Quiet, Summertime Changes: Currently Series

Currently Series with Authentic Virtue Blog

I am thankful for the seasons life brings us. It’s summertime and the days are passing by as quickly as July’s rainstorms roll in. Our vacation time is over, we’ve settled in our new rental, and the fears of my first trimester and the misdiagnosed miscarriage are beginning to look more like memories instead of terrifying, first-hand experiences.

Life is quieting down and I’m finding new ways to make the most of my given time. I will not be teaching this year which means I’m not scurrying around decorating a classroom or writing lesson plans. The timing of baby’s birth did not combine well with the year’s contract. So, now is a season of letting go and preparing for what’s to come. Change is always difficult for my personality so there were quite a few emotions as I cleaned out my desk and put away lesson plans and curriculum. I’m going to miss the routine of being a part-time teacher and all the benefits that come from being in the student’s lives; I am looking forward to substituting though.

Dalton gently reminded me to focus on baby and all the joy this new season brings. I was a bit embarrassed by that — of course I’m loving baby and all that pregnancy means. But his words also reminded me that change is good and should be embraced. Now isn’t the time to mourn over a part-time job or be sorry over my changing routine and schedule. Now is the time to begin planning, dreaming, and investing in the new life which will forever change ours

I’m so glad I have time to plan for our new family member. His/her bedroom is slowly turning from a guest room/library to a garden and Beatrix Potter themed nursery combined with the guest room. Baby clothes have been folded and set into different categories. Blankets are being washed.

In the kitchen I’m trying new recipes, looking at freezer meal recipes (in preparation for our busy, recovering time), and trying to discover the best ways to accomplish meal prep a head of time. (Since waking up – cheerfully – and making breakfast for my Darling Man is a bit difficult these days.) I think I need to take a second look at my morning routines for being successful. 😉

Our new home is becoming more nest-like and comfortable. I finally have enough energy to weed through closets, the motivation to toss what I no longer need, and the desire to find the best ways to decorate our home. I’m hoping with each change I make it becomes more peaceful and welcoming.

Most importantly, I’m endeavoring to bring more focus on the Lord into my heart and home. Hymns and worship music are filling the air, negative thought patterns are being weeded out, and Scripture themed prayers are becoming more common. We have loved ones who need God’s grace in their lives, relationships which need treasured and protected, and a little one to raise up for the Lord; these are all things which come from God and are accomplished through His good will. They’re also things I can ask for in confidence knowing my Heavenly Father hears my pleas and understands my heart.

AuthenticVirtue.com // Currently Series on homemaking, pregnancy, and the grace poured into every day life

What beautiful things have come your way this week? Are there any changes you’re trying to adjust to? I love your comments and growing together as friends. Let me know what you’re thinking! 🙂

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Losing Baby Duncan

You’re never really prepared for your pregnancy to end in miscarriage.

But that’s just what’s happened to our little baby. I haven’t really known how to share this with the my friends and readers (who are like family). As a blogger, I like to wrap my writings similar to Christmas presents: darling presentation full of glittery, exciting beauty.

But this is the furthest thing from exciting.

We went in for our 8 week ultrasound; the midwife and I chatted about her flower garden and about blogs and writing as she jellied up my stomach and began probing around with her expert hand. Almost immediately she saw that things were missing and not growing properly.

Folks, this is the hard stuff.

It’s been several days since we heard this news and adjusting to not expecting our baby this year is hard. It’s really, really, really hard.

But you know what?

God is so very, very good.

It’s been a hard week but God is the same God Who created Baby and then took him home. Jesus is the same Intercessor Who understands my numb experience like no one else. My Abba Daddy knows what it is like to lose someone precious to you. He’s carrying me like a mother lamb — even though, technically, I’m not caring for a young one any more.

I believe that God is great. And in the midst of this sadness and loss He is still great. He still knits people together and He still welcomes little one’s who never met their parents into his arms and kingdom.

