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Are you using your spiritual gifts for Jesus’ glory? Hawaiian party and Zoom event

Pineapple centerpiece

Pineapple centerpiece

Yesterday I visited my beautiful, precious daughter Heather and our grandkids Annabelle and Violet, and Heather’s fiance’s children Kayden and Eian. I bought Hawaiian-themed decorations and pepperoni pizza, chocolate cupcakes, and gifts for a “Back to school” little party. I was so happy to see and hug them. It was fun. They enjoyed it and they all thanked me.

Hawaiian-themed decorations

Hawaiian-themed decorations

Work that crown napkins

Work that crown napkins

chocolate cupcakes

chocolate cupcakes

HyVee grocery store only had “Happy Birthday” cupcakes, with the Frozen movie theme, but they were chocolate, so I bought them. They were delicious and the kids loved them!

The chocolate cupcakes were SO good!

The chocolate cupcakes were SO good!

The kids also enjoyed the pepperoni pizza. Eian had his own little cheese pizza. In fact, he ate so much that he said his stomach hurt, lol.

Then he wanted a chocolate cupcake. I was amused that mostly he licked off all the chocolate frosting. The cupcakes were a hit with everyone!

Violet & Annabelle eating pizza

Violet & Annabelle eating pizza

Eian eating his own little cheese pizza

Eian eating his own little cheese pizza

Eian eating his cupcake

Eian eating his cupcake

I bought silly sunglasses at the Dollar Tree for the kids. I thought it’d make a cute picture. I’m sure they thought the glasses were stupid and ridiculous, but it did make cute pics–love it! The girls’ sunglasses were yellow pineapples, and the boys were blue sharks. Eian loved his! He said he wanted to go swimming in his little pool then.

The kids in their silly sunglasses--love it!

The kids in their silly sunglasses

Eian in his shark sunglasses

Eian in his shark sunglasses

For Heather’s and my gifts, I bought us a lei and her a decorative, large flip flop (she likes flip flops and Nike sliders), and her and Andy drink glasses. These colored garlands are a way to show love, friendship, or to celebrate and honor someone.

They are a beloved tradition and custom in Hawaii and are common at graduations, parties, and weddings. Any occasion can be made more special by the giving of a lei. According to legend, a visitor leaving the islands who tosses their lei into the water and has it float on the current to the shore will someday come back to Hawaii.

Heather wants to visit Hawaii (as well as travel around the USA and the world). I’m praying she’ll be able to do this one day soon and that the decorations are prophetic of that!

My precious, beautiful daughter Heather and me with a colored lei

My precious, beautiful daughter Heather and me with a colored lei

Heather's big flip flop decoration and colored drink glasses

Heather’s big flip flop decoration and colored drink glasses

I wrote encouraging notes in a card with a Scripture and bought the kids little school gifts, like Sharpie pens and Sharpie colored highlighters, pens, sticky notes, pencil grippers, a folder for their school papers, and various chocolates. The girls received pretty hair bows for their long, beautiful hair (Annabelle’s is dark brown like Heather’s, and Violet’s is red, which runs on both sides of the family). The boys Kayden and Eian got water guns, and I bought Eian a colored ball.

Violet playing with Eian's ball

Violet playing with Eian’s ball

Annabelle and Violet reading their cards

Annabelle and Violet reading their cards. Their beautiful hair is so long and thick!

Annabelle looking through her sunglasses

Annabelle looking through her sunglasses

Kayden and Eian in their silly sunglasses.

Kayden and Eian in their silly sunglasses.

For Heather, I bought lavender bath salts for her to soak in after a long day at work, a bath sponge, a Sharpie pen, sticky notes, and a gift card for her and Andy to go on a date alone at Texas Roadhouse steak restaurant. Eian enjoyed watching her open her gift bag.

Eian watching Heather open her gifts

Eian watching Heather open her gifts

Andy’s toddler son Eian is adorable. He is very spoiled and has more toys than any child I’ve ever met. He loves John Deere tractors, firetrucks, and police and race cars. He kept bringing me his toys for me to admire them, haha! In this pic below, he’s showing me his soft stuffed puppy.

Eian showing me his puppy

Eian showing me his puppy

These gifts didn’t cost much, but were just a way to show them I love them and I’m thinking about them. I just hated that Kayden’s and Eian’s sister Kelsey wasn’t there too to receive her gifts and take pics. I found little gift bags at the Dollar Tree and pretty colored tissue paper for each bag.

Gift bags with colored tissue paper

Gift bags with colored tissue paper

I’m so thankful that I was able to see my precious, beautiful daughter and our grandkids, and Andy’s kids, too. I hope to see them again very soon! The kids love Starbucks coffee, so we may go do that next time! Please pray for them this school year to be protected from Coronavirus. I know that God is watching over them! Psalm 91.

What are your SPIRITUAL GIFTS? Do you know what they are? And are you using them for Jesus’ glory?

Me with Heather's blue gift bag

Me with Heather’s gift bag

This Saturday, August 15, I’m having a Zoom event, teaching on this topic with a power point for 30 minutes. I’d love for you to come. There is no one like you on earth with your specific, unique gifts and purpose.

Here is the invite and Zoom link. And bring a friend so y’all can be encouraged with HOPE.

Beth Jones is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: What are your spiritual gifts? It’s time to use them!
Time: Aug 14, 2020 08:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada). This is 10:30 a.m. Central Time and 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/3109575004?pwd=VndQVHZGYmV3bWJyNWNyNVlPSVFzdz09

Meeting ID: 310 957 5004
Passcode: Useme

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Blog, Faith, Homemaking, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

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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Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Spiritual Gifts

Today is Leah’s 20th birthday

Leah with violin

Leah with violin

Today is our youngest daughter Leah’s 20th birthday. So hard to believe ~ where did the years go? It seems like yesterday she was a baby in a pink gown. You can read the story about the pink gown here.

Today I baked her a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I found this arrow in the art section of the store, and bought it as her cake topper decoration.

arrow for direction this year for Leah

arrow for direction this year for Leah

Since Leah isn’t sure yet what she wants to do with her life, Ray and I have been praying for God’s wisdom and direction for Leah since she graduated in 2012.  I believe the arrow is prophetic and symbolic of God giving her direction this year, and of her choosing to go the right way, to follow Jesus.

It’s also cute and can be used as wall art for her bedroom. The arrow is actually a chalkboard – how creative!

The arrow chalkboard reminded me of Leah’s creativity. She is multi-gifted. Leah takes violin lessons and plays the violin beautifully: classical music like Bach, hymns, Irish jigs, and she’s even written a couple of her own songs on the violin. She is teaching herself how to play the mandolin and the guitar.

She is also an amazing, self-taught artist.

She draws by hand and draws daily on the graphic art tablet Ray bought her several years ago. Here’s one sample of her incredible graphic art:

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Here’s another sample which is my favorite.

Copyright 2012 Leah Jones

Copyright 2012 Leah Jones

She was embarrassed when we sang happy birthday for her. We always light the candles and have our kids make a wish and blow out the candles on their birthday cake.

Leah was embarrassed when we sang to her

Leah was embarrassed when we sang to her

Ray also bought her and him an ice cream waffle cone today.

Ice cream waffle cone

Ice cream waffle cone

One of her birthday gifts is the Sims 4 video game, which she requested for her present.

Sims 4 video game

Sims 4 video game

Another gift that Ray and I gave her today is a cubic zirconia sterling silver heart necklace. She liked it and said it is pretty. Leah likes “shiny” things.

Leah's sterling silver heart necklace

Leah’s sterling silver heart necklace

 Here is a picture of Leah with me, Ray and Heather last year.

Me, Leah, Ray & Heather

Me, Leah, Ray & Heather

 Here’s a picture of me and Leah together at my Cinderella women’s conference this year.

Me with Leah

Me with Leah

 Here’s Leah with her sister Heather at Leah’s homeschool graduation.

Leah's graduation - her sister Heather and Leah

Leah’s graduation – her sister Heather and Leah

Here’s Leah with her sister Eden.

Leah at her graduation with her sister Eden

Leah at her graduation with her sister Eden

Here are Heather, Eden, and Leah together.

Heather, Eden, and Leah

Heather, Eden, and Leah

Leah is a beautiful, spiritually gifted, musically and artistically gifted, talented, highly intelligent, loving, balanced, funny, young woman. Ray and I are proud of her.

Some people don’t understand Leah because she is so quiet. Ray and I used to be the same way; we were both incredibly shy, but grew out of it. I believe Leah will grow out of her shyness, too, one day. Some friends shared that they believe Leah is like a late-blooming flower. They bloom late in the season, but when they bloom, it’s like they spring up overnight. 

Leah is very shy and finds it hard to talk with people, and has just a few close friends, but she’s a wonderful person to get to know. If you’re not her friend, you are really missing out!

Here is Leah with her friends at the bowling alley.

Leah and friends

Leah and friends

And another pic with friends at the bowling alley. (Annabelle too)

Leah at bowling alley with friends

Leah at bowling alley with friends

These are her friends from small group on Sundays.

Leah & friends

Leah & friends

Leah and her friend David Christian at the bowling alley.

Leah & David Christian at bowling alley

Leah & David Christian at bowling alley

Here’s her friends from small group acting goofy.

Small group

Small group

She loves her friends.

She also loves her iPhone cell phone. She has a piano app on it that she plays all the time and her games. 

Leah loves her iPhone

Leah loves her iPhone

And she loves animals, especially cats.

Leah and cat

Leah and cat

Leah also loves horses. She used to take riding lessons and competed in English horse riding shows. She won a blue ribbon first place prize in her 3rd show! This year she was able to ride on a horse again for the first time in years. I’m praying for us both to be able to ride again soon.

Our daughter Leah on Ace

Our daughter Leah on Ace

God has great plans for  Leah’s life. I can’t wait to see them unfold.

“I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11, CEV

Leah, we love you so much. You are precious to God, others, and many other people.

Your life is a beautiful gift to me, and I’m so thankful for you. Happy 20th. 

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