most cared for by people when we just spend time together and talk.

Kristin Cook

Thursday 30th of August 2018

I agree, Crystal! It's nice to be served, but a lot of the time, I just want the quality time.


Wednesday 29th of August 2018

I love that -- live with intention, not for perfection. LOVED this post!

Kristin Cook

Thursday 30th of August 2018

Thank you, Lily! I appreciate it! Thank you for reading!