I believe God is good so I believe, amidst all my sadness, doubts, fear and sorrow that this miscarriage is good. It is good because God promises all things to work together for our good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Here are some good things God has already wrought from our loss:

The first face our baby saw was the Lord’s. 

Increased understanding and relationship between Dalton and I 

An overwhelming amount of prayer and support from friends and family

Friends who have miscarried are seeing the Lord work through their loss 

Our compassion and understanding for women with loss is growing

My understanding of what good sympathy is and isn’t is changing

We now know that we can indeed get pregnant

My appreciation for Dalton is growing and growing (because he’s simply the best and the loss of his first child is proving that — he is honestly the strongest, best man and he gets more gem like every day. How blessed am I?)

Our baby is with the Lord — that means he or she is walking, talking and rejoicing in the presence of the best One Who ever lived. He or she is already far more sanctified, glorified, and purified than Dalton and I. He or she is already conversing with people like Moses, John the Baptist, and Corrie ten Boom. He’s singing with angels. He’s enjoying everlasting life and praising God for His great goodness. 

We haven’t lost anything — we just have to wait longer to meet him.

Don’t think I’m not hurting. It’s just that I’m called to rejoice in all things — even in the midst of intense grief — and I guess this is what it looks like.

Thank you to all the people who loved our baby with us. Carrying Ollie for 7 weeks (short for Oliver or Olivia) was one of the greatest privileges I have known. I’m glad God let the last week be filled with joy and maternity shopping and hope instead of the fear I had been experiencing. I’m glad for the people who are loving us and blessing us through the aftermath.

I’m sad. But I’m also glad because God is good and He has given us good things … even in our loss. It took me a while to feel at peace with sharing this intimate part of us — but I’ve had a quiet day full of tears and rest and simple, household chores and God has sent a tremendous freedom in sharing what is hurting most.

For others who are needing healing read my friend Angel’s words. They’re just right for someone needing to heal in the loss and gain life’s sufferings bring.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us to eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10,11

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

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

3 Treasure-Filled Lessons Marriage Has Taught Me

Authentic Virtue

It’s been one beautiful adventure, my marrying Dalton. Today, we celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. For the last 731 days I’ve grown more in love with a man who is an obvious God-send.

Last year, I wrote a post titled 55 Things I’ve Learned After Being Married One Year. This year I feel a little less ambitious and long-winded. 😉 Here are my three most recent, most life-altering lessons marriage has taught me.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to be Delighted In[/pullquote] Silly, isn’t it? We yearn to be loved but when the chance comes we freeze. Our minds swirl with dangerous ideas: no one could love me, no one could adore my faulty body, no one could find me irresistible — I’m not worthy enough. We push our husbands away and forsake their genuine, God-given delight in us.

Sweet one, stop. I’ve been there; I’ve doubted my husband’s words, ignored his truth and resisted being fully loved by him. I was afraid. It’s scary letting someone take full delight in you — they might find a flaw.

Dare to take the risk. Dare to fall into your Adam’s arms and dare to be his Eve. Believe that the love he has for you is the gift that it is and rejoice in it.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to Love Fully[/pullquote] Okay, okay. I know this is strange. Somehow, in my single years, I developed the idea that it was wrong to be as in love with my husband as I am now. It wasn’t spiritual to make him my priority. It was embarrassing to be radiantly, happily in love. The vulnerability of having a person I’m loyal to above all made me sickeningly weak.

Crazy, right?

It wasn’t until I read Song of Solomon that I realized my error. We’ve been given permission to love our husbands fully — it’s good to be ravishingly, totally enthralled with our person. Love isn’t supposed to be conservative. It’s generously visable to the world.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to be Weak  [/pullquote] Someone very dear spoke these words of life to me: receiving criticism doesn’t mean you failed, it means you have room to grow.

Marriage will reveal weakness. And, if you have an addiction to perfection like me, you can imagine the horror of having someone see you for the human that you are.

It’s okay.

