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Women of Intention

Women of Intention Week Fifteen: Biblical Womanhood

Women of Intention, FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

Welcome to week fifteen of the series, Women of Intention! This is our final post and I'm so glad you've come along as we interview Women of Intention! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE. 

Women of Intention week fifteen: biblical womanhood and intentionality | www.maplealps.com

THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:

women of intention aiane karla | www.maplealps.com

Today, we are going to meet Aiane of Aiane Karla; a blog that inspires the intentional life. Today, she will be talking about Biblical womanhood and intentionality.

This is the very last (but not least!) interview in the Women of Intention series, and I really think it just puts the cherry right on top of the cake. I am thrilled to share this with you today!

After reading this post, be sure to check out Aiane's beautiful blog and share this post :)

Find Aiane on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

Hi! I’m Aiane Karla, a grateful wife, homemaker, prayer warrior, songwriter, and blogger. Most days, I teach piano and help children discover their God-given musical talents. On other days, I design intentional brands for bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs. On my blog at aianekarla.com, I share healthy plant-based recipes, as well as tips and resources to inspire women to discover the joy of intentional and Biblical womanhood.

 

I love how you talk about intentionality and biblical womanhood on your blog. Could you briefly tell us what your views are on this and how it translates into how you live?

As a Christian, I’ve learned that intentionality is impossible without guidance from the inspired Word of God. I’ve also realized that Biblical womanhood requires prayerful intentionality. Without it, my relationship with God becomes an afterthought, rather than a priority. Living God’s way requires conscious effort. It’s not always easy, but God equips and helps those who pray for strength.

My greatest desire is to glorify God in everything I do. This means God and His Word must come first, so I may be a reflection of His love and character.

 Here are some intentions I focus on:

-    Keeping God’s Word as the compass for my life and marriage

-    Making time to actively serve God in my church

-    Seeking ways to affirm my husband and praying for God’s will to be done in his life

-    Establishing boundaries to protect my time with loved ones

-    Seeking God’s guidance in my role as a homemaker 

What is the hardest part of living up to the standard of Biblical Womanhood? The easiest?

The hardest part of living up to the standard of Biblical womanhood is maintaining an attitude of complete surrender. As a detail-oriented perfectionist, I have a tendency to want to fix everything and be in control. I’m guilty of worrying more than I trust, and I struggle with staying out of God’s way so His will may be done in my life.

The easiest part is knowing that when I live up to God’s standard of womanhood, I experience genuine peace and contentment. There’s no room for others’ expectations of who I should be or what I should do. It’s just me, God, and His Word. 

 

How else does intentional living affect your lifestyle?

I have been inspired to genuinely study the Bible, which is God’s perfect manual on intentional living. It has propelled me toward Christ-centered and prayer-filled relationships, and has given me a desire to serve God in ministry, both personally and together with my husband.

 At home, we use natural remedies and a plant-based diet to heal and prevent sickness. It may not be the fastest method, but it has long-lasting results. Our decision was inspired by the following verses:

 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” – Genesis 1:29

“He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.” – Psalm 104:14

God has convicted and led us to take proactive steps to guard the avenues of our hearts, which means eliminating any form of entertainment or activity that does not glorify Him. The entertainment industry shows us counterfeit versions of love, respect and purity. Letting go of secular entertainment has allowed us to stay tuned to God’s Word, and it has also deepened our desire to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

What would you say to encourage someone who is struggling in this area of their life?

Surrender. Completely and wholeheartedly surrender your hurts, worries, doubts, burdens, pain, insecurities, weaknesses and fears to God. God yearns for us to take Him at His word.

Develop an attitude of prayer and commit to praying through the Bible. Ask God to help you through your struggles by claiming His Promises. When discouragement comes, pray. When you’re tempted to fight on your own, pray. When you would rather be selfish instead of selfless, pray. When it seems like all hope is gone, pray. When you don’t feel like praying, pray. And especially in your rejoicing, pray. Prayer is to our souls what air is to our lungs. Make it a habit and a life discipline to communion with God. You will never regret it!

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


What about you? Were you inspired by this post on intentionality? This series? Why don't you tell me about it in the comments, and connect with me on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)

 

Women of Intention Week Fourteen: Intentional Health

Women of Intention, Health, LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

It is now week fourteen of the series, Women of Intention! This is the second last post and I'm so very glad you've come along as we interview Women of Intention! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE. 

Women of Intention Week Fourteen; Intentional Health | www.maplealps.com

THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:

Today, we are going to meet the sweet Keila of Veggie-Fit Keila!

Keila is a health and fitness coach with a passion for sharing her lifestyle with others in order to help them better their lives. I won't say too much because I would rather let her tell you herself!

After reading this post, be sure to check out Kelia's blog and share this post :)

Find Keila on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.


Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

My passion above all passions is helping others.  This takes many forms, but my greatest love in helping others is in the area of health and fitness.  My initial exposure to this line of work was with the elderly.  I worked in nursing homes, taking care of the sweetest of people in the final stages of life.  I loved listening to them tell stories while I cared for their physical and social needs.  I would have to help them move and encourage them to get their exercise whenever possible.  Some had so greatly neglected this part of their health for so many years that they could not move their joints and had horrible muscle atrophy.  While I loved the people I worked with, I felt that this wasn't my calling, and I sought to determine where God wanted me to be.

I next worked with children in the hospital setting.  As a patient care tech and phlebotomist, I worked with the greatest kids.  From newborns to young adults, I saw kids suffering from all kinds of ailments, some even lost their battles with illness.  I worked hard to make their time in the hospital as comfortable as it could be, building relationships and sharing smiles, I knew that this work was important and very rewarding, but God wasn't through with me yet.

Fast forward several years.  I now have two children, a husband, and a new outlook on a lifelong passion.  I now work as a health and fitness coach, teaching people the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  This started first with me.  I have made very intentional changes in my personal health and fitness habits, to facilitate the changes in me that I am encouraging others to make.  This has allowed me to greater understand the struggles that exist in going against the flow of society and its outlook on food, drink, and exercise.  I gain so much joy from helping others and seeing their lives transformed from making simple changes to their daily routines.  I have made so many new friends and feel an absolute sense of certainty that I am living out God's will and plan for my life.  The health message is a message of hope and one that is empowering.  At this point in life I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.

 

What does intentionality in health look like and mean to you?

One of the first areas of intentionality that I address with people is meal planning and goal setting.  So many people look at health and fitness as short term diet binges to reach small, insignificant goals.  I look at health as a lifestyle.  When we take a look at it from a wider view, we can create much bigger longterm goals that can be accomplished one small goal at a time.  It all starts with understanding and establishing your "Why." The temptations and social trends are too strong and conflicting to the health message to just go at this willy nilly.  You have to understand why you would choose to live andintentionally healthful lifestyle, internalize it, own it, and then align your life with this as the current that drives all of your decisions.  It's really not so difficult on paper and in our heads we can understand this very easily.  Day by day living can be much more challenging though.  That's where the planning comes in.  Once you know why you need to make the choices that you're going to make, the motivation is much easier to come by and planning to succeed will become a regular part of your routine.  For example, I know that there are very few places out there where my family and I can eat out when we're on the road, so we always pack healthy food and take it with us.  This helps avoid having to make the uncomfortable decision to go against our commitment to health and eat somewhere that compromises what we know to be best.  On the same token, everyday life is so busy that many people just don't want to take time to fix healthy home cooked meals.  However, intentional healthy eating requires that we do what needs to be done to eat healthy in our homes.  This simply means planning out your meals for the week and doing the shopping and chopping on the weekends.  Having the majority of the prep work done ahead of time makes all the difference in finding success with healthy living during busy workweeks.

The second piece of the health puzzle is exercise.  I have to take time to exercise.  It is part of my daily routine just like brushing my teeth and doing daily devotions.  It's something that is pretty much non-negotiable.  With this mindset, it's not about "finding time" to exercise, it's about "making time" to exercise by scheduling it into your day.  I do short intense workouts that are designed to give me the greatest benefits in the least amount of time and I teach my clients how they can do the same and have great success in reaching their fitness goals.  We waste so much time doing sedentary activities that serve no purpose in improving our quality of life.  An intentional adjustment to make exercise a part of our day will have drastic positive effect on the life that you live. 

health | www.mapleaps.com | unsplash

In your work with coaching, what would you say are the negative effects of not being mindful about what one consumes?

Bad eating habits will sabotage even the most intense fitness plans.  People gain weight and get frustrated very easily, giving up on their goals and losing sight of their "Why", because they can't manage what they put into their bodies.  This is tragic in my eyes.  Eating clean and healthy is so very simple and it's the easiest way to start the momentum towards a healthful life.

 

How does intentionality in this area affect the other the rest of your life?

I have gained so much confidence in who I am as a person through my intentional decisions to care for my body and the health of my family.  I feel stronger because I am stronger.  I am healthier inside which brings the natural affect of looking better on the outside.  We are beautifully and wonderfully made, and as we care for our bodies, we can come closer to the health and strength within our bodies that God intended for us all along.  I also find it so easy to make friends now.  Everyone loves to talk about their health, good foods, and how they can improve on both, that conversation comes very easily and I am eager to share my loves with others.

 

What would say to encourage someone who is struggling in the area of intentional health in their life? 

Start small.  Set a short goal that you know you can succeed at in the area of your health.  Do this day after day, until days become weeks.  Baby steps will get it done.  The other thing is to start with a reason and purpose for making the changes that seem to be alluding you.  If you start with a big enough "why" (reason) for improving your health and making the changes that need to take place, holding yourself accountable is much easier.  Also, get an accountability partner of group!  I put all of my clients into accountability groups, surrounding them with others who are working at the same goals they are.  I work as their coach, but they lift each other up as well.  Finally, I would say, don't quit, don't beat yourself up over an indiscretion here and there.  This is a long road, a journey, not a sprint quick fix.  Stay the course, knowing that there will be moments that challenge you.


What about you? Were you inspired by this post? Are you intentional when it comes to your physical health? Do you perhaps want to work on it? Why don't you tell me about it in the comments, and connect with me on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)

 

Women of Intention Week Thirteen: Cross-Generational Relationships/Mentorship

Women of Intention, RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Welcome to week thirteen of the series, Women of Intention! We are almost finished the series and I'm so glad you've come along as we interview Women of Intention! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

Cross Generational Relationships and Mentorship. Women of Intention #WomenOfIntention16 #MapleAlps

THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:

Today, we are going to meet Nina of Journey to Adulting.

Today, she will be talking to us about cross-generational relationships and mentorship. This type of relationship, we don't usually talk of often, but it can play a huge role in our lives once intentionally pursued. 

After reading this post, be sure to check out Nina's blog and share this post :)

Find Nina on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.


Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

I'm Nina. If there’s one thing that I’m consistently drawn to, it’s the study of people. I love learning about what makes us tick as humans, how culture shapes us and how we interact with others; maybe that’s partly why I’m pursuing an MA in counselling. So here I am, I just really love talking, reading and blogging about everything related to these topics.                                         

 

You have interest in cross-generational relationships. Could you briefly talk about this and tell us why you think it important?

I cherish cross-generational relationships because I am always learning so much from those who are older than me. They have so much wisdom to share just by virtue of experience. Some time ago, I remember attending a meeting where I had to give a yearly report. Afterwards, some members of the committee and myself went out for dinner. I distinctly remember sitting at the restaurant and realizing that everyone at our table was at least 15-30 years older than me. Far from being uncomfortable, I had this strong impression that there is so much wisdom and experience at this table. It was in that moment that I decided to be very intentional about learning from them. As I listened carefully and observed them, I found myself learning valuable lessons through basic things like conversation, how they treated the servers and mingled with their colleagues. They weren’t even aware that they were teaching me anything, but I picked up on precious lessons from the 2 days we spent together. In those 2 short days, I learned things that a lifetime in the classroom won’t really teach you.

How could one intentionally begin this type of relationship?

First, you need to be intentional about who you choose. Seek out someone who you respect and want to emulate. Look for someone who has characteristics that you value. Is there an older person in your life who exudes courage and strength? Unswerving integrity? Leadership?

Then, find a way to spend time with them. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, if you were them, what would you need? And then offer to help in that area. Maybe that means coming over to rake their leaves, help plan an event or just grabbing lunch together.

I believe that the best and most valuable learning doesn’t happen in the classroom, but in those little, unplanned moments when a simple question is asked, an object lesson is drawn or a situation is handled. So don’t think you’re wasting time by doing seemingly ordinary or mundane things together. You never know what you’ll learn or what stories you’ll hear.

 

What about mentorship? What benefits does mentorship have? Would you say it’s as important to search out someone to mentor as it is to find a mentor for oneself?

Yes, I would definitely say that mentoring someone is just as important as being mentored!. So far, I’ve been talking about cross-generational relationships with those that are older, but relationships with those that are younger are just as important!

