A Hymn to Start Your Day!

“Jesus isn’t an escape from life’s trials, but he’s our closest friend through them.” —Burk Parsons

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.

Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

Gifts and Limitations: Weighty Wings Let You Fly

I had a dear friend over yesterday evening for dinner and some sweet time together. While chatting we grabbed a book from my shelf that I gave her a copy of for her wedding. She leafed through Elisabeth Elliott’s “Let Me Be a Woman” and read aloud to me an impactful part she had just been thinking about recently concerning insecurities:

“The elephant and the mouse might each complain about his size, the turtle about his shell, the bird about the weight of his wings. But elephants are not called upon to run behind wainscots, mice will not be found ‘pacing along as though they have an appointment at the end of the world’, turtles have no need to fly nor birds to creep. The special gift and ability of each creature defines its special limitations. And as the bird easily comes to terms with the necessity of bearing wings when it finds that it is, in fact, the wings that bear the bird.”

Hmm…Let’s read that again. “The special gift and ability of each creature defines its special limitations. And as the bird easily comes to terms with the necessity of bearing wings when it finds that it is, in fact, the wings that bear the bird.”

After reading that, (this is one of the reasons why I am so blessed by our friendship!) it only seemed natural to take the next few minutes identifying gifts that we see in one another and it’s corresponding limitations. What are the “wings” in our lives that we think weigh us down-but really are what allow us to fly? God is a brilliant designer…how might we praise him instead of complaining about the weight of our wings?

I’ll give just one example. My dear friend is a woman of grace. I look up to her in so many ways, and I am so blessed by her example of having a “gentle and quiet spirit”. When I am worked up, disheartened, disheveled, and dramatic-she is peaceful, soothing, calm, soft, kind, and loving. I see her soft demeanor as a huge blessing. But she can sometimes be tempted to see it as a limitation. Within a group of people, she sometimes cannot be heard. She is not the “life of the party” or the bombastic teacher that she thinks she’d like to be sometimes. It is seen as a limitation, but really the limitation is a rare and lovely gift from God for her to best accomplish his purposes through her life. What she (sometimes) finds most frustrating about herself, is actually one of the very things that is most lovely, and most impactful about her!

We each thought of 2 things (gifts that we often see as limitations) in one another’s life and it was a very encouraging time! So I want to encourage you to 1.) think of “limitations” you perceive in yourself, and how they might actually be gifts to praise God for and serve God with 2.) think of someone in your life that views one of their gifts as a limitation and call/text/facebook message/skype/snapchat/snail mail/etc. them to encourage them with the gift God has given them, OR 3.) comment below with any thoughts pertaining to gifts and limitations! 😀

As always, thanks so much for reading! I pray through this blog you grow to love and know God more! Enjoy some Elisabeth Elliot quotes below!

THINK SOMETHING KIND-SAY SOMETHING KIND

My professor made this comment today when discussing change and conflict:

“It takes 20 statements of encouragement to balance out one statement of discouragement.”

That’s right folks. 20-to-1.

This isn’t going to be long, or profound, or beautifully said. My point is simple: our words are powerful. They can (even unbeknownst to us!) be destructive and pain-evoking, or they can be empowering and be life-giving.

My simple challenge/throw-down/idea is just for you to try and make it a habit to be a person of uplifting words. Think of ways to intentionally encourage people you interact with tomorrow. If you think something positive about someone-just tell them! Don’t keep it to yourself! You don’t know what statement of discouragement they may be needing to battle today.

But hey, don’t take my word for it! Look at The Word!

 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

 

Ephesians 4:29 ESV

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

 

Hebrews 10:24-25 esv

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

You Might be the Answer to Your Own Prayer

There are some people in my life that I pray for pretty consistently. And I pray for them about the most important thing I can pray for anyone about-their relationship with God. Often times I say something like this:

“Lord I care so deeply for ________, and I know you care for them even more. Please Lord, I know that they will only be whole if they stop trying to live life on their own and they run to you. I so badly want them to find purpose and joy and in you. I want to be able to talk to them about how amazing and faithful and fulfilling you are. Father, please, do whatever you have to in their life to bring them back to you. Do whatever it takes for them to see their need and find their meaning in you. Help them see the truth. I love and trust you. Amen.”

And I pray that and I mean that. But I am still surprised when it starts to happen.  We God starts to allow things in their life to unravel to show them that HE is more satisfying than anything this world has to offer. That HE is the only true love, real friend, steadfast peace, and eternal hope that they can have. But they can’t always see it on their own. Not past their own tears, confusion, and pain-they are blinded by it. So again I pray “help them see the truth”.

Then I realize that God has been preparing my heart for this. That I am not supposed to stand idely by and watch them grapple with purposelessness, but instead I need to be ready to help them see what God wants them to see. I don’t want this opportunity to come and for me to miss the role that God wants me to play in it because I am too afraid to “offend” or “make things awkward”.

I guess my point to all of this is to say, that if you have someone in your life (like I do right now) who is hurting badly, I think that you might be the answer to your own prayer. If you have been praying for them and God allows trials to come, maybe through the power of the Holy Spirit it is YOU who is supposed to be breathing truth and weaving the beauty of the gospel into the tapestry of their story. Pray for words of wisdom, the perfect mixture of love and boldness, and divine appointments to know when to be silent and when to speak to help them see the truth.

Don’t Always Believe Your Big Sister

So I asked my sister, (Glenda) if she read my blog and she gently reminded me that she is very busy raising 3 children and doesn’t always find time…

Germany and then some 144

..then she added at the end…”plus they are always so serious. “

Now I enjoy a good serious blog just as much as the next person-but I realized that she was right in the sense that I don’t often incorporate my humor too much into Bit o’ Betty (BOB for short)…(no that is weird)  which is a big part of who I am! So here is my attempt at not always being so serious.

So this is for you Glenda 🙂

I’ve entitled this short story: Don’t Always Believe Your Big Sister 😉

When I first moved in with the family who ended up adopting my brother and I, Glenda was almost 16 years old. She went from being an only child, to being the on-call babysitter, entertainer, chauffer, and blame-receiver to a wild 5 and 7 year old.  We turned her world upside down, and wreaked havoc on her once peaceful living situation. Despite us ruining her things, and seemingly stealing her parents, she tried hard to love us (though often unlovable!) and was a quite champ! She would bring us to her room, escape out her window, dress up like a clown, climb back into her room from her balcony no longer as Glenda, but as “George the Clown” and entertain us for hours!

Though don’t put this super sister on a pedestal quite yet. She had a dark side. A very dark side. And that dark side was knowing-that-I-was-and-still-am-super-gullible-and-would-convice-me-of-all-sorts-of-things.

The most memorable of things being this: The first summer I moved in, Glenda convinced me that children were not born with a butt crack. That’s right. They were butt crack-less, smooth bottomed, and had to be shipped to China where they have a special butt cracking machine. They would slide the babies on, and then like a giant paper cutter, *shhhfiinnggg*, (that is the best sound effect I can think of), and then the babies were shipped back home to their families.

Well, trusting my new big sister got me in trouble that next fall in Mrs. Nani’s second grade class. We were having a sort of cultural emphasis week, where we were to bring in foods and artifacts and facts from different places around the world. A time came when my dear, sweet, teacher asked the class if anyone had been outside of the country. This was my chance to inform my fellow peers of the wisdom my older, smarter, big sister had bestowed upon me.  Hand raised as high as I could, and wiggling it to show my excitement, I was finally called on, “We’ve all been to China!” I proudly proclaimed!

Mrs. Nani didn’t miss a beat, “You visited China? How lovely! Did you see the Great Wall?”

“No, no, no. We have ALL been to China!” I waited, a second, excited to share the news, “When we were born, we were all shipped there to get a butt cracks!”

Mrs. Nani’s eyes enlarged, and the 2nd grade giggles around me urged me to explain further. “When you are born you don’t have a butt crack so you are shipped to China because they have a very special butt cracking machine where the baby…”

“ENOUGH MISS HAMPTON!” (name prior to adoption)

I pursed my lips, and furrowed my brow as I watched her walk to the front of the class to write another note for me to take home to my parents.

Needless to say, I got in trouble-I’m pretty sure it was a spanking. Supposedly “I knew better”. Doubtful. But do you know who did know better?

My big sister.

And you know who didn’t get a spanking?

My big sister. (okay so she was 16 at the time, I still thought it was deserved!)

You know who you can’t always trust with facts concerning medical procedures with newborns?

My big sister.

Love you always and forever Glenda!! Hope this isn’t too serious for you 😉

Germany and then some 042

(Aunt B and the 3)