#TheBestYes – Truth

#TheBestYes - Truth - IntentionallyPursuing.com
“Truth has a powerful way of interrupting our runaway feelings if only we’ll get it in front of us.” Lysa TerKeurst, The Best Yes*

Checking to see if there was a new posting on Craigslist for a part-time job, I thought surely I could find a job within biking distance. Riding my bicycle to work would actually be a way to get my exercise in. Now, if I could just find a job …

When I left court reporting and began staying home to be a homemaker and writer, it wasn’t a planned decision. It just kind of happened when our second car suddenly died on the way back from Orlando. And at first it seemed like an answer to my prayers.

I was finally able to feel on top of the cleaning. No more grabbing clothes out of the laundry basket because I hadn’t had time to get them folded. I even tried ironing the sheets. I’d read about the bliss of crawling into bed and sleeping on ironed sheets in my Martha Stewart magazine. And I just had to try it.

Now that I have the blog, I don’t try ironing the sheets, but I do get the clothes hung up, folded, and put away every time. It turns out it’s actually faster to deal with the clothes right away and gives me the added benefit of a sense of peace and accomplishment knowing the laundry is done for the day : )

So why was I looking for a job if everything was great? Fear. You know, the what ifs. What if we can’t make it on one income? How will we pay the bills and buy food?

Every once in a while money would get tight, and I would think the only way for us to make it is if I get a job. Then I would pull out my phone and read every part-time job listing on Craigslist.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with working. I worked outside the home for the first 17 years of marriage. The Bible even says in Proverbs 12:11, “A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense” (NLT).

I certainly don’t want to be a person who chases fanatasies, but it was fear that motivated me to look for a job. And my fear would block my view of God. My fear would make me doubt God’s calling on my life. And my fear would cause me to second-guess God’s provision.

God has given me a call to write, and He has been so faithful through it all. But every once in a while I have to remind myself of His past faithfulness, get in His Word, and trust that since He’s called me He will provide. So I put down the Craigslist app and search for the truth in God’s Word because writing is my best yes : )


This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers.  To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE. To receive the FREE Unrush Me 5 day challenge in your inbox, click here to sign up. And to get a copy of “The Best Yes” by Lysa TerKeurst click here.

Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
*Amazon affiliate links contained within this post. Thank you for your support : )

Rest in His presence.


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#StoryOfMarriage – Begin with the End in Mind

#StoryOfMarriage - Begin with the End in Mind
I love sharing how Tim and I first got together. The words “three months, two weeks from ‘hello’ to ‘I do’” just roll off my tongue. And after 19 years of marriage, we’re still going strong, at least most days ; )

Happily ever after is not something we stumble upon; it’s a destination we are determined to pursue and careful to construct.” John and Lisa Bevere, The Story of Marriage*

Though I love the once upon a time story of our marriage, I know we need to be intentional about pursuing our happily ever after. In the book “The Story of Marriage,” John and Lisa Bevere talk about the importance of having a vision for your marriage. Proverbs 19:18 reminds us “Where there is no vision, the people perish …” (AKJV). Too many marriages today are perishing. And I for one don’t want to be counted in that number.

This year on New Year’s Day Tim and I went to the beach to discuss our goals for the year. We discussed our personal, financial, business, social, and marriage goals. We even planned action steps for each of the goals. And though all of that was great, not one goal extended upon this year.

There is a quote by Bill Gates that says, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Your vision for your marriage will carry you through the rough seasons. It will remind you that things can and will get better around the corner.

I just got off a conference call with John and Lisa Bevere where they talked with their launch team – too cool! But John Bevere shared the No. 1 goal for their marriage was that Lisa love him more at the end of their marriage than she did at the beginning. His No. 2 goal was that he love Lisa more at the end than he did at the beginning. And his No. 3 was related to their children because the legacy you leave behind will impact generations to come.

There is a quote in “The Story of Marriage” from the book Men Are Like Waffles–Women Are Like Spaghetti* by Bill and Pam Farrel: “A goal must be specific … realistic … [and] achievable with God’s help.”

Start dreaming of what your marriage will look like 10 years from now, 20 years, 30 years or more. Ask God to give you a vision for your marriage. And dream big dreams together. Then make a plan for how the two of you will get from here to there, with God’s help of course : )

Image courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Rest in His presence.


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Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of God – Soldier

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

“Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3 (NIV)

As a high-schooler I considered joining the US Army. I had watched Goldie Hawn in “Private Benjamin” and envisioned growing up and joining the army.

I even talked to a recruiter about joining. But when the recruiter called and got my mom on the phone, she told him to never call again. She wasn’t exactly ready for her little girl to grow up and move away.

Now, I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, or shoot the artillery. But 2 Timothy 2:3 says I am a soldier of Christ Jesus. So I may not be in the US Army, but I’m in the Lord’s army. (Yes, Sir!)

