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Herringbone Wood Pallet Tutorial

One of my favorite ways to integrate pops of color into our home is through large artwork that makes a bold statement.

I was in a creative mood the other day and finally settled on a project that would not only help me channel my creativity, but also did not break the bank. I scrolled through Pinterest in search for inspiration (because admit it, we all do that) and came across this beautiful herringbone canvas. I rummaged through our apartment looking for supplies and determined I had everything I needed to make such a piece, only I would make mine on a wood pallet canvas instead.

I already had a large pallet  (Unfortunately, I did not take pictures to post a tutorial on how to create a wood pallet canvas, but I have found this one to be helpful.), paint in my chosen color scheme, paint brushes, and painter’s tape. So this project cost me absolutely nothing! Hooray!

Herringbone wood pallet color scheme

However, should you choose to re-create this project and do not have all of the supplies on hand, I will break down what you will need as well as its cost.

Supplies Needed

Wood- I highly recommend searching for free wood pallets to make your canvas. You can talk to lumber yards, retailers, new home construction sites, etc and ask them if you can have their used wood pallets. Most of them will gladly let you take them off their hands and this will save you a lot of money.

Paint- I used six paint colors to create my herringbone canvas, but you can use less if you’d like.

Martha Stewart Multi Surface Satin Acrylic Craft paint Wedding Cake- $2.50 at Michael’s

Martha Stewart Multi Surface Satin Acrylic Craft paint Scottish Highlands- $2.50 at Michael’s

Martha Stewart Multi Surface Satin Acrylic Craft paint-Deep Sea- $2.50 at Michael’s

Martha Stewart Multi Surface Metallic Acrylic Craft paint- Rose Gold- $2.50 at Michael’s

Americana Acrylic paint Sea Breeze- $1.79 at Michael’s

Americana Acrylic paint Coral Blush- $1.79 at Michael’s

Total cost- $13.58 + tax (You can probably find these cheaper at other locations, I just happened to get mine at Michael’s when I was purchasing other items for various projects.)

Paint Brushes in assorted sizes- I have had my paint brushes for years and I cannot remember exactly where I purchased them; probably from Michael’s or some other craft store. You can pick up a package of assorted paint brushes at any craft store or even places like Walmart and Target for less than $10. Keep in mind the cheaper brush sets will not last as long, but for a project like this it won’t hurt to use them.

Total cost- $10 + tax (this is a rough estimate)

Painter’s Tape- I always use the Frog Tape brand when I am painting. For me, it gives me cleaner lines and is easily removed from the surface. Again, I already had this product on hand, but you can get it at Walmart for around $7.

Estimated cost for the entire project- $31 (I rounded up and this does not include tax).

 Step One

Assemble wood pallet canvas and paint the base color.

Wood Pallet tutorial

I chose the Martha Stewart multi surface acrylic paint in wedding cake for my base color. Apply two coats of paint.

And no, this is not a sponsored post. I just really like the color selection in the Martha Stewart line. Martha Stewart has no idea who I am or that I even exist.  :)

Herringbone wood pallet tutorial step 1

This is after one coat of Wedding Cake white paint.

 

Step Two

Using painter’s tape, divide your canvas into four sections.

Herringbone wood pallet tutorial step 2

As you can probably gather from the picture, I eye-balled this and did not measure. My grandfather, who was a skilled carpenter, and taught me to always “measure twice, cut one” is probably rolling over in his grave right now.

I did this intentionally.

I used imperfect and un-level pieces of wood and did not meticulously measure each section because I like to be reminded that you can take imperfect things and create something beautiful out of it.

If I were going to sell this piece, I would have taken the time to ensure everything was perfectly in order; but seeing that this piece of art was going in my own living room, I deliberately chose not to do so.

After you create four sections with painter’s tape, create diagonal lines, starting at the top corner of the far right column, working your way down. Then do the same on the other side, only make your diagonal go in the opposite direction, connecting each in the middle to make a “v.” This creates what looks like several arrow heads pointing downward.

Follow the same procedure in the next section, starting at the top, working your way downward, then toward the left and final column. Again, I eye-balled this. If you want them to be equally spaced apart, I would use a ruler and a level to measure the width between each section, as well as making sure the angles line up nicely.

I’m sorry, y’all… These directions are probably as clear as mud. But the great thing about Frog Tape is that you can remove it and change the angle at anytime without fear of removing paint in the process. If you get confused, feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to answer it as best I can.

 

Step Three

Select a paint color that you want to anchor your piece. I really liked the idea of adding metallics to our decor, so I chose the Martha Stewart multi surface metallic acrylic paint in rose gold.

This is the color you will see most often throughout your herringbone pattern, so make sure it is one you are fond of. :)

Herringbone wood pallet tutorial step 3

I started in the far right corner and initially wanted to make every third section metallic. I changed my mind after painting the second section and opted for every fourth one instead because I wanted the colors to appear somewhat random.

(Side Note: The only intentional pattern I used was a very subtle chevron (which is similar to herringbone) in coral, which you can see in the picture below. You can chose to do this, or opt for something entirely different. It’s really whatever your personal preference may be)

Subtle chevron

 Step Four

Next, you will want to map out the rest of your color pallet.

As I just mentioned, I wanted to sneak in a subtle chevron into the herringbone pattern, so I painted sections 3, 10, 15, and 22 coral. The rest of the sections were completely random.

Herringbone wood pallet tutorial step 4

You will need two coats of paint for each color, except for the metallic, which will require three. Allow one hour between each coat of paint.

 Step Five

After finishing your last coat of paint, per color, it is time to remove the painter’s tape. (Tip: If you wait for it to dry completely, it may be more difficult to remove the painter’s tape and the paint will peel.)

You may need to do some small touch-ups with your base color at this point if your paint bled slightly, or if it peeled while you were removing the painter’s tape.

Herringbone wood pallet tutorial step 5

If you prefer nice, crisp, clean lines, this will be your last step, other than sealing it with finishing wax, which I will go over in just a minute.

However, if you are like me, and want to add a little vintage feel to your canvas, you will have one additional step. It won’t take long. I promise :)

 

Optional Step Six

To distress your new piece of art, take a bit of sandpaper or steel-wool, and rub it vigorously across the canvas. This will slowly strip the paint from the wood, giving it a distressed look. Once you are finished distressing your wood canvas, you will need to seal it.  Apply Minwax Paste Finishing Wax (or something similar) per manufacturer’s instructions, with a rag, and allow it to dry. It dries in about 15 minutes and is practically invisible.

 

Now it’s time to find the perfect spot for your new masterpiece!

 

I’m still waiting on Greg to help me hang this above our couch in the living room, so stay tuned for more pictures :)

 

 Do you like to create your own home decor? What is your favorite DIY project so far?

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Using Fine Fabrics to Transform your Home

The following post contains sponsored content.

 Using Fine Fabrics to Transform your Home

When decorating a room your choice of fabrics is an important consideration. Most people think about the colour and pattern they will use for their soft furnishings, and feature items like sofas but there is more to choosing fabrics than the colour and pattern.

Fabrics pic 1

Here we explain the impact that the fabrics you use will have on the look and feel of your room. We explain the other factors that you need to consider when choosing fabrics for furniture and soft furnishings.

Texture

The right shade and pattern is important, but so is texture. How your room looks is greatly impacted by the texture of the fabrics you choose.

Fabrics pic 2

For example, if you are going for a minimalist look choosing smooth fabrics is the best way to maintain a clean look. A furry cushion would just not look right in this environment.

Fabrics pic 3

On the other hand, if you wanted to add a touch of fun and warmth you might actually want furry cushions. Many people add a touch of colour to their minimalist home using bold colours for a large item of furniture or some soft furnishings. If you do not like bold colours, you can use highly textured fabrics to turn an item of furniture or a window into a focal point for your room.

Fabrics pic 4

The texture of fabrics also affects how it feels and how comfortable a home is. This is an important consideration. For example, if you frequently wear shorts in the house having heavily textured fabric on your sofa is probably not a good idea. It will be fine when you are sitting on the sofa in jeans, but would be uncomfortable in shorts.

Quality

It is always worth investing in high quality fabrics when decorating your home. If you do so, it will pay dividends because you will not have to be constantly replacing your curtains, cushion covers or having your chairs and sofas re-covered.

