Beck Wattier

Here’s To You

Nov
29

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Here’s to you. You know who you are. God has shown you a glimpse of what is to come, and He has asked you to trust Him and step out to a scary place. Maybe He has given you direction, maybe He has asked you to wait when you want to move, maybe you’ve walked a ways with Him and now it seems He has stepped away.

Here’s to you. You’re the one holding on to a promise He gave you long ago. The one refusing to give in to the doubt. The one still believing even when the odds seem unbelievable.

Here’s to you. You’re the one that has more inside your heart than you can share with anyone around you. They just wont understand. You sometimes feel something must be wrong with you, you sometimes wish you didn’t think the way you did.

Here’s to you. You’re the one that’s been praying for that one thing for what seems like forever. Sometimes you wonder why you care. Sometimes you want to throw your hands up and walk away.

Here’s to you. You’re the one pouring everything you have into what you believe in even though you aren’t guaranteed any results.

Here’s to you.  He has called you further, He is calling you deeper, the burden that you carry is changing more than you know. Beauty comes from the struggle. Our tears often fertilize the soil that we have been planting seeds in. You are a fighter, and this fight is worth it. Don’t you dare quit now.

Black Friday Traditions

Nov
27

1345200_26762923This is a topic where you could find plenty of other people out there with much more educated and helpful thoughts for reading. There are enough blogs and articles out there covering all sides and aspects. Instead, I thought I’d share a story from my life. Enjoy.

 

I could write several posts simply introducing all of my immediate family members, not to mention aunts, uncles, and cousins galore. Let me sum it all up to say, I have a lot of family. I am blessed to have almost all of them here in Mobile with me. My cousins (all 30 or so) have always been more like sisters and brothers then ‘relatives’. Holidays are chaotic, to say the least, but they are overflowing with laughter, food, music, and legendary stories. We have traditions that we hold tight to, things I have experienced every year as far back as I can remember- (Christmas Eve is spent at Grandma Wattiers, and we eat green enchiladas). We have the traditions that we don’t realize we are holding tight to until we try to go without them (the year mom didn’t make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving because she didn’t think we’d care and all six siblings nearly cried, then made a last minute trip to walmart for pie ingredients). Then we have the traditions that have yet to be made.

Thanksgiving 2009 carried on like every other year. Food, family, food, friends, food, laughter, and more food. After all the festivities (and did I mention food?) a lot of the cousins got together for a movie night. I can’t remember what we watched but both movies were long and epic and enabled us to drift in and out of our food comas and still be involved in quality time together. It was about 11pm when the last movie ended and we began waking up with a renewed sense of energy and thoughts of ‘what now?’ Several of us, over the years at different times, had gone shopping early on Black Friday, but this year the outlet malls over in Foley were opening up at midnight on Thanksgiving night. The question was posed, and it didn’t take long for a house full of people to begin scrambling for socks and shoes, jackets, scarfs, and spending money.

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‘Did you ask your mom?’ ‘Don’t you have to work tomorrow?’ ‘Can I borrow some money?’ and many other words were exchanged, and next thing you know we were all crammed in a mini van for an hour long drive to go shopping at midnight.

Crazy? Of course. There were so many people we had to walk in lines and hang on to the hoodie of the person in front of us so we wouldnt get separated. We all wanted to look at different stores but we wanted to be together, so we stayed together as a group and everyone went in every store. Every one of the hundreds of people around us were saying ‘Look at this!’ Or ‘Hey, wait! I want to look in here.’ Or ‘I’m ready to go, I’m going to wait outside.’ So we did what all normal families would do, we came up with code words, and a few animal sounds, to signal each other. The words have changed over the years, but for instance, if you wanted to stop the line of hoodie-holding relatives plowing through the crowds, and go inside a store, you shouted out ‘Penguin!’ If you heard ‘penguin’ you also shouted ‘penguin’ and it carried on until everyone stopped. Once inside a store we would split up and look at different things but when we were ready to go we’d start saying ‘Quack!’. No one else was quacking (obviously) so it was pretty easy to find each other and regroup.

