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

 

Whole August 2, 2010

Filed under: Christianity,Life,Lucy — bethanydillon @ 10:51 pm

Getting close to five weeks. It’s crazy how fast that has gone by… and how slowly. (Almost) five weeks ago, Shane and I were in a hospital room, trying to wrap our brains around the sweet little “love lump” (as Grandma Barnard calls her) that had just arrived. We STILL are trying to wrap our minds around it, but to be honest, our minds are a little too tired nowadays. I know for myself, I can’t really remember the last time I fed Lucy, let alone the last time I showered… which can be scary.

But, wow, isn’t the Lord really as good as He says He is? I have been tasting and seeing that, especially in the last two weeks. Things (and when I say “things” I mean: motherhood, marriage adjusting to parenthood, every day life, life in God, etc…) are getting a little less blurry and coming into focus– what a huge, overflowing, overwhelming blessing this season is.

I couldn’t even begin to share all the things He has spoken to me in the last five weeks. I’m not sure if I should, really. Some of those moments are untypable and unbloggable. There really aren’t any words FOR them. Some of my moments with the Lord lately have been wordless and pretty unassuming, except for the “still small voice” that brought quiet and peace and worship to my heart. I’ve stared at Lucy and just sighed and smiled till my face hurt and my eyes were all watery. I’ve stared at my husband holding her, or comforting me in an emotional moment, or waking up with me in the middle of the night to make sure Lucy and I were alright … and wondered, How did I get this blessed? The faithfulness and tender heart of God has been shown to me through Shane consistently pre-Lucy, but now it’s something I lean on daily.

All of that to say… this morning I had a really sweet time with Him in our sun room. I was reading Galatians 5 about the fruit of the Spirit… LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL… and had this deep, restless hunger in me for the evidence of the Spirit at work in my life. I know He IS — I wouldn’t be able to get through a day if He wasn’t! But, when I looked at that list in my Bible and then copied in my journal and traced over several times, I could tell by the ache in my heart that I don’t pursue those things. More like, I don’t pursue Him to the point of those things just naturally bearing fruit.

Sure, I have joyful days. Sure, I have moments where I choose to be patient. Sure, there are times when I have to have self-control and do.

But, all of those things? To walk in the Spirit so deeply and authentically that all of those things are evident in me? I’m not sure.

And then, I flipped over to Ephesians. I saw a verse in (I think) chapter 5 talking about “giving no opportunity to the devil” … and I started to think about how many times in one day those fruits I just read about are challenged. How my flesh, and beyond that, my unseen enemy are hostile towards God and stand in opposition to those things taking root, sprouting, and producing sweet fruit in season in my life.

Ephesians 6:10-18

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”

I know it’s kind of an unattractive book of the Bible, but I have always, always loved Deuteronomy. Side note: if you haven’t ever spent much time there, you should give it an hour of your day. Flip through the chapters… there are so many that point to Jesus. Anyway, I remember it being a theme in that book, especially talking about the law, to obey the WHOLE law. To offer WHOLE offerings to the Lord. To love the Lord with your WHOLE heart.

For some reason, that word stuck out to me today… whole. I want to know what it is to experience all of the fruits of the Spirit- the wholeness of it. And, in Ephesians 6, I have a high and urgent calling to put on the WHOLE armor of God… my life depends on it.

So, I’m seeking Him for these things in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

And I want to begin each day with these things armoring me in the unseen: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness given by the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and praying at all times.

The beautiful thing about the Word… and about the Lord… is that, in order to experience freedom in it, you can’t omit the things you’re uncomfortable with or inconvenience you. Kind of like how I have a joyful day here and there, where I really am joyful IN the Lord… I have days here and there when I pray at all times. Or I arm myself with the Word at the beginning of my day. Or I chose to wrap around me the truth.

But, I don’t want the glory of victory that that passage talks about in pieces! I want to experience what it’s like to really, really, REALLY walk in the Spirit. With my WHOLE heart.

 

Lone Star Lucy July 31, 2010

Filed under: Lucy — bethanydillon @ 11:05 pm

That’s what my mom has been calling her. Clever, isn’t she?

This is a pic of her from today… she’s finally able to fit into this adorable farm animals onesie that Grandma Barnard got her : ) Love it!

 

Lucy James July 29, 2010

Filed under: Life,Lucy — bethanydillon @ 9:55 pm

Hello my friends! I somewhat feel the need to re-introduce myself now I’m a mommy… life looks a lot different from the last time I blogged! : ) As those of you veteran moms know, the first weeks for the first baby are QUITE an adjustment- hormones, sleep deprivation, an overall feeling of cluelessness… not to mention getting to know and falling in love with the little sweetie that had been in my belly for nine months! It’s a crazy time, but tomorrow marks the first month of Lucy’s life, and my new life as her mom, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that getting through the first four weeks feels like one of the biggest accomplishments of my life so far. : )

Anyway… in the midst of getting some house work done while she’s been asleep this afternoon, I wanted to post some pictures of our little beauty! I will hopefully find some time to share more about her birth and life since, but for now, you can just behold some of God’s best creativity yet : )

Lucy James Barnard: 6.30.2010 - 3:24pm - 7 lbs 8 oz

Day 2 at the hospital

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Confession: I love me some sweet Lucy skin!