Resting in Jesus Means Letting Him Refine Us // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

Ah … it’s a good day at the Duncan house. Coffee is poured, candles are lit and, best thing of all, my heart is finding a place to rest.

You’ve all been such gems listening to my worries and sending encouragement my way. Thank you. Thank you for being the Body of Christ and being such a good friends.

We went to our first ultrasound and saw our little one, all seven weeks and four days growth of him. We couldn’t hear the heartbeat but our midwife felt confident that baby’s positioning and size were marks of a healthy, growing baby.

Isn’t God good?

The funny thing was that I left the clinic still worried. It’s like my heart had become addicted to worrying because worry is the only thing I can control.

Dalton challenged me to do something different.

He challenged me to trust in God. To place my trust in His great goodness and love and power. He challenged me to rest in God’s care, let go of worry, and enjoy this time.

You know what? He’s right. He’s 100%, perfectly, wonderfully right. Giving up worry and control isn’t easy for me — I like holding the reins on my life. But I’m starting to suspect that the 2+ years of waiting to conceive and now disconcerting spotting aren’t accidents.

God is placing me in circumstances I wish I could control but can’t. As one friend said, “God has a way of allowing or giving us exactly what we need in our life to help refine us.” I think it’s time I let Him.

So, first step? I’m going to start celebrating Baby Duncan like he/she will be arriving December 28th instead of thinking of the worse possibilities. I’m going to start literally preparing for my little one. I’m going to start giving thanks for baby’s future instead of dreading what I fear is his/her present.

I’m going to have a friend over for coffee and cinnamon rolls and we’re going to laugh and celebrate our good God.

How are you going to start trusting God today?

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Dealing with Fear in Your First Trimester of Pregnancy

AuthenticVIrtue.com dealing with fear in your pregnancy

I wrote this on a rainy Sunday afternoon when my heart was overflowing with so many things. Some of the things were good like hope, expectation, good music and eyes lifted to the Lord. Other things were bad and revolved around fear, fear, fear and more fear.

I’ve always been open on this blog. Being authentic is part of being a piece of the body of Christ. I learn when I’m open and we all grow when we walk through life’s waves together. So I wrote this knowing I was in a safe place and that you’d let this new mommy share her concerns — it’s a safe place for all of us.

I’m six glorious weeks and six days deep into pregnancy. I’ve experienced mood swings, tender body parts, brief moments of nausea, and spotting.

Which is why I’ve been scared. I’ve read and reread articles which say spotting within the first trimester is nothing to be overly concerned with. I’ve been told it’s normal. But when you waited two plus years to conceive spotting seems to be a momentous occasion where I’m tempted to be afraid.

The day I wrote this I googled the line, “Verses for when you feel you have no faith.” I didn’t find anything worth reading. I felt like crying all over again but felt God calling me to open His Word. Phrases came pouring out from David’s heart.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” Psalms 46:1,2

Though I am spotting and my mind runs to worst case scenarios and I want to cry myself into the fetal position … God is my refuge, a very present help in trouble.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies …” Psalms 51:1

Even though I felt like I’m drowning in fear and know it’s no way for a Christian to behave … have mercy on me, Jesus, according to your loving-kindness and tender mercies.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and uphold me with Thy free spirit.” Psalms 51:9-12

Oh, Lord, my heart has been full of dark things when it should be trusting and rejoicing in you. Instead of living in your love and freedom I’m afraid of losing something precious to me. Create in me a clean heart and renew my spirit so I can have joy in my salvation again. Thank You that no matter what life sends our way we have a guarantee that Your Holy Spirit and Loving Person will never leave us.

These are the verses I needed two days ago because these verses apply to real life for the 2016, twenty-six year-old, first time mommies who wonder at every spot and cramp.

Life is scary whether you’re a young wife waiting to conceive, going through cancer treatments, dealing with a church split, facing a loved one’s passing, or trying to decide which major to pursue.

Life is scary but we have a real God and a loving, interceding Jesus Who walk us through these things.

Thank you for letting me be so open about my life. I love this blog and the community of women we’ve grown to be. I love that I can share my fears of being a first time mommy who is spotting while being crazy in love with Baby Duncan and privileged to be almost 7 weeks in.

It’s a glorious time that we’re eating up — and I’m over-the-moon excited for our first appointment this week to see what all this spotting is about (and hopefully hear baby’s heartbeat).

p.s. the spotting has gotten much better which is also something I’m over-the-moon about.

And while I wait, I want learn to be okay with the unknowns and enjoy fully the gift God has given me.

Because we’re not given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Pregnancy Update 6/26/16: In case you’ve missed out here is the post of when I was told I had miscarried Baby Duncan at 8 weeks and the post where we discovered the miscarriage was misdiagnosed at 9 weeks. Now, at 12 weeks, we’re waiting on the Lord while we pray for my subchorionic hematoma to heal and all the joy and fear that comes with that.

I thought these links may be helpful. <3 Love to you, reader!

Celebrating Baby Duncan

Celebrating at AuthenticVirtue.com

 “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalms 34:8

It’s true, sweet friends! Dalton and I are expecting our very own little one around December 28th. There’s so much I want to say but mostly we want to point toward our Abba Daddy, Who gives so many good gifts, and thank Him. We’re excited, in rapture, and full of joy. Two years of waiting has had its ups and downs but we know God does everything for a reason and I’m looking forward to celebrating this journey and enjoying it fully.

I hesitated sharing our news so early (I’m almost 7 weeks along) but this is something we have waited two years for and believe our little baby, however young and vulnerable, is worthy of great celebrations and massive amounts of confetti throwing! 🙂

(Can you tell we are over-the-moon excited?)

Be prepared for monthly baby-bump updates (I’ve always wanted to do those) 🙂 and new blog posts documenting my journey toward motherhood and all the lessons God will send me.

With love, blessings, (and a little less) coffee,

Frannie

Waiting for Babies: Part 3

It’s a snowy, gray day in March. A day made for inside activities, cocoa and good conversation.
But there’s something missing.
Or rather, someone.

Sweet reader, you’ve walked through my inner thoughts and learned about my love-hate relationship with children (hehehe …. that sounds so intense) and then discovered the beautiful (in progress) work God has done in my heart — I no longer fear having babies and instead find a growing desire for them. To finish our series I want to write a little on what happens when you want a baby but it seems to not happen.

That someone missing is a little squirming bundle, a happy toddler making messes, cluttering the apartment with wipes and toys and a hundred pacifiers. A child of our own.
From my perspective waiting on anything is hard. We want to grow up, marry, keep our own homes, become missionaries, have babies … contentment is a hard thing especially when we are waiting for something good. We cannot imagine that there could be joy in the waiting.
All my life I have struggled with anger, frustration, sorrow and discontent when it seemed God was saying, “Not yet, dear one. Wait on my timing. And in the mean time, find joy.”
It was and has been very difficult.
But, praise God, it is possible.
Over the course of my twenty-five year long lifetime I’ve unearthed a few ways to practice contentment; simple steps to finding joy in the waiting:
 Realize that it is okay (and normal) to be struggling.
This. Is. Huge.
The first step to contentment, I’ve found, is realizing that it is okay to hurt, want and ache. If it is a good thing (marriage, children, using your likes and talents to save the world 😉 then it’s okay to want it. You are not bad for desiring a good thing. After you’ve realized that it is okay to struggle remember that …
God is enough in the meantime.
(This is also huge 😉
When we forget that our relationship with Jesus is more then enough we become shipwrecked on an island of self pity, anger, jealousy and a nonstop struggle to get what we want.
I’ve been there. Countless times. And, friend, it is no picnic being stuck in such a terrible place.
If you find yourself forgetting that God is more then enough take a step back. Practice thankfulness. Thank God for your life, the sun outside, the clothes on your back. Bless you parents. Bless your spouse. Bless anyone and everyone. Being thankful is the key to remembering that God is more then enough. And when you’ve remembered that you really can be happy without getting what you want …
 Pray and prepare.  
Ask God for your heart’s desire; ask in faith and with courage. The Bible tells us to do this!
And, while you pray, prepare.
Do you want to be married? Discover what makes an excellent wife and study that. Do you want to be a mother? Learn about childbirth, medicine and observe other awesome moms. Do you want to go to college or step out on the mission field? Prepare yourself by serving in your local area; study, learn, grow. Don’t fool yourself into wasting the time God has given you; if He has given it then it is for your good.
Once you have remembered that it is okay to hurt, that Jesus is more then enough, and to pray and prepare you will discover joy in the waiting.
It isn’t easy (and does not always feel good) but choosing contentment over frustration will prove to be a blessing every time.
Question: What have you been waiting for? Have you discovered any beautiful blessings while you wait?
With lots of love, blessings and snowflakes!
Frannie

