Book Review - Set - Apart Feminity

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"The Preoccupations of women doesn't seem to change much from generation to generation, but in every generation there seem to be a few who make other choices." ~Elisabeth Elliot

This book will always be a favorite of mine. After reading this book I have been convicted of many things.  For me this book has marked a turning point in my walk with God and I want to encourage you to read it too.

What I loved most about this book were all the stories Leslie shares about extraordinary women living Set Apart Lives for Christ. She makes me want to to read more about these missionaries (Amy Carmichael, Catherine Booth, Gladys Alward...)

 I loved how Leslie shares her story and many of the lessons she has learned.  Most of these lessons being learned the hard way.  Throughout the book she is constantly calling out to her readers to give their all to Jesus and live a life Set Apart for God.  As I  read this book a certain verse kept running through my mind.

"Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me." Luke 9:23

It doesn't matter where you live.  You don't have to be a missionary to make an impact on the world for Christ.  Leslie gives some great insight into how we can live our lives for Jesus right now. 

She has truly inspired me.  I don't want to be numbered with those living with one foot in the world who try to balance the things of this world with the things of God. I desire to be among the few who rise up and live a life completely Set Apart for God.

"The sparkle of set-apart femininity is found through absolute abandonment to the Author of all true beauty, It's found by exchanging a life consumed with self for a life consumed with Jesus Christ, by trading the desire to be attractive to the world for the longing to be attractive to Him alone."  ~ Set - Apart Femininity

Through this book I have found out about the Set Apart Girl Website and I have subscribed to the Set Apart Girl Magazine.  You can learn more about Set Apart Girl here:

DIY - Painted Mason Jars

Monday, February 22, 2016

Recently I bought a set of water color markers and gel pens, but I didn't quite know where to store them.  

I'm in the process of adding ice blue/mint green accents to my room so I knew that I needed to either find something or make something in that color that would work for storing my art supplies.

I love finding things you can re-purpose for new uses.  Painted mason jars has been on my list of DIYs to try and they just happened to be a perfect solution for organizing my art supplies. Another plus is we always have lots of mason jars because my mom loves to use them for storage. So a trip to the store was not necessary for this simple project.

I found three mason Jars, two big ones and one small one, and mixed up some DIY chalk paint (I used the same paint I used for my DIY Crackle Picture Frame). I decided to mix some white paint into my blueish green paint to give my jars a lighter pastel color.  

I only did one coat of paint but if you want a smoother and thicker look to your jars I would recommend doing two coats.  I was going for a rustic vintage look with my jars.  

Once they are dry you can decorate them however you desire.  I used sandpaper to rub off the paint over the brand name. I also used white chalk and rubbed the chalk over the paint to add a little extra color and texture.  Lastly I finished off my jars by adding some burlap and lace to the big jars and leaving the small one plain.

Once they were all finished I divided my pens and markers into the jars and found the perfect home for my jars on my bed stand.  I'm really pleased with how my jars turned out and was surprised at how easy it was to make these jars.

This is a fun and easy project for anyone looking for creative ways to organize and decorate.  

The Cutest Cupcakes

Monday, February 15, 2016

On Saturday my sister made these adorable cupcakes for Valentine's Day. She followed this tutorial she found on Pinterest.  I couldn't resist taking out my camera and snapping some pictures.  

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and enjoyed wonderful fellowship time with those you love.  I hope chocolate and cute cupcakes were a part of your Valentine's Day too. 

The Blessings of Being Single on Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Being a single girl on Valentine's Day is tough. We want to ignore this holiday until we find that special someone to spend it with. Everywhere we go we are reminded of this day that celebrates love.  From ads that pop up while your online, friends who are in a relationships, or even just walking through the Valentine's Day aisle at the grocery store full of gushy Valentine's candy. It's as if everywhere we go we are constantly reminded of the love that we as singles are 'missing out' on.

Valentine's Day has never really had much meaning to me. When I was little it was a fun day when you get to give candy to your friends, but receiving candy was the best part. Valentines Day has also been a day to have fun with my girlfriends who are also single. I dream about the day when I will have that special someone to buy me flowers and make me feel loved. Then, when my dreams finally come true, this will be a holiday I will always look forward to.

If your single this Valentine's Day, I challenge you to have a different perspective. Too often we fall into the world's way of thinking that if were just in a relationship we'd be happy. If we could just find our 'happily ever after' all would be well. But the truth is, we would still be unhappy and discontent even if we had this.

When our happiness depends on the things of this world we will never be satisfied. The happiness we get from the world is fleeting and only leaves us desiring more. True happiness and contentment can only be found in having a relationship with God.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

With this in mind, as we think about Valentine's Day, don't feel sorry for yourself for being single. In fact, Valentine's Day for us single girls should be an extra-special day. We, unlike women in a relationship, can give ourselves wholly to God on this day. Our king, who loves us more than any man ever could, sent His own Son to die that we might live. He longs for us to spend time with Him that He might shower down upon us His love.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

One of my favorite aspects about Valentine's Day that I dream about is receiving love letters from the one I love. Even though we may have to wait for the Lord's timing in writing our love story, we don't have to miss out on receiving love letters on this special day, because our King has written to us the most beautiful love letter. God's Word is often times viewed as a handbook that is full of the dos and don'ts of this life. But God's Word is so much more to us. In the Bible we find God's promises and His declaration of His love for us.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

God's love letters to us is not just for Valentine's day, but for everyday in our lives.
So, this Valentine's Day, we can rejoice in being single because we already have the best love story we could ask with a God whose love for us is never ending. Our love story with God is the 'happily ever after' our hearts have always longed for.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." Jeremiah 31:3

This Valentine's Day, spend it with the one who loves you with an everlasting love - God. His love can never be compared to any earthly love.

As I end, I just have to say how ironic it is that Valentine's Day this year is on a Sunday. How perfect that we get to spend this day in the house of God, worshiping Him and learning more about His great love for us.

Happy Valentine's Day!

DIY - Crackle Paint Picture Frame

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I think it's about time for another tutorial.  My desk has kinda become a place for all kinds of clutter but I have also found that it's the best place for all of my picture frames.  Sitting on my desk the past few days has been a Bible verse "postcard" which I bought a few weeks ago. You can see it in the picture above.  
1 Corinthians 13:13  has always been one of my favorite Bible verses so I was anxious to find a place to display it in my room.

I searched for the perfect frame at the thrift store, because I'm the kind of girl who hates paying full price for simple things that you can find cheap at a thrift store.  I found a frame that had the right measurements but I wasn't too big on the paint job someone had given the frame (as you can see in the picture below).

I was about to put the frame back when I had a great idea! I figured it would be simple enough to paint over the frame. I purchased the frame for under five dollars and was excited to have a new craft project to work on.

I looked around online and I found some really helpful tutorials on how to make chalk paint and I even found a tutorial on how to make crackle paint. Since I was really in the creative mood I decided to have fun and experiment with these two tutorials.

These are the Tutorials I found helpful:

Below is my own tutorial of how I painted my frame.  

First I had to paint over the previous paint job. Since I decided to make my frame with DIY crackle paint the base color needed to be the color I wanted to show through underneath the main color.  I chose white and since white is such a light color my frame needed about 2-3 coats of paint.  

I added a small amount of plaster and water to my ice blue/green acrylic paint to make my own DIY version of chalk paint.  You can find the exact measurements for creating your own chalk paint in one of the links above.

I experimented with the crackling technique on some cardboard I found lying around in the craft room where I was working. I was skeptical at first.  It seemed too easy and I wasn't quite sure if it was going to work.  But to my surprise when the paint started to dry it crackled. 

To get the crackle effect all you have to do is simply coat your board, or whatever your project is, in my case a frame, with...  Are you ready?  Prepare to be blown away by how crazy simple it is... ELMER'S CRAFT GLUE!  You can also use any other less popular brand of glue that you are bound to have in one of your craft drawers or with the school supplies.

Once I coated my frame in a thin layer of glue I let it sit for about 1-2 minutes.  I was listening to music while I worked so I figured once the song that had just started was over, it would be ready for the next step.

You want the glue to still be wet when you paint over it.  I used my homemade chalk paint but just plain acrylics will do the trick just fine.  Simply paint over the glue. It's as simple as that.

Then the magic happens. It truly is just like magic. After as little as one minute you will start to see the paint crackling as it drys and the color you chose for underneath starts to show through.  

Once it was all dry I put my picture in the frame and found the perfect spot on my desk for my new frame.  I'm in love with my new frame. I still can't believe how simple it was to get such an amazing end result.

I hope that you find this tutorial helpful.  I always love being able to learn new things and I hope this is true of you too.  

Being Faithful with the Little Things

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I have a longing in my heart to do great things for God.  Each night I pray for God to use me and to show me where He wants me to serve.

I have this idea in my head that to serve God I need to be doing something other than just the everyday tasks of life that can often become boring and feel so very unimportant at times.

But God's been teaching me something.  I've prayed for God to show me a place where I can serve and be used by Him but no doors have opened.  Because of this I too often find myself with an attitude that does not find joy in serving God because I can't serve Him in the big ways that I desire too.

But my perspective is changing.  I'm still praying for God's guidance in my life and God has been teaching me that I need to serve Him always.  No matter how simple or silly the little things may seem I need to serve Him in those areas of my life as well.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters," Colossians 3:23

"His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master." Matthew 25:21

How can I ever hope to do great things for God and to be able to serve God in great ways if I never take the time to give glory to God in the little things of life.  If I truly want to be used by God to do great things first I need to honor Him with how I serve Him now with the little things.

Then on that day when I get to see God face to face, He will bestow upon me the words my heart longs to hear,  "Well done my good and faithful servant."