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Waking up and Going to Bed with Intention

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Waking up and Going to Bed with Intention

Intention 

Intention.  Our determination to act a certain way.  Resolve.  Significance.  What one intends to bring about.  - Merriam Webster.  

I love this word intention.  Not only does it talk about having a determination or a drive, but it also addresses our own significance.  Do you ever find your significance lacking through the comparison game, or the feeling of never measuring up?  Me too.  I totally creep down that path some days.  But, something that I have begun to implement this year are a few things that I have started doing as I wake up and as I go to sleep that I do with a heart of intention to help me focus on the right things in life. 

 
Father and daughter enjoying time together outside by a stream
 

Waking up with Intention

Every morning, before my feet hit the floor, I have started trying to do these 5 things.  4 of which I heard from Jenna Kutcher and her amazing podcast.  But here they are: 

1. Think of 3 things that I am grateful for. 

2. Pray.  I pray for have a heart of service, a heart of freedom, and that I would enjoy the day, that I would fight for joy, and be able to notice the small places of joy He brings before me. 

3. List out the top 3 things I need to accomplish today.  (I actually list these out the night before, so I simply think upon them so that I bring them to my attention). 

4. Drink a glass of water.  I always have water beside my bed, but Jenna reminded me of the importance of drinking a large amount of water in the morning so as to jump start your metabolism and help with brain function, and I would have to say that I have noticed a difference in my drowsiness in the morning with drinking a large amount first thing in the morning. 

5. Finally, stretching.  If I am able I try to also do a couple of stretches in the morning.  Typically I will do some hamstring stretches right in my bed, or I will stand up beside my bed.  

All of this together takes me less than 5 minutes.  Typically closer to 2-3 minutes, and it really has been changing the way I feel in the morning. 

 
mother with daughter moody black and white portrait
 

Why Living Intentionally Matters 

Why is this so important to me?  Why does it matter?  For me, a couple of reasons.  First, I want my life to be the best picture of the gospel that I am able.  And because I am incredibly selfish, (which now shows up more than I could have ever imagined being a mother), I need practical steps to help me focus my attention and desires off of myself and to that of my creator.  I want my life to be reflective of fresh water pouring out, and this is only slightly possible if I first reflect on the goodness of the Lord.  And secondly, I have to remember to take steps to take care of myself physically and mentally as well.  I am so bad about putting everyone and everything else about myself and my own needs.  And while this can be good in some aspects, such as care taking for my children, I have to also remember that I cannot run or pour out from a dry cup.  I have to make sure that I take care of myself so that I can be equipped to take care of others.  I have to remember how to enjoy the Father and this body He created if I am to teach that to others as well.  I have to come first sometimes.  And that is where these steps to waking up with intention come into play. 

 
Detail shot of girl- highlighting her eyelashes
 

Going to Bed with Intention

Here is where I confess my true struggle.  The social media scroll.  Goodness, why is this so incredibly hard for me?  So many of my evenings are wasted away from scrolling for far too long.  But something I have started to implement at bedtime are these 3 things: 

1. Write out my list of what I need to get accomplished the next day.  This helps me prepare what I need to the night before to be ready to actually accomplish what needs to happen the next day.  This eliminates so much stress and helps my brain to turn off at night. 

2. Every night I put on my coconut oil with lavender moisturizer.  I LOVE this! It is a simple way that I can pamper myself, and not only does it help my skin, but it also helps me to relax and helps me to sleep better! 

3. Read.  I have gotten into the habit, instead of scrolling on social media (not that I don't still do it at all, but I set a limit of about 10 minutes), I make sure to end my evening with a couple of pages in a book.  It literally is only 5 minutes some nights.  But, someone once told me that whatever you intake right before going to bed, will also be what your mind thinks of first thing in the morning.  Which I think could be true. When I scroll, thats the first thing I also want to run to in the morning.  But, when I read and activate my mind, it seems that is the first thing I also want to do in the morning.  And not only that, it brings my heart more peace and clarity as I think on things that are true and enlightening right before bed, versus comparing myself right before bed. It leaves me on a positive note rather than negative.  

 
(The moisturizer I use each night before going to bed.) Can be found in our shop here:    https://www.lauradugglebyphotography.com/the-advocate-hope-shop/

(The moisturizer I use each night before going to bed.) Can be found in our shop here: 

https://www.lauradugglebyphotography.com/the-advocate-hope-shop/

 

How will you live with Intention this week? 

So, are you on board with me?  Do you feel like there are some areas you could adjust and tweak to live your life with more intention?  What I truly believe happens in this process is that we are able to have more joy.  We are filing our hearts and our minds with more truth, and less compassion and doubt, and I truly think that is such a beautiful thing.  If you want to take it one step further, I also created an amazing guide: 5 Steps to Reducing Stress that you can get here if you would like.  

Let's choose more intention this week, so that we can lean more fully into the spaces the Lord has for us.  I can guarantee our lives will be more full experience His goodness over our selfishness. The intentional life is the fruitful life. 

