struggles || choose joy || song in my heart || being aunt bethany



if i truly believe that everything is worked together for good, like my God says, 
and i do, then what does that mean for the hard, confusing times in my life? 

i think it means that God is working. 
and that my life is not my own. 
and that when things aren't going my way i can choose selfishness or i can choose Joy. 

so i want to choose Joy. 

when i'm complaining that my life is hard or sucks at the moment,  i think what that really means is i'm not getting the way i wanted.  
and i always want my way. you know?
and then i get mad at God. 
like, who does he think he is, messing up my life. 
that isn't even mine... but his.. 

i don't know when we all started to bottle things up and not tell anyone 
and then feel sorry for ourselves like 
"no one knows what i'm going through"
that's just not true. 
you're not alone. 
life is hard. 
it's okay. 
don't be afraid to share.
and don't be ashamed that you're struggling. 

God has worked in my heart over the last 2 years faster and greater than any 
other years in my entire life. 
maybe it feels that way because i'm just finally listening and obeying. 
so change is happening rapidly. 

if you know me for 10 minutes you know at times i struggle with wanting to be a mom. 
i adore my husband, you also know that within 2 minutes of knowing me. 
and i desire to make him a papa. 
we have had names picked out for about 4 years now. 
how sweet is that?

so, as a woman, you know we experience ten million emotions an hour. 
well, at least i do. 
it's insane. 
it's not even cool. 

well, while really struggling a few years back, God showed up. 
he asked me to be brave and to give all of my desires to him. 
so i have. 

my heart is so full of peace of the Holy Spirit and it makes me want to dance for joy. 
if i could dance. 
you don't want to see me dance. 

i want to be a mother. 
i want to grow a baby. 
i want to parent with ethan. 
we want to adopt. 
we want to foster. 
we want all the kids. 


he knows this. 
now he asks me to be still. and know that he is my God. 
and he's got this. 
he's got my plan for my life. 

when i surrendered my  heart to Jesus, i gave up what i wanted. 
it's not about me. 
it's about being used by him. 
for his glory. 
it means that i love him more and want what he wants more than 
what i thought i wanted for my life.
which means i may never be a mom. 
or own a yellow house in maine. 
and that's okay. 

what this means for me right now is that i still go through confusing stages. 
i get pregnancy updates and i try not to judge. 
i stay up late at night watching videos on youtube about kids who aren't wanted. 
and bawl my eyes out that i can't drive to just get them in my house, now. 
i daydream of the photographs i'll take when my sleepy husband and baby nap together. 
i cry when i see kittens alone out on a dark night. 
really, kittens. 

but, i've stopped letting it be my idol. 
when i am struggling, i think about what i KNOW about my God. 
and stop feeling sorry for my current circumstances. 
God is not making me a parent right now a reason. 
he has work that he wants me to do. 
and i'm waisting my life and his kingdom work while i sit and wish my life was different. 

i've always wanted to own my own business. 
i've wanted to do, be, create businessy stuff. 
especially in the wedding industry. 
and now I AM. 
what!!?? 

and some days i cry because i don't want it. i want to stay at home, be off social media and just bake bread and be with my babies. 

it's funny when you get something you've dreamed of, then it's not enough because now you think, well i have this now so i only need that. and i'll be complete. 

it's not going to happen. 
because then you'll just need one more thing
until the end of time. 

but when Jesus fills the gaps of your life, you'll be full. 

it doesn't mean you won't struggle. 
it just means that through the struggle, you can have peace. 
and turn pain into joy and thankfulness. 

a couple days ago i was with two great friends. 
God has blessed me with these women. and i am just never going to let them go. 
they are real with me. 
they hear my problems and then they gently tell me to get over myself and point me back to Jesus. praise him for these truth telling hearts! 

so, we're planning IF and i am packing up my camera gear. 
as chelsea is packing up her baby.
we have about the same amount of "stuff" to carry. 

i watched her do what i wanted to be doing. 
and she watched me pack up what God is asking me to do.
we both know. God is directing. and it's all him timing. 

it was a bitter sweet moment. 

i stopped us in that moment and said though soft tears
 "you're doing what i wanted to be doing"

 it wasn't in a way that was bitter or angry. or mad that she has what i want. at all. 
it just was. 
and she knows. she knows my heart. 
and she's so gentle and honest and true. 

she's a mother. 
a gorgeous, brilliant, loving mother. 
and i'm so thankful this beautiful baby boy was given to her. 

chelsea's story and how baby damon came to be is so special. 
and my story, right now, without kids, is also special. 

it's so clearly God working in all our of lives. 
it's  as if i was stopped in that moment to be aware of God. 

as if i can see into the future and know the 
happenings nows are all a part of something wonderful.

my story has already been written. 
for me what hasn't happened yet is already accomplished to God. 
my life is this tiny bit of time. 
and i want to seek what he has planned for it.  

while throwing together things from danielle's house to make a beautiful IF team photograph, i felt the Spirit moving in me. 
he was in the breeze and blew through my heart as i created a scene on the pretty fall day. 

these friends encouraged me and watched me put random things together to create something lovely. they might not have the same style as me but they get that i just do what i do, and there's beauty in that.
they just say "what do you want. where do you want this. i'll help"
so i made orders and they carried them out and we photographed. 
bless. 

i don't know why i was created to take a mason jar, an old barrel, a cup of coffee and a blanket and make it into art. but i was. 
and while i woosh and whirl and work fast,  Christ is in my heart.

i find my worth in my Creator. 
and i get to be aunt bethany to my best friend's babe. 
how amazingly lovely is that?

babies bring me great joy. 
doing God's work brings me great joy. 
hearts in my coffee from my sweet girls at mad goat bring me joy. 
being ethan's wife is my greatest joy. 

photographing love is delightful and is just what i was made to do. 
my story may be a long one. this is only a tiny moment.
it's the sweetest, most delicious life. 
and i'm loving every bit of it.