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Random Tangents of a Broken Christ Follower

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Sometimes I feel like redemption stories do more harm than good. Sure the Bible is all about redemption. The gospel is a story of how Jesus redeems his people from the pit and gives them new life and a new hope that is sealed. Yet, the Bible is also laden with stories that are difficult to stomach without that comforting theme of redemption woven in.

There are many stories in my own life that aren’t in a phase of redemption. Some chapters are barren and cold, and still in the dead of winter. I’d like to hear all kinds of stories from believers, not just the warm and fuzzies, much like I’d rather hear about the Bible in its entirety, not just a “verse of the day” to get my quick spiritual fix.

Testimonies might be warm and fuzzy, but likely it’s not that that person found Jesus and now their life is perfect. In fact, their life might be more difficult. But that’s WHY I think Jesus is so cool. He makes every moment worth it. The moments when we sing on hilltops and the scary, dark pits we fall into and wonder how we’ll climb out of.

Life is crazy and messy. It’s hard. And sometimes slapping a bible verse on complex questions just won’t do. I don’t really have a point to this random tangent. Just sharing some thoughts on a platform where I probably shouldn’t.

On a lighter note, I think most people will be excited to know that my new favorite acronym of the week is PTL (praise the Lord) which has quickly replaced my former one,”on fleek.” Thanks to my cute friend Kayleen for keeping me in the Christian acronym loop.

PTL,

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Match.com is Shocked by this Guy’s Crazy “About Me” Intro

So, I may be a little biased, because I think my brother is the coolest guy in the world. But I think you’ll end up in my same biased boat after you surf through this amazing piece of writing he composed.

My brother’s friend (anonymous) is a great guy. He has wanted to meet a great girl for quite awhile. So, he decided to join Match.com. But the infamous “about me” intro wouldn’t write itself. He took a stab at it, but it wasn’t quite right. It was just like all the other intros out there: trying to use catchy words to describe himself, somehow trying to sum up his awesomeness in just a few sentences.

Enter: brother.

Please read on to find the most interesing, crazy, unconventional Match.com profile intro ever written. (At least I think so.)

What the friend first wrote:

Insert cool profile intro here.

What my brother wrote:

When I was a small boy I became lost in the pines.  I went hunting for snails, skipping along a disheveled rock path away from the safety and warmth of my campsite.  In my youthful haste, I stumbled over a rotted log shaped like Italy (or maybe Argentina, I do not have great memory for log shapes any more these days).  This country-shaped log exaggerated my youthful forward momentum and dashed me headlong against the stones.  I could not bring my hands up quick enough.  The blood was instantaneous.  Where was it coming from?  It did not matter, all was grey, then black…

I awoke in an eyrie.  Mother, as I came to know her, was looking at me mawkishly.  I am certain, as I reflect back on things, that she thought I would die before I learned to fly.  But she did not give up on me.  Mother was an eagle.  Not in the figurative sense.  She picked me off the rocks like so much dead carrion, but when she saw I still had life in me she took me as her own.  Her strange featherless boy.  The years passed.  I will spare you the details.  My brothers and sisters grew large and took to the heavens.  I remained in the nest.  I was sure I would die on that cliff face, 1400 meters above wherever.  Mother became ill.  She could no longer forage for grubs and field mice.  I became emaciated and withered alongside Mother.  I awoke one morning with the wind blowing a gale unlike any before (the wind on that cliff always blew, was my constant friend, telling me stories and laughing as it tore through the cliff scrub and rock crags).  The wind spoke to me again that day.  It said “you must take flight, your Mother is dying, and you must take flight.”  I looked to Mother and saw she was crying.  I stood up and placed my foot over the edge of the nest onto the lip of the cliff, I took a deep breath, then another, tilted my head heavenward to feel the brilliant sun on my face, spread my arms, and leapt…     

And then I flew to Reno, and I’d really like to meet a nice girl so I hope you are her.  Let’s fly together, huh?  Sounds like fun.

What do you think? Would you date a guy with this story as his profile intro? 🙂

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Why a Purposeness-less Life is So Valuable

It’s pulsing through my veins. I was born into it. Expected to be someone. To have a purpose.

I can’t tell whether it has taken form as my own voice or if it has always echoed in the world around me – “you must have a purpose.” Either way, it’s loud, and it lives.

Purpose, purpose, purpose. I am driven to fulfill it. Each time I miss the mark, I fall. I get bent and bruised. But I don’t break.

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My last fall was a bad one. I’ve yet to recover. I’m floating in white space, hoping desperately for someone to connect the dots. I can’t even find the dots.

My feet know no route.

People ask me what I want to do with my life. I usually make up an answer I think they’ll want to hear.

Always searching for the next hero. Always seeking a new, extraordinary story. Our society just wants a savior. I have already found mine. And although I have no purpose and I’m not a hero, I’m learning that “real life” is not about creating our own empire, it’s about helping those in shacks. It’s not about storing up treasures, it’s about giving of ourselves even when we have nothing left to give.

I’m without purpose, and it has never been more valuable to me. It makes me appreciate the ordinary. It makes me rejoice in the simple. It forces me to be content with the present. That’s all we really have.

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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

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Somerset Life Selfie Challenge

Somerset Life Selfie Bethany

For those of you who don’t know what I do with my life, I spend my Monday-Fridays working for an established art and craft publishing firm called Stampington & Company. Among many other things, I manage their blog Somerset Place. One fine day while I was scrolling through an alarming amount of “selfies” on Instagram during my break, a light bulb flickered on in my brain.

“We should do a ‘selfie’ challenge!”

As you can see above, I’ve tried my crack at the ubiquitous “selfie” shot…now I want you to join me! Winners have the chance of being published in one of our top-selling magazines.

Read the post here for more details. Good luck if you enter!

xO

Bethany Michaels

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Finding Peace in the Storm

RHYME TIME:

To just be. To just breathe. To just live and not think.
Some of us numb our pains with liver taunting drinks.
We want just the dizzied blur, walking on reality’s brink.

I wanted nothing more than to implode and merely sink.
But life changed in an instance, faster than I could blink.

Those were the days, those were the days I thought I’d never escape.
Now I’m present, using past tense to describe my new found fate.

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VENTING SESH:

Today I arose in a disheveled heap, body heavy with the remnants of my lingering stomach flu. A nasty culprit to fend off, I ignored its nagging ache the best I could, the only sign of pain emerged through the wrinkling of my forehead and clenched shut eyes in moments when it was hard to bear.

Oddly enough, I’m thankful for this sickness because:

#1 I have become exceedingly less immobile than  recent days of busyness, giving me perspective on the need for balance.

#2 I have consented to the fate of getting rest, sleep, hydration and time to write.

The truth is…life has been busy. Change seems constant and established routine is merely a mirage in my dreams. And I’m okay with this, for what seems to be the first time in my life – not because I mastered a yoga pose or meditated in silence, but because I yearn daily to release my reigns to the eternal God who grants peace beyond understanding.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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PICTURE THIS:

Psalm 95: Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!

Despite my angry insides, I made it to the beach today – where God whispered to me in the breeze and roared with the crashing waves. Alone with Him…there’s nothing better.