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.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Catch me over here!

Hey Friends!
This is where I'll be this Tuesday morning - if you check this in time - login, register, and come join me!  Besides me, there are a ton of WONDERFUL speakers with GREAT topics.

My session starts @ 9am on Tuesday, May 25th - I can't wait for you to join me here!

Click here:
Women of Passionate Purpose

Come & be a part of getting RENEWED!

Your sis in the faith,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

6 Years Ago....

On this day 6 years ago I experienced a "first" -  I gave birth to our daughter - Jordan Paige Franklin.  I remember every detail.  My doctor had told me there was no way I could have this baby all on my own.  So he convinced John & I that we needed to schedule a C-Section for Friday, May 21.  This all went down on a Wednesday afternoon.  John & I took some time to pray about it and settled on the fact that the end result is the same - we're having a baby!  So I began to make final arrangements for us to be at the hospital on Friday.  That night as we were going to sleep... my water broke!  And Jordan came into the world all by herself!  OH!  And on her due date no less!!!  Another really special thing about this date - my sister's oldest child was born on May 20th as well (a few years prior).

I'm so proud of my little Jordan Paige!  She continues to amaze us with all that she is learning.  She has the most precious smile and loves unselfishly!  I really could go on and on here - but today instead of being over spiritual - I just wanted to take time to thank my God for the best daughter a Mommy could ever have!  Jordan, it was you who first made me a Mommy, and I couldn't have a better title or honor than that!

We've got quite the weekend planned...
Today she's having a little classroom party!  I'm taking a Cookie Cake with little tiny clappers as prizes for all her classmates.  She's informed me that the class is going to sing a 4 verse Happy Birthday Song and that at the end of the song she gets to pick something from Ms. Groth's Birthday Box!  How exciting!

Then, tomorrow is the last day of Show & Tell - and she's already asked if she can take her birthday present to school!  Then... Saturday is the big party (I so hope it doesn't rain!)!  Grandparents are coming in from Texas and we're having a party at Storyland at City Park.  For those of you not from New Orleans this is a special part of City Park that is a super cool playground built with characters from all the great stories - The Three Little Pigs, Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretal, etc - big slides, cute little houses, etc.  So we'll be playing with 24 other little kindergartners all afternoon!  What great fun!  You're only 6 once right?

Pray that I have the energy to keep up with all of this!  Because then on Sunday morning I'm teaching our ladies about the 4th Beatitude!  Fun full weekend here we come!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What did you say?

Well, it's "Birthday Week" at the Franklin house.  Yes, Jordan turns 6 years old this Thursday!  I can hardly believe it!  Not only is it her birthday, but this morning I have a meeting about her Kindergarten Graduation Festivities!  Really?  All in the same week, my oldest child is turning 6 and moving on from all things "little" - or so it seems.  And lest we leave out JP, he is growing up super fast too.  I think it's his language that's really maturing lately.  He seems to be speaking in paragraphs and coming up with amazing thought and logic and expressing them all really well.

If you have children do you remember the days when they were just beginning to speak and it was really hard to understand exactly what they were saying?  If you're like me, you were so excited that they were finally talking and you wanted to hear more, but you were having a little trouble interpreting.  I know this is going to sound strange, but I recently read a verse in the Gospel of John where a group of men, officers if you will, experienced something similar - but from Jesus!

John 7:46 (ESV)
The officers answered, "no one ever spoke like this man."

Now before, I get emails and phone calls about how Jesus NEVER speaks in childish jibberish - let me explain.  Let me give you a little context.  The Pharisees had sent officers to arrest Jesus.  As they went to arrest Him, Jesus spoke of things that were to come.  He talked about how He was going to a place that His disciples could not go, He shared with them that if they would seek Him they would find Him, and so much more.  I would like to think if I was in that crowd, I would be soaking up everything He said.  I would be hanging on to His every word.  I wonder if that's what the Officers saw that day.  I wonder if they too were mesmerized with what He was saying.  I wonder if it was all new information to them and they wanted to hear more - even if they didn't really understand what He was saying.

They returned to the Pharisees without arresting Jesus.  The Pharisees asked them, "Why didn't you bring Him?" (verse 45) Then we see their response in verse 46, "No one ever spoke like this man."  I wonder if they wanted to secretly leave the Pharisees and go back and hear more.  Something they heard that day made them act different.

