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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Didn't I just blink?

"It feels like it was yesterday" - isn't this what they all say when it seems like time has passed all too quickly?

Or what about this one... "It seems as if I just blinked"?

I said this to a dear friend just this week and he said, "No, you've had quite a few blinks since that day."

He's so right!  I could spend this blog writing about the things that have happened since December 30, 2010 - but you would get bored reading it all.  Because in true John Franklin form he would want to hear about each and every haircut.  He would want to know the details about how I felt when I took my certification test.

He would want to know the facial expression on everyone's face for every big and small event that has transpired.  So what do I write about?

How do I honor a man that meant the world to me?  How do I celebrate the one who was the best at celebrating... without him?

You'll find 3 things in this blog post.  Feel free to skip around and only read or watch the things you want.  Here you will find:
1.  The things I love most about John

2.  The verses that have gotten me through this first year

3.  A video that was shown at his "Special Service" 
where you can hear him sing and the kids laugh and talk with their Daddy.

Here are some things that I love most about my hero - John Franklin

1.  Friday night date night - he never missed it!  Even if it meant hot wings at home with a movie we'd seen before - we put the kids to bed, and pretended our living room was a romantic place set just for us.

2.  Friday mornings with the family.  His day off from the office was Friday.  During the summer we would all load up for a fun family day - which usually meant Chick-fil-A for breakfast, then driving around New Orleans exploring!

3.  His amazing active love for his kiddos.  Every day he loved for his kids to use him as a human jungle gym.

4.  Everything was special to John.  He saved every little note not only from me but even pieces of paper that had scratches on it from his children.

But most of all I loved this about him...

5.  His intimate relationship and love for Jesus Christ!  Nothing was more important to him than seeing people come to know Jesus as he knew Him.  This was the glue for every relationship he had!!

Now what?  These are some pretty amazing things.  How do I put one foot in front of the other without these in my everyday life.

The verses that gave gotten me through this first year
since his move to Heaven (basically a walk through my journal):

1.  Isaiah 57:1-2 - "The righteous man perishes and no man takes it to heart; and devout men are taken away, while no one understands.  For the righteous man is taken away from evil, he enters into peace"

2.  Psalm 40:17 - "As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought of me.  You are my Help, and my Deliverer, do not delay, O my God!"

3.  Psalm 40:3 - "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."

4.  Psalm 31:24 - "Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait on the Lord!"

5.  Psalm 18:6 - "In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help.  From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ear."

6.  Proverbs 4:12-13 - "When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.  Keep hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life."

I could go on and on here - this was just from about 3 pages from my journal.  The message here is God's Word - daily, and your prayers - daily, have held me up!  I will continue to live like this no matter what comes my way.

Now, instead of a regular Friday song and video - 

I give you a very brief glimpse of the life of John Franklin...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

After Christmas... now what?

I'm posting my Friday song a day early this week.  Tomorrow is more than just a "Friday" - tomorrow will be my husband's One Year Anniversary in Heaven.  I'll be writing something special to honor him - so I'm posting my weekly song today.

Yesterday my Mom & I cleaned the house.  She tackled the Christmas decorations while I took on the kids' room and the bathroom!  We both agreed that each year we love pulling out the decorations and talking about the memories behind them all.

However, we're equally as glad to put them in their special boxes and send them back to their happy home in the attic once Christmas is over.  I'm waking up this morning with an "Ahhhh!!!!" feeling seeing all the furniture put back in its normal place.

I heard a song this past week that I totally fell in love with it and wanted to share it with you today.  There is one very important aspect of Christmas we don't ever need to pack away.  The Light that is Christmas is to be decorated in our homes and in our lives every day!

Let's not forget that as we move further and further away from December 25th.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Leavin' Heaven

Yay!  It's Christmas Eve Eve!  

John & I loved celebrating!  We celebrated almost everything - it didn't matter how small or big - we celebrated life together!

So on this day, we enjoyed doing something special.  We woke up with bright eyes like our children and said, "Merry Christmas Eve Eve" to one another before we even got out of the bed.  Silly?  Perhaps.

I'm so excited that today a very special family is taking me to Houston to hear the Trans Siberian Orchestra!  I know it's going to be a treat I'll remember for a very long time.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate Christmas Eve Eve!

Obviously I've been thinking about Heaven a lot lately.  John's first Christmas in his new Home.  I know there's no "Christmas" as we know it in Heaven - but it helps me to know that he's "celebrating" in the best place possible.

I heard this song this week and it made me smile.  I'm so glad that Jesus loved me so much that He left such a perfect place to come and give me hope!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

His Word Sunday

Yet I will rejoice!

I know I should probably write something about Christmas today - but this is what the Lord showed me this morning.... so I'm passing it on to you.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ESV)
Though the fig tree should not blossom, 
nor fruit be on the vines, 
the produce of the olive fail 
and the fields yield no food, 
the flock be cut off from the fold 
and there be no herd in the stalls;

yet I will rejoice in the Lord; 
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord is my strength; 
He makes my feet like the deer's, 
He makes me tread on my high places.

So... let me get this straight...
Even though there is no food, medicine (from the olive plant), income (from the sell of produce & livestock), or clothing (from the livestock) - I am to rejoice in the Lord.

Even though I may not have all the comforts of my life around me - those things that I believe will give me security and ease - I am to find my joy in the Lord.  I am to rejoice in the midst of this?  Yes!

Today I have been reminded that no matter what troubles are around me - He makes me strong enough to climb rocks like the deer - and for this I am to find joy!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Only Way

Yay!!!  I'm really looking forward to today!  I have fun treats for my students - stuff to eat, a movie in class and I'm even going to read them a bedtime story!  I know... I can be dorky sometimes.

This past week me and the kids were talking about how our Christmas was going to be different this year.  I wanted to check on their little hearts and make sure they were REALLY doing ok.  We talked about how Daddy is spending his first Christmas in Heaven.  I basically wanted to see if they felt like Christmas was ruined this year because of our tragedy.

Then Jordan said the most amazing thing!  She said,

"Mommy, the only way Christmas could ever be ruined 
is if Jesus had never come to us in the first place."

Did you hear what was in the middle of what she said - the only Way.  Jesus is the only Way for us to have hope!

I love my kids!  JP wanted to get his two cents in as well, so he added,

"Yeah, Christmas is about Jesus!"

I love their resilience and strength in the Lord - even at such a young age!

That's why I love this song for today!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

His Word Sunday

The other day I was craving something sweet.  I've been a diet lately and have denied myself so many of these wonderful holiday treats.  But... I remembered my Mom saying she baked some of her famous chocolate chip cookies a couple of days earlier.

The likelihood that there were still some in the cookie jar was slim to none.  But I thought I would check anyway.  Wow!  There were 2 left!

I felt like a little treat had been hidden away just for me at this time.  LOL!

As I was reading my Bible this morning I connected this to something the Lord told John to tell the churches in Revelation.

Revelation 2:17(b)  (ESV)
To the one who conquers 
I will give some of the hidden manna, 
and I will give him a white stone, 
with a new name written on the stone 
that no one knows except the one who receives it.

One day, the Lord is going to make all things right.  One day I will have a new body and a new name.  I won't have to worry about dieting any more!!

In this verse, He says that if we conquer, if we make it to the end without Satan getting the best of us, then He will give us some hidden, treasured Heavenly food!

When I found that remaining - almost forgotten cookie - my spirits lifted - even if just in the moment.  Just think about that day when the Lord says, "Oh!  I have something wonderful just for you!

Let's go be conquerors for some Heavenly treats!

Friday, December 9, 2011

I need a Silent Night

Ready. Set.  Go go go go!!!

Well, we're in the full swing of all that December brings.  I looked at my calendar for the weekend and the first night that where nothing is scheduled is next Tuesday.


My very first school semester is winding down and I'm already gearing up for the things I want to make better for my next batch of kiddos - who by the way arrive on January 9th.  There are Christmas parties and programs galore and just a little bit more shopping to do.

I wonder if for Christmas I could ask for peace & quiet.  Oh yeah... Christ is Peace.  I'm so glad that He is a  place I can turn to when the world gets a little too busy and a lot too noisy.

People ask me all the time why in the world I get up at 3:45am.  Do you know how quiet it is at that time of day?  It's quite Heavenly!

