Friday, August 16, 2019

TGIF | Love and Kindness

Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


I am trusting in my voice.
I am trusting in what I contribute by using my voice.
I am trusting that there is a seat for me at the table.
I am trusting in belonging.
I am trusting in God -- that He created me to be uniquely me, Simply Beth. He does not want me to be like all the other women I can compare myself to and believe have more to contribute at the table...or to this writing world...or to the world as a whole.

"The world needs who you were made to be. Be you!" - Joanna Gains

Most of all, I am trusting in choosing love and kindness. I am trusting that making the choice to choose love and kindness, in the midst of this very divided world, has the ability to change the world. I am trusting in seeing the people God puts in my path, first and foremost as one who is also created by our amazing and holy God. To see beyond evil and see the person.

This friends, is not hiding behind my faith -- it's living out the truth of the Gospel. Standing firm in His truth.

For I know... "we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

Because Agape love is not conditional. Agape love, the love of God, is unconditional.

May I seek to love unconditionally no matter our differences; no matter how the words or actions of another may hurt me. This does not mean I tolerate evil. It means I stand firm in the knowledge that when we shine His light in the darkness, darkness will not overcome it (John 1:5).


I am grateful to God for giving me a glimpse of what it looks like when I trust in all these things.

I am grateful to those who have patiently listened as I fumble through words to say what I want to say. The thoughts twirling around in my head that seem so eloquent as they twirl, never sound as eloquent as I speak or write them.

I am grateful to those who have welcomed me to the table.
I am grateful to those who have said, "you belong here."
I am grateful to those who ask for nothing more than for me to be who God created me to be.

I am grateful for those in my life who continually choose love and kindness. For those who have shown me what loving as He has loved us truly looks like.


I said this in my last TGIF post, but it remain so true for me -- I am inspired to live fully and abundantly in the love of Christ. And I am inspired to extend His love and kindness to others.

I am inspired to live wholeheartedly.

"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough." - Brené Brown


Last Sunday we went to the Wisconsin State Fair with our son and his family. So of course I need to share the cuteness of our sweet Emily.

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.

First three photos from

Friday, August 2, 2019

TGIF | Blessings

Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


I am trusting my worthiness of God's love and blessings. Not because my worthiness is deserving or earned by anything I have done, but rather my worthiness is found in seeing and savoring the One of infinite worth" (John Piper).

The truth is, on my own I am not worthy. Yet God payed the penalty for my sins through the blood of His own Son, now making me worthy. His love and blessings are not because of my worthiness but because Jesus made the way for me (for us) to receive His love and every promise.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)

We do not earn God's love and blessings -- it's what we have access to when we put our faith and trust in Him -- when we live a life in Christ. Knowing Him and having a relationship with Him is my (is our) greatest blessing.

**I am trusting I expressed myself rightly above. I do know His truth-- I just wrestle with the doubt of whether or not I shared His truth accurately.


I am grateful for the family and friendships He has blessed me with. I am grateful for a day of celebrating the parents-to-be of our second granddaughter, Skylar GraceAnne, with my family and friends who are dearest to me.



I am inspired to live fully and abundantly in the love of Christ.

"A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance." - John 10:10 (HCSB)


It was a fun week of celebrating turning 50!

I had no qualms about turning 50 -- for me it was a time of reflecting on and rejoicing in God's faithfulness in my life for 50 years. Even though for 40 of those years I did not have a relationship with Him. Those 40 years He was chasing after me, drawing me to Himself. It's a love worth celebrating!

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Reckless Love, Cory Asbury

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.


Friday, July 26, 2019

TGIF | Saving Grace

Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


Depression hit me hard when I returned home from Europe last summer after the trip of the lifetime to visit hubs while he was stationed in Germany for nine months. Experiencing Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Prague, Hallstatt, Vienna, Bratislava, Salzburg and Heidelberg together was beyond what I dreamed it would be.

