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, December 30, 2012

Way More Miles!

December 30th.  What a date!  It's after Christmas and not quite January 1st.  It should be just a relaxing day in any life.  Closing out the old and about to bring in the new.

Yet for me it was a day that my entire life changed forever.  I have to admit it seemed like it was little like hell on Earth at first.

5pm on December 30, 2010 my hero husband stepped into his forever Home... Heaven.  We had made many moves in our short-lived married life, but we always made them together.  Here was a move he made without me.

I had so many things I wanted to say to him and yet did not get the chance.  I had so many questions - really about how to handle his death, and could not talk with him.

Today, 2 years later, I'm leaving to go to Dallas, TX to do something I've never done before - run a half marathon!  I chose this race, at this time, on this day for a very specific reason.  I want it to reflect the miles the Lord has carried me since John moved to Heaven.

Oh the miles!  I've heard it said many many times that our time here on Earth is preparing us for Heaven.  As I've been training for my race - I can see how my training is going to get me through and allow me to complete my goal.  One day as I was running, it began to rain and rain and rain!  I somehow ended up on a very busy road that had very little shoulder.  So cars were splashing huge amounts of water on me as the Lord was dumping water on me as well.  I've checked the weather report for tomorrow and it's supposed to... yep... RAIN.

I'm so glad I've trained in these conditions - otherwise I would be freaking out!  One day it was freezing... but I ran in layered clothes and trained in how to remove them as I got hot.  Yes, it is also supposed to be about 38 degrees.

Cold & Rainy.  No problem. I'm prepared.

But... how in the world does living in a world without the man God gave me, without my children having a father prepare us for Heaven - a perfect place filled with unspeakable beauty?

I have to be honest - I've only been on this race - I've only run these miles - 2 years - and I'm still trying to get my head around what God wants of me now.  There is still so much I don't know about running. You see, I'm not really a runner.  I'm just one over-determined lady.

I think it's very similar with God.  Most of the time I don't feel very saint-like.  Yet the Bible says that I am one.  I know that I have been bought with a price and that my whole life belonged not to John - but to God.  I am over-determined to live my life for Him.  If He says this place here is a training ground for Heaven then I must trust Him and run for the prize every day.

As I run tomorrow I have a few verses that are going to keep me running... mainly because I know He wants me to keep running in life until it's my turn to go Home:

1 Cor 9:24
"Do you not know that in a race all the runner run, 
but only one receives the prize?  
So run that you may obtain it."

Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, 
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

And finally - no matter what happens tomorrow on the 13.1 mile journey that I'm running or in the miles that I run in life... God is for me!

Psalm 56:9
"Then my enemies will turn back 
in the day when I call.  
This is know, that God is for me."

Babe, I don't even know if you'll know or even see what I'm doing tomorrow.  But I do know that the Lord sees.  I pray that He gives me strength, stamina and good health to complete this goal.  I want to show our children that no matter what happens in life - God can carry you way more miles than we could ever imagine!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can I go with?

Have you noticed that we live in a world of shortened phrases and that abbreviations have replaced almost complete sentences?

My children have a favorite and it seems like they say it all the time... "Can I go with?"

They say this for almost every place I go...  for instance..

Me:  "Kids, I'm going out to the car to look for something."
Them:  "Can I go with?"


Me:  "I'll be right back... I'm going inside the house, I need to go potty."
Them:  "Can I go with?"

Not really.  But almost!  Most times, it's not even about where I'm going - they just "want to go with."  They could tack that on the end to wherever I'm going - whenever I say I'm going someplace.

I want to explain to them that I can be out of their sight for one second and they will be just fine.  However, I also know that they may fear losing another parent - so I do my best to have patience when they want to CONSTANTLY be with me.

I saw something in scripture today that really blessed my heart.  So often we wonder if God is really "with" us.  We wonder if at times He's busy with someone else and has forgotten all about us.

Check out what He told Jeremiah....

Jeremiah 1:7-8 (ESV)

But the Lord said to me,
"Do not say, 'I am only a youth';
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.  
Do not be afraid of them, 
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord."

After reading this verse, I just had to stop.  

"I am with you - to deliver you."

Almost daily I need some type of deliverance.  From dishes, laundry, quarreling children, bills....

And He's right here with me.  Perhaps it's just a moment of silence - just to catch my breath.  This would be a temporary deliverance.

However I saw this morning that He is ever present - ever with me - to bring me complete and total deliverance - to see Him face to face someday.  And I need Him with me to make it to that day!

It's really not a matter of has God forgotten me - but rather... when God says, "Penny, can I go with?"  I need to say, "Yes Lord!"

For when He comes with - He brings deliverance!  Praise God for His temporary and complete deliverance in my life!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Loose Clothes

Yesterday I did something that my Mom always used to do - once a year - with me & my sister... we went school clothes shopping in Houston!

For the first time every in Jordan's school history - no uniforms are required!  So instead of robotically purchasing 5 different colored polo shirts and 5 khaki shorts - I took the kids to The Woodlands to shop for fun school clothes!

We had a blast!  Of course the kids learned what the word "appropriate" means - crazy shorts, glitter shirts will not last past the first wear, and rain boots are not "school shoes".

At the end of our shopping - I asked the kids if I could have a turn.  So my Mom very graciously watched the kids for me while I went to try on "just a few" things.

Now here's where the story takes a bit of a sad turn...

For the past 2 weeks I've been working out like a crazy woman.  Not only am I on a serious marathon training schedule - but I've also added INSANITY (by Shawn T) workouts to my days.  I'm kind of putting myself through my own version of "two-a-days".

charts of my different workouts - with stats

Before going shopping I checked my stats - I've lost 9 pounds and 1 inch in my waist and legs!  Yay!  Right?

I wonder - how many pounds lost would equal a new size - or loose clothes?  I hate women's sizing!

Let's just say I was not the size I was hoping I would be after such loss.

But you know what - these are just physical clothes.  I know one day I will reach my fitness and weight goals - in time.  However, there is another fitness and size goal that I have set my mind to and it has nothing to do with something I would find in Macy's!!

The Bible speaks of another kind of loose clothing!

Check this out....

Psalm 30:11 (ESV)
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; 
You have loosed my sackcloth 
and clothed me with gladness, 
that my glory may sing 
Your praise and not be silent.

Did you catch that?!  I'll exchange loose clothes for gladness!  How exciting!!!

I have many fitness goals - but did you hear the greater ones found here?

1.  For mourning to turn into dancing
2.  Loose clothing exchanged for clothes of gladness
3.  To not be silent about my Lord

One day my size 12 clothes are going to be too big... one day.  And believe me, you'll hear about it!

However, the desire of my heart would be that you would hear about how great my God is more than something I find in a store.  That others around me would know that no matter what tragedy I experience, my God is big enough to loosen my sad clothes & replace them with glad ones... and that I would one day dance again!

Are you tracking your progress for these kinds of loose clothing?  Where do you stand?

I must admit - I'm still on the journey - but working towards it every day!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Even If...

I posted this on my church website today...

Even If...
This morning I was reading about Josiah in the Old Testament.  Josiah was an amazing king.  He became king at the age of 8 years old and by age 16 he was cleaning house!  Meaning, he truly began to seek the Lord with all his heart.  He put into action what he felt in his heart.
Most of you know the story of Josiah.  He was the young king who commissioned the leaders to clean out the temple.  In this cleaning they found "a book".  Yes, it was the Book of the Law!  King Josiah listened to the words read to him from this "book" and was devastated at how far the people had drifted from the Lord.  He tore his clothes in response to what he heard.
He inquired the wise counsel of a prophetess, Huldah.  She did confirm that the devastation that was prophesied in the Bible would indeed come.  However, she gave this word of hope to Josiah...
2 Chronicles 34: 26-28 (ESV)
"But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord....
Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was tender
and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and its inhabitants,
and you have humbled yourself before Me and have torn your clothes and wept before Me,
I also have heard you, declares the Lord.  Behold I will gather you to you fathers,
and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace
and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants."
Lesson #1: We too need to seek the Lord with all our heart and humble ourselves before God.  In fact I see a little list forming here:
1.  Seek the wise counsel of the Lord
2.  Be humbled at His word
3.  Hear His Word
4.  Weep before the Lord
5.  Demonstrate how we have messed up
6.  Make your heart tender toward the Lord
And look at what God did for Josiah in response:  Peace.  His eyes would not see all the disaster that was planned!  What an amazing promise.  
Wouldn't you like to hear something like that from God?  "Humble yourself before me, and you will see no disaster!"  
Where can I get in line to "humble myself"?  I'm totally up for seeing no disaster!!!
Lesson #2:  We can totally copy Josiah's obedience to God's Word - but we need to allow God to do an individual work in our lives.  This was God's promise for Josiah.  Even if God has a different plan for you - TRUST HIM!!!
I know we have all seen more disaster in our lives than we thought we would see.  And I would imagine there's even more to come.  However, I believe that we are still to follow the list above - seek Him, be humbled before Him, hear His word and TRUST.
I heard a song this week that illustrates no matter what - we can still praise Him.  I know that many of you are praying for a miracle to come in your life.  You've been praying for this relief from disaster for quite some time.  It could be for physical healing, emotional healing, financial relief...  What if no relief comes?  What then?  What if in the midst of following the list above - we still see disaster?  What happens to our faith?
It would be really easy to get mad and be jealous of Josiah.  However, we must belief the truth - that God is for us!