That's why I love this song!  I hope you enjoy some Peace & quiet this season!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stuffed in a Box?

I've been working on this blog in my head and my heart now for about 2 weeks.  Since Thanksgiving really, and I haven't completely worked it all out - but I decided to go ahead and put fingers to the keyboard and see where the Lord took me.

It's December, and decorations have been placed and arranged.  Everywhere you go people are gearing up and getting excited about Christmas.  Believe it or not, me and the kids are having a nice holiday season so far.

We're doing all the typical things...
decorating our home, reading Christmas books, watching Christmas movies, singing Christmas songs - and mostly smiling through it all.  It's different - but okay.

However, there has been this nagging question that I haven't really been able to answer.  It seems everywhere I go I hear this age old question...

"So what's your favorite Christmas tradition?"

Hmm... most people answer this question by telling what they do with "things" or "people".

For example:  decorate with ornaments, bake favorite cookies, get together with specific people...

Well - here's where my struggle begins.  All of my "Christmas tradition" is stuffed in a wooded crate where costs prohibits me from acquiring and the "people" we shared those "things" with is likewise unattainable as well!!!

I guess I could just hang on to the memories of...

1.  Reading a different children's Christmas book every night during the month of December
2.  Decorating our entire house for Christmas while watching Elf, or the Charlie Brown Christmas Movie
3.  Going caroling with our church a week before Christmas - and sharing yummy treats and hot chocolate afterwards
4.  Having a beautiful midnight candlelight service on Christmas Eve - and watching the kids go to church in their new Christmas pj's.

All the traditions that John & I built together are stuffed in a box, in a town I no longer live in, or all the way up in Heaven!

So the question becomes is 
"tradition" only something you can touch and feel?  

I really don't think so - but if you listen to people answer this question of "What's your favorite Christmas tradition" this is how they answer - with things that are tangible.

If this is the case - I don't get to have tradition this year.  And quite frankly that's just not good enough for me and my children!  No matter what our circumstances are!

Yes, I know what you're thinking.... "I can make NEW Christmas traditions."  Oh goodie!  Then, I've put myself right back to where I started - building something that can be gone at a moment's notice.

I'm sure the more I heal, these feelings will calm down.  I know that as time marches on - I will build new Christmas traditions - in fact, I probably already am - and just don't realize it.  This does actually make me smile.

This year though, I want to truly instill in my children that Christmas really is about Christ.  How He came to give us eternal hope.  How God loved us so much that He wanted us to feel Him right next to us - so He sent His Son to live with us.  He wanted us to know that He truly "gets" us - because His Son became a human.  What an amazing thing - Almighty God with us!  That's some kind of steadfast love!

This is a tradition that can't be stuffed in a box!

This is the kind of thing that my children and myself can take with us no matter where the Lord directs our paths.  I don't know what our future holds.  Where will we be Christmas 2012?  Will the things we did this year get repeated next year and become "tradition"?  Only God knows this answer.

I want to encourage you all to find a way to build a tradition in something that can't be touched with human hands - but can be felt and experienced no matter where you are - no matter what your circumstances and that has lasting - eternal - significance....

IMMANUEL - God with us!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

His Word Sunday

Sunday.  This truly is my favorite day of the week!!

Today's passage is simple.  It is my prayer that everyone would find joy & gladness in what David has written here.

Psalm 122:1, 9 (ESV)
I was glad when they said to me, 
"Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, 
I will seek Your good.

Today - be glad about going to church - and seek His goodness!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beautiful Life

Here we go.... it's December.  I have so many mixed emotions floating around in my head and my heart for the upcoming days.

I'm excited about what this time of year means to my young children.  I'm looking forward to closing out what has so far been the absolute hardest year of my entire life.  I'm extremely sad that I'm not sharing it with the love of my life.

I've written many blogs in my head lately - and yet had no time to put them on the computer.

I still wonder if God will let the sun shine again on my life or will I live in the rain and the clouds forever.

I heard this song this week and found hope.  I know I have some more hard days ahead... but like this song says, "just like the sun, you'll rise to fill the empty skies."

Listen for this one too... it made me smile - "I can't wait for you to hold what I already know."