Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chick Flick Moments.

Let me start this blog post with a disclaimer: I love chick flicks just as much as the next girl. I love girls night & curling up on the couch snuggled in with blankets and pillows to spend the next hour and a halfish watching someone else's relationships work out better than you and your friends currently are.I love the things that accompany chick flick nights (normally): good friends, single jokes, and the looks that cross faces for a split second when the credits start rolling that says 'man, I hope that's me one day.'

That beings said...chick flicks make me laugh. For a VARIETY of reasons.

The whole reason that they're such a hit is because someone, somewhere discovered the formula to make all women, everywhere return to the theater over & over again, and sometimes drag their brothers, boyfriends, and fathers along too. It's in every typical chick flick. Ever.

Boy meets girl. In this first meeting you have a variety of options, but typically it goes one of two ways: either they hit it off immediately and fall madly for each other, or they tick each other off to no end and swear they'll never see each other again, EVER. What happens? They realize they have mutual friends. They realize they live in the same apartment building. Somehow, SOMEWAY they discover that their lives are magically intertwined in a way that keeps them continuously running into each other over and over again, that they've also somehow missed up until this moment. For the next hour or so, we watch their relationship unfold, until the next MAJOR roadblock in the movie occurs.

The betrayal. Someone makes a mistake. They break up. There's heartbreak, tears (from the characters AND the audience) moody music, and probably rain. Then, somehow within the last 10 minutes of the movie the man (or woman) realizes they can't live without the other person. All conflict is reconciled, happy music plays, they kiss, walk off into the sunset, and we live the theater feeling preeeeeeetty good a bout life in general :D

Which is why it makes me laugh. Because relationships don't work that way. But I think the REAL reason it makes me laugh is because we, as girls (and some guys...no shame!) walk out of the theater, and start looking for our "cute meet." And ALL of a sudden everyone from the person taking your order at McDonalds to the boy you trip over in the coffee shop could be your ONE. I'm not dogging that. He could be! God works in mysterious ways, and believe me I've seen it. And I'm DEFINITELY guilty of this too. But it just makes me laugh how when me and my friends walk out of the coffee shop, and she bumps into some cute college boy walking in the door, after they exchange apologies the "AHA" look appears....and she turns and through narrowed eyes asks the question ".....did I just miss him?"

NO. You probably didn't. But goodness, it's funny anyways :D

Monday, December 17, 2012

1 down, 6 to go....

Even though it hasn't sunk in yet, allow me to announce very loudly and very excitedly that I AM DONE WITH MY FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE. Yup. 3 years from now I'll be walking down the aisle, dreading having to finally grow up a little bit and face the real world. Or graduate school. Either really. But that being said...

How do you sum up a semester of lessons, laughter, tears, pain, roommates, hallmates, South Carolina and GOD in a blog post? It's hard for me to write about, because no matter how many words I use or how grandiose my language becomes, it STILL won't be enough to adequately communicate the overwhelming emotion and living of life that God has walked me through this semester.

I have been reminded time and time again that this earth is not our home, and that no one we meet on earth can fulfill the void that God reserved in our hearts specifically for Himself. I've learned it's hard to grasp concepts like mercy, faith, love (the overwhelming, unconditional, allow me die for you kind), and forgiveness because we human beings are so unbelievably BAD at it. I've learned that any semblance of these qualities in our lives is only because we have a Savior who IS all of these things, and when I am loved and cared for by my closest friends it is when I see Jesus the most.

I've learned that love means patience, selflessness, trust, and putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time. I've learned that love is also not butterflies in the stomach, heart skips a beat, hands get clammy and I can't breath....even though those things are awesome. I've learned the Christian walk is hard, and surrendering to Christ can be painful, even though I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that surrendering all these things is worth it in the face of an all-fulfilling Savior. I've learned I have a long way to go before I'm ready for marriage, parenting and a family, and if God ever chooses to bring those things into His plan for my life it will be in His time and not mine. Even though a lot of the time I prefer my timing to His...until I sit back and realize how much trouble I would get into if God let me run my life even for a week :P

On a less serious note .... I've taken out small parts of the bucket list :D I've been to Savannah multiple times. I've survived the CIU cafeteria, found a life-long best friend in my beautiful roommate, and discovered that I'm actually kind of bad at decorating. I've discovered watching a movie when I should be doing homework does NOT mean that I will somehow magically have an overabundance of time on my hands in which to do the homework later. I have discovered 35 is a magical age, and have already started plans to move into a cat lady home with Stephanie and Melissa ;) I've bought my ticket for Passion 2013 (AHHH!), visited Impact 360, adopted a little sister, missed my puppies, had NO time for reading, completely failed at waffle making, washed my shirt in the sink (then dried it with a hair dryer), chased down a candy nommer, ATTEMPTED to learn how to play Halo (it didn't work), found the best smelling young man in the world, and learned that right about 2 AM my brain shuts down and nothing I say makes sense anymore :D

Oh. And run the Color Run :D And made a gingerbread house. Kind of. And watched the Shining. And scary movie upon scary movie which instantly led to extreme regret for THOSE decisions. And saw my first shooting star! And been read aloud too. And redid my room. And taken NUMEROUS road trips :)

I am thankful for everything God has put in my path this semester...even the lessons that were hard and the doors He chose to shut, and the times He told me "wait" and "I've got this." NOW I'm home for Christmas break with lots of free time and no schoolwork to do. Look out world :D

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful

Before you start reading....yes, this is one of those typical Thanksgiving day blog posts. And yes, it is being posted 3 days after Thanksgiving. But my list this year is different, and maybe you won't be able to tell the difference, but I definitely can. See, I've always been able to sit down and list out things that I'm "thankful" for....basically things that I know are good and on some level know I can't control, so I'm "thankful" that God gives them to me. For the first time this year, I'm really beginning to understand just how much I CAN'T understand how undeserving I am of the gifts God has given me...whether that's people, things, places, family, ANYTHING. And it's overwhelming. And I'm going to forget things. But here it goes :)

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for this wonderful body of people that God decided to allow me to be born into, with all of our flaws and problems and all of the good things all mashed into one. I'm thankful for two parents who put up with me and look out for me, even if it comes across as silly. I'm thankful for a little sister who has become not only my sister but one of my best friends. I'm thankful for Mamaw, who spoils me, and Im' thankful for my two brothers who basically make it harder to leave home every time that I have to.

I'm thankful for my friends....but it's not JUST  friends. I'm thankful for my special set of friends who have become less like friends and more like family. I'm thankful for the Gibbs, who live a mere 2 HOURS AND 45 MINUTES away from me, and who let me crash at their house basically ANY time I want to :) I'm thankful for the lovely Rachel Bownds, who is currently traipsing across England doing wonderful things. Andddddd *drumroll*

My Impact class BASICALLY gets their own paragraph. There aren't words to describe how thankful I am for this group of people, and how much they have blessed me just by BEING. God used Impact to change my life, and He did it most often through the people He had walk in and out exactly when He needed them to. I could devote an entire BLOG post to the memories, laughter, tears, stretching, hurt, glory, beauty and LOVE that surrounds the 9 months spent with these people, and it probably still wouldn't cover it all. So suffice to say God took a group of very, very mismatched people, and crammed them together to become a group of people made up of my best friends and non-official family.