Psalm 56:9 (ESV)
This I know, that God is for me.
Listen to this song and let it minister to you today as is has done for me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Multitude

One week.  There's only 1 more full week of July remaining.  I don't know about you, but when August starts - my mind is directed towards school stuff.

Next week I'm going to start working in my classroom.  I've already been salivating at the new fun school supplies.  This morning I looked up the dates for our Tax Free Weekend to plan some "school clothes" shopping!

As I sat down to pray and read my Bible this morning, I asked the Lord to direct my focus on Him.  The list of things I wanted to pray about were - in my mind... GINORMOUS!

Don't you ever long for simple peace on all sides?  No drama.  God gave this to some of the kings in the Old Testament.  This verse is King Asa of Judah speaking...

2 Chronicles 14:7 (b) (ESV)
We have sought Him and He has given us peace on every side.

"Peace on every side" - can you even imagine a life like that?  I would be thrilled with just a DAY like that!

So in my Bible reading - I just stopped and asked the Lord for "peace on every side".

But... then I read further...  I quickly learned that King Asa still had to fight.  And he didn't just fight small armies - check out his prayer when he was faced with an army of a million enemy soldiers!

2 Chronicles 14:11 (ESV)
And Asa cried to the Lord his God, 
"O Lord, there is none like You to help, 
between the mighty and the weak.  Help us, 
O Lord our God, for we rely on You, 
and in Your name we have come against this multitude.  
O Lord, You are our God, 
let not man prevail against You."

Want to know the outcome?  God allowed King Asa and his army to leave not one of those million enemy soldiers alive!  They were allowed to plunder a ton of stuff from the enemy too!  They won!

But they still had to fight.

Now, I'm so thankful I'm not facing a million soldiers with weapons.  But... in my prayer journal, I made a list of my own "multitude."  The things that are staring back at me - the things that I'm facing.

Here's just an excerpt:  raising Jordan & JP without their Dad, new job, finances, marathon training, JP's salvation, will God bring another "someone" in my life again, many other questions about my future....

This list can be overwhelming!  I'm sure we all have our own "multitude" that we face every day.

I took King Asa's prayer and made it my own this morning.  I may not have all the answers for my multitude - but in His name I can come against them all and you can too!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Do you ever long for just a regular day?  A regular-no-drama season for your life?  The kind of time in your life where you know what you're doing, you know all the answers and life is predictable and manageable?

This sounds kind of dreamy to me!  However, it seems at every turn, I still have new adventures ever before me.

As many of you have heard... I have a new room in my house.  I realized the more Jordan was growing that she didn't need to share a room with her younger brother any longer.  Therefore, I gave her my room.  We fixed it all up - nice and girly.  I updated JP's room a bit with some Spiderman accessories.

Then, with the help of my family and some very strong guys from my church we moved all my stuff to the upstairs (converted attic) huge room!  I love it!!

My new bed!
(really my old bed that I just now got back!)

My new vanity area!  Cool huh?!

In just a few short weeks, I'll be embarking on another new thing... Chemistry Teacher at a new school district.  I'm super excited and nervous all at the same time.

During my prayer time this morning I wrote in my journal about all the "newnesses" that I'm experiencing.  I read a verse that confirmed just how close I need to be to the Lord to make it through all these new adventures.

Psalm 9:9-10 (ESV)

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, 
a stronghold in times of trouble.  
And those who know Your name 
put their trust in You,
for You, O Lord, have not forsaken 
those who seek You.

I love the end where David reaffirms that the Lord will not forsake those who seek the Lord.

I realized that I have a lot of seeking the Lord to do in all my newnesses.  I know this is probably not real word - "newnesses" - but it doesn't mean I don't still have these in my life.

I bet you have some too.  So how do we deal with them all?  David encourages us to know the Name of the Lord, put our trust in Him, and seek Him.  As a result - He will not forsake us!

I made a list of as many of my newnesses that are currently in my life - and committed to seek the Lord in them all.  What will you do with your newnesses?

I love you all dearly!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hope for the Charred Remains

I have so many things to say on my blog today!

For starters, I really have missed writing on my blog.  New adventures and crazy new schedules got the best of me.  I like for everything to have it's proper place - especially my schedule.  And for the past 18 months I've been in some sort of survival mode where tyranny of the urgent took over my life.

I would like to tell you that I'm getting that under control and all will be as it should be soon - but to be perfectly honest - I'm enjoying a restful, undisciplined summer.  In about 3-4 short weeks I'm going to need to turn my mind and my heart to discipline but for now I'm soaking up all that this summer has to offer!

Having said that... let's move on to this past weekend.  It was John's birthday and we seem to have created a beautiful tradition of spending the weekend with the Barnabas Contagion and their families in Bastrop.  These people are truly amazing!  I could go on and on about these folks I call family -  but I don't think there are enough words!

