Monday, March 30, 2009

Extreme "Heart" Makeover---Fran edition!

Yeah, that's a corny title, but I'm not kidding when I say that is what the sweet Lord spoke in my heart. So, there ya have it! Blame Him if you don't like it. ;)

Friday afternoon I was on the phone with a dear, now real life bloggy friend, and we were talking about 401 things, but something we talked about is ON ME. STUCK ON ME to be exact.

I'm 2 days away from finishing the Esther Bible study that has been OUTSTANDING and I'm really thinking about where I am compared to 9 weeks ago.

My friend and I were talking about all the Bible studies we have done over the years. We talked about all the learning that we have done. We talked about the amount of time each study takes, including the homework that I joyfully pour over. We talked about the endless hours of digging in the word we have done. But, then we wondered something.....something kind of scary.....

Am I truly different after each Bible study??? TRULY??? Or am I just sort of different??? Where am I on the scale of my heart and mind being radically different because of being in Bible study??? Oh gosh....It took my breath away when I really let it sink in.

Think about all the hours you spend in church, small groups, Bible studies, Sunday school classes. Are you drastically different or you just kind of different. Maybe you are sitting here thinking like I am....."I'm not nearly where I want to be."

I know that I can have just finished the best Bible study ever and then find myself in a situation of some kind and fall right back into the pit of gossip, drama, situations, decisions, attitudes, etc and wonder...."what in the heck? Did I really just say or do that?"

I'm not discouraged by this. I'm encouraged by it!!! It sets my heart on fire actually. It causes me to seek Him more, serve Him more, make a difference more, work more, be an influence more, love Him more, follow Him more.

"Transform my heart, Lord. Settle this wild buck down long enough to truly be changed."

Let's be intentional, friends. TRULY INTENTIONAL. I don't want to waste my time here on planet Earth. Too much is at stake for us to be half way Christians.

1 John 3:20 "for God is greater than our heart...."

Thank goodness He is greater than our hearts. I want an extreme "heart" makeover. EXTREME!!!

Be blessed! Love you much!

Friday, March 27, 2009

What do you wanna be?

Last night I went to bed kind of late for me....ya know, 11:30ish......and was thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Ha! Why on Earth did I start thinking about that? No idea whatsoever. I had just finished watching my beloved Memphis Tigers lose to Missouri in the Sweet 16 and I might have been thinking about this after watching one of their players fight tears as he sat on the bench when it was almost over. Maybe that vision made me think about kids and wonder if this kid always dreamed of playing basketball for an awesome college program one day?

I dunno. Weird how our mind goes from thing to thing.

So, I was remembered that as a kid I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to be a nurse that worked in Oncology. Sure did. Still do in a big weird kind of way. My heart is very tendered to this.

Anyway, what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing it now??

And, for the record, I'm working in the church serving in Children's Ministry. :)

Have a great weekend!
Hugs and blessings~

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Do you see what I see???

This is a picture of me and Dylan taken over New Years in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. I tried to quickly find a picture of just me, but we all know that momma's are barely even in a picture much less ALONE in one. Geesh. Sooooooo.....this is what I found at first glance through my pictures. Work with me. :)

I have had so much going on mentally that at times I have felt like my heart and head would simultaneously explode. It's been one of those weeks where I have said, at least 38 times a day, "I'm emotionally spent." We all know that feeling. It's really hard.

Thank goodness I'm in Bible study every week and doing daily homework to get me deep into the Word. It's carrying me. He's carrying me.
And, after today's video session 8 of Esther, I've got something to ask you after you read this fabulous quote....

"In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to him."

What do I see when I look in the mirror or am thinking of myself? What do I "see" when you say Fran. Here are a few things that come to mind at this very moment:
1. I'm not happy with my physical appearance (the closer I get to 40)!
2. I'm heavy hearted over situations beyond my control.
3. I'm lonely for deep, meaningful friendships.
4. I'm scared of many things right now.

But, none of that means anything if I don't have Jesus carrying me, walking alongside me, fellowshipping with me, or speaking to me. So, with all that Jesus time that I'm spending....do I see Him when I look in the mirror?? Not usually at first. I don't even capture that mindset usually.


More importantly though....do others see Him in me?
Do others see Jesus in you? Or, do they simply see someone who knows Jesus, but isn't showing Him?
Think about it. I am.
Blessings~

Monday, March 23, 2009

To seek or not to seek.....

Well, hello. How are ya? I was kinda gone last week. Ya know....Spring break and all. It was FABULOUS AND WONDERFUL AND PEACEFUL AND RESTFUL AND AWESOME! And, now it's over. Boo hoo. Woe is me.

Shoot.

I'm kinda mad.

And sad.

Now it's time for me to put my grown-up brain back to work and see if I can spit something out of any intelligence whatsoever. (No comment, ok? Thanks.)

I tried all day to think of something to write about. I even prayed. "God, please give me something to share."

Nothing.

Nada.

Zip.

Obviously, it's going to take me a day or two to get back into the routine of things. My brain apparently all but shuts down during breaks of any kind when we go on hiatus around here.

But, then I remembered!!!! A week ago in Nashville. YES!!! I have something to share that was awesome!!! I visited the fabulous Crosspoint church and the beloved Pete Wilson. His better half was at early service and I completely missed her. I'm still sad about it. I know we'd be best buds if we just lived a smidget closer. ;)

Ok, so the scripture that Pete preaches on that Sunday is one of my FAVORITES y'all. Here it is. We all know it. We all love it. Read along with me.....

Matthew 6:33-34 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I want to shout a hearty "AMEN!" at the end of that scripture. Anyone else?? Yeah, we got some trouble in one given day.

Ok...I won't give you my notes, because goodness knows I took a mess of 'em, but here are the high points.

1. We must have time with God. We won't grow at all if we aren't doing this. Jesus set a great example for this in Mark 1:35.

2. We must have community with others. Don't be a person that just skims relationships. Invest in people. Jesus was always with people and he was never distracted by the noise around him.

3. We must serve with passion. Don't be focused on your kingdom. Ephesians 2:10 tells us we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

4. _____________ We are to fill in this blank. We are to find the thing that is missing. What is missing in my life that is keeping me from seeking him first? Or.....what do I need to get rid of that is keeping me from seeking him first???

Ok, that's it. Good stuff huh??? Write these down in your Bible or on a sticky note and put beside the scripture in your Bible.

I'm all about seeking him first. But, I've got some serious work to do!!

Press on sweet friends! I love y'all. Happy to be back with you. I'm taking it up a notch. How about you?

Hugs and blessings~

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Boys will be boys

I have seen this before, but still think it is SOOOOO typical of a boy. Being a mom to three of them, I see my precious #3 son doing this. How about you???

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You better be outside!

Its Tuesday of Spring break week and so far all the children are accounted for and still living! Ha!

We made it home from our Nashville fun. I swear I wanna move there. I love it. The job thing is a problem though since hubs and I both need employment. Hmmmm......

It is a gorgeous 74 and sunny out so I'm beggin' you to get offline and go outside. Soak up the sun by Sheryl Crow and thank me later.

Happy day y'all. I'm thinking about you as I sit here and soak up the magnificent Spring day.
God IS good.

Hugs and blessings~

Monday, March 16, 2009

No words...just pix...all I can do! Lovin' Nashville!

This is some pix from our fun in Nashville. We have seen family and friends while here and have had a ball. We did go to our favorite Nashville church on Sunday, Crosspoint, and the kids were still talking about it at dinner last night. Very nice.

We are hanging around a little bit more today and then heading home. I love you Spring Break!




















See you later with some fascinating pix. *ahem*
Grateful for my family. Hug yours extra tight today!





Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring Breakin' it!


We have o-fficially kicked off our Spring Break '09!!! Can you hear us squealing and screaming and acting like fools?? So very excited about this break from all the organized, responsible stuff!!!


I'll be putting up pix throughout the week so you can get a glimpse inside our fun. Doesn't that sound thrilling?!


