Monday, November 18, 2013

Finding Joy.

This weekend the curtain in Hoke Auditorium rose and fell with three performances of Play On. And as the curtain fell for the very last time, I came to the startling conclusion that I'd grown to really appreciate and enjoy the group of people I'd walked through the last 10 weeks with. In the midst of Herm finals and mid-semester stress, they'd become a reasonably safe place where I could come and pretend to be someone else for a little Bible dictionaries and hard conversations required. A mini-family. Of course, the typical "oh we're gonna hang out still!"s were exchanged, but there's a subtle, unspoken acknowledgement that it won't be the same anymore. And even though it seems like a lesson I'm learning late, I'm beginning to learn that life ebbs and flows in sections, and they can come and go before you ever learn how to fully appreciate them for what they are. 

Sophomore year is hard....probably the hardest year of life I've walked through yet. But I think, as absolutely ridiculous as it sounds, I'm learning to appreciate it for what it is: growth and destruction and joy in the midst of pain and uncomfortability and inconvenience. And I think as I begin to appreciate sophomore year, I'm beginning to realize that though it's my hardest, this might be one of my favorite years yet. 

It has been a year thus far of the Lord re-breaking the bones of my soul that I have allowed to grow back together crookedly and misaligned on their own....and it has been painful and has humbled me time and time again. And it seems weird to think that in the midst of this kind of confusion and questioning of the things I thought I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there could be joy, and yet there is. 

Because the weaker and more fragile I become, the more aware I become of the over-encompassing, overwhelming strength and power of the Gospel. I've been so guilty of attributing myself the work in my life that so directly falls from the extension of God's grace....I've credited myself with working my way to humility, with teaching myself grace, with loving people well because I just happen to be a compassionate person and it comes easy. And it seems so abnormal to think that I dread all the stress and anxiety and questions and uncertainty ending....but with it comes a daily dependence on Christ that I have never experienced before because if we're being honest I've never realized my need for it before. 

It's strange to think that hardship could be a gift....and yet it is. A gifting and ability to experience God's grace and mercy in ways that I've never had opportunity to before. I fall so often into the temptation of assuming I know the Lord's plan and purpose, and I forget that sometimes the things I point at and say "Lord this is good" aren't, and the things I ask the Lord to take away I shouldn't. 

So here's to joy in the midst of sophomore year, grace that comes in strange wrappings, and the realization AGAIN that I don't even begin to have God figured learning that staying home with a cup of coffee and an open Bible can sometimes bring just as much healing as driving to a people-full building and listening to the discovering that John Mayer really does comprise the perfect study session playlist....and to looking for the Lord in the little things so He is glorified ever more in the bigger ones. 

And here's to all the really jumbled up thoughts coming out of my mind. I don't know if they make sense, but here's hoping that maybe they do :) 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sophomore Study Breaks: "It'll be good one day."

I think I'm just now beginning to realize how much of my life I spend in the future....

Lately life has been rough. Rough on roommates, rough in schoolwork, rough from praying that 10 very busy people can somehow pull together a three act play well enough to get a few chuckles from their friends and family. And usually [and by usually I mean 100% always] when people ask me how I'm doing and I reply "not that great but it's alright", after the pity sighs and the comforting shoulder pats my response is "Yeah....but God's using it. This'll be good one day."

One day as in not now and if not now then......when?

One thing I'm learning to cling to this year is the immutability of God....a fancy, theological term which basically means God doesn't change ever. And if God is all good, all knowing, perfection today, tomorrow and forever, then doesn't that mean that what I'm going through is

Good when it hurts. Good in the midst of tears. Good when I'm frustrated because I don't even know if I have words to write how I'm feeling...which is new for me. Good when I'm empty of all grace and all love. Good when there's no way of knowing how you're growing, only that you are.

I think so often I look at the future and see this vague, fuzzy outline of the woman I might be after all the growth and hardship and patience and I point down the road and say "I wanna be there" and I forget that the way to get there is to be thankful for the hardship that's happening now.

Because as much as we hate it and as much as it hurts, the honest truth is that if hard things never happen, we never ask the hard questions....and if the hard questions don't get asked, then you might grow on the surface but the roots of what you're learning won't get down deep into the heart of who you are. And QUITE honestly, when things are going well, sometimes we forget that it's the Lord that holds everything together and that gets us up in the mornings, and we start to think that maybe, just maybe, we can do this whole life thing on our own.

I had this wonderful picture in my mind of who I wanted to be going into Sophomore year....what I wanted to do with my life, the kind of person I wanted to be, and the kind of person I wanted to marry. To say that God has ripped through that and significantly re-oriented me would be an understatement. And it's hard....really hard. I'm the kind of person who thrives on having a foundation I know won't be shaken....and I also am guilty incredibly often of building that foundation on things of this world that crumble and fall apart all too quickly. And I've complained and whined and stomped my feet before the Lord, but I'm beginning to realize this is good and I'm thankful for it.....and that in this God is being glorified in ways that take me out of the picture completely.

