28 December 2011

2011 Mixtape

Here's a list of songs that absolutely touched my life in 2011:

Aftermath - Hillsong
All My Fountains - Chris Tomlin
All To Us - Chris Tomlin
Always - Kristian Stanfill
As Long As It Takes - Meredith Andrews
Beautiful Exchange - Hillsong
Beautiful Things - Gungor
Broken Bread - Rend Collective Experiment
By Our Love - Christy Nockels
C.S. Lewis Song - Brooke Fraser
Carbon Ribs - John Mark McMillan
Carry Your Name - Christy Nockels
Dearly Loved - Jimmy Needham
Deeper in Love - Charlie Hall
Dress Us Up - John Mark McMillan
Everything - Tim Hughes
Falling - The Civil Wars
Farther Than We Can Fall - Daniel Doss Band
Forever Reign - Kristian Stanfill
Getting Into You - Relient K
Give Me Faith - Elevation Worship
Giving Up - Ingrid Michaelson
Heaven Song - Phil Wickham
Here for You - Chris Tomlin
Holy - Matt Redman
How He Loves - Kim Walker
I Will Follow - Chris Tomlin
Lead Me - Sanctus Real
Let Me Feel You Shine - David Crowder Band
Let the Waters Rise - MIKESCHAIR
Lord, I Need You - Chris Tomlin
Love That - Grace Midtown
Made for You - Matt Gilman
Magnificent Obsession - Steven Curtis Chapman
Micah 6:8 - Charlie Hall
Movements - Rend Collective Experiment
My Brightness - Charlie Hall
My Master - Christy Nockels
New Beginnings - Luminate
Only You - David Crowder Band
Our God - Chris Tomlin
Poison & Wine - Civil Wars
Restless - Audrey Assad
Roll Away Your Stone - Mumford & Sons
Send Your Rain - Passion Band
Shadows - David Crowder Band
So Good To Me - Cory Asbury
Sometimes - David Crowder Band
Sparrow - Audrey Assad
Stained Glass Windows - Daniel Doss Band
Stronger - Hillsong
Summer of '89 - Butch Walker
Symphony - Chris Tomlin
Take Heart - Hillsong
The More I Seek You - Kari Jobe
The Reason I Sing - Jimmy Needham
Times - Tenth Avenue North
Waiting Here for You - Christy Nockels
You Are Love - Rend Collective Experiment
You Said - Hillsong
Your Love Never Fails - Chris McClarney

26 December 2011

Christmas Break Goals pt 2

Here's a mid-break glance at my goals

1. Exodus - I've made it through chapter 15
2. Infinite Jest - psge 40 of 981
3. half mile on my bike and a half mile walk in 40 degree night time rain
4. Master the art of sanding
5. I haven't touched my closet. It's too scary.
6. Fundraiser list is coming together. I still need to think about a t-shirt design. Help?
7. Catch up on Passion podcasts (and John Piper for fun)
8. Buying towels/socks in Dvegas this week!
9. No visit to baby sister & second mom because they're in FL. :(
10. Serenbe will be conquered with bffl's new camera as soon as I get to Dvegas
11. Crafties to come! (I finished one big one, but can't post a picture until later this week)
12. Gumbeaux's with Sar, Scottie, & Madi - this weeeeek?!
13. I've been blogging. I think you've noticed. :)
14. No letters.
15. I've seen 3am a lot more than originally planned.

Accomplishments not on the original list:
1. Christmas cookies with Riley
2. Mario Kart
3. Clean & reorganize my bookshelf; get rid of a few books
4. Lie to Me seasons 1 & 2
5. Balance checkbook
6. school textbook list, etc.

Recent Discoveries

These are a few articles, videos, or quotes that I've found resourceful over the past few days (please excuse the length of the videos, but note that it's worth watching them in full):

(via NPR)

Louie Giglio mashup of stars and whales singing God's praise

"Maybe it's just be, but redemption means so much more when it's not a story about me. When Jesus and I stop being the main characters in His sacrifice, I can see the scope of God's love in a way that is so much deeper, so much more complex and beautiful, than just a simple girl and a handful of people who are just like her." - http://midenianscholar.livejournal.com

John Piper: Bloodlines Documentary

Give Me Faith - Elevation Worship

(they go local: Atlanta)


"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else." Acts 17

23 December 2011

Memory Verse Recap: Jan 1

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.
Proverbs 19:10

This was my memory verse from January 1.

This verse reminds me to think through what I'm going to say before I say it. Even if I know it's something I should say, pause..wait on it. Don't let my tongue control me. Don't let my thoughts erupt, but rather savor them.
I've done an awful job of this in 2011, but I've learned so much at the same time. I've learned that it's important to be honest, but more importantly I've learned that the way I am honest matters.

There's a difference between brutally honest and lovingly honest.

Brutally honest gives no care to the situation, the people involved, or the hearts of others.

Lovingly honest cares about how someone else will feel, think, and react.

I'm a good bit brutal when I feel strongly about something, which is unfortunate. I believe in standing strong for what I believe and in forming my own opinions, but that doesn't give me, or you, the right to walk all over someone else in the process. That's where love comes in -- love bears ALL things, even the strong opinions that may differ or potentially cause strife.

God calls us to be honest, but calls us to honesty in love.

22 December 2011


I've made a point of being honest and transparent over the past few years, but the last few months have been lacking in that department on this little blog. Let me fill you in on a few secrets:

  • I've been alone SO much in the past two weeks, but I still feel like I've had no alone time.
  • Instead of getting in the Word on the daily, I usually watch tv or read another book...even when I know in my mind and consciously realize that I should get in the Word.
  • I don't know where to start. I'm overwhelmed by the opportunities God's presented me, but I just feel like I have a writer's block..a spiritual block and a big part of me doesn't want to know what it is or how to get rid of it.
  • I feel like I'm completely unfeeling when it comes to my family. I'm leaving two days after Christmas and not coming back until March or May, but my house is suffocating. It's not the size, it's the fact that I have so little to do. I feel confined. At school I can at least walk somewhere on campus.
  • I depend too much on my friends. I think that's part of why I feel the need to go (along with a ton of other reasons) after I graduate. I depend on them for everything..to the point that I sometimes think I can't make a good decision without them.
  • That's where my lack of spirituality comes into play. So much of me is tired of this complacent me and wants to get rid of it, but I don't know where to begin so I just ignore it.
I miss being in the Word. I miss blogging about all the things God's taught me. I miss being saturated in it. Praying through this drought because I know where I need to be and I know how to get there...even when I'd rather not acknowledge it.

19 December 2011

Hey lunch plans

Tomorrow = getting together with some of these fun kids:

and probably a few of these children:

and this incredible lady who is pretty much a miracle:

and a few more important people that I'm really excited about seeing.
Oh hey PHS reunion at Mexican. #fouryearslater #stillbffls 

15 December 2011


I'm sure this blog post has been written and rewritten, published and republished, countless times, but I'm going to take a stab at it once more on a really personal level that I hope won't bore you.

I've spent the last three days visiting (and there's more to come). My grandparents have come a few times, I've seen family friends, and I've visited teachers. I know that's a surprise to a lot of you - I'm a senior in college and I'm going out of my way to visit teachers from high school. Let me fill you in on a little secret:

Perry has the best teachers ever.

I'm not exaggerating. I'm serious. Our schools are mediocre in that they don't always offer everything and they're sometimes a bit rundown, but I can tell you that the teachers do everything in their power to make it worthwhile for us. It gets a little hard when the students don't care because these subjects they're teaching are what these teachers fell in love with in high school and spent their entire college career soaking up in order to teach others about it in hopes that they, too, will fall in love.

These teachers are the kinds that push you to your limits just so you know become all that you are. They want to know what you're doing after you leave their class. They're going to be there if you need something or want to talk, even after years.

One of my teachers put it this way today: "We're you're base community. I don't know about you, but that's comforting to me. Even if we don't talk every day, you know you can come to me or I can come to you and if one of us needs something we will work together as hard as we can to make that happen."


