Having a Heavenly Marriage Starts with being a Generous Wife

Generosity is such an important ingredient for a thriving, happy union.

Dalton and I have been married for almost 6 years and they have been wonderful, dear years but along with all the joy there has been a lot of stretching.

Sweet friend, let me tell you some of the ways I have grown (and am still growing) to be a more generous wife; maybe I can help you avoid the pitfalls I floundered in!

Being a generous wife looks different for every woman and marriage but here are 4 key areas I’ve found important:

  • Be generous in arguments

Alright, let’s just dive into real life. Couples fight. We fight. You will fight.

There’s no getting around the “heated fellowship” which happens whenever two people vow to live as one. You will have different views on how to handle finances, parenting, family conflict, and how to run your home.

The success of your marriage is not measured by the absence of conflict but by how well you communicate and work through the conflict.

So, sweet one, fight well and generously. Don’t rage and don’t cold-shoulder. Do speak gently and do pick your battles. Don’t drag other people into your conflict and don’t pick at old wounds (stick to the topic at hand).

  • Be generous in bed

It’s a lie to believe that generous intimacy in the bedroom is just for wild women. It’s for you and it is so important.

Now, please know that there will be seasons in life where intimacy will look different and that’s totally okay! (Think pregnancy, bed rest, or sickness).

What do I mean by being generous in bed? It means initiating. Be generous with yourself (and not try to act like someone you’re not). Generosity in the bedroom means communicating with your hubby about what you need. And it means generously saying yes. (while generously saying no to reading fantasy books or entertaining lust for people outside marriage).

I’m super awkward when it comes to discussing the intimate parts of marriage but I firmly believe that this is an issue the Church needs to discuss more.

When we practice generosity in the bedroom, there is immense beauty and freedom. <3

  • Be generous in eye-contact and attention

I admit that I often have one million things on my mind and it’s difficult for me to stop and attend to Dalton when he’s wanting to talk. I like keeping my hands busy but I’ve found Dalton feels most heard when I stop what I’m doing and listen well.

It takes effort for us to be generous with our attention and eye-contact but it’s so very important to take the time and listen well when your spouse is connecting with you.

  • Be generous with forgiveness and good will

It’s so easy to carry a chip on our shoulders, isn’t it? To assume that every time our husband is forgetful or short with us that he was purposefully being unkind and rude?

I’ve have found a great deal of happiness in being generous with good will and in assuming the best of my hubby. After all, I am so thankful when Dalton assumes the best in me — it’s a gift to always think the best of your spouse and quickly forgive when hurts do happen.

In the end, being a generous wife will not always be easy. It’s natural for us to want to fight for our rights and be stingy with our love, attention, and energy.

But, here’s to growing and maturing. Here’s to the generosity which turns ordinary relationships into heavenly ones.

Tell me — who has been a great example of a generous mama, wife, or friend in your life? What do you find so beautiful in their personality? Leave me a comment; I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Also, I’m going to be announcing a giveaway later today so please check back!

Love and blessings,

Frannie

How I Try to be a Generous Mama

Being a generous, patient, gentle mama is tough; there’s only so much of ourselves which we can spread around and it’s very easy for to be panicked and stingy with our limited resources of time, energy, and attention.

But, I want to be a generous mama — one who is quick to give of my limited resources — I want to be more generous because God is so generous to me.

And I want to encourage you too, dear friend!

Honestly, it’s easy for us to freely give of ourselves when life is going well — when we’re well-rested, there’s a surplus in the budget, and the people around us are angels. 😉

But let’s talk real life — how can we be generous, giving mamas when we’re exhausted? How do we practice generous patience when we’re running late and the gas light flickers on and our kiddos are whining in the backseat. How do we give of ourselves when we just don’t want to read that book anymore?

Mothering well is not an easy task but that is where the Holy Spirit and some practical forethought can help us overcome!

For me, preparing my heart at the beginning of the day helps tremendously. I have a cute little basket holding my Bible and current devotional; it takes a great deal of effort to crawl out of bed early but I never regret the 15-30 minutes I spend with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading.

I also plan our daily schedule out and include blocks of time specifically for snuggling, book reading, or sensory play. Of course, random kisses and play times happen but I find I’m much more intentional and generous when I plan to be.

Then, of course, there are the days when I’m running on fumes and feel like quite the grouch. On those days, it’s important to be generous with myself. That can include:

  • picking the battles I want to fight
  • folding the laundry tomorrow
  • asking my hubby or a friend for help

Of course, what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you and your family. But, when it comes to loving my son generously it tends to look like:

  • reading Bear Snores On with gusto a few times daily
  • helping him with therapy exercises
  • being quick, yet patient, in the habit training we’ve established
  • slowing down enough to give great eye contact, hugs, and watching his non-verbal cues and communication

The sweet thing I’ve discovered is that when I am intentional and generous with my love, attention, and patience Uriah’s development, behavior, and personality thrive — which are ample rewards for my choosing generosity over the bare minimum.

Tell me, friend, how do you practice generosity in your relationships? I would love to hear how you have been impacted by a generous person in your life!

This week, I aim to fill our days with themed crafts, songs, books, and Scriptures themed around this idea of generosity so I’ll be sharing some of that here on the blog or on my Instagram.

