Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Channel 89

 You always hear those cliche' sayings like -"Light at the end of a tunnel". That light is suppose to be a good thing, right?
 It feels sometimes that I have been the "deer stuck in the headlights at the end of the tunnel" over the last few years.
 We've been at UNC, Chapel Hill, since Sunday afternoon. At moments it feels like I have been here for at least a month. My amazing man, who normally spends his Saturdays finding something to do, just so he doesn't have to sit still, has holed up in this little room with me for 100 hours now. We have played that lovely little game called "hurry up and wait".

 As we have waited, we have explored a few avenues of entertainment. The internet is priceless at times like this. I am, as always, beyond pleased to have my Kindle. Andy even explored a little (can't stay cooped up the entire time!) and found a RedBox for us to rent a few movies from.

 But over and over we come back to the television - the basic "stuck to the wall and fed with nearly 100 channels" television. And we discovered something highly entertaining.

 They have the sci-fi channel, the History channel, ABC, NBC, Disney, even some movie channels. But, if you just keep clicking eventually you get to the hospital channels. The "healthy eating" channel. The "what to do for hip surgery" channel. And of course, Channel 89.

 All day long, every day, Channel 89 has an important announcement to make. 
"You Are Watching Channel 89"

 Fascinating, isn't it? It was hard to turn away, because with all those other stations out there, where was I ever going to find one that simply said "You are watching channel..."
 
 Obviously, I am being sarcastic.

 Because watching an announcement just sit upon the screen really isn't fascinating.

 But, for some reason, it is there. UNC feels the need to keep that channel open and ready. Right this minute it looks like a waste of energy. A pointless bit of nothing.
 But, for some reason, it is there.

 And that is point number 1. Hold on to that.

 A wonderful friend of the family called me this week while I have been here and shared his heart a little. You see, he and his wife spent a bit of time in the hospital last year. She was fighting breast cancer.

 He was telling me the story of the night before her surgery. Many friends had come to gather around and support them. They were praying, and asking for healing. They were giving hugs, and asking how they could help. And he, even after a lifetime as a pastor, was too overwhelmed to know where to start.
 But he read the story of Paul and Silas in Acts, when they were placed in irons in a prison cell, just for doing what God asked them to do. They had several choices when they were arrested. 1) Moan and complain and ask God why He would do this when all they had ever done was follow His commands. 2) Pray with trust and faith, asking God to deliver them. He had the power. They simply needed Him to step in and work a miracle.
 Did they do either of those?

 Nope. They simply sat and praised Him in the jail cell.

 They didn't complain. They didn't ask for a miracle. They simply praised, No Matter What.

 And God sent a series of events I am pretty sure they wouldn't have imagined to ask for on their own. For the rest of the details you should read Acts 16:25-36

 My pastor friend, sitting there the night before his wife's surgery, knew that they needed to just praise, no matter what. And let God take care of the details. Because sometimes even knowing what to ask for is more then we are capable of.

 They were blessed. God worked some miracles for them. Most importantly, they were made aware, once again, that He is with us, always.

 Right now, Channel 89 is sometimes all that I can see. I have faith in that "light at the end of the tunnel", but it is way too far away to actually see yet. I have no idea what to even ask for, because I cannot imagine what a "good plan" is.

 But I will praise always. And trust that my channel 89, that space sitting there empty and pointless, has a purpose. I don't know the plan. And right now I can't even figure out how to pray most of the time. But like Paul and Silas, I have no doubt that God has something planned that is beyond my imagination.

 Thank you for caring my friends. I will try to keep you posted. In the meantime, please praise Him with me.

Blessings, 
Bethany

Friday, November 02, 2012

5+2 = A Butterfly

It feels sometimes that God is quiet for days and days, and then suddenly He speaks so much. More then I can take in at once.
 But that is what paper, and computers, are for. Writing it all down, and mulling it over, and trying to digest the words that He is giving.

 Most of what I hear is wait.

 I had a fabulous discussion with a dear friend about butterflies. When she was in her early 30's she went though a time in a "cocoon". Waiting, growing, hurting at times. I think that is where I am right now. In my Cocoon season.

 Did I write this already? I feel like I might have. But I found a quote that I have clung to greatly. "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach

 My cocoon is sometimes comforting, surrounding me like a soft blanket. Sometimes stifling, surrounding me so tightly that I cannot move. Sometimes it seems that it is a grave, and that I will be here forever. And at moments I can feel the wings growing, becoming something beautiful, and full of grace.

 And right now, what I hear is wait.

 I was reading 1 Samuel, soon after Saul had been appointed king of Isreal. They were getting ready to head into battle, and they knew they needed to ask for God's blessing before they went.  But Samuel, the priest, was just taking so long to get there. And they couldn't wait any longer. So they took things into their own hands.
 And Saul paid for it with his kingdom. All because he couldn't wait.

 Psalm 27:13-14 says, "I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

There is a "famous" verse - you hear it quoted all the time. "Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30-31

 There is a lot of tired around here lately. I can blame it on many things. Multiple medications, trying to control multiple medical conditions. The awareness that two special forces soldiers were killed last week in Afghanistan and the mainstream world is tired of caring. Or perhaps just the sneezing and sniffling of this silly cold.
 Tired comes. Weary, stumbling, and falling too.

 But the promise of renewed strength, and wings that soar- that is real. And I can feel it, when I remember to ask.

 Romans chapter 8 is full of all sorts of fabulousness. But once again, it reminds us to wait. Even when "we do not know what we ought to pray for"... "if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

 I told you, waiting is what I get to hear, over and over.

 But yesterday, I got thrown off my loop. Out of nowhere, in a story that I have read over and over, God taught me something new. (which is why it is important to read the Bible over and over again. Because you never know what He is going to tell you, even in a story you have had memorized since you were 5)

 In John chapter 6 there is a story about a multitude of people following Jesus around, listing to his teaching. Because he was fascinating. However, at some point in time they realized it was time for lunch. And there wasn't enough food for the crowd. One boy offered to share his two small fish and five loaves of bread. Not enough, but thanks for the offer kiddo. But then, though even his own disciples doubted him, Jesus blessed the food, broke it, and told them to pass it around.

 And if you grew up in the church, you know that it fed the 5000. The broke and passed, broke and passed, until everyone was full. Then, Jesus instructed his disciples to collect the leftovers. "Let nothing be wasted" vs12 says,

 Let nothing be wasted.

 Nothing.

 From 2 fish and five loaves of bread they gathered 12 baskets of leftovers.

 And while I am sitting here, waiting in my cocoon, what am I wasting? Do I have 2 fish? Do I have any leftovers?

 It may not seem like much. Certainly not enough to feed 5000. But Jesus blessed it, and multiplied it, and said "let nothing be wasted."

 So my caterpillar self will wait patiently. Share fish and "Let nothing be wasted". And hopefully emerge as a butterfly soon.

 Blessings my friends,