random thoughts

www.lightstock.com
www.lightstock.com

I hope you had a blessed Christmas with family & friends. I had one of the best, most peaceful ones I’ve had in a long time!  

This year we had our family Christmas dinner at our oldest daughter Heather’s house. Everyone brought a cooked dish (instead of me cooking everything and hosting it at our house!): Ray’s infamous holiday ham that our kids always request at Thanksgiving and Christmas, my sweet potato casserole, Heather’s green bean casserole, Eden’s creamy mashed potatoes, and apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream. We opened gifts Christmas Eve with our kids and grandkids.  It always makes me happy to see them open presents. 

The best gift of all is Jesus and my precious family.

I am eating too much lately, and Ray buying me delicious chocolate-covered cashews for my Christmas stocking, with other candy bars, doesn’t help. They are addictive. 🙂

chocolate covered cashews
chocolate covered cashews

I’ll have to do a detox to start off the new year. I have a recipe that I found online:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without the stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1 1/2 cups). Blend together.  

Are you excited about 2015? Personally, I’m so glad that 2014 is almost over. It was a hard, challenging year.

God showed me ahead of time before 2014 hit that it would be hard, and a friend confirmed that when she was praying for me at the end of 2013. But she encouraged me God would strengthen me through it. And He did.

I believe I obeyed what God told me to do and as a result of that, it was a fruitful, productive year. I hope that I’ll obey Him as well in 2015.

Valorie Burton
Valorie Burton

In speaker/author Valorie Burton‘s ezine today, she wrote: “Every year, we are bombarded with “Year in Review” headlines. The best dressed, the top songs, and most fascinating people of theyear. But I like to do my own “Year in Review,” a self-reflective recap that helps me see how much richer I am at the close of another year. “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold,” Proverbs 3:13-14. So at the end of eachyear, you ought to find yourself a little richer. Whether you view the experiences you’ve had this year as good or bad, each one offers an opportunity to become richer in wisdom and head into the New Year better prepared than ever to live wisely and be resilient.”

She then asked what you learned in 2014. I think it’s very important to reflect back on your year at the end of each year. See what went well and what didn’t. What you learned. What mistakes you made.

What successes and accomplishments you achieved. How you grew.

What things you checked off on your bucket list. You do have a bucket list, don’t you? If not, then start it today!

Maybe one thing on your bucket list is to write Morning Pages. While I don’t agree with all Jennifer Blanchard or Julia Cameron say, Jennifer writes about the benefits of Morning Pages in her post here.

Or maybe in 2015 you want to write a fiction book (my client and friend Dana Arcuri just wrote the first chapter of her fiction book, whoo hoo!). Start writing!

One thing I am doing is decluttering: going through my email inbox, closets, and drawers. Making room for the new.

I believe God has shown me that 2015 is a pivotal year (of crucial importance) for me and His people.

Do you have your “one word”, your “theme,” and/or your scripture for 2015? I encourage you to pray, asking for His protection, wisdom, and blessings in 2015 over your and your family and loved ones.

I’m taking the next few days to just pray and get God’s wisdom and direction for 2015.

Do you have your yearly planner/calendar yet?

I found one at Walmart with these beautiful yellow daisies on the front cover and this scripture, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Exodus 33:14)

Vision Publishers planner/calendar
Vision Publishers planner/calenar

We don’t know what the year ahead holds. Let’s approach it prayerfully and with an open, trusting, faith-filled heart. Sometimes God does unexpected things in our lives.

An entrepreneur friend of mine recently took time out to fill out her yearly calendar, scheduling teleseminars, local live events, and quarterly coaching programs, and was so excited about these plans…then she was hired for a J-O-B she’d applied for (outside the home, due to financial pressures). I believe the J-O-B is just temporary. Sometimes for a season we may do something that we don’t want to do, but God has us there for a reason for His unseen purposes and glory. 

Sometimes we are shaken. Right now my father is experiencing health issues. He’s been fainting. His diagnosis: syncope (fainting), which may be caused by irregular heart beat or blood flow.

 Last year he had a 92% blockage in his aorta, and this year he had a 83% blockage in his aorta. They just put in 3 stents and did an angioplasty. This past week after he returned home, he fainted at dinner time, and had to be taken back to the hospital. He was just released yesterday. 

Here is a picture of me with my dad several years ago.

Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA
Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA, a couple of years ago

It’s unsettling when your parents are aging and/or have health issues. It’s an acute reminder of your own aging and mortality. None of us like to think about these kinds of things, especially around Christmas time when it’s supposed to be fun and full of joy. But these things are part of this drama called life.

I saw a sign in town today which read, “Collect moments, not things.” Wise words. Make precious memories with those you love. Never taken anyone or any day for granted.

And enjoy it, and use our gifts for God’s and others’ joy. For Christmas, one of the gifts our daughter Leah requested was watercolor paints. She is an amazing graphic artist, but wanted to try her hand at watercolors.

This week she painted a sun and blue mountains picture. I think it is beautiful and am going to frame it and hang it up on a wall.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

One of the gifts I received, that I’d requested from Ray and our daughters, was a Blue Snowball mic to make better audio quality podcasts, webinars, telecalls, etc. Ray said, “It’s a strange looking thing.” But I’m so happy I got it!

You can subscribe to my podcast here at Itunes. The “No Place For” podcast series from Galatians 5 is wrapping up soon.

me and Snowball mic
me and Snowball mic

 I’m also booking speaking engagements for 2015 and 2016. You can contact me here if you’d like me to speak at your event, or know someone who needs a speaker.  I love encouraging women to fulfill their purpose and use their gifts. I will go wherever God wants me to go. 

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Our daughter Heather bought me the Cinderella glass slipper that I saw and asked for, to use as a visual aid when I speak at conferences in 2015. (My signature talk is The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes about women walking in their unique purpose.) You can see the glass slipper on the right in the pic below. 

Glass slipper
Glass slipper

This post was just some random thoughts.

me - 2014
me -2014

 I want you to know how much I appreciate you. Thank you for coming by my website and joining me on this wonderful, sometimes scary and uncertain, but always adventurous journey called life.

I’m looking forward to seeing the great things God will do in 2015. He is good. He is worthy to be praised.

I’d love to hear how your year went and what your plans are for 2015. Leave your comments below.

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Harvest of Hope 50-Day Devotional

Harvest of Hope 50 Day Devotional by Dana Arcuri
Harvest of Hope 50 Day Devotional by Dana Arcuri

I don’t usually do book reviews on my website, even though I am a voracious reader.

This blog post isn’t really a review, but a recommendation to read Dana Arcuri’s just-released Harvest of Hope 50-Day Devotional book.

Dana was my client last year, and she hired me as a coach to motivate her to finish her book Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity. She completed it with God’s help, making her big dream of being an author come true

It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Dana is a natural writer, and her writing just flows. I read it all in one day, unable to put it down.

Sharing her harrowing journey of date rape, marriage problems, a diagnosis of ADHD and fibromyalgia, and toxic prescription interactions that led to a suicide attempt, Dana walks you through her darkest moments that she overcame by a strong faith in Christ. Her book and message are one of hope.

Now she’s done it again with her devotional. It is a great book on topics relating to deeper faith, restored health, leaning more on God through trials, having a God-sized dream, living an abundant life of purpose, reaching goals, and more. 

With this book you get:

  • an inspiring message
  • Scriptures pertaining to each topic
  • a 15 minute reading
  • encouragement to pray or take action steps

“Dare to believe in yourself, your dreams, and your strengths. Consider realistic steps of action that may lead you onto the right path to draw you closer to your dreams. Persistently overcome your fears by following a new vision. Remain focused, keep moving, and be determined to plug away by completing one goal at a time. When you achieve your deepest dreams, you not only accomplish what you set out for, but you have something valuable to share with others. You give them hope, inspiration, and meaning to their life. Not only that, but you pave the way for others to chase after their own God-sized dreams.” – Dana Arcuri, Harvest of Hope: A 50 Day Devotional

 I give this book two thumbs up and highly recommend it for inspiration and encouragement. 

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Authentic Hope virtual event with Beth Jones, Dana Arcuri, Jane VanOsdol, and Sheryl Griffin

Have you ever lost your hope?

Did you think you could ever get it back again?

Authentic Hope
Authentic Hope virtual event

Through Christ there is ALWAYS hope!

I’m excited to announce an upcoming virtual event that I’m doing with speaker/author Dana Arcuri, speaker/author Jane VanOsdol, and speaker/author Sheryl Griffin called Authentic Hope.

The purpose of this event is to share part of our stories to give you hope and encouragement through faith in Jesus Christ.

This exciting, unique event will be online, where you can view our speaking presentations on the theme of HOPE, that will be on pre-recorded videos to view at your convenience all day. 

Authentic Hope will be held on Saturday, April 26 from 12 noon CST to 7 pm CST.

We will kick off the event with a devotional by Jane VanOsdol.

Dana will be speaking on Hope Through Adversity.

I’ll be sharing on A Confident Hope with Christ.

Sheryl will be presenting on Turning Hopelessness into Hope.

For joining us that day, we’re giving away FREE PRIZES – we’re giving away one copy each of my book, The Hands Of A Woman: Everyday Women in Everyday Battles, Dana’s memoir, Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity, and Sheryl’s book, A Scarlet Cord of Hope.

Join Authentic Hope for your name to be entered in a free drawing, by leaving comments (or prayer requests) under any of the videos or somewhere on the event page during that day. The 3 winners will be announced the next morning on the Facebook event page. 

Best of all, enjoy Authentic Hope in the comfort of your home with your cozy PJ’s, fuzzy slippers, and favorite beverage! Pass hope forward by inviting your friends!

On the day of the Authentic Hope event, be sure to:

  • visit the Facebook Authentic Hope event page here
  • like our videos and comment under them on the Authentic Hope event page (or post your prayer requests and we’ll pray for you!)
  • share the Authentic Hope event page with your family, friends, and biz peers
  • leave your comments and your prayer requests somewhere on the Authentic Hope event page on Saturday, April 26 from 12 noon pm CST to 7 pm CST

We can’t wait to see you on the free call and at Authentic Hope!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

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