Monday, December 3, 2012

To all those who want the story, How God brought us together. J&B

It was mid April when a coworker(Jen) of mine approached me with her phone in hand and the name Josh. All of us at work would joke about match making and sorts. Jen was married and her husband worked at Liberty. As Jen approached me with a big smile on her face, she proceeded to ask me "So Beth, there is this Josh who is interested in you" I then asked "are you sure he's not interested in the other Beth(Bethany O.)" Jen's reply, "nope, he said Beth, and my husband knows the difference between you two". My reply, " Oh! so Ethan(Jen's husband) is in on this too! ok who is this Josh?!" 

Jen and Ethan, the devious couple :-)

Apparently Josh had noticed me a month ago and Ethan started mentioning a Beth that works at Chick-fil-a and Josh realized it was me he was talking about and so Ethan started his devious plan on his side and Jen on hers. 

The last week in April held many memorable experiences. A batting cage trip that was supposed to be only us ladies (a tradition started as a stress reliever for work) ended up being Josh and I's first time that we met. Josh had been coming to Chick-fil-a for a while and I had never noticed him, sad I know. So many faces I see everyday! lol So yes, this was our first time meeting. All I remember is sitting in my car waiting on Jen and Ethan and Bethany to show up and guess who pulls up first, Josh. I just sit in my car two parking spots away nervous as all get out! I am a very big social bug and not scared of new people but I just couldn't bring myself to get out and go and say hi. So I sat in my car freaking out texting my best friend Beth Nell who was helping me calm down :-) So then pulls up Jen and Ethan and Jen points to both of our cars and then me and hops in my car and Ethan goes over to Josh's. So forced out, the introductions begin. Bethany O. pulls up and gives me the smile of approval. I just met this drop dead goodlookin' man named Josh :-) We would both come to find out our sarcastic sides very quick as we took on the batting cages. Dinner with the group after and a few Facebook chats later someone set up a first date ;-) I texted my Best friend Beth Nell the night I was leaving from the batting cages, "I am going to marry this man"

APRIL 28th, 2012

MOVING DAY! I got off of work and began moving for the first time out of my amazing parent's house and into a house in Rivermont full of some wonderfully awesome young woman, 4 to be exact. I also had a first date with an amazing man that evening. I always said when God blesses he usually smacks me in the face with it. What a blessing of a day. I had been praying for a while seeking God's direction as to moving out and such and he answered with a dear friend Katie Halsey and her inviting me to live with them in Lynchburg. I also thought that God had some plan bigger and better than my own understanding around the corner and the first step was moving out. My parents were a huge blessing in that they have always been very supportive of my decision to do so.  
So after unpacking a few boxes and a grocery trip with Katie, I waited patiently for Josh to come and pick me up for our date. He came to the door all decked out in his purple polo and jeans and lookin good. He took me to Neighbors Place where I decided I would be all girl like and get a salad because it would be smaller as I was too nervous to eat much. Well this is what I get for getting a salad:

So after a good laugh and a long chat, he took me bowling. A decision he would later regret. His comment to me "let's play best 2 out of 3 you may need that third game ;-)" Well someone's butt got whooped 3 games in a row and it wasn't mine. So after beating himself up a good bit and me feeling terribly cruel, we headed to grab coffee at starbucks, finding out that we were going to the same church just different service times,  and again a long talk and seeing his face every day for the next 7 months later is how our dating relationship began and continued. My family met him and fell in love. He fits right in with all our craziness.

NOVEMBER 25th, 2012

After a long week of Black Friday working craziness and Thanksgiving with the family, Josh decided he wanted to take me out to Waterstone( a nice pizza place downtown) Where he had been asking to take me all week I was just so busy and tired. SO FINALLY, he gets to go. lol We sit down to dinner and we decide to go bowling and bets are made as to whoever wins. Josh's bet was that if he won, he could ask me anything and I would have to agree to it. So I thought "oh gosh now he is going to make me dance in the car which I have refused to for the longest time with fear of embarrassment" My bet was that if I won he would have to watch ALL 6 seasons of LOST in 6 months. He immediately said he would win. Which he did. I hated it. lol the competitive side coming out in me. So we went and got coffee which I thought was weird cause Josh doesn't drink coffee but he got me some. Then he said he wanted to go walking somewhere, which I also thought was funny but didn't get my expectations up. We drove around for a bit and then stopped in Wyndhurst to walk around. Josh knew how I had a fetish for picket fences and so we found a random picket fence where we talked a bit and he told me how the past 7 months have been the funnest and best 7 months of his life and I answered by saying, "well I am exhausted, you gave me mono" hahahaha. Anyways, then he asked me if he could ask me the question from bowling which began and ended with my man on one knee asking me to marry him. I said no just to see his facial reaction but was quick to say yes yes yes soon after :-) It's been an exciting year and most exciting 7 months! I had no idea God would bring the man of my dreams into my life so quick and sudden. I love how God works and watching his hand in all the details through friends. I would hear people say all the time that when love at first sight can happen and when you know you know. Both are very very true. The moment I saw Joshua David Tripp I was in love and couldn't wait to spend the rest of my life with this man :-) He is my best friend and I thank God for him everyday and can't wait to see where God takes us on this adventure ahead. Thank you to all those who have been prayer warriors over my life. Please continue to pray as Josh and I seek God first in our future marriage together. MARCH 9th 2013 couldn't come soon enough! 

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Mission

This video was shown at my Dad's church a couple of Sundays ago and a quote from it has stuck with me and has had me looking at my own life as a "Trader". The quote was "The place where you live doesn't make you a missionary, the mission you are on makes you a missionary" We are all called to spread the gospel where God has us and sends us. Our mission field is wherever we are at the present moment. We  talk a lot about going out of the country or state to get out of our comfort zones when in reality all you have to do is step out of your own routine life, pulling out the earphones, putting down the cellphone, and just asking a random someone how their day is. It's just realizing you aren't here for YOU but for Christ and being on mission for him means being vulnerable and willing to say, do, and go. I was reading about a woman and her calling to inner-city missions. She was scared to death of the inner-city, so she avoided it as much as possible. One day sitting at a coffee shop(her favorite place to go and be) she felt a great conviction. She started realizing her fear and how maybe it was God calling her out of her comfort zone. She was letting the fear control and hinder the mission God had for her. I love this quote from her
"It is no longer the inner-city that I fear, but the coffee shop that keeps me away from actually knowing first hand the Lord's heartbeat. I met Christ in the coffee shops, Christ met me among the least of these"
Check out, Matthew 25:31-46. Christ didn't hang out with the cool people he went out and to places we would never think of going. He didn't put us here on earth to just lay back in our lazyboys and be comfortable. We are supposed to feel uncomfortable. This world isn't our home. We are only temporary residents as 1 Peter 2:11 clearly states. Why would we want to waste the time God has us here on earth for our own well being and desires. If we are truly called by God than why aren't we moving and living for Him and really analyzing our lives and making THAT change. Obedience will ALWAYS require something of you. He will require you to give up what you want for what He wants. Like when you were a kid and your parents asked you to do something. Obeying required you to come off your pride and do something you don't really want to do, but the outcome from obeying, either ended in a nice clean room or a life lesson learned and wisdom gained.  God only wants our best and and wants to use us, we just need to be willing to be humble vessel's for His service and glory.

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth. Not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My hope is in YOU." ~Psalms 39:4-7

Looking at my own life, I am as guilty when it comes to getting all wrapped up in my own plans, desires, and dreams and losing sight of the real purpose for why I am here. I have found that by setting my goal as Christ and living for Him that He will reveal to me His plans for my life that waaaay surpass any dreams, plans, or hopes I ever had for my life. It's daily asking God to reveal His plans to you for the day and to use you, rather than asking God to use YOUR plans. It is radically surrendering your heart to a Savior who will blow your mind and use your life in ways you can't imagine! I praise God for allowing me to experience some of my own plans to better appreciate the plans He has for this life he has given me. I am blessed to be where I am at today and always learning something new about myself through following my Savior as He takes me through the thick and thin. I am blessed to have a family that is always there helping guide along this crazy adventure called life. I have much to be thankful for and many trials and hard times to look forward to, and I can truly say that out of excitement because it brings me to a new understanding and deeper molding by Christ. The hard times are a beautiful thing!

So yeah just a lot I have been thinking on over the past few weeks. We serve an Awesome Savior! I am excited to be on this Mission he has for this life He has given me. It's letting go, stepping out, and letting God use your life :-)

"God has to be in charge of the details if He is going to be in charge of the overall design"

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Drive Thru Courtesy and Perspective, good stuff!

After working in Food Service for going on 3 years and interacting with different people in different areas of this service, I have gained much knowledge and obtained much realization on how what you do effects others. I wrote down, a while back, a list of do's and don't's as to help myself to be a better customer and worker. So I thought I would share to help others better understand both sides. What is more awesome than gaining knowledge on both perspectives! I like to experience life in other people's shoes, may be why I love Missions so much. I like to know and feel what others do. It's eye opening!  

*DO NOT TALK ON THE PHONE WHILE GOING THROUGH THE DRIVE THRU. Please. Really gets to me being in such a technology consumed age, we lose sight of all the people around us and how paying attention to the person there IN person is so critical for any relationships whether it's with your Drive Thru server or a family member. 

1.    At least have some sort of idea what you are going to get

2.    Don’t order from the passenger seat, backseat, or even the trunk

3.    If you have a large order please come in as the Drive Thru is normally for those who don’t have much time to wait.

4.    Don’t pay with your years worth of piggy bank change, exact cash or card is AWESOME and makes a world of difference!

5.    If you are having a bad day please don’t take it out on your Drive Thru

6.    Don’t change your order multiple times at the window

7.    Have payment ready at window

8.    Ask for sauces at the speaker not at the window


10.                  If you have bronchitis please don’t come through the drive thru, come in and they can better serve you there

11.                  Don’t take 5mins to order, most people are unaware of the time limit they are on, in order to give you a good swift experience so that you can enjoy your food promptly, be prepared as possible.

12.                  Don’t skip the BIG SPEAKER and assume they can drop and rearrange everything to take your order at the window. It effects others in the line.

13.                  Don’t have 5 separate orders through the drive thru

14.                  Don’t eat your meal and get all settled in while still sitting at the window after the food has been handed to you.

15.                  PLEASE don’t breastfeed while coming through the Drive Thru

16.                  Put out the cigarette, They really appreciate not inhaling what you are inhaling

17.                  Don’t speed off your order at the speaker and then pull off as if they got everything you just said.

18.                  Project and please don’t get annoyed if they ask you to repeat your order just a second time. They want to make sure it’s perfect for you and can’t do that if they can’t hear you.

19.                  Clarify COMBO or ENTRÉE, a number 1 is the combo ;-)

20.                  Don’t decide to clean your purse out as you sit at the window.

21.                  Don’t hand them your trash to throw away

22.                  Don’t ask for “the usual” as they can’t see you or recognize your voice sometimes.

23.                  Please don’t pull 10 ft from the window or speaker.

24.                  Adding stuff at the window is ok to an extent, but please don’t add 10 more meals and 5 milkshakes.

25.                  Don’t order the item at the speaker and then look for the coupon at the window.

26.                  Don’t cut in line

27.       Don't throw a dead fish through the window

28.                  Coning= grabbing the ice cream and not the cone, yeah lets not.

*Things you can do to better your's and the order taker’s Drive Thru experience:

·      Rap your order! Always makes for an awesome day.
·      Reciprocate the smile, goes a long way.
·      Laugh
·      Be patient and understanding
·      Get to know your order taker just by little questions each day if you are a usual, because they want to get to know you.
·      Treat them as human beings that have feelings and emotions too
·      Just a simple Thank You is amazing!
·      Be considerate of the others in line
·      Domino effect good deeds. Like paying for the car behind you. Try it! And if someone does it for you, continue it! It’s really an amazing thing to watch.
·      Know that YOU can change someone’s day and make it positive just by your acts.

Hope you learned lots, laughed a little, and realized how just acknowledging the person that is serving you can make a positive difference in their life in that day. This goes for not only Drive Thru or Food Service but for any job dealing with the public. Just stuff to think about. What you do effects others :-) So be a beacon not a burden! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Vibrant Impact, who we are and what we do

Vibrant Impact began 2 years ago as an encouragement group for young girls ages 13-18. God brought together a team of 5 leaders all with the same vision of reaching out to girls and being a light in this dark world in their lives. God planted a passion within our hearts to show His love and make it present in the lives of girls who deal with the struggles the world throws their way, sex, definition of beauty, being loved, self image, guys, and issues of the emotions and the heart. We have been able to talk to many girls and have been blessed to continue to be present in their lives on a continual basis. With the world throwing sex and it's definition of beauty at us everyday we need to take a stand and not battle it alone. We, who have been through many struggles with that issue and continue to go through those struggles, need to be role models for these young girls and show them that who God is making them is the true definition of beauty. We want to be showing Christ's love in a very Vibrant way with our transparent lives. We want the girls to see that yes we make mistakes but God is there to catch us when we fall and he will never fail us. We want them to realize and cherish the Father(God)/Daughter relationship that is so key in the lives of godly women today. Change starts with us.

As of 2012 we opened the group up to a more college and career aged women's group. I am blessed to be surrounded by such godly women on fire for Christ and willing to go anywhere and serve. We meet at a small coffee shop and dig into God's word and encourage and seek out ways to be a light in this dark world, and it starts with taking that step of Faith and putting it to action in our DAILY lives.
Tonight we talked about Abortion and listened to the sermon "Life" by Matt Chandler excellent points were made and it was so convicting. It got me thinking though, if we as Christians would stop hiding behind our religion and passiveness as to avoid confrontation we could make that change. Why are we so scared to stand up?? What could happen, we could die, but that is our gain! If only more men would stand up and be role models for the younger generations and young woman stand up and be role models for the younger generation what a domino effect that would be. Think about how many unborn children's lives you will save just by that small act of investing maybe a few minutes or even a few years in one young person's life. I can speak from experience. I wouldn't be the woman I am today if it wasn't for a younger woman sharing her testimony and investing time into my life at a younger age. Between the ages of 9 and 16 kids are so vulnerable and starting to find out stuff, seek who they are, and the world can clog their judgement if they don't have godly parents and people to invest in them wisdom from our own walks with Christ and to stand firm on what they believe and not be passive Christians who just do the routine by going to church on Sundays because "that is what our parents made us do". When will we stand up and get backbones and live what we say we believe. Abortion, abuse, and trafficking is going on all around us and we could be that change just by looking at our own lives and tuning into the relationship that Jesus died on the cross for so that we could have that intimacy with God. The relationship is not to be taken lightly. It's an honor to have been chosen as God's son or daughter and it's our privileged to serve Him.

I am excited to see a fellow VI leader put her feet to her Faith as she goes on Mission for Christ to Costa Rica. It's awesome to see a woman sold out for Christ that she would sacrifice everything to serve Him. It is also exciting to see how God is using Vibrant Impact. We may be a small group but God is using it in a mighty way. We are looking to take a team of leaders to Guatemala in January, Lord willing, so we would appreciate your prayers as we seek God's will and as He forms the team. There are a lot of young women who need to know that they are precious and beautiful and cherished by a Father who loves them more than we can imagine. We as VI want to make a impact for Christ and it starts by being vulnerable and transparent with our lives and being willing vessels for Christ to use.

"Many times we like to keep God at 40,000 ft and not let Him into the intimate relationship with us"-Matt Chandler

"Jesus is not looking for fans, or just friends, He is looking for devoted Christ followers.
Jesus is looking for people who love Him more than their lives." -Pastor Andrew Moroz (GCC)

Ephesians 5:1-2
"Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God."

I see the king of glory
Coming on the clouds with fire
The whole earth shakes
The whole earth shakes

I see his love and mercy
Washing over all our sin
The people sing
The people sing

Hosanna in the highest

I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith

I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We're on our knees
We're on our knees

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from nothing to 

Let's be that generation of change :-)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Why hello Monday...

