Friday, August 8, 2014

the flowers will grow tomorrow.

summer's gone, now winter's on its way
  i will miss the days we had
the days we had
  i will miss the days we had
the days we had
oh, i'll miss the days we had

winter song; the head and the heart

while we are not quite at winter, my summer days are nearing an end. i am heading back to indiana this weekend. i will spend two weeks re-training for my resident assistant job in beckett east at iwu. the next week my "little" freshies will move in. i don't even know their names but am excited to learn their stories. after that we start school. [i felt kind of gross writing that.]

i have been looking forward to going back to school for about a month now. but before that month, i wasn't ready. i didn't want to go back. at. all. there were little hurts that made me want to scream, "i'm not coming back!" really loudly from alaska [loud enough for indiana to hear]. so needless to say, i would have been perfectly happy to have never gone back. if someone had said "bethany, i will give you a donut not to go back." i would have said, "heck yes give me that donut." and not not gone back. heck, i would have taken a half of a donut.

but this summer has been a growing period. growing isn't really the funnest thing you could do but probably it is worth it. i spent multiple mondays at my mentor julie's home. we read the Bible, laughed, cried, drank sweet tea and ya know...i loved it. i spent multiple monday nights at my home with a group of young ladies talking about life and learning how to say yes to God...and ya know i loved it. so pretty much mondays rocked my world. these were the sweetest moments of summer and i am going to miss them.

when you learn positive things you learn to let go of negative things. so that is why i am excited to go back to school. because the positive things give me strength. and that strength [which is really just my love for Jesus] gives me a new perspective.

of course i [probably] won't always have this great perspective. i will likely forget and listen to satan's little whispers. but it is progress not perfection. julie would always say "we are blossoming today. the flowers will grow tomorrow." so that is my new perspective. blossoms are a sign of growth and the beauty that is and is to come. but they don't just appear. it takes some time and love.

so, if someone offered me a donut to not go back to indiana...i would grab the donut and run. indiana, i'll see you soon.
- B

Friday, June 20, 2014

weakness. promises. power.

"the enemy of your heart doesn't have to actually defeat you, he just has to convince you he already has." 

the enemy of your heart.  
when i first read this quote i was kind of disheartened
it reveals my weakness.
the enemy has so much pull on my heart that he doesn't actually have to win me over. he just has to whisper in my ear. 
and in me abiding in those whispers i am giving him--without a fight--first place over my heart and mind. 

i have felt this happening in my heart and mind quite often. and i was just sitting in those thoughts. sitting. and the sitting made me anxious. over and over satan would bring past mistakes and regrets to my mind and made me believe i am unworthy
running for me is a good release. i can think about things or not think about things. i can just run. i was running one night after work this week and saw a rainbow. so i stopped, took a picture, and kept running. i wanted to post the picture on instagram but i didn't know what to say about it. "look a rainbow!" isn't very intriguing. so while i was thinking of something clever to say, i was thinking about this rainbow. the story of noah came into my mind [ not by accident i am sure ]. 

noah: a man who lived for 950 years [ genesis 9:29 ].
can you even begin to imagine what changes you would see in people and your community in 950 years? 
the Word of The Lord says noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. and that he walked with God. God was upset at the wickedness of the people on the earth and he planned to wipe them out. all but noah and his family. 

genesis 6:18 says, "But I will establish my covenant with you..." 
that's pretty impressive. 
so God tells noah to build an ark. he gives him specifics instructions like how high and wide to make it. to bring two of every animal. to bring all different kinds of good. and his family. 

genesis 6:22 says, "noah did this; he did all that God commanded him."

not some. but all that God commanded him. could someone say that about me? that i did all that God commanded of me? [ just something to think about. ] 

but he went. he and his family and all the animals. 
and rained. for forty days.

[ now, i live in southeast alaska. let me tell you: it rains ALL the time. some people like and some people don't. i am sure that has had to have been a time where it rained for forty days straight in southeast alaska. that wouldn't bother me. what would bother me? being on a boat for forty days. forty. days. i ride a boat to work, due to the fact that i work on an island, four days a week and twice a day. and that nearly does me in. so forty days? no thanks. ] 

if i was noah [ praise the Lord i'm not ] around day lets say day two i would probably start complaining [ because that's what i do ]. did noah complain? i don't know. did he ask God why? maybe, but he already knew why. because God was sad at the wickedness.

chapter 8 of genesis starts by saying "God remembered noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark." 1.) i think it is important to recognize that God remembered noah 2.) i think it is important to recognize that God remembered the creatures he created [ another something interesting to think about ].

he remembered them. noah built an alter to the Lord. and God made a promise:
"'i establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the whole earth.' and God said, 'this is the sign of the covenant that i make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: i have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. when i bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, i will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh....when the bow is in the clouds, i will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature..."

i bet noah had whispers. the enemy of his heart whispered. when he was building the ark, when he was loading the ark, and when he was in the ark. i am sure the enemy whispered. maybe the whispers were from people and maybe they were in his heart but i am sure they were there. but noah was faithful, because the Lord was establishing an everlasting covenant with him.  

we go through situations daily when those whispers are in our heads and hearts. maybe they are from people and maybe they are just inside us. maybe we fall into the trap of resting in those whispers but we are not defined by the whispers we hear. we are defined by the One who cares enough to build covenants and set beautiful reminders. even though my mind is weak, i am made strong by the perfect power of the One who saves [ 2 corinthians 12:9 ]. 
now, when i read this quote i can rejoice knowing that we are strong and have the power to overcome whispers. 

rejoice in that fact today!

until next time,

Thursday, June 12, 2014

#shereadstruth linkup

she reads truth is a a daily devotional for women. you can find their website here.

my freshman year resident assistant [ra] introduced me to the she reads truth community. i love it. you can even receive the daily devotion in your e-mail inbox.
so i read it....for a while.

then i stopped reading it for a REALLY long while. 

i recently re-joined the group of women who read this devotional daily with a friend of mine.
and it literally blows my socks off. every. day.

right now we are studying the book of titus [you can find the page for that here]. 

on day four we studied titus 2:1-5 with a focus on verses 3 and 4 which read,

"they are to teach what is good, and so train the young women."

now, i still consider myself a "young woman". i mean come on, i am only twenty. i, however, don't think that being a "young woman" excludes me from applying this passage. because while i may be a "young woman" there are women who are young[er] than me.

today, there are women all over the world blogging and discussing about how spiritual mothering [a term i am quite fond of] is being played out our communities and how Godly women have influenced our lives. You can find other posts similar to mine here

1.) how is spiritual mothering taking place in my personal community?
          a community is where you are. my community moves a lot [from alaska to indiana to ohio and back again]. everywhere i go i have examples of godly women--from my mom, to my grandmas, my mentor, and the ladies in the multiple "home" churches i have.
          not-so-young-but-still-beautiful ladies, i think it is important for you to recognize that to "teach what is good" you don't have to be directly in contact with someone. you can do this simply by living your life for Christ [i know i say "simply" like it is so easy. ha. what a joke.].
           so this is what it looks like for me. observing the Christian ladies in my life, going over to my mentor's house, and growing up in a strong Christian family [i feel that a #winning is appropriate here].

2.) how has a godly woman influenced me in my growth in the Gospel?
          yes. the end. just kidding! since going to college i have heard tons about all of these young ladies having a mentor. and i was like "what's that?' and "what does that look like?" so this past semester, i decided i wanted one. so i went to the store, found one i liked, and bought it [ha! if only it was that simple!]. you see, you're supposed to be honest with mentors and tell them what the haps are. sometimes this can be kind of difficult for me so i wanted someone nice. but that wasn't the only requirement. they also had to be a Christian [duh!], and be pretty, and have cute kids, and make really good sweet tea! i'm kidding. but this is what happened. i spent the semester praying for a mentor. then i flew home and went to my home church. there is this lady who attends my church, she is really nice, she is a Christian, she is pretty, she has cute kids, and makes the best sweet tea you have EVER and i mean EVER tasted [she is from south carolina...#winning].
          you would think i would just be able to ask and then we could get on with it. but it is kind of a big deal! so i waited a couple week [as in like 2?]. then i was talking with her about life while her kids were running around and i was supposed to be listening to a guest speaker [i apologize but this was a God planned appointment i am glad i didn't miss]. so we talked and then she left. and i didn't ask her to be my mentor. instead, i went home that night and texted her [because somehow that makes things easier] and she said she was thinking the same thing [#...just kidding i won't do it again].
          so we have been meeting every monday. we do a Bible study and chat. then she feeds me lunch and i spend hours playing with her kids. and. i. love. it.

3.) how would i like to see titus 2 shape my relationships moving forward?
          i have been reading Captivating by john and stasi eldridge. in the book they discuss this theory of learning by observing other women and asking, "what does this woman teach me about the heart of God?" and then i said, "wow." i think this quote, along with being willing to 1. speak into the lives of women younger [and maybe older] than me as well as 2. having women older [and possibly younger] speak into my life would be such a beautiful thing.

so that's it really. it may be a little difficult to step out and ask someone to mentor you OR to ask someone if you could be their mentor. but the blessings from both will be abounding.

what are your thoughts on spiritual mothers? is there a woman who has played a vital role in your relationship with the Father?

until next time,
- B