To the Uninvited…

People have favorite questions.

When you’re a high school/college senior it’s: “So, what’s your plan after your graduate?”

When you’re expecting, it’s: “Girl or boy?”

And when you’re engaged, it’s: “So how are wedding plans going?”

For me, wedding planning hasn’t been TOO stressful (there have been 2 moments that I dreaded it, but other than that-it’s been chill!) and I try and keep the mindset of– “I get to throw a giant party with the friends and family who love Nathaniel and I the most to celebrate God’s goodness and eat really good food.” And that doesn’t sound so stressful to me at all!

Details aren’t my jam-so I’ll be figuring out everyone’s table setting here in the next few weeks, but I do have all the invitations stuffed and sealed and probably going to the right address, so that’s exciting!

But as I prepare to mail them out, I can’t help but think of the dozens and dozens of people who won’t be receiving an invitation. People that I love and laugh with. People that I’ve been shaped by, and have had the privilege of helping to shape. Our venue is lovely, but small compared to the number of people I have felt connected to or loved by in my 28 years on this earth.

So to you-the college suite-mates that grew with me, the church families that took me in, the church friends that saw me through ugly seasons and loved me anyways, the coffee date buds who steadfastly care, and the amazing old and new co-workers who make work a wonderful place to be- i love you. I love you and please don’t interpret my inability to invite you as a mark of your value to me, or your impact in my life. Don’t think you’re lack of an invitation means anything except we have a small budget and a big family. If you feel some sort of way about not getting an invite, PLEASE message me and talk with me. I’m happy to affirm our relationship and schedule a time for us to get together soon. xoxo

Much love and gratitude,

Betty

 

Also…kind of regretting that we didn’t do this…

My Life’s Mantra: Three Lists

I’m a list person. You’ll find them everywhere. I have a notebook by my bed-full of lists, sticky notes surrounding my desk-list city, and one of my most-used apps on my phone: Wunderlist-a list of lists! I list my groceries, my prayer requests, and even my friendships (my co-workers make fun of me-but I need to be organized!)-and find it to be helpful to visually categorize things in my life. With that being said, you’ll not be surprised that my life’s mantra equates to categorizing all things in my life into one of three lists.

Find the things that increase your affections for Christ, and with all your heart-pursue those things. 

Identify the things that neutralize your affections for Christ, and as much as possible-avoid/redeem those things. 

Know the things that decrease your affections for Christ, and for your soul’s sake-run from those things. 

These lists will be different for every person, and this is not an exhaustive list for me-but it’ll give you a good snapshot 🙂 Oh and as a side note, I do think that many things mentioned in List Two have the potential to be moved to List One-it just takes intentionality and a desire to worship God in all things! AND there are things naturally in List One, that if I get lazy or negative or look away from Christ, they will transition to List Two. :0

List One: Things that Increase my Affections for Christ

  • Quality time with God
    • Journaling
    • Reading His word
    • Reading about Him
    • Doodling quotes about Him
  • Talking about God
    • With unbelievers
    • With my sisters and brothers in Christ
    • With my mentor ❤
    • With the world wide web!
  • Enjoying the world He made (especially with friends!)
    • At the beach
    • On a run
    • In a kayak
    • On a trail
    • In the city
    • Some music 🙂
  • Blessing the senses He gave me!
    • Through coffee and icecream (not together though…)
    • Making and having dinner (with friends!)
    • Good music
    • Aesthetics
  • Enjoying the relationships He gave me
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Co-workers
    • Church family
  • Random Things
    • Learning in general (TED Talks=time of worship for me!)
    • Movies that spur good conversation

List Two: Things that Neutralize my Affections for Christ

  • Some Social Media
    • Complaining instead of peacefully praying (about what’s going on in the world)
    • Comparing instead of praising
  • Being lazy (not resting…actually being bum like)
  • Media intake without processing/reflecting
    • I NEED to talk about a movie after i watch it in order to “redeem” it from List 2, to List 1. This may just be me-but I want to dialogue about the lies portrayed as truths, and the evils portrayed as good. I want to welcome God into my TV/Movie viewing and do that best through conversation! I understand not everyone is like this and that is a-okay 🙂
  • Working haphazardly
    • If I work hard and with a focus on honoring God in my job-it’s totally in List One, but the days (and weeks) that I just go into work without remembering WHY I work, and WHO I ultimately work for-it’s List Two.

List Three: Things that Decrease my Affections for Christ:

  • Most TV Comedies
    • Humor that I find funny, that God does not
    • Wasting hours
    • Being convinced that I want what the world has
  • Some Social Media
    • endlessly scrolling through Pinterest humor, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    • being too intrigued by the world’s gossip/interest (buzzfeed stories for me)
  • Pining for what I don’t have
    • Wishing/daydreaming/coveting breeds mistrust and discontentment

So that is what I came up with! This is something that helps me, and maybe it’ll help you too! Write out your three lists, and see what you can do to eliminate things from List Three! Also see if you can transfer things from List Two to List One with a little prayer and focus 🙂 Through Jesus Christ, God has given us the GREATEST GIFT in life-and that is HIMSELF. We can know, enjoy, and love Him! Let’s prepare for eternity and do it as much as possible!!! (Also, make sure you read these quotes below!)

We make a god out of whatever we find most joy in. So, find your joy in God and be done with all idolatry. - John Piper

Biblical Homemaking: on being an unfaithful bride {how trials reveal your true affections} biblicalhomemaking.blogspot.com

"Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God." - John Piper

Intentionality

One of my favorite things to remind myself,(because boy do I need this reminder!)  is to live life with intentionality. While I watch movies, while I interact with strangers, while I go about my daily routines, it is necessary to be intentional. Though quite easy to turn my mind off and simply “coast” through the mundane, God is far more pleased when my mind is on HIM and am able to integrate His thoughts, preferences, and opinions in everything I do.  This is not easy. It takes time to re-train my mind to default to depth and flee from mindless meandering.  And it is a cycle of success and failure!

So, here are some of the questions I ask myself to check my heart and motives.

Betty’s Introspective Questions

  1. Am I maximizing my season of singleness, or am I wasting it away with discontentment?
  2. In the movies I watch-what things were displayed as good/acceptable, that are actually sin? And how would I bring Christ into the character’s situations?
  3. Do I truly believe that God desire is not just for my holiness, but also for my happiness?
  4. Am I in contact with unbelievers who know about the joy that is within me?
  5. Do I read in the morning with an understanding that through my time in the Word I have the opportunity to know Christ more intimately, or do I do it out of habit?
  6. Is my desire to exercise rooted in pride and narcissism or a beautiful desire to strengthen my body for God’s service and his glory.
  7. Do I eat healthy so as to not gain weight, or to be a good steward of the temple God has given me?
  8. Are my prayers just me “venting” to God, or do I believe in it’s power and realize what a gift it is to be in his presence?
  9. Do I attend church as a social function or to grow in the knowledge and love of Christ and his bride?

Take some time today to right down some personal questions you need to be asking yourself. It looks different for everyone! You know your strengths, weaknesses, and temptations-jot a list down accordingly!