Those nine days in Europe came after six months of doing life apart (except for his quick trip home to meet his granddaughter). This was his third deployment overseas in five years. And while technically the easiest of the three deployments in terms of location, for me it was the hardest emotionally.

Once home from Europe the physical exhaustion of a tremendous amount of walking turned into emotional exhaustion. There was much to celebrate, but there were days when the tears were unstoppable, the loneliness unbearable.

He came home in October and his homecoming was sweet -- he surprised me by showing up a day earlier than I expected.

But the reintegration to doing life together had it's ups and downs. It took longer than the first two deployments to fall into a rhythm with one another. The stories of his time away were harder to hear. When he had to put on his uniform again I realized what it began to symbolize for me, still my hero for his willingness to serve his county but more so my hero who continually has to leave to serve his country.

In April of this year he departed for Virginia to complete a requirement for advancement -- Advanced Leaders Course (ALC). The course was a month long. Apart once again, along with other hard emotional life events, brought me to fragile place. The enemy was attacking and I was letting him win, big time.

Here is where I finally get to what I trusted and what I continue to trust.

God: I have reached to wherever you are in the farthest corners of earth, and the most hidden places therein. I have called to you and said, "You are my servant. I have chosen you, not thrown you away!" So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, help you. I am here with My right hand to make right and to hold you up. - Isaiah 41:9-10 (Voice)

"God wanted me to believe what I could not see. To trust His words and His provision, and to trust that what wasn't from Him would fall away. To believe that what was from Him would stay and plant in me, and something would grow." - Annie Downs, Remember God

Sisters in Christ: "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

These dear Sisters-in-Christ would not let me drift away. They prayed for me. They spoke truth to me of my true identify in Christ. They reminded me of God's faithfulness and called out where they had seen His faithfulness in my own life. They helped me to see I did not need to start all over with God (I had begun to question if the Holy Spirit was truly living inside of me), but instead allow Him to build upon the work He had already done in me and promised to bring to completion (Philippians 1:6).

I trust and am confident that God will do more than I can ask or imagine in this journey of healing. He already is.


Always, always, always, I am grateful for a God who never leaves us or forsakes us. The Lord our God will always be at our side, and He will never abandon us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

And I am grateful for those dear Sisters-in-Christ. I am grateful for Barb, Joanne, Laurene, Michele, Mindy, Sue and Susan. Thank you, beautiful women of God, for your faithful friendships and for leading me in the path of victory. Thank you for your friendship that "goes deeper and rivers that runs deeper and stronger" (Priscilla Shirer). For your friendship that makes sure I am camping out in the right place. Thank for declaring over me when I felt unable to do so, "Not today, Satan. Not today!" Thank you for standing and walking with me. Thank you for helping me to be the person God has called me to be.


Friends, I am simply inspired to get well. To be healthy. I am inspired to not go back to where I have no business going. Not today, Satan. Not today!!

Much of the gratitude portion of this post was inspired after watching and listening to a sermon by Priscilla Shirer on our Identity in Christ. It's worth the time, I promise. Watch here.


We did not have time with our sweet Emily this past week but our son and his wife always send pictures. This little girl is full of smiles and fun simply comes with her whether in person or via a photo.

Oh...we have a baby shower tonight for our granddaughter-to-be, Skylar GraceAnn, which means our eldest son and his wife are in town for a few days. Fun times ahead!

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.


Friday, July 19, 2019

TGIF | Celebrate

Friends, I want to first tell you that it has been a week of victories. Praise God! Last week was hard! It had been three months since I have cried like I did last Thursday during my session with Rachel, my therapist. The emotions, anxiety and negative thoughts were high. Oh so high!!

I see more clearly the impact lack of sleep has on my mood and thoughts. Last week was an awful week of not sleeping well. Poor sleep falls more on the common side for me but it's an issue we (my psychologist and I) are trying to address.

This week I have slept much better. Praise God!
I have felt much better. Praise God!
I have pushed through negative thoughts quicker. Praise God!
I have shown up and been vulnerable more often. Praise God!

TGIF: Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


I fear crossing the too much information line here. As Brené Brown writes in her book Daring Greatly, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

But as Brené also writes, we can also “share too much information as a way to protect us from vulnerability.” I am processing this thought and see some truth as I realize all I have written so far is an attempt to protect myself in being vulnerable with you.

What I fear most is how what I want to share with you will be perceived. Too much information? Shameful? And maybe someone will perceive it that way. Yet here is what I am trusting...

The real victory I desire to share with you is worthy of celebrating -- not shameful.The eating disorder I have had a relationship with for over 20 years is not shameful. It's only a relationship that needs to end.

My Victory:
the follow up to And...” I have not purged in six weeks. Praise God! 

This is huge for me and I would really, really, really, appreciate if you would celebrate with me.

Have I gone this long before? Yes. Why do I so badly want to celebrate this time? Healing is a journey, a messy journey. It often involves steps forward, steps backwards, and steps forward again. But the real reason I ask you to celebrate with me is because something is different this time. I can't explain it (other than to point to God)--I simply feel it. I am truly on a journey of healing. I need to celebrate the progress.

God is moving in miraculous ways. Praise God!


I am grateful for my husband. Sure I told you this in a previous post but the gratitude overflows. The ways he shows up for me and loves me...I am blessed, and grateful.

Today I celebrate Scott. I celebrate the ways he loves and supports me through the good and the bad (just as we vowed to do). I celebrate how God has shown up in our lives and our marriage to transform us to the people and couple we are today. It is only by the grace of God we celebrate 29 years of marriage in October. Only God! But God!!! Friends, our God can and will do more than you can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).


Are you familiar with Java with Juli or Juli Slattery? I have listened to many of her podcasts. However, the past few months I have been on a Brené Brown and Priscilla Shirer kick so it's been a while since I have tuned in. When I looked at her recent podcast titles, one came up with the title, “Winning the Battle in Your Mind.

Well yes, the title resonated just a little. 

I could attempt to summarize the podcast but instead I prefer to simply encourage you to give up the 45.48 minutes of your time to listen in as Juli talks with Kelly Balarie. Listen here.

God continually uses others to inspire me to go deeper in my relationship with Him and to make the choice to truly, truly take Him at His word - I am beautiful, victorious, enough, created, strong, amazing, capable, chosen, never alone and always loved. 

And I am inspired to purchase Kelly's book Battle Ready.

And I am celebrating a week of progress in winning the battle in my own mind!


While this celebration happened a few weeks ago, I now have pictures from Emily's first birthday party (thanks to my lovely sister) so I am sharing with you the fun of celebrating this sweet little girl who is growing up so quickly.

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.

Note: Early images are from Unsplash

Friday, July 12, 2019

TGIF | Fully Persuaded

TGIF – Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


I tend to get stuck here, especially if I am having a week like the one I have had this past week. I fight the urge to give up on this whole writing thing because it simply feels too hard.

I shared in last week's TGIF post an inspiration to start a God Box. There is not a box yet, but until there is a box, the notes app on my phone is where I leave all the things that attempt to take up space in my mind and instead surrender them to God. At least I really try to surrender them to Him.

What I need to trust is that the anxiousness of my mind, the constant racing of thoughts (more often negative than positive) will begin to slow. The grounding exercises I'm practicing will become the natural response to the racing thoughts. The medication will make a difference. This is not the way it always will be. I will taste victory this side of heaven

"Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." - Romans 4:20-21

And I will give glory to God even if the struggle remains because my love and devotion is to Him, not the promise.

Oh God, let it be so.


I am grateful for sisters who show up to help with the food portion of my daughter-in-law's baby shower (versus my catered food plan), regardless of how I have failed to show up for them in so many ways.

I am grateful for friendships made throughout the journey of writing in this space and for those friends who continue to show up to cheer me on, regardless of how I have failed to do the same for them.

My natural response is to feel unworthy of love and support from others -- unworthy of connection -- unworthy of that relationship. I see all my failures. I look inward instead of outward. There is profound gratitude for how therapy, and the work of the Holy Spirit, is renewing my mind to see things more rightly. To receive the gift of help from others. To rest in gratitude for their strengths instead of resting in my weaknesses.


For some reason this one feels harder this week. But I know my tendency is to over think a thought -- to question the rightfulness of a thought. Or maybe what I am questioning is how I will be perceived by others if I actually share that particular thought. Is it questioning or fear?

If I stop overthinking this, the truth is I am inspired to keep taking another step forward. I am inspired to continue the journey of healing even though staying sick feels normal and comfortable -- it's what I know. Twenty-five years of a relationship with an eating disorder is hard to walk away from. But I am inspired to walk away. I am inspired to believe who He created me to be is special and unique. I am not a mistake. He made me on purpose for a purpose.

I am inspired to take God at His word... I am beautiful, victorious, enough, created, strong, amazing, capable, chosen, never alone and always loved. You are all these things too!


Last weekend we babysat our sweet Emily all day Saturday and through the night. On Sunday morning, after she woke and had her morning banana, I turned on Jesus kid's music, held her close and danced around our kitchen with her. Oh what fun! She never fails to make all things better. Being her grandma truly is the bestest!

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.


Friday, July 5, 2019

TGIF | God Box

Can I be honest in telling you writing this post comes with quite a bit of anxiety? I wrote and shared a TGIF post last week and I can count on two hands how many views it had. I know it should not be about the numbers and those number DO NOT define my self-worth, yet it still left me discouraged and questioning what I’m doing. I also accidentally deleted the first TGIF post I wrote in the midst my “I’m not enough” rant (to myself that is). Oops, and oh well.

I am committed more than ever before to walk this journey towards healing. And writing again has helped, so I will push through the doubts and insecurities and trust He has purpose in bringing me back to this space.

TGIF – Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


The trust topic with Rachel, my therapist, this week past was to trust that it’s okay to feel disappointed, but I don’t need to take ownership of that disappointment. Meaning—not every disappointment is a result of me failing in some way. To feel disappointed does not mean I am a disappointment.

Image Source: Scripture Pictures, by Naphy Joiner


I have experienced overwhelming gratitude for my husband these past few weeks. Let me just say—he loves me so well! He is my hero, not only for his commitment to service our country, but for his commitment to be there for me and to love me no matter what. I have to believe that loving someone through 20+ years of struggling with an eating disorder is super hard.

Happy Independence Day!


As I talked about disappointments with Rachel, I was reminded of a creative idea I read about in Anne Lamott’s book, HELP, THANKS, WOW. She writes about starting a God Box to let go of those things that are weighing you down by surrendering them to God. It’s the practice of literally writing down on a piece of paper what you are wrestling with and then placing that paper in the God Box – releasing it to God.

To say to God, “It’s yours, I’m done.

Image Source: Scripture Pictures

Rachel carried this a step further and suggested I start a journal to keep a record of my victories. She is quick to make sure I see them and celebrate them. I see a long road ahead of me in this journey to healing, but I have also made significant progress from where I was several months ago. There have been many victories.

Whatever I walk through
Wherever I am
Your Name can move mountains
Wherever I stand
-Highlands, by Hillsong UNITED

Friends, His name CAN move mountains! He is moving mountains I had begun to believe were unmovable.

I am inspired to create the God Box and to record my victories. And I am inspired to celebrate those victories!

“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” - Deuteronomy 20:4


I have a hunch this portion of TGIF will often (quite likely always) involve a memory of fun had with our sweet granddaughter (and granddaughter to come). I simply can’t get enough of her. My son does not need to ask me twice to babysit, and it even requires a two-hour drive to get to them. While I hate the drive, I will not say no to time together.

She's the cutest!

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.

Friday, June 28, 2019

TGIF | The Healing Journey

TGIF - Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Fridays


Trust has been a hard one for me the past two weeks. It's always about learning to trust God more and I need to trust Him more in the rising strong process. In Brené Brown's book, Rising Strong, she provides a three-step Rising Strong Process:

  • The Reckoning: walking into our story (identify/engage with emotions)
  • The Rumble: owning our story (the story I'm making up)
  • The Revolution: writing a new ending 

I'm doing a lot of "reckoning" with my emotions instead of going with the previous behavior of suppressing them and hoping they go away, but over time I have allowed them to define me. And this reckoning process is not fun. The "rumble" is not fun either. Most of the time I see how I'm leaning on my own understanding and interpretation of events (my interpretation being not one hundred percent accurate). The actual rumble to investigate what's really happening, which typically requires engagement with the other person(s) involved in the story, I'm not doing so much. The rumble is essential to get to the revolution step.

The diagnosis report from when I first began seeking out a therapist includes: depression, anxiety disorder, eating disorder and relationship problems.

I'm learning how true the relationship problems are (the diagnosis first took me by surprise, and it hurt) because I disengage and self-protect instead of trusting God by showing up vulnerable and human in my relationships. I see the greatness of the disengagement behavior and the impact. A term I identify with is UNTETHERED.

As my therapist, Rachel, has said, it took many moments to bring me here and it will likely take many moments of choosing to show up vulnerable before I experience the healing I seek. Often, we want healing to be an event, and God is able to do that, but more often than not He has purpose in the journey to healing.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Scripture Pictures - Artist: Nina Jensen


I'm grateful for time away with our family. We spent a lovely (not perfect but all together lovely) week in Estes Park, Colorado with our boys and their wives, and our sweet little granddaughter. Colorado is one of our most favorite places. A journey to the mountains feels like I've journeyed closer to God--His presence more greatly experienced.

"I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." Psalm 9:1


I pulled out my NIKON camera for our Colorado trip, which was first purchased in 2008 prior to going to Colorado with our two boys (they were much younger obviously).

Same Camera, Same Rock, a little less sunny

Basically, the camera is much older now. The camera appears to work the same as it did way back then, and as I'm capturing moments inspiration grows to take up photography again. But then... I return home and upload the photos to my home computer and the inspiration fizzles out. Not good enough.

Seriously, when will this stop?!?! I do this with everything.

Writing - not good enough
Photography - not good enough
Ministry - not good enough
Work - not good enough
And the list goes on.

I watched a YouTube video of Priscilla Shirer delivering a sermon from Exodus 14. She tells a story of her intern not following instructions her husband sent in a text when traveling out of Dallas Fort Worth airport together. The intern got delayed at the security check point so Priscilla's husband sent her a text telling her what gate to meet them at. The intern read the text but assumed he meant something different from what he wrote and headed to a whole different terminal. When the intern finally caught up with them on the plane seconds before it was to depart and explained what happened, Priscilla's husband said to her, “You know, you could’ve saved yourself so much trouble if you had simply believed that what I wrote is what I meant.”

If only I truly believed that what God wrote about me in the Bible was truly what He meant... to see myself as He sees me. Oh, the headaches and sleepless nights it would likely save.

"Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you." Isaiah 43:4

The thing is, I never allow myself to rest in what I know are lies from the enemy. I am not passive here. I actively seek God through His Word, I listen as He speaks truth my heart needs to hear, and I continually see Him move in my life in miraculous ways.

Inspiration, and strength, to take another step forward in the journey to healing comes from Him and through Him. He uses godly women to inspire me. And this writing again...He's using truth telling about the struggle to do work in me beyond what you'll see here in this space.

Inspirational Truth: "I'm not fighting for victory, but from victory. And this changes everything."


Time with our sweet granddaughter, Emily, always equates to FUN times. She really does make everything better. We love her so much!!

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.