AAAAAAAND I'm thankful for the little things :D Basically right now this means I'm thankful for walking outside and smelling bonfire. For leaves that are changing colors. For finding the perfect song that describes your life. For the fact that when people tell you their favorite Taylor Swift song, they're actually telling you a lot about themselves. For technology that lets me communicate with my best friends spread out across the states...and right now across the globe :P For fireplaces and smoke and campfire smells and lit up Christmas trees (fake or not ;) and cold pillows to hug and home cooking and the magical feeling that associates itself with Christmas and this SEASON...that lets me believe that anything is possible, no matter how far fetched it seems :)

Most of all, I'm thankful for my Savior who is faithful. Who puts up with my selfish & ungrateful heart and still loves me. Who continues to bless me daily with new mercies and gifts, regardless of whether I am deserving. And who speaks to my searching heart in ways I NEVER expect, puts people in my life who love me and who let me love them, and who never fails to open doors when I least expect it :)

Life is so good ya'll. Circumstances might be crummy, and things might not be going the way you want, but because of Jesus life is SO. GOOD.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November has arrived!

IT'S NOVEMBER! IT'S FINALLY HERE!

I had a friend once that teased me about getting too excited about the little things of life. Half the time I think he's right, and half the time I think 'meh!' :P But this month is PACKED and I cannot WAIT.

I've realized this month that I have a lot of dreams. Yes, sadly, my bucket list has not gotten any smaller. For the one or two items I've accomplished, I'm pretty sure I've added three or four more. Also, weirdly enough, a LOT of them have to do with the sunrise. Probably cause that's my favorite time of day :D Then there's the list of things I want to do with my little sister come Thanksgiving Break, my ACTUAL bucket list, and the small list of wishes I keep in my desk that the general public doesn't get to see. But let it be known, I HAVE actually started to make a dent in this thing....

NOW. MY MONTH :D

Week 1 held the North/South Football Game :D What what!

That would be the ladies of the South. Who played well, but DID in fact get our butts handed to us by the ladies of the North. Seriously though, it was SO. MUCH. FUN. Plus I got to use the phrase "Hey Bethany, where you headed?" "Oh, just football practice...." and then watch people's faces try to put together WHY this freshman college girl was talking about playing football for her bible college. Also, our shirts not only LOOK like they're highlighter yellow...they actually are, in fact, highlighter yellow. Just a small added bonus to the night. 

Week 2 was the play AND Sydney's birthday AND a family dinner at Mo's with Mom, Dad, Sister, Aunt Michelle and the rest of our hall family that we haven't family tree-ed yet :D The play was You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, and featured 3 of the lovely hallmates as Lucy, Sally and Woodstock :D We may or may not have made a giant sign with copies of their faces on it, and then cheered at random times during the performance. 

AND FINALLY WEEKEND THREE IS HERE! I've only been waiting for this weekend for...eh, 45ish days :D I'M GOING HOME LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Not HOME home. Impact 360 home :D And with this comes the fact that I am finally going to get to meet the new Impacters, finally going to get some quality face-to-face time with the beautiful Hannah Richards, and best of all, I'm going to get to see my IMPACT FAMILY! Or parts of them anyways :D And just because the excitement doesn't stop there, Saturday and Sunday I'm going to be in Savannah, which right now holds the title of my favorite eastern coast city (it's vying with 2 others for the title, but I haven't been to the other 2 yet...) with my BEST FRIENDS Melissa and Stephanie!!!! 

Then, I'm back at school for one day...ONE day, and I'm on a plane, in the sky and flying home. My flight leaves at 5:30 in the morning on Tuesday, which means I will be one very happy, but VERY sleepy chick. But one VERY short week from now, I will be reunited with my baby sister, my wonderful brothers, and my BEAUTIFUL parents!!! And over the course of ALMOST a week Tricia and I will: 
  1. Have Thanksgiving. Seriously. Where is my life going? 
  2. Fall photoshoots. 
  3. Make a fire. 
  4. By the Taylor Swift album! And then transfer that album to Julia and Alicia! 
There's more, but they're just little things and this blog post is getting LONG. I can't believe November is actually here, and we're ALREADY almost halfway through it. College is flying by so much faster than I expected, and I can't believe the relationships the Lord has put me in...and the doors He's opening to new ones ;) 

HAPPY NOVEMBER YA'LL! 



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Waiting, waiting, waiting!


Let’s just get this out of the way: I. HATE. WAITING.

There. I said it. I am probably the world’s most impatient person. EVER. It's something only God can truly work on, has been working on, and will probably CONTINUE to work on for the rest of my life here on Earth. I don’t like waiting on growth, waiting on relationships, waiting on exciting roadtrips, waiting on words of direction for the Lord, waiting while He prepares my future….waiting for the CIU wi-fi to load, waiting for TV shows to come out every week, waiting for dinner time when I'm especially hungry, waiting on friends to talk to me, waiting on the light to go green, waiting on….you get the general idea. Big or small, if it involves waiting on something, chances are I don’t like it.

That ESPECIALLY applies to the big things. Liiiiike this whole “waiting on a relationship” big thing.
I’m going to a church right now that is wrapping up a 10 week marriage series. Yes. A MARRIAGE SERIES. “Bethany…you’re talking about waiting…and being single…WHY on EARTH would you choose a church that spent your ENTIRE first semester of freshman year talking about MARRIAGE?”

(I’m also a little (edit: a lot) hyper as I write this. Just to put that out there…)

To be honest, I have no idea why I chose the church that I did. I have no idea why the idea of sitting in on 10 weeks of talking about marriage was appealing to me, or why I decided to wait it out through this really awkward life period I’m in right now. The only meaningful conclusion I can come to is, it WASN’T me. Choosing Midtown was totally, completely, UTTERLY a God thing, and I’m so thankful that He didn’t let me give in to my petty little “but Jesus I’m SINGLE” pity parties.

Now. Back to this whole waiting business.

Adam told a story this morning about the Jewish custom of betrothal…now affectionately known around Midtown as “engagement on steroids”. Essentially, as I understand it, in Jewish culture when a young man was betrothed to a young woman, they were legally bound to one another. To end the betrothal would be the rough equivalent of filing for a divorce. As soon as the betrothal was official, the young man would go away and begin preparing (a.k.a. building) a house and home for his beautiful wife to come live in with him after they got married. But the thing WAS, she had no idea when the house would be done, and so she had no idea when the love of her life would be coming to make the marriage official, and sweep her off to start their new lives together.

My reaction? “Ugh. Waiting. Cute waiting…but waiting.”

But essentially…isn’t that what life is all about? Waiting for something in the future that we have no timetable for? And I’m not really talking about marriage, or relationships, or jobs, or college acceptance or ANYTHING like that. I’m kind of talking about Jesus.

Jesus is the bridegroom of the church…and just like the bridegroom in Jewish culture, he’s gone away to prepare a place for us to live with Him. ETERNALLY. And we, His bride, the church, on earth, have NO idea when He will return to sweep us off for our new lives together. So isn’t life ITSELF, just a huge, momentous bundle of nothing but waiting for JESUS to come back? And we’re not just called to wait and twiddle our fingers, we’re called to use our lives to make more of Him. To know Him, and to make Him known.

So LIFE is nothing but waiting, but I suppose when you put into perspective that we’re waiting on Jesus, all those other little things kind of pale in comparison. Maybe common sense, but waiting is definitely something I've been struggling with lately, and this was definitely some much needed hammering of my perspective back into place. I am nowhere NEAR to being good at this, as much as I would like to say that I am. I'm still super impatient, and I still don't like waking up each day NOT KNOWING if this is the day that my life changes, or I finally get that one phone call, or I finally get that text that says I miss you, or that job that prepares me for my career or....I could go on. But I think essentially, God's pushed me to it and now He's pushing me through it. 

