Thursday, January 31, 2008

Let's give it a try.....






Well, I sit here with a heart that is beating so fast. My mind is moving 100 mph. What do I say? How do I make this interesting? How do I capture your attention? There is one subject that is becoming more and more difficult for me to sit on and be quiet about. I think I might be annoying to some! But, that is a-ok with me. The subject is....


JESUS!


First of all, don't you just love the way that sounds?? I mean His name is just so sweet to me now. But, that has not always been the case. I have a great desire to learn how to effectively get the Word of Christ out to other women! Whew...that in itself is overwhelming. There are so many ways to do that. But, how in the world do you do that and be effective?? You want to do this thing right! I have opportunities within my home church because I have the privilege of being the Director of Children and Family Ministry and I also facilitate a women's Bible study. The path is right there. I want to maximize what I already have and then find a path that is new and just burning inside to get out.


I'm about to FREAK OUT at the thought of actually expressing my thoughts on the Proverbs 31 scholarship opportunity they are offering to the She Speaks conference this Summer...I mean I'm just flat out afraid of what my fingers may type....but, lets sit together and figure my excited heart out. I pray that you'll find some hope through this.....


You see, I was a girl who grew up in the church, but yet did not know Christ. I had a good family, yet did not talk about church and life with a daily Jesus. I appeared to be just like any other teenager, but I was a train wreck waiting to happen. Oh wait!!! That train wrecked many a times. It just didn't appear as a train wreck. I had so many people thinking one thing, but yet doing another.


How I despeartely wish someone, anyone, somehow, someway had told me about Jesus at an earlier age. But, that is not my story. That did not happen to me. I cannot go back in time. I cannot make different decisions. I cannot change anything that I did. But, I can take that mess of a girl and young woman and share in as many ways possible how Jesus can ROCK YOUR WORLD!


Girls, His character is just beautiful. He is so patient people! If He can work with me for 28 years....do not lose hope! He can use the strangest of scenarios, the least expected people, and do miraculous healing in the most orchestrated, beautiful, glorious God way.


My desire to be able to speak, write through this blog, and share in whatever capacity that I can, the hope that is found in Christ Jesus. Even when you didn't even have Christ Jesus!!! You may have not even thought you were missing a dern thing! But, He is eagerly awaiting our arrival.


Whether you are a believer or not, He is working on your behalf and He will work perfectly on your behalf. That is just Who He is.


Parents.....do not give up if your children are as far from God as possible. If you are not sure of Who God is or if you aren't sure of your own salvation, I want to help you, talk with you, and be as honest and real as I possibly can. If you need life brought back into your unsure or dead heart, then let me share the hope that is found through Christ. If you are in need of a renewal or simply take that first step, then lets talk. Because, God is the Father of saving lives!!! He saved mine. He restored me. He brought me to a place that I did not even like in others. I became that person that I couldn't stand. I became a Christian. I can't help but smile as I type that. This would be a complete turn around! And, I didn't even know for the longest that I needed to turn.


I love Jesus with every fiber of my being and want to sharpen my skills as I desperately want others to know the true life of Jesus as they walk the pavement of life. Life is just plain hard and we need to have Someone to cling too. We need to have us some hope that Someone is working on our behalf. We need to know that we are loved beyond measure......regardless of what we have done.


We all can be a vessel. I want to be a blessing to someone. He has blessed me so. He is everything to me. His Word is my addiction that I won't give up for anything or anyone. I feel as though my little self is just about to explode with the Good News! I want that explosion to take place. And, I want to have a blast doing it!! Because He is the best fun in the world.


Hang in there folks. He's got you covered. He's got your back. He is life.


Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."


Blessings~

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Get to know Fran" Meme

That darling girl, Charity, tagged me for this and I'm a little behind in getting to it. Go over and visit Charity if you wish. I think she is just the cutest thing and is always there to offer an encouraging word and give some love to her bloggy friends. And, guess what Charity??? I'm heading your way for a baseball tourney sometime in March I think!! Woo-hoo! And, that would not be me playing. That would be my kids! :)



1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE ?
Yes....my sweet, sweet grandmother. She was a Frances and so am I. I go by Fran though.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Considering I can cry at the drop of a hat.....that would be seriously fighting back tears today in our Bible study DVD.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
I guess so. I LOVED practicing it when I was little. :)

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I love a turkey sandwich from Subway...(toasted) with pepperjack cheese! mmmmmmm

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Yes...my 3 amazing boys that hung the moon!

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I hope so.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Yes, but am trying to back off. I don't like it on me anymore.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Heck no! Its a cool story that is a part of my testimony. Even God will use tonsils to get your attention.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Are you kidding me??!! RIDICULOUSLY STUPID! In my opinion of course.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Every night before bed, while electric blanket is warming up for me......eat a small bowl of Honey Bunches of Oates. (I think thats what its called)

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
No....i didn't know you were supposed too. Oooops. That was sarcasm.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Yes. But, I can sure fake a weenie real quick.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Chocolate chip or mint chocolate chip on a sugar cone from Baskin robbins.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Most definately their smile.

15. RED OR PINK?
Red baby. Pink is not my friend.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF?
Well, there are many. But, i'll settle on one right now....my wintry white legs.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My grandmother that I was named after and my oldest friend who lives in AR.

18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
No pants or shoes! HA HA HA. I'm in my pj's!

19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Cereal from above mentioned

20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
"Lost" on tv and I'm lost.

21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
I'd pick out a pretty shade of orange.

22. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Good candles, fresh cut grass in the Summer, coffee, clean children, delicious food.

23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My hubs on the way home from church....he was home with sick child....yuck!

24. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
COLLEGE FOOTBALL all the way. Preferably SEC football...and that would be TN in 1st place and then the Razorbacks if they are doing good!

25. HAIR COLOR?
Brown when colored. Thank you Jesus for products and good hair wizards.

26. EYE COLOR?
hazel

27. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
No...but I need glasses bc I can't see far away.

28. FAVORITE FOOD?
Mexican, mexican, mexican

29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy Endings!

30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Couldn't tell you.

31. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
pj's with monkeys on them. I'm crazy.

32. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer! Take me to the beach! Amen Charity.

33. HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs! From my boys and man.

34. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Anything in the chocolate family.

35. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
several Bible books and study things and devotional things and other things that I obviously can't come up with titles of.

36. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Nothing, no mouse.

37. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT?
Tonight is "Lost" and last night was "can't remember."
Too much time has passed!

38. FAVORITE SOUNDS?
my children in a deep, deep belly laugh all together. And, the sound of the ocean.

39. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Neither

40. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Me and hubs took a trip to Cabo San Lucas 4 yrs ago for our 10 yr anniversary. It was divine.

41. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I can't think of one right now. So, I guess no.

42. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Arkansas


Thanks Charity for the tag. Its always fun to read about others. See you back on Friday for Patty's Godstops. Press on with God friends. Press on.

Blessings......

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sharing the love!








Well, if you don't know who Stephanie is....then you must add her as a regular "go to" because my life is incomplete without her encouragement to me. She is just the BEST!!! And, she was instrumental for me as I prepared to speak at my church's womens retreat last weekend. So, I humbly say "thank you Steph" for giving me love and sharing the love through this darling award. Right back at you friend!!! May God continue to use you mightily in this world of blog friendship!




So, as I sit here on Tuesday afternoon and think of others who bless me through prayer and encouragement in this daily journey with Jesus.....I want to pass along to:




Bev!!!!!!




I think we can all agree that Bev is the ultimate encourager! She not only provides love and encouragement so individually she does so with the purest heart for Jesus! I love her dearly and CANNOT wait to see her in San Antonio in August. Won't we all just sob for hours when we get there?! Anyway.....




Bev, please accept this award for being a beautiful woman of God and sharing your love and His love in a way that brings complete joy to every single one of us that have the honor of knowing you!




Let's give her a hug and throw her some kisses now! She is most deserving. Bless you sweet friend. You are dear to us all.



Blessings~

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It was just so sweet for me......

Let me just say that God was there for ME this weekend! He was there to meet with me and 65 other ladies from church and speak something so personal over our lives. It was our first overnight retreat for the women of our church. I was so excited. And, I was scared to death.

But, He held me in His hand. He spoke such peace over me before I spoke. That came completely from Him bc I was truly shaking at one point and thinking "how in the world am I going to get through this?" He even gave me complete joy while I shared my testimony of how God settled this wild buck down and changed her heart completely.

It was scary to think of me exposing a part of my life that I had not shared with many people at all. And, when I say "many" I think 2 people know the full deal history of where I had been and how He truly saved my life.

So, to get up there in front of 65 of "your church girls" and expose so much.......almost had me throwing up in the ladies room! What if.....

they don't like me any more?

they don't see what I'm trying to offer?

they miss the whole point of what I was hoping to share?

But, I believe with all my heart that God showed up in His glorious way and truly gave me the story to tell at that given moment. He was present with me. He was felt so deep within my heart. It was like He just placed His arm around me and said..."Go on and spread the Good News.....that is what I have called you to do right at this moment."

And...it was time to begin. But, 1st a prayer from my precious prayer partner, Carolyn. Of course I got teary-eyed. We have prayed 100 times together. We've spiritually grown together. We've experienced signifcant growth in our passion for Jesus. There was not a better person to pray for me. Thank you Carolyn. May His mighty hand continue to guide and strengthen you! I hope you have many "Carolyn's" in your life.




I did my thing and honestly I don't know what I said. I followed my notes, but added in a whole bunch of stuff that probably made our retreat leader very nervous. :) You know, the whole time issue thing that they want to follow! But, I went exactly where my Savior took me for that amount of time and I loved the laughter, the reflections, the scriptures that mean so much to me now, and believing that God spoke hope and encouragement to at least one woman in that room.

I give Him all the glory and praise for the work He does in my daily life. I give Him such praise for the Resurrection Jesus that He is. I am in awe of what He did in my life. He is utterly amazing to me how He can change hearts and lives COMPLETELY AROUND!

He was there this weekend. I thank you for your prayers. My sweet friends here at home, my best girls here in blogworld, and our sweet Heavenly Father held me up. I'm overflowing with love and gratitude for you all. Truly. I'm different through Him and through you.

