Pumpkin fun: Louisburg Cider Mill with Annabelle & Violet

I had promised our granddaughters, Annabelle and Violet, to do something fun with them when this new year started. So I took them to the Louisburg Cider Mill pumpkin patch. I had no idea they were having a festival this weekend and it was so crowded–and hot!

First, though, I had lunch alone with our beautiful daughter Heather for us to talk. We tried out a new coffee shop in Belton, Kneaders, which also serves pastries and sandwiches. Heather and I both ordered the turkey-avocado-bacon sandwich. It was so yummy!

Lunch with our beautiful daughter Heather
Lunch with our beautiful daughter Heather

 

Turkey-avocado-bacon sandwich at Kneaders
Turkey-avocado-bacon sandwich

Here are Annabelle and Violet at the Louisburg Cider Mill. Such pretty girls and they are growing up so fast!

Annabelle & Violet at Louisburg Cider Mill
Annabelle & Violet at Louisburg Cider Mill

The line into the store which sold the apple cider and cider doughtnuts was ridiculously long, but it went fast. Naturally, it went all throughout the store so you’d be sure to buy things! I bought some postcards for family, and our cider doughnuts and drinks.

Violet commented on how rich the owners would be with all those people buying doughnuts. Yes, I wish I could bottle their secret and sell my books like that! Maybe I should get into the doughnut biz! ūüôā I thought this sunflower coffee cup below was really cute.¬†

long line into store
long line into store

 

sunflower cup
sunflower cup

I ordered 2 dozen doughnuts for our family. We sat in the shade on hay bales to eat our cider doughnuts and drink our apple cider. They were delicious!

Enjoying our cider doughnuts!
Enjoying our cider doughnuts!

 

Apple Cider
Apple Cider

As we ate, a band was playing bluegrass music with banjos. It reminded me of the TV show HeeHaw, which my father used to watch as he relaxed at night, drinking beer and eating salted boiled peanuts (boiled peanuts are a southern thing!). The girls and I listened awhile, although that’s not my style of music!

Crowd listening to bluegrass
Crowd listening to bluegrass music

There were lots of vendor booths at the festival. The girls wanted to get their faces painted. Violet chose a pretty flower and Annabelle picked a lovely butterfly. The young woman who painted these was so talented and sweet.

Violet with her flower face painting
Violet with her flower face painting

 

Annabelle with her butterfly face painting and the artist by her
Annabelle with her butterfly face painting and the artist by her

Violet and I noticed the white pumpkins and other unusual-colored ones. She said they looked painted. 

pumpkins
pumpkins

I did stop by another booth before we left to try some fresh-squeezed lemonade. It could have used a little more sugar, but was cold and tart.

lemons
lemons

Afterward, I babysat our precious granddaughter Piper, while her dad Craig and her mom Eden went out to Longhorn Steakhouse and to shop at Target for their two year wedding anniversary. I was happy that Piper said my name, “Nana.” When Violet and I clapped after she said Violet’s name, my name and other family’s names, Piper clapped, too. So cute!

Craig and Eden are expecting their new baby soon, so it may be awhile before they can go on regular dates after the baby comes! We’re excited about the new addition to our family!

Violet & Piper
Violet & Piper

 

Our daughter Eden & her husband Craig
Our daughter Eden & her husband Craig

Overall, it was a fun family day for me! I hope the girls enjoyed it, too.

Girls and me
Girls and me

I’m planning to do more fun things this year with my family.¬†How do you make memories with your family?¬†Ber sure to keep writing and doing your bucket list! Leave your comments below.

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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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When you’re worried, pray and thank God

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I’m drinking a pumpkin spice cappuccino,¬†thankful for the quiet at home (Ray is at work). My plan today is to finish my Bible study on The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer, the woman who starred as the mom in War Room.

The Armor of God book
Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study

Recently I had a book signing and sale at The Carpenter’s Cup Christian bookstore and coffee shop in Butler, and the store owner Becky Clift invited me to join a ladies’ Bible study there on Monday evenings. (Be sure to check out this cool store if you are passing through Butler!)

This week I’ve been studying the shoes of peace. One of my biggest struggle areas is worrying and stressing out too much, especially over our kids and grandkids. (Actually the way my family puts it is, “Stop freaking out, mom!”)

I deeply desire to be a woman of great faith, but I’m still very much a work in progress. I’m praying for God to help me walk in these shoes of peace each day, because they’re a powerful weapon against Satan.

Marines in war
Marines in war

The author of this Bible study, Priscilla Shirer, says that anywhere peace is lacking, you can be sure the enemy Satan is at work. She writes on page 95:

“Of all the things the enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy in your life, peace is almost always at or near the top of his list. He intentionally stirs up discord, division, disruption, and disturbance, both within you and around you. He is the lord of chaos and confusion, using every opportunity to upset your sense of well being and stability. He wants you uneasy, unbalanced, filled with anxiety, worry, and turmoil. Lacking peace.”

fear

Without our shoes of peace, we become unfit for spiritual warfare, unable to advance against the enemy, she writes. Fear, stress, and worry distract you. They imprison you.

anchor
anchor

This lack of peace will keep you and me from being clearheaded and able to fight Satan, Priscilla writes on page. 99. But God’s peace will anchor your soul, tethering it to the security found in His gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. ¬†

The way we get that peace is by spending time each day in prayer and reading and meditating on the Bible,¬†being transformed by God’s¬†word renewing our minds.¬†(Romans 12:2)

Trusting in Him, instead of in our own power. Thanking Him, because “prayer shrouded in gratitude expresses a firm faith. Concentrating on Him instead of being absorbed by our circumstances tells the Lord that we believe He is able to override and overcome even the most difficult issues.” God responds by releasing His peace within us.

woman praying
Woman praying

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned from this study so far is this: when I’m worried or stressing out, pray and thank God. What a revelation!

“Any time you feel worry or anxiety creeping into your heart, take it as your cue to turn your attention to God. Pray. Trust Him. Be grateful. And watch His peace–a peace you cannot even begin to explain–swell in your experience. Then you feet will be fitted with the shalom of God.” (p. 112)

pensive woman
woman worrying

Do you struggle with worrying or stressing out too much? Leave your comments below. 

“May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16, HCSB)

I highly recommend this Bible study by Priscilla Shirer. You can purchase it at LifeWay here.

*******

Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith
Copyright 2016 Beth Jones

Are you like me and worry or stress out too much? Do you battle fear? I’ve written a new book, Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith.

It will be available soon as an eBook for your Kindle on Amazon!¬†If you aren’t already signed up on my personal mailing list, be sure to sign up at the top of the page on the right hand side, so you’ll be first to know the details when it releases soon!

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