Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why I Never Get Bored

Growing up we were never allowed to be bored. If ever my siblings and I happened to utter that terrible word our mother was quick to offer her usual phrase of inspiration:

Don't tell me you're bored or I'll let you wash the dishes!

You can now see why we always found some way to entertain ourselves.

Thankfully,  now that I'm a grown adult and no longer live with my mom and her inspiring threats, I still have an anti-bored weapon. His name is Dalton Duncan.

Yes, married life often provides me with great (sometimes embarrassing) entertainment. Here are a few of my knight-in-shining-armor's shining moments:

1) Once, upon finding several adorable mushrooms my husband insisted I take pictures of him pretending to be using an umbrella.

2) Date days often involve some kind of fun, creative plan of his (he really is the more creative one in the bunch). Like the time he sent me on a huge scavenger hunt or that awesome day when we secretly drove to our parent's homes and gave them a good surprise.

3) Dalton hates getting his picture taken; actually, he hates cameras in general. He thinks they are over-used and take away from the moment ... two legitimate reasons. Nevertheless, I insist that we must gather some sort of proof that we are in fact married and having the time of our lives for the Facebook world. So, to accommodate both of our desperate pleas we've found a satisfying middle ground. I get to take pictures if  A) I tell him first B) he is doing some sort of pose.

Here's the proof:

Here he felt it appropriate to mock the "Men Working" sign

Interpretive dance with hot-mits

He thought getting a whole loaf from Panera was an amazing feat

4) Scene: Sitting on the couch enjoying a good conversation, Dalton leans over as if to kiss his bride ...

Me: *Yelling!* "Dalton, stop sucking on my nose!"
Dalton: "Hehehehehe ..."

5) I think Dalton is convinced that whenever a male applies shaving cream to his face his wife also should be covered in like manner.

6) Scene: My mom, Dalton, and I are finishing a nice, meaningful conversation in the dining room. Dalton rises, plays around with his Ipad, and then sits on the floor looking as if he is meaning to do some leg stretches. We look. He stretches out his legs like a grasshopper and rubs them together while his Ipad plays cricket sounds in the background.


7) Upon finding stray turtles on the street Dalton likes to offer bits of lettuce to the newcomer:

8) Scene: Enjoying a conversation with guests in the living room. A momentary silence.

Dalton: "Do you see those two owls on the bookshelf?"
Guests: Nod with interest
Dalton" "I carved those out of the prison soap." Grins with happy jubilance.

(Dalton has a love for mixing up conversation ... he feels that the world spends too of its time talking about normal, empty things and believes that one of his missions in life is to liven and stir people up in good, fun ways. It makes me smile.)

9) On early mornings when Dalton is already up he will very gently carry me to the living room couch, gather my pillow and blanket, snuggle me in and proceeds with his activities. It's a special, fun, unique way to sleep in. :)

10) Scene: Dalton's mother's hair salon. Telephone rings. Dalton rises to answer the phone:

Dalton: "Dalton's House of Ecstasy, Dalton speaking."
Me: *Face palm and extreme blush* "Dalton!"

I am so thankful for my funny, original man. His extreme, unique personality has often astonished my shy, safe personality ... needless to say, I've blushed and sputtered more in the last year than in most of my life! But I can say I have been better for it!

What crazy/funny things do your family members do? Or maybe you're the more original one in the family? I'd love to hear! 

p.s: This post was largely inspired by Rachel from The Random Writings of Rachel. I have always found her Angelism posts to be hilarious and realized that, I too, have a few stories to tell. Why don'cha hope on over to her blog ... I know you'll love it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Today's List

:: source ::

It's a great day to be alive.

I mean to really, really be awake and alert and in awe of this world.

In our area of Missouri a nice chill has fallen over the land along with an overcast gray sort of sky. It's time for leaves to begin changing colors, pumpkins to adorn porches, and scarves to make an appearance ... at least I think it is time.

So in honor of this day (and because I'm suffering from an acute batch of homesickness ... but wait, my home is here ... why are hearts so contradictory?) I'm purposing to be alive and awake and in awe of this time. I'll do some thorough cleaning of our small bungalow, listen to this lady's play list, sing worship songs, watch Sense and Sensibility, and give thanks;  for things like a husband's gentle love, clothes to wash, and a Redeemer.

