5 ways to be more Intentional today

Just a few little changes can make all the difference (the House of Hendrix)One minute they’re there, the next minute they’re gone. 20,000 photographs…births of my children, school plays, Christmas mornings, the last photographs of grandma…all gone. In a matter of moments, with the crash of my computer hard drive,  they slipped through my fingers and became a memory.

If I had to name my most treasured possession, my pictures are it…They were it.

Next to my computer is an external hard drive…in its package, untouched. I intended to back everything up, but I regretfully put it off.

Life is like that. We carry-on taking for granted so many things. In a moment, they can be gone.

our health, our marriage, our money
a friendship, a sobriety, a career

What else in my life do I intend to “back up” but simply haven’t? What is it I treasure? My photographs, YES! They are a visual representation of my life until now. But they are not my life. They are just pictures of it….and pictures which I can manipulate to tell any story of my choosing.

What is it I truly treasure?…the people in those photographs…the relationships in my life today. Do I live in a way that says “I TREASURE YOU”?

5 Ways to Live Intentionally Today {the House of Hendrix}

So today I embrace not what I’ve lost, but what I have. My heart is thankful and challenged to live life more completely.

Today I want to be more intentional.

Today I want to

Not rush through the bedtime routine with our children.  They feel my love through the tickling of their backs, my breath on their foreheads, and my arms snuggling them tight. They crave my touch. That trust, that physical closeness brings, opens up their hearts for deeper conversations. As the lights go out and their minds settle from the distractions of the day, I get that glimpse into their soul. Their anxieties. Their passions. Their unanswered questions. But I rush it. Every night, I cut them short. But not tonight.

Today I want to5 Ways to Live Intentionally Today (the House of Hemdrix)

Encourage my spouse more– There are certain areas I feel awkward intentionally encouraging him in. It feels contrived.  It’s easy to compliment him on what a great father he is, or his handiness around the house. But in other areas, I listen, offer my perspective, and problem solve…but I rarely encourage. Yesterday I decided to intentionally encourage him before work. I affirmed in him some of his God-given qualities which were going to be utilized in him that day at the office. I half-expected him to laugh, but he didn’t. He hugged me and didn’t let go. Today I’m going to encourage him more.

Today I want

The people in my life to know my heart. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. A car crash could change everything. It did for my aunt who left her 4 children weeping over her grave. Do the people I love know it? Have I told them, shown them? What about my friends? Do they know what I cherish about them? Sometimes I don’t say it. Do you have a friend who has made a huge impact on you but she doesn’t know it?  I do. On her birthday I showed her my heart. I told her why I thought she was different. Why I cherished her insight. I shared the impact and influence she has had on my life.  I laid it all out there. We weren’t at that intimate level in our friendship either, so I was vulnerable…but I wanted her to know. She could die tomorrow. I could. Nothing was left unsaid and our friendship is that much stronger. Today I am reminded to not withhold my affection from those in my life. I want them to know my heart.

Today I want to

Stop the judgement. Life’s hard and we don’t know what other people are going through. I want to be filled with compassion not comparison. I want to extend forgiveness. Am I holding on to a subtle grudge? Are there areas I need to put aside my pride to forgive? Today I want to be sensitive to the needs around me, the ones that may be disguised in condescending comments, cold shoulders, and abrupt tones. Today I want to see through them and meet their real needs with understanding and love.

Today I want to

Celebrate life. I don’t want to wait for the weekends to have fun. I want to live it now. I want to celebrate my family. I cherish a life with dance parties on Tuesdays and board games instead of clean kitchens. I want an ice cream sunday party just because we’re all together. Today I want to celebrate that I get to live this beautiful, imperfect life for another day. Today is a gift I treasure.5 Ways to Live Intentionally Today

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2 Types of Women

When you walk into a room, do you make a "Here I Am" entrance or a "There you Are" entrance? Read these 10 Qualities to help you decide.So you’re at an event and she walks in. There’s something about her that makes you stop and look. But it’s not just you; others are looking too. It’s not her chic outfit or even physical beauty, but something in how she carries herself.  Intentionally or unintentionally, she commands attention. We don’t know her story, or maybe we do. But what she does in those next 30 seconds is very telling.

