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One month...18 years: Making Moments Matter (Zambia Series)

intentional family vacation

“One month”

“A month? Why can’t we just try 2 weeks and see how it goes?”

The eavesdrop of one of the many marital mini-debates that take place at our kitchen counter.

“One month…it has to be a month.”

Travel wasn’t anything new for our family.

My first plane ride - 12 years old. My oldest – 10 months…and at least once every year since.

But those trips were all for leisure. Designed to break up our busy routines with hot sun and long sleeps.

This was much different.

This was training not respite.

Training for a life of intention. A way to unload some western luggage and live without the comforts we mistakenly see as needs.

It had to be an orphanage and it had to be a month.

Two weeks wouldn’t push us. We’d too easily escape unscathed.

So the four of us…

Stuffed into a 10x14 ft room…

Serving needs that weren’t our own…

That’s what the intentionalism doctor ordered.

His fee? One month and a lot of money.

A cost too high if considered years before. Too focused on the “why nots” that the “whys” would have gone unseen.

But in the life of intentionalism, limitations aren’t justification to toss out ideas before they’re given a chance to live. They are just problems to be solved.

So chalk ourselves up as intentional problem solvers – the only way to unlock the world we create for ourselves.

And a trip like this was too valuable to at least not attempt.


18 years.

What a sobering number.

18 years is the hopeful amount of time that we have with our kids under our roof.

We were once on the fast track to miss most of it with routines so repetitive that apart from the odd glistening moment here and there it’s hard to discern one year from the other.

So these 18 years become some of the most precious of our lives.

Each cuddle,

Each spontaneous living room dance party,

Each “watch me daddy”,

Has to be held tight in the moment with the knowledge it may be the last.

Depressing thought...maybe.

But taking it all in. Being present. Not allowing “life” to overtake life. That's where we take solace.

That there will be a time where we look back and are grateful we weren't missing from the moments we were needed most.

And that is our fuel. Our motivation for intentional living.

One month…18 years.

May we be present. May we be full. May we defeat the lies that keep us from the moments that matter most.

With Intended Love,

The Simple Things Family

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