How God (Totally) Changed My View: Part 2

 

(Aren’t my nephews as cute as pie and just as eatable?)
I’m a woman of many contradictions.

One of the most difficult contradictions I have experienced is my great desire for (and also fear of) having children.

When we didn’t get pregnant within the first six months of our marriage I panicked. “What if we cannot conceive?” “What if I am never able to give my dear husband a baby of his own?” (Dalton loves children! 🙂

Then there were moments when I thought we could be pregnant; when all the signs and symptoms told me to invest in a test and begin planning. I panicked during those moments too. “What if I’m not a good mom?” “What if I’m not ready?” “What if I like my life too much as it is?”

I was ashamed of my feelings. I wanted to be pregnant yet when the possibility was there I was terrorized. Thankfully, the Lord has worked (and continues to work) miracles in my heart. He has also given me grace to learn why I was afraid. Below, I have written three reason for my hesitancy towards having children; maybe one of you can relate?

I was afraid of being pregnant because I had never taken the time to decide if I really wanted children. Children are blessings, gifts from our Heavenly Father, and they should be desired and thanked for! But as a Christian, conservative woman I had allowed myself to believe that having children was the godly thing to do — mere duty instead of privilege. I had allowed my false belief to taint the way I viewed children; if babies are merely expected jobs then joy is lost. It was only after I was married and faced with the possibility of pregnancy that I began to see that I did in fact want children. I wanted them not because it was expected or the godly thing to do … I wanted them because they were true blessings!

I was afraid because I was selfish. When I find more happiness in controlling an environment than enjoying/blessing the people within the environment I am being selfish. When I let myself get angry over a messy room and forget that these little people are people I am being selfish. When I love my life more than having someone new to share my life with I am being selfish. I was afraid of having children because children are a big commitment! 😀 I had to come face to face with my selfishness and call it for what it was … sin.

Finally, I was afraid because I was uninformed. This was really important for me to realize. I was afraid because I was afraid! 🙂 For some reason, I knew nothing about birth (and watching one show of “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” on TLC did not help the matter … talk about freaky!). I was afraid of the pain, the weight gain and the body changes which often accompany pregnancy. I was afraid of the natural (and beautiful) process of birth. I was afraid of pregnancy because I was uneducated.

Since then, I’ve been reading about childbirth, natural labor and all that is involved. I was blessed to be apart of my sister’s delivery. As I learned, the fear and anxiety magically began to drift away. I am still learning and so thankful to know that God will keep working in my life! 🙂

Have you ever struggled with the thought of having children? Or maybe you are one of those strangely awesome ladies who have that part of life all figured out? No matter who you are, do leave your comments. I’d love to learn from you!

With love, coffee and sunshine,
Frannie
// p.s. check out this link for the final post in the baby love series! //