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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Day of New Stuff

I love days where I get to do something new!  Today is that kind of day!

New Stuff #1:  I am leading a new Bible Study @ Journey Christian Church
Locally we meet on Wednesday mornings and evenings.
But for the 1st time I've added an ONLINE option!

ANYONE can study, "Lord, I Want To Know You", by Kay Arthur.  Click here to study with us!

New Stuff #2:  Seeds of Faith - Fellowship Day is today!  They do this every Wednesday and this is my first day to join in - won't you come & fellowship with us?!


Your sis in the faith,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Do you ever feel "spent"?!

Wow!  It's the beginning of a new week in the Franklin house and everything is in high gear.  My husband is a Pastor, so typically the beginning of the week is our time to recover & catch up from a busy Sunday.  This week is no different.  My list for the week is probably much like yours, groceries, loads and loads of laundry, clean bathrooms, wash sheets, and clean small kids' rooms.  Then I've got a few others that are "must do's" - write lesson for Sunday, I'm starting a new ladies Bible Study this week, check on the visitors that came on Sunday - oh my!  And of course handle all of this with 2 children under the age of 6!  It's enough to make my head spin!  All of these are wonderful things (well, except for the cleaning of the bathrooms - I'm actually quite scared of what I will find in my son's bathroom!) and I want to do them for my family.  However, often times these are the very things that make me feel... spent and exhausted.

Recently I read about another woman who felt very spent in many areas of her life and yet was given an amazing word of promise and hope.  A word that you and I can lean & rely on as well.

Visit me at Seeds of Faith for the rest of the story!

Your sis in the faith,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Online Adventure!

Well, I'm venturing into something I've never done before... an online Bible Study!  At our church in New Orleans, we typically have a Ladies Bible Study going on at all times.  We meet on Wednesday mornings and evenings (2 options for ladies to choose from).  However, here lately, I've heard from ladies in our own church that these times are not convenient for them and I've heard from ladies outside of New Orleans that they would love to do the study with me - just perhaps on their own.  So... I finally caught a clue and have created a blog from which we can study God's Word together!

The new Bible Study Blog is Studying His Word.  I would love for anyone who is looking for a wonderful Bible Study but just doesn't think they have the time to attend in person - to join us!

Starting on June 30th - this Wednesday! - we'll be beginning Kay Arthur's, "Lord, I Want to Know You."  It is a FABULOUS study on the Names of God.  Did you know that one of the sweetest sounds is to hear your own name aloud?  God thinks so too!  And He has MANY names!  Did you know He has a name that is all about Him being a Healer, and one about Him being a Provider, and one about Him seeing everything!  I truly believe that when we know God's names we know our God better!

How will this online Bible Study work?

Visit the Bible Study Blog - Studying His Word - and become a follower.
Then, starting on June 30th, I will post study discussion questions.  Here you can leave comments, questions, and even prayer requests!  Just as if you were sitting in the room with a bunch of ladies - however, you can be in your pajamas!  You can check it out during the day, in the middle of the night, or whenever it's most convenient for you!

EVERYONE is welcome!  No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do - we want you to join us!  Even if you've just stumbled upon this blog and you don't even know me - I would love for you to join us!  I would like to get to know you so feel free to contact me!  So grab a cup of coffee and your Bible and cozy up to your computer and get ready to be blessed!

Where to get the book?

You can get the book almost anywhere.  It's one of her more popular studies!  I would try a LifeWay or Christian Book Store - but if you can't find it there, try Barnes & Noble.  You can even order it online at www.cbd.com.  The books are about $14.

I have no idea how successful this is going to be!  I'm really just being obedient to what God has laid on my heart.  It even seems a little risky to put this out there - no knowing if anyone will join me online or not.  But I'm excited all the same. 

Thanks everyone for praying that God's Word is passed on to many ladies who would never otherwise open their Bibles or go to a church!

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

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good to be home!

Wow!  I can't believe that I've been "off-line" for so long!  John & I were given a WONDERFUL gift last week.  While our kids were attending Grandmother & Papa Camp in Texas, he & I went to a BEAUTIFUL cabin in Colorado.  We enjoyed 5 days of just hanging out together.  There was no TV or internet available - so we talked and talked, went on hikes, rode ATV's, read books, and took numerous naps!  It was truly heavenly!  I wasn't sure how I would make it without being connected to the world wide web - but amazingly enough I think I came out better on the other side!

When you get away from the hustle & bustle of every day chaos you're able to REALLY hear from God.  I could truly see Him in the twinkling stars and the gorgeous mountains!  But I think our favorite was watching the amazing sunsets every night.  Each night, no matter where we were or what we were doing - when the sun was about to set - we went out on the back deck and just talked and toasted the sun as it went behind the clouds.  Such a precious time!

I'm a morning person (even on vacation - crazy I know!) - so I wanted to catch the sunrise as well.  So a couple of mornings I took my Bible & my cup of coffee out on the other deck (yes, it was a wrap around deck!) and just allowed the Lord to speak to me.  He gave me many words and messages that I can't wait to share with you all.  Today I'm back to reality with Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS - but as soon as I can get back in the swing of every day life - I'm going to share these wonderful things with you here on my blog!

So stay tuned!

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

Friday, June 4, 2010

Running - Rhythms & God

To kick-start my summer I began yesterday to really get my house in order.  For me, this meant starting in the laundry room.  Two mountains were beginning to collide.  Mt. Cleanfolded Clothes and Mt. Washmore.  I had stacks of clean clothes that had been folded and were ready for distributing and then I had piled some dirty clothes up on top of the washer as well.  Not only were there dirty clothes on top of the washer - but I had a pile on the floor in front of the washer.  It was almost as if I had to leap over one to get to the other!  Yikes!  The last thing I want to do is re-wash clean clothes (which I've done just out of sheer confusion)!

So, I just decided to settle in and get comfortable in my laundry room.  I got a glass of tea and tuned into one of my favorite online websites where I could listen to some positive teachings of the Word of God while I worked.  It became simple at that point.  Fold, categorize and then distribute.  Divide colors from whites and begin washing.  As shirts came out of the dryer, I had my iron ready for pressing!  I developed a rhythm.  I felt invincible when it came to this room!  I was really on a roll!  As a result, I went to bed with a clean laundry room!

I know all this sounds rather silly and very domestic, but did you know that we can tackle life in the very same manner?!

Check this out...

2 Samuel 22:30 (ESV)
For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

Have you ever ran in an organized race, like a 5K, or something longer?  Years ago, my husband and used to participate in triathlons.  (Some day I want to get back into that - they're so much fun!)  We would run in 5Ks just for fun; as part of our training for the triathlon.  I remember on our very first 5K an army troop passed us.  For a while we ran just behind them.  It really made our running easier and more defined.  Why?  It was how they ran and what they did during the run that encouraged us to keep up with them.  Here are just a few of the things that I observed about their running:

1.  They had a steady rhythm
2.  They stayed together - they were all in step together
3.  They would chant as they ran
4.  They kept the same pace no matter what the weather or terrain was like

No wonder we wanted to try to keep up with them!  We did for a while - but their pace was faster than we could endure.  I thought about this as I read this verse from 2 Samuel this morning.  David has just won numerous battles against his enemies when he wrote this.  In fact, this verse is a part of a prayer that David prayed to the Lord.  He says, by the Lord, he can run against any troop.  Now, I'm pretty sure he was referring to fighting against enemy troops - but as I read it - I thought about running beside this army corps in the 5K race.  Imagine what our lives would look like if we applied this principle to running through life!  Imagine for a moment.  With the Lord we can be steady.  With the Lord we can be in step with His plan for our life.  With the Lord, we can keep up the pace when the road gets rocky and the rains begin to pour.  I just love visuals!  I would love to be able to have the same determination, unwavering rhythm in my life as that troop did in the race - and with the Lord I can do exactly that!

But wait!  There's more here to uncover!  David also says that by God he can leap over a wall!  Do you have some walls in your life that you wish you could just leap over?  I know I do and during my prayer time I listed them out in my journal.  Take some time today to write out and pray over the walls that you face.  As I wrote them out, I remembered my laundry pile and how I had to leap over it just to get started on my task. But as I established a rhythm and a steady pace, my pile went down.  I was "leaping" over this pile (this "wall" of laundry).   I'm remembering that childhood game "leapfrog"!  With and by God we too can play leapfrog over the walls in our life.  I believe that if we put these two concepts together we can leap right over the walls that seems to shut us out from our dreams and from establishing the good life God wants for us.  If we first will run with God we can establish a rhythm, a pace and a determination so that when we encounter those walls, we'll just leap right over them with the strength that God is instilling within us!

