Let new adventures begin!

Today is my birthday and I was so blessed by my family and my friends to wish me “Happy Birthday,” and to give me encouraging Scriptures, pretty graphics and words on Facebook.

Would you as my reader and fan on my subscriber list, here at BethJones.net, and on social media please pray for me and my family as well? We desperately need them! Let me know how I can pray for you as well!

woman praying
Woman praying

Every birthday and new year, I pray about the coming year. My prayer last night to God was private between Him and me for me and my family, but I cried many tears. But one prayer I’ll share publicly is this which comes from a little plaque I recently bought: “Let new adventures begin.” Amen!

A couple of friends on Facebook used that word adventure in wishing me well for the new year, so I took it as confirmation God will do just that! What adventures would you like to have in the coming year? Leave your comments below!

My husband Ray and me
My husband Ray and me

Today my husband Ray took me to lunch for my birthday–my requested choice was, of course, Mexican. My chips and salsa fix! After we ate our meal, I wanted more chips and salsa, but was embarrassed to ask for another bottle, so Ray did, saying it was my birthday. I laughed as he ordered not only the bottle, but a cup of salsa to go and he said, “Happy Salsa Day!” Yes, I’m addicted!

My birthday today with Ray at lunch--got my chips and salsa fix!
My birthday today with Ray at lunch–got my chips and salsa fix!

Ray gave me a pretty birthday card with flowers and butterflies on it. 

Birthday card with flowers & butterflies
Birthday card with flowers & butterflies

On Ray’s next paycheck (next week), we’re planning to do something special for his “gift” to me. I’m excited and can’t wait.

Our three beautiful daughters wished me happy birthday today, and my sister Maria and my friend Shelley called me this afternoon, all which made me very happy! It was a good birthday!

Our 3 beautiful daughters Heather, Eden, & Leah
Our 3 beautiful daughters Heather, Eden, & Leah

 

My precious sis Maria
My precious sister and my BFF, Maria Willis

 

My BFF Rochelle Valasek
my BFF Rochelle Valasek

I’m so thankful for another year. Each day is a gift. God is good and life is beautiful, even though there are hardships. I believe it’s important to count our blessings every day.

Me on my birthday today
Me on my birthday today

“The way I see it, you should live every day like it’s your birthday.” ~ Paris Hilton

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By the river

A couple of weeks ago, my husband Ray had a dream that he took me to a river. Ray doesn’t usually remember his dreams and when he does have them, he doesn’t usually pay much attention to them. But for some reason, this dream interested him and he told me about it. So today we decided to take a spontaneous trip with our daughter Leah to Nevada, Missouri, and then on the way back he drove to the Marais de Cygne River near Virginia, MO.

First, we ate at the Iguana Azul Mexican restaurant in Nevada. I always take pictures everywhere I go, and when I snapped this one of the front of the restaurant, Leah said, “Really, mom?” Lol.

Ray entering Iguana Azul Mexican restaurant Nevada, MO
Ray entering Iguana Azul Mexican restaurant
Nevada, MO

The chips and salsa were delicious.

chips and salsa
chips and salsa

I ordered chicken fajitas. 

chicken fajitas
chicken fajitas

The restaurant had a pretty white Christmas tree.

white Christmas tree
white Christmas tree

Afterward, Ray drove on rural roads near Virginia, MO, to see the river. We passed an area where workers were digging deep for coal. The towns of Hume, Rich Hill (The Town That Coal Built), and Foster were big coal-mining areas, which brought prosperity to the region.

coal mines
coal mines

The most prominent coal mining company was the Hume Sinclair Coal Company. An article on the history of Walnut Township (renamed Foster after Governor Foster) said the Walnut Land & Coal Company had a million dollars capital.

You can see pictures of the coal mining by clicking here. Click on the arrows on the carousel to see the different pics of the coal.

It’s too bad but coal mining didn’t last past the 1950’s and with the loss of coal mines, businesses closed and people left. Hume now has a population of about 337 people and Foster about 400. These towns are in what I call “the sticks” and have a lot of run-down houses and closed businesses. So sad! 

In Rich Hill, about 200 men died from the mines. You can’t find the mining shafts, according to one town historian, unless you “go to the wooded areas and look for the dirt dumps or mounds where the refuse was dumped.” 

The coal mine reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Coal Miner’s Daughter, about country singer Loretta Lynn who came from poverty to fame, starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones.

Coal Miner's Daughter movie
Coal Miner’s Daughter movie

As an entrepreneur, the mine made me ponder: what areas of my life (and yours) need to be “mined”? What gifts and talents am I (are you) burying and hiding? What treasures in my heart (and yours) need to be unearthed?

The road we drove on past the coal mines was very winding, and it was getting darker outside. I told Ray I wouldn’t be able to take a picture soon if we didn’t hurry up and get there. But I didn’t want him to speed, either. Leah had already reminded him he was going 15 miles over the speed limit, lol. 

We had a little momentary excitement when Leah said, “What’s that brown thing standing by the trees?” and Ray said bears recently had been spotted in the area, so he backed up the car to look at it. Yes, our family is easily amused! Turned out only to be a cow! So much for fun adventures.

On one of the roads we went on, we saw a man outside his farmhouse doing archery. I didn’t think it was just a coincidence. God speaks to our hearts in so many ways. I felt the archery was symbollic of prayer. God wants us to “hit the mark” with our prayers. He hears our voice. Don’t stop praying! Believe and trust in God!

Here is a picture of one branch of the Marais de Cygne River. 

branch
branch

Below is the Marais de Cygne River. It is pretty. But Ray said several people have died jumping off the bridge – not from the depth of water, but from the strong current pulling them underneath. How horrible.

Marais de Cygne River
Marais de Cygne River

 

Here’s another pic of the river.

branch of river
branch of river

Below is a pic of me on the bridge by the river.

me by the river
Me by the river

Here’s Ray on the bridge by the river. 

Ray by the river
Ray by the river

Here’s the bridge by the river.  

bridge
bridge

On the way back home, we drove through Virginia, MO, where there is a little pecan shop. Ray stopped to buy me chocolate covered pretzels, which I’d mentioned wanting.

Pecan shop
Pecan shop

 

The store was just closing, but the clerk talked to Ray for at least 10 minutes about how his grandmother made chocolate covered pretzels by sticking a shrimp fork in the pretzel and dumping them into the chocolate, and all the places locally where Ray could buy chocolate covered pretzels. 

http://store.theoriginaldelanceystpeanutco.com
Chocolate covered pretzels http://store.theoriginaldelanceystpeanutco.com

 

 We did notice through the front window the large bottles of raw honey they sold, and I made a mental note of it.

This wasn’t a planned trip, that occurred just from a dream Ray had.

This month, do something new and spontaneous. Have a fun little adventure. 

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