Galway Girl Part 2

This is post #7 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,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher, and

#6, Galway Girl

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.

“If you’re going to be lost, there’s no friendlier place to get lost in than Ireland.” —Rebekah Crane, The Upside of Falling Down

Ireland green fields & stone wall
Ireland green fields & stone wall

As I shared in my blog post Galway Girl, Galway was definitely mine and Leah’s favorite city on our Ireland trip. The city was alive with energy; it was just FUN! We loved Galway!

I bought my souvenir in Galway: a beautiful, sterling silver Claddagh Ring. Its meaning is about love, loyalty, and friendship. I’d seen them before I went on the trip, and knew that’s what I wanted as my gift!

The Claddagh Ring has been the traditional wedding ring in Ireland since the 17th Century. There are four different ways to wear it:

Claddagh Ring
Claddagh Ring

Single: You should wear the ring on your right hand with the heart facing outwards.

Relationship: You should wear it on your right hand with the heart pointed inwards.

Engaged: You wear it on your left hand with the heart pointing outwards.

Married: You wear it on your left hand with the heart facing inward.

The saying goes that if you’re taken, you wear the ring with the heart on the ring facing your heart, and if you’re searching for love, you wear the heart facing outward.

I’m interested in fashion, but I noticed what other people were wearing as I traveled. This young woman’s white sneakers and backpack were cute. I noted a lot of people wearing backpacks everywhere we went.

The Latin Quarter of Galway
The Latin Quarter of Galway

 

Young woman's cute white sneakers & backpack
Young woman’s cute white sneakers & backpack

I wanted to stay much longer, but I had booked a different B & B each night throughout our journey and since it was starting to rain, Leah and I both thought it best to start heading out after our lunch at The Quay Street Kitchen located in the thriving town’s center.

Thriving Galway center <br/>A talented street musician--guitarist
Thriving Galway center
A talented street musician–guitarist

 

Menu at Galway restaurant
Menu at Galway restaurant

 

flowers on our table
gorgeous fresh flowers on our table

Leah seemed more interested in the bird (a pigeon, I believe) that stayed near our table outside than anything. Throughout our trip, Leah took several pics of birds, to my amusement. This is a good shot below. Now you know what a Galway, Ireland bird looks like!

pigeon near our sidewalk cafe table
pigeon near our sidewalk cafe table

Before we ate lunch, we enjoyed window-shopping at the shops. One of the first things we saw was a pretty street mime in a French cap, turtleneck shirt, big hoop earrings, black and grey leggings, and boots, performing on the sidewalk. A man playing a guitar accompanied her. This was the first time that Leah and I had ever seen a mime in person, so it was interesting.

Galway street mime
Galway street mime

 

Galway street mime
Galway street mime & town center

I saw a music store and asked Leah if she wanted to go inside. Naturally, she did (she plays the violin and other instruments). She later told me that I should know better than to go into a music store, where she’d want to spend all her money! She actually didn’t buy anything there, but wanted to buy a lot!

I took a pic of a harp at this store, because our granddaughter Annabelle–who plays the violin, too–wants to learn how to play the harp. 

Music store in Galway where we stopped
Music store in Galway where we stopped

 

Harp in music store
Harp in music store

Leah was captivated by all the street musicians, as I knew she would be. Here is a shot that is closer up of the guitarist, who reminded me of the musical prodigy in the movie August Rush.

Leah and I listened to him for quite awhile. Leah said he was really good. As he played, he gathered a much bigger crowd than shown here.

amazing guitarist in Galway
amazing guitarist in Galway

 

A big crowd began to gather to listen to this young man
A big crowd began to gather to listen to this talented young man, who played incredibly on the guitar

One of the historic landmarks in Galway is the Wolf Tone Bridge over the River Corrib. The bridge is named after revolutionary Theobald Wolfe Tone, who helped found the United Irish Society, which worked to unite Roman Catholics and Protestants. We were trying to find parking to walk across the bridge.

Wolfe Tone Bridge Image source: Google
Wolfe Tone Bridge
Image source: Google

Leah found parking lots on my phone using the GPS, which I didn’t even know you could do. But it proved to be challenging as traffic was INSANE in Galway!

We just drove in circles, with me trying to listen to my phone’s GPS lady Siri, as I drove through unknown and ridiculously narrow streets and tried to avoid hitting cars in our rental car! Leah was getting frustrated with me, and I was getting very hungry!

Car GPS
Car GPS lady’s voice Siri telling me where to go

I winded up mistakenly going down a dead-end street and having to back up (not an easy feat, as the automatic cars in Ireland are a little hard to put into Neutral or Reverse!).

Leah and I decided to forget the bridge!

We did see this pretty stone bridge pictured below. I believe it was near Galway, but can’t be postive. There are a lot of bridges like this across Ireland. Unfortunately due to parking, I was unable to get a picture on the Wolf Tone Bridge.

Ireland has many legends, and the Wolfe Tone Bridge has one, too: in the 1800’s, it was that any Claddagh person traveling west over the bridge at midnight would be attacked by a ‘gliomach’ or sea monster. We were there in the daytime, not midnight, but good thing I don’t believe in legends, anyway!

stone bridge
stone bridge

In my next post in this Ireland Blog Post series, I’ll share about one of the scariest times that Leah and I had in Ireland: driving in the rain up Corkscrew Mountain!

Driving through mountains in Ireland
Driving through mountains in Ireland

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A year from now

Ultimate Blog Challenge
www.ultimateblogchallenge.com/

Today is Day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Today’s suggested blog topic was imagining the future…what your family, blog, business, town, state, etc., will be like in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years.

In one year, I believe my husband Ray will be in a different job position, possibly one that is in the works now at the hospital if all goes well.

Our oldest daughter Heather will continue her college studies and hopefully will have a large raise at her office manager job or a different, better-paying job, which she needs as a single mom. Her college degree will be in business management. 

I believe our middle daughter Eden will be more on her feet financially for her and her son Jacob (also a single mom). Hopefully she will have passed the other portions of her GED test and/or enrolled in a college class. Her dream is to own a restaurant and/or be a baker. (She loves baking cupcakes.)

I believe our daughter Leah will be excelling in playing the violin, and be an even more amazing artist. I’m praying she will be enrolled in at least one college art class and have a job.

I believe for myself, more doors will open for speaking opportunities and traveling – some trips with Ray, some trips as a family, some alone. I will probably be writing another book (or more than one!). I’m praying that I will have lost more weight, too. 

I’m praying and believing that Ray and I will be home-owners and will be working toward paying off our debts and creating our Baby Step One emergency fund savings

And I believe Jesus may come back within a year. The time is very short now. Prepare our hearts, Lord Jesus. 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail