deep breath

Okay so all that stuff in earlier posts that I have been learning - I had to put into use today.  I am realizing that perhaps discouragement is my worst struggle!  I got it before - in theory - but putting this stuff into practice is HARD!  You know those days that make you want to curse - this was one of those days!  You know the days when you want to throw all that stuff out the window?

So I did what any Beaty girl does well - I cried...

Then I realized that this was quite possibly not the right thing for me, and it was also discouragement to keep me from pursuing that which God has been stirring in my heart to do!  This type of day has been quite prevalent in my past; however, I never really knew how to deal with them.  I thought that if I loved Jesus enough and always mostly did what was expected of me things would work out.  Boy, was I wrong!!!  See God is interested in His glory and my character -- not the other way around.  His character is unchanging - a solid foundation, and His glory is what this entire thing is about.  My character could use quite a bit of work - a work which I must admit is very much still in progress!!!

So even as I write this I want to cry again simply because it is FRUSTRATING beyond belief!!!  In college, there was this cotton field (I went to school in the middle of nowhere north MS) where we could go and just scream during really tough times - like finals, a break up, a stupid professor, or the 25 page paper you waited until 2 weeks before it was due to start.  You know, life toughest moments?  Well, today I wish I had a cotton field.

But... I don't.  I live an apartment where if I really truly screamed, they might call the police!

Instead, I take that aforementioned deep breath and put it into the aforementioned perspective of this is character building.  I am told that to strengthen muscles, you must first break them down in order to stretch the muscles.  In the end, you have a stronger, more healthy person able to carry the heavy load.

So here is to bad days, lack of cotton fields, and frustrating people bent on discouraging you!!!

Bring it on - and God, "strengthen my hands!"



Remember - that word carries with it innumerable connotations.  Memories flood your conscious from any and every direction.  Memories of good days and bad.  Lots of firsts and probably just as many lasts.

Life has been...well, life lately. Busy.  Stress inducing.  Joyful.  Sad.  All of those wonderful and horrific emotions and experiences rolled into one slightly crazy but wonderful life.  I get caught up in the horrific sometimes, and it is difficult to bring to mind the wonderful.  I don't know if anyone else out there gets that - but there it is.  Recently though, there has been this still small voice just saying "remember."

  • The Lord is great and awesome (Nehemiah 4:14)
  • It is okay to pray for physical strength - Nehemiah prayed, "Lord, strengthen my hands."
  • It is a fight - we struggle everyday against powers of darkness (Ephesians 6) and within ourselves
  • Finally, what you are fighting for.  Nehemiah 4:14 says to fight for your families and homes.  

I often need to be reminded that it is not about me and those things that make up what life is about is worth fighting for.  And every day I have the choice to stand and fight or sit and do nothing.  I let life get in the way - I get busy and that leads to exhaustion.  I get tired.  Then I remember that Nehemiah 4:14 is Nehemiah's rallying cry for the people of Israel who were rebuilding the wall and who were tired!  

Then I remember that what I am to be fighting gets very personal and come with names - My parents, my sisters, Jonathan (bro-in-law), Madison, Wyatt, Daisy Claire, Papaw, the ladies I work with, the children that I have been entrusted with at work.  That is when I must push aside the exhaustion, pray for God to strengthen my hands, and I must fight.  I must fight remembering though that it is not a war waged alone - it is God who gives the self-control, the strength, and grace to keep going even when life is... life.

So, today and all the rest of your tomorrows remember...


Pinterest and Picking

So I have a confession to make - an addiction to admit.  Well its more like addictions - I am addicted to Pinterest, Picking, and Dirt Cheap.  Pinterest just has so many wonderful ideas in one place it makes my heart smile.  By "Picking" I am not referring to my nose, but to searching the countryside for antiques that work with our decor.  There is a show on the History Channel called "American Pickers," and there are two guys that dig through other people's junk in barns, storage buildings, etc looking for antiques that they purchase and sell in their own shop.  Candace and I have turned into pickers, and I love it!  As for Dirt Cheap, I have a very difficult time paying full price for anything because chances are we can find it at Dirt Cheap.  The awful thing is that all three of these things seem to feed on each other because we something on Pinterest and immediately we are thinking if we have seen the items needed for the project at our favorite antique shops or at Dirt Cheap.

