Sunday, December 13, 2009
I don't need a long post to review this book. I can sum it up in three words:
Just buy it.
I love it.
You'll love it.
Give as gifts.
Keep for yourself.
OK, so several sets of three words :-) But you get the point.
This is a great little book, beautifully illustrated, with an even more beautiful message. Yes, it rings true with children. But even adults need encouragement like this book gives.
Just buy it. You'll be glad you did...
Saturday, October 31, 2009
See you in December!!!!
(Or sooner. Maybe :-))
Friday, October 16, 2009
I've heard of NaNoWriMo before - it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Basically, it's like a challenge that you sign up for, running through the entire month of November. The challenge? To write a novel in a month. Actually, the goal is to write 50,000 words.
YIKES! On a really good day, I can crank out about 500 words in 15 minutes during a FreeWrite. So, a little math....hold on....500 times 2 is 1,000 in 30 minutes....2,000 in an hour...50,000 words would be.....25 hours? (That doesn't sound like nearly enough time...)
So I think I can find 25 hours (BEST CASE scenario) in November to do this?
Well, God has certainly given my writing mojo back recently so, yeah - I'm gonna do this!
If I don't make it? So what. It's not like it's for a grade or anything.
But if I do? I'll have a complete rough draft of an ENTIRE NOVEL! That's exciting, don't you think?
I hope at the least it will give me the confidence to keep writing. It's so easy for me to convince myself that I'm just too busy to write. (Yeah, busy on Facebook and Google Reader!)
So, if you think of it, say a little prayer for me, send me a cup of coffee, or maybe leave me a nice comment every now and then so I'll see it when I come up for air. :-)
Any other aspiring writers out there wanna join me? Go to www.nanowrimo.org and find me - my user ID is BethIngersoll. We can be buddies!!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Essentially, a tiny church (14 members) is having a book burning on Halloween, burning books and music they call "Satanic." This includes all Bibles that are not the King James Version, as well as works by the likes of Billy Graham and Mother Teresa, referred to in this clip as "heretics."
To make it worse, this church is in my little hometown.
Do I think this church has problems with its belief system? Absolutely. There's obvious issues. I don't condone this behavior at all.
I also don't like the way the media has, yet again, painted Christians as crazy, and the way this video infers that the people of that town (MY HOMETOWN, mind you) are dumb hillbillies. I'm sorry if you don't wear overalls in the city, but out here in the mountains, some of us do. Consider it a "country uniform."
But what really bothers me most is the reaction of "Christians" to this spectacle. This is all over the blogs I frequently visit, and I'm distressed by all the condescending and snarky comments. There are many referring to the preacher's "bib overalls" (hello, judgement!), lack of church membership (what about the state of those 14 souls?), and cracks about food being served at the burning (well, they've got us there - baptists are known for eating!).
Here's my problem with the situation: is this how Jesus would respond to this preacher and his tiny congregation? Would he make fun of their clothes, and their accent, and the size of their church?
There's a word for us - mockers. Christians participating in this kind of behavior is what gives Christianity a bad name, moreso than pastors of teeny churches. Instead of making fun of them, we need to be hitting our knees and asking God to open the eyes and hearts of this congregation, revealing the falsehoods they now believe, and use this situation for His glory.
Who's up for a prayer?
Lord, first of all, forgive us for once again falling short. Forgive us for laughing at some of your children, calling them names, and judging them all based on one video clip. Purify us, Lord, burning away the dross and making us purer in thought and action than we have been. I pray now, God that You would open the eyes and hearts of this congregation, and reveal your real truth - not this twisted version they believe. Father, take what is meant for evil, and use it for Your glory! In Your precious and holy name, Amen!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
OK. I'll admit it. Sometimes I'm a bit of a procrastinator. And Melissa at The Inspired Room is having a party for people like ME!
So here's the deal. This post is my proclamation, a source of accountability. I will FINALLY tackle that upstairs closet that desperately needs to be cleaned out, and I will finish it before October 20th.
Y'all are my witnesses, OK? Clean closet, coming up. No excuses. (Except that I'll be out of town for half of this challenge. But it's alright - I can take the heat!!)
So, would any of you procrastinators like to join me? Got a project you've been putting off? Come back here and leave me a comment. Maybe we can encourage each other!!!
(And don't say that you'll do it later.)
OK, now for the embarassing photos. Here's what my closet looks like now, and will NOT look like in 2 weeks! This is the upstairs closet that has all the boys' games and loads of linens that I frankly never use and thus, do not need.
I think Goodwill is about to get a load from my house!!
Monday, October 5, 2009
FOR TODAY...October 5th
Outside my window... cool, rainy morning
I am thinking... how I would like to just relax and read instead of clean the house
I am thankful for... having a day off (FINALLY!) to clean my house
I am wearing... old clothes for cleaning
I am remembering... an update I need to make for a client today
I am going... to a conference this weekend with my husband
I am reading... everything I can get my hands on! (Pen on Fire, Blue Like Jazz, magazines, blogs, tweets...)
I am hoping... to knock some things off my to-do list today
On my mind... how lately God has been softening my heart in ways that, frankly, are a bit scary!
From the learning rooms... trying to write a story that will be appropriate for a few things, and learning new things at work
Noticing that... time is flying by
Pondering these words... "God, help me to love you like you love me" from our sermon yesterday
From the kitchen... just discovered several yummy recipes to try!
Around the house... leaves, leaves and more leaves! Need to do a bit of fall decorating
One of my favorite things... the smell of warm apple cider
From my picture journal...
The latest book I read as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program is "Find Your Strongest Life" by Marcus Buckingham. I have just taken on a new position at work, and the subtitle "What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently" instantly intrigued me.
The first thing I noticed when I got my copy is the blue dot on the cover inviting me to take the Strong Life Test. (Click here to take it yourself.)
So I took it. I was pleasantly surprised when the lead role it identified for me seemed to be pretty accurate (I'm an Advisor, if you're curious!) I had high hopes for the book then, because at that point I hadn't even opened it yet!
The basic idea of this book is to identify the things in life that bring you joy and good feelings, and avoid the things that don't. There are a couple of "exercises" he tells you to try to help you figure them out, and gives a good "what to take away from this chapter" summation at the end of each chapter.
The part that I enjoyed the most is the final section, called "Strong Life Tactics." It reads like an FAQ, and covers tactics for a stronger career, relationships, kids, and future. Frankly, the first two sections were slow reading for me, and seemed to be redundant. Maybe he was just trying to drive home his idea!
Overall, his ideas have merit, and I could see them really helping women improve their lives. I just think maybe he could have done it in fewer pages.
Friday, October 2, 2009
2. How to speak Italian is something I wish I knew.
3. I'm eating (or recently ate) Lay's potato chips.
4. I feel like I am always on the road.
5. So that's it, that's the last time I drink a soda that's not Dr. Pepper.
6. Something is better than nothing! (Unless it's a soda that is NOT Dr. Pepper!)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting home before 8:30, tomorrow my plans include working and Sunday, I want to relax but I'm working then, too!
To get your Friday Fill-in, go here!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Call me crazy, but I feel guilty when something like that happens because I know I obtained those items in error. They were not sold at a discount. They were not a gift from the store. They were simply overlooked. And so, a few days later, I returned to the store with the plastic cover one of the pillows had been in and went to a checkout counter so I could pay for them.
I explained the store's error to the clerk, who acted completely disinterested. As soon as he called the manager, I judged him and thought, "He doesn't have a clue what to do."
The manager reached us, and my clerk says, "Tell her what you're here to do. Just tell her!" He went from being apathetic to excited in just a few seconds! So I told my story again, and the manager was surprised. Shocked, actually! She was so shocked, in fact, that as a token of thanks she gave me 20% off my total bill.
Suddenly, my clerk was a chatterbox and told me about a time when a similar thing happened to him. And he happily remembered that he, too, did the right thing. As I was leaving, with a wink he told me to have a blessed day. Have a blessed day!
And I had judged him! To be fair, maybe he was just having a bad day, and seeing a little good in the world cheered him up. I don't know. I, however, have NO excuse for judging him...
Funny thing is, only two days later the same thing happened to my husband. Only instead of $20, it was a difference of several hundred dollars on construction supplies. He admits that he struggled a bit because of the significant savings, but in the end he made the right decision and went back to the store, too.
His clerk was shocked.
I guess the point of all this is not to say, "Look at us and how righteous we are" or anything pious like that. The point is that I am dismayed that the world we live in is shocked when someone is HONEST! I would hope that honesty and integrity would be the rule. Instead, it appears to be the exception...
"You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you." -Deuteronomy 16:20 (NKJV)
Friday, September 18, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
After 11 years of being odd-(wo)man-out at ASU games, I've finally decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So, I will be cheering for App, except when they play Western (of course!)
So, this past weekend was the home opener in Boone, so we loaded up the van and headed up the mountain. It was a gorgeous day for football! We met tons of friends (the usual ASU crew) for tailgating, and then got to enjoy the whole game (well, we lost, so I can't really say "enjoy.") Anyway, here's some pics of just how nice it was:
Aaron taking a swing
Eli jumping (doesn't he look like he's having a BLAST?!)
The boys and their boys (strange: the only girls were the wives - no daughters in this crowd!)
What I get when I try to take a pic of MY boys :-(
See what a beautiful day? (Kinda makes you agree with Travis Cottrell when he says that God gets His mail here)
And finally, for those of you who won't believe me, you might call me a traitor after you see this - photographic evidence that I actually pulled for ASU:
Now, if I could just get tickets to watch the Colts play...:-)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I meant my minivan. Poor, poor vehicle - only five years young and already aged beyond her years...
You're really not old, honey! I just KNOW you can double that!!! (Right???)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
When I agreed to read this book for a review, I just thought, "I love Max Lucado. He's so good." But now that I have "Fearless," it's not because Max is good. It's because God is, and He uses Max to let us all know it.
The first chapter made me cry. The second chapter made me cry.
