“It is Time!” for 10 Unforgettable Wedding Gift Ideas

"It is Time" Wedding Greeting Card

“It is Time” Wedding Greeting Card

Weddings are so much fun!  It is such a joyous time full of laughter, slideshows, dancing, clanging of glasses, and disastrous toasts!  I absolutely love them!  It is such an honor to be invited to one of the, if not greatest, milestones in your friend’s life.

Not only that, you get to witness a ceremony that was ultimately designed to point us all to a Christian’s relationship with Jesus Christ!

I don’t know about you, but Maffrine and I are in the stage of life when many…and I mean MANY…of our friends are getting hitched!  So we are super excited to be in the process of designing a series of wedding cards for these oh so happy occasions!

Our first card is titled “It is Time!”  We drew the design from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which begins with:

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…”

And sure enough, this IS wedding season – with at least one wedding each month this summer!  Just the thought of this makes me giddy for all the happy couples!

This celebratory feeling is what we wanted to catch in this first wedding card.  With an overarching banner, flowing streamers, flying confetti, and dancing lights, this classy but fun card is a card that your friends will remember.

Along with a card, though, we all need to buy wedding presents.  Registries are a great resource, because we won’t have to worry about whether or not our friends will like the gift.  Money is also always appreciated.  However, you might be wondering:

“What if I want to get something that will make a lasting impression?  What are some gifts that the newlyweds will really appreciate and even remember me by?”  

Well, I am so glad you asked!  Counting down to our favorite, here are 10 unforgettable wedding gift ideas for you!

 

10. Intersection of Love

Intersection of Love

This personalized print can add an intimate touch to any new home.  (www.uncommongoods.com)

 

 9. Joy of Cooking

photo-2014-06-19-13-48-49-117This amazing resource not only provides recipes but elementary principles of food prep and food science!  I received this book for my wedding, and I definitely have appreciated it, particularly its baking section! (www.amazon.com)

 

8. Board/Card Games

photo-2014-06-19-16-16-05-929If your friends are anything like me and my husband, they would love to play board/card games together and with friends.  What better way to help them start a game collection than to get them some of your favorite games for their wedding?  Here are just a few of Adam’s and my favorite ones (all available at your local game store or on amazon.com):

  • Sequence
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Killer Bunnies
  • Skip-Bo
  • Phase 10

 

7. Herbs

herb-garden1For your friends who have a green thumb, you might want to help them start an herb garden for those romantic candlelight dinners at home.  (www.lowes.com)

 

6. Anniversary Wine Box

Anniversary wine boxIf your friends are into wine, this gift is something that they can look forward to multiple times and years down the road.  (www.wineforawedding.com, www.uncommongoods.com)

 

5. Personalized Marriage Crock

photo-2014-06-19-16-08-09-356This gift was given to us for our wedding, and we absolutely love it!  We had registered for a plain crock but returned it as soon as we received this one.  We felt it gave a special warmth to our kitchen, and, since I use it everyday, I often think of the couple who gave it to us.  =)  (www.zotterthepotter.com)

 

4. Coffee/Tea Subscription

photo-2014-06-19-18-41-03-724For the coffee/tea lovers, this gift would be a pleasant surprise on their doorstep.  No kitchen feels right without the intoxicating aroma of freshly brewed coffee or the calming scent of a just-opened tin of tea leaves.  (www.intelligentsiacoffee.com, www.teavana.com)

 

3. Postage for Thank You Cards

 

This novel idea will have your friends saying, “Thank you!” over and over again!!  (Pun intended!  ;D; www.usps.com)

 

2. Personalized stamps

photo-2014-06-19-16-05-15-125With a new address and a new name, your friends will be in need of a set of new personalized stamps.  This could consist of a stamp with their new address and stamps that say, “From the kitchen of…”, “From the library of…”, and/or “From the garden of…”.  I recently just ordered a stamp for our own library from www.2impress.etsy.com.

 

1. Cooking classes

photo-2014-06-19-18-20-20-672There are few dates that are better than a date involving cooking!  This unique gift will be a tangible experience that they will remember for years to come.  Plus, it will be an excuse for you to have them invite you over for dinner!  Places that offer cooking classes differ from area to area, but they are there!

 

– Ophelia

2 Letters, 2 Lessons, & 2 Video Messages: What a College Student Learned from Her Father

My dad's letters to me

My dad’s letters to me

A few weeks ago, when I was putting my home office together, I found 2 letters that my dad wrote during my college years.  The first letter was to me; and the second letter was to both me and my sister.  As I read through these, I was touched once again by my dad’s genuine desire to guide and protect his daughters.  I was also reminded of the 2 lessons that he had wanted to pass down to us at the time.