I loved it when my kids began to speak!  I wanted to hear more.  I would often say, "What did you say?"  And they would repeat it (usually over and over and over again).  I would listen very intently, because I wanted to learn the language of my kids.  I would often have to stop what I was doing and get on their level, look them eyeball to eyeball and listen.  Did you know that the Lord wants to speak to you?  First we have to really listen.  We have to stop what we're doing and listen.  We have to remove the distractions (phones, emails, TV, laundry, etc).  Have you ever noticed that parents know the language of their kids better than anyone else?  It's almost as if they are interpreters for their kids.  Jordan used to call a yellow flower a "lello wowie."  And JP's word for "really" is "dery" - so it's "I dery want it!" It's all so cute!  I know their "language" because I spend time with them.  I've invested the time and energy to learn how they communicate.  I've listened to the words that they use with associated actions.  And as a last resort, I've said, "show me."  As a result, I know how they talk!

Have you spent time learning how the Lord talks?  He TOTALLY will not be offended if you say to Him, "What did you say?"  He wants you to learn His language!  Like my children, He'll say it again - over and over if He has to, for He is a patient God.  He wants you to be able to hear His voice and understand His words.  It's okay to be like the Officers found in John and think, "I've never heard anyone speak like this Man," - just don't stay this way!  In fact, as I read this verse myself, I wrote in my journal, as a reminder, to be aware that God's voice is truly not like any other and that I should be prepared for it to sound strange at times and to not tune Him out only because it's different!  If at first it's hard to understand and you're just not getting it, don't give up!  Hang in there and keep listening.  If you're wondering, did you hear Him right, ask Him, "What did You say?" and He'll keep talking, I promise!  How do I know?  Because He does it with me all the time!

Today, open your Bible.  Read this chapter of John if you want, and then stop and ask the Lord, "What did you say?"  Then... listen!  Sit there quietly and let Him say it until you understand it.  Ask Him to "show you!"  Learn the beautiful language and voice of the Lord that loves you so!  I guarantee you He has wonderful things to tell you that are indeed just for you!  I imagine that when you hear what He has to say, that you too will act like the Officers and change what you normally do for something better.

I love you all dearly!
Your sis in the faith,

Friday, May 14, 2010

A small clip from my upcoming webinar!

Hey Everyone... Okay I got fancy and played around in GarageBand, iTunes, and iMovie and developed this little clip for my upcoming webinar.

I hope you enjoy it and will register for the online conference! Again - tell me what gets you "frazzled" and I just might send you a FREE ticket to the ENTIRE thing (not just mine!)

Click here for the schedule and more info!

Your sis in the faith,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Are you a Frazzled Mom? If so then you could be a winner!!!

Okay folks!  I have been invited to be a guest speaker at an Online Conference!  I'm so excited!  I would like for you to join me "online" on May 25th at 9am!  So grab a cup of coffee and your comfy pjs and let's talk about refreshing our frazzled selves!

Women of Passionate Purpose International is hosting an online retreat on "Renewed Purpose".  I am the very first speaker (YIKES!) for the May 25-27th Conference.  Wanna come?  

I'll be giving a Refresher Course for Frazzled Moms.   
Do you wake up wondering when it’s going to be bedtime again? Do you feel like the schedules and noise have gotten to an all-time high? Does it feel like you probably wouldn’t even be able to recognize a day without drama? If this sounds like your life – not just “a day in the life” – then this seminar is for you! How in the world can we manage to not be frazzled and frustrated Moms. If you want your kids and husband to see you sane and smiling instead of tired and stressed out – then this seminar is for you. I'll be serving up 5 key strategies that can help you bring refreshment to your frazzled life as a Mother – no matter what age your kids are! 

Want to win a FREE ticket?!   

Share with me what frazzles you most about being a Mom and how you manage this frazzledness and you'll be entered to win a FREE ticket to the entire conference!

Click here to see all the other speakers & topics!

Oh!  And don't worry if you can't be there for the exact times... just by registering you can listen to each session later when it's most convenient to you!

I look forward to hearing your Frazzle Stories!

Your sis in the faith,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Am I doing enough?

Okay - this is going to be a short and sweet post...

I'm sure I'm like most Moms, wondering if what I'm doing - what I'm teaching - is actually sinking in and making a difference in my children's lives.  I know Jordan and JP are still really young - but I do want to instill within them a desire to read their Bible, to have a heart for God, and to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

Every night before going to bed, John & I check on both of our precious little ones.  Usually we have to re-adjust their blankets, make sure they have their favorite stuffed animal right beside them, and make sure they aren't going to fall out of the bed during the night.  One night last week, we found Jordan like the photo above - in her bed, her favorite animal (named Boppy - who knows why - that she's had since birth) right beside her and holding her Children's One Year Bible strong within her grip.

John & I read our One Year Bible daily and she hears us talk about what we read that day often.  We LOVE reading our Bible this way and even got my parents hooked on it as well.  My Mom (Grandmother) so strongly believes in this Bible reading plan, that she bought all of the grandkids the children's edition last summer.  Jordan LOVES hers!

Of all of the options on her bookshelf - Goodnight Moon, Dora, Barbie, and all the other classics - this is the one that she choose to read after we tucked her in for the night!  I couldn't have been prouder.  (obviously, since we took a photo of her sleeping)

Just a word of encouragement to Moms everywhere... just when you think you're not doing a good job - know that you are!  In between the fights with her brother, the screaming to get out of her room, the asking for a snack for the gazillionth time - we see moments like this in our children.  And they really do make all the stressful Mom moments fade.

I love all dearly!
Your sis in the faith,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Best Mother's Day EVER!!!

What a wonderful day this has been!  It's not even 5pm yet and I have been totally blessed by my husband and my children and by my God!

I got everything on my list!  (see Saturday's post)  I felt like a new bride-to-be showing off my newly treated wedding ring.  Thanks Babe for allowing me to wear the prettiest ring in all the land - again!

Then, there's nothing like solace to renew & refresh one's spirit.  I had lunch at La Madeleine's and a chai tea latte @ a coffee shop just down the street from my house.  I sat outside and worked on an upcoming seminar where I'll be a guest speaker, read my Bible, prayed, wrote in my journal, played on Facebook, read some pastor wife's blogs and just enjoyed the silence!  It has been absolutely beautiful!  The weather couldn't be more perfect and there is a gently breeze as I type this post. 

All of this is just another reminder that my God gets me!  He knows that I get hot easily - He knows that I don't typically like to "hang out" outside.  But the weather was so wonderful and it was so much quieter outside the cafe than inside - that He made it pleasant just for me!

And I had the smell of roses in my nose instead of other aromas that require Mommy's cleaning (nope - I'm not even going to say the word - for I'm enjoying its absence way too much)!

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.  If you did - hug your husband and look longingly into his eyes and thank him.  If you didn't have the day you dreamed of - hang in there.  There are good Mother's Days ahead of you.  Hang on to that dream and never let it go!  I bet that it will become reality before you know it.  Let's just say that today... I'm living proof that wonderful Mother's Days do infact exist!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

All I want for Mother's Day is....

Mother's Day 2010.  Before I start this, I have to tell you that RARELY do I ever have to tell John what I want for any gift-giving occasion - birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, anniversary, etc... My husband is the best gift-giver EVER!  He's one of those rare husbands who actually listens and pays attention throughout the year and shows just how much he knows me - when I open gifts from him.

But this year, I did something I've hardly ever done... I shared with him what I wanted!  I know, I know, it was risky.  I thought about it all day - should I share or shouldn't I.  See, I didn't want to spoil any surprise that he might have been working on in the days prior.  But what I wanted... I REALLY REALLY want - and... it would save him some money as well.  Good all around right?

This past year has been great!  But as ministry typically goes - we could stand to go easy on the budget.  So, one day this past week I said to my loving husband, "I know you've probably got something planned, and hopefully I'm not stepping on some great surprise... but there's really only 3 things I want for Mother's Day this year."  And he just smiled and encouraged me to share.  I was a little nervous - because it's not that my list would cost much from the bank account - but it would indeed "cost" something.

So here goes... here's my list...
1.  My wedding ring
2.  No poop cleaning
3.  A few hours all to myself - quiet time

Okay - let me explain.  My wedding ring has been suffering from "looseprongitis" - I haven't been wearing it lately because one of the prongs has come loose.  I would NEVER want anything to happen to the most beautiful piece of jewelry that has ever been given to me.  So... John found a great jeweler that we trusted and took it in this week.  Has anyone ever had their ring... refurbished?  Well... let's just say, I can't wait to get it back!  It's going to be like a brand new ring!!!  Perhaps we should have a small little welcome home party or ceremony right here in our kitchen.

Then, I was feeling a little guilty for asking for quiet time alone on Mother's Day.  I know I should be a picture of a perfect Mommy with children climbing all over her and loving every minute of it - but reading a nice book at a coffee shop for a couple of hours sounds heavenly!!!  Can anyone else relate?  Please tell me I'm not alone in this!  And then what Mother wouldn't want to have the absence of diapers on Mother's Day.

I must admit that my list was met with a very warm smile and yeses to all requests!  I can hardly wait!!!  He still knows me and gets me.  I thank my God daily for sending me a hero husband like John Franklin!  So sometime this weekend, I'll be enjoying a nice cup of coffee (or ice tea - depending on the hour of my free time) - poop free.  If you see me, I'll be the one with the new shiny diamond on my finger.  If you do indeed see me - don't come find me - I'm having my free time.  But just smile from a distance - knowing that I'm a VERY loved Mommy!

What do you want for Mother's Day?  I'm just curious if your list looks anything like mine.
Your sis in the faith,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I need more covers!

Have you ever known someone who was always cold? These are the folks that always have a light jacket or sweater with them, even in the summer - because they always have a tendency to be cold. This is my Dad! It can be the high point of summer - in TEXAS - and he's got his hoodie on in the house. Why? Because my Mother is the exact opposite! She & I both struggle with being hot all the time. You never have to ask us, "Is it cold in here to you?". We're hardly ever cold - even in the winter.

However... at night, I love to pull the covers up around me. I like to have them all up around my neck. I kind of use them as a second pillow almost. Why is this? What changes at night? The temperature of the house is the same as it is during the day. The other night I woke up and realized I needed more covers, and this very thought occurred to me. (Yes, I was thinking about why I needed more covers and why I'm usually hot at 3am in the morning). As I was laying there trying to go back to sleep, I answered my own question. There were several things that came to my mind - but the main reason why I think I'm not hot at night (and love my covers) is because I get very still. Think about it - this is probably the stillest that we get all day. When I'm still, my body temperature is finally able to cool down, and I'm able and actually willing for something to cover my entire body.

As I was falling back asleep, I realized that my relationship with the Lord is very similar. When I get vulnerable and still with the Lord, I'm more willing for Him to cover me with His protection, His plan and path, His wisdom; instead of trying to move so fast in my own ways. Left to my own defenses, I typically go so fast that I get overheated, frustrated and irritable - but if I would just rest in Him I could find the comfort of His covering.

Today, do you wish that you could pull the covers up a bit if you weren't so hot? Find a time today to just sit for a few moments and be still. Listen and see if the Lord doesn't have something really cool to share with you. I think you'll find His covering refreshing & comforting.

I love you all dearly,
Your sis in the faith,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Don't Miss it! It Will Bloom!

Typically I'm a morning person, but this morning, I must admit I'm struggling. Although the sound of my alarm @ 4:30am is always a bit harsh, once I get up, I love spending the first few hours of the day with my Bible & coffee and then getting in a workout before the family gets up. However, this morning, I've been up about an hour and I'm still wanting to go back to bed! But in the wee hours of Monday morning I still find hope and promise in what the new week may bring.

It reminds me of the flowers in my front yard. We've only lived in this house since December, so this is our first "Spring" here. There are flowers springing up in places that I would never have imagined! In fact, these flowers that I'm referring to began to push through a shrub. The closed petals seemed to just arrive one day. With Jordan's help we realized that there were probably going to be about 8 flowers - any day! Or you might say that we had the hope and quite possibly the promise that 8 flowers would indeed bloom. So we watched them daily. I took pictures every morning before school so we could mark our progress. This was a really fun activity for the kids. Each morning when we went outside to leave for school, we would check on our flowers. Before we knew it - all 8 flowers had indeed bloomed! I think if we weren't marking the daily progression of the flowers - we might have missed some if it's beauty along the way.

Last week I read of a similar story in Joshua. It's the story of when the children of Israel finally make it into the Promised Land. As I read it, I realized that I had almost missed it! We've been reading about the children of Israel and their journey to the land flowing with milk & honey since Exodus! Then, here in Joshua - 5 books later - we find that they finally make it. It was found in 3 small little verses and I almost missed it!

Joshua 21:43-45 (ESV)
Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land He swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as He had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

Wow! Did you see that last verse? "Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass."

In these 3 small verses, tucked away very nice and neat in Joshua we see a HUGE promise fulfilled. In fact, just doing my daily reading I almost missed it! I'm so glad I didn't just skim right over it! This verse gives me hope that He will fulfill the promises that He's given me.

I learned so much from these 3 little verses. The main thing is that God's timing is not our own. God promised them a wonderful land and did in fact lead them to it. It did not happen within the time that they had all expected - but it did happen! The other thing that I love about this passage is where it says not one word of the Lord had failed. My God does not fail me! He even brought my 8 little flowers to bloom in my front yard, in a place that I did not expect. If He can lead a nation to a new home, bring my 8 little flowers to bloom, He can and will fulfill His promises to me. I only need to be willing to wait and watch for them to be fulfilled in unexpected ways and places.

I think if the kids and I had not been waiting and watching the flowers we would have missed a real treat. I almost missed the HUGE message found here in Joshua of completed promises! What promises are you waiting for God to fulfill in your life? Are you marking your progress while on the journey? Today, realize that God has a beautiful plan in store for you. He wants that beautiful flower to indeed bloom! Ask the Lord to give you the patience & endurance to make it to the end and in the mean time - rest in the fact that not one word of all of that He has promised will fail - it will come to pass. Look for it in unexpected places. Don't miss it! It will indeed bloom!

See God's promises fulfilled! They all bloomed!

I love you all dearly!
Your sis in the faith,