~Rooting for you, from my home to yours this week, 

Laura 

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For the Identity: My WHY Behind my Work

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For the Identity: My WHY Behind my Work

"Reshape the identity of people back to that of their creator, instilling value and hope. "

 

Bringing People Back to Truth 

This is it for me.  This is why I step into the realm of photography time and time again for me, for my children, for my clients.  I want to bring people back to the truth of who they are, their true beauty and amazing awe that makes them exactly who they are created to be.  I want my clients to be able to see themselves, and say yes, this is me, this is my child, and this is the value I hold for my life.  I stand behind advocating rich stories of hope, making extraordinary from the seemingly ordinary.  This is my mission statement and what I do with my work.  But, to go deeper, I advocate for these beautiful stories for the very fact of renewing hope into the lives of my clients, and truly anyone and everyone who may see my work.  I remind each and every person that there is extraordinary resting within the ordinary they claim rests there.  I teach people to hold firm to that which they have planted, and rise up into the bloom set forth in motion.   I want my clients to resonate so strongly with their images that joy spills over, and love resounds in their soul.  Love and gratitude for all that rests within their lives and the season that they are in, messy, broken and all.  For beauty still resides.  And I desire for my work to encourage connection.  Art moves your soul.  When you see something that you are drawn to, you naturally want to be more like it.  And this is what I strive for in my work.  My work resonates the hope of true, strong, valuable identity in Christ and for that hope to draw my clients in to a greater self-esteem and value, and thus moving them to more positive action within the world. 

 I want to remind each and every person that there is extraordinary resting within the ordinary they claim rests there.

Let's talk self-esteem

Goodness friends, is this just me, or does self-esteem affect every single aspect of your life?  I know when depression, self-hatred, anxiety and the doubt creep into my life, I also become self-absorbed, prone to cast people aside, I become more easily angered, and cut off people closest to me.  When I have a false perception of my identity, everything else in my life shifts and my purpose is lacking.  I am doing little or no good to bring hope to those around me and truly my purpose falls void.  But, it is because I am not seeing clearly, my perception is off.  But, when I truly see myself for how the creator God sees me, as holy, righteous, redeemed, valued, worthy, and beautiful.  Well, then things shift for me,  They shift into a place of confidence.  I no longer need to beg for the approval of my husband, my friends, social media, or those around me to lift me up.  I no longer need to rely on my children behaving a certain way in public in order to build me up.  I no longer need to have everything fall the way I want it to in life in order to please myself and lift myself up.  I can be ok with inconvenience.  I can see my children as the joy that they are.  I can see my husband as a delight instead of a servant for my needs.  I can REST in the delights of the Lord, for when our perception is set straight, so is our ability to love and serve others well.  And when our identity is seen for what it truly is, then we are overcome with the purpose set before us.  We can dwell within the value we hold and pass that along to those around us.  Because, more than anything else, I think we are living in a generation that is DESPERATE, I mean DESPERATE for hope.  Desperate to rest at the feet of Jesus.  A generation that is desperate to stop striving and running and going, going, going, and posting, and prepping and mothering and tidying, and baking and dressing for the approval of others, and simply to be seen.  It falls flat and void, and is just plane exhausting. It fails it's desired task of being enough, being worthy and being of value.  So, I am calling it quits.  I am saying, be done with the fame game.  Just let it go, and let's learn to rest in all the creative gifts you personally are given and the AMAZING identity that YOU personally sit within.  Let that be enough, and my goodness, your mindset will change, and your life will be free and full of joy.  

 I no longer need to rely on my children behaving a certain way in public in order to build me up. ...I can be ok with inconvenience

Joy to Fill the Days

And this is what I deeply want for my clients dear friends.  And, you might think I am crazy to put so much expectation on a photo.  But, I can tell you, so much can be pulled from a single photograph.  Feelings, emotions, connection, imagination, documentation, hope, joy, sorrow.  Photographs bring us to a special space.  A space to reflect and sit in whatever emotion it folds for us there.  Maybe it brings healing, maybe it brings hope, maybe it brings reflection or joy.  But truth be told, it brings something.  And there is value in that.  Every life has value, every life has meaning and we are here for way more than self glorification.  So, may we spend our days loving others well and reflecting on the true identity which rests over us.  Let's make more images true to ourselves, true to our identity, true to the hope that rests within us, true to everything good and lovely and beautiful.  I know it sits within you, even if you think you are ordinary, I guarantee there is extraordinary there.  Let me show you. For the identity.  For the love.  For the hope.  For the world.  One clearer fixed identity at a time. 

~Laura 

*If you would like to have your family documented AND help support education costs for boys in need in Rwanda, walking alongside KEFA Project those are happening THIS Sat. Sept. 16th. on our property on the farm! 7:00am, 7:30am and 7:30pm timeslots are still available. If interested 

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