A Christian Buzzword I Hate {Or In Praise Of Women Who Get Things Done}

I’m sure you’ve all heard it by now. The word “intentional.” I’ve really grown to hate it. We’re told we need to be intentional in our parenting, in our ministry, and in everything else under the sun.

Problem is, intentions are just that. Intentions without perseverance and good old fashioned W-O-R-K equals your pie-in-the-sky ideals never played out or acted upon. They meant to get things done, they planned and talked and wrote things down, they were intentional, but it never seemed to happen.


Mothers don’t always have the planning luxury. Many times, we’re just keeping everyone else running and above water. But keep them afloat we do.

For all of you women who are getting things done, not worrying about the critics and philosophers and nay-sayers all around you, I applaud you.

I applaud the mother who gets up, middle of the night, and just meets the needs of her kids, having never fully nailed down her philosophy of parenting.

I applaud the woman who meets the needs of her community or hurting neighbors whether she planned to or not.

I applaud the woman who mentors the desperate younger mom, whether she feels qualified to do so or not. One of the great benefits of believing the sovereignty of God is the realization that nothing happens by chance. Every interaction is God-ordained. God brings people into your life for a reason.

I applaud the mom who wakes up in the morning and breathes the prayer “Whatever you have for me, today, Lord, make me your instrument.” She knows that children are unpredictable, but believes that God will give her the grace and strength to meet each task “as unto the Lord,” “ordered by the Lord.”

I applaud the woman who runs herself ragged caring for her aging, sick parents. She falls into bed at night wondering, “What did I accomplish today?” She lived for others needs and almost neglected her own basic needs, like food.

I am all for planning and intentions. I really am. But without stick-to-it-iveness and follow-through, your plans are wasted.

So, perhaps, instead of worrying about intentions, you should open your eyes and “Just do it.”

Just tell that neighbor about God’s love.

Just give that hurting person a hug.

Just speak a healing word of kindness to that grouchy cashier.

Just encourage your younger sisters in Christ to keep on keeping on.

Don’t over-analyze or you’ll miss out on opportunities to live in the here and now. Be faithful with the people around you right now, and God will continue to lead the right people to you.

God will use the willing, ready soul RIGHT NOW, if you are prepared and willing to do good unto all men.



  1. Love this. (*whispering* Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve about reached my limit of “intentional” too. 😉

  2. Tim says:

    Brava, Sarah! “Intentional” has been sticking in my craw too. Just get out there and love people for Jesus, take the opportunities you have to tell people why he’s special to you, and you never have to worry about being intentional again.

  3. I had never really though about this before. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is so true that our words set us up for failure or success. It’s like the phrase, “I’ll try”. We have to be careful with the words we choose because we don’t want failure to be an option when, like you said, we need to “just do it”. Thank you for sharing your outlook on this!

    • Sarah Beals says:

      It’s so pressuring to young mothers to have to figure out every aspect of life. Simpler to walk by faith, and not expecting perfection.

  4. Good thought. Just do it is better. You next post can be about overuse of the word “unpack.” : )

  5. Sabrina Puckett says:

    Thank you so much:)! Amen amen amen. Thank you for the freedom to just take care of my family and quit feeling guilty that my 16 month old’s play is not structured according to a Bible study and academic development, which is what I feel I MUST create whenever I get on Pinterest.

  6. I have never really thought about the word intentional, but now that you mention it, it isn’t my favorite. I’m in the more, just do it, category.

  7. Abi Craig says:

    Thank you for the encouragement to keep doing the next thing with grace and joy regardless of whether there’s a plan or not . . . or there was a plan but it didn’t quite work out as expected. Maybe I’ll take “come up with a philosophy of . . . ” off my to-do list.