Joy V. Happiness in Marriage, Pregnancy, and Daily Life

Joy v. happiness in an unknown pregnancy with a subchorionic hematoma with AuthenticVirtue.com

It’s happening again, the waters are rushing over our heads and I’m struggling to keep up. Being pregnant with our first has been one of the most delightful and trying experiences of our lives. Having a subchorionic hematoma is commonly low risk but tell that to the momma who’s bleeding, making ER trips, and being told the area her placenta needs to implant is filling with blood.

Then, suddenly, it doesn’t feel low risk any more.

But that’s the nature of a blood pocket in your womb. You never know what it’s up to, what it means, and what it could lead to. You simply wait. Monitoring helps (sometimes) unless you get news that it’s grown larger (as is my case). Then, waiting becomes more dreadful and more difficult to accept.

If you can tell life isn’t very happy right now but it is still very full of joy.

Dalton and I have been meaning to collaborate and write a post on the differences between joy and happiness. (As in I should have written it 5 months ago). But now is the perfect time to write because I’m experiencing it tenfold.

Happiness is temporary. It’s bliss. It’s me resting in bed on rainy afternoon with a cinnamon pecan candle burning in the light finishing a long book. Happiness is my husband bringing me dinner and then washing the dishes afterwards. Happiness is the fleeting feeling I experience after finding a good subchorionic hematoma story.

But happiness, however sweet and nice, eventually leaves.

And after the emotion leaves I’m still left with unanswered, scary questions. Will I have this baby? Will baby be hurt? When will I know? If I lose baby will I ever have more children?

Reality sinks in and the weight of it pushes the temporary feelings yummy candles, good meals, and a rainy afternoon brought.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23

This is where Jesus and my Heavenly Father changes things. This is where joy take over. God’s Word promises the fruit of the Spirit includes joy and that I as a Christian can have it. I cannot create this fruit; I can prohibit it but I cannot force it in my life. It’s God working in me. It’s similar to real life planting; I could place vile and damage the root system around an apple tree and expect its growth to be affected. But I could never actually create an apple — I can only enjoy that it was made, given, and satisfying.

That’s joy — it’s present in the lack of happiness. It’s God given. It’s there when I’m dreading our future; it’s present when it’s 3 am and I’m having blood drawn and being wheeled away from my husband to an ultrasound room by a tech who isn’t happy to be working.

When I’m not feeling happy joy remains.

I do get overwhelmed with the unknowns of our pregnancy. I get tempted to fall headlong into fear and the sickness of dread. Happiness sometimes eludes me. (Which is scary for a sunny-disposition person as myself).

But during those moments when the sickening questions fill my head I’m reminded of God’s promises,

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

If I lose baby God is still good. If I am in limbo from now until week 40 God’s thoughts toward me are still good. If I have to live with unknowns until I deliver this baby God’s ways are still for Dalton and I (and baby). If my next pregnancy resembles this one I am still in God’s vision and His plan is good.

And that is joy. God’s Word and promises are joy. God’s loving will is joy. Living life open-handed, as much as it hurts and as hard as it is, is joy.

Joy is peace, God’s presence, and the knowledge that despite the outcome of our lives God is still good.

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Don’t Dig Up in Doubt What You Planted in Faith: Coffee Series

Don't dig up in doubt what you planted in faith with AuthenticVirtue.com

In life we’re given the choice to simply trust and obey or grow faithless and fearful.

In our current situation, I’m constantly challenged by fear. Every belly cramp, sign of blood, or internet search weakens my faith and I begin to dig up in doubt what I had planted in faith.

Last week was no different. My Beloved came home, exhausted from the previous night’s trip to the emergency room, the extra work he had done over the weekend, and being out-of-town. My normally calm and collected Dalton was stressed and worn out. And instead of  helping ease his weary heart I made it heavier through my nervous, worry-edged tone.

Even though we had just been to the doctor who informed us that baby was well, growing and the spotting/bleeding appeared to be low-risk, every hour of the day seemed grow my anxiety and fear. It’s like I need to be jellied up and sitting next to an ultrasound every moment of the day for me to have any peace and rest.

Friends, learn with me. Don’t dig up in doubt what you’ve planted in faith.

Life is full of unknowns.

Thankfully, we can know that God is good and kind and exceedingly present in our time of need. He is faithful to His children, their needs, and He hears their pleas.

Dalton reminded me that besides our false alarm miscarriage, our pregnancy has really been quite problem-free. Yes, I spot but so do a thousand other women who have healthy babies.

So, here’s to Fridays and learning to live life in faith. Here’s to less worry and more trusting and obeying.

What are you learning to let go and trust in? have you any advice or insight in how to conquer fear and anxiety? Let’s grow together and share our hearts! 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

 

God’s Promise to the Ordinary Person

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Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the fragrance of his knowledge by us in every place. 

Ah … isn’t God so good? In us fragile, weak people He makes us to always triumph in Christ and to share His beautiful fragrance in every place.

Christian, you are lovely, you know that right? And not by your own doing. No, you are a light and a bit of salt in a dark and rotting world and it’s simply all God’s good work in you.

Wife, you are a light to your home — even when the floors are sticky with jam and the children seem to be the only social contact you have. Husband, you are declaring Christ through your faithful work and effort each day; whether you’re the local plumber, prison guard, pastor or mailman you are declaring Christ simply by doing what you’ve been called to do: provide and protect.

Sometimes, we think we need to do big and awesome things to declare God. And sometimes we do.

But most of the time, it’s the little, everyday activities which God uses to reveal His delightful fragrance to the world.

Never forget that.

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

You’re Not Called to be Superwoman // Coffee Series

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It’s a curse, wanting to do and be everything. Whether it’s the world telling you you need to do more or your own personal chase for perfection, we often feel that to be successful, thriving people we need to be superwomen.

It’s exhausting, overwhelming, and false.

I have my own personal issues with wanting to do and be everything. I want to be the perfect wife and in my mind that means dinner must be on time, the house cleaned daily, bills balanced and paid, etc. I need to do in order to be.  

The funny thing is that my husband rates the perfect wife differently. Yes, he loves having dinner warm and ready and he enjoys coming to a home clean, fresh and calm.

But he doesn’t think my getting things done is what makes me his perfect wife.

It’s when I greet him at the door with a smile, pay attention to his jokes, and take time to laugh with him. He says I’m the perfect wife because he says I’m his best friend. And I’m his best friend because I take time for him, choose him, and pursue him. He’ll wear the dirty pants I forgot to wash, and do it with an understanding smile and wink. It’s when I get angry and pout over unwashed laundry and put distance between us that he struggles.

You see, it’s all about abiding instead of doing.

Jesus Christ loved to emphasize that. Yes, we need to do good works. Yes, our lives should declare our relationship with Christ through good fruit.

AuthenticVirtue.com // Coffee Series

But we don’t do that by checking off to-do lists and endeavoring to be women we’re not. We do that by abiding, resting, acknowledging that there is no good in us and anything we can do good is a gift form our good Father. It’s evidence of Him in us.

I know abiding can be hard. That’s why we need each other — let’s pray, encourage, and lift each other up as we journey together at being better at abiding. With Christ we are more than conquerors … of perfectionism and the nagging fear that we’ll never be good enough. 

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Jesus Wants You to Look Up // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

Hey, sweet reader.

Yes, you. You may be feeling a little crazy today, a little overwhelmed, a little busy or a little discouraged.

I know. I’ve been there before. I’ve been in the dark place that looking inwardly brings. Many of us tend to peek at our imperfect parts for far too long. We get lost in the the fact that we’re still lacking, still angry, still sinning, still fearful, still full of pride.

I get it. I really do.

But there’s no sunshine in the dungeon. Friend, look up. Lift your eyes to Jesus — the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He counted the cost of the cross and endured its pain and shame. He did that so we could know our Heavenly Father and live in His freedom. Friend, we’re free from continual condemnation and free from the never ending pursuit of self and sin.

Jesus is all that we need @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Live in the sunshine and breathe in the finished work of Jesus Christ in your life. After all, He is all that we need.

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption 

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie