giving into giving

Dare to give

These past few months have honestly been an uphill climb. I felt that it was all I could do to keep it together and keep walking. School was like hell. I felt like I couldn’t make it til 2:30. I would stare at the clock and say I can make it 15 minutes then I can fall apart. I was so upset…so hurt…and so tired. I was messing up everything it seemed. I felt as if my relationships were falling apart, that God wasn’t hearing me, and I was alone. I was striving. I felt as if something inside of me was being suffocated and was slowly dying. I figured it out. Beauty is in all of us. All women are beautiful and that beauty is meant to be shared with the world, it was made to mean something, change something. I was trying so hard to be what I thought I should be I wasn’t being me. The realness, pureness of character, and beauty was nowhere to be seen. I was acting selfish and insecure. I feel bad for my boyfriend because he got the brunt of it.lol. When I saw nothing good in me he still saw what I used to be and what I could be. God is like that too. He doesn’t see us for our messiness. He looks at us and sees what we can be. He isn’t there to criticize you for feeling. (That was another thing I struggled with, but I won’t go there!)

Yesterday I sat outside reading Captivating. I have read it at least four times and I began to read it again. I started reading from the beginning like any normal person would…but I felt I should skip. I skipped to almost the end. I read. I finally got it. Why should I be striving when I didn’t have what I needed and I also had what I was looking for! It was so simple. I’m not beautiful or lovely on my own. God makes me beautiful and lovely. When I realized that and listened to what HE has to say about me instead of the lies I was believing, I was free. It was so simple! The moment I stopped striving and decided to just BE, I was me again. I used to write a lot, I used to do my devo’s twice a day and I was great at keeping a prayer journal. I looked back at all the notebooks yesterday and saw how much I’ve changed….I was jealous of myself oddly enough. I grabbed a new journal out of the drawer and I began to write. It was as if I was me for the first time in a long time. In the morning I set my alarm for 5 am to get up and do devo’s before getting ready for school (honestly I hadn’t done that in…way too long.) I went to sleep praying, I woke up at 4:30am excited or anxious to start my devo’s? I lay there and prayed half asleep til 5 and then I got up, grabbed my Bible and journal, and began. It was so cool! I wasn’t sleepy, forcing myself to do it, but I was enjoying! It took exactly 15 minutes and it made all the difference. I went through this day with such peace. There has been this person I felt was my giant at school. I was able to look my giant straight in the face and smile and feel total peaceful. I sat in the class and read my book and I was so happy…so me.

I learned an important lesson. I’ve had this question…unanswered by the person I needed to tell me. “Am I beautiful? Am I lovely?” I was sitting outside and began to laugh. God already answered that question for me! He calls me beautiful. His daughter with the blue eyes :) Thinking of it that way I can’t help but smile! I was so annoyed with myself…here I have been for the last couple of months drowning it seemed in this wondering…and God had already told me. Kaylon my awesome bestfriend and boyfriend has encouraged me more than I could ever ask for. Yet I wouldn’t believe it. The one person I had wanted to answer my question had failed to answer it, and if that person ever did give an answer I doubt I would believe it. Here’s the thing. As a woman, my job is to give my beauty. Let it radiate from my soul to my face and share it by giving grace. That’s it! It’s not my responsibility how it is received. My question has been asnwered and I don’t need to ask. All I need to do it give…and giving in to giving…wow…it’s been the most peaceful thing I have experienced in a long time.

“This is just my ramblings, an exertp from my imaginary diary. Unwritten words and unshed tears that will never come to pass, some days I’m just living, other days I’m livid….”

-Shine (The unwritten is changing to WRITTEN.)

~Bethany Ann

 

 

 

Last years challenge…but stands the same…

” ‘Who are you to tell me that I’m less than what I should be? Who are you? Who are you? I don’t need to listen to the list of things I should do. I wont try…no…I wont try.’ Mirror Mirror by Barlow Girl.

 

Is it just me? Whenever someone tell me something I should be or something I should do I automatically put my heart on lockdown. I put up the wall to protect myself from whatever else might come next. Isn’t it odd that the things most said to youth are things like “You need to work on” or “You need to fix”. I try to listen and search myself to see if there is any truth to it…but I will admit, it gets old. Hearing “You’re not good at communicating” “You need to lead the worship team better” “Your attitude needs to change” “Your relationship with so and so isn’t good enough” “You have to fix the broken friendship even if the other wont try”. I’d love to hear “You sounded good durring worship” or “Good job teaching sunday school” or “I can tell you’ve been trying hard. I appreciate you.”

 

I’ve been a Sunday school teacher at my church for almost three years (I’m 15…), I’ve been active on the drama team ever since it started, I’m trying to lead the youth worship team even though I’m not sure how and I don’t have someone to show me, I’m a teachers assistant for two dance classes, I take two dances classes myself, and ontop of that I have school. In my free time I play guitar, re-teach myself how to read piano music, choreograph dances, read, write, clean, and do my devotions. I’m not trying to sound full of myself…I’m very happy doing everything I do and I’m very thankful for it all. I’m only 15…I do a lot…and I am not perfect. I try my best to please God and please others…people expect a lot from me. I try my best.  I’ve been growing in God more and more each day and working on a lot of things. No matter what peopel say I know I’m right with God. I’ve learned that I only have to worry about what God expects from me…and Ithought he was expecting more than he really was.

 

It’s a new year! A time for change. I’m asking all the leaders out there to hear what I say…find the best in the youth. Yea, we mess up, we sometimes mess around and talk in church, we sometimes do things that seem completely stupid to you…but we are just teens. We haven’t had all the time as you to figure out these things and we are trying our best. Not all, but a lot of us are. We are learning and growing and the first thing (most of the time) that comes out of adults mouths are complaints that we’re not doing this and we’re doing that. How bout this?…Make it a goal in 2011 to tell each youth something positive. For everytime you’re tempted to tell the youth something they are doing wrong…tell us something we are doing right. When you have something to tell us that needs work…please be careful how you say it. Words stay with us forever. I pray that no youth is ever so presured by leaders and pushed to be perfect….it’s very hard. I pray that they wont feel less than what they are from “A word of advice.” I can’t even begin to count how many times I tell my guy friends I am proud of them…I’m afraid if I don’t say it no one else will. They are amazing! They are leading and I can see HUGE growth in them. But if they are never told that they are proud of and think that no one sees the difference…it gets very discouraging. I know. I really hope that this year will be a chance to big up the youth. I always cringe when I hear some people talking about the “kids in the back”. Obviously they are coming for a reason. Even if they are in the back. The back is still a part of the church. I have such a longing to see the “kids in the back” be bigged up for coming! I have this burden…a burden to see the youth know that they are amazing in who they are and who Christ is making them to be. I hope whoever reads this will be touched in some way.”

was that me?

I wrote this a while back and I just found it…strangely I’m starting to struggle with these same thoughts again… “Everyone wonders “What is God’s will for my life?” As we start to get older we think about it more and more. We especially stress over “What should I study for?” I’ve been thinking of that a lot and I have come up with a theory or you may call it a conclusion. God will have you do something you enjoy and you are good at. He won’t ask you to do something you have NO gifting for. If you have no artistic ability I doubt God would call you to be an artist. If you aren’t a people person I doubt he would call you to be a counselor. He uses you and the gifts and abilities he has given you to do his good and perfect will. My advice to you would try EVERYTHING. See what you enjoy, what you’re good at, and what you are best at. Find out, also, what you don’t like, aren’t good at, and what you are worst at. That is a good start. I would also advise you to be praying and asking God to show you as you try different things and to help keep your mind open to whatever God has in store for you. Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” And there you have it. Delighting yourself in the Lord is the most important step! If you do, God promises to give you the desires of your heart! What do you desire? To have a meaningful career, to study something interesting and enjoyable, to get married, to have a family, to own a car, etc? If you are in a state of going after God and enjoying him to the fullest, he will show you his perfect will! It won’t be a voice saying: “You will study at the University of _____ and marry so and so and you will have 4 kids.” No, it doesn’t work like that. I wish it could. But God starts to reveal his will to you as you seek after him. As you surrender and follow after him, he will open a door. As you walk through it another will open. And then another. It’s a chain reaction. When you follow God and what he is leading you into he will continue to show you what to do after. The biggest thing to remember is Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord. He WILL give you the desires of your heart, as long as it is in line with his will. So for you who are wondering what school to go to after high school, keep delighting in the Lord and putting him first. He will show you where to go and what to do. I’m figuring out what I should do after high school and I think God is finally showing me what I should do. But I realized that I’ve been reading my Bible more because I’m WANTING to, I’m praying more, I’m spending more time with God because I’m enjoying him. I am delighting myself in my amazing God. And he will give me the desires of my heart and show me his perfect will. So keep on delighting. He will show you and give you the desires of your heart.” Was that me?…I’ll admit that I’m not that sure on what I should do anymore and that I’ve been slacking when it come to my quiet time with my Abba. But what I said then is still true (and I’m gonna take my own advice this time!) S.D.G

My purpose? Or His?

I was thinking the other day…what’s my purpose? And I was thinking about the worship team and thought about our purpose. What is it? I’ve been reading different books and listening to music and of course the Bible… and I have come to this. My purpose is to decrease, to fade into the background, to point my figure away from myself and to someone else. That someone is God. I will be honest, I’ve gotten distracted. I’ve gotten caught up in the lights, the nervous feeling before playing at youth group, and that almost self-righteous humility. I’ll admit it. I know I’m not perfect and I know I’ve forgotten the reason I’m on the worship team. It’s to point to God and say it’s not me, it’s HIM. The most amazing times in worship that I have had are when I feel the smallest and I can feel his bigness. When I realized that if I was gone…everything would go on without me and bring glory to God, it was a scary insecure feeling. Do I really matter then? Of course, but God wants to use you to HIS purpose, not yours. He has our role set out from the beginning of time to play in his story of life, but if you chose to walk away and quit your role, the story would still go on. When I thought of all of this I felt ashamed and hurt and I’m still confused and feel regret. Why haven’t I been giving God my all in worship when I lead? I’ve been distracted. I’ve been caught up in wondering if the others are worshiping, being a perfectionist, and honestly embarrassed to be up in front worshiping. When I hear the song background by Lecrae…it makes me see how much I need to change. A line says “A true star just lead them to the super Star..I could play the background, I could play the background, caz I know sometimes I get in the way. So won’t you take the lead and lead me? And I can play the background, background and you can take the lead…” So simple, yet so hard to put into practice or even fully comprehend. In my life I need to decrease and Jesus increase. I wrote a while back to let my feelings…go…out…and it was about how it hurt to be humbled. One line went “…surrendering to being humbly humiliated in your own eyes.” I’m embarrassed that I haven’t learned this sooner….It’s all about God in everything I do. And I’m supposed to point up and away from me. God is so big and yet he wants a little speck of dust like me to worship him. He finds my worship pleasing and delightful and he enjoys it. But I’m dust!!  That’s just God. My purpose is to decrease and Jesus to increase. I fall to my knees so it’s you that they see not I.

Hope.

Hope is the smell of rain on the way.

Hope is a simple smile on the hardest of days.

Hope is a wind of change blowing your way.

Hope is the chain that holds back your greatest fear.

Hope is the rest in the restless nights.

Hope is the driving force of your heart when all else misses the beat.

Hope is an innocence that is neither blind nor naïve.

Like the smell of rain after months of blistering, sweltering, torturing heat.

When it rains the dust falls and the plants drink

While we sit and watch as we let fall our anxieties and drink up of what is next to come.

Like a stranger passing by that takes the time to catch your eye
giving you a smile of the simplest kind, but somehow saying “you’ll make it child.”

Like a gust of wind when you’re all alone.

 It can wrap you up in its cold free arms but it won’t last forever

 And maybe that’s what we’re supposed to remember.

Like a strong chain holds back a fierce dog to let you pass freely without attack.

Fear can be the same, you can keep it at bay; it won’t go away but it won’t attack your soul. Hope is the simplest reminder that help is on the way.

A better day is drawing near, a day without fear.

 Hope whispers in the loudness of our wounds and fears “Nothing lasts forever.”

What do you think?

I want to really know. So please leave a comment. No one will know it’s you. So why not? I want to know.

What do you think about God? Do you believe there is a god or no? Why? Are you saying you don’t believe when you’re really mad at him? You can’t be mad at God and not believe in Him at the same time. I want to know. I’m not ashamed of my God. All I want is to know what YOU are thinking. Please comment! Thank you!

~Bethany Ann.

empty promises and hope defered

I wrote this a while ago and I just found it…

“Empty promises will wear. I know. It seems like all my life I’ve been handed promises over and over again. Promises of better circumstances, better relationships, better everything. Everyone has fallen through it seems. It’s like promising a child that behind that closed door there is a pink pony and if they would just open it they can have it. The child runs and flings the door open to find an empty closet and turn around to hear the adults laughing at the innocent childlike faith. Lots of empty closets have been opened to me and every time I walk away like I’m fine but inside I want to cry like that little child wanting her pink pony to be real. People forget how promises are powerful. Promises aren’t just words you say and don’t come through with. If you promise you’re daughter that things will be better and I’ll have time for you again and you don’t come through…what do you think it does to her? Each and every promise you make to someone they build faith on your words. Because if you don’t come through and don’t honestly mean what you said then it’s like being betrayed when that faiths falls to the ground and is trampled. Each empty closet has given me a brick creating brick wall to protect myself with. So when I hear those promises…they don’t come rushing through the wall to start being nurtured with faith. No, they wait outside the brick wall while I, inside, decide whether or not to let it come through.

I know what needs to happen is to let God take down my brick wall piece by piece and let him examine and heal each wound. I know that’s what needs to happen. But the fact is it’s easier to stay protected than to allow myself to be vulnerable and set myself up for disappointment. “

…chaotic soul…

Trapped.  She sits wondering, watching , waiting, she sees it. The place her soul waits. Half burried beneath time and grass. There lies her soul trapped in a stone cage. As she sits wondering, watching, waiting she longs to climb to the top of the grassy mound of stone and give her sacrifice. Laying down everything for her one desire. For her soul to be her own once more and not alone. She crawls in heartless agony to the top of her longing. When she reaches the top she dances with a fierce beauty and a recklessness that gives way to tears. As she dances she realizes the song is from her soul down beneath the hardened rock of history. She stops but the songs continues. She lays down to wait, watch, wonder. She will remain there til the song reveals a way for breakthrough. Although trapped behind heartbreak and unbreakable stone she has never been more in tune with her soul.

Bethany

S.D.G

humbly humiliated.

This is an old one…I just found it…<3

Hearing the truth hurts. It humbles you and makes you really think. It makes you thinkg “How could I have missed that? How stupid am I that I couldn’t see that?” Realizing you wern’t/aren’t as good or nice of a person you made yourself out to be hurts. It really makes you fall humbly to your knees but not for others to see. You fall in your heart surrendering to being humbly humiliated in your own eyes. It doesn’t feel good. It’s like you can feel the air deflating from your head and once all the air is let out… you see things clearer and not as if you’re in a higher puffed up seat. You see things from the ground up and realize everything is bigger than YOU.

Bethany Ann

S.D.G

what shade are you?

What shade of lost are you?
A dreary gray or a deafening black?
A shade of gray that shades your face from light of day,
or a black that screams til’ you are color blind to the things that be?
All cones shaded by deafening blackness and stone cold your arms now seem.
Cold, for they are far from the warm embrace of the east wind.
They have seen hurricanes and now see how strong love can be.
They have learned to caress the lost and lonely in their windy-wings.
What shade of lost are you, my friend?
How far gone are you, dear?
How far down is your soul buried beneath your heart
of blackened steal?
Oh, can you even hear me now?
Or has the dark deafened you from seeing,
and your ears shaded from hearing
as the east wind sings its song?

-Bethany Ann.

S.D.G.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.