jeffersonbethke jeffersonbethke

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

Shaping space, and knowing you have permission to do so, is so important I think for every person to realize. What do you want your house or dorm room to feel like? What would you say are high values to you? Whatever the answers are to that question, then work backwards and try to cultivate a place that’s shows that. Every living space is a value museum for its occupant. Or my mentor said to me once “the home should be the parent’s theme park,” meaning, for example, Walt Disney’s fingerprints and vision are ALL OVER Disney World. You know and understand Walt’s values and vision for the world every time you step foot in Magic Kingdom. How can you make that true in your space? Create and cultivate a space that is hospitable, welcoming, and warm? That highlights creation over consumption and people over devices? That’s what we chatted about this week on the podcast and it was one of my favorite conversations yet. What did you think about this part for those who listened? Anyone made some small changes yet or spark any cool ideas? Also, for those wondering why I’m looking down for the first 30 seconds of this video it’s because I’m reading from our family’s ‘tech manifesto’ that we talked about on the podcast. PS, just remembering when watching this I think the fringe/center language I mention here cake from Andy Crouch’s brilliant book ‘Tech Wise Family.’ Check it out if you haven’t! Great small read. #thereallifepodcast

Let’s talk about phones, and technology. I love them. They have incredible uses and have given us immense freedom and utility. But, one thing we have to wrestle with, is there are only a few hundred powerful people in offices in California that make billions (edging trillions actually) of dollars based on our behavior and engagement with that technology. So it makes sense that they would put immense resources and focus on keeping us on that device or in the loop or in their system. Eyeballs and attention equal money today. Lots of it. And so if we don’t have our own competing vision or personal philosophy of technology then I think we lose right out of the gate. That’s why Alyssa and I recorded a whole podcast today talking about technology, some history and background, as well as our family’s ‘tech manifesto’ I put together to guide our relationship with tech (Just search our names on any podcast listening platform). And this picture is Kannon’s face if you haven’t listened yet 😜😂 jk. But for those who have listened what did you think? What stood out this week? What had you maybe never thought about before? And what has been your personal journey with tech or helpful tips you’ve found? #thereallifepodcast

Hands down my favorite picture from the hospital 😂

“Play isn’t something separate from the daily grind of life. It is not something to finally get to when work ends. Rather, play, like music, is a force that we feel in our bones and that whispers in our heart. As kids demonstrate, play is not over there, but forever here and now.” -Vince Gowmon

She couldn’t be taking her big sister role any more seriously (or be more excited). The best 🙌🏻

What’s interesting when you read the New Testament, is it’s ideas of singleness and marriage seem to be much more mission oriented rather than self indulgent. When we realize the kingdom of God is at stake, I think it changes how we then see our own stages and callings. What do you think? Do you see the outpost and infantry as a helpful analogy? It’s always a bummer to me that we separate into like minded life stages in our culture, rather than seeing the immense benefit of intertwining our lives a little more. Also, bonus points for those who listened to the podcast already, what did you think about the Mark 5 (go home) and Matthew 28 (go into all the world) distinction? It’s only recently I realized Jesus said both and both are true. #thereallifepodcast

I think it’s safe to say, they are huge fans of their new baby sister. (And yes, Kannon likes to randomly wear a sleep mask around the house 🤷🏻‍♂️)

So excited to welcome little Lucy Bethke into the world yesterday at 3:25pm and giving thanks for such a smooth and seamless delivery, which is always a gift of grace every time. We named her Lucy because it means light, and a little light she sure is. To us, and we know she will be to others. And I finally got my goal of having at least one child named after The Chronicles of Narnia. She was 9lb 1oz and has been doing great all night and morning. Alyssa is a champ and so brave and courageous and I’m so proud of her. And I think my favorite so far has been Kinsley and Kannon visiting yesterday and meeting their baby sister for the first time. Kinsley held her, kissed her about a thousand times, and I heard her lean into her and whisper ‘I love you baby sissy’ right before they had to leave. Such a gift and so thankful and appreciated all of you who prayed or were thinking of us yesterday!

He said, “Single Jeff probably had a different assignment or calling than married Jeff, and now that you’re married and trying to force your single calling into your marriage it’s breaking you all down.” This was about 4 years ago and from the mouth of our mentors when I was traveling probably 30 weekends a year all over the country to speak (which normally is a lot, and then try doing that from a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean 😂). But Alyssa was starting to drown because I never actually asked her if this is what she wanted to do alongside me. That was when we started from scratch and put everything the table. And asked Jesus what he had for US, not just me. And you know what? A lot of stuff we decided to do after that was similar to what we were doing before. But it was different too. Because it was a married team now pursuing their assignment from the Lord, not just me doing it and asking everyone else to catch up. And it was through this process we also leaned into what we started to see in the New Testament of how necessary and equal but different single callings usually are from married callings. But, how much they both desperately need each other and how that does seem to be the secret sauce to the revolutionary movement that turned the world upside down 2000 years ago. Singles and marrieds, outposts and armies, homes and humans organically paired weaving together through a city with love. We talk about this a lot more in the podcast this week and I can’t WAIT to hear your thoughts or have a conversation in the comments once y’all listen! Has anyone listened yet? What stood out to ya? What had you maybe not thought of before? Any preconceived notions you had like us that weren’t leading to flourishing? #thereallifepodcast

We decided to do a special dinner out tonight + a post dinner sunset beach walk to bookend this little chapter as a family of four. Fun reflecting and thinking back on what it meant for the Bethke team to be a tribe of four for a few years and now transitioning to a family of five. All four of us chatted tonight about how excited we all are to meet this little girl and welcome the newest little addition to the BT (Bethke team 😂).

Do we actually believe we have ENOUGH this holiday season? Because here’s the thing. We are all about to be bombarded with a million things subtly telling us we don’t have enough and we NEED this or that. But Alyssa and I decided to quit that game a few years ago. We don’t go get a TV on Black Friday. The kids don’t get toys for Christmas. And we focus most of our holiday energy on resisting the spirit of consumerism and leaning into the advent spirit of serving. And one huge way we do that is by sponsoring a few children through compassion. Which has been amazing to watch Kinsley and Kannon attach to the teenage boy and beautiful little girl (both from Uganda, which we’ve been to a few times which felt special) we sponsor and read their letters, pray for them, write to them, etc. And having actually toured compassion HQ this year I can say unequivocally there’s no better org I know that stewards the money so well and does such incredible life changing work while keeping the relationships paramount. SO as an act of resistance we are saying no to consumerism and deciding to put those dollars where it has much more of a profound and eternal impact. Who’s with us? 🙋🏻‍♂️ checkout the link in my bio to search by country or age and sponsor one or multiple kids. Last year all of us sponsored over 400 kids which is unbelievable and so incredible to think about the impact we can all have on this little corner of the internet. Think we could do it again? If you’re in let me know in the comments 🙌🏻 #sponsored

Let’s talk about reading. I always get sad or even a little frustrated when people say reading is boring. Reading isn’t boring. You’re just reading a boring book. I’m on pace to read about 120-125 books this year (avg. 2 per week) and immediately when people hear that they think that’s a lot. But it’s not a lot. An average book takes 4ish hours to read and so only reading an hour in morning or at night after kids go down etc, will get you to read even more than that. I rarely read during a normal workday, and only usually read at the bookends of the day. Most of us are on our phones three to four times that amount every day. But one thing I’ll say is how indebted and grateful I am for books. Truly. Reading has 100% MASSIVELY shaped me. The stories and lives I’ve entered into, heard about for the first time, the ideas I’ve interacted with, the ways I’ve been challenged or grown, are too many to count at this point (and one of the reasons we are a unschool/homeschool family, because I think in our education systems it’s difficult to have the space and time to create a love and discipline of reading when in fact cultivating a love for reading I think should be education’s number one goal, since reading is the gateway or door to all other learning). I mean have we ever realized how insane it is that we can get someone else’s entire life experience + 2 years of direct/focused work on a subject where they are usually an expert on, for $10 or free at the library? I’ll make that trade every time. One quick note though too on the flipside: if a book is bad quit it immediately. I don’t spend more than five seconds slugging through a book that’s not good or not engaging. Too many good books out there to waste your time on mediocre ones. If it’s even a 7 out of 10 I move on. I love how I’ve heard it put another way, “start more books. Quit most of them. Read the best ones twice.” And that’s what this picture is. All my favorites. All the books that the little seed of the idea or story has never left me, and I still think about it to this day, or was deeply impactful to me or transformed how I think in a certain way.

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