Do I have faith when the stuff hits the fan?

Last week I wrote about how God has provided in a BIG way to our family this year. That we have been saving toward something BIG, and that He has been so faithful to bring us extra work to cover the costs. I wish I could tell you more, but someday I’m going to have a big story to tell you. It’ll be worth the wait.

Well, a few days after I praised God for providing for us, our air conditioner bit the dust. On Father’s Day, while I waited for Mr. Right and Wrenn to return from a weekend at a relative’s ranch, the house started getting hotter and HOTTER. Texas summer heat is no joke, y’all. We called our trusty AC guy, who we had just paid $2,000 about a month before to fix our ailing unit… and he came out and declared our AC dead. As a door nail. Unfixable.

I cried. Like, ugly cried. And then we quickly threw a bunch of clothes in a bag and headed to my in-law’s house for an extended stay.

I wish I could tell you that my first response was, God’s got this. Not fear or worry or anxiety, just trust. But no, my first response was to ugly cry. And feel sorry for myself. (Not to mention I had dinner reservations to take Mr. Right out for an amazing Father’s Day dinner in Dallas… all the details arranged… and instead, we were hurriedly packing our things. In the heat.)

That was Sunday. On Monday, I woke up with my stomach in knots, and cried some more. Sweet Wrenn even prayed for me, that God “would help mommy feel better.” I took her in the car to run an errand, and in the car, while she slept soundly, God and I had a heart to heart. Here’s how it went:

Me, crying:

God, I’m so scared. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We have worked SO HARD to save money for {that thing}, and I know it’s your will. I KNOW IT. And now, we’ve got to spend all that money on an AC instead. Why? It’s not fair! We can’t afford it right now. That money has a NAME. What are we going to do???

Here’s what we’re going to do. God, I trust you. You are a good God. This didn’t surprise you. You knew all along our AC would break and we’d have to pay for it. I have to trust you. HELP ME TO TRUST YOU. I have to give you my fear. I don’t know what to do, so I am giving it to you. I trust you with this problem. I trust you to provide. I trust you to give us wisdom. Help me to FEEL that trust in my gut. I am laying this at your feet. I know you can handle it.

Y’all… God loves real, raw prayers. Don’t be afraid to tell Him you trust Him, but you are going to need Him to help you FEEL that trust. God can handle it.


Here’s what I know. My God isn’t just worth trusting when things are going smoothly. When everything is falling into place. When it’s easy. No… my God is worth trusting when the you-know-what hits the fan. When there is no good solution. When things hurt. REALLY HURT. That’s when I’m going to trust him too.

My friend is claiming Romans 4:20-21 as she walks through something hard. Really hard. She asked me to design a print for her, so she could continue to keep this promise in front of her. It turns out, I needed to dwell on this verse as well. This is mine, too. It can be yours, too. If you need to remember that God has the POWER to do what he had promised to Abraham, and to YOU, then please enjoy a free print. On me. Just download it here.

Let’s be people who cling to God’s promises when we’re being tossed around on the waves. When we feel like we’re drowning. When there’s no way out. When our feelings don’t match what we know to be true. When it’s really, really hard to trust God. When we’re holding on for dear life… He can handle it.

I love you, friends.

Be joyful in hope

About a week ago, during one of my many hormone-induced tearful meltdowns, Mr. Right kept asking me what was wrong, what I was upset about, and I couldn’t even verbalize it.

In our house, we call that fracturing from reality.

Does that mean I’ve officially punched my ticket to the crazy train? When you’re sobbing and you can’t even explain why you’re upset? How do you give words to that crazy cocktail of fear and nausea and exhaustion and frustration with not feeling like yourself for ten weeks in a row. And I think there may have been a discussion about childcare in there somewhere (which I can’t think about right now – it’s too hard).

And then, as Mr. Right did his best to talk me off of my cliff and bring me back to reality, he did that thing that drives me crazy in the moment (pitfalls of marrying a minister) but really gets me thinking later. My husband is incredibly wise.

He asked me to tell him one thing God has been teaching me through all this.

Which is totally the right question – how has He redeemed the past ten weeks of nausea and complications and sitting on my couch watching 13 seasons of Law & Order SVU while sipping on red Gatorade?

What made it worse was that I had no good answer. I don’t know. I can’t see it yet. After being so sick as a newlywed, I was able to look back and see so many things God taught me. But right now? Right now I just can’t see past right now.

It may take awhile to be able to answer that question. But in the meantime, I will choose to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.  And Baby Right, as tough as this is, you’re worth it.

Scripture print available here

In case you were wondering…

It took me 11 episodes of 30 Rock to piece my nephew Jack’s baby quilt on Saturday. That’s a new record! I’m bursting with excitement to show you and may not be able to wait until I’m able to get it in the hands of his sweet mama (my sister-in-law Michelle) before posting a sneak preview. I chose a design that I’ve had swimming around in my head for months, and I must say it turned out so cute I squealed, and then danced around while Mr. Right oohed and aaahed over it like a good husband of a quilter.  I may just make another one with some of the leftover fabric and stick it in my shop for a baby gift. You know, since I promised I’d never sell a quilt in there, and every good woman changes her mind.

I still have to quilt and bind it, but luckily I’m only on Season 2 Episode 12 of 30 Rock, so there’s plenty of time to finish it.

I got asked if I was pregnant on Friday. Again. Three times in one day. By one woman and two men. For the record, I’m not. And people should stop asking. And I am going to have to burn that shirt (along with this one and this one and this one), which I admit was a bit loose, but I bought it from the regular section of LOFT.
On Saturday I started tracking my calorie intake/outtake on the myfitnesspal app. I’m hoping the accountability of keeping a food journal will help me with item #2 on my list. I’m on Day 4, which practically makes me an expert. (Who’s taking bets that I’ve forgotten about this by Thursday?) PS–I’ve lost two pounds. It may have been water weight, but I’m celebrating nonetheless.
We watched the greatest movie this weekend – Capote. It’s rated R, but if you have a husband who will tell you when to close your eyes (an opening murder scene, and about two minutes toward the very end), it’s really more of a light PG-13. It’s now in my Top 10 list of favorite movies. (note to self – create list of my other top 9 favorite movies.)

Does anybody else LOVE LOVE Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition? Mr. Right and I want to adopt Chris Powell into our family.  We love positive people, and we hear he’s a fan of CrossFit like us. 

My favorite restaurant in all of DFW is closing in a few weeks. To be replaced with a TACO SHOP. As if Texas doesn’t have enough Mexican food restaurants already. I’m not sure who was more sad, Mr. Right and I when we found out on our date Friday night, or the manager who knows us because we go so much (and send all of our friends there). Rest in peace, Cowboy Chow in Roanoke. I will miss your watermelon tea and fry bread dipped in honey and black bean mash. 
My prayer right now is Psalm 107:7 – “He led them by a straight way…” Life seems to be swirling all around us lately, with our own plans turned upside down and many of our closest loved ones going through some pretty big trials. 
“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping, your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.’” Psalm 94:18-19

I am so glad you follow my little blog. Bless you!

Choosing lovely thoughts over anxiety

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Lord, help me to rejoice in you – fill me to overflowing with joy that can come only from you. Help me to be joyful and celebrate you every day, no matter if I’m suffering or having the greatest day ever.

Let your gentleness be evident to all.

Lord, I’m good at being gentle with folks I like. Help me to have a gentle spirit on those bad days, around difficult people, when I let my guard down. Help my speech to reflect your gentle nature.

The Lord is near.

Thank you, Lord, for always being near. Even when it feels like I’m alone. Help me to cling to that truth – you ARE near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God.

Lord, this goes against my very nature. Sometimes I drown in anxiety and worry over very big things… and very small things. Help me to take captive every thought and filter it through the promises you’ve given me in scripture. That you are near… that you will never leave me nor forsake me. That you are in control. Please quiet my anxieties and insecurities and replace them with a thankful heart. Help me to remember to pray as soon as I get anxious. And help me to remember to choose joy.

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

Lord, thank you for promising to replace my anxieties with your peace. The kind of peace that goes beyond my own understanding. Please guard my heart and my mind. Please reign down peace on me and my family.

Finally, (Bethe), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Lord – when I’m feeling anxious, please help me to replace those fears with thoughts of true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things. Thinking on lovely, true things… what a productive way to occupy my mind, which never seems to slow down. Help me to be disciplined in this.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

What a wonderful promise! Lord – I want your peace. I have tasted it, and I want it every day. What a lovely way to live.

(These are the verses I’ve been meditating on – Philippians 4:4-9, NIV)

Insert popular 90s dance moves *here*

My man is headed home! He’s got almost two full days of travel… he hops on one of his two big international flights in two hours, and I get to see him TOMORROW! I’m so excited it’s all I can do not to do some silly 90s “whoop there it is” dance move to the Vanilla Ice soundtrack that’s playing in my head. Maybe I’ll burn some energy by doing the running man when I get home.

Thanks again for praying… we are so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who are such faithful prayer warriors. I can’t wait to hear all of the stories about the big things God did in India. Unfortunately communication was terrible in the last city they were in, so even when we spoke on the phone it was so garbled that I only understood about half of it, and email wasn’t even an option. I look forward to hearing more over the coming week. And I look forward to hugging Mr. Right’s neck.

What have I learned while he’s gone? To give up control. I decided the very first day that I have zero control over anything that happens on the other side of the planet, so I might as well not waste my precious time worrying.

My man visited a leper/HIV/TB colony.
My man flew in an airplane after his pilot and grounds crew got in a big fight over whether or not the plane was flyable. 
My man drove out to villages so remote they’ve never seen a white man before.
And the worst one – I never knew when I’d hear from him next. 

How would worrying have changed any of those situations?

Instead, I tried to blanket the team in prayer and then move on. Most days it worked well… occasionally I had a pity party, but that was more out of missing my man than worrying about him. My God, in all his sweetness, chose to give me supernatural peace in place of panic.

If only I could apply the same idea to life here. Control is just an illusion. I don’t have any more control over things in Fort Worth than I do in India, and yet I worry so needlessly over so many things here at home. I’m going to pray that God will continue to refine me to the point where I can blanket things in prayer, and then move on. Worrying causes way too much stress… and wrinkles. Why bother?