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.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

His Word Sunday

Follow Suit

Most of you know that for my prayer time, I read the One Year Bible.  Most of what I share with you, here on my blog, is what God has shown me in His Word from that day's reading.

I do my best to keep everything in context and not look for ways to make everything that I read fit my own circumstances.  Rather I want God to show me what He wants me to see - not making scripture fit my life.  Because in reality - not everything in the Bible is about me!  LOL!

However, I love to watch and see how God's people, in the Bible, reacted to real-life situations and see if there is a way I can follow suit.

I saw a great example of one that I'm going to do my very best to follow today.


Jeremiah was known as the "weeping prophet" - we read of how he cried buckets of tears for God's people and His judgment on them in both Jeremiah & Lamentations.  Jeremiah witnessed the great exile of the Israelites to Babylon and the fall of Solomon's Temple.

You might say he lived an entire life of heartache.  So what were his feelings toward God?

Check it out:

Lamentations 3"55-58 (ESV)

I called on Your name, O Lord, 
from the depths of the pit, you heard my plea, 
"Do not close Your ear to my cry for help!"  
You came near when I called on You; 
You said, 'Do not fear!'
You have taken up my cause,
 O Lord; You have redeemed my life.

Wow!  In the midst of Jeremiah's hurts and cries.... He still felt redeemed.

He felt like God had taken up his cause and remembered him.  He still felt near to God!

These were his "feelings" in the midst of so much turmoil and devastation.  What an example!!!

If Jeremiah can find a way to feel this way in the middle of all his pain - I can too.  There's really not room for the "poor me's" when you find examples like this.

Honestly, I don't always "feel" this way... but I know my God with His great compassion and Him saying "Do not fear" - I can eventually get there.  This is my prayer today.

Friday, October 28, 2011

When the Chaos Comes Together

I started my week very sick.  Although it was nice to only have a 4-day week... It wasn't fun starting Monday in bed (or the bathroom - yuck).

But now that it's Friday...  I can see how it all came together and everything worked out.

God sees how everything works out too... right now!  He doesn't have to wait to see - He just already knows.

He already knows how all of what seems like chaos right now will turn out for His glory and my good.

I wish I knew.  I wish there was a little keyhole that I could look through and just see a glimpse of all this "good" I keep reading about, praying & hoping for....

I know I can't - so instead I just have to trust Him.  The Bible says He's the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end.  He was there at the beginning and He's already designed the end.

I heard this song this week and it brought me comfort knowing He knows the end.  He knows how all this chaos will come together.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shopping... Easy or Hard?

I am not a fan of digging for bargains when it comes to shopping.  Don't get me wrong, I love to shop - but I also love for it to be easy.

I'm not a big fan of garage sales.  Thrift stores are not really my thing.  I know... I'm a girl - you would think I would be willing to pilfer all day through a bunch of stuff to find that one great singular bargain.  That treasure in a haystack!  I certainly enjoy the benefits - but I'm not always willing to put forth the effort.

When in reality, if truth be told, I would rather walk into a nice store and what I'm looking for be right out in front, and HUGELY on sale.

Now, just because I've bared my soul on this little shopping matter, doesn't mean that I won't or haven't shopped at thrift stores and garage sales!  Sometimes, depending on what I need or the occasion - it's very much been worth it.

This morning I realized that sometimes I want finding God's riches and rewards to be just as easy.

Check this out...

Psalm 97:11 (ESV)
Light is sown for the righteous 
and joy for the upright in heart.

Simple.  Yes.  I for sure could use some "light" and "joy" in my life.  I wrote in my journal, told the Lord, that I wanted these 2 things not only in my life overall - but I needed them for the day ahead of me.  Of course I asked the Lord to keep my steps righteous and my heart focused on Him.

Then, I asked where I could find this treasured "light and joy"?  Actually I just asked if the Lord would put it right out in front of me, nicely hanging on those front racks - where it would be easy to find.

However, the Lord encouraged me to read further and there I would find the answer to where I could find "light and joy" in just my size.

Psalm 97:12 (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, 
and give thanks to His holy name.

Oh!  So I've got to put forth a little effort in this "light and joy" endeavor.  In order to find the light and joy I want in my day, I'm going to first need to praise Him - thank Him for who He is and the blessings, He's already shown me.

I'm going to have to dig further into who He is instead of just wait for Him to bring things to me.

The wonderful thing about bargain shopping is when you find that most perfect treasure.  I'm typically so very proud of it - that I brag about how and where I found it.  Today, I want to dig into who God is.  All the way to school I want to spend time rejoicing in the fact that He's God and I'm not.  I want to thank Him for saving me and giving up His Son for me.

I know that by taking time to do this, I can't help but to see light and joy in my day, because He will ever be before me.  And He is light and joy!  Then, I want to tell others where I found this great treasure!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lift me up

I'm so glad that my God is here to lift me up when I'm falling down.

It's been one of those "survival' kind of weeks.

I love this song and have listened to it many times.  The official video by this group is really awesome.  You should check it out on You Tube.  But... I thought you might enjoy a more light-hearted version on my blog today... and one with words.

Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Even when I'm riding my bike!

Monday morning.  
These two words make me want to just take a really deep breath and say, "Here we go!"

I know the topics I'll be covering this week and even the assignments that are required of me.  It's going to be a very full week!

As I've been praying over this day - Monday - the Holy Spirit continued to send one word to my heart...  STEADFAST.

I've been praying over the meaning of this word for a while.  I love this word.  It occurs throughout scripture in the ESV translation 193 times!  I've even written a few blogs about this word and the verses that spoke to my heart.

Lately JP and I have started this little routine.  And I think it's a picture of God's steadfast love for us.

At no specific time - it could be morning, evening, or smack dab in the middle of the day - JP & I will have this little dialogue,

JP:  "Mommy, I love you."

Me:  "JP, I love you too."

JP:  "I love you all day & all night."

Me:  "I love you even while I'm sleeping."

JP:  "I love you even while I'm at recess."

Me:  "I love you even while I'm at school."

JP:  "I love you even while I'm riding my bike."

At this point, this usually reminds him he'd like to be riding his bike and off he runs.  I love this time with him.  I think about it throughout the day and it makes me smile.

I think it originated after reading "Guess How Much I Love You" - where the rabbits try to show just how much they love each other by increasing the size of things.

But as I was thinking about this word, STEADFAST, I got this picture in my head.  God never sleeps or takes a nap.  He can love me & care for me while He's doing something else - He NEVER stops loving me.  No matter what!

Kind of like JP loving me while he's playing at recess or riding his bike...  God's faithfulness NEVER ceases.  I may not always feel the warm & fuzzies of His love in my day to day activities - but that doesn't mean it's not there!  I must focus on His steadfast love and let it make me smile.

If I can remember a 4-year old's words in the middle of the day and let them encourage me - then how much more should I focus on God's words and let them sustain me!

Today, I must admit, it feels a little as if my foot may be slipping, but this verse assures me I'm going to be okay.

Psalm 94:18 (ESV)
When I thought, "My foot slips,"  
Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

His Word Sunday

You've got to read it all!

Do you have a favorite verse?  It's the kind of verse that you say to yourself often.  The verse you give friends when they need that something special to make it through the day - or a particular situation.

It's the verse that's not only highlighted but underlined and has extra notes in the margin of your Bible.

But today I was reminded to not forget the verses that lead up to that favorite verse - as well as the verses that come after it.

Here's one of mine - with the before and after - which spoke to me today:

Jeremiah 29:10-14 (ESV)
For thus says the Lord: 
When seventy years are completed for Babylon, 
I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you 
My promise and bring you back to this place.

For I know the plans I have for you,
 declares the Lord, plans for welfare 
and not for evil, 
to give you a future and a hope,

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, 
and I will hear you.  You will seek Me and find Me, 
when you seek Me with all your heart.  
I will be found by you, declares the Lord, 
and I will restore your fortunes 
and gather you from all the nations 
and all the places where I have driven you, 
declares the Lord, and I will bring you back 
to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Did you see all the things He will do for us when we call on Him?  Even through He once exiled us?  What a picture of REDEMPTION!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I belong to Him!

Yay!  It's finally Friday!  What a beautiful sounding word - Friday!

