6 Favorite Craft Projects

6 Favorite Craft Projects - IntentionallyPursuing.com
Earlier this week I shared one of my 2014 goals was to craft weekly. I pictured my weekly craft time as a date to nurture my creativity, a time just for me. Though I enjoy my craft time once I sit down, some days it just feels like another item on my to-do.

I realized I craft with the seasons. When I was working on Christmas cards and ornaments, I might craft a little every day to get it all done in time. But when the sun and waves are calling, you can find me with a book lying in the sand : )

“When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.” Genesis 5:1b (NIV)

I’ve learned I need my crafting times as an outlet for the creativity God put inside each one of us as His creation. We were made to be creative. So today I am sharing 6 Favorite Craft Projects I have shared here on Intentionally Pursuing:

1. Frugal Wall Art … I made this as a way to remember to take delight in the Lord as part of my 2014 word of the year. I’m thinking about doing it again with the word “believe,” my 2015 word of the year.

2. Frugal Gift – Scripture Promise Box … Looking at my traffic patterns, this one would probably make the people’s favorite as we desire to intentionally plant the Word of God into the lives of those we love.

3. Affirming Our Husbands Through Words … This one has been a great way for me to intentionally invest in my marriage by sharing with Tim little things I love and admire about him each and every day.

4. How To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract … I really like the flavor this adds to my baking, so I need to hurry and get started on making this again since I am running low on my homemade vanilla supply.

5. Frugal Candle Making Part 2 … Seeing the flicker of the candle’s light fills me with a sense of peace and serves as a reminder to pray for the peace in my home as I go through my day.

6. How To Make a Plaster of Paris Paw Print … I placed this by our front door as a way to remember our sweet girl. Keeping the keepsake outside has turned it a little green, but seeing it brings a smile to my face.

I hope you enjoy these craft projects as much as I did when creating them : ) And for even more crafting inspiration, you can check out The Ultimate DIY Bundle!

Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Isaiah 26:3 – Perfect Peace

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” - Isaiah-263 - Perfect-Peace - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

The word “perfect” in Isaiah 26:3 is translated as complete. We can experience the peace God offers in every area of our life. That means peace in our finances, peace in our relationships, peace in our homes … peace in every area of our lives. But first, we must trust Him.

“… those whose minds are steadfast …” The word “steadfast” comes from the Hebrew word camak (Strong’s H5564) which means “to lean upon, rest, support.” No matter how many times we lean upon our God, He promises to hold us up. We can trust Him. And if we want to rest in the peace of God, we must place our trust in God.

We’ve all seen the trust exercise on TV or in the movies where the person falls backward into the waiting arms of their partner … or not. Sometimes the catcher looks away and the person ends up falling to the ground.

Maybe you desire the peace of God but you struggle trusting in God. You’ve placed your trust in others and gotten hurt in the process. You trusted they would catch you, and instead they allowed you to fall to the ground.

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19 NIV).

Our God is faithful and trustworthy. If you need help trusting in Him, here are 3 Ways You Can Develop Your Trust in God:

  1. Read God’s Word and focus on who God says He is. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:7-8 NIV).
  2. Remember the times God has been faithful in the past. Looking back at journals and reminiscing, I can trace God’s faithfulness through ever season of my life. Sometimes it’s easier to see God’s hand in your life when you look back at your life.
  3. Seek God in prayer and request that He help you to place your trust in Him. Just as the “… father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'” (Mark 9:24 NIV), ask God to help you place your trust in Him.

Every time we fall into God’s arms, He is faithful to catch us!

Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Intentional Tuesday {Week 2}

Intentional Tuesday - IntentionallyPursuing.com
Happy Tuesday! We’re nearly three weeks into the new year, and I think I’m finally writing “2015” in my journal entries each morning : )

Last year one of my goals was to craft weekly. And while I love to scrapbook, make cards, and work on projects, having the weekly goal seemed burdensome. So this year my goal is to craft monthly since I want crafting to be something that brings joy to my life. Plus I can always craft more often : )

Did you sign up for the FREE mini course: Four Steps to Rediscover Your Inner Creative Genius? (P.S. Today, January 20th, is the last day to sign up.) I signed up, and I’m hoping it motivates me to tackle some of the projects I was so excited for back in October during the A Spirit-Filled Home series : )

*****

Today and every Tuesday, I want to invite bloggers to link-up any blog posts that will encourage women to intentionally live out their roles as wives and/or daughters of God. I’m looking for posts on living intentionally, marriage, parenting, pursuing the heart of God, recipes, etc.

Never linked up before? Here’s how:

    1. Scroll down, find the little blue “Add your Link” Button, and click on that.
    2. Follow the instructions on the next page – add a great image of your post and an interesting title. Make sure you link to the direct page of your post – not the main page of your blog!
    3. Try to visit at least a few other blogs at the party. Be sure to leave a comment to let them know you stopped by!
    4. Please link back to this post somehow … either a button from the bottom of the sidebar to the right or a simple text link. : )

Please note that the opinions expressed by the participants are those of each individual blogger and may not necessarily reflect Intentionally Pursuing. Wisdom and discretion is advised. Thank you!

Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Communicate Respect So He Feels Respected

"Respect is communicated most effectively when it aligns with what a person values." Josh McDowell, 10 Ways to Say "I Love You": Embracing a Love That Lasts - Communicate Respect - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“Respect is communicated most effectively when it aligns with what a person values.” Josh McDowell, 10 Ways to Say “I Love You”: Embracing a Love That Lasts*

Welcome to Marriage Monday. Next week I plan on reviewing Josh McDowell’s latest book “10 Ways to say ‘I Love You.'” But as of today I’ve only read 45% of the book, so I’ll wait until I’ve finished it to share more about it : )

But when I came across this quote on respect, I paused. I knew this was something I wanted to unpack more thoroughly. Because if respect is communicated most effectively when it aligns with what a person values, then when I respect Tim according to my values he may or may not feel respected.

We’ve talked before about how important it is for a husband to feel respected. Plus God says through the Apostle Paul that “… the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33b NIV).

So since I know the importance of respecting my husband, I want to ensure I am able to communicate respect to him in a way that enables him to feel respected.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels as if I married my polar opposite. I like to rise early if I’ve had enough rest, and Tim would love if every day were a sleep-in day so he could stay up late. I love to make schedules and plan my days, and let’s just say Tim doesn’t.

I could go on with how we are different, but today we’re talking about aligning how we show respect to reflect his values. Because of our differences, I need to notice what Tim values (since it’s probably the opposite of what I value), so I can show respect to him in a way that aligns with his values.

I’ve also noticed Tim’s values change too. For instance, if he has to wake up extra early to be somewhere, he will feel respected by my efforts to get us to bed on time. If he comes home hungry, he will feel respected by walking in the door and being greeted by the smells of dinner in the oven. The opposite is true too. If he comes home hungry and I haven’t even started dinner, he will feel disrespected : (

I don’t always get this respect thing right, but reading books and blogs on marriage helps me be intentional in this area. And over time I’m learning to communicate respect in a way that aligns with Tim’s values. I’ve also learned to appreciate the differences between us, like when Tim snuggles close in the morning so I hit the snooze button and stay in bed a little longer : )

Wifey Wednesday button
Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Pray For Each Other

Pray For Each Other - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (NIV)

Sitting with the women at the end of the night, I told them I would continue praying for each one of them for the next month. I told the women who sat at my table the next month the same thing.

This continued month after month, and my prayer list grew and grew. Because even though I had only committed to praying for them for one month, I kept each woman on my list and continued to lift each one up in prayer.

Running into a friend at the grocery store, we talk and I promise to keep the situation she has shared with me in my prayers.

A family member shares a difficult situation a relative is going through, and I promise to keep them lifted up in prayer.

Around election time the pastor instructs the congregation that we should be praying for our leaders. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV).

I read a passage in Scripture and am reminded to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem …” (Psalm 122:6 NIV).

January is Human Trafficking Awareness month and National Sanctity of Life month, and I am reminded to stand in the gap for those who have no voice (Ezekiel 22:30).

Then I see a friend across the room who I can see is struggling to walk because of her pain, and I wonder when the last time was I prayed for her. I see another friend who is grieving, and I wonder how she handled the holidays alone. And I ask myself when was the last time I prayed for her.

If like me the list of those you desire to pray for has grown and you find yourself forgetting to pray for those you hold dear, might I suggest a simple prayer list.

This idea came from bookmarks I received from two different missionaries at a missions conference a couple of years ago. Every morning I lift up in prayer the Sucher family and their work in the Dominican Republic and Mission Forefront and their work in Northern India.

So I thought I would create a bookmark as a reminder to pray for those who are near and dear to my heart and for those the Bible instructs me to pray for. One is for my morning Bible reading, and the other is for my bedtime Bible reading. You can also find them on the free resources page. : )

Prayer List
Prayer List pdf

Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Matthew 6:34 – Wait to Worry

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 - Wait to Worry - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Our key verse this week is a follow-up to last week’s verse: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33 NIV). We talked last week about keeping first things first and keeping God first.

Then Jesus goes on to say, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow …” When we keep first things first and keep God first, we don’t need to worry about tomorrow. But knowing we shouldn’t worry and putting it into practice is easier said than done.

I recently listened to a COMPEL Training where Patsy Clairmont shared a piece of wisdom a friend had given to her that I would like to pass on to you today: Wait to worry.

Sitting with Tim after dinner last night, he shared he was worried he hadn’t received a phone call from a guy he was working with. Now, as I talked to him, he wasn’t worried that he hadn’t heard from him. He was worried about the implications of not receiving that call. So I told Tim, wait to worry. Wait to worry until there’s something to worry about.

The Message Bible puts it perfectly: “‘Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.'”

So much of the enemy’s plan is to get us to think to the future where things look uncertain. But God’s provision is daily … His provision for mercy, finances, grace, strength, and peace are all found by living in the present.

And how many of us can agree each day does have enough trouble of its own? So I don’t know about you but I don’t have the emotional energy to worry about tomorrow while I’m trying to live today.

Oh, it’s not that I haven’t worried about tomorrow. I’ve stressed myself out and made myself weary worrying about the future. But after it was all said and done, I would look back in amazement that God had been there every step of the way, and all my worrying was for not.

So for that thing that has been weighing you down, I say: seek God first and then wait to worry : )

Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Intentional Tuesday {Week 1}

Intentional Tuesday - IntentionallyPursuing.com
Welcome to the very first Intentional Tuesday. I have been considering having a link up for months but wanted to pray and seek God first because I wanted this to be a blessing to you and a way to build community. I pray it does just that : )

As I seek to live my life with intention, I have found I regularly need to reevaluate how I spend my time. I love new years and the way they naturally give us a fresh start and a chance to get things right. I’m excited for the things on my schedule this season, and I believe they reflect the goals God has placed on my heart. Now, if I could just stick to the schedule : )

*****

Today and every Tuesday, I want to invite bloggers to link up any blog posts that will encourage women to intentionally live out their roles as wives and daughters of God. I’m looking for posts on living intentionally, marriage, parenting, pursuing the heart of God, recipes, etc.

Never linked up before? Here’s how:

  1. Scroll down, find the little blue “Add your Link” Button, and click on that.
  2. Follow the instructions on the next page – add a great image of your post and an interesting title. Make sure you link to the direct page of your post – not the main page of your blog!
  3. Try to visit at least a few other blogs at the party. Be sure to leave a comment to let them know you stopped by!
  4. Please link back to this post somehow … either a button from the bottom of the sidebar to the right or a simple text link. : )

Please note that the opinions expressed by the participants are those of each individual blogger and may not necessarily reflect Intentionally Pursuing. Wisdom and discretion is advised. Thank you!

 Loading InLinkz ...

Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Do You Feel Love?

Marriage is not a commitment to feel love but a commitment to daily make the choice to show love. - Do You Feel Love - IntentionallyPursuing.com
Can the feeling of love last a lifetime? Have you ever wondered if you’ll feel love toward him again? Years ago I questioned if I still felt love toward Tim. But since then I’ve learned a little something about feelings.

I could hear Tim in the kitchen making his usual grunts and groans while he prepared his lunch. And although his grunts did seem a little louder than normal, I was used to his noises so I just continued getting ready for bed.

Then he called out from the kitchen, “Don’t you want to know what’s going on?”

When I walked in, he proceeded to show me what all the fuss was about. The top crackers in the package were completely crumbled.

And I don’t know if I was just tired or what, but I began laughing. Now, this was not the polite laughter at dinner or in church when someone makes a joke. This is the kind of laughter that would cause stares and turns of the head. Actually, it was really more of a cackle.

And when he began counting out the cracker crumbles to pack for his lunch, that only intensified the howling. I was about to say “That’s how the cracker crumbles.”

But before I could get out the words that I was sure would cause him to join in my laughter, I began sobbing. Without warning the intense emotion tipped the scale from laughter to tears.

As the sobs released from my body and the tears rolled down my cheeks, I tried to think why I would even be sad. Confused at my emotions, between tears I told Tim I needed a hug.

After a few minutes the sobs subsided. And I quietly went back to getting ready for bed. Later when Tim asked if there was anything going on or that I wanted to talk about, I told him that I guess I was just tired.

In that moment I had no control over my feelings. I was just responding to my circumstances and surroundings. My feelings were not a reliable indicator of what was going on in my life.

So what do feelings have to do with marriage? Often people get married because they “feel” in love, and then they separate because they lose that “loving feeling.” But the words said before God and our friends and families say to the world no matter how we feel, we have made a commitment to love the one we married.

Marriage is not a commitment to feel love but a commitment to daily make the choice to show love.

If I had relied on my feelings when things were tough, our marriage wouldn’t have survived. It was our commitment to God and one another that carried us through. And when those feelings of love did return (and they usually do), I had the security of knowing our commitment to one another wasn’t based on our feelings or our circumstances.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Wifey Wednesday button
Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Keep It Shut Book Review

"Let God's Word guide. And lead. Let it soften and soothe. Choose to honor him with your words ..." - Karen Ehman - Keep It Shut Book Review - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“Let God’s Word guide. And lead. Let it soften and soothe. Choose to honor him with your words …” – Karen Ehman, Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All*

When I was doing the Proverbs 31 OBS of Unglued* by Lysa TerKeurst, the subject of my tone kept coming up. I wish it was because people kept commenting on the sweetness of my words or how my words brought refreshment and peace. But in reality it was more like slammed phones and miscommunications because while my words said one thing, my tone said another.

Thankfully becoming aware of the tone of my words has helped me soften the way I speak when I’m irritated or tired. But when the average woman speaks about 7.3 million words in the course of a year (stats from “Keep It Shut”), that is thousands of choices a day to use my words to build up or tear down. And with that many words spoken and typed out, it’s hard to always get it right.

“When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 (HCSB)

When I read that Karen Ehman was writing a book on how to use our words wisely, I knew this was a book I needed and felt honored when I was selected to be part of her launch team to help get the word out about “Keep It Shut.”

As I read Karen’s previous books, A Life That Says Welcome* and Let. It. Go.,* it felt as if a friend was encouraging me, like two girlfriends sitting over coffee or tea. So I knew I would love “Keep It Shut.”

As I read Karen’s words, she encouraged me it’s not enough to ask if my words are true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind. But I need to remember God is ALWAYS listening.

Jesus instructs, “… Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech” (Luke 6:45 TLB). So I need to get my heart right with God and allow His Word to guide and lead me so I can honor Him with my words. And Karen points me to His Word as the Guide in what to say, how to say it, and when to say nothing at all. : )

kis.book_
If you order “Keep It Shut” through Proverbs 31 Ministries by January 25th, 2015, you will receive a free 10-Day Devotional. Click here to find out more : )

Starting January 26th Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies is studying “Keep It Shut.” I have already signed up to be a part of this study and would love for you to join me. Click here to sign up today : )

Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )

Matthew 6:33 – Seek First

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33 Seek First - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

As we start out this new year and create goals to implement the changes we want to see in our lives, I feel the need to remind myself (and maybe you need this reminder too) that the most important thing is Jesus.

If I accomplish every goal I set out to achieve but don’t keep God first, what good will it be?

If I read my Bible, volunteer at church, and fill my days with doing good but don’t allow the Lord to direct me, what good is it? In fact, Matthew 7 points out the difference between what it means to be a true and false disciple.

Jesus calls out to the crowd, “‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”‘” (Matthew 7:21-23 NIV)

So what marks a true disciple? “… the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven …”

As we make our goals, let us seek first His will.

As we plan our to-do, let us ask the Lord what He would have us do.

As we start our day, let us go to Him and pray.

Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (NLT). This isn’t a discouragement to make plans and goals but to make first things first and seek God first.

I need this reminder to seek God first as I make my plans because on my own I can fill my days with good things, great things even. And on my own, I can run out of time for the best things, the things that are God’s best for me. So let us commit to seeking God first, and who knows we may just accomplish all those other goals too when we do : )

Rest in His presence.

Crystal The Ultimate DIY Bundle is a complete package of eBooks and eCourses dedicated to your DIY & crafting needs! So whether you desire to decorate the perfect space for your family, make your own skincare products, take beautiful photos, create gifts from scratch, or just nurture your creativity, you will find The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library! But The Ultimate DIY Bundle is only available through January 26th, so click below to get yours now: *Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support : )