However, last week, my mom called me and asked me to create a video message for my parents’ Father’s Day celebration.  The women and children of the church were putting together a collection of video messages for all the fathers in the church.  This past Sunday, they actually played these videos as part of their service.

At first, I said, “Uh…no!”.  Being on video is not on the list of my top favorite things to do.  However, I realized that this afforded me the opportunity to express my appreciation to my dad for the letters he wrote so many years ago, so I made a video…but then, it turned out it was way too long.   So…I dragged Adam into the project, and we made a second shorter video.  Then, we submitted both videos to my mom – the longer one for my dad’s personal viewing, and the shorter one for the church’s viewing.

While I am a little nervous of putting these two videos up on the internet (my first time!), I want to honor my dad by sharing these letters, lessons, and video messages with you this Father’s Day.

Maybe, one day, I will get to write letters to my own children.  =)

– Ophelia

5 Valuable Verses that I Keep Bookmarked in My Bible

photo-2014-05-28-12-06-09-312

Last week, we posted about what NOT to say to someone who is sick.  This week, our post reveals tools that will help you come up with what to say to someone who is sick or facing some other type of trial.  In fact, these tools can be used for speaking to yourself when you are in need of encouragement.

“What are these tools?”, you ask.  They are 5 valuable verses that I keep bookmarked in my Bible.

Over the weekend, I had the joy of sharing these verses with a friend over Skype.  She has been going through several new health problems that affect her daily wellness and quality of life.  I was so encouraged by her attitude through it all.  Instead of anger or depression, this precious friend clung to the truths that she came to love and live by.  Of course, there were many tears, but, in the midst of the grief and exhaustion, she sought comfort in God’s Word.  In our conversation, she asked me to share with her the Scripture passages that I turn to when I struggle with my illness.

I have turned to the following verses so many times for comfort and strength that I decided long ago to keep them bookmarked in my Bible (see all those colorful tabs?).  They have continually helped me grow in perseverance and trust in God, so I was glad of the opportunity to share them with a beloved friend.

I am also glad for the opportunity to share them with you on this post and pray that they will assist you in either in your time of need or your friend’s.


1) Psalm 73:25-26, 28

“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

But for me it is good to be near God;

    I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.”*

We have all failed in time of trouble to respond with joy and trust in the Lord.  And we have all felt during those times that our greatest need or desire is to be relieved of the problem.  This passage reminds us that God is all we need, and, even when we fail to recognize that, He is near to get us through the trial.

 

2) 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

   “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”*

Similar to the previous passage, these verses can inspire someone who is sick to depend more on Christ.  His grace and His power are both limitless!  It is overwhelming to think that He supplies us with that grace and infuses us with that power!  May the reading of these verses temper any downtrodden spirit whether it be yours or your friend’s.

 

3) Isaiah 40:28-31

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”*

Chronic fatigue is one of the symptoms of both lupus and fibromyalgia.  Oftentimes, this fatigue interrupts my day and prevents me from accomplishing things.  This is also the case with the friend I mentioned earlier.  When this happens, it is so easy for us to become discouraged, but this passage (one of my personal favorites), assures us that God will supply us the strength.  It might not be the strength to complete our to-do list, but it is the strength to endure.

 

4) Philippians 4:6-8

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”*

When dealing with an illness, there can be a lot of unknowns and a lot of uncertainty regarding the future.  I can attest to the fact that it is incredibly easy to become anxious and think of things that are not true.  There can be a whole movie in my head about how sick I will get, how my hospital stay will be, and how my family will miss me when I die…I know…I know…Needless to say, this self-centered thinking is not how God would like me or any sick individual to respond to life’s unknowns.  This passage can anchor us to what is true in our lives and what we know to be truth in God’s Word.  Only when we dwell on God’s truth and seek Him in prayer that we have His peace.

 

5) 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:9

   “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

  For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

  So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”*

Hope is a powerful thing.  This passage of hope reminds me and anyone who is ill that our broken bodies are only temporary.  We don’t have to deal with them for very long!  Paul, the author, speaks of the hope of an eternal tent, an eternal body, pledged to us by God Himself.  The thought of that day when my body will not suffer pain and fatigue (what an amazing thought!) prompts me to leap for joy!  It never fails to instill in me courage and determination – courage to endure the physical trial and determination to overcome it.


There are so many other passages that can act as lifesavers to those who feel they are drowning in their troubles.  These five are just a few of my regular go-to’s.  As much as I want to, I decided not to comment on more.  However, I would like to list a few more “chicken soup” verses for the soul that you can read and share on your own time.

Psalm 94:19

Psalm 139:13-16

Romans 6:18-39

1 Corinthians 15:50-58

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

2 Corinthians 4:6-11

Philippians 3:20-21

Philippians 4:11-13

Hebrews 4:15-16

James 1:2-4, 12

1 Peter 1:6-7

Our goal at Intwine Paperie is to cultivate and facilitate the ministry of encouraging words.  Please let us know if this post has encouraged you or if you were able to use the tools mentioned in it to encourage someone else.   We would love to hear about how God’s promises are manifesting in your life!

– Ophelia

 

*English Standard Version

What NOT to Say to Someone Who’s Sick

photo-2014-05-28-17-34-06-25I just finished writing a birthday card to my sister Carina, who is going through, in my opinion, one of the most difficult trials a person can experience in life.  This year, her birthday will not be like what she had expected.  Rather than celebrating, probably at a nice restaurant with her husband and her precious 3-year-old son, she is on strict bed rest, only able to get up to use the restroom and not even able to sit up for too long.

What do you say to someone like her?  Someone who is going through physical and emotional pain?  What do you write on that birthday or get well card?  Or, another question would be: what do you not write or say?

As someone who has a chronic illness and often battles her own discouraging thoughts and emotions, I have been a recipient of many comforting and thoughtful messages from friends, family members, and mentors.  These messages have carried me through many trying days of fatigue and pain.  However, I have also been a recipient of words that were less than thought-through – words that were (usually) well-meaning, but ultimately were hurtful rather than helpful.

I do not hold these words against the people who spoke them.  In fact, I thank them for attempting to aid me in dark times.  The fact is that, if one has not been through a physical trial, it is impossible to truly empathize, and, as a result, trying to give comfort can end up having the opposite effect.

Maybe you have experienced what I have experienced.  Maybe you are currently in the midst of a physical trial like my sister.

Or maybe you are on the other side of things, knowing someone who is dealing with health issues and wanting desperately to bring comfort and peace.  However, as I implied earlier, words can be tricky, and you may not know what to say.  While I am not an expert counselor and I definitely have not had a perfect record when it comes to saying the right things, I have been on the receiving end of both uplifting and not-so-uplifting words during my continuous struggle with my diseases.  Therefore, I would like to help you come up with the appropriate words to say by giving you three general categories of what not to say to someone who’s sick.

 

Comments on Changes in Appearance/Lifestyle

When I was diagnosed with lupus in 8th grade, I had to take a medicine that made me gain weight.  I literally swelled up, especially around my face.  By the time my first semester of high school began, I became almost unrecognizable to my classmates who I had not seen all summer.  Most people just took a few seconds to overcome their initial shock.  There was that one boy, however, that shouted, “That’s Ophy?!”; and there was that one lady that asked, “Did you gain weight?!”…=p  You might be thinking, “I would never be that obvious or rude.”  And you are probably right, so here’s another example.

One of the symptoms of lupus is sun sensitivity, so I often carry an umbrella when I am outdoors.  I cannot count the number of times people have said to me, “Haha, you expecting rain?”  Now, they probably did not mean to make fun and were just curious as to why I would be using an umbrella in sunny 92° weather.  In fact, most of these people didn’t know that UV rays made me sick.  However, it is careless comments like these that make it really difficult for someone to not feel alone and even discontent.

Rather than making needless comments on changes in appearance or lifestyle, first determine whether or not it is wise to say anything at all.  Consider to whom you are addressing.  Is he/she a good friend with whom you can talk about sensitive and personal issues or is he/she just an acquaintance?  Also, ask yourself, “Would my comments be made out of a concern for this person or out of my own curiosity?”  If it is the latter, then it is best to not say anything.

 

Medical/Lifestyle Advice to “Fix” the Problem

I am sure we can all relate with the desire to fix a problem when we see it.  However, when it comes to health issues, it is easy to make suggestions or provide advice that are, quite frankly, unwanted and unhelpful.  For those of us who are sick, we know our physical limits and what we need to do to take care of ourselves (whether or not we actually do it is another matter), so comments like, “Make sure you get your rest” or “Try not to be too stressed” can be superfluous and wearisome.  Again, we understand that these statements are well-meaning, but the way they are said and the type of relationship one has with the sick person matter.

Furthermore, suggestions of alternative medicine and lifestyles can also be vexing.  There are so many alternative treatments and lifestyles, it is hard to keep track.  Your sick friend may or may not be ready to make such major changes.  He/she may also have tried so many of these other options without success that the thought of yet another change can be discouraging.  The best and only time to propose a different type of treatment or way of life is if you have personally and successfully tried it yourself.  If you can personally testify to its effectiveness and, in addition, are willing to take the time to support and guide your friend through this major change, then, by all means, provide the applicable information.  Just keep in mind that not everyone is willing or ready to do what you have done.