 

Some shopping was done that night, and man, the bargains were amazing to find, but the memories don’t revolve around shopping. Fast forward a few years (tomorrow night will be the fourth year of this adventure) and we talk about freezing together while waiting in 14734_566487722413_7216247_nline at Starbucks, singing Lady Gaga in the car on the drive over, eating Ihop for breakfast after we’ve shopped till we dropped, the time I shouted ‘OMG! TAYLOR SWIFT!’ so we could all skip line without being noticed, and the time my cousin Amy got stuck in one of the kiddie rides.

 

 

Some years various aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents have joined in depending on how adventurous they are feeling. Some people come with a list and get their Christmas presents bought, some people come with only a couple dollars in their pockets. It looks different every year but you can always count on a good memory.

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As time passes and people live life, things change. New people are brought in, old people are taken away. The traditions will vary and change, but there are always opportunities to make memories with whoever is around you.

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He Wrote Me In His Book

Nov
27

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“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16

 

I’m a writer. I have a ‘book’. To see my life put into these terms is so fun for me because I get it. I can see God opening a giant Moleskine, pulling out a ridiculously cool pen, and beginning to scribble down the details of the character that would be me. I can see Him afterwords speaking these words and as they fall off of His lips, I begin to be knitted together piece by piece.

When I write, I take a while and jot down different pieces of what I want to include. Every piece of poetry and every blog has a different feel. I’ll write down a piece here and there and then come back to it when I have more. Eventually all the pieces fit together just write and I know it’s right- it is finished. When it is finished I have a book that I copy it down into. When it’s gone into that book, it’s ready to be displayed and shared with the world. Every finished piece was formed and written before it existed as it is now known.

Our very days were formed for us before we ourselves were formed. He gazed upon our unformed substance (whatever that means) and thought over what our life would entail. He thought through what characteristics we would have, what events would take place and how that would shape us, who we would cross paths with, what we would accomplish. He formed our days, He numbered them, and He gave them to us. Not one extra day will be added, not one taken away.

Some may take this in an offensive way. There are a hundred questions this could stir up. The fact that my days were formed for me and written into His book before I existed brings me much comfort for two reasons:

1) I’m not in control. Maybe you’re a control freak (I struggle not to be). But the thing I have to remind myself is that the more control I have, the more I have to worry about. Think about it. The more responsibility you have, the more things you are in sole control over, the more you have to hang on to and grapple with. The more you are at risk of losing control of. The more potential chaos and destruction. To know that my days were laid out and handed to me and that yes, I have decisions to make, but ultimately it’s not in my hands…that brings me so much peace.

2) There is an incredible sense of purpose to my life. Now, I don’t always know the details of that purpose. But if you are like me, there are days were it seems like life is pointless. At times it feels like I have no purpose, like I am not needed, like…honestly, I’m really screwed up and I’m the only person on the planet that has no idea what they are doing. These words bring everything back into focus- my days were formed. I have been allotted a specific span of time in which I will exist, and it was not an accident that I was created, but an intentionally planned thing. I have a purpose, my purpose was set into place before I was set into place, and it has all been written out into His book. Nothing but the very hand of God can alter these things.

Knowing that your days were formed, knowing that your days have been written into the very book of God, how does that change the way you see yourself? How does that bring a sense of purpose into your life? What steps can you take to live in a way that will more reflect these things?

Meant For More (Spoken Word Video)

Nov
25

This is the first spoken word piece I shared almost two years ago. Enjoy!

(Tip: Hit CC (Closed Caption) at the bottom of the video and it will show the words on the screen as it plays!)

Hear more audio at www.soundcloud.com/RebeccaMWattier

The "Gift" of Singleness

Nov
24

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The ‘gift of singleness’. I could say a lot, but I’m going to try and keep it concise because if you are like me, you have heard an ear full (or two) of people’s thoughts on this topic.

Most people refer to the gift of singleness as a specific calling in life. If you are not currently dating someone or have dated a bit but can’t seem to find that one someone, people will encourage you with ‘well, maybe you have the gift of singleness’. My thoughts seem to be a bit different from a lot of people’s (surprise, surprise). People have asked me before if I think I have the gift of singleness. I reply by saying, well, I’m single, so yes. This isn’t what they mean of course. They mean do I think I will be single for my whole life. To which I reply, ‘who on earth knows?’ Seriously. I don’t even know what will happen in my life tomorrow, nevertheless every day for the rest of my life. I believe if you are single, you have the gift of singleness. If you are married, you have the gift of marriage. If you have kids you have the gift of parenthood. If you have a job, you have the gift of employment. If you have two legs, you have the gift of walking. I could go on and on.

