{31 Days} Intentional Living – Day 4

You can find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living posts here.

One of the issues that I have with intentional living is that everyone can have a different definition (which my husband so willingly pointed out to me).  How do you go about making changes for your whole family if someone is not on the same page?

My answer, baby steps.

I have written before about the different views my husband and I have.  He is completely fine with eating whatever, which makes cooking for him easy – although he is definitely more concerned now that we have kids.  However, I strive to eat a mainly local, organic, sustainable, in season diet – that’s a mouthful!  And since I buy the groceries, and do all the cooking, I can make these changes without any issue.

Food is just one easy example for my family.  When I was pregnant with my oldest, I started to learn a lot more about food, where it came from, what was in it.  I started making changes immediately.  Finding a CSA – community supported agriculture to join, starting my own garden, eating less meat.  They were changes that my husband didn’t really notice.  All he knew was that I was spending a lot more time preparing food and less time going out to eat, and he was loving all the new meals I came up with.

Some other changes that I have made to be more intentional about my life and the resources we have available are making my own cleaning products and laundry soap, line drying my clothes and cooking mainly from scratch.  These are all choices that I have individually made, although they also have an impact on the rest of my family.

While I have been making these changes, I am talking – a lot.  I talk to my husband about how much safer using vinegar and baking soda is for the kids, and how fun it can be to involve them in the cleaning.  I can show him how much money we save by hanging the clothes to dry instead of using the dryer.  He clearly benefits from the fresh food and more veggies – evident by a much lower cholesterol level.

I think that when you can show benefits to all parties, it makes all the difference.  No matter how intentional I want to be about our money, about the earth, about slowing down; if I am going in the opposite direction of my family it won’t be worth it.  In fact I think it would be the opposite of intentional living.  Instead, there would be a lot of strife as to why I am making changes if they are adverse changes to everyone else.

The more I can do on my own and then show the benefits to the rest of the family, the better off we will be.  We will move closer to our family mission as a team, instead of individuals.  It promotes conversation, and new ideas, and eventually changes for everyone.  We are now getting to a point where my family at least is open to my crazy ideas, and that makes me happy.

Do your views differ from others in your family?  How do you encourage them to follow the same path?  Do you think you can live intentionally if you are moving in a different direction?

I am linking up at Rural Thursday

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