Dreams

Hello! Today, while driving home, I was perusing my sister’s cds when I came upon a song called “In My Dreams.” Today, when many talk about love it is the kind of love which is self seeking. The sacrificial, forgiving, enduring love is the love forgotten and replaced with immediate self-gratifying love–or often lust.
In My Dreams
by
 Josh Turner
Some men dream of crossing oceans
Some men dream one day to fly
Spend their whole lives out there floating on the water and the sky
Some men dream of building fortunes
Some men dream of having fame
Nothing else is more important then making money and a name
But, In my dreams, I see
A little sky blue house beside a small stream
A front porch, a screen door,
The sound of barefeet running and cartoons.
In my dreams, your dreams come true
I come find you in your garden
Pulling weeds between the rows
Trade a kiss for a glass of water
Sit and watch what love can grow
In my dreams, I see
A little sky blue house beside a small stream
A front porch, a screen door,
The sound of barefeet running and cartoons.
In my dreams, your dreams come true
In my dreams, your dreams
Are the only things that really matter to me
When you smile, I smile
What makes you happy makes me happy too
In my dreams, your dreams come true
In my dreams, your dreams come true

Dreams. I’m not sure if there is anything wrong with them. If, and only if, our dreams are lined up with God’s will then I believe dreams are lovely. Dreams inspire, motivate and encourage. Everyone has a dream. Missionaries dream of reaching the lost; while fathers and mothers dream of raising a home and family. Teachers dream of reaching their students while sailors dream of crossing the great seas. Even criminals have dreams . . . dreams which fail to line up with God’s standards.
My dreams? I have a multitude. I desire to serve in some sort of mission work all my days. If I am ever blessed to marry my mission will be at home–my mission will be my husband’s and my fi eld mychildren and those around me.
What does my dream look like?
It involves a little place. Buttercream yellow and cornflower blue is the theme of my kitchen, which by the way, has a little breeze coming through the open window. If you look outside you’ll notice the front porch, a large tree with a swing and depending on the season, a green lawn or field. To the side will be a garden; I’ll have to start small since I haven’t much experience.
The Yellow Cottage–Harpswell was painted by Sylvia Dyer. Please visit this link to see her other works of art.

From the kitchen you’ll notice a living room–probably not as clean and nicely decorated as some but comfortablely worn from guests and babes. Oh, and don’t forget the library. I have known from a young age that no matter what I have in a house I must have a library. One that holds good books, edifying books. Books like Martyr’s Mirror, God’s Smuggler, The Hiding Place, Little Women, hymn books, Robinson Crusoe and the sweet Abeka and Rod and Staff books which teach so many good lessons.

It will be a house built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and God’s Word. Love and forgiveness will adorn each board while laughter and pranks will squeak as often as the kitchen floor. Endurance and hardwork will make themselves as bold and true as the hand-picked geraniums decorating the dining table. Here hospitaity will be the rule, godly character and old-fashionedness encouraged and many rolls and cookies will be baked.
This lovely drawing can be found at this link.
And until then I’ll help make this home just as pleasant–however long that may be. For if I am not content here I shall not be there. Please know, dreamy as I may be, I am also very much a realist. I know that there will be days when laundry has grown to mountainous proportions, when dinner is burnt and finances tight. There maybe days when time is limited, guests unexpected and clothes out-grown. There will be an unfair share of unproductive days along with many mismatched socks. I’m sure there will also be days when I struggle with lost patience and unmet expectations.
But it will be home. And if it is ordained by God and ordered according to His will it will be great.
What does your dream look like?
Until next time, dear ones!
Frannie

My Valentines

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ! I hope this finds each of you very well and beginning your week full ohope and peace. I am doing well, enjoying a quiet night with my dear family. Growing up, Momma always blessed and spoilt us children by making every Christmas, Easter, and Valentines Day special. Some of the special and memorable things she (and Daddy!!) would do were: give us new pajamas on Christmas Eve, always (for my last 21 years!) decorate eggs and hide them on Easter morning, and bring us a special “foo-foo” coffee for our birthdays. For  Valentines Day I have fond memories of helping pick out my siblings balloons and candy from Fred Myers; and I can remember waking up to find Valentine themed trinkets and goodies hand-picked for each of us kids on the table . . . no wonder I love holidays–I have a wonderful mommy who made them extra special for me!! I learned so much from my momma and one of those things is this: it is worth the effort to bless others and make their day special. {I LOVE YOU Mommy and Daddy!} 🙂 
This year I am very excited because I was able to make a few valentines. In my yonger years I would try to give out valentines to various people … but that was during schooling years which were full of insecurities and fears. So often I felt that I was on the bottom of the totem pole (and perhaps I was :), and so most of my efforts, thoughts, and actions were aimed at my some how climbing the social ladder and into popularity. 🙂 Needless to say, some of the valentines I handed out were simply for selfish, vain reasons and thereforethey never meant much to me. But this year has been different; this year I was able to make just a few valentines and the dear people I want to give them to are people who I love and that makes a world of difference from my schooling years. For my twenty-first birthday Daddy and Mooma bought me a Cricut and I have been having a blast working with it!! 🙂

Aren’t they cute? I am so excited to give them to my family members tomorrow . . . fun!! Lord willing, we will be having heart shaped biscuits and gravy too.
 I hope that you all have a blessed day tomorrow.
With much love from your sister in Christ,
Photo Credit: The lovely valentine seen above is from graphicsfairy.blogspot.com

Being Single

   Greetings friends! I hope this finds each of you very well and rejoicing in the Lord; “For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Much has been going on lately, but I wanted to share a story with you. I hope that you are blessed. 🙂

Abigail Henry eagerly opened the letter her brother brought home; she loved receiving letters from her dearest friend Lacy. Often the treasured notes held bits of godly encouragement and humor as the two early-twenty cousins shared stories about home, siblings, missions, sewing, and other girlish adventures. With vigor Abigail flipped open the floral stationary and began to read. But today Abigail’s brown eyes came across something different, something delightful … Lacy was beginning a courtship with a godly young man in her church!

Emotions of joy and excitement bubbled up inside Abigail’s heart, yet another emotion also rose to the surface–sadness. But before she could address this unwanted feeling Abigail quickly left her room to share Lacy’s good news with the rest of the family.

The next morning, beautiful with sunny skies and spring temperatures, found Abigail spending most of her time serving around the house. But while the day spoke of joy, Abigail’s heart ached with sorrow. It was not until she jumped into her little car and left for an errand that Abigail began to discuss her troubles with the Lord, something she often did in the privacy of her own car. Out loud, the young woman shared her heart ache with her loving Saviour and Creator.

“Lord, you know I am excited for Lacy … she deserves a godly husband and the blessing of having her own family. She will be a wonderful wife–but, Lord, why is it that I am still single? Why is it that no one has asked for my hand? Father, am I even worthy of love? Will anyone ever find me lovely and worthy enough to be his wife? Jesus, I feel passed over and forgotten. Am I?”

Dejectedly, Abigail let out a loud and helpless sigh. At that moment, her Lord began to speak to her heart. And Jesus said, “My dearest daughter, I love you (Rom. 5:6-8). I find you beautiful; I hand-made each of your freckles, every strand of your hair, and I chose even the features you dislike so that you may know and love me and that I may be glorified (Ps. 139:16,17). These hands of mine formed you in the womb, they stretched the heavens, and bled on Calvary so that you may have life … and these very hands hold you safely now (Ps. 104:2, John 3:16). I know you feel forgotten but I have a perfect plan for you, a plan which will bring so much beauty and joy from your life (Jer. 29:11, Rom. 8:28). A plan which will bring others to Christ and glorify my Father’s name–if you will only accept it (Isa. 49:5). Abigail, part of that plan is for you to be single right now. I know you want to be a wife and mother, but Dearest, if you cannot cheerfully and obediently accept my the plan I have for you now you will struggle to accept it later. Remember, being single is a gift from God; it is a time for you to ‘care for the things of the Lord, that you may be holy both in body and in spirit: (1 Cor. 7:34) . It is a time in which you can have the freedom to serve others … do not waste it pining over day-dreams and in self-pity. Only after you accept single-hood as a gift will you be able to truly enjoy and fulfill the calling of marriage. Daughter, remember that I am the Giver of Good Gifts (James 1:17). I have given you the time of being single, therefore, this time is a good gift; I would not give it to you otherwise. And finally, my Beloved, know that you are loved; draw nearer to me and you will realize that I can meet your every need (Ps. 37:4).”

