SoS 8:4

I woke up this morning just excited to be alive. On my lips were songs of praise and my heart has been near bursting all day. I can’t contain it, I just want to run outside until I can’t breathe, to drive for miles so I can sing, to bask in the sunshine and praise my God.

Song of Solomon 5:8

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you– if you find my beloved, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love.

My heart cries in anticipation, it aches to be held.
Oh LORD who am I that you would choose to have MERCY on me and give me a love like what you have promised me.
In your great GRACE you picked a man hand-crafted in your image to join you and cover me and my children.
You chose a mere MAN to hold you in his heart and be your hands and feet so that through him you could physically love me in this earthly body more than I ever could imagine.
You chose him for me so you could love me more.
Father, you chose me so that through me you could love him more.
I pray that I would be worthy of that calling
That you would help me to be everything that you need me to be for him, for You.
Help me to love him with YOUR love, to touch his heart with these hands of mine that YOU made.
Without you my LOVE, my LORD, the great I AM…I am nothing. But dust of the ground.
Without green tendrils to wrap my vines around
Without feathers with which to fly upon
Without roots with which to grow tall with
I would be a nothing…
A tree without shade…useless
A fish without water…dead
A bird without air…fallen
An apple fallen on parched ground…fruitless

But because of you and your great LOVE and MERCY and GRACE

You have heard me and rescued me. You have seated me with Christ at your right hand, you have given me more than I asked for, more than I deserved and more than I ever could imagine…

Fly with me my love, on the wings of Praise for He is WORTHY.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Until we meet,

Amanda

Lightning and the Lover

Thunder and lightning streak across the sky.
Torrential rain thunders on the ground and drip drops in my window.
Cold breezes caress my face like a lover
“I know what makes you tick, this is for you…” it whispers as it trails across my ear and neck and twirls my hair like streamers around me.
The thunder reverberates through my body, celebrating my existence in this world, my purpose that can only be felt in the soul by the clap of lightning across a darkened sky and the booming that is the beating of my heart.
“I seek you” says the lightning, the thunder replies “Here, I am” as I breathe in deep the scent of rain in the air. Like a lover, fragrant to my senses as my heart travails over your presence, You lead me by the hand to the window as you streak in blinding light across the sky as I soak it in through the very fabric of my being, your blinding and unapproachable light that I might soak it in and display you on my body. That I might wear you in my being…
And be your lightning in the storm of this world.
That you would light me up Lord, and never let me go.

~Amanda Fransen 9/29/2015

I used to write poetry a long time ago. I used to draw and paint too. Much of my inspiration has waned over the years sadly due to my circumstances. I gave everything I had and had nothing left to give…myself, my time. I gave it all and shut away myself for another.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

It is after all what God calls us as women to do and be for our husbands, and so I did. Now that God has released me, my creativity is blooming like a midnight flower…In her darkest hour, the glow of the moon causes her to bloom and radiate the bluish glow of the star of the night. (<- See what just happened there!) I have painted, I have drawn, I have poeted (yeah, totally just made that word up) and I have sung my heart out. I wrote this poem in the Spirit of the Lord and as I wrote it I was living it, I could see it and longed to lay in my bed with the window wide and blinds raised to have my cheek caressed by the wind and my lungs filled with His presence. My heart beat rapidly as I could hear the thunder and was blinded by the lightning in my vision. How anyone could not see that God is the lover and redeemer of our souls and that he cares for us and fills us with his purpose and presence and life!

OH LORD! Would that I could dance with you, like I danced in my heart with you like a Bride at a reception, like a young girl in love at a ball. You redeem me Father, you purchased me and saved me from the fire I willingly entered, from the wrath that was never meant for me. I let your Holy Temple be defiled and trampled on. Blood stained feet and hands tore me down, but you, you picked up my shattered pieces and you moved me to safety and rebuilt me. Now I stand tall as a Daughter of the Most High God, prepared for battle (I’d really love a bow and arrow), and ready to be your hands and feet. I cling to the promises you’ve shown me. You have restored me and my heart and brought me back to life. Thank you for protecting my heart and mind through the madness and through it raising up a daughter of faith. I could not be who I am now were it not for this life you have given me. Now that we have walked through the valley, it’s time to climb the mountain together towards victory.

Blessings,

~Amanda

Real and Beautiful women

Tabloids assault our eyes in the checkout lines. They assault our children’s and our men’s eyes as well but to us…to us they mean something else.

To so many women they scream “FAILURE!!”

“TOO FAT”
“THIGH GAP”
“TOO SMALL”
“TOO BIG”
“TOO SKINNY”
“DIET”

“NOT GOOD ENOUGH”

And we hang our broken hearts low and our heads shattered in hopes that no one will look at us and see our flaws, our pants size, our grey hair or lack of make up or the fact that our skin is not cooperating this week. Or see the bags under our eyes, or the circles because we are weary of being discounted, tired of being pushed aside because we aren’t good enough.

I know that any single man could potentially fall in love with me…not because of what I look like, but because of who God has made me to be. I know I have a beautiful heart, I know that I am a beautiful person but so many men out there are looking not for a beautiful heart, but a pants size, a shoe style, a look, a lusty feel, rather than taking a moment to see inside. I read two articles this morning that were amazing to me. It’s a call to men. A call to be a “beholder” and see the art of women as the mock-up of the Bride of Christ…Beautiful, Diverse, Holy when her heart rests in the hands of a Holy God.

http://www.boundless.org/relationships/2011/man-enough-to-love-a-real-woman
http://www.boundless.org/relationships/2015/where-have-all-the-beautiful-women-gone

I love the title of the second one. “Where have all the beautiful women gone”…we’re all right here, waiting. Waiting for the men of this world to realize that a spark isn’t something you see in a face, but something that is ignited with the heart, yet we’re so quick to overlook, click away. The article says:

“It reminds me of the endless exhibition of females that young men have at their fingertips today. They’re bombarded with thousands of pretty faces in Facebook profile pictures, Instagram selfies, dating apps, and advertisements. There’s no shortage of women who will pose for them in exchange for a few seconds of being noticed. And eventually, all the faces run together — even the ones in the real world, where the habit of indiscriminate viewing continues.

Pretty face, but big arms.

No spark. Click.

Nice body, but plain face.

No spark. Click.

Sweet girl, but too short.

No spark. Click.

No spark. Click.

No spark.”

A spark isn’t seen, but felt in your heart. Not your pants.

Ladies…if you are still waiting, I pray that God would make your aching heart still and TRUST that God will open the eyes of the right man, not to ogle over a tabloid cover, but to treasure and cherish you…ogling is good too 😉

inner-beauty-quotes-bible-3

1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
Song of Solomon 4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Proverbs 3:15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

Proverbs 31:10-31

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. …

God is making many women into excellent Brides, far more precious than jewels, and He is changing the hearts of many men to capture our hearts. But he is making us ready, because we are first and foremost HIS Bride! We must be ready for Him first, before we can be ready for the one God is willing to pair us with. Our God is a jealous God, and if He’s not in the mix, he won’t want to give you away, women and men included.

Ladies, don’t give in. Don’t compromise your values, your beliefs or your loving Savior. Remember He sacrificed for you once already.

Men, stop comparing us to tabloids or Hollywood. That’s not real. It’s make believe. We are here, we are beautiful and we are waiting. Seek our hearts. Get to know us as people, and then make your determination. Why would you want to be perpetually single or unhappy. A drop dead gorgeous wife does not make a pretty life.

Blessings,

Amanda

Set Apart

Some days I struggle that I’m different. Call me what you will, a nerd, a geek, a people pleaser, a loser, fat, too nice, too good to be true, a retard, or even fouler names that aren’t worth mentioning here, I’m just different…and I’m okay with that.

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about crying in the car because my heart ached.  I felt as if I wasn’t worth being known and I was hurt by rejection and cruel words by even those who call themselves Christians. I’m different, I always have been. And then I mentioned “The Game” and how I don’t play it because I can’t. There’s something in me (or Someone perhaps?) that nullifies my ability to play “social games” and catch their queues.  I’m a part of a Facebook community called A Modern Day Ruth:

http://ruthwaits4boaz.blogspot.com/

I relate to Jenny in many ways. She posts things on her many ministries (Ruby Wives, A Modern Day Boaz, etc) that God uses to speak to me as well as things from other places. Being patient and set apart for God’s uses is a process. He has used her to reach out to men and women, married and divorced, helped to heal broken hearts and comforts those who are waiting on God’s best. Being set apart means having some patience as well. Sometimes we are called to wait. For some it’s only a short time. For others it’s a longer period of time.

I have been hurt. But I have no bitterness in my heart. I am no longer a victim because God has redeemed me. I have no hate in my heart, I can’t allow it there or it will consume me, just as it has consumed the world. I am no longer controlled. God has opened up my eyes so that I may see the controlling actions of others. Even those who are close to me, I can see it and so because I have a heavenly Father who wants to take care of my EVERY need, I pass those notes along to him.

Being Set Apart means living VASTLY different from the world. Here are some verses addressing that:

Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Proverbs 1:15: My son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,
1 Peter 2:9: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Philippians 2:15: That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Matthew 7:13: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
Deuteronomy 7:6: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Proverbs 14:12: There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
1 Samuel 16:7: But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Psalm 4:3: But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.
1 Peter 1:14-16: As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Revelation 18:4: Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

Being Set Apart is a condition of the heart. Something that leaks through and shines on the outside. It’s not an easy road. The enemy attacks from every corner, tries to steal your joy. Keep turning back to the Lord even when it is dark and you cannot see. The Bible says the Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path and so we immerse ourselves in it so our light shines brighter and through our light others around us, also in darkness can see clearly. The more clearly they can see Jesus through you, the more they realize that they need their own lamp so that they can light their own way. And so it spreads. Be set apart. Be different. Yes it’s harder. Yes being different can be lonely, even among those who also claim to be different. But still choose to be different because you were made different.

Choose to embrace your difference and be a light.

~Amanda

What’s with the month of May?

So many things I have forgotten over the years. God has been good to me, but especially lately when he has brought to mind or helped me find things I thought lost. I have tried to keep a count of how many dreams I have had, and I’m realizing I can’t because I have had some that have been hidden from me and revealed at the time I need it.

Today I needed something important and God reminded me that I had what I needed. So in my quest to find it, I came across a journal entry from when I was 6 months pregnant with my son. It is dated 5/12/10.

Isaiah 65:24

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

Two years from this dream I prayed the prayers in my last post. So two days after my birthday this is the dream God blessed me with:

I had a weird dream last night. I dreamed that I was getting married again. I was in the process of getting dressed for the event which was being held in a brand new Roman Coliseum that had very plush side rooms but were decorated very 17th century Gothic style. There was a wedding dress (the wedding dress I was originally married in) hanging in the room. There were three woman with me dressed in bright white dresses of Roman design. One of the girls that was there was a teachers assistant for a class I was taking in my dream. She was interviewing/grading me. The two other ladies help me get dressed and so I’ve gotten nothing on but the see through mesh underskirt. So I’m walked out unexpectedly being led by one woman, and the other had her hands on the small of my back to keep me moving forward as the Teachers Assistant tried to talk with me as we walked. I was led all the way to the other side of this Colosseum with thousands of people watching, many cheering me on.

3cfba6ec-751c-40ee-ac52-fccc669cb7bc_00fbd248_image

I’m naked on top, doing my best to cover my breasts with my hands (unsuccessfully) as we walk across the center of the arena, through the sand to the other side. They lead me along and about half way across I get scared and pull my arm back. The leading woman turned and looked at me, reached out and put her hand on my wrist and continued to lead me across, as I’m still trying to cover myself with the other hand, struggling between complete exposure and trying to cover up, to a new room on the other side. In the room on this side is a wedding dress even better and vastly more beautiful (It seemed WAY larger…not in size for fit, but just more dress, more train and just more elegance altogether) than my original. After the wedding I was presented with a certificate saying I passed the class. In the next scene I am standing next to my new husband in a small apartment with really nice furniture surveying our gifts which are wrapped in a silver paper and blue ribbons. I open this amazing Mac Book and show it off and said “isn’t this awesome! You have always wanted one of these!”

The context of the dream is important and I feel as if it is someone yet known to me. Someone who would appreciate a gift like a Mac Book…

The nakedness and walking through the Colosseum is a journey I would take where I would be very exposed for many to see but the journey would be for my betterment. I was walking away from a wedding dress for one that was far more beautiful. White stands for righteousness and it was white.

I need to pray and ponder this more. It feels very straightforward to me. Like I do know what it means and the intricate details don’t matter in this one like they did on my last big one. I had one other dream a few weeks ago…not sure if I posted it. The timing in finding this dream is no coincidence. I asked God what would happen in my life after the one dream I am walking through now and I know this is it.

Blessings,

Amanda