My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland!

Ireland Blog Series #1

This is post #1 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah.

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. 

“Ireland, once you live there, you’re seduced by it.”–Frank McCourt

My precious daughter Leah & I at Cliffs of Moher
My precious daughter Leah & I at Cliffs of Moher

I’ve dreamed for years of going to Ireland. Maybe the idea first started when I read about my teen-year heroine Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind, whose father Gerald was from Ireland and who had a strong Irish brogue, so Scarlett was Irish, too. Or maybe it’s the breathtakingly beautiful pictures of the Cliffs of Moher, which I longed to see. Or possibly it was from hearing fun Irish music, like the jigs Leah plays on her violin.

Me at Torc Waterfall stone bridge
Me at Torc Waterfall stone bridge

Whatever the reason, Ireland has been calling my heart. So I began to pray for God to make a way for me to visit Ireland. My daughter Leah wanted to go, too. And God did it! I give Jesus Christ all the glory for this amazing opportunity! I told Leah that this proves that hard work and faith in Jesus can make your dreams come true! Yours can, too!

August 2018 box with my book, Walking With God!
Gods’ Glory Box items for August 2018, with my book, Walking With God

How? Through the profit of selling 7,700 copies of my book on prayer, Walking With God, to the Christian organization God’s Glory Box, I was able to buy a vacation package for two through Great Value Vacations.

This package included lodging for a week at the beautiful Bunratty Castle Hotel and lovely, immaculately-clean B & B’s of our choice, the car rental for a week from Dan Dooley’s car rental, and the plane flights from New York to Shannon, Ireland and back from Dublin, Ireland to New York. The flights from Kansas City (where I live) to New York and New York to Kansas City were separately priced.

Leah at pretty spot where we stopped at Killarney National Park

Leah and I went for seven days and had an amazing time! Ireland is GORGEOUS! I miss it and wish I was still there!

Two of the main things I wanted to see was the Cliffs of Moher near Galway and Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. These beautiful sites surpassed my imagination. The Cliffs of Moher were both mine and Leah’s favorite place.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

 

The breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
The breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

 

me at Cliffs of Moher with coffee
me at Cliffs of Moher with coffee

 

A beautiful pic of Leah at the Cliffs of Moher
A beautiful pic of Leah with coffee at the Cliffs of Moher

 

Leah at Torc Waterfall Killarney National Park
Leah at Torc Waterfall, Killarney National Park

Another thing I wanted to see was Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney. This gorgeous Gothic-style cathedral was built in 1853 and has beautiful stained glass windows and awe-inspiring architecture. It is the Roman Catholic cathedral in County Kerry.

It was designed by the renown English architect Augustus Welby Pugin. The Great Famine in Ireland and lack of funds meant the work had to be stopped several times, and when it was recommenced, the interior decorations finished by James Joseph McCarthy.

Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney, Ireland

 

Stained glass windows in St. Mary's Cathedral
Stained glass windows in St. Mary’s Cathedral

 

Altar at St. Mary's Cathedral
Altar at St. Mary’s Cathedral

It is very true that Ireland is SO green and that is why it’s called the “Emerald Isle.” It rains frequently there, thus all the greenery. 

Most of the eastern half of the country has between 750 and 1000 millimetres (mm) of rainfall in the year. Rainfall in the west generally averages between 1000 and 1250 mm. In many mountainous districts rainfall exceeds 2000 mm per year.  Rainfall ranges from about 151 days a year along the east and southeast coasts, to about 225 days a year in parts of the west.

Light rain on windshield in mountains
Light rain on windshield in mountains

 

Ireland is so green due to all the rain
Ireland is so green due to all the rain

I prayed before we went that it wouldn’t rain, at least hard, while we were there because I would be driving and don’t like driving in rain or bad weather. It did rain lightly there every day for short periods of time, but the sun quickly came out. As one couple on a shuttle to the airport said, “The sun (the Son!) followed us.” Leah even spotted a rainbow one day, which I had prayed would happen if it rained, before going over there!

I had bought me and Leah lightweight raincoats on sale (hers, new, at Amazon and mine at a thrift store) before we went over there due to the rain. They came in handy a few times when it softly rained and they worked perfectly! This and our rolling luggage, backpacks, and hiking/walking boots were a great investment for the trip!

I didn’t want to chance our luggage getting lost going on an international flight, so we didn’t check baggage and took the backpacks and rollerboards on the planes. I tried to pack “light and tight,” but they were still stuffed, so I had to push them under the seat to make them fit. Having been a flight attendant helps!

our backpacks & rollerboards for plane
our backpacks & rollerboards for plane

 

Leah in her blue raincoat--it brings out her blue eyes!
Leah in her cute, lightweight blue raincoat that we bought for this trip–it brings out her blue eyes!

 

A powerful pic: Leah looking at Atlantic Ocean in her raincoat
A powerful pic: Leah looking at Atlantic Ocean in her raincoat

 

Me in a cute raincoat I bought at the thrift store on sale for this trip, in Galway at lunch
Me in a cute raincoat I bought at the thrift store on sale for this trip, in Galway at lunch

 

Me looking at Atlantic Ocean in my raincoat
Me looking at Atlantic Ocean in my raincoat

Pictures can’t do it justice and words aren’t enough to describe how gorgeous Ireland is! Ireland has breathtakingly beautiful mountains, the Atlantic ocean, lakes, waterfalls, trees, and flowers! I loved it and can’t wait to go back! Leah wants to go back, too–next time to see Giant’s Causeway in northern Ireland!

Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean near Galway

 

Atlantic Ocean beach near Galway
Atlantic Ocean beach near Galway

 

mountains in Killarney National Park
mountains in Killarney National Park

I’ll be sharing more blogs and pictures from this trip, so stay tuned here at BethJones.net. Please like and share with your family, friends, and peers. Cheers! 

Leah & me at the gorgeous Cliffs of Moher, Ireland: Dreams do come true!
Leah & me at the gorgeous Cliffs of Moher, Ireland: Dreams do come true!
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Persevere

Recently I got a new, part-time job to help our family get out of debt faster. Finance guru Dave Ramsey says 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, the average student loan is $29,400, and 90% of Americans buy things they can’t afford.

I don’t want to be a slave to the lender the rest of my life; how about you? This new job is for a specific purpose: to help set our family free! I pray that I can persevere to the finish line.

woman in hammock
woman in hammock

My job is physical labor which is a big change from the work I typically do as a speaker and author. I’m not used to standing on my feet all day long, constantly moving, and using all these muscles (non-muscles?).

By the time I get home from work, I’m a puddle and just want to lay down…preferably in a hammock at the beach! I’m totally exhausted!

my new lunchbox & Nikes
my new lunchbox & Nikes

I try to get as much rest as possible the night before I work; I wake up at 5:45 a.m. to get ready for the day and have my “coffee with God” time–eat an egg, make my coffee, get dressed, pray, read the Bible, and journal.

Then I take my “work stuff” with me to work, to be there by 8 a.m.:

  • Uniform–a t-shirt with the company logo, blue jean capris, white ankle socks, my new Nikes for standing on my feet all day, and an apron;
  • my lunch box which I pack the night before, usually a salad, and my water bottle (Americans spend almost $3,000 on midday meals each year, with men outspending women by 60%. Taking your lunch to work saves a LOT of money and is often healthier! I usually take a salad.);
  • my toothbrush and Tom’s toothpaste (yes, I brush my teeth after lunch!);
  • my journal to write notes about the job from my trainer, Chantal;
  • my purse with my iPhone for emergencies. We’re not allowed to use our phones during work hours, but I keep it nearby as I’m a little addicted to it! For some reason it brings me comfort just being in my pocket! I’m not alone in my addiction; one in five people check their cell phones every 10 minutes!

I have a 90-day probationary period at this job. For the last week, my trainer Chantal was on vacation in Chicago, so that was sort of the “litmus test” to see if I could do the job alone.

trust God

It was hectic and stressful (this place is always busy!). But I had great help from the previous owner’s wife and the current owner’s wife, which I was very thankful for, and I made it solo through the week! I think I passed the test with a few mistakes, but we learn from our mistakes, right? (Hopefully!)

I’m still speaking and writing when I’m not at work, and in fact today I was sharing about writing books with two of my co-workers (they started asking me questions about it).

Beth Jones Speaker/Author
Beth Jones
Speaker/Author

Right now I’m writing a new, non-fiction book about writing, and will keep you posted on the deets!

Meanwhile, please keep me in prayer about this new job. My desire is to do it as unto the Lord, with excellence.

You can check out my newest fiction book by clicking here at Amazon, Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa. 

 

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I got a part-time job

married couple
married couple

My husband Ray has been forcing wanting me to get a job outside the home since last year to make a more consistent income so we can get out of debt faster. Last week I was hired for a part-time job. 

It is a local, extremely successful business and the daytime hours I work are ideal, while still allowing me time to pursue my big dreams. If you have heard me speak before or read my books, you know one of my mottos is, “Dream big because we serve a big God!”

The business has a stellar reputation in our community and excellent products and customer service. Everyone there is so nice and has made me feel very welcome. I wish so much that I could take pics at work and share them with you, as it’s very interesting and it’d make AMAZING pictures! Just let me get through training first….and then I’d have to ask my boss for permission to do that.

It is more manual labor than the mental work I currently do working from home, as a women’s conference speaker and author. The part-time hours enable me to still pursue speaking and writing. I’ll also be able to still go to church on Sundays.

I’m very thankful for this job, but it’s been an adjustment. I’m still in training, and I’m trying to do my best job possible. When I’m through the training period, I”ll share more with you about what my job specifically is!

comfort zone

I made the mistake of buying new sneakers for the first day, since I’d be standing on my feet all day. My feet hurt SO bad that day; I was in intense PAIN!

Omgosh! I took a hot bath immediately after getting home from work; it felt like HEAVEN! 

bubble bath with candles
bubble bath with candles

I plan to buy some Nikes or Skechers shoes asap, since most of my work at this new job involves standing or moving around a lot. Several friends on Facebook recommended Skechers when I shared about my aching feet the first day.  

One of my coworkers says she always uses Nike and my boss ordered Brooks. If your work requires you to stand a lot or all day, what brand shoes do you wear? 

Skech-air shoes
Skech-air shoes

I feel it’s very important to start my day off right, any day, but especially on the days that I’m scheduled to work at this job.

First, I try to go to bed at a decent time the night before I work to get enough sleep. Sometimes I struggle with insomnia, and I’m praying that doesn’t happen now. I don’t function well without sufficient sleep; I’m irritable and can’t think straight. Like a kitty cat, I need my rest!

Grey sleeping cat -"Image courtesy of [papaija2008] / FreeDigitalPhotos.ne
Grey sleeping cat
I am so not a morning person, but I’m waking up earlier now since I go into work at 8 a.m. Right now it’s 5:45 a.m. and it still doesn’t seem very long! I actually set 2 alarms to wake me up, one with batteries, in case the power goes off in the middle of the night from a thunderstorm, because I don’t want to oversleep and be late to work!

woman with clock
woman with alarm clock

I start my day off with “coffee with God.” I make the coffee first thing, cook a fried egg (one or two), and then drink my coffee while praying, reading the Bible, and journaling in the quiet of the morning.

Your morning time is crucial to your daily success. Here’s a great article on 1morning routines that highly successful people follow to make them extraordinary.

woman with coffee Source: Lightstock
woman with coffee
Source: Lightstock

A time-saver tip is that I pack my lunch the night before: usually a salad and maybe some crackers and cheese. This can save you at least 5 to 15 minutes in the morning to get ready for work!

“Brown-bagging” your lunch (making your lunch at home to take to work) saves a LOT of money, is healthier for you (no drive-through fast food places!), and also saves time.

salad
salad

Sure, there may be days when I opt to go grab some lunch somewhere (or even just go home for some place quieter like my coworker does, who lives nearby in town), but for now this is working great. My lunch period is only a half hour, so I wouldn’t have time to go sit down in a restaurant and eat anyway.

I bring my lunch in a soft lunch box, to put in the fridge at work. This sounds funny, but I also pack my toothbrush and toothpaste in it!

lunch box
lunch box

I’m really trying to push water at work. 

water
water

Since I’m in training, I’ve been taking a journal and Sharpie pen to work to write down notes to learn the job effectively and to not forget important details I need for my tasks.

my journal to take down notes
my journal to take down notes

I’m a visual/hands-on learner, so I have to see something and then DO it to be able to really “get” it–to LEARN it. Other people are auditory learners.

The women who have been training me at this job have been doing it for years and are really good and very fast! They are teaching me how to do it by example (me seeing them do it), and then I do the task (kinesthetic or hands-on learning). What is your learning style? How do you learn something new best?

ABC blocks
ABC blocks

 

The biggest challenge so far, other than my feet hurting and trying to learn everything and do it well, is finding time to exercise when I’m off work. As soon as I get off work, I want to just COLLAPSE and do NOTHING the rest of the day! But I need to make exercise, healthy eating, drinking lots of water, and sufficient rest and fun priorities in my life!

woman in hammock
woman in hammock

This job is NOT rocket science, but there is a LOT to learn. I will have one primary job title, but I’ll also be handling other responsibilities that I’m being trained for now. Please pray that God will help me to catch on and learn the job quickly with efficiency and productivity, and that I’ll do an excellent job as unto the Lord.

Please pray for me starting this new job
Please pray for me starting this new job!

 

The goal of this job is to help our family get out of debt faster. 

woman with money
woman with money

I’ll still be speaking and writing, so if you need a speaker for your women’s conference, please contact me here.

I also have a new book on Amazon, my 2nd fiction book, Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa, which you can find out more about or purchase by clicking here.

It is another Amazon Best Seller–woot! Below is the beautiful cover my graphic designer made for me. I LOVE it! I chose the image at Istock and she created it. What do you think?  

Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa Available at Amazon
Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa
Available at Amazon

You can also see the other books I’ve written at my Amazon Author page by clicking here.

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