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Know your worth: A self-care day

Today is Sunday, the day that the American church typically celebrates the Sabbath, the one day of rest which God commanded in Exodus 20:8-11, although Jews observe  Shabbat from Friday evening to Saturday evening. I believe what’s most important is that we set aside one day a week to rest and not work. This is good for our bodies, soul, and spirit. Some people work on Sunday (or Friday or Saturday), so they have to take another day to rest. Generally, I observe both days! The weekend is my time to “unwind” from my week’s work.

Thankfully I was able to sleep in this morning, cook a cheese/onion/green olive omelette, and enjoy my morning cup of creamy coffee–my Coffee with God time. Then although there is plenty of work to do around the house and in my biz today, I decided to take a relaxed, self-care day. 

“Know your worth, hold your own power, be you.” –Morgan Harper Nichols, American Christian musician, songwriter, mixed media artist, and writer

Morgan Harper Nichols

Image: Morgan Harper Nichols

Part of my goals for 2021 are focused on my health and fitness. Years ago, I stopped drinking Cokes because I felt like God told me to do this (a miracle because I was addicted to them and had drank them almost all my life!). I started eating healthier (such as salads) and began walking at the track. I was able to lose 29 pounds doing this. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I felt so much better. You can see how much thinner I was in this pic below, on the back steps of our house.

me after losing weight

me after losing weight

Then Missouri’s winter came with its snow and ice, so I stopped walking. As we all experience sometimes, bad habits aren’t easy to break and I began drinking sodas again–this time, Dr. Pepper. God is not fooled. It is just Coke–with pepper! I started eating unhealthy and the pounds which I had lost piled back on—and then some! It has been very discouraging.

But it’s never too late to start over. The Bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.” I’m so glad that with each new sunrise, we get a brand, new start with God!

It starts with a decision of our will, a choice. And I’ve decided that I want to be fit and healthy again. When Ray gets home from work, I drive to either the track in town or a walking path in town that has blooming cherry-blossom trees. It is so pretty and peaceful.

cherry tree

cherry blossom tree

path

path

I carry my iPhone with me to listen to music and to pray and think about my life and my business as I walk. This week I saw a cute bunny rabbit hopping in the grass. The robins and other birds feed in the grass and sing. There is a blue sky and puffy white clouds, giving testimony to God the Creator.

robin

robin

clouds and blue sky

clouds and blue sky

My goal for now is simply to re-establish a walking routine, 3 to 4 times a week at least. I’m not trying for a marathon here, or even a 5K (at least not right now! I have done two 5K’s in the past and hope to do this again one day!). It has been a long time since I’ve walked, so I have to pace myself.

Any time you begin something new, there is resistance, whether that’s exercising, eating healthy, managing your finances better, improving a relationship, developing a daily quiet time with God, or taking a new class or training. I noticed on the 3rd day of walking, that my right knee felt sore. So I’m resting this weekend, and will begin again tomorrow.

my Nikes

my Nikes

I’m aware of this resistance, so I’m already praying about it and for God to give me self-discipline again. If I did it before, I can do it again! Please pray for me—and for my body to cooperate!

trail

trail

I can do this with self-discipline and through faith in Christ. I love how The Passion Translation in this verse puts it, “Christ’s explosive power infuses me.”

“I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.” (Philippians 4:13, The Passion Translation)

I’m trying to get my husband Ray on the bandwagon with me to eat healthier. He is very much a “meat and potatoes” man, so it won’t be easy. But he’s willing, for the sake of his own health. We’re not spring chickens any more, so taking care of ourselves physically is important. And our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we need to honor them. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

rooster & chicken

rooster & chicken
Image: Unsplash

This week when I went to the grocery store, I bought as much organic, fresh fruit and veggies as I could.

fresh fruit & veggies

fresh fruit & veggies

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, and are high in potassium and vitamin C.  They lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, and are anti-inflammatory. They are known by doctors as a superfood. Frozen blueberries are healthy, too.

You can make fruit smoothies with them. I use almond milk in mine. I bought Ray some coconut milk to make his smoothies. I also bought a package of frozen mixed fruit with mango, pineapples, strawberries, and peaches.

I also add blueberries to plain yogurt, mixing in a teaspoon or two of raw organic honey and cinnamon to sweeten it and for flavor. This has much less sugar (unhealthy and causes weight gain!) than regular yogurts. I’m still getting used to this, as I love yogurt!

blueberries

blueberries

almond milk & frozen fruit

almond milk & frozen fruit

coconut milk

coconut milk

I love finding things on sale at the store.  I saw these discounted mushrooms and grabbed them. They taste so good, sauteed in butter with sea salt on them. Yum!

lettuce and mushrooms on sale

lettuce and mushrooms on sale

For greens, I usually buy Romaine lettuce and spinach and kale combined. You can use these in a salad or a smoothie. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep lettuce and other greens “fresh.” Since it’s just Ray and me here at home (empty nesters), if we don’t use it quickly, the salad fixings can wilt and go bad fast, which I hate. It’s a waste of food and money. If you have any tips for this, please let me know!

Of course, God never intended for food to be stored in a cold box (a fridge), but to be eaten fresh out of a garden! I recently bought some Romaine lettuce and cilantro, and I’m going to try to grow it in my sunroom. I admire people who have big gardens, but I don’t think I have the patience for it!

I do drive to a local Amish market, which sells fresh produce in the summer and love it! I encourage you to take advantage of your local farmers’ markets. 

spinach & kale

spinach & kale

Besides putting good things inside my body, I’m also trying to take care of the outside. Last year on my friend Dana Arcuri’s recommendation, I started using Mineral Fusion mineral skin care and makeup. It is healthier skin care and makeup, and has natural ingredients. They make their products free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates. They don’t do animal testing, either. I love both the skin care and the makeup! Yes, it is more expensive than most makeup you can buy at Walmart, CVS, Kohl’s, or other places, but I believe it’s worth the investment in you!

Mineral Fusion skin care

Mineral Fusion skin care

Last week I bought a Dead Sea Mud Mask product. My cat Natalya always stares at me when I apply it, as if I am the Creature from the Black Lagoon. You can buy it here at Amazon. It is enhanced with collagen, which can improve your skin’s hydration and elasticity, making it look younger. (Don’t we all wish for the fountain of youth as we age and those wrinkles and grey hair start?!)

Mostly I bought it because I want to reduce the size of my pores, which look like the size of craters! This aging thing is for the birds! I figure the mud mask can’t hurt. Today I put it on, painted my fingernails, washed it off with a washcloth and warm water, and then came into my office to blog.

Dead Sea Mud Mask

Dead Sea Mud Mask

Something that is good for both your insides and outside is water. Most people walk around dehydrated. It has 7 benefits:

  • Maximizes your physical performance;
  • Affects your energy level and brain function;
  • May help and prevent headaches;
  • May help relieve constipation;
  • May help treat kidney stones;
  • Helps prevent hangovers;
  • and most importantly, it can aid weight loss!

This year I bought a water tumbler to help me drink more water. I paid my daughter Heather and her fiance Andy to paint it in a beautiful blue color (the color of my branding here) and put the letters of my website, BethJones.net on it. This is a great way to promote your biz when you’re out and about.

Andy has a painting business. They did a beautiful job on it and I love it! You can follow Andy on Instagram @andysuniquecoatings

Our daughter Leah just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Graphic Design. She designed the logo for Andy. Great job, Leah! You can find Leah’s website at https://lemeraedesigns.wordpress.com/

water tumbler

water tumbler

Finally for self-care, I surround myself with beauty. I enjoy being in nature–God’s beautiful art. One thing I love is fresh flowers. Sometimes my husband Ray surprises me with a bouquet. While I normally like roses just for Valentine’s Day and prefer large sunflowers, daisies, or a variety of flowers for everyday “appreciation,” I do love this bouquet with the orange lilies and white and pink roses in them, as well as the white flowers (not sure what they are called! If you know, tell me).

If you don’t have a spouse or a significant other, buy yourself flowers! You deserve it!

flower bouquet from Ray

flower bouquet from Ray

lilies

lilies and roses

What day of the week do you honor the Sabbath/take a much-needed break and relax?

How do you do self-care? Leave your comments below. 

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Blog

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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Bible Studies, Blog, Business, Coaching, Ebooks, Faith, Fitness, Marriage, prayer, Speaking, Travel, Writing

I run

I run

I run

Today is National Running Day. I want to celebrate together with you. It’s held each year on the first Wednesday in June, when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. 

I’m definitely not a fast runner, but I walk daily and jog (slowly), slowly building my endurance and stamina in hopes one day I can run fast! (Hey, don’t laugh!)

My goal is to walk/jog at least one 5K this year, hopefully more. Several years ago, I walked my first 5K’s and would love to do it again!

In January this year I radically changed my lifestyle, eating healthier, exercising, and drinking water instead of Coke. Weather permitting, I walk daily at the track in town, and recently our daughter Leah joined me.

The Bible says in Philippians 3:13-14, The Message: “I’m not saying that I have all this together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wonderously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong. By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal where God is beckoning us onward–to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.”

I love that, don’t you?

While I’m certainly no expert, either, I do have goals and today I want to share some tips for personal and business success, using the topic of running:

1. Who or what are you running from? God? Your past? Sins you’ve committed? If you are under shame and condemnation for something you’ve done wrong, bring it to the Cross. God will forgive you if you ask Him. (1 John 1:9)

The Bible says that God’s mercy is new every morning. Jesus died for your sins and if you have a relationship with Him as your savior, His forgiveness is complete.

Are you running from a relationship with your spouse, a child, a friend, or someone at work? Pray and ask God to help you love that person with His love and for His grace in dealing with him or her. You may not have the answer for how to resolve the problem, but God does. 

2. Who or what are you running to? God? Are you running to your spouse-or someone who is not your spouse when you’re hurting? (which is dangerous) Your child? A friend? Sometimes we may go to a friend talking about all our problems, when instead we need to go to God or our spouse. 

Are you running to drugs or alcohol? Food? Shopping? Money/wealth as your god? God is the only one who can fill up that black hole inside of you. 

3. What are you running for? What is your purpose? When I began exercising in January 2015, it was for one purpose: for fitness and health. I can’t fulfill the purpose for which God created me (speaking, writing books, traveling/missions) if I don’t feel well or if I become sick.

Losing weight was a side benefit to my new routine. I now have an additional goal, which is to reach my idea weight (I have 20 pounds to go!). 

I want to run this race of life well so that when I meet God face to face, I will hear from Him, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)  I want to accomplish the purpose for which God made me. What about you?

4. When will you start running? When will you do what God has called you to do? It’s time! Even though I knew I needed to eat healthy, drink water, and exercise regularly, I had so many excuses for why I didn’t. My extra weight was “baby fat.” Our daughter Leah is 20 years old now, so that was no longer an excuse!

I was “too tired” to exercise. Now that I eat healthy, drink water, and exercise, I have much more energy!

What hindrances or obstacles are keeping you from your purpose and calling? For years, I was too scared to speak in front of people. God had to drag me into it, and now I LOVE it, especially speaking at live events (if you are an event planner or know someone who needs a speaker, contact me here!). 

I didn’t know how to do webinars or to create videos, but I learned. Maybe it’s time for you to do them, too. (I’m very tech challenged, so if I can learn, you can!)

I had never written a book before, but that didn’t stop me. I’ve now written eight books and am writing three more. The one I’m working on now is my first fiction book. Maybe God has told you to write a book, too. Now is the time; this is the year!

What are your excuses? What hindrances or obstacles are in the way of your personal and business success? As Nike says, just do it!

5. Why are you running – from God, from relationships, from problems, from yourself, from your calling and purpose? Identify the root issue. Most likely, it’s fear. Fears keep you and me in a prison and from fulfilling our purpose. God doesn’t want you afraid but to “be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 1:9)

Perfectionism will trip you up. Sometimes it’s a self-worth issue. Or you may be trying to compete with others, comparing yourself with others and feeling jealous, envious, and “less than.” God doesn’t want you to feel this way. He made you unique, wonderfully and fearfully. (Psalm 139:14)

When I started walking/jogging in January this year, my reason was for fitness/health. A side (wonderful) benefit was losing weight.

Now I’ve set a new goal, to lose 20 more pounds to reach my ideal weight, and to walk/jog at least one 5K this year.

It’s important to have dreams and goals in your life and to achieve them. My motto is, “Dream big because we serve a big God.” More than anything, my desire is to do God’s will. 

British athelete/runner Eric Liddell said in the movie Chariots of Fire, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.”

That’s why I want to run in this race of life, too–to feel God’s pleasure. To glorify Jesus Christ. Are you feeling God’s pleasure in what you’re doing right now? You can start today.

6. How are you running? Are you a tortoise or a hare? Are you running slow, lagging behind God–procrastinating, putting things off, blaming, being a perfectionist? Procrastination and perfectionism will trip you up and will keep you from fulfilling your purpose.

Or maybe like me, you’re like a racehorse, rarin’ to get out of the starting gate. You were BORN TO RUN FAST, like Secretariat the race horse. You are serious about the calling of God on your life and you know you have no time to waste. But sometimes, you run out ahead of God! 

Maybe you’re busy, busy, busy. You stay busy, trying to fill up that empty hole inside of you.  But staying busy doesn’t always mean being productive. Jesus said apart from Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

We have to make sure that we’re in sync with God, flowing in rhythm with His heartbeat, as my friend Doreen Penner says.

When you first start walking or running, you have to pace yourself, not going too slow or too fast. You have to listen to your body. It will give you signals. 

God does this, too. He speaks to you in His still, small voice. In prayer. Through His eternal word. From a spouse, child, or friend. 

Little nudges and whispers. Dreams. Signs. Confirmations. Learn to listen carefully and obey God’s still, small voice and you’ll experience His blessings.

7. Finally, to walk and run, you need the right equipment. When I first started walking this year, I started out just with what I already had: t-shirts, yoga pants, and my aerobic shoes that I’d bought for walking and for our daughter Heather’s Zumba class.

My goal is to buy some really good running shoes to walk/jog at least one 5K this year. A good pair starts at about $75 and up. The best stores help you with fitting, including watching you walk/jog.

I did buy some walking/running clothes earlier this year–a black, short sleeved walking shirt and some black running pants that are a little “stretchy” and very comfortable (both light weight, so I won’t get too hot). Changing into this outfit and my walking/running shoes gets me into the “mindset” of discipline for walking/jogging.

You don’t want to be uncomfortable while walking/running, and I highly recommend getting some good walking/running shoes. You can’t walk or run in boots or stilettos!

What “equipment” do you need to fulfill God’s calling and purpose for your life? Maybe you want to be a paid speaker. Try Toastmaster’s or other professional training. You might get coaching to learn how to write a book. (I offer coaching for beginner speakers, writers, and entrepreneurs.) Getting a college degree may help you advance in your field of study. If you aren’t sure about college, dip your little toe in the water and just enroll in one class. Attend webinars and telecalls. Continually read good books. I believe we are to be life-long learners. This will help you to become “equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:17)

God has unique shoes Divinely-designed just for you!  Just as no one else’s foot could fit in
Cinderella’s slipper, no one else can walk in your unique purpose

Today, let’s celebrate National Running Day together. Use the hashtag #nationalrunningday on Twitter and social media. Get out there and walk, jog or run. (Or if you don’t enjoy that, swim, ride a bike, skate, dance, or do an exercise video).

You can download an app to track your miles to contribute to the charity you want. There’s resources and deals at the website, National Running Day

Let’s also run this race of life well, reaching for the high prize of Jesus Christ. No more holding back. God and I are cheering you onto the finish line. You can do it! 

I created a video blog (called a vlog) covering the same tips in this blog post with my web cam today. You can view it by clicking here

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