It's Sunday night as I write this and I'm watching Opening Night of America's pasttime....baseball.....on ESPN with my family. We are baseball freaks I guess you could say.
We get all excited and love all that they do before the big game...the pregame....the introduction of the lineups....the national anthem....the fireworks.....cheering for one of our many favorite teams, the Braves, and then watching the ceremonial 1st pitch by the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
And.....as he walked out onto the field with all his important people surrounding him....
He was booed. He was booed by the people of the United States. And, at that point, my heart broke in two.
I don't care how you feel about him as President of our country, or the choices he's made, or the decisions he makes, or his leadership, or anything about this man that you may not care for....
He is our leader at this present time and we must not or should not boo him in front of all the world and in front of our children. What kind of message does that send our kids as they sit and watch that take place??
I just heard a sermon today that was titled "why can't we all get along?"
We are called to love.
We are not called to be disrespectful, ugly, judgemental, critical, or arrogant. Sometimes that's not so easy, but sometimes we need to get it together and simply love.....even when it's hard.
So, as I tried to delicately explain to my 7 yr old and my 10 yr old why people were booing the President of our country.....my heart hurt.
"why can't we just all get along?"
If we are the body of Christ.....let's act like it....especially when the larger world is watching.
ok....I'm off my soap box now. I'm feeling better now. :)
I pray that we all teach our children to respect the authority God has ordained for this season in each one of our lives. Authority is there for a reason. I lived so much of my life with no concept of authority and I guess you could say I'm extra sensitive to the need for it.
Blessings and love~
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Hey sweet friends...
Happy Friday! Happy Weekend! I wish the weather was a little better. Its cold, drizzly, and just not feeling like Spring here in West TN. It really is depressing and I'm not happy about it!
But, today is Friday and our beloved siesta, Patty, hosts the amazing Godstop Friday and I'm squeezing mine in at the end of the day. I've been a little humdrum this week.
Ya see...I experienced some rejection this past week. It hurt. It still hurts. It's not pleasant. Its not fun. You want to cry alot. You just don't have the usual joy and hop in your step. You want to just be alone. You want to stay home. You don't want to be out and about. Its just plain hard.
But, the sweet, sweet voice that I can truly hear in my heart is this....
"Fran, I'm right here. I'm right here, my child. I haven't left you. I'm here holding your heart, your hand, your mind, your soul, your body. Let me be your strength when you have none. Let me be the only One that brings you true joy. Let me be the One who never leaves you. Let me be the One you've known all along was right here with you. Let me love your tender heart and heal you again. I'm here Fran. Remember me....I'm Jesus."
He is the only One who can heal, restore, and give us all that we need when we feel rejected and alone.
Oh how I praise Him for that right now. I plan on being with Him tonight. My family is gone and I have been given the gift of being alone for awhile and that is a good thing right now.....I'm going to be with Jesus. I need some tending to!
I love you all. Have a blessed weekend.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Have you ever heard that expression before???
Don't put all your eggs in one basket???
What does that mean exactly????
Don't put everything you have into one thing....
Don't put all your hopes and dreams into that person....
Don't put all your energy into one thing....
Well, let me tell you quickly how I got to re-visit this concept today. We had bible study this morning at my house. We only have about 5 weeks left after finishing "Wising Up", so we decided to watch the DVD's from the "Bible Study On Demand" by Lifeway. It is 5 different Bible teachers with 5 different independent lessons. Personally, I wanted to see other teachers I wanted to study for the Fall.
So.....this morning, we watched a session from Priscilla Shirer's study called "He Speaks to Me."
Well...this woman rocks!!! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME little 25 minute teaching on
single minded worship.
She asked us these questions about our worship experience on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights....
What or Who is holding you back from true single minded worship with God??? Go ahead...go back and read that one more time.
For me...I'm too busy thinking other things, worried about the people around me, thinking about the people around me, distracted by the people around me, afraid of being looked at, keeping a wall up between me and God so I can't experience Him fully, and hanging onto sin, pride, fear or doubt as I "attempt" to worship Him.
PATHETIC!! I can honestly say....I do not give Him all of me during worship. Whats up with that??? I don't know...bet I have a hunch that I have some issues with myself that need to be dealt with before I ever step into the church doors.....
So...as we talked about worship experiences.....I said these words....
"If you are counting on getting everything you need in one worship service....you will be disappointed."
So...that is my point. You cannot be completely filled if you are putting all your eggs in one basket.....whether its a worship service....Bible study group.....Sunday school class....
You will be completely filled by having many ways of worshiping Jesus. It will not happen in one hour on one Sunday morning. You will be disappointed if you think your Pastor, the musicians, the teacher, the study will do it all for you. They can't do that for you. They are human. There is no one perfect worship experience.
Get out there and find you some worship, some Jesus, some growth, and some learning in as many ways as you can!!!!
You are gonna need a lot of baskets girls. No need to have just one. It won't work for ya.
At least that's how I feel about it right this second.
Blessings and have a great day with Jesus....
Monday, March 24, 2008
Well...It's the day after Easter and what a glorious day it was for me. It was a truly beautiful day at church, but more importantly in my heart and in my mind, as I took it all in. I felt the emotional surge beginning on Friday and thought my heart would explode! Thankfully, I kept it all together, but my heart was really FULL during Easter worship. :)
This weeks weather is supposed to be warm and nice in West TN and therefore the Spring bug is about to bite me.....BIG TIME!!! I want to go buy plants, flowers, and get things ready for the bursting forth of some Spring time beauty!
As much as I want to do these things, I have to hold myself back and "wait just a little while longer." I'm always the person that jumps the gun and in 2 days it will snow, one more time, and everything will die. :)
But, one part of Spring, for me, is thinking ahead to Summer and enjoying the rest that Summer brings for me as a mom. I'm always happy to ditch school....I think we work pretty hard during the school year too!!! So....Summer for me is much needed rest, relaxation, and some serious family time. I even cut back on my hours at church. It really is a good thing for me. I sit here and grin just thinking about it!!
Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
I absolutely adore this translation of the infamous Matthew 11:28-30. Because, by the end of the school year and really even this time of year....I'm getting burned out, worn out, and tired of a lot of things.
I'm ready for some REST!! And, the funny thing is, I just got back from a week of rest at the beach! HA!
But, you know what I mean. Rest does the body, mind, and soul some good. Its necessary. God commands us to rest.
I hope as you begin to move toward Spring, Summer, the end of a school year, the beginning of something new, the beginning of a new relationship with Jesus, or the end of something that drained you more than fed you.....that you will take some time for some rest. And...I mean intentional rest.
I plan on being more mindful of the fact that all parts of me need some rest. I need to take more time to rest, enjoy the simple things of life, and slow down for some sweet time with Jesus.
I can't do a whole of good for Him if I am too busy to even be with Him. I need to rest in Him. I need to rest with Him. I need Him to tend to me a whole lot more than I do.
Don't just have "snippets with God" but have some good, solid time with Him.
Find you some rest in Jesus. He's the best caretaker I know of!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Well friends....its Friday morning. And...it's not your average Godstop Friday.
Today is Good Friday! And, my heart is so full it's about to bust...and my mind has many things it wants to put in this post....and, each of you are on my heart today.
My thoughts, prayers, and Easter wishes are being sent to you!
Ok...since I love a good number listing of random things, let's do that....
1. As we have been at the beach this week, I'm just in awe of the ocean once again.
How do we not get washed out to sea? How in the world does the ocean work. I know there are some moon, sun things going on, but it's just one of His amazing works!
2. I love seeing toddler footprints in the sand! And, right next to them...a set of big people footprints!!
3. I love being able to see the ocean in the distance for miles and meet up with the horizon. You truly think that is the edge of the Earth.
