Monday, November 23, 2009

Dancing gone awry.....

So every year the Midsouth region has a staff conference for all the CCC staff in KY, TN, NC and SC. My friend Eric and I have emceed the conference for the past three years and each year we try and think of a creative way to begin our time. We decided (I admit that I pushed pretty hard for this one) to reinact the wedding dance entrance that's on you tube and spoofed on, "The Office". I added the link for those who don't know what I'm talking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0

Anyway, everything is starting off great until it is time for Eric and I to enter. Well, Big Er danced down the aisle just fine and then I entered and felt someone kick me as hard as they possibly could in my calf. I was in excruciating pain and immediately went back to my theater background (haha) and started acting like I couldn't dance and thus drug my leg up the aisle.
I'm not sure how I made it through that meeting. Pure adrenaline, perhaps????

Long story short, an Orthopaedic doctor in Asheville took 2 MRI's and said that my muscles were torn and they needed the 2nd MRI to see how far down the tears went and if it effected the Achilles tendon. He said surgery was pretty much going to be my option, but to see the doctor back in Knoxville. Well, I just got home from my doctor here in Knoxville (Can I give a shout out to Dr. Mathien?) who looked at my MRI's (I hand delivered the same ones given to me by the Asheville doctor) and he said there were no tears, only a severe sprain and that I would just need therapy. I think Jesus changed the MRI images and I am so grateful

Thanks to my Midsouth family for your funny comments (particulary the one about Chris Brown, "Darn you, Chris Brown! First Rhianna and now Beth!" - Erin Coltrane Smith. My 2nd fave comment was from Cara Chute who said what everyone else was thinking (including myself), "Gosh, aren't you embarrassed?" Yes, Cara. Thank you. haha!! At least it makes a good story and the most awkward workmans comp. request.

On a more serious note, I would appreciate your prayers for quick healing and that I can be off crutches soon. I have end-of-year planning and exams. Thanks you all!! What's your most embarrassing moment?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall! Fall! Fall!

I have a love affair with fall. I love everything about it. Football, pumpkins, the colors, being outside, conferences with friends, fun staff team socials, bonfires, etc. I had a bunch of girls over not long ago and one said, "Beth, it looks like fall threw up in your house." Well, it's true.
Anyway, I just wanted to share a few pics taken over the past month of some of my highlights of the fall.

This picture of Brooks (on my staff team) makes me laugh.
We were on a conference call when I snapped this.
I loved having the student women over to my house!

My childhood "Be Frie" Anne and I rarely get time together
these days, but we had a good laugh/cry fest for
a few hours at Calhouns!

Part of our staff team went to Gburg for a fun
social riding go-carts & eating at the Apple Barn.

My dear sister/friend Haley and I went to a UT
game when she was in town visiting.




I would love to hear what you enjoy about fall!!!
Beth

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Allergies

My head is the size of a large pumpkin. Maybe I'm allergic to pumpkin and that's my problem. Okay, so I've lived in East Tennessee most of my life, but I've never experienced allergies like I have this week. Today I left the house in my pajamas on a quest to find relief. Church or liquor? I'm kidding. Anyway, I trudged into CVS hair uncombed, glasses, etc. Small children ran from me and adults parted the waters as I walked down the allergy aisle.


$10 of saline solution later I stumbled back into my home. Tissue abounds. Claritin, Benadryl, Honey have all made special guest appearances to no avail. Now I am climbing down to the bottom of the socially desperate rung on the ladder and blogging for sympathy and advice. I hope allergy season is over soon.

Beth

Monday, August 31, 2009

Going to the Chapel!

"Why aren't you married?" Ahhh........every single womans favorite question. I, along with fellow yet-to-be-attached friends, have spent countless hours dodging this question at family functions, church, high school reunions and even from 90 year old men walking the mall. Praise Jesus that this weekend I will celebrate the death of that sentence for 2 of my dearest friends as they say their, "I Do's".

Lisa, we have been through 15 years of life together. From roommates my sophomore and your junior year, cheesy answering machine messages for Christmas (remember, "Let It Beep"?), flannel shirts, white dress shoes, Lisa night, Chad Shirley, "others", Chuck for Pres, that creep who cheated on your who is a pastor now, homecoming court shopping, Ross & Rachel, Rachel & Ross, ER, elves, fudge rounds & leg lifts. Girl.......the list goes on. I can't wait to celebrate with you this week. Thanks for asking me to stand beside you. Kerry I'm sure knows what a prize he has in you.


This is a picture from my junior year spring break trip to Boston. Nicole, Lisa, me, VanCamp. Such a fun trip.

My 2nd dear friend getting married is Amanda. Sadly, I can't be in 2 places at once this weekend and my heart is so sad and heavy, but we will celebrate in person soon and watch the DVD over and over, hearing every detail. Amanda, I couldn't be happier that Dan snagged you up. He knows what a prize you are and will treat you as such. YOU have been the dearest friend at pursuing me, my travel buddy, constant encourager, you seriously have a remedy for everything, the friend who gets on a plane when I am in a pit and just sits with me, the only friend who remembered the date of my broken engagement and sent me a card. You are also the only one I know who loves Charleston as much as I do. Friend, know that I am celebrating YOU this week as well. Know how dear you are and how grateful I am for God bringing Dan to you.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. WAHHHHHHHHHHHH Whhhaaaaa (in the voice of Charlie Brown's teacher).

Off to polish my shoes for 17th time as a bridesmaid. I'm a pro. AND I love it.
Beth

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wonder Woman

Tomorrow is my first day of school in quite a few years. I'm starting grad school to get my MA in Professional Counseling. As my Uncle Sonny says, "Why do you need to go to school to be a counselor? I can tell you what to do and it's quick and free. Admit it and quit it." Hilarious.

Anyway, I've been blown away by how affirming the response has been from those closest to me. As you'll see below, my friend and fellow co-director, Britton gave me a lunch box with Wonder Woman on the front with the logo, "Strength & Beauty" on the side. I LOVE THIS LUNCHBOX and I am actually going to take it with me. I'm not scared. Thanks, Britton.


On a side note, I wonder if I should dress up as Wonder Woman for my first day? Honestly, sometimes I live life as if I should be this superhero....granted I don't run around in an 80's unitard with red boots (well, maybe I did with my childhood be frie Anne when we were choreographing dance moves in 5th grade), but internally I feel as if I should do everything well, lest I disappoint. Today I read in a devotional with my staff team the following, "We were created to be dependent. Dependency is not therefore a sign of weakness. Rather it is a universal indicator of our humanity." In Scripture we read about what happens when we live as if we are the independent superhero in this grand drama of life; and I see it lived out in my own.
We were created to be dependent on so many things for physical life - food, water, sleep, etc. Things we must get...can't live independetly apart from or we die. The same is true with our relationship with our Creator. If I live independently from Him then I begin to wither up and die as well. Apart from Him I can do nothing. At least nothing that is worth anything and all it does is leave me depleted and stir up a neediness of other things and people. Don't get me wrong, we need other people in our lives, but not in a way that is demanding and to alleviate emotional insecurity.
Man, I really wanted to get on here and be funny tonight. Oh well. Try me tomorrow after I get out of my Ethics class. I"m sure I'll have some good material then. Feel free to keep asking me over the next few years of my journey through school if I am keeping Christ and His Word at the center of all I'm learning. He is my filter and my grid.
Love to you all! Thanks for your encouragement and prayers.
Beth
Bdubs
Bait


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dinner with "The Man"....Larry.


I went to Asheville last night to have dinner with a hero of mine....Larry Crabb. What a gift it was to sit down and have conversation with he and his lovely wife Rachel. If you know me at all then you know of my great affection for Larry and his books. God has used this man signficantly in my life.


After my broken engagement, THE BEST DISCIPLER EVER, Debbie Cox gave me my 1st Larry Crabb book called, "Finding God". The main thing I walked away from after reading that book was that I cannot avoid pain, but I have to walk through it and allow God to change me in the midst of pain.


The 2nd Larry book I read was, "Connecting". I was new staff with CRU and desperately wanted to have real relationships. This led me to "Shattered Dreams" which is my all time fave book. The basic premise is that sometimes God allows our dreams to be shattered in order to find out what our real dreams are, which is ultimately and whole-heartedly CHRIST. So when I had the chance (2 years ago) to go to his 7 day School of Spiritual Direction I was so excited. Check it out at http://www.newwayministrires.org/ Once again, that week has turned out to be pivotal in my walk with Jesus.


I could go on and on about how God has used this man in my life, but you all will grow nauseous and say, "We get it! Enough already." Anyway, I love how God uses different people in our life to speak vision, words of life, truth, and encouragement. Who is that for you?

Thanks for letting me share!
Beth



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What's in a cliche'?

