Looking at your Husband with Confident Eyes

A wife confident in her husband is a blessing!

A few friends of mine have an excellent ability — they look at their husbands with confident, supportive eyes. Everyone in the room can tell she’s on his side, she’s got his back. Their confidence makes the woman more beautiful and the man more respected.

There isn’t anything truly remarkable about these men except that their uniquely themselves. One is a bit eccentric and brilliant, the other smart and savvy. But the confidence and enjoyment these women have beautifies and exemplifies these ordinary men.

Me? Not so much. Honestly, I like to stay in the background and nurse my quirky wallflower nature.

Then, I married an entertainer. It took me a looooooooooooong time to understand that entertaining was one of Dalton’s innate, God-given longings and purposes. He loves bringing laughter to people he feels close to; it energizes and gives purpose to his day.

By the time we married, I had some resemblances to a sour, prickly old maid you read about in classic literature. I have a sense of humor but it’s simple, childlike, and mischievous. The prickly side of my nature looks down and picks apart colorful, witty humor and shies away from anything that draws too much attention.

There are other gifts and talents I didn’t fully appreciate — his ability to lead, his love for weight lifting, his gift for making the hard choices and following thru, his fondness of spontaneous dancing and jumping into rivers, or his deep appreciation for abstract, theological discussion.

Do you know what a poo-poo attitude does to a person? It shrinks them. Holding back from joining in another person’s joy belittles and discourages them. Ultimately, it breaks down trust and friendship.

Not having confidence in your husband’s personality and nature builds barriers of distrust and walls of shame.

No one wants their personality, thought process, humor, or enjoyments belittled.

That’s why I choose to recognize that the differences in our personality as good. I choose to have confidence in the uniqueness of my man and encourage you to do the same. Let’s appreciate the handiwork and creativity of God by accepting and appreciating the natures of our men.

Let's have confidence and enjoyment in our husbands @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Romans 12 encourages us to love without hypocrisy (no eye rolls or shaking of the head) and to honor and have great affection for each other — this includes our men! How we respond to the personalities and interests of our hubby’s reflects the love of Christ. It’s that important.

If there are areas in your husbands personality or nature that are not all they could be, pray for your man. Communicate your thoughts and talk over what you are seeing. My hubby always says he needs to know what I’m thinking, even if he disagrees, so that he make the best decisions possible.

But, for a lot of our husbands, having confidence in who they are will be a life-spring and freedom badly needed and highly rewarded.

Tell me — what aspect of your partner’s nature do you find different from your own and how do you respond to that? I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers to happier husbands and happier marriages!

Frannie

Compatibility Isn’t What Makes Marriage Work

Hello, sweet people!

I originally wrote this post in 2016 — it’s crazy how drastically life has changed since then! But I’m more convinced than ever that compatibility isn’t what keeps a marriage together through the long haul. I’m also convinced this is a lesson we need to learn every year. 

I’m learning what real love is … and it’s beautiful.

There are many misconceptions about love and how best to make relationships work. One of the most deceiving and killing is the lie that compatibility is necessary for a thriving, successful love. Sadly, many friends, lovers and even church family separate when they feel a drift in their compatibility from one another.

Friends, this is wrong.

What Makes Marriage Work

When we base our vows on the typical definition of compatibility  we head down a road of disappointment. Marriages are not meant to be built on how well you compliment your spouse and how well your personalities work together.

Nothing in life is meant to be built on this.

Spouses can be annoying. You can be annoying. The traits and personality quirks you initially found cute can turn into irritants. We’re meant to rub each other raw … that’s one way God works our character.

Instead of basing a relationships value on how well you work together examine your ability to suffer together.

The original, Latin root for compatibility is compati which means to suffer with

Suddenly, being compatible isn’t as fun as before.

Sweet friend, how well do you suffer with your friends, spouse and church family? How well do you show them genuine, authentic love?

Young lovers, please don’t base your relationships on how well you compliment your significant other without asking yourself the simple question: am I willing to suffer with them? Will you suffer with them when finances get tight? Will you suffer with them when they lose all respect, when your child is dying, or when they lose a job?

Make Marriage Work

Honestly, this has been an interesting and new concept for me. I knew that Dalton and I’s relationship needed to be built on an enduring, committed love … but the idea of suffering with? Well, #tbh, that threw me off.

To avoid being overwhelmed, I took this new challenge one practical step at a time. In the past, suffering with Dalton meant being able to give a good back massage when his body ached and cheerfully keep to our budget. I knew that if you aren’t willing to suffer through the small, inconvenient moments then you’ll crumble when the hard stuff hits.

And how true that was! For us, suffering changed from minor irritants to gigantic hurdles! We endured living apart for 7 months while our son had surgery after surgery. For Dalton, suffering meant sleeping on the hospital couch for 9 weeks while I was on bed rest, not turning up the heat in the winter to save money, and driving back and forth each week so I could stay with Uriah while he was in the NICU.

Had we based our marriage on the easy moments we couldn’t have made it through the last few years. How thankful I am God carried us through that traumatic season of  life!

