Friday, February 27, 2009

One of my favorites

It's no secret that I LOVE Bible study. It has changed my life. Truly. The pages are more than pages. If I pick up a page in the Bible, I now see so much beautiful depth to each page. These aren't just words to me on a page. They are life and truth. The pages are loaded with original meaning and context that we might miss if we don't study it. And....then, the word is completely different. And, then you are completely different. It's phenomenal to me. Well, it's actually life changing to me.

Several years ago I did "Believing God" by Beth Moore. Isn't that the root of it all?? If we don't truly believe Him and His Word, are we really believing Him?

This is the Five Statement Pledge of Faith that we learned during the study.....

1. God is who He says He is.

2. God can do what He says He can do.

3. I am who God says I am.

4. I can do all things through Christ.

5. God's Word is alive and active in me.

"I'm believing God."

I'm beleiving God today. Are you?

"You are my witness," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me." Isaiah 43:10

Hugs and blessings~

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What does Lent mean to you? Anything??

I know that Lent begins today. I know that it's Ash Wednesday. I know that some people celebrate this season on the Christian calender. I know that some people don't know one thing about Lent. These are a few things I do know and then I'll let you know what I plan on doing during this beautiful season of Lent.

Ok....I feel the need to list. I hope it's ok to list these things. I'm feelin' the need for a list.

1. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is 40 days.
2. It's a time for us to remember exactly what Jesus did for us.
3. Do I give up something during Lent?
4. What if I don't give up something for Lent?
5. The 40 days is all over scripture...Jesus in the desert, Noah's ark, Israelites in the desert

Is that all I can come up with? Apparently so. It's late. I'm tired. But, I'm wondering.....really stuck on something..."What if I don't want to give up something for Lent?" Is that ok? Sure it is. I think God will love me just the same. However, I'm going to do something a little different with Lent this year. I think the whole giving up thing messed with me at some point in my life because it scares me. Maybe the knowing that I may fail plays a part in it. What if I just get mad about it and not getting any closer to Christ?

I'm planning on getting into "serve mode" during Lent. We do need to talk to our kids about just how awesome God is and exactly what He did for us on that cross and what He does for us on a daily basis, but.....I don't want my kids to miss the point of Lent. My kids would just be irritated over giving something up and then complain for days about it and miss the whole "let's get closer to God thing" so I'm thinking let's turn our focus around.

However I decide to map this out.....my family is going to be very intentional about giving back and doing things that we normally never do or rarely do. We might do things that we typically do only at Christmas. Maybe we'll venture out and do some things that we have NEVER done to help out sick children, the elderly, the lonely, the lost. I don't know yet. I'm trusting God to lead the way.

I'm hoping that I can set a good example for my children to take the time to remember just how beautiful Christ is and in turn doing something for others in the name of Christ.

What do y'all think about Lent? Love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Regardless of what you do or don't do, use this time leading up to Easter to dig a little deeper with Christ. He is everything.

Happy serving and growing,
Fran

Monday, February 23, 2009

This might be it.....

I've had this trend to "get real" with y'all for the last several weeks and I have a feeling this might be the end of the normal, weekly thing and throw the rest of the realness in as I feel lead to.

This isn't profound. This isn't all that deep. It's simply a wave of honest reality that I truly just came out of. I have had a couple of things happen over the past week that cause me to just sit back and go whoa....this can't be happening. How in the world did God do all this in my life??

Let me explain one tiny bit of this....

This weekend I had the privilege to sit with a fabulous group of people from church to take apart the church....the good, the bad, and the ugly. We took it all apart so we can fix some things and make it the best it can be.....with God's help. We want to be intentional and focused on what God is calling our church to be. It's a very thrilling and overwhelming experience for me to sit there
among a group of church leaders making decisions. Did you hear that??...... "making decisions!"

Guess what happened? I sat there at one point and wanted to cry. No...not because I had been there for the last 200 hours, but because this time 5,6,7 years ago....I would have laughed really hard at the notion that God would be able to use little ole me for anything for His Kingdom.

I have been a MESS before I came to Christ. It takes a lot to shock me when it comes to things of the world. The only thing that truly shocks me is what Jesus has done in my life. He is real. His Word is complete life to me. I can't do a single thing without Him. He's simply in me. And......He's using me. WOW!

If you are in Christ, He's using you too. Do you know how He's using you?

If you aren't exactly sure how He is using you, spend some time simply at His feet and ask Him, "Lord, how can I share who you are in my life?"