Be forewarned. One probably shouldn't blog when they haven't slept in 6 days. Please don't stop supporting me because I've had a bad day. I'm a cynic for a bit.

cli⋅ché

1.a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse.

Once upon a time there was a girl who got dumped. Okay, so this is the story of a 1,000,000 women. I remember the first time a cliche' really touched my life. I believe it was in middle school and I was in youth group watching a Dallas Holm or Wayne Watson (can I get a shout out for Dallas or Wayne?) video about, "When God Closes a Door, He'll Open a Window". I was moved to tears and thought, "How true." So today I was wondering, "How did I get so cynical over cliche's that I too once tossed around like a ball at Wimbledon?"

My new definition of cliche is "what people say when they have no idea what to say". Okay, so I'd love to hear from you about your opinions on "cliche's" and perhaps what are some of your favorites. You can add them to my list.

"Let Go. Let God." (Sure. And?)
"They're in a better place." (my unsaid response, "Yes, but i want them here.")
"You aren't married because you don't put yourself out there." (Where is "out there"? Is it Wal-Mart? SuperTarget? Egypt? Even that little mouse sang a song about it and he doesn't know where "out there" is either, only that it's narrowed down to "underneath the same big sky")
"Time heals all wounds." (While this is true in certain circumstances, I just don't like it. I'm cranky.)

All right. All right. I'll go take a nap and get a little more spirit-filled and then write a nice blog.

Beth

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dog or Human?




Well, I've never been compared to a dog before.........until today. As I walked incognito into my 1st Weight Watchers meeting (sunglasses, large hat, trench coat, binoculars), I carefully selected a discreet seat in the back row. At exactly 9:30AM I am scared into reality as "Peppy" comes singing and dancing down the aisle. I look around me to watch the reactions of the other people in the room who were unphased. I pull out my cell phone and text my mom, sisters and Haley to let them know that I feel like I am in AA and should stand up and say, "I am Beth and I am fat." But I was too prideful and don't feel like I'm "fat", just big boned.

So "Peppy" does some toe touches and leaps and asks for feedback from the audience. This is when "Mary" decides to share about how she feels that dogs know the secret to stablizing their weight. Eat the same thing everyday. She said that we too should be dogs. Hmm. I think the above picture kinda throws Mary's theory out of commission.

I will admit that when "Peppy" started handing out stickers for those who had reached a weight goal that week, I found myself back in kindergarten and desperately wanting a sticker. I even teared up. For real. So, this is my vulnerable attempt at trying to reach for my first sticker. Tell the whole world wide web you are going to Weight Watchers and there's some automatic accountability and increased scrutiny on the size of my chins.
So, this leads me to my grocery store trip. Is anyone else disturbed over the fact that we eat food that doesn't go bad for TWO YEARS??????????????? HELLO!!!! It's mildly disturbing. I'm saying this aloud as I load my buggy down with every version of preservative-packed chocolate weight-loss snack known to the free world. It's a start.
After the grocery store trip I need some more motivation so I head over to ATL (Ann Taylor Loft), my fave store. They are having a MEGA sale in which I will receive 45% off my purchase. Thank you, Sally. (Why does a missionary who raises her own support feel the need to broadcast to everyone that I will purchase clothes on sale?) Anyway, I put on hold pants that are a size or two smaller than where I am now as more motivation. I promise I will do a fashion show starting mid-October with my new jeans. I know you all will be waiting with baited breath.
Okay, I'm sure I will wake up tomorrow completely mortified at the fact that I was this vulnerable about what most women hate the most: weight. However, it's kinda nice too. Maybe it's the hunger getting to my brain. I don't know. I have issues, don't I? OH well. I'm off to try my new snack.
Bdubs




Monday, July 20, 2009

SEE. YES. YOU. (CSU)


Okay, so it's that time again. Every other summer I get to go to Colorado for Campus Crusade's National Staff Conference. Imagine 6,000 of your closest friends converging on the campus of Colorado State University. CSU (as it is affectionately called) is a mixed bag of emotions. The conference is an introverts nightmare and sometimes utopia for us extroverts. If you were a people watcher this would be idyllic for you. Please know that CSU is a time that we hear from our amazing leaders as they cast vision, pray for us, and try and bring some refreshment to a group of people who are often weary. I'm grateful for our leaders. However, would you allow me to poke some fun at myself and the singles scene you see at CSU?
Weeks ahead of time many women start planning their outfits. We were once told by an older staff guy that conference outfits are crucial. I hope my $5 flip flops and sequined Michael Jackson glove fit the bill. A certain friend of mine packed 20 outfits for 9 days. Several women have fashion shows in our rooms before each session. Accessories? Check. Perfume strength? Check. Any visible lines? Check. We as women must always be prepared and we always must have each others back. There will be no anomalies on any of my friends!!! Thank you boy scouts.
Another reason you would be fascinated by watching singles at this conference is the fact that the guy-girl ratio is about 1:400. We've got women dropping hankies left and right and guys either oblivious or picking the hankie right up or staring at the hankie as it lies on the ground in front of their feet. Fascinating.
My personal favorite conversation to have at CSU always revolves around Henry Cloud. Why do all roads lead back to Henry Cloud? He is an author who came and spoke to the single staff a few years ago about "Dating". Whew!! You would've thought either Mother Theresa or the Unibomber (depending on which side of the road you stand) had spoken with the opinions that surfaced. Henry, will you be there? I'll bring your armor.
As much as I poke fun of myself and my single friends, there truly is no place like CSU. No one on this earth understands my world like the people in big Moby gym for 10 days straight. I can poke fun because these people are extended family and we all poke fun of extended family. I mean, everyone has a Great Aunt Wanda.
Anyway, I'm flying out in a few and I will have an outfit to die for and a purse full of hankies.
Beth

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jesus, I am Resting



I've been listening to this beautiful hymn recently. You can find it on itunes under the Shelly Moore Band.


Jesus I am resting, resting

In the Joy of what Thou art;

I am finding out the greatness

Of Thy loving heart.

Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,

And Thy beauty fills my soul,

For by Thy transforming power

Thou hast made me whole.


O how great Thy loving kindness.

Vaster, broader than the sea!

O how marvellous Thy goodness,Lavished all on me!

Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,

Know Thy certainty of promise,

And have made it mine


Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,

I behold Thee as Thou art,

And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,

Satisfies my heart;Satisfies its deepest longings,

Meets supplies its every need,

Compasseth me round with blessings;

Thine is love indeed!


Ever lift Thy face upon me,

As I work and wait for Thee;

Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,

Earth's dark shadows flee.

Brightness of my Father's glory,

Sunshine of my Father's face,

Keep me ever trusting, resting;

Fill me with Thy grace.
I'm so glad to be back in Tennessee. Clearwater Beach is so beautiful and I had some quiet and refreshing moments sitting on the beach...especially with my bible study and Sunday night Prayer and Vision times, but the mountains are the place for me. I suppose it is in my blood. I wish I were one to enjoy the mountains by taking grand and long hikes, but to be honest I prefer riding a tram or doing short treks, but there's something about being outside in the mountains that just brings life.
Speaking of life, I need one. Whew....being back in Knoxville and raising support isn't the most exciting of times, but I am trusting that Jesus is going to meet every need and the need is great. I'm not talking ONLY about monetary need, but spiritual need as well.
When UT starts up again in a little over a month, 5,000 new freshmen will converge on campus looking for a new start, freedom from parents, new identity, or spending a lot of energy making sure everyone knows who they are. The first two weeks of campus are like Christian Rush. Every campus ministry is out in full force trying to gather those students who are interested. We estimate that roughly 1,000 students out of 29,000 or so that attend UT become involved in some type of Chrisitan ministry. Long after "Christian Rush" is over the question that we want to keep asking is, "What about the other 28,000?"
Today as I continue to raise my support would you pray about the spiritual need of the 28,000? That's the real number that is on my heart today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine!!

I love this picture of my Senior bible study. These women love Jesus and are turning the world upside down for Him.

I think this picture epitomizes my relationship with sweet Amy!

Running through the fountain in Charleston, SC while on vacation with 3 dear friends.



Here are 2 of the 3 dear friends running through the fountain with me! Hope & Haley.



I love these women! Here are the staff women that have been with me in Clearhotter all summer. We didn't know someone was taking our picture at this moment, that's why I love it.
Psalm 126:2Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
Psalm 30:4All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank him to his face! He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.
Over a year ago, I began slowly coming out of a season of sorrow. Watching others experience loss, experiencing loss myself, wrestling in the midst of it, etc. I can remember the exact time and place the shift happened. Haley, Stacy, Hope and I (dear friends) went on vacation to Charleston. I believe it was the first vacation I had really taken apart from work in a long time. One night we went for a walk down to the beach and we were making fun of how each other walked and laughed and laughed. The laughter continued throughout the week as we went out to eat and had our pictures taken running through the fountain. I began to feel life and hope again. Jesus was changing the sadness to moments of laughter.
Posted above are pictures from this last year (the last one as current as last night) starting with the Charleston trip. These pictures are a tangible reminder of God's "nearness being my good" and that to everything there is a "season".
Beth



