Matthew 10:29 – Your Father’s Care

Matthew 10:29 - Your Father's Care - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” Matthew 10:29 (NIV)

Most of the times you hear Matthew 10:29 talked about, someone is referencing how precious you are in God’s sight. This makes sense when considering the following two verses (30-31): “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

God is watching over you and me. And He knows us intimately. God even keeps track of the number of hairs on our head. And judging by my shower drain, the number of hairs on my head change frequently ; )

But today I am comforted by the fact that God not only sees the sparrow that falls to the ground, that sparrow is never outside my Father’s care.

You see Daisy is not doing well, and my heart hurts. In fact, today’s post will be brief because all I want to do is hold Daisy close and be with her.

So today I just want to remind you God is watching over you. He sees you. He knows you intimately. And you are never outside your Father’s care.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rest in His presence.


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How To Make a Plaster of Paris Paw Print

How To Make a Plaster of Paris Paw Print - IntentionallyPursuing.com
Daisy‘s health has improved dramatically. We’re not out of the woods yet, but things are looking hopeful : )

Creating a keepsake of her paw print was something I had always wanted to do but had put off until someday. Well, I decided I had waited long enough, and we created a Plaster of Paris paw print this week. I know I will treasure this keepsake of Daisy’s paw print for many years to come : )

How To Make A Plaster of Paris Paw Print - IntentionallyPursuing.com
Items Needed:

  • 4 cups Plaster of Paris
  • 2 cups water
  • aluminum cake pan
  • plastic container
  • measurement tool for Plaster of Paris
  • mixing spoon
  • decorations (optional)
  • dog or cat or child
  • old newspaper

Caution: You will not be able to use any of these items for food again.

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dog’s paw by trimming the hair between the dog’s pads.
  2. Prepare your work surface by laying down newspaper.
  3. Measure the Plaster of Paris into your plastic container. My plastic container had measurement indicators on the side, so I was able to use the same container for measuring and mixing. (The Plaster of Paris is very dusty so use caution.)
  4. Add water to your Plaster of Paris and stir well.
  5. Pour mixture into an aluminum cake pan.
  6. Set your dog’s paw in the mixture and press down. (When I tried doing this on the floor, Daisy kept her paw vertical which wouldn’t work. But when I lifted her up to the counter, she laid her paw flat, and we were able to get a good impression.)
  7. Remove your dog’s paw and wash it immediately.
  8. Decorate your Plaster of Paris paw print keepsake.
  9. Set the keepsake aside for 24 hours. Then remove the aluminum cake pan and enjoy the finished product : )

Note: My plastic container wasn’t big enough to hold 4 cups of Plaster of Paris and 2 cups of water, so I made the mixture in two batches.

I already had the Plaster of Paris from a project I had made years ago when I worked as a preschool teacher, but you can find Plaster of Paris at a hardware store like Lowe’s or on Amazon (Dap 4-Pound Interior Plaster of Paris*).

You can follow the same directions to create a keepsake of a child’s handprint or footprint. And technically, you could even try this with a cat : )

Don’t forget to enter the Intentionally Pursuing Giveaway – The Best Yes : )

*Amazon affiliate link.

Linked to Titus 2sday.

Rest in His presence.


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Routines That Bring Rest

Routines That Bring Rest - IntentionallyPursuing.com
This is Week 4 of the Women Living Well book club hosted by Time-Warp Wife. Women Living Well was written by Courtney Joseph. In week one we talked about our walk with the King. And then in week two we talked about admiring our husband.

Week three was on parenting. And since I’m not a mom, I had a hard time making myself sit down and keep up with the reading and chose to sit that week out, probably because I want to be a mom. But so much of what makes a better mom also makes a better woman. Things like guarding against too high of expectations, exhaustion, and disorganization.

“The greatest lesson we can learn is that we are flawed (the cross says that we are all flawed and in need of a Savior), we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:10 says that when we are weak, we are strong), and we must lean hard on God daily to help us be the women He created us to be!” Courtney Joseph,Women Living Well,* page 147

This week we are talking about our homemaking and specifically our routines. They say a woman’s work is never done, but my routines allow me to be done for the day. At least until there’s a spill to clean up or a meal to cook : )

For many years I had a laundry day – Mondays. So first thing Monday morning I would gather and sort all the laundry into piles. Then the washer and dryer would run all day until the last load was completed. And then they would all be folded, hung up, and put away. If life was really busy, I would divide the laundry between Mondays and Tuesdays.

I loved the sense of accomplishment of getting all the laundry done in one day and then waking up on Tuesday or Wednesday with nothing to launder. But doing all the laundry in one day felt like I had put in a week’s worth of work, and I was tired.

So my new method is to do a little each day. I start the first load of laundry early in the day, that way I have time to do a second load if needed. Then in the afternoon I set aside time to fold and put everything away.

  • Mondays – clothes washed in warm
  • Tuesdays – clothes washed in cold
  • Wednesdays – bedding
  • Thursdays – towels
  • Saturdays – towels

Routines remind me of seasons. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV). As we divide the tasks of homemaking into days, we establish routines that bring rest.

Routines That Bring Rest - IntentionallyPursuing.com
Don’t forget to enter the Intentionally Pursuing Giveaway – The Best Yes : )

Image courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Amazon affiliate link. Thank you for your support : )

Linked to Titus 2sDay.

Rest in His presence.


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There For Each Other

There For Each Other - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10a (NIV)

My dog who never misses a meal had to be enticed to eat her breakfast yesterday. I’ve told you how Daisy loves her treats. Well, she just loves food in general : )

Daisy’s favorite times of the day are feeding times. So when I had to convince her to take a few more bites, I knew her health had taken a turn for the worse.

But can I just tell you how much my heart grew for my husband when he got Daisy to eat most of her dinner. You see he loves Daisy too. And more importantly he loves me. And whatever happens we will handle it together.

I know we’ll do this together because Daisy’s health crisis isn’t the first time we’ve had to lean on each other for strength. We’ve been there for each other when it felt like it was us against the world.

We’ve comforted each other as we’ve lost loved ones over the years. We’ve encouraged each other when the future looked uncertain. We’ve wrapped bandages, cleaned up messes, and held each other up.

I’ve helped Tim up when the world knocked him down. And he’s helped me up when I couldn’t stand on my own.

And being there for each other is not just a benefit of great or even good marriages. Tim and I have been fighting one minute and holding on to each other the next.

Tragedy brings couples together in a way nothing else can. Suddenly your eyes are opened to what’s really important. And the rest just fades away.

When the diagnosis comes, when the pink slip is handed out, when your world seems to be falling apart, remember you have each other.

And it’s not just the two of you either. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV).

A godly marriage has God right there in the middle holding it all together. A marriage with God at the center keeps you there for each other.

Don’t forget to enter the Intentionally Pursuing Giveaway – The Best Yes : )

Image courtesy of pat138241 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Linked to Titus 2sday.

Rest in His presence.


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Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of God – Conqueror

Seeing Ourselves through the Eyes of God

This year we are looking to the Word of God to uncover truths (50 in all) of how God sees each one of us. If this is your first time here or you simply need a reminder of how God sees you, click here to begin reading through the series.

Seeing Ourselves as a Conqueror Through the Eyes of God

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NIV)

Laying on the shower floor as the streaming water drowned out my tears, I didn’t feel like much of a conqueror. But when my marriage was in trouble, I held onto God and held on another day. Day after day of holding onto God and my marriage, I got through that hard season, and my marriage is stronger because of it.

God has equipped us to handle whatever comes our way. He has given us enough strength to not only stand strong but to be more than conquerors in all He has called us to do. But the key is we were never meant to do it alone.

When times get hard and I am relying on my own strength, I become weary and unable to continue on.  But with God at the center of all we do, we can accomplish all He has called us to do.

With God at the center, I have survived the loss of loved ones. With God at the center, I have achieved lasting weight loss. With God at the center, I am more than a conqueror. Not on my own but through the One who loves me.

The Amplified Bible adds the words “and gain a surpassing victory.” So not only does God enable us to overcome our struggles, He gives us the strength to finish strong and raise our hands in victory.

In our own strength, we’re lucky to even cross the finish line. Grasping for breath and pushing through the pain, we take that final step.

But with God at the center, we cross the finish line with arms held high. We lift our hands and point upward as we give glory to the One who gave us the victory.

Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of God - Conqueror - IntentionallyPursuing.com

With God at the center, I am more than a conqueror.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for enabling me to be more than a conqueror. Help me to look to You and keep You at the center because I know it is only through You I am able to do all You have called me to do. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

“In all these things [I am] more than [a conqueror] through Him who loved [me].” Romans 8:37 (NIV, personalized)

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rest in His presence.


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Philippians 1:12 – Chains For Christ

Philippians 1:12 - Chains For Christ - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” Philippians 1:12 (NIV)

Paul wrote these words while under house arrest. And in the natural things looked bad. He was bound by chains and faced possible execution.

But Paul wanted to comfort and encourage the Philippians. The church at Philippi had a special place in Paul’s heart. They were the first church established in Europe. And they were faithful partners in the gospel.

Paul continued on saying, “As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear” (Philippians 1:13-14, NIV). 

To Paul the only thing that mattered was the gospel was being proclaimed. The chains that bound his body couldn’t bind his joy. He was in chains for Christ!

As I meditated on Paul’s words, I couldn’t help questioning how I would feel in his position. Could I be joyful in the middle of trials knowing my trials pointed others to God?

And I realized while I may not be bound with chains like Paul, I do go through trials. Like the time the water heater went out for the third time in two weeks in the middle of winter.  Or the time the car broke down on the side of the road and needed to be towed to the repair shop. Or when finances were tight but we still tithed and trusted God for the bills to be paid.

It would be so much easier if people knew we were Christians by how God had blessed us with earthly riches and easy lives. They would see our fancy cars and perfect lives and say I want what they have. But earthly riches fade and rust, and those things certainly don’t point people to God.

But God has blessed the lives of Christians. The blessing of peace when faced with a diagnosis. The blessing of joy in the middle of a trial. The blessing of forgiveness when we experience the unforgivable. The blessing of patience in the midst of waiting. The blessing of kindness when faced with hurt.

And the blessing of Jesus will never fade away. And every day we have the opportunity to share Jesus to those around us. Sometimes with our words but always with our lives.

Dear Lord, thank You for blessing me with eternal riches. I pray You open my eyes and give me an eternal perspective to my problems and the opportunities they open up. Help me to reflect You to those around me. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

Words of Truth:

“‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.’” Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV)

“With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.” Proverbs 8:18 (NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23a (NIV)

Don’t forget to enter the Intentionally Pursuing Giveaway – The Best Yes : )

Image courtesy of  prozac1 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rest in His presence.


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Intentionally Pursuing Giveaway – The Best Yes

Intentionally Pursuing Giveaway The Best Yes

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:9-11

Tomorrow marks Intentionally Pursuing’s one year anniversary! And to top it off this is my 300th blog post! So we are celebrating with a giveaway!!! : )

It’s hard for me to believe one year ago I was figuring out how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog and writing my very first blog post. This has definitely been an on-the-job learning experience for me as I have struggled to understand widgets and basic coding and so much more.

But as I have stepped out of my comfort zone, I have found God’s best for me. And my prayer is to fill my days and my life with God’s best as I intentionally pursue Him in every area of my life.

Some days God’s best for me may mean scrubbing toilets or doing laundry. But whatever He calls me to do, I will do it all to the glory and praise of God.

And if you’re reading this, my guess is being able to discern God’s best for your life is your prayer also. Yesterday I talked about lessons learned from having no margin. And while the unexpected does happen and priorities have to be rearranged during different seasons, we want to fill our days and our lives with God’s best.

In Lysa TerKeurst’s new book The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands that will be released August 12th, she will help us:

  • “Cure the disease to people please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • “Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • “Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • “Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.” – Lysa TerKeurst

Click here to find out more information about Lysa TerKeurst, “The Best Yes,” and sign up for her free 5 day devotion “Unrush Me.”

To enter to win The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst:

  • Leave a comment on today’s post.
  • Then log in to the Rafflecopter below with your name and email address and check the box that indicates you left a comment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will announce the winner on Friday, August 1st, and contact the winner using the email address provided. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. I will send the winner “The Best Yes” via Amazon on the day the book releases (August 12). The winner must live within the Continental U.S.

Good luck to everyone!

*Amazon affiliate links are contained within this post. Thank you for your support : )

Linked to Titus 2sdayInspiration for Moms, Diary of a Real Housewife, Thrifty Thursday, and Titus 2sday.

Rest in His presence.


