15 December 2010

frustrated...with myself

truth be told, i'm frustrated.
mostly with myself.
and i'm to blame.

i can get past the not blogging in over a month. i don't like that i haven't made time for it, but the only way to change that is to do something about it now. so i am.

but what i'm really frustrated with is how i handled a situation. you see, i was out shopping on black friday doing my thing, getting gifts, having fun, and reaching my level of overstimution and hunger....at 10am. i'm looking around trying to get a couple more gifts...

remember, i'm overstimulated and hungry at this point.

so, i'm standing in what would be my final store and notice a former co-worker from at least 10 years ago. not only were we co-workers, we were also close friends. friends that hung out on the weekends, had similar interest, even traveled together.

and i made a conscience decision not to say anything to her.

i go about my business doing my own thing, knowing that she's in the same store just inches away from me and continue not to say anything. because after we pass by each other a couple times it gets more and more awkward and you wonder if at that point you should even say anything.
i end up leaving the store without the perfect gift and feeling like a complete idiot for not even saying hi.

because what did I have to lose???

the answer is simply....


and now i'm left feeling frustrated and thinking that i missed out...

26 October 2010


personal sabotage....ever done it? i caught myself in the midst of it this past weekend....

i was invited to a small gathering, where i really didn't know many people. it was slightly awkward as i was there by myself, but i still felt content and calm in the situation. as the event began to progress, i even remember taking a moment to thank God for the contentment i felt being there by myself.

and then it hit me....

i was there by myself.

so all this peace and comfort that God was giving to me, i began to turn it into something more.

i was sabotaging myself.

here God is controlling the situation, calming my heart, providing me with unlimited reassurance....
and i sabotage it.
my self-talk begins, uneasy feelings creep up inside of me, and the peace quickly slips away.

once again, it's me fighting God for control and


25 October 2010

witnessing love

have you ever been at a wedding and witnessed a certain magical connection between the bride and groom? now you might think that every wedding is magical in it's own way because of the love between the couple. but what i'm talking about is a certain oneness that is not always visible at wedding ceremonies...it something that's unspoken between the bride and groom, and it is so magical that they are connected in the most intimate way.

this was something i witnessed this summer.
it was breath-taking!
i felt honored and blessed to be apart of the evening.

and i vividly remember what God showed me that night.

another time was at a foot washing. and you know the scenario right? we wash the feet of others, as Jesus did for His disciples before His own death. it's a time to slow down, to show our appreciation....our gratitude.....our love for another. it's a humbling experience being on both sides of this. it's one of those stop and think moments, when you know that God is there working....connecting with you, and if you quiet your heart and mind just enough...

...you can hear Him.

i did
and i desperately wanted to hold onto that moment,
wanting to hear more words
and in a flash,
it was gone.

but i remember what God said.

22 October 2010

proverbs 3:5

"trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

today, i'm focusing on those words, meditating on them, and to be honest, i can't get past the first word....trust


i think my hold up is that in this broken world that we live in, it's not easy to find a good example of how that looks...or how that feels. and that's sad to say.

so i spent some time trying to figure out what true trust looks like and what it would feel like. and yet i couldn't come up with a valid earthly example because everything i thought of had broken trust some where along the line.

the only one who is the true example of trust is God, plain and simple. He's never broken my trust, never failed me or left me. and even with God as the shining example, i still struggle with this passage.


because i'm looking towards the earthly, instead of the eternal.

i'm looking to the here and now, instead of things not of this world.

i want an earthly example of trust.

do you have one?

11 October 2010

where do you find your release?

today, i came home with a full head of thoughts; lots on my mind and the need to relieve some of it. you know, it was just one of those days....where you feel as though you're being used by God and then you feel tested at other times, all within the same day, hour, minute. it's that overwhelming feeling with the need to take your mind off of it.

so, i cleaned my bathroom.

say what?!?!

yes, you read that correctly, that's i was able to occupy my mind, even for a little bit.

i realized that instead of fighting God for the control in the here and now, i needed to find something i could control in my life. and i can definitely control the cleanliness of my bathroom. so i got my supplies and dedicated some time to making my bathroom look good. and i do feel better.

okay, so porcelain doesn't shine as well as it could, but it is clean. and i know that God's still got this and i'm not wasting my energy battling Him for power....because let's face it, i do that enough (just ask me about my restless night last night).

i also know that i invested my energy in a good way, so much so that it took mind off somethings...even temporarily.

so where do you find your release today?

05 October 2010

forgive myself?

i was rereading luke 17, specifically 17:3-4. Jesus instructs us to forgive those who sin against us....even when they repeat the sin. if they come back and repent, we are to forgive. and it doesn't matter if they ask five times or fifty-five times. we are to forgive the sinner.

forgive the sinner.

forgive the sinner.

...but how hard is it to apply it to ourselves?

because isn't it easier to carry our own baggage around than to let it go and be forgiven?
isn't it comfortable carrying that extra weight around on our shoulders?
feeling the strain of it on our lives?

satan constantly reminds me of my failures. and unfortunately i will hear his voice louder than God's.
yet, the same forgiveness i give to others i should give to myself....right?


because i don't deserve to carry it around more than anyone else.

it is something i need to ask God for and willingly accept.

it is something i am worthy of.

it is something i deserve.

why must i battle it then?

03 October 2010


it's sunday morning and i'm sitting blogging with a cup of coffee near by. my stomach has just woken up and is beginning to let me know that it's hungry. right now it's something that's just subtle, nothing that can't be ignored while i sit here finishing my thoughts.

and this got me thinking and wondering, "what are we all truly hungry for?"
and i'm thinking beyond the substance of food...

today, i can't put my finger on what exactly would fill me up. i pretty sure it's because i'm distracted by my to-do list today and everything that i want to accomplish....and i'm partly to blame as i'm not letting my heart and mind be quiet enough to figure it out.

and maybe it will be something that will come to me later in the day, when i least expect it. God does have a way of doing that....and as i type that a smile comes across my face, knowing that indeed that is how He works. He has planted the thought, now it's mine to cultivate.

so, i need to ask you, what are you hungry for?






what would fill you up right now, past the content feeling, to making you feel full?

i hope you find that today

01 October 2010


lately, i've been thinking about how critical i am of others, situations, and even myself. i have realized that i put on and wear a judge's robe without actually realizing or acknowledging the fact that i have it on. i can assume that role of a judge like none other.

from the little petty stuff,
to the critical comments,
to the bigger things in life,
to issues that are personal to me

i address them with my judge's robe on and gavel in hand...

and sometimes i don't even realize that i'm wearing the robe

or holding the gavel

...and it's got to stop...


"none of us has the right to condemn anyone" mother teresa

30 September 2010


fact: i am not a fan of celebrating my own birthday.

and i'm sure there's some deep, psychological reason associated with it too, because isn't there always???

i'm much more comfortable being outside of the spot light than in it.
i would much rather work on surprising someone else, then have a surprise myself.
call it a lack of control, call it whatever you'd like.
it's just the way it is.

so, i've decided that tomorrow, i'm going to let my guard down and face my birthday head on....

i'm going to willingly and graciously accept the love, words of admiration, and caring thoughts.

and if i embrace the day and go into it with a positive attitude, i just might have positive results.

because truly, what do i have to loose?
....when there is so much that can be gained...

26 September 2010

answered prayer vs unanswered prayer

many people pray to be led to that special person, the one that they feel just might make their life complete. it has been a prayer request for many i know. God recently answered that prayer for my friend.

today, i will go to a bridal shower for a friend who will get married next month. this has been an incredibly fast journey for her, as she just met this man a few months ago.

she knows it's right,
he knows it's right,
and they know God has joined them and created this,
His answer to their prayers.

and it makes me smile to see such joy and elation on my friend's face, knowing that she will soon exchange vows with the man of her dreams (literally, but that's another blog entry).

she has received an answer to her prayer, praise the Lord!

but what do you do with those times/events when you don't receive the answer you're looking for or wanting?

do you launch into a solo of garth brook's "unanswered prayers"?

because, yes, sometimes i do thank God for those unanswered prayers....even when in the moment of it all, i desperately want it to go another way.

other times, i get angry for things not going the way i for see them to go....which is the control factor that i need to ease myself out of.

and through it all, God knows exactly which way it should go, even if it doesn't make sense to me in the here and now.

20 September 2010

restless at night

last night i was reading about mother teresa before i went to bed. the routine of reading before bed is normal for me, as it's relaxing. normally, i can only get through a few pages before dozing off. i was hoping that reading last night would quiet my thoughts and help me drift off to sleep, as usual.

instead, it did the opposite.

i was laying in bed and all of a sudden....
and pictures
of what i read kept firing off in my head.

the more i tried to settle them, the more difficult it became as i fought against them.

have you ever read something like that....and it started to transform you....instantly?

i know and believe that God is working during those times

08 July 2010


yesterday, i was listening to the radio and 'healing begins' by tenth avenue north came on. if you haven't heard this song before, listen to it. the message behind it is clear. and this got me thinking....

i have been a master builder of walls.

truly, i should be in the construction business because i consider myself an expert at building them. let me just tell you that i can lay bricks and mortar like none other! i mean, there are no gaps in my construction of walls, no cracks, no little spots where you can peak through. the big bad wolf would even have a hard time huffing and puffing trying to blow my walls down.

but what good are walls?

05 July 2010


have you ever met someone who has the ability to project beauty from the inside out and not even realize it? now i'm not talking that they wear designer clothes or even were/are part of the cool kids. what i'm talking about is that they know God so deeply and have a certain understanding about Him...so much so that i can't at times wrap my head around it. they love themselves so much, not in a conceded way; yet it allows them to be loved by God and others. and they are able radiate this beauty that God has planted deep within them to everyone that they meet.

i know someone like that.

she lets beauty shine.

04 July 2010


i know the holidays can be a time of reflection, a mile marker in your life; as it's easier to be reflective on holidays as opposed to let's say the third wednesday of every month. periods of reflection are good as life seems to have seasons associated with it, joyful seasons, sorrowful seasons, seasons of change, seasons of hardships, days when everything is going right, days when nothing can seem to go right. doesn't this begin to remind you of ecclesiastes 3:1-8.....?

so over the past few days, i've spent a little time each day thinking about this past year. and to be honest, i feel like i have been in a storm for the past year, not one marked by some great tragedy. truly, it was many different life situations, that when they were all added up it felt like a hurricane was repeatedly beating me down. and as i was in the eye of the storm, it felt like those were the days that were difficult to endure. the overwhelming pressure of it all, not knowing which way to turn or who to seek advice from. it was during some of those days that i would heavily lean upon God and feel as close to Him as possible, while during other days i would try and manage on my own. as david cried out in the book of psalm, i would too wonder when this would be over. when would this storm pass? and for some reason, i knew it would take about a year. call it a gut reaction or a God thing. either way, i just knew.

so it's been about a year and now the storm is beginning to blow away.

and some might ask, how do you know it's over? let me be clear, the storm isn't over because the year is officially up and God was there watching a calendar. and it's definitely not over because i did something right to earn God's favor. when it really comes down to it, i can't specifically say how i know. it's just this feeling i have in my heart and even in the pit of my stomach signaling to me that everything is going to be alright. call it faith, call it trust, call it whatever you'd like.

what i do know is this...i know that i have a new peace about me that wasn't there two or three weeks ago. it is this gradual feeling of peace that has begun to wash over me and i'm allowing it to. i'm choosing to feel this peace and tranquility, to let the storm pass and not hold onto the past year.

30 June 2010

free hugs

a simple gesture says it all.....