On Saturday afternoon around 5pm - the hottest part of the day - I decided I wanted to take the mile hike to see the deer stand where John breathed his last.  Too many times I close my eyes and wonder what the scene looked like on that day.  I'm not a hunter, but I've seen many different types of stands, and I wanted to clear up as many of the unknowns in my head as I could.

As it turned out - all of the men that were there - came with me.  As we hiked we recalled many fun memories of John.  Some remembered great things he used to say, some shared really cooky things he used to do - it was really a nice walk.

It was filled with many emotions, because as most remember, last summer much of Bastrop burned in a fire.  My friends' 200-acre property was completely burned!  Their house, John's tree and a few other precious spots were miraculously saved.

So on our walk we saw many many charred trees, holes in the ground were huge trees once towered the property, and washed away roads.  However, we also saw more sunflowers than I've ever seen in one place!  The green over-growth was up to our knees!  Green leaves were found on several trees!

While the layout of the property looked completely different - it was still very beautiful.  Even though there was devastation all around, it was still very peaceful.  And as I walked, anxiously awaiting when we would arrive at John's final spot on Earth, I took in the beauty of it all.

I thought about how our lives are much like "The Bastrop" (as Jordan used to call this place).  Jordan asked me as we arrived on Friday if this place would ever grow back.  As we hiked you couldn't help but see the new growth that God was allowing to happen.

Green amongst the charred remains.

Isn't this just like our own lives?  Devastating events happen to us all.  And perhaps leave us a bit charred in places.  But with His love, strength, and light - new growth will appear.  Yes, it may look different and strange.  Yes, scars and evidence of a tragedy may remain - but if we embrace His plan and accept His changes for our lives - we too can experience peace and beauty again.

We can have beautiful green spots sprouting all around our charred edges!  We too can "grow back"!

I thought I might just share a few pictures from my weekend at The Bastrop.

Flowers on the hike

Beautiful berries were found everywhere!!

Deep holes left by completely burned trees.
The small holes were where the roots once were.

The hike to the deer stand.  Notice all the green!!

Here it is.  You can't see the stand.
But this is the tree where John said goodbye to this Earth.

The scene leaving The Bastrop.

This was the last thing John got to do with the kids.
I'm so thankful this tire swing - hanging from a tree - survived!
What fun memories for the kids!
This is their favorite spot on the property!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Coming in for a landing...

This week has been filled with an awesome week of Vacation Bible School!  As of yesterday we had 17 professions of faith!  God is so wonderful!

I had the humbling experience of leading a little 4th grader to the Lord on Tuesday!  What a way to start the week!

Today we wrap things up and although I'm ready to get some rest... I'm going to be sad to let these precious little lives go...

Please continue to pray for these 17 young kids as they continue to grow in Christ this summer.

Next week is a whole new summer adventure... Jordan & I are going to GA Camp @ Pineywoods Baptist Encampment.  We're both super excited!!!

(Oh!  But before we go.... Jordan has her very first Dance Recital on Saturday! - be looking for pictures of that soon!)

I thought it was only fitting to put up our VBS theme song as my Friday Song.  (if it's going to be in my head all week - I might as well pass on the joy to you guys!  LOL)

Friday, June 1, 2012

10 years...

It's Friday.  The normal time of the week when I post a song.

This Friday is very different.  Today I should have been soaking up some beautiful rays on an amazing beach holding hands with the love of my life.  That was the plan anyway.  John and I so very much wanted to take a second honeymoon to some tropical location to celebrate our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary.

Apparently God had different plans.  I still cannot believe we're not holding hands today.  Many days I look down at my empty hands and wonder... "What do I do with them as I'm walking into a store.... as I walk into church.."

Here's what I do know though.... I know God is holding me.  I know He never gives up on me - even though many times in the last 17 months I've wanted to do just that.

Today - to celebrate a beautiful relationship - even though we must live in different locations - I thought it was only fitting to share one of my favorites of John's songs.

The Way.  Some of my favorite lines...

I love the way You take me by the hand - lead me on.
Love the way You hold me to Your heart to love me Lord.
I love the way You lead me to Your teachings for my life,
I love the way You don't give up, though I give up on the fight.
The way You love me through it all, the way You died to save my soul,
I stand in awe of You.

(if you listen all the way through - you'll hear him talk)

Enjoy your Friday!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

His Word Sunday

The first Sunday of Summer 2012...

It feels good.  Yesterday, I got to spend quality time with my kids.  It was wonderful!  We went swimming, washed the car, had lunch at Chick-fil-A, and watched a movie.

I'm looking forward to a summer that is not consumed with school stuff - preparing for a new career.  I am  so thankful for all the Lord has brought my way in the past 17 months.

I thanked the Lord for His ever-present faithfulness in my life this morning as I read Psalm 119..

Psalm 119:73-77 (ESV)
Your hands have made and fashioned me; 
give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments.
Those who fear You shall see me and rejoice, 
because I have hoped in Your word.
I know, O Lord, that Your roes are righteous, 
and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
Let Your steadfast love comfort me 
according to Your promise to Your servant.
Let Your mercy come to me, 
that I may live; for Your law is my delight.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend - as we remember those who gave everything for our country!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Never Once

This is a very different kind of Friday.  This is the last day of school!!! This last day marks the completion of my first year of teaching!  Success... Victory!

I didn't do this year on my own.  I had many many praying and still to this day have a very faithful God carrying me through each new day's adventure.

You may not have realized it - but it was you and God that were there in all those testing rooms - in those classrooms that were beyond challenging - And today I thank you!  I thank you for believing in me.

Today is also a sad day.  I have loved this year being a part of Panther Nation.  I have immense pride teaching at the school where I graduated.  And yet... today is my last teaching day at Lufkin High School.

This was not a decision that was met with ease - but was bathed in much prayer and counsel.  Next year, I will start a new adventure teaching Chemistry and Advanced Chemistry at Hudson High School (for all my non-local friends - this school is still in this area - no I will not be moving).

I'm really excited about this opportunity God has brought my way and am looking forward to what He has in store for me there.

One thing I know about the past year and the ones to come - I'm never alone!  Never once has God ever left me and I know He is always faithful.  That's why this is the perfect song for this week.

Have a great Friday - enjoy your summer!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Roaring Like a Lion

Yay Friday!  Today I'm traveling to New Orleans to celebrate a beautiful relationship.  My dear friend and John's former secretary is getting married.  I can't wait to get there and share this wonderful time with them.

But before I get there - I still must do Friday.  That means run 3 miles and give the last IPC test for the year.  Since I've been running I've been listening to some fun, fast, Jesus music to keep me going.

Today's song is one of my new favorites.  It helps me to keep going for sure!  One of my favorite lines is "this world... I'll overcome!"

Whether it be the next mile that I'm wanting to finish or the last week of school, or any challenge that I'm facing - Jesus tells me that HE lives inside of me and I'm sure to overcome!

Enjoy your Friday!

Friday, May 4, 2012

This Life

Have you ever gotten to the end of the week and thought, "I meant to do _____" (fill in the blank) - but it just didn't get done?

This week, I meant to have more patience.  This week I meant to spend more time in prayer.  I meant to teach more than just Science.

One morning as I was preparing for the day in my classroom - I heard this song come across my Pandora.  It actually made me stop what I was doing and really listen to the words.

Whatever is on your "To Do List" - we are meant to shine - for as long as we're here.    God knows this is not our home - we're not supposed to settle in and get comfortable.  But we are supposed to shine.

This weekend - here are the places I can shine:
1.  I'm running another race - The Fredonia 5-Miler

2.  JP's T-Ball Game - somehow I've become the Dugout Mom.  I'm in charge of making sure the right kid goes out to bat, and maintain order with the rest of them in the meantime.

3.  Cheering on & encouraging all my little friends as they try out for Drill Team (Panther Pride)

Wherever you go this weekend - remember to shine!

Friday, April 27, 2012

How far?

Whew!  It's been quite the week!  It started off with my last certification test... and yes... I PASSED!!!  On Monday I took the ESL Certification test, on Tuesday I finished my 4th GT online class and passed that test, yesterday we had a school function for Jordan, a T-Ball game for JP and in between those to events, I went to a visitation for a student's family member who passed away.

Oh!  And did I mention this has been TAKS testing week at school?  I'm quite weary to say the least.  One day as we were coming or going (who can keep up?) with the kids... JP was looking up to the sky and he asked me how many miles was it to Heaven.

Then later in the week, I heard this song on my way to work.  It was just too fitting for me to put it on my blog.  The song talks about how weary we sometimes get in this life.  And how we just "gotta know" - how far is Heaven.

I told JP that we can't get there in a plane - or even a rocket ship - but it only takes a second to get there - when God's ready for you to be there.  Until that day.... like Judges 8:4 says, I'm "exhausted yet pursuing."

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

His Word Sunday

What is your desire?

Yesterday the Lord allowed me to reach yet another goal - to run a 10K!  I have an even bigger goal - to run a marathon... but this was one of those pitstop goals that I still needed to conquer.

Many of you cheered me on through Facebook as I ran - I heard all of those cheers through my phone as I ran - thank you so much!!!

I read a verse this morning that speaks of accomplished desires.

Proverbs 13:19 (ESV)
A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul.

As I had my prayer time this morning, I thanked the Lord for helping me to fulfill this minor desire of mine.  An even greater desire to show others just how great my God is - and what sweetness it is to my soul when I am found obedient to His ultimate desires for my life.

What is your desire today?  I pray you find sweetness in your soul when it is fulfilled!

Friday, April 20, 2012

One Foot

Have you ever had a weekend that was over-scheduled?  I'm pretty sure the Pickard-Franklin Family is really close to this mark for this weekend.

Today is actually quite manageable.  JP's Field Day is today and I even get to attend!  However, tomorrow is going to be the fun one!  Here's what we've got from 8am-2pm:  Me & the kids are running in the CASA Race, Jordan is performing in the LHS Drill Team Spring Show at 1pm, then JP has T-Ball game at 2pm. (oh!  I almost forgot!  I'm taking another certification test on Monday!  I'm no where near ready for it - so I've got to study this weekend... sometime...)

Whew!  I'm super excited about them all!

The race though... I'm nervous and excited!  I'm running in my very first 10K.  (6.2 miles - and yes, I can run the whole thing without stopping!)  This is all part of my new journey to train for a marathon!  I have thoughts like, am I totally crazy?  Can I even do this at age 41?  What am I thinking?!

But in this new life that God has allowed me participate in - I've learned several things.... but one is, to put one foot in front of the other.  I know on some days, that's all I can do.  And for this race, (that seems super challenging) - I'm going to do the very same thing - one foot in front of the other.

How can you help?!  Yes - you can by the way!  Send me messages on FB during the race.  I have this app that turns your comments into cheers!  I listen to a ton of upbeat Christian music while I'm running.  This one here is one of my favorites!  I listen to it every time I run!  It reminds me that I can do this task and so many others that are difficult & challenging!

I'll see ya at the finish line!

Monday, April 9, 2012

What's the good word?

Have you ever noticed how contagious a smile can be?  Same goes for laughter.  Every now and then (usually when I'm super tired) someone will say something funny and for some reason - I continue to laugh... far beyond the normal limits of what was required.

Don't you wish you could lose weight laughing?  Wouldn't that be wonderful?!

Well... you might not lose weight - but hearing good things makes us feel lighter.  Check this out...

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

"Weigh him down"... I don't need anything more making the scale numbers increase!  Therefore I need to get rid of anxiety in my heart and in my spirit.

Anxiety is normal... I think about providing for my children, remaining financial stuff left over from John's move to Heaven, crazy schedules, commitments, the health of my family, so on and so forth.

God wants me to have a good word about all of these things instead of letting anxiety rule.  Almost every time John would call me on the phone I would answer in this way, "What the good word?"

We all love to hear a good word.  Instead of letting these things "weigh you down" - lift them up!  Lift up these burdens and concerns to the Lord.  We should never underestimate the power of prayer in our lives.  He is so much stronger than me!  He can take care of my burdens way better than me.  When we pray we should ask the Lord, "So, what's Your good word for me today?"

So - for this morning... I'm going to change my perspective on these "anxiety" issues and see them as good words - so my heart will be glad.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

One foot

I woke up this morning - early... because I've trained my mind and body to do so... but then just laid there - doing nothing, because I could!  No school today!!!

I love No School Fridays!!!

Ok... school is winding down, my certification is almost complete.  As most of you know, I've always got some kind of goal in front of me.  I now have a new goal.  It's going to require quite a bit of training and will be a huge physical feat for me.

Last Saturday, as I was running, beginning the very first steps of my brand new goal - I was listening to a song on my iPod.  I loved it!  It fit so perfectly with running - and yet fits so perfectly with my life in general.

When we see HUGE obstacles in front of us - the only way we can attack them is just one foot in front of the other.  Not necessarily huge leaps!

Yesterday I did a Physics Lab with my students.  We were calculating Work & Power based on data collected while running up a flight of stairs.  The students asked if they could skip steps.   The answer... NO!  It was important for our data for every student to actually step on every step - one at a time.

We are to do life with God the exact same way.... taking every single step with Him & no skipping steps!

(Caution!  This song is perfect for running -
 so it's kind of a rock song!  
Not my typical smooth easy listening ballads.  
I'm just warning you!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

His Word Sunday

It's quite common to look at others and wonder why you can't have what they have.  Sometimes we want the simple things... sometimes we want the big things.

I was reminded this morning by a wonderful Psalm to not set my heart on other people's "things"  but to keep my heart totally devoted to the Lord.  He alone knows what's best for me.

Psalm 73:1-3, 16-17, 25-26, 28  (ESV)

Truly God is good to Israel, 
to those those who are pure in heart.  
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, 
my steps had nearly slipped.  
For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw 
the prosperity of the wicked.

But when I thought how to understand this, 
it seemed to me a wearisome task, 
until I went into the sanctuary of God, 
then I discerned their end.

Whom have I in heaven but You?  
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.  
My flesh and my heart may fail, 
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

But for me it is good to be near God; 
I have made the Lord God my refuge, 
that I may tell of all Your works.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Day - New Smiles

Do you ever feel like some weeks are longer than others?  It reality each week only has 168 hours.  But in my life some of those hours seem to be on fast forward and at other times they seem to be marching time.  Can you relate?

