Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Biggest Problem

My Facebook status on Sunday evening as soon as I left church:
"Completely WRECKED! The Lord spoke to me loud and clear and wrecked my heart this evening at a service at a church I'd never been to before. I cannot wait to write about it!"

This is why:
I've been wanting to visit this church nearby for a while now, because I really enjoy visiting churches. I enjoy worshiping the Lord in different ways, meeting fellow believers, making connections, hearing the Word taught in different ways, etc. I am not looking to leave Oak View; I absolutely love it there!

With that being said, I went to Mercy Hill on Sunday evening, in the pouring rain, alone (I like doing things by myself when I can!). I had tried to go the week before and meet a friend there, but accidentally took a three hour nap and missed it (these naps are killin' me lately). To be honest, I was there mainly to meet people, and not as focused on learning more about the Lord. So boy did it hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard the message...

*It's important to know that all throughout the week last week, I would take Emery on our evening walks and pray a lot about two things that are heavy on my mind right now - two things that I've been waiting for for a long time, and it seems like they'll never happen at this point. I'm the most patient person in the world, but my patience is wearing thin, and I'm growing antsy. I talked to God a lot about these things last week, and told Him that if I had these two things, I could truly be content and happy (yes, I knew that was wrong thinking even when I said it). I just kept thinking, "I have dream job number one (I have lots of dream jobs), and I'm completely happy with work right now. I just need two more things to fall into place and everything will be perfect."

So THAT was my mode of thinking as I went to Mercy Hill...
THESE were the notes I took on the message:


❤️A Great Savior Meets Our Greatest Need❤️

The obvious need is not the most essential need
(As he started speaking, I was caught by surprise - it was almost as if God was speaking directly 
to me.)
Deeper issues
You need the right relationship with God
He wants to meet a need that goes deeper than our obvious need. 
(My need for salvation and being RIGHT with Him... the need for growth and contentment in Him. He wants to do MORE for me than what I have asked of Him....?!?!?!)
We all have a much bigger problem than we realize - 
"The reason you came to Mercy Hill isn't the real reason why you're here"
(This is where I started to tear up a little. The pastor might as well have just said "BETH. GOD WANTED ME TO TELL YOU THIS!!!!")
"If I could just have this or that, then everything in my life would be perfect and I would be okay. If this problem could be fixed, I'd be okay."
(I might as well have been the only person in the room.
BETH, THIS IS FOR YOU. IF THIS DOESN'T HIT YOU IN THE FACE, NOTHING WILL.)
The PROBLEM is, we don't know what the problem is! 
Idolatry!!!!!!!!!! 
Idolatry is the problem!
(I've made an idol out of these two things that I want so much! THAT'S it! I've been letting these two things take precedence in my thoughts, when the Lord should always be number one! Anything that takes our thoughts captive is an idol!)
He forgave our sins, and that was the biggest problem we had. 
No matter our biggest problem, we can still fulfill His plan for us and have joy and happiness because our sins are forgiven. 
Jesus isn't just our miracle-worker --- He IS our miracle!!!
(We need to stop treating Jesus like a genie in a bottle, asking Him for things and not first being 100% grateful for what He has done for us. Never should we be upset when things aren't going our way because He already did for us what we needed MOST! He will still hear and answer our prayers, but there is no need to get bent out of shape and forget that He IS the miracle - not just the miracle worker. Yes, He will work miracles in our lives, but the most important one was making a way for us to be forgiven and set free from our sins, breaking the power of Hell, and allowing us to have a relationship with Him if we so choose. 
When you put it that way, my "big" problems aren't really so big at all.)



He's gonna provide for me what I need.
He's gonna give me the desires of my heart.
He's not gonna leave me high and dry.
BUT, what I need to do is fully trust in Him and His timing and stop letting these things become idols in my life. I need to fill my mind with heavenly things, and not these little issues that I have. He has already planned my entire life out. I could tell Him all day what I want, but I know from experience that He has better things in mind than I could ever ask or imagine.
Me worrying and letting my thoughts be hijacked by these "problems" is a total waste. 


It's crazy how even though I went to Mercy Hill for the not-so-right reasons, God met me there still, and sent the message that I needed to hear most. He loves us so much that He puts us in the right place at the right time, and gently corrects us when we need correcting. My mind was just blown. My eyes filled with tears multiple times throughout the message. I was truly wrecked. He tore down the walls in my heart.

I didn't feel reprimanded or ashamed. I just felt loved. So loved. So taken care of. So excited to see what He will do as I focus on Him and grow in Him. 








eBa

Saturday, September 26, 2015

BootieBootieBootieBootie Rockin' Everywhere

A few years ago, tall riding boots were all the rage. I still love mine and plan to wear them a lot this fall / winter, but BOOTIES have really taken the shoe scene by storm and made their way into my heart lately. They're just so easy to wear with whatever. They're easy to slide on, and with pants or leggings, or a dress, or even shorts.

Pictured are my favorite booties from Belk.com.


Tahari Camila Boot
MIA Shawna Lace-Up Booties
UNLISTED File In Love Shootie
Sugar  Vangel Short Boot
Rock and Candy by ZiGi Hollie Bootie
Rock and Candy by ZiGi  Haleigh Bootie
This last pair I actually bought a few weeks ago and LOVE. As you can see, I'm really into the natural / fringe / earthy look right now.


Booties are great.








eBa

FRIDAY FIVE

It's only 45 minutes past Friday, so I'm going to do my first "Friday Five" in a while.



1. I wasn't sure if I would like Pumpkin Spice Oreos, but I bought a pack, ate one, and before I knew it, a whole row was gone.
whoops.
(I really haven't eaten Oreos in years, but for the past month I've been eating two packs a week... I guess I'm just on a kick right now.)


2. This mascara is my BFF. It's cheap and the best I've ever used. Bought a new tube this week, so my eyelashes have been on fleeeeeeeeek!




3. This is my absolute favorite perfume, and has been for two years now. It's my go-to fall scent, I guess because I first started wearing it in fall of '13 at a bachelorette weekend in Charlottesville, VA, and then to football games at Appalachian, so whenever I wear it, I feel like it's GAME DAY, even if I'm just teaching English for five hours :)






4. My current favorite Yankee Candle scent!! Jessica and I hit up the Yankee Candle store yesterday and did some damage. I just love this fall scent... it reminds me of flannel and mountains and literally, crisp, cool morning air.
I got some of the wax to melt in my classroom, and it smelled so great all day today.




5. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, LUKE BRYAN!
I've been listening to him all week, because I'm going to see him tomorrow in Raleigh, rain or shine!
I'm sooo stoked!






Happy weekend!






eBa

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Day of Fall!

I'm so excited that fall is here! I picked some pictures that kind of symbolize fall and put them on here. Every fall is so busy but so fun! I try to do as many fun fall activities as possible.

Some of my favorites:
festivals
FOOTBALL GAMES
hayrides
pumpkin painting
other fall crafts
bonfires
costume parties
hanging out and drinking fall beverages
going to the MOUNTAINS and looking at the leaves
going to the Farmer's Market
taking Emery on crisp fall walks

:)


















































eBa

Remembering Grandma Four Years Later

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I've talked about this a lot already, but four years ago was when my grandmother went home to Heaven. 

I've re-posted the words I wrote and read at her celebration of life service...

Today I wore all black to commemorate the carnal pain that we felt four years ago today...

But her pink and purple necklace because pink was her favorite and in the midst of all the hurt and pain, there was joy because she had lived a long, full life, and we could feel hope and peace...

I wore the opal ring that she gave me when I was in college because her parents gave it to her when she was in college and opal was both of our birthstone...

I realized that today was just like four years ago today - cloudy, chilly, gloomy, and depressing until about 4:15ish when she passed from her earthly body and almost as soon as she did, the sun shot gorgeous rays out through the clouds as if she was being welcomed home...

I saw the sun come out through the windows at SWHS today around 4:15 (and I don't believe in coincidences).

I've listened to "Renegades" by X Ambassadors and "Spirit Break Out" by Jesus Culture all evening on repeat...

"Renegades" because I just discovered it and it has an autumn/mountain sound,
and Grandma loved the mountains and autumn so much and tomorrow is the first day of fall
and she spent the first day of fall 2011 in Heaven 
and the song sets such a mysterious yet peaceful mood, and that's how I like to feel on days like this.

"Spirit Break Out" because a year ago today, we worshiped to this song at FCS in Ashland's classroom at Andrews after school, and ever since then, it has reminded me of Grandma and her love for Jesus and ascension from earth to Heaven.

I went to see Granny and cherished time with her. 
Spent some time with Daddy and hugged Emery real tight.
(I always think about how Grandma would love Emery.)

Read out of Proverbs.

And I'm currently thanking God for the years we had with Grandma and for the wonderful family I still have here with me to love on and enjoy.





"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."







eBa

Monday, September 21, 2015

Favorite Songs Right Now

1. How Country Feels - Randy Houser
So good.


2. We Went - Randy Houser
I'm trying to listen to more Randy Houser because he's opening for Luke Bryan on Saturday AND I'M GOING! It's gonna be so amazing :)
I didn't know "We Went" until Grace told me to listen to it last night and now I can't stop.


3. Gonna Know We Were Here - Jason Aldean 


4. When She Says Baby - Jason Aldean 
Because Jason Aldean is always appropriate and I've been on a serious country kick since Spirit Week last week because our mascot is the COWBOYS!


5. Want to Want Me - Jason Derulo / Luke Bryan
If you haven't seen the video for this, please YouTube it.


6. Cheyenne - Jason Derulo 
For over a month, I've been obsessed. I still can't stop listening to it. In fact, the next dog I get will be named Cheyenne.


7. Another Night - Real McCoy
SO random... It popped up on Spotify last week and I had a flashback of doing warmups and stretching to this song and similar songs in the 90s when I was a wee one in dance class.
I never really even liked it til last week and now it's on repeat.


8. Tell it to My Heart - Taylor Dayne 
I can thank one of the girls at church for this - at our weekend retreat, we had a lip synch battle, and she chose this song and BEASTED it. I don't know if I was more impressed at her hilarious performance or the fact that she even chose this song.
I promptly added it to my Spotify playlist.


9. Brother - NeedToBreathe ft. Gavin DeGraw 
Since the summer. I just can't get enough. I've always loved Gavin, and I recently got into NeedToBreathe, and the lyrics are just amazing. And I love my brother so yeah.


10. Before the Throne of God Above - Sojourn or Selah
Praise! I've been needing some new worship music, and this song keeps popping up everywhere and now I'm in love with it. Just so good.



So if you were just dying to know, that's what I'm listening to most right now.



eBa

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Renewed

This weekend, we had a middle and high school girls' retreat at church. Girls from Liberty University came and led the weekend and many of the female youth leaders helped out. The weekend was called "Renew Weekend" because the team from Liberty is called Renew. We had a fun time going deeper in the Word and learning more about Jesus and focusing on issues that girls deal with.
We also had a little lip synch battle, and I was on some people's snapchat stories with my awesome *NSYNC "Bye Bye Bye" skills.
I loved spending time with these precious girls.
Hopefully this weekend really did RENEW everyone and was the perfect recharge and refocus weekend, and they can take what they learned into their worlds with them!

:)









eBa

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bowing to the Father's Will

Friday, September 11th, 2015
I really like the Hillsong song "Man of Sorrows." One line of the song is "bowing to the Father's will, He took a crown of thorns." That part never really made me think too much until tonight, driving to Boone. It refers to Jesus's crucifixion and how beforehand, He had begged God to spare Him, but God's will was for Him to die so that we could live freely if we so choose.

I really stopped to think about it tonight because lately I've been asking God for guidance and direction I'm to show me His will for my life for certain situations... But sometimes I catch myself thinking, "I don't deserve to go through this" or "why can't it just go the way I want it to go for once?" 
When you stop to think about how even the Son of God was not granted His request to take His situation away, it really humbles you. Jesus surely did not deserve to die. Yet He was not above bowing to God's will, whatever that entailed. God knew that Jesus dying would save the world. That was the bigger picture. God saw how His will, carried out by Jesus, would do so much good for so many people. He had reasons for not sparing Jesus's earthly life.

I need to stay humble and realize that if Jesus Christ was not above going through torture for the sake of His father's will, then I can definitely stand to go through a few things and be patient to see the outcome and how God uses them for good in my life and the lives of others. 




thoughts on a Friday night driving to Boone

Obstacle or Opportunity?

Sunday, September 13, 2015
This morning at my church in Boone, The pastor said a quote that really stood out to me. He was talking about seeing life through a different lens and said,

"See your obstacles as opportunities."

Everyone in the congregation got out pens to write this quote down. What does this mean? How can an obstacle be an opportunity? 

Me not getting a job in Boone seemed like an obstacle at first, but it provided an opportunity for me to score my dream teaching job at SWHS. 

I could look at certain situations in my life as obstacles, or I could see them as ways to overcome and become stronger.

I could use my own obstacles in life as opportunities to share with other people who are struggling with the same obstacles how I have overcome them. 

I can definitely use my obstacles as opportunities to pray more and grow in Christ. 

I can use my obstacles as opportunities to trust Jesus more. If I hit a roadblock and have no idea what is next, I have to trust God and his plan

I can use my obstacles as an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone...

And do things I wouldn't otherwise do…
And talk to people I wouldn't otherwise talk to…
And see things I wouldn't otherwise see…
And be a light to people that I wouldn't be around otherwise...

These are just a few ways I can use my obstacles and make them opportunities. There are so many more. 

"Lord, please help me to always see the positive in every situation. Help me to turn my obstacles into opportunities. Help me to see life through your lens."

Just What I Needed




















So last week was a trying week... it was a short week because of Labor Day, but it was a heavy and somber one. I was longing to just get to Boone. I hadn't been in a month, and it was time to go back. I have to get my monthly (or bimonthly) fixes.

I wrote in a post the other day how when I drove into Boone, my spirits immediately lifted. A feeling of lightness came over me when I got into Boone around 11 Friday night. I went through the McDonald's drive through and got coffee and then went over to Grace's apartment. There was a chill in the air (okay, it was FREEZING) and my black coffee smelled and tasted so good and everything seemed perfect.
Grace and I sat in her room, lit by candles and Christmas lights, and talked about life and Jesus for a long time. It was so relaxing, and so necessary. It's so good to just talk to a good friend about anything and everything. My soul felt at peace!!


On Saturday morning, my brother and I had brunch at Boone Bagelry (LOVE) and got ready and went to Blowing Rock and met up with Taylor and her family, and later Grace joined us!
We walked around downtown Blowing Rock, and I tweeted "I'm so happy to be in Blowing Rock I have tears in my eyes" hahaha... but really. My soul just felt right. I was so content and joyful in the crisp air in the tiny little town of Blowing Rock, with all the tourists and fall leaves and smell of the candle making shop and the fudge shop.

We watched some of the HORRID Clemson / Appalachian game. I got some new sunglasses (TOMS), we ate at Town Tavern...

Me, Grace, and Michael went paddle boating at the Chetola Resort. The water was so beautiful and it was just a perfect day. I love to go out there and paddle boat and think about life. We did that a few times right before I moved back home from Boone.







Later in the evening, we heard about the Avery County Fair and decided to go. Avery County is a tiny county right by Watauga County (where Boone is). My brother did his internship in Avery County this past summer, and is familiar with the area and many of the people, so we decided to go!


It was the tiniest and cutest county fair I have ever seen in my life. My heart was so freaking happy.
We kept saying what a perfect day it was.
The weather was perfect.
The company was perfect.
My sense of peace was perfect.
The mountains are perfect.
The sky was perfect.
The sweet farm animals were perfect.
The colored fair lights were perfect.
The ferris wheel ride was perfect.
The laughter was perfect.
Our pictures were perfect.
The fried Oreos at the fair were beyond perfect.
God's timing is perfect.


 



 

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



We went and had sushi after the fair.
My brother and I went to church the next morning at Harvest House.
We had a yummy Asian lunch.

This weekend was just what I needed.





eBa