12 June 2010

one word

the other evening i was getting coffee with a couple of teenage girls and we were talking about our faith and prayer life. and i posed the question, "what's one word to describe your prayer life?" they responded with the word 'lame' and my word isn't much better as i feel as though i'm 'sporadic'. this is a question i had personally been wrestling with myself. and the word i associate with my prayer life is not the word i would like.

faithful, faithful is the word i would like to use to describe my prayer life...romans 12:12. but i have work to do in order to get to that, and it is something i'm willing to work on.

so, what's one word you would use to describe your prayer life?

18 May 2010

if there is a God...

lately, i have found myself saying, "if there is a God,....then this will happen."

or, "if there is a God,....blah, blah, blah"

"if there is a God,....."

"if there is a God,....."

"if there is a God,....."

i know there is a God, so why is this phrase part of my vocabulary? i don't need to challenge God.

He's there, and whether or not He honors my request to prove that there "is a God" really doesn't matter.

what matters is that He's there...always there for me

i need to remember that

16 May 2010

God in spin class?

yesterday, as i was in spin class (waiting for it to begin), i was hit with a thought and began to wonder about the salvation of those who were also in the room taking the class with me. this was a new experience for me, and yet i'm glad that i was open to it then and there. and one would think that with it being spin class, maybe God wouldn't use them at that time/place...you know, so you could stay in the zone and get a good workout in. because isn't good health/fitness important?!? anyway, i was able to stay in the zone and get my workout in, but the thought still was on my heart and in my mind.

so what do you do with that?

and the easy, logical answer would be to pray about it and the let the Spirit lead.

and yes, i plan to do that. but i also will ponder why the Spirit came upon me then and there, and what's the greater purpose for this all?

i know i need to keep my eyes, ears, and even heart open to hear the call of God and see how He will use me in this case, to possibly further His kingdom. it sounds like an exciting adventure.

and it definitely affirms the fact that the Lord works in mysterious ways...

15 May 2010

zacchaeus, continued

okay, so i was thinking more about the story of zacchaeus and how he had to climb up a tree just to see the face of Jesus. for some reason, that really struck me. a grown man climbing a tree just to see the face of Jesus. can you imagine having the
conviction deep within yourself to do that?

what must that have looked like?...a grown man, even small in stature, climbing a tree. not only was he a tax collector and looked down upon for that, but now he's climbing a tree. no wonder the crowd shouted things about him and judged him. think about how people in today's society would react to an event like that.

yet, he's the one that Jesus wanted. Jesus purposefully set out to see zacchaeus and spend time with him.

and the truth is, Jesus wants us just as much as He wanted zacchaeus.

it's just up to us to seek His face.

so, are you going to look for Him?

14 May 2010


read luke 19:1-10

it's interesting to note the three different types of characters in this story. there's Jesus, zacchaeus, and the crowd of people, and the way the each act is entirely different from the other. and it makes me wonder which one i am in the story. do you ever do that, wonder which character you are in a biblical story?

as i'm reading and reflecting on the story and i realize that i'm not Jesus or zacchaeus. instead, i'm the crowd of people. yuck! that's not the role i wanted; yet, it's the role i most identify with.

i see myself as someone who is willing to judge others just to make myself look better. and that's exactly what the crowd did to zacchaeus. they saw him as a tax collector and nothing better. however, zacchaeus saw himself as something and someone more, someone who was able to make a change for the better.

and just like zacchaeus, we're able to see ourselves as something more and make a change for the better. it couldn't have been easy for zacchaeus to do this, and it's certainly not going to be easy for us.

but if zacchaeus can find it deep within himself to pay back all his debts, four times over....
can't i find it within myself to not judge?

and that's when i need to decide to make a chance and figure out who's voice is going to be the louder one in my head...

the voice of the crowd?

or the voice of God?

12 May 2010

the tax collector or the pharisee?

after reading luke 18:9-14, i feel myself battling between the two roles of the tax collector and the pharisee. i say this because i feel myself taking on both roles, depending on the audience. and in all actuality, neither title sounds appealing...tax collector?...pharisee?

you see, when i'm around others, i want to be seen as the tax collector. someone who is repentant, sorrowful, and in need of mercy; yet thankful for all that has been done. this is how i want to be seen outwardly, even though i may feel different on the inside. i know that sounds horrible, but it's true.

on the inside, i'm sometimes like the pharisee. i want God to acknowledge how i'm doing things right and others aren't. i want the glory for myself. i want God to put me up on the pedestal that He should be standing upon.

when i'm feeling like that, it's time for my inside to be humbled.

it's time for me to be transformed from the inside out.

09 May 2010

it's just you and me, God

yesterday, i had the opportunity to run a mini-marathon. yes, that's 13.1 miles and if you know me or have known me, that task may have been deemed nearly impossible.

the preparation and training for it took months, literally! i started my own training in november to prepare for this in may. i needed to succeed at this. not only for health reasons, but to prove to myself that it was possible.

race day came with much anticipation and nervousness. i was more nervous days before than on the actual day. i made a list of people to pray for on my hand, as a way to distract me during the run and connect with God all at the same time. it was a good distraction and reminder of people who are dealing with different things, some of whom couldn't do what i was doing because of medical conditions. it was a way to remind me to press on towards the goal.

around mile 11 or 12, extreme fatigue hit me.

i wanted to give up,

to sit down

right then and there.

but my friend, trainer, co-runner was there, and she was not going to let me quit! and that's exactly what i needed. without her, i wouldn't have crossed that finish line. so, i gathered myself up, as best as i could, and reached out to God.

now i was praying for myself.

God has repeatedly been asking me, "why don't you trust me?" i was bound and determined to show Him that i did, by allowing Him (and my friend) to get me through this race.

i called out to God, "it's just you and me, God."

and He heard me loud and clear. by His grace and mercy, i was able to finish the race strong, with my dear friend beside me, coaching me the whole way.

you see, God didn't give up on me.

He never has.

He's been there all along,
waiting for me to ask Him for help.

He's teaching me to trust Him and others. i'm thankful for the experience, as difficult as it may have seemed at the time.

