Why Making Life Pretty Is Important

5 Reasons Making Life Pretty Is Important

Have you ever noticed that life is messy? I mean, surely my  washcloths aren’t the only ones to get stinky (guilty)  and if you still haven’t figured out how burrito beans get streaked across your couch cushions don’t feel bad … I’m puzzled too. The truth is life is messy, sometimes it’s downright dingy. We don’t live in fairy tale worlds where cutely dressed mice sweep our floors; sometimes the Christmas tree stays up till July and the let’s forget about having the patio arranged in floral bliss.  

Making life pretty can be hard.

Especially when you’re busy, tired, broke or one of those non-creative folks.

But, dear one, it is important.

Making ordinary, everyday life pretty is important because it is artwork. Never let someone tell you otherwise; washing your dishes, dusting the furniture and making a home both functional and beautiful is a creative outlet. Some paint, some play music and others make everyday life pretty.

Here are five reasons why making (everyday) life pretty is important.

1.  Making Life Pretty Makes You Feel Better

Remember how good it felt to look outside of your freshly washed windows? Or maybe you’ve experienced the joy of putting wildflowers in a mason jar? Making life pretty makes you feel better. When we set the timer for 15 minutes and join our kids in a blitz-cleaning spree we feel good (and they feel good too!). When our homes are kept organized, clean and pretty we feel organized, clean and pretty.

2. Making Life Pretty Brings  Peace Into Your Home

We all know that life can be chaotic but I want to encourage you to bring peace into your home by making life pretty. Sometimes, it’s as simple as lighting a candle or using the good set of dishes for once. Turn on worship music while you wash dishes and sing while you fold laundry. We bring peace into our homes when we purpose to make life pretty — suddenly, life becomes a little less hurried and a little more cherished.  

3. Making Life Pretty Creates Purpose

There have been days when I don’t feel like going the extra mile. Instead of making life pretty I simply push through it, accomplishing my to-do list with little drive or joy. Soon I find myself in a “funk” (typically signified by tv marathons and cookie dough raids). And while everyone needs a down day (amen?) purposeless days are something we need to avoid. Who likes going through life in a fog, barely able to get supper on the table let alone make it a nice one? 

I have found that by taking the time to make life pretty I create more purpose in my day. And when I feel purposeful I feel helpful, settled and happy.

4.  Making Life Pretty Encourages Others

I have a few friends I love to visit with; and even though their homes are small, the sinks crowded with dishes and the floors crumby I feel welcomed, wanted and refreshed. One takes the time to make her life pretty by offering me homemade cookies and tea out of a tin can she has collected. Another delights me by discussing the latest feminine styles and ventures she works into her photography business. One ushers me out to her porch where a few simple flower pots and a glass of iced tea make the evening even more lovely.

It doesn’t take much to make life pretty and encourage, bless and refresh our friends and family.

5. Making Life Pretty Makes Your Creator Smile

Finally, when we make our plain, ordinary days pretty we make our Creator smile. How do I know? One of our Creator God’s attributes is that He makes things beautiful. His Word tells us that He was pleased with His creation, that our bodies are made wonderfully and that, as women, we’re to be keepers of our home When we set about to create beautiful, peace-filled lives we reflect attributes of our Creator. As we aim to make the messy, ordinary bits of life pretty we bring joy to the God Who made everyday life full of purpose.

Why do you make everyday life pretty? Have you discovered some of the rewards which come from creating beauty in the simple days?

With so much love,

Frannie Anne

Crocs, Worship Leaders and Looking at the Outside // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

I hate to admit it but I tend to label people according to their outside appearance.

(Come on, you do it too, right? 😉

Maybe I label because, growing up, we enjoyed pinning people according to the way they dressed.  It was never meant in a judgmental way — simply a guessing-game. A way to deduce who you are and what you love.

For example, if you are a skinny teenage boy wearing ankle-scrunched, navy blue  cloth sweatpants and carry around copies of Homer or Piper I might peg you a homeschooler. If you are a mom of four, smell like an essential oil collection, wear bohemian skirts and have a random collection of hats I may box you in as a hippie/granola/crunchy braless, gluten-free mommy. Finally, if I happen to pass a twenty-something woman wearing a knee-length jean skirt, natural shaded eye shadow and bumped bangs with some sort of elegant bun I’ll probably bet you’re an Apostolic/Bill Gothard/Pentecostal member out shopping with the girls.

See? I’m really bad.

So imagine how confused I was when the cool, hip-looking worship leader took his place on stage … wearing crocs.

My label-conscious eyes couldn’t believe themselves. How could someone so collected, suave and Hillsongish be wearing crocs? Birkenstocks? yes. Toms? maybe. Crocs? never.

(Not that I’m against Crocs; in fact, I have my own comfy pair. I’ve just got a very ridiculous case of the labels … )

I think Samuel had the same problem when he was sent to handpick the future king of Israel. Here he was, gazing down a line of tall, able-bodied men, and yet the LORD told him to keep looking.

” … the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

My beloved man often gets onto me for labeling people according to their appearances. Instead of putting them in a box and then being surprised that they don’t fit my prescribed mold he encourages me to let people be themselves.

Which makes perfect sense since I don’t want anyone pegging me into a category.  I use essential oils, carry copies of Piper around, wear Crocs and occasionally a knee-length jean skirt. Yet, I am not a braless hippie Pentecostal boy. I’m just me. Frannie. The girl who labels people far too often and then is astonished when they break out of their molds.

So here’s to giving up the label game; here’s to not dying of shock during worship over crocs; and here’s to  learning to see how God sees.

With so much love, coffee and my own pair of squeaky, blue crocs,

Frannie

p.s. I just know someone from church is going to read this. So as a disclaimer I must add: 

I am not against crocs / I am not against worship leaders wearing crocs / I know I ‘m silly / Please don’t make fun of me next time we meet / The end.

What I Think About Josh Duggar, the World’s Response and Christianity’s Job

Duggar-Family

It’s one of those things I just have to talk about with you.

Josh Duggar’s past coming to public light yesterday.

Normally, I stay away from current events but I just can’t this time.

Here’s the deal: the world is screaming, “Hypocrite, Faker, Pervert!” The amount of hate-comments is staggering; it makes sense since we live in a culture that tolerates almost anything except child abuse. America, and the rest of the world, is demanding for “19 Kids and Counting” to be pulled from the shelves in an effort to protect her ideals, namely, that messing with minors is an unforgiveable offence deserving the strictest of punishments.

But I think the issue is far deeper, far more important.

The world is crying that forgiveness, redemption and Jesus’ cleansing work is nonexistent. It will not acknowledge the obvious work of redemption in Duggar’s life because it doesn’t believe in Jesus or redemption.

If Josh, a minor at the time of his offense, is unforgivable then so am I. There are gross sins in my life I’ve only told my husband, mom and Jesus Himself. There are past behaviors that, if brought public, would cause Christians to shrink from me and the world to shame me. I’m a sinner and before I met Jesus Christ’s great work I sinned badly.

Today, as I was praying for Josh and his family I began to ask God if the world was right. Is there forgiveness for sins? Am I truly washed clean in the sight of God and free to be His child? Or, am I still that filthy, unforgiven liar with sketches of the worst sin in my heart?

I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high. -Psalms 8:17

Truth is a concept that is real, unchanging and firm. And the truth is that God is righteous; He is the measuring stick of righteousness. I praise His name because He is good, holy and right in all He does. I do not love Him because I am good; nor, do I follow Him because I is right. He is praised because He is righteous and He has declared, by His great work in Jesus Christ, that I am righteous too.

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. -Psalms 12:6

God’s forgiveness is as secure as His word — very secure indeed! As a Christian, my sins have been cleansed, washed away and blotted out by Jesus’ death and resurrection; Josh Duggar’s forgiveness, as a Christian, is as real as God the Father’s word.

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation. and my high tower. -Psalm 18:1,2

If God is real, forgiveness guaranteed (through a believing relationship with Jesus Christ) and redemption possible then we can rejoice! I can rejoice! The many deep, ugly, gross sins of my past? They are wiped clean. I am free to be at peace.

I speak to the Church — what do we believe?

Do we believe that God’s Word, His promises, are true?

If so, then we must rally around Josh Duggar and not because he is a great example, a perfect man, or even free from terrible sins. He isn’t. No, we must rally around Duggar because God is as real as His forgiveness. If we shrink away from a brother in Christ because his past sins is put on display then we shrink away from God’s truth and we no longer have a place as being the light of Christ.

This event’s wave-shock will not be contained to the Duggar home — the effects of this event will rock the world and, if we are not ready to stand on truth, the Church too. Like the Pharisees of old, the world is crying out for blood. There are also some crying out for mercy. There are murderers, liars, drug users, adulterers, hypocrites, prostitutes, homosexuals and pedophiles asking if they are forgivable. Because if Josh’s sins are unforgiveable then so are theirs.

Praise God, we know that that isn’t true.

 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. -John 8:10-12

Frannie Anne

// For picture credit click here //

Finding Peace in Your Life Purpose // Coffee Series

Coffee Series

Coffee Series

Sweet friend, it’s the perfect day for a heart-to-heart conversation and cup of deliciousness across computer screens; as you settle in, sip a little and read I want you to settle in to the fact that you are alive today and that your life has a purpose.

Yes, you single daughter, you have purpose.

And you, tired, strained mother, you have a purpose.

You, barren woman, your life have more to it then what you think it does.

Last week our pastor shared something so beautiful, so meaty, and it’s something I want to share with you.

Your life has purpose and it’s to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

John the Baptist, a mighty man of God, stood daily proclaiming the coming Messiah. His life was meaningful, driven, consumed with the fact that he had been told to ready the people of Israel for Jesus’ arrival. But John the Baptist wasn’t a great theologian. He wasn’t politically connected and, as far as we know, he wasn’t even an honored family man. When asked who he was, John replied simply, “a voice.” 

(I hate to say it, but if I were John the Baptist I probably would have reminded folks about the “important things;” I mean, being a fulfillment of prophesy and cousin of Jesus Christ seems to be a little advantageous. 😉 )

John was an effective witness for Christ because he pointed to Christ. That was his purpose; his day-to-day life revolved around that mission.

Dear one, can you say that is your purpose?

Can I say that I am a wife for the purpose of pointing others to Christ?

Can I say that I teach for His name?

Do I love my neighbors, my husband and my relations to make Him known?

The most beautiful part is that the more I remember my calling the more lovely my role in life becomes. Suddenly, being a wife, keeper of the home, blogger and substitute teach takes on a whole new meaning. When I remember Who I am proclaiming even the smallest actions become special. Those cookies I made weren’t just to satisfy the neighbor’s sweet tooth — they’re meant to point them to Jesus. That time I loved my husband unselfishly wasn’t just about being a good wife — I was reminding him of the Creator of love and blessing him in the process.

You see, when we remember our true purpose (to proclaim Christ) life suddenly becomes more meaningful and more powerful.

You aren’t just a single woman in college surviving on Ramen and Netflix. You’re a minister of Christ, a voice, pointing others to Him.

Tired mother, when you remember to obey your great calling you aren’t just wiping messy noses and cooking meals — you’re revealing Christ in actions that mean the world to some. and bless the heart of the Creator.

Barren woman, if you’re living life with the goal of proclaiming Jesus then the time you spend serving, loving and giving is worth gold.

So, dear women, let’s remember our purpose this weekend and go out and live purposefully proclaiming Jesus the Messiah.

I’ll be praying for you,

with so much love,

Frannie Anne

the end

How to Be Honest When You’re A Nice Person

How to Be Honest When You're A Nice Person

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been told, “But you’re just so nice, Frannie!” I’d have a shoe/book collection like no other.

(Seriously.)

But being nice has cost me; it’s cost me my integrity, my opinion and my courage. You see, when one is nice one struggles with being honest. When you’re softhearted and a people-pleaser it’s hard to say no, share your opinion honestly and be brave enough to speak up. I know, because I’ve lived my whole life with the struggle. #thestruggleisreal

My dear husband has encouraged me to be real with him — even when it means hurting his feelings. When we first married, I’d keep all my opinions to myself.

Him: “Do want to watch this movie?”

Me: “Uh, yeah, sure. That looks good.” (Not really).

Him: “Care to eat at the buffet tonight?”

Me: “Ooo! that sounds good.” (But I’d like to try something new).

After so many weeks of me keeping my feelings to myself I’d explode on the poor, blonde-headed man, typically the scene would take place somewhere in the movie store’s drama aisle. (Go figure 😉 )

Me: “You never let me pick the movie!”

Him: “Well, I always ask. Why didn’t you tell me you wanted to watch something different? I need you to tell me what you think — I can’t read your mind!”

Oh, yeah. I guess you haven’t received your Excellence in Mind Reading certification yet, have you?

About three emotional explosions later we decided to dive deeper into why I kept my thoughts to myself. Why couldn’t I be candid with the  one who truly wanted to know my thoughts?

Because love — to me — meant putting aside my wishes for the other person. Love meant blindly ignoring my thoughts so I could make someone else happy. But to my husband love meant me trusting him enough to be open, real and honest even when the discussion is petty and relatively meaningless. I needed to be trusting enough to realize that he really did want to know my opinion and that even if we disagreed we would be okay.

So, if you are a nice person who struggles with being honest I want to encourage you to remember three small things:

  1. The person asking for your opinion really wants to know; they aren’t faking it to be nice (like you probably do, tisk, tisk. 😉 )
  2. If the answer is no, it is not the end of the world.
  3. Honesty is worth far more then fake niceness.

Next time you are tempted to be “nice” and tuck your thoughts away from the world, don’t. Practice being honest (in your awesome, sweet way). Practice trusting the other person enough to be real about your thoughts. Practice being nice and honest. You’ll be a lot happier.

With love and authenticity!