Nothing deep coming from this blog for a few days or seven.


Happy days are here! I just did a little move for y'all...did you see it?!


Hugs.....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lovely...uh huh

I just want you to see what has been going on over here at the house the last 2 days. I almost lost my mind, but didn't.

We decided to clean the rugs in our house and I have decided we must be pigs because apparently we enjoy living in filth. Just look at the NAS-TY water that is in this steam cleaner. That's nice isn't it?? I'm disgusted. Go ahead....take a look.


Now, this would be one volcano that we have built for a Science project. Yes....there are more than one volcano involved in the Science project. I almost lost it when I saw the list of supplies. I completely stressed out. It would just say "sand" and you'd be like...."How much sand?" And it wouldn't tell you. And, so you go buy way too much sand and then you are stuck with sand that you do not want. Great. Now, isn't she pretty?


This is the 2nd volcano. We did this one on Monday. I needed a mental break between the building of 2 volcanos. They were inside and outside. And coming and going out of the back door at least 278 times in one hour and slamming the door VERY LOUDLY with barking dogs almost caused me to scream in front of the friend who is helping them build volcano #2. Whew. It was scary.

This totally cracks me up. Here are the 2 boys building the volcano and one of my other boys decided to pull out the lawn chair onto the grass and kick back and watch the mad scientists.

So, there you have it. We have actually done 4 projects in the last 2 weeks and these precious volcanos were the culmination of all the madness. I promise I'm ok. However, if I see or hear the word "project" one more time...I'm seriously gonna erupt. ;)
Projects truly make parents behave in ways we normally don't. Thanks teachers. We are so grateful for the ugliness you have caused our children to see in us.
I'm going to go lay down now.
Have a great week!
Hugs and blessings~

Monday, March 9, 2009

Serving the church


Oh gosh this is going to be a hard post to write. Why? My Monday posts are specifically written for my church families that I serve every week. I'm the Director of Children's Ministries at my church. I absolutely love these families so very much. They bring such life and joy to me. I've been in this role for about 5 years. Wow! That's even hard for me to believe. I've been around just long enough to have a good handle on the church, people that make up the church, and the ins and outs of a church.

The church is a completely beautiful place when I sit and look at what all happens on a daily basis. Church is not just on Sunday or Wednesday. The church can also be a very difficult place to work. It's hard work being all "Jesus-y" all the time. We are people who are sinners and fall short all the time. Our hearts are pure, our intentions are good, our energy could be better, and our focus sometimes gets lost. We are real live people who love Jesus who are not perfect.

Ok, got that out....let's go to the hard stuff. I need you to know that I am a big, ole church geek.I listen to sermons all the time. ALL THE TIME. I follow pastors on blogs and twitter. I think I do that so I can learn as much as I can from as many people as I can. I want to be a great leader.
I want to learn all I can about Christ. I'm all about the church y'all. It's almost an obsession. Is that bad?

Anyhoo...I'm listening to a sermon series called No Perfect People Allowed. And, can I just say that this is one of my favorite pastors EVER. His name is Perry Noble. He has a fascinating story behind the church and I love the way he teaches. In this series, he was talking about serving within the church. This is where I might upset someone, but I feel God pressing it on my heart so heavily that I gotta stick it out.

1 Corinthians teaches about the gifts that we are given and serving within the church. The body is made up of many parts. MANY parts. We can't expect all the eyes and ears to do all the work. We need all the other parts to step in and do their job.

The following statements are not mine. These are Perry Noble statements. And, he stepped on my toes. He may step on yours too.

**How are you actively serving in the church? The key word is actively. Not sporadically or when asked to do a one time deal. Actively.

**There are gifts within you that may not be unlocked because you have the attitude of "I don't do that or I can't do that." Once you start serving, God will unleash these gifts because you are serving. We can't begin to imagine how He will unleash something within us once we start serving.

**We need to take away the focus of being spoon fed and making church all about us. At some point we must take responsibility for our walk with Jesus. Do you really want to be spoon fed forever?? Matthew 5 tells us that we will be blessed when we hunger and thirst for righteousness because we will be filled. You MUST SEEK Him and He will fill you. Don't expect the church to do it all for you.

