Saturday, September 28, 2013

Selfie Sunday.

This one is for the ladies...I wrote it for the 6th grade girls I teach, but felt called to share it here, too. 

What is this desire to take endless selfies?
Selfies- Urban Dictionary Definition: taking photos of ones self while posing

Selfie Sunday. Selfie Saturday. Outfit of the Day. What I Wore Wednesday. Duckface. These are all hashtags many of you know and use frequently.

Women, even at the youngest of ages, have within them an innate longing to be special...beautiful...and loved. I totally get it. I do.

But you will not find any of those things in the places you are looking for them in. The number of likes you get on Instagram because you filtered a picture of your face will not fill the hole in your heart. Oh sure, you’ll feel special for a minute- the glow of peer acceptance is a great high. But when night falls, and the likes have stopped, and it’s just you, you’re still gonna feel empty.

The world is fickle. It will love you one day and hate you the next. There is no true value in placing your level of acceptance in the world. When you do so, you hurt the One who loves and accepts you no matter what. If you are constantly looking for your self-worth in the world you will never find yourself in Him.

What are you spending more time doing- updating Facebook or Twitter, filtering a photo for Instagram, liking pins on pinterest; or are you getting in the Word, tilling with the Lord, making your inner self of more value than your outer?

Ya know, girls....
you are not just the things you do, the clothes you wear, the job you have, the school you attend, the friends you have or don’t have.
you are worth much more.
ALL of who you are.
And He loves every part of you.....the good, the bad, the ugly.

Girls, I am not defined or made valuable by things I do or things I have. NEITHER ARE YOU.
My worth lies in one thing and one thing aloneI am extravagantly loved by God. And so are YOU.

You are His dream wrapped in skin. You are His reward. You are His pride and joy. 

Ask Him to show you how beautiful you are, how loved you are, how accepted you are. He will. But you have to be willing to see it- he could be showing it you daily but you aren’t willing to see it. Look for it. Seek Him in it. And that encounter will blow you OUT OF THE WATER. 

Remember, you are beautiful without a tan or makeup or the latest jeans or the acceptance of your peers or a boy’s opinion or anything else

"For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." 
Psalm 139:13-14  

One last thought... 

(with thoughts from Erin @ Sweetness Itself & Rachel @ From the Heart) 


Friday, September 13, 2013

stories worth telling

This is way more vulnerable than I ever planned to get on this her blog of mine. But I've got best friends cheering me on, and a Jesus bigger than all my fears. 

I've been writing so, so much lately, No, not on here- and I'm not apologizing for that. You see, my summer didn't end the way I had planned it. Proverbs 16:9 proved true yet again- “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

I spent a few days moping at the disappointment, because let’s be real- disappointment HURTS. Naturally your first question after not getting your way is, “What now, Lord?” And He didn’t answer right away, at least not in the way I expected Him to.

To have a God so gracious that He bends down to whisper straight to our hearts just blows my mind. The fact that He knows every dream, every desire, even the ones I’ve shoved down for years, is amazing to me. So when He reintroduced a dream I’d long since forgotten about, I wasn’t quite sure I’d heard Him right.

There were lots of, “Really, Lord? You want ME to do this? Are you sure? Lke, REALLY sure?”

Oh yeah, He said.

And to that, I said, “Oh boy.”

That dream I’d long since forgotten? The one I’d shoved down years ago? Well, sweet friends, I’m writing a book. Actually, I’m writing two books- two very different, God-breathed, both close to my heart, scripture infused, life lessons throughout, books. (Don’t be alarmed; I’m not writing two books at the same time- one now, one later!)

This is a dream I was told wouldn’t materialize. It was the one I was convinced would never happen because it was just too far-fetched; the one I rejected because my mother and grandmother loved the idea and I was determined to not do anything for them. But this isn’t for them- it’s for Jesus. For His people. This dream means admitting a gift the Lord gave me that only I can use, which is scary.

But the Lord is funny like that. The things that often scare us the most, He uses the most.

Still hesitant, I ran it by my best friend Rachel H, who basically blew up with excitement. Okay, Lord, good job using people for confirmation. But are you really, really sure? He lead me to read Cold Tangerines (which wasn’t my favorite book-not the point) and came upon this quote:
"You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given today." -Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niquist 

Whoa baby, I thought. And the next day, I went journal shopping. I have prayed over this book for weeks now. I’ve finally started writing. I’ve thrown myself into the outline for this first book, which I’ll introduce soon.

Friends, don’t be afraid of where God calls you. Heck, He’s leading me into uncharted water, and I’m scared of the amount of what ifs and possibilities, but He is bigger than all of that. According to the world, I’m not the person to do this. I’ve only written for school, for personal journaling, and for this blog. BUT, He is not of this world. HE doesn’t call the equipped- He equips who He calls.

I’m so excited to let yall in on this journey.  Some of my heart can best be summed up in this:
"I really want to write out my story. I kind of don't like the title "My Story" because it sounds so definite. So "beginning" and "end". And really my story is still unfolding with each new day. But I definitely have a story to tell. With lots of little stories in between the bigger ones. And when people come here to meet me, I want them to know where I'm coming from and who I am and what's made this person." -Laura Caddell 

More to come soon. Be blessed.
In Him, Bethany