Plus, I’m hoping to send a little giveaway to someone in the coming weeks so be sure to come back for that!

With much love and blessings,

Frannie

My New Years Resolution for Our Marriage

2019 is the year for a thriving marriage! The past two years have pretty much revolved around our darling little and that’s okay! Between my misdiagnosed miscarriage, constant bleeding, PPROM, bed rest, 7 months in the NICU (while living apart), and then transitioning to motherhood and caregiver responsibilities — life has been crazy! 

And while Dalton and I love each other more than ever I am aiming to make 2019 a year of re-establishing our marriage as #1 priority. 

In effort to grow in our marriage, I am focusing on changing one thing and I think it’s going to be an awesome, life-giving habit! 

I’m choosing to support and complement Dalton’s personality and calling rather than compete against it. 

What’s that look like? Well …

  • Choosing to believe in, pray for, and support, in actions, Dalton’s vision for our family. 
  • Letting go of my expectations and enjoy who Dalton is and what he brings to the world. 
  • Diffusing conflict by receiving Dalton’s reactions graciously (I’ll post more on this later this month).
  • Building trust by being reliable, responsible health wise, and more upfront on issues brewing in my heart. 

When I mean complement I’m not talking about using kind words or flattery (that’s compliment); I’m referring to the dictionary’s definition:

a thing that completes or brings to perfection.

I have a nasty habit of second guessing Dalton and competing against his decisions and vision.

My “needing to win” attitude has caused a lot of unnecessary conflict, hurt feelings, and defensive attitudes. (I love the short article Jeff Bethke wrote about how the need to win will kill any relationship)

Thankfully, I have a loving God Who forgives and changes old thought patterns and sinful attitudes and a patient husband who loves graciously. <3 

This year, instead of fighting against D’s nature, personality, or vision to support them.

What are some of your 2019 goals? Have you chosen a list of resolutions or one word? Leave me a comment below or stop by Instagram. I love to hear from you! 

Love and blessings, 

Frannie

How Pandora Radio Taught Me About the Subtlety of Compromise // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

I have a supreme enjoyment of three specific, earthly things: good coffee, good music and good dessert. 

Pandora Radio is my music app of choice and I’m always listening to a variety of stations with my top three being JJ Heller, Mannheim Steamroller Holiday, and Pride + Prejudice Film Score. Of course, the nature of Pandora is that you’ll get all sorts of artists crooning their notes through your speakers and, with the flick of an up or down thumb, you build your playlist.

All was fine until I heard a song crooning from my JJ Heller station. My ears pricked at the sound — it was an old, emotion-filled love song which was popular during my Freshman year of high school (back when I was into rap and all sorts of mainstream vocals). It wasn’t a terrible song but it was definitely something I have chosen not to listen to any more.

I was shocked. How could something so long-forgotten and bypassed suddenly appear in my folksy, Christian artist station? And it wasn’t the only one. Throughout the day I was bombarded by songs not befitting my tastes or beliefs. Somehow, through a long-time of liking different songs, I had given Pandora the impression of the type of music I wanted to hear.

My station had been compromised.

And suddenly, I saw a lesson I’ve been needing to learn for a long time.

Sin, in any form, removes us from God. But we often don’t see it that way. We see little sins as minor issues; we don’t thumbs-down the small, minuscule character flaws, emotions or thoughts we deal with every day. It isn’t sin … it’s just not the best, we think. We trick ourselves into believing that the comprise doesn’t matter or that we’re mature enough Christians to handle it.

It happens to us all the time. We compromise on the little things forgetting that compromise grows up into full blown, reprobate patterns of sin. We don’t see that we’ve allowed compromise and justified little sins until we reap the fruit of bad character and rebellious hearts.

Sin does not advance by leaps; it advances by creeps—one tiny compromise at a time. – Mary Kassian from “Don’t Be a Wimp: Kicking the Habits that Make Women Weak.”

Sin creeps in just like artists we don’t want on our Pandora Radio. We hesitate on clicking the thumbs-down button. “Oh, I like this song … it won’t hurt anyone” turns into a secular takeover of your Christian station in a matter of days. It’s a lot like “I’m mature enough to watch this movie” or “My boyfriend and I are committed to purity so we know how far we can push the boundaries and where the line is.” 

Mary Kassian's Quote

The good news is that God is big enough and present enough to turn to. Some of us know we have compromise in our lives but are afraid of coming forward — I’ll fix it, Lord, and then I can turn to you … you don’t want me as I am right now. (This is my biggest lie I buy.) Other’s are letting a lack of faith keep them from repentance — God, I’m unfixable. I’m broken beyond repair. If You only saw my mind and the filth filling it You wouldn’t want me.

Friends, turn to Jesus. Turn in your brokenness and pain and smallness. You can’t change unless you let Him do a change in you first. Let Him shine light on the compromises in your life and weed out the roots of sin. He loves you and you are worth every effort of His. 

Have you let compromise sneak into your life? Are you experiencing the result of hesitation on clicking the thumbs-down button in your life? Do you need prayer or a listening ear? We’re here to encourage and lift each other up — this is a safe place, friend. We’re here to point you to the One Who is big enough to cleanse the years of compromise you’ve allowed. Just ask. 

With love, blessings and a whole lotta coffee,

Frannie