Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Fellowship - Caroline Beyer

Today's Friday Fellowship is someone you will recognize if you have read my blog for a long time.  It's "Caroline in Texas".  Caroline and I became blog friends probably 9 or 10 years ago when she reached out to me as a single girl when I talked a lot about being single.  We started a friendship and met for the first time the day after I had Harper.  

She and her sweet mom Robin were at the hospital in Tulsa to greet me when I arrived when Harper was in the NICU.  (I have never looked worse that in that picture but I had just delivered a baby and then checked out and drove two hours after being up all night crying not knowing if my baby would live - so who cares about how I look, right? ha!)  I was so blown away that they drove from Texas and prayer walked the hospital before we even got there.  What a blessing and little would I know how the friendship would continue.  

We got together several more times over the next couple of years - even traveling with a group of friends to Atlanta to a conference.  

And then about 5 years ago (or maybe more), Caroline moved to Northwest Arkansas as a single girl.   She is an art teacher and she came and had an interview at the high school here and got the job.  And also met a fellow art teacher and immediately knew he was it.  I love her story of waiting on God and trusting in Him.  I don't know if I would have been brave enough as a single girl to pick up and move but she did! And she and her husband now both teach art at the same high school!!!

 This is a big group of us "blog friends" at her wedding! This was SO fun! I love all the people in this picture! I just adore Caroline but what is so funny is she moved here and got involved with her school and a different church and her marriage and we just don't see each other often.  But her parents moved here soon after and they are members of my church so I see them all the time and her mom is someone I consider a dear friend.  Robin and Caroline are just so full of JOY.  Like almost nothing I have ever seen.  They just make you want to know the Jesus they know who gives them so much joy.

And seven months ago, Caroline had a baby girl named Millie Mae.  And she is ADORABLE! So I know a lot of you have missed her blogging - hopefully you will enjoy catching up with her OR meeting her for the first time!

1.  What is your favorite Food?
I think about Mexican food all the time. At the end of a long teaching day I will crave a good ole fat burrito or chips with queso. Well that and fried catfish…that is my current craving today hahahaha. But there isn’t much I turn my nose up to. American, Chinese, Seafood, Italian…. you name it I like it. My husband is a great cook so we enjoy cooking together and eating at home most of the time. I truly believe that the smell of something grilling should be bottled up and men should wear it! MY FAVORITE SMELL EVER!!! Yummy. The only thing that grosses me out is chicken on a bone. It’s a travesty really since I’m from the south. But veins/ligaments…I just can’t do it.

 2.  What is your very favorite piece of clothing right now?

I had a baby 7 months ago so my favorite clothing is ALL my old stuff because it’s not MATERNITY!!!! Praise Jesus! I have a deep love for beautiful coats. Always have. They work great with my broad shoulders ha. I love a solid colored dress, short or long, with heels or wedges. Fall is here so I am breaking out the boots and leggings and oversized sweaters. I don’t shop much. There isn’t much time to. So I love to buy from Walmart, JC Penney, and Old Navy. I don’t need fancy clothes because I teach high school art and get junk all over them. I have never been a trendy person so I just stick with classics so I can wear them for like 10 years hahahahaha. No really.

3.  Tell us about your Family?
I AM MARRIED!!!!! That statement right there deserves an AMEN! Oh God has been so good. I waited my whole life for Shane Beyer. My one and only. Never really dated, never felt “chosen”, was every guys “friend”, had no idea that God was covering me with His protection till one day I was sitting in an interview and made my Shane Beyer laugh. We had just met. And I knew instantly that God was saying “HE IS THE ONE!!! PAY ATTENTION!!!! HE IS THE ONE”. I cried on the way home from that interview because he seemed older hahahahha. And he is. 8 years older, divorced years ago, and nothing what I thought God would give me. But God writes the most dramatic stories. I mean, look at the Bible. And He is writing us a story that continues to bring Him glory and continues to bring redemption and gratitude and joy in our lives. This past march we had the most beautiful baby. Mille Mae is the biggest delight and overflows our home with laughter! She has completed us, stretched us, and made us so much better all at the same time. We are old parents and we love it. A second half team really. And we feel blessed to spend the remainder of our years watching her grow and learn and follow Jesus.

