Thursday, June 19, 2014

Because it's JUNE!

Hey loves, 
I meant to get this posted earlier this week! Eek. I'm going to be offline this week and much of next, due to a busy schedule with VBS and work. I'll be cramming in babysitting, my dad's birthday, and my grandma's visit, as well as redecorating my four year old classroom, plus my sisteer is out of town Don't look for too much to be happening here during that time. I'll be on instagram, though, so you can keep up with me there! 

To recap the last few weeks...
An old friend graduated this year, so Rachel and I headed to his partay. It is always such a blessing to see him & his family. 

>>with aunt ang<<

>>sister shenanigans<<

I'm reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, which means I'm currently feeling the Golden Age (isn't that me all the time though?). Lana Del Ray's "Young And Beautiful" is on repeat. I ran to Old Navy to grab shorts and came across a darling dress, that reminds me of flappers... 

The drop waist had me sashaying through parking lots and twirling up sidewalks. You're lucky I didn't pair this dress with my forties heels! Born in the wrong generation problems, I tell ya. 

At church this week, we worshipped with one of my favorites- 

"By grace I'm free
You've rescued me
All I am is Yours
I've found a love greater than life itself
I've found a hope stronger and nothing compares
I once was lost; now I'm alive in You"

For all the idiotic things I do, Jesus forgives me repeatedly and that is more than I can ever ask for. What a love. What a hope. I'm thankful that we get to worship through song and dance and the Word. 

until next time, prayers for you dear readers. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

three months and a stolen heart


The first week of June was my last week with my two and three year old lovies. 

Every June, so I'm told, our preschool & after school program goes through a transition period. Teachers get moved to new rooms, classes combine for the summertime, and students move up. A lot has been up in the air about our June changes, so we've all been experiencing this sitting on pins and needles feeling. As one of the more recently hired teachers, I found out in mid May that I get to move classrooms. It has had me both nervous and excited. Even if I were to stay in my current classroom, the kids are being moved around. Knowing that the twos/threes class won't be the same has helped me adjust to the idea, because I would hate to leave my class if those same kids were staying. 

Because I love those kiddos. They stole my heart, in three months. I love arriving and hearing the squeals of my name ("Ebbaknee!"). I love snuggles and wet kisses and kids who lean on my knees when I'm squatting to their level. I love answering fake phones they hand me. I love daily beauty parlor dates with my two girls. I love playing dinosaur with my boys. I love throwing dance parties every week and teaching them to twirl and boogey. 


I love how much I fell in love with the one thing I said I would never do, which is teach kids. I didn't want to do what so many in my family have done- teach. Yet I had no idea how much I desired it, how much I needed it, how I dreamt of it, until Jesus gave me the opportunity to do so. I love how Jesus knows our souls and our gifts and our passions so well. I love how He allows those to collide into a job. 

Lord knows I have moments where I stink at my job. There is no perfect teacher, but there are grace giving kids. The word 'teacher' is such an oxy moron; you, as the adult, are supposed to be the one teaching the children, yet they are the ones who teach us adults. Maybe that is why I will miss this group of kids so much, because they have taught me so much about life. In three months. That is insane to me. 

I know I will fall insanely in love with my four year olds. They will teach me entirely new things, that I look forward to learning. But for now, I will grieve my babies moving on up & me, too.  

xo, bethany 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

one {wo}man's trash is another {wo}man's treasure.

You know the phrase, "There's a first time for everything"? Well, this is one of those times. See, I am no fashionista. Psh. I'm such a tshirt and jeans girl that I've had to learn how to be cute. And maybe my cute isn't other people's version of cute, but that is Aokay. 

Teaching preschool means I literally live in what I deem casual professional- usually polos with our logo on them and nice pants/jeans/capris/shorts. Our dress code's unofficial rule ought to be, "anything you can wear around kids but still impress parents in".  You mighta seen this picture (below) in this post

That being said, I spend a lot of my off time in tshirts and shorts. I only have a few outings a month that require dressing up, so I take advantage of those. 

I can't even tell yall the last time I bought a piece of clothing, brand new. I am such a big believer in thrift stores, in clothes swapping with friends, in hand me downs, in trading clothes with my sister. When you build your wardrobe this way, you're giving someone else's tossed-aside-clothes another chance at life. You get to breathe some life into a shirt or necklace or dress someone else might be out of ideas for! That challenges me more than new clothes do. 

I'd like to share some outfits I've put together recently, just to show you that vintage pieces, thrift store finds, hand-me-downs, and swapped/borrowed clothes can be turned into great ensembles. 

My Easter outfit was an Old Navy denim/chambray shirt from my girl Meatha, as well as a skirt from her. My necklace was a bridesmaid piece from a friend's wedding a few years ago, and my shoes were target wedges. 

A few Sundays ago, I threw this H&M  pink lace dress with this denim vest and paired it with last season target gold sandals. It was perfect for Mother's Day. 

A sweet girl friend, Rachael, was married recently, so I grabbed this dress from my sister's closet. These are the same gold sandals as above, with a pocket watch necklace, a vintage double heart ring, and my favorite cutout watch from Target. 

I kept meaning to take a picture in a casual outfit, but I haven't gotten a chance. Maybe we'll do that edition next time ;) I hope you enjoyed a peek into my wardrobe! 

xx, bethany

Saturday, June 7, 2014

All She Read- Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Sometimes, when I get my emails that contain the books I can choose from, I choose at random. When the Revell email came, I scrolled through the non fiction section, hoping for an easy read. An ombre white-tan book caught my eye. "Finding Spiritual Whitespace" was the title, with a subheading reading, "Awakening your soul to rest". Hmm, sounds nice and easy. Ann Voskamp, Lysa Terkeurst, ans Jon Acuff all recommended it. Okay, send me that one. 

When the book I arrived, I opened it to discover an utterly perfect new book. You know, the kind that are still bound tightly and have crisp pages that ruffle when you flip them. So naturally I was reluctant to actually open it and ruin it's perfectness. It sat on my desk, beckoning my attention for a few days before I gave in to reading it. 

Well, I can now tell you that the once perfect book is now a hot mess. It's tear stained, underlined, starred, with notes jotted in the margins, and pages dog eared, with a creased spine. A book has not been this well loved since I read Angie Smith's Mended

Finding Spiritual Whitespace is about more than finding rest. It lead me to find a better story for myself, because so many of my broken pieces were mended through the truths in this book. I wish I could truly convey the many ways I identified with this book, with this author. It is always such an unexpected blessing to find a kindred spirit. There are so many chapters that lead to me gasping aloud, because I finally found a book, rather, an author, who had been in my shoes. Bonnie Gray similarly dealt with anxiety, insomnia, desolation, clutter, mess, reluctance to share, and still made it through alive. She dealt with the hard seasons. Bonnie chose to deal with the hard places that she had previously chosen to close off, because she desired more than just surviving life. She desired restoration. She desired a new way of life, and beauty, and Jesus. So Bonnie fought to get there. Once she did, she went a step further, and shared how God lead her to healing and wholeness. 

Thankfully, Bonnie did what Jesus called her to do. I know the fight it is to actually write your story and share it. But Bonnie does more than share her story- she shares how to move beyond just surviving and shows us how to find restoration and rest amidst our stories. 

This book is a keeper, one to glean and grow from, one to reread. Head to the bookstore (or my favorite, amazon!) and pick up this gem! 

Bonnie's website and twitter

xo, bethany

disclosure: I receive books courtesy of various Christian publishing companies, including Bethany House, Tyndall, and Revell, each of which have blogger review programs. All opinions expressed on All She Wrote regarding the books I receive are mine, unless otherwise indicated. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Weekend Wishes - SML Vol 17

Hey friends. 