 

Trite Spiritual Remarks

As Christians, it is a joy and a comfort to be able to turn to biblical truths for support and guidance, and we often need a brother or sister to point us to those truths.  This is particular true in life’s most distressing moments.  However, we all need to be careful with exactly what we say and how we say it when attempting to present Scripture to a suffering person.  Off-the-cuff remarks like, “Trust in God” and “God is with you” can be stale and even frustrating for people who know these truths in their head but are still laboring to reconcile them with their condition in their heart.

An example of a time when I was blessed by someone bringing me spiritual truth was the day I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I was overwhelmed with the fact that I had to deal with a second illness.  My friend and mentor called.  She asked if we could read through Scripture together, so she read various psalms while I cried.  She recognized that she couldn’t know how I felt but that she wanted to pray for me.  There were no trite spiritual remarks.  Her reading Scripture, praying for me, and letting me know that she was available whenever I needed someone to talk to were the actions that helped get me through that day.  Not only that, she followed through with her promise and visited with me on a day that I was feeling particularly unwell.

 


I pray that by writing this post, I have given you some insight into the heart of someone who is sick and how to help them.  It has been the most difficult post for me to write thus far, because of how I had to deal with my own hurt feelings and struggles in the past.  It is easy for me and others who are sick to feel bitter or angry towards those who have been careless with their words, but I know that God’s grace covers us all; and He has given me those specific interactions so that others may learn to use their words more purposefully when speaking to those who are ill.

I praise God for you, friends and family, who have the desire to encourage the fainthearted and to help the weak.  It is through you that God gives us, who are suffering, the strength to persevere and ultimately overcome our hardship.  Thank you.

– Ophelia

Too Busy to Write? 7 Easy Steps to Help You Find that Extra 15 Minutes

DeathtoStock_Wired3

Writing cards has become a lost art.  In today’s age of instant messaging, texts, emails, and tweets, we are used to the gratification of rapid information and communication.  So who takes the time to send snail mail anymore?  Who would choose to make the time to write out a note by hand over text messaging?  As we learned on our last post, we would!!!  The advantages of higher quality aesthetics, more intentional content, a bigger wow factor, and a more creative investment in your relationship make snail mail all worth it!

Now that we have figured that out, where do we find the time to actually write to someone?  In the middle of work, kids, spouse, chores, errands, and don’t forget – our quiet time with God, how do we make time to encourage someone in writing?

The fact is: 15 minutes can save you 15% on car insurance!…Wait, that wasn’t it…15 minutes can also allow you to write a card, address it, stamp it, and put it in the mailbox! – that is if you are an essay writer like me.

I must admit – I don’t have kids.  And my job is not a full-time gig.  So, in this stage of my life, I have more discretionary time than most people.  Nevertheless, time management is a must and its principles are the same whether you have zero kids or ten.  So here are 7 steps to help you find that 15 minutes in your day to write a card to someone you love.

1. Analyze how you spend your time.

We often don’t realize just how much time we spend on different things and how much time we actually waste.  It is hard to tell, because those minutes get away from us – a few minutes here checking Facebook, another minute there cutting split ends…ok, that might just be me… The point is that we need to first figure out how we are using our time before we can manage it.  The best way to do this is to keep a journal to record hours for everything you do from putting on make-up to cooking to playtime with your children.  Journal for at least three days, and you will be amazed at how much time is unaccounted for!

2. Keep your priorities.

Keep the first thing first, namely your spiritual walk with God.  We cannot encourage and love others as God fully intended if we do not seek encouragement from Him or love Him as we should.  Therefore, make it your number one priority of the day to read His Word and to pray to Him.

3. Make a to-do list.

Lists! Lists! Lists!  I love them!  They keep me sane.  If not for lists, I would be spending most of my time trying to remember what it is that I forgot to do.  Instead, they help free up my mind to think on more important things like actually how to accomplish what I need to do.  There are two tricks to a to-do list, however.  The first is to be realistic.  We can’t write down 100 items and expect that we will get them done just by writing them down.  Be selective about what you take on for that day.  Say no to someone or something if necessary.  The second trick to a to-do list is to be flexible.  Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”  Our to-do list might not be what God had in mind, so go with the flow when He decides to let you know.

Besides a to-do list, you can also compile a to-write list.  Think about all the people that could use a nice surprise in the mail today.  It could be someone on your prayer list or someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.  Keep the list by your desk or on your fridge and make a point to cross off those names each time you put send them a card.

4. Set goals.

Now that you have penned, “Write a card” on your to-do list.  You have to set specifics.  What time of the day will you be writing the card?  To whom will you be writing to (going back to the to-write list)?  Will you be just writing one card or multiple cards?  Do you want to make writing a card a weekly thing?  Or how about a monthly thing?  What about setting the goal of writing 2 cards within one month?  Or the more ambitious goal of writing one card per day for 7 days?

5. Do the task you like least first.

Don’t procrastinate!  I learned a long time ago that tackling the task you like least before all other tasks will make your day go much quicker and more efficiently.  By getting the worst item out of the way, we look forward to the rest of our day more and, as a result, we do not drag out other tasks to postpone the one we dread.  Voilà!  An extra 15 minutes just appeared out of thin air!

6. Organize tasks/errands by proximity.

Grouping your tasks or errands by their locations is a surefire way to make more time for yourself.  Instead of walking up and down the stairs 10 times a day or driving in all different directions, streamline your to-do list by doing the items that are located close to each other one after another or together.  If there is a task that can be done anywhere, like writing a card, make a purpose to do it when the opportunity reveals itself.  Examples of opportune moments would be waiting at the doctor’s office or during your 15-minute break at work.

7. Keep a routine.

Keeping a routine as much as possible allows us to be more efficient as we get used to that routine.  Less time is lost in between tasks, and less time is wasted in thinking of what to do next.  Just like your to-do list, however, your routine should be realistic and flexible.  Test out what works and what doesn’t.  By the time you figured it out, you will find that extra 15 minutes to do something nice for someone else.

– Ophy –

Snail Mail Vs. Email: the Pros and Cons of a Lost Art

The new stamps we bought!

The new stamps we bought!

When was the last time you put something in your mailbox or dropped off a letter at the post office?  Probably a while ago, right?  If not, good for you!  However, in today’s age of instant messaging, texts, emails, and tweets, most people’s only reason to use the postal service is to mail out a check.  Sadly, sending hand-written letters or cards have become a lost art.

But I am here to convince you to pick up the pen, because the advantages of snail mail far outweigh its downfalls.

To prove this to you, I am going to employ the time-proven tool of teenage girls who go through the agonizing decision-making process of whether or not to like a boy – the pros and cons table.


SNAIL MAIL

Pros   Cons
Aesthetics: You have the fun privilege of choosing the card or stationery design!   Price: Cost of envelope, paper, and pen, plus $0.49 for postage.
     
Content: Studies show that handwriting heightens brain activity in regions active in creative thinking, language, and memory (“How Handwriting Trains the Brain”by Gwendolyn Bounds, The Wall Street Journal).  You are also less likely to get distracted when writing (“4 Benefits of Writing By Hand”by Chris Gayomali, The Week).   Speed: It’s slower to handwrite, and it takes 1-3 days for delivery.
 
The Wow Factor: Don’t tell me that receiving a pretty envelope with a pretty stamp in the mail doesn’t excite you!  Also, the sense of touch (and even smell – ooh la la!) can heighten your friend’s emotions.  How do you think retailers get you to buy?  😉
 
Emotional Investment: The time and thought you invest in picking out a card and handwriting your note are automatically conveyed the moment your friend sees your name on the return address label.
 

EMAIL

Pros   Cons
Price: Cost of internet, which you can get for free at the library   Aesthetics: Typically, there is no aesthetics other than font style…and even that is limited.
     
Speed: It’s quicker to type, and delivery is immediate.   Content: You are more likely to get distracted and not write as well.
   
  The Wow Factor: …non-existent
   
  Emotional Investment: You might invest time in constructing the email and typing it out, but it just doesn’t send the same message…

Don’t get me wrong.  Technology is useful.  I use them quite often.  There is always a right time to send a quick text or post an uplifting comment on a wall or write a reassuring email.  But think back to the last time you received snail mail – that special feeling you got when you opened your mailbox and found that someone was thinking about you, took the time to pick out a unique card, and made the effort to handwrite a note of encouragement to you…nothing can replace that.

Proverbs 15:23 says,

“A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!”

Send someone snail mail today!

In Numbers: Two is Better Than One

Image

“Two is Better Than One” Thank You Card

Ps.133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

When I (Ophelia) first read this verse, the person that immediately came to my mind was my best friend Grace Yang.  The two of us are 2 peas in pod, BFFs, bosom buddies!  We were joined at the hip – that is, until I moved away.  But even still, the distance could not weaken the bond we have.  Not simply because we understand each other or even love each other, but because we love Jesus Christ.

To give you a peak into our friendship, we decided to interview both Grace and yours truly as the final segment of our In Numbers Interview Series.   Thankfully, Grace didn’t embarrass me too much!  =D


 

Grace and me at one of our good friend's Kentucky Derby themed bridal shower!

Grace and me at one of our good friend’s Kentucky Derby themed bridal shower!

IP: Who is your best best best bestest friend ever?!  ;D  And how did you meet?

G: My best best best bestest friend ever is Ophelia (Ophy) Dunk. We met when I was 5 and she was 3 in Hong Kong, where she is from. Our dads were roommates at National Taiwan University studying to be dentists, and we were in Hong Kong for a dental reunion. It wasn’t until Ophy moved to Los Angeles a few years later when we became best friends. To this day, our dads are still very close friends and serving at the same church.

O: She is Grace Yang, and she is the most understanding and patient woman I know.

IP: What do you think makes you two connect so well?

G: We love Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is by His grace that we are sisters in Christ and desire to love, serve, and sharpen one another. Over the past 25 years, we have shared in the greatest joys and deepest trials. Most of my memories since childhood include Ophy in them. Through it all, we have been there for each other to point to God’s sovereignty, goodness, and care towards us in every detail of life.

O: I echo what Grace said.  She and I knew each other since we were itty-bitty, so our spiritual walks alongside each other have been long, sometimes difficult, but mostly joyous ones.  Together, God called us to salvation, built up our understanding of Him, and grew our love for Him.  It is through our belief in the same Savior Jesus Christ that we have developed such a strong connection.

IP: Tell our readers a funny story of you two.

G: Hmmm… where to start?? There are experiences better left unmentioned. =) But I distinctly remember sitting in the backseat of her Mom’s car driving to various church functions, each holding a huge bowl of cut melons and secretly eating the melons the whole way to church, only to cover up the dent we made before getting out of the car. This happened on numerous occasions. Maybe that’s why I’m now allergic to all melons. It must be punishment for eating too many melons. However, I can still live vicariously through Ophy as she gets to eat them still!

O: As I attempt to remember a funny story of the two of us, I keep thinking of funny stories of just Grace!  Haha!  But I won’t divulge those here, since she could have chosen one of my numerous embarrassing moments to share with ya’ll.  =D  Let’s see…one Sunday after church, on my 12th or 13th birthday, I found myself alone and abandoned by Grace and my other friends.  Everyone had left without a word!  I was furious.  To make things worse, my mom comes up to me and tells me that she has to make a Costco run and I was stuck going with her!  Throughout the entire Costco trip, I was fuming.  By the time we left Costco, though, I was exhausted from the church activities of the day and, apparently, my indignation.  So, I fell asleep in the car.  I am not sure how long my family and friends let me sleep in the garage, but when I finally woke up and walked into the house, all my friends and family were waiting for me!  This whole time, Grace and my sister were throwing me a surprise birthday party!…  And there goes my indignation.  =}

IP: How has your friendship been different since Ophelia moved away?

G: Since Ophy has moved away, our friendship has continued to grow and strengthen by God’s grace. I miss her a lot, and there are definitely times when I miss her a lot more than usual, especially when I have a tough day and can’t just drive over to her place to talk it out or just cry on her shoulder. Even though we don’t get to see each other as often, when we do catch up over the phone or Skype, we can easily pick up from our last conversation and keep going.

O: The long distance and time difference have required us to make a greater effort to keep in touch.  We definitely had to adjust at the beginning.  It is a lot more difficult now to find times to talk that match both our schedules.  This challenge forces us to work harder at our friendship. I think it is a blessing in disguise though, because (1) it is that much sweeter when we do see each other face-to-face and (2) it keeps us from taking our friendship for granted.

IP: How have both of your relationships with Christ influenced your friendship?

G: Christ has taught me to love and forgive. Since He loves me, I am to love others with Christ’s love, with patience, kindness, and a quickness to forgive. As we grow in our love and worship of Jesus Christ, we are better able to love and care for one another. God has taught me to trust Him no matter where He takes us in life, whether as roommates or all the way across the nation. My friendship with Ophy is truly a blessing and encouragement. I am forever thankful that I get to share this life with one of the most gentle and humble women I know. What an evidence of God’s grace.

O: Being so close to someone provides many opportunities to practice the “one another” commands of the Bible, sometimes even without realizing it.  Encourage one another (1 Thes.4:18; 5:11).  Show hospitality to one another (1 Pet.4:9).  Teach one another (Col.3:16).  Admonish one another (Col.3:16).  Exhort one another (Heb.3:13).  Seek to do good to one another (1 Thes.5:15).  Stir up one another to love and good works (Heb.10:24).  Confess your sins to one another (Jms.5:16).  Pray for one another (Jms.5:16).  Forgive one another (Eph.4:13).  Bearing with one another in love (Eph.4:2).  Serve one another (Gal.5:13; 1 Pet.4:10).  Comfort one another (2 Cor.13:11).  Love one another (Rom.12:10; 1 Pet.1:22).

Of course, both of us have failed numerous times at this, but learning from the forgiving character of our Savior has spurred us to forgive one another and come out of the situation closer than before.  And when we do not fail, when God gives us the grace to live together in unity…Boy!  We do feel blessed!  