I promise you that's what it's all about.

Small group. Church family. Town/city family.


We need it. God's called us to build each other up, support each other, and be community. Acts 4, Galatians 5, Ephesians 2, Luke 14.  All of these talk about reaching out to others, including others, building community.
I'd move back to Perry just to send my kids to these schools.

14 December 2011

Hi, my name is Beth and I am going to spend today listening to poetry online because I miss writing it.

13 December 2011

high school

I went to visit a few teachers from high school today that I adore and miss terribly.
I realized how much I miss writing incessantly and obsessively. I miss that. I miss my poetry and my writing.

Here's to rediscovering that over the next few months. Join me? I'm fairly certain the beginnings will be rough and discouraging, but it's still inside me somewhere. I'm determined to find it.

Take Your Shoes Off

Exodus 3 always moves me so much, but especially verse 5 when God says, "Do not come any closer. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

1. Here's to encountering the God in the wilderness while you're shepherding sheep. I don't know anyone who wouldn't first think s/he was hallucinating.

2. Can we talk about how I'm pretty sure God, up to this point, hasn't told anyone to take off their shoes? If you think about it, these people are roughing it. We're talking the epitome of backpacking, but in long robes. They don't take their shoes off because the ground is probably hot, they don't want diseases, and it's customary to wear shoes. I'm pretty sure that most people of Middle Eastern/African/Asian descent did not wear shoes inside at this point because they had really ornate rugs on the floor and didn't want to soil them. Also, they ate on the floor, not on tables or with chairs like Europeans.

This being said, God is basically saying, "Hey, come into my house." ... Say what? Come inside God's house? That's pretty intimate.

I know Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph have all had pretty intimate encounters with God by this point, but outside of Adam and Eve in the Garden, I'm pretty sure they all wore those Jesus sandals.

Talk about being best friends.

I'm the kind of girl who, upon arrival at almost anyone's house, takes off her shoes. I'm not a shoe-wearer. I'd rather be barefoot.  Maybe God understands that?

I think it also says a lot about God's character - He obviously didn't care if Moses had smelly feet.

Fun fact: in transliterated Hebrew, Moses is actually Moshe, which is much more fun to say in my opinion.

"Take your sandals off your feet because [you're standing inside my house]."

12 December 2011

New World Race Update here: Being Called


Academically this has been my best semester at Berry. I aced all of my classes except one of my three writing intensive literature classes (but I got a B, so that's still acceptable). On all other fronts, it's been four months of stretching. God has pushed my comfort zone beyond what I thought was possible and it's left me feeling a little homeless. Last Friday night, while my senior friends were going out to celebrate Kaf's graduation the next day, I carried my belongings by the armload (a quarter of it) across campus (about 100 yards) to my 'new' room that I will be moving out of on May 5 (move #8 in 3.5 years). Needless to say, I sat down and cried after my fifth or sixth trip. I've never felt so homeless in my entire life, but my best friend showed me that where I am or who I am with does not determine my home.  What matters is whether or not I'm living where and with whom God wants me. The rest is just doubt.

His ways are higher.

11 December 2011

Christmas Break Goals

I need this list. I keep thinking of new things to put on it and forget them within the next hour. I'm convinced that vegging out in front of a tv does that to you.

1. Exodus - I want to get through the whole book.
2. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (for 20th century American next semester, obviously)
3. 1 Mile on my bike non-stop
4. Master the art of sanding
5. Clean out my closet
6. Finalize my fundraiser list for WR
7. Catch up on Passion podcasts
8. Towels/socks
9. Visit baby sister & 2nd mom
10. Serenbe
11. Crafties with my best friend
12. Gumbeaux's (Scottie Knollin, you need in on this)
13. Blog often (preferably daily)
14. Write letters
15. Not stay up so late

(to be continued)

07 December 2011

Observing the rain

Today I want words to flow from my sporadically moving fingertips onto the screen of my falling-apart computer (I'm afraid the screen will completely detach itself in a matter of minutes), but today I'm doing nothing but observing.
People. Objects. Weather. Blank Word documents. The writing of others. Musical movements. Grades.