Today, I hope you know you are loved. I hope you know people care about you. I hope you know your presence is needed in this world. 

I hope it's cooler where you are than where I am. It's only June 1st and this week has been at least 100something degrees everyday- Texas is in full summer mode that's for dang sure. 

I hope someone touched your heart today. I hope Jesus sent just what, or who, you needed, and I pray your soul received it like water to a desert. 

I hope laughter found you when you least expected it. I hope you were doubled over, caught in the moment. 

I hope you were able to spend your weekend relaxing, or catching up on your to-do lists. That's how I spent mine. Surrounded by laughter and journals and friends and family. 

I hope you were able to see blessings in your life this weekend. 


Song- "Once Upon Another Time" by Sara Bareilles
Book- Finding Spiritual Whitespace, by Bonnie Gray. review coming soon!! SO good. 
Humor- you have to understand that my little men love pulling their shirts up over their heads to act like dinosaurs... 

Beauty Life Saverhow to: beach waves for short hair
Fun Fact- The word "darling" is derived from an Old English term meaning "favorite minion". 
Journal Related- 

happy first week of June, sweet ones!! 
XO, bethany

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I can slay my own dragons (well, sometimes.)


Between the two late twos/early threes classrooms, we have about 16 boys and 6 girls. BUT! Fear not, the girls can give the boys a run for their money. Teaching those little girls has given me such insight into their hearts. As a girl wouldn't I have insight into a little girl's heart? Well, part of me doesn't remember being that little. I grew up quickly as a teenager, leaving childhood behind, so my actual age is twenty but feels about 35. My memories of being two and three aren't detailed, although the book I'm currently reading is helping me rediscover my little girl self. So daily teaching these precocious girls is teaching me about myself and girls in general. 

You really don't fully understand the amount of time little girls spend dreaming. And wishing. And playing pretend. Their imaginations take them to places close to home and far away. All little girls exceel at one thing in particular- getting themselves into pretend situations that require their rescue. 

Rescuing. Of all things in the world, all little girls adore the idea of being special enough to someone that that someone would risk their life to save them. We don't grow out of this idea, either. It follows us through preteen years and into high school and we enter adulthood with it. Oh sure, we may not playact that desire anymore, but it's there, buried deep down in our souls. 

I don't think it's our fault, or our mom's or our grandma's. We subconciously pass it along, from generation to generation. It's in the books we read and the movies we see and the lives around us. 

Think about it. 
-Cinderella works her hiney off for her dysfunctional family, holding on to that one night she got at a dance, with a prince for crying out loud! She dreams he'll follow her and sweep her away, forsaking all others to save her from her situation (and if she was like me, she probably didn't think he actually would) but he DOES.  
-the original story of Rapunzel. A beautiful young girl is locked away in a tower, waiting for a man to break her free from her prison and show her the world ((not to be confused with aladdin's "a whole new world")).  
-Spiderman. Mary Jane gets kidnapped. Hello, retrieval mission. 
-The song, I Need A Hero, by Bonnie Tyler. 
-the movie He's Just Not That Into You. See Ginnifer Goodwin's character. 
-or in my sister's words, "any old western where the broad is tied to the railroad" and "any episode of popeye. Olive Oil is always like, "Oh popeye, oh dear, oh my!"

and dozens of other examples. 

Please hear me when I say there is nothing wrong with having a desire to be rescued. But it becomes a problem when we assume that as our identity. I don't want my girls (whether my current ones or future ones or future biological ones) to ever place their identity in the need of rescuing. Because they are strong girls. They will be capable girls. They will be brave girls, diving headfirst into all God has to offer them. They will be God girls. At least that it what I pray for them, and that is what I pray I portray for them. 


In the spirit of helping them become those girls, I'm trying to find more books and stories that exemplify those qualities. I'm compiling a list to post further down the road, so send me your suggestions!! 

xo, bethany

***the title of this blog post is a lyric from a Cheetah Girls songs, "Cinderella"