And as a soldier in the Lord’s army, I need to put on the full armor of God so that I can take my stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11).

  • Belt of truth: Jesus said “‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” (John 8:31b-32 NKJV)
  • Breastplate of righteousness: “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10a NIV)
  • Feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 NIV)
  • Shield of faith: “Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.” (Psalm 140:7 NIV)
  • Helmet of salvation: “But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing our helmet the confidence of our salvation.”                     (1 Thessalonians 5:8 NLT)
  • Sword of the Spirit: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12a NIV)

And after I put on the full armor of God, as a soldier of Jesus Christ it’s time to fight. To know how we should prepare for battle, let’s look at how Jesus prepared for His hardest battle. Before Jesus faced the cross, He “… knelt down and prayed” (Luke 22:41 NIV).
Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of God - Soldier - IntentionallyPursuing.com
As a soldier in the Lord’s army, I fight my battles on bended knee.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making me part of Your army. Help me to remember I fight my battle on my knees, but it is You who has given me the victory through my Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

“I am a soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3 (NIV personalized)

Image courtesy of Chaiwat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rest in His presence.


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James 4:6 – Humility

James 4:6 - Humility - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” James 4:6 (NIV)

Sitting in prayer before service, I looked around and wondered why there weren’t more people here. Don’t they realize the importance of prayer?

Prayer prepares the heart for worship. Prayer softens your heart and allows the Word of God to penetrate deep into your spirit.

The prayer room should be filled, I thought. “They” should wake up earlier or figure out how to get themselves to service early enough to have time to pray before church.

And since those pride-filled thoughts, I’ve missed prayer every week. I had missed prayer before but not week after week.

At first I tried setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier. Then I tried wearing “fast hair.” I even planned out my outfit the night before. And I made myself get out of bed when my alarm went off and not hitting the snooze all in an effort to get to prayer.

Frustrated about missing prayer again yesterday, I wrote in my journal and asked God for wisdom. He reminded me of my original thought of how “they” should work on getting themselves to prayer.

I don’t even know who the “theys”are, but I need God’s help. And in that moment I realized in all my planning I hadn’t asked for Him to help me get to prayer.

“Humility says, ‘I can do nothing without You, Lord, but I can do all things through You.’” John and Lisa Bevere, The Story of Marriage*

So this morning I prayed one of the most effective prayers in history: “Help me, Jesus.

Will Jesus give me an idea to reengineer my morning so I can leave on time? Will He empower me with His grace or give me favor with traffic lights? I don’t know, but I know I need His help.

Philippians 4:13 reminds me “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (NKJV). But I need to humble myself and ask Jesus for help.

Humility doesn’t look at what I can do. Humility looks at what I can do with God’s help.

What is a situation you need to surrender to Jesus and pray, “Help me, Jesus”?

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Rest in His presence.


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Never Throw a Banana Away Again

Never Throw a Banana Away Again - IntentionallyPursuing.com
This week my mom stopped by just as I was pulling out some banana bread from the oven. While the banana bread was still warm, I sliced us both a slice and set aside the rest of the loaf to enjoy breakfast for dinner – my favorite : )

While we were enjoying the warm slices of bread, my mom shared how she loves banana bread but isn’t usually in the mood to make it when her bananas go bad.

I couldn’t believe she was throwing her too ripe bananas away. Then I remembered I used to do the same thing before I learned this tip, which I shared with her and am sharing with you too.

Freeze your bananas in 3 easy steps:

  1. Peel your banana(s).
  2. Flash freeze the bananas by placing peeled bananas on a baking sheet and freezing for a couple of hours – or in my case until I go looking for my baking sheet : )
  3. Place frozen bananas in a plastic bag or container.

Sometimes Tim, who eats bananas year round, forgets to grab a banana on the go, or we buy extra bananas. Because I love having frozen bananas on hand to make things like banana bread, smoothies, and even banana “ice cream.”

(I make banana “ice cream” in my Juicer.* But click here for an easy way to make banana “ice cream” in your food processor.)

Now, if someone could please explain why overripe, barely edible bananas make the best banana bread. I guess it’s just one of life’s mysteries : )

I would like to take a moment to thank all of the subscribers to Intentionally Pursuing. I realize allowing me to come to your inbox each day is a privilege and an honor, one I don’t take for granted.

So to say thank you to all of my subscribers, I am giving you a pdf file of “31 Personal Promises from the Word of God.” You can find the free download at the bottom of each email right under “I love hearing what’s on your heart.” Thank you again : )

And if you aren’t a subscriber but you would like to sign up, all you need to do is put your name and email address in the box to the top right of the page and click “Subscribe Today” to begin receiving Intentionally Pursuing in your mailbox, after you confirm your subscription of course  : )

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Linked to Titus 2sday and Thrifty Thursday.

Rest in His presence.


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#TheBestYes – God’s Instruction

#TheBestYes - God's Instruction - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: ‘Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be as good as new.’” 2 Kings 5:10 (MSG)

Naaman, who the Bible describes as a great and honorable man, traveled from Syria to Israel hoping to receive healing from his leprosy. Because of his desperation, Naaman was willing to do anything, to pay anything.

But instead of the big miracle Naaman had hoped to receive, he received a simple instruction and from a servant no less. The prophet Elisha didn’t even come out to meet him.

Naaman stormed off in a rage at the instruction. “But his servants caught up with him and said, ‘Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?’” (MSG)

Naaman was finally persuaded to follow Elisha’s simple instruction and did receive his healing.

“The one who obeys God’s instruction for today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow.” Lysa TerKeurst, The Best Yes*

Too often I follow in Naaman’s footsteps and look to God for the big direction for my life when I need to slow down and obey the simple instructions. I need to unrush my schedule, unrush my life, and obey God’s instruction for my life.

  • Set down the device and be fully present with the person in front of me.
  • Make time to call that friend.
  • Listen to the whispers of God’s instructions.
  • Bring my husband a cup of tea.

Simple acts of obedience to God’s instructions will position me to hear God in the big things. And sometimes the little things really are the big things.

For Naaman it was his simple act of obedience to Elisha’s instruction that allowed him to receive the healing he longed for. What small act of obedience to God’s instruction can you follow today?

This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers.  To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE. To receive the FREE Unrush Me 5 day challenge in your inbox, click here to sign up. And to get a copy of “The Best Yes” by Lysa TerKeurst click here.

Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Linked to Titus 2sday.

Rest in His presence.


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#StoryOfMarriage – The Original Plan

#StoryOfMarriage - The Original Plan - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“You must believe that your marriage can and will become everything God has destined it to be.” John & Lisa Bevere, The Story of Marriage*

This past week I read an article on ways to improve your swimming technique. Most of the advice was way over the head of this very novice swimmer. But one tip stood out: where your head goes, your body will follow.

I think that advice rings true not just for swimming or even marriage but life in general. Where your thoughts go, your life will follow. Our thoughts will lead to actions. And those actions will lead us in the direction of our thoughts.

So in order for your marriage to be everything God has destined it to be, you must first believe it is possible. You must grasp onto hope and hold on tightly.

I can remember a defining point in my marriage where a decision was made. The night before Tim and I had one of our worst fights ever. It wasn’t just the volume of the fight that made it bad, but things came out that night that made it obvious we were traveling in opposite directions.

That next morning I went for a long drive to clear my head and ended up on a beautiful beach. I walked out to the water seeking a fresh perspective and a clear direction.

And everywhere I looked I saw couples. There were couples holding hands, couples in the water, and couples laying on towels. Even the birds walked and flew two by two.

I wanted a word from God, and instead He showed me what I had waiting for me back home. God’s original plan for my marriage hadn’t changed. I decided right then and there not to give up on my marriage. I realized there was still hope for a better tomorrow.

Eager to find Tim, I made that first step in his direction. And we’ve walked hand in hand ever since. Though there have been more than a few stumbles along the way : )

“Belief in change always precedes the evidence of change, for all of God’s promises are received by faith.” John & Lisa Bevere, The Story of Marriage*

What change do you need to see happen? Whether it’s in your marriage, your career, or a promise you’re holding onto, stand on the promises of God. And hold onto the One who is faithful.

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

Image courtesy of satit_srihin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Linked to Titus 2sday.

Rest in His presence.


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Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of God – Chosen

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

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:11 (NIV)

Running out to the playground, the gym teacher announced we’ll be playing Red Rover today. Soon captains are picked, and the selection process begins.

And even though I don’t like the game, I still want to be chosen. And after all the boys are picked and some of the more competitive girls, finally my name is called.

I know why I was one of the last ones chosen. Seeing one of those boys charging my way, I would quickly drop my arm and let him through. Well, only if a girl was next to me because she didn’t want to get hurt either.

But it didn’t take long for the boys to figure out why we were losing, and suddenly the line was switched to boy, girl, boy, girl. The next boy called aimed straight for me. I winced out in pain long before he arrived from the crushing grip of the boy next to me.

Why did I want to be chosen when I didn’t even want to play? Why do we have this need to be picked?

Ephesians 1:4 says God “chose us in Him before the creation of the world.” I was created to desire to be chosen, not for a team, but to be hand-picked by the One who created me. And I wasn’t the last one chosen or even toward the end, but God chose me before He even created the world.

Sometimes I get confused and look to the world to choose me when I’ve already been chosen by the One who loves me best and didn’t pick me last. And Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me God has a plan and a purpose just for me.

Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of God - Chosen - IntentionallyPursuing.com
I’m chosen by God to do the will of God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me. Give me eyes to see your purpose for me so I can follow your plan for me. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

“In [God I was] also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.” Ephesians 1:11 (NIV, personalized)

Image courtesy of foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rest in His presence.


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Luke 8:14 – Mature

Luke 8:14 - Mature - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.” Luke 8:14 (NIV)

When I was younger I wasn’t sure where to start when I wanted to read the Bible. Starting at Genesis seemed way too intimidating. So I would usually read the parables or girl books (Ruth and Esther). I’ve always loved a good story.
So I can’t even guess how many times I’ve read or heard the Parable of the Sower. Sometimes it’s easy to scan the familiar verses and think you already know the story. But last week God showed me something I hadn’t seen before, and Luke 8:14 seemed to literally jump off the page.

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about those who hear and don’t believe, those who believe and then fall away, those who believe but don’t mature, and those who believe and produce a crop.

It’s that third group I want to focus on today: those who believe but don’t mature. These are believers just like you and me, but they have no victory in their life. For them life is hard. They feel alone and separated from God.

I’ve been there. I’ve allowed life’s worries to overwhelm me and make me feel isolated and alone.

So what keeps us separated from God? What keeps us from living victorious lives? The Living Bible breaks it down this way:

  • Worry – God is the great I Am. He is always with me. But when I worry about tomorrow, I separate myself from God. I allow my worry to stand as a barrier between me and God.
  • Riches - It’s easy to think as soon as I get through this season, I’ll have more time for ______. But I need to prioritize my priorities and make God my No. 1 priority.
  • Responsibilities – When I don’t start my day with God and allow my to-do dictate my schedule, God gets left out at worst or my leftovers at best.
  • Pleasures –  “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

 “The seed among the thorns represents those who listen and believe God’s words but whose faith afterwards is choked out by worry and riches and the responsibilities and pleasures of life. And so they are never able to help anyone else to believe the Good News.” Luke 8:14 (TLB)

When we allow worry, riches, responsibilities, and pleasures to separate us from God, we will not mature. We won’t live victorious lives. And no one will want what we have.

But when we give our worries to God, make Him our No. 1 priority, putting Him first in our lives, and find our pleasure in Him, we will mature. We will not allow the things of this world to separate us from God but will live victorious lives. We will live lives that produce fruit and point others to our Savior.

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rest in His presence.


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Earn Money Searching with Bing Rewards

Earn Money Searching with Bing Rewards - IntentionallyPursuing.com
What would you do with an extra $5 a month? Well, with less than 5 minutes a day searching with Bing Rewards, you could purchase a Starbucks gift card to meet a friend for coffee or tea. Or you could purchase an Amazon gift card and pay for your growing book collection or even get a head start on your Christmas shopping : )

Earlier this year I joined Bing Rewards, and by March I had earned my first gift card. Since then I have earned 7 more gift cards and am only 49 points from earning my ninth gift card with Bing Rewards.

Now, $45 dollars may not sound like a lot, but I earned that by only searching 6 minutes a day. That’s how long it took me today, just 6 minutes!

To join Bing Rewards, you need to:

  •  Click on this link (That is my personal referral link.) or just head on over to Bing.com.
  • Join Bing Rewards by signing up with a Microsoft account or a Facebook ID. (I signed up using a Microsoft account I created when I joined Bing Rewards.)
  • Start searching : )

A PC search will earn 1 credit per 2 Bing searches, up to 15 credits a day. (I do this on the computer or the iPad.)

A mobile search will earn 1 credit per 2 Bing searches, up to 10 credits a day. (I use my phone for this one.)

Once you have earned 200 credits, you will get upgraded to Silver status. And when you have earned 750 credits, you will get upgraded to Gold status. An Amazon gift card costs 475 for Gold members (which is a 50 credit discount).

I redeem my Bing credits for 500 Swagbucks. One Bing reward will buy me a 450 Amazon gift card on Swagbucks with 50 SBs left over. Or one Bing reward will cover 20% of my PayPal gift card which I use to pay for my COMPEL training.

Search Tips:

  • You can do the searches one after the other or spread them out throughout the day. I usually do 20 searches on the phone and then switch and do 30 searches on the iPad – doing one search after another.
  • Make sure to click the daily offers for an extra point or two : )
  • Searching goes faster when you use 3- and 4-lettered words. (Try rhyming words or scan an article for search terms.)
  • In the settings Bing has a feature called SafeSearch where you can filter adult content from your search results. (I have mine set to strict.)

Happy searching : )

Linked to Thrifty Thursday and The Diary of a Real Housewife.

Rest in His presence.


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