Sweet friend, it’s okay to be weak. It’s okay to need forgiveness, restoration, and grace. That’s why Christ came. [pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.[/pullquote]

Two years married to a person who sees all my selfishness, greed and pride has been hard on the side of me that wants self-made righteousness — but it’s been good for the part of me that needs grace.

Reader, whether you’re married or not, I hope you know that it is okay to be delighted in, it’s okay to love fully, and it’s okay to be weak. When we learn to accept these truths life becomes treasure-filled; you may even wonder how you ever thought yourself happy before, these truths are that rewarding.

For a montage of our wedded bliss and a shot of us as a happy, watermelon-wearing couple, why not friend me on Facebook at Authentic Virtue Blog or on my own profile!

With love, blessings and one very happy, well-loved heart,

Frannie

Hello 2016!

Currently Series with Authentic Virtue Blog

We all celebrate milestones differently. Me? I light candles, pour coffee and snuggle in; especially now as I reflect over what the Lord did in 2015 and what He may do this coming year.

It’s been a blessed, beautiful, adventure-filled year.

First, we celebrated our 1st anniversary and went on our postponed honeymoon to Las Vegas (baby!). We absolutely loved being able to afford our first nine day vacation with each other. We walked the strip (a lot), swam in our resort’s lazy river every day and thoroughly enjoyed our friendship and recalling our first year together.

Las Vegas! Las Vegas! Me and my Darling!

We logged hundreds of hours on our local interstate visiting family and making memories with the folk who really make our life tick. I’ve got to say that we really love Dalton’s 3-day weekends! We’ve been to Branson, Missouri with both sides of our family, surprised parents, and spent a lot of time in my mother-in-law’s salon. I’m so thankful our dear family are only 3 hours down the road.

What a silly group of folk

I began last year substituting in a local Christian school and then accepted an official, part-time position this school year as librarian and p.e. instructor. I’ve learned so much from accepting this position. I’ve helped put together a book fair, discovered how to prepare usable lesson plans, spent hours decorating my space and countless time loving (and being loved) by awesome kids and staff. It’s a challenge I’m so glad I accepted.

I even hosted my very own brunch! 😉 Only one soul was able to attend but we sure had a delightful time and I finally branched into hosting!

Hello, brunch!

This blog has also grown! I feel like Authentic Virtue became an adult this year when I moved from my beloved BlogSpot space to my own domain and WordPress! 😀 I enjoyed the excitement of having one of my articles featured by To Love, Honor and Vacuum and felt the thrill (and freakout!) of branching into an actual Facebook site and Periscope channel!

Speaking of the blog, here are 2015’s top five posts of the year! (I still can’t believe #1 got 1,752 views! I also can’t believe I wrote about such a controversial topic!)

Yes, it’s been a beautiful year. I’ve become more adultish. I’ve had to schedule my own doctor appointments, successfully completed a sugar fast (twice!), read more, made friends (hey! it’s a big deal for an introvert in a new city 😉 ), and pushed myself to work harder for my goals and dreams.

(I’ve also failed my sugar fast, gained a few pounds and cried a lot over little things … all things in moderation, right? 😉 )

Soon I’ll be penciling plans and dreams into a new calendar. Ordinary, day-to-day tasks will need to be inspired and revamped. I’ll need to find new ways to keep my home better and do small things with great love. We’ll need to organize our priorities as we discuss what we think God desires from us in our mid-Western town. Should we begin a Bible study? Should we get involved with the Boys and Girls Club? Should we look into renting the adorable house up the street?

There’s also the possibilities. Will I get pregnant? Will Dalton apply for a promotion? Will we stay in Jefferson City?

(I’ll also turn twenty-six in eight days … I’m getting old, ya’ll.)

So many possibilities, so many opportunities for God to reveal Himself through our lives.

What has your year looked like? Care to share some of your 2016 schemes and dreams?

I know one thing about 2016; we’ll sure enjoy our 2nd anniversary Eastern Caribbean cruise … 😉

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie