Saturday, March 29, 2014

Guest post over at Palanca Life

Today I wrote a guest post for The Palanca Life and my friend Mallory. I love love love my Mally, and that alone stopped me from chickening out.

 It was pretty hard for me to write and I felt like it came out like a bunch of gibberish, but please go and check it out and leave nice comments and such.


Love, and other such affection emotions - Bekka



Check out my blog post about Acceptance!


Ok bye.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Righteous Babe to Writeous Babe


    I think I'm going to be taking my blog in a different direction soon. It's been rolling around in my mind for a little while now and I *think* I may actually go through with it. I've talked it over with some of my close peeps, and prayed about it too. It just feels right for this moment in my life so I think I'm going to go with it. 

For a while now, I feel like I've complained about feeling like I'm in a rut or in a niche. About how I only write about my spiritual musings. I've been back and forth and sideways and diagonal. The reason I always balked, is because I wanted to hide the rest of my life. You know, the stuff that doesn't really fit into a spiritual theme blog post.

The whole reason I started this blog was to not hide my Christianity, embarrassing as people may view it in this world today. To not hide my view points on this subject. Not be afraid of judgement. I feel like I accomplished that. I feel comfortable.

That should be good enough. But you don't do amazing things in your life by being comfortable. You might get an amazing nap by being comfortable, but I want to look back on my life and find that my life could've been made into a book and it wouldn't be a sucky book.

THEREFORE, I will be redesigning my blog to not just include my spiritual views, but my life. I will still have "God Thoughts" and a ton of analogies but it will be in with the nitty gritty of my life too.
A Rebekah that strives towards her goals, that's not hiding the rest of her life behind her spiritual mask.

Now, I'm not sure what this will look like, whether it will be a new web address or just a new name. But what I do know, is that I will not be afraid. I'm tired of looking for approval in all the wrong places. It's ok if you think my blog is lame. It's ok if you find my writing lacking. I don't need your approval. I just need my own. And Gods. *takes a deep breath* I'm still scared of peoples quiet judgement but I'm going to go ahead with this to the best of my ability.

I'm ready to get out there. I'm ready to stop being comfortable and start pushing myself.

I'm totally scared sh!tless about this though. 

Just so you know. 

Here's a couple of picture quotes that sum up how I'm feeling just in case I couldn't communicate it.


I need to read this every day.

Adventure please!



Considering how scared I am of making this change...
Who couldn't use more magic right?



This says it all. Love Anne Lamott.
I'm looking forward to becoming myself and letting my blog reflect that.




Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Radical Schooling

So here it is, what I learned from my year of being radical. 

So. Without further ado here is what I learned from my radical experience from 2 years ago: 

 You know before you set a date to start a diet you start binging on everything you know you won't be able to have when you're on it? That's what we did the week before the New Year when we would be officially RADICAL.

Helloooo Xbox Kinect!

A month into being Radical there was a new couple in our small group that had moved to Mississippi (where we lived at the time) to start seminary at Wesley. They had no family nearby, no close friends and a 4-month-old baby. I had tried to build a relationship with the girl; since we were both around the same age and our babies were 2 weeks apart. When their car broke down, I felt the nudge. I ended up giving them my car.

My family thought I was insane and totally irresponsible. Even when I explained the reason behind it and about being radical they all thought that I needed to calm down and be a sub par Christ follower. That was hard. And these people were Christians too. Somehow Christians were the ones to give us the hardest time about choosing to live radical for a year. If that doesn't start to break down your faith in the church... sheesh. 

We started sponsoring a child in India, and also a Gospel for Asia missionary. Jesse (the hubz) started an agency-nursing job so as to have more time to be the worship leader for our church plant. The hard thing about that was we had to pray daily for God to come through at the end of the month when rent was due. Sometimes Jesse wouldn't be called to come to work for the first half of the month and then finally get enough offers for work to barely pay our apartment rent. Our faith was tested so hard.  Other times, money would come in the mail right when we needed it. It was an INCREDIBLY stressful time. It was an incredibly amazing time. My faith in God had never been stronger. God was apparent every day in our life.

After being radical for a year we were burnt. out. It wasn't that we wanted to stop being radical; we just needed a break before we could continue. I always want to be radical in this world. This world needs more radical people. The church needs more radical people.

Looking back I don't regret anything we did but I will say we went about being radical all wrong.

The first thing I want to tell people who are considering starting radical is:

KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES

We didn't, and it hurt when we found them out the hard way.

The second thing is: Be responsible.

Was it bad that I gave my car away? No it wasn't. And I'd do it again.
Was it responsible to do so with a 4 month old baby and no way to get anywhere should something happen and Jesse wasn't home? No it wasn't.
It would've been better had I talked to people in my church about it and gotten more counsel.

The third thing is: Start small by being radical in your own family, and then spread it outwards.

 Jesse and I did backwards. God gave us each other and it's our first commandment from Him to take care of each other. If that isn't radical in today's world I don't know what is. It doesn't look good to buy McDonald's for random guy on the street if your own family is starving.

Just because you're suffering, doesn't mean you're being radical.
Just because you're financially in pain doesn't mean you're being radical.
You can give money and time to whatever but it doesn't mean it's necessarily a God investment.

 I learned it's important to make a WISE investment with the time and money you're going to give. Sometimes God gives you nudges, but it's the times that He doesn't when it's hard to make a decision. In times like those, get counsel from the Bible and at least 2 people in your church who you admire and are a little bit ahead of you in their walk with God.

Being radical was very cool and it's something that Jesse and I both talk about to this day. This time we want to be radical in a maintainable way so that we can continue it indefinably instead of being burnt out. 


-----

So, we're trying it again this year. And hopefully it will have all of the goods with hardly any of the bads that we had the first go around. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sneaky God

Below is the post I wrote for my church. They ended up putting it on their Facebook page so I figured it was ok to post it here. I kinda felt bad for them, thinking that they owed it to me to do something with the letter I wrote. But hey it got me blogging again, which I feel was the point of this whole thing. ;)   

I made it entirely too long but it's whatever. 


So, recently my church did a sermon series on Radical by David Platt.

I thought "Cool! I did this 2 years ago, it'll be like a refresher course."

But then… I got what I like to call "the nudge." (That thing that God does when He wants you to do something.)
I picture God beside me elbowing me in my ribs egging me on to go do something embarrassing.
That embarrassing "something" was to contact the preacher dude and tell him of my family's experience with our year of being Radical. The ups and downs, what we learned and what we'd do different. Then offer to talk to other people about it. Now the talking to other people thing is not really in my comfort zone. (Funny that being radical is all about being out of your comfort zone)

That's part of the reason why I took a break from my blogging.

And by taking a break from blogging I mean taking a break Jonah style. (I.e. -Full tilt running away about to be eaten and regurgitated by a whale soon- break)

I mean, I'm sure there are tons more spiritual people than me to tell people about their experience with God/Radical. Who am I to tell people this stuff? So, being a good American Christian and doing what most American Christians do…

I ignored it.

I ignored the nudge. There I admit it.

 Every Sunday after that I would have a guilt trip. I gritted my teeth and pushed on through. Finally, the Radical series was over. I made it. PHEW!

Except it wasn't.

Turns out, our preacher got the nudge too. And extended the Radical series till he felt like God was telling him it was cool.

Insert "Edvard Munch's The Scream" face here.


 God had effectively taken the nudge he'd given me and turned into a --rug pull fall on your butt- nudge.

I said, "You know what? Ok. Fine. We'll do it your way." And I wrote the email.

Thankfully I didn't have to get up on stage and talk about it but it was a close one.

Then our pastor came up to me and started tossing around ideas thinking that we could make a blog post out of my email to him.

I agreed to it, thinking no sweat, hopefully he'll forget about it. No going back to the world of blogging for me. No worries.

Until I got an email saying that he didn't and to start putting the email in blog form.

I see what you did there God.




Turns out I DID need a refresher course in being radical, (and blogging again) plucking up the courage to write an email/turn it into a blog post is just the start of it.

Annnnd I'm ending it there because it's so long and if I can milk two blog posts out of this thing then that my friends is a WIN! ;)

Have you experienced God being sneaky? 

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Prodigal Blogger.

I've had this blog for four years. And I've changed a lot. I've grown up. Hell, you've kind've watched me do it. 2013 was a hard year for me, especially spiritually. I was avoiding God for the most of it. 
Every time I thought about blogging I would push it away. I felt like I wasn't doing anything good. It was tiring trying to come up with catchy titles to post to twitter in order to garner readers. It was tiring checking all of my stats and comparing myself to those numbers.  I felt like I was trying to pimp out God and my blog. 

So I stopped. Stopped blogging. Stopped listening to God. Walked away. I needed space. 


Somewhere along the way I lost the real reason for doing any of this blogging. I started this blog for myself. To find myself. To do things without worry of what others would think of me and my screwed up version of following God. A haven for myself. And it's time to get back to that. I love that people are following me. But this blog isn't for you. It's for me and God. And if you can relate to that, and relate to what I'm going through that is so extremely more meaningful to me. If God wants to use my stuff to speak to others that's great. 

I'm tired of trying to write for other people and not myself. I want this to work. I'm scared it won't. I'm scared I'll post two times this year and then finally stop listening to God and walk away. For some reason only known to Him, He has been pushing at me and pushing at me to get back here. Maybe there's somebody out there He want's to reach through what I have to say... 

Maybe it's me. 

Ugh, this post is so awkward sounding. If I could've forgotten this blog I would have. I mean, I have had no problem doing that with past ventures, but every time I tried to do that with this one God was right there pushing it back into my face. So anyways... I've come back. I'm worn down from running away, and I'm tired. I want to listen to God again and I want that closeness with Him. I think blogging is the way back for me. 

You know, it was a couple of weeks ago that I wrote a blog post for my church, which I will post here eventually. I likened myself to Jonah in the post, (because I felt like I've been dragged back into blogging) but now I'm thinking that I got it all wrong. I want to come back. I actually want to do this now. I think maybe this whole time of running away I was the Prodigal Son instead... 


I dreaded every step it took to get back here and longed for them at the same time. And now I'm home. I'm back. I'm sorry I left, and I'm so glad to be back. 

In the end it just came down to the fact that I missed how good I had it with my Dad.  









.
.
.
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Now lets go kill that fat cow and have a party! 

(I know, I can't hold on to serious for long.)




Thursday, June 13, 2013

Your plans don't mean jack!


 The first time I ever met another blogger it was Valerie. I love Valerie. The reason I love her is because, even though we are both Bloggers that mainly talk about Jesus, my first question to her was: So... Can you teach me how to cuss in Spanish? So! Now thanks to Valerie, I can praise Jesus in Spanish and also cuss out that evil bitch that takes my parking place without her knowing the devil in Spanish. See how I put a nice Christianese reasoning behind that request? Awesomness.
 
 This is the first time anyone has ever guest posted on my blog. Needless to say, I'm so stoked that it's Valerie. It was supposed to go out yesterday morning, but yesterday morning in true Righteous Babe style I went to the doctor and found out I had a broken bone in my foot and subsequently panicked all day. Completely forgot. Shoot me in the face with a rubber band. 
 
But! I sat down and re-read Valerie's guest post for me, and it calmed my little butt right on down. After all, I do live in Ohio now and I do NOT want to be known as "That Ohio Person." You don't get the reference now but you will. Read on my friends and be amazed by Valerie's great writing. Such a treat.
 
    
 
A while back, I recall One Righteous Babe and I sitting in a booth at this weird restaurant in Clinton, MS. Then, a couple weeks later, we sat in a booth at a Mexican Restaurant in the same town. In both of those lunches, we sat there and talked for hours!
Most of the time, we talked about missions.
 
 In the summer of 2010, I spent a summer in Guatemala at an orphanage. As an idiot teenager that spoke no Spanish, I thought I could go to a foreign country and teach music. Over the course of time though, as I slept at the orphanage in the "missionary housing," I learned one very important thing: Week-long mission trips done by churches.... most of the time... are totally ridiculous.
In that one summer, 
 
I saw more Vacation Bible Schools, more walls painted and repainted, and saw that dramatic representation of Lifehouse's "Everything" (youtube it) more times than I care to remember.  One group, however, will stand out to me above all. I had been in Guatemala all of 5 days. It was May 22nd when I landed in Guatemala, by myself, knowing no one but the Chavo (who I was not dating at that time). This group of people from Ohio that I met were polite, helpful, and so happy at their little prayer-meetings at 8:00 pm in the dining area. That Ohio group was so delightful and so sad to leave the little orphanage that Friday.
 
But on May 27, that Thursday, the Pacaya volcano about 19 miles from the city, erupted and spewed volcanic ash and sand and crap all over the city. Schools were closed, people tried to clean up, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, and the airport was totally out of commission. The next day, I got away from the orphanage and Tropical Storm Agatha washed a lot of the ash and sand down into the drainage ditches, causing massive clogging and flooding. Chavo and I were stranded outside the city for a night, so we had to call one of the real missionaries down there for somewhere to stay and wait out the storm.
 
On Sunday night, I was astounded to see the Ohio group still there. They were beside themselves with grief. The airport was still closed and so backed up that it looked like they were not going to get back to the states any time soon.  I heard sobbing through all hours of the night. It sounded like people were dying. They were devastated.
 
The only people more devastated though, was the staff of the orphanage. In the time that I was gone, the Ohio group had decided that since they had been there for 3 weeks at that point, that they knew everything about the orphanage and how to run it. They had successfully alienated the entire staff of the organization that they came to serve, and now they were causing serious damage. Dinnertime became a nightmare of women sobbing over cold showers and men near-cursing that they weren't able to go back to work. Their 8 pm prayer meetings turned from happy sunshine to lamentations of pure agony.
 
The kids were afraid of them. The women were no longer gentle and the men were no longer jolly. We generally avoided them like the plague. I grabbed my dinner quickly and retreated into the only place I could: my office. I thanked dear sweet Jesus for that office every chance I got. It locked, it had internet, it had a view of the driveway (in case I needed to make a quick escape when Chavo came by), and I had the only key. To keep people from bothering me, which they did often, I turned the lights out to the office and brought in pillows and blankets so I could move around without making noise.
 
When they left, the children were relieved. So were the staff. The Ohio group will never return to that orphanage. I think both the group as well as the orphanage are more-than-ok with that. I swore that I would never do another short-term mission trip as long as I lived. It wasn't worth it. It wasn't worth ever being associated with a group that could turn so ugly once their plans changed.
 
Breaking news everyone: God doesn't give a crap about your plans, however well-intentioned and shiny they are. If all it takes is a 7-day extension to see your crazy, maybe you shouldn't be going on a mission trip at all. Because I guarantee you that you got more out of this mission trip than anyone you served. 
 
 God called us to go and make disciples of all nations, not to go and act a fool for anyone that looks cute for your facebook profile pic. Why go? Why go to a place of moderate-to-low comfort on your own time if you couldn't handle it?
 
 Because this group single-handedly made this orphanage very leery about trusting anyone in their missionary housing.
The only thing that made it better was the Rainbows of Hope group that came the very next day and stayed for two months. Those guys rocked.
 
 
 In a few days, my church and I will be going back to the country I fell in love with. And I'm about to take a big ol' dose of hypocrisy. I swore that after the summer of 2010, I would never ever go on another short-term mission trip as long as I lived. But I lied. I tend to do that when I'm talking out of my butt. 
 
 But the Ohio group did teach me something, it taught me to be very prayerful and active in planning a short-term mission trip. I pray very hard that the group I am going with has the strength and the patience to deal with any changes in plans that God has for us, that we know better than to flip the frick out whenever things go wrong. I pray that we will never become like the Ohio group, that we will never alienate a ministry like that group did.
 
And if you're going on a short-term mission trip, please be mindful of what you are doing. If you are going to do simple tasks that an impoverished person in the community could be PAID to do, don't do it. Boost their economy. Pay real money to have someone in that community do it, if that ministry can't. Do something really meaningful and helpful. If you're not sure what that is, go google it or talk to a real life missionary about it. 
 
 Don't put on your Chacos and khaki shorts unless you really know what you're doing. Yeah, sure, you'll only be there a couple of weeks, but why waste that experience? Go with the intention of partnering with the ministries already there. And be helpful, for crying out loud. It's not about just going, God didn't just say "Go". There's a lot more to it than that. And so help me, if the words "I can't wait to put this on facebook" ever pass your lips, you need to seriously evaluate your life choices.
 
Because this isn't about facebook. This isn't about deep things to tweet. And this isn't about you.
It's about Jesus.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

BBFF'S!

What does BBFF stand for you're wondering?

Bodacious Babes Fight Fair might be one meaning.

Barely Beefy Frozen Fajita's is also a possibility.

But no. Even though all those are awesome, BBFF stands for BEST BLOGGING FRIEND FOREVER! Yay! It's like I'm back in high school haha.

My BBFF is so awesome. Her name is Valerie and she blogs over at Ginger Spice and Everything Nice and it is more than nice. It's friggin awesome. I laugh almost every time I read what she writes.


Valerie is the first blogger I've ever met and by far one of the funniest. When she offered for me to guest post on her blog I could not refuse, (besides that, I got this awesome babe to post for me too ;) But that's next week... )


So pretty pretty please with a Cherry Garcia on top go read my guest post at Valerie's blog, leave a comment and then go read all her other stuff. She's hilarious and will not disappoint!

Shoo! Go! Click!
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