jeffersonbethke jeffersonbethke

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Jefferson Bethke  Husband to @alyssajoybethke. Living on Maui. Author of 'Love That Lasts' and 'Jesus > Religion'

So if you didn’t hear, Maui has a hurricane coming for it the next few days and there’s not a ton of upside to that situation, except it means a lot more time indoors than usual which then means I’ll be doing some serious reading and listening to audiobooks this week 😂🙌🏻 what are you reading this week? For reals the Boy Crisis book is blowing my mind 😳 have you read it? What did you think? PS for those who don’t know, audible is super rad and how I listen to all my audiobooks. They partnered with me to hook y’all up with a free audiobook of your choice + a free 30 day trial membership. Just head to audible.com/jeffb (or hit the link in my profile 🤙🏼). #audible #audiblepartner @audible_com

Words matter. Words created the heavens and the earth. Words can kill and destroy or words can give life and heal. And the preeminent Word, the very ‘logos’ of God decided to make His dwelling here with us. The Word became flesh. And so we attempt to do the same. To not just speak words of life, but to embody them. To put flesh and skin and bones and sweat on the words. Because that’s what love does. (PS for those wondering, Alyssa was talking to me recently about how important words have been on her journey with her body. Bad words tore down, but healthy and beautiful and God given words built up. And so for fun she thought it’d be cool to put together a temporary tattoo pack of some of the words that encouraged her and gave her life on her journey and we tossed them up on our website so they could do the same for you. And fun part is they are kid friendly as well and a great resource to start teaching little ones about scripture and living with God’s Word right in front of themat all times. Link in profile if you want to get a pack of 9 diff tattoos - 4 large words, and 5 small verses.)

Alyssa and I have a non negotiable “business meeting” every Sunday night. And we don’t actually talk about business stuff per se, we actually talk about our family and marriage. We just call it a ‘business meeting’ because it’s pure logistics and priorities and getting on the same page not heart to heart connecting time, and honestly only takes about 15-30 minutes. And before we do any committing to invites from friends or before we add anything extra to our week like errands and projects, our first agenda item in the meeting is to nail down our 4 main anchors of the week. Every time. Non negotiable. Those are a date night for us (which sometimes is just a movie at home with popcorn and phones put away), our sabbath (which doesn’t change so doesn’t take much, we just chat about the plans), when Alyssa gets a break away from the home and the kids, and when we will each have dates and special time with our kids. With two kids currently we alternate and each make time for one kid one time per week to do something special with just them, while the other parent takes the other kid at the same time and we switch kids the next week. This will change as we grow the family since we won’t be able to alternate, but I think anchoring our weeks with the highest priorities we don’t ever want to forget or lose sight of truly is what gives our family the bandwidth and meaning and joy and life it currently has. If we don’t have time for the most important things then we don’t have time for anything really. We just refuse to let outside pressures or demands dictate our life or schedule. Building a multi generational family line that is a team on mission takes laser focus but really just comes down to “if someone audited our life and walked around all day with a clipboard what would they say is most important to us?” and that ‘business meeting’ Alyssa and I have every week is to make sure the things we say are important are actually what would be answered on the clipboard too. And it’s fascinating to me how it really is just a difference of 15 minutes on Sunday. #jeffsdadthoughts

Why isn’t just being a good parent good enough for most of us? That’s a question I ask myself a lot. There seems to be an immense pressure in our society, and from ourselves even, that if you’re JUST (which that framing alone is hilariously similar to if you’re JUST President of the United States) a stay at home mom or a dad who works within the household economy not against it, then you’re failing. Not doing enough. Not dreaming big enough. But what if I don’t want those “dreams” you keep talking about? It seems for me, that to focus my energy primarily on building a family team significantly goes against not only the grain of culture but even parts of evangelicalism. Or another way to put it is why do we always frame the conversation of identity and calling around work? We say things like “chase your dreams and pursue your passion and uncover your gifting and when you do you’ll be your best and full self.” But why when we say that are we always talking about what we do for a paycheck and not our roles as fathers and mothers and husbands or wives? Personally I find more joy and peace and blessing when I sink myself into my roles of fatherhood and husbandry, not trying to go “find myself” outside of my marriage and family. That IS the highest calling (of course only talking to folks who are already married), not me detaching from my God given roles and trying to find what I’m individually good at or gifted at. That pursuit (uncovering your individual gifting) is only important in order to use it to serve others, and if you’re married or have kids then the primary people you serve with your gift are those people you see every night at the dinner table not the people who show up in the same building as you everyday to get a paycheck. And so we feel this immense pressure to be or do something significant, when I want to yell back to the world “I’m good! I feel significant enough wiping the butt of two tiny humans. Thanks though for the offer.” But maybe that’s exactly why it’s the way of Jesus. Ordinariness and the “wasting of ourselves” at the feet of Him who made us in service of those right in front of us, not those online or in our office or across the world.

It’s only been a few days since Alyssa & Sadie’s new ecourse + workbook has been out and we’ve been pretty blown back by your guys support and encouragement and kind notes. And the cool part is, even though it takes us a few days to ship you the awesome workbook, you actually get access to the video course INSTANTLY so there’s already folks going through it and posting about it and having a conversation the comments of the video platform we use. So rad and encouraging to see. This is actually a tiny preview from one of the week’s content and is Alyssa not bringing the truth?! So stoked to see her living in her gifting and pointing people to Jesus along the way, through her story. Link in my profile to check it out and get instant access. Love y’all!

I’M SUCH A PROUD HUSBAND RIGHT NOW! 😭 today is officially the day that Alyssa & Sadie’s new 8 week workbook + video series comes out!! We took a gamble and basically have said nothing about it and done no preorders and decided not to mention it until literally the day it releases, which is today 😬 I’m so proud of Alyssa and how she catalyzed this project, boldly and vulnerably shared her story, and worked hard putting together an 8 week journey I know that’s going to directly encourage and transform sooooo many of y’all on your walk to finding freedom. If you struggle believing any lies about yourself, or not fully resting or understanding the power of who God says you are, or you don’t understand your true identity as a child of God, or if you live in a non healthy cycle of body image issues and food related things, THIS IS FOR YOU! I’m so excited and believe in it so much. Not lying when I say it’s life changing what they created 😭 so tag a friend or two who you love doing studies with and let’s celebrate! It’s only available on our site and amazon, and our site has a few different packages and merchandise options etc. link in profile or head to findingfreedomworkshop.com. SO STOKED! #findingfreedomproject

Sorry guys I just now realized I’ve been slacking on updating you all with #jeffs2018reads. Once I get into a book writing season I start to get a little more forgetful 😂 but here’s some of my recent reads with short reviews.

Priest Barracks - I’m pretty obsessed with WWII history so I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn’t know that most clergy were actually concentrated in one concentration camp, Dachau. I wish the book was a little more engaging or more written from the ground of the first person accounts. At times it just felt like a history report. Heart wrenching and yet beautiful book in parts.

Shop Class as Soulcraft - sheesh. I loved this book. It was little more high level and philosophical than I thought it’d be but it was brilliant and so needed culturally.

God’s Bankers - ok this is one of my favorite books of the year. Beware though it’s like 5000 pages and crazy detailed and researched and tedious. But it was gripping and fascinating. If you’ve read Disney War (one of my favorite books) then you’ll love this book. It reads in exact same style and length, just about the catholic church’s financial arm instead of Disney ha.

A failure of Nerve - still working through this one actually because I’m picking it up randomly instead of reading it straight through. But so far really interesting and unique thoughts on leadership.

Reordered Love, Reordered Lives - great concise book on idolatry and the source of our affections and worship. Will recommend this book to folks who ask me for a theological book on idolatry. Little sluggish and slow writing but brilliant book.

This Idea is Brilliant - super cool premise. It’s a collection of or to two page essays from experts who write about an idea they think is world changing but no one knows about. I skipped around because a lot were above my head or in fields I didn’t care about. But cool book.

That’s it for now. What have you been reading? Have you read any of these? Thoughts?

So one benefit of getting termites in your vanity cabinets (a more common problem here in Hawaii than you’d think) is you get to remodel your bathroom. So here’s a little before and after action of a little update we just finished (and sorry, I didn’t realize to take a before picture until after we tore everything out 😂). One cool thing is Alyssa and I challenged ourselves to pretty much use things we already currently had and just repurpose them. So the vanity is an heirloom dresser from Alyssa’s mom that we repainted and I repurposed with a sink on top. And the black piece on the left is a bookshelf we had downstairs before. And the mirror we already had somewhere else too, we just repainted it. My favorite thing for sure though is how the vanity with that sink and faucet hardware came out. And this was the first time I officially did my own plumbing & electrical plug rewiring so that was cool to learn with a few texts to a friend as a lifeline. And thanks to Alyssa’s mom for painting it everything 🙏🏼 love little projects like this. As someone who’s job is to sit at a computer all day I love being able to work with my hands.

