Sunday, December 8, 2013

Theres this thing...

As a single mom I have had several times when I have been alone in the quiet and I hated it. In these moments God would reveal to me just how weak and broken I was. He allowed me to feel my pain to it's fullness and I hated that pain so much. But also in these moments it wasn't only God I was allowing to speak into my life. I had gotten truth and lies so twisted in my life I didn't even know which was which anymore.

I would think thoughts like this:
What did I do to end up by myself? Am I always going to be alone? Will my parents ever trust me again? Will I ever trust me again? Is anyone going to want me? What will it be like for Elijah growing up? Did I ruin the chance at him having a good future and family life? Is he going to be messed up because of the situation I brought him in to? How can God fix this? Am I doomed to feel this sadness forever? Are there even good men anymore?

The worst part is I believed I had been the one to screw everything up, which I had screwed up a lot, don't get me wrong. But it was never completely my burden to carry. (It actually wasn't my burden to carry at all, you will understand this thought later.). I figured nobody would want somebody who already has a child and who has already given themselves to a man, unless they were just seeking sex. I never ever thought my parents would regain trust in me, much less respect me as a mother. I kept imagining awful images of Elijah's childhood and custody battles and fights and honestly the worst thing I imagined was abandonment for him. I believed it was all my fault. He would be a troubled kid because of me. I honestly was not sure how God could fix the situation I had set up, (how human of me to think this way), and I never thought I would move through the pain of the situation because I thought the darkness was doomed to last for the rest of my life.

The funny thing is that I grew up in church. I had been taught that God has a future and that all things work together for the GOOD for those who love him. I knew he had a hope for me. His word says he brings us peace. I had heard over and over again that as christians we are seen by God how he sees Jesus. Ya see, I had been told truth my entire life about who I was in Jesus. But it wasn't until I was actually seeking him in my wretched broken life that I had created, that his LOVE and FREEDOM was revealed to me. I was finally free to believe that he has a hope and a future for me. That He desires to know me and love me deeper than any man ever could. If Jesus can love me past my sins, man who is also sinful surely can. I don't have to be afraid and I don't have to live my life in shame. God is so much bigger than all of those lies because God is TRUTH and He has the final word. He calls me a saint, righteousness, he calls me a good mother, he calls me smart, he calls me daughter, he calls me beautiful, he calls me wise, he calls me by my name, he knows the number of hairs on my head, he knows my thoughts before I think them, he knows the desires of my heart, he knows I desire him above anything else in this life, he desires ME.

For you single moms out there, stop worrying. I know it can be dark sometimes, and maybe it's dark right now. If it is seek encouragement because IT WILL GET BETTER. God IS so much bigger than your circumstance and he is bigger than your mistakes. He turned us from dirt. All of the intricacy of the human body, made of dirt. He can surely fix any problem we can create.

If your life isn't dark right now I have 2 things for you. First off find someone who's life is dark and bring some hope to them. We all need hope, and some people don't know anyone who can give them any. Secondly, build yourself up in the word so that when Satan tries to get you to believe lies you are READY with the truth. If you don't prepare yourself Satan can easily manipulate the stupidest things to make you believe you are less than and you don't stand a chance.

Galatians 2:20
My Old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by TRUSTING in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Love that falls short.

I can literally talk for hours about how much I love Jesus. I can talk to you for extended periods of time about all He has done in my life and just how deep my love is for Him who saved me from SO much heartache. But let's get real here, I fail Him every single day.

This post isn't about being guilty or feeling condemned. Its more about how sufficient his love is, even when our love for Him falls short.

In John 13:36-38 Peter is confessing to Jesus just how much he loves Him, just as I do every day. Peter even goes to the extent of saying he would DIE for Jesus. Jesus straight up calls Peter out. He tells him that He will deny him 3 times before the end of the day. And Peter does.

I pray to God every morning thanking him for everything He has done for me, rescued me from, blessed me with, blessings that I have not received yet, and so on. But how many times do I go through my day and don't ask his opinion on my situations? How many times do I just decide on my own how to handle things. How many times do I ignore conversations that need to be had, because it is more comfortable to not "go there" with people.

This is where I find myself. Denying God all day long. I am seeking him, yet denying him as well. I can honestly say I am IN LOVE with my savior. Absolutely irrevocably insanely madly truly in love with him, yet my love will ALWAYS fall short. This is the problem with man and woman, with humans. We can never ever ever meet up to his standard of love. You can be just as in love with money, sex, drugs, another person, your children, your career, a sports team or sport, cars and boats, porn, facebook, fitness, etc. But no matter what.. you wont save as much money in your bank account one month. You will find yourself lusting after the wrong person. You will fail your kids by over promising them something. You will be late to work. You'll miss your favorite teams "big game". You wont get to spend as much time working on your car or boat. You'll miss your session of porn at night. You wont be able to log in to facebook because your busy actually working. You will cheat on your diet and skip the gym. You see? This is our problem. Our love is a very flawed love. It will always fall short in one way or another. You will "deny" the things you say you love at some point. But Jesus, no. Never. He is solid and true and he cannot lie. He is never going to fail you. I pray you find peace and comfort in that. And let go of your other Gods that will not only fail you, but bring you into bondage. God gives freedom and all he asks is for our heart. Other gods demand our time, and as we give time it will demand more and more of us. The more you indulge in something the more you feed it. Indulge in your problems and watch them get bigger. Indulge in your "gods" and watch them become magnificent. Watch yourself be paranoid about your bank account, about your wife seeing your history on the internet and eventually the DVD's in your dresser. Watch how your boss finds out how much time you spend on facebook. Look and see how your kids become distant from you/ But if you indulge in God, watch how those chains fall off. See how his love and grace will bring you a freedom you never knew you could have. Watch your money turn to good. Watch your kids ask YOU to hang out. Watch your wife or husband fall madly in love with you all over again. Watch your fitness goals become attainable. Let his unfailing love, unlike ours, overwhelm your life.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

A Letter to my Father

Dear Dad,

This father’s day I wanted to take time to write you a legit letter instead of just getting a card. So here it goes:

Growing up I have always known how much you loved me. You have never fallen short of showing love, even when I confused your love and discipline for anger or unfairness. You have always been a solid in my life just as a Father should be. Not only have you given me a good picture of a earthly Father but in a lot of ways you have shown me characteristics of my Heavenly Father and that is the biggest thing a man can do for his children. Thank you for always being solid, even when I fought against you. Children need someone who they can always count on to be there, whether they like what you have to say or not.

I also want to apologize for any of my own short-comings and thank you for loving me through them. I have obviously made mistakes in my life and some of my mistakes have affected my family in negative ways. Thank you for not giving up on me and for loving me when i clearly didn’t deserve it.

I am so glad I have so many of your characteristics. My favorite is that I speak my mind and don’t take any crap. For a long time I didn’t do that (especially to certain people) and you taught me that it’s okay to be a strong woman and have opinions. I have a right to be heard and to be validated in my feelings and what I think. For a long time I thought women were just supposed to keep quiet, but in a lot of situations we are supposed to speak up for ourselves. I have finally learned this “no bull-crap” attitude, but not in an arrogant way!

The biggest most important thing I can thank you for is loving Elijah. As you know your kids are the most valuable and treasured thing in your life and I regret so much the situation I brought my child in to. But I am eternally grateful and extremely blessed to have a dad who has stepped in as a Father figure to my baby. He loves you so much it’s ridiculous and you honestly have no idea how much joy it brings to my heart. God took a situation that I obviously screwed up and has turned it into the most amazing gift I could have ever received, and you have been a huge part of that. So thank you for being Elijah’s papa. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for loving mom. Thank you for always pushing me. Thank you for being honest. Thanks for seeing potential and value in me when I didn’t. Thank you for truly being a Father. I love you.

Xoxo, Bethany

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lets Get It!

Okay so I asked some of you if you wanted to partake in this fitness/health challenge with me!

First of all I want to state what the main goal of this is:
Get healthy and active so we can partake in things in life that require a healthy body. So we can love ourselves more and feel comfortable. So we can play with our kids longer. So we can live longer. This is not about becoming a certain size (although you should set a REALISTIC goal for yourself to strive towards) or becoming ripped. This is about knowing your true beauty and value and learning how to take care of yourself BECAUSE you deserve it!!!

***Special Note***
If you find yourself eating when you are stressed, alone, tired, or emotional; you are an emotional eater. This is something not to be ashamed of, I once gained about 15-20 lbs because I was emotionally eating and unaware of it. That was one of the most darkest parts of my young life and I am so glad God showed me that I was self destructing. I would eat and feel disgusted. This is often how eating disorders are started (either purging or way over eating) so if you think this MIGHT be you please check out the book "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst. It really, really gave me the motivation to change my life.

For beginners:
This is for people who really don't do much and eat mainly whatever is convenient or easy whether it is healthy or not. (Don't be ashamed, everyone is at this stage at some point and some people never choose to leave it!)

How you eat-
Phase One:
Start with something small. Cut out your favorite unhealthy item. Replace it with something similar, it may take you a few tries to find something that satisfies your overwhelming need for Dr. Pepper. Or Braum's ice cream. It can be as simple as switching from full fat ice cream to sugar free. You have to start small because after-all this is the beginning from you. We drink milk as babies, we don't eat steak and burgers. Over aiming  by saying "I'm going to cut out all junk food and soda" when you have never cut any of that from your diet before is setting you up for failure. Also during this period of time (Give it at least a week, for the weaker willed you may want to do 2 weeks) start incorporating more nutrient rich foods. I will make a list of things I enjoy at the end of this post. You can always get on the Healthy & Fitness section of Pinterest for ideas! This phase is also good for learning portion control! If you normally have 2 plates, you are most likely over-eating. If you feel like you are ready to move past your "addictive foods" move on to Phase 2 for the mid-health people.

How you train-
When I first started out i did 2 things. I worked out to Jillian Michaels DVD's. I followed her 5-6 days a week workout program. It may be simple as walking for 30 minutes a day for you. The point for beginners is to BEGIN something.. anything. Do this for as long as you need to. It took me about a month to get motivated in the working out area. I was extremely unmotivated to work out. I hated getting exhausted and feeling like I couldn't do what she was telling me to do. I always felt gross in the clothes. This was also when I was most ashamed of my body and the way I had let it get. I pushed through and finally made it to a "mid-health" person. Once you feel like you don't absolutely HATE working out and you want a little more of a challenge, move on to mid-health. Your diet and workout levels wont always be the same. You may move on to one phase faster than the other, that's okay as long as you are progressing! Just do not quit! It can take even up to 3 months before you see a difference in yourself.

For "mid-health" People:
This is for the people who have a general idea about health and fitness. You have learned enough to know that you can't eat McDonald's or drench your salad in ranch dressing and expect to lose any weight (even if you are working out religiously) This is for the people who want a little more of a challenge.

How you eat:
Your past cutting out things you are "addicted" to. You are curious about what options are out there. This is when I started looking at
There are so many people with so many different "meal plans" and diets to follow. It gave me a lot of ideas and I pretty much made up my own based off of theirs. Don't get yourself so crazy that you are trying to figure out your "macro nutrients" and etc. When you get to the Crazed Stage you might be interested in doing that, but at this point you need to focus more on cleaning yourself up a lot more than you did in the first phase. This means it's time to start eating wheat bread and wheat noodles, less canned veggies and more fresh veggies. Cut back on dairy but don't completely rid yourself of it. Start eating more chicken and fish than beef. This is also when you might want to start drinking whey protein shakes as part of your day.

How you train:
This is time to move on to something more intense. Don't burn yourself out but really learn to push yourself. When you have decided you want to start running rather than walking, push yourself. Make yourself go all the way up the hill. Make yourself run that extra half mile. You CAN do it. It may feel like you won't make it but I promise you aren't going to die and you will be so proud of yourself later! When you decide to go buy your first set of dumbells get 2 pair. Get a pair that is hard and get a pair that is CHALLENGING. Do your sets with the averagely hard pair and on your last set use the challenging ones. Even if you can't completely finish your last set, you are working your muscles and building them up slowly so eventually you can do all of your sets with that pair. It's all about learning to push yourself to know you can do more during this phase. At this phase you MAY want a trainer or someone to push you.

For the crazies!
I myself am almost here. You love fitness now. You want everything better. You actually feel good about yourself and want to feel even better because you know you can. These are people who love eating healthy and love the gym. This can take 6 months or sometimes more to get to.

How you eat:
You may go all the way to the point of figuring out your macro's in this phase. Or you may just be eating "clean" 98% of the time (let's be real, nobody is going to cut out crap for everyday all day all week). Most people when they reach this stage eat clean for pretty much the rest of their life. You realize how it affects your health and wellness and how good it makes you feel.

How you train:
Your most likely in the gym at least 5 days a week, or doing some kind of working out as often as possible. A lot of people get rid of trainers and just find a workout buddy at this point. You have learned enough to train yourself but may still seek accountability or someone who can push you even further.

Some "clean eats" ideas;
Almonds, sugar free jello, Whey Protein shakes, mozzarella cheese sticks, greek yogurt, any fruits and vegetables, almond butter or natural peanut butter, cherry tomatoes, oatmeal (actually make it and sweeten it with honey and fruit, prepackaged is filled with sugar), lean meats like turkey chicken and fish, brown rice, avocado, hummus, popcorn (light butter or kettle), eggs or egg whites, spinach, balsamic vinegar dressing, I personally have grown to love tuna... the list goes on.

Like I said I get a lot of ideas off of pinterest when I am getting bored with what I eat.

I will post more tips and things later on (:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

John 11:33

Well I knew I wasn't going to be going to church today so I wanted to get into John 11 and read it for myself. We are doing a study over the book of John at Frontline! Loving it.

As I was reading John 11 my heart became filled with thankfulness.
In the book of John the people are weeping because Lazarus has died. Mary and Martha are both deeply saddened at the loss of their brother and admit to Jesus they know he would not have died if He would have been there when he was sick.

John 11:33
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. (NIV)
John 11:33
 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. (NLV)

I was sitting on my back porch thinking over the last few years and thinking about how I wish some things had worked out differently and how some things didn't change and how some things did change. As I sit here and think about all of the times I cried out to God for strength and cried out to God to heal my broken heart, he wept for me. Jesus... the Son of God. He cares so much for me that He himself gets angered at situations in our lives that cause us strife and cause us pain. I take so much comfort in knowing that when I am hurting and sad or angry or someone has done something wrong to me that Jesus is right there by my side angry, upset, hurt, and crying WITH me and FOR me. I think about how the verse says he was deeply troubled. It reminds me of the show intervention where you can see the tiredness and the sadness and worry in the families eyes as they beg their family member and friend to take help. When someone is in a desperate situation or are seriously hurting we always tend to get a little more involved than when we just know they have a bad situation in their life. Everyone has bad situations. But Jesus looks at every single situation in our life that we are struggling with or do not have peace in and he is deeply troubled by our pain. How can God love people so much when we constantly constantly screw up and do crappy things. This is the biggest picture of love that I have gained revelation of in a long time.

You guys, I know I am hypocritical about a lot of things. But Jesus loved the hypocrites too. I just plan on falling more and more in love with my Savior. It would be impossible not to because of hos much love he shows me. How can you not love someone who is constantly there for you and constantly blessing you and looking out for you? Giving you gifts and guidance. Protecting you and giving you hope for your future. I serve the greatest God. The only God. A God who weeps for me.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A New Era!

I am so glad that the Mommy's are beginning to come together! It makes life so much easier when you have other people to lean on and just enjoy the same experiences with! I am so blessed to know all of you and can't wait to meet more of you! That being said:

We all go through good seasons and bad seasons in life. We all experience joy and we all experience heartbreak. I just want to offer some truth to everyone. YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH!!!! I have always always wanted to have a family for Elijah. It bothered the crraaaappp out of me and I found myself getting super upset and stressed out about it for a very long time. I kept going back to a relationship and waiting for things to change *similar to chelsea on teen mom, GAG ME!!!* and I was completely miserable. I ignored advice, signs, people, and my own gut because of my feelings. I never would listen to God's wisdom. I always asked Godly women and leaders what they thought of the situation and never got the answer I wanted. I wouldn't listen. Now I am not saying God can't change people because believe me when I say he can do ANYTHING. But a person has to have an open heart and want to change. I wanted to change, and boy oh boy did he change me. He changed my want for a family to a want for a HEALTHY family. He changed my self hate to self VALUE. He changed my broken heart to a WHOLE heart. He changed my bad attitude to an OPTIMISTIC one filled with hope. This was not at all easy. It still isn't easy. It's not easy co-parenting. It's not easy dealing with emotions. Its not easy dealing with a situation that isn't in the form that it was always meant to be in. But I try so hard to not rely on my own self any longer for strength. When I did that I always always failed an ended up even more distraught than before.

I say all of that not only to make myself vulnerable to you all so you can know a part of my story, but so if you have any kind of prayer requests you can message me and I will pray for you. Jesus is the absolute ONLY thing that has brought me through everything I have encountered in the last 3 years.

Examples of Requests:
Being a single mom
Self- Esteem
Having hope
Legal Issues
Child's Future