And it’s true for all of us — you may hit iceberg sized difficulties in the future but for now you’ve been given small opportunities to grow deeper in love.

What do you think? How have you grown in your ability to suffer with your friends, spouse or church family? Or is this an area needing strengthening? Share your heart … and let’s grow in grace together!

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Peace Is a Gift God Wants to Give Your Home

It’s been such a long time since my thoughts found there way to this beloved space. Life, life has kept me busy and when I’m not busy I’m tired. (Mom life, am I right?)

At the moment I’m sitting beneath our covered porch listening to the pounding spring rain and thunder. I’ve got a bathrobe, freshly showered hair, and iced coffee on the scene while my men sleep soundly inside.

Life is so good. Marriage is so good. Motherhood is so good. God is so good.

But good doesn’t mean easy.

This season of life has me learning. Worry tends to bog me down these days; fear, what-ifs, and unknowns can change my moods from naturally cheerful to fretful and irritable.

What if I’m not feeding Uriah well enough (since we’re still using formula as he struggles to tolerate blended meals)? What if I’m not loving him enough? What if he needs more surgical repair and I’m not advocating hard enough? What if he gets sick again?

I’ve worn my emotions and mind to a thread wondering if I’m doing enough.

And like God often does, He led me to some wisdom exactly when I was ready for it. I was on the verge of breaking down into an unusual fit of tears and found a book with words that spoke amazing life and peace into my hurting soul:

When we release our children into the Father’s hands and acknowledge that He is in control of their lives and ours, both we and our children will have greater peace. -Stormie Omartian

Ah, isn’t that good? Sweet friend, wherever you are in life I hope you can pursue trusting God’s care and letting go of worry. Whether you are a new mom, a special needs mom, or an older mom with a way-ward child, this peace-filled trust is meant for you and your children.

I know trust isn’t easy. We like to control life (at least I do). I like being in charge of my little kingdom, I crave responsibility.

But I can’t control health. I can’t control insurnace approvals. I can’t even control milestones.

But I can trust that God is in control and I can enjoy the amazing peace filling my heart when I do.

The sweet thing is that peace is a gift God wants to give your family. Your Creator God longs to fill your home with peace that passes all understanding. A calm, restful attitude doesn’t have to come forced, wrestled into submission. It’s a gift, free to His people who choose to simply rest in God’s great love and power.

Here’s to hoping my worry-filled days can point you in a better direction. Here’s to wishing you may know the “blessed assurance” that Jesus will meet your needs.

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Springtime Wishes

“Your time has come, now hasten little snowflakes. To vanish quite away; The spring-tide hours are sounding gentle warnings, forbidding you to stay.” — M.E. Hathaway

Just a little day dreaming about spring … soon the sunshine will last a little longer and the air won’t be as frosty. Soon there will be flower buds and bees. Soon we won’t have to bundle in a thousand coats to go out for a walk. Soon spring will be back and I will be welcoming it. <3

What are you looking forward to?

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Photo Credit: follow link on picture

 

My Monday Cleaning Mantra

Mondays are cleaning days in our home. The goal is to get the dust dusted, the sinks scrubbed, bathrooms sanitized, beds changed, and floors swept and washed. Then, the rest of the week are upkeep days usually requiring light tidying.

While I sweep and dust and scrub I talk to Uriah about why we clean. I’ve repeated the reasons for why Momma sweeps: Momma sweeps to keep the dirt from getting on our feet. When we have dirt on our feet it gets into our beds and then we don’t sleep well and when we don’t sleep well we don’t feel well and can get sick. So this is why Momma sweeps.

To which I get the usual replies of gah gah gahhhhh or Mommmmma, mommmmma, momma, momma, momamomamomamomaoma!!! 🙂

Teaching Uriah while I work alleviates the ever present mommy guilt; it’s a strange notion that baby needs our attention all the time so other areas of life need to be forsaken to keep baby well-loved.  But mom guilt is silly. That’s why I’m learning the balance between focusing on Uriah and teaching him through my actions that the world doesn’t revolve around him (precious as he is). And one way to do that is talking to your baby as you work, especially children who have vision or mobility issues and who cannot follow momma to the kitchen when she does the dishes.

Keeping the house clean and neat is something I really enjoy doing; there is a lot of pleasure that comes from doing something well and keeping things maintained. Of course, there are days when keeping the house isn’t the most favorable task but I’m learning that keeping to the routine helps keep the mess down which makes future cleaning easier and more tackle-able (is this a word?). Waiting to clean till you see the mess or the dirt is defeating and discouraging; keep up with the mess and your friends will marvel and say fun things like your house is always clean or you should run a business because you are so organized!  

And you can smile, tell them your secrets, and enjoy the beauty that comes with weekly cleaning! 😀

Or, in the words of the magnificent Tasha Tudor, “I enjoy doing housework, ironing, washing, cooking, dishwashing. Whenever I get one of those questionnaires and they ask what is your profession, I always put down housewife. It’s an admirable profession, why apologize for it. You aren’t stupid because you’re a housewife. When you’re stirring the jam you can read Shakespeare.

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie