Summer’s here!

summer
summer
Image source: Google

Today is the first day of summer (you can get great summer deals today, including a free small blizzard at Dairy Queen), when it’s the longest day of the year in the U.S. and the shortest day of the year for people in Australia and residents south of the equator).

Heather, Andy, and their kids
Heather, Andy, and their kids

Our daughter Heather, her girls, her boyfriend Andy, and his kids, took off fast today for a much-needed break from work and a vacation in Branson, MO. It was a surprise for the kids.

There’s lots to do in Branson, although I joke to Ray that it’s “an old people’s place” with country hick singers and the entertainment shows (he loves it). However, Branson has beautiful scenery at Table Rock State Park and nice shopping and restaurants at Branson Landing.

Heather made a fun scavenger hunt at her house, where the kids looked for clues all over the house, until they got to the last clue which read that they were going on summer vacation in Branson. She is such a fun mom! The kids loved the scavenger hunt!

Me & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017
Me & Leah at our home

Today I went to lunch with our youngest daughter Leah. When she was still living at home, she and I would go to lunch every two weeks when Ray was paid.

This was our mom-daughter special time together. After she moved out, I wanted to continue the tradition. Leah now stays busy working, taking her violin lessons, drawing her art, and doing stuff with her friends. We still try to go out every couple of weeks for our “mom-daughter” time.

A Moment's Pause Art Print
A Moment’s Pause art print
Copyright 2018 Leah Jones

You can follow Leah on Instagram @leah.merae to see the art she’s working on recently from daily prompts. You can also check out and buy her art at her Society 6 online store (Leah Merae).

I try to do lunches with Heather, too, only she lives much further away (an hour), she works more than full-time hours, and she is constantly busy, but we see each other when we possibly can.

Eden & her family
Eden & her family

Our middle daughter Eden stays very busy too, working 3 jobs, but she and Ray regularly text and video chat. We drop by to see them at times, since they and Leah live down the street from us in Butler. 

Heather, Eden, and Leah
Heather, Eden, and Leah

While our three precious daughters stay on the go every day and live their own, busy lives, I’m still trying to adjust to the empty nest. (I digress from the first day of summer, but I’m going with the writing flow for now.)

I’m not going to lie. It’s hard. Real hard. The house feels so empty at times. (My marriage isn’t what it should be yet, though we are in Christian marriage counseling now.)

insomnia
woman with insomnia
Image source: Google

At night when things are often too quiet, I lay down, wrestling with insomnia again, and then the mom guilt attacks me. The regrets. The painful ache in my heart, missing their beautiful, sweet faces and their physical presence here.

The haunting, condemning thoughts of, “I should have done more fun things with them” or “I shouldn’t have yelled at them so much” or “Why was I so focused on a clean house instead of just enjoying my time with them more?” Sometimes I miss them so much.

These days I do stay busy with my speaking and writing books. When I’m in between books, I get so restless, and feel like I’m just going to absolutely come out of my skin from boredom and anxiety. Today at lunch, Leah wisely told me, “You need to find new hobbies, mom.”

burger & fries
burger & fries

“Like what?” I asked her in between bites of a juicy cheeseburger and french fries drowned in ketchup. 

Creative things like painting or playing a musical instrument. For example, right now I’m learning to make origami.

Nancy Wilson of Heart
Nancy Wilson of Heart
Image source: Google

I told her that while origami is cool, I don’t want to do that and that I don’t know how on earth to draw or to play an instrument. The only instrument I’ve ever wanted to learn how to play was piano (which I quit my lessons as a child) and the guitar, so I could pretend to be Heart’s musician Nancy Wilson.  But I wanted to play bass guitar, not rhythm. I never learned how, and now I have no desire to be a rock star.

“What else can I do?” I asked my child who is wise beyond her years.

Whatever I want, she said. And Leah thinks that anyone can learn to draw or to play an instrument, no matter what your age is. It’s not too late to learn something new!

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Image source: Google

Here are some things I DO want to do–this summer:

  • Spend time with God and our family;
  • Travel somewhere new;
  • Start my walking/jogging routine again (pray for my self-discipline, puh-leeze! I’ve gained all my weight back!)
  • Drink more water and continue healthy eating (cut carbs and sugar dramatically, more salads and fresh veggies);
  • Restore our marriage;
  • Possibly write a children’s book with Leah illustrating the art on the front cover (she’s thinking about it!);
  • De-clutter my office (tame the paper tiger!);
  • Go horseback riding somewhere;
  • Have some much needed down time at the beach, my place of rest and refilling;
  • Visit my family and friends in different states;
  • Go on another train ride;
  • Speak at a women’s conference (several times would be great!);
  • Lead at least one person to Christ, hopefully more;
  • See God moving in our family, drawing us closer to Him and one another;
  • Visit the mountains; 
  • Ride a hot air balloon ride with Ray, drinking champagne;
  • Have roses bloom in my home garden;
  • Grow more Christ-like, in the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Laugh more. 

These are just some of the things I’d love to do. What about you? Share your comments below.

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Do not hoard your words. Get the early bird price for the writers’ retreat!

“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book; give it, give it all, give it now.”

This is a quote by Annie Dilliard, who won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction for her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She also wrote The Writing Life, other books, poetry, and essays. 

I’ve met many people who say, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” Then years later, they are still saying this and they haven’t done it yet…or even started!

I’ve heard it said that the cemetery is the richest place on earth because people are buried there, sometimes with their dreams and their gifts still inside of them. I don’t want to see you go to the grave with your gifts–your book–buried with you!

It’s time to write your book!

woman writing on laptop with coffee
Woman writing on laptop
http://www.bethjones.net/getaway/

This September 2018, I’m hosting a writers’ retreat in the small, rural town of Butler, Missouri, so aspiring authors can do just that–write or finish their books in peaceful solitude!

Let’s get started and get it done! I’m your Book Midwife, helping you to birth your “book baby” to delivery!

On May 18, 2018, I’m raising the Early Bird Price of this retreat from $25 to $55.

The price when you sign up and pay includes:

  • 2 nights’ stay at the lovely, immaculate Bethany House in Butler, MO (you are getting 2 for the price of one!);
  • breakfast and snacks, coffee, and purified water--you can bring your own special foods to cook or fix for lunch and supper, or we can go out together to local restaurants;
  • a “Chic Flic” Friday fun night with popcorn and chocolate (if a man attends with his wife, he will join my husband for a “man cave” night);
  • a Saturday morning devotional time as we seek God together to use this gift for His glory;
  • me sharing my “secret sauce” for how I’ve written 18 books, with my best tips & techniques & resources;
  • a complimentary copy of my book, How To Write Your Book Fast, as your GPS author’s guide;
  • focused session times of quiet to pray, write and journal, and just to refill;
  • free access to me all weekend to ask me any coaching questions you want (normally, a $597 investment!);
  • making new writer friends and networking (you never know what God is up to!);
  • and much more!

Don’t miss out on this anointed, refreshing and motivating writers’ getaway weekend!

Can’t stay overnight Friday or Saturday or don’t want to stay overnight in Butler? Then just join us for Saturday during the important devotional, teaching, and writing session times!

I only have a couple of spots left, so hurry and sign up today for the Early Bird Price of just $25 (for two nights—an INSANE price!)

Click here to watch my video about this fun writers’ getaway. 

Sign up now by clicking here. Only a few seats are left, and then the doors to access shut! I’d love to see you there!

Beth Jones Women's Conference Speaker & Author
Beth Jones
International Speaker &
Amazon Best Seller Author
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Pay attention to signs from God

Insomnia Image source: https://getbestmattress.com/insomnia-meme/
Insomnia
Image source: https://getbestmattress.com/insomnia-meme/

Last night I had insomnia (again), tossing and turning all night long, so this morning I’m running on some good, hot coffee and am “loaded for bear,” as my friend Suzy Bunton often says. Later today I’m sure that I will crash, taking a nap, even though it’s advised not to take a nap if you have insomnia!

sunflower8

I just changed my website header to a sunflower and recently finished writing the third and final book of my non-fiction Metamorphosis book series, Transformed From Despair to Hope, available for sale at Amazon here.

This is the last book that God told me to write, which makes me very happy–because I obeyed God (for once!), doing what He said to do.

If I were to die today, I’d have peace knowing that I had completed the books God told me to write. My friend Stephanie asked does that mean I won’t be writing any more books?

If Jesus tarries and I live longer, probably not. I believe I’ll be writing books the rest of my life! What has God told you to do? Are you doing it? What is holding you back?

Me and my books in print; amazon.com/author/bethmjones
Me & my books

For me, finishing writing the list of books that God spoke to me about is a HUGE accomplishment. I plan to celebrate soon by getting my hair done (trim, color, and blonde highlights)! Whenever you reach a goal, whether it’s big or small, I encourage you to reward yourself in at least some small way.

Maybe it’s a Starbucks coffee, savoring some chocolate, eating chips and salsa, having a tasty lunch or dessert with a friend, traveling to a new fun place, getting a mani or pedi, going for a walk on a nature trail or hiking a mountain, watching a chic flic, getting new Sharpie pens (or your fave brand), buying a cute pair of ripped jeans, taking a pottery class, or _______________ (you fill in the blank). Just be sure to celebrate your accomplishments!

My graphic designer at Fiverr, who I love, is pro_ebookcovers and she rocks! Below are all three book covers that she made for me for my butterfly Metamorphosis series–beautiful!

Book 1

 

Book 2

 

Metamorphosis: Transformed From Despair to Hope
Book 3

I love butterflies. For me, they are a powerful symbol–like the red male cardinal, the eagle, mourning doves, dolphins–of freedom and happiness. Whenever I see a butterfly or a red male cardinal (like I did yesterday outside the kitchen window, after tripping over a little girl right behind me in line at the store and badly skinning my knee; thank God she was okay!), I sense God’s Love for me and His presence.

red male cardinal Image source: Pinterest
red male cardinal
Image source: Pinterest

Usually I see a cardinal or butterfly on the worse days, and it always comforts me and lifts my spirits. These things are tangible signs to me that God loves me, He sees me, and He is here for me.

What signs do you see around you that speak to you about God and how much He cares for you?

The Bible shares about many signs from God:

  • The sign of the Messiah who would crush the serpent’s head and save sinners (Genesis 3:15);
  • The sign of the rainbow, of the covenant between God and the earth (Genesis 9:13);
  • The sign Gideon asked God for, of the fleece wet with dew and then the ground wet with dew (Judges 6;33-40);
  • The sign of the plagues on Egypt because Pharaoh’s heart hardened (Exodus 7-11);
  • The miraculous parting of the Red Sea, so God’s people the Jews could escape bondage and go to their Promise Land (Exodus 14:21);
  • An angel appearing to shepherds announcing Jesus’ birth and a host of angels praising God (Luke 2:8-20);
  • The prophets foretelling of the Messiah in the Old Testament;
  • Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:11);
  • Jesus’ and the Apostles’ miracles (in the four Gospels and the book of Acts);
  • The signs in the end times, spoken of by Jesus and in the book of Revelation.
Jesus on the cross
Jesus on the cross

Although we shouldn’t base our lives and faith on outward, physical signs, they are important. Pay attention to signs and, like Mary the mother of Jesus, ponder these things in your heart. (Luke 2:19, 51)

Some signs you might notice are:

  • God’s still small voice;
  • Confirmation through God’s eternal word;
  • A billboard or car bumper sticker;
  • A hymn, worship, praise or other song on the radio;
  • Nature–the sun, the moon, a rainbow, the stars, the wind, a storm, fresh flowers, animals;
  • An encouraging rhema word someone speaks to you;
  • Something amazingly wise and startling that a child says to you (for of such is the Kingdom of God!);
  • A Divine appointment that is too interesting and timely to be just a coincidence!

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

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