Archive for the ‘Seasons, Time, and the Future’ Category

Singleness

April 9, 2008

I closed the book and sighed. I didn’t want to be single forever. And I didn’t want to prepare for it! My dreams were somewhere over the rainbow, just waiting to happen. They contained a prince, a wedding, and a happily ever after. Sounds like the perfect Disney movie, no? The author, of course, was dead on. Singleness truly is a gift. But I didn’t want to admit it! I felt much more comfortable reading books that told girls to prepare for marriage, to save their hearts for their future husbands. But acknowledging that I may not have that happily ever after? No. That was not for me.

 I picked that book up again a few months later, still with an unwilling heart. I didn’t finish it that time either. I didn’t want to admit that singleness for the rest of my life could be a good thing. After all, why would I want to live alone with no husband to love me? Why would I want to have an empty house with not children running about? The idea seemed better for others who were more content and had their minds anywhere but marriage.

A year later, I was babysitting and while the kids were occupied with other things, I decided to read. And as I read a completely different book on a completely different subject, it hit me: If I was single for the rest of my life, it would be o.k. I would have things to do. I thought about the single women I knew and realized that they fill their time with serving, ministry, spending time with younger girls, hanging out with their families, and so many other spectacular things. It just clicked. It wouldn’t be so bad after all.

I firmly believe that we are not married from birth for a reason. We need time to, most importantly, grow in the Lord, as well as to learn how to care for a home, husband, and family. It takes time to change habits that would run dear ole’ Hubby out the window!  I know I am certainly not ready, spiritually, mentally, physically (I am such a weak young lady! It’s hard to screw in a light bulb sometimes!), and practically. I have so much to learn! And even though we wouldn’t like to admit it, the majority of us young women are not ready to get married. Again and again I am astounded at the wisdom God had when He designed the time of singleness. It is not meant to waste away, wishing and hoping and sitting around doing nothing. It is a time of purpose.

During the time we are single, we have so many opportunities to serve in our families, in our homes in general, in our churches, in our community, and in the world itself. We are not “tied down” by having a family and home to care for (Although every young woman’s circumstance and family may be different, so this may not always be the case.) Therefore, we may have much more time to commit to various forms of ministry and learning. There is much we cannot do when we have children that we can do now. For instance, I want to go on a few short-term mission trips before I have kids, Lord willing. I know it’d be an amazing time of growth and serving. It’d be far more difficult to do when I have little pipsqueaks running around my messy house (And I say that affectionately!)

While this knowledge may not always be a comfort when we feel lonely, at least we can know that this time was created by God and for a purpose. We must remember that God is good, He is in control, He is sovereign, and He knows. He is working all things together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28).

Only those lonely rainy–or not so rainy–nights, I like to read books or articles that talk about our life in Christ– growing and glorifying Him. Some great examples are Knowing God by J.I. Packer, Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. I also prefer to listen to music that glorifies Him. Songs like these can be found through Sovereign Grace Music (My favorite CD is Songs for the Cross Centered Life). Sometimes, calling up a friend just to talk or busying one’s self with family can help us to focus more on Christ and growing in Him.

{{Discussion}}

  • What do you to focus more on Christ in times of loneliness?
  • What “comforts” you?
  • What are you spending your single years doing? What are your plans and desires to fulfill, Lord willing, before marriage?
  • Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share with us on the subject?

 Love,

Bethany

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Why I haven’t been writing

March 18, 2008

I’m so sorry to my 23 readers that I have nothing to share. I recently left the church I spent my entire life at. All of my best friends, including Natasha, are still there. I, however, am not. It was a nasty ending which isn’t over yet. I haven’t had the heart nor inspiration to write anything yet. I will. But for now, I need to get through this trial. I’ll update and write when I can and I’m planning on doing some book reviews on Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?by Carolyn McCulley.

If you’d like to hear me write about anything, comment here and I’ll try and do so! I would love to hear any feedback or ideas. I’d appreciate it greatly, as I still enjoy to write. Tell me what you’d like to see more of–or less of–and I’ll see what I can do.

~~Bethany

New Mercies

January 1, 2008

Last night as I awaited the dropping of the ball in New York City, a verse came to mind about the new days ahead:

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

His mercies are new every morning. As we begin this new year, let us begin it with the reminder that His mercies, His love–they never come to an end. they are new every morning.

I don’t know what the Lord will do this year. But waking up today is, in a way, like taking  a leap of faith. It’s putting our trust in Him and saying, “OK, Lord. I don’t know what you’re going to do. But I’m gonna trust that you’ll take care of me and glory will be brought to You. That’s all that matters.” Let us take comfort and hope in this truth and begin His new year with thankfulness.

~~Bethany

This Year

December 28, 2007

This year has been the most thrilling, most changing, most incredible year of my short life.

This year, God changed my perspectives on relationships, modesty, femininity, family, home, work, college, careers, friendship, love, writing, and everything in between. Has it been a near 365 days?  I can hardly believe it.

This year, God taught me that before “going out into the world”, I must first learn to love my family. He is continually teaching me how to do so.

This year, I was challenged by Alex and Brett Harris to do hard things for the glory and magnification of God.

This year, I traveled to Washington, D.C. and Disneyland with my class and learned what it is to be a young woman of integrity.

This year, my eyes were opened to my need for God’s Word. I am not consistent in being in it, but that is something I am working toward.

This year, I developed a love for photography and am learning to use it for God’s glory.

This year, I realized how horrid a friend, sister, and daughter I have been.

This year, Tashi and I began this blog together. It has been through ups and downs and it is so exciting to watch what God does.

This year, I began a study on humility with my sisters-in-Christ. It was so convicting.

This year, I learned what it is to be both dependant and independent at the same time in different ways.

This year, I saw how much time I have wasted.

This year, I took 30 days away from the computer– the oddest 30 days of my life.

This year, God gave me the opportunity to hold a tea for the girls in my youth group. It was quite the learning experience!

This year, God has been teaching me about how faithful He is. I should trust Him more.

This year, God graciously allowed me to go to winter camp where I learned the meaning of the phrase keep on keeping on.

This year, God reminded me to never forget the Gospel.

This year, God showed me how His nature is shown through nature.

This year, God convicted me in the realm of my thoughts. I have definitely not conquered this struggle but I trust that I can through His strength.

This year, God challenged me with the hardest things I have ever faced.

This year, I learned the importance of Scripture memorization.

I used the word “I” a lot. It’s not all about me. Honestly. I have not accomplished a single thing on the list of resolutions i made in January, nor the list of hard things I made a few months ago. I have not memorized much Scripture. I am not in the Word on a consistent basis. My thoughts are not continually taken captive. I am still not a good friend, sister, or daughter. I am not the person I would like to be, and overall, I am still not like Him.

But then again, who really is? I await the day when I will be like Him in Heaven. I trust that He will give me all that He knows I need. I am still stepping heavenward, still learning, and still growing. This year has been hard. Really hard. But He is still good.

Love,
Bethany

New Years Post

December 28, 2007

I’d like to encourage you to head on over to Mrs. Fuente’s blog and read her post on having a New Year’s vision. It definitely made me think! Here are some of my visions/resolutions for the new year:

Spiritual Life–trusting in His faithfulness

Family Life–having a loving  heart

Home Life–having a servant’s heart

Church Life–making the most of every moment for His glory

Physical Life–caring for my health so that I may bring more glory to Him

Social Life–being a better friend

Financial Life–discerning how to spend and save the little money God blesses me with (I’d like to end up purchasing an SLR high quality camera and am saving for a car)

Mental Life–taking every thought captive and not dreaming too far ahead

School–catching up, getting ahead, and doing all I can for Him

Dream–improve my photographs, practice hospitality from the comforts of my own room and resources

Weaknesses–evangelism, compassion, speech

Blog— write posts that would encourage, inspire, and edify those who read this blog.

My motto for the coming year is Do Hard Things. I know it’s one we use quite a bit around here in our little bakery, but it is so meaningful and applicable for every aspect in life. I’m quite behind school-work wise. It’s so disappointing to have lots of work hanging over my head when it could have been so easily prevented. Someone said it best: No compromises, no regrets. Unfortunately, I have both accomplished. Yet God is gracious and through His abundant strength I’m certain that I can become more like Him.

Keep on keeping on, my dear readers.

~~Bethany

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2007

Hello! Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you all get to spend some time and make precious memories with your family this year.

This year we were going to have my mom’s side fo the family come for a visit. But last night my dad and sister got the flu. We’re not positive aboout tomorrow’s celebrations (we were to all go over to my aunt’s house as always) or tonight’s annual Christmas light looking. It’s a little frustrating, but the knowledge that God will never do anything that will nto glorify Him is comforting. I know that He is in control of everything and wise and good.

Natasha is visiting family this Christmas, so she won’t be back for a few days. However, you may see me around. Merry Christmas!

 Love,

Bethany

It Is Well With My Soul part 1

December 20, 2007

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford

If you can read this, then you’re old enough to know that in life, we face trial upon trial. From small (but actually sort of big) trials such as controlling one’s temper to facing the loss of a loved one (literally or figuratively), trials are inevitable. Speaking from both experience and observation, it is so easy to become bitter and angry towards not only those around us, but towards God too. Whether, you’re currently facing a trial or not, let’s talk about how to glorify and honor God through the choices we make in our situations.

First, always look to God. Look to him to depend on, to trust in, to hope in. He alone is where we will find our joy. He is never-ending, never-failing, never-forsaking. From before the beginning, He has been there. He will continue to be there for all of eternity and longer. When we face trials, it’s so easy to never look past the fog in our eyes.

Remember who He is. This is difficult when we feel like pitying ourselves and become self-centered. James 1 tells us to “count it all joy… whenever you are faced with trials of many kinds.” This is so difficult to do, but through God who is powerful and full of strength, we can count it as joy.

‘ Till next time,

Bethany

100 Thoughts on Staying At Home

December 13, 2007

As you know, last night Natasha and I watche Return of the Daughters. It would be the most though provoking movie I’ve ever seen and worth watching. Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin produced and directed it I think. I’m not sure, but i know they had a huge hand in it.  Staying home isn’t for everyone. But I think it should be at least considered to be considered. :)

 I wrote this because it’s the only way I can logically work out my thoughts on college/career/ministry vs. sahd. For the reader’s sanity, I got rid of my horrid typos. Forgive the lack of complete thoughts, punctuation, etc. I wrote this as I thought. Pretty much word for word. I did come to a conclusion for now. God may change it, but what I came to is something I think I could truly serve the Lord with. I went back and forth on this. I hope it’s a little profitable to you, as it shows the inner battle some of us do face when thinking about these types of things. Please pray that no matter what I do, I’d do it for His glory and trust Him to guide me and lead me.  Perhaps my logic is wrong. Perhaps I’m wrong. I trust that if I am, God will show me the truth. I’m gfrateful that He knows even when I don’t. I am so human it’s not even funny. Feel free to laugh at me or think I’m wrong. I do it all the time! Just be nice.

100 Thoughts On Staying at Home

1.       I don’t want a career during marriage…

2.       If so, why during single years?

3.       My dad doesn’t have a ministry

4.       I’d go insane living my family. We just don’t get along

5.       I could start my own ministry my sisters could be involved in when they’re older under the wisdom and direction of my parents

6.       I want to go to college

7.       Why do I want to go to college?

8.       College is expected of me

9.       I’d get to hear a sermon and go to a worship service 3 to 4 times a week, maybe more if I was involved with the youth group

10.   I’d still live near my family and consult my parents if needed

11.   I don’t even know what I want to do if anything at all

12.   I suppose there are some things my mom needs help with

13.   If I want to run my home efficiently some day, how will I learn how to do it?

14.   I could learn here, creating it into some what of a home I’d like to have

15.   I don’t have to not get along with my family. It’s called love. Remember 1 Corinthians 13?

16.   Yes but… I dunno.

17.   I don’t have enough resources to learn how to be a sahd

18.   I guess I do

19.   I could always take classes and things

20.   I do want to make money

21.   What would I spend it on besides gas money and personal money? What would I be saving for?

22.   I don’t even know if I’ll get married. What could I possibly do?

23.   I don’t want to live with my family for the rest of my life

24.   The word “career” sounds so snobby. I don’t wanna wear business suits and go to meeting. I don’t actually desire a career.

25.   I would like to be like those girls on Return of the Daughters but my family wouldn’t support it.

26.   They’d say I could do so much more

27.   I love the environment of Masters. I don’t want to miss out.

28.   I love my family because they’re my family. But they’ve never been there for me. But that was my own fault I guess. I don’t feel like I could confide in them like those girls did.

29.   If I did get a job, what would I do?

30.   Teach?

31.   Teach what?

32.   It’s not like there’s a business I could start. Really, I have no mad skills.

33.   I could be a party planner or something. Or interior decorator. Both of those things are somewhat simple to accomplish

34.   But I don’t want to spend the rest of my life having a career. What and empty life!

35.   I could do what Miss Mary does. She lives with elderly Christian ladies and helps them out. She learns lots from them. But she has a job too. She works for mercury insurance.

36.   I don’t know.

37.   I don’t want to me a missionary.

38.   I don’t think foreign mission work is suited to me. I’m not bold or brave or flexible. I don’t do well under stress either.

39.   I just want to get married and have kids.

40.   If only I could play the piano or something. I could teach piano or become the next August Rush. J

41.   What are my dreams?

42.   I should have a life dream bigger than marriage

43.   College isn’t evil, especially master’s

44.   If I got married, I’d dunno the career thing and take care of my home. If I had kids I’d take care of them too.

45.   Am I realistic or silly?

46.   Why do I want to serve in a ministry?

47.   If I went to masters, it’s still not perfect. Some things I could pick out and remember that they’re not biblical, but other things I’d need to ask my parents. Would they be readily available?

48.   We’re not poor. I could afford college with a job

49.   I don’t want a boring job like working in an office all day.

50.   I don’t have a vivacious love for blood, so being a nurse wouldn’t work.

51.   I guess I think marriage is the chief end of all things

52.   There’s no such thing as fairytales

53.   If I really wanted to get married at like 19 then I’d have to marry someone several years older than me. I dunno how realistic that is.

54.   I don’t have much talent.

55.   What in the world could I do, sahd or college girl?

56.   I don’t like the way things are run at my house

57.   Problems are put aside not handled

58.   I could write text books- hah!

59.   It’s not like I wanna be a CEO or something.

60.   When I say ministry, what do I mean?

61.   I do like photography.

62.   I could be a wedding photographer. Well paying, enjoyable, creative, and requires no degree, although it’d be nice to get a BA at COC or something. It’d look a little better on my resume.

63.   I could be a magazine photographer.

64.   I love photography. There are many options.

65.   I could be any kind of photographer. Nature, magazine, wedding, baby, family, portrait, wow. Possibilities are endless.

66.   I do have somewhat a skill for photography, but that’s something that is developed.

67.   I could even take photography classes at COC.

68.   This has potential.

69.   It would be a nice balance between staying at home and having a job/career/ministry.

70.   I know what looks good, if I do say so myself.

71.   With a part time job I could afford college classes and camera equipment.

72.   I wonder…

73.   Do I have enough skill?

74.   I’m not perfect

75.   No one is

76.   I do love photography

77.   I could still learn how to care for a home through the tutelage of my mom and other women in my church

78.   I wish I knew where I would be in three years

79.   Photography is a skill I can develop here and now

80.   It’s not necessary to have a degree or go to college

81.   It would allow me to be creative with something I love

82.   It’s an ambition that is realistic, I think.

83.   I wonder how I would get photography jobs?

84.   I could always offer to people

85.   Through word of mouth, word of type, and the WWW, plus ads and things, anything is really accomplishable in this realm

86.   Hm

87.   The time is majorly flexible

88.   It’s not something difficult to learn about

89.   As long as I had a camera and transportation, it’s doable.

90.   I do love weddings and other events

91.   Would anyone hire me?

92.   Don’t rely on what ifs. Your god is big enough to do anything.

93.   How could I develop skills now?

94.   Take all the opportunities you have to take pictures.

95.   You have a bike right? Ride down to the light house, to the mall. It’s good exercise and healthy and enjoyable and easy

96.   It would be flexible with ministry opportunities

97.   It would be a ministry to people.

98.   I could tell them what other photographers pay and allow clients to choose how much they’d like to pay me. I’d be happy with 5 bucks. That could by me a roll or two of film!

99.   I could do my own editing- I have some skills in that area, if I do say so myself. However, there is ALWAYS much to be learned and improved

100.                        To God be the glory forever and ever, amen.

Far Away: The Unfolding of a Dream

July 12, 2007

Ah, welcome back to our little bakery. So, you have met your potential prince and he is amazing- every thing you’ve always dreamed of. But how do you know if he is “the One”?

Ask God! Pray and search the Scriptures. You will become accustomed to His voice and when you “hear” Him telling you, it will be clearer than anythign you’ve ever heard in your life.

Ok, fast forward a bit. You know he is your Prince and you’ve entered an exciting and beautiful and even confusing world of romance, planning, and praying. One bit og advice: keep on keeping on!

Don’t change anything you’ve been doing, but rather continue following Christ. Dig deeper into His Word than you ever have before and pray continually. Read books on relationships (I believe we have some recommendations in the resource section, if not, they will be up soon!) from solid Christian authors and figure out what God has to say through the reading, teaching, and preaching of His Word. Pursue Christ and His desires, not your own.

Things won’t always be perfect with you and your Earthly Prince. As much as I would like each girl have her fairytale be lovely all of the time, it won’t be. So instead, keep on keeping on. Work hard to glorify God with your relationship. Honor Him with your purity, your speech, your actions, and your love. And one last thing to conclude our series: Never forget what Christ did for you on that cross. Remembering that will change the way you live and love.

In Christ,

Bethany

Seasons, Summer, and Beyond.

June 7, 2007

Today I ended my time at my current school, and won’t be attending the school that my friends will be attending in the fall, most likely anyway. It makes me sad to see it all vanish in an instant, but I know one thing for sure…

 That God has something greater for me in store. I may not be sure of the school I’ll attend, the classes I’ll take, or the friends I’ll have. But i know that somehow, some way, God will be glorified. His plans for me at my school right now have been fufilled, and something else is awaiting me this summer. No, it is not about  myself. It can’t be, for Scripture says that you cannot please God and man. It has to be all about the Lord. So, whiel I have many fun plans for the summer, here are a few ways I’m going to make the summer about Him:

  • Memorize one verse a week, minimum. When I was a little girl, I did AWANA for the games, my friends, and the candy. I rarely memorized verses, let alone htink about their meaning. I’m hoping to learn at least one verse every week and it’s meaning this summer. When thoughts that don’t honor God, I can turn my mind to these verses.
  • Be in the Word every day. As you may have heard me say more than once, being in God’s Word daily is so important in our walk with Him. I’ll admit, I have not been diligent in doing so this past year. But this summer is all about change for me, making it about Him, not me. Last summer I developed some really bad habits which I did learn from, but now I want to put what I learned into practice, including this important act.
  • Pray without ceasing! We need to be constantly praying. We cannot live without prayer for a number of reasons, which for time and topci’s sake I shall not go through right now. But God did command it in 1 Thessalonians, I believe! So, nto to be taken to the leaglist level but rather the living level, we need to be in prayer constantly. It guards our hearts and minds, “connects” us to God, and so much more!
  • Serve. This summer, I will be amply supplied with free time… too much of it! So I want to spend as much of my free time as I can (well, ideally…) serving others. There are so many ways I can do this, but if you have any, I’d love to hear! Jesus served others, so I should be doing the same. It’s not about me.

Well, ’tis all for tonight in our little bakery. Come again soon!

Bethany