A few pix with some of the girls.....and, you never take as many pix as you would like. Oh well. You can look around the website of where we were here. Talk about an amazing Christian camp for kids. Truly amazing. Thank you Victory Ranch. I wish I could go work there. :)




We had a blast hanging out together. I laughed so hard I cried at times. I loved being with some new friends and my old friends. I loved experiencing God in very different and personal ways at one time. I can't wait for next year!! I had a complete blast with y'all. It went by way too quick.

And, to my church girls....I smiled over you and gave thanks for you as I fixed my cereal tonight and waited on my electric blanket to warm up! (wink wink)

Have a great time with God in ALL things. He blesses me beyond words.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm so excited I might throw up!


Thank you Patty for starting this wonderful time of reflection each Friday. Ok, now......

How's that for a "what she gonna talk about" title?! But, its the truth and let me share!

You see, I'm an anxious person by nature. I don't worry about everything, but I know how to worry about some stuff. In this particular case, if God has called me to do something and it's completely out of my "norm" with Him.....then I'll do it bc I'm quick to obey, but the process with Him can get me so worked up.....

I MIGHT THROW UP!

I'll wrestle with Him in my Spirit and go round and round with feelings of inadequacy and "I can't do this Lord" that I'm sure He's just stomping His Holy foot saying "YES YOU CAN! WORK WITH ME FRAN!" Finally, I break my will and we settle into this groove.

My home church is having its 1st ever over-night womens retreat at Victory Ranch and I was asked to be one of the speakers. Well, 4 months ago it was all great and fun and exciting. But, then I went through that spell of "I can't do this Lord" and now we have finally settled into a groove of peace, love, gratitude, and just pure joy to be with Him and my friends this weekend. I do believe I'm prepared to step out of my norm this weekend.

Now, I will be nervous. I will. But, its more of an excited nervous. My sweet friend, Teresa, "AKA Anonymous" in blogworld, and my dear friend Stephanie have been praying for me and with me. The power of prayer and friendship is powerful people!!! I have seen, heard, and felt God through these women. He has shown Himself through my friend friends (the non-imaginary type) and I don't think I will throw up! HALLELUJAH! That would be awful people.
I thank all of you who have commented and prayed for me. You are all the real deal girls and I cannot wait to spend eternity with each of you.

Pray for our retreat this weekend. It's called "Holding Fast in the Fast Lane!" We want to recover our life and be with Him and His restoration power. Our scripture is Matthew 11:28-30 out of the Message.

I'm humbled before Him today. I have an overflowing heart for Him today. I cannot wait to see what He has to show me while I'm gone.

Thank you for the prayers. He's utterly amazing.
Blessings~

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Peanutbutter crackers, a Dr. Pepper and God!

Visual Poetry - ImageChef.com


HALLELUJAH!

I'm so overwhelmed with our Lord right now that my fingers are CRAZY on this keyboard right now. He's just too much for my little bitty brain right this second. Oh, but I love Him and wouldn't trade Him for anything!

Had Bible study at my house this morning. We have gone completely nuts and are doing Beth Moore's "Wising Up" that has NO HOMEWORK people. I'll just confess that I'm a little nuts right now bc I have nowhere to channel this nuttiness that is in my head with all that we are learning. Beth, could you whip up some homework for our group real fast and email it to me??!! Thank you! :)

I've always got 5001 things to say but I'm gonna say this simply with my peanut butter cracker crammed in my mouth and my DP close by......I'm skipping a real lunch so I can get this down!

OUR HEART IS EVERYTHING TO HIM!!!!

What does your heart say about you? Lets see for a quick second and then I'm done......

1. Do you give HIM your ENTIRE heart?? Or just pieces??

2. Do you have an anxious heart?? If so, throw Him your concerns bc when we do not....we have some control issues going on between me and Him.

3. Do you have an isolated heart?? Noone will ever get our situation or ordeal like we do. We should not be surprised when we fell misunderstood. HE is the only one who knows why we do the things we do. Be joyful in all our daily situations. We have resurrection power girls!! USE IT!

4. Do you have a hope sick heart??? Have you waited so long for something that you've lost hope?? Remember Abraham? He waited FOREVER for that 1st son. He finally had him and named him Isaac.....which means laughter. The laughter and joy will come. Hang in there sisters. And, it will be good.

5. Do you have a hardened heart?? Oh, do I know how to do this one. I can cut you off just as quick as I let you in. If you have betrayed me, hurt me, or done anything that is just "not nice"
then I can cut you off. Now, I may have done the big girl thing and forgiven and even prayed for you. But, let me remind us all.....our heart cannot and will not be hardened. Let Jesus tend to that heart. Restore that person. "Anyone that hates is a murderer!" 1 John 3 tells us! YIKES!
Let me love them through the healing name of Jesus.

Give Him your WHOLE HEART! Mess and all. He wants the entire thing so He can do His healing magic and tend to that treasure He has placed within us.

Me and Him gotta do some work together on this one. I bet you do too. Stay faithful friends.
He does.

Blessings~

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Golly Bill.....





My beloved Siestas, Teri and Janel, gave me this award. I just wish I could have a web cam or something and just thank you both with real live words!! I just love both of you and couldn't imagine life without your blogs! So....I won't. Keep up the beautiful, encouraging, heart-felt, God fearing word that you do!

I know those of you that have become real friends to me understand the gratitude and sincerity I feel when I say "thank you!" You are the real deal to me. Your encouragement just blesses me so deeply.

May God shine brightly on you and through you. Continue to do His work. Love Him with all you have. Seek Him with your entire heart. Share Him with everyone you can.

So, I pass the love along to Stephanie! She has become a dear friend. She's been praying for me and my speaking event this weekend for a loooooooonnnnnnngggggg time! :) Blessings Stephanie. This is a timely award to pass along to you.

Have a great day everyone!
Blessings to all~

Monday, January 21, 2008

Completely all over the place...

JESUS



Well. Its Monday morning and we are out of school (hallelujah!) and my brain is just moving 100 mph and for the life of me cannot settle itself down. Just like a kid in a candy store.....or Disney World.....or their favorite sports store.....or the ice cream store.....but, you get the idea.

My problem:

Too much Bible! Too much Jesus! Too much of Him in my head! Too much of His Word!

Now that I have typed that out.....thats not a problem at all! It's wonderful!

However, when I'm trying to focus on one thing to share with you......I've got so much swirling in my head that I can't settle it down. But, I shall try. The biggest thought I have right now is this.....

RESTORATION!

I've been reading the book of Job. We all know about Job and the horrible things that happened to his life and his family. But, what I had forgotten......the IDIOT friends he had!! Oh, how I wanted to just yell at my Bible and tell them to S-H-U-T U-P!! I had heard enough of them and their lies to poor Job. I mean how many chapters are there that deal with these arrogant little guys??? But, finally......at the end of the book.....here comes the restoration from God.

God reminds Job of all the glorious things God does. God reminds Job of His awesomeness.

Job listens and is reminded of the love between the two. And, then, some things take place.....

1. Job humbles himself before the Lord.
2. God rebukes the 3 idiot friends :)
3. Job PRAYS FOR HIS FRIENDS
4. Job prays for the idiot friends...the ones that completely brought him down.....
5. Can I do that???
6. But, when you do.....God RESTORES you!
7. He'll bless you more than you could have ever imagined!! In this case, the LORD prospered him and gave him twice as much as he had before.

So, if someone has brought you down for whatever reason....begin to pray for that person. Seek God and His "mighty-ness." Let Him bless you AFTER you have prayed for the people who hurt you. He restored Job. He'll restore you.

But, the last piece to this puzzle that I have not done in the past.....YOU restore that person to the place where God holds them. Don't just forgive them and pray for them.....put them in that high place where God has them. For me, that was the hardest part of all. I did not want to restore them.

Whew! Just a small piece of what God is doing in my heart right now. I hope it made sense.
Blessings friends. Have a day with God. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

For your viewing pleasure

We have one dog, Bailey. Bailey is an indoor dog and she is spoiled rotten. She sleeps approximately 20 out of 24 hrs and doesn't like to lose her nap time.




Well, we had basketball games this morning and I was the last one to leave the house.


It was about 9:45 when I left. I THOUGHT I had closed the door all the way from the garage into the kitchen area. Apparently I was wrong....

This is who I found inside in our living room quite comfortable and never acknowledged my presence when I came in.....

Now, the one on top of the chair is "ours." I say that bc we pretty much adopted her 3 years ago when we lived in our old house. She wondered up.....pregnant I might add.....and we've had her ever since. We were real creative when we named her. That one on top is "Momma cat." Momma cat is an OUTSIDE cat!

The one on the bottom looking at me....very unaffected.....is I DON'T KNOW!

Bailey is not happy and neither am I!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008




Question 1
Which is worse? Being gossipped about or being lied to?

HOLY COW! This is a tough one. I guess being lied to would be worse for me. Speaking from experience in all my lowly days of being a good gossiper, the facts were usually very wrong and very twisted so it just came down to "talk" and no truth whatsoever. Now, being lied to....that person knew better. A 5 yr old knows not to lie. But, a grown up??!! Lets be a grown up.

Question 2
I see that a lot of ladies out there in blogville are "Starbucks" gals... What is your favorite "Starbucks" drink?

I have a few that I really L-O-V-E.....all nonfat and no whip....the fat is outrageous with it any other way.....When I got hooked on Starbucks and didn't know any better...I wondered where that 5 lbs came from....and came on quickly! Ok, loved the peppermint white mocha, love the cinnamin dolce latte, and the good ole white mocha. Remember, nonfat and no whip girls.

Question 3
Name an embarrassing moment (Make it good).

Well, this was tough for me. I can emabarrass myself with my big southern mouth but with a clothes issue....just last Sunday at church I walked around with my pants unzipped ALL MORNING LONG!!! Thankfully, I was wearing a longer top and hopefully noone noticed!

Question 4
I figure that most of us ladies out there are bargain shoppers and that we find ways to save money, but what is one thing that you don't mind spending your bucks on?

Well, when I do....and it really is more rare with each year bc of the kids and their expense level increases by the second.....I LOVE a great purse and great clothes. Thats a real treat for me. Its rare now. I love some TJ Maxx, Steinmart(s), and Tar-jay!

Question 5
Is it hard for you to ask someone to forgive you when you have wronged them?

I have just been thinking about this forgiveness thing from the other perspective....when we are wronged. So......I hope to goodness that I would be completely big enough to say "I'm sorry and I completely messed up and was wrong." Its so hard to do. Its the right thing to do.

Question 6
Give one of your best parenting tips...something that you have learned through experience...

Oh my! I could probably list 101 things that I have learned from personal mistakes. One big one for me that has happened over the last year would be......pray yourself up before you start your day. God will do incredible things for us when we are filled with Him and the fruit of the Spirit will just flow out of us. When I have patience with my children in situations that I would have normally "lost it," then I know my beautiful God came through for me! :)

That was fun!




Well, its Friday and it will be a two-day post-er I believe. I'm going to do "God Stop" Friday first and then this afternoon i'll throw in some "Know and Tell" that I have wanted to do for weeks. I'm wild that way!! Hee hee

Ok, let's back up and say "THANK YOU" for your sweet, kind, heartfelt words about our new house. You don't know how much that blessed me. This was a local move for us so we didn't have to go into the depths of change with schools, churches, or finding new friends, etc. But, I thought of that kind of move many times during our own move, and simply said, "thank you Lord for this simple move!" Simple? Yes. it. was. It was a move lead by God and therefore it was good. Ok, thank you!

Now....this is a fun, fun, crazy, small world kind of God Stop for y'all on this Friday. Well, loooooooonnnnnngggggg story short. Last Friday, I "met" a girl through my own personal blog. She had found me through Leigh's blog and left a comment about last Friday's "God Stop Friday"

post. Well, the crazy thing was, she thought that she knew the girl I was talking about in my hallelujah moment with Jesus. Ok.......hmmmmmm.......this is completely nuts!




So, she and I began emailing and low and behold she used to live in the same town I currently live in and we know several of the same people. And, YES! We were praying for the same girl!!!Ok......hmmmmmmmm......this is nuts!




Well, her old church, here in town, does a monthly womens night and I was planning on going bc I love the speaker that they were bringing in. I mentioned the womens night to "anonymous," AKA Teresa, and she told me how bad she wanted to go, but couldn't bc of her daughter's basketball game. Did I say she is only 40 minutes from where i live?! Ok.....hmmmmmmm....this is nuts!




Well, Thursday morning, she emailed me to tell me that "I'm coming Thursday night!" Ok......

this is officially nuts! She's coming people and we are going to be in the same room! She and I were going to officially meet!! Try explaining this to people who don't know what a blog is!




And, wouldn't you know. Me and "anonymous," AKA Teresa, met last night at the womens event and talked like we had known each other for YEARS! She is a Godly woman who I could easily be friends with. You know....more than imaginary friends! :) You are the real deal Teresa and I'm thrilled that we know each other! She is so passionate about Jesus. I really wanted to get in the car with her drive back to her town and keep talking! (grin)




So, you never know who you'll stumble upon and meet in this world of blog friendships and she might just be right down the road.......or highway.




God is so precious to just drop this girl right in my lap. She is praying for me next weekend as I speak for the 1st time at my church's womens retreat, and I'm honored to pray for her as she speaks next week too. Nothing like the body of Christ.




"Thank you Jesus for allowing this world of blog to bring us closer to You and encourage us through new friendships in the Name of Jesus." Amen! He's totally cool isn't He?!




WOW! I'm still amazed that "anonymous" and I have met. Email me the picture that was taken last night, Teresa, and I'll add it. Hugs to my no longer imaginary friend! Your the best Teresa!




Blessings~

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The house!

Ok, you sweet bloggy friends....y'all have asked for pix of the new house and I'll share these with you. Please keep in mind, we aren't completely settled but we are absolutely in love with this new home. I have prayed hard in this home. I have prayed that it be the place where we "remember our memories" and where my boys will remember "growing with Jesus." So.....

the kitchen as you come through the back door....



this fun little area in the kitchen....



The den....this is where we hang out....with the infamous tv that we had a moment of silence for. ESPN never looked so good for these boys! Or looks like Disney is on now.



The living room....we'll never use it....we do when we have a lot of people over.



the holiday room....i mean dining room....and, use your imagination...



Y'all this is my favorite!! The view from the backyard and patio where I'll have my time with the Lord everyday!!!





I think you get the idea of our new home. I did take pix of my bedroom but then that felt weird so "no go" with that. :)

Have a wonderful day friends! I know we all feel the same way about this crazy thing called blog friendship, but y'all are truly dear friends and I wish you could just come over and we could all just talk and laugh and talk and laugh. I guess we'll have to wait til August huh?!

Blessings~

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The final pieces.....Eph. 6:16-17



I have loved re-learning the pieces of armor this past week. It's wonderful when you find yourself digging into His Word, what He'll show you. I learned alot, I remembered alot, and I am deeply reminded of the importance of putting your armor on EVERY SINGLE DAY! And, armor up those children. They are "in the world" and under so much these days. We need to cover them in prayer and in armor. Their lives are under such influence and temptation. We need to do everything within our power to pray them up , teach them and protect these children God has given us.

The final 3 pieces of armor are..... the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

The passage says this, "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Can I just say that when I think about all these pieces of armor I feel empowered?! I AM! I am empowered through Him. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

The shield of faith: the "shield of faith ministries" defines it this way.....

The Shield of Faith is not a real, physical shield. It is faith that acts like a shield. Faith that deflects the arrows of assault, fear and doubt that hurtle toward us from our enemy. Without faith no one can see God; furthermore, without faith, no one can snatch the wounded from the flames of Satan's arrows. The weapons we fight with are not carnal; they are spiritual and mighty to tear down everything that keeps the seeker from Christ.

I really like this visual. For me, the bigger my faith is, the bigger my shield is. The shield of faith is up to you. Keep your belief level high. Keep your faith high. Then you've got one mighty big shield to deflect those arrows aimed right at us. The more we believe God to do His mighty thing....even during times of severe doubt, our shield will cover us. I'd rather have a big one though.

helmet of salvation: this may be my favorite part....well, I can't say that....its all my favorite.
But, the beauty in this helmet is awesome! Ya see, our salvation is sealed when we receive Christ as our personal savior. 1 Corinthians 1:22, God "set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts...." We are sealed by Him and Satan CANNOT get into us. Our salvation is a done deal. As simple as our part is, it is a done deal. Satan can mess with us all we allow him to, but he CANNOT take Christ out of our hearts. No matter what we have done, how long we have strayed, no matter the sin. Christ is beautifully sealed within us through the helmet of salvation. Thank God for that bc as long as I was away from Him.....its a wonder He didn't throw His arms up in the air and say "I'm tired of waiting on this one." He's got patience. He'll never leave. He's got glorious patience.

sword of the Spirit: I have always thought of the sword as one sword because it represents the entire Bible. But, when you think about the sword....isn't the sword thousands of swords??
Aren't there thousands of scripture in the Bible that teach us, lead us, help us, encourage us??
YES! Well, the sword of the Spirit is actually thousands of little swords making up one big sword. That is the best news yet. Our sword is much better than we ever thought!

We began with the Truth buckled around our waist and we ended with the Truth in our hand.

The Truth is everything. It is key to battle. I pray that you have also re-learned, renewed, and regained confidence in your God as He is ready to go with you in battle. You just have to remember to put that armor on.

Armor up everybody! Armor up everyone you love!



Friday, January 11, 2008

God Stop Friday!



Well, our sweet bloggy friend, Patty, has started this and I absolutly love sharing what God has shown me, taught me, revealed to me! This was a sweet one for me. I went to visit a little girl in the hospital yesterday and she has been so sick. This has been several weeks long and beginning to make me very anxious for this family. I literally could not imagine the fear that they had felt. I cannot begin to get my mind around the prayers that have been lifted for this sweet child and her family. It was really just beautiful to think about, even in the midst of such uncertainty. The body of Christ can come together in some HUGE powerful ways when someone is in need.

Well, Wednesday morning, a prayer group had been praying for this child and for her healing. And, y'all I'm talking, BIG healing. Miracle healing. When the group was praying for her, she got up and went to the cafeteria and began to eat her breakfast. THIS WAS HUGE PEOPLE! This was her healing and her turning the corner. HALLELUJAH!She will be completely healed and restored. She just will. I saw her with my own two eyes yesterday and the progress that has been made in one week......well, its prayer. And, its God doing His glorious thing in the lives of this family and many, many others.

Don't ever minimize prayer. You pray and you pray hard. He's a glorious God! Thank you Jesus for your power. And, your unfailing love. You are just amazing!

Blessings~

Thursday, January 10, 2008

These boots are made for walking....Eph. 6:15

cowboy boots

Well, ok, that's not what vs. 15 says of Ch. 6! It does say this though....

"and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."

This part follows the belt of truth and the breastplace of righteousness and now....the feet!

This part is easy for me to get....at least I'm thinking so.

Our feet need to be walking in peace. We need to be living daily life in peace. We need Him, the Prince of Peace, with us in ALL things during ALL times.

ALL things during ALL times.

I pray that the peace of Christ rules in your heart always! (Col. 3:15) I pray that if you are in an anxious time.....an unsettled time.....an unsure time......a fearful time.....a lonely time......even an excited time.....let Him give you peace. Allow Him to cover you in peace. Allow Him to pour it right into your heart and mind. We need to live out this peace in ALL situations so we may reflect the true beauty of God.......at His finest.

I truly believe that people look to us, and sometimes at us, in these difficult times to see exactly how we are going to play the thing out. They want to see if we will "carry on" like a crazy person or get all caught up in the "talk" of it all, and not show the beauty of Christ's peace.

Can't you hear them now...."They say they are a Christian and they teach or talk of these things but they don't do it when it happens to them!"

We don't need to worry about what others are thinking or saying about us in these difficult situations, but we need to remember that there is a beautiful trade off when we cast our cares and anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7). He will take those cares and give us exactly what we need for that moment or situation. And, it might just be some peace my friends.

Whatever is going on in your life, ask Him to cover you in peace. And, thank Him, praise Him, and allow Him to shine through you. This will attract others to Jesus and then when their difficult time comes.....they will seek Him for some peace. Glory!

May your boots be walking in peace. I need it and I bet you would like some too.

Blessings everyone~

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Are you for real???

Y'all this is for real!! My very first blog award!! I'm still in shock! And, its so weird to actually post this. I humbly say "thank you" to Kim and Patty for this award. I love you both! We might want to stay in San Antonio for a week! :)

I am not sure how to do this, but I'm guessing that I pass this along to blogs that I love and that mean so much to me. If you could only see my list that I absolutely am hooked on.....I cannot pick just 5. And, the people pleaser in me has a hard time with this. No hurt feelings bc I battled stuff like that for years!!! So....for this week, the blog that is on my heart and a girl that I cannot wait to meet is.......

Teri......y'all this girl has a heart for the Lord. She inspires me. She makes me laugh. She makes me cry. She makes me want to be a better person to my hubs, my kids, my friends, my God! She is just a great girl that I've never met. She is just the real deal and I love her.

Hugs to everybody! You really ALL get this award.








Tuesday, January 8, 2008

the breastplate of righteousness....Eph. 6

armor of God


Boy....Once you get a Word in your head....sweet Jesus doesn't let it get out.....y'all this one is "on me" right now and I'm so thankful. I don't ever want to forget my armor. I'm sure I will, but I bet I'm quicker to remember to get it sooner than later. Thats the beauty of studying His Word. It just sinks into your soul. HALLELUJAH!! Come on in Word....come on in and settle!

Ok, the belt of truth was first. It holds up the armor and it should be first for crying out loud.
We are nothing without His Word. It holds the answers, the Truth, and the key to life with Christ.

So, next in order is the "breastplate of righteousness." Can I be honest for one second??? Let me tell you that growing up in the church and hearing that word "righteous" for so many years and I had NO IDEA what the dern word meant. It was one of those big, grown up church words that scared me and made me think something bad. It was so ingrained in my mind as a bad thing that it has truly taken me years and training, re-training, training again, training some more, before I am able to get it without second guessing what it means.

Maybe I heard the word "self-righteous" so much that I couldn't get the "self" part out of it.
Anyway, righteousness can mean "right standing with God" I guess I define it in my mind as being right with the Lord's ways....not the "Fran way." The Lord's ways are right and just. (Deut. 32:4)

So, if we are to have a breastplate of righteousness we need to have what is right and just protecting ourselves. Read this below..... PERFECTLY said once again.

The Word library says this....

"The breastplate covers the chest. In our case the breastplate is made not of iron but of righteousness. A soldier with his breastplate on goes boldly into battle full of confidence. Righteousness allows us to stand before God, men and demons.

Whereas the belt of truth show you what is yours and what you can do, righteousness allows you to do it. Without the breastplate of righteousness our faith would be like any mere religion - a form of godliness but no power to act. Satan would knock us down with one word of condemnation, nor would we have the boldness to go before the throne room of God's grace."

Ooooooooohhhhhh that was good.

We've got a battle girls. Lets make sure we are ready with confidence before our God, man, and enemies. Oh, how I love the thought of knowing what that breastplate of righteousness does for me. I had no idea the power behind it. I've got my belt of truth buckled, and my breastplate of righteousness ready "to do the thing!" I'm powered up in Jesus' Name!!

I can't wait to get my heart and mind into the next part.....my feet being fitted with readiness!

Isn't His Word just the best??? Or is this one just hitting home with me?! Regardless.....

I love Him!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The belt of truth...Ephesians 6

Armor of God

Well, we know that putting our armor on is and should be as normal for us as brushing our teeth! But, I hate to say this.....I don't put all of it on. As a mom, I'm in my prayer time praying many things for my family, for situations, for all sorts of things and I don't immediately ask for my armor to be on. That's a scary thought y'all.....

We go out into the daily world without our armor. Maybe we have one piece of it or even two or three, but all six??? I can promise you that I have NOT had my full armor on more than I have had it on. And...if you read below, this 1st piece of armor is key to holding up the rest of the pieces....

Vs. 12 of Ephesians 6:10-20 tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities, and powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.

I read this as not fighting against actual bodies or people, but about all those things listed above that is our struggle. I am under attack daily...even hourly on some days. Today I felt under attack by feeling pressures from requests made to me, inadequate feelings in speaking, not using my time wisely, being short with my children, having thoughts of pride, the choices I make, etc, etc, etc. My list can change and also go on and on and on.

We need to be able to see and know when life is happening around us and when things are not of God. Life will hit us and in order to handle, deal with, and battle against Satan we must have our armor on.

The 1st piece of armor listed is the belt of truth.

This makes more sense to me with each day that I walk closer with Jesus. Ya see...if we have no idea what His Word says or how He feels or what He says or how He thinks about our life, than we have no concept of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, yes vs. no. The Truth did not become known to me until I was 28 yrs old. And, I grew up in the church. I had NO IDEA what the Truth was or how in the world it impacted me in daily living.

So, our 1st line of defense is His precious Word. Y'all...I'm not the best and I'm so much better than I was even last week, but His Word is life to me. I think I realized it most recently when we were moving and I couldn't find my Bible. I felt like I had lost my child. It was a terrifying, scary, sad, anxious feeling. It took me 24 hrs, but it was found. My heart felt differently when this Truth was found and put back at my side. It was like being reunited with my best friend. And, it wasn't too long ago when I thought folks like me were completely C-R-A-Z-Y!

Dig into His Truth and dig into it OFTEN! Don't use your Bible only for Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights. Get yourself into Bible study, small group, individual study time, whatever floats your boat.....but, get into His Word. Remember, in order to be covered, your 1st line of defense is the Truth. And, we gotta know it. And, know it well. And, desire it. And, can't get enough of it. And, want to be around others that will teach me, encourage me, help me. Y'all this is what drastically changed my life. I just had no idea what I was missing.

Ephesians 6:14..."Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist....."



From the "Living Word Library...." The comprehensive description of all the pieces of armour is a very useful aid in discerning and understanding them. The first piece of armour is our belt. A belt made of truth, holding up and keeping in place all the other pieces of armour. Naturally speaking, a belt is used to hold things in place; spiritually the belt of truth does the same thing. Truth keeps us secure in Christ and makes effective all the other pieces of armour.



Couldn't have said it better myself! :)



Spend time in His Word. I pray for all of you to put your armor on. And, I pray that you and I will learn how valuable each piece is to daily living. Teach this to your children if you can. Share it with others who may need to be reminded of the armor that is ours.



May you stand firm. Isaiah 11:5 tells us that "righteousness will be his belt and faithfullness the sash around his waist." Tighten your belt. He is our fearless leader. We are mighty soldiers.



I'm going to be ready. Hope you will too! The breastplate of righteousness is tomorrow!
Blessings~

Sunday, January 6, 2008

We need our Armor!

Armor of God


A scripture came to mind the other day as I was thinking and planning some stuff for kids at church and I passed it along to those leaders and then it came up again today at church and I CANNOT get it out of my mind. For some of my church friends that will read this, you know exactly what I'm talking about when I say...."Pray this scripture HARD over the ones you love!" So, let me give you the scripture that we have heard and may know very well.....but, I pray it falls fresh on you today....

Ephesians 6:10-20 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

These verses are LOADED with info and stuff!! My heart is about to explode with feelings and my mind is racing 100 mph with thoughts, but I gotta break this down piece by piece.....

And don't worry.....not all in this one post....but, I will break this down each day for my own benefit. I need to go through this scripture and pray it over myself, my family, and friends DAILY! Y'all, our armour is everything!

The very beginning of the passage tells us to put the armor on! PEOPLE, put your armor on every.single.day before you do one single thing. Bc, the second half of this says that in order to go up against the devils schemes, we need our armor on!!

WE NEED OUR ARMOR ON!

We will battle Satan every day and in order to succeed against him and be able to go head to head with him, we need to be covered. And, as we see in this passage, there are 6 pieces of armor that are to be put on 1st thing every day. I'm not doing a good job right now of putting all my armor on for myself, much less my family, or praying it for loved ones.

We are gonna take a look at each piece of armor this week and make sure we are covered, protected, ready, and able to go against the devil. We are sealed by the blood of Christ and he cannot get through to us and take that away. But, he can come after us hard and we will be ready with our armor on!!

Get suited up friends! And, get your family suited up too. Its a scary, rough, cruel world out there. I'm ready for battle!! I've got Jesus on my side. I pray that you'll remember your armor each morning. Come back if you want to talk about the pieces of armor this week.....

Love you all~

Saturday, January 5, 2008

And, I say.....



Oh girls!!

Your prayers for this move are carrying me every second of every minute right now!

Can I say peace?! I have had such peace and strength that I cannot thank you enough for lifting me up! I give God the glory for carrying me! I just love Him.

Bless you sweet friends. I'll post some pictures in a few days.....or not, that might seem kinda weird. I will post a pic though of my hubs new flat screen on the wall though.....we just kind of stared at it while it sat on the floor fresh from the box! :) It was a moment to behold!

I love y'all. We are doing well. I've missed reading your blogs and will catch up soon. I was completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude for your prayers this weekend.

Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Blessings my friends~

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Under some boxes.....and stuff!

What boxes?  These pictures are from the day I moved in.

Well, this is our big moving week at our home! We aren't moving towns, just homes.

Regardless, as many of you know, moving is S-C-A-R-Y!! Where in the world did this stuff come from?? And, what do I do with it??

I'm an organzied human being, but my skills are being challenged at the moment.

If my name or blog runs across your computer screen or through your mind, can I selfishly ask from some prayer??? Especially that of patience with ya know....those kids! Thou shall not kill.

Love y'all. I'll post again over the weekend.
Hugs~

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

Boy 1

Boy 1

Boy 2

Boy 2

Boy 3

Boy 3

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