06 May 2012

Summer Reading List

1. As Simple As Snow by Gregory Galloway - This novel is one of my all-time favorites from high school. After spending three years with a friend of mine, it's back in my possession and begging to be read once again. It's one of those novels that doesn't have a traditional conclusion, but is still wonderful.

2. Life of Pi by Yann Martell - I read this in high school as well. I'm not sure why I'm focusing so much on the novels of high school, but this is one that deserves a re-read. Plus it will be available in motion picture this December. Though I'll be out of the country, I'll find a way to see it.

3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - I've wanted to read this for years, but haven't gotten around to it..and none of my professors in school assigned it. How sad, right? But I guess now I get to read it and be excited about it, rather than having to analyze it.

4. The Reivers by Faulkner - This was a suggestion from a dear friend of mine. I'm hoping it's as good as his review. It is the last novel by Faulkner and it was awarded the Pulitzer in 1963.

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated. Obviously I haven't thought very much on this list, but I do want to read for pleasure. I will have quite a bit of time to relax away from technology and such.

16 April 2012

Dasher Facts

And this, my friends, will be the most notable accomplishment of my final semester at Berry. I hereby give you Fun Facts about Tom Dasher (Pop Culture):

 "Never Trust a poodle." 1/11/12

"Have you been to (name anywhere in the world)? ohhh, you need to go! Travel!" (commence travel speech)

"Ezra Pound would say that "epic" is a cheap word. And so is cinema."

"The only suspense in Glee is will these people ever graduate?" 2/6/12

"I was on YouTube..."

"Oh and while we're talking about the head of the Yale theater during the early 1900s, did you know that Meryl Streep graduated with her MFA from Yale?" (paraphrase)

"In Greek it's your destiny. In American it's your choice." (On deities and fate Greek and American tragic theater)

"Nothing like a little incest." 2/22/12

"We're living in a post-atomic age and it's really just weird." 2/27/12

"Fitzgerald died in Hollywood while having an affair with a gossip columnist." 3/14/12

"Stay away from amoebas in water. Dysentery is gross." - 3/21/12

Dasher went to Pamplona in 1971 and almost ran in the bull run but his friend convinced him that it was a stupid idea.  He was just out of college.

Dasher read Lady Chatterley's Lover at the age of 10 after finding his mother's copy under a couch cushion.

Dasher did his Masters thesis on D. H. Lawrence

Dasher couldn't be drafted because of his leg but his number was 200-something at his school. They gave lots of prizes to the guy who was #1.

(He has worn white and khaki every Monday of this semester).

"Hair was a rock musical with Diane Keaton and a nude scene." 4/9/12

"You may think I'm obsessed with sex, but I'm not. All literature is about sex and death. That's the one thing my wife and I agree on. She's a high school English teacher."

"Faulkner considered naming his novel Twilight instead of The Sound and the Fury. Why do you think he changed his mind?"
Student: "I don't know, but if he'd kept it, Stephanie Meyer never would've written her series."

Fact: Dasher watched Bride Wars and liked it.

"Yesterday, he wore the most incredible seersucker suit with a matching pair of shoes & tie. That man should at least get bonus points for being so fly." - J. Johnson on Dasher

Dasher was a busboy at a restaurant for several years when, on a random night, the bartender quit and he (Dasher) was told to replace him behind the bar. Thus, Dasher was a bartender for 6 years. (story told by a fellow student)

"The greatest movie of the 80s was The Terminator." 4/16/12

To Be Continued...

04 April 2012


I struggle with self-worth a lot. I struggle with feeling so condemned for the things I've done, but God has set us free from those struggles through His love and holding onto them is like denying His grace.

That lesson (mostly to myself) aside, you are worth more than anyone will ever be able to explain to you. Your worth isn't rooted in the thoughts of someone else. They aren't stuck in the things you've done or the places you've been. You are you because God spoke you into existence.

You are you because the God of the universe spoke you. Called you by your name, by your DNA, and gave you a purpose here on this earth.

Your worth is not tied to the people you're around. If so, it would be ever changing, but no - your worth is founded and anchored and sealed in the Most High.

You are perfect because you have been made.

28 March 2012


I need you guys to watch this. This guy, Kody, went to my high school. He was in band with me and I remember so vividly when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He has definitely impacted my life in so many ways. He's impacted my desire to be involved in Relay for Life and Up Til Dawn (St. Jude's). He's incredible. Pray for his family.


You know how April is always that month that feels like a whirlwind of never-ending activities? Well, I think it's seeping into March.
I'm glad this is my senior year because for the past three years Spring semester has been chill, but this semester has been unrealistically busy. I may owe this incredible whirlwind partially to the fact that I decided to go on World Race, but maybe also just because I'm graduating.

Last weekend was Relay for Life which went quite well. It felt odd not blogging about it this year, but the week was so busy that I didn't get a chance. I didn't stay the whole night because I had a wedding to attend the next day around lunchtime and had to make sure I didn't look like a raccoon. I have the oddest tendency to get dark dark circles under my eyes with the slightest bit of sleep deprivation. I'm wondering if it's related to genes somehow, but my parents don't seem to have the same issue. And obviously I walk around with gray half-moon eyes most of the time since college is a four year stint of sleep deprivation that cannot be avoided.
Nonetheless, I cried a bit. That's Relay though. The luminary ceremony was incredible. It was great to hang out with old friends, new friends, and two of the greatest people ever - Donna & Ginny. I can't begin to tell you how influential they've been in my life and for the sake of not being overly nostalgic I'll spare you the details, but if you're ever at Berry or somehow involved with ACS in Atlanta, look them up.

This week has been filled with Craft Show preparations. Madison, Sarah, and several others have helped me craft up a storm in the 208/203 over the past month in prep for this weekend.  We've made headbands, crafted with shutters, stapled chicken wire to picture frames, created stamps from erasers, made some fab headband flowers, and so so much more. I'm desperate for your prayers and God's provision over Saturday. It's unreal how unprepared I feel, but I know that God's in control no matter what.

Next weekend is Easter. It's hard to believe that all of this is so close. April is upon us. I have tons of work to do over the next month in order to graduate. I'm not worried about my grades necessarily because I know that they'll be alright and my GPA will be fine. Most of all, after May 5 at 10am, none of it matters. I will have my degree and that's it. A professor told me yesterday that graduating from college is the oddest event in your life because your community, family, security, and purpose are ripped from you overnight. And it's true. On May 6, I will no longer have my Berry community in one place and we'll never all be in the same place again. I'm staying in Rome this summer to work at Pal's Coffee, which is terribly exciting by the way, but I've realized that everything will change. Madi and Sar won't be here (Madi will be in Nicaragua for crying out loud!), J will be married and moving to North Carolina (with Gus), and I'll be one of the only ones here. It's going to be an interesting experience to say the least. I'm up for the challenge.

Needless to say, in all of this insanity I've been stressed, frustrated, and on some sort of short fuse. I've also stopped journaling, which tends to happen when I'm more busy than I should be. I haven't stopped getting in the Word, but I have stopped being along unless it's late at night and I'm going to bed or early in the morning and I'm eating my cheerios. It's a crazy life. I'm definitely trying to handle it all and wrap my mind around the idea of NOT coming back to school after May 5, but embarking on the biggest adventure of my life in September.

God is still God and He is still good.

p.s. Happy birthday to baby Jude! My dear friend, Heather, gave birth to her first little one this morning and his life is miraculous. Our God creating life the way He does and allowing us to nurture and care for it is mind-numbing.  How has he not run out of uniqueness for our little selves yet? I'm blown away by how great (and by great I mean huge, thoughtful, intricate) our God is!

08 February 2012

Does God want you to be miserable?

Does God want you to be miserable?: (From SCL)

When people talk to me about geography in Nashville, I do one of two things:

1. I nod my head and pretend I know what part of the city they are referring to.

2. I tell them, “I don’t know where that is. We just moved here.”

Neither one of those two responses is entirely true. Pretending I know is not true and saying we just moved here isn’t true. We’ve lived here for 18 months. So why don’t I know my way around town yet?

Because I kissed geography goodbye when I was a kid.

I decided a long time ago that I didn’t have room in my head for street names or directions or addresses. I realized I had limited real estate in my brain and essentially told geography, “Kick rocks chump.”

Would it be fair to say that, as a young boy, I predicted a future in which we would all have handheld GPS units? Is the term “visionary” one we should use to describe me? Tough to say, but the reality is that years ago I bid adieu to both geography and math.

As a writer, math is my Achilles’ heel. The mere mention of numbers makes me cringe. I am approximately one year away from not being able to help my 8-year-old with her math homework. I hate math.

Which is why I used to think God would call me into the mission field to teach calculus.

My fear was that, if I gave God my life, if I turned over all my hopes and dreams to him, he would instantly make me train to become a “mathlete.” I’d have to get an abacus and complicated calculator and spend my days doing things I hated to do.


Because I thought that’s how God did things.

And I’m not the only one who thinks that way sometimes.

I do a joke when I speak to church groups. I say, “Every Christian knows that the first thing God does if you give him your life is make you move to Africa to become a missionary. You’ll go zero to hut in about 4.2 seconds.” And folks laugh, but there’s a crazy truth behind that joke. If we think the first thing God will do to us if we come close to him is the worst thing we can imagine, then we serve the worst God ever.

If you’re not wired to be a missionary in Guam, if nothing about that feels at all like what God has uniquely created you to do, why would he immediately call you to that task if you trusted him with your life?

That’s an extreme example, but you’d be surprised how often I saw that happen last year. Because I wrote a book about closing the gap between your day job and your dream job, a lot of people have talked with me about figuring out what they’re called to do.

And it’s amazing how many people think being a Christian means doing the opposite of what you’re passionate about.

A chaplain told me that one of his college students came to him and said, “I’m conflicted. I really want to serve the Lord, but I love film making. I don’t know what to do.”

That word “but” is such a beautiful trick by the enemy. That young man felt alive and filled with joy when he made films. In those moments, though, he couldn’t imagine that God was happy about that, or enjoyed him making films or could be served and glorified through film making.

He didn’t say, “I really want to serve the Lord, and I love film making.” He said, “I really want to serve the Lord, but I love film making.”

I don’t know how exactly we got here. I think, in some ways, it’s an extreme over-correction to the prosperity gospel. When you talk about how good God is, people can’t wait to say, “He’s not an ATM machine in the sky who magically gives you whatever you want?” But who ever said that? Who said that a life filled with the joy of God was devoid of hardship or never full of moments where you must mourn as loud as you dance?

I’m sad for a culture where there is serving God on one side, and on the other side of that is joy. Where those two things are believed to be separate. Where we are forced to take our individual talents, put them under our bed, apologize about them and try to fit the handful of “serving opportunities” that match our definition of Christian.

I think back to the conversion of Paul.

Do you remember before he became a Christian? When he was called Saul?

He was a bold, powerful, vigilant persecutor of believers. And then God met him on the road to Damascus and turned him into a quiet, meek bookkeeper who spent his remaining days in a cave alone transcribing ancient texts.

Not at all! God turned him into a bold, powerful, vigilant promoter of belief.

He didn’t squelch what was inside Paul. He didn’t ignore the talents he himself had placed there. If anything, he called them out in deeper, louder, more beautiful ways. He showed Paul what it really meant to be Paul!

Maybe you will be a missionary. Maybe that’s the call you will get. But if it’s not, please don’t for a second believe that God wants you to be miserable. That he wants to call you into an adventure where your true gifts will shrivel up and die. That his chief aim is to make sure you never experience joy in his presence.

Because that’s not the kind of God who would ever love you enough to send his son to die for you.

04 February 2012

A Late Update

Dear friends! I apologize for the long absence, but I've really been working in another location on my blog for World Race. I've been working on t-shirt designs, buttons, and so many other wonderful things.

So please don't take this absence as a grudge against you or some kind of blogging hiatus.
Just hop on over to bethbarron.theworldrace.org (OR just click on the My World Race tab at the top of the page).

I promise I'll be blogging here more often!

30 January 2012

Adventures and Temporary Goodbyes





This girl moves to Ireland today on a 3 o'clock plane. It's a bittersweet thing, these adventures we go on. It's hard to believe we've only been friends for four short years. It seems like a lifetime. People say that you find the best of friends in college - the kind of friend that will stick with you no matter what. This girl is one of them. She's hilarious, sold on God, and sold on being her own woman. She's unique and completely her. It sounds cliche, but she is Katherine Freeman. That's who she is and I love her.

Kaf, you're the best. I can't wait to hear your adventures and see you soon, whether it's in Ireland or in the US or some other crazy country. You are dearly loved, my friend. :) Here's to our crazy dreams and adventures.

"These are the places I will always go. I am on my way back to where I started." -The Head and The Heart

08 January 2012

He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory."

Ephesians 1:14

something new

Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to the things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:18-19