Doing Life for the Glory of God

There are a million successful blogs so why would anyone want to hear from me? 

It’s a question I’ve been pondering for a long time — an insecurity hidden deep in my heart keeping me from productivity and writing. See, I love to write and I love connecting with people. Part of my ministry as a stay-at-home wife and mom is that I’m blessed with time — time to share, invite, write, and connect with other women and moms. 

But how do I compete? How do I beat the algorithms, master the SEOs, and write regularly enough that I get noticed but not so much that I burn out and need a 3 month hiatus? 

I don’t. At least, that’s not what I’m called to do. 

I’m called to be loving wife and attentive mommy; I’m called to connect with people and be hospitable. I’m called to minister by being mommy, wife, and friend — not by being the best on Instagram or Pinterest. 

I’m called to do life “heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” I’m called to obey “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Whatever I do — change diapers, wash dishes, host guests, or write words — all needs to be for the glory of God. No cares need to be given on the reception. I mean, I love to write so why not write? And if someone notices then great because I also love to help and inspire too. And if I never make an income blogging or grow my following then that’s great too.

Because there’s fulfillment in doing what you love for the glory of God and leaving the results to Him. There’s joy in doing a job well done because you’re called to do so — more joy than competition can ever bring. 

So, here’s to do life for the glory of God. Cheers to all the women who are choosing to focus on their current ministry for God’s glory, not for the likes, the pins, or the shares — tell me how you do it so I can learn from you! 

Love, blessings, and coffee, 

Frannie

5 of my Favorite Instagram Accounts

Right now, I’ve got five favorite Instagram accounts that I look forward to seeing every morning during my coffee time. Somewhere in between Uriah waking up and quiet time with my Lord, I take time to catch up with these lovely people and am never disappointed. 

Kristy Wicks 

Kristy’s account is a daily joy to me. It’s all about home, decor, and family. Her style is slightly upscale from my shabby-chic cottage theme but I love her generous spirit and happy, contentment that splashes through her gorgeous site. 

That Mama Hen

Ah, me. Angel is a sweet friend of mine who makes my heart so happy every time she posts. Her work centers around motherhood but incorporates a lot of themes from conquering ovarian cancer, Christian life, and adorable farm-styled decor. 

The Bethkes

Alyssa and Jeff Bethke really shine in inspiring and encouraging families to look to Jesus and follow Him. I really love their fun, candid pictures and their deep, faith-rooted conversations they have in their posts and comments. I’ve just started listening to their podcast if that tells you how much I care for their work. 

Beating 50% (Audrey + Jeremy Roloff)

I’m pretty much a fan of all of Audrey’s accounts but I’m an even bigger fan of her faith and effort to encourage women to remember the always more that is available to them in Christ. They also have an amazing heart for marriages which I love since that is my number one passion! 

Anna Rendell 

So, Anna’s work is basically my favorite because it is honest, funny, and totally down-to-earth when it comes to motherhood. My favorite part of the week is when she shares #RealMomConfessions which tend to round-up several women who are happy to share their mishaps and find they’re not alone. She just published a new devotional and I can’t wait to get my hands on it one day. 

Do you ever stumble across someone and just know that they are speaking life into your world? I love social media because it connects us to tribes we ordinarily would never come across — people who bring us joy, inspiration, and encouragement. Who do you follow? Drop their name below and I’ll visit them! And check out my Instagram for daily doses of cuteness. 😉

Love, blessings, and coffee, 

Frannie

Peace Is a Gift God Wants to Give Your Home

It’s been such a long time since my thoughts found there way to this beloved space. Life, life has kept me busy and when I’m not busy I’m tired. (Mom life, am I right?)

At the moment I’m sitting beneath our covered porch listening to the pounding spring rain and thunder. I’ve got a bathrobe, freshly showered hair, and iced coffee on the scene while my men sleep soundly inside.

Life is so good. Marriage is so good. Motherhood is so good. God is so good.

But good doesn’t mean easy.

This season of life has me learning. Worry tends to bog me down these days; fear, what-ifs, and unknowns can change my moods from naturally cheerful to fretful and irritable.

What if I’m not feeding Uriah well enough (since we’re still using formula as he struggles to tolerate blended meals)? What if I’m not loving him enough? What if he needs more surgical repair and I’m not advocating hard enough? What if he gets sick again?

I’ve worn my emotions and mind to a thread wondering if I’m doing enough.

And like God often does, He led me to some wisdom exactly when I was ready for it. I was on the verge of breaking down into an unusual fit of tears and found a book with words that spoke amazing life and peace into my hurting soul:

When we release our children into the Father’s hands and acknowledge that He is in control of their lives and ours, both we and our children will have greater peace. -Stormie Omartian

Ah, isn’t that good? Sweet friend, wherever you are in life I hope you can pursue trusting God’s care and letting go of worry. Whether you are a new mom, a special needs mom, or an older mom with a way-ward child, this peace-filled trust is meant for you and your children.

I know trust isn’t easy. We like to control life (at least I do). I like being in charge of my little kingdom, I crave responsibility.

But I can’t control health. I can’t control insurnace approvals. I can’t even control milestones.

But I can trust that God is in control and I can enjoy the amazing peace filling my heart when I do.

The sweet thing is that peace is a gift God wants to give your family. Your Creator God longs to fill your home with peace that passes all understanding. A calm, restful attitude doesn’t have to come forced, wrestled into submission. It’s a gift, free to His people who choose to simply rest in God’s great love and power.

Here’s to hoping my worry-filled days can point you in a better direction. Here’s to wishing you may know the “blessed assurance” that Jesus will meet your needs.

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

5 Lessons From Our Misdiagnosed Miscarriage

Misdiagnosed Miscarriage @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Thank you, thank you for celebrating Baby Duncan’s re-announcement into the world. For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I were delighted to discover we were pregnant after two years of hoping and dreaming. Then, we were informed we had lost our little one  — after two weeks of waiting for the miscarriage to naturally progress we still hoped, but also prepared ourselves for the loss. However, amazingly, two weeks later we were given beautiful, happy news: Baby Duncan lived and was thriving!

Many women experience miscarriages — it’s a unique, difficult event. In many ways I walked through a miscarriage: receiving the death sentence from our practitioner, losing hope, losing blood and clots, and waiting for the loss of life. It’s an event that changes our hearts and lives forever.

Though rare, there are also many women who experience misdiagnosed miscarriages. My goal is to share a few lessons I’ve been given from our experience. I want to give hope to women who have been told they may miscarry as well as lend courage and practical insight to those who have indeed lost their lovely, darling baby.

5 Lessons I Learned From Our Misdiagnosed Miscarriage

Get a Second Opinion or a Second Ultrasound 

When a couple receives news that they may lose their baby it is devastating. And while many women lose their babies quickly, miscarriages can take several weeks for the process to occur naturally. During that time, I would encourage the couple to get a second opinion and ultrasound.

Physicians make errors and equipment do fail. After being diagnosed with our miscarriage I discovered a site called The Misdiagnosed Miscarriage. Several hundred women were misdiagnosed due to tilted uterus’, low HCG levels, mistaken blighted ovum’s, or quick assumptions and human error.

If your diagnosed miscarriage is taking time and you are experiencing little to no cramps, I believe it is perfectly acceptable and practical for you to ask for a second opinion or ultrasound.

If Possible, Let the Miscarriage Proceed Naturally 

When a couple is diagnosed with a miscarriage they are given options with how to let the miscarriage proceed: medicine to induce the miscarriage, a D&C surgical procedure, or allowing the miscarriage to proceed naturally.

Friend, one thing I am grateful for in my story is that we gave our “miscarriage” time. I am thankful our midwife explained that the body heals faster given time to proceed naturally. I am grateful we avoided medicinal or surgical methods.

If possible, give your body time to process naturally. Of course, there is no judgement; a miscarriage is already a difficult and life altering event. However, if you do decide to advance your miscarriage through medicine or surgical efforts please get a second opinion and ultrasound before you proceed. 

There are misdiagnosed miscarriages and there are women who, unknowingly, took actions to purge their babies when in fact, they were never experiencing a miscarriage at all.

Let Yourself Mourn and Heal 

Sweet mama, if you’ve been told you may miscarry give yourself the time and space needed to grieve. Losing a baby at any stage is a difficult experience because you have lost so much. You may feel numb, angry, and depressed. You may feel nothing at all. It’s okay, I know, I’ve been there.

The “strong” thing is press on with life but that is not the real, authentic, needed thing to do. You lost something very precious to you. Take time to scream, cry, and eat a few overflowing bowls of fruit loops.

Then, when you’ve truly given yourself to mourning, heal. My friend Angel has beautiful, life-giving words for those needing to heal. She experienced the loss and gains of ovarian cancer and discovered that, even after a year, she needed healing.Her words might be just the thing you need — I know I needed them.

Let Others Love You 

It’s easy to go through life’s sufferings and trials alone. Women with miscarriages may feel that their “problem” is too small to bother others with. If you had already announced your pregnancy, you may feel needy and embarrassed by the attention announcing your miscarriage brings.

All of these feelings are normal.

Sweet friend, let others help you. Though I was embarrassed by my need I was blessed when people stepped up to fill it. I had one friend pick up coffee, lunch, flowers, and a endearing gift when she heard of our loss. Another promised to bring dinner when I lost the baby and loaned me her heating pad for comfort. Several folk went out of their way to ask me how I was doing. My parents planted a rose bush in honor of our baby and the whole family came to help us move when I wasn’t feeling strong enough to do it on my own.

Dear one, it is especially important to let your husband help you. Your mate may not be expressing his grief as vibrantly but he still feels it. For Dalton, what hurt him most was watching me suffer. Letting your husband hold you while you cry, encourage you, and bless you not only helps you heal but helps him as well.

Continue Taking Care of Yourself 

This is simple yet incredibly profound. After we had been told we lost the baby I sort of turned into a zombie. 😉 A not-showering-all-week, when-did-I-brush-my-teeth-last-?, no shave summer, zombie.

(Sorry for the TMI)

I simply didn’t have the mental or physical energy to do anything let alone wash my hair. Now, looking back, I see that that hindered me and kept me from growing out of the fog and sadness I was in.

Of course, you won’t feel your best and if staying in your pjs helps then do it. Just don’t do it forever. Give yourself grace while taking steps to take care of yourself.

Most of all, trust. 

Losing a baby is so difficult and no one can understand or care for you except for the One Who made that baby and then, in His divine wisdom, took it away. Our Heavenly Father loves the miscarrying woman; He will gently carry you through the waves of grief and days of darkness you may experience. He will comfort you when all else fails.

Some days you may not see His loving hand but it’s there — carrying you when you can’t even seem to get out of bed.

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

My Summer Reading Goals

AuthenticVirtue.com Spring Reading List

Ah … reading. Isn’t it the best? Last year I made a goal to read more and finished a total of eleven or so books. To some of you reading folk that number is laughable. But to me it’s progress.

This year I’m setting my sights higher. I’m already beginning to plan my summer-break reading list to include these great copies above as well as I few I’ll need to borrow from the library.

I’m a big believer in balance. During my early-twenties I over-taxed my story-loving heart by indulging myself in too many big theoretical reads and sermons. And while they did me a world of good they also burned my love for reading. So now, I aim for balance. I’m okay with reading heavy material as well as light-hearted novels or educational reads.

What are you reading this summer? Are you a lover of books or does the thought curl your toes? What’s the title of your latest read? I’d love to know!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie