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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Giving thanks to God

Thanksgiving table at our house
Thanksgiving table at our house

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and your friends this year. I’m so happy that our three daughters, Heather, Eden, and Leah, our son-in-law Craig, and all our grandkids (missing one!) came this year to eat the Thanksgiving lunch at our home–and we even had guests, Heather’s boyfriend Andy and his three kids, Kelsey, Kaden, and Eian his baby boy. This year we had a new family member join us–Craig’s and Eden’s new baby, Willow. Our family is growing!

Ray made his special, sweet holiday ham that our kids always request. As usual, it was a hit! I made the turkey, the dressing (there’s a debate if it’s called “stuffing” or “dressing”), and crescent rolls and everyone else brought a dish. 

Baby Willow
Baby Willow

 

Thanksgiving 2017 tablecloth, decorative plates, cups, & napkins
Thanksgiving 2017 tablecloth, decorative plates, cups, & napkins at our house

Here’s our oldest beautiful daughter Heather with her boyfriend Andy and his baby son Eian. The baby is about 4 months old and so cute! Heather adores him already. The green bean casserole Heather made for our meal was so good. I was busy cooking and serving, so I forgot to take pics of the yummy food, but people are more important anyway!

Heather, Andy's baby boy Eian, & Andy at our house
Heather, Andy’s baby boy Eian, & Andy at our house

Heather decided to also have a Thanksgiving dinner celebration at her house with her two girls and Andy and his kids. Heather’s table looks so elegant and pretty with the cloth green tablecloth, cloth napkins and napkin rings, blue plates, and decorations. They enjoyed ham, potatoes with gravy, mac n cheese, sparkling cider juice, and buttered rolls. They look happy here. 

Heather & her two girls Andy & his two kids Heather's Thanksgiving meal
Heather & her two girls Violet & Annabelle
Andy & his three kids, Kaden, Kelsey & Eian
Heather’s Thanksgiving meal

Here is our middle beautiful daughter Eden with her husband Craig. Their toddler daughter Piper is a busy bee, so it’s hard to get a picture of her being still!

Eden & her husband Craig
Eden & her husband Craig

 

Piper is a busy bee!
Piper is a busy bee!

Here is Ray with our youngest beautiful daughter Leah, and then me with Leah. I love this pretty plum-colored blouse on her. She made home-made pumpkin rolls for our meal and they were delicious! The kids loved them!

Ray & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017
Ray & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017

 

Me & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017
Me & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017

All our grandkids except one, our grandson Jacob, were able to join us this year for Thanksgiving. We were able to see him today at Eden’s house. He’s so adorable and getting so tall!

Our adorable grandson Jacob
Our adorable grandson Jacob

Heather and Andy bought me some beautiful, fresh flowers for the Thanksgiving family meal. I had been wanting some flowers lately, but didn’t buy myself any. They didn’t know that, but God did! What a sweet surprise.

The beautiful flowers that Heather & Andy bought me
The beautiful flowers that Heather & Andy bought me

 

Orange lily, rose & other beautiful flowers
Orange lily, rose & other beautiful flowers

I’m so grateful that all our family was together this year. The food was delicious, but God and family are what really matter.

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”–Psalm 9:1, NIV

How did you celebrate your Thanksgiving? Leave your comments below.

Thanksgiving napkins
Thanksgiving napkins
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We have a new family member! Baby Willow!

Ray and I are so excited that we have a new family member–Baby Willow, our 5th grandchild! She was born yesterday and is 6 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches long. Her name is Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch. She’s beautiful and precious!

Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch Beautiful & precious!
Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch
Beautiful & precious!

Our middle daughter Eden decided to test her new makeup, Younique, for which she is a presenter, to see if it was labor-proof. It was! Isn’t she the most glam mom ever? I thought this was hilarious. Only Eden would do this, haha!

She has always loved makeup. Even when she was three years old, she’d look through our friend Kim Weber’s purse to find lipstick and put it on her little lips. 

Our daughter Eden labor-proofing her Younique makeup
Our daughter Eden labor-proofing her Younique makeup

 

Craig & Eden waiting for baby Willow in labor room
Craig & Eden waiting for baby Willow in labor room

Although Eden went into the hospital the night before, active labor started at 7 a.m. yesterday morning. She had her before supper time, and she only pushed for five minutes—amazing! I’ve never heard of such a short pushing time!

baby Willow
baby Willow

 

Craig & Eden
Craig & Eden

After labor Eden was hungry, and she could order whatever she wanted to eat at the hospital. She chose a cheeseburger, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, grape juice, and a chocolate brownie. Her pickle looked like it had a face on it, which made all of us laugh.

Eden's meal
Eden’s meal

 

funny "face" pickle on Eden's cheeseburger
funny “face” pickle on Eden’s cheeseburger

Eden is 110% Sanguine, which means she is very outgoing, has one volume (loud!) and talks constantly. After giving birth to Willow, she was sitting up in her bed, talking non-stop to Ray and me, while eating her cheeseburger, laughing at the “face” pickle, and telling us how awful the mashed potatoes with gravy were. I was extremely amused that she had all her makeup still on and was talking a lot after just having a baby.

Me & Ray at hospital
Me & Ray at hospital

Willow’s body temperature wasn’t quite warm enough, so both Eden and Craig had to do skin to skin contact with her to warm up her body. We weren’t able to hold her yet because of this, but we were happy to see her right after she was born. We are praying and believing that all is well with her.

Craig having skin to skin contact with Willow
Craig having skin to skin contact with Willow

Craig’s parents live in Oklahoma and sent gifts to Willow and Eden, which arrived while we were visiting them. The big, soft elephant is so cute and I wanted to take it home!

Gifts for Willow & Eden
Gifts for Willow & Eden

 

Willow's balloon
Willow’s balloon

I love the cute little blankets that hospitals provide to wrap babies in after they are born. This one has ducks, which I adore. 

duck baby blanket
duck baby blanket

Ray and I are so happy that all went well with labor and delivery, and that we have this new precious, beautiful baby as part of our growing family. God is good! Please keep them all in your prayers. As a young married couple with little children, they have many needs for provision. God is Jehovah Jireh, their provider, amen.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”–Ephesians 2:10

Precious baby Willow
Precious baby Willow
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