He took me from a pit and is using me. Using me. I could cry right now thinking about it. He is simply amazing to me.

Be all that you can for Him and His people! Don't hold back. It will blow your mind!!!

Isaiah 61:3 "and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."


Hugs and blessings~

Friday, February 20, 2009

And the winner is.....

Ok, friends....first of all...seriously...DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THIS WAS??? I went through every comment and read every last one of them and laughed ALL OVER AGAIN! Y'all are some mighty clever and witty people, I tell ya.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about....on Wednesday, I had a fun little contest here on the ole blog. You were asked to tell us what your word verification was, how it was pronounced, and then use it in a sentence. And, I loved every minute of it. Loved, loved, loved the fun!

Also, I need you to know that I would give EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU a giftcard from Starbucks if I could. But, I can't. So, I had to pick.

And, if you need to share some "shock and awe" with the winner, please go do so on her blog. I just picked the one that truly made me LAUGH OUT LOUD.

Thanks for playing along...we'll do something else quirky in the near future. And, I seriously need longer arms or a tripod for video taping. I stink at this.
Love y'all!


Untitled from Fran Thomas on Vimeo.

This afternoon....

Ok guys...I'll hopefully have a video up this afternoon (assuming it doesn't take 4 days to upload) announcing the winner and a few honorable mentions that just make me laugh.

Have a great day! Check back later. Have a busy morning so I can't do it now. Plus I have no makeup on and that would be SCARY!

Happy Friday! And, Happy Starbucks!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hopefully...

I'm praying that this is a blogger problem and we didn't blow this thing up today with all the contest-y fun. Check back again soon. **Whew! Didn't last long...scroll down and lets continue the party!*

Fun and Starbucks are at stake!

If y'all knew me, you'd know that I'm a little on the weird side. And, weird in a real weird, funny, corny kind of way. So, I think its time for us to have some weird, funny, corny fun together.

This is what we are going to do. And, it makes me laugh when I think about it. You know the word verification thing that comes up in some blog comments??? It looks something like this....



I have this tendency to see these and as I type my word in, I say it out loud as a real word. And, I instantly think of how to use it in a sentence. And, I laugh every time at the corniness of it all.

But, that is exactly how my mind works.

Won't you play along? I've got a $25 Starbucks gift card that I'll give to the one that personally makes me laugh out loud. That means you have to define the word and/or use it in a sentence. There will be no random generator thingy......just me and my humor picking the winner. I'll do this on Friday morning sometime when I can! Oh, and I don't care how many times you enter. It's all for fun and to make me laugh real hard.

Ok...let your honest, real, fun answers come on! And, how weird will it be if the word verification isn't up since blog authors can't see it? That's gonna mess with the fun a little if it's off, so be sure and let me know if it's not there.

Have fun! I love me some fun!

Hugs and blessings~

Monday, February 16, 2009

It IS about me. It's NOT about me.

How are you at showing Jesus to others?? How are you at telling others about Jesus?? I know this will come as a shock to some of you.....but, I'm all about being a bit more real here on the ole blog each week. Why do I want to do that?? It's simple. I'm wanting to show others how dependent I am on Jesus. I have this new motto that I throw around here and there...and, it can be tough to swallow at times.....


"It's not about me."


We all battle some selfishness, don't we?? You better believe it. Just this past weekend, we were in Memphis celebrating a birthday and Valentines Day and we did some shopping. OH MY WORD.....I wanted everything. EVERYTHING. ME ME ME ME....GIMME GIMME GIMME.

Not realistic, but it is something we all battle and deal with. We can't have everything. It can't be all about me.


So...as I try to take my eyes off myself and focus more on Jesus, something I wrote down in Bible study last week has stuck with me. And, here it is...



"When we lose our identity of who we really are, our testimony is lost."


Huh? What?? But, I'm trying to get the focus off me and onto Him. That sentence just told me that is about me. Then, I remembered what our amazing teacher, Beth Moore, had to teach us in the little bible study called Esther.


Remember, destiny appoints one but affects many. What God sends out to do in one person, many people will be affected.

How?? By what we say and do. For those of you that are on the more private side, help me out.....


People not only need to see us being good, doing good, saying good. People need to hear how Jesus impacted us, affected us, and is currently changing our life. If we are to be set apart from the world, then don't we need to do both?? We need to share our testimony and live it out in what we say and do. In order to bring others to Christ and fullfill our destiny, we will need to be transparent.