For me, our “Two is Better than One” card was designed with Grace in mind.  Do you have a Grace in your life?  How often do you sit and ponder the gift that is her?  More importantly, how often do you tell her that you appreciate her?  Don’t wait!  Tell her!  Text, email, call, or write.  Whichever method you choose, your friend will be grateful.

Close to Your Heart: A Mother’s Influence

 

"Close to Your Heart" Mother's Day Card

“Close to Your Heart” Mother’s Day Card

“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.  Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck.  When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.” – Proverbs 6:20-22

A mother’s influence on her children is matchless.  Our inspiration passage talks about how her teachings should be cherished – held close to one’s heart as well as lived out – as if adorned around one’s neck.  John MacArthur comments in his study Bible on how binding something to our heart and tying it around our neck means letting it “become a part of us – outwardly in our behavior for all to see as an adornment of spiritual beauty, and inwardly as the subject of our meditation” (notes on Proverbs 3:3; 6:20-21, 22).  Maffrine and I just love this imagery and its meaning!

This is how we came up with the design for our Mother’s Day card.  The charming necklace, set on top of a chalkboard backdrop, serves as an elegant yet fun way to tell our mothers that they and their teaching are valuable to us, similar to how jewelry can be valuable.

Maffrine "wearing" the necklace

Maffrine “wearing” the necklace

The card is designed such that you and/or your mom can “wear” the necklace!  For this Mother’s Day, hold the necklace close to your heart and adorn it on your neck!  Take a picture and post it on our FB page with a comment on something that you have learned from your mom!  This card is meant to express not only the beauty of a mother’s influence but also its significance to her son or daughter, so why not express it not only to your mother but to the world?!  You don’t have to do this with just your mother.  This card can be for your grandmother, your mother-in-law, and even your spiritual mothers – women who have served as mentors in your life.

To voice our love for our mothers this Mother’s Day, we would like to share with you one teaching that our mothers passed on to us (and a few wedding photos)!

Maffrine: My mother passed onto me how to be a good steward of my resources.  She is the thriftiest person I know, and I learn from her example.

Maffrine and her mom on her wedding day

Maffrine and her mom on her wedding day

Ophelia: One of the things I admire most about my mom is her generosity.  She is always giving of her time, money, and energy.  Watching her continually give of herself always convicts me and inspires me to be more selfless like her.

My mom and I on my wedding day

My mom and I on my wedding day

So what have you learned from your mother?  =D

 

One in A Million

Our "One in a Million" Happy Birthday Card

Our “One in a Million” Happy Birthday Card

Birthdays are special times when we get to celebrate an individual – his personality, his humor, his kindness, his achievements, his relationships with us and others, etc.  In other words, we celebrate how God has shaped this person into who he is today.  The apostle Paul says in Ephesians 2:10:

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

We, along with those we celebrate, are like clay being molded into fine pottery by the hands of our Maker.  Each individual is shaped differently and thus, the title of our Happy Birthday card – “One in a Million”.

As a way of introducing our birthday card, we wanted to celebrate one of our friends, whose birthday is tomorrow!  Monica is wife to John and mother to Charissa.  They currently live in Asia as missionaries and are expecting to have their second child.  Below is a short interview we had with her about her birthday.


IP: What is your favorite birthday present thus far?

M: I don’t remember many of the presents, but my sister gave me a beaded bracelet one year. And she gave me a photo book with pictures from birth to present.

 

IP:  How did you celebrate your birthday this year?

M: Spend some family time and probably go out for some western food.

 

IP: How is celebrating your birthday as a missionary in Asia different from celebrating your birthday in America?

M: It’s more low-key. I might have to treat some people out instead because the tradition is reversed for more traditional people.

 

IP: Describe your most memorable birthday.

M: One year, John pulled out a surprise by bringing me to a lunch celebration that was supposed to be just the two of us, but friends were waiting there already.

 

IP: How would you say God has shaped you over the years into the person you are today?

M: God has taught me over the years that my home is not on this earth, that I need to fix my eyes on the heavenly home. Colossians 3.

God has been gracious and faithful to keep me in His love and care despite my failures and He has used these failures to lead me to Christlikeness. Romans 8:28.

 

IP: How can we be praying for you?

M: Please pray that I would continue to fix my eyes on things above and depend on Him to run this race.

 

Maffrine: As one of your closest friends, I just wanted you to know that I appreciate how thoughtful and generous you are.  Every time you give me a gift, it makes me want to be more thoughtful and generous.  Your sincerity is also very touching.  I always enjoy our conversations.  Last but not least, I love your sense of style!  Thank you for being such a great friend and example!


We hope you like our birthday card and take the opportunity to use it as a means to share with people just how much you appreciate them.

Lastly, don’t forget!  There is only two days left to take advantage of our grand opening promotion: 20% off your entire purchase in the month of April to those who sign-up to follow our blog via email as well as to those who both like and share us on Facebook!  Please message us to receive your coupon code once you have done this.  Thanks!

Twenty-Four/Seven

"Twenty-Four/Seven" - Our very first card!

“Twenty-Four/Seven” – Our very first card!

Back View

Back View

When we first started Intwine Paperie, we thought through some of our goals for this business.  One of those goals was to encourage our customers and their loved ones through our service and through our products.  We, then, realized one of the ways that we are most encouraged is when friends tell us that they are praying for us.  As a result, we studied what the Bible had to say about prayer and was inspired by Ephesians 6:18.

“With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”

This is how our very first card, titled “Twenty-Four/Seven”, came to being.  We imagined the apostle Paul and all believers from past to present praying for one another at all times.  To illustrate this beauty of constant prayerfulness for others, we chose some of our favorite time pieces from various periods in history as the focal points of this Praying for You card.

In designing “Twenty-Four/Seven”, we could not help but think of our dear friend and mentor Midori.  She consistently seeks out our prayer requests and faithfully brings them to the Lord in her own time.  The two of us have learned so much about prayer from Midori that we wanted to share some of that wisdom with you through an interview we had with her.


IP: How often do you pray, and how do you find the time to pray for others?

M: “ … for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  (Philippians 2:12)

If I am honest, I am neither faithful or diligent by nature, so it’s not about me finding the time to pray for others, but God who brings people into my life and gives me urgency to pray for them.

The Lord daily drives me to pray without ceasing, because He is faithful to show me that I’m always unworthy or unable to bless others except by prayer and looking to Christ who lives in me, my only confidence and joy!

IP: What helps you stay faithful to a consistent prayer life?

M: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timonthy 2:13)

It is the grace of God that keeps me faithful to pray.  I know this because I always fall short.

The more I understand who God is in all His splendor and who I am in the light of His holiness, I see how far short I fall of His glory and calling for me in every way. This causes me to immediately run to God in desperate prayer for help, but also with thanksgiving and praise for saving my undeserving soul and covering me with His guarantee of hope in Jesus, our Savior!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:3-4)

IP: Do you have a method to keep track and remember everyone’s prayer requests?  If so, what is it?

M:

  1. Asking God for opportunities to pray for others, so as I look for His answers, He might show me His glory and grow me in His love for others.
  2. Recognizing that prayer groups and individuals who ask for prayer are God’s gracious answer to my prayer. Then keeping their prayer requests on my phone or in my kitchen prayer basket and actually praying, as my thankful response and enjoyment of this gracious gift from God!
  3. Purposing to pray for whomever God brings to mind, whether remembering a gift giver or a stranger I might pass on the street. Asking God that His glory be shown to them and for His beauty to shine through their lives in His time. Remembering that Jesus and His Spirit always intercedes for us and motivated to pray for others because we want to follow Christ.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

IP: What do you love most about praying for others?

M:The greatest joy of praying is seeing the glory of God in the lives of people whom God gives me for prayer and remembering that praying to the only One who can give eternal life in Christ, is the most loving and best offering I can give God and others.

“For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Ephesians 1:15-17)

IP: What is absolutely necessary for a strong prayer life?

M:“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

According to God’s Word, for us to please Him with our prayers, we must first believe in God as He reveals Himself to us in The Holy Bible. Then we must seek Him in prayer and obey Him in the details of our daily, practical lives, with faith that He will reward us as He promises.

Just as we pursue our spouses and people we love, because we want to be captivated by their love and to captivate them with ours, we need to seek after God daily, in His Word and in our prayers, so we may be ravished by His love and Him by ours.  

“You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace.” (Song of Solomon 4:9 NKJ)

We long to know intimately who our beloveds are: what they are doing, have done and plan to do; how they think, feel and respond to us and others in various circumstances; what they enjoy and what they hate. How much more then, should we seek to know these things about our eternal God, searching Him out in His Word, His love letter to us? As we come to know more and more just how beautiful, faithful and loving God is, will we not be driven to please Him in our hearts and sincere prayers all the time?  Since God is infinitely deeper than any human being, we will never exhaust our quest to be loved by Him and to know more about Him, which results in a deep and satisfying prayer life.


We really hope that you enjoy this card and are uplifted by the message that it carries.  If the Lord brings to your mind to pray for us, please pray that Intwine Paperie will be a blessing to many and that God will be honored through it.  We also would love to be in prayer for you, so please leave a comment or send us an email with ways by which we can pray for you.