Two hours in the sun for doughnuts!

Hurts Doughnuts
Hurts Doughnuts

Recently our daughter Heather asked me to go buy her a dozen doughnuts for her and her coworkers from Hurts Doughnuts Company, a mobile specialty doughnut business which was going to be in Harrisonville, Missouri, about 20 miles north of where I live.

Their motto means you eat so many of their delicious doughnuts, that it hurts! On a regular day, they will sell between 8,000 to 10,000 donut, with more than 70 doughnut variations such as their S’mores, Snickers, and Cookie Monster doughnuts. The Springfield store is open 24 hours a day. 

Hurts Donuts
Hurts Donuts

They deliver the donuts in an “Wham-bulance,” an ambulance and a U-Haul. Based out of Springfield, Missouri, the business is now coming to the Kansas City, MO, area, which Heather is very excited about.

Wham-bulance
Wham-bulance

Being the nice mom I am, I said okay, unsuspecting of what I’d endure. Heather told me to get there early as the buzz was building already. I planned to arrive at 11:00 a.m. since they would open at 12 noon, located in the parking lot of a tire company.

I thought that an hour was a long time to wait, but when I arrived, I found out that the people who were first in line had been camping out in the parking lot since 8 a.m. that morning…for doughnuts!

I could not believe it! This is how long the line was when I got there. Even more people were in back of me. CRAZY! (God gave me favor and I was able to get a parking spot right in front immediately! Go, God!)

line in parking lot
line in parking lot

To top it off, it was really hot that day. Only the great LOVE I have for my daughter Heather could make me do such a thing, as I hate heat and hate waiting! I did come prepared, though, with a hat, sunblock, and shades!

me waiting in the hot sun
me waiting in the hot sun

Fortunately, the employees were handing out free bottles of cold water from Country Club Bank and Price Chopper to the customers. I accepted two of them, and was so thankful!

One of them was the owner’s sister, who is in the pic below in the pink T-shirt with their company logo. She was videoing everyone in line with Facebook Live.  She told me about the people at the start of the line, who’d been waiting there since 8 a.m.

She also said the company was bringing a U-Haul with more doughnuts as there were more customers in line than they anticipated: 250 people at her last count. I texted this to Heather, who laughed and said this was insane. I agree! 

A missionary friend of mine, Ron Hedrick of Global Community Outreach, who lives in Guatemala with his wife Rhonda, their son Jeremiah, and who have adopted 10 Guatemalan children, saw my pics on Facebook and said, “This scares me.” It should. Would people wait in line this long in the hot sun to hear a message about Jesus Christ or be baptized? [I encourage you to donate to Ron and Rhonda’s ministry in Guatemala as they do amazing, selfless work for Christ there.]

sister of owner
sister of owner

 

free bottle of cold water
free bottle of cold water

A few things helped me to wait it out: an occasional cool breeze and a customer who was sitting in her truck nearby with the window open and the radio playing some good music. My motto whenever you go anywhere or do something new is, “Have fun and take lots of pics!”

I  entertained myself by talking to others in line, watching the little kids play happily, and taking pics to post on this blog, Facebook, and my new Instagram page. (I messed up my IG account when I updated my iPhone to the 7, and had to create a brand new Instagram account because the name”Beth Jones” was already taken! I lost all my previous followers, so I’m rebuilding it again. I invite you to follow me there.)  

The kids’ faces were turning red from the heat, but they didn’t seem to mind it and chased each other, laughing. The little girl in the dress with braids was so adorable. I was reminded of how fast my own children (3 daughters) had grown up and of Matthew 19:14, NASB:

But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

little boys playing
little boys playing
happy kids
happy kids

Turns out it was too hot to wait that long for the young mom with a whiny toddler and a fussy baby in a stroller right in front of me, so she left, deciding to go for an ice cream with them instead. Smart idea!

young mom with kids
young mom with kids

One of the varieties that Hurts Donuts is famous for is their bacon maple doughnut. I love bacon, but who on earth would want bacon on a doughnut? Apparently a lot of people, as it is one of their best sellers!

I bought a Snickers and a cheesecake doughnut for Heather, other types of doughnuts to make a dozen and a half for her and her coworkers to share, and a bacon maple one for her coworkers to sample. She told me later that it wasn’t her cup of tea. Mine, either! I tried the chocolate one with chocolate frosting and it tasted DIVINE!

bacon maple doughnut
bacon maple doughnut

I was very concerned about the girl standing in front of me in line, whose neck was getting badly sunburned. The pic doesn’t do the fire-redness justice.

girl with sunburned neck
girl with sunburned neck

One of the employees passing out water, who told me that he works at the corporate office (in the hat and T-Shirt at the table in the pic below), said they had been up since 1 a.m. to prepare for this event.

He and another gal working at the table under the Country Club Bank tent told me that they “loved” my LOVE hat. They were really friendly people.

Hurts Donuts employees
Hurts Donuts employees

Observing the long line of customers, I estimated that the average customer would buy a dozen doughnuts at $15 a box. (I bought 2 dozen total, plus the bacon maple.) There were 250 people in line, so that is $3,750 made in just a few hours! Whoa!

When I asked the corporate employee how on earth they manage to get this many people to buy their doughnuts, he said it’s all about the marketing: social media and live streaming. (Facebook Live–have you tried it? I haven’t yet, but maybe I need to! Or maybe I should start selling great doughnuts!)

Heather was appreciative that I did this for her. She told me that her coworkers said I am an “awesome mom.” I’m glad that I made my daughter happy and that someone thinks I’m awesome!

Me & my beautiful, precious daughter Heather with her doughnuts!
Me & my beautiful, precious daughter Heather with her doughnuts!

I also bought some for our family. I stopped by to drop them off after I took Heather hers. Below are pics of our granddaughters Annabelle and Violet, who enjoyed their doughnuts as well. 

Annabelle & Violet with their doughnuts
Annabelle & Violet with their doughnuts

 

Annabelle
Our precious & silly granddaughter Annabelle
Violet with her cute messy bun
Our red-headed granddaughter Violet with her cute messy bun

Heather suggested that I take pics of this unusual, funny event and blog about it, so here goes my take on it. I decided to blog about it from a business perspective:

  • Sell what people want, not what they need, as your product. (They wanted sugar!)
  • It’s all about the marketing and building buzz by word of mouth. (Take advantage of social media & live streaming.)
  • People will wait a long time, even in the heat or cold winter, for a good offer. (Several hours in the hot sun!)
  • Be creative and offer a variety of products. (Examples: Bacon maple, Cookie Monster, chocolate with sprinkles or Fruit Loops, caramel drizzle, Snickers, or cheesecake doughnuts.)
  • Connect and network with other business owners. Don’t be a lone ranger biz owner. (Country Club Bank and Price Chopper helped Hurts Donuts  with the tent and the water.)
  • Be friendly and good to your customers. (Employees live streaming to built anticipation, passing out free bottles of cold water & making sure their customers were okay in the heat.)
  • Have fun at what you’re doing! (The employees joking around with their customers as they waited.)
How To Write Your Book Fast: Making Your Writing Dreams Come True
Cover art: Copyright 2016 Beth Jones

And speaking of a great product, my newest PRINT (physical) book is ready now: How To Write Your Book Fast: Making Your Writing Dreams Come True. You can find out more or buy it by clicking here: https://www.createspace.com/6634013

Have you heard of Hurts Donuts before? Ever waited this long for one or something else? What do you think of this? Leave your comments below.

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Our 25th silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party

Ray & me at our party
Ray & me at our party

Ray and I recently had our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary and bought our home. I wanted to celebrate with our children, grandchildren, and a few friends who prayed for us to buy the house.  God answered my prayer and our 3 beautiful daughters were there. Our grandchildren being there were the cherry on top, and I believe it is what God wanted, displaying His glory of what He has done for us. 