So here's to the "God will use this one day" becoming "God is using this now and I'm blown away by His faithfulness." Maybe this was just rambling, but it's something that's been on my heart a lot lately. And now, to close, enjoy this picture of Charleston. Because it's one of my favorite cities, and because it's absolutely beautiful :)

 Here. Have two :) 

Friday, October 4, 2013


Recently my life has been taken over by homework (also pronounced hermwork) and play practice. Free time, though few and far between, has been spent with incredible friends and occasionally they even get incorporated into the hermwork.

Recently I've gotten to explore Charleston with some of my very best friends and spend a weekend relaxing, exploring, singing, watching the sun rise out of the ocean, and walking through the day with the wind in my face and sand between my toes. I tried to skimboard once. Roughly a billion pictures were taken. My feet hate me because of all the walking, but it was so very well worth it :)

Recently God has been incredibly faithful and done what I would have called impossible a mere three weeks ago. I have been reminded of His power and glory, and the absolute perfection of His character. I am so thankful that I serve a Savior who delights in surprising when it is least expected, and occasionally throws curveballs.

Recently I've become addicted to Boyce Avenue and a handful of other cover bands. This comes with a new, growing desire to learn how to play guitar.

Recently I've been reminded how much life is carried by daily gifts of God's grace that we miss if we're moving too fast :) I am beyond thankful for my roommate, because I literally (used CORRECTLY here people) don't know what I'd do without her. The business of sophomore year has made me appreciate and cherish more the amount of time I do get with friends and family, even when it is few and far between.

Recently life has been hard....but it has been so SO good :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hidden Away in Possum Kingdom : Spring Break 2012

Look at me blogging away two days in a row! Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but in the midst of college this is such a bigger deal than I'm writing it like. I'm actually doing a small happy dance. Inside that is :D 

Today is another Blogtember prompt [which I have been AWFUL about keeping up with] and it's incredibly simple: a memory you would love to relive

This took me no time at all to think about, and it's pretty much my go to answer for this question. Friends, I introduce you to Spring Break 2012: Possum Kingdom Version

December 2011, I was getting ready to head home for Christmas break from Impact 360. Right before we jumped onto planes and into vans Colton, my fellow Texan, mentioned how fantastic it would be if we spent Spring Break roadtripping down to Texas for the week and then back up to Georgia. We mostly laughed, until London [Texan #2] mentioned that he just happened to have a lake house down on Possum Kingdom Lake. The laughter quieted down a little bit as people stopped imagining and started glancing at each other, and 4 months later March ended, April dawned, and 24ish Impacters were loading up 3 cars and Dallas bound. 

We spent a couple of days in Dallas, and then headed out to the lake. The drive was beautiful and nothing but backroad interstate...and finally we ended up HERE

We stayed at London's.....just enough space to be cozy & seperate all at the same time. Mornings dawned late and nights ended later. We spent hours lounging in the hot tub, before finally spreading and settling down for the night. We went cliff jumping and jet skiing and even went on a late afternoon sunset adventure hike, and I got to know my friends on a deeper level than ever before.

This was our fuzzy caterpillar. Me & the best friend found this little guy one afternoon when he was using the pool and I was sleeping on the side. We took about a billion pictures, and named him Wilbur....and then the best friend creeped pictures of me curled up in the sun. 

The sunsets were beautiful, the conversations were priceless, and of all the moments that hold my heart this week contained most. One last memory (and a few more pictures) and you're free to escape ;) 

Our second day there, the morning started w/ rain. The wind whistled across the porch and brought with it the last chilly morning of spring. Best friend and I curled up on the porch outside, pulled out the old school Nintendo 64, wrapped blankets around our shoulders, tucked freezing toes under warmer legs, and played James Bond until the rain stopped. I say "played"....he played, I embarrassed myself, then died alot, then lost :D We played until the rain stopped, slid down the stair case, laughed at how wet we got landing in the grass, and tucked up in the garage in the golf cart to talk. And then we talked for hours.  

Rainclouds broke into a beautiful sunset, and I laid on the grass to snap a picture of the sun rising out of the earth. We trotted to the gazebo in the background, me giggling because I couldn't find words for how content I was. He danced me around, made fun of me, and laid out exactly how he would use this gazebo in a scene from a movie - IF he could shoot one ;) 
I smiled on the outside. Inside was all happy dance. 

While the rest of the world rolled by [and we forgot it existed] the sun slipped into the lake, no ripples, all reflection. 
We walked back to the house, watched the world fall asleep, sat on the couch, and talked till the sun came up. 
He remembered stories and I laughed at the good parts and when the bad came around I cried for someone else for the first time. 
It was the perfect week. 

And there ladies and gentlemen, you have the description of my perfect day & my most treasured memory :) 
All rolled into one! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why I Started.

Someone asked me why I started blogging the other day....just a curious, casual, hey this seems important to you and I want to get to know you question. And I realized that even though the answer can be condensed to a simple little "I kinda like to write!" there's actually a lot more too it than that :) So here's my slightly more thought out, took the time to reminisce answer to that question. Here we go.

I started blogging at Impact 360, a 9 month gap year program that went for my head and ended at my heart. I started blogging because I never in a million years thought anyone would read it, but I needed to know that my thoughts, doubts and questions weren't staying in my head. I started blogging because the one of the greatest joys I've ever experienced is looking back through a computer screen to a little Texas girl sitting in a Pine Mountain dorm room, and knowing that I don't have to tell her to be careful because we make it. I started blogging because memories deserve recording and people need encouraging and I've been blessed with some of the best friends in the entire world. 

I started blogging because somewhere between living the trials and actually writing it down, ink bleeds out onto paper in lines that start connecting, and somewhere in the midst of a fallen, crazy, grasping, reaching life you start to see the Gospel thread of Christ. 

The blogging community is something that's kind of taken off in the last few years....women write posts about common, everyday life and thousands upon thousands of people read it and comment and all of a sudden they start to go places. And I think for a while I was jealous of that, because who doesn't want someone to look at their writing and wonderings and say "HEY, that's FANTASTIC!" But I think, in a crazy way, I'm glad that's not me :) 

Because somewhere along the way, I started blogging because I wanted a little corner of the world that I could invite people into. I wanted somewhere to share my story, share my thoughts, that didn't require me being spread 100 different places at once. I wanted somewhere Christ could work in my words....because when I start typing, things actually start making sense :) 

Here's to random late night musings. Sophomore year, I'mma come at chu. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Little Nuggets of Wisdom.

Day 3: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered. 

Welcome back for Day 3! Here I am. I made it back.

I think the single most incredible piece of advice I've ever been given came from my big "sister":

"just remember bethany that any kind of comparison is an indication of pride" 

If you're talking about something I've never been able to forget OR get out of my head, that's it. BUT it also requires so much more explanation and unpacking than I'm doing in, I already kind of blogged about it here ;) So feel free to hop on over! 

Otherwise, I'm gonna claim the one below, because it's definitely one of my favorites! And it calls me to look for the deeper good within days that on the surface seem pretty meh :) 

Welcome to the Blogtember Family! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Trekking Through the South.

Well, true to form even though I was RIDICULOUSLY excited, I managed to somehow miss the first day of Blogtember. As the roommate and her boyfriend say, I blame pop culture. So we're gonna call it even, and just take a flying leap off the ledge of day two!

Day 2: If you could take 3 months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do? 

If you don't know who this man is, his name is Charles Martin. I think most of the world would call him a writer, but this man has the ability to weave the story of the Gospel in such a way that people in the everyday world start looking less like normal people, and more like the image of the God they were created by. I've loved his writings and his books ever since my best friend showed him to me a year ago :) 

St. John's River in Florida

Martin's novels are written through a handful of sleepy towns scattered through the United States south of the Mason-Dixon line, and if I had 3 months and an unlimited supply of money (and probably gasoline) I'd jump in a car, grab a favorite or two, and visit every single one of them :) Just to see the quiet, dreamy places that jump to life inside the pages of his books. It's kind of a dream of mine! 

Hop on over to Story of My Life for the rest of the Blogtember prompts and to jump in the linkup! It'll be fun, I promise! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Move-In Eve: Two Years Later.

‘The new Impact 360 class is moving in tomorrow.’

I had to stand in the middle of my room, letting the thought scroll through my head. Pause long enough to stand still and really think about it. It was so hard to wrap my mind around that I decided to say it out loud, hoping maybe hearing the words would help them make a little bit more sense.

“The new Impact 360 class is moving in tomorrow.”

I cocked my head to the side and rolled the words around in my mouth, the taste strange and a little bit foreign. Maybe a tad slower?

“The new Impact 360 class is moving in. To Impact. tomorrow.”

The words echoed and seemed to grow in volume as they bounced around the very undecorated walls of a stereo-typical, cookie cutter, white walled college dorm room. I sighed and sat down in the roommates chair, head in my hands. None of this was helping. I could hear laughter out in the hall, and out the window two people walked by, hand in hand silhouettes. Life carried on and the minutes ticked by and no one else seemed to realize that I was in the middle of an emotional, mental, spiritual crisis.


One year this same thing had happened…a handful of strangers had walked into the doorway of my Eden, and crushed our memories into the foundational gravel they needed to make their own. They’d stepped hesitatingly into the great unknown, completely unaware that we had already walked there and left our marks on benches and our initials carved into the dark corners of trees that boasted whispered secrets you’d had to crouch to hear. They’d moved through rooms and not noticed the smiles, moments and memories, hands held in secrets that the walls had soaked in and held quiet. They’d put head to pillows, night after night, blissfully ignorant of the year worth of tears that same soft lump had soaked up mere months ago.

And I hadn’t remembered until I saw the Instagram of their first hall meeting late that night.

Call it crazy, call it selfish, because when strangers move into your home shouldn’t you realize it? But I didn’t. I’d kept moving because it was hard enough putting one foot in front of another in this new path in South Carolina, without thinking about the fact that I COULDN’T go back. I’d focused on the promise that the sun would rise in the morning and set at night, and when I got through that day I put my head on the pillow and prayed the same thing would happen the next. By the time I had a whole slew of days behind me, having a new little family to partly call mine seemed almost natural…the fact that they had taken home & made it theirs seemed like something to celebrate, not mourn! Visiting meant open arms and curious smiles, new friends to be made, new stories to hear, new lives to be explored.

But this year it’s a little bit different, and as my head leaned on roommate’s desk I was unable to escape the fact that I’d finally come face to face with the difference. My eyes scanned a college dorm room that was not mine no matter how hard I tried to make it so or how many times I tried to pretend that it was, and at the same time my heart cried deep in my chest that this wasn’t home, and could we please, please go back to what was?

