To the Creeper We’ve All Encountered

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Dear Creepy Men Everywhere [Creepers],

I’ve had enough of you making me feel awkward just for existing as a female.

We met one of you at a baseball game on Saturday night. You picked up on my sister-in-law’s name and started saying, “Hey Bethany, do you know what the numbers on the scoreboard mean?” You started this conversation randomly, for we hadn’t even noticed you were sitting behind us. Your question wasn’t creepy, it was the fact that you referred to her by name, which you only knew from eavesdropping on our conversations.

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How to Get More Vitamin D

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Last November I went for a regular well check with my doctor and my blood work came back showing that everything looked great, except for that I was seriously lacking Vitamin D!

I had no idea why this was the case and what effect it was having on me. Honestly, I wasn’t really concerned but I did buy some Vitamin D3 vitamins at the store and tried to take them at night before bed.

Vitamin D supports: healthy bones and teeth, immune and nervous systems support, regulating insulin, and other health benefits like boosting mood and energy levels.

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Mary Kay Charcoal Mask Review

Mary Kay debuted their ClearProof Charcoal Mask in mid May of 2017 and by mid June, 1 million masks had already been sold? Why? Here are my thoughts on why:

The mask works! the mask uses charcoal to pull out impurities from your pores and remove excess oil. You can see this working because the mask will go on shiny and dark but dry and turn light gray/white as it absorbs oil! It’s fascinating and gross to watch! This is a deep cleanse that minimizes the appearance of pores. Activated charcoal binds to dirt and toxins to bring everything to the surface! Mary Kay also holds a patent for the use of navy bean, which brightens skin!

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My Favorite Podcasts

Y’all– since Serial dropped in the fall of 2015 I’ve been a podcast fanatic.

And the truth is, it goes back further than that… Before Serial, I listened to Car Talk on NPR on my car radio while I drove around for an entire hour drinking Starbucks coffee. Car Talk took me back to my Arthur watching days and I still find it hilarious.

There’s just something about the storytelling with the mixed media of voice overs, music, historic recordings, and voice actors that’s addicting.

I like crime podcasts mostly, which many of my friends find particularly creepy. But there’s some fascinating about people disappearing, criminal investigations, and judicial proceeding that gets me interested.

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Andell Inn and Kiawah Island, SC

In May of 2016, Joshua and I spent our honeymoon on Kiawah Island, SC! It was lovely and we had beautiful weather the entire time, despite a rainy forecast.

We stayed at the Andell Inn, which is a boutique hotel by Marriot. The hotel is gorgeous and great for couple or small families. It’s in the Freshfields Village area, right after the traffic circle that allows you to head to Seabrook Island or Kiawah Island.

Kiawah Island is notoriously known for being extremely private and exclusive. The island is best known, in my opinion, for the Sanctuary Hotel and Kiawah Island Golf Course that’s part of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. You must have a reservation to enter through the gates unless you’re biking. That’s a little bit too rich for our blood so we were just fine staying down the street.

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My Best Friend Doesn’t Know She’s Beautiful

  Let me tell you about my best friend: She’s absolutely hilarious. She has bright strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s the only person I know who understands my love public health and loves it too. She’s wicked smart. She the type of person you want to be on your team– fun and hardworking; she gets along with most everyone. She’s good with kids and with adults. She loves animals. She’s a safe driver. She’s a bad singer but that doesn’t stop her from belting out her favorite tunes. She likes sports and musicals. She’s pretty much up for trying anything. But she eats her food plain. She’s always willing to talk when I need her. She’s travelled the world but is still close with her childhood friends. We met on the first day of uni and we’ve been friends ever since. She takes my sass and deals out some her own too. She’s the best listener. We were once reprimanded in a college class for talking too much. She’s held me when I’ve cried and I know things about her that no one else knows. When we’re together, we’re better. We laugh louder, we smile bigger, we talk more, we give more.

And she doesn’t know she’s beautiful. This absolutely breaks my heart. I should have told her every day since we met. But even then, I don’t know if she would believe me.

We were hanging out on Monday, drinking hot chocolate, chatting non-stop, and doing a puzzle. Then matter-of-factly she asked, “do you think I don’t get dates because I’m not pretty?” I was stunned. I didn’t know what to say.

Why do girls feel like something is wrong with them if they don’t get asked out on a date? We live in a society where everything is first based on looks. This is especially true in college. We believe if we could just look better, we could be fulfilled. My best friend is beautiful. She shouldn’t change a thing. And yet, she thinks something is wrong with her and that she has to change for others to like her.

God made us in His image (Gen 1:27). We are the only creature in which this is true. He knows the hairs on our head and knitted each of us in our mother’s womb. This is exciting and why God seeks a relationship with us. He’s our Father. We were made by Him are loved by Him. And it’s so painful to know this is true and still feel like you don’t measure up.

But we were not made to measure up to man’s standards. We are called to love ourselves. I believe when we love ourselves, we can love others better, as we are also called to do.

God made the beautiful Carolina sunsets my best friend and I experience nightly. He made the roaring ocean and the soft sand. He made silly, playful dogs. He made the beautiful trees on our university campus, along with the beauty of all our other favorite places. And He made me and you and my best friend. He saw fit that in this world we exist with a purpose. We’re made beautiful in our own ways, yet still in His image.

When we accept this to be true and accept Christ as our Savior, we are made new. Our sins are washed away. Our identity is now found in Christ. We are no longer of this world in the way we once were, seeking approval from man.

And when you look in the mirror, it’s hard to remember all this and feel like it’s enough. You still don’t have a date; your thighs still feel too big; your dress size still feels too high; and your hair still seems to not being doing what you want. I want to encourage you to seek God in this moment. Ask for God to transform how you think about yourself. These negative thoughts are a waste of energy. Pray that you will become the woman God wants you to be; ask Him to redirect your thoughts. Ask for forgiveness for all this self-hate. Thank God for your health. Thank Him for the strength he gives you to do His works, through strong legs, helpful hands, a warm smile… And if you see fit, pray for your future husband and those you will encounter that you can encourage since going through this struggle. Ask God to prepare you for these people.

And never forget, you have me– your friend who loves you, who cherishes you and this friendship, and finds you beautiful in so many ways. I love you, best friend.

 

Happy Tuesday!

  
Started this morning early with AlyP at Starbucks before walking to our Public Health senior seminar! I can’t believe it’s our last semester. 

Today was finally cold enough to wear my Barbour jacket, although I wore it all the time in Glasgow in the summer!

Immanuel

I started this post around Christmastime but it’s just as relevant today as it was a few weeks ago. And by ‘started’ I mean I saved a draft with this title in the hopes of reflecting on it at a later time.

Immanuel means ‘God with us.’ God sent His Son to earth in the most humble of ways– as a helpless baby, so that He could become flesh.

Matthew 1: 22-23 says:

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

I love how reassuring it is to know that He is with us and not just when we’re praising Him at church during Christmastime. He’s with us no matter what– when we’re struggling to pay rent, and when we’re trying to stick to New Year’s resolutions, when we’re having a tough conversation with a friend, and when we have nowhere else to go, but He’s with us also when things are going really well– like when Costco is giving out cupcakes as a free sample, and when you’re best friend actually becomes your fiance. We’ve all been in scary moments, sad moments, and joyful moments and He’s there with us no matter what! Even when we feel alone, we’re not.

Reading this should be comforting, not frightening. God being with us is a good thing. He knows of our trials whether or not we come to Him in prayer. No matter how far we stray, He is still with us.

Today was my last first day of undergrad! My first class wasn’t until 5:30pm and I was almost late because my nails were still wet! #senioritis

I walked to Panera this morning/afternoon to have an early lunch with my friend L. It was so good to see her and catch up! She has the cutest new puppy! We also read the Bible together and what’s better than Jesus + bread bowls + long time friends? We’re old boarding school friends and our friendship has taken a turn where God has allowed me to be a spiritual mentor to her.

We read the story of Jesus and the woman at the well from John 4. We reflected on how sometimes we feel like the woman, an outcast, alone. And other times we feel like Jesus, able to share with others about ‘the Living Water.’

We admitted that it’s hard to share God’s love to someone that seems unlovable. Sometimes we need to admit that things are hard. That’s where grace is needed.

Then I came home and did some unglamourous laundry and watched Lie to Me while doing one of those adult coloring pages (which sounds dirty but isn’t!). But in the afternoon, I received an email that said the University owes me money now that I’ve dropped ballroom dance class (haha), which was a huge a blessing because textbooks are expensive! Thank you, Jesus!

Then I talked with my [sometimes] sweet sister Hannah on the phone and we discussed Ruth 1! She got a new Bible for Christmas. Although we were raised in a Christian home, Hannah has very little experience interacting with God’s word in the Bible. It was so GOOD to be in open discussion about the passage. We retold it to each other, keeping accuracy in mind, which is a practice that helps me be able to share passages with others.

Then I went to my only class of the day: The Life and Letters of Paul, which is totally different from the public health classes that I take for my major. I also finalized when the Bible study I’m leading will meet: Monday nights! It’s a ladies Bible study where each week we will focus on a different woman of the Bible.

I went to Zumba with my bestie, where we looked like fools but had fun doing it!

I really felt close to God today (because He wants to be close to us– Immanuel: ‘God with us’) and that this is the kind of life I want to be living: full of time spent in the Word, full of spiritual conversations with believers and nonbelievers, and lots of fellowship.


And just in case you thought I had my life together, let me share with you that I said a very bad word after this happened to my nails: See exhibit A. And I drove through Wendy’s drive-thru between class and the gym (oops) because well, life is messy– just like me eating a burger in my car in the gym parking lot. Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time, we get frustrated and stressed, and we forget things like snacks. Yet even in the mundane and messy, God is with us.

 Exhibit A