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 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.
^ 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


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...


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


Why is anger so much more appealing than sadness? 


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'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 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 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. 
Bethany (August 9th, 2012) 

Funny how much love, change, surprise, people, wonderfulness and the occasional bleh it took for God to bring us from 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 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!