I must encourage you to check out your local discount shops and antique shops - you would be surprised what you might find.  Candace is the Dirt Cheap Keurig queen as she has found two that worked for less than $30 each - she even has a list of people to call if we find one in DC! Kind of crazy, right?  But I love it!!!

As to a little inspiration for you to begin "picking" I thought I would share 2 of our most recent projects.

The pictures above are of the space between the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling - it was such a void that screamed for some life.  The bird picture - 5.00(left) is from Big Lots (another great discount store) as are the two pottery jars - 6.99 each (left and center).  The blue bowl - 2.00 is from an auction in the middle of nowhere Moselle as is the blue tea pot - 2.00.  The white shell thing - 1.00 on the right is from this great antique shop in Calhoun and the plate behind it was 19 cents at DC in Collins!

These pictures are from the main wall in our living room.  The big picture in the center is from DC for 3.00 - I know we thought it was a steal!!!  The wrought iron candle sconces were bought off Facebook for 20.00 for the pair!  The grass in the vase is a mixture of two different bundles - which we purchased in a clearance bag from Michaels for 2.00!  And the stool it is on is from DC and was 3.00!  Oh the burlap lamp shade was 2.00 from DC!

Finally, because Spring is here in South Mississippi and I adore flowers - I thought I would share a picture of the plant some sweet friends brought us in the 5.99 ceramic pot from Ross!!!  Isn't it amazing?!

So I hope you inspired to do a little of your own picking (not your nose - and if you do that feel free NOT to share!!!).  Oh feel free to leave a comment letting me know if you find something spectacular! 



"I am afraid."  "I am scared to death."  "(Insert obscenity often screamed out when someone scares you!)"

These are phrases I must admit I hear come out of my own mouth more often that I would like.  Fear or uncertainty is one thing that has been a constant struggle for me for a very long time.  Many things frighten me - severe weather, not falling in love, taking chances, falling in love, the words - "we need to talk," cancer, failure, and the unknown - only to name a few.  As you can see fear is a big part of my life.  I don't think I have ever really liked the fact that I am so easily frightened, but I never really grasped that this might be a big deal to how my life goes and the story of my life for God.

Not until recently that is...

For the past 13ish weeks I have been working on a Bible study named How to Overcome Fear and Discouragement by Kay Arthur - a title I must admit that I really just read and let sink in.  The only thing that really interested me was that it covered the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.  The nerd in me adored the history involved in those books, but I never would have guessed that this study would penetrate to a level of a deep  stronghold in my life.

These books give a detailed account of the things the enemy will do to keep you afraid and discouraged.  Get this - the devil will go to some extreme lengths to keep you down and inactive.  Gossip, slander, physical threats - even spending money are all tactics.  Right along side of these accounts of the tactics are the detailed accounts of men and women standing confident in their God to do what He has "stirred in their heart" or "put in their heart" to do.  I have read 2 Timothy 1:7 many times, but after doing this study it has really come alive to me -
For God has not given us a  spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline.

Isn't it amazing - God doesn't want us to be afraid.  He wants to have a spirit of power, love, and discipline.  Now I know that you are wondering where can this girl who has been so very fearful of everything under the sun find a spirit of power, love, and discipline.  Well, God gives us that spirit, and I must admit I am still processing how to receive that spirit on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute basis.  The past few days have been quite challenging for me on this end as things have not really went the way I want them to go.  In comes the second part of that title - discouragement.  If I am not afraid at the time, then chances are I am discouraged.  Discouragement is something I am so quite familiar with - we are practically family at this point.  That came to play the past few days as well.  I just love hearing that someone thinks I can't handle something, don't you?  But that is exactly how Satan wants us to feel - afraid to take that step of faith and that really we can't do what God expects us to do.    

Fear and discouragement can keep us sidelined - on the bench for too much of the game.  God has a plan and a purpose that He probably put into place decades before we were even thought of, and anytime spent on the bench is time that I and perhaps you are not bringing glory to God.  Now that just makes me angry - not sure if that is the case with you.  Anytime I feel like someone other than God is trying to control me and tell me I can't, I become much more determined to do exactly what it is that God has "put into my heart" and what the skeptics tell me I can't do.

So, I suppose this blog is a reminder for me of the things I have learned and a push to apply these truths in my life.  Each day I must claim the promise that God gives me a spirit of power and love and discipline.  I hope that you do the same, and that we bring glory to God with our lives.