God has taken me OUT OF A PIT, and I will never forget that. If I can share exactly how He did that....bring it on!! I'd love to share exactly where I was, who I am today, and why I can't live a day without Him. Give me an opportunity, and I'm ready with what to say. Are you?


So, how are you at showing and telling others of just how far you've come? Are we willing to be vulnerable enough in the Name of Christ?? Are we telling others about Jesus or simply counting on our actions to seal the deal?


Love to hear what you think!


Hugs and blessings~


Friday, February 13, 2009

Just so grateful




I just have a heart that wants to explode. A heart that is just in awe of God's beauty and provision and the details, people. THE DETAILS. He is all over some details right now and I love to see Him do that. So very cool.

We are out of school today for Winter Break. I never had that as a kid, but as a momma, I'm thrilled to have this day where the kids can sleep in and just rest.

I'm going with my hubs to Memphis tonight to celebrate a late birthday and Valentine's Day. The kids are squared away and looking forward to a fun time without mom and dad!

I asked some of y'all on Facebook yesterday what you thought of Valentines Day and most of you agreed that you don't need a singled out day to let your significant other know that you love them. So, I've been thinking.......

Do we take the time to let the people we love the most, let them know we love them? I doubt it.

I sure don't. Life becomes life and we are pulled in 101 directions and we are simply going through the motions and we are just tired. Poor, pitiful excuse isn't it?

So, as I take the time to think about how beautiful God is right now in my life, I want to slow down this weekend and see Him at work in the details of life with my husband and kids. He's all over the place with us and I'm glad that I have some time with just hubs to see it and enjoy it.

Why don't you slow down this weekend and do it too. Look for God in the details and let your heart overflow with joy and love. I think He's one cool God. I'm in awe.
2 Corinthians 13:14 "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

Hugs and blessings~




Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stupid friends

Y'all, one of my most favorite times in the past month was my trip to hear Travis record a new worship CD/DVD at FBC Woodstock just outside Atlanta. I picked up Patty and Georgia and we hit the highway toward Stephanie's....for several hours. Well, what typically happens when you hit the highway with great friends and have some distance ahead of you??? Oh, let me tell you what happens....

You get VERY silly, laugh until you cry, eat some junk, and comment on every thing you see or pass along the way (remember the truck, Patty?). I wish I could tell y'all what was written on this particular 18 wheeler, but it is just not appropriate blog worthy material. ;) Ok, so somewhere along the way, we kept using the word "stupid." And, you know how we do.....we started intentionally using the word in every possible sentence and in every form we could. And, that is exactly what we did. Let me give you an example of how it started....And, please use LOTS of sarcasm as you read aloud. Thanks...because we really are sweet, precious people. Remember, the silliness is getting into full gear now.

Fran: "This stupid truck is not getting out of the left lane. I need to drive faster than 55. Its the stupid left hand lane people. Stupid driver. I'm gonna take you out, stupid driver."

Patty: "This is some serious stupid traffic in Atlanta. Could you imagine doing this stupid stuff every day? Stupid traffic isn't moving."

Georgia: "Do I need to get out and tell these stupid people how to drive in rush hour? Stupid man next to us is texting and driving."


Ok, so you get the gist of what we were doing. It became sooooooo very funny with each minute that went by....with each scenario that went by....with each comment said. I know I couldn't breathe at one point I was LAUGHING SO VERY HARD!!!

So, what happens next? Stupid has taken on a life of its own and became the word of the weekend among us. It is still alive and active out there in cyber world through emails, facebook comments, and even my birthday gift from these girls.

These are the beautiful flowers my adorable husband sent me....

These are the flowers my precious friends sent me for my birthday.....


And, this is the stupid card they sent......
Do you know how hard I laughed over this???? Don't you just love funny, inside stuff between friends?? Don't you love it that you have people who you can just be completely ridiculous with?
Don't you just love the silliness of gooooood friends?? Don't you just love it that these are friends I met on the internet through blogging??? Don't you love it that these girls mean the absolute world to me??
Friendship is a pretty cool thing and I absolutely thank God for it!!!
Proverbs 18:24 "there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
I love each and every one of you and am thrilled to call you friend.
Hugs and blessings and much laughter.....


Monday, February 9, 2009

Some more "real me"

Ok, you know that I have gone down this road of being real, right? Well, since that is so much fun to read and so weird for me to keep exposing truth about me.....

Let's do it!!!! And, still be friends, ok? Thanks.

