Four Ways I Plan to Bless My Husband this Summer

Blessing Your Husband @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Summer is here; you can tell by the beautiful, thick, green trees, colorful wildflowers and warm, Missouri heat filling the land. And this summer F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words have never been so true.

 “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

This will be our last summer just Dalton and I. Next May we hope to have a lovely five month-old Duncan cooing and crying and in need of attention and diaper changes.

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3 Treasure-Filled Lessons Marriage Has Taught Me

Authentic Virtue

It’s been one beautiful adventure, my marrying Dalton. Today, we celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. For the last 731 days I’ve grown more in love with a man who is an obvious God-send.

Last year, I wrote a post titled 55 Things I’ve Learned After Being Married One Year. This year I feel a little less ambitious and long-winded. 😉 Here are my three most recent, most life-altering lessons marriage has taught me.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to be Delighted In[/pullquote] Silly, isn’t it? We yearn to be loved but when the chance comes we freeze. Our minds swirl with dangerous ideas: no one could love me, no one could adore my faulty body, no one could find me irresistible — I’m not worthy enough. We push our husbands away and forsake their genuine, God-given delight in us.

Sweet one, stop. I’ve been there; I’ve doubted my husband’s words, ignored his truth and resisted being fully loved by him. I was afraid. It’s scary letting someone take full delight in you — they might find a flaw.

Dare to take the risk. Dare to fall into your Adam’s arms and dare to be his Eve. Believe that the love he has for you is the gift that it is and rejoice in it.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to Love Fully[/pullquote] Okay, okay. I know this is strange. Somehow, in my single years, I developed the idea that it was wrong to be as in love with my husband as I am now. It wasn’t spiritual to make him my priority. It was embarrassing to be radiantly, happily in love. The vulnerability of having a person I’m loyal to above all made me sickeningly weak.

Crazy, right?

It wasn’t until I read Song of Solomon that I realized my error. We’ve been given permission to love our husbands fully — it’s good to be ravishingly, totally enthralled with our person. Love isn’t supposed to be conservative. It’s generously visable to the world.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]It’s Okay to be Weak  [/pullquote] Someone very dear spoke these words of life to me: receiving criticism doesn’t mean you failed, it means you have room to grow.

Marriage will reveal weakness. And, if you have an addiction to perfection like me, you can imagine the horror of having someone see you for the human that you are.

It’s okay.

Sweet friend, it’s okay to be weak. It’s okay to need forgiveness, restoration, and grace. That’s why Christ came. [pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.[/pullquote]

Two years married to a person who sees all my selfishness, greed and pride has been hard on the side of me that wants self-made righteousness — but it’s been good for the part of me that needs grace.

Reader, whether you’re married or not, I hope you know that it is okay to be delighted in, it’s okay to love fully, and it’s okay to be weak. When we learn to accept these truths life becomes treasure-filled; you may even wonder how you ever thought yourself happy before, these truths are that rewarding.

For a montage of our wedded bliss and a shot of us as a happy, watermelon-wearing couple, why not friend me on Facebook at Authentic Virtue Blog or on my own profile!

With love, blessings and one very happy, well-loved heart,

Frannie

Five Signs of a Good Man

5 Signs of a Good Man

I love lists and matchmaking is no exception. For years I imagined my perfect man would be tall, brown-eyed and owning his own business by the time he was twenty-five. We’d farm, throw out the tv and sell our belongings to buy the plane tickets to become oversea missionaries.

You can imagine my surprise when God sent the opposite my direction. Now, 20 months into one glorious, beautiful marriage with my best friend, I’m so thankful I wasn’t allowed to hand-pick my man.

Because, #tbh, I would have married at least five different blokes before I made up my mind. 😉

Marriage has taught me a few things and today I want to share five signs of a good man.  The list is extremely simple and exceptionally old fashioned but I’ve found that simple is most often best — even in marriage.

Visible Love for the Lord

Before you ever say “yes” to a first date check the guy out. (And I don’t mean his bod, gals.) 😉 Check his life out. Ask his friends, authorities and family questions about who he is. Take the time to see if his profession of Christianity is fruitful; does his life speak of a genuine love for the Lord? This is the time to play detective, girls.
Before my Beloved ever asked me out I listened closely to what others said of him. I asked questions. I took a look into his reputation. The results encouraged me to allow Dalton to pursue me — everyone said that he was quiet with a quirky personality and that he was known for being hardworking, dedicated to purity, pursuing Christ and filled with a generous soul.
I definitely liked what I heard! 😉
Humility
I never knew how integral humility was until my Husband apologized to me for the first time. Immediately I sensed that he was far more concerned with loving me than his pride.
Ladies, you will be marrying a man who will sin (even if he’s your Prince Charming!). Look for a man who is willing to confess his sins to the Lord and ask your forgiveness when he’s wronged you.
Now, I’m not talking about looking for a man you can manipulate into saying he’s sorry for any thing. I mean finding a man who is serious enough and humble enough to recognize that he needs his Savior every day and who acknowledges that he makes mistakes.
Humor
This may seem like a petty thing to look for but it’s a lifesaver! Schedules can be exhausting and days are long. Look for someone who will laugh with you even when life feels like it’s swallowing you up.
Of course no two senses of humor are alike but finding a man who can pray with you one moment and then dance the tango with you next is a delightful treat.
Honesty
So. Important.
Finding a man who is brave and loving enough to speak the truth is a true treasure. I love that I can rest in knowing that Dalton and I have no secrets and that his word is solid. I mean, I value his word more than buckets of gold. He’s proven himself true … even when it hurts.
Of course, an honest man will not always say what people want him to hear; however, I’ve found that a man who speaks the truth because he is loving and honest will never intend to bring harm with his words. He will simply speak the truth gently and confidently.
Work Ethic
Finally, one last quality I believe marks a good man is a strong work ethic. Look for a man who not only works to provide but who enjoys working for works sake. This looks different for all men and may take time as they discover their talents and skills. However, finding a man who chooses to joyfully provide for his family is an awesome thing!
Authentic Virtue Blog // Martin Luther Marriage Quote

 

I by no means want this to become “your checklist” or guide in relationships — please don’t do that! Instead I want to bless you with a bit of insight on five things that make marriage really tick.

I know I have been extraordinarily blessed by these five traits and praise God He sent me such a gem for a husband.

What do you think makes a good man? If you’re married tell us what trait you found delightful in your husband!

With love, blessings and coffee!

Frannie

photo credit belongs to the beautiful Amelia Protiva Photography

 

How I Didn’t Know He Was the One Until I Decided He Was

Recently, I read Bailey’s newest article out loud to my hubby.

It was one of those “a-hah!” articles we both got a kick from because it described our dating days to a “t.”

I’ve never really known how to write about the early days of our relationship because, quite frankly, they didn’t fit the traditional mold I (and all my friends) had been expecting. And for me, a people-pleasing, suggestible, rule-following young woman, it was a very turbulent time.

Thankfully, the very best traits of my husband came out during our courtship, namely, his upmost desire for  God’s will and his faithfulness as he chose to stand by me despite my wavering opinions, fear of man and the stress I created when I analyzed our relationship every other week.

Now, a year and three months later, I sit in our cozy home confidant we are in God’s will. The growth I have seen in our individual and united lives has been beautiful and the sense of purpose and peace within our marriage breathtaking.

So, how did I know he was the one?

I decided.

Yes, I did follow guidelines which revealed the open doors for our relationship. My parent’s approval and insight were invaluable and Dalton’s character and love for God evident in his daily life. We shared common beliefs and our goals were very similar. Along with all that technical stuff was the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed being with this man. He made me laugh, encouraged me and revealed glimpses of a heart sold out for God.

But in the end, even after seeing all the open doors God held open, I had to decide that he was the one.

And as logical, cold, unromantic and harsh as that sounds it’s the truth.

Love, for me, required trusting in God and the man I had chosen to pursue. It meant looking more at our future than the possibility of an end. It asked me to put down the courtship manuals and rule books (which I still admire) and pick up God’s Word instead. I had to stop looking for man’s praise and enjoy the beauty of love instead.

Now, as a joy-filled, loved and incredibly happy wife I’d encourage any couple to take the route we did. Choose to love the person God is leading you to and rejoice in it. Set aside comparisons, worry and anything which leads more to doubt than resolution.

Because at some point every marriage will come to a place where it must rely on a choice.

So why not build a solid foundation in the beginning?

With much love to you,

Frannie

The Three Benefits of Postponing Your Honeymoon // Published!

Super exciting!

Remember that one time I wrote about the three benefits we discovered from postponing our honeymoon?

Sheila from To Love, Honor and Vacuum published it a few days ago (link right here!) . Whoo-hoo! Talk about a big event here at our little house! 🙂 Why not stop over and visit Sheila’s place? She always has great thoughts and plenty of encouragement to share.

With lots of love (and plenty of excitement!),