Saturday, April 5, 2014

My Misunderstandings of the Character of God


As a Christian have you ever felt dried out, broken or bitter toward God when following His will and Word is difficult to do or at least feels like it?

            I have.
            Until I was struck with a very important, life-changing idea.
            God is love and He loves it when I obey Him.
            See, I had a very misconstrued concept of who my Abba Daddy was. Even though I proclaimed God to be a loving Father I saw Him as a displeased, distant judge. Even though I knew He was the Good Shepard I believed His hands were the heavy-handed kind, not given to the gentle touch I often need.
            I haven’t always had this view of the character of God but lately I have struggled with huge amounts of condemnation, fear, and doubt. I knew I loved God but felt like I didn’t feel love. And sadly, when I don’t feel something I often have a hard time doing it even if it is the right thing. Besides, if God is a severe ruler who will not be pleased, why try? I’ve had employers who would not be pleased with my best efforts; their attitude made even the most pleasant tasks unenjoyable and difficult to follow through with. I felt like God resembled those same employers … and it made me want to quit.
            Thankfully, God changed my view. I have been reading through Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling and came across a very powerful page which read,
            “Relax in My healing presence. As you spend time with Me [God], your thoughts tend to jump ahead to today’s plans and problems. Bring your mind back to Me for refreshment and renewal. Let the Light of My Presence soak into you as you focus your thoughts on Me. Thus I equip you to face whatever the day brings. This sacrifice of time pleases Me and strengthens you. Do not skimp on our time together. Resist the clamor of tasks waiting to be done. You have chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from you.”
            I realized, quite suddenly, that God could be pleased. Even before I was born He loved me. He had called me out of this world to be His daughter … surely, He wouldn’t show such care if He in fact did not care. And while my own good works were not enough to deliver me from death His were. Thank the Lord He does not see my own efforts but Jesus Christ’s, the Son of God who died and rose again for me! Not only has He delivered me from the power of sin but He has given me work to do and He is pleased by my obedience and love! What a good God we serve!
            I know that these concepts are very basic. But if you are one of God’s people who struggle with condemnation and even anger with the difficulty in obeying God’s commands then realizing that He truly loves you and cares for you can make His ways light and a delight to do.
                        With so much love!
                                    Frannie

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Did you hear?

p..s.
I started a wee Tumblr blog recently. I’ve found sharing day-to-day life is much easier this way, along with the ba-zillion of cat and coffee related pictures which seem to find their way onto my screen. So, if you’re interested in something a little different head on over.


Lord willing, this site will continue in all it's profound regularity. It's content might even get better ... wouldn't that be exciting?
 
 
With a happy heart,
Frannie

April :: Goals and Favorites

The heartiest of hellos to you, sweet friends. Currently, I am cuddling in my favorite sea-colored blanket, with coffee in mind, and great music in the background. The current rain storms we’re getting and the lovely (though surprising) pops of colors from the local greenery has me feeling alive and ready to accomplish big things. How appropriate then that Amelia should post her goals and favorites this month and invite others to join in too! J So here I go, sharing my goals and favorites for this month.

Goals

Read through the book of John … twice :: D and I have been watching The Gospel of John and I really enjoy reading Scripture with it.

Stick to our set budget/meal ideas :: We’ve come up with a workable budget and I’m excited to apply it

3. Have thank-you cards written and ready to be sent at the end of the month

4. Basement brigade :: Wash down the ceiling, walls, and back room of basement (Tentative to the availability of teammate and beloved, D) J

5. Prune rose bush, put in (tiny) herb garden, and maybe get pot-garden in :: And blog about the results

6. Wash/dress-up mailbox

7. Order transcripts :: I am so thankful I am able to continue attending college—praying I am accepted to the nearby school

8. Finish pantry :: This includes putting in nails in order to hang pots and reorganizing

9. Remove paint from kitchen window

10. Bake cookies and pass around J :: Using the recipe and ingredients given by a clever wedding guest!

 Favorites

Daffodils and cherry blossoms are blooming :: We are thoroughly enjoying the lovely blossoms which make our home seem cherry and fresh

Our new coffee mugs a sweet friend gave :: “You’re my cup of tea” and “I like you a latte” are the cutest sayings ever to find their way on coffee cups

Meeting new friends  :: In special, God-decreed ways!

Having family over :: Last week some of our family and friends came for a visit bringing our wedding presents along with them. We had so much fun opening gifts, eating Chinese, touring the capital, and just enjoying each other’s company.

Being married :: Yes, this is one takes the cake J


I’d love to hear your goals for this month--join the fun and share!

