Nothing too huge and profound to say other than, if you have had a hard week or been in a difficult season, find some time, some way, some how to get out there and get you some laughter!!
Last Thursday, I was working at church and there was a birthday party for a little boy that was turning 8. CLB was out of school for conferences and his very smart momma decided to have his party on Thursday in our church gym with TWO of the biggest, bestest, funnest jumpy, slidy things I have seen. So, whats a grown woman of nearly 38 years of age to do with all that juvenile fun staring at you in the face??? Well, I tell you what you do....
You take off those shoes and get ready to have a ball! I climbed, I slid, I jumped, I punched, I slid again, and again, and again, and again. So much so that I got a little jumpy slide burn on my left elbow!! It makes me smile every time I look at it.
I'm telling you what, it was some serious therapy and I absolutely loved it!! I loved it so much that I got two of my fellow church staffers to come in and join the fun. Couldn't find me a pastor, but I would have MADE them if they were anywhere around. They probably left the building when they heard Fran was finding church staffers to go down sliding things!! It did this soul some good though.
The other thing I did this weekend was go to a very publicized and supposedly very scary "haunted farm" here in West TN. Well, we sent the kids to grandma's house and found some friends and went out to the haunted farm. We stood in line for what seemed like 3 days and watched all these jr. high/high school girls just scream and jump into their boyfriends arms.....not gonna go down that road of telling you how I felt imagining your own children in a few years in that place.....we watched the "scary" people try to sneak around everyone in line and try to scare them with chainsaws, baseball bats hitting metal, airhorns, creepy 8 ft tall very large men with crowbars, etc. etc. etc. You get the idea. One time they turned the outside spotlights off and then you just heard the chainsaw and had no idea who they "were after." That kinda freaked me out a little. It's always better when you can see a little bit of who's coming!
But, after standing in line, going through the house, the woods outside (guess that was the farm) and back through another house.....I was scared, I screamed, I laughed, I laughed some more, my heart was racing, I screamed some more, nearly pulled my hubs pants down bc I was pulling so hard on his belt loops, and I screamed some more.
Laughter is the best medicine. Psalm 126:2 "Our mouths were filled with laughter..."
We had a great weekend and had a ball being kids. I hope you laugh alot today and do something even a little out of the ordinary to bring out the kid in you. They really do have the most fun.
Joy and laughter to all of you this week. And, Happy Halloween. That candy you'll discover Wednesday night is sure to bring some sugar highs so feel free to join in on their fun, regardless of what you do for Halloween.
Hugs to all!
Monday, October 29, 2007
posted by Fran at 8:15 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
It's not hard, it's not revolutionary, it's just something Jesus shared with me.
I want to challenge you to do something you probably already do, but I want you to take it to another level and go above and beyond the "norm." I want to live outside the norm in really all that I do. I have had some experiences this past week that have been far from thrilling.....they have actually been down right horrible.
Let me explain some...not much because I might get totally depressed and find myself just sobbing all over my keyboard and that is not the point of this post. So....
I have had a very hard week. Just a week of great spiritual attack. This is something I've never been through before. Its been a place of just sadness and feeling every negative emotion under the sun about what I'm doing on planet Earth.
In my work, I wonder "what am I doing on planet Earth?" I've taken on the lives of others. Whew!! That can be scary sometimes. Am I making a difference in any of this? I'm exhuasted. I don't want to do this anymore kind of thing. It has just been a sad, sad week. I thought I was out of it, but BAM! it has hit me again and I can't get out of this pit. And by the way, I will read so many parts of "Get out of that Pit" again...again....and again. Isn't it funny how I just finished the book and then BAM! it all came crashing down and I have found myself in a pit. Never saw it coming.
Ok, enough of me falling into this pit. I have had two HUGE things revealed to me today and it's not brain surgery or rocket science info, but its HUGE to me and its caused me to be more intentional in one specific area of my life towards others. And, therefore, I will share the one hugemongo lesson from Jesus just for me for today.
Its all about gratitude girls. Its all about the gratitude.
