Beck Wattier

The Next Twenty Days: #2- In My Dreams


I can push you out of my thoughts when I choose to,

I’ve gained strength in this way

But in my dreams you creep back, every time

When I start to rest,

Subconscious taking over,

There you are,

When I’m unprotected, defenseless,

Bound in sleep, you conquer me there

Say all the things I fear to hear

Take stabs at the fleshiest parts of my heart

I weep,

I am powerless

At times I can’t breath

You chase me, pull me close

In my thoughts I can push you out

In my dreams I cannot turn away

I can’t get away from you here


You walked out of my life

When will you leave my dreams?

The Next Twenty Days: #1- Missing Words and Blurry Lines


I have had a lot on my mind for quite some time. So much so that putting any of it to words seems overwhelming. But if it doesn’t go out it stays in. How much can be held within, and for how long? At times lately I become more aware of the pressure. All of a sudden it hits me, and I feel a burning inside of my chest. It’s like this big ball of jumbled things is on fire and it’s about to come out, but it’s going to come out after it bursts thru my heart and cracks my ribs and tears my skin.

I’m growing a lot lately. It hurts, and it’s good. I can’t put words to it all yet and maybe I will never find them, but I have a hunch I will. One day. Looking back. I can feel it now. I can see it in some ways even. Though the lines are still blurry and distorted, I can tell they are there. There is a picture that is being formed. I can’t tell what it will look like but I can tell that it exists. I find hope.

I have to write an email today. I’ve been putting it off. I know what needs to be said but I don’t know what words must be written. Or how many. I feel ill-equipped. And just plain ill. Words change meaning depending on who uses them. If you don’t know the speaker, will you ever really understand the message?

I haven’t found the answers. I don’t have all the words. But the words will come. Some I will find, and some will find me. They always do.

What I’m Reading: Do More Better

Going into this year, as I was thinking through my goals and the things I would like to do differently, I was hit with my need to be better organized. I tried to take some time and review my systems, or the places where I needed to establish systems of some kind, not just to do MORE or to be MORE efficient, but to do BETTER. Like many of you (I’m assuming) I find myself often not only with a to-do list that is overcrowded, but with many to-do lists that are overcrowded and spread out all over the place. I find that because all the information about all the obligations and responsibilities and all of the things is floating around in there somewhere, I spend more energy worrying that I’m forgetting something than I spend on taking care of the things I need to do. Not to mention I am a creative person, and I can’t tell you how many ideas or have thought out projects go in and out of my head before I can devote any real time to them.
All of this contributes to my putting Do More Better on my reading list for this year. I love how the book starts out with laying a groundwork theology of work. Why do we work? Why does our work matter? Why should we strive to steward our time better? It was a refreshing and helpful reminder that organization and having helpful systems put in place really does come back to a stewardship issue. We are commissioned to do good work, and anything that enables us to carry that out in a healthy and fruitful way is an opportunity for us to give glory and honor to our God.
Moving on from there, there were a couple of chapters I found particularly clarifying that addressed putting your personal mission to words and defining your personal responsibilities. Having these down on paper is so helpful in knowing how to prioritize your time and energy, what to say no to, and what new things to pursue.
Throughout the rest of the book, Challies walks us through his personal systems. He narrows it down to three tools: a task management tool, a scheduling tool, and an information tool. He shares personal recommendations for each of these (all accessible online) and walks you through how to set them up and get the most out of them. Everything is free and very simple to set up and get going.  I had previously used some of these things but he shared in-depth about how to use them better, and how to set all three up so that they work together for you.
I found this book helpful in many ways but I probably wont be using the system he outlines fully. Some of it just is not practical for me, or I have found other ways to stay on top of those certain things. There are parts that I skimmed because it got really detailed and I wanted to get the general idea before I committed to following all the steps. The things that I didn’t find useful I believe are most due to the fact that I’m not in the place where I need to have such a structured system. However, as I am hoping to press into some new projects and new work opportunities in the near future, I can see how I may return and pick up the things laid out here. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and tasks even if you don’t end up picking up and following the systems and tools for yourself because the chapters at the beginning and end are a good overview and encouragement towards doing more better.

What I’m Reading: Spurgeon’s Sorrows

     Spurgeon’s Sorrows is a helpful look at depression through the eyes of one of the most well-known preachers in recent times. By allowing us to peak into Spurgeon’s own battle with depression we find camaraderie and hope. Spurgeon knew well the darkness that can sometimes seem to hover relentlessly above, both due to physical ailments and spiritual battles, and yet he figured out how to manage and maneuver through it. Most importantly he didn’t let it pull him away from his Savior and he didn’t let it keep him from ministering to those before him.
“Personally I know that there is nothing on earth that the human frame can suffer to be compared with despondency and prostration of the mind.”
This book is divided into three main sections. The first is on understanding depression. People who suffer from depression, and those who care about someone who suffers from depression will both benefit from these chapters. Eswine does a great job at covering a few different causes of depression while tying in practical and biblical counsel. The second part concerns learning how to help those suffering with depression. These chapters offer some words of advice to those who don’t suffer from depression and therefore may not fully understand. Eswine debunks some commonly held myths and misconceptions and brings up some great approaches to how to be of benefit to the sufferer that you care for. The last part expounds on some helpful ways to cope with depression as a sufferer in the day-to-day.  I really appreciated how he shared some very practical things, while grounding and continually re-grounding things with examples from Scripture.

I picked this book up because I had heard it recommended by a few people I follow online. It particularly intrigued me because it wasn’t just a book on depression, but a book examining a great hero of the faith who was very public in sharing his struggle with depression. (On a side note, something about the cover is very welcoming and peaceful.) At a brief 143 pages, I made my way through it in two sittings. Even if you are a slow reader, you could finish it up pretty fast. I would (and will) recommend it to anyone walking through a season of depression, but beyond that I would (and will) recommend it to those that express a lack of understanding towards those struggling with depression. (Click link under picture to purchase.)

 “We very speedily care for  bodily diseases; they are too painful to let us slumber in silence: and they soon urge us to seek a physician or a surgeon for our healing. Oh, if we were as much alive to the more serious wounds of our inner man.”



This isn’t an announcement that I am ‘picking up writing again’ with all the plans and promises that those kinda posts entail. I quite literally haven’t been able to type more than three words in this space without stopping and erasing them for the last year or so. Partly due to life being busier and schedules being crazier but really truely due to the place(s) and season(s) I’ve been walking thru and the things going on inside of me.

This isn’t a post about the things that have been going on inside of me (or around me, or to me) because honestly I don’t have words and really dont know if words exist to adequately convey it. One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes there are things you experience or learn or go through that only you see and know. There may be a physical circumstance, and maybe tangible people involved, but the deep things stretching or moving around inside of you are changes only you can feel or know. Maybe those aren’t for sharing.

The times I’ve tried to sit down and write something that I could post on the internet (what is the criteria for that anymore?) there has been a physical tension rise up in my chest and I’ve stepped away. It’s like there has been so much inside and no where to put it that I’ve grown incredibly much in my ability to push through and keep it inside. Like there is a flood water locked up behind a sealed door and as my fingers graze the keyboard its the same as the doorknob turning and the rubber seal beginning to creak before it opens. If that door is opened there is no turning back and no regulating what comes out and at what speed and what damage may happen in its wake.

I don’t know what I’m doing here. I don’t know why there is an internal healing difference in writing words on this screen and sharing them with perfect strangers, and writing words in my personal journal. You could say it’s for transparency. That other people go through other hard things and that by sharing my things I am helping them. You could say its a gift, a calling, that to not write is to deny a part of myself that makes me me. You could say it’s a reaching out. That in some way by knowing that someone somewhere is reading this it tells me that I am not completely alone, that I am connecting in someway. You could say all these things, I could too. None of them sit well with me tonight. I don’t know. What I do know is I don’t have energy to overthink these things anymore. I am way past weary of having to understand the purpose of things before engaging in the acts.

I have come to know my Father over the last six months in ways I never knew I could. He has led me through some places where all the nicely packaged spiritual disciplines and christian speak phrases have been completely lacking. We use prayer as a tool to keep ourselves in line or to call in requests, or even to commune with Someone when we feel the need…all things WE control, all pieces of OUR strategy. I have come to experience and grow in the kind of prayer that sometimes has to happen without words, when you don’t know what to ask for. When you have to choose to rest in the truths that you know and believe and cling to, even when there isn’t energy to boldly proclaim them. There have been nights so deeply dark and lonely and confusing that the only words I could figure to voice were ‘Please hold me.’ And He has, and He is, so closely that I could almost feel His heart beating and His breath on the back of my neck.

Broken, All Things


I’m looking at this screen and wondering if this is a good idea. It’s not that I don’t have words or thoughts or feelings to get out there, but I am afraid to start to open that door because of the flood of things that is pent up behind it. I’m at a place where I feel pretty beat up by life, and yet still captivated by the beauty of it. It’s been a very intense and hard season of transition and change for me and I think I’ve been doing pretty well with it, but the internal circus that has been going on has been pretty exhausting. There are days where I’m staring at my phone at a loss for who to call. And although I’m praying there are days where I wonder if it’s actually going through, where’s the response? My faith has really been tested lately and there have been a few days where I just didn’t know if I wanted to keep going with it. I am overwhelmed by the injustice of this world, from promises that don’t have to be upheld, to people that can just walk away when they want to, to bigger issues of broken systems and the human condition.

We talk about this world being broken but having hope, but often the brokenness is out there, and the hope much closer. Then sometimes the brokenness does actually touch us, it comes in to affect our family, our friends, in our circles. But then still, there are times where we realize, it’s not just out there, its not just in here, but it’s in me. I’m broken. And so the brokenness is no longer something that can be blamed on any person, or even really any system. The brokenness is a problem that we will never be able to alleviate or fix or maneuver around. Our world is broken. Things are not as they should be. And just because we choose to follow Jesus and live that out faithfully, does not change the effects of the brokenness. This is a sobering reality.

One of my biggest struggles in single life is the unstableness of all things. There is not one constant. Committed friends are free to pack up and leave whenever they want, church community comes and goes, jobs are not forever, home is only home until the lease is up. None of these are something that someone is doing wrong but all of these are reality. People throw around the terms family, and belonging, and you can trust me. But we can’t. It’s not actually true. Maybe we can ‘trust’ some people, but there are still things outside of their control so what they say may or may not stand. But this isn’t just a feeling and issue specific to my life is it? We are all there if we want to be honest. Deep within us all is a little aching, we know that we are not secure, we know that there are things outside of our control, we know that there are people that we couldn’t live without but that very well may leave us. We say our hope isn’t in material things but in people. Because those are much more reliable? People will (albeit unintentionally) keep you around as long as you fill a spot, close friends turn away, spouses cheat, and the most well intentioned out of all of these will eventually die.

The answer is not to find better friends, or a church that gets it, or to get married, or a more secure job with stable income, or to move to a country with a better government, or….fill in the blank. The cold, hard, but beautiful and glorious reality is that we are in this world, but this world is broken, and we were never intended to exist in a broken world. The harshness and the pain and the sting of brokenness points all of us to the fact that this world is not our final home.

I’ve been in a season where this has been made so real to me. Inside of this fleshly shell that I live in is me, a soul and spirit. This body will fall apart and decompose, I will carry on. We will all carry on. In light of that, things change.

Christ is my Rock. That doesn’t mean I’m stable. It means He is. And when I feel like I am going to be blown away, I cling to Him even tighter. Clinging is not a restful picture. It’s a fight. It comes in the hardest of times and the darkest of days. It takes energy and focus and a choosing to refuse to let go.

I don’t have a powerful happy ending here because frankly I don’t have all the answers. But I do know this- Christ has never let me go. Drawing near to Him does not mean all the problems and hurts vanish, but there has never been a time that I draw near and find He isn’t there.






Hebrews 12:7-11 “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons (daughters). For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them…..They disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Many of us have heard this passage before, or at least heard the concept taught. I think because of the way we use the word “discipline” these days, we easily skim over some of the meaning. Discipline is something we think of doing to our kids, a punishment or consequence when they have not followed the rules. Of course we know it is healthy. If there are no consequences then they would not grow up knowing how to behave and function in society. We often say that God disciplines us for our good, because He loves us, and in that we envision giving our kids a spanking and saying ‘this hurts me more than it does you’. Surely that is a part of what this passage means, but I think there is something deeper here as well.

Discipline: training to act in accordance with rules; drill, activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training. (Webster)

The word discipline can mean punishment or consequence, but that is a lesser meaning. I am not a linguist, but the words origin seems to be traced back to the 11th century, and spin off from the world disciplina (instruction given, teaching, learning). Discipline is training. It is not something that is done to us as much as it is something that is done with us. God does discipline us by convicting us when we are in sin, but more often I think he disciplines us by allowing us to walk through hard things, and by gifting us with challenges that teach us new skills and strengthen our abilities. In this He is training us and He is doing this because He knows what is ahead of us. What cross country coach would enter a student in a 10k, knowing that they can barely jog a half mile? Our father knows the race that we are in, and He knows the parts that are up ahead of us. Because of that, He is disciplining us so that we can run and run well. He is disciplining us for our good. He is disciplining us so that we can take part in the bigger things that will bring us joy.

I love this part, ”They disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them…” I think we could also say our earthly fathers trained us to the best of their ability for the things they knew we would encounter in this life. Respecting authority, working hard, managing money, changing a tire…having learned these things, once in a tricky situation, we are better prepared to endure it well. “..but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.” And following that logic, I think we can point out here that our heavenly Father is training us for the things He knows we will encounter, with the entire scope of eternity in His mind. He sees us as we are now, He sees us as we will be when He is done with us, and He knows what we need to make it through to the end. So the hard things that seem to be thrown our way, the uncomfortable, the inconvenient, the things we think we just wont make it through, it is not something we just have to bear because life is unfair, and it’s not even something we have to deal with because we are simply in a broken world and things happen. It is a gift from a very good Father, who is preparing us for the good things He has ahead.

We pray often to ‘be used’ by God. To do something great with our lives. To have an impact on those around us. To make His name known. Then things start to hit. Setbacks, relational tension, financial strains, unexpected things that just seem to be in the way. Sometimes it feels like, ‘Why me?!’ ‘Can I just get a break?’ Look around at all the people that seem to be wasting time and doing nothing with their life, and start comparing it to yours in a time when you are trying to serve, and love, and be faithful in all the ways you know you need to be…you will quickly get confused if you don’t keep this concept of discipline in mind. The best coach looks for the student that he can work with, the student that will endure the training (discipline), the student that he can see winning the gold medal…And that is the one he works most intentionally with and pushes the hardest. Harder than the students that aren’t doing so well, the ones that seem like they should be getting more training. He looks for the ones that are willing to undergo discipline, the ones that long to be trained, all along with the end goal in mind, of seeing them cross the finish line with hands in the air, victorious. Discipline, training, challenges and hard things, are a sign of approval, a sign of “I know you are going to go far”. Not a punishment because we are doing something wrong. Not a test to see if we will make it. A gift, a special training for what lies ahead.

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may be not put out of joint, but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” (v 12-14)

As we are praying to be a part of something great, He begins to answer by bringing us hard things. He begins to answer by discipling us, training us, so that we will be ready to carry the weight and the responsibility of the things He wants to let us be apart of. “So that what is lame may not be put out of join, but rather healed.” If He were to hand us something great without training us first, we would crumble under the pressure and weight of it. Sometimes He puts a desire in our heart and we don’t understand why He is not allowing us to achieve it. He is working a deep healing in us (healing always hurts, remember), He is strengthening us in the deepest places, so that we can bear the weight of how He wants to use us, so that we can see the desire in our hearts come alive.

What do we do in the meantime? “Strive for peace, and for holiness.” Sounds simple right? We all know that when hard things hit, the initial reaction is to back down and quit. We are praying and seeking to do great things for the Lord, our hearts are full of pure intentions and a passion to serve Him but He is making us wait and we don’t know why. Then the stress of life starts to hit, then someone hurts our feelings, we begin to run out of grace, we being to think ‘no one understands what I’m dealing with!’ Or, the desire yet unfulfilled in our heart creates such an ache that we can’t hold out and wait for Him to bring it to pass so we begin to numb the pain and seek comfort in other things, we begin to settle, sinful things begin to seem not so bad. We’ve all been there, but we can’t stay there.

We have to come to a place where we see hard things as a gift, from the hands of our good Father. We have to speak this to ourselves, and we have to speak it to each other. We have to shout it over each other’s lives when we can’t hear it for ourselves. Discipline is a sign of favor. It is a sign that He is hearing our prayers, that He is and is going to continue to use us, and the position we will be in ahead requires special training. This should excite us! We have to endure well, we have to finish the training, and thankfully, He has promised that He will get us through. He who promised is faithful.





RNS-DIETRICH-BONHOEFFERFrom Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial. God hates this wishful dreaming because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idolized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands set up by their own law, and judge one another and God accordingly. It is not we who build. Christ builds the church. Whoever is mindful to build the church is surely well on the way to destroying it, for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess he builds. We must proclaim, he builds. We must pray to him, and he will build. We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times which by human standards are the times of collapse are for him the great times of construction. It may be that the times which from a human point are great times for the church are times when it’s pulled down. It is a great comfort which Jesus gives to his church. You confess, preach, bear witness to me, and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is not your providence. Do what is given to you, and do it well, and you will have done enough…. Live together in the forgiveness of your sins. Forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts.”


Coffee Stained Pages Pt. 2


IMG_20150125_184438 (2)There are many places you dream of seeing yourself in your head,

Out of all of them very few will actually ever happen

The ones that do take place are the ones you never dreamed of,

The good and the bad

The unexpected
Adventures get traded for responsibilities,

Big dreams get traded for paying the bills,

School girl crushes and dreams of forever get exchanged for broken hearts and ‘why did you leave me’s?’

Changing the world becomes trying to survive the world that’s changing you


Crusted walls begin to form around the once fleshy warm substance of your heart

Is this it?

Is this what we’ve been running towards?

How did we get here?

Lost in a battle you never signed up to fight in

Unaware of what team you’re on or who is on your side or what anyone is fighting for anyway


You close your eyes one night on the floor of your parents living room

Dreaming of what your house will look like when you get married and move away,

You wake up to find yourself sitting in the hallway of your very own house asking

‘Where are the grown ups?’

Coffee Stained Pages Pt.1





At times there is a heaviness within you that gladness cannot reach

Surrounded by numerous joy filled things, the joy is reflected by this heaviness that has surrounded your heart and anchored your soul

You carry the heaviness in hopes that it will fade

“You will get stronger, just keep going.”

“It will get lighter, just don’t stop.”

But no. It does not, it will not, you cannot.

People see your struggle and reach out.

“Here, here is love, hold it tightly and feel better.”

So you grasp on to love, you squeeze it so tightly and wait for it to sink deep down inside within you

But it does not

There is a heaviness that stands taller, stronger

The thickness of this heaviness allows for no love to come thru

You feel warm on the outside but the cold remains within.



Sometimes your spirit is so heavy within you, you say to it, “I cannot carry you around.”

So you leave it to carry itself

And you leave yourself

And you become something other

Something not yourself