With lots of love and blessings,
Frannie

Monday, March 31, 2014

Late Nights at the Duncan House

 A happy hello to each of you! I hope this finds you well—rejoicing in the peace and joy of the Lord! The last two days I have enjoyed the sunshine (and rain) with my sweetheart. Him having two nights off gives wonderful freedom to explore our city, catch up on sleep, work on house projects, and simply enjoy spending the day together.

But what exactly goes on when my mister leaves the house for work at 10:30 p.m.? Whatever occurs in the wee hours of morning while I await D’s homecoming? Since Dalton and I are purposing to be on a similar schedule I spend my evenings in all sorts of ways. Let me share some with you. 

Computer Work
                          

Welcome to my office! Here I perform a myriad of tasks ranging from creating/implementing a household budget ( S U P E R  fun!), investigate options for insurance, internet and the likes, search for husband birthday ideas (it’s coming up and you know … I’ve never had a husband to throw parties for. It’s kind of a new thing ;), create grocery lists, to-do lists, and random blog post lists.
Oh, I also spend a lot of time here and here and here. Ooops.

 Craigslist-ing
Although searching Craigslist is considered computer related this pastime deserves its own paragraph. Hours of searching/replying/crying over unnoticed bids occurr in my solitude. However, I am thankful that these pictures demonstrate the results of watching over the furniture section like a buzzard over road kill. We were blessed to find a sofa and love seat for $130 and the cutest bench table for $100. Both in good condition!
                                      



Cooking and Cleanting
(a shout out to Madea)

The house is abuzz with all sorts of projects once eleven o’clock strikes. Cabinets come off hinges and are painted, pantries wiped out, floors mopped, bathrooms sanitized, and occasionally meals get prepared for. This yummy dish can be found here and was filled with turkey and cheese (blue for him, cheddar for her). J

                                      

 Quiet Time

The quiet moments of evening prove lovely for listening to music, reading, and writing. My current favorites include re-playing "Attaboy," reading God's words in Psalms and Proverbs as well as re-reading my copy of Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl.

Overall, the favorite pursuits of my current third shift is working with the budget and taking time to read. I know these slow yet busy days will not always last so I want to be as patient, thankful, and productive with them as possible.
Have any of you tried to maintain a weird schedule? I’d love to hear about it!
Your nightowl of a friend,
Frannie

Sunday, March 23, 2014

When You're the Best of Friends

 
I hope I don't make ya'll sick with marriage posts ... I promise, I'll do my best not to.
 
But can I just say how much fun it is?
 
Laundry is more fun when it's his socks.
 
Walking is more fun when you're together because you both wave at the neighbors.
 
Washing windows is more fun because there is someone on the other side you blow a kiss to.
 
Cooking breakfast is more fun because you know that no matter how badly you burn the toast he will still eat it with a grin.
 
Even sending him off to work is more fun (even though it isn't) because you know he'll be back tomorrow, with a big, toothy smile, ready to conquer the next day with you.
 
Thank you God for making marriage so beautiful. You are good and gracious and kind. Bless our days and give us the wisdom on how to glorify you best with them.
 
Your cheesy, happy friend,
Frannie
 
P.S.
Tomorrow, we go to look at a couch. Eeeee! :)
 
P.S.S.
Soon I'll post pictures of our wee home.
 
P.S.S.S.
Please keep in prayers some dear friends of mine. Pray for God's astounding peace and joy to be upon them.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

This Thing Called Marriage

:: Cinnamon water, black coffee, and matching plates of omelets and pita bread for brunch. A happy hello from the Duncans! ::


Hello dear friends!

Wow … can you believe that I am actually, truly, for the rest of my life, married?

Sometimes I myself forget. J

But before I get lost in some confusing blog post let me tell you something ...

Marriage is wonderful!

I love waking up next to my best friend every day. Talking budget with him. Learning how to communicate and share my/our feelings better. Discussing how our parents are doing. Encouraging him. Showing him what I’ve been doing while he is away at work. Strolling through town with him. Greeting him at the door. It really has been a blast—and something I pray lasts for many more years to come.

There have been many (hilarious, conflicting, amazing) adjustments to make since I became Mrs. Duncan two weeks ago. Let me list them:

1) It is okay that I’m sleeping with … gulp … a man.

            I know, I know. “Get with the program, Frannie. You’re married so of course you’ll sleep with a man.” ;-) But really. This has been an adjustment and one I am pondering and plan to write more on in the future. J

2) WHO AM I?

            Marriage has turned my world around and for the better. But there are some moments when I stop and ponder the big questions in life. Who am I now that I’m married? What am I supposed to do with myself? Who do I answer to?

