Why We Are Adopting… AGAIN!

Just over two years ago, Aubrey and I embarked upon a journey to adopt. In March of this year, our first adoption was finalized, and we have had the privilege of being Mommy and Daddy to a beautiful little girl from her birth. Now, we are beginning the process all over again. That’s right. We’re adopting another child.

I’ve received a number of responses when I tell people this. Some encouraging, some comical, but thankfully, none too rude. I would like to address the reasons why we are adopting again and the things that are NOT reasons why we are adopting again.

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The FREE Homeschool Teaching Summit (Online)

If you ever feel overwhelmed, burned out, or just generally ill-equipped to balance parenting and homeschooling and the rest of regular life stuff, then the Homeschool Teaching Summit is designed for you. It will refresh your excitement for the homeschool journey, equip you with practical teaching tools, and transform your vision for Christian education and discipleship, to prepare you for your best year of Christ-like teaching.

Most importantly, each video from this event will focus on the truth found in God’s Word and the hope that lies in trusting in Jesus Christ for today and for the future.

All of the video interviews with speakers bring a Christ-centered focus to these topics:

  • Teaching Foundations (the big-picture homeschooling vision)
  • Teaching Mechanics (teaching how-tos and strategies)
  • Teaching “That” Kid (struggling learners and parenting helps)
  • Teaching with Sanity (schedules and simplicity)
  • Teaching for Eternity (Gospel-powered homeschooling)

The entire event free if you sign up by October 16th, and in addition to the video content, you’ll also get access to an easy-to-search online vendor hall (with exclusive discounts and freebies) and an a private Facebook group to connect with speakers and other attendees.

I encourage you to sign up today for the Homeschool Teaching Summit for a week of being refreshed, equipped, and transformed on the journey of homeschool teaching for God’s glory!

Learn more and register for free (for a limited time only!) at https://zb362.isrefer.com/go/2017/jfranzone/

How Far is Too Far in Sanctification?

What exactly is “sanctification”? This is the process whereby God works in our lives to change us and to transform us in many degrees so that we are like our elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. I know this on an intellectual level, but what does it mean in my life? I’ve known that this was a hard process, that sanctification can hurt. I also know that it is necessary. I thought I’d experienced the pain of this process. To be quite honest, I’d even glamorized this process somewhat, thinking that I was such a good Christian: “Look at me! I’m being sanctified… I’m suffering for Christ’s sake.” That was before this past week.

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Preparing Room For a Newborn Child

Sovereign Grace Music produced a Christmas CD last year called, “Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song.” It is a really good album and I would commend it to you. The title song, Prepare Him Room, speaks of the wonder and mystery of Jesus, the Son of God, coming to be born as a baby. It calls the listeners to prepare Him room, in our hearts and minds.

This theme has had extra significance for us this year. We have decorated our house with a Christmas tree. There are lights inside and out, and many other decorations to remind us of the season. To remind us that we worship a God who loved us enough to come and be one of us. This is the season of Advent, when we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior. We have also setup a baby crib and rocking chair in it’s place. So while we celebrate Advent and the coming of our Savior, we are also preparing room in our physical home and in our hearts for another newborn baby, a baby that we will adopt and name as one of our own.

This process has been a rollercoaster of emotions. We have been thrilled and filled with joy at the prospects of loving a new little child, and we have experienced sadness as we wait… and wait, not knowing when we will meet our new baby. Aubrey and I thank you all for your prayers and support during this process. We are well on the way financially, but not there yet. We know God will meet the need. We thank you for your love and words of encouragement. We thank you for being a part of our journey and calling us family.

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Remember to Prepare Him (Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah) Room in your hearts and minds and traditions this year.

Photo Credit: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery via Compfight cc

The Giant Yard Sale

This past weekend was the GIANT Yard Sale! G-I-A-N-T! I have never been a part of such an enormous yard sale.

When Jonathan and I decided to adopt, we were encouraged to do some fundraising and a garage sale was one of the suggested events. Friends and family began spreading the word and I soon had a garage full of baby items and more. I continued to collect items, but as the months went by I kept saying, “when it’s cooler I’ll do it” or “this weekend is so busy.” I soon became discouraged and overwhelmed at the pricing job before me and was about to give up when a sweet friend came along and said, “why don’t you let me organize the yard sale and put it on Facebook.” She offered to collect items in her big van (she has a family of 9) weekly at our homeschool community! This quickly became a large event with many friends and family joining our family and lightening the load.

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Personal Parable: Repentance

1) to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right
2) to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
3) to change one’s mind

“Repent.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 26 May 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repent.

An Interaction With My Son

This morning my son and I were involved in what you might call horseplay. He knows that I am ticklish and so he likes to tickle me. I, of course, am (for the time) much larger than my son and so usually turn the tables quickly and tickle him into submission. This continued until the playing became a bit too rambunctious; it was beginning to bother other members of the family. My son tends to take things too far, which I wanted to prevent.

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Teach Your Children Well

I just finished listening to a FREE audio series by Alistair Begg on the Truth For Life website, called Teach Your Children Well. For all you parents out there, I would highly recommend giving this a listen. There are four parts, each being 26 minutes long, and all well worth it. I’ve provided links to each of the four messages below.

  1. Teach Your Children Well (Part 1 of 4)
  2. Teach Your Children Well (Part 2 of 4)
  3. Teach Your Children Well (Part 3 of 4)
  4. Teach Your Children Well (Part 4 of 4)

You can also subscribe to their podcast and get them that way. Plus, you’ll have easy access to all their future (and past) messages from iTunes or your iOS device.

Photo Credit: Lotus Carroll via Compfight cc

18 Years: Remembering Our Honeymoon

My beautiful bride and I were wed on May 18, 1996. It is hard to fathom this reality, but we have been married for 18 years this day. It has been a journey filled with many stories, one of which I would like to share, a story from the very beginning.

Aubrey and I honeymooned in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It really is a beautiful area and we both loved the mountains. We still sometimes reminisce about the bed and breakfast we stayed at. It sat on the side of a mountain and had floor to ceiling windows with which to enjoy the views.

What better way to immerse ourselves into this beautiful, mountainous wonderland than to take a guided mountain tour… on horseback? Sounded like a good idea. So we found a place that offered this experience and arrived with much anticipation. The tour group was small and intimate, perfect! It was just the two of us and our guide. How romantic.

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