05 May 2010


i see it....

in the face of a 50 year old woman, who had a stroke when she was in her 40's and is now paralyzed on the right side and is wheelchair bound.

in watching someone achieve something they may have deemed nearly impossible, and because they continually tried and didn't give up, they were successful.

in someone who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and somehow, by God's grace, can give the glory back to God, in hopes that they can bring someone to the Lord through the whole experience.

in daily experiences
and when i'm open to it, i allow it to guide my day.

where do you find your inspiration?

03 May 2010

matthew 6:8

..."for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." matthew 6:8

right now, it's so difficult to wrap my head around this passage, to understand it's depth and meaning, wondering how that's even possible.

how can someone know what is always needed, before it is requested?

it makes me think of how a mom takes care of her newborn baby. she can't always know what the baby needs before the baby begins to cry out. most of the time when trying to accommodate it's trial and error, possibly never finding the perfect balance to sooth or ease the needs of the baby. and the mother will continue to press on, trying to learn the nonverbal cues of the baby.

i guess that's where God is different. He just knows. He shows us His power, His perfection, by knowing us from inside and out.


...and i need to remember that...

01 May 2010

on fire for God?

have you ever felt on fire for God? i'm not talking when you're in church and you can feel the Spirit within you or after you've participated in a great bible study.

i'm talking about the common moments of the day,
when you're washing dishes or driving across town...
then, all of a sudden you just get this overwhelming feeling deep within yourself.

and it's not because all is right in the world and your life is perfect.

it happens just because you allow it to.

you let the Spirit come into you and fill you up.

and once you acknowledge it, it slowly slips away...because you're starting to take control, instead of letting Him take control.

and even when this happens,
and the feeling does begin to fade some,
you still can remember that moment when you were on fire for God.

18 April 2010


the other night i was laying in bed and heard God ask me, "beth, why don't you trust me?" ouch! God is calling me out on my behavior. in a way, it hurts to know that's He's acknowledging my failure, my inability to follow Him. and since then, i have been trying to come up with an answer/response/retort, but to no avail. it's been weighing heavily on my heart. God has clearly called me out on something, and i don't have a suitable answer for Him.

i see it as being similar to adam and eve being in the garden of eden and God asking adam where He is. read genesis 3. God knows the answers to the questions He is asking, yet He asks them anyway...just to make adam aware.

...i guess He's doing the same to me....

15 April 2010

all you need is....

okay, so maybe the beatles had it right, "all you need is love". because without love, what are we? and what does it mean to love?

"...and if i have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, i am nothing." 2 corinthians 13:2

"love is patient and kind..." 2 corinthians 13:4

"love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things." 2 corinthians 13:7

"so now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 2 corinthians 13:13

amazingly, God is able to be all of these things, encompassing all these qualities, just for us. i can see it at different times in the world and even within the people i meet and encounter on a day to day basis. i can even exhibit these qualities to others, but not to myself. i'm sure you can understand that it's easier to apply it to others. because when we apply it to ourselves, it forces us to be honest with ourselves, and to deeply apply it to my own life, take it into my heart and let it be there, is something different.

i know that i should feel the love that God gives,
to embrace it,
to let it flow through me,
cover me,
heal me,
let it take care of my brokenness,
and love me for who i am and where i am at right now.

...but i struggle with that...

the unconditional love that God supplies is hard to swallow because i see myself as undeserving and not worthy. and as i type that, i hear God saying...

"no beth, that's not right because....
you are worthy,
you are deserving,
and i love you."

13 April 2010

more on mary magdalene

i have thought of a couple more reasons why i appreciate the story of mary magdalene in the bible. it's more to show me how real she was, in the sense that she was just like you and i.

-she reminds me of how similar we are as she battled satan/demons. luke 8:1-3

-she was at the cross as Christ was crucified. matthew 27:56

-she was then at the tomb of Jesus on Easter morning. matthew 27:57-61

so after thinking about mary magdalene's life and looking at her example, do our sins determine who we are or can a new word define each of us?

12 April 2010

matthew 15:16

recently, i was listening to a podcast and matthew 15:16 was jokingly referenced. i looked it up (esv version) and it reads: "and he (Jesus) said, 'are you also still without understanding?'" you see, Jesus is talking to His disciples about how we all defile and hurt one another. i love how he calls them out and basically says to them, "what don't you understand?!? what am I not saying clear enough for you?!? how can you not get it?!?". i wonder what Jesus' tone of voice must have been like and how His face must have looked at this point in time in this conversation. think about how irritated must He have felt, as they were not grasping the lesson He was sharing with them.

and then i begin to think of myself and wonder what i'm not getting.

how often must God be saying to me, "beth, are you also still without understanding?"

even one better is in the nlt translation, which states, "'don’t you understand yet?' Jesus asked." (notice that they had to include the 'yet' in the translation.)

and no, i don't think i understand 'yet'. because when i think i get things figured out in my life, i fall back into not understanding what's going on. i fall into the same patterns of behavior, repeat lessons, and don't learn anything new. so no, i don't understand yet.

and if Jesus had to ask His closest friends this, imagine what He wants to ask you and i.

10 April 2010

wait, you don't like me?

is there anyone else out there like me, stuck in wanting to be liked by all? i say 'stuck' as if it's a temporary thing. but you know, you seek to be liked. and maybe it's not something you'd readily admit. it might not be an outward showing as you want to remain tough and strong, but deep down inside it's something you desire. it's wanting that validation from those close to you, to a stranger in a store.

we just want to be liked by everyone.

that doesn't sound unrealistic, does it?

i was really thinking about this today. and as i was driving, this concept was put into perspective for me. call it a divine intervention, if you want. i came to realize that not everyone likes God, so how can i expect everyone to like me.

did you catch that....not everyone likes God, so how can i expect everyone to like me?

in fact, there's times when i know i don't like God and i don't like myself, so why hold others to that same level? and really, does it matter in the big picture if other's don't like me? no, it really doesn't.

and when i think of things that way, it's a little easier to swallow, a little easier to digest.

i have to realize that no, people aren't going to always like me. God and i will just have to live with that.

for some reason, knowing that i'm not alone and that He's with me in this makes a difference.

09 April 2010

calling the sinners

matthew 9:13 reads, "but go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' for I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

my friend recently texted this verse to me and asked me what it meant to me. when i began thinking about it, i began focusing on the end of the verse..."for i have not come to call the righteous, but sinners". i love how Christ recognizes that. He clearly states that He wants the sinners, calling us by name. He's not interested in those who have it all together, the ones who act like they are free from any wrong doing.

Christ wants the sinners.

He wants those who don't have it all together, those who are a mess. the ones who have made countless bad choices, yet still try. people who know that they are sinful human beings. He calls the ones who fail on a daily basis. Christ wants the ones who are in need of grace and mercy, that only He can provide.

He calls you and i to Him.

He just wants to be with those who need Him.

08 April 2010

open to new things or stuck in the old?

how often do we carry our cross, sometimes longer than necessary? i know that might make a few of your cringe or want to argue with me, but it's true. i'm just as guilty of it as anyone else. sometimes we carry our cross because it becomes comfortable and it's easier to carry it than to face the uncertain in changing ourselves.

"...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, i press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." philippians 3:13b-14

so let's press on and let go.

when it's time to let go of our crosses, let's be brave enough to do that. and i write the for myself and for you. because when it comes down to it, the goal and reward is so much better than anything we will endure here on earth.

07 April 2010

mary magdalene

i have recently been thinking about mary magdalene and what her life would have been like, to live at the time of Jesus. i know she gets a horrible rap for the choices she made and the way she chose to live her life. and you might be thinking, "beth, she's one of the most noted woman sinners of Jesus' time. why are you thinking about her? what could she possibly teach you?"

you see, she's a sinner just like you and i. the difference is that her life and sinful nature is written about in the bible for all to read, and thankfully mine is not.

and amid all her sin and troubles, she was a devout follower of Christ. i guess that's what i see when i look at her example in the bible. i see how she continually followed Jesus, even in her hard times.

i think that's a good lesson for us all. when the world is looking at us and judging our sins, we should find hope our in Lord.

04 April 2010


today is Easter sunday. it's not a surprise to me and may not be a surprise to you either. but i think of all those who don't know what this day really, truly stands for. i think of those who are caught up in the cadbury eggs and jelly beans. those who look to the easter bunny for colored eggs and fun toys symbolizing spring is here.

i look at how big the world is and wonder how can this be.

i see posts on facebook today declaring that 'He is risen!' and this will be seen by believers and nonbelievers. a few might respond by saying 'He is risen, indeed!' some will go about their day without really acknowledging it. others may will see it, know it's something, but not ask what it's really about.

and that makes me sad.

because i know that the tomb was empty.

and i want others to know that too.

02 April 2010


a friend recently shared the following story with me...

...during my run, a man in a beat up van was driving slowly through the neighborhood. i was slightly scared at first, but kept running towards him. i saw that he got out of the van, walked to the garbage can, and took out a rug that had been thrown in the trash. he then proceeded to next can to find more 'treasure'...

and as i reflect on this story, i wonder if i would intently look for my 'treasure' that way. would i want to dig through other people's garbage to find that one special thing? and then i wonder if i can look at others in that same way, past their flaws and see them as a treasure.

you see, God does that.

He's looking for us, amid all the garbage and turmoil that we may have weighing us down. He doesn't care how much toxic waste, trash, or bad choices are in our lives or in the way. He will dig through all of that just to claim us. He is able to see through all that down to the core of who we really are...

because we are His treasure

01 April 2010

something to ponder

what does it mean to believe in Jesus?

31 March 2010

loose to gain

sometimes we have to loose a little, so we can gain so much more.

and i think of what i can loose in order to gain. this goes beyond the physicality of weight and such. because if i start to let go of things and move beyond things of the world, i begin to wonder what i can truly gain.

and the blessing is this is God will reveal it little by little. i know this because i have witnessed this within my own life as i start to let things go. prior to doing that, i was fearful of the change and what would/could happen. i would psych myself out of it, before anything had happened. luckily, God blesses me and shows me what i can gain from it all.

and if i let Him in a little at a time, it's not so scary.

i just need to remember that and keep my life focused on Him

29 March 2010

philippians 1:19

"for i know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance" (philippians 1:19)

i take comfort in those words recently; yet, struggle at the same time with them. i know, it sounds like an oxymoron, but i just wonder how certain life events can work out for someone's deliverance. because when it comes down to it, i feel (as rob bell would say) as though i'm just have a 'habakkuk day/season/year'. i don't say that to receive pity, but to acknowledge that life is hard. and when life is hard, i begin to wonder how it all can work out for my deliverance.

i guess it's during those difficult time that my faith is increased, along with hope and trust in God. that's when i feel comfort from those words. and it's not that i even have that verse entirely memorized either. all i have to do i think philippians 1:19 and the basic message comes across to me. i need to embrace that and not doubt.
because when i doubt, i'm doubting God's power in all of this.

25 March 2010

the prodigal son

i'm going to be very honest right now, i don't like the parable of the prodigal son (luke 15:11-32). i truly don't. i have come to the conclusion it is because it's the parable i most need to connect with. my avoidance is really blocking me from seeking the message within it.

you see, i don't like the way either of the sons acts. the younger one is too careless and too carefree. he's goes out and does what he wants, and when he fails he comes home. this aggravates me. then the older son whines and constantly seeks validation. he likes the rules and wants them to be kept. and if that's not enough, then there's the father...the loving, merciful father. who seems to love both of his sons, unconditionally. and i wonder, how does he love like that? and if it can't get any better, the father goes on to forgive his son. what?!? the son that wanted his money and left him, he goes and offers forgiveness to.

do you see my frustration with this story?!?

it's just not fair.

it's just not fair.

it's just not fair.

and when i say that, i'm missing the point of it.
the father loves and forgives because Our Father loves and forgives

23 March 2010

'open skies' by david crowder band

"...from wherever you are
wherever you've been
He's been there..."

i think sometimes i take this for granted, and sometimes i choose not to acknowledge it. and the truth is, i need to be mindful of it and realize that God will meet me wherever i am at.

i just need to be willing to meet Him

22 March 2010

"Father forgive..."

after reading and reflecting on luke 23:32-38, i try to imagine what it would have been like to be Jesus on the cross, in His final moments, watching men gamble for His clothes.

take a moment to picture what that really would have been like.

if that were you, how would you feel?

would you be able to ask for forgiveness for those who are wronging you right in front of your very eyes?

personally, i couldn't. i know i would be so mad and angry! i would want to shout at them for touching my stuff, to scream out, "leave my stuff alone! this isn't fair!" i would want the injustice to end.

but that's where Jesus is different. He's able to show His divinity to us...to them.

as He speaks, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (luke 23:34a), He is seeking forgiveness not for Himself, but for those who are wronging Him.

where does He find the strength to do that?

how is he able to give grace and mercy to those who are sinning against Him?

...forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us...

and during those times when life really isn't fair and there's incredible injustice going on, how do you or i forgive?

simply put, we look to the cross because Jesus has been there

21 March 2010


i was getting ready to spend some time in the Word this morning and randomly flipping through my bible to see if anything would call out to me to read or focus on. i was hoping God would send me a message to read a certain passage in the bible, and in a way i guess He did.

i end up flipping through the new testament and stumble across philippians 4:11b. i'm using the word stumble because that's exactly what it felt like. God putting something in my way to draw my eyes to it, as if He wanted me to trip over it. the verse reads, "...for i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." and i must admit that after i read it, i rolled my eyes. yes, i rolled my eyes at a passage in the bible.

you see, the battle of contentment is difficult for me. i realize i should be content in all i have friends/family, health, a job, well-being, etc, etc. but when it comes down to it, i'm not content. there are other 'things' my heart longs for, other 'things' i want. and even before i was spending time in the Word, i was praying. i began by thanking God for certain things, but then transitioned into my desires/wants of my heart.


because i am lacking contentment in my circumstances

20 March 2010

where it's at for me today....

i took a short hiatus from blogging, due to the fact that i wasn't staying dialed in with God. i thought i was and could act like i was, but the truth is i was becoming distant. and today, a song called me back.

"by your side" by tenth avenue north is where it is for me. God's grace came pouring out to me in that song, calling me back, accepting me for where i'm at right now. as my day progresses on, i hear parts of it replaying in my head.

reminding me that God's right there,
He never left me,
even though i fell away from Him.

it's time for me not to fight off God and stop searching for things that i really don't need.

because when it comes down to it,

today i need Him

07 March 2010

"come to me"

this morning i wanted to take some time to just listen to what's around me. it's all part of the process of reconnecting with God, getting dialed in, and being in His presence.

so i sat and listened.

i heard the ticking of my ceiling fan, and my breathing slowed and fell into rhythm with it.

i heard an occasional bird, hopefully signifying that spring is on its way.

after a period of time, i began to hear, feel, and visualize God. and this is what it was like for me...

with my eyes closed i was listening. God was there. i felt as though i was coming home to Him once again, after a brief time away from Him, and there He was ready to embrace me...to hug me. only i didn't know how to respond to this. do i hug Him back? do i just stand there with my arms to my sides? i chose the latter because that's what i needed this morning. He was there welcoming me home, saying "come to me".

read joel 2:12-14a

06 March 2010

dialed in?

i have come to realize that right now, i'm definitely not as dialed into God as i'd like to be or even claim to be. it's easy to say that i am, but in reality i'm just not taking the time to do it.


i'm not exactly sure. i know some of it is time management. i'm sure another factor is that i don't want to knowledge what God wants/needs to tell me right now.

do you know what i mean?

it's that time in my life when i'm coasting along at a rather comfortable pace, without many bumps in the road. so i'm thinking, i can handle this on my own. i'm doing okay. i'll call out to God when trouble arises, but until then i'm doing well. no need to bother God when there's bigger problems in the world.

when in fact, now is when i need God.

i need to allow Him to search my heart and tell me what i need to hear.

i need to let Him in, instead of blocking Him out.

i need to take the time for Him because He daily makes time for me.

"search me, o God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
see if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way of everlasting."
psalm 139:23-24

05 March 2010

will vs. desire

recently i've been battling the difference between God's will and my heart's desire....wondering, how do you balance God's will to be done with the desires of your heart?

as we pray in 'the Lord's prayer,' we simply state "thy will be done". not my will, or my friend's will, or anyone elses, but "thy will be done". we are asking for God's will to be done in our lives. Jesus even sets the example by praying this same prayer to His Father, "not my will, but yours be done" (luke 42:46).

and i understand Jesus' prayer and the point of God's will being done, but i wrestle with praying for the desires of my heart.

in psalm 20:4 it says, "may He give you the desire of your heart...". wow, God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. and after reading this, i'm at a loss at what to do...

how can i pray for both the desires of my heart and for God's will to be done? because....
what if my desires and God's will are contrary to one another?

which leads me to wonder, am i brave enough then to desire my Father's will?

01 March 2010

2 corinthians 4:17

"for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

so how do we let go of our current troubles to focus on the eternal glory?

the easy answer is to go to God with it. i know that's what i should do, but don't always apply it. and sometimes the here and now is much more consuming than thinking about the glory that is to come.

i think that's when we need to remember the big picture of it all. yes, we still need to work our way through our current situations, while working on not getting bogged down in them. i know i need to look ahead at what's to come, and remember who is guiding me.

and when i do that, i feel more at ease with the grace and peace God gives. because i know this momentary trouble will soon pass, and in the days or months ahead it become less and less important. my prayer is that as i am able to do that...that we are able to do that. that my focus can be on that big picture...the eternal glory...that God has for me.

28 February 2010


some people think that silence is golden. others cherish it and want more of it. some even find it scary.

the other night i tried something new, i drove home in silence. and it was difficult, scary, and unsettling.

at first, i tried to fill the silence with dialog in my head; running thru prior conversations from the day. i realized what i was doing and then tried to shut it off. i was doing anything and everything to fill the silence. i reminded myself that this was supposed to be a silent activity, one that wasn't to be filled with noise or outside distractions.

once i began to allow myself to go there, i could feel God's presence. i could feel God there with me in my car; yet can't put it into words how i knew He was there. when i sensed His presence; it reached my soul. and then it scared me because it was just too quiet. i knew God was there, ready to talk to me and







quickly, i began to fill that silence with any distraction. i was blocking out God.

now reflecting back, i feel like i lost something from that night. i lost time that can't be gotten back, but more importantly, i lost out on what God wanted to tell me.

so, now it's time to try again.

to silence my heart,

to silence my mind,

and listen (not just hear) what God wants to tell me.

24 February 2010


what does it feel like to look at someone without judgement?...to not let our eyes be clouded with what the secular world values, but to look at others with compassion, openness, seeing the beauty in all.

unfortunately, i don't feel successful in doing this. i'm too quick to judge others based on their appearance. i'm too quick to see others as i want to see them and not as God wants me to see them.

and isn't there something lost when i...or we... do this?

do we miss out on opportunities and experiences because we're too focused on secular values?

do we miss out on people who could positively influence our lives, but we don't let them in because of our clouded judgement?

what would it look like for us to set that all aside then? to be able to look at people and experiences with open eyes and open hearts as God does, allowing Him to reveal the beauty He sees in all of us. think of all there is to gain! and by doing this, we can see His work, His majesty, His glory.

because when Jesus reigns in our hearts, it's shown in our lives.

17 February 2010

tattoos on ash wednesday

today while in the restroom, a little boy who had to be about 3 years old came up to me and asked if i had a tattoo on my forehead. i loved his innocence and curiosity, all rolled into one. i quickly thought of how to respond. this was my chance to tell someone about Jesus. even though i had imagined i would usually be witnessing to someone older, i still needed to let God use me in this instance.

i told the little boy it was a sign to represent Jesus. then his mom chimed in explaining that today was ash wednesday and people put a mark on their foreheads to remind them about Jesus. it was a sweet conversation and i'm so glad i was there where God needed me.

now, i sit at home still thinking about this. i think about how blessed i am to openly wear a sign of Christ, reminding me and those i come in contact with of His great sacrifice for us all. i also wonder how i can use that sign that i will wear just for today, throughout my lenten journey.

can i take that simple conversation and allow it to lead me closer to God?

will i allow God to use me in ways like that again?

my response is that i hope so...that my eyes, ears, and even heart will be open to simplistic things-
just like what happened today.

...from dust you came, to dust you shall return (genesis 3:19)...

12 February 2010

follow the leader

remember the game we used to play as a child? the only good part about it was being the leader. it wasn't as fun being the follower, unless there was the hope of one day leading the pack. as an adult, i feel like i can still play that game...except i still want to be the leader, when the greater One is there to lead.

it's easy with life situations to do this. take the lead over from God and then when things are tough or even going smoothly, i can give the lead back to God for awhile. and this game continues on into adulthood.

you see, i can take the lead because God won't fight me for it. He won't push me out of the way. He just graciously steps aside, knowing that i will fail, but loving me through it anyway.

so now it's my turn to give up the lead. if i say God is my leader, i need to commit to it and follow through with my words.

i know i will just be in the pack with everyone else,

but that's where i should be.

11 February 2010

the know it all

okay, i'm not talking about myself when i title this "the know it all" because i am far from that. i like to think i do know it all, but am constantly reminded that i don't. and for that, i am grateful. however, i'm sure that we all know someone who tends to take on that role, as annoying as it might be.

take for instance peter in luke 5:1-11. peter is trying to tell Jesus that he can't catch fish because they already tried to do so all night long, to no avail. did you catch that? peter is trying to tell Jesus something. i love this because it makes me smile as i am reminded of how much i am like peter. i think i have the answers, instead of being open to Jesus' teaching.

peter then decides to let the nets down to try and catch fish, as Jesus requested. and as peter does this, i wonder what the thoughts are that are running through his head. peter knows that it's impossible to catch fish right now, but because of Jesus it becomes possible.

it's the impossible becoming possible.

and all done because peter let Jesus in. he became open to Jesus, humbled himself, and was taught.

and i wonder if i'm open like that.
i think i am, but in reality am i really?

are you open to experience God like that?

07 February 2010

words of wisdom

today my friend reminded me that "perfection is found in the atoning grace of God, not in societal thinking."

why is it then do we get so caught up in what society values and thinks? i know it's because we tend to crave acceptance and validation of others, instead of worrying about getting those things from God. all of this makes me realize that i need to be reprogrammed to think differently.

when Jesus was out ministering, we know that He was with the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the ill/diseased. i am reminded of how others viewed Him for doing that. then i think of how Jesus saw perfection in those people. which made me wonder, do i do the same?

do i see perfection in all people, or do i only see perfection in the ones that society values?

am i so quick to judge others, instead of viewing them as God does?

and i know i don't see perfection in all people. i know i worry about how others will view me for accepting someone or something. and sometimes that worry even taints my point of view. i'm too caught up in gaining approval from others, instead of gaining approval from God.

which makes me realize that today, i need the Spirit to mold me and my heart to help me to do this. i need God to work in my life, to remind me of what His perfection is and where i can see it. and my prayer is that the grace of God can open all of our eyes to His perfection and beauty that He sees in each and everyone of us.

after all, we were created in His image (genesis 1:27), should we see others as anything less?

30 January 2010

God moments

if you're anything like me, you have those moments in life where you know God was there giving the right words or actions to another person, just for you to experience. today, that happened to me.

i had been recently praying about something in my life, not knowing the direction. clarity came today, when a few simple words were spoken from another person. the ironic thing is, i didn't realize it until much later in the day. once i did, i felt peace knowing God was there.

today, i am thankful for that moment God gave to me,
and i pray that you may be open to one as well.


in our culture today, we always want more or the best of something. it is almost as if we're programed to crave the latest technology, clothing, automobiles, you name it. i fall victim to this as much as anyone else.

when it comes down to it, don't we actually have less, even though it looks like we have more?

here's what i mean, we constantly want more....stuff. and it's just...stuff, that's filling some pain or void in our lives. a temporary fix to some problem, covering like a band-aid. but as we all try to fix ourselves this way, what is really being destroyed in the meantime?

for me, it's time to hear the voice of Jesus on my heart. He wants that deeper relationship with me, with you. and as i start to acknowledge that voice, it starts to get louder. i have to remember to let the voice be heard, to not shut it out because He's better than all this...stuff we have.

so, are we all willing to let this stuff go and grab onto something more deeper and more meaningful in life?


fear is a powerful thing. it's not a huge revelation, nor is it anything new to many of us.

we can allow it to control us,
to determine our path in life,
and even become a stronger voice than God.

and why do you or i allow this to happen?

it takes courage to fight fear head on. to take hope in the future and trust in God. and sometimes it is very hard to tap into that courage, to find it deep within ourselves. because sometimes it's buried so deep within us that we have forgotten how to use it.

but when we walk through those hard times, God is with us. isaiah 43:2 states, "when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

i find comfort in that fact that God will be with me, that He'll be with you.

so whatever fear or fearful situation you are battling right now, take comfort knowing that God is there with you. He's told us..

"I will be with you"

so, are you with Him?

22 January 2010


plants, crops, flowers, and even weeds are rooted in soil. you know what i mean...the roots go deep into the soil, holding on for dear life. knowing that the soil is what helps sustain them. it's a necessary part of their life. they don't want to let go of it.

"so then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." colossians 2:6-7

it's an interesting choice of words paul has in this letter to the colossians. why of all words did he choose...rooted?

i think he did so for that perfect analogy,

the visual of really being rooted in Christ.

grabbing ahold of Him for dear life

and not wanting to let go.

20 January 2010


when do we let go of the materialism in the world to seek something greater?

this question has been on my heart and in my mind recently. yes, i would have to say due to the recent disasters in the world, it has definitely been something i'm thinking about more and more. and isn't that sad that it takes tragedy to think of something like this?

you see, the secular world promotes what they see as successful, and Lord knows i've been subject to that myself. sucked into the lies of what's necessary and fulfilling. it's all about finding that one thing that says, "yes, you've made it!" and maybe it's driving in a specific automobile, or owning a big home, or wearing specific brands of clothes.

but when it comes down to it, haven't i found that one thing that says, "yes beth, you've made it"?

haven't you found that one thing that says, "yes ____________, you've made it"?

so let's do something simple and open up our hearts to the call of Jesus,
and allow Him to show us what success really is

...because once we truly seek Him, it is possible that we will have it all...

too casual?

have you ever thought that perhaps your Christianity is becoming too casual? that we are too comfortable in what we know and believe? maybe we have it all figured out. we have been trained to answer the religious questions with all the right answers.

but does that mean we really feel it, deep in our souls?

check luke 7:36-50. the character i'm most interested in is not Jesus, but that of the sinful woman. do you know why? it's because she is not casual about her faith.

did you catch that? she is not casual about her faith.

she understands what forgiveness means, deep in her soul. she knows and seeks out Jesus at simon's house just to pour perfume on His feet. and the whole time this is going on, simon can't understand it, can't wrap his head around this action.

however, the sinful woman gets it.

Jesus gets it.

in the end, her faith has saved her (v. 50)

06 January 2010


..imagine what it would be like to not only listen with your ears, but also with your heart...

02 January 2010


have you taken the time to think about the impact words have? honestly, it's not something i always think of, but today i did, as something was said to me. the truth is that words have impact, regardless of our intent behind them.

tender words...
"i love you"

anger filled words....
"i hate you"

meaningful words...
"i'm so proud of you"

all of this made me think of how it must have been to be at the baptism of Jesus (see matthew 3:13-17). imagine how it must have been to hear God's voice when He said, "this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased" (v. 17). can you even visualize what that must of been like? how must it feel to hear words like that?

i think about how john the baptist must have felt. first, he doesn't feel that he's worthy enough to baptize jesus. then as he's in the jordan river he hears a voice booming down at him.

he was able to hear something so affirmative and positive about the one he had just baptized. john was there, knowing and feeling God's glory and approval.

so, when have you heard words like that, that impacted you in your life?

how did it make you feel?

for me,
it was today,
and it took my breath away.


do you ever think of your life as an adventure? a time to go out and explore, be amazed at all God is doing in the world, and in your life.

maybe it's just easier to sit back passively and watch the world go by. thinking you're actively involved in life, but when it comes down to it, it's just more comfortable to sit back and watch the world go by. to think, "wow, it would be cool to do....," but you never take advantage of it.


because it is out of your comfort zone...out of my comfort zone. we're so afraid of what could come about and it's just easier to live life as we always do, without a risk.

but let's stop for a second. what if we all decided to live in the moment, right here, right now?

what if we decided to live life as an adventure?

you see, it normally takes a "wake up call" to get us to do that. not all of us are willing to see or even acknowledge those wake up calls. it just makes us too vulnerable. and the truth is, we're probably scared of what could happen.

so what's it going to take for you and i to really live these lives that God has given to us? are we going to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and unsure; yet confident knowing that it is in God's hands?

you see, we only have one shot at this. God gives us one life to live.

it's so much better saying that you lived your life to the fullest, full of wonder and adventures, then to say i lived a life of "what ifs?".

01 January 2010

fresh start

as the beginning of the new year is upon us, it's generally the time for a fresh start, a fresh beginning. where do you see that need in your life right now?

i think it's hard to start resolutions because within a week i've usually forgotten about it or sabotaged myself to the point where it's just not worth trying anymore. and even though i feel that way, there's One who is not giving up on me....or you.

He is there day after day,

waiting for us,

providing unconditional love,

grace and mercy,

and a fresh start....