1

Rewriting Psalm 143 – Great Exercise!

So, I was having a hard time connecting with God recently. I would pray and read my Bible, but I just felt like I was on auto-pilot. I got easily distracted and often forgot what I read (even in the middle of a sentence!) If I started praying, I’d quickly find myself crossing off items on my grocery list in my head, without actually ever finishing the prayer.

Thankfully a friend suggested I make one small change – and I can honestly say it has changed my prayer life dramatically! Instead of just reading the bible, she encouraged me to rewrite each verse in my own words.

When I sat down, took the time to read each word and then rewrite it in my own words, it’s like the Bible came to life in whole new way. I think it’s true that God speaks to us all in different ways – which is why I think this exercise is so helpful for anyone. When you rewrite the verses and then read them back to yourself – it’s like reading a story written JUST FOR YOU.

Check out the example I did below. I hope this exercise helps you to connect with God more fully too. Enjoy!

Today I translated Psalm 143

{you can do any chapter}

Here’s the original scripture:

Lord, hear my prayer,
    listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
    come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
    for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me,
    he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
    like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
    my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;
    I meditate on all your works
    and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
    I thirst for you like a parched land.[a]

Answer me quickly, Lord;
    my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
    or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
    in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
    destroy all my foes,
    for I am your servant.

Here’s my translation:

Hey God, it’s me!
    are you listening?
You are faithful and righteous, it’s true.
    please, open your ears to hear me.
I know you are righteous to judge
    and no man on earth is above you.
But the truth is, I know the enemy is prowling around
    he lurks around and threatens me
he wants to lure me into darkness
    into a place that is quiet and dead.
And my spirit within me is growing weak
    my heart literally feels broken
I remember good days from long ago
    And even now I meditate on Your greatness
    and think about the amazing things you have created
I open my arms to you
    I thirst for your truth like dry land

7 Please don’t wait
    alone, I will fail
Don’t be quiet,
    or else I fear I will whither away
As the morning dawns, may I be reminded of your unceasing LOVE
    no matter what, my trust is in YOU
Give me a sign – where should I take my next step?
    I will surrender my life over and over again for you.
Keep me safe from people who want me to fail
    in you, I’m protected
10 Please teach me to do YOUR will
    and remind me there’s no other God but YOU.
Holy spirit within me
    keep me level headed

11 Your name is above all other names Lord. Preserve me.
    In your righteousness, align me with Your will.
12 Show your great love for me and guard me from people who hate me.
    If anyone is against you, don’t let them propsper
    I just want to serve you…

 

0

But First, Coffee

Hi world. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a moment to sit down and write a little something on my own blog. I’ve been busy writing for my adorable clients, working hard in my business Content Social Media Queen.

So today, I thought I’d start the morning off with a little post about nothing other than the cool, caffeinated beverage that makes the world go round: COFFEE.

As you can see, I’m already almost done with my first cup. 😉

10-Bethany-7008

One of my fave at-home drinks to make is a simple espresso. {I found this adorable espresso maker at a local salvation army for $5.}

12-Bethany-7026

11-Bethany-7014

When I visited The Simple Farm in Arizona, I learned the art of slowing down, savoring a cup of morning coffee, and just taking a moment to pause and thank God for a new day.

Things have been crazy lately. I wake up at 6am, rush off to my new office space in Fullerton, and sit down to work. I get stuck in these ruts of “work, work work” ~ and although working is wonderful, it’s important to find balance and infuse each day with a bit of rest too.

So this morning, I’m doing just that! I like to call it a little “beauty break.”

I hope you join me now {even if it’s for five minutes} to meditate on the things you’re thankful for today while sippin’ on a cup of joe. Even though life is messy, there’s still bits of beauty we can take time to focus on. ❤

P.S. If you don’t have time necessarily to slow down, check out some of The Best Espresso Makers for a quick cup of joe that totally satisfies!

Cheers,

bethany-signature

0

Not Another Pretty Post

stand firm in Christ

Sometimes truth is clothed in thorns

Your heart gets overtaken, tattered and torn

Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan

What you thought you had, no longer stands

When everything around you is ripped away

What is it that will make you stay?

Is it integrity or heart or internal drive?

Is it your own source of power that will make you thrive?

Not for me, not for this woman

It’s Jesus that’s alive, it’s Him who lives within

I can’t stand on my own two feet

They wobble, they shake, they fall, I am beat

Lord lift me up – give me clarity

Open my eyes that are blind, help me see

I never had it all figured out

I know that now, and I want to shout!

You and Your plans will always stand

It’s You who makes me steadfast, by Your right hand

I will lean on You in this pain

I will trust that only in Christ there is gain

There’s no profit in my own motives and desires

Only the Lord knows how my future transpires

I trust in you. I trust in you my God.

I lay my head down and my hands applaud

I’ll clap, I’ll sing, I’ll rejoice in You

For in the end, and the beginning, You were always true

2

6 Satisfying Things I’ve Learned This Year

1) Going Off Course is Not Always Bad

Orange county hike
My friend and I went on a hike. What we thought was going to be a few miles, turned into a 7 mile hike, with the latter half all uphill. Already directionally challenged, we took a wrong turn and didn’t have any gut instinct to tell us to turn around. Even though we didn’t plan on those extra miles uphill in the heat, it was all worth it. We burned more calories, we had more laughs, and discovered new parts of the trail we had never seen before. Which can be paralleled to life. Sometimes those beaten paths that we don’t plan for are actually the best thing for us.

2) Playing with Your Food Can be Good

banana and peanut butter

Eating a banana vs. eating a banana that’s smiling at me. You can guess which one I choose. Call me silly, but food is one of my favorite pastimes and I appreciate when it incorporates art…and a smile.

3) Growing Sideways is Still Growing

Yorba Linda Park
I’m guilty of thinking that I have to make huge leaps and bounds in my growth with God, relationships, and personal life. That I have to magically sprout up like a generously watered tree over night. This weekend, I learned that it’s okay to grow sideways. By that, I mean, it’s okay to have days where I’m just existing. Where I’m just breathing. Where I’m just enjoying my day with a nap. It’s okay to relax, breathe, stretch, and grow sideways sometimes.

4) It’s Easy to Find Beauty in the Every Day

flowers

I went on a short stroll and noticed these lovely little petals resting on the earth. I couldn’t help but capture the duo of pink and purple with my camera. Such simple beauty can be found when you seek it.

5) The Beach Never Gets Old

Laguna Beach
Beach walks and God talks are the best – driving along the coast is a close second. I’ve lived in Southern California for two years, and I would be happy if every day was a beach day. But in this season, I will be thankful for the sparse times I’m able to see the waves hugging the sand.

6) Morning Meditations Rock My World

psalm 16:5

“Lord you alone are my portion and my cup.” Psalm 16:5

I’ve been aiming to start each morning talking with God. The days that I do, I notice there’s more peace in my spirit, more patience in my heart, and a natural outpouring of love that comes from His eternal goodness.

(A cup of delicious coffee never hurt anyone either.)

What are some things you’ve learned this year? Share with a comment to inspire others!

xO,

Bethany Michaels

0

Hopeful Romantic Art Journal

One day I was really missing someone I loved. Instead of crying, I decided to capture my emotions and release them inside my art journal. I do not claim to be an artist, but I do enjoy the release of [creatively and colorfully] writing.

Before my employment with Stampington & Co. (p.s. I miss you guys!) I had never heard of the term “art journaling.” And now, I’ve become quite fond of putting it into practice. Here’s a peak inside my piece I’ve titled “Hopeful Romantic.” (I’m happier to think that romance is not hopeless, especially because we are ever changing and growing beings – which allows for hope.)

I’ve never taken any classes, rather I let my emotions teach me what colors to paint and what words to express. Here’s the result:

art journaling crafts Bethany Michaels

hopeless romantic art journal

just breathe patience peace art journal Bethany Michaels

 

Tutorial:

1. If your emotions are rising, grab a binder or journal and prepare to give them a voice with color.

2. Use pencils, paint, stamps, and patience to release whatever burden you’re carrying.

3. You may play music that inspires you. If you’re feeling an artistic block, stand up and do 10 jumping jacks, 10 sit ups, and drink 10 gulps of water. (Hey, you’ll thank me later.)

4. Don’t LET GO! Have fun. Breathe. Promise to put what you’re holding onto behind you.

5. Cherish what you’ve created and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not beautiful.

My love and happy creating,

Bethany Michaels