Bethany Dillon

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Present. November 19, 2010

Filed under: Christianity,Life,Lucy — bethanydillon @ 4:08 pm

It goes without saying that it’s been a WHILE since I’ve blogged. Whatever component of someone’s personality that makes them a “blogger”… maybe I just don’t have it. I was telling Shane the other day, if I could just sit on the couch with all of you individually, with a cup of coffee and a couple of hours of conversation- that’s what I’d prefer. Or even to just copy and attach my semi-daily journals onto a blog post. But, when I think about blogging: i.e., at least thirty minutes spent in front of a computer screen during a free moment in my day, two thoughts come to mind:

1) When it’s been a long time, it’s kind of like laundry or dishes for me… if I’ve been consistent, it’s no big deal. But when piles of dirty dishes or dirty laundry are sitting there, staring at me, I can feel a bit overwhelmed. Where to begin?

2) I’ve really been struck lately with my need to be present… hence, the title of this post… and, I don’t know if you can relate with me, but Twitter/Facebook/texting/emailing/and, yes, blogging, can sometimes serve as a sometimes unhealthy “escape” for me from the mundane, every-dayness of being a stay-at-home wife and mommy.

All of that said, though, I’m excited to be back. : ) I think I just need to look at this in a simpler way… if you’re into it, that is… I think short and sweet blogs might be all that I can offer in this season, but I think that’s okay. In fact, I think it’s going to be GOOD for me! The Lord has been speaking so much to me in these past almost five months of being Lucy’s mommy… and, yes, most of those things make it onto the pages of my journal… but I do feel a burden and desire to share it with you. The call to encourage my brothers and sisters in Him has been a loud one recently — and it’s fleshed out in having people over for dinner, swinging by friends’ houses for lunch or just to say hi, etc… but I think another sweet way for that to be manifested is right here, in blog-world. So, here we go!

First off — I LOVE being a mommy. Love, love, LOVE it. And I love being Shane’s wife more every day. The past couple of mornings I’ve just thought on that… those good, good gifts from Him. I can’t even really wrap my mind around what blessings (in the greatest sense of that word) those two people are in my life. Yes, I am blessed beyond the walls of our home, definitely- an amazing family, friends, community, church. But, my every day consists of those two sweet people: Shane and Lucy. And I love it.

Buddies.

September 25, at my sister's wedding ... sure love those people!

So, here’s been the gentle, needed rebuke for me from the Lord lately: be PRESENT. Savor. Enjoy. Delight yourself in Me. Be SATISFIED with what I’ve given to you from my hand. It came the other day when I was sitting on the couch, nursing Lucy, and simultaneously watching the news, and checking Twitter on my iPhone, mindlessly scrolling through everyone’s 140-charactered updates. In those few seconds, I looked down at Lucy and thought about how quickly she’s changed in four and a half short months. It’s true (someone from church told me this the other day) that with babies “the days are long, but the years are fast”. The few hours I’ve been awake today already feel long… but the past five months have flown by.

What a treasure Lucy is!

What a joy to see her face light up when I pick her up in the mornings… to make her laugh… to meet her needs… to get to kiss all over that sweet, chubby, perfect face.

And, no, Twitter isn’t evil. Watching the news isn’t evil. But, in that moment (and in His voice echoing through the rest of my moments after) I realized that I’ve been using silly, temporal, mindless things like those to escape. To have a breather. To “tune out” of the mundane moments like nursing Lucy for the thousandth time.

And, you mommies know, there IS a need for rest, refuge, and escape sometimes… but am I preferring those things over truly being present in what He’s given me? Am I turning my days into even more of a blur from staring into screens throughout my day rather than sitting in the quiet sometimes… turning everything off… and taking in the faithfulness and goodness of God?

I know all those thoughts are packed full, and need to be unpacked in more than one short blog… and I’m sure they will be : )… but I just wanted to share with you on this Friday morning what’s been challenging and spurring me on into deeper things with Him — to refuge in Him, and still be present in my days of being Lucy’s mommy and Shane’s wife. Those things are infinitely greater of worth than dividing my attention constantly with TV, social networking, and even activities outside the home. I want to grow in what it means to truly, deeply, gratefully enjoy all that He’s provided in this season … because this season won’t last forever!

Hopefully that all makes sense and resonates with you. I’ve been feeling gentle correction from the Lord in a lot of areas lately, but that has been the biggest one! And I’m so thankful that He IS calling my attention to it. There is so much coming up that I will want to look back on and know I fully enjoyed.

Namely: the annual Thanksgiving get-together next week in Ohio with my mom’s side of the family. : ) I can’t TELL you how excited I am for that! And I promise a blog will be coming about it! There are always stories to tell about my crazy family…

Well, I hope you have a lovely, lovely weekend! And that your eyes will be opened even wider to ALL that He is doing in the every-dayness of your life! Know you are loved by Him and rest/escape/refuge in that … I’m fighting to, as well!

Your unbloggery blogging friend,

Beth

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20 Responses to “Present.”

  1. Roberta Says:

    Great post. I’m going to be a first time mommy in 6 weeks, so this is good to know & remember during those long & mundane days. It’s so important to be in the “now.” I’ve been a nanny for the past 2 1/2 years. I have enjoyed the time with people’s kids, & witnessed those special & everyday moments when the parents miss out. On another note, I can get caught up in being busy & trying to make the day go by faster in social media. I think God just really wants us to enjoy the season He’s placed us in because it’s exactly where He’s put us. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jessica Graham Says:

    Wow.

    That was an amazing thing to hear. God has actually been doing the same thing in my life, except in the realm of being a single woman of God. You’re blog was an encouragement to for me to keep going. To be present in what God has asked of me now, not what I wish for or what He has planned for my future. It has been a struggle the past few months with going to work and school to just be present with my family and friends and being involved in my church, and to let go of those escapes that keep me from spending time with them, especially when I don’t know where God will take me next.

    Thank you so much!

  3. Susan Vitalis Says:

    Thanks, Beth. You are such an encouragement in how Godly you live your life.

  4. Sarah G. Says:

    Hey Bethany! Thanks so much for this blog, it definitely resonated a lot with me. I moved an hour away from my family and we don’t have a second car so I am alone most days while my husband is at work; and I realized I was doing the same thing-using the internet and tv to mindlessly try and pass the time and get my mind away from cleaning or whatever. So thanks so much for passing this on! I will strive to BE PRESENT!:)
    Don’t worry about your unbloggeryness…I am the same way and I don’t even have a new baby! 😀

    • Sarah, I am just like you. Hubby works from 8am-330pm everyday and has our car so I am here. Online I’m able to keep in touch with my relatives, like on facebook because my middle brother Jason and his wife will not answer facebook messages, but will answer wall posts. Messages are private…they don’t answer email either. So annoying! Just Jonathan will answer emails, my older brother.

  5. Hi Beth! Great blog! I don’t have a family yet, just my husband Chris who I think you’ve met too, because I know you have met me before here in Oregon, but originally you met me in Phoenix, AZ before I met Chris and God lead me to move here and eventually marry him. So I have Chris to love on. He’s a hardworker! I can identify with you on the blogging bit. I hadn’t blogged on my blog since October 14th and just blogged on Wednesday of this week. There is a way to actually with blogspot email the post from email to it and it goes automatically (if not wanting pictures in etc). I would think you could copy and paste your journal into this, if it is ont he computer. My blog is more like my journal. Now that I’ve got my priorities back in row with reading my Bible before turning on my computer, than I just let God use me as He sits fit here online, cause this is my mission field. I have some wonderful internet friends, outside of wonderful musicians like you and the two Shane’s (the band). God actually gave me a new song the other day, but my voice mic isn’t working on this computer, I am pretty sure it is plugged in the right place. I checked with the computer I was using before I got this one for my bday from my dad and brothers…and the mic works on that one. It’s a mystery and I can’t find the manual to it. Being in tune with the Holy Spirit, I never know how He’ll speak to me creatively. I know I’ve given you little reproducibles as I call them of either poetry or song lyrics. I wish you could come to Salem, Oregon again 🙂 But family must come first after God.

    Have a great day!

  6. Kristin Says:

    Hi Bethany! I just love love love your blog. I have been such a close fan of both your music and Shane’s music for like ten years. It has moved and impacted me so much..and I remember when I read that you and Shane were getting married–and i felt like a close friend would have-so very happy for you! The Lord places a lot of the same convictions on our heart, and it astounds me how much he pours over my life through your writing. I am very thankful for your family, and I thank you for your honesty and genuine heart. I adore who God has called you to be. 🙂

    Too bad we don’t live in the same state…I have a feeling we’d make great friends! Have a wonderful thanksgiving with your family!

  7. Courtney B Says:

    Sounds like sanctification to me Bethany! I’ve been listening to some Matt Chandler podcasts alot lately. He says this:

    Sanctification begins by answering two questions. What stirs your affections for Jesus Christ? And what robs you of those affections? Many of the things that stifle growth are morally neutral. They’re not bad things. Facebook is not bad. Television and movies are not bad. I enjoy TV, but it doesn’t take long for me to begin to find humorous on TV what the Lord finds heartbreaking.

    The same goes for following sports. It’s not wrong, but if I start watching sports, I begin to care too much. I get stupid. If 19-year-old boys are ruining your day because of what they do with a ball, that’s a problem. These things rob my affections for Christ. I want to fill my life with things that stir my affections for him.

  8. Belinda Savage Says:

    Hey Beth:)
    Awesome to hear from you:)
    I totally get what you are saying. It must be amazing to be a mommy now and have your life change so drastically. As you say you are so blessed to have such an amazing support system and Almighty God in your life. You are and will continue doing fantasticallywell and this season will grow and shape you in ways you never expected. I am sure you know and have exprienced that already:)
    I think I am going through a similar season too. I was walking home the other day and praying and just reminding myself to be present, to just be in the here and now. Walk with the Lord and let Him work in my life in His time and His way.
    I only have 3 months left in the UK with my twin sister and my nephew, he is 5, and it is going by so quickly. My nephew has changed so much in the last year and it is awesome to watch, even his facial features are becoming more mature. He says the most amazing things, even if some of them are quite bizarre and don’t make sense but it is extraordinary to watch. I am going to miss him so much. And He is asking lots of questions about the Lord and Jesus, I love it!!!
    Strength in Jesus for the rest of this season in your life Beth and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
    Your sis in Jesus
    Belinda xx

  9. Katie Says:

    Hey Beth! I can very much relate to you. The past few months I’ve been looking for a job and I’m seeing the world differently considering I’ve been in school my whole life, ha. It’s like everything has slowed down, I’m not as busy right now, and I feel the need to distract myself i.e. the internet, social networking. I’ve found comfort and rest in knowing that where I am right now is where God wants me to be. Thanks for posting!

  10. lizilouwho Says:

    This is something I definitely needed to hear. I’ve been doing a lot of tuning out and finding ways to just “pass the time” in order to avoid things I could and should be doing. Thanks for the reminder to be present, I have felt the Lord trying to correct me in this and this is just the extra little nudge I needed.

  11. Amanda Jones Says:

    Hey Beth!
    It is so wonderful to read another one of your inspiring blogs again. I have been a fan of your music since i was 13 and now im 20…so for quite some time now, and reading your blogs have been such a blessing to me. No need to worry about how long it has been, God has given you two wonderful gifts that you have the opportunity to drink in those moments with them. To be PRESENT, has been something I too have been struggling with. Being a Junior at the University of Dayton, sometimes its hard to be Present, with worry of assignments and even outside life issues. But in this season, i too have been reminded of how wonderful it is to just stop and take in the miracles all around me. To watch the leaves of the trees gently fall to the ground, and to smell the crisp Autumn air. Thank you for being so authentic, and encouraging me to continue to walk this journey with God.

    Blessings to you and your Family,
    Amanda Jones

  12. kc Says:

    Thank you so much for the encouragement! I have a 4 1/2 month old and this staying @ home thing is totally new 2 me. I have been struggling with the same thing and was very blessed 2 read your blog :o)

  13. Taylor Says:

    Bethany, THIS IS TIMELY. God has been speaking the same thing to me. So thankful for the freedom that comes in obedience. Be blessed today.

    Love, Taylor

  14. amy Says:

    Yeah! Love that you’re back to blogging. Short and sweet blogs are great and always welcome 🙂
    Thanks for posting this. It’s so easy sometimes to just slip into activities that don’t spark our mind or draw us any closer to Jesus. Thanks for the reminder to intentionally pursue life 🙂
    We’ll be driving through your hometown on Thursday on our way to Ft. Wayne, and I’ll for sure be thinking of you and your family. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  15. Allison C. Says:

    Beth,

    first of all, i have loved your music from back when your first cd was released. i love the perspective you have on life and faith and our amazing God, and so naturally i love reading your blogs and thoughts.. and i love your honesty. your blog today really convicted me. i’ve had a rather crazy and full week, and its resulted in me losing that time to just be present and be still. i just wanted to share that with you, because i know going through lessons like that can mean so much more when you know that it has touched someone else who is in a similar situation. while i am not a mom, but a college freshman, i completely identify with the feeling of craziness and seeking relief in things that don’t satisfy like our Savior does. and the importance of being fully present and active in what God is calling you to now. i know we can often get caught up in things that seem “good”, but pull us away from what God is calling us to see and do right in front of us. thanks for who you are and for being such an incredible woman of faith. i have always admired your faith, and it pushes me to not become complacent in my life and my relationship with my God. praying for you and your family, that God would continue to do amazing things in your lives, and be continually teaching you and drawing you even closer in his perfect love.

    Allison C.

  16. Chelle Says:

    I do believe you hit that nail on the head. You are choosing well girl. LOVE the pics.

  17. So good to hear from you! I really wish I could sit and chat with you over a cup of coffee 🙂 just wanted to say God has been speaking the same thing to me about delighting in him, setting aside distractions, and just enjoying him and the place he has me in now. Easier said than done, but so good to recognize his sweet presence in my life! Lucy is beautiful, by the way! Have a great day! 🙂

  18. Larissa Says:

    So encouraging and such a good reminder as single woman with a busy life to not waste this time wishing for the future to come quicker. Thanks for being vulnerable and willing to let us into your life.

  19. Thanks for sharing, Bethany! I really needed to read this, and read it today, right now. I actually think I clicked on the link to your blog a week or two ago, but for some reason didn’t notice a new post, because I believe God must not have wanted me to read it until today. I too have been using the several times a day I’m nursing to watch a show, check emails, facebook, blogs, etc., and I haven’t been as present as I need to be. The Lord has been speaking to my heart the last few days as I’ve been looking for more ways to find time to just BE in His presence, and this is just what I needed to read. It’s so neat how God works!
    By the way, your little family is so adorable!!!! That is to say that Lucy is adorable, and the three of you look GREAT together! 🙂


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