And the very fact that I'm still standing here and not ranting and raving on the phone to my little sister about how FRUSTRATED I am with impatience, is a sure sign that God is sovereign, in control, and able to change even the most stubborn hearts. I.E. MINE :) 

HAPPY NOVEMBER YA'LL! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Do I Compare?

At the beginning of the school year I was really struggling to see myself in any kind of good light. And I don't mean that to be self deprecating or "oh woe is poor and pitiful me!" at all. I just see my faults glaringly, and the areas God has gifted me in sparingly. Right around this time I got a phone call from the beautiful Pam Dodge...and we talked for a while, and finally as the conversation was winding down she said...

"Just remember Bethany, that any kind of comparison is an indication of pride." 

Like most of the things that Pam says (remind me to tell you the story of her praying for me in Brazil...) that little sentence kind of knocked me upside the head. ANY kind of comparison? Even the "Oh man...she's such a strong, mature, amazing woman of God. I am nothing like her...how will people ever see me as useful if there's Christian women like HER in the world?"

In case you haven't caught on yet, I'm guilty of comparing myself to people around me daily. Hourly, actually. Which is funny, because I've been asking God to reveal areas of pride in my life...and here they are! I was pretty surprised to find out that pride isn't just arrogance and "I could do better." It's this really sneaky mixture of self-pity, being self-centered, and false humility too. For example. How arrogant is it of me to look at another woman's growth and IMMEDIATELY think...well, how does that reflect on me? How can I do better than her? How can I somehow take HER lessons, HER growth, and make them mine to apply to my life?

To put it another way....how can I take her accomplishments and use them to make me feel valuable?

Because I'm trying to meet a standard I keep setting in my head. A standard defined by the accomplishments, talents and gifts of those around me. I take people's successes, make them my standard, and then try to blow past it because in my prideful heart if I truly tried I could do it better. And if that was the end of the story, it'd be a really vicious, really UGLY cycle because there's no getting out of it until you become an old, grumpy, dissatisfied cat lady.

But other people AREN'T the standard. In fact, other people don't matter! Because the standard is CHRIST...and if we're fighting to measure up to Christ on our own we're fighting a losing battle, because there is no way on earth I will ever measure up to a standard set by Christ. "Well....that's just as depressing isn't it?" you ask.

NOPE. Because Jesus met the standard for me. That's the beauty of the Gospel, God's heart, and Jesus Christ! He watched me struggle to measure up, and KNEW I would never be able to do it. He said "It's okay. You don't need to meet this. I've already done this for you....I've redefined who you are. Now trust me, and live as a new creation. Don't worry about other people...they grow in their own time. Keep your eyes trained on Me. We'll do this together."

But do I? No. Because I've got this nasty little habit of trying to live out of my own power...of thinking I can do it all on my own. There's that pride thing again. And I don't just do it with spiritual stuff...no way! There's always someone prettier, someone smarter, someone more athletic...always SOMEONE to compare myself to. And without fail, I will always, always do it. Why? Because I care a little too much about how other PEOPLE see me. Because I desire a little too much to have someone tell me I'm valuable, and forget a little too often about the One who already has.

And I guess that's the beauty of it....that God never lets me go :) He never lets me keep chasing people, never lets me struggle on my own. No matter how often I struggle, most of the time AGAINST Him, He continues pointing out my faults because He loves me to much to let me stay proud and independent of Him.

And the BEST part? He never holds me to the standard that I'm holding MYSELF! He never looks and says "Why can't you be more like my daughter over here? SHE'S already learned to trust me." Or "Why can't you pray more often like my son here? He knows what it means to dwell in My presence..." God holds me to a standard that Jesus has ALREADY fulfilled. And because that standard is met, pride is irrelevant. It's stupid! Because I. DIDN'T. MEET IT. I didn't do ANYTHING. I couldn't. Not of my own power, not of my own striving, no matter HOW often I compared myself to girls around me and thought I came out better or worse.

God wasn't repelled by my pride. He wasn't pushed away by my fallen, nasty nature. Which honestly blows my mind, because I think it's GROSS :P But I guess God doesn't work like us. Which is pretty much the best news EVER.

And ALL of this blows my mind!

Anyways :) this was rambling, and probably pretty scattered. And LONG. But it's been on my heart for a really long time, so I'm finally putting it out here :) God is so good!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Break Shenanigans.

Beginning this post by saying I GOT TO COME HOME FOR FALL BREAK! Yep. That's just a teeny, tinny, liiiitle piece of my excitement. Suffice to say I feel really bad for the men sitting in front of me on the plane (who were from the military, and therefore very serious & intimidating) because as soon as the captain said "We are now beginning our final descent to Houston, Texas..." I started bouncing up and down in my seat going "Texas, texas, texas, texas...." over and over again. Yeah.

Pausing the actual "shenanigans" to think about something. I've been reading 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp (spelling FAIL) as part of my devotion....and if you haven't read it you should, because this woman writes truth in a very unique and somewhat convicting way. It made me start thinking about living life moment by moment...thinking about the joy, grace & gifts in each day as they come instead of looking towards the future constantly.....and yeah, I'm kind of awful at it :P

This weekend gave me a first look at how much that can change your outlook on life. I guess when you slow down and start to look for God in the moment, He actually starts to MEET you there :) I woke up this weekend content. Which is a big deal. For me. I'm bad at being content. And this idea of not worrying/looking towards tomorrow makes WAITING so much easier to! Because you know you have the day in front of you....and tomorrow comes, well tomorrow. With it's own worries & concerns & joys & grace & new mercies. How unbelievably comforting is that?! Knowing that the SECOND a problem or trial enters your life is the second that God also graces you with the perseverance, trust, comfort of His presence, and love to deal with it.

I'd love to sit here and tell you all about the hilarious adventures of Bethany, Rachel & Patricia: Fall Break Edition. But the truth is, we really didn't do much of anything. And it was WONDERFUL :D There was a lot of laying around, a lot of TV watching, and a lot of late night baking. Slash cooking. Slash attempting to make Taco Bell food better than the Taco Bell Company. So yeah, THAT got interesting ;)

Patricia introduced us to the show Supernatural, which is you haven't seen it is a show about two brothers who take on all manners of supernatural (hence the name...go figure) and scary things in a quest to find this thing that killed their mother. Add to this equation a very scared Rachel, and a Bethany with an ACTIVE imagination...you get the picture. I only watch this show when Turshy is around...because my 16 year old sister gives off an aura of "Hey, don't mess with us." and I'll take that where ghosties are concerned!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

AUTUMN!!!!!

IT'S FAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! 

BETHANY. Are you really writing a post JUST to talk about the weather? Well, yes. Yes I am. That and the fact that I've been in the LIBRARY for the past two hours and my brain just officially hit the shut down switch, so I needed something else to do. But enough complaining :) 

Seriously? It's Autumn. Like, the leaves are changing, the nights are cold, I'm walking around in swag pants and a hoodie (in my dorm at least) Autumn. And I'm really enjoying it so far. Also, autumn has some beautiful sunsets. Or maybe that's just South Carolina...but I'm enjoying that too :P  

There is really NO point to this blog post. So if you're looking for one, I'd stop reading now. Just a thought. 

I forgot to write about it earlier, but remember that Pinterest Weekend with the Gibbers from way back when? Well, that actually brought with it the accomplishment of Bucket List item #4: watch The Shining and not DIE from terror. Check! I'm obviously still alive. And breathing. And not...well, terrified. 



Duhduh! That was victorious entry music, just in case you were wondering :) Granted we watched the older version, so I'm sure the newer version of it is doubly terrifying, but for the most part this movie was WEIRD. Just WEIRD. Not even scary weird. WEIRD weird. But the item has been checked off! Which makes 4. Out of....90 something. Oh dear.....

So that's life right now. Classes and homework (LOTS OF HOMEWORK) and cool weather and jeans and chai tea and Savannah trips and wishing I could see people that are currently far away from me in lots of ways. Nighttime runs and football practice (who knew I'd ever be able to say that...) and planning for Fall Break and waking up every morning to God's new mercies because He knows that I need them :) And lots of realizing every morning that God knows what's going to happen as the day continues....and that I need to be patient. I'm not very good at that :P 

So yeah! That's it for now. Because I guess I should get back to this whole "getting homework done" thing....COLLEGELYFE. Can't spell. Over and out! 

p.s. I apologize for the randomness, ridiculousness and overall NO POINT of this whole page. But this doesn't happen TOO often :P I think.....




Monday, September 24, 2012

Faithfulness in Autumn

HAPPY FALL EVERYBODY! 
I'm ridiculously excited. As evidenced by these wonderful fall colors!

September has gone....somewhere. And wherever it's gone it has gone there quickly because there are now only 6 days left. In September. Not that I'm complaining, but seriously. Life is FLYING BY. 

I've been learning a lot about faithfulness this month. In particular, I've been learning a lot about GOD'S faithfulness, in ways that if I'm being honest I'd skip than endure. Don't you wish hard lessons could come a little bit easier? 

I think faithfulness might be one of those words we throw around a lot. I do. You know. "Great is thy faiiiiithfulnesss" and "Oh come, all ye faithful" and "Don't worry honey, God is faithful. He's gonna work this out." But I think I've always assumed in the back of my head that God's faithfulness came into play when my plans lined up with His, and therefore everything worked out the way I was praying it would. I'm just now beginning to realize that SOMETIMES, God's faithfulness is found when the doors I'm praying for close. And I'm not saying that God waits until I get just a liiiittle bit too attached to something and then closes the door, although sometimes it's tempting to think that. I think it's in the fact that He won't let me be satisfied with things of the world because He's designed me with something far more eternal in mind....

I'm so easily satisfied ya'll. And while that can be a good thing, it also means that sometimes I take a blessing and I start being content & finding happiness & joy in THAT THING rather than the Creator who gave me that thing. And if God was a God who just wanted to make us happy that'd be GREAT, but He's not. Because He can see the better things ahead that He's called us for, and He KNOWS that if He lets us keep playing with this little temporary, non-eternal, earthly thing we're going to be missing. out. God's faithfulness is found when He sticks with us, even when we don't want Him to. Even when we get really, really frustrated because we can't imagine what could be better than this thing we were really enjoying. So sometimes, God's faithfulness hurts. Which is a weird concept, because isn't God a God of comfort and blessing and peace and love and all these other good words? Well....yes. 

But personally, I think it's mind blowingly incredible that the God of the universe has the patience and the love for me to stick with me when I say pretty blatantly "Lord, sometimes I want this a little bit more than I want you." And it's kind of convicting to actually write out that I do that, because I don't like admitting it. And not only does He stick with me....He continues to gently prod me and push me towards this better thing, this better plan....this INCREDIBLE ending that's just over the horizon. Which only He knows. But whatever it is, it's GOOD, and will make all this waiting & sadness & pain worth it. 

Yeah. Wow. 

On a MUCH less serious note, I got to spend the week with my bestest friends in Savannah and my LITTLE SISTER!!! She came up to surprise me. And I might have cried a little bit when she got out of the car because that's literally how excited I was....also I'm pretty sure I got NO sleep this weekend which seemed like a really, really good idea at the time. Making memories! 

It wasn't a good idea. But they were some pretty amazing memories :) 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Nineteen....WHAT?!

I'M NINETEEN.

Which let's be honest, is weird. I've wanted to be nineteen since I was EIGHT, because nineteen was my favorite number and on top of that I had some very short, profound reason as to why it was the best age EVER ( that I don't remember now and probably had something to do with being on top of the teenage pyramid now...). I ALSO find it funny because aren't I supposed to be an adult now? And the first thing my best friend posts on my wall for my birthday is the scene from Lilo and Stitch where she's feeding Pudge a sandwhich and apparently it reminds her of me :D Hey. I'll take it.

But just because I CAN....in nineteen years of living, here's some of the things I've learned. About life, love, people, best friends and yeah, myself :)

Life is much more enjoyable when you live in the present, and don't let your mind wander to the future CONSTANTLY. 

Country music is perfect driving, fall weather, windows down music & ALWAYS will be :)

I don't understand why everyone says blue eyes are the prettiest. They're some of the most beautiful I've seen, but I will take a pair of warm, brown eyes that make me feel safe over a pair of baby blues ANY day of the week :) 

The beach is GORGEOUS. And peaceful and breezy and close to perfect. I don't know why I was ignorant of this fact for my first eighteen years....

You never know what tomorrow will bring. God can change your life in 2 hours, and only He knows when that's going to happen.

No matter how harsh or depressing reality seems, holding on to hope in God's plan is WORTH it, no matter what the world says. 

The value of just sitting, snuggled up in a blanket and your best friends watching a movie should NEVER be underestimated. Because it makes some of the best, most comforting moments & memories :) Especially if significant amounts of junk food are included. 

Honesty is hard. It's also worth the pain. 

God uses pain & sadness just like He uses joys and triumphs. 

Singing makes life a lil' bit better....and belting stupid songs in the car at midnight with the windows down and a handful of best friends ALWAYS makes life a LOT better :D 

Loving people is vulnerable, and uncomfortable, and sometimes hurts a lot, but I would honestly say it's worth the risk :) 

That being said...being TRULY vulnerable is one of the hardest experiences I have ever gone through.

ALWAYS journal. Someday you're going to want to look back and laugh at where you were & how far God's brought you :D

The right song can make a moment perfect. 

People come in and out of your life. They are not yours to keep, no matter how badly you want to. 

"Above all else, GUARD YOUR HEART, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

You're never too old for a Disney movie! 

God gives you the strength to get up in the mornings, even when you feel like you can't. 

Running can bring MUCH needed peace, clarity, stillness, and quiet :)

Sunsets will never get old. Nor will they ever stop declaring God's glory. EVER. 

People who want to stay in your life will fight to keep their spot in it. Don't reserve a spot for someone, who no longer wants to fight to show you what you mean to them. 

Everyday may not be GOOD, but there is something incredible hidden somewhere within each day :D

There are some lessons you just have to experience to truly learn.

Memories are, and always will be treasures. They are worth holding onto, good or bad.

I'm a lil' bit camera happy :P slash Instagram happy. Ya know.

Savannah, Georgia MIGHT be one of my favorite places on earth. Besides Texas of course ;) And I'd say Charleston, but since TECHNICALLY I've never been there, I guess I can't count it. 

Roadtrips are WONDERFUL. Seriously. So very much fun :D

Good morning texts are a wonderful thing, and can CHANGE the course of someone's morning/day/mood/smile :)

No matter how much healing you think has been done, little comments can still bring back a lot of hurt.

That being said....God is bigger than my feelings. And my fears. 

I AM CLUMSY. 

People letting you down hurts, but is a testament to the faithfulness of God I do not think I will EVER fully understand. 

Bonfires & the smell of burning leaves is a huge blessing....it makes me smile :) If there was a cologne made that smelled like that, I'd be a goner in ten seconds flat. 

I was a very dramatic child....perchance I am STILL a very dramatic child. 

NOTHING is too big for my God. 

The smallest compliments have the power to make someone's day. 

No matter how bookwormish it sounds, I will always, ALWAYS love the way that books smell.

Don't underestimate how much fun you can have when you simply stop taking life so seriously for a few hours.

A childlike nature is a blessing to be around, and it is a gift from God :) 

I have problems with writing things in caps...MEANING I DO IT WAY TO MUCH. 

Watching people discover the image of God they are created in, and the identity of who they are in Christ is the most breath-taking, beautiful, emotional thing I have ever experienced. 

I have an addiction to smell-good things. Like Bath & Body hand sanitizers. and Old Spice. And coffee ;)

If you want to win a girl's heart, write her letters. About your day, about the sunset, about stupid, trivial things, and most of all about how you feel about her. Having words to re-read when the nights get long is worth a million spoken moments. 

God's promises are ours to claim. Broken pieces will once again be made whole. 

I might be one of the most IMPATIENT people on the planet. But God's working on that :) 

Well. This was super long. But that's okay! 19 years is a long time to sum up, and I think I've done a pretty meh job....because every life is a story, and that story is LONG. But I have been blessed beyond what I deserve, gifted with more than I think I will EVER understand, and no matter how many times I think I've finally grasped it God CONSTANTLY blows my mind with how deep, far, consistent, faithful, steadfast, wonderful and overwhelmingly personal His love truly is :) 

I can't believe I'm 19. I can't believe I've made it through 19 years in one(ish) piece ;P I can't believe the people I've been allowed to meet, the lives I've been able to watch change through Christ, and the memories I've been able to collect...good and bad :) 

GOD IS SO GOOD.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Creativitied OUT.

Just got home from Labor Day weekend in SAVANNAH....so of course the first thing I do is blog about it before I forget anything I want to say :D Again, sorry for the mental jump around. After 2 hours and 40 minutes of driving & singing & admiring the BEAUTIFUL scenery that is South Carolina, this is just how my mind is running :)

And yes. Everytime I passed the word "Charleston" on a road sign, billboard, or advertisement I smiled and giggled like a little girl. Seriously? I might have a problem...

This weekend was the "Pinterest" weekend and we pinterested a LOT....given the I AM NOW OUT OF CREATIVITY vibe that I'm now giving off.
The verse is Micah 7:7, which says "But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord. I wait for my God, my Savior. My God will hear me."

Also? I'd like to point out that when Pinterest says DIY! everyone thinks...."aw, easy project! Fun! Let's go!" LIES AND DECEPTION. DIY does not mean easy, but it DOES mean fun....in addition to time consuming, somewhat frustrating, paint all over your fingers.

Basically, you need vinyl letters for the project. Well, we didn't know what vinyl letters were. OR where to find them. So, we just had to hold down these little paper letters onto the page and paint over them. Sounds simple right? WRONG. The letters shifted & squiggled & wiggled all over the canvas, which meant that in the end some of my "i"s didn't have their dots and my "H"s looked a lot more like ns. BUT it was wonderfully, wonderfully fun :D
We got to watch the sunset on the beach, which is good because it feeds my beach obsession....

Aaaaaand bad because it ridiculously encourages my beach obsessions...

ALSO. I've added "Must see a shooting star" to my bucket list. Because I've never seen one. Because apparently I suffer from a curse that dictates every time a shooting star even MIGHT appear I have to be looking at something or watching something. Or blinking. For example:

"Look, a shooting star!"
"Oh, cool! You know, I've never seen one..."
"WEll, did you see that one?"
"No, I was rolling over to lay on my back."
FIVE MINUTES LATER.

"Look, there's another one!...Did you see that one?"
"Nope. I was looking at my phone to see what time it was."
TEN minutes later....

"You MUST have seen that one...."
"NOPE. I BLINKED."

It's ridiculous really. So now that's on my bucket list. I apparently ALSO suffer from a curse that most would probably just call BULL in the CHINA CLOSET, because in the space of one weekend I broke (or re-broke) the Gibbs blinds in Alan's room, spilled my drink at dinner & got handed a sippie cup, knocked an entire WRACK of surfboards off the shelf at Walmart, which then became the running reference of family AND extended family for the entire weekend.

Of course, I was also adopted as the 3rd niece and daughter, so I guess it wasn't too bad of a tradeoff :)

I love these girls a lot, and am SO thankful they live so very, very close. 

So that was my weekend! Countless hours spent at the beach, one of which I basically talked for and they had the patience to listen :) 

Also? God answered a really cool prayer request this weekend, which meant He brought a friend back into my life that I've been praying might be able to happen for a while. So....I really don't have any words for that OTHER than the fact it was really, really awesome :) Hence the Micah 7:7 "God hears my prayer" pinterest craft. 

NOW BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD! Aka school :D Week 3, here I come. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Warning: Excited.

Well, the title should have been warning enough, but for those still brave enough to read on just know that this is coming from a mind that is EXCITED and HYPER and a little bit exhausted, and has got a very, very thrilling week/weekEND ahead of her :D So I apologize for the randomness of this post, the hopping around, and the fact that it might not make much sense. But hey! There's pictures!

I've been at CIU for about...ten days now. Which is crazy because it feels like SO much longer!
YEP. These are the skies and sunsets I now get to experience. IT'S CRAZY. 
I also got to tour downtown! Mostly because we were doing a scavenger hunt along with the rest of the Connect:CIUers, but hey, it was still fun. I also met my first boy from Massachusetts, which I felt like was quite the accomplishment, maybe? That would be us making a pyramid on top of the capital building...


I went to a worship night which was held HERE, brought by courtesy of the roommate's church NEWSPRING (all in caps for reasons I don't know...) and that was wonderful and exciting and brought me back downtown with fun children my age, so it made for a pretty good night all in all :D
There is a PURPLE. STREAK in my hair, and for those of you who can't see it (because some have claimed) I promise it's there. This is also exciting because it brings the crossing off of BUCKETLIST ITEM #3 which is very, very exciting to me. Almost as exciting as having a strip of purple in my hair. And if this is the craziest that I get in college (which, let's be honest, it will be...I SLEPT my entire first weekend here) then I'll be a pretty happy girl :)

We had our FIRST collegiate soccer game (WHICH WE WON! courtesy of Daniel Mallard and his headbutt) and the girl with me is Alicia Watanabe (whose last name must be said in a samurai accent) and she's basically just awesome and puts up with me which is sometimes a miracle in and of itself ;) We're excited. She's ALSO my FLT, which is an added bonus sometimes, and mainly just means her room is located conveniently right across the hall :) But for serials. We like her a lot.
And yes. Perchance I am just a little bit excited (and obsessed) that I'm now located in Gamecock country ;) BUT, I'm not the only one! There are many, many, MANY people that have already promised Saturday night game parties and if we're lucky (FINGERS CROSSED) a group of us might ACTUALLY get down to watch a game this semester :D Lucky. If we're lucky.

