We have a new family member! Baby Willow!

Ray and I are so excited that we have a new family member–Baby Willow, our 5th grandchild! She was born yesterday and is 6 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches long. Her name is Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch. She’s beautiful and precious!

Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch Beautiful & precious!
Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch
Beautiful & precious!

Our middle daughter Eden decided to test her new makeup, Younique, for which she is a presenter, to see if it was labor-proof. It was! Isn’t she the most glam mom ever? I thought this was hilarious. Only Eden would do this, haha!

She has always loved makeup. Even when she was three years old, she’d look through our friend Kim Weber’s purse to find lipstick and put it on her little lips. 

Our daughter Eden labor-proofing her Younique makeup
Our daughter Eden labor-proofing her Younique makeup

 

Craig & Eden waiting for baby Willow in labor room
Craig & Eden waiting for baby Willow in labor room

Although Eden went into the hospital the night before, active labor started at 7 a.m. yesterday morning. She had her before supper time, and she only pushed for five minutes—amazing! I’ve never heard of such a short pushing time!

baby Willow
baby Willow

 

Craig & Eden
Craig & Eden

After labor Eden was hungry, and she could order whatever she wanted to eat at the hospital. She chose a cheeseburger, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, grape juice, and a chocolate brownie. Her pickle looked like it had a face on it, which made all of us laugh.

Eden's meal
Eden’s meal

 

funny "face" pickle on Eden's cheeseburger
funny “face” pickle on Eden’s cheeseburger

Eden is 110% Sanguine, which means she is very outgoing, has one volume (loud!) and talks constantly. After giving birth to Willow, she was sitting up in her bed, talking non-stop to Ray and me, while eating her cheeseburger, laughing at the “face” pickle, and telling us how awful the mashed potatoes with gravy were. I was extremely amused that she had all her makeup still on and was talking a lot after just having a baby.

Me & Ray at hospital
Me & Ray at hospital

Willow’s body temperature wasn’t quite warm enough, so both Eden and Craig had to do skin to skin contact with her to warm up her body. We weren’t able to hold her yet because of this, but we were happy to see her right after she was born. We are praying and believing that all is well with her.

Craig having skin to skin contact with Willow
Craig having skin to skin contact with Willow

Craig’s parents live in Oklahoma and sent gifts to Willow and Eden, which arrived while we were visiting them. The big, soft elephant is so cute and I wanted to take it home!

Gifts for Willow & Eden
Gifts for Willow & Eden

 

Willow's balloon
Willow’s balloon

I love the cute little blankets that hospitals provide to wrap babies in after they are born. This one has ducks, which I adore. 

duck baby blanket
duck baby blanket

Ray and I are so happy that all went well with labor and delivery, and that we have this new precious, beautiful baby as part of our growing family. God is good! Please keep them all in your prayers. As a young married couple with little children, they have many needs for provision. God is Jehovah Jireh, their provider, amen.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”–Ephesians 2:10

Precious baby Willow
Precious baby Willow
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Baby Piper: it’s hard to wait

It’s hard to wait. I’m not much of a waiter. Like a racehorse rarin’ to go out of the starting gate, I’m not real long on patience. Yet patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. “So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” ~ James 1:4, TLB

My stepdaughter Eden is now 32 weeks pregnant. Like most moms-to-be, she wants everything ready ahead of time to prepare for her baby girl, Piper. (I LOVE Piper’s name! Very prophetic!)

Eden is all baby. She looks so cute! I think pregnant women are just beautiful. 🙂

My stepdaughter Eden, pregnant at 32 weeks
My stepdaughter Eden, pregnant at 32 weeks

We’ve been praying for God to provide everything Eden and Piper’s dad Craig need, as Eden already gave away all of her baby items for her now 7-year-old son Jacob. Recently God answered a HUGE prayer – a crib for Eden’s baby.

Eden’s godparents Gary and Sandy Peters had a crib that they used for their grandkids when they were babies, and they blessed Eden with it. Yesterday I went to pick it up to take it to Eden at her apartment. I’m so thankful Craig was able to put it together right away. Eden wants to paint it white for Piper’s room. 

Craig putting baby Piper's crib together
Craig putting baby Piper’s crib together
Piper's crib
Piper’s crib

After I picked up the crib at Gary’s and Sandy’s house, I went to Walmart to buy Piper a new car seat, their other great need. I bought this pretty purple and black one by Evenflo. It is impact-tested for safety and is for newborn size. Another huge answered prayer! God is Jehovah Jireh, the Provider!

 

Evenflo, newborn car seat
Evenflo, newborn car seat

I also bought Piper some more little things: an owl and hearts onesies, fitted crib sheets, a package of 4 receiving blankets, and a cheery yellow owl wall deco for pictures and notes (Eden wants an owl theme for her bedroom).

Gifts for Piper
Gifts for Piper
Receiving blankets
Receiving blankets
Owl wall deco
Owl wall deco

About a month ago, I bought a “care package” for Eden to have some things ready for when Piper is born and she comes home from the hospital. I love doing this for new moms: Pampers diapers, pacifiers, a soft owl blanket, hand mitts, and pink cupcakes onesies (Eden used to work in a bakery and loves baking and eating cupcakes).

Baby-going-home care package
Baby-going-home care package
Cupcakes onesies
Cupcakes onesies
Soft owl blanket for Piper
Soft owl blanket for Piper

Our oldest daughter Heather bought Eden an owl diaper bag. Eden has packed it with the diapers, wipes, pacifiers, outfits, little hats, etc., to be ready to go to the hospital. I’m so glad that now Craig and Eden have the main things they need for Piper: the crib, her car seat, the diaper bag packed and ready to go, and of course everyone’s prayers for Eden’s pregnancy, an easy delivery, and a healthy baby! 

Owl diaper bag for Piper
Owl diaper bag for Piper

Heather also bought Eden this nice baby swing from a mom at church. These can be life-savers when babies are fussy! (other than rocking the baby or snuggling with her, of course!)

Swing
Swing

After I dropped off the crib, car seat, and the gifts, I invited Eden and Craig to eat lunch. There is a Mexican restaurant across the street from their apartment, so we went there. I could eat Mexican every day! It was delicious! I think Eden and Craig enjoyed it, too. 🙂

Eden & Craig at Mexican restaurant
Eden & Craig at Mexican restaurant

Eden and I both have had two dreams each that Piper came early. Eden’s son Jacob came early and labor with him only took 5 hours! Usually in second, third and subsequent pregnancies, the baby comes faster. We think Piper will come early, but we’re praying she won’t be premature. Please keep Eden, Craig, and Piper in prayer. We all are very excited to meet her! It’s hard to be patient!

Is it hard for you to be patient? What is something you’ve been praying about, but your prayers haven’t been answered yet? Keep praying! Leave your comments below. 

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Lots of changes

coffee shop
coffee shop

I’m sitting here in my office drinking my coffee, thick with hazelnut creamer, an indulgence I have these days to replace my coke habit. Not coke as in crack, but Coca Cola™. I was addicted to it for years and in January I radically changed my lifestyle and finally quit drinking coke. I

This has truly been a year of pivot. Before the beginning of each new year, I take some time alone with God to pray about the coming year, asking for His protection, wisdom, and guidance for me, our family, loved ones, the U.S. and Israel.

Each year I pray and ask God for a “one word” and a Scripture for that year. This year (2015), God gave me two words: pivot and pivotal

The definition of pivot is “the central point, shaft, or pin, on which something turns.”

Pivotal means “of crucial importance in relation to the success of something else.”

The Scripture He gave me is John 20:16, The Message: “Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning to face Him, she said, “Rabboni,” meaning ‘Teacher.'” 

I still don’t know why this year is crucially important; I just know that God told me it is and that I needed to obey Him. That meant giving up cokes, eating healthier, and exercising daily (I wasn’t exercising at all and I ate a lot of fast food.) I had to pivot, to turn to face God.

I have to take care of my body because God says our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).  I can’t fulfill my purpose, what God has called me to do and to be, without it. 

There’s been lots of changes and things happening this new year:

My radical lifestyle change, resulting in me becoming more fit, healthy, and losing (and maintaining) 20 pounds. I still have 20 pounds to lose to reach my ideal weight for my height, so please keep praying for my self-discipline to be able to reach my goal!

Me with my family, Heather, Ray, me, & Leah Father's Day 2015
Me with my family, Heather, Ray, me, & Leah
Father’s Day 2015

Both our daughters got a car. Our oldest daughter Heather bought a 2014 SUV, and she gave our youngest daughter Leah her car, a blue Ford Escort (no payments, woot!). What a blessing for them both!

Leah's car
Leah’s car
Heather's new car
Heather’s new car

Ray and I went on 2 fun trips alone together to his college EMS program’s reunion in Longview, Texas, and on a trip to Jefferson City, MO, for a class for his work. While in Texas, we went through what seemed like the storm from hell

Ray & me in Texas
Ray & me in Texas

I bought a beautiful new website theme. I just love it! What do you think of it?

Lucy Lou theme
Lucy Lou theme

I spoke at Aglow in Olathe, Kansas. My next speaking event is at Aglow in Grandview, MO, on August 26. If you need a speaker for your women’s conference or event, contact me here. I love encouraging God’s precious daughters to use their gifts for Him and fulfill their purpose and calling!

Beth Jones, International Speaker/Author
Beth Jones, speaking at Aglow in Olathe, KS

My stepdaughter Eden, our middle daughter, is pregnant. The baby is a little girl, Piper, and we can’t wait to meet her! I’m giving Eden a  baby shower at the end of July. I LOVE Piper’s name and believe it is very prophetic. This will make grandchild #4, yay!

Our middle daughter Eden, pregnant with Piper
Our middle daughter Eden, pregnant with Piper

I wrote my last Amazon Best Seller ebook, The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes, in Shelley Hitz’s amazing beta writers’ training, Author Audience Academy. She’s about to officially launch the program, and I strongly encourage you to take it if you want to learn to write and publish an Amazon best seller!

Now I have 3 more book ideas. Right now I’m writing my first ever fiction book, Storm Tossed. My husband Ray has been encouraging me, a non-fiction author, to write a fiction book for years. (He loves reading fiction and says people like to read stories.)

If you’d like to sign up for my exclusive beta reader community to read this ebook and my new, upcoming ebooks free (the Amazon pre-launch ebook version), go here.

Other than writing my books and my speaking engagement in August, I’m in another season of rest right now, waiting on God’s instructions for the next step.

It’s so hard for me to sit still, because I’m obsessed with accomplishing what’s on my daily to-do list. But sometimes God just wants us to be. “Be quiet and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10, NLV

Storm Tossed

Our youngest daughter Leah is babysitting Heather’s daughters Annabelle and Violet this summer. She pays her gas to drive to and from there, provides her food, and she pays Leah a little money. This saves Heather a lot of money on childcare costs and it teaches Leah more responsibility.

Violet and Annabelle
Violet and Annabelle

Recently Heather and Leah attended a Lindsey Stirling concert in Kansas City, MO. Lindsey is the one who inspired Leah to begin playing the violin. She’s amazing! They really had fun and said it was awesome. 

Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling

I’m praying our family can take a vacation this year. (The ocean/beach are calling my name!) Do you have summer vacation or staycation plans? What has your year been like? Leave your comments below.

Woman relaxing on beach
Woman relaxing on beach
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