I can’t speak enough about mentorship, it is has been one of the biggest blessings in my life (both as a recipient and a giver). I first discovered mentorship when I mentored a young man to become a leader for our campus ministries club. Watching him grow, sitting with him through difficulties, praying for him and sharing what I’ve learned has blessed me in so many ways. Not only has it made me intentional about everything I do (because I am being observed), but it also gives me a greater purpose than just living for myself. You grow from the experience and it is hard to put to words exactly what happens when you engage in these kinds of relationships, but it truly changes you.

These days, I’m always intentional about having a mentor in an area that I want to grow in. Having a mentor is so valuable because you are able to go to them with your questions, have no shame over your doubts and learn things that you can’t find in textbooks or online. In the same way, I’m always looking for someone to invest time and effort into. You won’t reap the full blessings of mentorship until you’ve both been a mentor and a mentee.

What would you say to encourage someone who is struggling in this area of their life; whether wanting to begin cross-generational relationships, mentorship or even becoming a mentor?

To those who are looking for a mentor, do not be afraid to be vulnerable enough to ask for help. Maybe, there is no one in your life that you can ask to mentor you, perhaps this means sending out an email to someone you’ve never met or asking for friends to tell you of people they know. In either case, it takes courage to ask for help, but the rewards are so worth it!

There are people who want to be a mentor, but feel like they have nothing to share. A good thing to try is to begin journaling and being intentional about noticing the lessons you’ve learned in life or the growth/progress you’ve made. Your story is an incredible resource of wisdom that you can share with others.

Look at the people in your circle and see if God is putting someone as a burden on your heart to spend time with. Investing in people is one of the most incredible things you will ever do.


What about you? Were you inspired by this post? Have you had, or have you been a mentor? Why don't you tell me about it in the comments, and connect with me on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)

 

Women of Intention Week Twelve: Finances

Women of Intention, MoneyAmanda Walter | Maple Alps2 Comments

Welcome to week twelve of the series, Women of Intention! So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

Finances: Maple Alps! Women Of Intention #WomenOfIntention16

THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:

Today, we are going to meet Deb from Saving the Crumbs, an amazingly practical and informative blog written by her and her husband. They talk about finances, economy, frugality, efficiency...you name it!

Because of this, I think it quite appropriate that Deb will be sharing with us about intentionality when it comes to finances today! After reading this post, be sure to check out Saving the Crumbs and share this post :)

Find Deb on TwitterFacebook, and Google+


Briefly tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

Hi! I’m Deb, and for the last year I have had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom with my little girl. So my greatest interest and responsibility right now is the enormous task of molding her little heart and character to love what is pure and to desire to do what’s right. I’m realizing this is the most challenging job I’ve ever embarked upon!

Besides being a mom, being economical and living simply are probably some of my greatest passions and tend to trickle into just about every aspect of my life. So my family’s interests usually revolve around our little garden, nature, ministry, and saving money. In fact, we love good deals and being thrifty so much that a few years ago, my husband and I started a personal finance blog called SavingTheCrumbs.com where we share things like eating for less than $60 a month and paying off our house in 2 years. We just share what we’ve done and hope that it can benefit other people who might be needing encouragement or ideas in this area.

 

Why would you say approaching finances intentionally is important, and how can one practically begin doing so?

It’s true that money isn’t everything in life, but money does affect just about everything in life. Ultimately, our material possessions, our families, our relationships, and even our spiritual walk can be positively or negatively affected by how we approach finances. The problem is that it’s so easy to like expensive toys, brand name clothes, and fancy vacations -  and it’s easy to want them now even if we don’t have the money for it. But it takes very intentional effort to see past our present wants to our future needs, find joy in the simple things surrounding us, and have confidence making these decisions even among our peers.

Probably the most important first step is to find out where all your money is going. It’s amazing how it seems to just disappear without us even realizing we gave it away! But it has certainly gone somewhere, and your first job is to trace down every penny - groceries, utilities, cellphone bill, stopping by Taco Bell on the way home, restocking toilet paper, Amazon purchases, even that soda from the vending machine. Once it’s all down on paper, you might be pretty shocked where those pennies have been rolling off to and turning into pretty big bills! The necessary game plan is usually fairly obvious at that point.

How does your intentionality with finances affect the other areas of your life?

Before we had our daughter, both my husband and I worked. We didn’t earn a lot, but we minimized our lifestyle enough to live on just one salary and put the other into savings. So when our daughter arrived, we were already accustomed to a one-income lifestyle. I was able to quit my job and become a fulltime mom. What a privilege and blessing it has been! I know not everyone is in the position to do that, but it definitely wouldn’t have been possible for us if we hadn’t been intentional with our financial decisions ahead of time.