I experienced the latter this week.  We had STAAR testing at the beginning of the week.  Therefore I didn't see some of my students for 2 days.  No worries... we had enough drama with them Wednesday & Thursday to last me for the rest of the semester!

But here we are (like every week) staring at Friday... finally!  I've already given this day - and all that it may hold to the Lord.  Even though it was a hard week - He has sustained me.  It didn't beat me!

Just a quick update on Franklin happenings....
1.  I only have 2 more online classes and an ESL test and I will be COMPLETELY done with my certification.  In fact, I've already signed my contract for next year with LHS Science.

2.  I'm speaking at a local church's Women's Retreat in April.  I'm really excited about this!

3.  Jordan & I are going to NOLA at the end of May for a wedding!  John's secretary is getting married.  I can't wait to share this super special day with them!

4.  JP has started T-Ball - Jordan's dance recital is in June.  It's going to be a busy season!

5.  The summer is filling up quickly with GA Camp, VBS, Youth Camp (I'm a counselor), Grandmother & Papa Camp, and just plain old relaxing.....  I'm NOT teaching Summer School!

In lieu of it being Finally Friday and the hope of all that's coming our way... I thought we could all use a happy song!  I pray you have a great "morning" - and an even better weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Prop me up!

The Final Stretch!!

I can't believe my first year of teaching is in the final stretch!  What a year this has been!  There are only 9 more weeks of school left.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I only have 2 more G/T online classes and an ESL Certification test remaining and this excites me!

However, even though I'm excited, I still want to finish strong.  It's not over yet - so much can happen in 9 weeks.  I've had some recent days where I think all I can do is just survive until May.  I want to do more than just survive.

When Jordan first started preschool - she and I both were a little nervous.  I was sad not to see her all day and she was scared about going to a new place with new people.  So I gave her a kiss and told her to put it in her pocket.  If she got to a point in her day where she missed me - just take out that "kiss" and put it on her face and it would be like I was right there with her.

Somehow this worked for her!  Today I read a verse in Psalms that I'm going to treat like this "kiss" I gave Jordan so many years ago.  I'm going to tuck it away in my pocket and when I feel I can't finish strong - I'm going to pull it out and remember that the Lord is right here beside me.

Ready for the verse?  Me too!

Psalm 68:19 (ESV)
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; 
God is our salvation.

With His daily bearing up I can conquer these next 9 weeks!

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

His Word Sunday

Yesterday I went to Kilgore for the very last Saturday training session!  Victory!

I started this program in April 2011 and now I only have 3 more online classes and an ESL test remaining and in June I will have my Standard Certificate.

When it's all said and done I will be be certified in every Science 8-12th grade, ESL & G/T.

What a journey!  I could not have done this without the prayers of friends and family and of course the Lord.

I read this verse this morning and had to say "Amen" while reading....

Psalm 54:4 (ESV)
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life.

The upholder of my life!  There are so many names of God.  We see them throughout scripture - Healer, Prince of Peace, Provider... etc.  I love them all.

But I think I just found a new favorite - the Upholder of my life.

This picture here represents the Upholder of my life.
(notice at the bottom right my total hours!)

I could not have completed all of this right after John's move to Heaven if the Lord had not been holding up my life!

Thank you God!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Live Like That

What a full week it's been!  I administered a TAKS test, a Chemistry Final, went to New Orleans and tomorrow I'm traveling to Kilgore for my VERY LAST Saturday training!!!  I'm so excited for that part of my new journey to come to a close!

On Friday mornings, during my prayer time, I typically reflect back on the week.  I'm often confessing that I could have done things better.  I could have been more compassionate.  I could have not gotten upset so quickly.  I should have shown more of Him & less of me.

I know, whether I realize it at the time or not, that I'm leaving my fingerprint every place I go.   I want it to be a positive one.  One that points to Jesus.

While in New Orleans I spoke about our current assignment from the Lord.  One of the things we talked about was "how will we be graded on this assignment".  Isn't this what every kid wants to know from their teacher?

With God it's pretty simple.  My life - the way I live it - will reflect what kind of grade I'm getting.  Does my life reflect the person of Jesus?  Does it show more of Him and less of me?

In my heart - this is the kind of life that I want to live.  I know I've got a long way to go.  I'm so grateful that He gives me grace upon grace to get it right!

I heard this song last week and have been so encouraged by it - I hope you enjoy your Friday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Steady my heart

You know what one of my most favorite things about a sunrise is?  It symbolizes a brand new day!  You get to start all over!  It gives you an opportunity to take a deep breath and have a "do-over."

However, I'm realizing more and more at school, I have to pretend or rather treat each new class period as if it were a brand new day.  I can't carry over to 4th period what happened in 3rd period - that's not very fair to them.  Just so you know... this is SUPER HARD!