Because after a year and a half of walking through life, I’m tired of not belonging. I’m tired of stretching so far from sanctuary. I’m tired of life continuing with no way for me to slow it down or make it stop, and I’m tired of relationships that stretch to their breaking point only to snap back just in time to make you smile and cry all at the same time. I’m tired of my heart being broken into different pieces and never feeling like they’ll all be in the same place again.

I’m sad that I walked out of Eden, and was too stubborn to even turn around to watch the gates shut behind me.

But how do you explain that to a bouncing, bubbling class of freshmen that have their whole lives ahead of them?

“Um, excuse me, but what you don’t know is this is mine?” “You’ll never be able to appreciate this quite as much as I did?” “Life is moving slowly and things aren’t working out like I planned, so please take your happiness and make memories elsewhere because I’m going to try and crawl my way back to the last time I fully felt at home?”

You can’t.

You can’t tell the littles to hug their families hard, because no matter how many times you refuse to admit it, in about a month Momma’s smile and Daddy’s arms are going to feel like the oasis in the desert you’re too far away from. You can’t tell them not to rush into pretending that they love their roommates when they’re really not sure, because pretending doesn’t help anything and walking through the fire with someone you don’t trust only means more walls when you need less. You can’t tell them not to rush to May, because running means you fall easier and once you cross the finish line there’s no way to take back all the nights you should have walked away from or relive the days you should have been a little more open minded about. You can’t tell them to put down the telephone and pick up the Bible, and no sweetie I know he seems like the best thing but I promise Jesus is better.

And somewhere in the midst of all this crazy heart knot, I find half of me wanting to help them and half of me wanting to be them.

I didn’t want to be the last class….I wanted to run away from memories and pain and hurt and futures that said not right now and whispered maybe not ever. And now in the midst of white walls and open roads, I’m beginning to realize that the future is a lot scarier than I ever thought it would be, and who did I think I was kidding when I said coming back didn’t scare me?

I want to relive it…and I’ve never understood the people who said they would relive it differently. I could stand up and preach change and pretend regret, but the truth is if I went back in one way or another I’d make the same mistakes all over again. Because no matter how much I try to keep it at an arms length, my heart wants community the same way it did 2 years ago. It wants a smiling face and flannel clad arms and late nights when the rest of the world faded and for the first time in my life I belonged to someone and something I could come home to. It wants rest and peace and the quiet of an untouched garden, because no matter how much the garden is temporary, staying is security and leaving is NOT.

And coming boldly before an all gracious yet all powerful Savior is something I have yet to learn how to do.

And I think the balance here is somehow realizing how to set contentment in the God who created Eden, not the people who reflected Him within it. But I haven’t learned how to do that yet, and it’s something He’s teaching that my heart doesn’t want to learn all the time. Because no matter how excited I get thinking about new depths and new heights, I’ve trod the old ones and know all the potholes. I know the stumbling blocks to avoid and the places where the path walks easy. I know when the rocks rip through tender, bare souled feet, and where the grass soothes in a cool breeze. I know the path. I’m comfortable because I know it well enough not to need somebody to walk alongside me and tell me when to duck, when to step over the puddles, and which berries are poisonous and which taste like summer.

And somewhere in the midst of comfort is a God that calls me out of it in His infinite goodness and I’m not ready for that and He knows it. And I think in a lot of ways He laughs just a little bit, because the thought of me realizing I need Him is delightful, and the thought of His growing girl grabbing His hand because she’s still scared of thunder storms is exciting, and the idea of a “big” girl realizing she really DOES always need her Daddy is something He’s been waiting for me to realize for a very, very, very long time. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Pull the lever, Kronk!"

Guys, guys, guys, I'M ALIVE! 
Settling into college has been crazy, and the amount of time I've had to do things other than homework, sleep, make necessary Walmart runs and drink coffee has been veeeeeery tiny. 
But I'm back. Kind of. 
And I'm participating in one of my very favorite linkups: Some Things I'm Loving with Katie!
Here are some things that have brought a smile to my face this past week :) 

Movie: Without fail, this movie has made it into 95% of my conversations this week.....I've quoted it, laughed at it, talked about wanting to watch it and compared my friends to it over & over & over again. Hey, I'm not complaining.
The Other Juliette

Blog: I recently discovered Juliette from the sidebar of another blogger (whose blog it was, I can't remember. Sorry anonymous writer that I will always be indebted to) and I LITERALLY haven't stopped reading since! This girl is hilarious, and I've literally laughed out loud (yes. lol'ed.) while reading some of her posts...and that normally doesn't happen :D

Music: If you haven't discovered Bethel Worship yet, DO IT NOW. I've had them on repeat since Lauren at Marked by Grace put it on her blog at the beginning of the week. STUCK. IN. MY. HEAD. But given the fact that it's not only a worship song, but one of the most beautiful I've heard in a while, I'm A-Okay with that!

Bloggy-Event-Challengy-Thing: THANK YOU STORY OF MY LIFE! There are not words to describe how excited I am for this upcoming challenge. I watched from a distance as Blog Everyday In May happened way back when, and did my own lovely little version back in June (hereherehere, and here ... alright shameless plug done) so this Blogtember challenge I am beyond thrilled about. Plus, I've been struggling with posting non-serious, non-heavy posts recently because my mind is going a million miles an hour, so prompts are THE BEST THING EVER. 

Drink: Come to me Chai Tea Latte. I think I love you. But really. It reminds me of Christmas & Fall and with those two things coming up, it's time to love on this drink even MORE! 

Randomsh: Phone calls & morning voices. Those are my two current most favorite things. Phone calls because my friends are currently/going to be for a while, few and far apart and phone calls are the only way I hear their voices! And morning voices because I think they're precious and adorable and they make me smile :) 

Come link-up with Katie because she's one of my favorites! 
Also because who DOESN'T want new bloggy friends? 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back for Round 2!

WE'RE BACK! Back in college, back in our niche, back in the roommates life, back to ridiculousness, back to making new friends, back to learning how to manage relationships near & far, back to worshiping together in chapel, back to this section of life the Lord has us in now.

After a long and glorious weekend trekking through downtown Savannah (including the of-course-we-must-go-there lunch trip to the Pirates House) Momma and I pulled into CIU at 9:00 Monday morning. This past week has been a crazy rush of figuring out classes, unpacking boxes (yes, it took me the whole week guys) running for textbooks, already pre-planning roommates weekend IN Savannah this coming April, and a LOT of class reading. It's been chaotic, crazy, and at times more than a little overwhelming. And after sitting through this first week [and weekend] we've come to a half exciting, half scary conclusion.

Sophomore year is going to be hard. 
In every sense of the word.

It's going to be hard mentally. Classes are harder, and we're growing up. Things aren't as set in stone as they used to be...and some things I've held to as Gospel since I was little I'm beginning to realize aren't. 

It's going to be hard emotionally. There's relationships walking into our lives and some walking out, and both are difficult to deal with. Within the first 48 hours we've been at school, I've already had one teary, heart heavy, Lord why do you have me here, night. 

It's going to be hard physically. I was in bed at 11:30 Thursday night. 11:30 guys. That never happens...not unless I'm sick, dead, or have stayed up sunset to sunrise several nights in a row. But there I was, snuggled in, falling asleep before midnight. Why? There's more homework, workouts, classes, meals, friends, relationships, and growth to be done than there are hours in the day to do it. 

Of course it's going to be difficult spiritually. I haven't had a year yet that hasn't had some trial somehow, in some way. Which in a weird way, is something to be thankful for...because when you stop learning & stretching, it's this kind of crazy coincidence that you also stop growing. And God doesn't deal in stagnancy. 

In the midst of all this crazy God has already been faithful to meet all of us, me especially, exactly where I am. 3 themes that seem to have traveled repeatedly through classes, chapel and life this week are contentment, faith, and the idea that God consistently brings you to situations that overwhelm you so you are constantly reminded on whose strength you stand and depend. 

Contentment is something I've struggled with for a while, and something that really came to a head this summer as I was home. I've been blessed with a beautiful family, beautiful home, beautiful friends, and not much to ask for or complain about. But I am, and always have been, home to a restless heart that looks to much to fast to the future, and spends not enough time in the present....which is hard when God places you in the midst of what can only be described as a long period of waiting and training. And I've always heard my entire life, whether from well meaning peers or adults, "Don't worry, honey. God's never gonna give you more than you can handle." Have I been guilty of drawing comfort from that? Absolutely. But is it true? Nope

As I've grown and watched life happen, and especially as I've walked into my second year at CIU, I've realized that God delights in giving us more than we can handle...because let's be honest. If you're not called to higher heights than you can reach, how are you ever going to grow? It happens in sports (and life) all the time. Coaches ask for more miles, teachers push for better grades, God asks for greater faith...because when goals stay at levels you can reach, achieving them brings no improvement, no growth, and ultimately no glory

So here's me tipping my hat to this upcoming year....and openly admitting that I'm actually kind of excited for the hard mixed in with all the good! Because trials mean growth and frustration brings forgiveness and ultimately tears at nighttime bring joy in the morning :) 

Also there's a nerdy, book happy, oh my gosh I LOVE MY CLASSES post coming. Cause I got good ones this year guys. BUT REALLY. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

STIL: Roadtrips & More!

I'll start by apologizing for how quick and possibly light on pictures this blog post MIGHT be about to become. I'm on the road with Momma, we're about to head out to dinner, I'm 2 days away from my best friends, and tonight promises to be exciting! So...if this one is lacking, next Saturday will be packed ;) 
So. Some Things I'm Loving with the lovely Katie!

Savannah: Here's to end-of-summer-back-to-college roadtrips :) This town is my happy place. It eeks contentment, peace & memories both past & future. I've said for a long time the story behind this needs it's own blog post, but I haven't yet...maybe because I haven't quite decided how to word it, and maybe because I'm debating keeping this little corner of my world my own :) 

Projects: I found this lovely little project on Pinterest a little while ago, and due to my recently discovered love of Skylines (see how I snuck that in there?) I've decided it's definitely next on my list. I LOVE this idea and I can't wait to try it! 

Phones: Call it simple because who doesn't love their phone, but I've become increasingly thankful for this lovely little piece of technology as the miles between me & loved ones grows. 