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Lessons Learned From Having No Margin

Lessons Learned From Having No Margin

Every time I add something to my plate (my schedule), my husband asks me what I’m going to take off my plate. I don’t remember when we started referring to my schedule as a plate. But invariably when you add something to an already full plate, something falls off because you’re out of margin.

So by saying “yes” to one thing, you need to say “no” to something else. Or you can just wait to see what falls off your plate.

Too often when I add something to my schedule, I make the mistake of thinking I can fit it all in. But recently I took on a commitment for a season that left me with no margin. Thankfully that season is over, but I learned some valuable lessons from having no margin.

Budgeting our time is similar to budgeting our finances and our calories, but with one major exception. We all have 24 hours in our day. That’s 168 hours a week for everything on your plate. And if you’re lucky enough to sleep 8 hours a night, you’re left with 92 hours to fit it all in.

If you do a Google or Swagbucks search, you can find multiple articles on how to earn more money or what exercise burns the most calories. But time is the great equalizer because no one has figured out how to add more hours to your day. So we are all left with 24 hours to steward.

But what happens when the unexpected occurs? You get sick. An approaching deadline leaves you scrambling to finish a project. A loved one has an accident and needs your care. (Life Interrupted talks about when Tim needed my help recovering from a motorcycle accident.) Your job suddenly requires you to work overtime.

“Living with purpose means wisely choosing and committing to a few of the best things for the season of life you’re in.” – Crystal Paine, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode,* page 24

Lessons Learned From Having No Margin:

  • Decide what your non-negotiables are. What has to get done? For me my quiet time with God, laundry, sleep, church, and prayer are my non-negotiables. I thought exercise would make the list, but it turns out I would rather sleep than run or do ballet : )
  • Look at your schedule for things that could be done more quickly. I had an hour on my schedule to shower and get ready for bed, but if I hurry I can get it done in 30 minutes.
  • Give yourself grace and remember it’s just a season. Life won’t always be this hard.

*Amazon affiliate link. Thank you for your support : )

Rest in His presence.


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Your Husband’s Priorities

Sometimes we learn our husband’s priorities the hard way. After we have overwhelmed and stressed them out, we might learn a thing or two about what’s important to them.

Your Husband's Priorities - IntentionallyPursuing.com

Make your husband’s priorities your priorities.

We have lots of shelves in our home. There are shelves for crafts, shelves for photo albums, shelves for knickknacks, shelves for appliances, shelves for dishes, and, of course, shelves for books.

So after we moved into our home and I unpacked the essentials, it was time to tackle the stacks of boxes that carried all of the items for the shelves and the drawers and the bookcases. Isn’t it amazing how much stuff fits onto a single shelf, let alone a whole bookcase?

All day long I would unpack boxes and place items neatly on shelves while my husband went to work. And each day Tim would come home looking a little more overwhelmed at the stacks of boxes piled all around.

So after I put away all of the stuff that went into the bathrooms and kitchen, I asked Tim what area I could work on that would make him feel less overwhelmed. For me each box represented just another item on my to-do list, and I would be done unpacking when the final box was flattened and stored.

But for Tim those boxes were like a big unwelcome sign in our new home. He was looking for a sanctuary from the stresses of the outside world where he could find rest and feel at peace.

Now, of course, I couldn’t just snap my fingers or wiggle my nose and make all the boxes disappear. (Wouldn’t that be nice though?) But we took all the boxes from the living and dining room and lined them up along the hallway. And one by one I unpacked those boxes and filled those shelves until the last box was emptied and flattened.

“A lot of quarrels can be kept at bay if we are willing to ask our husbands their preferences and then be mindful of them.” – Courtney Joseph, Women Living Well,* page 99

Colossians 3:17 reminds us: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus …” I desire to glorify God in my home and create an environment that is welcoming to my husband.

So I have to remind myself to ask Tim what his preferences are concerning our home. I might ask him something like: If I got nothing else done today, would you rather have fresh sheets or a clean floor? Now, ideally I would do both, but sometimes life gets in the way and knowing what is more important to him helps me prioritize what I do each day. And I can always clean the floor tomorrow : )

When you make your husband’s priorities your priorities, you honor God as you become your husband’s helper.

Amazon affiliate link. Thank you for your support : )

Linked to Titus 2sday.

Rest in His presence.


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