Absorbed With Me and Unhappy About It // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

It’s been a long, difficult week. I have been absorbed with me.

Absorbed with how I look, feel, dress.

Obsessed with what I want, desire and see.

In my heart the Holy Spirit was speaking to me. “Stop serving yourself, Frannie. Live for the Lord in every moment, this is the path to contentment and rest.”

Instead of listening to that still, soft voice I stuffed my heart with material, tangible self-pleasing things. I ate a little more, worshiped myself a little more, and focused on me a little more. As we all know living for oneself is miserable.  I’ve been discontented, restless, easily hurt and irritated, frustrated and lazy. Scripture reading was nipped in the bud, prayer stalled and love quenched.

Do you ever struggle with this? Does your earthly, old-nature ever make a comeback so strong you feel as lost, pagan and lonely as when you were originally? Before Christ?

We’ve had some difficulties that nearly knocked my socks off including a death in the family; later in the week we hear about another who is struggling with the bitterest of life’s struggles.

And I just can’t do it.

I cannot make myself happy when life gets so hard. I cannot be self-sufficient spiritually — I am drained. I am drained because I walked away from the fountain of living waters to drink from my own mediocre pond. Only after did I begin to feel the effects.  I remembered that I cannot satisfy soul.

Turn me again, O God, and cause Your face to shine; and I will be saved.

Hear me LORD in the day of trouble; the God of Jacob defend me; Send me help from Your sanctuary and strengthen me out of Zion. I trusted in chariots and I trusted in horses, but now I will remember the name of the LORD my God. Save, LORD; let the King hear me when I call.

Psalms 20 and 80

These are the verses I am crying out right now — verses I am praying personally because I know that the God of Zion does hear His people, even when they get distracted with their own selfishness.

I know that this post is a lot — a lot of ugly, self-centered bits you don’t see very often. But I believe in authenticity, being real and being honest. I also believe in virtue, the God given power to live life holy. Sometimes, I take my eyes off the One Who is my righteousness and focus on myself too much. And then life knocks me over and my Heavenly Father reminds me to build my life and worth on something more solid then my own abilities — Him.

So, here’s to directing my eyes to Him, choosing to serve Him over myself and enjoying the peace that obedience brings.  Here’s to loving others more than myself and helping them through the hard times.

With so much love and coffee,

Frannie

Why Making Life Pretty Is Important

5 Reasons Making Life Pretty Is Important

Have you ever noticed that life is messy? I mean, surely my  washcloths aren’t the only ones to get stinky (guilty)  and if you still haven’t figured out how burrito beans get streaked across your couch cushions don’t feel bad … I’m puzzled too. The truth is life is messy, sometimes it’s downright dingy. We don’t live in fairy tale worlds where cutely dressed mice sweep our floors; sometimes the Christmas tree stays up till July and the let’s forget about having the patio arranged in floral bliss.  

Making life pretty can be hard.

Especially when you’re busy, tired, broke or one of those non-creative folks.

But, dear one, it is important.

Making ordinary, everyday life pretty is important because it is artwork. Never let someone tell you otherwise; washing your dishes, dusting the furniture and making a home both functional and beautiful is a creative outlet. Some paint, some play music and others make everyday life pretty.

Here are five reasons why making (everyday) life pretty is important.

1.  Making Life Pretty Makes You Feel Better

Remember how good it felt to look outside of your freshly washed windows? Or maybe you’ve experienced the joy of putting wildflowers in a mason jar? Making life pretty makes you feel better. When we set the timer for 15 minutes and join our kids in a blitz-cleaning spree we feel good (and they feel good too!). When our homes are kept organized, clean and pretty we feel organized, clean and pretty.

2. Making Life Pretty Brings  Peace Into Your Home

We all know that life can be chaotic but I want to encourage you to bring peace into your home by making life pretty. Sometimes, it’s as simple as lighting a candle or using the good set of dishes for once. Turn on worship music while you wash dishes and sing while you fold laundry. We bring peace into our homes when we purpose to make life pretty — suddenly, life becomes a little less hurried and a little more cherished.  

