I'm taking a break from all the creative stuff I have floating around in my head that is DYING to come out. I'm shutting her down.
Yep. I'm taking a break from blogging.
Oh, just for a week. I don't know if my addictiveness can let y'all go for longer.
I need to tend to "some stuff" though.
I'm thankful for the good Lord gently telling me and then swiftly telling me to step back. :)
So...with love and obedience....
I bid farewell til next Monday!
Short, sweet, and needed.
Is it ok to stay on Facebook? :)
I love y'all! Be sure and spend some time with Jesus.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
posted by Fran at 9:06 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I saw a video over at one of my favorite blogs a week or so ago and I'm stuck on it. If you don't know Pete Wilson then I'm going to highly suggest you pop on over to his site and read daily. His blog and church is a blessing to me.
The particular video that he posted was something he and someone else from his staff made together for a sermon. The video also happens to have the cool John Mayer song "Say what you need to say" behind it.
I'm going to make you watch the video at the end of this post. Trust me......you'll want to. And, you'll be glad you did.
You'll even find yourself singing along. So, in the spirit of this fabulous song, I'm going to say some things I need to say.
1. I need to be a better wife. And 101 things that fall under that.
2. I don't need to be so selfish with my time and my own desires.
3. I need to let my friends know how much I love them and need them.
4. I want my kids to know that they mean the world to me. TRULY.
5. I want to work harder than ever at whatever God is calling me to do.
6. I want to give relationships (personal, professional, acquaintances) 100% of me...being fully present.
7. I want to take it to the next level with God.
8. I want to be generous in my life.....with my words, my time, my finances, and my self.
9. I need to branch out and do something completely "non Fran!"
10. I need to laugh more than ever. LAUGH OUT LOUD!!
'Say' Music Video from Matthew Singleton on Vimeo.
So, what do you need to say or do? I pray this song and video sticks with you as much as it has with me. Then.....you gotta do it!
In the spirit of Nike....
Just do it!!
Hugs and blessings~
posted by Fran at 8:16 PM
Friday, October 24, 2008
Well....my new BFF and now real life friend is ALANA!!!!!! Alana's blog is a must read. It is called "A kiss, a hug, and a squeeze."
She and I have been bloggy friends for awhile now and I absolutely love reading her stuff. She is so funny and the cutest thing around. Her husband was in town speaking at a college and she and her cute boys came along.
AND I GOT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH HER!!!!!!
I wasn't nervous one bit. It was like seeing an old friend. Here we are.....in pictures of course.
This is Alana's #1 son. He liked my camera. :)
Mom had no idea the prankster behind her. I didn't help the situation either.
"Ok...you can take a picture of me."
We had a little trouble with the flash. And, look at boy #2....ADORABLE!
I told you he liked the camera! He took this one himself. Oh, he was precious!
And, what do you do during lunch? You play Star Wars of course.
Oh, that sweet Larry Boy. Me and boy #2 kinda bonded over some Larry Boy!
My sword is the blue one, but I let him borrow it for the picture. :)
I had so much fun at lunch with these guys. We could have hung out all afternoon. I wanted to talk and talk but I had to go get my boys from school. It was easy. I'm glad we had the chance to meet and hug and laugh and pray together.
The lunch was perfect Alana. So very nice to "meet" you. Tell those boys Ms. Fran says hi and misses them.
Hugs and blessings y'all. I'm thankful today for all sorts of friendships.
posted by Fran at 7:55 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Come back tomorrow for pictures of my meeting a fellow blogger! She's in town today and I'm dying to see her. Camera is in my purse. :)
Are you curious??
See ya tomorrow!!
Have a great day!
Hugs and blessings~
posted by Fran at 8:38 AM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Happy Wednesday all! Let me say I have a bit of a hangover today. And, I mean a little too much Nyquil last night. It messed with me. I slept like a B-A-B-Y but I'm thinking I'm still asleep and I'm obviously not.
Let's look at some silly things. Because that is the mood I'm in.
I have these Halloween lights with some pumpkins on the mantle in our den and our beloved puppy, Pepper ate the extension cord on the first set so I WILL NOT allow her to do that again.
What do you do? You drape the cord over the lamp during the day when not plugged in. That is fancy at its Halloween finest. Look closely. You can see.
This is what the Nyquil hangover looks like. Bless my sweet heart. I must be drugged out to let you see me like this. Oh the beauty.
Thank you Jenny for this fabulous coffee cup from San Antonio. Do y'all remember what happened to my gift that I gave away during the gift exchange?? Did anyone write to Kim or Patty and say "What the heck was this?"
I feel like Pepper. I'm stuck and I can't get out. We found her like this yesterday afternoon in the laundry room. No tellin how long she had been trapped. And, I bet our bigger dog, Bailey, is laughing hysterically in her own little doggy way...."Serves you right wild woman!"
posted by Fran at 7:57 AM
Monday, October 20, 2008
.......excellent, but I'm not. That's a boogaboo word for me. It holds such power doesn't it? Power in a good way, not a bad way.
Excellence also means superior. Now, that really has some power.
However, this ole word has been stewing and brewing in my brain for a couple of weeks. And, I must spit it out. And I mean spit it out to encourage you and me.
Let me make a confession or three if I can real quick:
1. I am a HUGE procrastinator
2. I have at least 4 things I've been meaning to do here at home since January. Not done.
3. I am a HUGE procrastinator
4. I'll start something and drag it out for weeks. Something short that doesn't take weeks.
Sound familiar to anyone?? I think a lot of us can fall into this ever so sweet, not too harmless pit and yet it can be really dangerous in terms of excellence. Maybe because we are too busy or our priorities are out of whack that we aren't pursuing excellence.
Here is my list of a typical day and I bet you can all relate to most of it or at least parts of it:
2. dogs out
4. kids up
5. kids out for school
7. clean up house
8. clean up self
9. head to work
11. pick up kids
12. 2nd shift begins with family
14. extra curricular
16. dinner (hate this one)
17. kids cleaned up
I don't do any of these things with excellence. NOT ONE. And, I'm not beating myself up over it either. Its just that I'm a procrastinator and that gets in the way. Every now and then I just get my eyes opened to the reality of how I am living my daily life.
I will begin to do better. Starting today. Farewell procrastination. I can't be excellent with you leading the way. The two of us will no longer tango together. You are getting on my nerves.
I want you to think about yourself and your family. Think about all that you do and have going on and the relationships in your life.
Are you excellent or superior?? Or are you just humdrumming along with a very average "go at it?"
Colossians 3:23 tells us "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
Conviction welcome aboard. You have taken the place of procrastination. The good thing is that I love me a good ole conviction. It's revealing and has much to say over me and what I'm doing.
So...my encouragement for you this day is to go out there and work with excellence. Because aren't we serving Him anyway? Isn't He our goal?
Be excellent at friendships, your job, conversations, errands, your time, your meetings, your whatever. Wherever God has you today be excellent.
Be excellent friends!!!! It's not that hard is it?! :)
Hugs and blessings~
Friday, October 17, 2008
Ok, this was by far the hardest thing I've done in blogland. Remember Bethanne when we couldn't figure out how to link people and now we can strike things out??!!! And, even put up a video. Oh, the progress.
There is a funny part 2 to this video that who knows when I'll ever post. Since it took 6 years to get this 12 minute video uploaded....I can't take on part 2. And, its only 1 minute long.
Yes, you read the above paragraph correct. The video that I did is a little over 11 minutes long.
I took you through the house, showed you "life" within our walls, probably did way too much filming of things you could CARE LESS ABOUT, and most importantly you are going to ask....
"Fran, why are you only video-ing your teeth and nose??"
The answer to that comes in part 2 that you may never see.
With a knot in my stomach and typical life at the homestead...."sit back and please still be my friend!"
Untitled from Fran Thomas on Vimeo.
posted by Fran at 5:23 PM
Well...with such frustration in my heart and words coming out of my mouth that aren't very nice......
I will kill my computer.
And, it's new.
I am half crazy.
I need therapy now.
I need someone to tell me how.
I have fought with....
Why in the sam heck does it take so long to upload a video??
Is this normal??
I even re-did the "best" one (12 minutes long thank you) and did a one minute video.
And, it is STILL taking way to long.
In my opinion of course.
So....I gotta run now because I've wasted like 207 hours trying to do this for y'all.
And, I'm over it.
Taking a deep breath and walking away.
Please feel free to leave any tidbits of advice you may have.
Now, have yourself a GREAT Friday!
And, it's really not over because I will win this battle!
Hugs and blessings~
Thursday, October 16, 2008
If it absolutely kills me and causes me to act like a maniac fool.....
I will post my very first video post within 24 hrs!!!!!!
Can I hear a "WOO HOO???!!!"
I haven't even filmed anything yet, but I'm on it girls.
I'm on it.
Complete silliness and craziness is coming to a PC or Mac soon!
Have a great day with Jesus! And, check out the scripture for the day over at your right.
Hugs and blessings~
posted by Fran at 8:05 AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Well, here's a little sneak preview into Halloween at our house. I thought maybe my older boys would have "moved on" from Halloween and dressing up........ WRONG.
And, don't hate me, but we love to do the trick or treat thing and we have wonderful neighborhood parties and kids are just flat out CRAZY!!! Of course I mean a fun crazy not crazy crazy!
So...we spent an insane amount of money on costumes yesterday and tried them on for size today. And, I thought I'd never get them off their bodies. And, the dogs wouldn't stop barking at them either.
One of my boys is going to save the world (AKA the cutest Batman ever) and one child is going to scare the bejeebers out of little children and one child is "not pictured!"
Enjoy...and Happy Halloween.....a smidget early!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Happy day y'all!!
I need to share "going home" with you and how I got there yesterday. What a trip it has been.
It actually started last Tuesday when my mom had surgery in Memphis. My parents actually live in AR, but the specialist was in Memphis so that is where you go. That worked out good for me because they were that much closer to me. I'm in TN. So I thought it would work out good.
So, the surgery was Tuesday and my family and I had decided that with my brother and dad being there on Tuesday that I would wait and come on Thursday. Mom said things like...."I won't even remember you being there. It will be crowded with everyone just staring at me asleep. And, blah blah blah."
Ok, so I thought I was fine with coming on Thursday to see her for myself and with my own two little eyes.
Thursday morning came and I was so excited to hop in the car and get the kiddos to school and off I would be. However, the phone rang at 7:05 Thursday morning and the plans changed.
Mom: "Fran? Hey, it's me, mom. Guess what? I am going home this morning!"
Fran: freaking out and trying to remain calm and not cry...."WHAT???????!!!!!!!!!!" Ok, that's great mom. I'll check in with you later this afternoon." I was not happy.
At that point, I hung up the phone and just wanted to die! I missed the surgery. I missed the hospital stay. I missed it. Missed it. Missed it. Missed it.
Needless to say, this was so much harder on me than I ever imagined. I had been a bundle of nerves for weeks and then the whole thing came and went without me being there for my mom.
So, what's a daughter to do?? You head West over the weekend. This is what you do...you head home to see them.
And, that's exactly what I did. I didn't care if we just stared at one another or talked for hours and hours. I WAS GOING TO ARKANSAS!!!
I packed myself, my Bible study CD's, my fav music, and of course my camera and hit the road.
Is this cheesy or what?? I was a little excited. The grin is real.
Once I got to Memphis, I had to take a picture of St. Jude. You have no idea how special that place is to me. I wish I could have stopped to see my friends, the Reams, when I came back through. I pray for you all the time Chandler. Keep fighting kiddo!!!
In Northeast Arkansas we grow cotton. It's "pickin time" so I was glad to capture the snow before they go make our cute tshirts and stuff.
This is a shot of my High School football field and athletic building. It was our 20 yr reunion this weekend and I missed it. :(
Here I am pulling into the driveway of "home." I can't tell you how excited I was to see mom. And, did I tell you it was a TOTAL SURPRISE!!!!
This is the church where I grew up and was married. Oh, the memories that flooded my mind today.
This is actually where I met my hubs. Believe it or not, I was on a treadmill and he asked who I was.....the rest is history.
My food for the trip home. NASTY huh?? At the time it was good. :)
I had listened to the final session of "Stepping Up" on my way home and I looked at these clouds as my steps up with God for the rest of my life. The journey is far from over even if Bible study ends this week.
The last time God showed me a cross in the sky like this something big was on the horizon. Hmmmm....I think He and I are about to engage in a very special journey together. I'm so very excited.
Are you wondering about the pictures of me and my mom??? Didn't take any. She would have killed me!!! She looks fabulous, but not her best so I'll keep those pictures in my heart forever!!
Friday, October 10, 2008
update to add: The meeting went VERY well and I'm so excited!! Best of all I didn't throw up! When God calls us to serve Him, lets do so with joy and excitement in our hearts!! Thank you so much for your prayers!!! He heard and He answered!
Well....I'm a little nervous and a little excited all at the same time. Don't you love those 2 emotions all mixed up together?? You either want to jump up and down with joy or go throw up in the toilet.
