Bethany Dillon

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Christmas Wish List (begins in May for me, people) May 26, 2010

Filed under: Life — bethanydillon @ 3:33 pm

OR… maybe I just don’t have the time/concentration to blog a “real” post today. Soon, though, soon!

Shane’s family was in town all weekend, left yesterday, and then Shane and I both had a pseudo-Sabbath together at the house. We napped, watched Pirates of the Caribbean, napped, journaled/read, ate Panda Express, and watched Avatar from Red Box. You can see now, after a day like that, how I have no energy to write a blog. Hmm…

Anyway. I have a post soon of Lucy’s nursery! No, we haven’t really technically officially “started” it yet, but the texture guy is coming today sometime, and then we can plow ahead with painting and decorating. There was this horrible yellow/brown leather wallpaper on the walls before, that had been there for about 30+ years, and when Shane took it off, it ripped some of the drywall off with it. So, alas, a few more days of waiting before I can finally go crazy and prepare a girly room for Lucy. 🙂

All of that has nothing to do with this, but I just saw this pic on our desktop and wanted to share it with you. I found this light fixture on Etsy the other day and fell in LOVE! Isn’t this one of the most gorgeous things you’ve ever seen?!

… too bad it costs an arm and a leg.

Oh well, I’ll just stare at this picture on my desktop, guilt my husband for a few more months, and just MAYBE it will show up around Christmas time. Maybe? 😉

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes May 18, 2010

Filed under: Life — bethanydillon @ 7:58 pm


to


Shane and I went on a mall date a couple weeks ago (which sounds super cheesy as I type that, but it’s a pretty darn awesome mall in North Dallas. Anthropologie + Williams Sonoma + Origins + Lush + awesome food … fun times are sure to be had) and we stopped by Teavana. You ever been to one? They are the beautiful, cool tea stores that have free samples outside of all kinds of yummy teas. Yes, free. Samples. I’m not sure if it’s just the way I grew up, but when I think, read, or say those words, I am no longer responsible for my actions (i.e. going back for more, taking an inappropriate amount as a “sample”… you get the picture).

Well, we both got drawn in by the amazing salesman there that day. Large, shiny canisters of exotic types and flavors of tea were lowered down from a tall shelf and opened like presents on Christmas morning… then, he would take the top of the canister and start wafting the fragrance of that tea towards us as he told us the health benefits of that particular one. I’m not sure if I really was paying attention to what he was saying, but whenever he would stop, I felt sure that that particular tea had the power to change my life, make labor not hurt, give me energy to do ten loads of laundry a day, and finally kick stress and anxiety to the curb.

We left with three types of tea that day. Are we tea drinkers? Not really. I mean, yes, I buy chamomile and peppermint tea bags for sick days, but as this man informed me, I’m not a real tea drinker if I use a tea BAG. (I think he was about to faint when I told him, poor guy.) But, I do like tea, and so does Shane… and we’ve been trying to bring our caffeine intake down a notch, so there we went, leaving the Teavana store with a fruity, yummy tea for iced tea this summer, a white flavored tea that tastes like chai, and a strong mate (mah-tay) that has just as much caffeine as coffee, but with less jitters, and a more “natural” feeling of energy.

I’m pretty sure I could get excommunicated from my family for saying this, but I really like it. A lot.

I even thought about making a cup of coffee a couple of mornings ago for old times’ sake, but really, I just wanted some chai. Or a good black tea. Or rooibos. I even feel healthier typing out the names of those.

That’s all I’ve got for today.

 

More Prego Pics… May 15, 2010

Filed under: pregnancy — bethanydillon @ 3:13 pm

Lauren Clark is the BOMB.

Soooo excited to get our prints in the mail! I’ll share all of them as soon as we get them : )

 

Powerful and Effective May 14, 2010

Filed under: Life — bethanydillon @ 4:34 pm
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This past weekend in Lubbock with the Barnard fam was SO fun, but to be honest, more than half of the time I was being weighed down by a load of insecurity, fear, doubt. I kept looking ahead at this next season and feeling completely and utterly inadequate. Frustrated that I couldn’t FEEL as confident as I want to. You know what I’m talking about? It was a battle of a couple of days, and then I finally, really experienced some freedom on Tuesday… through the wise words and tender heart of my husband, and through the Lord speaking in the ordinariness of that day. My heart is just so encouraged looking back at this weekend. As simple as it sounds, walking through those moments/days/weeks with Him, and witnessing His patience and faithfulness towards you in it is staggering. Life changing. Love-causing.

Remember how I was sharing how clearly the Lord spoke to me last week about consistency and discipline? (See: “Square One”.) Ever since then, there’s been something different. The attitude of my heart has changed. And I know it isn’t my efforts doing it. It’s very tangibly not of me… I think some words that keep coming to my mind are:

HUMILITY. CONSISTENCY. EXPECTANCY.

I was sharing with my DEAR friend Kari the other day on Skype that “humility” was something the Lord so clearly spoke to me at the beginning of this year. That word has already marked these past five+ months, and I’m sure will be carved in even deeper in the next seven. Lots of correction, lots of being confronted with the things in me that offend Him. Lots of my mind being changed, and my heart following.

Consistency — I’ve already kinda shared with y’all what He’s speaking in that. I avoid the mundane, and in so doing, miss out on the extraordinary that He has for me. I’m praying for His help in it… to keep coming and digging and seeking, even when I would rather do a thousand other things more.

But expectancy… that word has been like a flashing neon sign in my heart the last few days.

For example: Shane got the stomach bug Tuesday night, which was so sad. I think the only thing worse than being sick like that is having to watch your spouse be sick like that and not being able to do anything about it. At around 2:30am that night, after multiple times of getting sick, we sat up in bed and prayed for relief for him. Do you know how often I pray for healing with expectancy? Uhh… not often. I was struck by the words of our missions pastor at church a couple weeks ago when she reminded us that He is our HEALER… and then we had a time of praying for healing for people. I’m sure we all have the same reasons for hesitancy to that. We don’t want to be weird. We don’t want to pray for something and then it not happen. And, even in the heart-motives, we don’t want to lift up physical well-being and make an idol out of it (which I can so easily do). But… does that negate the fact that He is our Healer? Shane still felt pretty bad last night, and while we were praying for other things together, we prayed for healing for him. He woke up this morning, still had a sour stomach, and we’re still praying. With expectancy.

We have some new friends in our life that we aren’t sure know Jesus. All the circumstances surrounding them, their familiarity with “churchy” things, and countless other reasons pile up to make it seem pretty much impossible. IMPOSSIBLE. I could share more, but I’ll just leave it at that. So, what do we do? We pray with EXPECTANCY to God, to whom salvation belongs. In a second, He can open their eyes, soften their hearts, draw them to Himself through His Son. It hasn’t happened yet, but we’re praying, knowing that it can.

This morning, in my journal, these were the things I felt led to write down, stare at, and remember that He is completely able in:

In the impossible. In the tragic. In the unknown. In the hopeless places and moments. In helpless feelings.

He is ABLE! HE IS ABLE!

So… why do I drag my feet in bringing those things to Him?

When I read these verses today, I felt them pointed directly at me:

“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.” [psalm 146:7,8]

Read those out loud. He DOES those things. He does the impossible! He sets the prisoners free— read Acts 12, the account of Peter being busted out of jail in the middle of the night by an angel. It was so impossible that he thought he was dreaming. He opens the eyes of the blind— after 65 years of life, Shane witnessed his dad’s gruff, self-made-man, burnt by the church heart be completely changed by the blood of Jesus. If you ever get the chance to ask him about it, or hear him talk about it, it was impossible. He lifts up those who are bowed down— my sister Kate has just walked through the hardest three years of her life. I have first hand seen the Lord be a Husband to her… a Provider. A father to her son, Cohen. He painted the picture in Hosea 2:14 in her life: “I will bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her,” – and it is a beautiful thing to behold.

He loves the righteous. If you’ve been around the church at all, you’ve probably heard that famous verse,

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” [james 5:16]

I have read and heard that verse so many times and felt SO disqualified. Righteous? Me? James must have been talking about someone who prays five hours a day, or is living on the mission field in Africa, or volunteers all their free time to a homeless shelter. Surely. But I forget the Gospel! Is THAT what makes a man or woman righteous before God?

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known…

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” [romans 3:21,22]

We are righteous because of Jesus, and therefore, (try and hear this with new ears today, friend) He loves us … AND, our prayers before Him are powerful and effective.

That… is… HUGE. If that doesn’t create God-glorifying expectancy in your heart as you steal away for time with Him today, I don’t know what will.

Love y’all.

Beth

 

8 Weeks To Go… May 11, 2010

Filed under: Life,pregnancy — bethanydillon @ 2:25 pm

We are in Lubbock this weekend visiting Shane’s family for Mother’s Day and getting to see our one week old niece Anna! She is PRECIOUS… can’t believe she and Lucy are going to be only two months apart. She’s here, Lucy’s still cookin. Crazy. Anyway, Shane’s brother’s wife’s sister-in-law (yep) is an incredible photographer based here in Lubbock — Lauren Clark (http://laurenclarkphotography.com) — and she took some maternity photos for us last night after dinner. Thank you so much, Lauren! She posted a few on her Facebook today, so I thought I’d go ahead and share one with y’all 🙂

Me, Shane, & Lucy ... don't we look happy? But really, we were being attacked by a swarming plague of mosquitoes. We're pros, people.

 

Square One May 7, 2010

Filed under: Life — bethanydillon @ 3:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

That’s where I feel like I am… back at square one today. Which, really, isn’t a bad thing. I think I can get myself too used to only the “complex” things and thoughts about walking with Jesus in the every-dayness of my life.

I don’t think it’s too rare of a thing  to struggle with consistency as a believer… a few weeks ago, while Shane was out of town for the weekend playing some shows, I had a group of college girls over (from the Oaks School of Leadership that our church started — if you follow Shane & Shane on Twitter or read their blog, you’ve heard of it. It’s an awesome, awesome program!) in the thick of finals week. We ate lasagna, talked, and then sat around my living room and shared what our plans were for the summer and how we could be prayed for. That morning I had read the passage from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (see: The Rare Moments blog below) and really felt the need to share it, not only on this blog, but to actually READ it with them… if you scroll down and read those short paragraphs, maybe it will resonate with you, too. Chambers had such a strong word for those of us (I think I’m the president of this particular club) who rely solely on the “inspiring” moments in our lives in God. If something isn’t inspiring, motivating, emotional … we don’t waste too much time on it.

Yeah… guilty. So, so guilty of that.

Anyway, in my unrealistic expectation to somehow skip multiple steps from –> only sticking around for the rare, inspiring times in my faith to –> having a deep, intimate, genuine walk with Jesus … it probably isn’t shocking that instead of moving forward, I often find myself in familiar places.

And, to be honest, I probably always will struggle with wanting the emotional times over the times of true, tested devotion. Example: in case you didn’t know, I’m American. About five minutes after I poured my tea this morning, I wanted it just a few degrees hotter, put it in the microwave, and thirty seconds later had a perfect cup of tea again. You get what I’m saying? Being used to that in so many areas of my life has handicapped me as a believer in a lot of ways… I’m not deeply moved toward Him and broken when I read His consistent command of me in the Word, “Wait.” Instead, I usually go, “Ok… I’ll wait… how long again? Five minutes? Ten? Uhh.. I kind of have to go and get some things done today… ooooookay… nevermind!”

How much have I missed out on with that attitude in my heart?

I’m sharing all of this, honestly, with a LOT of joy this morning, which may sound weird… but I truly feel His leading me into a season of repentance and new beginnings. I mean, HELLO … in eight weeks, sweet little Lucy is coming into the world! So much newness and excitement and the unknown surrounds that brand new season of baby, marriage, loving Jesus. In the anticipation of that, I can feel the Lord leading and teaching me in preparation for it, and I’m SO thankful. Thankful beyond words. His faithful heart and steadfast love continue to draw and inspire me, even in the uninspiring days…

So. He really spoke to me this morning about prayer. I can’t blame it all on pregnancy that I’ve been distracted in that area as of late. I’m going to especially need that discipline in a couple of months, but I’m also in desperate need of it today. So, as uninspiring and practical as it sounds (which is hard for emotional/artsy people, but usually very healthy and needed!) I wrote out in my journal for about ten minutes all the names that I feel burdened to pray for. I counted them. I put them in seven groups, or, Sunday-Saturday. I really sensed His leading in it, and then when I was done I said out loud, “Lord… this looks way too organized and practical for me.” But, you know what? I probably need that. To have some sort of a grid to work off of- something uninspiring that will begin a habit and consistency in me. I’ll weekly bring family, friends, our community, before Him … instead of remembering to pray for our church after weeks of not, for example. I know that’s not for everybody, but I think it’s for me right now.

Prayer. Consistently reading the Word. Reading books that make me love Him more (right now: “The Pleasures of God” by John Piper is rocking my world). Talking to people about Jesus.

Sounds like square one, huh? And I’m excited about it. Expectant in it. He has been faithful in growing me up until now, and He will continue to be, by no striving or effort of my own – purely by His Spirit at work in my life. Through what? The practical. The every-day. The uninspiring. And, maybe, as glimpses here and there along the way… a moment of clarity, passion, inspiration, emotions getting behind what I’ve committed to.

Until then, I’ll wait… with lots of joy and hope in my ever-growing heart. Kind of like my belly is stretching out, I feel my heart doing the same.

 

The Cushion May 5, 2010

Filed under: pregnancy — bethanydillon @ 8:01 pm
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I just got back from a prenatal massage. I LOVE me some massages — especially now that gravity, an expanding rib cage, and a growing baby in my belly are daily causing my body to be… let’s just say uncomfortable. So, I decided to try out a new day spa in our outdoor mall just down the road. It’s an understatement to say I was excited when I saw the special cushion with the cut out for my belly so I could lay face down. Understatement. But, my friends, like most things in life, sometimes your expectations are a little too high. (Kind of like the 3D ultrasound I scheduled for this past Monday while the girls in my family were here so they could all see Lucy. I really wanted to have my mom and sisters be a part of the pregnancy since they all live in Ohio and are getting just glimpses here and there. Not sure why I thought little Lucy would be smiling and posing for the camera. Of course, she was facing my back, folded up like a pretzel, and very happy that way, thank you very much. I couldn’t turn or walk or drink enough sugary lemonade for her to move. This is the part where I’m slightly proud of her for holding her own and being stubborn, especially at only 31 weeks of life… but still, I was bummed. 3D ultrasound got re-scheduled for next week, and hopefully she’ll be turned around by then. And now I’m finished with my rabbit trail in this story!) So, the prenatal massage. The belly cut-out cushion. The hour of deep-breathing and relaxation, letting stress just slide off of my ever-growing and curvy-ing self. 

Except the room felt like it was 110 degrees.

And the cushion was hot.

And the face cushion was hot.

And I have allergies, so that wasn’t pretty either, with my face down. You can imagine.

So, about half an hour into it, I asked the girl if I could turn around, since Lucy had started protesting, too. (Told you she has a mind of her own.) Well, my only option from there was turning to my side, which I didn’t do gracefully AT ALL, and then I had to wedge baby bump and myself inside of the cushion that had the belly cut-out. Now that cushion had changed from being a dream to a sweaty prego nightmare. I tried to get comfortable, all the while kicking myself for being too passive and embarrassed to ask if we could take the pregnancy cushion OFF the bed… 

All that to say, I quickly waddled to my car and cranked the A/C when it was done. Now I am sitting in our study with the air conditioning on full blast, drinking a glass of ice water. Being pregnant in May in Dallas… Lordy. I’m glad I only have two more months of this!