Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

Read Fran's 9/9/2018 Devotional on ARISE Devos website

Read Fran's 8/26/2018 Devotional on ARISE Daily Devos website

Read Fran's 7/14/2018 Devotional on ARISE Daily Devos website

Click to listen to Fran's interview with Carol Graham's Never Give Up Hope Blogspot

Click to read Fran's interview with Smashwords.com


You are welcome to download a free copy of:

May God bless you in your journey of faith.
Warmly,
Fran


Mary, Model for Modern Moms

By Fran Caffey Sandin

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1: 38).

Early one morning with Christmas only a week away, I sat in a comfortable chair near the lace-curtained window. As I rocked our baby boy, listened to his soft newborn sounds, and stroked his velvety cheek, my thoughts drifted to that first Christmas night. Although my situation was far from the stable where she gave birth, I found a common bond with Mary, the mother of Jesus. The love and tenderness we shared toward our sons would span the gulf of time, but Mary’s example remains as a guide for me and other modern moms.

Even as a teenager, Mary’s spirit was tender toward God. She was listening, expectantly, willing to obey when the angel Gabriel explained that she would give birth to the Son of God. Probably stunned and frightened, Mary wondered how it could be, but she did not run away and hide. I considered my active life to ask, Am I tuned in to God? Am I listening to Him before taking the next step? If he calls me out of my comfort zone or to accept a new challenge, I feel unprepared for, will I trust Him and obey?

A willing servant, Mary faced an unplanned pregnancy. Instead of refusing to place herself in an awkward social situation, she viewed herself as part of God’s sovereign plan for humanity and humbled her life before Him. Our culture emphasizes the woman’s need for self-fulfillment, even at the expense of others. And yet, our privilege as wives and mothers is to nurture and train our children to have a godly character. What is more important than protecting a helpless child and meeting his needs? It may not always be fun and convenient but cultivating a servant’s heart will provide one of life’s greatest joys.

Isn’t it interesting that Mary did not wait for Joseph’s approval before saying “Yes” to God?
With a quiet spirit she waited for God to take care of Joseph, and He did. Instead of divorcing Mary, since they were already betrothed, or having her stoned to death, thinking she had committed adultery, he listened to God and chose a third option. Marry her. Mary’s submissiveness to God and to her husband proved to be a blessing as Joseph proceeded to protect Mary and baby Jesus. In my early years of marriage, I sometimes wanted to rule over my husband. I’ve learned to occasionally ask myself, “Am I honoring my husband? Do I appreciate his God-given leadership?” Mary waited for God to take care of her needs. He did.

Mary was told by the angel to “Fear not.” As mothers we often worry and fret unnecessarily.
Author David Hubbard wrote in his book, How to Face Your Fears, “We can face the future with courage. Why? Because the same God whose presence surrounded the Bethlehem manger will see us through our ‘impossibilities’ of tomorrow. When uncertainties come, let us not shrink with fear, but rather, respond as did Mary, ‘I am willing, Lord.’”

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the example of Mary, a woman of faith and trust in You through her difficult situation. Let us learn from her servant heart, quiet spirit, and submissiveness to your will. Help us listen for your Holy Spirit to guide us in making wise decisions. May we exalt you daily and give you praise. In Jesus’s name, Amen