Sunday, June 7, 2009

Clearhotter, Florida


I am not a "good" blogger. Guess that gene from my mama skipped me. In the past month I have been stranded on a small island, been accepted to Grad school, spent 4 weeks in Clearhotter with 50 other college students and CCC staff, reconnected with a dear friend, seen a new little cousin enter the world, sweat through clinical strength deodorant this morning as I confronted 37 college students on how they interact with one another....do you want to hear more?






One reason I love summer project environments with Campus Crusade is that they foster such community and your "mess" surfaces a little quicker than if you just attended church on Sunday in your best Sunday dress and smile. Community allows masks to come off, the chance for you to be KNOWN, the chance for you to RESIST being known, and the grace to deal with the things the Father surfaces. Larry Crabb (my hero) says, "Looking bad in the presence of love is so much better than looking bad in the presence of advice."



This morning I had to speak to our students on conflict and how they have been treating one another.....it's not been pretty. These dear students were so great!! They worked it out among themselves, prayed and came in to the church service. We then took communion and I'm going to post a picture of our students standing around tables, taking communion, joining hands and praying. Can you say REDEMPTION?????????????? That is so how Christ is with me/us. In my brokenness he comes to me full of Grace and Truth and gently brings about restoration.
I can't believe I'll be home in less then 3 weeks. I'll have a lot of support to raise now that I will be going to Grad School part-time. I'll still stay in my role with CCC @ UT as director, but will be given one day a week to drive to Chattanooga (Richmont Graduate University) to pursue my Masters in Professional Counseling with a specialization in Spirtuality and Counseling/Spiritual Formation. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited and scared. I hope to gain a better understanding of people and to continue to cheer them on in their journey. I have to raise a lot of $$$$ to be able to do this though, so please pray for me because I'll have approx. 2 weeks to do it in!
Okay, that's all I got.
Beth
aka: Bdubs










Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Autobiography in 500 words.



I'm applying to Grad School. Ugh. I'm still staying on staff with Campus Crusade, but if I get accepted I will drive to Chattanooga once a week to pursue my Masters in Professional Counseling specializing in Spiritual Formation. The thought of it is enough to send me into a random dance equivalent to one my childhood BFF and I used to do. Imagine New Kids on the Block's Hangin' Tough.





Anyway, I had to write out my life in 500 words. Nice. Suprising who or what made the cut and what didn't. Ex-fiance' didn't make the cut. The nightmares had in the past when thinking about 7th grade and the fact that I was Napoleon Dynamites twin didn't make the cut either (see picture). Isn't it amazing to think that these painful things in your past now don't even make the 500 word essay? I remember my discipler Debbie telling me over and over again, "Time is your friend." I used to mumble things under my breath about that one, but I've found it to be bittersweet and true. The events of life shape and mold you and you move on to the next twist or turn and before you know it things that were so hard are just part of your journey.

Now on to shallow and superficial things. Does anyone want to chip in and buy Simon Cowell a new shirt? One with color? Also, I'm bored to tears with my music. Any suggestions? Okay, I'm off to do something important (I have no clue what I'm doing).

Beth

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's time....

So, I've often been told that I should have a blog. Well, here's my first attempt at sharing my thoughts and stories and sending them out into the cold, dark abyss of cyber-space.
What does one talk about on a blog? Who cares enough to read it? Then I think about my own stalkerish tendencies and realize that perhaps there are others out there who are stalkers as well. My mother. Eric. Haley. My mother. Leigh. My mother.
Aww....poor Anoop just got the boot off of American Idol. Let us pause for a moment of silence for the fallen Tarheel.
The past week in Knoxville and the few days to come are filled with a mixture of emotion. I'm saying "bye" to 13 of my senior women who I just absolutley love. These dear women have allowed me into their lives, each at a different level, and I've grown to love Jesus more because of them. Every April I wrestle with this particular job hazard...saying "bye", sending out, wishing well and then realizing come August I will start over again. Oh my....it is worth it.
As I watch American Idol I would not want to mess with Lil Rounds or Alison for that matter.
So.........that's all I've got for tonight. Who knows when my next post will be? I'm sure you all will be on the edge of your seats waiting. ;)
Beth