Table set for party
Table set for party

I was so happy to have our three beautiful daughters and four precious grandchildren (with one on the way) at the party. This made my whole day and filled me with joy.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55:12, ESV

Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray's parents Charles & Sue Jones
Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray’s parents Charles & Sue Jones

 

Since the party was on Mother’s Day, I gave our daughters a hand-written, floral note card and little yellow roses inside a teacup that reads, “Live, laugh, love” to tell them how much I love them and thank them for the honor of being their mom. I’ll post more about Mother’s Day and the gifts they gave me in a separate post.

Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & card
Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & cards
Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters
Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters

Ray’s dad and his stepmom Sue Jones drove in from N. Little Rock, Arkansas for the party and to visit us. We enjoyed their stay.  I’m not so sure his dad enjoyed it as much, as he was busy fixing things around our house, like installing an electrical plug by Ray’s work bench in the basement (he’s a licensed electrician) and helping Ray reattach the evaporator to the furnace, which had fallen off last week suddenly (this was quite a job!). Sue blessed me so much with encouraging words to minister to my heart. 

Ray's stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party
Ray’s stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party

I bought wedding bells, silver and aqua decorations at Dollar General for our “silver” 25th wedding anniversary. I thought they were really pretty. I still have the original cake couple topper in white and red that was on our wedding cake, and set that out, too. 

cake topper
cake topper
wedding bells
wedding bells
silver plates
silver plates
silver and aqua napkins
silver and aqua napkins

I also set these out as decorations, too, on the bar at the party:

  • my wedding album and original wedding guest book;
  • the blue roses carried by one of my bridesmaids;
  • my black garter (now faded black and purple);
  • the 7 silver, one-dollar coins a friend gave us as a wedding gift;
  • a gorgeous sunset-colored rose I received at church on Mother’s Day with the other women from the pastor;
  • a white candle and anointing oil from Jerusalem, Israel, that Ray’s friend sent us as a house-warming gift;
  • and the Mother’s Day gift Ray gave me, an “Our Home” picture.

I asked our guests to sign the original wedding guest book, and said that if Jesus tarries, guests can sign it again at our 50th anniversary! (Grace, God!) I also bought bubble wands for our grandkids to play with at the party. 

Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture
Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture
The rose I received at church for Mother’s Day
Ray's gift to me on Mother's Day
Ray’s gift to me on Mother’s Day

The “Our Home” picture reads:

“God chose this very house for us, to be our special home. A place that we can fill with love and call our very own. This house will hold our memories, our laughter and our tears, and it will be a place that’s safe to talk about our fears. And so we pray that God will make this house into a home, and we will give our praise to Him, Our Cornerstone.”

Our children bought us beautiful cards and gifts: a card on papyrus paper about the hummingbird, a large flip flop picture, white candle with a shell, and shell picture for my ocean-theme bathroom upstairs. The papyrus paper card was very pretty and unique!

I love the flip flop and shell pictures and candle; they went perfectly with my bathroom colors! The pic reads, “Life is always better in flip flops.” Amen! Although I love high heels (which I wore to this party), I am a sneakers and flip flop, beach kind of gal!

Papyrus paper card
Papyrus paper card
Flip flop pic that our children gave us
Flip flop pic that our children gave us

 

shell picture
shell picture
Shell candle
Shell candle

My in-laws bought us a beautiful silver and purple card with money inside and a lovely glass 25th wedding anniversary picture frame with a picture of Ray and me when we were by the Sea of Galilee on our Israel trip several years ago.

silver purple card
silver purple card
silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel
silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel

Our friends Dan and Liz bought us a really pretty silver card  with red hearts (I love hearts!), with an Olive Garden gift card inside it. OG – yum! Ray and I will have to go on a date soon! 

silver card
silver card with red hearts

All of these were very thoughtful gifts and I loved them!

Here’s some pics of us with our guests:

Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha
Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha
Jacob at partry
IOur grandson Jacob at party
Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias
Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias
Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray's stepmom Sue Jones
Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray’s stepmom Sue Jones
Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray
Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray
Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles
Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles
Ray holding our granddaughter Piper--precious!
Ray holding our granddaughter Piper–precious!
Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan
Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan
Violet opening her birthday gifts
Violet opening her birthday gifts: a pretty summer dress, an anklet & toe rings, and daisy flower hair bands
Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol
Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol
Violet in her dress
Violet in her dress
My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party
My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party: a decorative box & pretty necklace
Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper
Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper
Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them
Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them
Me giving Ray his gift - sterling silver cuff links
Me giving Ray his gift – sterling silver cuff links
Me & Ray opening gifts at the party
Me & Ray opening gifts at the party
Me & Ray - 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Me & Ray – 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)
Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)
Our family
Our family: I’m so thankful they all were there! Thank you, Jesus!
The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, "25 years & a home. This is God!"
The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, “25 years & a home. This is God!”

The cake says it all. It’s been a long, hard journey. But by God’s grace and mercy, Ray and I are still together, married 25 years, and we are now home-owners. This truly was the work and miracles of God!

*******
You can read about our very difficult marriage in my book on our marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife, at Amazon that is on sale now for just 99 cents, by clicking here:

 

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We bought a house! Praise the Lord!

Our new home!
Our new home!

About nine years ago, we moved to the tiny, rural town of Butler, Missouri (which means it’s out in the sticks!); I always say not willingly, but ONLY because my husband Ray got a great job there as a paramedic at Bates County Memorial Hospital. We wanted a house located close to Ray’s work, so we wouldn’t have to fight Missouri’s winter snow and ice driving him to work (we have one car and I usually take him to work).

Initially we lived in a small, brick rental home, and then moved to a larger house in Butler, that was built in 1960 and the landlord who bought it inexpensively remodeled it beautifully. As soon as I saw the ad in the paper to rent the house, something in my spirit leaped.

Couple leaping
Couple leaping

When I met the landlord to go look at the house, and she told me that she flips houses for a living, as soon as my feet stepped inside the back door, I sensed that God wanted to bless Ray and me with this home to buy it, for us to improve it a little, and then us flip it, too, for a profit after several years.  I just felt that the house was mine.

Ray and I knew from the start of signing the year-long lease that our landlord intended to sell the house at some point. She had worked hard on remodeling it and she preferred to sell it to us, because she knew we loved the house, especially me, and that we’d take care of it.

The house is my personal taste and style, with the original wood floors stripped and polished, arched Spanish-style doorways, a sunroom like many homes in Florida have, and many other nice features. 

Image resource: https://katjacoby.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/this-week-is-national-pay-your-bills-week/
Image resource: https://katjacoby.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/this-week-is-national-pay-your-bills-week/

Ray and I have had a LOT of financial struggles during the 25 years of our marriage, including a home foreclosure, filing bankruptcy, and bills going into collection agencies (such as Ray’s medical bills), because we were living hand to mouth, just trying to survive and pay the basics each week.  Because of all this, Ray’s credit score wasn’t high, which is usually necessary to buy a home. 

Marines in war
Marines in war

When our landlord decided to sell the house after we’d lived there the first year, she offered it to us first since she knew I really liked the house. Ray served over 14 years in the Marines military, and wanted a VA (Veterans Administration) loan, because they don’t require any down payment.  He applied several places, but was turned down due to his credit score.  The VA usually requires a minimum credit score of  620.

Ray immediately began working to improve his credit score. We prayed and asked our family and our friends to pray for God’s favor and a miracle to buy this house.  

Our landlord generously allowed us to sign another year’s lease as Ray rebuilt his credit.  It took longer than expected, and then she allowed us to sign another year’s lease while God worked behind the scenes on our behalf! This is God’s FAVOR!

“”For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the LORD.”–Proverbs 8:35

The landlord also added a rail to the steps outside the house, which the VA required, and made repairs (paying for them  herself), including a new roof, hiring plumbers to fix a major plumbing issue, repainting,  and other expensive improvements to the home.

When God speaks, it shall be

Two of my friends gave me prophecies that we were going to buy the house, as well as people I didn’t even know—prophetic vessels of God’s on Periscope. When God speaks, it shall be. 