Fabrics pic 5

The quality of the fabrics you use also has a significant impact on the look and feel of your home. There is no point in decorating a room to a high standard and using cheap fabrics, which will bring the ambience of the room down. Using fine fabrics for interior decoration can transform a basic home into a special one. You can transform a simple terrace house into a luxury home by using high quality fabrics to add a touch of class.

Maintenance

Using good quality fabrics also helps to ensure that your home looks good at all times. Cheap fabrics tend to mark easily and wear fast.

Fabrics pic 6

If you choose high quality fabrics, it will be easier for you to keep them clean and looking good. Modern fabric finishes have transformed luxury fabrics like silk or velvet into something that is practical for use even in a family home. They can be sprayed with finishes that repel dirt, which makes them easier to keep clean.

Fabrics pic 7

You will pay more for fine fabrics, but if you want a home with a luxury feel you can get it simply by upgrading your soft furnishings and re-covering items of furniture you own. Using fine fabrics is actually the most economical way of transforming your home.

 

You just finished reading Using Fine Fabrics to Transform your Home. Consider leaving a comment!

How do you use fabric and texture to decorate your home?

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Cherrio, Y’all!

Grab your passports!

The Cards are going to…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LondonEnglandFlag

 

Well, half of us are going to London, and only for a week. But still, LONDON!!!

Greg and I celebrate ten years of marital bliss in May. We have not taken a trip, just the two of us, since our honeymoonand we are so delighted at the prospect of enjoying our anniversary abroad, in a city where we have longed to visit since we were young.

Greg and I have sacrificed and saved for this trip for a long time, and I cannot believe it is ALMOST HERE! (We will go in November, in the off-season, when it is more affordable to travel to London.)

Why We Chose London

  1. Greg and I can both trace our ancestry back to the United Kingdom.
  2. Neither of us have ever traveled to Europe, and we thought London would make a great first trip.
  3. Greg and I are big history buffs. We plan to visit the British Museums, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Westminster Palace and Westminster Abbey, etc.
  4. We are huge Harry Potter fans, so we will visit Kings Cross Station and more than likely annoy you with far too many pictures of us at Platform 9 3/4. I’m sorry in advance :)
  5. We are obsessed with Downton Abbey and a visit to Highclere Castle is non-negotiable.
  6. I’ve always wanted to ride in a red double-decker bus and take a picture in a London telephone booth.
  7. We would rather walk around a crowded city than lay on a beach all day. Yeah, we’re weird. lol

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Meg's iphone 100

 

Most of all, I cannot wait to spend some quality time, exploring a new city, making new memories, with my man. I know that we could easily do those things here at home, without spending a small fortune, but there is something rather magical about getting to do those things in another country.

 

Have you ever been to London? What advice would you give us?

What are some must see attractions we should visit while we are there?

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How To Achieve The ‘Michelle Money Curl': A Tutorial

So, I get asked all the time on social media about how I curl my hair and if I would be willing to do a hair tutorial on the blog. Y’all flatter me with your compliments, truly, but I honestly feel like I still have much to learn when it comes to hair. I mean, have you checked out these ladies?! (Kate from The Small Things Blog  and Emily from The Freckled Fox) They are the real deal when it comes to hair tutorials. You should definitely check out their blogs. You’ll thank me later. Promise.

But, since you asked, here is a quick run-down on how I do my hair.

Hair

 

Great Hair Starts With Great Hair Care

If you want gorgeous hair, you HAVE to give it the attention it deserves. You can use the best hair products in the world, see the greatest of hair stylists, and still not achieve the hair you want if you don’t take the time to properly care for it. Be sure you are doing the following on a regular basis:

Drink Plenty Of Water

 Dehydration can make your hair appear dry, brittle, and damaged. If you want gorgeous, healthy hair, be sure that you are drinking enough water.

Take Your Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals help to fill in the gaps in our diets. Taking a multi-vitamin that is rich in iron, vitamin D, zinc, and B-complex vitamins have been known to impact hair health.

Trim Those Split-Ends

 While trimming your split ends will not make your hair grow any faster, it will help prevent damage and keep it looking healthy. My stylist recommends coming in every 8-12 weeks for a trim and I try to stay on top of that as much as possible to keep my hair looking its best.

Deep Condition When Necessary

Coconut oil is a staple in our house. I use it in a variety of different ways, but one of my all-time favorites is my deep conditioning hair treatment because it is simple, inexpensive to make, and effective.