Okay, this all sounds good in theory and the visual is even fun to ponder, but how do we REALLY make this happen?  I believe that the magic happens in the chant.  The chant?  Remember the chant that the army corps was "singing" as they ran by us?  For believers, this is God's Word.  We can sing - chant - read - His Word to help us keep up the pace, to keep the rhythm and to scale the walls.  Yesterday while doing the laundry it helped me SO VERY MUCH to put on some Christian music and listen to some Christian speakers on my computer while ironing and folding the laundry.  I know it sounds silly - but this was God's Word in action!  I was so in tune with what I was hearing that the task at hand seemed small.  So this week, whatever wall you're facing, tune into God's Word (through music, reading, or listening) and see if you don't find the strength to run with the best of them and scale those walls no matter what the road looks like!

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

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Snack Time is Working!!!

So my last post outlined some pretty detailed summer plans.  After posting them I was actually quite nervous that I wouldn't have follow-through and that perhaps I had signed up for too much!

However, today, I'm happy to share with you that  - so far so good!  I prayed about a verse that would truly help me parent them and help them to do the things I know that they can and should do - clean rooms, pick up trash, etc...

So Week #1's Verse is Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?  Yep! 

With Christ's strength we can make it through summer successfully...
With Christ's strength my children can learn how to successfully do their chores...
With Christ's strength my children can learn how to work out their differences between them without tattling or fighting...
With Christ's strength we can do ALL THINGS!!!!
Are you beginning to get the picture?

(I think next week's verse is going to be about encouraging one another!)

So we made up motions to our verse and each time they enter the kitchen or come to a difficult spot in their day - we say it all together (with the motions!).  It's actually been rather fun!

Then, we do a craft with the verse - just for fun and reinforcement.  Plus, while they are busy with the craft - I can put laundry away - iron - and other Mommy duties.  So far - it's a rather beautiful system.

So I thought I might post a couple of pictures - just for proof to them, to you, and for myself!

I hope your summer if off to a great start as well!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Snack Time

Well... it's official.   The kids are out of school.  I know Jordan's last day of school was last Thursday, but Friday was John's day off so we typically do things together as a family on that day.  Then Saturday and Sunday was business as usual and with Monday being a holiday we just hung out as a family all day.  But today is a TOTALLY different story!  Today I'm at home - all day - alone with both of my wonderful precious children.  And I must say it's going pretty well so far!

My family thrives on routine.  During the school year I looked forward to getting home from taking Jordan to school, for JP would immediately begin playing either in his room or in the living room and I would enjoy catching up in the blog world.  However, I knew today would be the start of setting down new rhythms and new routines.  I must admit I've been kind of nervous about this new schedule.

So like any good sister in the faith would do - I took it to the Lord in prayer.  I know it sounds silly - but I really did pray for stamina, patience, and creativity for our summer routine.  Last week the Lord led me to the book of Proverbs.  I knew it was going to take vast amounts of wisdom to make me be the kind of Mommy I wanted to be....

Proverbs 16:3 says, 
"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."

So I prayed over every thing I was nervous about - here are just a few of the things I prayed about:
1.  the children wanting to eat all the live long day
2.  them getting bored with movies and toys in the house
3.  them fighting and yelling
4.  me losing the quietness of the house

And so, after praying this verse for the past several days - this is what the Lord has laid upon my heart:
1.  Summer Snack time - we're going to have set times for a nice, fun, healthy snack.  Yes, I'm actually going to prepare a fun snack on a fun plate and give it to the kids at designated times.  I know it will take some re-training - but soon they will get used to "summer snack time" and know not to ask for food all day long.

2.  Themed Weeks - we're going to have a verse for the week of which the kids will learn and memorize.  And all that we do that week will be around that verse.  For example... a verse about the rainbow one week - and we'll get rainbow snow cones, we'll talk about the colors everywhere we go - just something to keep us focused on not fighting - but rather learning God's World and God's Word.

3.  Field Trips - we're going to have a Zoo Day, an Aquarium Day, a City Park Day - these will be set and scheduled so we'll have anticipation for these instead of cries for them.

4.  Craft Days - My sweet Jordan is a craft maniac!  She LOVES to make things for herself -but mainly for everyone else!  So if you get a sweet craft in the mail from her just smile and know that it was all part of our Summer Sanity!  If we schedule this and plan for it - everyone is happy.

I have committed our Summer Schedule over to the Lord and I know that He is going to more than bless our time together.

What summer plans have you made?  
If you have more great ideas for making it through the summer successfully - please leave a comment!  I'd love to hear what you're doing too!!! 

Just know that when you pray and commit your plans (whatever they are) 
over to the Lord He will establish them for you!

Your sis in the faith,