Monday, March 24, 2014

that wind is calling my name

This week has been a whirlwind. 

On Monday, I took my Callie-girl on a girls date. To get mexican food- WHAT ELSE PEOPLE?! She's one of my 6th grade girls (pictured here). I adore her & her family. Somehow I've become the 5th member of their family, which is totally fine with me. 

On Tuesday, we had a picnic at the park and flew kites. My friend Meatha organized it- a couple mamas, a couple middle schoolers, a couple twenty-somethings. It was grand. Competition got a little fierce, but we had so much fun. It left us dreaming of summer...

I started my new job Wednesday afternoon. I'm teaching afternoon preschool now, and I love it! My kids are sweeties. Did I mention they're late twos/early threes? That being said, they are mostly well behaved. At least so far...

I celebrated a sweet friend's birthday with several dear friends present. It's so neat to just sit and gab with community of all ages.  

I was asked to lead devotional time at choir this week. I had weeks to getterdone, but I ended up writing it on my phone on my way to choir. No, I didn't procrastinate; every time I sat down to do it, I couldn't figure out what the Lord wanted me to say. The Lord finally whispered to me right before choir. I even threw my choir bff under the bus ;) 

On Thursday, my sister and I went to the 8 PM showing of Divergent. I really liked it. I never hold movies that were made from books to high standards- if you go in expecting the movie to be as good as the book you WILL be disappointed. I try to separate the two from each other- the book is the original story you loved and the movie is just a version of the story. Kapeesh?? And then you'll enjoy the movie. But all that being said, Divergent-the-movie followed Divergent-the-book pretty well. And it's not like Theo James made things worse...I only whispered ONE thing about him to my sister about him, and she told me to contain my hormones. SHEESH.

And I got strep this weekend. Baaaaad strep. I get sick maybe once a year, I kid you not. I used to get sinus infections all the stinkin' time growing up, but it turned out that I was just allergic to dogs. This is the first time I've been sick since I moved out of my parents house- so basically, it's been over a year since I was last sick. Because I am so rarely sick, I can handle a weekend of being down for the count. I just hated having to miss teaching my girls in church today and helping a sweet friend host a party tonight. Hopefully the worst is over! Sister has places to go and people to see. 

Here's Sharing My Library Vol 15~

Movie/TV- nothing new yall; being sick makes me revert to comfort, so it's been nothing but The Golden Girls, One Tree Hill, and DVR'd Chicago PD episodes for me since Friday. 
Music- The Fray "Cable Car", Jason Reeves "Save My Heart", Blind Pilot "Half Moon"
Book- rereading The Sweet By & By, Sara Evans


I hope you all are well! catch you soon.
xx, bethany

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Puzzle Pieces

I find that working in youth ministry has me flashing back to my own middle school and high school years. I suppose that's a natural thought shift, but those are years I have no desire to return to. Oh sure, if I could return and change things, I would- but that is why hindsight is twenty-twenty. 
((yall have no idea how hard it was to find a picture of myself from high school 
w/o a kid attached or a friend w/ me))

I was wondering (doubting, really) last week how on earth the Lord could use my crazy story for anything. I didn't know it then, but He was in Heaven saying, "Oh just you wait for a glimmer."
Stepping out of my norm and teaching 8th grade girls one Sunday morning lead me to that glimmer. Sometimes it feels like an out of body experience, watching the Lord click puzzle pieces together in front of me. We scramble to put the puzzle together, getting frustrated when pieces don't fit because we lack the bigger picture, when all along God knows exactly where each piece fits. How amazed I am, how humbled I was, to learn that a two minute snippet of my story would be beneficial to many of the girls in the room. 

"We all have a story to tell, whether we whisper or yell. 
We all have a story to tell, of adolesence and all its glory. 
We all have a story to tell." 
~Happily Ever After, by He Is We

Tell your stories, friends. Speak life and truth into the young ones you know. You never know how God is going to be glorified. What you consider differences and quirks, He considers beauty marks in His master plan for your life.  
xx, bethany

Thursday, March 20, 2014

If I had a hammer /// I'd be Thor.

"It takes more than hammers and nails to build something of significance." 

-Micca Campbell, An Untroubled Heart

That quote is from the book I'm recently read. It really struck a chord with me. Ha, the hammer struck a chord. I crack myself up. 

Anyways. I'm going to warn yall, this post gets a little heavy. (I had another one of my Hot Mess Sundays, and sitting on the youth floor brought some perspective.)

How often do we, as humans, place our trust and hope in material things? You know, the things we can see and feel- people, degrees, houses, jobs, etcetera. Material things are also known as things that DON'T last. They are things that are of very little value in the long run. Whatever I'm working towards with my heart and soul is obviously what is important to me, and the same goes for you. 

So is what we are working towards of temporary or eternal value? 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

We should be working on eternal. Hello, conviction. And what is eternal? What is of significance? Relationships. With people and with the Lord. The way we love people, the words we say, the deeds we do- all of that should glorify God. No, we aren't going to get it right 100% of the time. But, we should be able to look back on our lives and know that we spent the time we were given wisely, furthering His kingdom. 

In my life, am I building something of significance? When I stand before the King, will He say, "Well done my good and faithful servant"? 

Go ponder. xx, bethany

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happier Than A Bird. With a french fry, no less. {{SML Vol 14}}

Hi friends!! 
My last few days have been full, in a blessed content way. I spent Saturday at the bakery with my sweet friend/co-worker Haley. A huge rainstorm fell most of the afternoon and into the evening...

and after the major rainfall, we were blessed with a beautiful rainbow, in which we could see both ends of! How rare is that?! We were amazed, both standing gaping at it. It was the perfect way to end the week. 

This week has started off in a frenzy, but I'm stopping to make time for you, dear readers! So here is another Sharing My Library :) 

If you saw last week's post, it's rather obvious that this week's movie choice is going to be... Anne of Green Gables 1 & 2! It's such a sweet wholesome story. Anne is such an imaginative character, with such fire and passion in her. And dear sweet Gilbert is the epitome of a man in his pursuit of her heart and eventually her hand. 

Switching from movies to music, I've had my big band music playing today. Why, you ask? Well, I have dear friends, a sister group, who are INCREDIBLE singers. Tonya is the lucy to my ethel (mentioned here) and we had the following twitter interaction today: 

so naturally like 8 songs came to mind and because of the twitter limitations, I wrote them out and tweeted the gals a photo. 
and I actually have an itunes giftcard so I'm fixin' to go buy moreeee 'forties musica. happy day to me!
((I just went texan on yall... fyi, fixin to = about to do something)) 

 Book- currently reading Life's Healing Problems, by John Baker. I was browsing the bookshelf at the fowler's house last week, and i felt a nudge towards this one. I'm always hesitant to read books that require scab picking, but it's been so cathartic. 

Article/Pin- On Barbies and Using What You Have For all the Barbie bashing that's out there, here's a positive side to what Barbies taught young girls. 

Verse/Phrase- my sweet friend just bought a canvas with this phrase on it. 
she showed her husband and I at the same time, and we just giggled. I like the intentionality this motto holds. 

I hope you are all enjoying your week thus far! blessings to you! 
xx, bethany

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Playing Pretend- Realizations of Single Parenthood