Today I feel so heavy that moving isn't possible, but I want to move. It has nothing to do with this one Shakespeare essay hanging over my head, but rather with the subtle hints at my inability to do what I feel I need to do to survive.  Rather than finding myself encouraged, I'm finding myself flawed and, perhaps, childlike in my attempts to write.

06 December 2011

SSMT Verse 23

"I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you back." - Gen 46:4

This seems like a pretty crazy verse to have as a memory verse, right? But God promised. I'll hold on to that.

03 December 2011

The simple truth about ignoring your dream.

The simple truth about ignoring your dream.:

In the third grade, my teacher Mrs. Harris laminated a collection of poems I wrote and bound it with a ribbon.

I felt like I had written my first book.

I felt like I would one day write another book.

It took me 25 years to do that.


Well, a lot of reasons.

I was really passionate about bike riding in the fourth grade. In the fifth grade, I felt like Frisbee was pretty important. In seventh grade, I discovered you could slow dance with girls at awkward middle school dances to songs by Bobby Brown.

No one would fault me too much for not writing another book in elementary school, but what happened to me from 21-33? From college graduation to my early 30s, I didn’t spend a lot of time writing. Why?

I wish I could give you some good reasons. Some noble reasons. Some, “Look at what I was focused on instead.” But I can’t. That wouldn’t be honest, and recently my five year old taught me an important lesson about honesty.

She loves to draw. When her older sister L.E. signed up for a gymnastics class, McRae didn’t flinch. She signed up for art. She loves art. She always has a fistful of crayons in her hand. Art flows out of her effortlessly.

But one night when she was brushing her teeth, she told me something surprising. Here is what she said to me:

“One year I focused on TV and didn’t do my art.”

That’s funny, because she’s only had four years before the one she’s currently in. But in her little mind, there was a year when during family free time she chose a 30 minute television show over 30 minutes of drawing. Thinking about that, she added, “Sometimes the Wii draws me away from what I really love, art.”

That’s silly and cute and adorable, but it’s also honest.

She loves art more than anything, but some things are incredibly sticky and pull her away from art. Like TV and the Wii.

Most of us never draw that same conclusion about our own lives and dreams. We start out with something we love doing, we bump into some passion as a child, as a teen, or as a young adult. Then life gets busy, we get distracted, and we get dishonest.

I didn’t write a second book for 25 years because I was watching TV.

I didn’t write a second book for 25 years because I was downloading music.

I didn’t write a second book for 25 years because I was wasting time online.

I didn’t write a second book for 25 years because I thought I would later.

I don’t know why you’re not writing your book, or starting your business, or going back to school, or doing whatever it is your dream is, but today I have one dare for you:

I dare you to be as honest as a five year old.

That’s it.

Don’t wait until you’re 70 or 80 or never, to ask yourself these questions:

“What do I feel called to do? And why am I not doing it?”

And then be as honest as a five year old with your answers.


What’s the biggest reason you’re not working on your dream?

01 December 2011


I am currently sitting in an uncomfortably hard wooden chair, the kind you would find at a dining table in the late seventies, on the second floor of the library. The carpet is pale blue shaded with the ding of countless students, coffee that shouldn't be here, and any number of other accidents. The table is nicked and maroon. I'm not sure which eighties interior designer came up with this color scheme.  Among other students who glance up on occasion, Martha Berry is staring straight at me from her perch in a similar maroon chair on the wall directly ahead. Her pale blue dress mirrors the carpet in color and dusty shading. The orange power outlets directly to my left don't work.  Why? It's Berry College and I'm sure that's enough.
I'm easily distracted here perhaps because I'm uncomfortable or there are too many people around or...
it's practically finals week once again and my mind is alert for any possible distraction from the numerous papers and novels that I've forced it to consume over the past 4 months. Twenty-Seven novels, short stories, and plays, to be exact, not counting handouts and various other readings given by professors. Just a short time, yet.