Seriously, I'm over it. I'll give you as much as I can without completely trashing myself, which I could do rather quickly, so let's keep it all real here, ok?

I've been watching the Grammy's on CBS tonight. And, OHMYWORD......this is some serious material. I really wish I had been taking notes because we could go on and on about this event for days. No, we wouldn't be gossiping. We would strictly sit here in our comfy little homes and THANK GOD that we live the life we do. I do believe I've commented on every single outfit, song, performance, presenting of the award....you name it.

Why would we do that??? We would do that because if you are from relatively small town not big city, then we really couldn't hang with these people. We would be a complete fish out of water.

For all the fashion do's and the fashion don'ts please go here. As I scrolled through those pictures, I wanted to laugh, cry, feel sorry for, want the outfit, and shake my head in shame over each and every photo. Then I realized that I'm tearing most of those people up in my mind with how ridiculous they look. Thank goodness I was not in a room full of girls where I could tear them up in a group because that has to be worse, right?!

The sweet Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He didn't make me a Hollywood superstar because as I sit here, in that above mentioned comfy home, I would totally BE ALL ABOUT IT. I would start off like most of them do and be all grateful and stunned that I was a star, and then BAM! I would go downhill really quick and at a high rate of speed I'm sure.

I mean I think I would easily get all caught up in it. What is "it?" Just the Hollywood-ness of it all. And, I realize I have absolutely no experience with the Hollywood-ness of "it," but you know what I'm talking about.

Fran in Hollywood:
I would be the most self-centered, going to everything, stay up all night, doing things I shouldn't do, dying to be on the E! network, hoping for People magazine story, after all the Hollywood hunks, completely ridiculous human being on the planet. So.....I know my weaknesses and I know my battles.

Thank you Jesus that you have set my feet on solid ground and I'm not the same person I was BEFORE You. I couldn't handle all that Grammy/Hollywood mess and deep down I'm grateful.

I'm grateful even though I so wish I were up on that stage singing.

And, I can't sing.

God is good. He knows what He's doing.

Hugs and blessings~

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Just humor me for a sec

I just had one of those mornings where I just had a real big slap in the face kind of moment when it comes to blessings. So....I started looking around some old pictures and just wanted to cry. A good kind of cry though. I have had so much fun in the last year and I just thought I'd share some of my memories.

Thank you Lord for all the blessings in my life. I know they are from you and I'm thankful for that slap in the face kind of reminder this morning. It was a good slap. ;)





































I just need you to know this is my youngest when he was 1. Look at the hair people! It did this all the time and was by far the cutest thing I'd ever seen. EVER. He's 8 now. *Sigh*


Take some time to reflect on all your blessings.
Hugs and blessings~

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Do you think this is true??



Have a great day! Make a difference in someone's life and be the best you can be!

Hugs and blessings~

Monday, February 2, 2009

Life

It is Sunday night as I sit here typing this thing out and I am not happy. You want to know why? My Cardinals and that beloved Kurt Warner did not win. I really thought we were going to pull it off at the end. I'm not a Steelers fan...AT ALL. I'm sorry, I'm just not. I've watched this entire Super Bowl and have had sooooo many things swirl around in my little head during this game....

Here we go....

1. Life is simply hard. Period.

2. Sometimes the good guy doesn't win...but, Kurt Warner is always the winner. What a fabulous role model for kids.

3. My kids got disappointed today. There was pouting. Life was hard for them...for a minute.

4. We are continuing to pray as a family over a decision that we have to make...see post below.
Life is just hard. God doesn't work like I want Him to sometimes. :)

5. My parents have had a rough year...mom was diagnosed with crappy illness...dad is currently in the hospital with broken ribs and pneumonia. Life is hard. There is not enough of me.

6. People disappoint you. People you least expect disappoint you and it hurts. Life is hard.

7. I need Jesus MORE THAN EVER because life is hard.

8. Sometimes you feel lonely and that no one likes you. Life is hard.

9. The news on tv is terrible. I'm on a news media fast because it's gotten to me. Life is hard.

10. Some Super Bowl commercials were ridiculous and completely not appropriate for kids. Irritates me what we've come to. Life is hard. Parenting is hard.

When I sit here and feel smothered and completely heavy...I watch the Office and instantly feel better. Ha! But, seriously, I am quickly reminded of a favorite scripture....

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand." Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Be encouraged my friends. I know your life is hard too. It just is. Draw so close to the One who never leaves you.

Have a peace-filled day! I love you all!
Hugs and blessings~

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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