Over Spring Break, I had a small glimpse of what it's like to be a single mom. 
Two kids, a dog, two cats; the kids' schedules and my schedule (including william's sonic shifts and my work); friends over and sleepovers; plus all the house stuff- chore reminders, meal planning, chauffeuring, dishes, cleaning - it never ends. It's enough to wear you out. 
My week was temporary. At the end of it, I got to hand over kids and keys and go home. But it's permanent for the single parents, the ones who wake up every day and raise kids alone. And I honestly don't know how they do it- well, there is one way, and that's with God's grace. 
I can't possibly imagine the extent of what it's like to be a single parent, but given a taste gives me empathy. It makes me wonder how you sweet ones keep going, and how you find the strength to do so. And it hit me. It's found when the kids have passed out on the couch, you're pulling covers over them, and love for that little life sweeps through you. It's found when the dog follows you as you turn off lights and check the locks, and you allow His peace to restore your soul as you prepare to shower and crawl into bed. It's found when you finally get a proper thank you or offer of consideration. It's found when you have five minutes to do your Jesus time. It's found in the success of not strangling a kid today (partly kidding, partly being truthful). 
If you're a single parent, know that there is help out there. Know that your kids are gonna be fine. Know that Christ is walking ahead of you, with you, and behind both you and your kiddos. 
And for the kids? Give your parents a break once in a while. Realize the multitude of things they (hopefully) do for you. Offer to help a little more. Tell them how appreciated they are. 
And everybody else? Pray for single families, and figure out how you specifically can bless them. 
xx, bethany

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Baby you can drive my car.

My car is disgusting. It shouldn't be. I claim to live out of my car, but I do not. So why the mess? I could blame it on my dad. When my sister and I were growing up, we hated riding in his car. The man is pretty neat, except for his car. It was like a trash can exploded in there. Usually smelled funny too (In my defense, my car doesn't smell funny). So why have I turned out the same way with my car? 

I mean, there's dust on the dash, I typically have a present i-meant-to-give-someone-last-week, at least 4 plastic bottles, scraps of paper and receipts flung about, one of marley's toys, dirt from the boys' shoes, a bag of clothes that needs to go to goodwill, extra sonic straws, mail, the rip in the leather on the passenger seat (thanks brady), a card I need to put in the mailbox which-i-drive-by-every-day-but-its-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-car-and-i-dont-want-to-get-out, a bakery container, a notebook, and on humid days, my steering wheel flakes off in my hands-gross (thanks andrew whit.). My windows are even occasionally smudged with dog noses and kids' finger prints. 

So I was SO proud of myself last week because I CLEANED OUT MY CAR. I got rid of junk, and vacuumed and windexed and voila! It was like a new car. 

I had car-cleaning motives though, I'll admit. Since this week is Spring Break, I'm staying with two kids while their parents are outta town. I knew that not only would I be chauffeuring them around, but I'd more than likely end up hauling kids to and from church related events. And truth be told, I didn't want 14 year old judgment about my car! 

But enough about my dirty car. If I've learned anything of spring break, you take every opportunity for fun and run with it. It will always lead to some sort of adventure, and where there is adventure to be had, there will be laughter and memories made. This week has consisted of car sing alongs, scooting cats off my laptop bag, dance parties, dressing up american girl dolls, learning Call of Duty terminology, playing Broomball, sneezing at dog hair, playing TopGolf, teaching bus singalong songs, AND an Anne of Green Gables MARATHON- OHmyGOODNESSgracious. If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my excitement over that last one. And I think I blew up Instagram yesterday with my TopGolf pictures; sorry, I am NOT sorry. 

xx, bethany

Monday, March 10, 2014

Actions {>>>} Words

Sundays are my hot mess days, I hate to admit. Like, HAWT mess. Not usually in a good way, either. My bed is more tempting to stay in. I try on more outfits on Sunday morning than I wear in an entire week. I run an extra 5 minutes late (I KNOW). I forget stuff as I scramble to get out the door. 

HOT MESS, I tell ya. 

By the time I get to the student floor on Sunday mornings, I have myself a little more put together (or so I like to think). Several of us teachers sit together in the back after mingle time, while the students are getting the group lesson. These are the times I receive some of the best revelations and convictions. 

A recent Sunday convicted me of how important it is that our actions back up our words. I am convinced that we are better witnesses through our actions than my words alone. I can talk to someone all day long, but at the end of the day, what are they going to remember most? They're going to remember what I did. For if I am not consistently living what I preach, then I am a hypocrite. 

As Jesus followers, we have to make a conscious efforts to line up our words and deeds with the Word. It isn't easy. Our flesh would prefer we not live by the Word, which is why we must pray for His way to become our only way. 

I don't want it to be questionable that Jesus Christ is my Number 1. I want my heart, my aura, my everything to radiate Him. So that means making decisions more consciously. conversing with people more purposefully, meet with people more intentionally, and forgive more quickly. 

I pray that He would mold me into someone who's first nature is to reach for Him. 

blessings, beth

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hashtag- Stuff My 6th Grade Girls Say

Names left out to protect the guilty. 
Girl #1- "What do you call a scalp doctor?"
Girl #2- "Is this a joke? Hmm, a native american?"
Girl #3- "Whoa now."
Girl #1- "NO! I'm serious! I was thinking, if a doctor ever needed to do scalp research, they should come to our church and wait til the choir bows their heads. there's all kinds a scalps up there!"
"It's okay; you'll survive without him." 
6th grade girl- "You forgot to warn her that we chase squirrels!"
Me- "Nuh uh, I warned her of that in our facebook message!"
DNow Leader- "...I gotta reread that facebook message"
Me- "I said go mingle; I didn't say go flirt!!"
6th grade girl- "Ehh it means the same thing."
"Look we got GREAT white girl moves!" 
And If one more 12 year old sing-screams anything related to Frozen at me, I'm going to scream. That is all. 
xx, bethany

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

just sharing a lil' more o' me library, volume 13

Happy Wednesday loves!! 
First, thanks for the love in regards to my last post (found here). You guys are my people. 
ain't that the truth, ruth. 

Now, onto our weekly Sharing My Library. Reedemed Girls Podcast- Girlfriend's Guidebook Numero Dos helped me see the light regarding a strained relationship. Thankful for resources like podcasts to point us to Jesus.

I had the urge to watch the 1995 The Parent Trap the other day.  Such a good movie. 

Mexican food. All week this week, I've been crazy craving Mexican food. It's BAD, yall. Chips and salsa. Queso. Tacos. Enchiladas. Beans. Rice.... Drool. Please, just Mexican food, 24/7, that'd be great. 

I think I've mentioned my love for Downton Abbey a time or two. Well, may I just say that the DA season finale had me SWOONing. Mr Carson and Ms Hughes walking hand in hand into the water... le sigh. And Rose's ball gown? To die for.  And the Doawger's zingers leave me in stitches. I want to be her when I grow up. 

Keeping with my vintage love, I've been daydreaming at lately. 
I love this dress. buy here 

oh, and lent. Wah. No, I ain't catholic. Last year the best friend (Rachel) decided we each ought to give up something we idolized, in order to spend more time focusing on Jesus. I gave up caffeine, in all shapes and forms. She gave up sugar. 
It was a ROUGH season in our lives. Looking back, Rachel had more of an excuse to break because she was in the midst of a breakup. Personally, I just can't function without coffee in the morning and coke in the afternoon. 
This year, Rachel's giving up sleep. Like sleeping in and staying up late. She wants to be more diligent in her quiet time. With diligence comes intention. So, she's intentionally setting aside time every morning to get her crossfitting bum out of bed to spend time with Jesus. 
Me? Well, I'm giving up biting/picking at my nails and attempting to pray over subconscious worries instead. My nail biting/picking at cuticles is a problem. Seriously, SOME people smack me for it. But I'd rather have nice nails and a light spirit because I'm handing worries to Jesus, sooooo here we go. 
Are you giving anything up to focus more on Jesus? 
xx, bethany

Monday, March 3, 2014

one of those mornings

It's one of those mornings. 

It's one of those mornings where worry and anxiety have consumed me. Not anxiety like worry, but anxiety like I-have-to-take-medicine-for-you anxiety. 

It's one of those mornings that I've had to deal with my demons, including anxiety.

It's one of those mornings where I hear the call to get on my knees, yet my pride wants to hold onto anger instead. 

