Work Hard, Rest Even Harder // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

Good morning sweet folk! It’s a beautiful, cool morning in my part of the world and I am so thankful to take a moment with you, enjoy a cup of coffee and talk about something very dear to my heart.

Work Hard.

Last night I was laying in bed sniffling, because of my head cold, thinking how I wanted my various hobbies and responsibilities to be successful and bemoaning the fact that they were not at the level I wanted. (aka whining) I was frustrated with the lack of personal success I was seeing from my endeavors and quietly declaring defeat.

Then it hit me: work harder.

I have the habit of giving up if I see defeat in the horizon. I work hard, relax, let things go, and then cry a little cry when I don’t see the amount of fruit I expected. I impatiently run to projects which require great amounts of discipline and experience and then silently give up when it the reality of what I’ve began sinks in.

Hence the vast amount of unfinished knitting projects I’ve collected over the years. 😉

Over the year my gracious Heavenly Father has been instructing me to work hard. I’m at a place in life where I can confidently say that the responsibilities, hobbies and ventures I have are good, honorable pursuits God is using to further His kingdom. Success, though it may look different from my expectation, is in His hands — if I work hard.

Rest even harder.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]… For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister … We have an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast … even Jesus … [/pullquote]

When you’re called to an adventure work hard at it. Don’t give up when your expectation of success isn’t met or when the reality of the task sinks in.

While working hard rest even harder in the glorious, finished work of Jesus and in His continuing work in your life. As many times as I give up on a project I also forget to rest in the Lord’s unfailing love and work in my life.

When I anxiously look at a large task (thinking about abandoning ship) I begin to believe the lie that my worth is tied in with the amount of public recognition and service I can accomplish. It’s a lie that cripples dreams, disables faith and ultimately destroys the work God wants to do through you.

Today, I’m remembering two things: work hard and rest even harder.

What does that mean for me? To work hard at loving my people, labor in serving in my home and community, endeavor to keep my home diligently, strive to love students through library hour, purpose to let laziness and fear not keep me from writing and creating, put effort into relationships … what does it look like for you?

With alotta love, blessings, grit and coffee,

Frannie

p.s: My friend Amelia wrote a beautiful, short piece about not letting other’s success equal your failure. Check it out — this definitely encouraged and inspired my heart and I’m sure it will yours too. <3

The Art of a Thankful Heart // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

I share my heart transparently here at Authentic Virtue. You’ve read about my baby blues, laughed with me and the time I jumped out of the car , encouraged me when it was hard for me to accept grace and even read about my probs with adult acne.

You, sweet people, have seen it all.

So I feel totally okay sharing my newest (yet not so newest) life discovery with you over coffee and a sunny Missouri morning. I am learning that having a thankful heart is art.

Creating beautiful artwork takes time, development of skill, and motivation. Sculpting, painting and creating is something that, for most of us, is a life long adventure.

So is developing a thankful heart.

I’m pretty positive last month reeked of failure because my heart was full of ungratefulness. Instead of taking hold of faith and obediently thanking God I focused on the little, irritating things which brought me down.

And it’s so easy to do that. It’s easy to focus on what’s irritating about your home, family and budget. It feels good to complain about life’s annoyances and people’s quirks. It’s insanely easy to throw your own personal pity party.

But, sweet friends, ungratefulness is a life-draining sin that will suck the joy, peace and grace out of your life.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18[/pullquote]

I’m discovering that choosing to have a grateful, thanks giving heart lifts our eyes to the personal, loving Heavenly Father we Christians have. When we choose to pray without ceasing (or, in other words, to live every moment with a heart looking to our Lord) and in everything give thanks we’re saying that we have more to live for then the temporary pleasures and upsets of this world.

We’re choosing to let our Lord Jesus make artwork out of our lives.

We’re choosing to let the God of peace sanctify us … and He who calls us is faithful and will do as He says. <3

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Art of Thankfulness // Authentic Virtue Blog Coffee Series

p.s: Don’t forget about today’s Periscoping adventure at 10:30 am CST. Bring your coffee! 😉 (And peeking eyes for this months giveaway! 🙂 )

He Is Able // Coffee with You + Periscope Announcement

Coffee With You Series

Welcome folks — it’s time for us to take a few minutes to drink some coffee, cozy in and rejoice in the absolute goodness of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. (Fridays with you are some of my favorite.)

I recently went through a very dry, bone-breaking season in my spiritual life. I allowed myself to be my own idol. I had been so busy pleasing my image of God and was pushing myself into the image I imagined I should be. It’s been exhausting and very taxing.

You see, all my life I have chased my idea of perfection. Some days I’m far from my goal and then there are times when I fancy I’m just about there. And somehow, over the last three months, I’d allowed myself to pursue the vanity of it all.

Thankfully, my Lord kept pushing my idol lower and lower until I had to admit that if I were going to live a fulfilled, gracious life I had to stop working for my idea of perfection and accept that the work has already been done for me.

I am complete in Jesus and He will finish the work He began in me. As Elizabeth Prentiss said [pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Remember that it is His will that you should be sanctified, and that the work of making you holy is His not yours. [He is} just as able and just as willing to give you sanctification as He was to give you redemption.[/pullquote]

I have room to grow in a lot of areas and just a week ago it would have killed me to say that. I need to grow in love, faith and true humility. I need to love my husband better, seek my family’s hearts more genuinely and pray with an expectant, faith-filled heart.

I love that this blogging community is one way God works true growth into my life. In an effort to grow in community and communication I’ll be partaking in a new adventure and I hope you’ll join!

Every Friday at 10:30 CST I’ll be sharing my heart live while sipping coffee and discussing the beautiful lessons Christ is showing me on my Periscope channel (@FrannieAnneDuncan). It won’t be more then a few minutes long and I feel it will be a darling way of getting to know you better and grow in grace!

Looking forward to this upcoming adventure!

With love, blessings and lots of coffee,

Frannie

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways God Stays Real When I’m Exhausted

Coffee With You Series

Today my heart rejoices because, even though I am very tired and very weary, I am well aware of the presence of God in my life. I don’t believe this happens on accident. So pour your coffee, grab a blanket and join me as I share three ways God stays real in my life even when I’m exhausted:

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Surround yourself with good people[/pullquote]

One way God stays real and present in my life is when He uses people to encourage, lift and lighten my heart. I can come home exhausted and count on a husband who will rub my shoulders, pour me coffee and tell me life-giving truths I need to hear. My sister and mom will laugh with me as we discuss hard things and discover the rays of sunshine in the clouds; friends come my way and bring perspective and “I’ve been there” comfort.

Without fail God shows His love for me by loving me through the arms of people around me.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Turn up the music[/pullquote]

When I’m exhausted, hurt or downtrodden I’ve noticed that God speaks loudly through the pages of a hymnal or the radio waves in my car. It’s the second way God stays real when I’m floundering — I can be doubting His goodness when the sweet truth of “I Believe” or “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” can correct my thinking and encourage my weary heart.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Reveal your heart[/pullquote]

Finally, God stays real in my life when I step out in faith and reveal my heart to Him through prayer. This is important. If I refuse to cry out to God in my moments of need I am turning away the King of kings and the very One Who sees my most intimate, discreet need and has the ability to bring aid.

Sometimes we let our pride keep us from pouring out our hearts. We think that we’re too silly or weak or to seek His need.

Stop right there, sister.

You are silly, you are weak and you are sinful. But if you are a child of God you have an Intercessor and a Father to look to. When you gather the courage to cry out to God even though you don’t feel like it He will reveal Himself and remain real in your life.

Sweet folk, we will get tired, discouraged and weary in this world. But God is very real during those moments. Let God show Himself to you by surrounding yourself with loving people, turning up the music and revealing your heart to your Lord.

He loves you so much!

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Hard Weeks and Need // Coffee Series

Coffee With You SeriesGood morning, sweet people! Mmm! It’s a cold, early morning in our mid Missouri home and the perfect time to pull over a blanket, turn on a light and prepare coffee — join me for a cup, won’t you?

This Friday I am humbled. It’s been a long, rough week full of error on my part, hurt feelings, worry, disappointment, conviction and anger.

I’m not really sure why it’s been such a hard week for me; maybe it’s because I’m still (still!) not adjusted to my new schedule or because I’ve been on the go for the last two weeks and I’m running out of steam? Maybe I’ve been a grump because I’ve begun a sugar-fast until Thanksgiving and my poor, dessert loving soul is wilting and taking it’s anger cravings out on the world? I know I allowed past insecurities (which I thought I had dealt with) bubble to the top and effect my relationship with my husband and coworkers which resulted in some negative, jealous thoughts I failed to combat.

Agh, I’ve needed a lot of grace this week.

I’ve also refused a lot of grace this week.

It hurts to admit that I struggle balancing homemaking responsibilities with ten measly hours of work outside the home. It frustrates me to watch my (sweet, adorable, gentle) husband (happily!) put on dirty work pants because I forgot to wash them. It hurts to think that I haven’t published a scheduled, timely blog post in a while. It stings when I leave the library defeated feeling irate with student’s questions and energy and leaving books unorganized and stuffed in the return box. It makes me feel like a most unproductive worm when I fail to be able to cope with my few (wonderful) responsibilities.

It hurts to know that I let such simple issues defeat me and turn me from a grateful, loving heart.

But it’s okay.

It’s okay with my being weak because this is exactly when Christ will reveal Himself. When I cannot be both equally productive and equally good Christ reveals my need and His power. It’s okay that I really, really stink at giving up sugar and that I get jealous and sensitive sometimes — these are the exact reasons I need a Savior to continue the good work He began in me long ago.

Coffee with You

I need my Jesus and, to be honest, I cannot go on without him.

I cannot do all for His glory without His wonderful grace. I cannot accept my shortcomings without His gentleness. I cannot grow without His faithful conviction and enduring love.

I cannot. But He can.

With so much  love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie