Friday, December 31, 2010

2010... So on and so on

So as I sit here on this last day of 2010 with my glass of diet 7-UP watching Diego with Abigail I can't help but feel like I am some kind of strange dream. Like when am I going to wake up from this and realize that none of this really happened. But then I remember that, that February day WAS in fact real (when I gave my life to Christ) and this is in fact my life. I guess I say that because I remember where I was five years ago, even one year ago and it just BLOWS me away what God has done in my life.

New Years Eve 2005 I was pregnant, bar hopping because I didn't want to sit in a motel room by myself. I rang in the new year probably angry and that's how I stayed for the next five years. I lived in a haze. I thought getting saved was the end all be all. God had fixed everything in my salvation moment and I didn't need to do anymore work, I was golden... uh huh yeah. Fast forward to New Years Eve 2009. 2009 was a bad year in every respect of the word bad. I was miserable. In a pit that I for some reason on the surface didn't realize I was in. I was making horrible choices. As a mom I was not who I wanted to be or who God intended for me to be. I was looking for love in none of the places the I needed to be looking for love. I was drifting further and further from the heart of God and sinking further and further into sin. I couldn't see it. Everything around me SUCKED, big time. Although I would tell you that I loved God and that I had hope I don't know if I really believed it. I don't know if I believed anything. I had a foundational experience that planted huge seeds of freedom in my heart in October of 2009 but I wasn't quite ready to say that I was done living the way I, in my flesh wanted to live. I had grown comfortable in my pit and as a victim and didn't want to feel any pain. I knew healing would be hard and I wasn't ready for that yet. I had NO IDEA what God had around the corner for me. 2010 started and I was just stuck. That's the best way to describe it. I knew the end was coming but I didn't know how to climb out of my pit. While I knew that God wanted more for me, I could not on my own break the cycle of sin I was in. I was driving home from work late one night just sobbing because I didn't want to "do it" anymore. I was just tired, done, weary and so tired of fighting God. He told me to e-mail a dear friend of mine and tell her I wanted to be free. I did that and that e-mail set in motion 2010. We started a freedom bible study that UNLEASHED the power of God in my life. That was just the beginning. He has done so much this year. In my heart, in my mind, in my finances, in my parenting. Not to say that I am already where I want to be but I am no where near where I was this time last year. I am FREE. Free from the power of bad decisions and poor choices. FREE from self destruction and addiction. FREE from running from God. He was there, with His arms wide open waiting for me to come home to Him. 2010 was a hard year. I cried a lot of tears. Lost a very dear friend. Processed a lot of anger. But I moved on from a lot of things too. I forgave some things I thought I would never forgive. I let go of some things I thought I would hold on to forever. I laid down some wounds that I thought would never heal. 2010 was victorious. God was faithful, wonderful and gracious. He spoke so many sweet words to this hurting heart. When I didn't think I could keep going He kept me going. Leaving 2010 behind brings peace because I know it was for God's glory. I look forward to what 2011 holds. God's working an eternal plan for my life and it excites me to see what He is doing.

"Leave the broken, irreversible past in God's hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him." Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What if we...

What if we took the steps to be the change that we want to see in our community. What if, instead of just talking about it, or writing notes about it, making status updates about it we actually went out into the community and made change.

What if instead of talking about how bad pornography is, we went and sat out in front of our local adult book store and prayed for the men and women that frequent those places.

What if instead of talking about how much homelessness breaks out hearts, we did something about it and fed them, clothed them, prayed with them, loved them.

What if instead of talking about why someone may have gotten into stripping or prostitution we take Jesus and bibles to the streets and love them like He would.

What if instead of condemning someone else for their life choices we open up our arms and our church doors to show them the love of Christ.

What if we instead of continuing the debate between which is better home school or public school we agree that each parent is responsible to God and their own family first.

What if we instead of continuing to be a nation that values animal life over human life, stood up for voiceless babies and said NO MORE, and really did something about it.

What if we stood up for marriage and family and having values that teach our kids right from wrong. Instead of an anything goes mentality.

What if we stopped looking past the drug addict on the street as someone worthless and unfixable and looked at him or her the way Jesus would, with eyes of love. And realize that each one of us could have been there.

What if we stopped being so lackadaisical in our faith and really lived the way Jesus wants us to live, REALLY!!

What if we gave more and took less.

What if we gave up our TV, internet, Starbucks, movies, pedicures, shopping trips, eating out, luxuries (NOT at all saying all these things need to go, just naming a few things I could certainly do without so I could give more :) )

What if we we spoke the truth in love but lived lives of grace, pure, life altering grace.

What if we were more like Jesus.

What if we were radical, Jesus freaks, BOLD.......

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Going home

I am going home this week. Not home in the sense of where I grew up, or where I currently live. Home in the sense of where I was born, born again that is. It's been 4 years, 7 months, 2 days since I was born into the body of Christ. 4 years, 7 months and 2 days since I died to my flesh and rose again forgiven, redeemed and a new creation. I call it home because it's the beginning, it's the place I was first made alive. It's the place that my life started over. It's the place the God breathed His life giving breath into my body and called me His child and gave me life anew.
I had made my way to Florida by way of Kansas by way of Colorado. The thing is God always knew. God always knew I would be there. He always knew the events would take place that would lead me to where I was when I accepted Him. He had His hand on me even before I knew Him. When I found out I was pregnant in December of 2005 I knew my life was about to change. It was like God Himself said to me "Bethany, I am making a way for you" The circumstances surrounding my pregnancy were not the greatest and I was in no condition to be bringing a baby into this world but I knew, I knew that this baby way going to be the change that I needed. I stayed in the situation I was in until February of 2006 until I could no longer take it. That is when God laid into motion the plan the would up heave EVERYTHING. I had gone to an appointment at a crisis pregnancy center to get set up for parenting classes so I could have some support. My daughters father was not at all wanting to be supportive, even though we were living together. I knew I needed to leave him but I had no money, no where to go and no support. I unloaded everything onto the girl who did my intake. Looking back now, she probably had no idea what to do with me. I literally talked non stop for 45 minutes about how miserable I was and how I just wanted to make a better way for my child. I talked about how I wanted to start going to church, how I wanted to be a healthy mom, how I just wanted to be more for my baby than I could currently be. As I sit here writing this I can see how God was preparing my heart for what He was about to do. Bless her heart, the intake counselor was so sweet. She sat there and listened to me, with all grace that God gave her that day, she let me cry, let me talk and let me just pour my heart out. She gave me some phone numbers for some different church's in the area and when I told her that I needed to leave my daughters father and had no where to go she gave me a number for a house called His Caring Place. Little did I know how my life was about to change. She said she didn't know what the age cut off might be (I was 24) but that if it came down to it to call them and see if they could help me. I don't remember what I was feeling as I drove back to the motel but I imagine I was feeling pretty hopeful, that all changed when I walked through the door. I knew he had been drinking before I even walked in the door. It was just something I could sense. I hated the drinking, but it was something he did everyday and I was powerless to stop him from doing it. It was the middle of the afternoon, he hadn't worked that day and I knew that it was going to be a long night if he was already drunk. If I was lucky he would pass out early was my thought. I don't think I had been in the door for five minutes when we started fighting. It was a big one and I was mad. He was being mean, and I was angry. I grabbed his beer and threw it at him. He came at me and I freaked out. Not my finest moment I realize that now but where I was then it was all I could do. It was then that I knew that I HAD to leave. It was now or never. I grabbed my purse and phone and ran out the door. I got in my van and called the number that the girl from the pregnancy center had given me. Crying I told them my situation. Turns out I had called one of the houses and needed to talk to the director. I called another number, spoke with Pam, who would later become so dear to my heart and told her "I am pregnant, I have nowhere to go, I need a place to stay, can you help me" She told me they weren't a shelter so they couldn't help me that night but that she could meet with me the next day. I left, drove out of the motel parking lot, with him running behind me screaming and left. I didn't know where I was going to spend the night but I knew I wasn't going back. I had tried to leave him before but had always gone back. This time I knew it for good. I drove around that night trying to think of where I was going to stay. I didn't want to go to a shelter. Shelters in South Florida are scary and I really didn't want to go there. I wound up staying with a friend of a friend that only spoke Spanish and had, what seemed like 25 cats living in her apartment. The next morning I woke up, went back to the motel to tell Jeffrey what my plan was, only to find the remnants of his party from the night before. I was broken hearted. I remember feeling so crushed. He slayed my heart. I knew he had, had another girl in the room, I knew he had smoked crack all night. It crushed me. I told him we needed some time apart. That I needed to do this for me and our baby and that I was leaving. I drove around all morning until my meeting with Pam. I went to the 4kids office at 12pm, walked in her office, sat down and begged her to let me in the house. I was older than they normally allow, had been living on my own which they normally don't get and wasn't a teenager which is typically what they see. But I wanted a better life for my child and I told her that. I told her I didn't care what the rules were that I would do WHATEVER they asked me to do. The house was part of the Calvary Chapel down in Ft. Lauderdale so I knew I would be required to go to church and I didn't care. I said I would do ANYTHING. Pam and I wound up talking for FOUR HOURS, FOUR HOURS. She was so gracious with me. Here was my desperate self. Pregnant and lonely with no one who really cared. I just needed someone to listen, someone to tell me that there was hope. I needed someone to look me in the face and tell me that there was something bigger than me in the midst and that I wasn't alone anymore. I went and checked out the house and the decision was made that I would go back to the motel, get my stuff and move in that night. Going back to the motel meant I would have to see Jeffrey again. I didn't really want to do that, well I did but I didn't. I was heartbroken that this was where we had wound up but I was ready to make some changes. I needed things to be different and he just didn't care. I had a check from his boss that I was going to use to pay his rent at the motel. I went back, started packing my stuff, and of course we started fighting. He wanted the money. I knew what he was going to do with it and with everything in me I was not going to let him smoke that money in a pipe. Now we had fought before, and they had gotten physical but when he came at me that last night and hit me with his fists I was stunned. Stunned that the man I had loved for three years could use the hands that loved me to hit me. Even though he had hit me with other things before it was different when it was his hands. I left with my stuff, stunned, angry that this was where it had gone, unsure of where things were going and anxious for the future. I walked into the house with all my baggage, both literal and metaphorical, dropped down on the couch and breathed a heavy sigh. I was home, I just didn't know it. The next week was a new one. I was not accustomed to having a routine, to being told what to do, to having chores and to having an authority figure. I had been on my own for six years. But I did it and slowly but surely came around. I went to the doctor that week and that's when I found out I was having a girl... JOY!!!!! When I called Jeffrey he was not thrilled and what he said I will not post. It broke my heart, but I should have known that he would not share my joy. Saturday February 11, 2006 was the night it all changed. The night that this blog is about. I don't remember anything about the day leading up to church, but I do remember what I was wearing. How funny is that!! We got there late so we sat in the back of the sanctuary. This was only the second service I had been to at Calvary. All week I had been poured into, love and grace and had started asking questions but still knew nothing about salvation and didn't really understand the whole concept. But I was open. I never doubted that God existed, I just doubted He was sovereign and doubted His goodness despite tragedy. Pastor Bob was preaching out of Ruth. Really I don't remember much of what the message was about other than it was about redemption. The was the first time I remember hearing that word. It sounded so sweet, redemption. I wanted that. I wanted to be redeemed. I wanted to be made new. As Pastor Bob started to give the alter call that is when I started to get antsy. He started talking about giving your life to Christ, how Jesus is just there, knocking on the door to your heart, waiting for you to open it. He kept talking about this word redemption and forgiveness, and new life. Finally it was like the damn broke open, the fire was lit, I couldn't stay in my seat. I did not walk to the alter I RAN. I had no idea that I was giving my my life to Christ I just knew I NEEDED to be at that alter. That was it, I was born again. I was a new creation. I had a new life within my being and I was a new life. I gave Him my life that night and He gave me forgiveness, new life and freedom. The breath of life, I was born again.
That is why it feels like I am going home. Back to where I was born. Back to the people who witnessed my birth. Who saw the life in me, who saw God at work. Who saw love being born in my heart. This place, this house holds such a dear place in my heart. The people hold such a dear place in my heart. They are a part of something, a part of me that is big. God is moving mightily in this ministry and is about to do something big. I would ask all of you to pray. Pray for the girls that live there now. Pray that their hearts would be opened to what God wants to do in them. Pray that they would just know without a doubt that God loves them and has a plan for their lives. Oh my heart is just full right now. So full of what God is doing and is getting ready to do. I am expectant of how this event is going to change to ministry and change my heart. I feel so honored to be a part of it and amazed that God saw a pregnant, homeless, junkie and also saw who I am today. One can never doubt the goodness or providence of God....... really.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who I want to be

I have been thinking a lot lately about the word bold and what it means. I have been thinking a lot about what it would mean in my life to be bold and how it would change things if I were, more often than not. Now I am not shy by any means. I have a big mouth and have been known to talk A LOT. But I would not refer to my self as bold. I guess I should define what I mean by bold. Since I became I Christian I have always wanted to be the girl who would witness to people anywhere, at the store, post office, restaurant. To be so filled with the Holy Spirit that the love of Christ just overwhelms me and I just have to share about Him. Now hear me in this. I do believe there is a way to do this. I don't believe in shoving Jesus down the throats of people but I also believe that we come into contact with people everyday that are hurting that so need to hear about His love and grace and if we would just speak up a little they may, through us get that message. It just takes a little boldness. It took boldness for a nurse at a rehab to share Jesus with me and pray with me even when she probably wasn't supposed to. It was boldness that led a houseful of women to share the love of Christ with me even when I made it abundantly clear I was not about to pray to their God. It was boldness that led a women to tell me to put my big girl panties on and get over it, that put the spark in me to finally want to break free. It was boldness that led them to make those choices, to share those things with me and because of their boldness I am who I am today. My prayer to God since the beginning of my walk with Him has been Lord make me bold, help me step out of my comfort zone and reach those that need to be reached. That is what I really think this is all about. God is asking me as of late to step out of my comfort zone and I have no idea what that looks like but I know it's going to get messy. Messy in a good, God glorifying way but messy indeed. He's asking me to take risks, be fearless when I see someone who looks like they are having a bad day and let them know that someone cares, even if it's just a smile and a nod. Let me tell you a quick story:

I was at Walmart one afternoon, with my daughter. It had been a miserable trip. She was throwing a FIT, I was trying to get her buckled in the carseat but she was doing the whole body clench and I couldn't get her buckled. I finally got her strapped in enough to where she was safe and contained, shut the door and breathed a sighed of relief and did everything I could not to burst into tears. This woman in an SUV had been watching me the whole time and she started to drive over to me. I was just waiting for her to tell me that I needed to spank my kid, or take her to a shrink or some other rude remark like I had been getting over the last couple of weeks (we were having a few weeks of public fit throwing) Anyways she rolled down her window to speak and I held my breath. Then she said the sweetest words to me, "Do you need a hug" I couldn't believe it. No berating my parenting tactics, no telling me to spank my kid, just asking if I needed a hug. She was so sweet. She said she was waiting for her kids and had been watching us. She said she used to have fights like that with her daughter when she was young. she told me I was doing the right thing and that it was all going to be okay. Turns out two months later I was in a bible study with the Walmart parking lot lady..... PRAISE GOD!!!!

It's things like that. Had she not been bold enough to drive over to me, I probably would have stood there in the parking lot feeling like a failure. It had been a miserable few weeks and everywhere we were that my daughter would throw a fit someone would say something to me that would just make it worse. This woman really was Jesus with skin on when she sat with me. That is the kind of woman I want to me. Jesus with skin on. Bold for Him to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to people, to sit with them, on the hilltops or in the gutter. Jesus was bold, John the baptist was bold, Peter was bold and Paul was bold. I want to be like that, I want to be radical, bold, without limits, without bounds, reaching those that may have never heard about Jesus. So that is my prayer..... to be BOLD, to step out of my comfort zone and reach people for Jesus.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I believe I have finally come up with a name for this blog that will stick. When I started this blog I was planning on homeschooling Abigail so my intention was to keep a log of my journey. After much prayer and consideration I decided not to home school but still wanted to blog. When God so gently commanded that I take an extended facebook break I knew I was going to need an outlet for myself so I thought "hey, why not focus your energies on blogging" I always loved writing and for long have wanted to put my heart and soul back into it. I have gone through like three or four different names for this blog, all based upon what I thought it was going to be. I have been trying to come up with just the right name. I keep seeing all these really cute blog names out there but they are obviously all taken and everyone that I have come up with for mine just doesn't seem to fit. So I took it to God.
I am involved in an amazing womens ministry that is very dear to my heart. We have monthy gathering where we worship, have teachings and just gather together in fellowship. I have the opportunity to share my testimony at our gathering in September. I have only really shared my testimony once before and this time is in front of women that I know and I am really nervous. I have been really seeking God and praying about what He would have me say that would glorify Him and what He has done in my life over the last four and a half years. With that I asked Him the other day, for a title. A title for my life. Something that expresses all He has done, who He is in me and everything the captures just what my journey has been. As I sat down to do my quiet time tonight and picked up my devotional and the verse studied was Genesis 50:20. One of my ALL TIME favorites.

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many should be kept alive as they are today"

I just love it. Everything that the enemy meant for evil against me God meant for good, so that it could be brought about to help someone else. That is where then I got the thought of woven grace. Everything that I have through, good, bad, sin I committed or sin someone committed against me, joy, pain, trial or accomplishments was all something that God was weaving together in His grace to bring it about, to mold me into who He always wanted me to be. Every thread, strand, and piece of me is woven together in God's amazing grace for His purpose. I am thrilled to be a part of His plan. He told me a long time ago that He was going to do big things in my life. What that means, I don't know. I know He is putting together something fantastic, something that is going to blow me away. I know He is going to take every tear I ever cried and redeem it. I know that everyday He is working to redeem those years that the locusts ate. I know that I am so undeserving of it all, but so thankful for His love and grace, without it I would still be a sinner lost to herself.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My girl

My journey to motherhood has been one that has been marked and scarred with ups and downs. I came into motherhood completely unexpectedly and while I would never have chosen to be a single parent I wouldn't change our circumstances for anything. Abigail has been going through some things lately and we are having some difficulties and with that I am finding it's hard to appreciate her for who she is. So I decided to make a list. A list of things I love about my daughter. I need to remember the things about her that bring me joy. When she is feeling needy and I am feeling selfish I need to remember what breaks past my selfishness. When all she needs is me and I don't have anything left of me to give her I need to remember the things about her that keep me going.

* I love her laugh
* I love her curly hair
* I love her big brown eyes
* I love when she puts her hands on my cheeks and looks into my eyes
* I love when she pats me on the back
* I love when she tell me "I love you" when I haven't said it first
* I love when she picks out her own clothes
* I love her imagination
* I love her curiosity
* I love her passion for things
* I love when she prays
* I love how peaceful she looks when she is asleep
* I love when she asks questions about God
* I love how much she loves her cousin
* I love when she snuggles with me
* I love her kisses
* I love the joy she brings me
* I love that she wants to be a mermaid and that she really believes that mermaids are real
* I love that she is a gift of grace from the God of forgiveness
* I love that she shows me every day the face of God
* I love that through her God saved my life
* I love that every day with her is a new day, with new mercies
* I love that I love her so much that sometimes the thought of it overwhelms me
* I love imagining what she is going to be like when she is older
* I love that no matter what else is going on she can always make me laugh
* I love that her favorite song is I am Free by The Newsboys
* I love that no matter how frustrated I get, tired I am, mommy time I think I need that my love for her and her love for me outweighs everything.

Life is life these days and there are days when I fall into bed and just thank God that I got through the day. God is greater than life and He knew all of this when He gave me Abigail. My love for her outweighs my stress and outweighs the daily-ness. God gave me this child to grow me up, to teach me something. I look at her everyday in wonder that God would give me a child in the state I was in, but He knew. He knew who I would become. He knew who I was created to be and He knew what He was doing when the sperm and egg joined and Abigail was formed. He had a plan from the very beginning for my life and for her life. Who am I to doubt His plan. He is sovereign and His plan never fails. I have to believe that even when she is screaming at me, hitting me and telling me to go away. I have to believe that He is working things together when I cannot see what the next step is. I have to hold onto hope and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that His plan NEVER fails even when I cannot see, even when when my small faith is lacking and when unbelief takes over. God has a beautiful plan for Abigail and I, started that day when the doctor called and said those little words that changed my life "Well, it looks like you are pregnant" I have to remember those things that help me appreciate her for who she is, for who God created her to be. Sometimes I forget, in the midst of daily-ness and life I forget what a beautiful treasure I have been given in the form of this beautiful little girl.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

He is God



All Powerful....



Those are just some of the words that describe God. I was thinking about this last night while I was praying. Thinking about Him and just how mighty He really is. I am in the middle of some life stuff right now that is just really drawing me nearer to Him. And I have just been having these really awesome times with Him lately. I was just having a chat with God in bed last night before shutting out the lights when His presence came onto me so hard.... It struck me and I was speechless. I was talking to Him about Him. About who He is and how much I love Him for who He is and what He has done. I was using the words like I did above, awesome, mighty, and trying really to express in words my thanks to God for His awesomeness in my life when I ran out of words and realized that no words in the english language really can convey to God what He has done in my life and how much it means to me that He saved me from a certain death. I want to say thank you to God but thank you just doesn't seem big enough to fully cover the cost of what He did on the cross. Words like Awesome are used so frequently to describe the newest outfit or song (and yes I do this all the time) that though it's often used in the context of God it just doesn't seem right, it doesn't seem fitting for a King. I have been known to call God radical, because He is although I don't think you would see radical anywhere in scripture. Holy seems more fitting, and one of my favorite scriptures is from Isaiah and I think it perfectly captures His Holiness.
"In the year the King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were two seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another. "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me" I cried for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips. and my eyes have seen the King the Lord Almighty. Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the alter. With it he touched my mouth and said "see, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for"

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that portion of scripture. I think there we get a really good glimpse of holiness. I love how His Holiness captures us and makes us think. It captured me last night and I believe that is what rendered me speechless. I couldn't even come up with a single thing to say to Him. I was just in awe and there were no words for it. And me being speechless is a pretty big thing considering I am a pretty wordy girl. I say there on my bed for who knows how long with my hands just held up to Him, just worshiping the God who gave me the english language to express myself but knew that there would never be a word big enough or fitting enough to describe Him. I love that I can sit there, at His feet saying nothing yet saying everything to Him from my heart. I love that we have this special language that just the two of us speak. That I know Him and He knows me. I love that He renders this wordy, talkative girl speechless on an almost daily basis.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tattoos and torn jeans

It's time for a little soul searching.....

Who am I.

I mean really. When God Himself picked me up out of that pit, wiped the ashes off my face and looked deep into my eyes what did He see, or better yet who did He see. With the childhood I had, leading into the adolescence I had there was always this lingering problem of not knowing who I was. So I would do the next best thing and conform to whomever I was around. I would start dressing like they dressed, liking the music, food and even the boys they liked. It was easier to conform to who they were than to walk around in this numbness of not knowing who I was. This started at a very early age.... Like I can remember these feelings as early as like 6 or 7. This was what I did all through elementary and junior high school. When I got into highschool I was thrust into a world of 300 other kids who didn't know who they were and were all trying to do the same thing. I very quickly became someone I didn't want to be but in my mind it was better than having no identity at all. This identity would be carried with me everywhere I went. It was branded on me by everyone, my friends, my teachers, my youth group leaders, even my own parents. It was something that it took me until this year this break free from. It wasn't an identity I asked asked for but it was better than walking around numb and not knowing who I am. I would continue this cycle of numbness then conformity, numbness then conformity and so and so forth. All the while the lies inside my head were just getting louder. I didn't know I had an enemy, a vicious enemy that prowls around like a roaring lion waiting to devour you. But he was there and he was loud. I would hear things like "You will NEVER be good enough, "You will always be like this, "You have to be this way or no one will love you, "This is just who you are, accept it" When I started to do drugs the lies started to go like this. "You need this drug, "You will never get by without it, "This is part of your image now, accept it, and the final lie I believed, Toughness is what will make you, don't ever let it go" I came to a point where I accepted toughness as my fate, as my identity, as my cover for every scar on my wounded heart. I remember one day after an AA meeting sitting with some of my friends eating breakfast. There I was with my bleach blond hair, my heavy eye makeup, all my tattoos, my camel smokes in front of me with my zippo lighter, mouth as tight as could be, smoking my cigarette when one of the ladies looks at me as says "Do you always try and act so tough" I was floored. Angry at first that she would dare question my act, then embarrassed that it was so flawed. I have carried that toughness with me for a long time. It made me and it eventually broke me. It's still breaking me. I have carved this image, this idol for myself that I have to be this person, this someone that is cool, tough, and unbreakable. The problem is I am none of those things. While I love to think I am cool, those around me will tell you that I am pretty much a dork. And truth be told I am not tough and don't want to be tough anymore. God see's past my toughness and really so does every one else. I am the queen of meltdowns and when I have one there is no toughness there. God wants my heart to be soft, mold-able to Him and pure above all else. And the unbreakable part of that image well that was broken two and a half years ago when I reached my hands up to the sky out of pure desperation and said "Lord break me" And He was true to His word and He started the longest most painful process that I have ever been through. Part of that process was the breaking of the idol of my image. The toughness, the unbreakable spirit that I carried. The girl who thought that tattoos and torn jeans were who she was and that she needed to be defined by that. It's not me, it never was. The only problem is all the abuse I went through and the lies and I listened to for so long have caused me to still suffer from some identity chaos. I am on a little more solid ground now. I at least know these days what kind of food I like, music I like and have grown up enough to realize that differences in friends are a good thing. But there are some deeper things, some soul things that I have no idea about. Things I need my Father in heaven to speak so sweetly to me. And I believe He will. This I believe is the next part in my healing journey. To really seek Him in my identity, because my identity is in Christ.
"For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sister"
Romans 8:29
That is the only kind of conforming I want these days.......

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hey...It's 2am

1. I secretly wish I had hot pink hair....
2. I really miss my blond hair....
3. While we are on the subject of hair, I REALLY wish I could rock the dread lock look, like really.
4. 2am coffee runs to 7-11 are the greatest.
5. While I am a self admitted coffee snob there really is nothing like cheap french vanilla coffee out of a machine.
6. I REALLY love my daughter.
7. I really thought I wanted to go to seminary to get smarter.
8. Sometimes I really am a doubting Thomas
9. I may not look it on the outside but I am really insecure about a lot of things.
10. Women scare me so being a part of a women's ministry is a HUGE deal.
11. I organize my m&m's by color and eat them according to how many there are of each color.
12. In my dream life I wish I were a bounty hunter.
13. I am very fond of my second ammendment right.
14. If I could skip all the training and years of grunt work I would want to be an FBI agent or a US Marshall.
15. Jesus really is the love of my life, really He is. I am banana's for Him :)
16. When driving I tend to hug the right side of the lane.
17. God revealed to me this week that I had been acting like an Israelite.... I whining, moping, doubting Israelite.
18. Habakkuk 3:19 is my verse for the week, month, season......
19. I still think seminary or bible college is a good idea...
20. I am seeing God do some AMAZING things in the lives of people I know and care about.
21. I have some amazing people in my life, truly amazing.
22. It's 2:39am
23. God has an amazing plan in store for Abigail and her father and I get to see it all unfold.
24. I really want to be Beth Moore's personal assistant.
25. I am still awed that I am a part of the very ministry that was essential in my freedom.
26. I miss Celebrity Sports center (any native Coloradan child of the 80's knows what I am talking about)
27. I AM FREE!!!!!!!!!
28. I once prayed, two and a half years ago for God to break me........ He's still breaking me. I didn't quit know what I was getting into when I prayed that prayer.
29. I wonder how many of these facts I can come up with?
30. Six years ago my drug of choice was crack... today my drug of choice is Jesus and coffee :)
31. I would not have believed six years ago if I had been given a glimpse into the future that I would have the life I have today.... God is beyond good, and He is so nice to me. When He could have killed me for my sin, He chose to send His Son to die for me so I could have life and relationship with Him. How great is our God.
32. One more off the wall, totally random fact...... I absolutely CANNOT stand to look at, be near, see on TV, or have ANYTHING to do with cotton balls. They FREAK me out. Everything about them... YUCK. Even just writing about them makes me shiver.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Out of the past

Out of the past comes a voice....... a voice long forgotten. A voice that I am attached to forever. A voice that part of me shares a part with. A voice that left a long time ago. A voice that made a choice a long time ago. A voice that used to tell me I love you, but yet a voice that never knew what love was. A voice that desperately needs to know the love that comes from Jesus. A voice that I have prayed for, for many years. A voice that used to hurt. A voice that used to laugh. A voice that once was tender. A voice that once tried to make a way for me. A voice that once told me nothing would tear us apart. A voice that I turned away from and left, in that room and made the choice to a give life to my child. A voice that I knew was hurting when He said those awful things. A voice that tried to do the right thing. A voice that never was shown the right way to do things. A voice that now wants to do the right thing. A voice that needs healing. A voice that is seeking the truth. A voice that I desperately want to tell that Jesus loves, that Jesus died for, there is freedom and healing in Jesus. A voice that just wants his daughter. A voice that came from the past.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


My baptism was me dying to myself. My death to sin, to bondage, to everything unholy in me and to my past. It was my death to legalism and religious bondage. Death to the idea of perfection and who I think I should be in my own eyes. Death to my will, my plan, my ways and my selfish, small thinking. Death to being trapped in my circumstances and living my life based on what is going on around me. My death to unbelief, doubt and fear. Today I went down into the waters, my old self, the rebellious, prodigal child that I was and made my public statement before you and my God that that I am dying to everything behind me and rising out of these waters to alive in Him. To live for Him. To honor Him. To obey Him. To glorify Him. To passionately pursue Him. To grow in Him. To seek Him daily. To love Him more with each passing day. To look at Him and not the world. Let me find thy life in my death.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So July is another one of those months that causes great reflection within my soul. Abigail was born in July, the 27th to be exact. July 28th 2005 marks the last time I ever used methamphetamine or cocaine, and is also the day that I moved from Kansas to Florida which started the chain reaction of events which eventually led to my salvation and current faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. Right now it's the middle of the night, I am at work and it has been a rough night, I am tired and really need more coffee but have just realized that I passed the point of no return for having coffee. I keep thinking about all the things in my life that are changing. It's all for good, all to grow me up and grow me closer to my savior but all involve some fire and some uncomfortable emotions and processes. God said to me back in October of last year that He was going to do a work in me and He wasn't kidding when He said that. I just didn't know how much of a work it was going to be. I didn't realize that it was going to impact every area of my life. I didn't realize that it was going to change every friendship I had. I had no idea when I held my arms up to Him at that conference last October and "Yes, Lord, Save me" what exactly He was going to do. I am grateful... SO grateful. I cannot even believe that girl I used to be. But that is PROOF right there of the power of a miraculous, life changing Lord.
July 27th, 2005. We were getting ready to move to Florida. Abigail's father and I knew that if we stayed in Kansas we were never going to get clean. Knew that there was no hope for either one of us if we stayed in a place where everyone we knew got high. I don't know if we really thought we were going to get clean, or if somewhere in the back of our minds we knew we just move to Florida and continue to use. I had every intention though that night of going out with a bang, no matter if I planned on using again or not. With every line that I snorted that night I felt myself slipping further and further into an emptiness that I thought I was killing with the drugs. I didn't want to let them go, butI didn't know any other way out. I hated drugs but loved them at the same time. They had been my best friend but yet my worst enemy. I was an addict in every sense of the word and lived my life addicted for a very long time. That night was the beginning of the end. I wouldn't ever pick up meth or cocaine again. I would continue to drink and smoke pot. But God was starting his work in me, beginning to pursue me and started the plan in motion of getting me where He needed me for His ultimate purpose. I kind of got off track with this but I think my point was is who I was, was someone who couldn't go a day without getting high, someone who would have done ANYTHING to get drugs. Now I CANNOT go a day without Jesus, I CANNOT go a day without His Word, I CANNOT go a day without being on my face before Him because I love Him so very much. He began a work in me that July 28, 2005 and it just goes to show beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do. He is a God who lo ves His children and a God who doesn't want to leave ANY ONE of us where we are. He can use ANY ONE of us for His purpose and ANY ONE of our stories.....
Now I only have an hour left of my shift and must spend it trying to stay awake :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Shower Revelations......

So lately I have been thinking a lot about my decision to send Abigail to preschool. It was a decision that took MUCH prayer and consideration and one I didn't make lightly. Before having children I had never given the thought of education much thought. Public school is where I went and well frankly the home school kids I knew were weird. So I never gave it a second thought that once I had children they would go to public school. Once I had Abigail, started going to MOPS and entered into friends with amazing women who home-schooled I started to see the other side of it, the cool side of home schooling and became I intrigued. I started thinking that maybe this would be the choice in education for us. Never really giving a thought the the fact that I am a single working parent. So I started to absorb everything they said when talking about home-schooling, started hanging out at their houses while schooling their children so I could see what they were doing. I was hooked and needed as much info as possible. Well as time went on, and she got older, time got closer and closer for me to begin schooling her I didn't so much start doubting my ability to teach my daughter but really started to prayerfully consider if this was God's best for my family. Working full time, and trying to get Abigail and I to a place where we actually liked each other was becoming a priority and adding something else to the plate didn't seem fair to either one of us. I have also been known to try and do everything, and try and do it perfectly. I have also been known to try and do things to fit in with people. That leads us to today's shower revelation. Over the last seven months I have been on a journey with God towards freedom. Along that journey I am reading, listening, watching ANYTHING that has to do with freedom. I was watching a message today by Bob Hamp on freedom and the definition for freedom that he gave was this. "Freedom is defined by being what God intended, created, and designed you to be" So here I am in the shower praying about some stuff with God. This decision not to home-school and some of the feelings I am having about it being one of them, when here comes the Lord with His 2x4 and He says to me "Bethany if I didn't create you to be a homeschooling mother than you were not walking in freedom by trying to be something you weren't meant to be" He hit me right between the eyes with that one. All along I have been feeling like somehow by not home schooling Abigail I was not living up to who God wanted me to be but in reality by choosing to not home school I am walking in freedom......
How's that for a revelation

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Diving in

Back in my BC days (before Christ) I wrote ALOT. None of my writing is anything I would share with anyone. It was all dark, evil and FULL of self loathing. Lately something has been stirring inside my heart to start writing again. A stirring to get out these emotions I have been feeling lately. I have this stirring in my heart for something and am having a hard time processing it and think that writing about it is just the thing I need. So I going to give this writing thing I try again. Not as the depressed, melancholy girl I used to be, but a the redeemed, beloved, forgiven bride of Christ I am today. It's going to be a wild ride.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Be Still and KNOW

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

This verse has really been on my heart lately. Well to be truthful it has been everywhere I go. Church, on the radio, in my devotions and even at Deeper Still this last weekend. So I am starting to think that God is trying to tell me something. Be still Bethany and know that I am God...... What exactly do those words mean. In my study bible I have a great description of what this verse means. In my TNIV bible it explains this verse as be still meaning in the Hebrew ENOUGH. Imagine that God saying enough, no more, or STOP....... Stop what your doing, stop the worrying, stop the fear, stop the trying so hard to do it your own way and just let Me be God. I will confess here that I often try and do things my own way. I get so fearful that God isn't going to come through that I just figure I will get my smart little plan in there and figure it out on my own. What usually winds up happening is I fall FLAT on my face and have to realize the hard way that if I had just waited on Him it would have worked out in His timing not my own. This coming to a place of being able to be still before Him has taken a LONG time and I will admit that I am NOT even close to being where I know He wants me. Over the last six months I have been walking the most amazing journey with Him that started with a very dear friend telling me the truth, in a very direct way that I needed to do something with my self and get out of the pit I was in. This has gotten me to the place I am now and with this verse being placed on my heart by God. Another way I have heard this verse explained was by another very dear friend of mine at a conference back in October. She stated "I like to think of Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God, as sit back and watch this" I love that, because truly that is what it is. When we take ourselves out of the picture, when we cease striving, stop worrying, let go of all anxiety and just give it all to Him, He is able to do the most amazing things in the midst of some pretty painful circumstances. I want to see what He can do when I give Him the things that I thought I could figure out on my own, or the things that I thought He would never come through on. He can and He does come through. Even in the little things. I recently crashed my car, totally my fault yes but He totally came through for me. Here I was worried about what I was going to do without a car and He totally provided until I got mine back from the shop. I gave it to Him and He blew me away. I love to see how he provides in the big ways too. I hear stories from friends about providing groceries when they didn't have any, providing money to pay bills when they weren't sure where it was going to come from, being the all consuming comfort in times of great loss. He is a great God and when we are still before Him He does mighty things. This is where He wants us. I don't know if I'll ever be able to really be physically still. Those that know me know I am a fast mover, a fast talker and one that likes to ALWAYS be doing something, and maybe that's just the way I am made. But if I can be still before my God and cease everything else then my friends that kind of still is good enough for me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's on my mind

That tends to be a scary question.......

The biggest thing on my mind today is this love that I feel for my daughter. I mean really, I LOVE her. I never knew it was possible to love another person this much. When they put her in my arms after giving birth to her and I looked into those big eyes of hers, as tired as I was I knew, knew in the depths of my soul that I finally knew what it was to love another person. We struggle, sure. What mom doesn't. Sometimes my struggles are different than some. I am a single parent. Our family looks a little different than most, but it works for us (most of the time). Today is just one of those days where I am wondering, out loud. "What could I be doing differently" I work a crazy job, with crazy hours so needless to say I am exhausted a good majority of the time and pretty much survive on massive amounts of caffeine. I need to focus on giving her stability but in that living the life that God wants me to live and be doing the work that He wants me doing. That is my soul purpose, to be doing what He has called me to do. He has called me to be this curly headed, big brown eyed, spirited child's mother. When the doctor called and said those words I will NEVER forget "Well it looks like your pregnant" I knew that my life was about to change, I just had no idea how much. I didn't know that the God of the universe was about to call me into His arms. I didn't know that I was about to step into a relationship with Jesus. I had no clue that in the next four year I would experience more pain, more heartache, cry more tears yet experience more joy than I ever had before. I didn't know that as I kiss my daughter goodnight as I came home from work that I could look at her sweet face and realize that I love her more now than I did the day she was born.......

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentines home school style

Well it's almost a week over due but I figured it was time to sit down and write about the valentines party the took place last week. The day started off normal. Blabby and Turbo both had the wiggles and we mamas desperately tried to de-wiggify but it wasn't working. So we set into the task at hand.........
CUPCAKES!!!!! The wee ones did quite well in the mixing of ingredients. There was no fighting over who did what, no egg shells in the batter, no blood shed over who got the whisk... all in all I say SUCCESS :)
Now the fun part though was putting the batter into the muffin tins. This my friends is where it got tricky. Picture two spirited children trying to get sticky cupcake batter into heart shaped muffin tins. Turbo was getting more batter on the cookie sheet than he was in his muffin tins and blabby was taking bites of "bladder" as she called it every time she would fill one up. Needless to say two very OCD mommies had to stand back (very far back) and let them do there thing. At last cupcakes in the oven, kids settled in turbos room, tank ready to eat, mommy's sitting down, maybe times for some calm? Think again, with these two together there is no such thing. When it came time to decorate said cupcakes the amount of sugar they dumped of them would make 95% of the dentists in the Denver area cringe. Already anticipating the sugar buzz we figured it was time for lunch. At last they would sit, eat and be still......... um whose children was I thinking of? After making sure the blanket was just right, each child had the right amount of dinosaurs to lunch with, and that each child was positioned properly to see the tv then it seemed lunch could start. Somehow we made it through lunch with only one spilled drink and one round of tears...amazing!!! Clean up lunch, clean up children, send them to play.....At last the mommies get a chance to talk :) After awhile we wonder "why is it so quiet?" Never a good sign ... The children apparently thought that their bodies would be a good canvas for marker art.....and what a beautiful work of art it was. Needless to say bathtub followed and four days almost a week later the remnants are still there............

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day.......oh wait it's day 1

Day 1.... I have made the decision.

I never even gave homeschooling a second thought growing up. Truthfully my only experience with homeschooling were the people who lived next door to us growing up. Pretty much I went to public school and always thought that if I had children in the future that is what they would do as well. Becoming a christian and a mom all in the span of six months really changed my life. I started to become aware of how much influence your child's schooling has on their life. When I started going to MOPS in November of 2006 when my daughter was only three months old, I became friends with a lovely lady we'll call spunky.... I found out that spunky was homeschooling her children....I became intrigued over time and started wondering what this was all about. When another friend of mine took her son out of school to begin home schooling we had many talks about what she was doing and why. I was becoming more and more interested in the prospect of homeschooling my own child. I though to myself on many occasions that there was no way I could do this "why, I was never very good in school how could I possibly teach my own child" and "well as a single parent there is no way, why I have to work full time" The more that time went on and as I watched many of my friends begin home school and seeing how much their children loved it, those lies began to fade and God's will for my family began to shine through. I have now made the choice to do whatever it takes to home school my daughter as I truly believe that she needs to be with me, learning on an individual level, not being constricted by a class room of 30+ kids and the most important being able to raise her with Godly values that will shape and mold her into the woman of God I pray she will become. Now I have many questions as to how this is all going to work but I know that God has my back and that all things will come together the way they are supposed to. So begins our adventure........Breathe in, breathe out, dive in head first...........