For now, I can be found here....come follow along the fun and the journey!
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Monday, January 14, 2013
|Not even to the condo...STOP THE CAR NOW!|
10 months ago, a beloved sister in Christ and dear friend lost her son in a tragic car wreck. His name is Dylan. He was only 18 years old and life was truly just beginning. His sweet momma, Cindy and her husband Scott also have 3 boys just like we do. From the moment Cindy and I met 10 years ago, my heart immediately connected with hers. She was just far enough ahead of me in the parenting thing that I hung on every word she said. I still do. I lean in and listen when Cindy has something to say. There is great wisdom in her heart and words. We were also in church together and began praying together once a week in her living room....a living room that is full of beautiful family history and heirlooms. Its a place to sit and you instantly feel at peace, you are loved deeply and you are welcome to sit for days. Cindy and her home is love to me.
When Cindy's first born was called home to Jesus a piece of my heart died that morning. I can't explain the emotions, the sights, the sounds, the feelings that come over you as a friend and a mother when you walk through this. I am forever changed.
God has shown me more than I could ever share through Dylan's life and death. One thing I am completely sure of is this....Our Father in Heaven gives us the gift of family and time. My family of 5 and the time with them is truly a gift each and every day. I have no idea how long I have with them. I learned this year that so much of my time was spent on things that were absolutely not necessary. I have learned how to balance time between the things of this world and eternal things....for example, do I really need to sit and scroll on that phone for the 7 millionth time when a child is right there and we can actually talk about something...possibly something of great significance? This was a big step for me. This was eye opening.
Where am I investing my time daily? I was reminded quickly with Dylan's death....deep into my soul type of reminder......that time is not a promise nor do we get it back. Time is precious.
I feel as if time is moving at lightning speed these days with my children. Now that Christmas is over, we only have 2 more Christmas's with my oldest, Clay, living under this roof. Time is precious.
My children, probably like yours, have everything they could want. Why buy more of the same or buy them things for the sake of buying them more things. I can't buy back time lost. Time is precious.
If I asked Cindy what she would want more than anything right now....my guess would be that she would want more time with her beloved Dylan.
"Oh Lord, I never want to take for granted the gift of time with my precious children. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Let me savor every moment, conversation, sight, and sound with these precious sons of ours."
We wanted our Christmas to be about time together as a family. Time is precious.
Here are a few shots from our time together. This was my favorite Christmas to date. My hope for all of us in 2013 is to be very intentional with our time and spend it wisely in the things and people that truly matter.
Seriously God...this is the 1st sunset you give us?? Be still my heart. Tell me...is there anything more beautiful? Not to me. This place. My family. This is my heaven on earth.
We are never too old to laugh and put on silly balloon creations that the waitress makes for us. No...never too old for time to laugh together.
Time in a hot tub together. Notice momma decided against this. I prefer a tan when a swimsuit is on. ;)
Starbucks was first up and then we saw a movie together...Parental Guidance...I have no idea when the last time all 5 of us went to a movie together. Sweet time together.
Time in Seaside is so peaceful and happy for us. We would move to Seaside in a New York minute. Or I could play the lottery simply to buy a place down there and go once a month. None of this seems unrealistic to me. ;)
This is the place our family goes to when we need that time a family needs. Life is full and busy of wonderful things, but time can also move so quickly that you stop and ask yourself, "when were we really together?" Time is truly a gift. We never know how much we have. The older I get, I cherish each moment of time.
Would you take a moment and pray for the Kirk family and anyone that you know who lost a family member this past year? Keep them tucked close to your heart always. I love you Kirk family. Not a day goes by that I don't give you to the Lord asking Him to be your love and your strength. I'm honored to call you friend.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
What is God saying to me today? What "thing" is He asking of me in all the busyness of life I have created? What is it? What is He asking of you this new year? What?? I know, without a doubt, He is wanting all of us to experience this...
"Abide with me, Fran. Abide."
We look into 2013 with so many goals, desires, expectations, dreams and wishes and often forget that before we can move and go with Him into these goals, desires, expectations, dreams and wishes we must abide with Him first.
Ok..so...I'm a believer and I'm already abiding with Him. I AM with Him. Yes, as believers we are, but what about abiding with Him in the day in, day out of life? Probably not so much because I'm too busy to see God or reach out to Him for help with a decision or a child or a conversation or standing in line at the grocery. I'm not really abiding. I'm just going through day to day motions.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING." John 15:5
Help me Jesus. I need to abide in you all day long...with every conversation, with every decision, with my husband, with my teenagers who are only with me for a short time, with my serving, with my work, with it all.
Help me Jesus to see you in the ordinary.
Jesus came to dwell among us. He is way more than living in the sky. He came to live in our hearts and have a real relationship with us. He spoke the world and universe into existence and then have a relationship with US. ME, YOU, US!!
If you don't know who or what I'm talking about, please leave a comment and I'll reach out to you. He saved my life. He dug me out of a lifetime of sin and a pit that I didn't even know how deep it was. He is as real to me as my family is. I want Him to be real to you and abide with you.
Let's truly abide with Him in 2013. Embrace the vine. Embrace the ordinary. He is there.
We are to abide first and go second.
For a sermon on this subject and one that truly inspired me and affirmed what God had been speaking to me, you can watch or listen here. Thank you Pete Wilson.
I love you and I love Him. Here's to abiding in 2013!
posted by Fran at 8:50 AM
Friday, November 23, 2012
posted by Fran at 7:38 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Don't you just fall over when the word of God is just new and alive? I have read this verse a thousand times and know it by heart and know full well what it means, but I must be borderline prideful for it to smack me between the eyes! ;-)
No matter what all "I'm doing" for the Kingdom of God, my salvation is not earned by what i am doing and it's not a "who does Jesus love more" contest based on what they are doing.
Yes, I give all praise to Him for what He allows me to walk alongside with Him in, but the focus isn't me...it's all JESUS! It's about what He did...not me. The beauty and fascination of the cross.
Aren't you glad you don't have to earn your way into heaven? We would either all be full of pride because of what we are doing or we would be miserable human beings because we just can't measure up.
There is freedom in Christ Jesus! Praise God and hallelujah!
He just loves us THAT much and we simply believe and receive the love of Christ.
posted by Fran at 8:14 AM
Monday, November 19, 2012
Y'all...I watched the AMA's tonight and was laughing and crying over "what in the world was that mess on tv??" Then, I flipped over to the Steelers/Ravens game and saw the Steeler's uniforms and again..."what in the world was that mess on tv?!" After enough of the back and forth shaking of the head and sounding like I'm 210 years old I decided to study 10th grade biology with my 16 year old because that would seem somewhat normal to me. Ask me anything about cells and cell membranes and a whole bunch of other words I can't pronounce....come on! I dare ya! I'm feeling so much smarter now. :)
But, first....here is bless her heart....
And then there is the bumble bee team.... AKA Pittsburg Steelers:
Biology was the only way to go folks.
Anyway...how excited are we that its THANKSGIVING WEEK??!! I'm almost one of those people who wants to put our Christmas decorations up as well as carve the turkey all at the same time. I just can't y'all. I just can't. I want to....but I can't. Help me Jesus. Pinterest is killing me.
What am I MOST thankful for this year? Only one thing?? Name the BESTEST of the BEST when it comes to gratitude? Oh gosh...this is tough. However...it all boils down to one theme I have seen over and over and over since July....and it's called "provision." Our lives began to change dramatically this past July and with every big twist and turn...HE PROVIDED. He is still providing. He will continue to provide. Whew.
Thank you Jesus for carrying me, us, them these past several months. How in the world do we even begin to think we can do any piece of this without you? I did that once...years ago...heck just yesterday I got hung up in my own provision and thought I could control and manage it all. Why, hello pride. There you are again. ;)
You are sweet to come in and remind me that this is yours to carry. Thank you again, Lord. Thank you!
Matthew 11:29-30 NIV
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I'm letting go more and more of me every single day and picking up more and more of Him instead. He will take care of me, us, them. And for that I am eternally grateful. He has us. All of us.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Goodness.....what a kind bunch of people the Internet can be. Y'all have been so kind when it comes to my sweet dad and his battle with cancer. You just ooze genuine care and concern whether it be here, facebook, or twitter. Beyond thankful for each of you. A prayer is returned to our Father on your behalf. I hope He is so good, full of love and grace, to you and your families. My dad finished his 2nd treatment a week ago and has battle the "post-chemo crud" this past week and hopefully turning the corner this weekend. We hold tightly to God during this time....trusting Him every step of the way. Thank you for caring for us.
This fall season has been a challenging one and you know what? Satan LOVES to take that season and wreck some havoc. He is so stupid. I fell for it so I guess that makes him the sneaky devil that he is. Dern.
One way he has messed with me is in the area of self confidence. So many of us suffer from self esteem issues and I raise my hand with this one. Another dern. I walk around day in and day out questioning everything from the food I'm buying at the grocery store and if its good enough for the family (yes, stupid) to the ways I'm being a wife and a mom and friend and a daughter and a woman after God. Another dern. I can question and doubt every stinking aspect of the day. That adds up to a lot of stinking aspects girls. I'm so irritated and disappointed and frustrated and KNOW BETTER. But....Satan likes to do his thing when we are overwhelmed with life and feeling afraid. DERN DERN DERN!!!
I let him win for some time and now it's time, sisters....I'm claiming my ground and my identity back and walking every single day holding onto the Word and what the bible says about who I am in Him!!!! Amen?? Amen!! You might have paralyzed me for a bit Satan....but I know your tricks and next time I will be ready...quicker.
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in HIM." Jeremiah 17:7 NIV
Let me hear your memory verse! Can you seriously believe there are only 3 more to go?
I truly can't imagine not knowing Him or His word....this life is full of trials and I can only walk through them with Him. Whew. Not my power, but His. Thank ya Jesus...
posted by Fran at 7:06 AM