A few moments silently passed as Abigail took in all her Saviour had spoken. It was difficult for her to accept the idea that being single equated a gift. And yet, the teary eyed girl knew her Father was right.

Later that night, Abigail sat nestled in the couch across from her dear parents. The three were spending a few moments before bed visiting and sharing the events of the day. After gathering her bravery, Abigail spilt her tale to her wise counselors. She shared the sorrow that came from Lacy’s jubilant letter, the discouragement that over-whelmed her in the car, and the sweet response the Savior gave. Smiling, Mrs. Henry spoke, “Abigail, your desires for marriage and motherhood are good desires … something for which you ought to be thankful. But you are right in that they must be met in God’s timing and way. Trust in Christ to meet your every need. Resting in Christ will not always be easy and you will still struggle with feelings of sadness and loneliness. When those times come, turn to Jesus and know that your obedience will help change your emotions.” “Remember,’ spoke Mr. Henry, ‘to allow Jesus to fill your heart with joy over Lacy’s happiness. Your contentment in being single will enable you to bless and encourage others.”

As Abigail climbed into bed that night, she thoughtfully recalled all that she had happened that day. Quietly she prayed, “Dearest Lord, by your grace I want to accept and delight in the gift of being single. Be my Joy and Companion and according to Your will prepare me for all that you have planned … whether that be marriage or not, I will delight in you.” 

Dear friends, if you are a boy reading this {I congratulate you!} you may not relate to the main character of this story. If you are a girl, I believe you may have understood  some of the fears and doubts which went through Abigail’s heart. Sisters, let us learn to be content in the here and now; let us allow Christ the righful place in our live’s and He will ease the pangs of lonliness and worry. 

May the Heavenly Father bless you as you press heavenward!

Summer with a purpose: Week Nine!

Greetings dear sisters in Christ! I hope you all are well and had a lovely day!
Another week of summer has passed on and I’m left to ponder how well I used it. I did not have a very productive week at home this week, but I did get a few things done.

Reading: This week I’ve been trying to work away at Are You Serious About Marriage? by Susan Zakula. This book is filled with godly wisdom and I have really enjoyed it so far. One particular section spoke greatly to me. It reads,
“Similarly, young women who have been in the working world have a difficult time changing their focus. They may make a great effort at finishing the ‘housework’ so they can go on to the more seemingly important things in life. They do not realize that making a happy home and meeting their husbands’ needs are the important things in life. As a woman grows in the Lord, she begins to realize that what her husband thinks is important IS important.”
 p. 26,27
I know that I have often struggled with the “I must get the cleaning done so I can do things important to me” mind set. I’m reminded of a saying which says “If a things worth doing, its worth doing well.” Ah, how true this is! How many times have I hastily dusted the furniture, skipped over changing my sheets, and put off the laundry? Too many times. I believe that part of training to be a godly woman and helpmeet is to diligently apply myself to these important things! I am so thankful the Lord has opened my eyes just a little to this important lesson and I hope I learn it well!
Anyways, it is my great hope to finish this book this week!
Cleaning: I was able to tidy up my room and go through a few of my decorations. This was such a blessing because my dresser was starting to collect more junk than pretties. I’m very excited because it is now orderly! :o)

Special Things: This past week I was very blessed to start working full time at a nearby day-care. God was so faithful and timely in giving me this job and I am learning so much! One thing God has been teaching me is to love little children. To many people this comes very natural, but I struggle with impatience and the unkind thought “If these were my children.” 🙁  I confessed these feelings to Momma and she gave me some lovely advice: Talk to Jesus about it. Jesus already knows my struggles and faults and He can help me. And you know what? I prayed about it, and I felt a love and patience the very next day! God is so faithful! I know this all may sound silly, but patience and gentleness is something I need to learn. I feel like this job is God’s way of trying to teach me! While learning this lesson I was reminded of Titus 2:4 which reads,
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”
I had never given that part of the verse much thought. To love their children? That seems so easy, but is it really? Is it really easy to truly love anyone who is disobedient and sometimes selfish? For me it isn’t. But as Jesus loves me, though I am often disobedient and selfish, so I need to love others. And what does it mean to “love their children?” I feel like I have much to learn from this verse and am very excited!
One extra special thing is that I was able to go on a float trip with my family today. I was very blessed to be given the day off and truly enjoyed God’s beautiful creation and my family’s company!
Well, that is about it for my week.  I hope you all were able to be more productive than I. God bless your night, dear sisters, and let us continue pressing on towards Christ!
With love,
Frannie
Picture Credit: This lovely painting was created by Helen Allingham.

Of Restless Hearts and God’s Will

Whah! {that’s the only sound my aching heart seems to be screaming}. I think I’m about to tackle a difficult topic, and it is being brought on my my own struggling heart, but I must share. I know most of you dear readers are young ladies; young ladies with dreams and hopes of one day being married. As I write this I’m smiling a bright but shy smile, for my heart loves and hates to discuss my hopes of marriage with others.

 I’m twenty years old, but I feel like the bloom of romance which had swept away many of my childhood friends never came. . .until now that is. And along with this intence desire to be loved comes an intence desire of discontentment. Yes, that horrible struggle of self fighting against the good will of my Father. Sin.

God designed me; every freckle, strand of hair, my very veins He lovingly and wisely put together. He knows me and is personally aquainted with my past, present, and future. He has watched over me from my sweet childhood years to this glorious, yet difficult time of being His growing little woman. As I look over my short life I see His loving and perfect hand in everything. From my dear parents and my raising, to my awarness of sin, to my first heart break, all the way to a terrible church split I see how His hand has guided me, using different things to bring me closer to Him. With confidence I can look over almost every time in my life and see how God has used it; I can say that He is wise, all-knowing, and perfect in His ways with me. Now, can I say that about my singleness? Can I in contentment trust Him and give up my hopes and day dreams knowing that He, as He has been all my life, is in control? Can I lay my will for a family and husband down and pick up His? In my head I know that God’s will is perfect and is for my good, but in my heart and will I resist, afraid that He has plans for me that I may not like. Oh, that I may learn to simply trust and obey, to trust that whatever He has in store for me, marriage or singlehood, Mrs. or Miss, is all for my good and for the glory of His kingdom? I trust I am not the only one struggling with this.

Here are some droplets of advice which have blessed me:

1. Singlehood is a wonderful opportunity to wholeheartedly serve my heavenly Father and Husband, Jesus Christ. 
“The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:” 1 Cor. 7:34a    

We must remember that to give up our life for God’s glory is the highest calling. Never, think of maidhood as something horrible. It has many blessings. Remember also, the unmarried missionary legends who accomplished so much for God; at this moment I can think of Gladys Alward and  Amy Carmichal, to very admirable women.

2. Remember that God hates covetousness and that my “eyeing” other young men is just that. {We must remember that that young man may be someone’s future husband, or he may be set aside for singlehood by His heavenly Father. In either case, he is not mine}. 

3. When I begin to be carried away with day dreams, remember that my time is not mine. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph. 5:15,16.

Also, when catching yourself day dreaming remember Phillippians 4:8,9 which reads,
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Are my thoughts pure, true {did that or will that really happen?}, and of good report {would I allow others to see what I’m thinking?}.

5. Give your heart to your parents, specifically your daddy. Make yourself vulnerable to your dad; cultivating a relationship with him may seem strange and difficult, but the blessings far out weigh the trouble! Take responsibilty for yourself and work on the relationship. Ask your daddy what makes a good wife, ask him to help you grow in godly character. Ask him for his guidance and wisdom concerning boys. Ya know, he knows them best! 🙂   
Share your heart with your momma; tell her your hopes and dreams and ask her if you can be accountable to her. I can guarentee you will be blessed!

6. Finally, remember that Jesus loves me, knows what I need best, and that His timing is perfect.  
 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Prov. 3:5,6.

Ah, dear sisters, isn’t it good to rest in our Heavenly Father? I struggle so often with it, but I know that He is good and in control! Let us grow in trusting Him, giving up our dreams for His! To end, here a two very good quotes by Jim Elliot:

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.”
and
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
With love from your fellow pilgrim,
This lovely painting was taken from: http://www.greatmodernpictures.com/vwc.htm