4. I loved seeing a mom and her young teenage daughter just sitting on the beach near the water, talking and talking and laughing and smiling!
5. I loved watching the young and old hold hands on the beach as they walk and truly look happy.
6. I love seeing the children run and play in the water. Why don't you see many grownups doing that?? We have outgrown that childlike fun. :(
7. I love the sound of the birds (are they seagulls?) flying over the water and the way they are talking to each other.
8. And, I love the laughter and fun my family has shared this week. One time I laughed so hard at my husband (you'll see pic below) of him doing this trampoline thing that I bent over and tears came out of my eyes. Don't you love that kind of laughter???!!!
9. I have slept 10 hrs every night we have been here....I believe I needed some rest! It's important for the soul and body! :)
And, here are some pictures from yesterday....and, my 3rd little angel loves to put on a show during dinner time...I'm not sure what that is about!
Happy Easter y'all. You are in my hearts and prayers this weekend. And, may all of our hearts be full for Him and our Risen Lord! I believe I will listen to Travis Cottrell's "In Christ Alone" 975 times in the next 2 days!
Hugs and blessings~
What this fun and sun will do to ya!
posted by Fran at 10:46 AM
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
These are the boys before they went to the movie last night....I had some quiet time alone and watched some reality tv on Bravo! :)
We shopped today some because it was a little rainy this morning...my 2nd son BEGGED for this adorable puppy. We have the 6 yr old version at home!
Some kind woman asked if she could help with the picture taking so we could all be in the shot.....
Are they not thrilled to be waiting 1 hr and 50 minutes for dinner????
Ok...starting to cheer up and gettin the party started!!!
Ok...I know that was just fascinating!! But, I'll post some final pix on Friday of nothin but beach baby!! So...maybe if you have nothing better to do, you can come back for more fascinating things from Wild Spring break '08!!
Hope you are having a wonderful week. The beach has been glorious!! And, our sunburned, fried, with sunscreen backs can prove it!!
Monday, March 17, 2008
Ok...listen real carefully.....can you hear it???? Its the ocean....its just beautiful sounding and its right outside my balcony!!! Oh, how I love this sound!
And, here are my 4 favorite people heading out to the beach....I went too, but I had to take the picture bc that's what momma's do!!!
And, here's my baby playing in the pool.....
And, because girls love to see where you are staying and want to know how the condo is....here are 2 pictures....and, y'all we ADORE this condo....it is F-U-N!!!!
Ok, that's enough of this post. I just love y'all and wish I could call every single one of you and ask if you can hear the ocean. Ya see, the ocean brings out the pure kid in me and the full grownup in me. How in the world did God create this masterpiece??? He's utterly amazing. I can't wait to hear something from Him while I'm hear.
I think I'll go grab my Bible and sit on the balcony and spend some time with Him.
The other kids are gone. :)
More meaningless pictures to come later. Have a great day!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Yep. Heading to the beach!! Me, my hubs, and my 3 favorite kids on planet Earth are heading South!!
So, of course I'll take my laptop bc that's the way this weird girl stays connected with the news and the world.....so, don't be surprised if I post some pictures of all our glorious fun this week.
Not to make you jealous, but because I love ya and I'm one to share the love! :)
So...keep us in your prayers on Sunday afternoon and night for traveling! And, the weather looks dynamite for the week. "Thank you Jesus!"
Blessings y'all and Happy Spring break to anyone out there who is getting some R and R this week!
Friday, March 14, 2008
The day is almost up, but I will not forget to leave y'all with some sweet God Stop moments from this past week! As always, thank you Patty for hosting this sweet event! ; )
Ok...I so wish my friend Teresa, who comments on my blog and others, was a blogger but she's not. She and I live 30 minutes apart and found each other through my blog. Well, a couple of months ago, we met for the first time, and I feel as if I've known Teresa for 100 years. That long lost best friend that you had placed in your lap directly by God Himself!
She and I had lunch today and talked 100 mph and she just blessed the socks off me!! Here is a picture that was taken at our 1st "meeting" and a sign we made for another bloggy friend, Leigh, that Teresa actually knows in real life and I actually know in the non real life of blogville!! So, here we are for the 1st time...and no, I didn't take a picture of us today at lunch. I forgot! :(
So, I'm so thankful to God for giving me this new friend. I believe that we will be friends for a long time. She's the real deal and I'm thrilled to have her in my life. She listened today. She encouraged. She laughed. She shared. She blessed me in every way a friend can. She's honest. We've prayed together. She is simply delightful. She loves her family. But, most of all....Jesus is all over this precious woman!! He is so in you Teresa....He shines gloriously in you and through you!! You are precious to me!!
And....secondly....my family is life to me. My hubs and my boys are EVERYTHING to me! You know how you just sit and look at them and have the Holy Spirit just speak love and joy over your momma's heart for these people He has blessed you with???!! I had that today. And, my heart melted right then and there as I hugged and loved on them!! It was like God whispered in my ear....."Aren't they just the neatest and coolest?!"
"Thank you so much for these men in my life, Jesus! They are truly everything to me."
Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are and whoever you are with! May you reflect the love of Christ to everyone and have some fun and laughter!!!
Hugs, prayers, and blessings over you all~
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Ok...Y'all work with me here for a minute. I'm going down this road with Jesus as the "partyer" with the help of Beth Moore and a teaching she did on Life Today on February 20th.
This particular lesson she taught that day stuck with me because my wonderful 4th and 5th graders at church have been talking about the "ultimate party" and what that particular party would look like! Hmmmmmm......that's something to think about isn't it????
These kids have been talking about whether or not Jesus was a party pooper?? If He was, why do we think that?? Where do we learn that He wants to kill joy and fun out of our lives?? Why at the age of 10 or 11, alot of these kids think and believe that He IS the party pooper???
One Wednesday night when I was teaching them, we wrote on the board everything and everyone that would be included in their ultimate party. Not one person mentioned Jesus being at the ultimate party.
That is not surprising for me. But, I asked this.....
If Jesus was invited or showing up at your ultimate party, would that change the ultimate party in any way?????
Let me hear another Hmmmmmmmm........
Ok, so let's get to the teaching that Ms. Beth taught out of John chapter 2. This is the story of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana in Galilee. This is the 1st miracle in the Bible. Don't you just love it??
Ok....it says in vs. 2 that Jesus' mother was there and Jesus and his disciples had been invited to the wedding.
Jesus and his buddies were invited......why???
Maybe He was invited because Jesus was fun and had a personality that was fun. Jesus had been invited in advance of the wedding. Beth Moore said this..."I don't know if you can go here with me for just a second but Jesus was asked to a party because he was not the party dud. Aren't you glad that Jesus doesn't kill a party?!"
Well, that is definitely something to think about. JESUS WAS NOT A PARTY DUD!!!!
I don't know about you, but I had to remind myself of that.
Beth Moore began to talk about Jesus' personality. Remember, the kids would not leave him alone. He had a magnetic personality I bet. Kids would run up to him. Did he tickle them? Did he play with them? Did he chase them? I bet so! I bet he had a blast with them!!
So....all this to say....I think Jesus had a fun personality and was the life of the party!!
We need to let our children know that Jesus is a blast! Jesus is the ultimate party! He is the ride of a lifetime!!
He was God. Fully God! He is the boss over our lives, but He's the biggest blast you'll ever have!
I had in my head that the creator of heaven and earth was not this type of person. He is the alpha and omega.......And, he is a blast!!!
So, as you party on...in the Name of Jesus.....party in some good clean fun. We can have a blast. Jesus did. And, aren't we trying to be more and more like Him anyway?!
posted by Fran at 9:35 AM
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Us Southerners got us a good ole fashion snow last night......and, we acted like we were jumping on a plane going to Disneyworld the way we screamed and squealed!!
Here is some of our fun.....and, I don't want to hear....."You call that snow?!" Just kidding....
This is the house across the street Friday afternoon!
Just love it when I make them line up to take the picture before they head out!
My #3 stud!
Flew down the hill!
Me and #2 stud!
Husband stud wiping out!
I may not know what I'm doing, but I look cool!
Ok..I thank you for joining our one day winter wonderland that is now melting.
It will be another 5+ years before we see this again!
ok...now, back to Spring....HURRY UP WILL YA?!
Friday, March 7, 2008
Can I hear ya say...."YAY IT'S FRIDAY!!!" Woo hoo!! Yippee!! And...they are saying it's gonna S-N-O-W today....and for us down South.....Big Snow!!! Like 2-4 inches!!!! WOO HOO!!!
Ok....I got a sweet God Stop for this week.....thank you sweet Patty for being the best hostess of this wonderful weekly thing we got going on here!!!
Let me say quickly how much I just adore each one of you that come here and encourage me in this thing called life!!! You are the real deal. And, we are connected in the Name of Christ and that is far greater than anything I know!!! It is completely irrelevant that we have never met!!! Isn't that just the funniest?! :) So....I love ya dearly. And, I do pray for you every day!
Ok...God Stop for this week began last Wednesday night at church. I have the honor of teaching our 4th and 5th graders during mid-week programming. Well, this past week we were talking about Ecclesiastes 4:10......such a great verse.....
"If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
We spent so much time talking about "falling down." This can look so many different ways in the eyes of a child.....Here's a few....
1. Seeing someone make fun of another kid
2. Seeing someone on the playground or during recess that has noone to play with
3. In a group of kids and being a part of tearing someone else down with gossip
4. Having an attitude of "I'm too cool to mess with you."
These are ways to be on the receiving end of "falling down" and also on the giving end of causing someone to "fall down."
We talked about how God has truly set us as Christians apart to show His love and Himself when people are in need. Heck...we all fall down. (I instantly had ring around the rosy pop into my head!)
So...what does Ecc. 4:10 say that you are to do when someone falls down????
PICK THEM UP! PICK THEM UP! PICK THEM UP!
Our kids that night made cards for some homeless men that will be able to stay in our church tonight. Its a program called "Room in the Inn." During the winter months, an organized "thing" is put together and allows these people a place to stay.....and feed them.....and pray with them....and share scripture with them.....and even play games with them!!!!
This is Jesus!! This is Jesus!!! He is all over this!
Our 4th and 5th graders made cards for these men to have on their cots when they go to bed tonight. They will be given a scripture of hope...Romans 15:13....and they will know that compassion was alive in these young hearts and they are seeing Ecc. 4:10 in action.
These men are down. We are there to help them up. We are showing them the love of Christ.
These kids need to live out compassion. They need opportunities to serve, help, and be involved. You can't just tell them things. They need to live it out.
Without saying a corny thing here...."They are the future of the church."
I loved seeing God stir something within their 10 and 11 year old hearts Wednesday night.
It's beautiful to see Him do His thing in ALL ages.
As I read over at Stephanie's blog.....God is able and adequate!!!
He sure is!! And, I love Him dearly.
posted by Fran at 10:33 AM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
It's so much more than a pinky promise with my man!! But, I love this picture and we are in this marriage thing together! And, I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that I love the fire out of him and have been a terrible wife at times, but I have gone before God to seek His wholeness and restoration for myself so I can be the woman of God He desires.
Let me tell you that I have a messed up past. I spent many years of my teenage life in some destructive patterns and choices. I made horrible decisions that have flooded into many parts of my adult heart and mind. And, you can only push them under the rug and not deal with them for so long.
Through a perfectly, God ordained time as this, and the beauty of Beth Moore's Bible study, "Wising Up," I have cried out to God to heal parts of my heart and restore me, in His time, to be the woman of God He desires for my life. Once this can begin to happen....I truly believe I can be that woman for my man that I need to be. And, my man deserves to have.
I'm going to be so honest right now with you and tell you that I have been, more than anything else, VERY SELFISH! Selfish can have 100 different meanings and looks. And, girls, it is not healthy, pretty, it's fake, ugly, mean, and not the way God designed marriage to be. It's time for me to change. One prayer at a time.
This is going to be tough. I have to pray for God to literally re-wire my mind and belief system for some things that haunt me from my past. I have to believe and trust God to do His beautiful thing of bringing the dead back to life. I have to believe that Jesus can save this poor girls rotten beliefs from taking any more life away from her!! I need to believe that He WILL heal and restore!
Don't get me wrong....our marriage is not in trouble. It's all me. I think I need to do "Breaking Free" again and get it right. I'm not completely free.
I want Jesus, more than anything, to have favor on our home, my family and our lives.
But, I need to get a few things right before Him in order for this to happen.
I'm praying for all of us and our homes right now. These relationships are everything to Him and His Name is at stake as to how we live this thing out among others. I praise His Holy Name for loving me and being so patient with me. He knew I'd come around......eventually!
We are meant to be free....free indeed! Blessings and His favor is my prayer over you and your homes.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Did you happen to see this show last night???
I cried like a big ole 38 yr old baby. And, loved every bit of it. Thank goodness I missed "Extreme Home Makeover--Home Edition" because I'm pretty sure I would have been completely wiped out by the end of both of those shows.
God wired me with a heart of compassion for helping others, for truly caring deeply about others, for wanting good things for everyone, for hurting when others hurt, for rejoicing when others rejoice. That can be good and it can also be too much sometimes.
Like last night for example.....I wanted to call Oprah and tell her to sign me up and let me help them. I WANT TO HELP THESE PEOPLE!! I WANT ON THE BIG GIVE!!!
If you didn't get to see the show last night....please watch it next Sunday at 8pm central.
It was absolutely beautiful.....regardless of people getting "kicked off" or maybe "eliminated" is a better word. These people were helping change the lives of other people.
Y'all....that is who we are.
That is what we are called to do.
That is what Jesus expects us to do.
It IS better to give than to receive.
We are supposed to help our fellow man.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 has been something I've been talking and teaching to our children at church about. And....its so very simple.....if someone falls down, we are supposed to pick them up.
Falling down can look like 101 different ways.
I hope that you are intentionally working for God's kingdom every single day. What are you doing today that will make an eternal difference in the life of someone else???
Its a big question. What are you doing to make an eternal difference in the life of someone else??
I can get so caught up in just every day life and totally miss opportunities to make a difference.
Give Big to God's Kingdom people!!!
It's a blast when we do it!!! No matter the deed....we will sow what we reap. And, personally, I want a GIANT harvest for Him. (Gal 6:7)
I love you Jesus. Show me ways to help others today. I want to make a difference for you!
I want to Give Big for YOU!!!!
Deut. 15:10"Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you do."
Blessings dear ones~
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Prayer for us grownups!
children ran towards you and you welcomed them with open arms reprimanding those who wished to keep them under control.
We have lived as children, and have grown up leaving behind something of the trust,enthusiasm,vulnerability,curiosity,imagination,openness,acceptance,the playfulness of childhood.
We too often reprimand children,'They don't behave.' 'They’re too noisy.'And yet we want children to be present -'They are the church of tomorrow!'
Jesus you call children to be part of the church not because they are church of tomorrow but because the Holy Spirit speaks through them today because they remind us of the essence of our humanitybecause they invite us to become again the child we once knew because we need to be like them......
and playful to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Help us to be more childlike.
posted by Fran at 8:01 AM