The ‘gift’ aspect of singleness, is just like the ‘gift’ aspect of any other thing we have been given. Everything we have is a gift from our Creator, and a gift that we have the privilege of ‘gifting’ back to Him. We get to use our gifts, whatever they are, to bring Him glory, however that looks. As believers, we are given gifts that are to be used to build up the church and further the kingdom. With all of the other gifts (teaching, leading, encouragement, hospitality, etc) we strive to see how we can use them to serve and build up. Seeing singleness in this way changes things so much. Being single is a gift. It is a unique gift that presents specific and unique ways to be used to bring Him glory. It isn’t a certain calling. It isn’t necessarily a life-long status, but it is most definitely not just a season of waiting.

Being single doesn’t mean that I am ‘still under construction’. Singleness is not a waiting room for adulthood. There isn’t some piece to my life that I’m missing that has to be found before I can move forward and start my ‘real life’.  My life is complete and whole right now, just as it is. To live is Christ, to die is gain. I am whole in Him. He has redeemed my broken and empty life and given it purpose and meaning. How that plays out in detail will change throughout different seasons of my life, and I may receive different gifts with which to glorify and serve Him throughout those different seasons. But now, here, in this season, I am not incomplete, I am not half of a person, and I am not only halfway fulfilling my calling. I am living in the moment, 100% embracing what is right in front of me, and following step by step after the Spirit, trusting Him to direct me in everything no matter the context.

I am happy here and now, because my life has meaning and purpose because of Christ. That doesn’t mean I have a special calling to be single. Please understand that some days are a struggle. Some days are hard and I have to make really big decisions on my own. Being happy here and now doesn’t mean I never struggle, it means there is a primary goal in my every day life, there is a primary relationship that keeps me stable and at peace, and it all revolves around the person of Jesus Christ. Dating and eventually marrying someone isn’t going to bring me complete happiness. It won’t solve my problems, give me the answers to life’s deepest questions, or introduce me to a higher level of life that I’ve been missing out on. There is no man, no matter how good, kind, in love with Jesus, or pure in heart, that can bring me those things and it is totally unfair and unrealistic to expect them to. I’m not man-bashing. Too many people in the church do that these days. ‘You don’t need a man, you just need Jesus.’ ‘They aren’t worth anything these days anyway.’ I hate these kind of comments. I need to be encouraged, led, protected, cherished, reminded of my worth, affirmed in my purpose, and all these other things that typically come from a relationship. I’m a girl, I’m created that way. There is very much a role in my life for a man to fill, there is a need there for that type of a relationship. The things is, it is not my highest need. It is not a role that is going to change my ability to serve my Savior if left unfilled. That’s keeping it in perspective.

For me, dating and marriage are about finding someone with whom you will be able to serve Christ with in a better way than you can do alone. What I mean by that is that I am striving to serve Christ to the best of my ability, hopefully my potential husband is doing the same, and if it so happens that we can best serve Christ together in more and better ways than we are doing alone, then praise God. But the ultimate goal in my life, and what should be true of all of us, is to glorify Christ to the best of my ability. I don’t need to wait to date or get married to do that.

My relationship status is not attached to my identity. The cool thing about that? I’m free from that bondage. If you’re not careful it will affect every aspect of your life and your relationships. I can pursue friendships with guys and enjoy the process of learning about them and how Christ has changed their life. I can let them challenge my views on life and my faith and learn from theirs. I can even pursue more intentional relationships and go on dates without all the expectations, the anxiety and stress of wondering what this guy is thinking and if I look alright or act alright or any of those things. I’m free to be myself, because I’m not just trying to convince this guy that I’m worth his time, I’m trusting that God will give both of us clarity as to what this relationship is supposed to look like.

