A Week of Washing and Lessons

Greetings my dear friends and sisters in Christ!

These past weeks have been very difficult for me. Not only have I found my walk with Jesus struggling (on my own account), but I have faced loneliness, bitterness, pain, and anger seemingly all at once. Who knew (at least I didn’t) that I could have such strong feelings? I am blessed because I have had relatively few hurts in my life, but hurt still hurts. And when I am not in close contact with my Heavenly Father, these trials are even more difficult to face and conquer. I only write this to deeply encourage you to always walk in close contact with Jesus. He alone can bear our most burdensome and sometimes silly fears and struggles. I’m not sure of all I am supposed to learn through these past experiences except that God is good, He is in control, and He offers forgiveness. . .as should I. Please pray for me as I go through this time, that I may come out closer  to my Jesus and a shining example of what His child ought to be!
I think I will apply Romans 12 to my heart and life. It is such an encouraging and challenging chapter!

On a different, but exciting note, I have joined up with Emily Elizabeth from My Life Belongs to Him , purposing to have a productive summer. This is such a blessing to me as I try to stay accountable and use my summer for the glory of God. I’m a little behind for week two, but I tried to be productive. First, I washed the windows! It is such a blessing to have clean windows and I am so thankful my Momma taught me. :o) A second thing is that I started a new jumper (please disregard the fact that it has remained untouched for several days. . .).  So with that said, I had better get started on this week’s tasks. I hope to make a few phone calls today and finish a few letters. Also, we are leaving for Wyoming tomorrow in order to visit/pick up my dear sister Allie. She has been away working at a dude ranch and so I would like to clean up her bedroom, tidy my own, and pack my bag. Very exciting!

I hope all is well with you all.
May the LORD bless you dearly with His grace and presence,
With love,

P.S. This lovely painting by Daniel Knight was taken from the following link: http://www.rehsgalleries.com/knight.htm

Ode to a Bad Test–and the Kindness of a Good God!

Oh, the horrors! Greetings my sweet friends and sisters! Tonight is a sad night. I took my Physical Education test (a class I am required to take as I work towards a teaching degree) and *sniff* I do not think I did well. I only share this to encourage you and myself to remember our daughterly duties. As a Christian we have the duties of loving our Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds, strengths, and to love our neighbor too. As women we’re to be good, merciful, pure, and responsible for our bodies. As sisters we have the responsibilities of being sweet, helpful, friendly, and forgiving. As friends were to be kind, understanding, and faithful. And as daughters were to be obedient, meek, humble, submissive, loving, forgiving, studious, industrious, and good.  (And these lists are not complete!) Perhaps this is to be a reminder and a consequence of my failure in this important area. So, while I am sad at my less then the best, I hope to press higher in my daughterly and scholarly duties. . .and bring my father and mother honor while I do it!

Remember dear Anne’s letter which said:
As Rachel Lynde used to say, the sun will go on rising and setting whether I fail in Geometry or not. . . .” 🙂
Have a blessed day dear sisters!
Your hopeful sister,
One Week Later:
Well, hello sisters! Guess what? I am super excited! Why you wonder? Because our God is good. I did not study for this test like I should have. . .I neglected my duty. But tonight I was blessedly surprised to get my grade. . . a 98% I am so blessed by our God who helps us and has given us common sense (it was a P.E. test and they are generally pretty self explanitory). But, I must remember to be a good and diligent student and daughter bring my parents and Lord glory.
Have a blessed night sisters!
Frannie

                                                             

Contentment-A Goodly Virtue

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Greetings my dear sisters in Christ. I hope this finds each one of you growing in our Lord and King. I’m doing well. . .simply enjoying spring, our good friend Mr. Rowland’s visit, and spending time with my family. This post deals with contentment because that is exactly what I am being taught during this season in my life. I’ve never thought of myself as a discontented person, but oh, how I was wrong. first, let me start from the  beginning  . . .

Part One- “The Beginning”
We had been living in Missouri for about eight months in a small, but sweet rental home in the middle of Ozark country. Even better, we were settled nicely in Round Springs state park. It was very lovely and I believe God used that close space to bring us closer together. We were a walk away from a spring, river, and cave. . .surely, one would think I’d be content. But we’re so far from town and the road is so curvy! 

Part Two- “The Nice Home Near Town”
This was my complaint and as we began house searching it became louder and louder. Daddy and Momma wanted a nice house with some farm/hunting land, (and we did too) but it was difficult to find those things within our price range. So after some time we found a nice home settled neatly by town, with a garden, a good amount of space, and it was very convinient. Yes, we had found the one (or that’s what some of us thought). We eventually did buy this nice home in town and are here to this day. I was so happy. . .at least for awhile. I began to think of farmland, chickens, a milking cow, and sheep and began to dislike our nice home. Its not nice enough, we we can’t have a cow, no fruit trees, why did we buy this house? This was my self speaking and through the sin of discontentment I began to grumble and complain.

Part Three- “An Opportunity”
After living in this nice home for about six months or so, we recieved a phone call from an old friend of mom’s. “We have a home for sell with 37 acres, surrounded by conservation land, located near the highway, with ponds on it; why don’t you come down and take a look at it?” Imagine, dear friends, our excitement as we went to look at the inviting prospect. First Daddy went, and when he got home his eyes sparkled as he told me not to get too excited. We visited a few times and left wanting it more and more.

An Intercession- “The Realization”
This is where I have to stop, dear sisters. It is during this time that I learned what true contentment is. My discontentment had made me very unhappy during this time. My unthankfulness made me grumble, and most likely, unpleasant to be around. As I stood looking out our dining room window the Lord helped me realize that “If  I’m not happy here I won’t be happy there.” Ooh. . .such a true thought. If I cannot be happy with the good that I have now, will I be if I have good later? I’m afraid the answer is no. I should have been happy in our nice little rental, I thought I would have been happy with our nice home by town, and now I think I will be happy with something else? No, if we are not satisified with what the Lord has given us, we won’t be satisfied with anything else. The Lord gently led me to a place where I realized that I needed to be happy now. . .and I can thankfully say He has helped me!