I have to consciously take a deep breath and somehow steady my heart from the drama that just happened and present a "whole new day, a whole new Mrs. Franklin" to the kids that are seeing me for the first time since yesterday.

I heard this song this week and fell in love with it!  It's all about how God is with us, even on those really hard days... and the process, He steadies our heart!

I hope you have a fantastic Friday!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

His Word Sunday


Many times in scripture - actually throughout the entire Word of God - we are reminded to "REMEMBER".

As I get older, remembering things that happened in the past gets harder and harder.  Like, where did I leave my keys, did I sign Jordan's homework, what did I do with (fill in the blank)?

But often times we also forget the good that the Lord has done for us - especially in those dark days He allows us to walk.

This morning in my One Year Bible the Psalmist said over and over to "remember".  I haven't provided the entire Psalm 42 - but just a portion that calls us all to remember the Lord in our hard days.

Psalm 42:5-6 (ESV)
Why are you cast down, O my soul, 
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him,
 my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan 
and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

When you are feeling low... remember the Lord.  Recall all the places He has delivered you, met with you, and taught you.

He will bring you hope - and you will again praise Him.

His Word Sunday


Many times in scripture - actually throughout the entire Word of God - we are reminded to "REMEMBER".

As I get older, remembering things that happened in the past gets harder and harder.  Like, where did I leave my keys, did I sign Jordan's homework, what did I do with (fill in the blank)?

But often times we also forget the good that the Lord has done for us - especially in those dark days He allows us to walk.

This morning in my One Year Bible the Psalmist said over and over to "remember".  I haven't provided the entire Psalm 42 - but just a portion that calls us all to remember the Lord in our hard days.

Psalm 42:5-6 (ESV)
Why are you cast down, O my soul, 
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him,
 my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan 
and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

When you are feeling low... remember the Lord.  Recall all the places He has delivered you, met with you, and taught you.

He will bring you hope - and you will again praise Him.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Long Way Home

Earlier in the week I posted on Facebook my Certification status.  Just in case you missed it... I have 1 more trip to Kilgore, 3 online classes, an ESL class, an ESL exam and I'll be done!!!

What a long trip this has been!!!  This part of the journey began in February 2011.  And now, a year later, I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I've learned things that I never thought I would, I've encountered challenges that have indeed surprised me, and I've definitely grown as a person, and as a servant of the Lord.

One of the things that has definitely stood out in such a big way since this all started is just how much "this place" is not my home.  No, I'm not talking about Lufkin, Texas.... I'm talking about planet Earth.  As a believer, we're all heading to a REAL place, our REAL HOME!

Some of us however, get to take a shortcut - and some of us God has allowed us to take the long way.  Sometimes short cuts are AWESOME!  And some times, it's nice to take the long way.  Apparently God thinks the longer path is what's best for me.  So I'm going to do my best to find joy in the long way home!

Enjoy today's song about the long way home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

So here's the thing...

I often encourage my students, as well as my own children, to use proper vocabulary - to not be lazy with their words.  So in a way, I feel a little guilty about my blog this morning - because I'm going to use a word that will probably seem a little on the lazy side.

What's the word?  THING.

You know... it's the word you use when you're having trouble defining what it is you're talking about or what you really want to say.

Recently someone called me to let me know how they were frustrated about a particular situation and that they needed prayer to make it through this season of their life.

As I prayed, I said these words to the Lord... "God this is just one more thing she has to deal with!"  It was in that moment that the Holy Spirit began to teach me something.  Did you know the Holy Spirit has been assigned as our Teacher?!

Almost immediately when I said the words "one more thing" - my perspective changed.  The Lord showed me that often times what we see as that "one more thing" we have to deal with in life - that may seem so annoying, frustrating and exhausting - is indeed THE THING He's created us for in the first place!

Let that sink in for just a moment.  Instead of saying, "this is just one more thing on my plate" -try this... "how can I bring honor to the Lord in THE THING He's given me to handle?"

Perspective.  I've been chewing on this one for quite some time.  It helps me when I think I just want to get past something to realize that perhaps I'm not supposed to just get past it - but triumph in it in some way!

What if I miss out on God's total purpose for my life because I was trying to get past this THING (that is hard) - when He wants to bring Glory THROUGH or BECAUSE of this THING.

As I was typing out this blog - and aware of the fact that I was over-using the word THING - a verse came to my mind.  It made me realize that to use the word "thing" is not so lazy after all!

Psalm 27:4
The one thing I ask of the Lord, the thing I seek most, 
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
delighting in the Lord's perfections 
and meditating in His Temple.

This "thing" that may indeed, after all, be my purpose instead of my enemy, can best be handled when I'm seeking Him the most.  I know that as I live in His presence He will direct my steps and my heart!