Monday, February 2, 2015

Tools For Intentional Living

Intentional living. It's a phrase that my husband and I have used for the past ten years ever since our pastor in St. Louis preached about it. Living thoughtfully, with purpose, in a Psalm 90 "Lord, teach me to number my days" kind of way.

My husband and I find ourselves smack dab in the middle of life, straddling the line where you can look back on years with a little perspective, while looking forward to years with a hope and a future. This place, this "middle earth", allows us to see something important:

There is a balance in life between schedule and leaving yourself margin.

If you make plans with purpose, those things that you hoped to do will actually get accomplished.

Planning adventures, big and small, will give your children important life lessons as well as shared experiences to shape them in the future.

All of this to say "If I fail to plan, I can pretty much plan on failing."

Case in point: My sister and I have talked about going to a big event every year. "We should do that!" we would say enthusiastically. And then December would roll around and we'd look back and say "Darn it, missed it again."

But not last year! Last year, we planned ahead, we bought tickets, we booked travel, and we had a fun filled weekend. It was just as fantastic as we'd always thought it would be. But it never would have happened if we didn't push ourselves to put that event on our calendars in ink.

When I learned that Simple Stories had come out with a new planner system, I was over-the-top excited! I've been researching different planner systems for the past year. And like Goldilocks, this one was too hard, this one was too soft...but ah, Simple Stories was just right for me! Here's what I love about it:
*It combines my love of paper crafting with my love of organizing.
* It's made by Simple Stories! 'Nuff said! I love this company, and everything they release is top notch, so I knew I'd like this, too.
* It has a color palette that appeals to me, with several different colors of planners to choose from.
*The accessories are bright and happy and fun! Stickers, pages, dividers, bookmarks, stamps, and washi washi washi in the CUTEST colors and patterns!
*It allows me to customize my planner as I see fit.

When the supplies came last week, I was a little overwhelmed. I think I must have ordered one of everything in the Life Documented collection! So after playing around with it a bit, I realized that not every page has to go into the binder at one time. I can add and subtract as the need arises.

I now keep my planner at my desk, along with all of my supplies neatly tucked away.

There's a spot for my pages, stickers, washi and stamps.

And a place for other fun papers, stickers and accessories.

I decided to work on February planning, using colors appropriate for this month of LOVE. I am using Pilot Frixion erasable gel pens. They are amazing!

What does the shortest month of the year look like? School events, birthdays, lunches, music lessons, my husband's travel, my work schedule, my oldest son's work schedule, my college son's schedule, and two out-of-town trips.

Yep, I'd say I needed this planner in a BIG way!

I will be showing other sections of this planner system in future posts, so stop back to the cafe! I plan on using this as my all-encompassing home planner. I have a section for finances, envelopes for receipts, a section for meal planning, a section for contacts and addresses, a section for weekly and daily planning and goal setting, and even a section for crafty sketches and journaling.

Is intentional living important to you? Tell me, do you have a planner system? On a scale of one to ten (with ten being the MOST), how organized would you rank yourself?


  1. Ed has a new job? You're not moving, are you?
    I have to have a planner at work. I work for a family agency, and there's lots of appointments and out of office requirements.

    I don't have a planner at home. I keep it all in my head, but probably need a planner at home too.

    I'm quiet organized. I guess an 8!

    1. That's quite, not quiet!

    2. Deb, you are very observant! Expect more info on the topic of Ed's new job this week! :)