That's enough for today....so, lets go back to the question? How are you actively serving your church?? When we are in service, the focus becomes less me directed and more Christ directed and at that point, He will unleash some amazing things. Don't we want to be an amazing body working together as we should be??? I want us to be unstoppable because of the lives we are transforming.

I'm praying for all of us, my home church people and every single one of you. I'm praying that we begin to ask God "How can I actively serve you and your church?" I want us to explode with gifts that we can't contain ourselves!!!

Now, that wasn't so bad was it? ;)

Hugs and blessings~

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Addiction

Hey friends...

How are ya?? Let me just say that I'm super duper happy right now because 1) it's going to be 69 degrees here today (13 inches of snow were on the ground as of Monday) and 2) daylight savings time kicks in on Sunday. Praise Jesus for an extra hour of daylight. This makes me happy that SPRING IS COMING! SPRING IS COMING!!!!

Ok, totally switching gears....I want to let you in on a little secret....I have a strong addictive personality. And, therefore, I'm completely compassionate to those precious people who battle an addiction of any kind. But, don't we all battle something in some form or fashion?? Let me give you a list of some things that are daily battles as well as life battles....

addicted to coffee

addicted to routine

addicted to Bible study (that's not so bad, huh?)

addicted to all things social networking

could easily be addicted to alcohol or any "substance" for that matter

addicted to the approval of others

addicted to music

addicted to Bravo reality TV shows

not-so-much addicted to magazines any more

addicted to my family

Notice that I didn't put much out there as far as some serious addictions. I did mention the alcohol and substance abuse thing because I do have some experience there that I'm not real happy about. I just know that when you have an addictive personality you tend to go 210% into ANYTHING. I have to steer clear of a lot of things and I also have to keep things in check on a very regular basis. The addictive battle may be gone, but it's still a part of who I am.

For anyone out there who is struggling with a stronghold of any kind, I'm with ya. All strongholds DO NOT have to be hard core, but they can certainly be destructive all the same.

What can you share with me about your own struggles with addiction?

I realize that this is a very sensitive subject. I'm just fully aware of the big addictions that are within our church and also alive and active in a lost world. I don't ever want to appear to have it all together and can't relate to anyone or any thing.

I totally get it. I've lived a lot of it.

He is our refuge and our strength. He will set us free from the mess that so easily entangles us.

Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Freedom is what we want. Freedom is what we need.

I love each and every one of you. I pray for you today that you are walking in freedom. And, if you are not, I pray that you are on a journey toward freedom.

Blessings~

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I would rather only wear one hat

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today, is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” What if I stumble by DC Talk.

Whatcha think about that statement? Do you find it true? What about that last sentence? Something about this hit me square in the eyes.....and then the heart.

I've been known to wear many hats in my life. And, these hats don't have to be the real cute ones either. I've been known to wear hats that say, "Look I'm a Christian, but I'm sure not acting like one in this rather large group of people." I have a feeling I'm not the only one either. I still struggle with this. There are still people in my life, WHOM I LOVE, who can suck me into the gossip world so dang fast. I can get sucked into a lot of things real fast.

I'm trying really hard to be the same person among one, among 21, or among 101.

If I died today, what would "they" say about me? How would I be remembered?

I hope everyone could agree that I loved Jesus with all my heart.......and you could see it by the way I lived my life.

Now, lets walk the walk and talk the talk, ok? It is a daily inspiration, isn't it?

Psalm 37:23-24 "If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand."

Have a wonderful day! Be filled....God is good.
Hugs and blessings~

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A real good word on marriage...

If you are married...go check this out. Focus on the Family did a "Focus on the Marriage" simulcast and my sweet friend, Rachel, wrote about it. And, our beloved Beth Moore had a thing or two to say as well.

Enjoy!

Happy Sunday! And, for the record, we got 8 inches of snow. Our worship today will be worshiping God through His beautiful creation!

Blessings~
Fran

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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