What is your part of the world looking like? How are your spirits doing? I'd love to hear.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Seven Marriage Facts I Can't Keep Quiet About

I thought I knew everything (or almost!) about marriage. I knew all of the Scripture written on two becoming one.  I had observed and spoken with several happy couples asking for their keys to success. My parents themselves were a great picture of matrimony. But experiencing something is a whole lot different than dreaming about it. Here are seven things I've learned since saying "I do" that I just can't keep quiet about!  
Marriage is way better than you have ever imagined

Marrying Dalton is the best decision I ever made. Life has been so fun ... I mean, every thing is better when you're living life with your best friend. I wish I had known just how wonderful marriage really is ... I hope our marriage is a constant declaration of how great and good God is.

Change is okay

I've written a lot about this but I cannot  emphasize this point enough. Marriage changes you ... and for the better. I am so thankful to God for molding and shaping my life (some times in ways my flesh finds uncomfortable) through our marriage. But it was really hard for me to accept that it was okay for change to happen. Really hard. 

Babies don't just come after having sex

(Goodness gracious! Did she just use the s-word ... yes, my dear, she did ;-) 

This seems like a funny point but it really is important. All my life I had an idea that babies were so easy to make ... it simply isn't true! And this can be very frustrating for the young, hopeful couple. Don't fret those first (and second and third and ...)  negative pregnancy tests and late cycles steal your joy ... learn to enjoy the days fully without frustration taking over. I promise you, that is the better way of making days joyful and good! 

Your body will change and adjust

So. Incredibly. True.

This is totally important. I had no idea that marriage would effect my body as it has. Emotions, chemicals, and hormones are all working on overdrive ... and I mean it!

 If you're anything like me you like having a certain amount of control over your own body ... so when you cannot explain the weird crying spells, do not understand your body's off track cycles, and feel like a fifteen year old girl all over again ... pour yourself a cup of coffee, kiss that amazing man of yours, stop apologizing, and relax. It's normal and you're doing an awesome job as a wife. 

It takes time

I wish I had known (more fully) this simple truth: A good marriage requires time. This is really important to remember. Some days marriage can be really hard ... like bickersome, miscommunication, unmet expectations hard. But then there are those magical days when it blending our two lives into one seems as natural as can be. 

So when it gets hard just keep on loving that great man of yours. Like some of my favorite characters say, "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it?" Time always brings new beginnings.

There will be days when you feel scared to death 

I know this may sound like a disagreeable statement but I firmly believe that everyone faces this sometime in their marriage. It's a facet of love. After all, love, at the end of the day, is a renewed, conscious choice for your beloved. Good marriages are simply two committed souls choosing to pursue one another.

And there will be days when you wonder what in the world you were thinking. It could be hormones or maybe an unresolved argument or maybe your business went bust or maybe a child is sick ... no matter what the problem is fear will always try to use it as an entryway. It's a feeling -- something you should never build on.

Don't let it. Nip that fear, that nagging worry, in the bud. And then do something great for your spouse. Bake them cookies, give them a hug, or pray for them. I promise that that conscious action of love will whip fear in the backside and tell it to crawl back into the hole it came from.

And days when you know you made the best decision ever

Marrying my Mr. Duncan has brought so much joy and beauty into my life. I know God better because because of it. Life have so much more meaning because we are one. I laugh more. I smile more. Life. Is. Good. There is sweet, growing, beautiful peace which permeates our entire home ... and I'm so thankful for this chance of loving my man and journeying life together always.

So, there's 7 things I simply can't keep quiet about ...  if you were to join me for bagels and coffee you'd believe me! :) Which thought resonated with you the most? Or maybe there was something else you discovered? I'd love to hear from you!! 

Before I go, here's a picture of my wonderful, new nephew! Isn't he the sweetest?


Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Part of Me Missing

I miss my husband and I'm not ashamed to say it. 

But there was a time when I was ... When I couldn't stand to reveal to the world my need and desire for my one and only (or for anyone to be honest). 

You see, I grew up in a world where independence was looked highly upon ... No need for WWIII to break out just because daddy was away on a business trip. And I am so thankful for that--I'm glad that I learned not to fall to pieces when family members were away from the nest. 

