• Beth Bowman

I am sitting in a coffee shop, surrounded by mint colored, beach-themed decor and there is a sign closest to me that states"In This House...."-do you know what I am talking about? They are quite popular and a little annoying. Seriously? We ALWAYS tell the truth? We ALWAYS forgive? We ALWAYS keep our promises? Give me a key...I am moving in with THAT family!

Because my life is always in the balance between a hot mess and a total disaster, I decided to write my own declaration for "In This House..."



In this house,

We don't floss. We fill up the DVR with our personal favorite shows. We track in mud and act like we do not know who did it. We binge watch. We are reluctant to say, "I'm sorry".We buy clothes in the wrong size because we want to pretend we have lost weight. We make fun of the neighbors dog when she is dressed in a tutu. We leave our clothes in the washer for 2 days. We leave our yard equipment in the rain. We hide our dirty pans in the stove when unexpected company arrives. We use up all of the WiFI. We can't find any of the batteries to anything. We let our grandkids have caffeinated drinks when their parents aren't around. We overeat and underpray.

And at the end of the day, we realize it is ONLY God's grace and mercy that gets us through. We are pretty much sinful and selfish and are in desperate gratitude for our Savior. Because of Jesus, we can get up each day, forgiven, loved and cherished.

Then we go and hide the double-stuffed Oreos.

  • Beth Bowman

Back in the summer I was talking to a college student friend about social media trends when she remarked, "You know people buy friends on Insta." I busted out laughing. I thought she was joking. She proceeded to show me accounts of people that we both knew who had in fact...purchased friends to "like" or "follow" their accounts.

Later that night, out of curiosity, I went to the app store on my phone and searched for "Social Media Followers" app. Sure enough, there were a lot of apps out there. I could not resist. I downloaded an app (it was free) to see what it was all about. On this particular app, you could purchase points with money or, if you watched commercials or checked in daily, you would get points and the points can be used to purchase likes or followers. 10 followers or 50 likes for 100 points. So, I watched some videos and checked in a couple of days and Presto! I bought some friends for my insta business account.

It was exciting watching the notifications blow up instantly. Even more exciting was watching the likes on my screen...Thumbs up, thumbs up, thumbs up!

I looked into the accounts of my new "friends". I wanted to see if ethel_laucha9dispepog and I had any common friends. We didn't. Caroll_ta71swestdeswth and I didn't either. In fact, none of my purchased friends and I had friends, interests, or even a random puppy picture that we both liked.

The whole experience ended poorly. My purchased friends were only in it for the show. Or maybe the company that generates the fake friends are in it for the money. Nonetheless, although my social media algorithm may have been enhanced....my life certain wasn't.

The whole experienced reminded me of a Bible verse from the life of Samuel found in 1 Samuel 16:7, "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, the Lord looks on the heart."

Even as an adult who uses social media, I can so understand how easy it is to get wrapped up in self evaluation based on likes, followers and comments. The whole experience for me was a reminder to place my value on what God thinks of me and His overwhelming love for me. And in that knowledge, I went ahead and deleted the app.

Experience over.

But if you happen to scroll on insta and notice my new friend, suzanna_pinghusteqitui9ina, tell her I said hello.





  • Beth Bowman

As I write this, I am sitting in the Huddle House in Carthage, MS and waiting on a phone call. Not just any phone call but a phone call that will help me spring into action. Today, a chicken plant not too far from Carthage was raided for illegal immigrants. The workers were rounded up, put on a bus and taken to Jackson for processing. The bus to Jackson contained husbands, wives and parents.

Thankfully, because our area of Mississippi cares for people...our proactive schools quickly made plans in case students needed care, our church leaders made phone calls and the community began to rally around the idea that children, students or at risk adults may need help.

We must live what we have wished others were doing. We can not hide behind "The poor children in Texas" and a "Can't believe what is happening at the border" issue. Now, the issue is close and near and in our town. We can't hide behind our "prayers" and "good thoughts" for children who are separated from parents and parents who are torn away from children.

I've finished my food and now an update-the detainees who do not have criminal records and have children at home will be allowed to go home. Husbands will walk in the doors of their homes to hug wives, Moms will come home to reassure little ones, and grandparents will phone loved ones tonight.

Tomorrow? who knows what may happen. But I want to be ready to share whatever I have and whatever I can do. How about you?