Her body language is about to communicate one of two things:

‘Here I Am’ or ‘There YOU are’

The confident ‘Here-I-am’ woman communicates:

  • I’m here. I’ve arrived. See me?
  • Who do I know here?
  • I’ll wait here for you to come over and talk to me.

There’s also a ‘Here-I-am” woman that doesn’t command attention but shares the same self-focus:

  • Is my outfit ok?
  • Will they like me?
  • I’m uncomfortable, they can come to me

Whether from a place of confidence or insecurity, the Here-I-am woman is all about HER. See the emphasis above on the Me, I, and My.  She’s really saying,  “Please validate me, accept me, see me”.

I missed out recently on reconnecting with an old friend. She was all glammed up at an event radiating a ‘Here-I-Am’ vibe. She had undeniable presence but appeared unapproachable and uninterested in connecting with anybody beyond her immediate circle. I wanted to say hi but was confused. In retrospect, I wish I had pushed, because I think it was a cover-up for her insecurity. I think her ‘Here-I-Am-all-fabulous-and-cool’ image was a power play for acceptance…only an acceptance that had nothing to do with actual friendship. She was hiding behind a very compelling persona.

I understand the lure though of controlling how others perceive you. It seems safer than risking rejection. But it’s a dangerous cycle that rarely results in the comfort of being truly known and accepted by another. You miss out.

There You Are

When the ‘There-You-are’ woman walks into the room, she too commands your attention because she is excited to see YOU. There YOU are. She’s great to be around because she communicates:

  • You are worth walking over and sticking my hand out for.
  • How can I make YOU comfortable?
  • I’m excited to be with YOU.
  • It’s nice to meet YOU.
  • You are accepted, cool and fabulous, not me.

She is remembered by the way she makes YOU feel.

She may be outgoing…or she may have a quiet spirit, but you remember her.

You like her because she first liked you.

So what type of woman are you? Do you radiate ‘Here I am” or ‘There you are’? I think most of us have a natural inclination to ‘Here-I-am’ behavior, but not because we think we’re so fabulous. Conversely, we simply have a desire to be accepted and feel significant, and sometimes that can make us self-focused.

What would happen if we treated everybody in our path today with a “There YOU are” attitude? Would the mom who feels left out at school events feel more comfortable? Would your spouse respond to you differently? Would that conflict with the neighbor change? Would you like yourself more?

I’ve been watching my ‘There-You-Are’ friends and have compiled a list of the qualities I think sum her up.When you walk into a room, do you make a "Here I Am" entrance or a "There You Are" entrance? Read these 10 Qualities of  There You are woman.[ The House of Hendrix}Do you know this woman? How does she make you feel? Life’s too short to withhold a compliment. Share this with her and say thank you. Give HER some encouragement.

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6 Ways I loosened up to survive the early years of Motherhood


I’m that mom that people in Publix give dirty looks to because her children are playing “Spies” down the aisles. The mom who let’s her kids play with all the toys in Target while she sits on the floor and talks to her sister on her cell phone. I’m the mom that has been known to let her boys pee behind a tree in a semi public place because legistically is seems most efficient. I know, I NEVER thought I’d be her.6 Ways I loosened up to Survive the early years of Motherhood - the House of Hendrix

Before I had children, I was appalled when I saw wild children in public places running around …I swore my children would never behave that way. I really did. I actually said it out loud to my husband. “Just so you know honey, our children will never act like that. They are going to say Yes Mam and Yes Sir, and know how to properly sit at a restaurant table until each adult is finished”.

Yay, they really don’t. I mean I can threaten them to said desired result but it’s not natural.  And it’s not that I don’t try. It’s that as moms we have to pick priorities and EVERYTHING can’t be a priority. I applaud you moms who have 3 kids in a grocery cart each with their list of items to look for, with a pencil and pad and a plan. You’re doing a great job! (and I’m not being condescending)6 Ways I Loosened Up to Survive the early years of Motherhood - the House of Hendrix

I actually channeled that mom for 3 1/2 years when I had my daughter and infant son. I had it together, or at least thought I did in my sleep-deprived state. Then I was blessed with another boy a few months later and well…God thought I needed to loosen up a bit or just wanted a good laugh. I had one was crawling this way, one toddling that way, and a 4-year-old with an opinion on it all.

I had to change or else this idealistic vision of mothering would be the death of me. Every mom is different. Every threshold unique. I was maxed out. There were specific areas I had to loosen up to survive and thoroughly enjoy these early years of motherhood.Encouraging and refreshing post!! "I guess I just quit trying to make it all look perfect: my kids, my house, my parenting...and as a result we had more room for joy and increased time for laughter." |the House of Hendrix

6 Ways I loosened up to survive the early years of  Motherhood:

1. Be thankful in the storm. When I feel exhausted and overwhelmed, I look for the blessings around us.  Have you read “1000 Gifts? The author writes a journal of 1,000  things she is thankful for…the result, JOY.

2. Laugh Laugh when life is messy, chaotic, or just not going your way. Laughter helped me find perspective in the most frustrating mommy moments. My mother faxed me a paper at work one time which read in giant letters, ‘Don’t let the stress take away your joy’. That totally changed me. {humorous table manners post}

3. Re-Prioritize – My heart wanted to be a great mom to our children…but I just couldn’t do it all. We had to define what the most important priorities were for our family.

Unchanging Priorities: Obedience, Respect, Honesty. These are not the areas where we  loosen up, yet are still our biggest struggle.

Family-Specific Priorities like Serving Others or Having a Strong Family Unit. Defining these helps determine how we choose to spend our time.

Our Fallen Priorities: These are good parenting practices that just aren’t our priority. Keeping my boys clean for 6 Ways I loosened up to Survive the early years of Motherhood - the House of Hendrixinstance. It’s impossible. We wash our hands and take baths, but it really ends there. Over the summer they only look clean because we live in the pool, but if I met you at the park for a playdate, you would be baffled. I think of it as their special gift, they know how to play hard…and get dirty.

4. Slow down – This occurred to me one day when I took the kids to Sea World. They were looking at the flamingos, and I pleaded for 5 minutes for them to hurry up so we could go see the dolphins. Who goes to Sea World to see flamingos after all? Suddenly I stopped pushing and just observed. They posed like flamingos for 15 minutes fully convinced that the tourists could not tell if they were a one-legged pink bird or a child.

We never made it to Shamu that day, and I can’t recall what we actually did see, but they still laugh about all of those “in between moments” that never made the schedule, those memories based on relationship and interaction with each other, those memories that almost didn’t happen because I was rushing for nowhere.

5. Simplify – I simplified the over-the-top birthday parties and put that energy into creating a memorable birthday atmosphere within our home.  I simplified making baby books…actually I quit them altogether but you shouldn’t do that, they’re good to have.  

6 Ways I loosened up to Survive the early years of Motherhood - the House of Hendrix

I guess I just quit trying to make it all look perfect: my kids, my house, my parenting…and as a result we had more room for joy and increased time for laughter.

6. Trust –  I have read more parenting books, heard speakers, and taken parenting classes that I understand the importance of family meals, consistent discipline, fewer activities, more alone time with each child….which is why it’s so easy to feel like a failure as a parent. There’s always something more we could be doing as parents.

But that is exactly where the scriptures changed my heart. They promise that if I ask God for wisdom over my children, He won’t deny it from me. But to truly have confidence in that, meant I had to trust that God would equip me for the children He entrusted to me. When I embraced that truth, the pressure was off. I was enough for my kids. My kids still keep me quite humble on a regular basis, but I take comfort knowing that when I seek God for guidance, He will provide the insight and wisdom I need.

So that’s how I became “that mom”. People still roll their eyes and gasp from time to time, but I’m ok with it. My family is not supposed to look like yours, and we are in fact a bit quirky. But like you, I cherish my children. So if you bump into my Secret Spies in the cereal aisle at Publix, or if I see your children eating chocolate bars for breakfast, let’s give each other a break, and replace those looks with an understanding smile, that we’re each doing the best we can.

The House of Hendrix

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