My Theme for 2016 // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

Hello sweet people and welcome back for coffee and Friday conversation. I *love* Fridays with you because the post and your comments are what this blog is really about — growing closer to our Lord together! 🙂

My theme word for 2016 is delight. I’m learning to live out my life moments and responsibilities with an attitude of delight. I’m learning to make room in my heart for delight.

What does that mean practically?

I’m taking delight in reading God’s Word every morning … and taking delight in confessing my heart to Him.

I’m forming new habits of thought. When tempted to despair over my fallen human condition I’ve been delighting in speaking truth to my heart: You are a child of God and you don’t have to work to be His.

I’m taking the time I need to break the cycle of perfectionism in my life. Meaning, I’m learning to be realistic when I make my daily to-do lists and delighting in the truth that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

I’m pursuing my husband’s heart with new vigor because I am making my desire to bless him my delight and not my duty.

I’m discovering new adventures, new friends and new opportunities because I’m facing life with a get-to attitude vs. a have-to attitude.

And, most importantly, I’m teaching my heart to view my relationship with God with delight. I’m learning to rest in His redemptive work and ability (and want to) to sanctify me. I’m also learning to observe the truth that it delights His heart when I delight in Him.

It’s really as simple as that. Life becomes less stressful, less to-do list driven when I remember that God delights in me and my delight in Him. I am loved, I am wanted and I am delighted in by my Heavenly Father, His Son and His Spirit.

Isn’t that something worth delighting in? 🙂

What’s your theme or word for 2016? How has it impacted your year already? Are you growing or maintaining spiritually this year? I would love to hear your heart so I can pray for it.

With so much love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Five Signs of a Good Man

5 Signs of a Good Man

I love lists and matchmaking is no exception. For years I imagined my perfect man would be tall, brown-eyed and owning his own business by the time he was twenty-five. We’d farm, throw out the tv and sell our belongings to buy the plane tickets to become oversea missionaries.

You can imagine my surprise when God sent the opposite my direction. Now, 20 months into one glorious, beautiful marriage with my best friend, I’m so thankful I wasn’t allowed to hand-pick my man.

Because, #tbh, I would have married at least five different blokes before I made up my mind. 😉

Marriage has taught me a few things and today I want to share five signs of a good man.  The list is extremely simple and exceptionally old fashioned but I’ve found that simple is most often best — even in marriage.

Visible Love for the Lord

Before you ever say “yes” to a first date check the guy out. (And I don’t mean his bod, gals.) 😉 Check his life out. Ask his friends, authorities and family questions about who he is. Take the time to see if his profession of Christianity is fruitful; does his life speak of a genuine love for the Lord? This is the time to play detective, girls.
Before my Beloved ever asked me out I listened closely to what others said of him. I asked questions. I took a look into his reputation. The results encouraged me to allow Dalton to pursue me — everyone said that he was quiet with a quirky personality and that he was known for being hardworking, dedicated to purity, pursuing Christ and filled with a generous soul.
I definitely liked what I heard! 😉
Humility
I never knew how integral humility was until my Husband apologized to me for the first time. Immediately I sensed that he was far more concerned with loving me than his pride.
Ladies, you will be marrying a man who will sin (even if he’s your Prince Charming!). Look for a man who is willing to confess his sins to the Lord and ask your forgiveness when he’s wronged you.
Now, I’m not talking about looking for a man you can manipulate into saying he’s sorry for any thing. I mean finding a man who is serious enough and humble enough to recognize that he needs his Savior every day and who acknowledges that he makes mistakes.
Humor
This may seem like a petty thing to look for but it’s a lifesaver! Schedules can be exhausting and days are long. Look for someone who will laugh with you even when life feels like it’s swallowing you up.
Of course no two senses of humor are alike but finding a man who can pray with you one moment and then dance the tango with you next is a delightful treat.
Honesty
So. Important.
Finding a man who is brave and loving enough to speak the truth is a true treasure. I love that I can rest in knowing that Dalton and I have no secrets and that his word is solid. I mean, I value his word more than buckets of gold. He’s proven himself true … even when it hurts.
Of course, an honest man will not always say what people want him to hear; however, I’ve found that a man who speaks the truth because he is loving and honest will never intend to bring harm with his words. He will simply speak the truth gently and confidently.
Work Ethic
Finally, one last quality I believe marks a good man is a strong work ethic. Look for a man who not only works to provide but who enjoys working for works sake. This looks different for all men and may take time as they discover their talents and skills. However, finding a man who chooses to joyfully provide for his family is an awesome thing!
Authentic Virtue Blog // Martin Luther Marriage Quote

 

I by no means want this to become “your checklist” or guide in relationships — please don’t do that! Instead I want to bless you with a bit of insight on five things that make marriage really tick.