Unfortunately, the independence I learned to value and appreciate created in me a distaste for anything dependent. Which can be a hazardous mixture in marriage. It isn't fair to your other half when you are okay with wanderlusting the globe alone and unattached; and, though it may reassure your traveling mate that you'll be okay when he or she is away, it doesn't speak love to be so nonchalant and capable when they're away. 

Everyone wants to know they are wanted.

Everyone needs to know they are needed. 

It wasn't until a friend told me that it was okay to feel lonely when separated from my beloved. That it was normal to feel like half of me was missing ... since half of me truly was. Freedom broke out in my heart. It's okay to need someone; to not want to leave without your other half; To miss others. 

So here's to missing my husband ... May the interestate grow smaller and smaller in distance and the home lights burn brighter with each passing mile.

Monday, August 25, 2014

How I Manage to Make Chips and Other Things

Homemaking has been such an adventure for this go-by-the-book, eat-the-same-(wonderful)-meals-over-and-over-again kind of gal ... the kind of woman who doesn't stray too far from the tried and true recipes of old. And so marriage has afforded me the chance to break away and try new things. I mean, when you've already spent your food budget for the week and all you have left is a container full of refried beans, a few remaining pepperonis greasily sticking to their bag, green beans and two handfuls of turkey burger you get to be creative. (And have a lot of fun, too!)
Thus, my chip making adventure was born. I was looking for a way to vary our diet while conversely pondering what I should do with the last few flour tortilla shells limply laying in the fridge's crisper. 13 minutes later I was baking at 400 degrees a marvelous creation. "Homemade" tortilla chips are truly amazing. They are super easy to make and taste really good ... we've stopped buying tortilla chips altogether and opt to "make" our own. (Which is a big thing since tortilla chips are a hit around these parts.)
   Flour (or whole wheat or corn) tortilla shells
    Seasoning ... cumin, salt, garlic salt
   Simply slice the tortilla shells into the desired amount
   Arrange the now triangle pieces onto a baking sheet avoiding overlapping
   Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasoning
   Bake at 400 for 7 minutes, flip the chips and cook for a remaining 6 minutes
   Dip those yummy creatures into something good! You made your own chips!


I love recipes like that ... the kind that are personal and are ready to eat and taste really good in dip and cheese. :)

What other bits of fun have I been having of late? Well, I'll let you in on the surprise day I've planned for Mr. Duncan. After the scavenger hunt he put on for me I knew I needed to put something together for him. Tomorrow my beloved man will be walking about hunting for clues while I pack a few bags for a day at the beach! I can't wait for tomorrow to arrive ... my beloved has never been to a beach before ... what a pleasure to take him for the first time!

Well, I'm off to begin supper ... what delicious treats have you been cooking lately? Or what new adventures have you undertaken? I'd love to hear from you!

Love and blessings,

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Checking In

Ah, me ... how happy I am to be alive and well in the month of August. Rain has been soaking our dry grounds, college beckons me to class, and lessons are being learned. Thank you all for the sweet messages I received after my last post--such encouragement given! I am so glad to count you as my dear friends and sisters in Christ even when distance separates so. :)

This post will be a mirage of items all stuck in a few short lengthy paragraphs. :) First, I want to tell you about the many pleasant things which recently occurred.

 In honor of last month's goal to visit the zoo I must share a few pictures. We so  enjoyed visiting St. Louis' zoo. It is a lovely place full of well-kept grounds, yummy smelling foods and of course many animals. We arrived at eight o'clock in the morning and had a blast visiting the different areas. My favorite animals of the day? The fluffy chickens, hippos, the big cats, and the grizzly bear. D loved seeing the akapi best. :) It was extra special to have been joined by my mother-in-love, sister-in-love, and niece. So fun!

a meerkat or two

a naked mole rat // these are the funniest creatures

hello, from the Duncans!

a red panda sneaking away
The following days have been just as pleasant. Last month, we made the decision to begin a non-rushed hunt for a new home to rent. I spend a lot of time looking for houses, touring them, and then informing the hopeful landlords that it isn't what we're looking for but I hope someone bites soon. :) We both liked this apartment though ... a third story, well preserved home from the early 1900's. What's not to love? even though this home isn't for us I hope it will find a happy tenant soon!  

Last Thursday was our 5th month anniversary! :) I really have fun celebrating these little milestones ... next month we will be married half a year. Time really does fly by when you're having fun!
For the special day, my beloved planned a very sweet surprise for me. Early in the day, before getting ready for work, Dalton left the house saying he needed to run some errands. (Which is very odd since we tend to run to town together ... but D can sometimes be unpredictable in the best of ways so I've learned to have fun with it.)
After coming home D announced that he had carefully planned a scavenger hunt for me throughout Jefferson City and that after finding all the clues I would get a surprise! :) Of course I was flabbergasted ... how does this man do it?! With a kiss on the lips, a pat on my backside, and a happy grin he urged me to begin the hunt while he prepared and left for work.

 It was so much fun scavenging the city. My first clue led me to the local library where I found the next set of instructions under a statue of a large basset hound in the children's section.  From there I walked on toward the river where an imitation Liberty Bell hangs and where the next clue was hiding. Then I walked on to our favorite pizza place, Arris Pizza, and was shocked to find Dalton's truck parked ... but the man himself was gone! I didn't know what to think so I assumed one of his coworkers had picked him up and gone on into work. So, as the clue instructed, I drove the truck to a local movie and book store where I found the last clue enclosed in a movie case. :) The final paper told me to drive to Central Dairy, a delicious ice cream shop, where I was to piece together the clues. The answer: Look In The Glovebox. I looked and found a leave slip and right then my Prince came walking up to the truck! The dear man had secretly taken the day off! It was a lovely day and one I will always remember ... I'm so grateful for my fun, thoughtful, creative husband!

What else have I been up to? Well, I have been enjoying this series:
And I have been having a blast creating invitations for my sister and my sister-in-love's baby showers ... but I can't show you that without giving away some surprise details. ;)
Do tell me how you are doing ... what is going on in your lives? I always love hearing from friends! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

How I Changed

I'm not really even sure of what to write except that I have been thinking about this post for a very long time.

How do you share the changes brooding within you when you yourself can barely wrap your mind around it?

I am not the same person I thought I was nor am I the person I thought I was going to be.

You see, it all began with marriage. It wasn't supposed to be--I mean, I never planned for it (though I desperately longed for it during those early-twentyish years of life). As a young girl I aggravated my tiny, princess-like girlfriends to death whenever they asked me about my dream prince. "Oh, I'm not going to marry," I would quickly reply. "I'm going to be a missionary and never get married ... being married is gross!"

(I think that came from my shy, easily-embarrassed nature and the way my mom always had us cover our eyes during movie kissing scenes ... so, since kissing is gross and you have to kiss when your married marriage has got to be gross!)

Later, I somehow managed to believe that marriage was a calling for the spiritually weak, those who couldn't handle fully living for God. (Can you say wow-was-she-ever-a-prideful-and-sorely-bigheaded-thing five times fast? :) This idea mainly grew from an insecurity buried deep within my girlish heart--I just knew nobody would want me. And rejection hurts. In defense I battered my hopes and dreams with a good dose of hypocritical spiritualism--no men interested in me? Why, that must mean God has something really big and really important for me.

Fast forward four years.

I got married. Married to a quirky, funny, amazing man of God. A man who loves the Lord, who dreams of traveling the world, of doing some sort of good for his fellow man, and who loves extravagantly. A man I wouldn't want to trade for the world.

But it hasn't always been a cake walk. My feelings of being called to something more "spiritual" than marriage bred ideas which I am now desperately trying to root out of my funny little head. Thoughts and questions around the lines of motherhood is a lowly job or submission is *so* old fashioned--who does he think he is anyway?, to what do I do with myself now?

During the early, joyous days of our marriage I battled years of wrong thinking. Who am I? What am I to do? What shall I be? Is marriage going to be enough? Will I ever accomplish anything important? My pride asked questions too--things like, Do you really want to live for somebody else? Did God really say that wives are to submit to their husbands? Do you really want to love and serve and sacrifice for children?

As I poured my confused heart out I was astonished to find such patience and care in the Lord and in my husband. Such love reminded me of how God is the author (and approver) of marriage and that He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift (marriage ... and my *awesome* husband!). I was instructed on the importance and joy of raising children and encouraged to find my worth in who Christ says I am and not in who I think I am. I was reproved for the selfish attitude I had toward children and excited when I realized that God leads exactly where He wants.

So, who am I exactly?

I am Francesca. Daughter of the King of kings. Wife of a gentle and good man. Keeper of the home. Sister. Friend. Aunt. Child. A hopeful, want-to-be-a-momma gal.

What do I do? I love. I dream. I attend college. I drink coffee. I sweep floors and fold socks. I make friends. I blog. I laugh. I create.

And that, my dear friends, is good enough for me.

Because where He leads is full of green pastures, still waters, and Him.

Loving and rejoicing in the exact place I've been put,

p.s. Bailey over at My Holy Joy kind of inspired this post. You wouldn't believe how often she writes exactly what I've been dwelling on ... anways, why don'cha march over there and check her site out. I always find something amazing to think on. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Everyday Blessings

Life is so full of blessings.

And I wanted to share a few of them with you.

So here are *ten,* simple, everyday blessings which brighten my days and I'm sure will add a bit of fun to yours.

1. Crickets 

Making nighttime sounds as the sun fades in pink and grays. (Just as long as those critters stay outside the house ... am I right? ;-)

2. Babies!

My sister is quite lovely and preggo-plump with her first born. Earlier this week, while Skyping, she mentioned how badly her back was hurting her. A later chiropractor visit revealed that she was in fact having early contractions. Wow!

3. Baby showers

My mom, a sweet friend, and I are planning my sister's babyshower. Although I will not be able to attend (she's thousands of miles away) I love tossing ideas around. Here are some of my most favorite themes:

(If you are absolutely loving these check out their homes and other ideas here! :)

4. God's Word

Yesterday morning D and stayed home from church and enjoyed reading the book of James together. It was exactly what we needed to re-connect with each other. My favorite portion was:

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

5. Downtown Walks

I haven't been walking as much as normal as it has been quite dripping-with-humidity hot lately. But yesterday I ventured out into the sunshine and loved it. The warm sun felt so nice on my skin and I loved walking pass the capital and people-watching the tourist stretch their legs.

6. Trains and Rivers

I am so very thankful we live next to both! Our little home is located in the older part of Jefferson City -- less than a mile away from busy train tracks and the muddy Missouri river. Hearing the sound of a train passing by reminds me so much of my daddy (he worked with trains for much of my childhood years) and I have always lived near a body of water.

7. Worship Hymns

I am *loving* Pandora's "Hymns 4 Worship" genre. It lifts my heart and adds so much serenity and joy to our little home to have worship music playing in the background.

Oh, and I am  l o v i n g  JJ Heller's The Boat Song. So much adorableness.

8. Cheesy, Ranch Hamburgers and Golden Potatos

Need I say anything more than yum?

9. New Friends

Moving to a new city can be a really difficult transition and so I have really appreciated finding kindred spirits out and about this beautiful city. Let's see, there is this amazing mom of three little girls who is always demonstrating lovely motherhood ... something I love observing! (And she brings me milk and veggies in exchange for my watching her fun girls once in awhile! Win!) Then there is the very sweet woman who saw me in church once and then, a few weeks later, noticed me walking down the street. Her love for the Lord is evident and I loved being "dragged" into eating dinner with her and her parents that night. :) Oh, and I can't forget one certain woman who I love chatting with about birth stories, theology, and gardens.

10. Free Finds!

How can I help being excited when I'm getting free bookcases from generous Craigslisters who are downsizing, moving, or changing their d├ęcor? ;-)

What blessings have been coming your way lately? I'd love to rejoice with you!



Thursday, July 24, 2014

What Poo Covered Teacups Means to Me

Sometimes days can be hard.

Like sewage-backing-up-into-the-basement-splattering-the-china-your-mother-gave-you hard.

I don't like those kind of days. In fact, I do everything possible to avoid them. I plan, schedule, and prepare so to avoid disasters. And I'm happy, so happy because most of the time my life is full of easy, happy moments.

So when a sinister root successfully breaks into the sewage pipe promoting all manner of poo to come floating though the grate I tend to get a bit irritated. Of course, my dear husband took the lead and conquered the mess (And, whewie!, does that man know how to clean a basement and look good doing it. ;-)

I later went down to manfully perform final inspection and bleach the appliances down.

But before long I was crying, crouching on the floor, hovering over my now brown-and-slimy china set. Like a small child I wept while emptying a stinky, poo-covered tote. Weeping ... I'm sure the construction workers across the street thought I was a crazy.

I was sad and hurt.

Hurt over something we couldn't predict or prepare for. Frustrated over unpleasant events.
Sorrowful for feeling like we had been let down.

A still, small voice whispered, "Give thanks in all things, rejoice." I tried. I failed. I tried again, yet angry emotions continued to appear. I felt worse because I had not succeeded. I wept harder and still He whispered, "Rejoice."
"Okay." And in the midst of poo-sodden teacups, over my bleach-burned hands, despite my disappointments I knew joy and peace. I learned a very important, tangible lesson--joy is always present within the sorrow. Circumstances, events, let-downs, disappointments will very often damper happiness but choosing to thankfulness will produce peace and joy.

So let the poo keep on keeping on ... well, not really. It really is the most horrible thing in the world. But may I continue to press into the grace and joy promised me by the Lord. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jane Eyre on Marriage

I absolutely love this quote from Charlotte Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre. Enjoy this bit of fiction which triumphantly expresses the realities of a good marriage.

I have now been married ten years.  I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.  I hold myself supremely blest—blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine.  No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.  I know no weariness of my Edward’s society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do of the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together.  To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company.  We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking.  All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character—perfect concord is the result.

Mr. Rochester continued blind the first two years of our union; perhaps it was that circumstance that drew us so very near—that knit us so very close: for I was then his vision, as I am still his right hand.  Literally, I was (what he often called me) the apple of his eye.  He saw nature—he saw books through me; and never did I weary of gazing for his behalf, and of putting into words the effect of field, tree, town, river, cloud, sunbeam—of the landscape before us; of the weather round us—and impressing by sound on his ear what light could no longer stamp on his eye.  Never did I weary of reading to him; never did I weary of conducting him where he wished to go: of doing for him what he wished to be done.  And there was a pleasure in my services, most full, most exquisite, even though sad—because he claimed these services without painful shame or damping humiliation.  He loved me so truly, that he knew no reluctance in profiting by my attendance: he felt I loved him so fondly, that to yield that attendance was to indulge my sweetest wishes.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The "Words of Wisdom" Notebook

I have learned (throughout my extensive lifetime ;-) that there are two kinds of people who I meet. Those who produce good, genuine fruit and those who do not. I really like the first. I like people who, however flawed, I can count on to show me exactly what Christ living in human vessels looks like; people who speak, act, and live in a manner worthy of praise. Of course, many of these dear folks have their quirks, their fears, and their failures. But they are good--because they have met the living Savior and reflect His grace continually.

For a wedding present, Dalton and I received a notebook filled with advice, encouragement, and exhortation on this thing called marriage. It is full of handwritten notes from a variety of friends and family--people like the ones I described above. I picked out some of my favorites--the ones which inspire me to think and a few which make me laugh.


Life and marriage is like the ocean! Sometimes the tide is in ... sometimes the tide is out! If you hang  in there and wait it out ... the tide will always come back in!! :)
Our advice would be to communicate, communicate, communicate. If that doesn't work(and lots of times it won't) love in spite of it. And then forgive.
Serve God above all else and you will not fail in serving each other the way He intends. 
Disagreements shouldn't be hidden from your children. If done respectively, they can see that even though people don't have the same thoughts or feelings, they can love one another and learn from each other.
Argue naked. ;-)
Never let the abundance of God's gifts cause you to forget the Giver.
The best stories ever told contain the phrase, "Don't tell _ _ _ _!"
Love like there is no tomorrow!
Find a way to serve the Lord together. Working to accomplish the same goal side by side makes strong bonds and great memories.
This is one of God's greatest gifts and one of His greatest mysteries as now you two become one; that is 1+1=1.
Let your joy in the Lord be your foundation each morning.
As you learn to increasingly honor your parents, now honor each other's parents as well. A long life is a fine thing. As you progress, what they have done and do will make more sense.
Renew your love for each other. Fifteen minutes a day, one day a week, and one week a year.
When all the newness has faded away, when you have found the great fault in your spouse that you can't live with, when their most precious trait reverses as they mature; then you must still openly give them your total loyalty and respect--honoring, loving, and adoring them in all you do. When others speak against them you stand by each other, closing your ears and heart to their words while remembering only how special you are to each other. Let your words and actions always build each other up and teach your children to respect and love your spouse. In other words, be best friends to each other.
"be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath."
Remember, Jacob didn't go with Esau because of the tenderness of the women and children. Men often think women are strong, and they are, but not as strong as men. Be her protector and friend.
If in a disagreement, don't take it to others to get other to side with you.
Both love and respect must be unconditional, not earned.  
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
:Don't forget the reason we are here in this earth.  It is so that we may know Him. (John 17:3) Everything else flows out of that. In everything that you do may you get to know Him more.
What do you think?
What bit of wisdom or encouragement has impacted your adventure of knowing Christ fully?
With love!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stinkin' Thinkin'

Lately, I've been battling the grouch-o-la. You know, the irrational, emotional ups and downs which like to blindside and attack the unassuming public? How surprised my husband must be when this sweet wife sprouts horns, blows smoke, and manages a snarl within every sentence--how tiresome!
"I haven't been feeling well," I say. "It's that time of month and well ... I woke with a headache and it's so hot and ..." The whine list goes on and on as I try to account for my unbalanced, damaging flare-ups.
But the truth is that I have been waiting all day to spew my venom. Not purposefully, of course. I would never prepare to verbally and emotionally bully anyone. But inwardly, my mind has been brewing over a stout mixture of ungrateful, discontent, and bitter thoughts. Stinkin' thinkin' at its finest.
You see, thoughts really do matter. I can pretend to be sweet and good and gentle and as long as every thing goes my way I'm pretty convincing. But the moment someone rocks my boat, asks too much, or wounds my delicate pride the real Frannie reveals herself. Reactions show the inner being; the natural person hiding behind the mask.
How can I change this terrible habit? How can I truly keep sweet ... always?
Practice thinking truth. Practice being content. Practice joy.
When someone cheats you refuse to practice bitter revenge; instead employ the art of meekness. If you feel left out or passed-over learn to give "thanks in everything." If your husband doesn't understand you negate giving into a sulky, self-pitying mindset. If insecurities won't leave you be, practice thinking the truth of who you are in Christ. Do it again. And again. And again.
Because practice makes perfect.
So endeavor to practice the right thing.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July: Goals and Favorites

Happy July, sweet people!

Can you believe that we are only months away from school beginning again? Or that we are five short months from Christmas time? (Oh, boy! I personally cannot wait for my first winter in the bungalow to begin ... hot chocolate, snow, Christmas lights glistening in the cold downtown air, walking muffed hand in muffed hand with my beloved ... )

But before I get too far down dream alley I need to get some things done. So here are my goals and favorites for July.


o Paint the front door
I've been wanting to paint our front door for so long! I've been doing my research and cannot wait to get this project done.

0 Change last name
Hehehe ... I'm not technically, legally, Mrs. Frannie Anne Duncan ... yet. I had a small misunderstanding of the legal process of changing one's maiden name which has created a big mishap in applying for college this semester. Need to get that resolved.

o Visit the zoo
Yes! It is on our to-do list. (Funny how you need to schedule such things.) I cannot wait to visit the St. Louis zoo next weekend, Lord willing!

0 Clean basement
Our dryer doesn't have a vent for it to ... vent itself. The poor, ancient creature deposits the collected lint along the ceilings, wall, and floor of our basement. You can imagine what horrors the lint-webs create.

0 Finish one library book
I have been loving our library. I hope to finish Country Living's Simple Country Wisdom this month -- I highly recommend this lovely book!

0 Make and freeze homemade hot pockets
I found a delicious recipe for homemade hot pockets. D loves them and I plan on making plenty and freezing them for quick, yummy lunches.


0 "Old Pine" by Ben Howard
Any time I am needing something calming and nostalgic to listen to I click on this song. So many good memories associate with it!

0 Fourth of July Carnival
D and I are so excited to spend some of tomorrow and Saturday night at the carnival so neatly squatting just a few blocks from us. I am planning a special blog post about this special day/event--keep an eye out!

0 Scrabble
Recently, D and I have been spending the evenings in an instance game of Scrabble or chess having a blast! We set the stakes high. Last time, the winner was to receive a special date day from the other. Dalton won (like always!) and the dear heart split the reward and we had two date days for each other! What an amazing husband I have!!

0 "Rejoice in the Lord" and "In every thing give thanks"
These bits of Scripture have inspired so many moments and days of peace, true joy, and happiness. I have notice how rejoicing in the Lord and giving thanks in everything seems to turn the worst days and hardest times into the best, most happiest of days. The joy of the LORD really is strengthening! How good He is!

0 Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Oh. My. Yum. Sometimes D and I enjoy a special treat and walk to Central Dairy--our local ice cream shop. Now, when I say walk I don't just mean around the corner. Its quite a few blocks away, cross a highway, and fin-daggle your way through the older, German area of Jefferson City. But oh, it is worth it. I love getting the waffle cone jammed full of birthday cake delight!

0 Skype
For the last month my dear sister and I have been enjoying our Skype visits. It has been such a special treat getting to actually see her developing pregnant belly and for me to show her my house even though we are separated by hundreds of miles!

Dear friends, what does July bring your way? I'd love to hear about your busy lives!
Love and blessings!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

House Show (And Other Little Events)

Life has begun to hum with the steady and rhythmic buzz of normality. Being married almost four months, we no longer have to purposefully call each other husband or wife as it seems we have always been married, the laundry gets done in a scheduled manner, and each day carries it's own particular meaning. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are our days off, Thursday is cleaning day, and the following tend to be spent in various projects.
Along with daily routine comes the fun fact that our little home is looking more and more homey--something we both really enjoy. I thought you might enjoy a small peek into our little apartment and see what progress has been doing. (From left to right :-)

1. Come in! I love our front porch and enjoy sitting in our (hehehe ... totally free, curb-side find) chairs. As you step into our living room you'll see a bookcase full of books, our new (and much comfier!) couches, and a super fun coffee table snagged from the aisle of the local Goodwill. :)
2. Next, you will walk into the dining room full of light, and air and space. :) My mother's baking rack (passed down) sits on the side of the wall holding a few books, kitchen nick-nacks, and our fish, Basket. The fourth picture shows the wall facing back into the living room. My favorite wall! The Duncan picture over head was a thoughtful wedding present and I love the way it looks! 
3. I love our kitchen! So much like a little hobbit hole. :) Not much has changed in here from the last update except some organization behind the scenes. The last photo hides one of sweetest of rooms in the house. Our sunroom had been buried in boxes and knick-nacks. After many weeks of weeding-out things we no longer needed, packing some away, and finding places for the rest it began to look livable. Our Craigslist furniture find resulted in buying a set of couches--one in the living room and the other in here. I always like drinking my coffee in this little area. :) So fun!

It has been so much fun settling in--who knew it would take a few months? Dalton and I really treasure his days off. I try to join him and let all domestic duties and pursuits take a rest as we enjoy going about the city together.
1. Last week we went to see How to Train Your Dragon. A film we both really enjoyed!
2. Sometimes we travel outside of Jeff City. Last month we toured Columbia's downtown (super fun!), stuffed ourselves with soup and breadsticks at Olive Garden (thanks to a lovely couple's wedding gift!), and explored the one of the college campus' gardens. Dalton is sneaking his signature on an oblivious person. ;-)
3. Making lists, to-do's, and budget plans! I'm a list-making fool ... and can't get enough of it. Now to finish my lists ...
4 - 5. We had such a good time when my cousin and brother came to visit. I was so blessed to have their company and we had lots of fun walking downtown, touring the capital building, playing in the fountains, and trudging through the Missouri river's muddy banks.
6. A dear friend gave us this chalkboard and I have so much fun changing it from time to time. Chalkboards always add so much personality to its home.
Thanks so much for your love and encouragement! I love having friends all over the world who are so sweet as to share in my little bits of joy!
God bless you richly!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

DIY Fourth of July!

Hello, sweet friends!
My, it has been too long since I tried my hand at blogging. It's just that I have so many ideas floating around in my mind but am having the hardest time penning them down. :)
Last weekend, my dear mom came for a visit. What a blessing it was! It was so sweet enjoying her company, showing her our little home's progress, and spending hours some time in a local antique shop.
She also had the great idea of making these adorable Forth of July fabric balls. They were super easy (and affordable) to make. I plan on switching out the fabric pieces according to the season ... how fun is that?
All you need is fabric of your choice (we bought three different pieces at 1/2 a yard), scissors, sewing pins, and Styrofoam balls. We simply cut the fabric into 1/2 inch strips and pulled the pieces around the balls, pinning them in place. Add some twine for a special, super cute touch!
Thank you, Mom, for the lovely visit ... and for my new dining table attraction! ;-)
Off to an essential oils class!
With love to you,