I have a 9:00 meeting with my pastor. That alone is kinda scary. I just had to take a deep breath over that. But, remember, I work in ministry at the church and what should I be afraid of?? I work with him all the time. I think it's just a feeling of "ICK" that just can't help but take over when you say "meeting with the pastor."
I'm hoping I don't throw up in his bathroom toilet in his office. I'm still scared. Another deep breath.
Zephaniah 3:9 "Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder."
You see, I've had a difficult time in my ministry at church these last few weeks and even months. I've learned the importance of having a team of people who love Jesus, who want to pour all we can into children and their families, and serve shoulder to shoulder to enhance the Kingdom of God .
This is what I'm coming to talk to my pastor about. I've got to vent and get some things out. And, I do believe this is 100% healthy when done with a loving, prayed up heart, and your motive is completely pure. I then need to share some things I've learned through a fabulous book called "It" by Craig Groeshel and that it's also time for me to make some exciting changes in the ministry.
So...half excited and half sick, I'll go in there and hopefully empower him and with time the whole church to work harder than ever and with such excellence that we draw others into deep relationships with God, their church, and the world!
I feel a good ole revival coming on girls!
Love you all so much. Have a blessed day with Jesus!
posted by Fran at 7:43 AM
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
You may have seen this video before, but please watch again and think about who you have in your "herd" that is there for you. I want these guys in mine!
Be blessed...stick with it til the end....you'll love this outcome!! :)
Hugs and blessings..
Monday, October 6, 2008
Currently, my head is still spinning and on the verge of exploding, but I will try to carry on in some sort of normal condition and spare you the mess my head is in. Ya see, I went to a fabulous leadership conference in Kansas City at the end of last week and my sweet little head is still spinning. Lord, please settle it down.
I have been listening to week 6 of Stepping Up on CD before our group meets Wednesday morning and Miss Beth Moore touched on something so huge to me at this very moment.
The weary traveler.
I am a literal weary traveler fresh from the airport, but aren't we all travelers on this journey called life??
Who are you walking alongside that can spur you on, cheer you up, be your "go-to" person, and just simply encourage you when life gets dang hard??
Life can be this...
1. sudden family illness
2. sudden financial crisis
3. sudden marriage crisis
4. ongoing problems in a relationship with a child, parent, friend, spouse or even a co-worker
5. feeling drained, worn out, exhausted for a cause you feel so deeply about, but wonder where is your strength??
You totally get the idea don't you?? I can fall into so many of these and more. Can't you?? But, I am much better during the day when I have my "peoples" alongside me.
Hebrews 10:25 "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
We need some encouragement girls. Daily life is hard and I need to have some people, some fellow sojourners, some fellow pilgrims, that are going to walk alongside me and encourage me on the journey.
We are all called to encourage. If you don't think that encouragement is your gift....think again. Send someone a note that needs a little pick me up. We are called to be infused with encouragement.
I want to encourage others just as much as I want to receive it.
Be blessed today. Fill up on some Jesus and make sure you find yourself some encouraging friends beside you every.single.day. I'm praying for us all.
posted by Fran at 11:16 AM
Saturday, October 4, 2008
I just returned from a fab trip to Kansas City to a fab leadership conference for church leaders. Here are some of me and my girls as we traveled about...
Here is Lesley getting inspired before we learn 427 million things! Notice the name of the Southwest magazine...
This is the very first meal they fed us and I ate it up. BBQ in KC wasn't too bad. Not as good as the good ole South, but obviously I was ok with it. And, they did not have sweet tea!!!! WHAT??!! A disgrace indeed.
Here I am each morning. Oh, I kid again. But, it's really not far from the vision. I was t-i-r-e-d.
This is Lesley and Linda gazing out the window on our handy dandy little shuttle once we arrived in Nashville. This was not staged. Look at the cheesy grins on their faces!!! Happy to be on TN soil maybe??
Well, I'll say one of my favorite sayings when I'm tired.... "I'm worn slick." So, I'm going to finish unpacking and then hit the hay. See ya later. So glad to be home. So happy to have gone away.
Thank you Jesus for all you reveal to me.
2 TImothy 3:14...."But as for you, continue in what you have learned..."
Hugs and blessings....
posted by Fran at 8:58 PM
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Well, I'm outta here friends.
Off to a 2 day conference in Kansas City for church leaders. I'm really excited about it. I went 2 years ago and get to go back this year. There are 7 of us going from my church so we are bound to have some fun too. Camera is charged as is my video camera so who knows what could show up on the ole blog!
Have a great rest of the week. Keep after Jesus!
Hugs and blessings~