When you’re weary …

When you're weary ... IntentionallyPursuing.comHave you ever had one of those days when you wish you could just go back to bed? You’re not just tired, but you’re worn down. Your get up and go has got down and left.

Maybe allergy season has hit you hard. Maybe late nights and early mornings have taken their toll. Maybe a “friend” is on their way. Maybe the throbbing in your head helps you forget about the pain in your heart.

If you’re raising your hand at one or all of those or even adding to the list, I want to share with you, my sweet friend, some words of encouragement we both need. I know my hand was raised high.

In your weariness seek God’s face and rest in His presence. When you’re weary lean into His strength.

God responds to my weariness in usually one of two ways:

His grace empowers me to do what I could in no way do on my own. I show up and God shows off. These are the times I see His empowering grace that enables me to do what I can only do through Him … which is everything.

Then other times I come to the end of me and find my human frailty. God in His compassion knows how I am formed and that I am but dust (Psalm 103:14). This human body needs sleep, self-care, and time in my schedule to breathe.

So if you find yourself in that weary place, my sweet friend, give yourself grace. If there’s something that needs to get done, God will strengthen you to get it done. Otherwise, sometimes we need to give ourselves the grace we say we need but too often fail to receive.

Grace says, “I need help” and accepts help from others. Grace says, today’s to-do will be there tomorrow. Receive God’s grace in your weariness, my friend, and let’s believe for a better tomorrow. : )

Image credit: Pasquale VitielloMagdeleineCCO

Blessed to be linking up with Susan at #DanceWithJesus.

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

Hebrews 10:35-36 – Holy Confidence

Hebrews 10:35-36 - Holy Confidence - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36 (ESV)

When Minnie first arrived in our home, late night bathroom trips and early morning wake-ups involved steps of hesitation along our bedroom floor. I shuffled my feet ever so slowly and wondered is that a wet spot? Do I feel the soft touch of fur at my ankle?

But I soon discovered something that allows me to step with assurance even in the darkest of nights. With the light of my phone to guide my way, my feet quickly step along the way.

Before Paul warns the people not to throw away their confidence, he calls them to “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light” (Hebrews 10:32 NIV).

Just as the light of my phone makes my steps fearless, the light of Jesus gives me boldness.

I can stumble along in the dark, or I can pull out my phone and walk in the light. I can run out the door without pausing to rest in His presence, or I can wake up early to meet Jesus and receive light for my day.

Every day we are faced with a choice. We can choose to stumble in the dark or walk boldly in the light.

We choose to walk in holy confidence when we spend time in His presence. And it is in His presence, we also find the strength to endure because as Paul reminds, we have need of endurance.

“Faithfulness during the time when the promise seems unfulfilled is the measure of your obedience and spiritual maturity.” David Guzik

Sometimes in the waiting for the promise to be fulfilled, my strength to hold on wavers. My arms begin to shake under the weight, and I feel my grip loosen.

My sweet friend, in those weak moments is when we need to draw close to the faithful One. The promise of God’s presence is what gives me strength to hold on, not to the promise but to the promised One.

Blessed to be linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee For Your Heart.

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

Intentional Tuesday Linkup {Week 14}

Intentional Tuesday Linkup {Week 14}  - IntentionallyPursuing.com

My friend, I pray you have gotten more sleep than me this past week. Inspired by a quote in “The Fringe Hours,” I have been waking up at 5 am so I can write on the book right after I wake up and pray. Add in a puppy who has only slept through the night once since joining our family, I needed my Sunday afternoon nap to finally feel human again. : )

“I believe how you spend your 5-to-9 determines how you’ll spend your 9-to-5.” Jessica N. Turner quoting her friend Stacy in her book The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You*

Though sleepy I still count myself blessed as we celebrated Tim’s birthday and many firsts with Minnie this past week. Her first shower and bike ride were two of my favorites. Oh, and Minnie’s favorite bed is her Minnie bed. I think she knows it was made with love. : )

Intentional Tuesday Linkup {Week 14} - IntentionallyPursuing.com

I’d love to know: Do you have any puppy potty training tips? Though we’ve had some success, we still have a long way to go. And what brings you joy? I would love to hear the blessings you are counting. : )

*****

Welcome to the Intentional Tuesday weekly linkup! You have words that will build up and bless others, so I’m asking you to share those words with us. I’m looking for posts that will encourage women to intentionally live out their roles as wives and/or daughters of God: intentional living, marriage, parenting, pursuing the heart of God, recipes, etc.

Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to IntentionallyPursuing.com to see all the fun and join in too. Our hashtag is #IntentionalTuesday. : )

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. Take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the posts that’s linked up just before yours. Visit others and be encouraged. : )
  4. Please link back to this post somehow … either a simple text link or the button below {html code in right sidebar}. : )


 Loading InLinkz ...

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

I love you because …

I love you because ... IntentionallyPursuing.comI’ve shared this before, but every night I finish the following sentence on a love message board I created for my husband: “I love you because …” So in honor of Tim’s 45th birthday last week, I am going to share 45 reasons I love my husband.

Tim, I love you because …

  1. we explore together.
  2. you let me get my stuff done before we left.
  3. you got the bicycle built for two ready for our ride.
  4. of your heart to worship.
  5. you led us in prayer after our fight.
  6. you’re getting excited about the new puppy too.
  7. you said you love me AND like me.
  8. you are a game changer.
  9. you’re still saying “I do” 20 years later.
  10. you work to get the fans aimed just right.
  11. you remembered our “date.”
  12. you gave in to my craving for McDonald’s.
  13. you trusted me enough to ask me.
  14. you picked up items at the store I had forgotten.
  15. you comfort my emotions with a hug.
  16. you snuggle close to keep me warm.
  17. you are a great negotiator.
  18. you suggest impromptu sunset beach dates.
  19. you spoke right to my heart.
  20. you proofread my posts for me.
  21. you pressed past your obstacles.
  22. you won’t delete my posts.
  23. you seek me out just to say “hi.”
  24. we worked as a team to clean the kitchen.
  25. you seek God in prayer.
  26. you have a generous heart.
  27. you rented and picked up our movie.
  28. you warm my hands with yours.
  29. you understand and help me when I’m running late.
  30. you encouraged me to step out of my box.
  31. you freshly shaved just for me.
  32. you took me to see Cinderella.
  33. you took me on a latte and donut date.
  34. you shared your jelly beans.
  35. you are hungry for the things of God.
  36. I love dreaming with you.
  37. you surprised me with flowers.
  38. you love your family.
  39. we’ve learned to make dinner together.
  40. you invested in my calling.
  41. you watch and discuss movies with me.
  42. you got off work early to pick up Minnie.
  43. you are gracious on the phone.
  44. you won’t compromise your integrity for a deal.
  45. you are uniquely you.

Since I started telling Tim all the reasons I love him, I have found the reasons grow and grow. That’s how blessings work. As we count our blessings and give thanks to God, we fill our hearts with gratitude and open our eyes to all God has done for us.

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Blessed to be linking up with Darlene at Titus 2sDay, Beth at Wedded Wednesday, and Sheila at Wifey Wednesday.

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

Lessons From a Fish

Lessons From a Fish - IntentionallyPursuing.comThis past week we lost a fish. And while this was not the first time we have had a fish funeral in our home, we both took this one kind of hard because we saw ourselves in Gus Gus. And God used these lessons from a fish to reveal His heart.

Before I tell you Gus Gus’s story, let me introduce you to our other fish. There’s Eric, Aurora, Briar Rose, Poky, Scuttle, and Jacques.

(The names of the fish tell you two things: One, I am a Disney fan. And, two, we have lost fish before because those are couple names. We’ve had to say good-bye to Ariel, Prince Phillip, John Smith, and now Gus Gus.)

As soon as we introduced Gus Gus to the other fish, he immediately went up to each one looking for a friend. And each time he faced rejection. In fact, most of the other fish shooed Gus Gus away. He was so traumatized by their rejection, he just huddled in a corner of the tank.

So the next morning we went back to the pet store and purchased a fish of the same kind so Gus Gus would have a friend.

Jacques is the opposite of Gus Gus. He went up to each of the other fish and introduced himself, but he didn’t want anything from any of them, including Gus Gus. Jacques is all about the food and eats constantly.

After yet another rejection, Gus Gus started hanging out with Scuttle. Scuttle is an algae eater who mostly hangs around the bottom of the tank, moves furniture, and sometimes attaches himself to the side of the tank in search of more food.

Scuttle’s favorite place to hang out is under the Greek ruins. And this is where Gus Gus’s story takes a tragic turn. He tried to follow Scuttle under the Greek ruins and was crushed under their weight.

Gus Gus was a sweet little fish whose only desire was to find a friend.

While there are so many lessons to learn here, I couldn’t help thinking if Gus Gus [or me] would simply lay his desires at the feet of God and trust His timing, God would have given Gus Gus the desires of his heart.

Tim was struck with how it must break God’s heart to see His children look everywhere but Him to fill them up.

I’d love to know: Do you see yourself in Gus Gus’s story? Do you struggle, like me, to walk in faith and trust in God’s timing?

On Monday, April 13, Proverbs 31 OBS will be starting their newest online Bible study: What Happens When Women Walk in Faith* by Lysa TerKeurst. If you would like to join me in this study or just find out more information, Click Here.

I would like to take just a moment to tell my husband how I love him and to wish him a very happy birthday. I love you, Tim! : )

Blessed to be linking up with Susan at #DanceWithJesus and Kelly at #RaRaLinkup.

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

Matthew 5:6 – Hunger

Matthew 56 - Hunger - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.'” Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

One month after the children of Israel escaped from Egypt, their food ran out of and the hunger set in.

“And the children of Israel said to them [Moses and Aaron], ‘Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger'” (Exodus 16:3 NKJV).

No grocery store nearby to pick up supplies. No drive-through window for a quick bite to eat. No food in the cupboard or refrigerator to make even a small meal.

Why did God allow the children of Israel to feel the pains of hunger, to know the ache of an empty belly?

We’re told where God leads God will provide. God had led the Israelites out to the wilderness. So why hadn’t God provided food for them?

The Israelites asked these same questions. Moses answered them with these words, “He [God] humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV).

In the wilderness with bellies that ached, the children of Israel turned to God for their provision. Their hunger for food gave them a hunger for God.

Blessed are those who hunger … The hunger Jesus refers to, David Guzik explains “describes a profound hunger that cannot be satisfied by a snack. This is a longing that endures and is never completely satisfied on this side of eternity.”

Nothing in this world will ever truly fill us. We will continue to feel the pangs of hunger. But while food fills our belly, only Jesus can fill us up. Let us feast at His table.

Blessed to be linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee For Your Heart.

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

Intentional Tuesday Linkup {Week 13}

Intentional Tuesday Linkup {Week 13} - IntentionallyPursuing.com

I pray you had a blessed Easter as we celebrated our risen Lord and Savior. The one word that stuck with me from Sunday’s message was “liberated.” We have been liberated from the power of sin and its consequences, and it is time to spread the Good News of Jesus that has given us liberty!

In addition to celebrating Easter, we added Minnie to our family. In just a few short days, she has already brought us so much joy. Though I do pray she sleeps through the night soon, even at 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. Minnie is still adorable, which is saying a lot. : )

Intentional Tuesday Linkup {Week 13} - IntentionallyPursuing.comI’d love to know: What is one of your favorite Easter traditions? One of my favorites is making Resurrection Rolls while we read the Easter story in the Bible. : )

*****

Welcome to the Intentional Tuesday weekly linkup! You have words that will build up and bless others, so I’m asking you to share those words with us. I’m looking for posts that will encourage women to intentionally live out their roles as wives and/or daughters of God: intentional living, marriage, parenting, pursuing the heart of God, recipes, etc.

Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to IntentionallyPursuing.com to see all the fun and join in too. Our hashtag is #IntentionalTuesday. : )

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. Take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the posts that’s linked up just before yours. Visit others and be encouraged. : )
  4. Please link back to this post somehow … either a simple text link or the button below {html code in right sidebar}. : )
 Loading InLinkz ...

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

Marriage Monday Monthly Mission – April

Marriage Monday Monthly Mission - April - IntentionallyPursuing.com

Welcome back to our Marriage Monday Monthly Mission. Our goal with these missions is to make little changes that will prayerfully make big differences in the atmosphere of our marriages as we pursue God’s heart and seek to glorify Him in all we do.

Each month I will check-in and share with you how the previous month’s challenge went in my home and invite you to check-in and share in the comment section how the challenge went in your home.

Marriage Monday Monthly Mission – March

Pray as a couple every night.

In The Expectation of Perfection, I wrote about a really hard morning. What I didn’t share was that really hard morning involved a fight with my husband. Yes, we fight, though not often and usually not to that extreme.

So how did we go from fighting one another to reconciling with one another? Prayer. On bended knee my husband led us in prayer as we pursued God together.

Praying as a couple every night has made it easier to pray as a couple in every situation we encounter. Those seeds of prayer we planted years ago when we committed to praying as a couple every night have given us a harvest of togetherness as we live our lives with God at the center.

Marriage Monday Monthly Mission – April

Read one marriage book.

“Sometimes we just need new ideas and a fresh perspective to help us figure out how to do marriage better!” Sheila Wray Gregorie, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge of 2015

While no book has been more instrumental in my marriage than God’s Word, Christian marriage books come a close second. I shared some of my favorite marriage books in Tools of Marriage Transformation. Reading marriage books helps me be more intentional in my marriage because they encourage and inspire me to make my marriage a priority, so let’s get reading. : )

I’d love to know: How did March’s mission of praying as a couple go in your home? What marriage book is on your to-read for April’s mission? What is your favorite marriage book? I look forward to reading what you have to say. : )

Blessed to be linking up with Darlene at Titus 2sDay, Sheila at Wifey Wednesday, and Beth at Wedded Wednesday.

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

The Fringe Hours Book Review

Fringe Hours Book Review (book) - IntentionallyPursuing.com

In my twenties I remember asking for prayer that I would be more productive in my days. Fast forward twenty years, and all too often I find myself equating busy with productive. I make detailed schedules for my day thinking if I could just stick to the schedule I would be able to fit it all in.

So when I first saw the title of the book The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You* by Jessica N. Turner, I secretly hoped within its pages I would find the answer to maximizing my time and fitting even more in my days. When the book became available to review on a site for bloggers in exchange for an honest review, I quickly selected it and dove right in.

Jessica shares truths we all know but need to be reminded of because achieving balance isn’t about fitting it all in but about adjusting to the season we’re in. The Proverbs 31 woman is a great example of someone who did it all, but she probably didn’t do it all at the same time. One season “She gets up while it is still night …” (Proverbs 31:15) and another “… her lamp does not go out at night” (Proverbs 31:18).

We need time for rest so we can walk in peace and time to sleep so we can be nice. We can’t say “yes” to every good opportunity because there’s simply not enough time. We need to prioritize what matters and say “no” to what doesn’t.

“When you make room in your schedule to breathe, you make room for you — and that is the key to discovering fringe hours.” Jessica N. Turner, The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You*

Ultimately, we make time for what matters to us, but if we’re not intentional we can find ourselves just going with the flow. Whether we’re watching show after show or scrolling through social media, we can watch our fringe hours disappear.

Through the book Jessica inspired me to be intentional in finding those pockets of time I might have wasted and filling my time with things that fill me. Her practical tips gave me things I could implement right away, and Jessica also reminded me that, “By investing in yourself, you are also able to better express who God created you to be.”

Fringe Hours Book Review (quote)What would you do if you had more time in your day? How would you fill yourself up? Find inspiration for making time for what matters to you in The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You* by Jessica N. Turner.

Wishing you a blessed Easter as you celebrate our risen Lord and Savior!

Blessed to be linking up with Susan at #DanceWithJesus and Kelly at #RaRaLinkup.

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )

Psalm 14:1 – Only Fools Say

Psalm 14:1 - Only Fools Say - IntentionallyPursuing.com

“Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.'” Psalm 14:1 a (NLT)

Sunday God showed off for me. I shared last week that I am reading a chapter a day in Matthew as a way to prepare my heart for Easter.

While I expected to read Jesus Has Risen (Matthew 28) on Easter Sunday, I did not expect to read a Palm Sunday celebration as Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King (Matthew 21) on Palm Sunday. So when I opened my Bible and read those words Sunday morning, I paused in wonder at a God who is so good.

“… ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!'” (Matthew 21:9 NIV)

(Since my reading of Matthew to prepare for Easter will probably become an annual tradition, don’t be surprised if next year I invite you to join me in reading Matthew as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.)

I’m sad to say that even though a very large crowd was there to welcome Jesus to Jerusalem, not all were praising His Name. “When the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he [Jesus] did and the children shouting in the temple courts, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant” (Matthew 21:15 NIV).

Some versions say the religious leaders were angry, much displeased, irritated, and even furious. But there’s another version I want to look at, “… When they saw the upturned tables, the walking paralytics, and the singing children, they were shocked, indignant, and angry, and they did not understand” (Matthew 21:15 VOICE).

“Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.'” At one time we all were ones who did not understand. We may not have gone so far as to deny the existence of God, but we had yet to make Jesus the Lord of our life. My heart aches for the fools, the ones who do not understand. God is showing off and offering eternal life, and they are missing out on this great celebration.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing Yourself to me and giving me the opportunity to make You Lord and Savior of my life. I pray that You soften hearts and remove the blinders that cover the eyes of those who don’t know You as I do. Give me courage to share the Good News of Jesus with those I meet. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

Blessed to be linking up with Holley Gerth from Coffee For Your Heart.

Rest in His presence.

Crystal

Reduce the stress in your life with the FREE Mini Video e-Course: "4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking"* ... Get access right now by clicking here.*

Blogelina's $1 Blog Set-Up.*

*Affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support. : )