2020: Being Purposeful this Year

Delicious dinner smells greeted the tired, work-worn husband as he entered the front door; it was good to be home. Soon, the little family gathered around the set table and spoke blessings to each other and thanks to the Lord for the good meal. The wife was neat and cheerful and the light of the house — home was her artwork and because of her attention and care it was everyone’s sanctuary.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Well, I’m the first to say this isn’t my reality. I’m hear to confess something to you wonderful readers … I cut corners. Somewhere along my route of wife to mother I stopped treating my role as artwork and it’s become more about my survival.

And that’s okay. Between a difficult pregnancy, bedrest, NICU and PICU experiences, being away from my house for 9 months (and not needing to cook one meal during that time), tending to and toting around medical equipment, and the effects of postpartum I’ve needed to cut corners.

And mama, you will too. It’s okay to accept that we don’t always bounce back after giving birth; becoming a mother changes us and all change takes time.

For me, almost 3 years after having Uriah, I feel that I’m just now coming out of the exhausted, overwhelmed season that left me pummeled.

One way that motherhood changed me is that it’s changed the way I do life.

I think we all have a certain amount of space, and quite honestly, care to give in a day. Before having Uriah, I had lots of creative space to partial out to my areas of responsibility — cooking, cleaning, keeping home, serving others, loving my husband all got a fair share of my brainwaves.

After pregnancy all my creative space, brainwaves, and care became focused on two areas: Uriah (his thriving and medical needs) and my survival.

In an effort to keep my sanity during these last three years I’ve focused so much on the essentials … ventilators, trach plugs, medical supplies, and doctor appointments. Since I have to be walking in order to do those things I’ve also been focusing on myself — what’s easiest to help me keep going in as a mother. (Cookies, cakes, coffee, Target … 😉 )

Everything else suffered. Laundry piled up, blog posts stopped being written, showers happened less, and dinners were more like leftovers or take out.

This year, 2020, I proclaim to be my year of purposefulness. This is the year I stop eating all the cookies and take better care of my body (after all, I’m turning 30 this month). This is the year I stop binging on Gilmore Girls and Friends (could I be any more pathetic?). 😉 This year, I am choosing to not do all the things but to practice the art of caring.

I want to craft, love, pray, read, mother and wife more deeply. This is the year I try to crawl out of the hole of survival and into the light of living.

What’s your 2020 goal?

Why I Love the Roloff’s Podcast

I LOVE BEHIND THE SCENES PODCAST.

Every Tuesday Audrey and Jeremy Roloff release a podcast episode and I’m always ready to tune in, coffee in hand. It took me a while to jump on board with the whole podcast fanfare but this one is definitely a favorite for this year.

I don’t know about you but I tend to look at those with successful ministries, Instagrams, and published books and murmur and sigh … if only I had more talent if only I had a followingif only I had connections

(Pathetic, right?) 😉

Seeing other’s live their dreams and produce content inspires me but it also scares me; insecurity and fear whisper menacingly,

” … they’re meant to minister because they obviously have something you don’t. You’ll never be able to minister like them so why try?”

And that’s why I love the Roloff’s podcast — they share real life and all the messy bits. Behind the laptop screen, Instagram numbers, and published books are two people who are doing the hard work. They don’t have everything figured out; they have messy schedules, unfinished projects, arguments, roses and thorns in their everyday life.

The episodes are super practical which is perfect for me. So far, they’ve talked about forming family rhythms and habits, working with your spouse, entrepreneurial projects, and knowing your personality and using it for God’s glory. (Since I dream of working alongside D one day, I find so much of it inspiring!)

Since I consider motherhood, marriage, and blogging part of my calling and ministry, I love hearing from others about what has and hasn’t worked for them; so far, I haven’t listened to an episode that didn’t leave me some nugget of wisdom to cling to. (I also laugh a lot since they’re so easy to relate too!)

What’s some of your favorites this year? Do you have any favorite podcasts? Leave me a comment below and I’ll try to check it out!

Happy listening!

Frannie

Doing Life for the Glory of God

There are a million successful blogs so why would anyone want to hear from me? 

It’s a question I’ve been pondering for a long time — an insecurity hidden deep in my heart keeping me from productivity and writing. See, I love to write and I love connecting with people. Part of my ministry as a stay-at-home wife and mom is that I’m blessed with time — time to share, invite, write, and connect with other women and moms. 

But how do I compete? How do I beat the algorithms, master the SEOs, and write regularly enough that I get noticed but not so much that I burn out and need a 3 month hiatus? 

I don’t. At least, that’s not what I’m called to do. 

I’m called to be loving wife and attentive mommy; I’m called to connect with people and be hospitable. I’m called to minister by being mommy, wife, and friend — not by being the best on Instagram or Pinterest. 

I’m called to do life “heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” I’m called to obey “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Whatever I do — change diapers, wash dishes, host guests, or write words — all needs to be for the glory of God. No cares need to be given on the reception. I mean, I love to write so why not write? And if someone notices then great because I also love to help and inspire too. And if I never make an income blogging or grow my following then that’s great too.