The Sun is shining and Spring is in the air! Days like today remind me of what an awesome Savior and creator I have directing this life. Reminds me also how even on the rainy crappy days I should be as happy about my Savior. How sad it is that we let certain worldly things and situations dictate our relationship with Christ. Looking back over life I am reminded at how my Savior has been guiding me and holding me through this life and how I couldn't have done all that I have done without him and be where I am today. This life is His and I am honored to have been called by Him to be his daughter and spread His word. Life is an awesome adventure!  My life isn't perfect in fact I am far far from perfect, my life isn't beautiful. It's a beautiful disaster, with all the cracks and brokenness filled with an awesome caulk called Christ :-)

Just a soap box of mine:
Easter is right around the corner and it's the second Sunday out of the year that many people up and decide to get all prettied up, do the Christian thing, and make their appearance to Church like they do at Christmas. Growing up in a Pastor's family I see a lot of this. My heart hurts for those people knowing that they have no idea what it feels like to be in a true relationship with Christ. It also hurts my heart to see people effected by their hypocritical Christian life and how it really does prevent other's from experiencing a relationship with Christ. Being a Christ follower isn't just going to Church twice a year, or every Sunday, It's a lifestyle. When you profess to the Church and the world that you have become a Christian then LIVE it. We need to be a generation of change and we CAN be. Action is involved. We are different from the world. We have been called by Christ to serve him. We can't serve him when we are living in our sin and refusing to move because it feels good where we are. We are comfortable and "satisfied". It's time to step up to the plate and realize you aren't here on this earth for yourself. I mean, what a sad and purposeless life that would be. We can complain about the world being a terrible place but until we do something about it we are just a part of that terrible situation the world is in. So let's step up because we have an AWEsome Creator who died an excruciating, violent, and gruesome death on the cross for US. How little it is that we offer our lives in service to Him. How honoring and humbling it is that He loves and continues to bless us and forgive us. His grace is AMAZING!

"Magnificent Holy Father
I stand in awe of all I see
Of all the things You have created
But still You choose to think of me
Who am I that You should suffer
Your very life to set me free
The only thing that I can give You
Is the life You gave to me
This is my offering, dear Lord
This is my offering to You, God
And I will give You my life
For it’s all I have to give
Because You gave Your life for me
I stand before You at this altar
So many have given You more
I may not have much I can offer
Yet what I have is truly Yours
This is my offering" ~Third Day

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Royal Beach Trip

A week at the beach! Memories so far:
Singing at the top of our lungs on the way to Edisto with my Bros.
Playing Things with the Fam.
Things you wouldn’t say to PETA
“Is your last name Pan?”
Things you wouldn’t say in an airport
“Oh me oh my, I’m so sad. Osama Bin Ladin was my Dad”
“Dude dat suitcase is da bomb!”
“Hi, Jack”
Things you wouldn’t say at a Jail
Good times!
Early morning walks on the beach with Bros chasing you down with starfish. (I am not a fan of starfish especially when they are still moving……yuck. Ick.)
My Big Bro Zach acting out a crab after mutilating it for it’s legs.
WALTER!!!! Our faithful garbage disposal. Yep we named him. “Time to feed Walter!”
Playing Settlers and epically losing twice. But hey I was close!
Reading The Hunger Games, finished the first and big mistake, I DON’T HAVE THE SECOND ONE!!!! Ugh. So good though! Haven’t read a book cover to cover in so long because I haven’t had time. Felt like I had accomplished a huge task! –atleast that what my bros would say. LOL
Went into Charleston, SC and walked around at the cool lil Market and all the shops!

Took a plunge in the Ocean one evening with my Crazy older Bro Josh. Somebody has to do it! :-) Was awesome!
Fireworks illegally on the beach one night. Hahahahahaha! Did some Sparklers after Zach’s grand attempt of lighting them after being like 1year old. They take a lil while to get going. Then a set of firecrackers went off and we were spotted. LOL So we quickly disperse in the dark before the lady who spotted us got to the scene of the crime.  No photos at this time. ;-)

Said Goodbye to Zach and Amy as they headed down to FL. Btw, Zach is my oldest Brother’s best friend and my best Friend Beth’s oldest Brother whom I call my Big adopted Bro. Yep that explains all about that. So they left and we went out to the beach!
The wind was so cold that we bunkered behind some rocks and watched the boys play with fake swords as we girls chatted. The waves are gorgeous here! So I mainly watched them crash against the rocks as ocean foam smacked us in the face.
Watched The A Team with the Fam J
Well today was awesome!!!
We played wiffle ball baseball on the beach with the entire Family! Was so so fun! Hadn’t done something like that in forever, definitely a wonderful memory. The Boys took a dunk in the water too. Wasn’t that daring this time a round.
My Grandparents joined us out on the beach after driving up from Claxton, GA. Really enjoyed there visit. Love my crazy Nana! Went to the driving Range. A first for me. LOVED IT!!!! Such an awesome stress reliever! I have a feeling me and the Driving Range will be close friends in the future ;-)
So, so far Vacation 2012 has been amazing! So many fun memories! God has truly blessed our Family to be able to do this. Love being able to hang out with my Bros. Just reminds me how Awesome God is J

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Launching....I love my devos!

"Launch out into the deep" (Luke 5:4).
How deep He does not say. The depth into which we launch will depend upon how perfectly we have given up the shore, and the greatness of our need, and the apprehension of our possibilities. The fish were to be found in the deep, not in the shallow water.
So with us; our needs are to be met in the deep things of God. We are to launch out into the deep of God's Word, which the Spirit can open up to us in such crystal fathomless meaning that the same words we have accepted in times past will have an ocean meaning in them, which renders their first meaning to us very shallow.
Into the deep of the Atonement, until Christ's precious blood is so illuminated by the Spirit that it becomes an omnipotent balm, and food and medicine for the soul and body.
Into the deep of the Father's will, until we apprehend it in its infinite minuteness and goodness, and its far-sweeping provision and care for us.
Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright, dazzling, sweet, fathomless summer sea, in which we bathe and bask and breathe, and lose ourselves and our sorrows in the calmness and peace of His everlasting presence.
Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright, marvelous answer to prayer, the most careful and tender guidance, the most thoughtful anticipation of our needs, the most accurate and supernatural shaping of our events.
Into the deep of God's purposes and coming kingdom, until the Lord's coming and His millennial reign are opened up to us; and beyond these the bright entrancing ages on ages unfold themselves, until the mental eye is dazed with light, and the heart flutters with inexpressible anticipations of its joy with Jesus and the glory to be revealed.
Into all these things, Jesus bids us launch. He made us and He made the deep, and to its fathomless depths He has fitted our longings and capabilities. --Soul Food

"Its streams the whole creation reach,
So plenteous is the store;
Enough for all, enough for each;
Enough forevermore."

The deep waters of the Holy Spirit are always accessible, because they are always proceeding. Will you not this day claim afresh to be immersed and drenched in these waters of life? The waters in Ezekiel's vision first of all oozed from under the doors of the temple. Then the man with the measuring line measured and found the waters to the ankles. Still further measurement, and they were waters to the knees. Once again they were measured and the waters were to the loins. Then they became waters to swim in--a river that could not be passed over. (Read Ezekiel 47). How far have we advanced into this river of life? The Holy Spirit would have a complete self effacement. Not merely ankle-deep, knee-deep, loin-deep, but self-deep. We ourselves hidden out of sight and bathed in this life-giving stream. Let go the shore-lines and launch out into the deep. Never forget, the Man with the measuring line is with us today. --J.G.M.

Sometimes I feel as though I am not making really any progress in life. I look at life and want to LAUNCH! I feel as though I am in just a puddle of stagnant water, when really God has already launched me and it's the little things that he is using in big ways. I just need to dive into the deep water and embrace the Holy Spirit and tune into Him :-) I need to dive into the Holy Spirit and His work in my life and let Him work through my diving into the Word. I want to get soaked!!!  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mornings :-) They are my favorite.

So, I am kind of really addicted to mornings. Being an early bird really has it's perks and blessings. It's so quiet!!!! The world is asleep. I get to enjoy a little piece of heaven each morning, the sunrise :-) Coffee, my journal, my car, and my Bible excites me! Really a superb way to start a day! Then I head into work and take in all the morning smiles, laughter, and "non morning people" blah faces. Hahaha! They are the best! I love to be that annoying person in the morning who jump starts their day. ;-) I also love the good old faithfuls who show up every morning for the breakfast. Since I don't get to enjoy breakfast with the family in the mornings, it's nice to know that I get to still enjoy it with my peeps at work. So here's to amazing morning people and God's revealing of a new day!

This is my Father's world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker's praise.
This is my Father's world:
he shines in all that's fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world.
O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Car Conversations :-)

I love the people I work with! My favorite part of the day is when I am running my morning shift back across to their cars at 2pm and well a conversation starts! Before we know it, we have been sitting in the middle of a parking lot for about an hour talking about how awesome God is and life. Today's topic was started by a quote I have posted in my car about cherishing the moments God brings you on the ordinary road on that not so crazy amazing day. Noticing the small positive things especially at work on a MONDAY.  Just being able to talk with co-workers and dear friends about Christ makes any day amazing! My car is starting to become my favorite place. So many crazy and deep conversations are held in my Taurus! I am so blessed! This Monday was full of laughter and crazy faces from my dear friends reminding me how cool life is and how not to take it to seriously, have fun! Chats at the break table, talks chic flicks with guys, and well getting to talk to an American Idol Contestant and what all god is doing in his life and those around him. So all together, it was a great start to the week ahead!

The quote I have in my car:
"My Father, help me to expect you on the ordinary road. I do not ask for sensational happenings. Commune with me through ordinary work and duty. Be my companion when I take the common journey. Let the humble life be transfigured by your presence."

God works in crazy ways :-) Funny what he uses.

Today's quote is from my Devotion:

"Left alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of heaven! If his followers spent more time alone with him, we would have spiritual giants again. "

And as I read this the song Never alone by Barlow Girl played on the radio:
"Never Alone"

I waited for you today
But you didn't show
No no no
I needed You today
So where did You go?
You told me to call
Said You'd be there
And though I haven't seen You
Are You still there?

I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone

And though I cannot see You
And I can't explain why
Such a deep, deep reassurance
You've placed in my life

We cannot separate
'Cause You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen

We cannot separate
You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Civil Wars, my mac, coffee, and Sunday afternoon pondering life

So now, I am a blogger. Life is too fun to go it alone and God shows me so much that sometimes I feel I need to share. So this blog will consist of crazy Bet thoughts, moments, and well ideas. So bear with me as it all explodes onto these pages.

Life, it's a crazy thing. I always picture it as a roller coaster going over many hills at lightning speed and every once in a while....every once in a while it slows enough for you to take in the view and look back on the hill you just conquered.

Looking back:

I am blessed to be on a journey lead by a most Awesome Creator and Savior.  My life hasn't been bad. I have just been through some deep molding as I like to call it.

A lil about my life, I am 21 and it's a good year. Growing up with four amazing brothers brought much laughter and bruises, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Saying goodbye as we grew up and all going in different directions was the eye opener that we aren't in Never Never land. What do they say? "Time flies when you are having fun" More like "watch it go as you grow, hold onto your trousers!!" Life changes, and it's quite the transition. It is exciting though! God has brought me through many a valley and many a hill top, but I've learned to really, truly, passionately cherish the valley experiences. Experiences where your heart is truly aching from brokenness and your mind wandering hopelessly in confusion. The valley experiences are precious moments wrapped in God's deep grasp of love and grace.
God has called me to a journey harder than I thought and I love it. Graduated in 2008, and there began my journey. I chose not to go to college because I had no calling to. I chose the path less traveled. Which brought many questioning from people, "Why?". It was so hard to answer that question with people looking at you when you said, "I am not going to college" and the look was purely "are you insane? what are you going to do. Don't you need a degree?". Well, the answer to that question became easier and easier to answer over time. "No, I am right where God wants me and I am excited to see what he has in store.
It's been a crazy adventure so far. Pursued photography with the hopes of jumping right into starting a side business one day and getting married at the age of 19/20.  That was MY plan. Funny how MY plans changed and I am glad they did. God brought many experiences along the path which this Bethany would never ever have chosen for herself. My battle with fear had to be overthrown. I wasn't fond of change, now my heart longs for it. The fear was conquered at the age of 18. God introduced me to a coffee shop which took me out of my comfort zone. I met so many people from all over the world just in a small coffee shop. God revealed the dream he placed within me to open up a coffee shop of my own one day as a ministry. It's such a chill environment to get to know people and so many ways God can use it as a tool. I love coffee too ;-)
Along my journey was a moment I will never forget. One step on a plane changed my whole view on life and awakened a passion in my heart for foreign missions. It was my first trip out of the country to a place I call home, Guatemala. God showed me how ones life and smile can say so much where language barriers prevent words. Language barriers have nothing on God. I witnessed life lived different than here in America. WHAT???!! Yep people there is a world outside of America and your own world. We get so wrapped up in our own lives that we pass by people who are in need of food, clothing, shelter, and most times just a smile. I spent two weeks in Guatemala, January 2011. I camped(which I totally have never camped before, "roughening it") one week in the Mayan Jungle. There I saw a life so full of nothing materially but full of so much more! They lived on very little, no shoes, cribs, computers, ibprofen, video games, beds, and that's just how they live. I look around and ask myself, "how could we survive like that?" They're social activities are, coming together as a community or as families, playing soccer, and working together. Watches don't exist there. It's not go go go. I feel as though that they actually cherish more moments and share more stories than we could ever imagine! We miss out on so many moments due to technology and the constant go go go mentality. When's the last time you actually sat down and enjoyed a meal as a family and shared stories about life. Or more like when is the last time you actually stopped, looked around you, and actually thanked God for another day to be alive. We take so much for granted. Clean toilets, clean water, shoes, our own Bible(s), and we don't even recognize it as a blessing most of the time. Down in Guatemala, God showed me that there is more to this life than living and breathing. It's called true love. Not the "prince charming" kind of true love but TRUE Love for people. This love is observant, bold, selfless, and ready.

Observant: Noticing people and their emotions, needs, and that they are a human being just like you
Bold: Overcoming the embarrassment of what other's think or your reputation
Selfless: Stopping what your are doing or your life to be in the moment of another's
Ready: Ready at all times for God to use you

I felt for the first time in Guatemala, that people actually care and truly love and appreciate people. God brought many new special people into my life. I made lasting relationships down there and I saw God's hands at work in their lives. I went back this year and was introduced to a little girl named Catalina who showed me what pure joy looks like. I went through a hard year last year and God knew that I needed this girl in my life. I needed to feel joy again and she brought it back to my heart. I feel like the Guatemalans give us more than we take down to them, and none of that is material.

God conquered fear and blindness on that adventure. Guatemala has such a huge place in my heart and such an impact on my life.

Ok, now that I have babbled on. God's next mission field after the 2 years at the coffee shop he introduced me to Chick-fil-a, my new mission field. It was my last job choice, but God wanted me there and now I know why. He has brought so many people into my life that I am so incredibly blessed to have met! Many of them a puzzle piece in this crazy puzzle called my life. I could tell you so many stories about life at Chick-fil-a but we will wait for those ;-) I'm gonna write a book on 101 things  not to do through a drive thru. Hahahaha! The job is a piece itself because I am gaining experience in the manager field as to better prepare me for the coffee shop one day. ;-) Crazy how God works!

It's exciting to see how God is building this puzzle. Every piece has a purpose. Every experience in my life, the ups, downs, and dizzy loopty loops have brought me to where I am now and who He wants me to be.

Looking ahead:

My dreams and desires of marriage at the age of 19/20, well it's not God's timing, and I am excited about that. I am not lonely or alone. I have my Creator and Savior whom I am falling deeper and deeper in love with each day and if it's singlehood for me, I am honored. My purpose here on earth is to glorify God and whatever His will is, let it be done. I want to be that willing vessel. If he chooses to put together a team, than I am also honored. Either way I am happy and enjoying this journey He has for me.

Hebrews 12:1

As we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily beset us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

This verse has been becoming more evident in my life as I run. I have learned recently that as we run don't forget to slow down and enjoy it. God has lots to show us along the path are we willing to let Him show us :-)

So this has been just thoughts about life and what God has been doing in my life.