Really??? That is the HUGE thing you have to tell us??!! Yes, it is. My challenge is this for you...I want us to really thank people who do something for us on a consistent basis...a very regular basis. I want you to go out of your way to thank the people who teach your children...write them notes and often....let them know you pray for them and their families...they have lives outside of the school! I want you to thank your Sunday school teachers who teach you and your children. And, again, thank them often. I want you to thank your pastors and your church staff who take their jobs so seriously that they love you beyond words...and thank them often. I want you to thank the people who invest in you and your families and I want you to thank them often. I want you to go beyond the norm and begin to show thanks and gratitude just because. Don't wait for special days or moments. Make it a habit and let it become the norm that you thank the people in your life who do such great things for your own personal growth and for the growth of your kids.
There are many people out there who give so much to us and we never really take the time to show our gratitude and appreciation for them. So....do some old fashion things and write some notes, give them words of encouragement face to face, and let them know how much you truly appreciate what they do to build up your kids and your family. They need to know.
I will spend some time tomorrow doing just that. Forget the emails and pull out some favorite stationary and write some notes of appreciation and love. I'm so grateful to the people who love me, teach me, hold me up, and are there for me. I want others to know how I feel about them. I will also do these things on my childrens behalf for those adults who teach them and then let them do the same at a later date. That is an important thing to teach our children. Teach them how to show gratitude to others. We lead, they follow.
One of my favorite scriptures is this: Hebrews 3:13
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today......"
Encourage someone today, tomorrow, the next day, the next day and the next and the next. I'm sure gonna try to go above beyond what I've been doing. Are you up for the challenge?
I love ya'll. You encourage me tons by what you write on your blogs. You are my many devotions that have kept me going.
posted by Fran at 9:49 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Hello bloggy friends! I sure hope you had a wonderful weekend with your families. Fall arrived a couple of weeks ago around here and then Summer came back for a few days and then Fall came for a few hours and then Summer came back for a short time and then I think I've heard Fall will be back this week. Whew....its exhausting on many levels when things change by the hour around here! But, we are all good in the scheme of life I suppose.
Thank you to all you precious friends out there who prayed for me and gave such comforting words as I told you in my previous entry about being just dead. Well, with time and prayer and some time at the feet of Jesus and in His Word, I feel 100% better. Bless you all. You have such deep, tender spots in my heart.
Well, the end of this past week...in the midst of all the "crud" going on in my own little spiritual walk, we had some nasty thunderstorms come through West Tennessee 2 nights in a row!!! YES....2 nights in a row!! Now, for a momma, one school night is bad enough, but 2 school nights!! Come on sweet maker of Heavens and Earth.....can we spare the kiddos who are completely freaked out by thunderstorms 2 nights of this chaos??!!! It was just too much. My 9 yr old is the official weather watcher, eye in the sky, storm tracker, radar watching, internet scoping, official meteorologist in all of the 9 yr old land!!! He can watch it without moving a muscle and he can also be completely freaked out when the weather is looking a little scary. If there is any red on the radar....ya'll better watch out!
So....with much comforting, minimizing the horrible winds outside, telling him the colors on the radar aren't really that bad, it will be over in just 3 more minutes, its moving north of us, and all that other official weather talk.....he finally could see the light at the end of that very dark and scary tunnel. Me?? I was so thankful the dern storms were moving on. I was worn out!!
Have you realized how much effort goes into be afraid??? We get all worked up. I mean all worked up in going through every scenario under the sun and just a complete mess and worn out when its all said and done!!
Between my week of being "under attack" and the storms attacking my sons peaceful, nightly routine....I was just plain ole mentally pooped out by Saturday morning. BUT....
As I read through all your encouraging words and spent time with Jesus....again and again. Read and re-read your words and read different scriptures again and again....I was restored. I was restored!!! HALLELUJAH!
When the storms come, we've got to go hard and heavy with Jesus and His word. We have also got to find those people who will listen and encourage us and speak love and Truth to us. We need our Aaron and Hur just like Moses had. They held him up when he was tired. I held my 9 yr old up when he was tired. Our friends can hold us up when we are scared. Our God has got our back every time we are afraid or tired.
Run to Jesus if you are in need of some TLC. He's got the best medicine for all sorts of ailments. I got a great dose from Him this week. And it was free!!! No Dr's office required.
I pray you have a week of presence and love with Him! Isn't He just the coolest?!
Blessings to all of you~
posted by Fran at 5:35 PM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Not really, but pretty close I think. I have just had one of those weeks of nothing but complete discouragement, self-doubt, under attack by nasty ole Satan, feeling unsure, inadequate, frustrated, "what am I doing" kind of week. That's encouraging isn't it for a blog post?! I have just felt worn out and mentally and physically tired. However, my spiritual tank has been really full. So...why has Satan had such a presence in my mind?? Maybe my tank wasn't as full as I thought.
I am in the Word and praying myself through it. I have even ventured into sharing a little bit of it with my "Peter, James, and John." Its hard to let too much out because of working in the church and are we allowed to vent or share our deepest concerns and pain?! That is tough.
Here is a picture from my own yard that so needs to be thrown out!
I'm glad that I can't be thrown out when I feel dead, tired or weary.
Lord, renew my strength, my focus, my passions and my desires to pursue you with all I have. Lord, help me to know, love, and serve you today. Guide me as I lead. Use me to encourage others. Make me a blessing to all that I meet today. And in everything, help me to honor you. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
May your day and weekend be filled with life and renewal if you too feel a little on the weary side.
posted by Fran at 10:08 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
Ya'll, I have had a fresh Word from God placed on my heart this morning and I'm just about to explode with anxiousness, excitement, and anticipation over Him and what He might have to show me, teach me, or reveal to me about this one topic:
Let me tell you how God and I got to this Word this morning. Over the weekend, I sensed some "un-peace" around me....and I don't mean necessarily within my family....I mean in just watching others, listening to others, their stories, their faces, their words being spoken, their bodies, their tones, their present turmoil in their life, their unsettledness with something, someone, their lack of patience, their "something is just missing in them" kind of thing. I like the word of "un-peace." Not a real word, but its working for me today.
Another thing that has caused "peace" to be on my mind and in my heart today is this....I have been praying so hard for someone for the last 24 hours. I want them to be flooded with peace today. They have requested prayers from me regarding a situation and event that they are a part of today and along with His mighty presence, I want God's peace to flood them...FLOOD their minds and hearts. I invision peace as a covering over this particular situation. And that vision takes me to Colossians 3:15 and later I'll mention vs 16 because its just SOOOOOO good. Ok...here's the Word ....vs. 15 says.....
" Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."
My first thought is "PEACE RULES!" Oh yes it does. If there ain't peace we know it. How many of us have heard, "if momma ain't happy, noone is happy." If there is not peace in the leadership of the house, or anywhere for that matter, then EVERYONE suffers!!!!! I read in one of my study Bibles that peace acts as a referee. Can't you just see peace the referee watching, checking out the rules, seeing who is playing fairly?? Flags are thrown. Penalties given. But of course, in this watching and checking of players and rules.... Peace wins. Peace rules. Peace will come out ahead every time. Eventually, peace will win. It might be ugly or not even fun getting to that place of peace. Christ's peace will win because it rules when its in our hearts.
My 2nd point of interest from this passage is, we are "called to peace." Ummm...called to peace. That word "called" means that we are called as God's chosen people. With Jesus, we are God's chosen ones that are to show peace. Oh my! How I fail to show peace, feel peace, or even encourage peace. Remember, peace wins. Peace rules.
Ok...Peace rules in God's chosen people. That would be us!! Whenever you need some peace, seek God to fill you up with His presence. Because when we are filled with His presence, the beauty is having a filling of the fruit of the Spirit. So...Go after Him! He can give us that peace over ANY situation where we sense being "un-peaced" or unsettled. He can give you that covering of peace. "Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts....."
And finally, vs 16 out of the Message Bible doesn't need a comment or anything extra by me. It will bless you. Vs. 16 says, "Let the Word of Christ-the Message-have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives--words, actions, whatever--be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way."
And, all God's people said "AMEN!" Oh, how I pray that peace is flooding your lives today. If it's not, then call upon our Father who is the giver of all good things and ask for some peace. And, let God be the run of the house!! I know who can run my house sometimes and it's not Him!
Peace wins! Peace rules! Jesus is the Prince of Peace!!
Have a great day! Find Jesus wherever you go and in all things! He is amazing!
posted by Fran at 8:46 AM
Friday, October 12, 2007
****30 MINUTES LATER....AN UPDATE****
Took the dog outside and there is fresh roadkill right around the corner. I have come in to light my yummy Fall candle. I will win this battle! :)
Oh my goodness! We live "out" in our town of Jackson and usually as we drive home at night we manage to drive right over the freshly killed skunk and everyone says for the 1 millionth time....."OOOOOOHHHHHH....a dead skunk!" It really is just disgusting. BUT.....
Tonight, I had the beautiful smell of burning wood (hope it wasn't someones home) come through my car as I drove down the road. It just smelled like Fall. Let me say it again for myself as I sit here and try to come up with it .....that burning wood, like a bonfire, smelled just like a perfect Fall evening. I can hear the high school football game from our school in the distance. And it is a perfect Fall evening.
There are no dead skunks to smell.....yet. And its just a matter of time. There is a definate feeling of Fall and I'm just grinning from ear to ear. I hope you have a beautiful weekend doing whatever you plan to do. Get that fun Fall decor out! Nothing too tacky though! Love your families tightly, find some time for Jesus, and enjoy this magnificent change of seasons. I love ya'll to death. Your blogs are such an encouragement to me. Thank you for taking the time to share your hearts when you write. Blessings to all of Blogworld!
Blessings my friends~
posted by Fran at 8:34 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Ok, another thrilling glimpse into my life....I really hope I can somehow prove to be a little entertaining and funny right now. I do love reading this stuff on ya'll so I'm happy to return the love! Thanks sweet Jennyhope for tagging me. Isn't she just the cutest?!
Four jobs I have had:
1. Waitress in high school and college and made some GREAT cashola!
2. Taught aerobics back in the day during late college years...had a class at 6:00 AM that just totally kicked my tail....not bc of me the teacher just the time!
3. Yes ma'am...a travel agent for a short time....I can get you anywhere!
4. Cardiac rehab at the hospital....helped patients recover and heal after bypass.
Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. Lets see...Passion of the Christ...cry every time.
2. Dumb dumb "Vacation" movies
3. Stepmom with Julia Roberts (that was big right after I became a momma)
4. Meet the Parents was a great belly laugh at the time
Four tv shows I like to watch:
1. Anything of fabulous, high quality reality content. Bachelor, Dancing with the Sars
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Whats the show called with Sally Field and that crazy family?? Sunday nights??
That show I really like. A bunch of very different people that all really love each other.
4. Love to catch reruns of "Friends!"
Four places I have vacationed:
1. My favorite beach on planet Earth...DESTIN!
2. Cabo San Lucas (too far away for me to leave my babies)
3. Colorado (wish it wasn't so far...would love to drive out there)
4. NYC....just too much fun!
Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Nothing too specific here...MEXICAN anything!
2. a great steak
3. any kind of fish
4. really any kind of chicken...and I love me some good veggies...my family won't eat them.
Four places I'd rather be:
1. The mountains of Colorado
4. Oh, to walk where Jesus walked!
Four websites I visit daily:
1. my church for the daily devotion
2. all these FABULOUS blogs...ya'll encourage the socks off of me!
3. news sites
4. and yes, people.com (I'm sorry!)
Ok, thats it for me girlfriends. I won't tag anyone. I'm just glad you stopped by!
Have a great end of the week. Fall has arrived in west TN and I'm all but jumpin up and down to get outside with my praise music and do some walking!! Love ya'll.
posted by Fran at 10:00 AM
Monday, October 8, 2007
Well...I'm a little confused on what day it is because we have had "Fall break" at the kids school and I couldn't tell you if it was Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. And for those of you that care...HSM2 is on in the background at home....yes, boys are watching it and finding out for the 400th time what happens between Gabriella and Troy. Do I feel the love out there for those that are still lovin High School Musical 2??!!!
Let's see..I think its Monday night....what?! My kids aren't watching Monday Night Football?
Ok, let me get going here. I just keep coming across something in Bible study that I want to pass on to you. VERY COOL STUFF AHEAD!
Let me get focused here. "Uncover, because He has you covered."
Let me say or remind you that God is your friend. Whoopdi-do you might say. But, let me qoute John 15:13...."Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Yes. Jesus is our friend. He laid down His life for us. That is the ultimate friend.
You might be thinking.... "What makes a really good friend?"
1. someone that knows my "stuff." The personal stuff.
2. someone that I can small talk with.
3. someone that I completely trust.
4. someone that loves me no matter what.
5. someone that helps me in difficult times
6. someone that jumps up and down with me in good times.
7. someone that is always there for me.
8. someone that knows my voice. knows my thoughts. knows my heart.
9. someone that corrects me.
10. someone that encourages me.
Well, this sounds like a best friend and it sounds like my Jesus!! I just sometimes am in awe of His love for me.....I'm just a mess and He still loves me. He is my best friend. But, do I give Him my best? Hmmmmm.....
In order for me and Jesus to be close....we gotta spend some time together. It's always my fault when I'm not drawing near to Him. He doesn't go anywhere...its all me. I know that my Jesus does all those things mentioned above regardless of my presence towards Him and sometimes that just makes me too sad. In order for me to feel like I'm giving Him my best, I gotta put Him first. That means putting Him first before I think of my earthly friends. I can promise you I fail at that more than I succeed right now.
I need to spend time with Him in ALL things....not just the big stuff when the s*&!t hits the fan. I need to be with Him in ALL things....big and small. There is usually more daily stuff that is small than there is big. Where is He during all that? He is right there my friend. Remember that. Acknowledge that. Love that.
Our God is a "with God." He is with us always. I want to be a "with Fran" and be with Him always. I need to bring it all to Him every day...that big stuff, that small stuff and everything in between. I need to uncover so much stuff to Him so we can talk about it, cry about it, jump up and down about it, talk about it again, share my heart about it, listen to Him about it. Once I uncover all that stuff.....He and I are rockin and rollin and being the best of friends because we have spent some intense time together . But, if I never uncover it, lay it before Him, we are just skimming the surface and that "best friend" friendship isn't there.....I haven't done my part.
So, think about it.... Jesus and the fact that He laid down His life for you, He thinks of you as a friend, a best friend, and He loves you beyond meausure.... lay before Him ALL your stuff. Let Him minister to you and help you as that best friend does. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes energy.
He is awesome. He is my relief. He is my refuge. He is my joy. He laid down His life for me. For me. For me!!
Uncover it all, my friend. He has you covered! He covered you on that cross. Uncover it all, friends. He's the bestest friend ever. And you'll never be the same.
posted by Fran at 7:26 PM
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I am SO very sorry Kim. That sweet girl over at Connorcolesmom tagged me with this I think on Monday and I'm a little tardy with my description of me and my "oh so amazing man!" He really is the best thing a girl could ask for. He balances me and keeps me in line and knows how to love me just the way I love to be loved. We've been together a long time and I love him even more today. So...here goes the fun!
1. Who is your man?? Billy Harold Thomas Jr, AKA Chip...I'd go by Chip too!
2. How long have you been together?? Married for 13 yrs this past August. The only day in August it rained, so I believe in rainy day wedding luck!
3. How long did you date?? We dated a whopping 5 months before we got engaged. We were engaged 11 months before the wedding....an ETERNITY!
4. How old is your man?? Let me think...I'll be 38 so he will be turning 39 on December 5th. He looks good too!
5. Who eats more?? I can eat the heck out of chips and dip....He eats the heck out of meat and potatoes!
6. Who said I love you first?? I bet he did. I don't think I would have had the nerve too. And I'm sure I promptly replied back "I love you too honey!"
7. Who is taller?? We are both tall, but Chip is 6"2. I'm 5"9.
8. Who sings better?? ME ME ME ME!! Well, actually I think I can sing really really good but I probably can't. I just sing all the time and I don't think I give him the chance to sing.....in the car anyway. You don't see him sing at church either. Maybe its a man thing. I don't know.
9. Who is smarter?? He is with financial stuff and big decisions. I smoke him when it comes to daily living and juggling a million things at once.
10. Whose temper is worse?? Mine oh mine. Chip is so patient and even tempered. Not fair.
11. Who does the laundry?? Mine oh mine. That would be all me. He will help fold clothes at night when I can't see straight anymore. He's very sweet about helping out around the house. He's actually a better cleaner than me. He's got some OCD issues.
12. Who takes out the trash?? All Chip
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?? Looking at the bed, he's on the right.
14. Who pays the bills?? Mine all mine.
15. Who is better on the computer?? Definately me.
16. Who mows the lawn?? Chip and he loves it.
17. Who cooks dinner?? Well, if you call it cooking that would be me. He is a mean griller though.
18. Who drives when you are together?? My car, I drive. His car, he drives.
19. Who is the most stubborn?? That might be a toss up and could go either way!
20. Whose parents do you like the most?? What kind of question is that??
21. Who kissed who first?? Man oh man...that would be all him.
22. Who asked out who?? He was after me from the get go and asked me out. I cannot remember where though?? I'm glad he won't read this!
23. Who proposed?? He did and it was precious. His dad owned a radio station in my home town and Chip taped a "commercial" that would play while we were in the car on our way to the movies. We had pulled in the parking lot and all of a sudden I heard his voice on the air say "Hey Fran, its Chip........" And the rest is history. The cool thing is he told several of our friends and my family to "listen" to the proposal. I was shocked....in a good way. I still have the tape of the commercial.
24. Who has more friends?? Maybe me.
25. Who has more siblings?? I have two older brothers and he has an older sister.
Well, now ya know about me and my man. He's the best thing on this planet. I'll even show you a little picture of my guy. I love you Chip. Thank you for your love and being the daddy to our 3 most amazing kids. Who could ask for more?!
posted by Fran at 12:54 PM
Monday, October 1, 2007
Ya know everybody, I had a weekend that was totally crazy! I have 3 boys that are 11,9,6. They all 3 play baseball and one is even playing football too. They absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what they are doing. They are allowed to play one sport at a time. What's so bad about that?? Nothing, but one child is overlapping with football. That is just for a couple of weeks. So...we play baseball in the Fall....travel ball at that, so it means A LOT of baseball in one weekend. And, did I say that they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what they do??!
So, as I watch their enthusiasm over what they do, it has made me question......
Do I love what I do?? Do I have the same enthusiasm that my children have??
I "do" many things....I have scaled back tremendously....we cannot do 100 things for the glory of God, but here is a list of some of the things I "do" on any given day.....
1. family up and out the door
2. house picked up and put up before I head to work
3. run errands for family and kids
4. get kids from school and begin homework
5. get kids to extra-curricular activities
6. hopefully remember dinner
7. finish up school work
8. ready for bed
9. lots of laundry
10. oh, yes, my JESUS!! He should have been 1st on this list!
Ya see, with this list of "things to do," I want to LOVE every aspect of my day. I want to LOVE all of it. I've been blessed with a wonderful life and in turn I pray for God to show Himself BIG to me throughout the day....I want to walk side by side with Him and praise Him, love Him, spend time with Him, and show gratitude for these blessings.
I have added "enthusiasm" to my prayer list. I pray that He fill my heart with an abundant love that reflects enthusiasm for Him. Enthusiasm in ALL I do. For He, is my love, my life, and my Savior. I pray that He fill my tank every morning, every afternoon, every evening. I just love Him so much and I want to be enthused in life.
So, here is a picture from the weekend AFTER 10 baseball games and a football game. I was enthusiastic that it was over because I was exhausted! Yes, it was a lot.I loved on my family when it was over because I saw them love life and love what they do and they encouraged me. They really blessed me.
Do you love what you do?? I sure hope so! Life is just so much better filled with Him and lovin what you do!!
posted by Fran at 12:20 PM