Part Four- “The Grace of God Brings Joy”
Here I am sisters, joyfully happy with where we are living. I don’t know if we will move, but until then, by God’s able and faithful grace, you’ll find me happily sitting in this home that’s becoming dear to me. Now I can say,  “Oh how nice to be near a grocery store, where I’m able to become friends with the stockers and the cashiers. What an opportunity to witness to my lost neighbors, and to bless the widows nearby. How good it is to have a garden we can ‘practice’ at without having to work new ground. What a blessing to have a sweet country home which has plenty of room for us and guests, is comfortable, and very hardy. And the smallish kitchen I use to dislike?. . .it is so sweet to have a kitchen where every decoration has a nook to rest in and it is nice to be able to work closely with my dear family as we cook up a meal.” Can you tell the difference God has wrought in my heart? Maybe we will never move, and at this time that is okay with me. We are here for a reason and I want to make the most out of it.  

The Conclusion- “A Few Points”
I still have much to learn on conentment and I can say that I do not always apply it like I should. But isn’t God good to help us start? I wanted to share a few points real quick concerning contentment.
~ Nothing will ever fill our hearts except Jesus. We often seek for happiness by buying/sewing clothes, visiting friends, going shopping, eating, and so on, but these things never fill our hearts up. If we allow Jesus to become “all we need” He will bring peace and joy.
~Let us remember that conentment is a good trait we need to practice now–before we get married. For most of us, our parents have provided plenty to eat, a comfortable home, and nice clothing and that is a blessing. But when we get married, dear sisters, life will have challenges. Our husbands will be just starting out and life is difficult. I know my parents had hard times when they began.  So let us learn to be content now, so that, Lord willing, we may be a sweet and happy blessing to our future husband.

Let us continue pressing heavenward as we learn to become the content and joyful maidens God desires us to be. I have much to learn, but God is faithful!
With much love from a sister,

P.S. The above sweet picture I found at brandie-life.blogspot.com. If you would like, pay Brandie a visit–her blog is very sweet!

Authentic Virtue post #3- The Trials of Life and the King Who Helped Me Overcome Them.

Dear sisters in Christ,
Greetings from a sister full of joy! I want to encourage you all who are going through a difficult time, a valley, in their spiritual and physical life. I have been battling many valleys lately, since the beginning of December and I haven’t been victorious. But, I praise my Lord and Saviour who has seen me through!! While I’m dissapointed over my failures I see that God has worked them out for my good!

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Roms. 8:28

Praise His name! I wanted to put three “valleys” which I have struggled with as of late and show you how the Lord has been there the whole time and the wonderful goodness He has to give!

Valley number 1: My Momma has been away. My Momma, who is part-time in the Air Guard, has been on a trip for a couple weeks. With her being gone I have been feeling very lonely…she is my best friend, my closest confidant. And with her being away I have been feeling anxious and depressed. Jesus has shown me that those feelings of anxiousness and emptiness are simply signs of Him needed to fill a hole in my life. But I was using my mom! And humans, no matter how dear to us, can never fill the hole in our lives. Only Jesus can! It’s like building my life upon the sand….a foolish choice because when the rain falls I will as well. ~Matt. 7:21-29

The sweetness of valley number 1 is that God helped me realize that He is enough to make me happy, to fill my heart! Besides that, He is the father of the fatherless [motherless] ~Psalms 68:5. I believe He becomes that Father even if my earthly father or mother is only temporarly away! He is that good! He is also the friend of the friendless. God is so good and if we were to only trust Him, He will fill us with joy, peace, and happiness.

So after this trial I simply want to bless and encourage my Mommy. I miss you, but Jesus can fill my heart and I hope you had a wonderful trip. And to my family at home, thank you for being there and being my friends. May I be a faithful and good servant, daughter, and sister to you all! I’m so thankful for my wonderful family!

Valley number 2: With moving away from Alaska it has been somewhat difficult to find and make friends. In the last several weeks, this has made me struggle alot with being blue or sad. Jesus again showed me that only He can fill my heart whether I have friends or not! Once again, He is the Friend of the friendless. The biggest point the Lord graciously showed me is that His ways and timing is perfect ~Ps. 18:30. It is He who has moved us here and woe be to me to grumble or complain ~Ps. 28:5. In His timing He will bring friends. Perhaps during this time He wants me to concentrate on learning to lean on and trust in Him, or maybe He wants me to use this time to allow Him to fill my heart entirely with Him ?! I don’t know! But I do know that His ways are perfect and He has only good planned for me

“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.”Jer. 29:11.

Valley number 3: This valley is similar to valley number 2. It is the valley of needing fellowship. We have found a Bible beliving church (praise the Lord!) and have been visiting there. But I have found it difficult to go through my days without close, truly like-minded fellowship. This has led to my being sad, upset, and anxious. But this is not what Jesus has intended for me! He has promised me peace and joy! So were is all of this joy and peace? I have been throwing it away for the sake of a pity-party and cheap thrills. Jesus wants me to be satisfied in Him and Him alone. When I realize that even large amounts of good, godly fellowship can’t bring me true happiness and that only Jesus can satisfy my hearts deepest longings, I begin to find joy and happiness. The lesson Jesus showed me is that, once again, He is enough. Jesus knows my deepest need and in His timing and way He will fill it. He is a good friend and will not leave us alone and anxious; instead He will give us peace and contentment when we finally rest in Him. He is so good!

“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Ps. 18:9