Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I really am in awe of you girls that are North of TN because I just don't know how you do it day in and day out with all that horrible/beautiful snow that just seems to keep coming.
I'm a big ole baby who cannot handle the temps to get too far below 32. My body becomes miserable.
Is all that snow and ice unusual for you or is this normal?? I hope its unusual.
I tip my hat to those of you who have dealt with too many school closings, shoveling snow every other day, and trying to manage FEET of snow. I'm ready for flowers and trees to bloom. Come on Spring.....I think we are all ready.
This is what we got last night and you should have heard the delight in the voices of children.
Did you see the snow in these pictures?? That is what that is. And...I took a picture of it. Sad.
Have a wonderful day!
posted by Fran at 6:53 AM
Monday, February 25, 2008
Happy Monday to everybody!!
I hope your weekend was fun, full, and loaded with some wonderful family time. I hope your worship experience at church yesterday was a perfect moment between you and God. I loved worship yesterday at my home church. It was a sweet time between me and Jesus. I'm grateful today.
Today, I have been picking, choosing, whirling ideas around, thinking, figuring....blah, blah, blah about what specific thing I want to share with you today. And....
I've decided. This is not what I thought I was going to share today, but staying true to the original concept of this blog.....this is for my families at church whom I have the privilege to serve and grow with each day....each week.
Ok...I'm reading my newest magazine, Children's Ministry, and I came across something of interest and concern to me for anyone who has children that are school age.
The top 5 sources of stress for elementary-age kids are......
1. A parent having problems
2. Fighting with a friend or sibling
3. Taking a test
4. Wondering whether others find them attractive
5. Not having enough privacy
Well, I could say many things about these 5 things, but for some reason #5...not having enough privacy....surprised me. Are kids in elementary school wanting more privacy?? Why do they need privacy?? What in the world are elementary age kids doing in this private time?? Maybe they just want some "alone time." Maybe they want some "down time." Maybe they truly just need a break from life after school.
However, this concerns me. And, it concerns me for a few reasons. I think, we, as parents, need to be very careful about how much privacy we give them. They ALWAYS need to know that we are the authority over every.single.thing. they have and do. I strongly believe that when you allow them to have too much alone time and privacy, you are setting a stage for Jr. High and High school years that will not be healthy.
Why are kids stressed out about not having enough privacy?? Why in the world do they need privacy?? We have to keep their alone time in check and not allow them to have too much time alone. I'm really at a loss as to why they are stressed about this.
So....if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions about this privacy thing at this age, please help me out. My oldest is 11 and he loves to be alone. However, I have to really keep this in check and not allow him to be off by himself watching tv alone or on the computer alone. I don't want to set up a pattern or normalcy for aloneness......for many reasons.
And...I want my kids to know that they can have their space and their stuff, but if at any point I feel the need to explore.....your stuff is mine to go through. You may totally disagree with me, but I am the parent and NOTHING is off limits in my book.
So, I guess I'm not any better off than I was at the beginning of this post. I just want to know why such young children are stressed about needing more privacy. I'd love some insight if you have any.
We all know that nothing good usually happens in the secret places. And...Lord knows that not everything done alone or in private is bad. But, I think with children we must stay on top of their alone time and this privacy that they are needing more of. There is a fine line between normal alone time and too much alone time. I'm still just as surprised at the thought that kids are stressed out over needing more privacy.
Hmmmmm.......what do you think about this?? I'm still scratching my head.
I'm so thankful for each of you that will help me understand this more. :)
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Well, I am one weird human being! I am home. By myself right now. And, screaming and jumping up and down like a mad woman over THIS basketball game!! Ya see....I'm a U of M alum so when it comes to basketball....my blood runs blue! I'm sorry Patty! :)
And...two of my boys are at this game! And...I'm completely jealous! See....I love sports. And I really love Tiger basketball. The rest of my crew is at their grandparents watching it on their big screen probably jumping up and down and acting like I'm doing......they just have the company of others to have the fun!
So....here are my 3 precious kids lined up in the back of dad's car as they head to Memphis! They were so excited! And....the one in the middle is the one at the game!! He's with dad. I've wanted to call their cell phone 100 times and its still the 1st half.
Well, its finally half time. We are up by one I think. I'm so exhausted. I don't know how I'll get through the 2nd half. I hope your Saturday night is as thrilling as mine! And....I'm serious when I say that!
GO TIGERS GO!!
Um...its over now and my Tigers lost! I'm completely exhausted! :(
Friday, February 22, 2008
Well, its Friday!!! YAY! YES! The best day for me bc I can be home most of the day ALL BY MYSELF!! I don't work on Friday's so I absolutely love me some Friday!
And...it's God Stop Friday hosted by our beloved, Patty! This is our time to reflect on specifics that God has done for us, showed us, helped us through, or whatever the case may be for you during the past week.
I'm sitting here with my coffee right now and have my praise music in the background and it just makes me so happy.
My "God Stop Friday" moment of choice today would be something that was said during our DVD viewing of "Wising Up" on Wednesday morning.......It was very profound for me at the moment and something that I have thought of many times since Bible study.
The magnificent teacher, Beth Moore, was teaching us about how to be wise with our finances.
At the end of the DVD, she was talking about situations in marriages when the husband and wife are in two different places of giving. She said something in the middle of her "how to handle that" that freed me so much.....
Relax before your God!!!
Relax before your God!!!
We bring our pure, clean hearts before Him, we pray for whatever it is, and we RELAX before Him. Don't get worried about any part of what you are asking, feeling, wishing, wanting, needing. He knows our hearts girls.
Let's relax before God and not get hung up in anything we are afraid of or thinking is weird. He is a loving God. He can handle anything we need to give Him. Even our finances. Even our broken relationships. Even our frustrations. Even our marriages. Even our troubled children.
Even our jobs. Even our feelings of despair and hoplessness.
Cry out to God. Relax before Him. He loves you so much. You are EVERYTHING to Him.
Relax. Enjoy. Be with Him in complete honesty.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I needed this last night.
Our children can teach us the most important lessons in life.
Last night at church, I was talking with some grown ups in the gym. At the same time, I was trying to gather up my 3 boys and for some reason, my nerves were a little unnerved. My sweet #3 son was shooting hoops not far from where I was standing and for NO REASON WHATSEVER, I yelled over at him....."STOP SHOOTING THAT BASKETBALL!!!!"
Why in the world did I do that?? Why did I have to scare the fire out of him?? Why did I have to come out of nowhere and scream at him?? Why did I not just ask politely.....
"Would you please shoot the ball on another goal away from the grownups?"
No....I did not. I yelled at him in a very ugly way.
We got home and he wouldn't even speak to me. After his bath, dad found him in the laundry room crying and talking to himself. I'm sure he wasn't saying anything nice about dear ole mom.
Dad got him on the couch in the den and they talked about what mean ole mom had done.
I am summoned to the den and his sweet, broken heart was plain as day. I scared him. I was out of line in my tone. I embarrassed him. I was wrong in every way.
My heart broke in two. I sincerely said I was sorry. I asked for forgiveness. He cried small tears for another minute or two and then was ok.
I was deeply convicted over the power my words had over him.
Our words and our tone are everything to people. May we speak love, life, and encouragement over everyone today. I pray that you will choose your words and tone most carefully with everyone you come in contact with. Especially in circumstances where you find yourself wanting
to snap, remember to take a chill pill!
James 3:5 from the Message says this...."It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that."
I don't want any forest fires breaking out in your world today.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Is she not the most beautiful little girl you have ever seen??? She is a slice of heaven to this momma's heart......she has my heart.
Please meet the newest member of our family.....this is Sofia, and she is a wonderful 5 years old and lives in Uganda in Africa. I'm in love with this child thanks to Compassion and the work they do to help children all over the world.
We signed up to sponsor Sofia at the end of many months of work between God and myself. It all came to pass when the blogging community went on a Compassion sponsored event to Uganda and began to share their stories. I knew at that moment that God spoke so sweetly into my heart and said...."These are my children, Fran. I need YOU to give them hope."
Ok. I get it now. I pray that you will check out Compassion or these 3 bloggers, Boomama, Shannon, or Shaun and read about their AMAZING journey last week. I'm blown away.
I have 3 boys AND a daughter now. She IS a part of this family. And, she is a part of a global family that needs our help. If you are able, I pray that you will consider sponsoring....I call it adopting :).....a child through Compassion.
Blessings and love my friends! I love you Sofia....we are praying for you and can't wait to get our 1st letter in the mail to you!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Well, let's just all give a shout out to the government and this wonderful holiday that we celebrated today bc my kids got a long weekend out of it!!! Who knew President's Day was an official "out of school day" for the kiddos?!
Regardless, we have had a very low key kind of day.....I guess.
First of all....went to Best Buy to see why a $200 PSP all of a sudden went dead and won't recognize games.....COME ON GEEK SQUAD.....I thought y'all were the fixers of everything!
Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero. They couldn't fix the brand new PSP, as of Christmas, toy. Almost caused me to get REAL MAD. Not sure what we will do about that.
Then, we dropped off the precious Bailey (dog) for a haircut. She absolutely hates it. She was shaking so very hard when we were waiting for her turn to be dropped off. I think I might have heard her say...."please, no, don't leave me here."
Then, we went to church, where I work, and the boys played 3 hours of straight gym time. This gym saves our life when days like this roll around. They have endless fun.
Now, we are home watching Disney, checking around blog world (did you see the LPM blog? Holy cow was Melissa stunning and her momma and daddy weren't bad either!) and now I'm thinking about dinner. Hmmmmm....not very good planning when you have no idea what to fix at 4:00 and its highly probable that I need to run to the store to pick up the food, we don't have, to cook.
This is our day in a nutshell. I loved President's Day. Are we celebrating all the presidents or just one, or two, or seven??
This is Tyler playing catch up with make-up work from being sick last week. I think I'm teaching him to be a procrastinator just like his momma!
Have a blessed week. I'll be back around in a day or so with maybe something a little more profound and deep. :)
Bless you for reading this.....
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Y'all this is just too very cool!! I know that's not correct English but I had to say it that way! :)
I want you to check out the Passion blog and this entry from their Dallas TX event this weekend. Being that I am in Jackson TN, the home of Union University, I think this is "too very cool!"
So....click on this link and see what these amazing college kids did. Thanks Louie Giglio for writing about it....(i'm sorry if I misspelled any part of your name!)
We can all make a difference in this world. No matter who we are, where we live, or how much money we do or don't have.
Glory to God for the work being done everywhere!!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Happy Friday everybody!
I just love, love, Friday. It is be the best day of the week for kids and maybe even for me today too!
Ya see, its God Stop time! This is done every Friday through that sweet girl, Patty, and we are most grateful for this time in the week to look back and see something sweet and personal that has happened between you and God. We stop and take notice!
So...mine is short, sweet, and so very deep within my heart.
I was feeling unsettled in my heart that I was not doing something globally to help children's basic needs to be met and for Christ to be brought into their part of the world.
Well, Uganda and the Compassion blogging week was coming up everywhere I turned. I saw the Sara Groves video on Youtube and even posted it because the sense of urgency was taking over within my own heart. It was killing me to look into these children's eyes and reconcile in my mind why I wasn't doing anything to help them.
So, this past week as I read Boomama, Shannon, and Shaun's blogs......I signed up to sponsor a sweet, beautiful little girl named Sophia in Uganda. She is just beautiful. I'm in love with her.
