Hey there neighbors! If you haven’t read part 1 of Beth’s interview, you can find it here! Thanks for joining us on The Front Porch today! Happy reading!
What does ministry both on and off the stage look like for you right now (as an artist, a wife and mother, and a friend)?
Well, it is predominately off-stage in this season of being a stay-at-home mom. But I would say more ministry happens now than ever! I fight for the perspective that my time with my daughters, and my role as Shane’s wife, ARE my main areas of ministry. I know that’s a struggle for every woman in those roles! We want the instant gratification and the “officialness” of doing something outside of the home. Totally get it. So my prayer is often for [Christ] to give me eyes to see it the way He does.
Shane and I really try to have Bible time with the girls every night before bed. And then, in the fashion of Deuteronomy 6:7-9, I do my best to talk about the Lord and His ways throughout the day. I’ve been discipled in this as I’ve watched friends walk this out in really creative and easy ways with their children! As arguments arise, or “random” questions, or even a show they’re watching that parallels a Gospel truth — choosing to take the extra five minutes to lay some foundational truths down in their hearts.
As far as ministry to my husband, I’d say I am constantly warring my critical spirit! James 3 continues to be a warning to me in that area. My deepest desire is to be Shane’s main encourager, affirmer, and safest place. This is also within the realm of my words, but man, do I have to go to war with my tendency to complain to him! Those are some of the biggest ways I am wanting to grow as a servant to my husband, along with just loving him well and cooking him good food (because I love to cook, and we both love to eat!).
Here at TFP we are big on a few things; community, unity and worship. So I would love to get your perspective on these subjects. —
Community: I went a long time – TOO long- without this. I am naturally introverted, and being in public ministry and traveling for almost a decade only intensified that. Because of that, I felt licensed and entitled to kind of keep to myself and only reach out to people who were easy to spend time with. I had no idea what I was missing out on!! Proverbs 18:1 says, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” That continues to challenge me to this day, because even though it sounds good to me when I say “Oh, I’m in such a busy season… We don’t have any free nights… I have plenty of friends already… I don’t really need community like other people do who are struggling…” I know in my gut that I really just don’t want to do the hard work of being known and knowing others in a way that helps us run our races better. So, don’t neglect it! Even when it isn’t ideal or exactly what you have in mind, embrace whatever He gives as a provision of His grace and kindness towards you AND them.
Unity: Well, I don’t think true unity can happen without the commitment and investment of time in community, and also not without the practice of consistent confession. I love James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” There is a crazy thing that starts to take place between brothers and sisters in Christ when we walk in the light with one another and are committed to confessing our sins to one another in order to have accountability — it unifies us! It heals us! It shows us how unoriginal our sin struggles are and how Jesus really is big enough to take it on!
Worship: I could ramble quite a while on this one. Worship definitely doesn’t only mean singing, but I think we also brush over that one a little too quickly at times. We are told in Scripture to sing to Him (Psalm 96, Ephesians 5:19) – and it really does edify our souls to do that! If our relating to and pouring out towards God consists only of heady thoughts and words, devoid of emotion or calling our own souls towards hoping in Him and delighting in what He’s done, then we are missing out big time. He created us as beings who are moved by art, by singing, by all the dynamics and parallels and feelings stirred up therein. Worship is the exaltation of Jesus above every other thing, the realigning of our hearts and minds to the Truth, and the response to Jesus’ invitation to rest in Him (Matthew 11:28).
You’re so right… worship is much deeper than merely singing a song or attending church. What does a daily worship lifestyle look like for you as a wife, mom, worship leader and all the other things going on in your life?
To stay with that theme of worship being the lifting up Jesus above every other thing, I’d say a life of worship for me looks like getting enough sleep so I can [physically worship], getting up early to spend time in the Word and prayer, not making prayer only a block of time at the beginning of my day, loving and serving my husband and children well, loving the lost around me and seeking to enter into their lives for the sake of the Gospel, committing and submitting to Biblical community, and also taking care of my physical body by eating healthy and regular exercise.
What does community mean for you?
I love the way our former church put community: “being 100% known”. Now, that is a scary reality! We all wonder, and fear deep down, that when someone knows the nitty gritty of who we really are, they’ll tuck tail and run. That we are just setting ourselves up for rejection. And the hard truth is, sometimes that does happen – even within the church! But I would say, on the whole, if you are asking Him for a couple of trusted, godly friends, or another married couple or two to meet up with consistently, that you will find such a safe place there. Community, when it’s walking out the “one another’s” of Scripture, provides good guard rails in the life of a believer. You want to have people who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth. Who pray for you and with you. Who point you to Jesus regularly. Who don’t try and fill the space that only He can fill, but desire to serve you, as well as give you opportunities to serve them! “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
As I began to see my tendency and pattern of isolation, I then started to pursue friendships with other women that fit that bill: truth telling, loving Jesus, pursuing spiritual disciplines, willing to meet regularly to pray, studying the word, and confessing sin. It definitely took some time to establish those relationships, and it took intentionality–it doesn’t just magically appear, sadly!–but God has so generously provided in many different seasons for Shane and I both in that way, as we have asked Him and sought it out.
Women encouraging other women and building each other up is absolutely central to TFP. What is one thing you would like to say to our readers?
I’d say I agree with you! 🙂 Having intentional, Biblical community and meetings with other women who love Jesus is super fruitful! It gives you plenty of opportunity to die to prejudice, comparison, jealousy, pride, selfishness, and vanity! And on the other side of it, it provides perspective, encouragement, opportunities to teach and disciple as well as being taught and discipled yourself…. The list goes on!
Finally, how can we be praying for you in this season?
Pray that I would love Jesus more and more. That time with Him, in His Word, and following His lead in my life would increasingly be my joy.
It’s time for TFP’s Totally Unnecessary but Always Intriguing Lightning Round:
Other than your phone and keys, what are three (3) things always in your purse?
EPI pen for my four-year-old, chapstic, my glasses for reading and driving (should wear them all the time!)
Favorite Book at the moment?
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (heard Tim Keller do a sermon around this book in tandem with Romans 7 and it is STILL blowing my mind)
How tall are you?
Somewhere in the 5’5”-6” range
Must have fashion accessory?
Rubber band for a pony tail!
Can’t-live-without skincare/makeup item?
Avocado. Errrry day.
Your order at a coffee shop?
Either a medium coffee with milk and sugar in the raw, or steamed soy milk with jasmine tea
You have a husband-and-kid-free evening… What are you doing?
Tidying the house while listening to a podcast, watching Netflix, making homemade popcorn. Maybe just sitting and enjoying the quiet for a little while too (and then falling asleep…)!
If you were a nail polish color, what would you be?
My friends all comment frequently about how laid-back and understated I am… I’d have to say taupe. But maybe with a little shine or sparkle? Not entirely boring 😉
Item on your bucket list?
Trip to Italy with my hubs. Road trip vacation on the west coast with our kiddos. I’d have to say though that Randy Alcorn’s take on “bucket lists vs. eternity” has changed my perspective quite a bit on these things!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Italy or New Zealand.
We’re always looking for something new to share with our readers. What’s something (a book, song/artist, podcast) that is inspiring or encouraging you right now?
Artist/album – Laura Hackett Park’s “Love Will Have Its Day” is one of my favorite albums in a while!
Bethany, thank you so much for sharing so much of your heart with us here at The Front Porch! And to all our TFP neighbors, thanks for reading today’s interview – make sure to pick up Beth’s new album here! If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #tfptalk!