COLLEGE: I'll admit it. Now that I'm out of Texas & on my way (and the ability to go back is gone) I'm excited to be headed back to CIU, Roommates, and PETTY 2!!! 

Summin' it up in 4 or less ;) Loving this weekend and the promises it holds, and the fact that I'm spending it un-official Georgia girling in one of my favorite cities on Earth :) Click on Katie's name, link up, and share your things you're loving! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Some Things I'm Loving!

So, I definitely meant to blog every day in Hawaii. OBVIOUSLY this didn't happen. I'd love to give some meaningful, thought out reason but the honest truth is it came down to a decision between blogging and pool going, and I was going to soak up as much pool time as I could get! :) 

In an effort to catch ya'll up, I'm linking up today with Katie to share some Some Things I'm Loving! If you haven't checked out this lovely lady yet, DO. She is one of my most favorites! You can get to know her a little better here....and I would definitely suggest you do! So...without further ado. Some things I'm loving!!! :) 

Time of day: Yes, I realize how ridiculously ironic it is that nighttime is currently I'm loving because I'm the biggest dark wuss in the world. HOWEVER. The family made it a habit of heading out to the pool every night when we were in Hawaii & midnight swimming is quickly becoming one of my favorite things. Bucket list add on. 

TV Show: Although watching this in Hawaii, surrounded by water & going to the beach every day was not the best decision, my first time Shark Week experience was fantastic. Sharks are crazy creatures ya'll. 

Reading: I'm working my way through this book right now, just because I've always had so many questions about the topic of predestination. I'm not gonna say it's the best book out there to answer any & all questions, but one thing it has done is solidified in my mind the awesome & ultimate power of our Savior, and His enduring, unbelievable faithfulness. Also, that I really love the book of Isaiah. 

Traveling: Airports are absolutely incredible, while at the same time being incredibly frustrating. I love that traveling back and forth between me and my family & friends is so easy...but it's ridiculous watching me walk through the airport and be like 'Chicago, hmmm wanna go there. Orlando? yeah, probably there too. Atlanta? Yeah, I'll just go ahead and get on that plane.' So many destinations and you can only pick one. And there's so many people I want to see in all of them!! 

Also, always pick the window seat. ALWAYS. 

Guilty Pleasure: I'm coming out to admit that the best friend & I watched these tonight, drank chai tea, fan girled like crazy when Nick Jonas came on stage, scoffed when Miley Cyrus won Most Influential Trendsetter and had a wonderful time! No shame. No shame. 

Clothing: Thanks to Katie (I owe her big time!) I made my first online clothes purchase from Thredup, spent not at all much money, and left for the afternoon feelin' like a big kid! I never order clothes online. EVER. So this was a pretty big milestone. 

Hawaii: You knew this was coming :) I didn't lose my heart or want to move there...I am a southern girl through & through. But I LOVED this island, and look forward to going back sometime in the future! I've already got at least one trip planned ;) My new favorite flower is Plumeria, my name in Hawaiian is Pekani, the beaches are beautiful, and the colors magnificent. I loved it :) 

There's my weekend! Or more or less a quick peek into my brain. Stop by the link-up and make some new friends! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Where Will I Be [When]?

Every summer I fall into the "I wonder where I'll be this time next summer" trap...because I'm nostalgic & sentimental & far to often find myself hoping God will finally put me where I want to be instead of being content where He has me. So, I play the 'picture my life' game. Because sometimes planning my way in the future wedding with my currently non-existent husband naming our suspiciously absent children while I pretend to buy clothes for my not yet achieved counseling job is easier than realizing that right now I'm in a season of learning, training and growing. And that God's got me here for a reason.

Because every time I let myself think "well maybe I'll be here" there's a baby bit of my brain that hopes maybe I will be. And when a year goes by and I'm not as in shape as I want to be, or with the boy I want to be with, or in the job I want to be working....there's a piece of my heart that goes "Lord, how long are you going to make me wait?" And I grumble and complain and let myself get a little more discontent (even if it's just in my heart) because I've spent the last year working myself up to a goal that the Lord never intended me to reach in the first place.

Which, to be honest, is kind of funny. Because every time I look back at a year ago, I'm overwhelmed with this incredible rush of thanksgiving that God doesn't let me plan my life....because He's got better plans, places, people and peace in store for me than I could even imagine at the beginning of my wonderings :) So I suppose here's my plug for God's faithfulness yet again...and a typed out, published reminder to myself not to try and plan out my life before I consult the one who's ultimately planning it for me :)

Enjoy this picture of the Hawaiian white sands....aka possibly in the running for one of my new favorite places :) I'm off to watch the Woman in Black with my family....which I think is an awful life decision, considering I barely survived watching it the first time. But this was DannyBug's movie request, so crossing my fingers I get to sleep tonight. In case you haven't learned this about me yet, I don't do scary movies well. AT ALL. But, in the positive hopes that I actually make it, have a wonderful day and I'll see ya'll soon! :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Roadtrips, Volcanoes, Freakouts and More!

Today's post is gonna be a little bit different because I'm linking up with Sarah over at A Girl Smitten for her I Am Grateful Linkup! You can click on those lovely links OR go to the link at the bottom page. So! Without further ado :)

I am grateful for.... 

 The ocean: I adore the water. I love the beach, the feeling, that atmosphere, and the way your body feels after coming in after a long day in the sun. Being in Hawaii where the beach is everywhere is basically a dream come true!

Inside jokes: Because after 6 months and one weekend, we're finally friends ;)

DannyBug: My little brother is hilarious. He's an absolute dork, but he's growing up & despite the rough edges, God is turning him into a pretty great man :) 
But regardless however, he ruined my panoramic shot with his ridiculous face, so please enjoy this picture ;) 

Yesterday we went on a roadtrip. Yep, a roadtrip. We trekked up to see the Volcanic National Park and after Danny saw the steam ocming out of the ground he assumed we were just putting along on top of a huge lava reservoir, so he freaked out a little bit ;) I wish I could put the video up here! 

Up in the mountains, it's about 65 degrees, and although that's not COLD per say, it's a pretty big leap from 80+ degrees and sunshine on the beach. Never have I been so sure I'm from Texas than when I'm shivering in 60 degree weather & everyone's looking at me like I'm crazy ;) 

So there's the catchup! It's been a wonderful trip so far, and I already don't want to leave :) 

Here's the linkup! Come check it out :) 

The Weekly I AM GRATEFUL Link Up with A Girl Smitten

Monday, August 5, 2013


We're in Hawaii!!!! 

I warned ya'll that these crazy blog posts were coming. My weekend started fantastic with Impact360 Alumni Reunion [which so completely deserves it's own blog post that it will get it] and some of my best friends, continued with me in an airport for several consecutive hours [saved only by several phone calls from some special people] and ended with me arriving in Hawaii to spend a week with my family!!! Hawaii has always been on our 'we must go here before we die' family vacation list...and we're finally checking it off!!! So yes, there will be a lot of these crazy blog posts. There are too many memories happening to skip this part :) So Day 1....go! 

Firstly, jet lag stinks. My day started at 4:50 because my body convinced my brain it was actually 10:50. I finally gave up trying to force myself back to sleep around 5:45 and dragged myself out of bed to the back porch. Although I sulked about it, this actually ended up being a huge blessing in disguise. I got to do my quiet time to the sound of the ocean as the sun came up over Hawaii. I'd say that's a definite win ;) 

We ended up walking to breakfast [since it was right across the road] and I got to barely explore a few pieces of the beautiful place that's going to be home for the next 6ish days. Needless to say, it's unlike much else I've ever seen before. 

The colors here are vibrant and living, and it's impossible to turn anywhere without feeling like God was probably showing off a little bit when He created this island. 

Hawaii is well known for it's white & black sand beaches, so we spent the rest of our afternoon beach hunting! I think the original plan was to visit as many of the white sand beaches as we could before we headed to black sands, but we walked down our very first beach and decided not to leave. Ironically, the one we chose used to be an old military training they warned us explicitly that we were not to touch any left over weaponry that might be lying around! The boys were only slightly disappointed ;) 

The highlight of our day was not only the beach...but the animals it included. And by animals I mean sea turtles. I got to swim with a real life, wild, it was trying to swim away from me, sea turtle!! I even got to pet it...although after I tried it turned around and kind of gave me a 'girl, back off' look. After that I left well enough alone. But this was definitely the highlight of my day :) 

After we absorbed as much sand at the beach as we possibly could, we headed back to the hotel & jumped straight in the pool. With this event comes a confession: I'm probably the most sunburned I've been in a VERY long time as a result of these decisions. I refuse to post a picture, because I'm hoping it will turn into a tan before anyone realizes it's happened :D 

 Now we're fixing frozen pizzas for dinner [which honestly are just about my most favorite things ever] and settling in for a night of family movies. I'm sitting out on our balcony typing this blog post, which is quickly becoming my favorite place in the hotel. It's quiet and peaceful and you can barely hear the ocean in the background...the perfect environment for writing & praying & journaling in the morning :) The time change is a little crazy...starting your evening right around the same time your best friends are ending theirs' gives you a very small conversation window. But I am thankful for friendships that continue, even over long distances! :)

Day 1: complete!!! Tomorrow we're planning on doing a LOT of driving, so here's to long hours in the car and lots of roadtripping music :) Aloha! 
In matters of housekeeping, I'm linking up with the following lovely ladies today!! Click, follow, and make some new friends!! :) 

Sami's Shenanigans

lowercase letters

My Beautiful Crazy Life

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

a few so whats, and a few apologies

One of the wonderful bloggers that I follow, the lovely Chrissi over at Home Is Where The Heart Is, does this quirky little thing called 'So What Wednesday'. First of all, everyone should go click on that link and check out her blog because it's fantastic! And secondly, this post is going to be a little bit of a copy [or the idea anyways] of her lovely idea :) So all credit goes to her!

I realized as I was looking forward to my upcoming weekend and week that there's a couple of things going to be occurring that I should probably apologize in advance for. I was going to wait and write this out tomorrow afternoon right before I left, but I realized if I waited (with the minimal amounts of sleep I've gotten PLUS early mornings get ups) 'So What Wednesday' would probably turn into 'Take THAT Life! Thursday'. So. In order to avoid mindless ranting Bethany...we're doing this tonight ;) Here we go!