YEP! Another reason I'm excited is that directly after I make it through this lovely week of classes and psychology and MATH (ugh, ugh, ugh) I will be making a beautiful drive down to Savannah to spend the weekend ; the LONG weekend; with 2 of my bestest friends and their wonderful family :D And we're going to be creative and make lots of nomnommy things of Pinterest, and maybe come back with a craft or 2. ISH EXCITING. Also, my iPhone has now FINALLY learned how I talk, so it's began correcting all my IT'S to ISH'es. Well done iPhone. Well done ;)

And spiritually? Because yeah, I'm still growing. Basically what God has been teaching me can be summed up in the sentance:

Hope is not found in the results God can bring about, but instead in the belief that He has the power to bring around those results

Lil' bit cryptic, but I could write an entire blog post on why that's my lesson and I'm still not sure it would cover it. But THAT'S what God's been teaching me and it's been awesome, and brought peace, and brought the mindset of "It's Monday. God has given me the grace to go through Monday. Not Monday and Tuesday and three weeks of Wednesdays. MONDAY." Living one day at a time :) Simple to type, but it's taken my forEVER to learn, and I'm not done yet. 

THAT'S CIU LADIES AND GENTS. I'm incredibly psyched, incredibly excited, and can't WAIT to go see my best friends this weekend :D 

4 Days. 15 Hours. 22 Minutes. and 25 Seconds.
(Not that i'm counting. Except well....I am) 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Romans 4.

"In hope he [Abraham] believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be." He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead - he was about 100 years old - or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised." 

- Romans 4: 18-21 

This MIGHT be one of my favorite verses...and granted I have a lot :P But I love this passage, just because of the hope and faith that it speaks about. I can't IMAGINE the faith it must have taken Abraham to believe that God would give him a son, when even his own body said it was impossible. By anyone's and all accounts, it WAS impossible! "Against all hope...no distrust made him waver...he grew STRONG in his faith..." I have SO many doubts, and granted God's never appeared to me and directly spoken, but He has written down His promises in a book that I have the opportunity to read daily...and I STILL have doubts!

But as I was reading this, something stuck out that hasn't before.

"...fully convinced God was ABLE to do what He had promised." 

Not was going to, not was absolutely positive God would carry it out....he had faith God was ABLE to. Another version says, "..being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised."

I think this goes back to finding joy in the Creator, and not in the things created. In wanting fulfillment from the creator HIMSELF, and not allowing ourselves to be filled with the gifts FROM Him. Even though God was promising Abraham (directly and IN PERSON) something that Abraham and Sarah had longed for SO long....Abraham still didn't allow himself to find hope in the direct result, but instead in the simple fact that God was ABLE and POWERFUL enough and BIG enough to bring about directly what He had promised. He found hope in GOD, and not in what God was able to do for him.

Maybe I'm not explaining this clearly, but this blows my mind. A DIRECT. PROMISE. and Abraham still chose to hope in God's power to fulfill His promise instead of the promise itself. AH.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

College & Summer

So, THIS was my summer. I guess to a lot of people it looks silly and lazy and not all of the jokes make much sense...(and yeah, sometimes a little immature ;) But these are the memories, people and times that I treasure, and they're a gift from God...sometimes I think just to make sure all the bad days and long nights don't consume me.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Yt3oHIPZtY&feature=youtu.be
^ Click on that...

I've been at CIU for almost a week, and it's been the most unexpected experience of my life. In the time I've been here, I've...
  1. Retaken the StrengthsFinder
  2. Redone the TrueFaced module
  3. Sang 10,000 Reasons in worship
  4. Watched cardboard testimonies
  5. Gone on late night adventures that involved sugar & good (new) friends...AND...
  6. Been a part of a community of Christ so much bigger than myself.
I thought I'd never find another community of friends and teachers SO dedicated to equipping young people to live, own, and love their faith and relationship with the Lord when I left Impact....and while it hasn't been EXACTLY the same (and at times is JUST enough the same to make me ache with how much I miss it) it's been an incredible blessing, and so much more than I was expecting. 

BUT, classes still haven't even started yet (technically ;P) so there's still plenty of room for some UGH's and BLEH's and "WHY am I doing this to myself?!"'s ;) 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

I'M IN COLLEGGGEEEE!!! Like....COLLEGE college. Like, I'm sitting in my dormroom TYPING this college! The parentals just pulled out (without TOO many tears), I've picked out all my "interesting" textbooks, I have a student ID and a key and a parking sticker and this is all really, REALLY happening!
That being said. Let's rehash the success (or lack thereof) of the summer bucket list...

THE RESULTS

1. Impact 360 Alumni Reunion! - SO much fun. A tinge bit overwhelming having everyone in the same place at the same time and trying NOT to squeal from how excited I was....that didn't work quite too well ;) Also. Got introduced to dumpster diving. GO TEAM.

2. Finish my list of Disney movies - didn't QUITE happen

3. Finish my Impact reading - (DEFINITELY still working on this one) 

4. Use a fake name at Starbucks - EVERY TIME i went to Starbucks this summer, they failed to ask me my name. It was incredibly frustrating....

5. Make a Taco Bell run relatively close to midnight  - actually did this! See? (the Taco Bell had been eaten...)




6. Have a yogurt date with my little sister

7. visit Florida! - Since I have devoted so much gushing to this already, I'll just wrap it up by saying BEST. FAMILY. (+ friend) VACATION. EVER. 

8. Do my puzzles

9. Go to Schlitterbahn 

10. Stay up all night and watch the sunrise!

11. Watch the entire Avatar: The Last Airbender with my little brothers. 

12. Finish writing about my year at Impact 360 (allllllmost there!) 

13. Walk on the beach

14. Go to a midnight premier 

15. Actually MAKE something creative off of Pinterest - I made a light cover! and an envelope! And a jar of memories! And threw a party! But I chose to include the light cover...because it was by far my favorite...also because I'm making an annoying duck face. And who doesn't love an annoying duck face?

16. Pray through an entire month - My month of July. I don't have any words...

17. Memorize 2 Corinthians 4, Proverbs 31, Isaiah 40, and Romans 4:18-22.

18. Finish one of my Leatherbounds from Barnes & Noble

19. Finish at least HALF of my "Must See Movie" list! (Didn't happen...goodness...)

20. Do the Brio Girl 30 day challenge.

21. Make new friends. - College. New church. Welcome week. Got this covered :)

22. Listen to the Crosspointe Ruth sermons! (I listened to everything ELSE...and forgot about Ruth...GO FIGURE)

23. Break the habit of biting my nails - I think I did it but since TRICIA disagrees we'll just leave it blank for now...

24. Watch Wyatt Earp whilst paying attention. I couldn't find it :(

25. Buy a new dress!

26. Learn how to country dance. - Surprisingly, THIS HAPPENED! And at Alumni Reunion no less :D

27. Write a letter. 

28. Make 4th of July cupcakes.

29. Go bike riding.

30. Learn ONE song on the guitar. 

31. Sing a duet. - This happened...but was not filmed :/

AND NOW. I'M. AT. COLLEGEEEEE!!!! <-- I'm just a tinge bit excited...just a lil' bit. CIU. GO RAMS. AH!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thinking.


Why is anger so much more appealing than sadness? 

THOUGHTS. 

I think people default to anger, because anger builds. Because when you're angry, you have somewhere to go. Because (ESPECIALLY with girls) you get together with your friends and you feed off emotions, and you build and you build and you tear down and you absorb each other until you've convinced yourself that you're better than this and that you're stronger and you're going to come out on top of this bigger and better than you were before. That somehow, this benefited YOU. You're not losing, you're not humbled, you're VICTORIOUS. 

And then sadness....

Sadness is empty. It's dull and it aches and it throbs and it doesn't go anywhere. It's hard to see the benefit, it's hard to see ANYTHING but the fact that you've lost something important, or seen a door shut. There's nothing to build on, and people's response fall into 2 categories (MOST of the time...) "I'm sorry" or "This is all part of God's plan." All very encouraging in hindsight, but maybe not when the ache is the hardest. 

Sadness feels empty. Anger fills, and even though you know it's temporary it's tempting to trade the wet, moist, heaving ache for a burning, living passion that seems to give you drive to keep moving forward. 

But God USES the sadness. He USES the ache, and the misery, and the throb, and the pain, and He pulls us closer so that the emptiness is filled with HIM. Sadness hurts, and disappointment feels like the world might be ending, but it BUILDS and it STRENGTHENS and it is USED by a Divine God that knows EXACTLY where you are, EXACTLY when you need to be there. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Letter To Me...

I'm down to my last day at home, and move out and then move IN looms on the horizon. The new class of Impacters is getting ready to take over and attempt to measure up to the class of 2012's awesome legacy ;) And I got to thinking that if anyone had asked me a year ago today how I saw my life at the end of Summer 2012....well, I'd have no idea how to answer. So here's how I'm thinking about that...


Dear Bethany, 

You've just graduated and you're getting ready to move away from home. To Georgia no less! You're a little bit anxious, a little nervous, and a little bit more excited than you let on. Don't worry....it's really not that bad. Sure, it'll be a little weird being THAT far away from family...but the time flies. You'll be heading home before you know it, and no matter which "home" you're at you'll always feel like a little piece of you stayed behind at the other one. 
God's about to do some crazy things...in your mind, your heart, and your life. There's really nothing to say to prepare for it, except that in the end it really is all okay. He knows what He's doing, He feels your pain, your joy, your victory and struggles, and He's walking the hard road with you. All of these are good things to remember, because there are a lot of really hard nights coming where it will seem like NONE of this is true. 
The 30 people that are about to walk into your life are crazy. They are unexpected. They are not in any way, shape or form what they seemed like when you formed your mistaken first impressions. They will become your family, some of your closest friends, and you will not know how much they mean to you until you can't just walk out the door and find one of them in 3 minutes or less anymore. Be slow to speak and quick to listen. But also...be ready to share. Open your heart, even at the expense of getting hurt. The lessons, people, conversations, and joy that God has prepared is completely unimaginable. Also, just get ready for some EXTREME surprises. Best friends will come in people that you don't expect, and in timing that you didn't plan for. 
To love means vulnerability, which is something that you don't even know you're opposed to yet. You are. Fight through it, because having people speak truth into your heart makes up for the embarrassment, shame and fear. You're not the only one struggling, no matter how much it seems like it. 
Spring Break will be awesome. Enjoy it while it lasts :) 
Most of all, just remember that God is in control. Commissioning will come quickly, even though 9 months sounds like a really, really long time. Crying is good, even though you don't think so. Letting go and giving God control is HARD, and you still haven't learned it, but take a few tenative steps and watch how much easier and peaceful life becomes. He's looking out for you the entire time. 
Enjoy the simple memories. The movie nights and Lost dates and Sunday mornings and Hall meetings and RIDICULOUS roommates because there will never be anything else quite like this :) Remember the value of getting off by yourself and just talking to your Savior. Let people love you. Make mistakes, be ready for the consequences, and learn (rather stubbornly) that you have no idea what God has planned.
You still don't. 
9 months from now you will be a different person...but you will be more of whom God intended you to be...and less of the person you think everyone wants to see. 
Sincerely,
Bethany (August 9th, 2012) 


Funny how much love, change, surprise, people, wonderfulness and the occasional bleh it took for God to bring us from there....to here :) 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Deep the Father's Love.

"How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure. That He should give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure." 

If you've never heard this hymn, you need to because it's almost as beautiful as the message it carries. But that's not the point.

I have heard this hymn. Over and over and over again. I heard it in church growing up, I sang it at Impact, and now I listen to it on Spotify while I clean my room.

God loved me so much that He sent His Son...His PERFECT Son no less...to die a criminal's death in my place. MY place. That's how much He loved me. And yet I have the audacity to point at little things in my life and say "Lord, see this? This little, inconsequential, trivial thing? I want that. Oh? You're not gonna give it to me? Well then YOU must not love me."

Man have I got my priorities wrong.

I made the very flippant comment this weekend that I thought God just stuck with me because He promised and He had to...but everyone who DIDN'T have to just up and left. Sometimes God takes a little bit of time to reveal how wrong I am to me. Well, this time He didn't. So, this weekend He has taken the time to point out to me just how much not-good I truly am, how unbelievably perfect He is, and that no, He is not faithful to me because He has to be. It is because He loves me so beyond my comprehension....and is unwilling to let me stay in my current state without growing closer to Him and walking farther down HIS path and not mine.

Holy cows.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stop Saying NO.

You know that feeling when you're really, REALLY frustrated with something or somebody but you can't figure out what it is or why? And then someone asks "Well, what's frustrating you?" and you THINK you've finally figured it out so you rant and rave for a little while and then you get done and think and go "hmmm....nope. That wasn't quite it either...."

And then when you actually sit down and you strip away all the excuses and profound feelings you get to the center of this thing, this problem....and there's a very unhappy 3 year old with clenched fists yelling "I just want you to STOP. TELLING. ME. NOOOOO!!!!!"

YUP. After 9 months of spiritually maturation boot camp, you'd think I'd come to this conclusion sooner, but no :D

The horrible, wonderful thing is at this point there's really only 2 options. To remain a very unhappy, very disgruntled, very getting-nowhere, very staying-three, 3 year old, OR to unclench the fists, stop the angry crocodile tears, and accept that my daddy (in this case GOD) MIGHT just know what He's doing with placement, people, family, problems, struggles, and yes, even the good wonderfuls :)

SOME of the good wonderfuls: peace. Reuniting with the lovelies and then the men of Impact 360 in LESS than 48 hours! And college college. As opposed to Impact college.

Also, this song has popped up over and over again on my iPod recently, so I've started listening to it. And decided I really, really like it :) So, it's sharing time!


Monday, July 23, 2012

FUN!

I guess you could say I'm a little bit of a romantic. And by a little bit, I mean definitely. I'm the girl who sees everyday situations and can't wait to share them with that special someone, who is incredibly excited for the day when she gets to look at her little ones and tell them how she met their daddy, and to be patient because anyone God has picked out is worth waiting for. I've prayed, waited, and wanted my husband ever since I started encountering those lovely Christian couples that show through their faith that God's true love is worth waiting for. 


NOW. That being said....


I spent the weekend in San Antonio, Texas at Six Flags with this lovely group of people, minus Daddy who was of course taking the picture. We rode an insane amount of rides, walked from one end of the park to the other what felt like 3 million times, (it wasn't...), and did the obligatory standing in lines that took what felt like hours, but were really just very very long groups of minutes. WITH the obligatory standing in lines, comes the encountering of what we've lovingly dubbed, the "Theme Park Couples." 


You've seen them. The cute ones that snuggle up to each other in line, hold hands as they skip through the park, and comfort the squealing girlfriend on the way up the roller coaster hills (whilst the rest of us are thinking "honey,  you're on the ride. There's no going back now.") Of course, this prompts much yearning & longing & "oh I can't wait to bring boyfriend to a theme park!" from the group of 5 single girls who are running around screaming their heads off on the kiddie rides :D


But as I'm at home after a very long road trip, and thinking about all the memories and fun, I'm actually MORE thankful that I went with my family, and that boyfriend hasn't quite shown up yet, which sounds  weird and a little bit different from my normal attitude. I rolled across parking lots, screamed more than the little kids on the Bugs Bunny rides, and danced dorkily to music from passing carnival games. I didn't worry about my hair, clothes, or who was going to see me at the park... not that I worry about any of those as much as I should anyway, as Rachel can so easily testify ;). I'm happy and thankful that I was able to have simple, easy, God given fun. I guess in essence, this is the closest Bethany has gotten so far to saying "all right Lord, it's Yours and You can have it. Right now I'm single. Let's do this." 