When you identity and your relationship status are not attached, you’re free to guard your heart. This doesn’t mean I’m cold hearted and block out all feelings, quite the opposite. I’m free to have feelings. I’m free to consider them and sort through them and (I know this is crazy) even share them with the guy they concern. I’m free to trust this guy and the fact that he is seeking Christ as well, and we have the common goal of wanting to be in His will. We hear the phrase ‘guard your heart’ all the time, and for the most part the people that say it to us have the best of intentions. When we go to practically live this phrase out though, I feel like we do it the wrong way. Guard your heart doesn’t mean cut off your feelings. Guard your heart doesn’t mean put up a wall and don’t let anyone see inside. It means to keep yourself in a frame of mind where you can objectively make decisions. Feelings are messy. Relationships of any kind are messy. Discerning God’s will is messy. There’s no specific formula or guidelines. It’s a process of sorting through, comparing the things He’s told you with the things in front of you, and seeing what lines up. By finding my meaning, purpose, identity, and value in Christ as opposed to a relationships, I’m able to ‘guard my heart’. When a guy comes to me and says ‘I think I have feelings for you and I’d like you to consider pursuing this relationship further’, regardless of my feelings (and believe me, sometimes my feelings are very strong and challenging to deal with), I can objectively say ‘Okay, I don’t even know for sure what I’m feeling here, but I do know ultimately I want to serve Christ, ultimately I know He has this, this, and this in my future, how does this potential relationship play into that?’

In a similar scenario, if I have feelings for a guy, I can approach him and say ‘Hey, I’m confused about what I’m feeling here and I’m praying for clarity, can you help clear things up?’ If he says, ‘I’m in love with you!’ or if he says, ‘Eh, really not feeling it.’ (hah), either way, I’m a-okay, because I am reminded that ultimately I am seeking what God has for me and so is this guy (hopefully) and so we can mutually ‘guard our hearts’ and seek for clarity.

I serve a God who only gives good gifts. No matter what season, what context, what situation- I know He is intimately involved in every intricate detail and has orchestrated it in such a way that it will bring Him glory. That’s where my ultimate happiness comes from. It may not always line up with my immediate feelings, but my immediate feelings are often confused and off balance. Ultimately I trust that He will give me the right answer, and no matter what it is, I can’t be upset with that.

I’m living a crazy adventure of a life, and one day there may be a man who decides he wants to share in that and have me share in what he’s doing. That’s awesome, and that would be a really neat scenario. But the other scenario- the one where I keep living this crazy adventure of a life as a single lady, is just as neat to me. Because the future and the potential and the possibilities are endless. Life truly surrendered to and in pursuit of Christ is a total adrenaline rush. That’s something that makes my heart swell every time I think about it.

5 Things I’ve Learned About Community

Nov
22

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Community. We hear this word so much. What does it mean? What does it look like? There are a hundred different books by a hundred different authors who could give you a much more academic explanation, but practically speaking, these are some things I’ve learned (and am still learning).

 

It Takes Giving Before You Will Get

It’s easy to think ‘I’ll just wait till they invite me’, ‘I need to talk but I’ll wait till someone asks me how I’m doing’, ‘I want to get to know them better but I don’t want to impose, so I’ll let them take the first step.’ We all think these things. For the majority of people I’ve talked with, these are recurring thoughts that they struggle with. We have to set some of our cultural social rules aside and just jump in. Some of us are naturally outgoing and fluent in conversation. Some of us (raises hand) are pretty awkward at initial conversation with someone. But I’ve learned you just have to fake it and go for it. Invite someone over for dinner. Suggest getting together for coffee. Stay a little later at small group then you normally would. Express interest in someone’s life. Share that random tidbit about your day that you think no one else really cares about. Most people (like you) are simply waiting for someone else to take the first step.

 

It Takes Work (A Lot)

Once you establish community, you have to maintain it. But you are attempting to maintain it with a varied group of people who have different personalities and communication styles, not to mention different ideas and understandings of how community should look, on top of different schedules, lifestyles, circles of influence, wants and needs.It’s complicated and hard work. You have to pursue realtionships with people and seek out opportunities to share life. You have to maintain the mindset of humility, love, self-sacrifice, and serving -looking out for the other people in your community who are in turn looking out for you. The moment you turn slightly inward and begin thinking about yourself, the whole thing falls apart.

 

It Takes Ownership

Community isn’t something you go to or attend. You can go to a community group without it being your community. We have to invest in our community. We have to be willing to sacrifice our time and money, but not just sacrificing it, seeing it as an investment. Whether it means cooking a meal, listening to someone, having people over, it’s all an investment in the growth and development of the community. We also have to take responsibility for our community. How are the people in your community doing? How might you be of help? Are there ways that your community could improve? Are you living out what you say you want your community to be about? We can agree with all the right concepts without actually feeling the burden and taking on the responsibility of playing our part to make it happen.

 

It’s Going To Look Different For Different People (And that’s okay)

You won’t have the same depth and type of relationship with everyone in your community. You will find some best friends, some close friends, some people you admire but don’t talk with as much, some people that you pour into, some that pour into you-and that’s okay. That’s how it’s meant to be. A common misconception about community is that everyone is best friends with everyone and everything you do and share with one person, you should be doing and sharing with all people. Jealousy and envy easily can creep in here. Don’t get stuck in the trap of comparing your relationships with everyone else’s (or what you percieve everyone else’s to be!). Community really isn’t about finding people to hang out with, and it’s definitely not another social club. Which leads us to..

 

It’s Not About Me (Or Anyone Else In The Community)

Community isn’t a social activity for us to find things we enjoy doing and fill our extra time (who has extra time?) It’s not a place primarily for me to have my social, emotional or even spiritual needs met. Community, like all aspects of the Christian life, is a reflection of our King and His coming Kingdom. We represent the gospel in the way we interact with each other. We represent the gospel in the way we fail each other (sin), the way we reconcile (forgiveness, grace), the way we sacrifice on behalf of one another (like He sacrificed on behalf of us). Community is a stirring up of our hearts that are ever prone to fizzle out. It’s not just a place to confess where we’re failing, but a place where we can push each other forward and remind each other ‘Don’t settle, keep going, there’s more, we have a mission and it’s worth it.’

When God Speaks

Nov
20

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The other night I was on my way home from coffee shop hanging downtown. My gas light was on and I was debating if I had enough to get home or if I needed to go ahead and stop. I decided to stop since I had somewhere to be early the next morning and didn’t want to have to fuel up. There was a car broken down in the turning lane of the highway but I didn’t think much about it and proceeded to pull up to the pump and get out. A lady walked over and began to explain her situation.

“Excuse me. Well, this is really embarrassing, but, well, I’m trying to get back home to Mississippi and honestly, I’ve been at the hospital for the last few days and spent what money I had left on food. Do you have a couple dollars I could use for gas?”

So we push the car to the pump and I put my card in the machine and begin pumping gas into the tank. I’m trying to start up conversation (honestly because I feel awkward) but if you know me at all, the more I try to force conversation, the more I make things awkward. The lady wouldn’t even look me in the eye, she was genuinely embarrassed about the situation.

It’s only seconds passing, but I feel so much pressure to say something powerful that’s going to impact her…you know, cause in that moment what she needed was a life-altering word of wisdom from Rebecca Wattier.  I mean, obviously God sent me here, the good hearted Christian, to help this poor lady. You know, because we offer help to people but only as a means to share the gospel. “I’m giving you gas money but only because Jesus wants you to know He loves you.”

Sometimes I think I’m so busy trying to tell people what Jesus wants them to know that He can’t get a word in to people Himself.

I asked her why she was at the hospital.

“My mom was life-flighted to USA this week, she’s not doing so well. We’ve been there for a few days but things aren’t looking too good. I have to get back for work in the morning or I’ll lose my job, I didn’t know how I was going to make back. I don’t know how I’ll make it back to the hospital. But He has never let me down. He hasn’t always done what I thought He should have, but He’s never left me. It’s one day at a time, you know, it always comes together.”

I told her that I’ve been the person on the side of the road before, and that it happens to the best of us. I told her that I’ve been struggling to trust Him because nothing that’s around me right now looks the way I thought it should according to the plans I made years ago. I asked her about her mom and as she continued sharing she looked me in the eyes finally and grabbed my hand. I saw her tears but I saw through her tears and into her eyes and into her soul it seemed. And in that moment we weren’t in-need stranger and good-hearted stranger, but we were two women that weren’t really that much different

My $20 wasn’t the gift she needed most that night, my open ears were. And my open ears weren’t as important to her as they were to me. 

Sometimes people don’t need our advice as much as they need our encouragement. Sometimes people don’t need instruction as much as they need to know that they’re not the only ones. And sometimes, when God speaks, it’s in the moments where we all stop trying to speak for Him and just hold hands.