Y'all for only $32 a month you help a child tremendously. The whole nine yards. You are making a difference and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE look over one or all of these blogs and you'll see and feel exactly what I'm talking about.
Shaun's blog posted a picture and some videos that just make me cry every time I read and look at them. Each one of these bloggers on the trip bring their own sense of style to explain what the week has been like. They have no idea how their week has impacted my heart all the way in TN.
So, I'm grateful that God began that nudge in me months ago. I'm grateful that this group of folks got me to sign up. I'm grateful that I can help this darling little girl, Sophia.
Sophia, we are praying for you daily. I cannot wait to get the information on who you are, where you are, and see pictures of your beautiful face. We love you. And, so does the God of the Universe. He's gently holding you in His loving Hand.
Have a wonderful weekend friends. I count my blessings and I am so grateful for Sophia in Uganda. She has changed my world.
Praying for our bloggy friends to return safely.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I gotta share some love with y'all today because it is Valentines Day! So....I'm spreading the love to each of you.
I also want you to think about who needs some real love today that might be a little hard for you to share on this Valentines Day! Hmmmmm.....
John 13:34 says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
As I taught our 4th and 5th graders at church last night, we talked about how hard it is to love the difficult people in our lives.....so, begin to ask God to tender your heart and let someone know that you are "ok" with them. Go ahead and be nice to those difficult people in your life!
That scripture does not say "love the nice people only."
So....love one another today in the Name of Jesus!! And, may you all be richly blessed through His command.
Have a great day friends. My love to each of you in the sweet, loving Name of Jesus!
posted by Fran at 8:39 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Another day in this crazy life and household that I have the complete joy and privilege of being involved in!!! But, Wednesdays are a busy day for us and I've learned something pretty BIG today that I want to share in the form of a prayer. I need this for my entire family!
I need this prayer DAILY y'all. I mean daily.
Will you pray for our children and families please?
Thank you for the delight and joy of raising these beautiful children you have given me. Lord, I empty myself before You and ask that I be filled with Your Spirit. I need You so I can go about the rest of this day walking with You.
Lord, I am asking today that myself, my husband, and my children all have a spirit that is teachable! Lord, remove any pride or arrogance that makes any of us think...."I am ok....I don't need to hear what she is saying....I didn't do anything wrong."
Lord, I want to learn things sooner than later. I want to hear You convict my heart and turn from something before it blows up into something much bigger than it should have been.
Lord, I want this for everyone in my family. Give us a spirit to hear, to listen, to obey and to know that You want only what is best for us. Father, we WANT a teachable spirit. Make us teachable Lord. Give us a heart to learn sooner than later.
In the mighty Name of the best Teacher of all....Jesus!
Proverbs 19:8 "He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers."
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Hey sweet friends....
I am going to lift up all our children today and in the days to come. I have had an urgency and sense of "now" to pray for our spouses and our children. Feel free to come back daily for a new focus and pray along with me.
Our families are everything to us. God has given us these people and I don't want to take those relationships lightly and I don't think you do either. Won't you pray with me.....
"Dear Sweet Jesus,
First of all, I humbly come before you and simply say "thank you" for my 3 sons. They are all completely different but yet completely perfect in Your own sweet way. I thank you for entrusting me with this HUGE job of raising them to be followers of Jesus Christ. That can be overwhelming for me sometimes. But, as I take it one day at a time and follow my heart, I can pray some very specific things for them. Thank you for listening Lord. Thank you for already working out these things even as I sit here and type.
Father, I ask that their hearts be filled with a burning desire or passion to truly know You, seek You, and be close to you. Lord, help me to teach of You, show Your activity in their daily life, and help them see and understand how you speak and reveal yourself to them.
Lord, I pray my children's souls would pant for you as the deer pants for streams of water.
Just as the Psalmist said in Ch. 42 vs. 1, I want them to want You and not be afraid of You.
Thank you Lord for giving me the tools, the time, and the heart to be intentional about what we talk about with my children. May You be first and last always!
We love you Lord. Increase our passion. Increase our desire to find joy in everyday life as we follow your ways. No matter their age, all of your children can desire more of You! You are truly awesome! We love you so much.
In Jesus Name....Amen!"
Monday, February 11, 2008
Well, this is it in a nutshell, huh?!
We want to know how to be a better parent and we want to know how to be a better wife or husband to our spouse! I could talk about these two things all day long, but I won't! :)
And, we want to have Christ as the true foundation of our home.
But, why can we just completely feel clueless, lost, unsure, afraid, miserable, stressed and frustrated when it comes to either of these topics?
I am in the process of "viewing" two studies for our church to hopefully use for both of these topics to give parents and spouses an opportunity to grow together......grow with God as the center of their family.
What happens if you and your spouse differ on how to parent your children??
What if you are a single parent and you are pulled and stretched so thin you feel as if you are about to break right in two?
What if you and your spouse are in different places spiritually? What if you are the head of the household and not him?
What if your children could care less about God in everyday life?
What if your children are about to be the death of you because of their attitudes and behaviors and you have no clue what do to?
I tell you what......I am spending some time facedown before God asking Him to speak directly into this heart of mine, my husbands, my childrens lives. I'm asking Him to do this.....
1. Give us all a passion to seek You with every fiber of our being.
2. Give us a desire to really know You and what you would have for my life today.
3. Empty ourselves so that we can be filled with You, Lord, and pour out that overflow to others.
4. Give me strength, courage, clarity, wisdom, and insight to speak life and love into those I love the most.
5. Pray daily, hourly, however as much they enter my mind, for their hearts, my husbands decisions, my childrens friends, my children's decisions, coversations that we all have, pure hearts and motives within us all........
6. Fill me hourly with the Fruit of the Spirit.....I get emptied so quick so I need refilling over and over and over again. Galations 5:22
You get the idea of what I'm after with my family.......
But there are days and times that are just HARD! So, I need all the help I can get from church and the people within the church. I'm praying for opportunities that my home church can begin to offer regularly to teach and encourage parents and families down this road of life with these people we cherish most.
I can't get enough of either of these topics.
I need my strength and support to come from those who have a heart in line with Christ. And, I mean truly in line with Him.
What is influencing you as you go through this daily journey as a mom, dad, husband, wife??
I need to give every ounce of every situation to Him first and then seek those around me that can help me too.
I pray your daily journey is filled with people and resources that do just that. Our time on Earth is just too short to not be intentional about what we are after.
Seek Him friends. Seek Him in all things! Seek His Word. Find someone to help you through the difficult times. And, find those that are lined up with the Word of God.
Please share any resources that were completely helpful to you that I may also add to my list of possibilites to have at my church.
Ephesians 5:15 "Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise....."
Blessings over all of you and your families~
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Well, my new bloggy friend, Darla, gave me this very cool award today and I was just so grateful and filled with some good ole joy to think that someone enjoys reading what I have to say and thinks that I offer them encouragement. (that was an extra long run-on sentence and I'm sorry!)
Regardless, I humbly say "thank you" and sit here and wonder who has inspired me this past week? Who has caused me to love Jesus more? Who has encouraged me to go the distance with Jesus??
Y'all know that I hate to "pick" someone to give this too.....I completely don't want to leave anyone out bc each and every person that I know and even don't know who is following Jesus with their entire heart deserves this award....but, I'm looking over my list of folks that I check daily.....
And, I will pass this award to Bethanne. Y'all she is just so stinkin funny, real, honest, loves Jesus with all she has, and makes me think, smile, laugh, be challenged and pushes me to seek more of Him!
So, Bethanne, I give this to you and say thank you for being you!! I love ya girl!
posted by Fran at 5:44 PM
Saturday, February 9, 2008
posted by Fran at 9:18 AM
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
You could win a new bloggy design!! Go by Judi's to register to win!! Woo-hoo!
posted by Fran at 8:12 PM
This is an arial view of Union University's dorms.....devastating.