Man, I WISH I had turned my mic on when this was recording 😭 found this clip today when going through some footage from last week. This was Kinsley hosting her own little YouTube show, complete with a book review and water break, while I was setting up for a video. Note to self: always bring the kids into the work as much as possible. Let your work be their playground. Even if it means them dropping an $800 dollar camera once and breaking the lens 🤣 which thankfully I was prepared for and just said hey that was totally an accident so no sweat but let’s be mindful so we can have even more fun with daddy’s stuff. I want them to always think that my work is fun, has a space for them, cool, and something they can always help me with if they want to so as they grow older that means more hang time with them. Fighting for integration is always a better idea than compartmentalization. #jeffsdadthoughts

A “let’s paint our new plane” day turned into a “let’s paint ourself” in about 5 minutes 😂 love these kids and their infectious joy. Pro tip: always let kids be kids and say yes more than no. PS don’t miss the last picture where Kinsley starts to treat Kannon as the canvas.

Did you know the concept of modern toys (plastic, cheap, loud, needs batteries, not open ended, etc) was essentially invented right around 1955? Now of course kids have always found stuff to play with for thousands of years. Sticks. Sand. Wood. Something they make themselves. But it wasn’t until 1955 an enormous cultural shift happened. And does anyone know why it was that year? That was the same year the Mickey Mouse Club debuted and televisions and advertising just started to hit mainstream. Now all of a sudden, toy makers had a place to advertise their toys (Mattel actually began running advertisements for the first time outside of Christmas right around this year). Before 1955 play was about the activity. And ever since, play has become about the thing instead. And only 50 years ago a child received about one toy a year, as an enormous special occasion gift. Now every kid receives about 70 toys a year. It’s no longer special. Now I’m not the guy that thinks everything old is inherently special and everything new is inherently wrong. But a philosophy of toys is something every family should consider or think about. Because if you don’t have a philosophy of toys then everyone else’s philosophy will be unintentionally ruling in your home (the giant toy companies, advertising companies, etc). And I don’t think it has to be something crazy, but small changes and choices can make a big difference. For us that means any toy that comes in our house generally speaking, has to be wood and not plastic (even the colors of plastic toys are wayyyy more overwhelming than wood tones usually), doesn’t need batteries, open ended, multi use, activity based, and lastly where the kid actually has to give the toy it’s power, meaning it’s useless and doesn’t do anything unless the kid can think of something to do with it or build with it (something that stirs the imagination not starves it). And we try our best to use what we already have like this Home Depot box that our new sink came in. Last week it was packing material from Home Depot, and this week it’s a plane with windows and wings and two pilots who apparently work for Alaska Airlines 😂 #jeffsdadthoughts

Did you know touch is the first of the senses to develop in an infant? Yet sadly, most of us suffer incredibly from touch deprivation. We are STARVING and we don’t even know it. We live in a culture so perverse and distorted and deficient that touch has become almost entirely wrong or weird or creepy or awkward. But what if the way forward is actually restoring the beauty and power of good touch? There’s no greater gift that we can give our children than the gift of loving, gentle, and secure touches. Hugs. Cuddles. Kisses. Wrestling. Hand on their cheek while you’re talking to them. I’m not overstating it guys when I say the data is ENORMOUS on this front. Someone’s exposure to healthy and loving touch or the lack thereof predicts so many things (delinquency, criminal records, education, attention spans, cortisol (stress) production, etc). Here’s one of the craziest and funniest - there was an actual study that showed that loving and gentle touch actually significantly boosted people’s immune systems and made them far less susceptible to the common cold (no joke, they put two sample groups in a hotel and gave them all the cold on purpose. People who received loving and gentle and ‘good’ touches beat it or didn’t show much signs of having the cold. Isn’t that funny how we do the opposite? If you’re sick, go disappear and don’t see anyone and isolate yourself and wear a nuclear hazmat suit, bye! 😂). But dads especially, what would it look like if we leaned into touch? If we embraced all that comes with it. If we taught our kids healthy boundaries and what a good touch is and what a bad touch is and how to distinguish? What if we cuddled with them, kissed them, stroked their hair, or even ‘body slammed’ them (that’s our kids favorite that I do 😂)? There’s too much at stake if we don’t. #jeffsdadthoughts

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