Giveaway of my Current Favorites

Hello, dear friends!

This week I wrote about the joys and struggles I’ve experienced as I try to grow into being a more giving and generous mother and wife.

(You can find those posts here and here in case you missed them!)

This topic is special to me is because my life wouldn’t be as rich or full without the generous people God has placed in my life. And that includes you, dear readers!

As a special thank you I’ve assembled a little giveaway I know you’ll enjoy!

Mom Heart Moments devotional by Sally Clarkson

A Love Letter Life by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff

a set of my favorite bee’s wax candles and a $10 Starbucks gift card

I’ve included Mom Heart Moments (which I’m currently working through) because it will encourage on your journey toward being a more generous mama. Audrey and Jeremy’s book will inspire you as you love your spouse (or prepare for your future spouse) more generously. And the coffee and candles are little sprinkles of happiness because part of being generous includes being generous with ourselves!

For entries please:

Leave me a comment on this blog post telling me about one person in your life who inspired you with their generous spirit!

For extra entries:

Follow me on Instagram

Leave a comment and tag a friend on this Instagram post

Share about my giveaway on your Instagram stories. Make sure you tag me so I can see!

I’ll draw the winner next Sunday, February 9th!

Thankful for each of you!

Frannie

Having a Heavenly Marriage Starts with being a Generous Wife

Generosity is such an important ingredient for a thriving, happy union.

Dalton and I have been married for almost 6 years and they have been wonderful, dear years but along with all the joy there has been a lot of stretching.

Sweet friend, let me tell you some of the ways I have grown (and am still growing) to be a more generous wife; maybe I can help you avoid the pitfalls I floundered in!

Being a generous wife looks different for every woman and marriage but here are 4 key areas I’ve found important:

  • Be generous in arguments

Alright, let’s just dive into real life. Couples fight. We fight. You will fight.

There’s no getting around the “heated fellowship” which happens whenever two people vow to live as one. You will have different views on how to handle finances, parenting, family conflict, and how to run your home.

The success of your marriage is not measured by the absence of conflict but by how well you communicate and work through the conflict.

So, sweet one, fight well and generously. Don’t rage and don’t cold-shoulder. Do speak gently and do pick your battles. Don’t drag other people into your conflict and don’t pick at old wounds (stick to the topic at hand).

  • Be generous in bed

It’s a lie to believe that generous intimacy in the bedroom is just for wild women. It’s for you and it is so important.

Now, please know that there will be seasons in life where intimacy will look different and that’s totally okay! (Think pregnancy, bed rest, or sickness).

What do I mean by being generous in bed? It means initiating. Be generous with yourself (and not try to act like someone you’re not). Generosity in the bedroom means communicating with your hubby about what you need. And it means generously saying yes. (while generously saying no to reading fantasy books or entertaining lust for people outside marriage).

I’m super awkward when it comes to discussing the intimate parts of marriage but I firmly believe that this is an issue the Church needs to discuss more.

When we practice generosity in the bedroom, there is immense beauty and freedom. <3

  • Be generous in eye-contact and attention

I admit that I often have one million things on my mind and it’s difficult for me to stop and attend to Dalton when he’s wanting to talk. I like keeping my hands busy but I’ve found Dalton feels most heard when I stop what I’m doing and listen well.

It takes effort for us to be generous with our attention and eye-contact but it’s so very important to take the time and listen well when your spouse is connecting with you.

  • Be generous with forgiveness and good will

It’s so easy to carry a chip on our shoulders, isn’t it? To assume that every time our husband is forgetful or short with us that he was purposefully being unkind and rude?

I’ve have found a great deal of happiness in being generous with good will and in assuming the best of my hubby. After all, I am so thankful when Dalton assumes the best in me — it’s a gift to always think the best of your spouse and quickly forgive when hurts do happen.

In the end, being a generous wife will not always be easy. It’s natural for us to want to fight for our rights and be stingy with our love, attention, and energy.

But, here’s to growing and maturing. Here’s to the generosity which turns ordinary relationships into heavenly ones.

Tell me — who has been a great example of a generous mama, wife, or friend in your life? What do you find so beautiful in their personality? Leave me a comment; I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Also, I’m going to be announcing a giveaway later today so please check back!

Love and blessings,

Frannie

How I Try to be a Generous Mama

Being a generous, patient, gentle mama is tough; there’s only so much of ourselves which we can spread around and it’s very easy for to be panicked and stingy with our limited resources of time, energy, and attention.

But, I want to be a generous mama — one who is quick to give of my limited resources — I want to be more generous because God is so generous to me.

And I want to encourage you too, dear friend!

Honestly, it’s easy for us to freely give of ourselves when life is going well — when we’re well-rested, there’s a surplus in the budget, and the people around us are angels. 😉

But let’s talk real life — how can we be generous, giving mamas when we’re exhausted? How do we practice generous patience when we’re running late and the gas light flickers on and our kiddos are whining in the backseat. How do we give of ourselves when we just don’t want to read that book anymore?

Mothering well is not an easy task but that is where the Holy Spirit and some practical forethought can help us overcome!

For me, preparing my heart at the beginning of the day helps tremendously. I have a cute little basket holding my Bible and current devotional; it takes a great deal of effort to crawl out of bed early but I never regret the 15-30 minutes I spend with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading.

I also plan our daily schedule out and include blocks of time specifically for snuggling, book reading, or sensory play. Of course, random kisses and play times happen but I find I’m much more intentional and generous when I plan to be.

Then, of course, there are the days when I’m running on fumes and feel like quite the grouch. On those days, it’s important to be generous with myself. That can include:

  • picking the battles I want to fight
  • folding the laundry tomorrow
  • asking my hubby or a friend for help

Of course, what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you and your family. But, when it comes to loving my son generously it tends to look like:

  • reading Bear Snores On with gusto a few times daily
  • helping him with therapy exercises
  • being quick, yet patient, in the habit training we’ve established
  • slowing down enough to give great eye contact, hugs, and watching his non-verbal cues and communication

The sweet thing I’ve discovered is that when I am intentional and generous with my love, attention, and patience Uriah’s development, behavior, and personality thrive — which are ample rewards for my choosing generosity over the bare minimum.

Tell me, friend, how do you practice generosity in your relationships? I would love to hear how you have been impacted by a generous person in your life!

This week, I aim to fill our days with themed crafts, songs, books, and Scriptures themed around this idea of generosity so I’ll be sharing some of that here on the blog or on my Instagram.

Plus, I’m hoping to send a little giveaway to someone in the coming weeks so be sure to come back for that!

With much love and blessings,

Frannie

Flu Season is Tough; Here’s How We Survive Winter Isolation

It’s winter time in the Midwest which means for most medically complex families it’s also a time of isolation — a time to avoid public places where viruses and germs are so easily shared.

For so many of us the common flu or RSV virus lands our precious little ones in the PICU where IV’s, nose swabs, airway treatments, and antibiotics surround us. And for the parents any sickness can lead us toward exhaustion and cripple us with fear.

Which is why it’s so important to have a game plan for winter isolation!

The months crawl by as we skip out of basic outings like attending church, MOPS, or grocery shopping; yes, mothering medically fragile children can be difficult but we must choose joy and choose creativity and make the best of our wintertime — it’s important for our own mental health and our children’s development!

Here are 5 ways I try to beat the wintertime blues when we’re in isolation:

  • Country drives: when the weather is cold but we desperately need sunshine and a change of scenery we hop in the car and explore the countryside or a nearby town. Sometimes, I park by the river and hop in the backseat and read to Uriah while we watch the river pass by.
  • Coffee drive-thru: Wonderful invention! Sometimes a little coffee or lunch picked up without going inside is just what the week needs! I often try to budget my fun money so I can treat myself during our daily drives to therapy.
  • Initiate friendships and invite people over: Hospitality has been one of the most challenging and yet enriching projects I’ve worked on since Uriah came home from the NICU. I serve coffee and tea and friends bring any goodies they feel like having; then we play games or just visit. We live in such an isolated society and it’s important to be the initiators of friendships.
  • Check out local parks and conservation areas: This is a free and fun way to get sunshine; in my spare time I like to look for conservation parks and plan morning trips with Uriah. I consider it both exercise and sensory play to get out of the house and explore!
  • Order groceries online: This is another great invention and I am so grateful for it. I spent the first several months after Uriah came home from the NICU saving my errands for when Dalton was home and could watch Uriah. But that wasn’t practical; now, I order weekly and pick up our groceries on the way home from therapy.

Even though we desperately want to keep away from germs sometimes we just have to go places and that’s okay! We’ve had pretty good success with my portable jar of disinfectant wipes and Germ X I carry everywhere. I wipe down tables, highchairs, and anything Uriah may touch.

Thank you for stopping by my blog; I’m always amazed by the sweetness you give when you take the time to read about our lives and what Christ is doing in them.

And if you are a mom who spends most of her time away from people or places you love in order to keep your medically fragile child safe I applaud you and give you an online hug. I know it isn’t easy!

If ever you are lonely or need prayers please send a message! I would love to connect!

Love and blessings!

Frannie

2020: Being Purposeful this Year

Delicious dinner smells greeted the tired, work-worn husband as he entered the front door; it was good to be home. Soon, the little family gathered around the set table and spoke blessings to each other and thanks to the Lord for the good meal. The wife was neat and cheerful and the light of the house — home was her artwork and because of her attention and care it was everyone’s sanctuary.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Well, I’m the first to say this isn’t my reality. I’m hear to confess something to you wonderful readers … I cut corners. Somewhere along my route of wife to mother I stopped treating my role as artwork and it’s become more about my survival.

And that’s okay. Between a difficult pregnancy, bedrest, NICU and PICU experiences, being away from my house for 9 months (and not needing to cook one meal during that time), tending to and toting around medical equipment, and the effects of postpartum I’ve needed to cut corners.

And mama, you will too. It’s okay to accept that we don’t always bounce back after giving birth; becoming a mother changes us and all change takes time.

For me, almost 3 years after having Uriah, I feel that I’m just now coming out of the exhausted, overwhelmed season that left me pummeled.

One way that motherhood changed me is that it’s changed the way I do life.

I think we all have a certain amount of space, and quite honestly, care to give in a day. Before having Uriah, I had lots of creative space to partial out to my areas of responsibility — cooking, cleaning, keeping home, serving others, loving my husband all got a fair share of my brainwaves.

After pregnancy all my creative space, brainwaves, and care became focused on two areas: Uriah (his thriving and medical needs) and my survival.

In an effort to keep my sanity during these last three years I’ve focused so much on the essentials … ventilators, trach plugs, medical supplies, and doctor appointments. Since I have to be walking in order to do those things I’ve also been focusing on myself — what’s easiest to help me keep going in as a mother. (Cookies, cakes, coffee, Target … 😉 )

Everything else suffered. Laundry piled up, blog posts stopped being written, showers happened less, and dinners were more like leftovers or take out.

This year, 2020, I proclaim to be my year of purposefulness. This is the year I stop eating all the cookies and take better care of my body (after all, I’m turning 30 this month). This is the year I stop binging on Gilmore Girls and Friends (could I be any more pathetic?). 😉 This year, I am choosing to not do all the things but to practice the art of caring.

I want to craft, love, pray, read, mother and wife more deeply. This is the year I try to crawl out of the hole of survival and into the light of living.

What’s your 2020 goal?