Because there’s fulfillment in doing what you love for the glory of God and leaving the results to Him. There’s joy in doing a job well done because you’re called to do so — more joy than competition can ever bring. 

So, here’s to do life for the glory of God. Cheers to all the women who are choosing to focus on their current ministry for God’s glory, not for the likes, the pins, or the shares — tell me how you do it so I can learn from you! 

Love, blessings, and coffee, 

Frannie

5 of my Favorite Instagram Accounts

Right now, I’ve got five favorite Instagram accounts that I look forward to seeing every morning during my coffee time. Somewhere in between Uriah waking up and quiet time with my Lord, I take time to catch up with these lovely people and am never disappointed. 

Kristy Wicks 

Kristy’s account is a daily joy to me. It’s all about home, decor, and family. Her style is slightly upscale from my shabby-chic cottage theme but I love her generous spirit and happy, contentment that splashes through her gorgeous site. 

That Mama Hen

Ah, me. Angel is a sweet friend of mine who makes my heart so happy every time she posts. Her work centers around motherhood but incorporates a lot of themes from conquering ovarian cancer, Christian life, and adorable farm-styled decor. 

The Bethkes

Alyssa and Jeff Bethke really shine in inspiring and encouraging families to look to Jesus and follow Him. I really love their fun, candid pictures and their deep, faith-rooted conversations they have in their posts and comments. I’ve just started listening to their podcast if that tells you how much I care for their work. 

Beating 50% (Audrey + Jeremy Roloff)

I’m pretty much a fan of all of Audrey’s accounts but I’m an even bigger fan of her faith and effort to encourage women to remember the always more that is available to them in Christ. They also have an amazing heart for marriages which I love since that is my number one passion! 

Anna Rendell 

So, Anna’s work is basically my favorite because it is honest, funny, and totally down-to-earth when it comes to motherhood. My favorite part of the week is when she shares #RealMomConfessions which tend to round-up several women who are happy to share their mishaps and find they’re not alone. She just published a new devotional and I can’t wait to get my hands on it one day. 

Do you ever stumble across someone and just know that they are speaking life into your world? I love social media because it connects us to tribes we ordinarily would never come across — people who bring us joy, inspiration, and encouragement. Who do you follow? Drop their name below and I’ll visit them! And check out my Instagram for daily doses of cuteness. 😉

Love, blessings, and coffee, 

Frannie

Making Sense of our Medically-Complex Adventure

Every once in a while I get to see the why’s behind our story. Last week, Uriah had a difficult 4 days following an intense and lengthy bronchoscopy. What was supposed to be same-day surgery became a 3 day PICU admission, a manual bagging, low SATS, three trach plugs, steroids for inflammation, and exhaustive hours spent watching my amazing active boy sleep restlessly and his SATS dance higher than I like.

He’s still recovering from his intense procedure but he is recovering and that is a blessing.

But, as a parent watching her child struggle, there are moments when I wonder why. Why us? Why does Uriah have to struggle? Why the difficulties? Why, why, why?

Tonight, as I cried my little cry, I looked at the stars and saw my favorite constellation … Orion. Long ago, when I was a teen and life felt so big, God so mysterious, and my purpose meaningless I made a pact that whenever I saw Orion I would choose to remember that the same God Who created those stars and has kept them in their place for centuries is the same God Who made and loves me.

And some 10 + years later those same stars greeted me on a night when I wondered why. Why does my son have to work so hard for everything? Why does a simple procedure have to become a threatening, code blue situation? How in the world do normal families function … what is it like to not have to worry about ventilator heaters, trach plugs, suctioning, oxygen SATS, tube feeds, and milestones? Why, why, why?

But then I remembered Uriah’s strength. I remembered his smiles, the silly toothy grins he gives us. My mind wandered over his latest milestone accomplishments — tummy crawling, scooting, saying Momma and Dadda, pursing his lips to whistle, a Swallow Study that showed no primary aspiration, sitting with almost no assistance. These are amazing things for a little boy like Uriah; he is literally a crawling, talking, smiling, scooting, happy miracle and every day, every accomplishment, makes those hard times worthwhile.

Then, there are the random emails I get from young mothers going through PPROM, miscarriages, and extreme fear in their pregnancies. These are the emails thanking me for reminding their authors that God is good, caring, and there in their troubles. These are the emails that make sense of my misdiagnosed miscarriage and all the other horrible aspects of my pregnancy.

And after a few moments reflecting on all this I am reminded, once again, that all life makes sense if I am thankful. And I have SO much to be glad for! For an amazing son who loves me, loves his Daddy, and loves life. For a husband who loves his family with everything in him. For milestones that doctors said would never come. For a home to keep and make memories in.

Though I still wish I could snap my fingers and help Uriah be completely healthy and free from support I am so thankful for where we are at. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t change a thing  because this life we are living is worth every hardship. I know those sentences conflict with each other but it is true … our life would never be this special, this unique, and this bonding if I could change it.

How do you make sense of the hard things in your life? Are there any special ways God reveals Himself in the mess?

 

Frannie