In addition, because we choose to live fairly frugally, my husband is able to work for a ministry doing what he really enjoys and has a passion for. He doesn’t feel like he has to get a high paying job doing work he may not enjoy in order to sustain an inflated lifestyle. Having these options is part of the “financial freedom” that we strive for.

What is one piece of advice you would give to encourage someone who is struggling with intentionality in the area of finances?

Be willing to look past the present. Take a visit to your future self 5, 10, or 20 years from now. What does it look like? Owning your own home, traveling the world, being a missionary, being a stay-at-home mom? Once you have a clear picture in your mind, decide how you will get there. Then start being intentional now to take steps along the paths that lead toward your goals.


What about you? Were you inspired by this post? Are you intentional when it comes to your finances? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)

 

 

Women of Intention Week Eleven: Mental Health

Women of IntentionAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

Welcome to week eleven of the series, Women of Intention! We are now over halfway through and Maple Alps will continue to feature a woman every week who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life for the next 8 weeks. So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

Intentionality in Mental Health #WomenOfIntention16 #MapleAlps Women of Intention.

THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:

Today, we are going to meet Melinda who blogs at Fruit of Brokenness, a very real, helpful and inspiring blog about mental health and faith.

Today she will be talking to us about intentionality when it comes to mental health. Her answers may surprise you and will inspire you, so be sure to stick around till the end!

After reading this post, be sure to check out Melinda's blog and share this post :)

Find Melinda on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.


Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

I’m a homeschool mom, and freelance writer and editor, stepping back from freelance work to focus on building my blog. 

Sometimes I feel like major depressive disorder sucked all the passion out of me. There were times I didn’t have enough energy to do the most important jobs God gave me: wife to Jeff and mom to Jonathan, Joel, and Nora. There isn’t much energy for anything but the basics when your brain kicks you into survival mode.

But the darkest times don’t last. What I love to do now is use my struggle to help others find hope.

There are still many bumps in the road, but it’s good to once again be able to enjoy things more consistently. Like visiting Lake Ontario beaches and reading.

 

Often times, people say that Christians having mental illnesses is due to a lack of faith. What is your stance on this?

I wholeheartedly disagree, and it’s one of the foundations of my blog. If we consider the symptoms of depression when we read accounts of various people in the Bible, we see that some of God’s most faithful servants struggled with depression. In the Psalms in particular we also see what we should do with our overwhelming feelings: be honest with God about them and choose to trust Him in the midst of them.

In God’s example in Scripture, we don’t see the dismissal or harshness with which some in the church treat those who are depressed. For example, when Elijah felt that all he had done for the Lord was in vain, and that he was all alone in the world, all he wanted was to die, to be done with life. God didn’t just tell him to be stronger and snap out of it, and he didn’t send him off to consider what unconfessed sin he was harbouring.

Elijah had plenty of faith, but he was still overwhelmed by the storm in his mind. After he called down fire from heaven, prayed away a drought he prophesied several years before, and outran a chariot, all he wanted to do was die.

Before putting him back on the job, God ministered to Elijah by taking care of his basic needs and letting him rest. He built up his energy to travel to a place he could hear Him in a new way.

While we need to understand that faith does not ensure perfect mental health, we must not swing too far in the opposite direction. Refusal to take God at His Word and trust Him makes us more susceptible to the negative thought patterns that spin out of control in bouts of depression.

Made in God’s image, we’re not merely physical beings. In these bodies we have minds and emotions. If we are unhealthy in any of these areas, the others suffer. We can’t compartmentalize health. Mental and emotional health impact, and are impacted by, our physical and spiritual health. 

 

What does intentionality in mental health practically look like? Are there any other factors that play into it?

We’re not one-dimensional. Being intentional in mental health is being intentional in each dimension: physically, mentally and spiritually.

  • Eat right. Drink plenty of water. Take medication as prescribed if you need it. Exercise.
  • Be careful what you feed your mind. Think about what you’re thinking about. Don’t accept lies.
  • To recognize lies, you need to know Truth. Read, meditate on, and memorize God’s Word.

What practical advice would you give someone who is struggling in this area of their life?

Start with admitting you’re struggling. Let go of any shame you may feel that you’re not a “good” Christian if you struggle with depression or anxiety. Take responsibility for making healthy choices, and do not be ashamed to seek professional help.  


What about you? Were you inspired by this post? Are you intentional when it comes to your mental health? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)