I'm so glad you've stopped by my blog! I am a Women's Minister and a former Pastor's Wife. I love finding God in my regular-everyday-stuff. I struggle with keeping up with the laundry, I love blogging, and my kids are my first line of ministry. I am recently widowed. So God and I are on a brand new journey as I try to find peace and understanding. Please grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know one another as we journey on our faith walk together.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Are we there yet?

As I type this, I'm not at home.  We're visiting family in Texas.  We left New Orleans the day after Christmas and I think we had been on the road about 20 minutes... not even completely out of town yet, and our children were asking, "how much longer?"

After each bridge we crossed, they would ask that infamous question, "are we there yet?"

Which was then quickly followed up with, "how many more minutes until we're there?"

Personally I was enjoying the drive.  We had wonderful weather and John & I were able to finally have real face-to-face talk time.  So in the midst of these questions, I wanted to scream, "just sit back & enjoy the ride!"

Honestly I kept hoping they would fall asleep... so peace would fall over the entire minivan.  Why couldn't they just relax?  Why couldn't they enjoy the books, crayons, and movies we brought with us for this 6 hour drive?

What else?
The anticipation of what would be waiting for them in Texas.  

Come join me at Seeds of Faith for the rest of this post.

I'll be talking about long car rides and how to enjoy the ride better!
I can't wait to see you over there!

Seeds Of Faith For The Christian Mom

Sunday, December 26, 2010

His Word Sunday

It's early on the Day After Christmas... and I've washed a load of laundry, made a special breakfast, wrapped a few more gifts for family members and finally made it to my favorite prayer spot!

I'm so glad - I love the timing of God's Word in my life!

Today, as I sit here, I'm thinking about how we'll finish 2010 and all that this year brought our way.  What a year this has been!!

For this morning, I can think of no better way to show my family and friends how I feel than to give you the words of David himself.

Psalm 145:14-21 (ESV)
The Lord is faithful in all His words and kind in all His works.

The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.  

The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season.

You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing.

The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; He also hears their cry and saves them.

The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever.

I hope you know how faithful, true and kind are the works of the Lord!  He will supply your needs in due season.  Our job is only to speak the praise of the Lord!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3 More Days!

I love Wednesdays!  It's the day I participate in a Seeds of Faith blog hop called iFellowship!

I hope you will link up and join the Fellowship with some wonderful women I now call Friends!


Today, I'm making a Gingerbread House with my 2 kids!   I'm also hoping to get some serious wrapping done.

(I'm hoping to post later a picture of our personal house!)

But the biggest thing I'm doing today will be venturing out to Sam's & my local grocery store for all the ingredients for my Christmas Eve & Christmas Day meals.

One of the things that's on my grocery list is Merlitons.  I cooked these for the very first time at Thanksgiving and LOVED them!  They are a holiday tradition in New Orleans.

I typically ask an interesting question on Wednesdays.

What's the most interesting or unique thing on your grocery list for this week?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Will you help spread the word?

Restoration.  Hope.  Joy.

These are only a few received messages I've already seen by those around me this Christmas season.

Don't you just love it when the Lord reveals something to you - over and over again - until you say, "Aha! I get it now!"

The Lord has been communicating a simple message to me in many small and connected ways and I wanted to pass it along to you.  The message is simple.

Spread the word about Me.

Yes, that's it!  I know many of you will be sitting down at a table this week with people who do not know the Lord like you do.  You may be the very person God wants to use to deliver the message of Restoration.  Hope.  Joy.

These are the simple ways He reminded me of this simple & yet important message.  Perhaps you can even use these as conversation starters!

Come join me at Seeds of Faith for the rest of this post.

I'll be talking about caroling, playdates, & the lessons God taught me from 2 small children's books!
I can't wait to see you over there!

Seeds Of Faith For The Christian Mom

Monday, December 20, 2010

The week before...

True to my schedule, I got up this morning and read my Bible and prayed.  I then opened my laptop, ready to pour words of inspiration and wisdom onto the screen.

And yet... all I can think about it the play date we're having here later this morning, cleaning my kitchen, and running to the store before everyone arrives for some nice fun treats.

This is going to be a fun week.  I'm going to spend some quality time with my family as we make our final preparations for Friday & Saturday.

I'm looking forward to our 2 services on Friday night.  I think my favorite is our midnight service - and the kids LOVE going to church in their Christmas pajamas!

Last night our church took about 30 people to the homes around our church and sang Christmas Carols to them.  It was so much fun.  It's one of my favorite things that we do as a church.

How will you be spending this week before Christmas?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

His Word Sunday

Wow!  It's just 6 more days until Christmas!!!

I had a son just 7 days before Christmas 4 years ago.  The magnitude of having a little boy sets in more and more every day!  But I wonder as Mary looked upon the face of her newborn baby in those quiet moments, if she grasped that she was looking into the face of an Almighty God.  What a wonderful experience that must have been for her!!

As I was reading from Zephaniah this morning the Lord reminded me a day is coming soon when I too will get to see the face of the Lord - and what a wonderful experience that will be for those of us who call Him Lord of our life!

Zephaniah 3:16-17 (ESV)
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
"Fear no, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.  The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing."

The rest of this chapter is incredible too - I encourage you to go & read it some time this week.  As you celebrate His first coming this week - allow Him to save you, rejoice over you, quiet you and sing over you!  This is where we find our peace!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We just call him JeeP

December 18, 2006 my life changed.

It was on this day that I went from being a Mother of a sweet little girl to being now a Mother of two - adding a little boy to the mix!

Today we're celebrating the birth of John Patrick Franklin II - or JP for short.  But around here, we just call him JeeP.

Why JeeP?  Well... if you say JP really fast, it kind of sounds like JeeP.  Plus, my hubby drives a Jeep and from the moment he could crawl - he wanted to "play in Daddy's Jeep".  So it fit on all fronts.

In honor of my sweet little boy - 
I thought I would share a few of my favorite things about him!

He loves to run "super fast" - and wants to do so at every chance he gets!  Grocery stores, parking lots, yes, even in the house!

The way he says "P-L-E-A-S-E!!" with his hands all folded together is so cute that it makes me wish (most of the time) I could give him whatever he's asking for.

He always has been from birth and continues to be to this day - A VERY GOOD EATER!  The boy LOVES his "snacks!"

I love listening to conversations he has with his 6 year old sister - they are really beginning to play well together!

I love listening to him play make-believe during the day!  If he sees me watching, he just giggles and says, I'm just talking to my toys!  Sooooo cute!

I love the way he adores "Bear-Bear".  This is a vintage Winnie the Pooh, that Santa brought about 3 years ago.  Bear-Bear has had several surgeries, cleanings, and been searched for high and low in public places.  I can't imagine the two not being together!

I absolutely can't start my day without a "Squeezer" from JeeP!  This is a really tight hug around the neck! They're the best!!!

When I say to him, "I love you JP," he responds back with, "I love you too Mommy."  Oh my!  My heart melts.

These are the moments that help me to make it through the following:

1.  finding ketchup footprints in my fridge

2.  learning he scan scale his armoire to get to the "treasures" I thought were safely stored away on top!

3.  experiencing his fascination with very full puddles while holding his hand

4.  listening to hours and hours of chatter about dinosaurs

5.  finding rocks, Army men, and "snacks" in my washer & dryer

We love you JeeP and can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you!
(by the way, he's already planned them all out!  Next year he wants a Batman party, then a Cowboy party, and then a Dinosaur party!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Class Christmas Parties

Today is my daughter's class Christmas Party.  Yes, there will be a gift exchange - but they've really simplified this from the days when I was in school.

For her party, every child was required to bring a wrapped book (with a $5 budget).  Wow!  This made it really simple! We even had to bring it to school in advance of today's party.

So in honor (or memory) of days gone by (1970 something)....
I thought I would share with you one of the gifts I received at one of my school Christmas parties.

The Chipmunk Christmas record
(I wonder if it's still at my Mom & Dad's house?!)

Enjoy & Merry Christmas!
(It's just ONE week away!!!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Fun & Silly Ones...

Okay - so I've written about your favorite Christmas movie, and your favorite Christmas ornament...

you knew this one had to come....

Your Favorite Christmas Song!

I love Christmas music!  I play it on my iTunes throughout the house.  Last night at our Church Staff & Elder party I had Christmas music playing in the living room and in the kitchen.

However... There are two different types - so... here on this blog I'm going to cover two different types separately - they really deserve their own day and their own space.

Today - I'm going to cover the fun & silly songs.  You know the kind of songs you sing in the car (whether traveling or just out shopping) where everyone just acts silly - no matter what their age?  I love these!  I got a Chipmunks record (remember those?) as a kid and I've never forgotten it!

Here are a few I like singing with my kids...
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (I like the inserted parts!)
Frosty the Snowman
The Chipmunks Christmas Song
I just heard one by George Strait called, Christmas Cookies - and I LOVE it!

But the one I want to share with you today has become my all time favorite!

Take a listen!  
It's called, "Christmas Time in Texas"
written by none other than my dear sweet husband!

Isn't this a fun song!!  If you want to hear it in your own iPod... it will be available on iTunes later this week! (John Franklin - Christmas Time in Texas)

Now, don't worry, I have some treasured favorites that are more about Jesus that will truly stir your heart regarding Him coming to earth to save our very souls.... but today I was in a "fun" mood!

Check back with me later for the more serious songs.... but for today my question is this...

What's your favorite funny, 
silly Christmas Song?

If you're here from iFellowship... WELCOME!
I hope you grab a cup of your favorite beverage
and hang out with me a while!

Leave me a comment, so I'll know you came by
and know that I'll be by later to visit you as well!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Which one is your favorite?

like the one we got in St. Lucia to remember our honeymoon.
Then there's the one we got from Pottery Barn to commemorate our 1st year of marriage.
Oh!  The Waterford cross is a beautiful one from a former employer!
I love the one we got the year our first baby was born.
The serious ones - the funny ones
The ones with pictures!
Then of course the homemade ones from our children are the absolute best!

I'm talking about the ornaments that adorn our tree.

There are as many different decorated trees as there are homes to fill them.  I have one friend who decorates according to a color theme each year.  I have another friend who has a complete tree dedicated to her college alma mater - complete with orange only lights & everything!

I love the many different personalities of decorated Christmas trees.  They tell quite the story of the owners' lives.

To read the rest of this post come & join me at Seeds of Faith Women!

Seeds Of Faith For The Christian Mom

Monday, December 13, 2010

Treasures from the back table

How is your Christmas shopping going?  Is everyone on your list easy to buy for?  Do you have that one person on your list that just stumps you?  There have been times I have just walked a store... just hoping that something will jump out and say, "I'm what you're looking for!"

There have been some years where I have found the best gift in the oddest place!  The little trinkets at the checkout have brought the biggest smiles, or an item on the table at the back made their Christmas!

I'm talking about the kind of thing that if you had not been persistent to the end with open eyes... you might have just missed it completely.  Ever been there?

I kind of experienced this today in my prayer time with the Lord.

Every year, and yes, I mean EVERY YEAR (since 1999); I read the One Year Bible.  Today's New Testament portion came from the book of Revelation.  The first year I read my One Year Bible I didn't miss a day.  I was so proud to say I read the entire Bible in one year!

In the years since... I miss a day here and there -  every now and then.  Unfortunately, Revelation gets more neglect than the others for several reasons.  It's harder to understand and I'm reading it at one of the busiest seasons of the year.

This morning I got up early and made coffee, put some laundry on, responded to a few emails, checked Facebook briefly, and then finally opened my Bible.  As I was reading in Revelation, I was doing my best to keep up with the descriptions of the "living creatures" surrounding the throne when I read the following verse...

Revelation 4:11 (ESV)
"Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created."

Just for a little context, this was said by the 24 elders dressed in white.  They said this as they laid their crowns before the throne in worship of the Almighty, Holy God.

The thing that struck me this morning was "And by Your will they existed."

So often I bring my laundry list of requests before the Lord.  I question the Lord about all the things that are happening to me and around me.  And yet, my very existence is in the hands of a very worthy & holy God.  So often I come to the Lord in a haphazard manner as if I have some sort of position or right to know the "whys" of my life.  When in reality, I should be bowing before Him, bringing Him my everything... saying only, "Thank you, and yes will I serve, honor, and obey You."

Why should I say this?
Because my very existence, every breath that I take is by His will and His design!

This is an AMAZING gift - found at the back of the Bible.  In my busyness, I could have even missed it all together.  And yet... it was screaming at me, "This is what you want today!"

Therefore, my next thought was, "What am I going to do with this gift?"  This gift of His will - for me to exist... how will I use it?  Will I use it for good or for evil?

Today, before opening my mouth, I'm going to remember that my very existence is by His will and not my own and do all that I can to lay crowns (and not junk) before His throne!

(And one more thing.... there are some amazing treasures from the back of the Bible... Jude, Revelation, Obadiah, Malachi - don't miss these this year!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

His Word Sunday

Words are very powerful.  That childhood song about Sticks and stones and words never hurting couldn't be more wrong.

Did you know just with your words you could offer someone healing?  You could change the course of their day just by what you say!

Proverbs 12:18 (ESV)
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 12:25 (ESV)
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Wise words can bring healing and a good word can make a person glad!

Today as you head off to church, or start your week... look for ways to bring healing and gladness to those around you.

Now before I close this post, I know some of you may be thinking, "Yeah.  Okay.  But what if I'M the one who needs the healing and the gladness?!"

We've all been here.  Put yourself in a place today, this week, where you know you will receive wise & good words.  Go to church this week.  Listen to uplifting Christian songs on the radio.  Read your Bible.  In other words, plan or position yourself around those people who you KNOW will be encouraging to you.  That's where you're going to find healing and gladness for your week to come.