I apologize in advance for:

  1. The massive amounts of Instagram pictures that will be taken on my way to Georgia, at Alumni Reunion, of my best friends, of my bored face on the plane to Hawaii, in Hawaii with my family, and all the way back. We're talking MULTIPLE pictures a day people. Handfuls & handfuls. We've discussed my phototaking problem before. Hashtag: InstaAddict. 
  2. The equal [and probably much greater] amounts of tweets that will be tweeted, consisting of absolutely NOTHING serious and all ridiculous. My family is quite honestly just hilarious when we get together...and SOMETIMES I feel the need to share that with the world...
  3. Any and all Facebook status that consist of me going "AHHHHHHHHHHHH!" in ways that translate to "I'M AT ALUMNI REUNION!!" and "WE JUST LANDED IN HAWAII!!!!" Sorry about that. Really. Especially is you're one of those people who translates all caps to mean the voice in your head that's reading needs to scream at you too. 
  4. The possibility of multiple blog posts reading "We did this today. It was awesome. Followed by this. Also awesome." But at least there will be lots of pictures! 
I say I'm sorry for these things jokingly, because the truth is I'm really not ;) I'm beyond excited to think that in less than 2 days I'm going to be reunited with some of my favorite people in the world, and then getting to travel with my family. And, if I didn't scare you away and you want to come along, you can follow me on Twitter here and on Instagram here! And just to end on a fantastically hilarious note...happy Wednesday everybody! [Hump DAY!] 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lakefront Brand of Lazy.

The family has been out on the lake for the past 4 days, and it was lovely. I love the lake. I always claimed the right to be a beach girl, and I still hold to that definitely, but I will openly admit the lake is growing on me :) We kind of follow our own schedule, which I guess can really only be expected when you put the weekend, sun rays, boating and beautiful sunsets all in the same place! Weirdly enough, I actually missed blogging :) So here is the typical, catch up, let me put my pictures in a blog post, post!

Israel: For those who don't know, my family spent 5 years of our life living in a neighborhood called Kfar Shmaryahu in the country of Israel. I really should blog more about it. Surprisingly, since we've moved back to the states there hasn't been very much slowing down long enough to actually miss living there, at least on my part. But I actually took the time to sit down and sift through some old pictures the other day, and I officially MISS IT. Big time.

Heart Cities: I think I jokingly told somebody once that while my heart would always be in Texas with my family, I'd lost it completely as soon as I stepped into the Savannah city limits. I've recently discovered that I might not have been joking at all. Savannah held the title as favorite city of all time up until last April, where it now has to share (probably forever) with the beauty that is Charleston, South Carolina. In the middle of the upcoming realization that school is about to start and I'm about to move away from my family, it makes me smile to think that I'll be moving back to two of the most peaceful places I've ever been privileged to be.

Trucks: I very seriously told a friend of mine once that Hummer Trucks were perhaps one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen. Maybe it's the fact that I've seen a bajillion & one of them over the course of this summer, but I take it back. They're kinda growing on me.

Luxury: The lakehouse finally has furniture!!! "Bethany, it took you this long?" Yes. Yes it did. But after a weekend of sifting through Mamaw's old barn, various antique stores and a couple of flea markets, we've found the beginnings of our vintage home away from home!

 Hobbitses: We finally introduced Baby Brother to the Hobbit on Friday night. I know. I was shocked and appalled that he had yet to see it too. BUT he loved it, and on the drive home today he picked up the book and decided he just might read that too. Needless to say, I was impressed :)

#InstaAddict: I might have a problem. Let's just go ahead and admit it.

Last Minute Memories: It's beginning to finally sink in that "3 months at home" doesn't feel like 3 months at home, and is in fact almost at an end. Which is very, very, very, very sad, no matter how much I miss my roommates and CIU friends. However, in an effort to round summer off with a bang, I fly out Friday to reunite with my Impact 360 family, just before flying out to meet my family family in Hawaii. That'll do it ;) There really aren't words to describe how excited I am to get to the end of this week!!!!!!

BucketList: I CAUGHT A LIZARD! This was an item rather hastily placed on the summer bucket list, that got checked off right before we pulled out from the lake this evening. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. It's the little things. We named him Jaws the 5th (even though there was never a 2nd, 3rd or 4th) and he was pretty dang threatening.

Inspiration: I'm pretty picky about the classic Christian novel series...only because I've picked up so many that start off well and just end cheesy. Like...cheesy in an unexplainable, holes in the storyline, made Christ & the Gospel seem incredibly cliche & bedtime story-like, cheesy. But, at the suggestion of the SisterFriend, I picked up A Voice in the Wind and was hooked by chapter 5. Lovely, well written, and she doesn't make the Christian life seem of those books that made me turn around and take a look at how I was living, and what it said about Christ :) 

Music: I leave you with The Stella Sisters. You're welcome. again, this is the SisterFriend's doing...and these incredibly talented girls (The oldest is TWELVE ya'll) have been the soundtrack to my week :)

August is around the corner, Poptart is almost  17, school is almost here, my friends are back in my life, God remains faithful and crazy good, and I am beyond excited to see what the next few weeks has in store :) Let's go!!