Treacherous Corkscrew Hill

This is post #8 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl, and

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“I find that romance is for readers. I want adventures; they are for the living.” –Moryah DeMott, Timeless

Doolin Clare Hills
Doolin Clare Hills

Any time you step out and do something new and different, you’ll face anxiety or fear. Some of my fears about going to Ireland was about mine and our daughter Leah’s physical safety: terrorism or being the victim of a crime; getting sick from some disease; one of the planes crashing (I actually love flying, but this is always possible); and my biggest fear was me learning to drive on the left side of the road, in the right front seat–and possibly having to drive in hard rain, because it rains a LOT in Ireland! (I dislike driving in rain or bad weather!)

I conquered all these fears traveling to Ireland, but one of the scariest times we had there was driving up Corkscrew Hill to our B & B near Doolin.

Although they are called “Clare Hills,” they are really more like mountains. And even worst, it began to rain as we drove up the steep, treacherous hills!

Driving through mountains in Ireland
Driving through mountains in Ireland

When we arrived at our B & B later, the owner Mary told me that they do have “driving rains” in the hills, so bad that you can hardly see out the windshield as you’re driving. I was thankful that it was not raining hard like that, although it was still stressful driving on the winding roads in the rain.

Doolin fields
Doolin fields

The speed limit often read 100 km ( about 62 mph). There was NO way I was driving that fast in the mountains! Cars were whipping fast around the curves, appearing suddenly and freaking me out. I gripped the steering wheel tightly and prayed.

Leah was telling me to not drive TOO slow, as that was dangerous, too (especially for cars behind us). But I kept my speed between 40 to 60 km! I was being extra careful, as I did not want to wreck our rental car!

When the GPS showed that we were within five miles of the B & B, I stopped in a little town for us to use the restroom–and for us to enjoy an ice cream cone. I’d watched videos of Ireland before traveling over there, and had heard that the ice cream cones were delicious–and they are! They have square pieces of chocolate in them.

Ireland's delicious ice cream cone
Ireland’s delicious ice cream cone

Leah wanted to know how I could “spot” stores so fast that had ice cream. I told her about the big, plastic ice cream cone signs outside the stores.

plastic cone sign
plastic cone sign

I was stressed out from having to drive in the rain up the winding mountain roads, and just wanted to get to the safe B & B, so I hurriedly ate my ice cream cone (the word “gobble” comes to mind!). To my chagrin, Leah seemed to be taking her sweet time, slowly licking her ice cream cone. When I urged her to hurry, she told me she was not going to rush through eating it.

Looking back now, this is extremely funny to me and I laugh about it. When Leah said this, I immediately felt convicted by God for trying to hurry her. I needed to just slow down and savor this surreal moment of being in Ireland with our precious daughter as she enjoyed her ice cream. I calmed down and waited, as we sat on a bench outside the store and she ate her cone.

When we arrived at the B & B, we saw that the owner had two beautiful, brown horses in a pasture. Leah is an animal lover and one of them came to her right away.

Beautiful horse that came right away to Leah
Beautiful horse that came right away to Leah

 

Leah and the horse near Doolin
Leah and the horse near Doolin

All the hostesses of the B & B’s in Ireland were so nice, but this B & B’s owner, Mary, was mine and Leah’s favorite. (Riverdale Farmhouse near Doolin) She had a true gift of hospitality and made us feel so welcome to Ireland. As usual, there were gorgeous roses outside. Roses, flowers, trees, and grass thrive in Ireland due to how often it rains.

Riverdale B & B, Doolin
Riverdale B & B, Doolin

When we arrived, Mary had hot tea and cookies ready for us, which was such a blessing after the long, stressful drive there. The B & B owners serve the tea in fine china cups. Many of them also had these beautiful, antique glass bottles to keep drinking water in for their guests.

Tea and cookies
Tea and cookies

Later that evening, Leah and I also tried her chai that she bought at a pharmacy in Galway, when I purchased a natural sleep aid there similar to Melatonin (I had trouble sleeping in Galway). I had saved my Biscott cookies from our international plane flight, so we ate those with the chai. Leah and I decided that we would keep the relaxing habit of afternoon tea when we flew back home to the states.

I was so proud of Leah for doing her college homework each night while we traveled in Ireland! She made an A in this class, and is now taking her third course in her graphic arts college program. The natural sleep aid knocked me right out, and I slept great here!

Enjoying Leah's chai
Enjoying Leah’s chai

One of the things I was very impressed about with the B & B’s in Ireland is how neat and spotlessly clean they are. While I no longer have old-fashioned taste (Victorian, antique furniture), the B & B’s are pretty and the beds are comfortable. I booked one room with two single beds at each B & B, although this room had a queen-size bed and a single bed. I feel the advantage to B & B’s versus hotels is that there is generally more privacy and they are less expensive. 

The B & B's in Ireland are neat and very clean
The B & B’s in Ireland are neat and very clean

 

Mirrored dresser
Mirrored dresser

 

Pretty floral light at B & B--I thought our daughter Heather would like this.
Pretty floral light at B & B–I thought our daughter Heather would like this. She loves flowers, and her name is that of a purple-blue flower.

I was very tired that night and really didn’t even want supper, nor did I want to face driving in the mountains in the rain, but Leah did want something to eat. Mary told us about pubs in Doolin, only about 2 km, so we went to one. Leah ordered a sweet potato soup that came with soda bread, and I ordered a tuna salad, that came with a different type of bread. The portions were huge!

I was disappointed that Leah and I never heard a live band playing at one of the Irish pubs…maybe next time we go! The pub looked typical: a group of men sitting around talking, watching sports on TV, and drinking a Guinness beer. (Guinness beer is made in Ireland and you can tour the famous factory in Dublin. Leah and I never tried one while there.) The men gave us some odd looks when we came in and just ordered food! Guess we weren’t their typical pub crowd!

Leah's sweet potato soup
Leah’s sweet potato soup

 

bread at the Doolin Pub
bread at the Doolin Pub

 

tuna salad at pub
tuna salad at pub

Mary made an amazing full Irish breakfast for us the next morning, but Leah requested just fresh fruit and yogurt (she feels the full breakfast is a little much!). A full Irish breakfast generally consists of an egg, bacon (which is really more like the US version of ham), sausage, fresh fruit and yogurt, baked tomatoes, mushrooms, and some type of bread and/or scones with jam. The fresh orange and grapefruit juice were delicious!

fresh fruit juice
fresh fruit juice

I really enjoyed our stay at this B & B. Mary gave us directions to reduce a lot of driving time to the Killarney National Park, by us taking the ferry. This was the first time that Leah had ever gone on a ferry and she thought it was interesting. In my next post in this Ireland Blog Series, I’ll share pics with you of the ferry ride–and the beautiful Torc Waterfall in the national park, which was one of the things I really wanted to see in Ireland!

Doolin stone bridge
Doolin stone bridge
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My speaking event to preschool teachers: This year, PRAY!

Me & event planner, Kathy Moxley
Me & event planner, Kathy Moxley

Recently I had the honor of being asked to speak to a group of preschool teachers in Independence, Missouri.

While usually I give my personal testimony or share about the fairy tale of Cinderella and her unique glass slippers, as I prayed about this event, I felt led by God to speak on the power of prayer and faith in Jesus Christ for this coming school year. 

stained glass windows
stained glass windows

Kathy was amazing and the ladies were so sweet! The event was in a quaint, lovely chapel at Christ United Methodist Church with beautiful stained glass windows. I love stained glass windows, and my book about our turbulent, 25-year marriage has a cover with a picture of stained glass on it here. Making stained glass windows is becoming a lost art.

What I love about them, besides their colorful beauty, is that each one tells a story, usually about Jesus or other figures of the Bible. The practice of stained glass for decorative purposes dates back to ancient Rome. Evidence of stained glass windows in churches and monasteries in Britain can be found as early as the 7th century.

Augsburg Cathedral stained glass window
Augsburg Cathedral stained glass window

The oldest known stained glass window is the Romanesque church in Augsburg, Germany, in the heart of Bavaria. It has portraits of Moses, Daniel, and other Biblical figures. Medieval churches began to commission windows with religious figures and the royalty of the period would request for windows bearing their coat of arms

I loved this stained glass window at the church where I spoke about prayer and how precious children are to God. It is of Jesus and the children, so it was quite fitting for my presentation!

Jesus & the children
Jesus & the children

This was so cool and confirmation to me from God that I was supposed to be there. I usually have visual aids when I speak, and I brought a statue I’d bought earlier this year of Jesus the Shepherd with two lambs, one in His arms and one right beside Him at His feet. It is a visual reminder to me to pray often for our children and that Jesus has them in His loving care. To my surprise and delight, the chapel had a picture very similar to this!

Jesus the Shepherd & His lambs
Jesus the Shepherd & His lambs

The beautiful glass was moved from prior Methodist churches in the area.

I often request a table beside the podium, when I speak, on which to place my water bottle and the visual aids. The chapel and this little, white, pretty table were just perfect for this event! I also placed a few of my books on the table. 

table
table

I emphasized to the preschool teachers how precious the children were, and also themselves (and to take time out for self-care!), and how important it is to pray every day, setting aside a few minutes at least to spend time with God: praying, reading the Bible, and in worship and praise. I based the teaching on my book on prayer, Walking With God, available for sale here for just 99 cents at Amazon.

Hopefully I encouraged them to choose “the best part” of their day, that Mary did, sitting at Jesus’ feet. (Luke 10:42)

chips and salsa
chips and salsa

Afterward, of course, I treated myself to Mexican food to get my chips and salsa fix!

God's Glory Box came!
God’s Glory Box came!

Then when I arrived home, I had a wonderful surprise: the August 2018 subscription box from God’s Glory Box, with my book Walking With God in it, had arrived! I loved the other goodies in it, too: the green T-shirt, cross bracelet, stickers, and pretty mountain note cards.

Each month these subscription boxes have different Christian items in them, and they donate 5 meals per box! (Yes, I just signed up for this subscription box! I loved my first box and can’t wait to get more!)

August 2018 box with my book, Walking With God!
August 2018 box with my book, Walking With God!

I’m so honored and thankful to God that God’s Glory Box just shipped out 7,700 of my book across America. To Jesus Christ be all the glory, amen!

Dear friend, I want to encourage you this year to pray. God hears your prayers and answers. There is POWER in your prayers and faith in Jesus Christ! One attendee came up to me afterward to talk to me about her friend, who is a writer, wanting to publish her book. She told me and Kathy that at times, she felt as if God was speaking straight through me to hers and the other attendees’ hearts. I pray that this event bears much fruit for Christ, and leads the women into a deeper relationship with Jesus this year!

 “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”–Psalm 5:3

*******If you’d like me to speak at your women’s conference, retreat, or event, please contact me here at BethJones. I love encouraging others!

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My book signing at The Carpenter’s Cup

My book signing & promotion The Carpenter's Cup
My book signing & promotion
The Carpenter’s Cup

This Saturday, September 10, I had the honor and privilege of having a book signing and promotion at The Carpenter’s Cup Christian bookstore and coffee shop in Butler, MO. Butler ‘s population was only 4,219 in the 2010 Census, so anything new that happens is a hot topic!

My husband Ray, a paramedic at Bates County Memorial Hospital, heard people talking about The Carpenter’s Cup at his work and suggested I go in there, introduce myself as a local speaker and author, and ask if I could possibly display my books for sale there.

To my delight, the store owner Becky Clift said that while she isn’t yet displaying local authors’ books in her store, I could have a display table for a book signing and promotion on Saturday, during the city wide garage sale when there would be more traffic in town. This was favor from God and I was excited!

Promises In The Dark: One Woman's Search for Authentic Love

Because it was a tight time frame, I had to hustle. I ordered a few copies each of three print books, my memoir Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love, my book on spiritual warfare The Hands of a Woman: Everyday Women in Everyday Battles, and my book on my tumultous 23-year marriage to Ray, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife.

I already had a physical print copy of my first book which is on prayer, Walking With God, now only available as an eBook on Amazon. 

How To Write Your Book Fast: Making Your Writing Dreams Come True
Cover art: Copyright 2016 Beth Jones

Also, I printed out the cover of my newest eBook for the Kindle on Amazon, How To Write Fast: Making Your Writing Dreams Come True.  

I’d ordered my business cards from Vistaprint a few years ago, so my Amazon Author Page link wasn’t on the card. I printed out labels with my link, cut them down to size, and adhered them to the back of my business card. They looked nice. This was my husband Ray’s great idea!

Organizing and decorating are gifts God has placed inside of me, and I love doing it. Decorating and making things beautiful makes me happy.

I bought purple tablecloths from the dollar store, fresh red carnation flowers, and a bright red bowl containing chocolates to give away to people who stopped by my table on their way inside the store. (The chocolates were a hit, of course!)

The chocolates were a hit!
The chocolates were a hit!

The fresh red carnation flowers gave me joy and looked great with the purple tablecloths.

Red carnations
Red carnations

I already had my printed business cards with my name, website, and info from Vistaprint, and I printed out my speaker one sheetMy table looked beautiful! Several friends complimented it from my posted pics on Facebook. 

My table looked beautiful!
My table looked beautiful!
My display table
My display table

My husband Ray also had another great idea: to enlarge pictures of some of my books to poster-size. I quickly created a PDF with four of my book’s covers, and our daughter Leah helped me to convert it to a jpg file for Walmart to print poster-size (Walmart’s photo machines don’t read PDF’s.)

It only took about 30 minutes, and it looked great and professional.  I bought a purple cork board to pin the poster, which I’m giving to Leah for her bedroom as she has been wanting one, and borrowed Leah’s music stand to display it. (Leah plays the violin, mandolin, and keyboard.)

Book covers stand
Book covers stand

Ray had bought me a butterfly necklace, and I wore it that day with a butterfly ring my precious friend Rochelle Valasek gave me when she spoke at my Released butterfly conference, and butterfly earrings. I noticed throughout the day all kinds of butterflies flying around the flowers near my table: white, yellow, Monarch. I felt they were a sign of confirmation that God’s presence was with me. This greatly encouraged me. 

butterfly
butterfly

During the signing, customers to The Carpenter’s Cup stopped by, looked at my books and poster, got some chocolates, and my business card. I sold a few books and may have a possible speaking engagement at one church leader’s church. I was able to just listen to women’s hearts and later prayed for them. 

speaker one sheet
speaker one sheet

While there, I also met the owner Becky’s family: her daughter and her son (who brainstorm ideas for the store with her and her son makes the delicious hot and cold, flavored coffees there!), her sisters (who are part of her business team), her friends and her customers.

At lunch time, Becky and her family treated me to a wonderful (and free!) brisket sandwich lunch with cole slaw, broccoli salad, chips, and gluten free brownies. What a blessing! They all made me feel very welcome.

lunch with Becky's family
lunch with Becky’s family
brisket
brisket

One customer who stopped by the table began sharing her heart with me, some horrible things she had suffered in her life after I showed her my memoir and mentioned some painful things I’d gone through, but told her how faithful God is.

I knew this was my most important “divine appointment” at the book signing. Like Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well, God wants us to give others His living, abundant waters. (John 4:1-42)

Jesus at well with woman
Jesus at well with woman

Also, I think that I made friends with the store owner Becky’s grandson, Kuhli. 🙂  He hung around me all day–probably because I had the chocolates! But still, he amused me and talked with me to keep me company. In the picture below, he had just finished eating a bowl of strawberries and was going back inside the store.

Kuhli
Kuhli

This book signing and promotion was such an honor and a blessing to me, and I’m so thankful to God, my husband Ray for the idea, and to The Carpenter’s Cup store owner Becky Clift for the privilege. If you’re ever in Butler, MO, be sure to stop by the store at 102 South Bishop Street, Butler, MO, 64730.

The Carpenter's Cup
The Carpenter’s Cup

They have great non-fiction and fiction books, Bibles, journals, some nice “bling” (pretty jewelry, Montana West purses and flip flops), home decor for the fall and Christmas, a pastors’ and a children’s section, and the delicious hot and iced flavored coffees. (Try the chocolate raspberry hot coffee-delish!)

I will write another blog post about the store itself, and how Becky, an R.N. for years, came up with the amazing idea for it, so stay tuned!

After the book signing event, I treated myself to the movie Sully which opened this weekend. It stars Tom Hanks and is based on the miraculous story of Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger making an emergency water landing in New York’s Hudson River after Airways Flight 1549 hit a flock of geese on January 15, 2009. Miraculously, all 155 passengers survived. The movie was partly about the investigation he faced afterward, threatening to destroy his pilot career and reputation. I highly recommend the movie.

Sully
Sully

Thank you so much to all who prayed for me and encouraged me about this book signing and promotion event. I feel it was a “God” thing and am praying it will bear much eternal fruit.

me-book-signing
me-book-signing

One opportunity I have out of it is that I’m starting a Bible study tonight with the store owner Becky and some ladies in the local area at the store. We’re studying Priscilla Shirer’s book, The Armor of God. She’s the daughter of Pastor Tony Evans and she starred in the incredible movie War Room.  I’ll let you know how the study goes. 

The main character, Elizabeth Jordan, in the movie War Room
The main character, Elizabeth Jordan, in the movie War Room

 

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