Friday, August 19, 2016

August 19

August 19, 2016

TEN years ago today (that's scary), I was about to start my senior year of high school at Southwest. I was excited but also terrified.
That night I took my Jeep off-roading with four friends after Garrett Haywood's birthday party and got it stuck in a mud hole in the woods and had to be taken out through the window. I was adventurous but maybe not the brightest crayon in the box. I cried the whole night; didn't sleep a wink. I lied to my mom about what happened the next day.
"I have no idea where all that mud came from!!!"
I told my brother what really happened because he was my bestie and still is.


Today:
Chanelle just texted me "Happy August 19!" This is our milemarker day, if you will. Every August 19th, we look back over the past year and all the ones before and see how far we've come and I make a point to thank the Lord for certain things that year that were challenging and helped me grow and the abundance of blessings He poured upon me that year. As I sit here and write with Celine Dion "A New Day Has Come" in the background, not much has changed at all, but then again everything has changed. Last August I started working at Southwest High School - my dream job of many years.

*I'm about to start my second year teaching at the high school I went to when I did things like drive my car through giant mud holes.*

Over this past year, I experienced a joy and thankfulness I've never felt, struggled with extreme ungratefulness shortly after, worked hard to "be enough," let God's grace be enough, basked in the glory of the Lord and the amazing people He's put in my life, stood beside precious friends as they got married, just had one of the best summers of my life, reaped the blessings and benefits of being patient and waiting on the Lord in constant prayer...

I've been sad about summer ending, but as I sit here on this August 19th, I can't help but be overcome with the feeling that this metaphorical blanket of blessings is around me. I get to do what I love and get paid (a little bit) for it, I get to see so many of the people I love every day, I have best friends and prayer warriors in every corner of the nation that I get to talk to every day thanks to technology...

I'm not exactly where I thought I would be on August 19, 2016, but I'm exactly where HE wants me to be, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. His plan is always greater.

<3


August 19, 2014



Tonight I had my first Open House experience on the teacher end - I hosted my first! It was interesting and a definite learning experience. Funny enough, I had to wear a red polo, and I thought back to my first day of 8th grade 12 years ago, wearing a red polo and khakis, just like today. The English teacher in me found it to be foreshadowing :)


Thinking back to me and Chanelle's conversation four years ago on August 19, I remember honestly thinking on that night that by the time we reached August 2014 that I'd be married and would've had a couple years of teaching under my belt. I'm not upset that that isn't the case. It just goes to show that we can plan all we want, but God's plans far exceed our own because He knows what's best for us, and no matter what we have in mind, His will will be done whether we initially want it or not.

I remember getting chills just picturing my life four years from August 2010. Chanelle and I were both really scared at the thoughts of it. But why? I'm not sure. If I'd known all the struggles I'd have to face over the next four years, that'd be understandable. But even with those hardships, I've also had some of the best times of my life in these past four years. I wish I could've told 21-year-old Beth that she didn't need to worry about the next four years, just live life in the moment. She didn't worry that much, but she was a little nervous just thinking about the future. She didn't realize the depths that she would reach with Christ over the next four years. 

...By this August 19th (since 2013), I've spent an amazing-beyond-words year in Boone, graduated from grad school, moved (against my will) from Boone (dramatically and traumatically), obviously gotten my first teaching job, gotten a new car (that I won't take through the mud, but I did name it The Black Pearl), got a PRECIOUS puppy, lost a few loved ones to Heaven (experienced a lot of the "death" that we were so afraid of four years ago), and many other things that have contributed to growth. Many things are the same though. My favorite song is still "Burning Love" and I still have the same friends, plus many precious new ones.


I think this year I'm at a point where I'm asking God to show me something, to use me. To do what He wants and what will serve Him best. It hurts and it's uncomfortable, but looking back, the first day of 8th grade was uncomfortable too. But God used that year to form lifelong friendships in my life with some of the sweetest Christian friends, and that year turned out to be one of the best of my life. I can't believe how worried I was all summer before that school year started. Of course, I'm very nervous about my first year teaching, and it feels kinda like it felt before I started 8th grade. Sometimes it seems that in life, the things we're most worried about turn out being the best. So here's to hoping this year is full of growth and happiness. I read Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper this year and I want to make sure that by next August 19th, I have been a light and witness even more than I've been this past year. God, please use me in mighty ways!!


Until next August 19...



Monday, August 19, 2013

I think one of the reasons I like to keep up with dates is because I like to see how far I've come from year to year. What things are different and what things are the same. Both are cool; I've always preferred constants though. Changes scare me. Terrify me, even.
But I'm getting better with handling change, and that's good because right now I'm sitting in a hotel room in Boone (because our apartment isn't finished) anticipating my last semester of graduate school. Hard to believe I'm almost done. I really just started a year ago. 
And my brother is here, starting his journey as an Appalachian student.
I'll be living in Boone for most of the next school year, and most people know what a change this will be for me, considering I never lived on campus when I went to HPU. With that being said, I wouldn't change anything.
Anyway, I noticed today was August 19, and with my impeccable memory, took note of the fact that on Monday, August 19, 2002, I started eighth grade. My last year of middle school. It was one of the best years of my life! Eleven years later, on Monday, August 19, 2013, I am about to start my last year of school (FINALLY).
Maybe this will be one of the best years of my life as well?
Yesterday, I thought back to the day before I started eighth grade. I thought about being SO nervous and dreading it SO much.  Coincidentally, I even took Ashley to the middle school parking lot to give her her first driving lesson yesterday! It wasn't til we were there that I realized the significance of the time and location, and the fact that Ashley will be an eighth-grader herself in a week or so.
I enjoy trying to make parallels. I enjoy looking back (not always the best thing). I enjoy consistency and tradition.
That being said, I'm gonna post something that I wrote three years ago today.






August 19, 2010
So tonight was Chanelle's last night in High Point, and I've been pretty depressed (to say the least) that summer is almost over. I get this way this time each year. Interestingly enough, though, pretty substantial things tend to happen around this time of year.
So after a fun night of taking pictures and driving around with Alex, getting "Bajjjjja Blast" at Taco Bell, me and Chanelle had a great conversation. It started with my realization that it was August 19th.

"Oh my gosh, I flooded my Jeep four years ago today! That means tomorrow is Garrett's birthday!"

I thought back to the memorable night of 8/19/06. I was seventeen and had as much freedom and adventure running through my veins as I did blood. With some friends from Garrett's 18th birthday party, I took my Jeep out in the woods, listening to my favorite Keith Urban cd, romping around and sank her in a gigantic mud puddle. That night, I tossed and turned and couldn't get to sleep for hours. I prayed for rest and for a miracle. I finally cried myself to sleep, thinking I would never get to drive my poor Jeep again. It was one of the most fun, incredible, crazy, depressing nights of my life. That's the night she earned the name the "Mud Bullet." The next day, I listened to my favorite Elvis songs to try and feel better. It was great.
ANYWAY, Chanelle and I proceeded to start a pretty deep conversation about our big futures and lives, and scary things like death and fears, etc...in the Harris Teeter parking lot haha. (That's where all the good stuff happens)
The cd that was playing had made its way to track #6, which was Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi" or however she spells it. I told Chanelle I remembered the first time I had heard that song, which was the first day of 8th grade, on the school's weekly TV show. The thing is, I'm crazy when it comes to numbers and remembering dates, and always have been, and after a second I recalled that the first day of 8th grade was August 19th, 2002. That was the year that I started to love Southwest and make friends there, after being a loner in 7th grade (my first year at SW)

THEN I remembered that 8/19/02 was also the day that I first heard my all-time favorite song, "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley, while I was getting ready for school, nervous about starting 8th grade. I happened to turn my radio on in time to hear that song and loved it, thus eventually leading to my now 8-year Elvis obsession. Who knew I would be hanging out with Elvis' step-brother eight summers later at a church camp in Georgia?
I also heard one of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs for the first time on August 19, 2002.  At the time, I barely knew who Stevie Wonder was, but the minute I heard the song "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," I knew I loved him. Now he is one of my favorite artists.

Chanelle and I mused about how high school doesn't seem that far away, but in reality, we were seniors four years ago. The night I sank my Jeep in the mud was halfway between my first day of 8th grade and now. On that night, 8th grade seemed like light years away, but tonight, 8/19/06 seems like just yesterday. And maybe to anyone else this seems stupid, but to me it's amazing. Amazing how much can change in four years and in eight years, but ironically stay the same and how time flies by so fast in general. And how certain dates hold certain values, and others just exist. Like what if I knew on 8/19/02 that I would have a "muddin" adventure four years later on that exact date, and then four years after that be listening to the same exact songs, while talking about life and the past 8 years with my best friend? It's just crazy and wonderful to me.
Things are changing. My little brother started college a few days ago. It blows my mind. Yesterday we were both little kids in elementary school and now we're both in college.
Me and my friends are at all different places in our college careers right now, even though we're all basically the same age. Some are graduating soon, some have already graduated, some are getting married, and me and Alex still have a few more years of school haha.

In any case, I'm excited to see what's going to happen next August 19th and the one after that and the one four years from now. And I hope that I'm sharing it with the same exact people. God has blessed me with the most wonderful family and friends, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.



In case you think I'm weird, I'm gonna add that if I am, Chanelle is too (hahaha)... She wrote a similar blog that same night.
http://channyt.tumblr.com/post/976337553/august-19th
eBa

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