It's one of those mornings where my shower consisted of tears, in surrendering (yet again, because surrender is a continuation) to the God who holds everything in His hands. 

If you could see me, you'd probably laugh. I've got the sunlight pouring in, but because the snow and ice are still here, looking outside makes me squint, but I need the sun for my anxiety, so the blinds stay open and the sensitive blue eyed girl continues to squint. In addition to sunlight, I've got this blue-box-desk-light on, that flips the neurons in my brain. That's right, anxiety is a chemical imbalance, people. I'm drinking coffee, with caffeine, which is a no-no for anxiety. But I've already chugged gallons of water, and tea didn't help either. Sometimes just cradling the warm mug helps. 

Satan continues his bombardment. The lies ring in my head repeatedly- I should have this figured out by now. You should just move home with your parents. You'll never be more than your mother's caretaker. My strange story will never help anyone. I'll never save enough money for college, so why bother trying. 

My worry comes from my wanting. I crave, I desire, I long for life to go the way I envision it, just once in my life. I want to know what is next. I want to decide what's next. I want to snap my fingers and have life line up perfectly before my eyes. I want to be settled and secure and someone's only one. I want to know I'm making a difference for Jesus, that what I do and say has significance. 

I want control. 

I'm tired of over-sleeping and over-spending and over-analyzing and over-eating. I'm tired of ignoring the Lord's call, His insistent plea, that I write. I'm tired of wishing for change and sitting on my rear, not doing anything about it. 

I'm tired. It's one of those mornings. 

In the midst of all that, the word gratitude comes, floating to me in the softest of whispers. A breath almost, so soft I strain to hear it. Gratitude, longing to be grasped and expanded upon. 

I'm thankful for the occasional anxiety attacks that send me to my knees. 
I'm thankful for the days with no job to be at, so I can get off my butt and write. 
I'm thankful for my little home, cozy and beckoning, that reminds me I have been abundantly provided for.   
I'm thankful for community, that calls me out and lifts me up. 
I'm thankful for my family, as weird and unique as we are. 
I'm thankful for the Lord's constant presence that has yet to give up on me. 
I'm thankful for the overwhelming amount of promises and truths found in His word. 
I'm thankful for the material things- my favorite mug, my journal, fun pens, my Bible, blankets, a heater that warms, a car that runs, speakers that carry music aloud. 
I'm thankful for each breath I can take and each step I can take. 
I'm thankful for a Savior to chase. 

"This life, this love, was always meant to be a wild, crazy adventure discovering the thrill and rush; the more of You I seek, the more it leaves me wanting Your everything." (my song for the year, Bethel Music's Chasing You)

And again, I let go and throw my future into the hands that already hold it. Because I surrender to my need for Jesus. He is here. Hallelujah. 
xx, Bethany

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Unless You Live In Texas

Thankfully the season come and go. Around here, they come and go in the same day (yesterday was 80 and today was 19). Seasons are ever changing, leaving the world around us ever evolving. Tis a good thing. Too much time spent in one season would be fruitless. Even humans who dislike change see the necessity and importance of seasons. Life requires the different aspects of all seasons, each perfectly timed and perfectly placed to bring about full growth. 

If it were a stagnant land, depression and despondency would most assuredly arise. Humankind would cry, "woe is me" and bemoan the lack of change. Twould be a folly but discontent souls find a place to lay blame wherever they are. 
The young ones are the ones who show us how to enjoy each season 's vast variety to it's full extent. With cheeky excitement they beg to play outside no matter the condition.
When did we so lose our sense of adventure? 
When did we stop looking forward to what was ahead, replacing excitement with dread?
When did we vecome crotchety and stagnent? 
Even trees that have been in the same place for hundreds iof years continue to grow, thrive, and affect those around it. 
Here's to change. To growth. To evolving. To trusting. 
Here's to looking forward to adventure. 
Here's to seasons. May they bring about much needed growth in us. 
xx, bethany