            Of course I know the answers to these questions. I’m still Frannie. Yet, marriage has altered my course of life drastically. You see, I think I was prepared for the idea of marriage and not the reality. I have spent many years happily single, enjoying the freedom singleness gives, and knowing exactly who (and how) I wanted to please. The day after our wedding I sat in bed and asked my beloved husband the silliest of questions, “Who am I now, Dalton? What do I do with myself?” Thankfully, my tenderhearted, gentle man didn’t laugh at my quandary and the huge wave of reality that washed over me. Instead, he gave me encouragement to start slow and see where God takes me in this new adventure of wifehood.

            Thankfully, God is still the same God now that I’m married as He was when I was single; He knew I would go through an unforeseen identity crisis, He foresaw that I would wrestle with what I was to do next, He understood that my rule-loving, schedule-abiding heart would need reminders of His faithfulness. Most importantly, He understood my heart way before I did.

3) The wait-till-two-flush-rule

            J It isn’t a rule but I find it humorous how my tidy, thrifty stud of a husband likes to save money by waiting till the second potty run to flush the toilet.

4) Signing my name as Frannie Duncan

            Having now become an “official adult,” I’ve thrown myself into all sorts of adult-like interests (i.e. researching renters insurance, internet company quotes, homemade cleaners, Craigslist furniture searches, calling stale bank ladies who seem to hate answering the phone …). Being grownup is really quite entertaining. And signing all the documents and email signups with my new last name has proven to be a hassle some days.

            p.s. I’m being sarcastic when I say that being married now equals adulthood. I’ve always felt that that was how the world viewed me but I can honestly say that marriage does not “grow you up” or make one feel validated. It is wonderful and lovely but it is not what makes a girl a woman or a boy a man. That’s what character and maturity is for.

5) Living with neighbors … for better or for worse

            Most of my life has been lived in rural, wooded areas with several acres in between homesteads. When describing his ideal place to live my dad puts it this way, “I need to be able to pee off my own porch without worrying about people … or else I just won’t worry about them.” J

Moving to Jefferson City with Dalton has been one of the most thrilling adventures yet. I adore this city. I love seeing the neat, brick homes lining the street and watching families sit on their porches after work. I like living within hearing distance of the train and church bells. And I thoroughly enjoy being able to walk downtown passing historical sites all the way to the capital. Dalton and I were especially excited when the empty apartment above our little home began to buzz when a new couple moved in. But after being jolted out of bed by the sound of a well-equipped boom box and later overhearing their relationship problems through the course of a yelling match I’ve been laughing over how little I now about living right next to neighbors. Hopefully, I’ll be making cookies for the new pair and, who knows, maybe our two families will stay in touch for the rest of our lives. J

            Needless to say, marriage has brought so many joys and blessings my way. I am so thankful God saw it fit to bring D and me together … and I am so glad I get to share this new adventure in life with you!

            With lots of love!

                        Frannie

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wedding Reflections

March 7th, 2014
 
12:30 p.m.
 
 
My sister, sister-in-law (or S.I.L. as I like to call her ;), and I gathered at my mother-in-law's beauty shop. I think having my new, second mom help me was a beautiful way to begin the day's preparations.

 

 
We arrived at the church around 2 o'clock and began getting dressed and taking pre-sighting pictures.


 

 

 

 
 
Bridesmaids!

 
 
My dear cousins who filled the whole weekend with laughter and joy.
 
 
Sibling shot


 
D and his handsome groomsmen

 
:: My beloved ::
(what a STUD!)

 
6:00 p.m.
 
 
 
:: Mom Number Two ::

 
:: Mom Number One ::
Marmee-dearest
 



 
My Papi and I


 
Love this shot
 


 
My marmee and daddy
 
 

 
7:15 p.m.
 

 
The reception took place at the nearby youth center which had been decorated the day before by
A M A Z I N G friends and family. It was beautiful.


 
Our favors

 
Loved our cake made by a dear friend
 

 
Mine and D's first dance as a wedded couple

 
Daddy and I



 
Dalton surprised his mom by requesting "Cotton Eyed Joe." As you can see, fun was had all around. :)
 

 
:: This isn't as easy as it looks ::
;-)


 
Looking back at my dear mother as we had off to our little home
 
. . .
 
 
In many ways it feels like I've been married for twenty years instead of the fresh one week today. Our wedding was wonderfully special. So many friends and family members pitched in and helped and on the day of the wedding I stood in shock, peeking from my hiding place, at all the people who came to celebrate our day.
 
I am very grateful for my friend Amelia Protiva from Simply Perky Photography and her assistant, Jessica. They were so incredibly wonderful and professional all while being warm and discreet.
I think their photos reflect the day so well.
 
I thank God for giving me to Dalton.
 
I also thank Him for answering our prayers and making our wedding one of peace and simple beauty--may He get all the glory!
 
With a happy, happy heart,
 
Frannie