“So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” –Isaiah 55:11, AKJV

Ray applied for a VA loan and his application was again turned down. He said it looked like we’d have to move, which we both dreaded as we have moved a lot in our marriage and own a lot of stuff! I began searching the papers for a new rental house, but wondered about the prophecies. Like Mary the mother of Jesus, I pondered these things in my heart. (Luke 2:19) Had all those people simply missed it and given a false prophecy?

Then one morning in town, I met a woman at the post office as we waited in line, and admired her beautiful silver bracelet. She said her daughter bought it for her from Tiffany & Co. It turned out that she was a realtor, who knew a lender. This turned out to be a Divine appointment and the lender had a VA lender contact, who made it possible for us to buy this house! Look at God go!

Our house: God did it!
Our house; God did it!
Back door & sunroom
Back door & sunroom
Detached garage
Detached garage
Pink azaleas blooming in our yard
Pink azaleas blooming in our yard

You can see pics of the INSIDE of the house by clicking here. I have made some changes to the decor and furniture since I wrote that blog post. 

I’d told Ray that a VA loan would involve a lot of red tape, and I was right. He was about to pull out his hair from all the paper work he had to keep filling out and the information he had to get in order to process the loan. At times it still seemed “iffy,” but I continued to stand on God’s word. While I struggle with faith in the area of our children and grandchildren, I did have FAITH that we were going to buy this house, and at times I had to encourage Ray to BELIEVE and TRUST GOD!

My friend Stephanie Carter, one of the women who prophesied we’d buy the house, encouraged me to do something as an act of faith that the house was our own, so I planted wildflower seeds outside with Ray as we waited to hear for the response about the loan.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” –Hebrews 11:6, NASB

Stephanie urged me and Ray to ONLY speak words of faith over this house and the loan, and go to the four corners of the land, praying silently over it as the people of Israel did at Jericho before the final victory. (Joshua 6) She said tell everyone I knew that this house was ours, even strangers, lol. I did all this, and I dropped the communion elements of bread and wine at each of the four corners. (Matthew 26:17-30)

I also buried a mustard seed which was inside a heart charm for a necklace of mine, at my friend Shelley Valasek’s encouragement, right beside the wildflowers. (Matthew 17:20)

Here’s a picture of me planting the seeds, and Ray and I holding a green stone that says “Faith” on it that I found at the Dollar General store. 

me planting wildflower seeds
me planting wildflower seeds
Ray & me Holding our "faith" stone, as we wait for final approval of the VA loan for the home we're buying this year
Ray & me holding our “faith” stone, as we wait for final approval of the VA loan for the home we’re buying this year

Here is Ray in the picture below, signing the papers with the attorney and our landlord at the attorney’s office. 

God gave us favor to not need a down payment, AND our landlord even paid all the closing costs! Praise JESUS!

Ray signing papers at the house closing
Ray signing papers at the house closing
Landlord signing papers at house closing
Landlord signing papers at house closing

After the papers were signed, Ray and I went out to lunch to celebrate at Olive Garden! All the glory and praise goes to Jesus Christ! This is a miracle, with our financial problems in the past and Ray’s previous credit score. God did it, halleluah!

Ray & me toasting at OG
Ray & me toasting at OG
Ray's green apple Sangria
Ray’s green apple Sangria
Me with Italian Moscato red wine
Me with Italian Moscato red wine
OG bread sticks and salad
OG bread sticks and salad

I’m so happy to tell you that we are now proud home-owners! Ray and I prayed over the house, the land, our marriage, our children, our grandchildren when we bought this house, breaking any curses over it and asking God to bless us and our home.

Me & Ray at 25th "silver" wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Me & Ray at 25th “silver” wedding anniversary & home purchase party

We had our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary and home purchase party on Mother’s Day 2017, which I’ll share about in another blog post. Thank you to all who prayed for us to buy this house; it wouldn’t have happened without YOUR prayers!

GOD DID IT! PRAISE THE LORD!

What are you believing God for in your life? What miracle do you need? Leave your comments below.

Are you needing more faith? Read my book on praying in faith at Amazon by clicking here. 

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