DIY Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment

Melt 2 TBSP of organic, virgin & unrefined coconut oil, and add 1-2 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil. (Please note: essential oils are very potent and must be used carefully. It is not necessary to use more than 1-2 drops when making this hair mask and it could, in fact, be harmful if you do. Always err on the side of caution when using essential oils.) I use Ylang Ylang for its fragrance , but also for its uplifting properties as well as its attributed ability to stimulate hair growth.

Coconut oil hair treatment in action

Apply to hair and allow it to soak into your follicles for at least an hour.

Most of the time I will use this treatment once a week, on either Friday or Saturday night, so that I can leave it in overnight.

I wasn’t as good about keeping up with my deep conditioning treatment over the holidays and my stylist definitely noticed the last time I was in for my cut/color. It was so dry, y’all. So I have been doing two treatments a week for the last two weeks to get my hair back in a healthier state. In fact, I am doing a treatment right now as I type out this blog post. (Multi-tasking for the win!)

Okay, now that we’ve covered a few ways to get your hair looking it’s very best, here is the ‘Michelle Money Curl’ #tutorial I found years ago on YouTube after her appearance on The Bachelor. This is exactly how I curl my hair. I’ve tried numerous times and watched countless YouTube videos on how to curl your hair with a flat iron or a curling wand, but I suck at it. I just can’t seem to do it right. So I’m glad I found this gem because I can still get that beachy wave look to my hair by using a curling iron, which seems to be the only way I can curl my hair, no matter how hard I try. hahaha!

 

 That’s my secret! Hope it helps.

Do you have a favorite hair tutorial? Feel free to share it with us!

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The Secret To Living A Defiant Joy: An Interview with Margaret Feinberg

One of my favorite authors, Margaret Feinberg, has been through a brutal fight with cancer and shares the unexpected lessons she discovered along the way in her new book and Bible study Fight Back With Joy.

 

It’s been inspiring to learn how Margaret has been practicing a defiant joy, and I thought you might like to get an insider’s look, a sneak peek of the video and read an interview with Margaret.

 

 

Fight Back With Joy 6-Session DVD Bible Study Promo Video from Margaret Feinberg on Vimeo.

 

Your newest book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, was born out of your fight with a life-threatening illness. What was your difficult diagnosis, and what has your journey to health entailed?

 

For the last 18 months, I’ve been battling breast cancer. Breast cancer isn’t just one disease represents thousands of different diseases with their varying components and factors. Being diagnosed under the age of 40 is significant. I’ve been through a brutal year of chemotherapy, radiation, and more surgeries than I can count or want to remember.

 

Why did you write Fight Back With Joy?

 

I studied joy for a year and was putting the finishing touches on a book on joy—just two weeks from turning it into the publisher, when I received the diagnosis. I had been pursuing and activating joy in my life in the relatively good times, now I had to do it in the midst of darkness, depression, and torturous pain. Through the process, I’ve discovered the breadth, depth, and power of joy—that despite hundreds of sermons and many decades in the church—no one had told me of before.

 

In Fight Back With Joy book and Bible study, you really push the reader to reevaluate their definition of joy. Why do you think this is so important?

 

Much of the teaching I’ve heard on joy over the years is oversimplified. I remember those days in Sunday school learning that JOY is spelled Jesus, Others, Yourself. While that made perfect sense at 9 years old, I’ve seen how distorted that can become as an adult.

 

I see friends who love Jesus but spend so much time pouring into their kids, grandkids and others that their joy looks something like this: jOy.

 

Technically, it still spells joy, but more than anything, these men and women who are so exhausted, so empty, so running on fumes from pouring into others need to pause and take time to focus on themselves. Laying hold of joy right now will require them to reevaluate for a season and discover the joy that comes with JYo.

 

I also noticed how most of the definitions of joy define it more by what it isn’t than by what it is. I constantly heard that happiness is based on circumstance but joy is not dependent on circumstance.

 

Biblical expressions of joy turn out to be far different than what I had been taught. I am now convinced the writers of the Bible would say that, the reason we have joy is because we have great circumstances. If you are a child of God, you are drenched in the grace and mercy of God.

 

No matter what you’re facing: Your circumstances are better than you think.

 

If you’re not experiencing joy, perhaps it’s because your definition of joy is too narrow.

 

On a scale of 1-10, how hard was it for you to write this book and Bible study?

 

An eleven! This journey has been the most painful experience of my life. And, to share about it requires some vulnerability. Okay, a lot of vulnerability. And, that’s really, really hard. But I feel like I’m finally ready to share what God has stirred in my heart along the way because although cancer has been the most painful journey—it has also been the most joyful. And no one is more surprised than I am.

 

Pick up a copy of Fight Back With Joy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble today.

 

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3 Apartment Approved Workouts For When You Can’t Make It To The Gym

Transitioning to apartment living has been a big adjustment for our family. I’m constantly stressing to the boys (Greg included) the importance of treading lightly across the floor so as not to disturb our downstairs neighbors. If I were given a penny for every time I have yelled, “Stop running inside! You sound like a herd of elephants trampling through the apartment!” I would be a millionaire.

Apartment living has dramatically changed the way we approach our daily routine and my workouts are no exception.

If I can be honest, it has been easy to justify not getting in a workout if I cannot get to the gym or go for a run because of inclement weather. I simply tell myself, “Well, I can’t put in a P90X DVD because that means I’ll be jumping around like crazy doing plyometrics. Then our neighbors below us will hate us and call the office and complain. And if they complain too much, we’ll get kicked out. Guess that means no workout today. Bummer.” But here’s the kicker, we live in Texas… we do not have inclement weather all that often, so my excuses are lame. Really, lame.

So, I decided to stop making excuses and created an apartment approved workout that requires no weights and allows you to get in shape, all while being as quiet as a mouse. Please note, I am not a certified personal trainer, and you should always consult a physician before starting any workout routine. That being said, these are moves my personal trainer used with me last year and I simply took the ones that did not need weights or plyometrics, and mix and matched them to come up with three different variations that worked your entire body.

3 Apartment Approved Workouts

 

What are some of your favorite workout routines? I love hearing your feedback!

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Warning: Cuteness Overload Up Ahead

My, oh my. It has been quite awhile since I have updated the blog, and much has happened with our family since my last post. We lost our beloved dog, Coco, a few days before Thanksgiving to cancer. She had been sick for several years and finally lost her battle.

Coco

 

We miss her dearly, as she was with Greg and I from the early months of our marriage, and had been the best of companions throughout five moves, two children, promotions, job changes, the onset of my fibromyalgia, and the addition of our golden retriever, Max.

Greg and I had discussed for years the possibility of getting another golden retriever once Coco passed, but we were not expecting to add another member to our family quite so soon. However, Max became depressed after Coco died and the boys begged for another dog ad nauseam for weeks.

Max 2

 

Given that Christmas was just around the corner, Greg and I thought we would surprise the boys with a puppy for Christmas! We played it off as though we were not getting a new dog until summer and the boys bought it hook, line, and sinker. They had no idea. We loaded them up in the car early (we’re talking 1 am) Christmas Eve and drove to Tennessee, where we picked up this little cutie.

Cali

 

She is the perfect blend of sweet and sassy- which is a necessity if you are going to survive in our family. We are smitten with this precious bundle of energy!

Hayden and Cali Christmas 2014

Christmas also happens to be Hayden’s birthday! He informed us that this was the BEST birthday present in the history of EVER.

 

Cali at 6 weeks old

Cali at 6 weeks old

 

Best of friends

Best of friends

 

Cali at 8 weeks old

Cali at 8 weeks old

 

Max (5 yrs) and Cali (9 weeks)

Max (5 yrs) and Cali (9 weeks)

 

What do you mean, this is not my rope? I stole it, therefore it's mine.

What do you mean, this is not my rope? I stole it, therefore it’s mine.

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It’s good to be back. What have I missed? What’s new with you?!

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Manda’s Fight: Faith Over Fear 5k

This is so that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord’s hand is mighty…

-Joshua 4:24

Cancer.

I cannot think of a single person who has not been affected by it in some way. Even if we have not personally battled this horrendous disease, we know of someone who has: Mothers. Fathers. Husbands. Wives. Sons. Daughters. Brothers. Sisters. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Friends.

Today I want to tell you the story of an inspiring young woman who attends our church.

Her name is Manda and she is by far the strongest woman I know.

Maxwell Family

Meet Aaron, Aiden, Miley, and Manda Maxwell. Photo Credit: Narci D Photography

Manda’s first battle with cancer began when she was only five years old. She beat it.

The cancer resurfaced in 2009 and Manda went to battle once again. Only two short weeks after her son Aiden was born, Manda made the courageous decision to have her leg amputated in an attempt to contain the cancer and prevent it from spreading throughout her body. She fought hard and beat it.

Now, five years later, at the age of 33, Manda is facing cancer for the third time.

I’m going to let that sink in a little.

This is Manda’s third battle with cancer; a task that seems insurmountable.

Several weeks ago Manda found a spot on her spine and after a series of tests, later discovered she will be fighting a rare form of Sarcoma. She is currently undergoing her first round of chemotherapy. The Maxwell’s are confident that the Lord will sustain them in the difficult journey that lies up ahead, and we, as fellow brothers and sister in Christ are determined to shower them with love and support along the way.

Manda Strong 5k

If you live in the DFW area, this is one way you can make a tangible difference in the Maxwell’s life. As a community, we have decided to come together and rally behind this incredible family in the Faith over Fear 5k and 1 mile fun run that will take place Saturday December 13th at Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch (located in McKinney, TX).  Proceeds will directly support the Maxwell family as Manda seeks treatment and battles for her life once again.

Click here to register.

Details

5K and 1 Mile Fun Run benefiting the Maxwell Family

Packet pickup: Friday December 12 from 1:00pm to 7:00pm at Cooper Fitness Craig Ranch

5K to start at 9:00 am
Fun Run to start at 9:30 am

Race Location: Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch  7910 Collin McKinney Pkwy 75070

Bounce House, Music, Food, Vendors, etc…

Greg and I will both be participating in the 5k race and we would love, love, love to meet you!

Whether you are a competitive runner or not, you will not want to miss this race.

You can also find more information about the event, as well as receive updates on Manda’s condition at:

Faith over Fear 5k Facebook Page

Manda Strong Facebook Page

If you do not live in the DFW area and would still like to support the Maxwell family, you can make a donation here.

Maxwell Family 2

Photo courtesy of the Manda Strong Facebook page

 

There is strong.

Then there is #mandastrong

20 Verses to Read When You Feel Rushed

Perhaps you are like me and you feel that you are caught up in the perpetual rat race called ‘life’. You are constantly rushing from one event to the next; barely stopping long enough to shove that glorious spicy Chick-fil-A sandwich in your mouth as you pull up into the car pick up line at the elementary school mid-afternoon. You have been running ragged since your feet hit the floor this morning. Scrubbing the kitchen floors, sanitizing bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, making beds, and tackling that endless pile of laundry. You have been so busy you even forgot to shower. For the third day in a row. Moms are a disgusting breed. Okay, maybe it’s just me. But surely I can’t be the only one, right?

I feel like I can’t keep up with the demands. I get up early so I can spend time with my sweet Jesus and you know what happens? I get distracted by my never-ending to-do list and cut our time short. I long to spend hours sitting at His feet and here lately I’m lucky to get in a good 10 minutes, at best. Today the Lord gifted me with some extra time in the middle of my day and lo and behold, guess which topic He addressed? My tendency to rush through my day. The following verses both convicted me and left me encouraged. I wanted to share them with you. It is my hope that they encourage you as well.

 

rushed

 

… God is not a God of disorder but of peace. – 1 Corinthians 14:33

“Certainly, man walks about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they frantically rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them. Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.” – Psalm 39:6-7

Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

Yes, Yahweh, we wait for You in the path of Your judgments. Our desire is for Your name and renown. – Isaiah 26:8

I will wait for Yahweh; I will wait and put my hope in His word. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning- more than watchmen for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with Him is redemption in abundance.                    – Psalm 130:5-7

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long. – Psalm 25:5

We wait for Yahweh; He is our help and shield.- Psalm 33:20

Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans. – Psalm 37:7

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. – Proverbs 12:25

I will praise You forever for what You have done. In the presence of Your faithful people, I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good.               – Psalm 52:9

Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. – Psalm 62:5

Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27:14

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.               – Philippians 4:6

Endurance produces proven character, proven character produces hope. – Romans 5:4

I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry for help. – Psalm 40:1

Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. All who wait patiently for Him are happy. – Isaiah 30:18

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him; to the person who seeks Him. – Lamentations 3:26

But I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. -Micah 7:7

And here is a bonus because I absolutely love the picture of God’s providence in this passage:

Lord, Your faithful love reaches to heaven, Your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains; Your judgments, like the deepest sea. Lord, Your preserve man and beast. God, Your faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They are filled from the abundance of Your house; You let them drink from Your refreshing stream, for with You is life’s fountain. In You we will see light. Spread Your faithful love over those who know You, and Your righteousness over the upright in heart. – Psalm 36:5-10

Which passages of Scripture do you turn to when you feel hurried or stressed?

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Duplicity of Heart

I started my morning with a crappy attitude. Can I say “crap” on the blog? Well, I just did. If you are offended, I’m sorry, but it’s the God-honest truth. My attitude sucked. Why? Because quite frankly, I’m tired. I’m worn out. I’m ready to tap out. I’m done. I have spent ten looooong years swinging from one trial to the next and I woke up this morning tempted to shake my fist at God and demand, “Where is my fairy-tale, God?” “What on earth did I do to deserve this, God?” “How much longer must I suffer, God?” “Are you even listening to me?”

I’m so glad God is patient with me and my moody self and doesn’t give me the spiritual spanking my poor attitude clearly deserves. As I sat in my favorite spot on the couch, drinking my coffee, I reluctantly grabbed my Bible. I didn’t want to commune with God this morning. I really  didn’t. I wanted to be angry with Him. I wanted Him to know how much I didn’t appreciate all of the junk I have had to endure lately. I wanted Him to know that my broken heart cannot bear the weight of any more suffering. I wanted Him to know that I needed a break– that I need something to go right for once.

Waah. Waah. Waah. My pity party train was on a roll. Next stop… Humbleville.

I opened my journal, flipping through the pages in search of my last entry, when the following words from my September 10th entry caught my attention.

We want God’s mercy without His justice.

We want God’s grace without His holiness.

We want God’s favor without His skillful pruning.

We want God’s goodness without His discipline.

We want God’s blessings without the accompanied suffering.

We desire our independence and scorn any measure of dependence.

We want the presents of God far more than we want the presence of God.

We want the resurrection without the death.

We praise God’s faithfulness when our bank accounts are padded, our retirement fund secure, our health is in tact, and our futures seem bright. The moment we come face to face with loss of any kind, we place God Almighty on the witness stand and call into question His very being. How could such a loving God allow me to suffer like this? We begin to question His Sovereignty. We question His goodness. We question His undying love for us. We question His grace. We question His mercy. He question His faithfulness. 

The moment we are stripped of all that we cling to and expose the idols of our worship, we begin to unveil a duplicity of heart.

We cannot possibly fathom God’s use of suffering for our benefit. It’s not in our nature. We want nothing to do with it. And the moment God approaches you with pruning shears, you run in the opposite direction. I know I do. It takes a surrendered heart to willingly sit through God’s pruning. But take heart, dear one, suffering, when placed in the tender, skillful hands of the Father, produces fruitfulness.

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

John 15: 1-2 [emphasis added]

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Galatians 5: 22-24

So, if you find yourself in a season of pruning, like me, and you are tempted to shake your fist in anger because you cannot understand why it is you are suffering, know that it is not in vain. God delicately cuts away all that is not of Him, so that what is left, over time, bears the image of Christ Jesus. Don’t be discouraged if  you are left feeling sparse, raw, and exposed. It’s part of the process. Trust it. It’s for your good, even though you may not be able to see it yet. A time is coming when you will blossom into a radiant image of Jesus, full of His glory, set apart for His purpose.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

God, help me to willingly submit myself to Your pruning shears. It’s a hard, yet necessary, process to becoming more like You. Help me to view suffering as both a gift and a blessing (Philippians 1:29), used to produce a fruitful harvest that is pleasing in Your sight. Help me to not grow weary, but to rest in the fullness of Your presence. Give me strength for today, as I have none. Fill me with Your Spirit that I may be broken and poured out for Your glory and Your kingdom purposes. Amen.

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