In the mean time, know that I'm praying for you!  I'm praying that the Lord sends His ultimate healing and gladness to your spirit!

I love you all dearly!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Ultimate Ornament Exchange

Tonight I'm attending an Ornament Exchange party with the ladies from my church.  We do this every year and it's one of the highlights of the Christmas season.

We all bring our favorite holiday snack, play some fun party games, laugh & giggle like school girls - and then go home with a sweet reminder of our time together. (I still don't know what food I'm taking... any suggestions?)

As I was shopping for my ornament this week, I started thinking about the history of Christmas ornaments. Why do we hang these beautiful creations on our tree?  So I did a little research and I love what I learned.

One of the symbols of the Christmas tree is life.  Winter can be a harsh time, most things go dormant, it's cold & wet and gets dark earlier.   The evergreen tree symbolizes everlasting life and gives us the hope of the Spring to come and a time of renewal.

In the 15th century the Germans brought the tree inside the home and began to decorate it with fruits & nuts, food items that typically grew on tress.  Once again to point to the new life & hope that would be waiting for them in the Spring.

Eventually these food items were replaced with candy, paper streamers, and especially things that would give off some sort of light!  Things like metal shavings (our modern day tinsel), candles, and glass that would reflect the light!

This was so much more than bringing a little sunshine into the house - but rather it symbolized the Light of the world who gives hope beyond measure to everyone!

Tonight I'm going to take a small little ornament that symbolizes hope and light and likewise I'll go home with an ornament of my own to remember this very special night with friends.

But today as I was praying over our time together, I thought about the ultimate "exchange" that happened with the Light of the World so many years ago.  The Lord knew we would experience harsh and dark times in our life.  He knew we would need more than the hope of Spring, but rather hope for our very lives!  So He sent His Son to die for us all.  And in "exchange" for His life, we give Him ours.  We let Him be in control of all that we say and do - and as a result, we can have light and hope from which to live!

So this year, as you exchange gifts and perhaps even ornaments... 
remember the ultimate exchange that was made for you 
and let it transform your life with a beautiful hope!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Movie Time!

I love this time of year!

I love how my house looks all decorated to the hilt.
I love the smell of my Holiday Cheer Circle E Candle.
I love sneaking in presents and finding creative hiding places for them all.
I love baking things like Christmas cookies, my grandmother's Texas Trash, cheese balls 
(okay only 1 of these involves actual baking! LOL!)

I also really love all the fun Christmas movies;
and I don't even mind watching them over and over and over!

It seems as if it's not really Christmas until we watch the following:

It's A Wonderful Life
The Christmas Story
The Polar Express
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

This year... this one has been one of my favorites!  It was definitely a childhood favorite and now I'm LOVING sharing this movie with my kiddos!

I also love the old versions of Rudolf & Frosty the Snowman!

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

If you're here from iFellowship... WELCOME!
I hope you grab a cup of your favorite beverage
and hang out with me a while!
Leave me a comment, so I'll know you came by
and know that I'll be by later to visit you as well!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Candy Cans"

It seems like everywhere we go we see Candy Canes.

Our neighbors have large plastic ones lining their porch.  When we go to the bank, they offer them to my children.

We even have them in our Advent Calendar to help us count down the days to December 25th.

You might think they would get tired of them and wish for something a little more exciting than a red and white curvy stick!

However, my 3 year old little boy LOVES THEM!!!  And for the time being he calls them "candy cans" instead of candy canes.  It's just adorable!

The other day he shouted with absolute glee, "Yeah, candy cans!" - and in that moment I thought, "wouldn't it be cool if I could find the energy to say "I can" all from a piece of candy!"

You know, things like this:
"I can finish the laundry today."

"I can handle potty training today."

"I can be one of those super patient and creative Mommies."

"I can smile in spite of my current circumstances."

Wouldn't that be fantastic if we could find the will, the energy, and the strength to say & do these "can-do" things all from a small piece of candy?!

To read the rest of this post come & join me at Seeds of Faith Women!

Seeds Of Faith For The Christian Mom

Sunday, December 5, 2010

His Word Sunday


(a win)


These are just simple words meaning you made it!  You won!  You beat the enemy!

We all need a victory, a win in our every day lives.  We press on to overcome - to overcome evil, to overcome weariness, to overcome wanting to give up, you name it  - we all have our areas where we need to overcome.

This morning I found the key to overcoming.  You already know this and did I... but we should never get tired of hearing it again and again!

1 John 5:3-5 (ESV)
For this is the love of God, 
that we keep His commandments.  

And His commandments are not burdensome.  
For everyone who has been born of God 
overcomes the world.  

And this is the victory that has overcome the world
 - our faith.  

Who is it that overcomes the world 
except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Then just for good measure...

Psalm 124:8 (ESV)
Our help is in the name of the Lord, 
who made heaven & earth.

Go.  Fight.  Win!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Good Stuff

"We just missed each other."

This is something my husband & I say to one other either when we're in the middle of an "intense discussion" or as we're resolving a conflict.

Another way to say this would be,
"We just were not on the same page." 
"I totally misunderstood where you were going and took offense."
"Oh!  Is that what you were trying to say?!"

As we were talking about something the other day, we had one of these moments.  We were on the same page and then somehow we missed where the other one was going with their words. Facial expressions and body languages didn't help the matter either.  Mainly because we were trying to have this conversation while doing a million other things!  Never a good combination.

The good news is we always take time to bring every "missed step" to complete resolution.  We never sweep things under the rug to resolve later.

The even better news is as we were working out our missed steps... we stumbled upon a really neat thing.  We're calling them "gifts of information."

So often in relationships - not just marriages - we bring bits of information (how our day went, a neat conversation or email we got during the day, etc) to one another almost as if they are a gift to the other person.  Our "wrapping" of this gift is how we tell "the story".  Perhaps we want to tell every tiny little detail, or perhaps we want to tell the ending first and then go back and fill in the details - it's your story, your information, your wrapping!

Too often in our crazy busy lives, we don't give our full attention to these "gifts" and by accident we devalue the gift and the person talking.  It would be like saying, "Sure... you can give me a Christmas gift - but don't bother wrapping it and you can just leave it on the table and I'll look at it later."

When what we're missing in all of this is the "good stuff".  My husband and I have found a renewed way to really take in what the other is saying at the end of a busy day.  We have a renewed understanding that these times indeed are "the good stuff of life" and to not take them lightly!

I heard this song this week and thought of our new "gifts of information"....

What was your "good stuff" this week?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Peace Exercise

"Lord, I just need some peace in my life!"

"Lord, I need to get some rest, will You help me fall asleep?"

Have you ever prayed either of these two prayers?  As I flipped through my journal this morning, I realized that I ask the Lord for "peace" in one way or another... ALOT!  Either in the midst of a crazy busy day, or a for a difficult season He has me walking through, or just in general for my spirit.

It's an easy thing to pray for - but then what do we "do?"  Is there something we can physically do on this side of heaven, while we wait for His peace to come and fill us?

Do we stand really still and wait for some sort of heavenly version of fairy pixie dust to fall upon us and bring this much anticipated "peace"?

Recently I was talking with my Mom about rest.  She struggles with sleeping at night and I believe she has found a secret in finding peace and rest in the Lord and I want to pass it along to all of you today.  She made herself do this "Peace Exercise" the other night when she couldn't sleep and before she knew it - she was resting peacefully in dreamland!  You might even say this exercise did a better job than the Sandman or counting sheep!

I must admit - before sharing this with you - I'm not sure I could do this or at least get as far as she did.  However, I'm taking on the challenge.  Don't worry.... I'm not creating a "challenge" for us all to join in on or link up to at the moment... but I might some day!

The Peace Exercise
Start in Genesis and think of as many verses as you can from each book of the Bible.  
Don't worry about complete & total memorization, just do the best you can.  

For example: (wow!  Am I really going to be that vulnerable here... I promise I'm not cheating and looking these up!)

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

The Ten Commandments

(hmmm..... this was a lot about the Law & the many many sacrifices which were required)

Hopefully you get the idea.

Try to think of as many verses or passages from each book of the Bible.  Just so you know... my Mom made it to about First or Second Samuel before she got stumped - and by that time she was sleepy and fell right into a blissful peaceful sleep.

I don't think it was by coincidence that she fell asleep pondering on the word of God!  I believe when we recall the words of the Lord they will (He will) fill us with peace and rest.

I'm going to start doing this Peace Exercise myself!
When I'm driving down the road and the backseat is louder than I can handle...
When I'm cleaning the house that never seems to ever get completely clean...
When I can't sleep at night...
When all I want to do is yell or cry or try to make sense out of all that's going on in my life...

This is a crazy busy time of year!  Really from Halloween to New Year's there's always something going on... and I know for me, I'm going to need this Peace Exercise!!

How about you?  Want to join me?!

If you're here from iFellowship... WELCOME!
I hope you grab a cup of your favorite beverage
and hang out with me a while!
Leave me a comment, so I'll know you came by
and know that I'll be by later to visit you as well!