The word intentional means to doing something on purpose or deliberately.

Being intentional is an important part of living a purposeful life. But being intentional is also a choice, a decision that shapes our actions, our relationships, and anything we pursue in life, especially since we live in a world that is full of so many distractions.

Making a commitment to live intentionally brings connections that truly matter, bringing significance even to the seemingly mundane day. Those small acts – the things that you do routinely in a day – may not mean so much to you, but you have no idea what it means to someone else. Indeed, we never really know what the person next to us is dealing with just by passing them by.

Intentionality doesn’t have to be full of effort. Small acts of intentionality, like pausing to hold a door open for someone, or maybe offering a smile and a quick good morning are simple ways to show kindness. And when we intentionally plan to interact with others and do it pleasantly, it seems that the blessing meant for them comes back to us in so many ways.

When society glorifies the busyness of life, being intentional or doing something deliberately is a quiet revolution that whispers to all of us, "Your presence and choices matter.”

To wake up every morning and plan to live each moment intentionally sounds like an easy task, right? It is harder than you think, but it is not impossible.

I challenge you as I challenge myself to live intentionally. Start each day with prayer and purpose. Pray to be the hands and feet of Jesus, even if it's just buying a stranger a cup of coffee or helping an elderly person unload their groceries if you see them struggling.

We are blessed far beyond words even when we think we are in the worst of things. You never know how your choice to intentionally bring a smile to someone else could increase the joy in you.

Put your phones away, share a story at dinner that brings a laugh, send a quick note to someone who has been on your mind, or let them know that you are praying for them. Praise others when you see how hard they are working or acknowledge someone's good attitude amid difficult circumstances.

Life is full of ups and downs, and we never know what side each of us is on, so be intentional in your kindness. Maybe, just maybe, it will help exactly the way it was meant to.

Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. She is currently working on an inspirational book of short stories. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].

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