 4.  What is the most important quality in your Friends? OR tell us something that a Friend has done for you that you can't forget.  
I always say that Fake is Forgettable. And I would rather have one single friend that can cut all the pretending/pressures/masks/expectations and be real, than a huge group of friends that just keep conversations shallow. Just living in the light and not darkness, you know. In my classroom I have a chalk board that says “Fake is Forgettable” and under it I have words like ….
Clear, Authentic, Sure, True, Transparent, Legit, Thoughtful, Open, Real, Faithful, Fearless, Valid, Joyful, Light, Pure…….
These are things I want in my own life, things I strive to live out and things that I need in those around me. Friends can be hard. You think things are great and then realize that they are so codependent on you that you can’t carry that burden without making them turning against you. My deepest relationships involve friends that are independently seeking the face of God. We are able to put every struggle, sin, and sadness on the table and encourage one another. Healthy friends make us better. They don’t always agree with us, they don’t always take our side, but they always speak truth to us because we are on the same narrow path to the cross. There is such community in solid friendships!

5.  What's something you have learned recently in your Faith journey?  And/or share your favorite scripture right now and why or your favorite Bible Study or book you have read recently.  
I am in a new season of life with the Lord. I call it the “this is not what my time with the Lord use to look like…. this is hard being a mom” season. Working full time, constantly on the go, at a new school and building the art program from the ground up all while not getting much sleep. Gone are my hour long times at the dining table with quality creamer in my coffee. BUT YALL……I know what it means to have God SUSTAIN you.
Sustain- strengthen or support physically or mentally. comfort, help, assist, encourage, support, give strength to, carry, cheer up…..
This word means everything to me right now. It is my battle cry! There have been days that I have had very few hours of sleep and worked all day and felt like God was a million miles away and just wasn’t hearing from Him. Then He says to me things like “Caroline, today, every class you taught and did a great job…that was ME. You finished today without losing your mind, cutting someone with your words, overreacting out of tiredness, or discouraging someone. THAT WAS ME. I AM HERE. I alone am carrying you every second of the day. Yes, our quiet times are short and I know you long to just sit with me for hours…. that time will return…but for now I am here. I am working through you and I am supporting you mentally and physically. I alone sustain you. Rest in me”. And man, I am trusting Him with everything I have. I use to want to be great and awesome and do this and that and now I just want to “live a quiet life and work with my hands” 1 Thess 4:11. I want serve my family well and give them my A game.  I just want to grow strangely dim standing next to Him. And not strive to make a name for myself. To focus on Him sustaining me more than fun crafts, or a beautifully decorated mantel, or an Instagram full of perfect pictures, or a dream farm house, or the best art dept. in the state. I just want Him. And my only option for living a full life in this season is to turn my eyes upon Jesus. To look full in His wonderful face. And watch the world grow dim standing next to Him. In the light of His glory and grace. Amen and amen.

6.  What is your biggest Fear?
Being so self-consumed that I miss out on an opportunity to minister or serve and not getting to experience the blessing of obeying God during that time.

7.  What are some of your Favorite things right now?1. My Sunday school class. We started our class over a year and a half ago. We attend FBC Rogers and it is such a special place. All different ages and life experiences and full of funny people. We are doing short testimonies every Sunday before the lesson and they have blessed my heart so much. We are class full of mistakes and redemption. And we are not ashamed to praise God for how He called us out of the pit! 
2. Millie Mae’s laugh. This girl loves to laugh. It is so contagious. Her daddy is so funny and watching them together every day is like opening the best gift again and again. We have a home of joy! Only the Lord could do that! 
3. Watching my parents with Millie. It is just the sweetest time.

8.  What has been your biggest Failure?
Not being able to breast feed Millie that long. I am over it now but it broke my heart for a long time.

 9.  What do you do for Fun?
We love to work on projects, study family dynamics and personalities, go junkin, spend time at home not having to rush around, watch football, cooking and laughing!

10.  Tell me about what animals you have? (Furry things)
Shane has a cat. I’m not an animal person. Don’t hate me. Although I would love a pig and a cow…to eat.

11.  What is your favorite FILM? (movie)
Anything that involves guns and crazy people. Like Taken or military movies or Die Hard. I love stuff like that. Basically any movie with Liam Neeson! I also love anything involving Germans and the Holocaust. I just love history. Not a big girly movie person but Shane Beyer is hahahahahahahha. 

12.  What is one Fact we might not know about you?
Hmmmmmm. I have a few if that is ok. The older I get the less of a people person I become. I love awkward moments but hate small talk. I snort sometimes when I laugh and I like to dip my fries in ketchup and gravy. I could go on but it would get weird I’m sure ha!

HOW adorable is Millie Mae???? MY WORD! 

I hope you loved visiting with Caroline.  You can follow her on Instagram HERE.  

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