God's said no to a lot of things in my life recently. It's painful and it's disappointing, but in the back of my head there's a little voice called Hope that gets more and more excited. That's the little voice that knows that God's not going anywhere, He's not letting ME go anywhere, and even though I don't know what the next turn brings He does, and He enjoys bringing me joy and holding on to me when the ocean gets stormy, or I let myself fall a little bit to hard and come crawling back after I've hurt myself. 


So there it is! Who knew a weekend at the theme park could turn into a life lesson? Coming home with laughter, joy, no voice, some bruised limbs, and a new appreciation and thankfulness with the family and wonderful best friend God has given me. 







Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Awkward Middle Part...


Every little girl wants this. They grow up thinking that one day they'll be introduced to a handsome prince that loves them and reminds them of the way Daddy loves Mommy....then they grow up and pretend to be independent but deep inside is still that little girl that yearns to be swept off her feet by her Prince Charming no matter how hard she fights against him. People want a happy ever after, and they want the road there to be nothing but smiles, butterflies and smooth sailing. 


But people forget about the awkward part in the middle. And what does that mean? 


It means that in order to get from "Once upon a time...." to, "...and they lived happily ever after" you have to get through the part where Cinderella runs away and Prince Charming thinks he's lost her for good. 


Allow me to demonstrate. 


It takes Harry Potter seven INSANE books to achieve his happy ending and end married with a family.


Sleeping Beauty ends up with her prince, but first she sleeps for the equivalent of her lifetime. 


In order for the Little Mermaid to get her happy ending she loses her voice, her family, and almost watches the love of her life marry another woman. 


More biblically....


Jacob pursued Rachel, only to find out on his wedding night that his own father in law had slipped her older sister Leah into his bedchamber. "So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, but they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her." - Genesis 29:20


Ruth finds Boaz ONLY after leaving her home, her family, and the grave of her dead husband, and traveling to a land where she's not even accepted all for the love of her mother in law.


And most importantly: The Gospel.


Through the Gospel we receive redemption in Christ; the opportunity to stand before the God of the Universe with a clean slate, because when He looks at us He sees not our sin but the blood of His beloved Son. But in order for Christ to achieve that, He had to endure excruciating pain, humiliation, and a criminal's death. He had to break the very BONDS of death, in order to ensure that we would be set free of them forever. 


So to sum up what I'm saying...not even in our fairy tales & stories, are love & relationships completely smooth sailing. It's hard and sometimes it looks like the entire world is ending! But I guess my encouragement is, if it still looks like that, then it's not the end. And if it's not the end, then God's not done with us yet. And our plans for our lives pale in comparison next to His. 


It's kind of like choosing a day at the playground when you could have spent the day at DisneyWorld. It just doesn't compare :) 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where did summer GO?!

Well...the last thing I remember was stepping off a plane from Florida, and then I blinked...and suddenly we're halfway through July! Well, almost. Seriously. I don't know where my summer went. 

My family & I spent the last week at my Mamaw's house, helping out with her church's VBS, which was absolutely wonderful and which sadly I don't have pictures for yet. I got to help out in the nursery, which meant that I got to spend an entire week with 6 lovely children that were absolute dolls to play with. 

And our theme for the week? 

No matter who you are....trust God.
No matter how you feel...trust God.
No matter what people do....trust God.
No matter what happens...trust God.
And no matter where you are...trust God.

Suffice to say I needed reminding just as much as my kids did. 

So now that I have 5+ VBS kids songs stuck in my head (with hand motions of course!) I sit down with a calender & I look at the remaining time i have at home with my wonderful family. 

This coming week I'm babysitting the lovely twins Blake & Megan, whom will tie up my mornings and my energy in more ways then one. Afternoons will involve packing and getting ready for college, becaaaaausseee....

the week after work my little sister's best friend Dasha arrives! Which means that my family will be entertaining and traipsing all over the grand state of Texas, which HOPEFULLY includes a Fiesta Texas visit that I will be able to drag 1 of my friends to ;) 

After THAT I'm off to Georgia for Alumni Reunion, my little sister turns 16 (AH!) and we leave early for a wonderful roadtrip through Savannah, Georgia, which ENDS with my family depositing me at Columbia International University for the fall semester...

WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED. 

Needless to say, I can't wait for all these wonderful happenings to occur! I'm still working on my summer bucket list, and although a FEW items have been crossed off as done (and a few have been crossed of as not happening...there's no beaches that I want to walk on in Texas...) there still needs to be some lovely things that need to happen. 

And all of this happens with me STILL humming VBS theme songs. Of course ; D



Monday, July 2, 2012

Item #2....complete! JuneBugs in the making.

2 down, 74 to go! 

Item #2: Take one photo a day for an entire month. 

FINITOED. We're gonna pretend that's a fancy word for finished. Maybe I made it up. That seems to be a trend! 

Well. Technically I still have one photo to go, with the tag #friend, but that will be completed as soon as the sister friend pulls into my driveway. But other than that, I actually buckled down and took 1 photo a day for the entire month of June! Sometimes they turned out pretty stupid, but for the most part it was insanely awesome to be able to document my month & then go back and look at it :) 

SO. The highlights of my month! 

DisneyWorld was definitely a highlight. But since I've pretty much already written about it, that's all I say. Disneyworld. Beautiful. Got to see Kartwright. Awesome memories. The end :) 

The best sister friend turned 19! One year left of teenagerhood, and I got to spend the entire weekend with her. Lovely lovely times and some pretty laughable memories :D

My Charles Martin liking has become....well, rather obsessive. Not that I'm complaining. I've been incredibly thankful to have several afternoons to just sit around and catch up on my reading! Most of which includes Sherlock Holmes (official book nerdness) and this wonderful writing man ^. I've been happy. And have Kartwright to thank for introducing me to him!

We got to go to an Astros game, and got WONDERFUL field level seats because we bought Faith & Family tickets. Jordan Schafer, my new favorite player since *cough* Hunter Pence decided to leave *cough* was a short distance away. Thankfully Patricia kept me from running onto the field and embarassing myself in typical fan, Bethany fashion ;) After the game we got to watch Third Day, live & in concert and they were great! We left just in time to watch the sun set behind the Houston skyline, which  MIGHT be one of my favorites in the world. Oh. And I thought I saw Hunter. (I didn't. It was a letdown.) 

And FINALLY, the complete highlight of my month were THESE lovely beauties! World, meet Bonnie, Clyde and Smalls my snail. They are just fish, but have come to hold a very special place in my heart, and will be making the college trek (somehow) with me in the coming month. I LOVE THEM. The only downside is, you can't really cuddle with a fish. so that's a party dampner. Also, when I tried to remove them from the bag they got stuck. I saw their lives flash before my eyes. GOODNESS. But they're okay now :) 

so, that was my June. To be honest, I'm COMPLETELY thrilled for the month of July.

Oh. And to end. God has taught me so much in this past month. He has revealed areas of my heart that I previously thought were locked, loaded, and already fixed. Once again, He has shown & promised me that He is NOT done with me. Thank the Lord for such a wonderful Savior :)