How do I thank you for the prayers?? My heart is so tendered by your true care and concern for Jackson and the destruction that took place Tuesday night from the tornadoes.
Please continue to pray for daily recovery and clean up efforts. I have taken a garbage bag filled with clothes that a family threw together as they stood in the night after the tornado. Their home is GONE......gone completely. They have the clothes on their backs. They managed to find random things and put in these garbage bags.
Myself and others are washing the clothes for them, but we are also finding cards, pictures, etc that are so personal for this family inside the garbage bags. I have just cried each time I see this family's pictures and their personal belongings and realize that their life is completely upside down.
Our things are just things.....oxygen breathing life is life. Noone was killed or injured in this one particular family. But sometimes the "things" that we hold so dear are so dear to us........cards from your children, letters from your spouse, pictures of your life together as a family......sports, birthdays, weddings, births. This is important to each of us. I hold a small part of this family in my house that they probably don't even realize I have! Daddy will be thrilled that I found his hunting license! :)
Life will go on.....we come together as the body of Christ and extend the hand. We do so because we want to and it is who we are. God will bless these families and our community in a great big glorious God kind of way. He just will.
Keep praying friends. My heart is grateful and full of love for His people right now.
Blessings and peace with you today~
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Hey sweet friends....
Would you please pray for my community as we have endured horrific damage from tornados last night?
Our home was spared. We did have baseball size hail, but in comparison to those that we know that have lost EVERYTHING......we are just fine.
So, please pray for this area of West TN and ask God's people to come together in such a force to help rebuild lives that are just shattered right now.
He is our refuge in times of need. I praise Him even in these storms. I thank you for your prayers and your sweet hearts for the body of Christ.
Monday, February 4, 2008
I have a confession to make. And, you know what? My heart really hurts as I begin to think this through and let this be known to you.....
Me or my family do not do anything for children outside of the United States as far as supporting organized efforts to feed them, clothe them, or bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to them.
My heart is breaking about this. This has gotten to me y'all.
It's time for a change. I'm going to see if the families within Children's Ministry at my home church want to jump on board too. I have the privilege of serving them as the Director of Children's Ministry and they are the most compassionate group of families I've ever known.
We can find a meaningful path together...we can find a fit to help sponsor a child. And, then.....I'm going to take this on individually as a Christian momma who sees my family COMPLETELY BLESSED and we MUST DO MORE!!
That is how my heart feels right this minute. I do believe that God calls each of us to take care of His people all over His world.....within our communitites, but also thousands of miles away. We CAN make a difference.
I cried this morning as I watched this video on youtube. I beg you from the bottom of my heart to find time to watch. How can we turn away from helping children on a regular basis??
God has spoken. I'm listening. I'm waiting for Him to let me know the path my family should take as well as my church family.
I pray that through this video we will intentionally help those who have absolutely nothing and are counting on us to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Galations 2:10 "All they asked was that we remember the poor...."
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Thank you for all your sweet comments on how dressed up we were Friday night! We did have fun, but let me just say how hard it is for me to stay up past 10 y'all!!
Ok....when we moved A MONTH AGO....I obviously decided that my can opener needed to not make the move, so it didn't.
Well, a month after the move...we decided to cook chili and guess what??? (Did y'all realize that I said a month after we moved that I decided to cook?!!) HA!
There was NO CAN OPENER!! So, this is what you do.....
GO GIANTS! Have a happy Super Bowl everyone!
posted by Fran at 3:29 PM
Saturday, February 2, 2008
We had a big party to go to last night and we got dressed up people!!! Hubs is in a tux girls and isn't he the cutest thing ever???!!!
My boys were like "Mom....we've never seen you like this before?!" Um....no they haven't.
It was fun and I thought I'd share this once every 14 yrs event of being all dressed up.
We had fun. Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy those families. We are blessed.