I know I have been extraordinarily blessed by these five traits and praise God He sent me such a gem for a husband.

What do you think makes a good man? If you’re married tell us what trait you found delightful in your husband!

With love, blessings and coffee!

Frannie

photo credit belongs to the beautiful Amelia Protiva Photography

 

November Thoughts

“It was November – the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines.” — L.M. Montgomery

Ah … sweet November. It’s the time of open windows, cold nights and falling leaves. The following weeks are buzzing with busyness as I expect visitors, organize a book fair and soak up the last of fall’s goodness. You each have blessed me immeasurably with your comments and kindness — thank you. I feel much better and am finding much strength in the joy of my Lord and the loving-kindness of those around me.

How are you celebrating your early days of November?

Much love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

♥ p.s. for photo credit please click on the pictures.

A Monday Moment // Blogging Break

Autumn

Things will be quiet around here — the leaves, cold evenings and desire for country-side are calling me and I cannot say no. As I spend evenings playing games, mornings drinking coffee and moments relaxing in the presence of loved ones I’ll also be dreaming of new posts, new adventures and new challenges.

In the mean time I hope you can find a cozy, old blanket, a cup of hot something and enjoy these few fall time favorites of mine.  These beautiful links lead to a lot of refreshment and Autumn relaxation for me — and for you I wish the same.

For the Musical Folk

For the Cottage-loving Souls

For the Readers

For the Pinterest-People

For the Nostalgic

With much love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

 

When You’re Faced with Conflict and Hate Being Responsible: Conflict Resolution Memoirs

I hate arguing. It really is the pits. Throughout my timid life I’ve settled most of life’s conflicts by keeping my peace, ducking my head and resolving to get over whatever irked me.

Thankfully, living 24/7 with a loving, albeit stubborn, man requires me to grow-up and mature in the conflict resolution arena.

So, here are my bits of advice for resolving conflict thoroughly and lovingly. Take whatever you can from my meager words; I’m still learning.

  1. Relationships = Opportunity for Bitterness

Knowing that you can become bitter is the first step in choosing not to. No matter the size of the conflict (think “she keeps clanging her spoon in the cereal bowl” small to “we can’t agree on family size” big) there will be opportunities for you as an individual to grow angry, bitter and hurt over the situation. I think acknowledging that we can or will be hurt is a step worth knowing because only then can you move onto step two …

2.  Opportunity for Bitterness = Opportunity for Empathy

When we’re faced with conflict I’ve discovered that a major step toward reconciliation is being empathetic. Empathy, according to the Webster Dictionary, means “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated.”

In other words, to put yourself the other person’s moccasins. In the long-term scheme of things it doesn’t really matter how I feel about so-and-so’s irritating complaint. Instead of belittling their feelings or opinion it is more useful to put myself in their shoes (even if they seem ridiculous). Only when we decide to see their complaint from their eyes will we be ready for step 3.

3. Empathy = Chance for Resolution

Real, life-giving reconciliation involves taking responsibility for our actions and the impact they had (even when we did not intend for the impact to occur). To illustrate I’ll tattle on myself and my struggle with punctuality (it’s a family curse). Let’s say I’ve worked 15 minutes later then planned finishing an awesome library display and, therefore, am 15 minutes late picking up D from his 10 hour shift.

Most likely my Man will be a little irate. From experience the following situations become possible (okay, all of these scenarios have happened).  I could:

A) Offer a myriad of excuses instead of a genuine “I’m sorry for being irresponsible and making you wait for my lack of planning.” Excuses will most likely look like “Well, you’ve been late picking me up before so we’re even …”

B) Become irritated with my Man’s lack of patience and  grow impatient with his irritation. Situations like this most likely end up with a cold, silent ride home. :/

C) Take responsibility for not being punctual but accuse D of also falling short of true patience and understanding.

D) Take responsibility for not being punctual and for causing feelings of frustration in a normally calm, patient man who is simply ready to take his boots off and eat dinner at the agreed upon time.  Putting myself in my Man’s shoes (being empathetic) will allow me to be patient with his impatience and grace-filled with his momentary grumpiness. Instead of a cold ride home there will be open communication and trust will continue to be built between two sinners who need each other more than they know.

4) Resolution = Growing in Individual Maturity and Opportunity for Relationship Growth

When we choose to be empathetic, responsible and grace-filled we choose both individual and relationship growth. We choose opportunities to develop deeper bonds, richer trust and increased wisdom. We love our neighbor as ourselves and honor our relationships.

Because it’s like my mom always said, “You can only be responsible for yourself.”

And that my friend is a beautiful thing.

Are you an avoider, an arguer or an avid resolution maker? How have you discovered to peacefully and fully resolve conflict (both big and small)? Share your ideas with us … I’d love to know!

With lots of love and coffee,

Frannie