Friday, April 27, 2012

The Weekend of the Braves game :D

So I decided back when it actually HAPPENED that I wanted to do a blog post about the weekend we all went to the Braves Game together....and by we I mean me, my bestest friend Melissa, my OTHER bestest friend Stephanie (who didn't actually get to GO to the game, but potato potahto), and then the whole horde of Impacters that I was originally going to go with. THEN I got home, and got tired, and decided if I tried to write it would sound something along the lines of "and then...Chipper hit a home run...andwedecidednot....zzzzzzz." That's me falling asleep, in case you were wondering.

SO! After much ado, and the fact that I simply don't want to do homework right now....I'm reminiscing!

See, this entire weekend (which was the 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th of April I do believe...) started when Stephanie decided that she was going to come back to the States for HER Spring Break. She lives in Israel, see. Which makes it VERY hard to see her. But anyhoo. HER Spring Break coincided very UNnicely (new word) with MY Spring Break. Meaning that they happened at the same time. Meaning I would be in Texas partyin' it up with the Impact 360-ers at the same time she was arriving in Georgia. Problem. So I resolve myself to the fact that I won't be seeing my best friend until summer 2012 when she moves home (!!!!) and go on about my business.

UNTIL I get a phone call that says they're driving into Atlanta for a Braves Game the weekend after Spring Break, and would it be okay if they come to see me in lovely lil' Pine Mountain? YES! IT WOULD! So Thursday afternoon at AROUND 4:00, Lissa & Stephie pull into my parking lot with their car all decked out for the Atlanta Braves opening game. It would have been embarassing...except for the fact that it's US....and we've done far more embaressing things together....(I can't spell the word embarassing in case you haven't noticed...)...but I'm sure there were probably people at Impact and then along the roads that were embarassed for us. But anyways :) We went out to Columbus and had frozen yogurt for dinner, and then headed home to say goodbye and head out.

WELL. Apparently we decided that just seeing each other for ONE day simply wouldn't work. And since they were staying in Atlanta, they had an extra bed in their hotel room. So they asked if I wanted to come spend the night Friday night? And I said "yes!" but was inwardly thinking "there's no WAY Daddy's gonna go for that." Well surprise surprise, I don't give my dad enough credit. Because HE said yes! And here the adventure begins.

See, since THEY were going to the Braves opening game that night, they wouldn't be back to the hotel room until ABOUT 11:00-11:30. That NIGHT. Which means that I didn't leave Pine Mountain until about 10:00-10:30 that SAME night. So here we have Bethany, on the road, at night, by herself, at night, going somewhere she's never gone, at night, relying on a GPS to get her there. AT NIGHT. Thankfully, I have an AWESOME best friend, who was in New York that same weekend, that called me on the phone and talked to me so I wouldn't fall asleep. Because as my past car driving skills have shown, that's something I tend to do. (Okay, I only  fell asleep ONCE. But I don't want a repeat....)

Well, I make it to Atlanta fine. Pull into the hotel parking lot, say goodbye, hang up the phone, which immediately rings again. It's Melissa. They're having car trouble. (hahahahahahaha. In hindsight this is really funny.) So I head out to go rescue! Knight (knight-ess really) in shining armor, all that jazz. Well I find them finally outside Turner Field, in this SUPER SKETCHY PARKING LOT, that they've pulled into because Nathan's exhaust pipe is literally about an inch away from the ground at this point. So they pile into my car and we head down to Emory University to pick up Melissa's car and head back to the hotel. At this point, I have 2 little notches left in my gas tank and my gas light has turned on. Problem. Here begins the "Dear lord, please don't let us break down in these super sketchy neighborhoods we're driving through because it's a shortcut" prayer.

We make it to Emory fine (it's a miracle, and God is good) and we get Lissa's car and head out. I'm literally running on the FUMES of what used to be gas inside my gas tank, so we pull in the first gas station we spot. Which, surprise surprise, looks like it could be scene numero uno in a horror film about 3 college girls who get attacked by Jack the Ripper, Atlanta version. And the best part of this entire scenario, is that we can hear these deep, manly, scary voices filtering in all over the place, but can see NOONE. It wasn't until we got back into the car and drove away that we realized there was an entire other 1/2 to this gas station ordeal. Like another half of the gas station. Filled with sketchy looking men. Thank you Jesus :)

We make it back to the hotel fine and are able to engage in a lovely night filled with much catching up on happenings, and much reminiscing about hilarious Israel stories in which we were....well...idiots. To put it lightly :D The next morning we get up and get ready to pull out of the know. That whole ordeal where you have to be out by noon? Well we were on schedule and doing great...until Melissa goes to check her online account and realizes she's been charged $400 that she APPARENTLY spent at GameStop last some rinky-dink, podunk town in Florida :D Needless to say, that wasn't possible. Here begins the entire ordeal of tracking down SunTrust (which was HARD) or receiving 30,000 text messages from Daddy Gibbs (which was HILARIOUS...and I might slightly have exaggerated. it wasn't 30,000) and finally, FINALLY getting out of the hotel!

Well then we go to the mall, and I find a Commissioning dress. Victory! After that, it's time to get Stephie to the airport. Sad, sad day :( That actually isn't too much of an ordeal. It actually goes really smoothly! So we send her through the gate and off she flies! Sad. Very, very sad. Well, Melissa and I get back in the car and head back to Pine Mountain, because we've decided that she's coming home with me, and we're going to smuggle her into my room for the night. Genius! About 1/2 through Atlanta we get a call from the hotel. We've forgotten the camera. Like...the NICE camera. So we head to our hotel exit...

AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER WE ARE STILL SITTING AT THE HOTEL EXIT. Like literally....we've been able to see the exit for the past hour and 1/2. And we're NOT MOVING IN THAT DIRECTION. Worst traffic I have ever been in. Ever. So we sit there...and sit there...and then laugh at all the idiot drivers that decide to make a lane out of the shoulder of the road...and then get FRUSTRATED at all the drivers that decide to make a lane out of the road shoulder....and then just to make things interesting I get out and do a lil' dance on the road because I'm bored and we're not moving...then jump back into the car because I realize that I'm making an idiot out of myself in front of hundreds of people in downtown Atlanta at the busiest part of the day. Nice going, Bethany :D

Well. We finally make it home, then proceed to sit up into late hours of the night waiting for New Yorkers  and Man conference-ers to come home. They finally get there, but instead of going to bed, we ask ourselves "selves...what restaraunt is open at 3:00 in the morning?" Answer? Krystal's! So, we go there. And eat chili cheese fries. Omnomnom...regretregretregret. Home. Couple of hours of sleep. Up for the Braves Game!

We go to the Braves Game. I am in awe of Turner Field. It's beautiful.And outside, and the day is gorgeous, and we watch the Braves play BRILLIANTLY and Chipper hit a home run and other people hit home runs and wish Stephie was there. Then we drive home, and finish up the weekend with hall meeting, and girls split and roommate time and all was brilliance!

Funnest weekend I've had in a very long time. VERY long time. Absolutely fun :) So now, I need to go do homework. So I'm going to. But all this reminiscing makes me VERY excited for Summer 2012.

The things that stand between me & Summer 2012:

1. Chick-Fil-A Leadership Presentations (that homework I SHOULD be working on...)
2. Celebration Retreat! SO EXCITED.
3. Pool Party at the Whites....
4. Various GNO'S.

Oh goodness...I'm sure there's more but I'm forgetting :P Summer we go! Friends, laughter, love and a whole heck of a lot else. Finishing strong. Eyes on the prize. LEGGO.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tres...and counting!

Well. The closing of today marks 16 days until the beautiful class of 2012 is commissioned....and 17 days until we pack our bags and are on the road again! OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS. Where has this year gone?!

Of course, there's still a good 16 days of 'who know what' that could happen. And it seems so far that God is planning on packing a huge amount of last minute lessons into these last 3 weeks. 2 weeks and 2 days. Whatever. Everyone gets excited that there's no finals to worry about (well, besides CHICK-FIL-A PRESENTATIONS) but what they DON'T tell you on the application form is that there are spiritual finals. Spiritual.

That being said....let's review :)

Today at exactly 12:01 and 35 seconds, we ended our very last session of our very last guest professor. Last night we closed the book on our very last Bible Study. Tonight at 11:59 we will have finished & turned in our last Dallas Willard assignment. Tomorrow at 5:00 I will be done with my beautiful children at my service opportunity...FOREVER. Monday night we turned in our last massive paper (I think). 2 Mondays left. 2 Sundays left at Western Heights with Taco Bell runs afterwards. 2 more Wrap Ups (or roll outs, as we like to call them). Wah!

And on a more serious note.....


That seems to be the word of the next 3 weeks. In our last Bible Study, Josiah, who was leading at the time, asked if we were content. And my natural instinct is to go "of course I am! Great family, great friends, trusting God, life is awesome!" But when I actually sit down to think about it, I realize there are several situations that I'm really not content with. See, contentment doesn't mean just being happy with what you have. It also means being happy with where you ARE. Whether that's in life, relationships, spiritual growth, maturity growth, WHATEVER. That's almost harder than JUST being content with physical things...

So that's what I'm learning for the next 3 weeks :) Actually...probably a lot longer than the next 3 weeks. The next 3 lifetimes is probably more accurate.

17 days of friends, laughter & love. L'EGGO. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

I do.

So, starting this blog by saying, I definitely don't have this all figured out. Like....AT ALL. I'm not even sure if the conclusions and thoughts in my head are right. But this is kind of just something that I've been thinking a lot about :)

Marriage is something that's been on the forefront of my mind recently. Not necessarily in a "Oh goodness, I just can't wait to get married and find out my love story!" way....although it's definitely been that at times too :P More in This is kind of a serious thing...and something to put some serious thought into.

Marriage for me has always been something to work towards....and if I'm being honest, I've always kind of viewed it as a problem solver. As in, "well, yeah I get jealous when he talks to other girls now....but when we get married that won't be an issue anymore." I'm starting to realize that's not true. At all. And realizing that marriage isn't the finish line, that it isn't an absolute guarantee of your happy ending, is something that's made me think about everything ELSE related to marriage as well.

See, I've always viewed marriage as two halves of a whole coming together. The idea that somewhere out there in the world, there is this perfect Prince Charming that's just waiting for me, and as soon as I find him and we come together we will be this whole, complete, perfect pair that can ride off into the sunset and take on the world together.

Excuse me while I say, hahahahahahahaha!!! That's not how it works, silly little fairy tale in Bethany's mind.

These realizations are definitely a God thing....part of it is Impact 360 & the Womanhood Retreat's fault (thanks for that girls) and part of it is God dragging me into maturity through my walk with Him. But the realization that I've come to is.....

MARRIAGE is not 2 incomplete people coming together to form one complete person. and LOVE is not that overwhelming, impossible to understand feeling that washes over you when he smiles and your stomach drops and the butterflies start doing flips. 

Marriage is (or should be I guess) 2 complete, fulfilled by God people coming together to form a team. A partnership. With the ultimate purpose not fulfilling each other, not giving each other an identity, but glorifying GOD. And love isn't a feeling. What?! YEAH. That kind of threw me for a roller coaster loop. See, love is a commitment. Love is what kicks in when you don't LIKE the person, and you don't want to deal with them, but you're going to anyways because you've COMMITTED to this until death do you part. Now, I'm excited for the overwhelming feelings, and the butterflies, and the "I can't stop smiling because I'm so crazy about him" moments. But....I guess I just realized that when that goes AWAY, that doesn't mean that you don't love the person anymore. It just means that that's when love kicks in even more than before.

Because if you think about it, the overwhelming feelings and the butterflies and the stomach dropping is still kind of self centered. Because there's still a part of your mind that goes "gosh, that feels really good. I like that a lot." But love isn't about me, because most of the time it doesn't feel good. It's inconvenient, and it hurts, and it's late nights and tears and trusting God when you don't know WHAT'S going to happen or what the next morning brings. Love isn't fun, and it isn't easy. It's HARD. Because I'm not even IN a relationship, but just loving the incredible people that God has given me gets hard sometimes....and they're just my friends! 

This is starting to get super long, and it's basically me rambling so I should probably stop soon :P But I guess what kind of sparked this realization was me thinking about different relationships and that "oh I want to be around him constantly" feeling, and wondering if when that dies down a little bit, that means that love has died down a little bit. And I don't think it does. Because ultimately, I think women might be called to HAVE an identity outside of their husbands. Actually I know they do, because it's their identity in CHRIST that ultimately matters, not their identity in the man that they've married. So the absence of constantly wanting to be around that person doesn't mean that love is diminishing.....but it might mean the infatuation is. And all THAT means, is that the relationship grows in new & different ways. And it might get a little bit harder, but the commitment grows deeper.

And all of this is ALSO coming with the realization that I'm not as ready for this whole relationship, marriage, husband, family thing as I like to think I am :) Which isn't as much fun. But is also kind of encouraging, because I think God kind of chuckles and says "Annnd that's why we do this in MY timing...and not yours."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Break, Easter, Eggs & Lakehouses

Well, we've returned to school after a long, glorious, much needed Spring Break :) Adventure. Adventure adventure adventure. Good grief.

Part I.

We leave Impact 360 at....noonish. Oneish. We were aiming for that, so that was good. Thus commences a 3 hour drive to Megan's house in Alabama, after which begins a loooooonnnnggg (but okay, pretty kick butt awesome) car trip up to Colton's house in Grapevine! So yeah. We hung out there for a couple of days. His dad has some pretty awesome grilling skills. Also, we traversed all of Grapevine and then LEFT Grapevine, all to find the movie A Few Good Men. Which we then watched at 1:00 the next morning. It was a pretty awesome movie :) Sunday morning some people went to London's church with him, and the rest of us piled in cars and headed to the Kelly's church. Which was a pretty cool experience :) Then it was BACK into cars after a delicious lunch, and out to the lake house!


GORGEOUSNESS. Pretty much sums up the entire experience.

But yeah :) It was pretty amazing. The days = sleeping in, movies, swimming pools & friends. Nights = more movies, awesome grilling skillz from the men, more friends, late night conversations, c-group + Hannah bonding time, & appreciation of the best friends that God has given me. So blessed beyond what I deserve. 
Also, we made a new friend. Meet Wilbur. The fuzzy caterpillar. 

We went cliff jumping...the cliff was ABOUT 18 feet off the lake, so that was an adrenaline rush. We went jetskiing. Also an adrenaline rush. Lots of sun. Lots of sunBURNS. All that jazz ;) 
Also, a few of the most beautiful, peaceful, awe inspiring sunsets I have seen in a very. long time. 

Part III. 

Well, Thursday morning Jesse, Janae, Kartwright & I piled into Scofield (my car, for those who DON'T know) and headed down to Katy, Texas. Which is my beautiful lil' hometown. We went to an Astros game, dyed Easter eggs, had an Easter egg HUNT, which Jesse won, and had a few more late nights. And some long talks. 

Now, we're back at Impact with 4 weeks left and the end is coming up fast. It's scary and exciting, and at times a little bit nerve wracking. There are days when you can't wait to get to the end just to finally get it accomplished, and then there are days when all you want to do is stop time & stay in the moment for a little bit longer. The thought of saying goodbye for 'growing up time' is a little bit nervousness ensuing... 
But it's good to know that God's got it. All the relationships, all the experiences, all the times when it seems like life is over our heads. It's awesome and mind blowing to think that He chose THESE 31 people for THIS year of THIS program and then brought us all together in the ways that He did. And to know that it's obviously not for nothing. He's going to USE it. 
Oh yeah. And Easter was this past weekend. Easter, which sums up grace, and the Gospel, and beautiful, undeserved gifts of mercy that I could never, EVER earn. Love :)