bethannylawson bethannylawson

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Bethanny Lawson  To know God and make Him known.

Chasing adventure

Meet new friend #5, David. We've both been raised in Paris (IL. Not the one with this beauty: πŸ—Ό) but never knew of each other until @mermaidmillie (friend #2) introduced us. It's always good to get to know people from your hometown!

David might be recognized most easily around town from his family's long history in 4H, and as swine and cattle farmers. He is also an attorney, and has not been back in Paris very long since his return from law school in St. Louis. Office work doesn't leave David with a need to fill up free time, yet he still takes the time to coach Jr Leaugue football, which he says is a great opportunity to be active, get outdoors, and interact with kids. David knows the importance of mentorship and role models for students. I also found that he has a heart for the homeless and for those who have been wronged by the flaws in the criminal justice system. David has always been interested in someday getting involved in politics, and still plans to eventually step into participating at a local level to help make a change for other people. He also turned the tables on me and made me talk about myself instead of only asking questions. πŸ˜‚ I enjoyed hearing David's perspectives on things and was left wanting to take more time to explore my own point of view on things. Thanks for taking the time to meet me, David!

@schylerdj met with me today to be my fourth friend made in the #12friendchallenge! I loved talking to Schyler because it's easy to tell how much he cares about what he does.

Schyler is a highschool senior and music maker. He discovered an intense interest in mixing music when Lecrae's DJ came to his church when Schyler was around 12 years old and showed him some of the tricks of the trade. Growing up, he played percussion in band, and his parents are also both musical. He started working on developing his own style and tecniques as he began to enjoy creating music instead of only consuming it. In December Schyler released his first album, Morning Star, and he plans to continue a future involving music. He's working on concepts for a new EP, which he will work on and release over summer break. This project, titled 812 after the Terre Haute area code, will involve lots of community members Schyler intends to reach out to and involve in his work. Eventually, he would like to be a producer. Schyler will be attending Purdue University in the fall, and yes, his pose in this picture is a reference to Morning Star. πŸ˜‰

I was introduced to Schyler by our mutual friend who also happens to be the first friend I made through this challenge, @aaronsebastian7. Thanks for hanging out with me today, Schyler!

When I heard this song for the first time, it really tugged on my heartstrings. Alec Benjamin's songs tell vivid, moving stories that I connect to deeply. He also reminds me of another songwriter I knew, who had a similar capacity to make me feel the way Alec's songs do. Obviously, it was inevitable that I would start playing "Let Me Down Slowly" myself.

If you ever feel like this kid is reading your mind when he sings, too, hmu, I want to talk music with you!

Always twirlin'

Makayla (@just_a_small_town_girl_0321) is a sophomore in high school but already a woman of many talents. After a lifetime of believing she wanted to be a teacher, she is now starting to explore opening her own day care or being a social worker instead, or potentially both. While her future plans are still developing, one thing that has remained steadfast through time is her love for kids. As an only child, as well as a volunteer at Awana and kids groups at church, Makayla's ability to get along with and enjoy children at a very young age is clear. She knows that a career involving kids in any capacity would be perfect for her. She is an active band member who plays clarinet, and she has spent several years performing in both community theater and school theater roles. She is just wrapping up her first week of directing the play "The Princess and The Pea," which is being performed by her local high school and junior high. Makayla and I connected over our mutual love for Kiera Cass's "The Selection" series, as she enjoys reading when her jam-packed schedule allows it. Makayla and I were introduced by our dear mutual friend @pabranson. Thanks for hanging out with me tonight, Makayla!

Do you ever take the people in your hometown for granted? Millie Arp makes such beautiful contributions to the community we have both grown up in, and I finally got to sit down and chat with her for the very first time because of the #12friendchallenge.

Millie is an artist, teacher, and so much more, but you definitely can't miss the bright spots around town where her work livens up places like Main Street Cafe and Shewey's. She grew up in Paris IL, and while she has had many adventures elsewhere, including as an intern for Disney in Florida and a nanny in Scotland, she has always found her way back home, where she is well-loved by her ever supportive parents, their two dogs, and her boyfriend, David. (As a sucker for love stories, I especially loved hearing Millie's retelling of how she and David got together. They're adorable. πŸ˜‰πŸ’•πŸ˜) Millie says that growing up her parents were always encouraging about her love of art, and gave their full support as she pursued excellence in her passion. Currently, she is an art teacher for Mayo Middle School and serves on the board of the local Bicentenial Art Center. Someday, she hopes to open her own studio, where she would be able to give students more intensive, one on one attention. Millie can trace much of her delight in art back to watching her grandmother paint on anything and everything, from ostrich eggs to sweaters to sand dollars. She has also always particularly enjoyed being able to hand-craft Christmas gifts for those she loves. On the day we met, Millie was getting ready to begin working on a mural for Ms. Holly's House. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and visit with me @mermaidmillie! You're a beautiful person, and I'm so glad we finally connected!

This month's 12 friend post brought to you late due to a concussion. Protect your brains, friends. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

Friend number one for my #12friendchallenge! "You have to be able to lead yourself before you can lead others." Aaron Sebastian didn't come up with this phrase himself, but he does try to live by it all the same. An avid basketball player through highschool, he assumed he would play in college with his best friend, but his life took a different direction when a long health journey taught him that trying to control things rarely works out, but letting God guide your life does. Aaron is passionate about building leaders, particularly in college-aged groups, and studying how Christianity can be practically applied in daily life. As someone who comes from a family of missionaries and ministers, he has had a great springboard into the ministry he is involved in now. He says whenever the extended family is all together it's like a ministry conference in their house. While he has always had a bent toward leadership and ministry, he is still discovering how those skills are supposed to play out in his life as he completes his college degree. He has been intentional about continuing learning and growing, a fan of podcasts and leadership training events. Wherever his journey ends up taking him, Aaron knows he wants to help others get a vision and focus for their futures and purposes. Thanks for helping me kick this project off, Aaron! It was great getting to chat with you!

Me and Aaron were introduced by @pastorshan, who Aaron works with at Marshall Baptist Church.

Major brownie points if you can guess what this song is. (@aubreylawson_06 this is for you)

Winter's a good time to embrace your inner child, since you're finally old enough to lift the pieces for that 7ft snowman you always dreamed of. With help from the one and only @jerad_lawson17 of course.

Never let anyone stop you... even you.

What a beautiful team I have gotten to walk alongside this Dressember. I am so grateful for the hearts of these ladies, and the outpouring of active love they have given this month. Dressember may be over, but the fight is not. Together, we WILL #EndIt

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