Galway Girl

This is post #6 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, and

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher.

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.

“Your feet will bring you where your heart is.”–Irish Proverb

beach in Galway, Ireland
beach in Galway, Ireland

One of my favorite romantic “chic flics” is PS: I Love You, starring Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank. Shortly after Gerry (Gerald) first meets Holly (Hillary), he plays his guitar in a bar and sings to her the fun Irish song Galway Girl.

Gerry & Holly in PS: I Love You
Gerry & Holly in PS: I Love You

I love the song and I couldn’t wait to go to Galway on my and Leah’s first trip to Ireland. I just had a feeling it would be a fun place, and it was! Galway was Leah’s and my favorite city in Ireland!

Leah, being a violinist, loved all the street musicians. We are definitely a “Galway Girl”!

One young man played the guitar in the town center and he was amazing. We stood and listened for awhile. He reminded me of the musical prodigy in the movie August Rush.

Galway guitarist
Galway guitarist

Unfortunately, when Leah came home and tried to transfer her pics and videos to her computer, she lost all her street musician videos! She was so frustrated with herself (thank goodness, she didn’t lose her photos! She took over 600!). I told her we’ll just have to go back so she can video them again. We both want to return to gorgeous Ireland!

We stayed at the lovely Abbeyville B & B in Freeport Barna, Co. Galway, owned by Bernadette, who is an artist. I deliberately chose this B & B, as our daughter Leah is an amazing, self-taught artist. All the B & B’s we stayed at in Ireland were very clean and neat, which I loved and was so thankful for!

wall art
wall art

 

art from B & B owner in Galway
art from B & B owner in Galway

 

Abbeyville B & B, Galway
Abbeyville B & B, Galway

 

Abbeyville bathroom
Abbeyville bathroom

When Leah was three years old, she would lay on her tummy and color and draw with crayons. When she was older, my husband Ray bought her a graphic art tablet. I homeschooled her throughout the twelve years of her education, and Leah honed her craft and now is enrolled in a digital art, online college program to achieve her Bachelor’s degree.

Leah enjoyed talking with the owner Bernadette about her art, some of which she has displayed locally. I believe this was a Divine appointment from God, as Bernadette encouraged Leah to pursue her art interest and to display and sell it online! Leah does have her own online store here.

Driveway at Abbeyville
Driveway at Abbeyville

One unique technique that Bernadette enjoys painting with is melted bee’s wax. She showed us some of her projects, and they were beautiful, textured with vibrant colors. 

I was so proud of Leah doing her classwork even as we were vacationing in Ireland! While she worked on her homework, I sat outside at a glass patio table. I admired the gorgeous blooming flowers and the lush, green plant life and trees everywhere, journaled, and created my first video in Ireland. I’ll upload it later and add the link here! It felt surreal to be in Ireland!

Beautiful fresh flowers
Beautiful fresh flowers

 

Journaling outside
Journaling outside

All the B & B’s provided coffee pots/tea makers in the room. Leah made us tea, with our cookies. One way we saved money in Ireland was to buy groceries sometimes, instead of eating out at restaurants.

At the grocery store, Leah bought a sandwich, sour cream and onion potato chips, and a chocolate mint bar, and I got a salad, salt and vinegar potato chips, and a Galaxy chocolate bar, which was delicious Irish chocolate!

Pubs are often more reasonably priced than the restaurants, so we frequently ate lunch at the pubs. This was fun. You’ll find pubs in almost every town, even the remote places. Some of the pubs play live music. They all offer alcohol, including the infamous Guinness beer (which neither Leah or I tried! I hate beer!)

The King’s Head is a famous, 800-year-old historic pub in Ireland.  It is supposedly the building given as payment to Richard Gunning for beheading King Charles I. No, we didn’t eat there!

The King's Head pub
The King’s Head pub

 

Deli/grocery
Deli/grocery

 

Chips and chocolate
Chips and chocolate

Bernadette served a wonderful, full Irish breakfast, which included delicious home-made scones with jam. Leah and I enjoyed having a French press coffee maker just for us at our table.

Fresh fruit & yogurt
Fresh fruit & yogurt

 

French press coffee maker
French press coffee maker

Bernadette was such a friendly, welcoming hostess. She encouraged us to go view the Atlantic Ocean on Salthill Promenade. I’d already read before coming to Ireland that parking was a big problem, especially in big cities, but on this busy street there is free parking on the side of the road! 

The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean

 

Galway beach
Galway beach

 

The Atlantic, Galway
The Atlantic, Galway

It was overcast and windy, and it began to sprinkle, so the cute, comfortable, and practical raincoats I’d bought me and Leah came in handy that day. I found my blue, gently used one for only $7.99 at a thrift store and got Leah’s navy blue one on sale at Amazon. We got some great pics of each other by the ocean. It was very peaceful there.

The Atlantic Ocean beach
The Atlantic Ocean beach

 

big rocks on Galway beach
big rocks on Galway beach

Leah couldn’t believe that people were actually swimming in the water and said the water must be cold. 

In the pic below, you can see a swimmer behind me in the water, staring at the camera. Leah gets upset with me for taking photos of random people, but they often make the best pics!

In the other pic, I love how the woman’s sneakers made footprints on the wet sand as she walked. It reminds me of the poem Footprints.

Swimmer in ocean
Swimmer in ocean

 

Leah at beach in Galway in her rain jacket
Leah at beach in Galway in her rain jacket

 

me in my blue rain jacket in Galway on the beach
me in my blue rain jacket in Galway on the beach

 

Random woman walking on the beach in Galway
Random woman walking on the beach in Galway

I thought these pictures of Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean were poignant and powerful. She also took one of me, without me knowing about it. 

Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland
Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland

 

Leah looking at the ocean on Salthill Promenade
Leah looking at the ocean on Salthill Promenade

 

Leah walking on the beach
Leah walking on the beach

 

me looking out at Atlantic ocean in Galway
me looking out at Atlantic ocean in Galway

The beach is my place of peace and refilling. Leah liked the seagulls on the beach; she loves any kind of animal.

The ocean is my place of peace.
The ocean is my place of peace.

 

seagull on Galway beach
seagull on Galway beach

Leah and I saw a telescope on the sidewalk and looked through it to see a ship and an island across the ocean, which had houses. The telescope cost a couple of Euros coins, like parking does in most places. 

Leah putting Euro coins in telescope
Leah putting Euro coins in telescope

 

Leah looking through telescope
Leah looking through telescope

We ate a delicious sidewalk cafe in Galway called The Quay Street Kitchen that I’d read great reviews about, where Leah tried her first Irish fish and chips (she liked it). This was one of the funnest, most peaceful times we had there, eating delicious food and people-watching in Galway.

Our waiter was brand new, and did a fabulous job waiting on us. At the table right next to us, a young couple dined together. In the background on the sidewalks Irish music played, which Leah noted. 

It again felt surreal, to be eating at an outdoor cafe in Ireland! I felt so happy sitting there with my sweet, beautiful daughter Leah. God is so good!

The Quay Street Kitchen
The Quay Street Kitchen

When I visit Ireland again (I am praying to go back!), I would love to stay in Galway several days. I wanted to stay in Galway much longer, but it was beginning to rain so Leah suggested that we leave to drive to our next B & B.

In my next post in this Ireland blog series, I’ll share more about Galway’s town center.

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Do not hoard your words. Get the early bird price for the writers’ retreat!

“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book; give it, give it all, give it now.”

This is a quote by Annie Dilliard, who won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction for her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She also wrote The Writing Life, other books, poetry, and essays. 

I’ve met many people who say, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” Then years later, they are still saying this and they haven’t done it yet…or even started!

I’ve heard it said that the cemetery is the richest place on earth because people are buried there, sometimes with their dreams and their gifts still inside of them. I don’t want to see you go to the grave with your gifts–your book–buried with you!

It’s time to write your book!

woman writing on laptop with coffee
Woman writing on laptop
http://www.bethjones.net/getaway/

This September 2018, I’m hosting a writers’ retreat in the small, rural town of Butler, Missouri, so aspiring authors can do just that–write or finish their books in peaceful solitude!

Let’s get started and get it done! I’m your Book Midwife, helping you to birth your “book baby” to delivery!

On May 18, 2018, I’m raising the Early Bird Price of this retreat from $25 to $55.

The price when you sign up and pay includes:

  • 2 nights’ stay at the lovely, immaculate Bethany House in Butler, MO (you are getting 2 for the price of one!);
  • breakfast and snacks, coffee, and purified water--you can bring your own special foods to cook or fix for lunch and supper, or we can go out together to local restaurants;
  • a “Chic Flic” Friday fun night with popcorn and chocolate (if a man attends with his wife, he will join my husband for a “man cave” night);
  • a Saturday morning devotional time as we seek God together to use this gift for His glory;
  • me sharing my “secret sauce” for how I’ve written 18 books, with my best tips & techniques & resources;
  • a complimentary copy of my book, How To Write Your Book Fast, as your GPS author’s guide;
  • focused session times of quiet to pray, write and journal, and just to refill;
  • free access to me all weekend to ask me any coaching questions you want (normally, a $597 investment!);
  • making new writer friends and networking (you never know what God is up to!);
  • and much more!

Don’t miss out on this anointed, refreshing and motivating writers’ getaway weekend!

Can’t stay overnight Friday or Saturday or don’t want to stay overnight in Butler? Then just join us for Saturday during the important devotional, teaching, and writing session times!

I only have a couple of spots left, so hurry and sign up today for the Early Bird Price of just $25 (for two nights—an INSANE price!)

Click here to watch my video about this fun writers’ getaway. 

Sign up now by clicking here. Only a few seats are left, and then the doors to access shut! I’d love to see you there!

Beth Jones Women's Conference Speaker & Author
Beth Jones
International Speaker &
Amazon Best Seller Author
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Pay attention to signs from God

Insomnia Image source: https://getbestmattress.com/insomnia-meme/
Insomnia
Image source: https://getbestmattress.com/insomnia-meme/

Last night I had insomnia (again), tossing and turning all night long, so this morning I’m running on some good, hot coffee and am “loaded for bear,” as my friend Suzy Bunton often says. Later today I’m sure that I will crash, taking a nap, even though it’s advised not to take a nap if you have insomnia!

sunflower8

I just changed my website header to a sunflower and recently finished writing the third and final book of my non-fiction Metamorphosis book series, Transformed From Despair to Hope, available for sale at Amazon here.

This is the last book that God told me to write, which makes me very happy–because I obeyed God (for once!), doing what He said to do.

If I were to die today, I’d have peace knowing that I had completed the books God told me to write. My friend Stephanie asked does that mean I won’t be writing any more books?

If Jesus tarries and I live longer, probably not. I believe I’ll be writing books the rest of my life! What has God told you to do? Are you doing it? What is holding you back?

Me and my books in print; amazon.com/author/bethmjones
Me & my books

For me, finishing writing the list of books that God spoke to me about is a HUGE accomplishment. I plan to celebrate soon by getting my hair done (trim, color, and blonde highlights)! Whenever you reach a goal, whether it’s big or small, I encourage you to reward yourself in at least some small way.

Maybe it’s a Starbucks coffee, savoring some chocolate, eating chips and salsa, having a tasty lunch or dessert with a friend, traveling to a new fun place, getting a mani or pedi, going for a walk on a nature trail or hiking a mountain, watching a chic flic, getting new Sharpie pens (or your fave brand), buying a cute pair of ripped jeans, taking a pottery class, or _______________ (you fill in the blank). Just be sure to celebrate your accomplishments!

My graphic designer at Fiverr, who I love, is pro_ebookcovers and she rocks! Below are all three book covers that she made for me for my butterfly Metamorphosis series–beautiful!

Book 1

 

Book 2

 

Metamorphosis: Transformed From Despair to Hope
Book 3

I love butterflies. For me, they are a powerful symbol–like the red male cardinal, the eagle, mourning doves, dolphins–of freedom and happiness. Whenever I see a butterfly or a red male cardinal (like I did yesterday outside the kitchen window, after tripping over a little girl right behind me in line at the store and badly skinning my knee; thank God she was okay!), I sense God’s Love for me and His presence.

red male cardinal Image source: Pinterest
red male cardinal
Image source: Pinterest

Usually I see a cardinal or butterfly on the worse days, and it always comforts me and lifts my spirits. These things are tangible signs to me that God loves me, He sees me, and He is here for me.

What signs do you see around you that speak to you about God and how much He cares for you?

The Bible shares about many signs from God:

  • The sign of the Messiah who would crush the serpent’s head and save sinners (Genesis 3:15);
  • The sign of the rainbow, of the covenant between God and the earth (Genesis 9:13);
  • The sign Gideon asked God for, of the fleece wet with dew and then the ground wet with dew (Judges 6;33-40);
  • The sign of the plagues on Egypt because Pharaoh’s heart hardened (Exodus 7-11);
  • The miraculous parting of the Red Sea, so God’s people the Jews could escape bondage and go to their Promise Land (Exodus 14:21);
  • An angel appearing to shepherds announcing Jesus’ birth and a host of angels praising God (Luke 2:8-20);
  • The prophets foretelling of the Messiah in the Old Testament;
  • Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:11);
  • Jesus’ and the Apostles’ miracles (in the four Gospels and the book of Acts);
  • The signs in the end times, spoken of by Jesus and in the book of Revelation.
Jesus on the cross
Jesus on the cross

Although we shouldn’t base our lives and faith on outward, physical signs, they are important. Pay attention to signs and, like Mary the mother of Jesus, ponder these things in your heart. (Luke 2:19, 51)

Some signs you might notice are:

  • God’s still small voice;
  • Confirmation through God’s eternal word;
  • A billboard or car bumper sticker;
  • A hymn, worship, praise or other song on the radio;
  • Nature–the sun, the moon, a rainbow, the stars, the wind, a storm, fresh flowers, animals;
  • An encouraging rhema word someone speaks to you;
  • Something amazingly wise and startling that a child says to you (for of such is the Kingdom of God!);
  • A Divine appointment that is too interesting and timely to be just a coincidence!

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

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