Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Working from home

Working from home has many advantages (stretchy pants!) and disadvantages (no coworkers). Today's situation is definitely an advantage :)

Warm kitties, warm computers, Christmas lights, and a scary movie on tv!

If you're wondering, the movie is Paranormal Activity 2, we recorded it on tv around Halloween and I have been wanting to watch it again! I still like PA 1 & 3 movies the best but this one still has some scares!

- Bethany

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sometimes, God is a horse.

I just got back from a perfectly cozy relaxing weekend at my aunt's farm house. Recently I've been challenged to continue to pursue/be desperate for God even when I'm not feeling so desperate. No matter whether I feel desperate for the Lord or not, I AM always desperate for his grace, mercy, love and direction in my life. 

Earlier this morning I was texting Levi and told him I was praying that he would experience God's presence this morning as he played drums at church. He said he would be praying the same for my morning, and I just needed to record this answered prayer! Jesus is such a playful person who knows me so well. And he showed up in a horse today. Particularly, a horse named Tinkerbell.

Horses have always had a special place for me. I feel so comfortable with them, and love just being around them. It's calming to me...This morning as we were all getting ready to head out, I went to take some pictures of the morning mist over the fields. Tinkerbell had been wandering around all weekend but paid zero attention to me (I hate when animals ignore me). Well, when I start taking pictures, Tinkerbell just comes RUNNING towards me! She stopped right in front of me, I mean literal inches from me. And we had a moment. A few moments. She nuzzled me, I patted her, we stood together for about 5 minutes. I realized that OF COURSE this was God answering my prayers. I know God was not literally a horse named Tinkerbell at that moment, but God sure orchestrated that whole thing because he knew that's what my heart needed and that's how I would feel Him.

I was in a dark place with God for so long. Wavering in my belief every moment, never feeling God and not understanding why. I am so thankful for perseverance and for answers to prayer. I'm seeing God. He's there, and he always was- I just needed to learn how to see it in other ways. If you are in that time of wondering why God isn't showing up in your life, I pray that you can persevere. I don't have any tips or tricks, although this verse did help me:

"I believe; help my unbelief!" Mark 9:24

God KNOWS your thoughts, you can't hide unbelief or doubt from him. So just own up to it! And ask him to change that! And be open with others about it. There is no shame in confession to other believers, only healing! 

Somehow I end up preaching in every dang blog post I write. I remember in Jr. High I used to wonder if I ever might speak to groups. Who knows- maybe blog writing is my form of preaching, it sure beats public speaking!

- Bethany

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Missional Community Thanksgiving

This is going to be a picture heavy post because they tell the story better than I can :)

If I could choose one lesson this year that God has taught me, it would be to LIVE in community with other believers. This path has been messy and painful, difficult and rewarding. Unlike anything I've ever experienced. In Galatians 6:2 it says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." We aren't meant to handle things alone. We aren't even meant to handle things solely through our prayer to God. The Lord uses community to speak his truth into your life, when we aren't hearing through other avenues.

For two years I tried to force God to speak to me solely through my feelings. I restricted the ways I would accept Him. I could hear the most powerful sermon in the world but if I didn't feel that familiar feeling inside, then God wasn't speaking. And that's just not true. God speaks through his WORD every time you open the pages, he speaks through his COMMUNITY every time you show up, he speaks through your WORSHIP, he speaks through your daily LIFE. It's not all feelings. And that had to be broken in me this year. I LOOOOVE feelings. I have capital F Feelings! About things! And God wasn't one of them!

But he was still God. Whether I chose to acknowledge that or not.

In Romans 1:21 it says, "Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused." I created a God that I wanted, and it wasn't good enough. How could it be?

This little bit above just slipped out; I feel an overflow of excitement and desire to talk about my favorite things. And my favorite thing right now (praise God) is God himself. I pray for that always. Thank you Jesus for blessing me with the power of community in your name!

Levi TRANSFORMED our backyard into the most amazing place! I felt like we were on the set of Parenthood :)

The Food. Guys. I cannot even. It was SO good. Literally every single dish was amazing! I chose to make the sweet potato casserole, dinner rolls, and an apple pie (all Pioneer Woman recipes).

Jimmy tackled the turkey this year and it was DELICIOUS!

This is Koen, our friend's Lauren and Micah's cute kiddo!

We all went around talking about what God's done through us this year and what we are thankful for, it was a really powerful time and I felt lucky to be there.

- Bethany

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Party 2013

Levi and I really love having parties at our house, and we hadn't had one there since our Valentines' Day party I think! So it had just been way too long! I don't think either of us realized how much we like hosting things! I can't remember for sure, but I think last year was the year we watched Insidious on a big projector in the dark for Halloween. It was a lot of fun and something we definitely want to do again. In fact, Levi and I are wanting to do a group watch of The Conjuring now that it is out on dvd...any takers?!

Before I share the pics from our party- I have to share a disclaimer. I ERASED most of the pictures and I'M SO SAD ABOUT IT. I got my new iphone in on Halloween but had been to busy to set it up all day. So I just used it for pictures at the party, but then accidently erased all of them when I was setting it up. This is why I can't have nice things. Or use technology. Luckily, I had a few pictures in my text messages so here are a few shots from the night!

I was a cat and Levi was a pilot (using his Grandpa's old gear- camera included!).

We had SO much good food! Thank you to everyone who brought stuff! I <3 party food.

Kristi was Little Red Riding Hood, and she brought her Big Bad Wolf (her husky, Milo :)) 

Wes and Sarah were from the Harry Caray SNL skit, she was the moon made of spare ribs :). Cattie and Caleb were Wilma and Waldo!

I'm so sad I don't have a picture of Lauren and Micah together! They were Elaine and Kramer from Seinfeld and it was PERFECT. Here is Lauren/Elaine below :)

Thank you to everyone who came out! I'm so sorry I deleted your pictures :(((((((((((. We also had a Zombie Bride and Groom, a Storm Trooper and Darth Vader (?), Pirates, Katy Perry + Russel Brand, a Clown, a Crazy Cat Lady and a Tobacco Farmer, and of course- a hipster. 

Happy Halloween!