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    I'm a hypocrite, and I'll admit it…

    I totally agree with Yogi Berra that “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” It makes sense to me that you don't just accidentally become fit and healthy, or have great relationships, or know how to play piano. I don't just believe that intentionality is a big key to many areas of life – I have gone about plenty of times telling others they should be more intentional in marriage, and parenting, and all the other areas that matter.

    But I don't do it very well. I mean, I get my taxes done, my oil changed, and I floss; but it feels like that is not enough. If I was really intentional, I'd be doing so much more. Quiet times, Sabbaths and sabbaticals. Date nights. Calling my parents once a week. Visiting my siblings. A family mission statement. Deep and profound conversations with my kids. Writing thank you notes. Rites of passage for my teens. Romantic getaways. Inviting people over for dinner.

    These are all great things, and I wish I did all of them, but mostly I don't. I'm way more random than routine – while some structure themselves, I tend to wing it.

    Now maybe I am alone in my Romans 7 moment here, but I suspect I am not the only one wrestling through the cognitive dissonance in the gap between what I say I value, and what my actions show I value. If you are in the same boat, what should we do about it?

    I don't think the answer is just to give up on intentionality – that will probably just land us on the couch with Netflix and a bowl of Doritos, right? But I do have a few ideas…

    Remember the big picture – Jesus loves us. Seriously, he does. And it is not based at all on whether we do stuff. They say “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” but that is just trying to scare you into turning your intentions into actions. Truly, if it is up to my intentions and actions to keep me out of hell I DO have a problem! It is Jesus' intentions and actions that make all the difference. My intentionality is just a response to that, in wanting to love him and others better, and bring him glory.

    Don't let great be the enemy of good. It's not “all or nothing!” We ridicule the people who join the gym on January 2nd, but this idea that “if I can't do it perfectly, I won't even try” keeps us from starting something, and leads to paralysis instead of progress. Just because I don't have dates nights blocked out for the next 47 Wednesdays on our calendar does not mean all is lost. We are still making time to connect with each other and things are good – it's randomly regular but it is moving us in the right direction. It seems like Dr. Marvin (yes, that “DR. LEO MARVIN!!!”) had a point in his book Babysteps™  “Babysteps of intentionality, towards more intentionality…”

    Come to Family Camp. Ha! You should have seen this coming, right? But I'm not kidding. Let's just imagine on your list of “Things I want to be intentional about” are:

      1. Time with the kids (beyond homework and chores) – just having fun!

      1. Have more conversations with my spouse about real stuff, instead of “who's got pick up, who's got take out? Ready? Break!”

      1. Slow down, get outside, take time to smell the roses or see a sunset. Relax!

      1. Find some ways to exercise I don't hate.

      1. Get out from behind screens more.

      1. Give my spouse more breaks from cooking and cleaning.

      1. Feed my spirit, and let God speak to me.

      1. Be more of a spiritual leader in my family.

    Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, and cha-YEK!!

    That's right – Family Camp is programmed to be “turn-key” in all these areas in which busy families are typically trying to be more intentional. One big intentional step (signing up) sets up a whole bunch of little ones that suddenly seem easy when you are here. We don't just tee it up for you, we put the ball up on the green so close it's pretty much a “gimme” from there – you ARE on vacation, after all!

    Did I just intentionally invite you attend something that I put together intentionally to help people like me who wish they lived with more intentionality but struggle to get there? That was my intention, so consider yourself invited. We can be your own Lake Winnipesaukee!

    Learn more about Family Camp.

    Nate Ransil
    Nate Ransil
    Nate joined the Program department at Sandy Cove in 2003, and transitioned to director of that team in 2014. Nate graduated from Houghton College with a double major in Communication and Outdoor Recreation (yes, it is a thing) and got to know his wife Evelyn while co-leading backpacking trips for at-risk youth. Hopefully not as at-risk are their two sons, Caleb and TJ, who have spent all their summers at Sandy Cove, Camp Sandy Cove, and The MARSH! Nate enjoys being outside, being inside, being handy, the beach, snowboarding, roller coasters, training aardvarks, bodybuilding, contributing to quantum theory, and making up fanciful, if not entirely accurate, biographical details.
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