I had a wonderful prayer time with the Lord this morning.  He reminded me of many encouraging things.  I wish I had time to share with you all the comforting verses He showed me.

But for now - I'll just leave you with this small verse and this incredible song...

Psalm 84:11 (ESV)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;  
the Lord bestows favor and honor.  
No good thing does He withhold 
from those who walk uprightly.

Sometimes we just need simple reminders of who we are - not in our eyes - but to Him!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Energy from my toenails

I think I'm probably like most people, I start my day full of energy and optimism for what the day may bring and then by the end of the work day I'm totally exhausted!

Some days it feels like I gave all that I had to make Science fun, to encourage kids to be good students and then as I'm walking to the parking lot.... well... let's just say I'm wishing I could have someone pick me up at the front door instead of going out to my car.

This morning I read what what the Lord says is His will for us all...

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (ESV)
And we urge you, brothers, 
admonish the idle, 
encourage the faint-hearted, 
help the weak, 
be patient with them all.

This passage goes on to say many more things we are supposed to to - that is the will of God.  But I had to stop right here.... I had to stop and ask God,

"Just where is the energy for all of this going to come from?  
My toenails?!"

I think I'm doing good if I can get my students to understand how to balance equations, not talk while I'm talking, not listen to their ipod when they're not supposed to and turn in their homework!

You mean to tell me in addition to all of that I need to:
1.  gently caution the ones who aren't doing anything
2.  encourage the shy ones to participate, build them up to know they can do this
3.  come alongside them if they fall
4.  Oh!  And be patient with them ALL!!!

OH MY!!!  I must be honest with you.  I read this and thought,

"All this in addition to what I'm already doing?!  How?!"

So I sat in my bed and asked the Lord.  "How?"  I want to be a good teacher, a good mother, a good employee - so tell me how I'm supposed to add these 4 things into my "curriculum".

Then I saw it!  After I prayed I just stared at my Bible.  Not really looking for the answer - but wondering what the answer might be.  The very last verse in this chapter has the key.

1 Thessalonians 5:28 (ESV)
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."

In and of myself I can do nothing!  I can't find the energy to help the weak and faint-hearted, I can't gently caution or rebuke those we are being lazy, and I certainly can't find the energy to be patient with them all - all on my own.

However... with the grace of Christ - I most certainly can!  And I need to take His grace with me everywhere I go!

Today, if you feel like you've already tapped the energy from your toenails - and you just don't know how you're going to "do" the day.... apply the grace of Jesus to every detail of your life and watch your energy and patient level rise!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

His Word Sunday

Does your faith go farther than your words?

I love to talk!  But today I want my faith to speak louder and go father than my words ever could!

1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 (ESV)
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.  
For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

"faith in God has gone everywhere" - this my prayer today!

Friday, October 7, 2011

When do you find Him?

It's been a very full week - and will be an even busier weekend.  My spirit and body are both exhausted.

Yes, I have plenty to say today.  I just can't seem to find the energy to put the words together in cohesive thoughts.   In fact, I read a line from a book this week that read, "I would cry, if I had time."  This is how I've felt most of this week.

So instead of talking, writing or crying... I'll just post this song that speaks my heart today.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two kinds of walking

Everyday my children find new things they can do.  Jordan is learning so much in her new school.  She's truly developing talents such as dance and singing.

JP is doing the same!  He's become quite the little adventurer!  He loves for me to watch him try out these scary new things too - which I love to watch him play - but oh my... some of them freak his Mommy out!

Like - he loves to ride his bike "super fast" on the driveway.  And his new favorite thing is to take a turn really fast and at about a 45 degree angle.  Yikes!  He loves it!

The other morning, he was trying out something new... walking backwards.  He thought he was really doing something scary and dangerous.  It was so cute!

He would say, "Mommy!  Watch this!  I can walk walk backwards!"

Then, of course, as he's walking backwards, he was still keeping his eyes on me - to make sure I was watching of course!

I thought about JP and his backwards walking as I read this passage from Jeremiah today:

Jeremiah 7:22-24 (ESV)
For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.  

But this command I gave them:  'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people.  And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.'  

But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

I see two different types of walks here.

#1 - We can walk in the way the Lord has for us and it will be well with us...


#2 - We can walk in our own way and go backwards and not forward.

As I look back on all that has occurred just over the past 9 months - I want to scream out, "I don't want to go backwards!"  I don't want to relive all those scary and tragic moments.  Even though the future seems scary at times, I want to go forward in the way the Lord has for me.

I want to walk in such a way that brings wellness... instead of walking backward!

An interesting point about JP's walking backward... even though he was showing me how brave he was by walking in a new way - he still had his head turned & his eyes forward and as a result was walking in the right direction.  We too need to keep our eyes on Jesus.

If we keep our eyes on the One who makes the path - wellness (instead of evil) is our future & our hope!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yellow whistles & Magic pants

I've been writing what God shows me in my prayer times for quite some time... almost 10 years.  I started when John & I were first married.

After we had children, much of what I wrote about was how I could see God in the little things they said and did.  I was worried that as they grew I would run out of things to talk about!

However, yesterday God showed me that even at 7 & 4, they still say some pretty amazing things!

Jordan has started riding the bus from her school to my school 3 days a week.  I actually love this!  She arrives at my classroom during the last 10-15 minutes of my day.  She's a bright spot in my room.  This also gives us a few moments together, just she & I, to talk about "stuff" on the way home.

Yesterday we were just about home and this is the conversation we had:

Jordan:  Mommy, did you know I can whistle in color?

Me:  Really?!  That sounds interesting.  
Tell me more about this.

Jordan:  Well, when I whistle I imagine that it's the color Yellow.  
Yellow is a happy color.  And it reminds me of light.  
Whistles don't sound like darkness - they sound like light.  
So I think they are yellow.

This thrilled my heart!  We continued to talk about how God is light, and how God lives within her now, so perhaps she sees her whistles as yellow because God has given her His light & His joy.

She loved this too!

Then... I got home and my Mom shared with me that after school JP asked if he could wear his "magic pants."  My Mom wasn't sure which pants these might be... but together they found them.  When he saw them in his drawer he got very excited!

JP:  "Yes!  Those are my magic pants!  They make me jump strong!"

So... just in case you're wondering how my kids are doing 9 months after their Daddy has moved to Heaven.  They see light in their whistles and strength in their jumps!

We may not verbalize it the same way - but we can see Yellow Whistles and Magic Pants in our life too. Check this out...

Colossians 1:11-14 (ESV)
May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His Beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He's delivered my children from seeing darkness around them and instead has given them feelings of strength to jump and joy to see light in everything - even whistles!

He desperately wants to do the same for us as well!  He's already qualified us to share in these wonderful things!

Today... go about your day (or your evening) knowing you're qualified to share in the joy of seeing yellow whistles and the strength to jump!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

His Word Sunday

Seek it out - it's a treasure!

I love it when the Lord gives me a tangible example of spiritual concept!  Something I can actually put my hands on to better understand His Word.

This morning as I read my Bible not only did He provide this tangible example - but He made me smile in the process.  Thanks Lord!

John LOVED honey!  But not just any old store bought honey - he LOVED to have honey along with a piece of the honeycomb - which was really hard to find!

He sought it out in every grocery store we entered.  Hoping to find a local vendor selling their product.  It was as if he was on some sort of life-long journey to seek out this treasure - honey with the honeycomb.

Finally in New Orleans, God allowed his journey to be complete.  One of our precious church members just happened to share with him, that she knew someone who "raised" (is this the right word?) bees.  And sold jars of honey with the honeycomb!

John was thrilled!  As a gift, she gave him 2 jars!  Life was good in the Franklin house.  It made him light up every time he remembered we had honey with honeycomb.

Look what the Lord allowed me to read today...

Proverbs 24:13-14 (ESV)
My son, eat honey, for it is good, 
and the drippings of the honeycomb 
are sweet to your taste.  
Know that wisdom is such to your soul; 
if you find it, there will be a future 
and your hope will not be cut off.

We are to seek after wisdom... much like John sought after the sweetness of the honey with the honeycomb.  When you find it - you will find a future and a hope that will last far beyond the sweetness of the honeycomb!