Bethany Dillon

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Part 1: Twitter Answers, minus the 140-characters part. April 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanydillon @ 5:00 pm

WHOA! You guys asked a lot of good questions!

Since I am female, I don’t think I could limit any of my answers to y’all to 140 characters… so here you go : )

1) how did you and shane meet?! and how long did you two date before you knew he was “the one”?!  (@shayLaCS) how did you meet shane? And how did you know he was the one? (@misspicture)

Shane and I first met on my first tour with Shane & Shane, right when my first record had just come out. (Six years ago?) My awesome older sis Kate (check out her blog, you won’t be sorry! was out as my road manager then, and we had a BLAST on that tour! We became friends with everyone in the group, both Shanes, Shane Everett’s wife Kellie, the band, crew, everyone. It was the most laid back and kind of Texas-redneck tour ever, and we loved it. It didn’t take long for me to really be impressed with Shane B’s heart — on and off stage. Because of our age difference, I never really thought he would like me, but I always hoped to find someone LIKE him. Doesn’t the Lord have a sense of humor? : )

We started technically “dating” in the fall of 2006, and dated for ten months before getting engaged. When did I know that I wanted to be his wife? Uhh… way before we dated! I think it’s different for everyone, but because we’d been friends for a while, and the nature of touring is so up-close and personal (no way to hide your true character when you’re living on a tiny tour bus with people for months on end), I already knew he was the kind of person I wanted to marry. And then when we started dating, i.e., I knew he had feelings for me and I did for him, I was done. And so was he, I think! : ) God was really good and faithful in confirming that early on for the both of us, even though it’s maybe the biggest decision you’ll ever make.

2) What did you end up doing/eating on your last trip through Knoxville when you were looking for suggestions? 🙂 – @erbrew

Nothing! : ) We ended up driving to Louisville instead of Knoxville, and I think we had Cheesecake Factory that night. Not super exciting, but lots of carbs, so that was exciting.

3) when is Lucy due? 🙂 – @HillaryHolmes

July 6th! Roughly ten weeks to go!

4) fav mainstream/secular band or musician? – @atomcreative

I’d have to say I love, love, love Ella Fitzgerald. All big band era music, but her voice just ruins me. I also love motown music, so Aretha Franklin has been a favorite for a while. As far as current music goes, I am OBSESSED with Yael Naim’s record, we still listen to John Mayer’s “Continuum”, and, like the rest of the world, I love U2.

5) Are you naming Lucy after The Chronicles of Narnia series? I’m sure you are, but just checking:)  (@fantanna) Is your baby girl named after Lucy from Narnia? (@Piano250)

Well, we’re not really naming her AFTER the Narnia books, it’s just a bonus! : ) I’ve always loved the name Lucy, and yeah, when I think about a sweet, tender-hearted little girl, my mind does trail off to those stories… I’m praying for the same sincerity and nobility of heart in our little Lucy!

6) hey Bethany! I’ve always wondered if your song Dreamer was picked for the movie Dreamer, or if you wrote it for it? – @KROLMEiSTER

Kind of both. We were in the process of writing/recording my second record, Imagination, when we got a phone call about the opportunity. DreamWorks was just pitching the slot to a lot of different artists, sending out a manilla envelope with part of the script and a scene from the movie, and then the songwriters/artists would write something inspired from either or both of those things and send it in. Although we were in the thick of production, seriously, how often do you get an opportunity like that?!, so I went home on a break and started writing the melody and verses one night in my room. I really liked it, called my producer Ed Cash on the phone, put him on speakerphone and we wrote the song together. It ended up being 70% about Jesus and 30% about the movie, so I figured the chances of it being picked were slim…

And then we got the phone call! Pretty crazy! I had just already thought if it didn’t make it, it’d still be a fun song to put on the record, and then it ended up working for both the movie and Imagination!

7) What typically comes first: Melody, chords, or lyrics? What about Shane B? – @Jon_Olsen

Hmm. I’d say melody for me. When lyrics do happen, they usually happen really quickly, all in one chunk, and then I’ll go back and carve away at it and rework things. Shane … he’s kind of all over the place, but I think it’s more melody/chords for him. He’ll get really jazzed about a new key (he’s been loving the key of B lately) and then he’ll write music he really likes, and then he’ll sing nonsense words and figure out a melody, and then he’ll have nonsense words for two months. It’ll be the actual lyrics for a while, which bugs me. I’m too much of a perfectionist! Then, usually, he’ll get in there and work on lyrics.

8) wondering what its like working with Ed Cash – @jrichards79

So. Much. Fun.

He is a complete riot! And the people he surrounds himself with are so great… in musicianship and heart. His studio is built right off of his house, so it never feels like a “cool” studio … incense, low light, candles, thrift store pictures of old songwriters hung crooked on the walls. There’s nothing wrong with that vibe, it’s just that this country girl don’t like it. It makes me sleepy. At Ed’s, there’s always natural light, someone stopping by to say hello, his kids running in to grab a hug.

The best part, though, is that he really, really loves Jesus. It’s always been an honor to get to work with him!

9) Between you and Shane about how many guitars do you own? – @ToddFife

Oh, gosh. Well, as for me, I came into this marriage with three very cheap but playable guitars that I didn’t mind flying with. I just wasn’t that picky, AND I’m cheap. The one guitar I have, that really isn’t mine, is my dad’s old Guild. Beautiful looking and sounding. So, there’s four. And then Shane… Lord, Shane… I don’t think he even knows. It’s kind of like chapstick. You think you only have one tube in your purse and in the car, and then you open a certain drawer in your bathroom and ten tubes roll out. Let’s just say this — we have plenty!!

10) Have you written any new songs lately? Do you see yourself touring after you have Lucy? 🙂 – @lindsayboccardo

I have been writing! Mostly worship songs, actually. Not all corporate-friendly, but “worship” in the aspect of the purpose of it, the angle it’s being written from. Less singer-songwritery, more just sitting in our sun room and singing Scripture and lines from my prayer journal. I’m really, really excited about them. I have about 20 fragments of songs right now, only a few things finished.

After Lucy… who knows! We really have just decided to figure it out as we go. If she’s an easy baby and the guys aren’t going out for a month-long tour, we’ll probably set up the Pack-N-Play in the bus when she’s a bit older and go to be with Shane. But, you just never know. As for me touring, I’m figuring out more and more that I am fed by time at home. I think most people are, but there are the few artists who get antsy if they’re home too long. Not me. I get in a funk and a bit aimless when I’m on the road too long. I love being domestic, love our community, love consistency. So, no, I don’t foresee three month long tours happening and packing up Lucy along with me. It works for some families, but I don’t think the Barnards are wired like that. Shane and I both are praying about and figuring out a pace of being gone vs. home that feels closer to what the Lord has called us to. The older Lucy gets, I’ll probably go out and open for Shane & Shane on a couple of shows, stuff like that. And I LOVE women’s conferences and camps and small churches and coffee shops. In the future, if there are opportunities like that, I know I’d love to, but we’ll just have to feel it out when we’re there!


The Rare Moments

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanydillon @ 4:28 pm

I don’t read My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers daily…. I probably should. My mom always had it around growing up. You’ve heard of it, right? Classic devotional book. Oswald Chambers = the man. So, so good. I picked it up Saturday morning and read ahead to April 25th’s reading and have been stuck on it ever since. Thought I’d share with you:

Instant In Season (by Oswald Chambers)

“Be instant in season, out of season.”

2 Timothy 4:2

Many of us suffer from the morbid tendency to be instant “out of season.” The season does not refer to time, but to us– “Be instant in season, out of season,” whether we feel like it or not. If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would do nothing forever and ever. There are unemployables in the spiritual domain, spiritually decrepit people, who refuse to do anything unless they are supernaturally inspired. The proof that we are rightly related to God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.

One of the great snares of the Christian worker is to make a fetish of his rare moments. When the Spirit of God gives you a time of inspiration and insight, you say– “Now I will always be like this for God.” No, you will not, God will take care you are not. Those times are a gift of God entirely. You cannot give them to yourself when you choose. If you say you will only be at your best, you become an intolerable drag on God; you will never do anything unless God keeps you consciously inspired. If you make a god of your best moments, you will find that God will fade out of your life and never come back until you do the duty that lies nearest, and have learned not to make a fetish of your rare moments.


Aunt Deb’s Famous Brownies (i.e. you will never be the same)

Filed under: Recipes — bethanydillon @ 4:16 pm
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I’ve been thinking about posting this recipe for a long time. This is no small matter, mind you. This is… this is… a treasured family recipe. MORE than that. These brownies will make you love life more. You’ll see your job differently, your spouse, your friends, your untidy house and crazy busy schedule. These brownies have the power to… take over the world.

Laugh all you want, but you true chocolate lovers out there will feel me on this in a half an hour when you’ve whipped these up and are sitting on the couch savoring them, sighing, and feeling closer to Jesus than you ever have before.

Ready for this?

Pre heat oven at 350 degrees F.

You will need:

2 3/4 sticks of butter (you feel the magic yet?) plus a little more for greasing the baking dish

3/4 cup cocoa powder (I like dark cocoa powder from Hershey’s)

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp butter and nut flavored vanilla (KEY INGREDIENT. I’ve only found it at Kroger… BELIEVE ME, these brownies will not taste the same without it!!! Normal vanilla’s okay, but this stuff might have as much magic as the butter)

1 1/2 cups flour plus a tablespoon more for the baking dish

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium low heat – you do not want to get it boiling!
  2. Add cocoa powder and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Add eggs, beat. Then add butter and nut flavored vanilla and mix.
  4. Stir in flour, take off heat.
  5. Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish (I think glass works best) with a tablespoon of butter (I scoop it up with the corner of a paper towel and smear it – that way you can get the butter in the corners). Once the dish is completely greased, drop a couple of tablespoons of flour in the middle of the dish and move it/shake it/however you want to do it till a light coating of flour has stuck to the butter.
  6. Pour brownie mix in the dish. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. KEY: Do NOT overcook! If you’re afraid they’re getting a little too done but are still a bit gooey, don’t worry. It’s better to have them gooey than hard.
  7. Cool (if you can bear it) and then serve with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream!

** if you like walnuts in your brownies, when you have poured the brownie mix in the 9″x13″, just scatter some chopped walnuts on the top before putting in the oven.

Now that you’ve been welcomed into the circle of trust of Aunt Deb’s famous brownies, treasure this recipe. Guard it with your life. Take care of it. And eat lots of brownies. : )


Reason #657,823 Why I love my husband: April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanydillon @ 6:52 pm
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So, I decided I needed to get online and actually check my email and respond to people today (crazy, crazy goals in my world), and in a moment of waiting for something to send, I glanced to the top of the screen and saw this in the Google search bar:

“man kills giant bear that had eaten 2 others”

REALLY? … oh, I love my husband.

Not to try and connect this blog with the last, but I think a Go Girl would’ve come in handy in that moment. Sudden and uncontrollable laughter is a dangerous thing for a 7-month pregnant woman…


Oh, what a funny world! April 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanydillon @ 3:57 pm

(Warning: this may be a girls-only blog. In my family, the guys could take it, but I’m just sayin’. Not every guy grew up with sisters.)

I first heard about this website a year ago from my sweet sister-in-law, Marla … she is the mother of two awesome boys, and in a couple of weeks, a sweet baby girl! Needless to say, her life is super busy, and she had this website passed on to her from a friend.

Yes, it is ingenious, I must say. I have plenty of stories of road trip emergencies that I could share, but maybe not on a blog….

Anyway. She gave me this web address, and I looked it up while in the studio recording last spring, and couldn’t help but burst out laughing! (I was just about to say I almost peed my pants laughing, but that would’ve been a little overboard!) Now that I am preggers, and my average amount of times waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom is about five, maybe the “Go-Girl” is becoming less of a joke to me and little more practical… hmm… ; )

Small-bladdered women and mothers of the world, behold: The GO GIRL.


Summery Strawberry Salad April 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanydillon @ 6:53 pm
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We just pulled up to OSU’s campus for the first day of the 2nd leg of the Shane & Shane/John Mark McMillan/Carlos Whitaker tour. It’s an outdoor event put on by a campus ministry… my favorite part of today so far? Free hamburgers, right off the grill. Oh yes, Lord. I actually was thinking about hamburgers on the drive up here. And they’re FREE.

I ate two.

Anyway. All of this sunshine and outdoor events and grilling out feels like summer to me! I know it’s still “spring”, but as I just told my sweet husband, consistent 80+ degree weather and sunshine = summer to this Ohio girl. And because it’s been so awesome outside, this past week at home we started having one of my favorite summery salads, and I thought I’d share it with you!

Summery Strawberry Salad

serves: 5 people (or 2 if those two are Shane & me)

  • 1 container of pre-washed baby spinach
  • couple handfuls of ripe strawberries, washed and quartered
  • half of a Granny Smith apple, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • half to a whole handful (depending on how much you like gorgonzola) of crumbled gorgonzola cheese  ** if you don’t like gorgonzola, feta or bleu cheese would work fine! I’m just a fan of gorgonzola’s strong flavor and richness
  • a GENEROUS handful (let’s make it one and a half) of walnuts and/or pecans (I prefer walnuts), toasted (if you like) and chopped
  • Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette (most groceries carry the brand – look for a pretty glass bottle with a picture of a strawberry on front)
To toast the walnuts or pecans:
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Lightly coat the bottom of a glass baking dish (any size) with a couple tablespoons of melted butter or oil (walnut, vegetable, olive, any kind you have around).
3) Coarsely chop the walnuts and/or pecans, pour into baking dish and toss to evenly coat with butter/oil.
4) Sprinkle a couple teaspoons of sugar (sugar in the raw or organic sugar work great) on top, half a teaspoon of salt, and a LIGHT dusting of fresh ground black pepper. Toss again to coat.
5) Place in the oven until you begin to smell the nuts toasting, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn! (although I LOVE things burned. Seriously, I do.)
For the salad:
1) Take toasted nuts out of the oven, place on a plate to cool.
2) In a tall bowl, throw baby spinach, quartered strawberries, chopped apples, crumbled gorgonzola, and COOLED (or it will melt the cheese) walnuts/pecans.
3) Add the amount of vinaigrette you want, and then toss!
4) Put on a plate. Grab a fork. Go outside on your deck or backyard, find a sunny spot, and enjoy.

Building April 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bethanydillon @ 2:36 pm
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I haven’t ever really read The Message Bible much. The times I have read it are when it’s quoted in a book or sermon… but never really picked it up for myself. I think it’s an awesome thought to put Scripture in modern-day Western language, but most of the time, I’m more impacted by other translations… I think my Bible is ESV? Not that that matters. I’m on a rabbit trail now. : ) All of that to say, it was really strange to me the other day when I saw The Message New Testament and Psalms & Proverbs on the bookshelf and felt a quickening in me to pick it up. I sat up on our barstool in the kitchen with my decaf coffee, and opened to Psalm 127.

A Pilgrim Song of Solomon

1-2 If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?

3-5 Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

It still moves me to read that, days later. I heard His voice in it… to me. In ten short weeks, a sweet little girl named Lucy is going to be here, and I will be tangibly walking in every word of this Psalm. It’s useless for me to try and build my own thing, hold my own thing together, guard it with my life. When I was reading and meditating on those first verses, a wave of thankfulness came over me… but He IS the builder of our house. He IS the One guarding it.

“Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?” — I’m hanging that on the wall of Lucy’s room somehow. I will need to be reading that often.

His “generous legacy” … His “best gift”. The ESV translation of that verse is, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (v. 3)  Powerful. Powerful promises. How often does our culture paint the coming of children as an inconvenience and even a detour from our REAL purpose and potential? What lies have we been told! They are a legacy, a gift, a heritage, a reward from Him. Quite a different picture, huh?

Since reading that, my mind has been in that place. My heart’s been dwelling on how He builds a house, how He creates heritages, legacies, stories through us. Lucy’s birth, and the birth of my sister-in-law Marla’s daughter Anna in a few days, and my nephew Cohen’s birth, are a part of His story/legacy/heritage… the building and expanding of His Kingdom. Wow.

The thought (I’ve got a sneaky suspicion it came from Him) came to me this morning as I was reading Psalm 127 again … yes, He is building “our” house, as far as Shane & I’s family. Yes, He’s building us, we’re built on His foundation. But, just like I may have sixty more years at best, Lucy (and her brothers & sisters in the future) isn’t going to live forever, and neither will her children, nor her children’s children. Our “house” is so, so, so temporary. The reality is, it’s being built in the shadow of a house that can’t pass away, in a Name stronger and longer-lasting than Barnard. In the unmatchable Name of Jesus, He’s building (through us and myriads of other generations and families) His Kingdom.

Sunday morning I was reading an old entry in my journal and came across a morning I was in Matthew 13, reading all the different parables Jesus used to describe the Kingdom. A sower’s seed, a tiny mustard seed growing into a large tree, leaven in three measures of flour, the treasure hidden in the field, a pearl of great value, etc. I just wrote them out in a list, and noticed while I was re-reading them… they all are pointing to something hidden, or at least something that needs to be revealed.

Do we want to know what the Kingdom of God looks like? What our stories in it look like? … it can only be revealed.

Like seed going into the ground and sprouting and bearing fruit in due season.

Like a tiny, insignificant mustard seed going into the ground, dying, and growing larger than any of the other garden plants.

Like leaven hidden in flour, making it rise and expand over time.

Like a treasure hidden in a field, that when a man finds it, he realizes its worth enough to go and sell all he has in order to buy that field.

Like a pearl of great value, that when a merchant finds it, goes and sells all he has in order to buy it.

I’m just… encouraged by that truth in this season of my life. I probably always will be. Like all of those other parables, the parable of my life will continue to unveil and reveal the worth of the King and His Kingdom in each new season. So, when I’m waking up numerous times throughout the night here in a few months, when I’m begging for Him to give us rest, when worry and anxiety grip my heart and I want to guard her and “my” house with all my might, I can remember: HE is the One building us, and guarding us. But more than that, beyond that, better than that, He is building His Kingdom, even in us, and revealing it.

He’s so good. He’s really, really good. I love Him and can’t wait to turn the page and see what the next parable in the Barnards He’s going to tell in order to point to His Kingdom. I can’t begin to imagine how beautiful the next one will be.