3. Making Life Pretty Creates Purpose

There have been days when I don’t feel like going the extra mile. Instead of making life pretty I simply push through it, accomplishing my to-do list with little drive or joy. Soon I find myself in a “funk” (typically signified by tv marathons and cookie dough raids). And while everyone needs a down day (amen?) purposeless days are something we need to avoid. Who likes going through life in a fog, barely able to get supper on the table let alone make it a nice one? 

I have found that by taking the time to make life pretty I create more purpose in my day. And when I feel purposeful I feel helpful, settled and happy.

4.  Making Life Pretty Encourages Others

I have a few friends I love to visit with; and even though their homes are small, the sinks crowded with dishes and the floors crumby I feel welcomed, wanted and refreshed. One takes the time to make her life pretty by offering me homemade cookies and tea out of a tin can she has collected. Another delights me by discussing the latest feminine styles and ventures she works into her photography business. One ushers me out to her porch where a few simple flower pots and a glass of iced tea make the evening even more lovely.

It doesn’t take much to make life pretty and encourage, bless and refresh our friends and family.

5. Making Life Pretty Makes Your Creator Smile

Finally, when we make our plain, ordinary days pretty we make our Creator smile. How do I know? One of our Creator God’s attributes is that He makes things beautiful. His Word tells us that He was pleased with His creation, that our bodies are made wonderfully and that, as women, we’re to be keepers of our home When we set about to create beautiful, peace-filled lives we reflect attributes of our Creator. As we aim to make the messy, ordinary bits of life pretty we bring joy to the God Who made everyday life full of purpose.

Why do you make everyday life pretty? Have you discovered some of the rewards which come from creating beauty in the simple days?

With so much love,

Frannie Anne

How to Be Honest When You’re A Nice Person

How to Be Honest When You're A Nice Person

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been told, “But you’re just so nice, Frannie!” I’d have a shoe/book collection like no other.

(Seriously.)

But being nice has cost me; it’s cost me my integrity, my opinion and my courage. You see, when one is nice one struggles with being honest. When you’re softhearted and a people-pleaser it’s hard to say no, share your opinion honestly and be brave enough to speak up. I know, because I’ve lived my whole life with the struggle. #thestruggleisreal

My dear husband has encouraged me to be real with him — even when it means hurting his feelings. When we first married, I’d keep all my opinions to myself.

Him: “Do want to watch this movie?”

Me: “Uh, yeah, sure. That looks good.” (Not really).

Him: “Care to eat at the buffet tonight?”

Me: “Ooo! that sounds good.” (But I’d like to try something new).

After so many weeks of me keeping my feelings to myself I’d explode on the poor, blonde-headed man, typically the scene would take place somewhere in the movie store’s drama aisle. (Go figure 😉 )

Me: “You never let me pick the movie!”

Him: “Well, I always ask. Why didn’t you tell me you wanted to watch something different? I need you to tell me what you think — I can’t read your mind!”

Oh, yeah. I guess you haven’t received your Excellence in Mind Reading certification yet, have you?

About three emotional explosions later we decided to dive deeper into why I kept my thoughts to myself. Why couldn’t I be candid with the  one who truly wanted to know my thoughts?

Because love — to me — meant putting aside my wishes for the other person. Love meant blindly ignoring my thoughts so I could make someone else happy. But to my husband love meant me trusting him enough to be open, real and honest even when the discussion is petty and relatively meaningless. I needed to be trusting enough to realize that he really did want to know my opinion and that even if we disagreed we would be okay.

So, if you are a nice person who struggles with being honest I want to encourage you to remember three small things:

  1. The person asking for your opinion really wants to know; they aren’t faking it to be nice (like you probably do, tisk, tisk. 😉 )
  2. If the answer is no, it is not the end of the world.
  3. Honesty is worth far more then fake niceness.

Next time you are tempted to be “nice” and tuck your thoughts away from the world, don’t. Practice being honest (in your awesome, sweet way). Practice trusting the other person enough to be real about your thoughts. Practice being nice and honest. You’ll be a lot happier.

With love and authenticity!