Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

When Scary Things Happen

Our granddaughter was admitted to the hospital the day after Christmas, she was rushed there in an ambulance. Oddly, it wasn't a surprise to me.  Just 15 minutes before my son sent me a text telling me what was going on, Holy Spirit sent me the very same thought.  I was prewarned that she would be heading to the hospital, so I was all ready to meet them there.  On my way to the hospital, I continued to remind God (more for my own sake than His) His promise to protect her, His power to heal her, His incredible love for our family, and the amazing work that He was about to do for our sweet granddaughter.

I arrived at the hospital before the ambulance, and when they took me back to see my granddaughter I was relieved to see her spunk!  She has a lot of opinions, eventhough she is very young, and she's not afraid to voice them! I love that about her.  I knew then that God heard all my prayers in my moment of fear.  Really, He heard me before that.  He knew I would feel afraid, He knew I would need to be prewarned and prepared, so He did that for me.  This is who God is.  When scary things happen, we can always go to Him, and He will always walk us through.

I wasn't totally sure, while I was driving, how it was going to work out, and I was faced again with the reality of Mary's statement. "Let it be to me according to Your Word."  I had to let it be.  I didn't want to see her suffer in anyway.  I didn't want to see my son and daughter in-law go through the pain of seeing their child suffer.  All of it was painful to my heart because I love them so much.  Yet, though it all, God showed me some incredibly strong, attentive parents, and faithful warriors. I'm so proud of them!  

When scary things happen we can all choose to pray, ask others to pray, and lean on one another.  

God gets us through.

Are We Really With Each Other?

We've entered into an age of authenticity, that is to say, people are tired of the masks.  Our children are tired of seeing one person at home and an entirely different person at church, school, or wherever you may go. They want the truth, they want reality. The Facebook version isn't always real!

I do too. It's been a focus of mine for years. The truth, afterall does set us free.

I have a problem with the church body as a whole, so help me out here if I'm wrong.  But, it seem that overall the pulpit is preaching vulnerability and authenticity, yet placing a judgment on someone when they have the guts to actually be that way.  So, what's the point?

I can be real and upfront with you, but are you going to be with me?  Are you going to still walk with me and love me?  Are you going to have that same inner strength to tell me what it's like for you?  How it feels to be with me and how it feels to be with others or without them?  Or, will you just walk away?

Are we really with each other? Or, do we just tell ourselves we are?

 Sometimes I've walked away so that I could be with myself. There's value in setting boundaries.  Jesus was a great One for setting boundaries and for taking time for Himself. I love how He would go up to the hill to pray and to be alone with His Father. He needed to get away from all the people and care for Himself so He could then care for others.  He walked away, so He was able to walk with us deeply and genuinely. He says it all the time "I am with you!"

So, are we really with each other?  Or has the busyness, the judgments, the fears, the heartaches, and the endless lists of stuff kept us from being real with each other and showing our hearts?

The Important Things

We had a full and fun week of exploring. I have always loved Disney Land, and this week was fun for me because I spent two days there. As my kids and I, and my husband for one evening, toured around the "happiest place on earth" I watched people.  Lots of smiles and laughter, fun and games were all around.  Everyone was happy, families were enjoying each other, and being fully engaged with each other. I loved seeing the families that came dressed alike, Moms and dads in Micky shirts and kids that followed.  Families that walked the streets hand in hand, arm in arm.  Disneyland brings families together, and it is a happy place.  My kids love to go there and they are teenagers, they are already talking about bringing their little nephews and neices, and someday their own children, just like I have done with them.  As I listened to them talk the day we weaved our way through Disneyland, it came to me that we have built a family legacy of connection through this place, this happy place. And, it has been a wonderful gift given to our family. It's not the rides, although we have fun on those, or even the sights. It's the tradition of a connecting point. It's the stories we can tell each other about the rides, the characters, the fun times and people we were with. The memories we create every time we go. 

I continue to learn the value of legacy.  It's so important.  It might seem silly that I want to leave a legacy of fun times at Disneyland, but I do. When my children take their children I want them to tell stories like I do: "I rode this exact ride when I was your age, and your grandma rode it too, we would laugh and sing the entire time!"

When I am old, or older, and I am still going to Disneyland, I want to continue to learn about the importance of legacy. I want to carry that whereever I go and instill it into the hearts of my children and grandchildren, so they too will carry it forward.  Legacy is light; it touches lives everywhere, and isn't that what Jesus does?

So, what's important to you? 


The Best Things



The past couple of weeks I wrote about meeting up with long lost siblings and legacies gone astray. Today, I woke up having no clue what to write about.  Usually when this happens, and I begin to pray about it, God will pop a thought into my head and the words begin to flow.  This time, all I got was that "the best things" are always there, we just don't always see them under the wrapping. And, oh how true that is. I don't always see the best in everything, especially in difficult situations. Sometimes I do not take the time to pull back the wrapping and even look for the best, so I miss out on what's there. 

This last weekend, we went to the beach and I stopped in to grab a coffee. As I was waiting in line for my Americano, a gentleman asked me why I was happy.  I said I was happy because there was so much to be thankful for.  He then asked what there could possibly be to be thankful for, and I began to list all the wonderful things God had blessed both him and me with that very moment.  A beating heart, seeing eyes, hearing ears, coffee, etc.  He stood with his mouth open as if he hadn't expected someone to be so readily thankful!   As I left that coffee shop I was thankful for the encounter, it was the best thing for my heart. God brought me someone to encourage!   And, it strengthened me for the day to simply see the best things that we sometimes take for granted.

What are the best things in your life? Have you looked under the wrapping to really take a look? When things are difficult, are you still able to find the best things in life? 

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