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The Pocket Blessings craft for March is paper bunting. We are filling teeny baskets with little bunting  with the word Hope to put inside because Easter is upon us and because of Jesus, we have hope.

There are various ways and supplies and sizes that can be used to make bunting. We are using paper and ribbon + twine to make them in triangles and flags about 3" x 1.5" and embellishing them with embossed + stamped / stickered / handwritten letters.

Here are few basic tutorials if you need some inspiration for making your own:

Easter is about bringing hope to the hopeless. It is about celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ. We want to remind the recipients of the hope that is found in Jesus because of his death and resurrection. For surely, hope can change everything.

Hope weaves itself in to the bits of glitter in the hard times and points others to God's saving grace. Hope perseveres because of the promises and goodness to come. Hope rises past the hurts and hold ups and grudges and points to the bigger picture.

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. Romans 15:13a

God is a God of hope. He fills and gives and pours and mixes according to our needs of peace and joy and love. He is the ultimate giver.

Praying that you see God will fill you will hope as you go about Easter and that it would overflow through the power of the holy spirit. Praying that you would be a witness throughout your community of the hope of Jesus and if you have yet to put your hope in him, that you would see the beauty in the offer.

Here's to new found hope and overflowing of joy and peace.  

And of course, here's a little tag to attach to your baskets. Click to download. 

For more info about Pocket Blessings, click here.
A friend was recently admitted to the hospital due to pregnancy issues. After my immediate shock and sadness for her, my second thought was how exciting that God is moving her family in to a new place to minister. Not a place they chose to be but a special place none the less because God chose it just for them.

So often people consider missionaries only as those who go overseas but we are called to minister to those around us.

Jesus' ministry was organic. It was those around him that he taught and blessed and healed, as he traveled and ate and roamed. He did not first go to the women's ministry meeting and then to the men's and children's and the youth group. He taught to those around him and went where others asked him to go. The woman at the well (John 4). The home of Jairus (Matthew 9). The centurion (Matthew 8).

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Yes, ministry is important in regards to our culture and church context and God calls us to join certain ones and lead in that aspect for a season but our lives are our ministry. The school your child attends. The office you go to daily. The library you frequent. The parks your child plays at. The coffee shop that supplies your daily pick me up. These are the organic relationships that have potential to change eternity. To give hope. To give a future.

You may never be called overseas to teach about Jesus to another culture but God may call you to a mission field you never imagined or wanted. A new cubicle after being let go from a company. A hospital bed after a diagnosis. A visitors pass to a prison. A frequenter of a cemetery.

These are mission fields. And they need you at the perfect time God calls you to them. Here I am by Downhere, fits accordingly. Have a listen. 

Here I am, 
Lord send me 
All of my life, 
I make an offering

Praying that you will see past the mirage of what a missionary should look like in the present day and instead would see the beauty in the heart of the calling Jesus offers. Praying that the holy spirit would guide and direct and give instruction as to where to stop and what to say and what to do. Praying you would enjoy the leading and following of the relationship and would walk in obedience to follow. Praying that you would follow the prompting to ask the mom at soccer practice if you can pray for her or to pay for the elderly woman's grocery that is behind you or writing an encouraging note and sending it in the mail. Praying you would follow the teeny Spirit inspired thoughts that come up throughout the course of the day that do not make sense at the time. 

Praying that you would trust God to show up in the midst of these promptings that you do not understand because his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Praying you would put your faith on your sleeve and bring glory to God.

Here's to your status as a missionary. Here's to prayers and blessings on the field that you are currently serving. 

And a little 8 x 10 printable as an encouragement in the words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 6:8). Click to download. 

When I found out Francis Chan was coming out with a book on marriage, co - written with his wife, I was super excited (if I have not yet mentioned, Crazy Love is my FAVORITE book ever). You and Me Forever found its way under our tree for Christmas and my husband and I have been reading through it together. This past Friday we launched it with our life group, which was really, really exciting, like I could not fall asleep the other night because I was really excited. All that being said, marriage has been on my mind lately and I have been fervently praying for yours.

Marriage can be easily be entered with rose colored glasses until the faults and let downs come, which allows you to choose to comfort with grace and love or to tear down with anger. It has the opportunity to enhance your life or ruin you. It can be a blessing or feel like a curse or nothing at all. It can be full of adventure and fun or brimming with frustration and self. The choice is entirely up to the parties involved. How much work one is willing to give and how much grace there is to offer.

One of my favorite songs on marriage is Dancing in the Minefields by Andrew Peterson, perhaps because the lyrics are similar to our story or maybe it is the way he so eloquently weaves Christ and salvation in, too - whatever the reason, it is beautiful. Have a listen.

"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end

But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin

'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

Marriage is about laying yourself down for another. Day after day. Not just to sleep next to or keep a warm spot on the right side of the bed. It is a constant laying down of your self. Laying down your pride and entitlement and putting on humility and servitude. Marriage is a means to transform you in to the likeness of Christ. It is meant to be an example of how Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25).

Praying that you would seek Christ first and in turn would see the transformation that occurs in your marriage. Praying that Christ would be the head of your marriage and that unity and love would abound more and more. Praying that you would have eyes to see your spouse as an opportunity to serve God and that it would change the way you approach situations. Praying that your marriage would draw you closer to God and that it would have a ripple effect on those around you, impacting the eternity of others for God's glory.

Praying that you would see hope in a seemingly hopeless marriage. Praying that you would seek wise counsel where needed and that love would cover a multitude of sin and unforgiveness. Praying that your eyes would be opened to your short comings and failures and that your spouse would meet you where you are at and that God would fill you to overflowing with ways to overcome them. 

Here's to reflecting Christ in your marriage and building unity.