And I just thought I didn't need this book right now! My life is pretty good, so imagine my surprise when I wound up sobbing before my Lord after the first few chapters. This book ROCKS!
God has this way of using Max Lucado to just say it. I mean, lay it down and say, "There it is. Now what are you going to do about it?"
What is this "it"?" Whatever God needs you to hear, that's what!
Those first few pages began opening my eyes to a problem I hadn't even recognized - fear. Something has been amiss in my spirit lately and I just haven't been able to put a finger on it. But Max did.
I won't tell you all about this book. You just need to know that it is relevant to whatever place you find yourself right now. Really! Read it, and you'll see.
Just to show you how good it really is, the fine folks at Thomas Nelson even let you have a preview. Just check out the widget in my sidebar to get access to the first chapter or so.
So just read it - what are you afraid of?
Please check out these other sites that go along with the book:
The Fearless Times
Buy "Fearless" from Thomas Nelson
Fearless Town Hall with Max Lucado
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I finished "Same Kind of Different as Me" around Christmas (I think), but just never got around to blogging about it.
I should have. This is an awesome book! Told through the voices of two very different characters, Ron and Denver, you can really see the big picture. Below is the book description provided by the publisher, Thomas Nelson...
A true, inspirational story that crosses the barriers of society.
Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped "da Man"—in the 1960s—by hopping a train. Then, after another 18 homeless years on the streets of Dallas, God moved . . . and a godly woman named Deborah prayed, listened, and obeyed. Mountains began to move, beginning with her husband, Ron, an international art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani suits and art-collecting millionaires.
The story takes a devastating twist when Deborah discovers she has cancer. Will Deborah live or die? Will Denver learn to trust a white man? Will Ron embrace his dying wife's vision to rescue Denver? Or will Denver be the one rescuing Ron?
There's pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.
I couldn't have said it better myself! It will suffice to say that this is a page-turner that I just couldn't put down. (Which is saying something, because I read it as an e-book on my laptop!) It's a great story, and certainly one that has been added to my favorites list.
Click on the button above and check out these AWESOME tees from "Wild Olive Tees." Now, which one do I want? Decisions, decisions...
Friday, September 4, 2009
To a point where I have a moment of functional brain cells awake enough to write a post. It's been a tough week! And it ain't over yet.
My dad is scheduled for surgery at 11 am today. Remember him in prayer again for me, please? After his little stay in the hospital already this week, we're very anxious to see what happens today.
Thanks, and I'll update this weekend!!!!!
Monday, August 31, 2009
1. I stepped on a nail this weekend and didn't get a tetanus shot. (It barely bled and the wound wasn't even visible.)
2. I start a new job (translated "promotion") Tuesday and I don't even have a computer in my new office yet. Should be a productive day :-)
3. My dad got an ambulance ride to the hospital midday Sunday and instead of getting better and being home already (like they said he would), he's now staying yet another night because he's confused, disoriented and occasionally violent. (Seriously? MY dad?) OH BOY. Can't wait to find out what caused this little development.
So, needless to say, my family could use a few prayers right now. Thanks for stopping by, even if I'm not very entertaining today!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Here's my almost-scared-to-go-to-school sweetie on his first day. His backpack is nearly as big as he is!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Some guy called the salon today, and it was all "How much are your packages? What about your products?" and totally normal questions. He asked about a specific product, and it turned into "Can I tell you a little story?"
Trying to be nice to a potential customer, I listened.
When he wouldn't stop talking, I got a clue that something was amiss. Still, I let him keep talking.
Then, his story started to turn south - figuratively AND literally.
I tried to nicely end the conversation, but he just kept talking. The more he talked, the more inappropriate he got until I just had to hang up. (Which in hindsight I should have done MUCH SOONER.)
I totally got freaked out, and he didn't even say anything totally overboard until seconds before I hung up. Stuff like that just gives you a bad feeling. I was paranoid of every male after that, whether they were in the salon or just driving through the parking lot.
There are just some sick individuals in this world. Ew.
I think I need to disinfect my phone now. The next time it rings, I really, really hope it's a telemarketer.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Today is the last time the schools will look like this - classes begin tomorrow! I took my two smallest to "Meet your Teacher" Day this afternoon, and I have to say we're probably about 50/50. I really like one teacher and one assistant. The other two? Well, I won't say I didn't like them. I'll just say that hopefully they'll make a better impression the next time. :-)
I'll update tomorrow after Aaron has his first day. Eli has to wait until Wednesday...
Thursday, August 20, 2009
My SECOND GRADER can't wait to go back to school.
My teenager is filling out applications for his first JOB, right after we looked at COLLEGES and TUITION and COLLEGIATE TENNIS TEAMS. Now I'm signing consent forms for his JUNIOR YEAR of HIGH SCHOOL and AP CLASSES FOR COLLEGE CREDIT.
Which of the above words do you think makes me feel like this????
(Photo courtesy of TVLand)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I'm just asking.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
God says to muscle through it - "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus."-2 Timothy 2:3
Don't forget who you're fighting - "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." -Ephesians 6:12
Stay strong - "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." -Romans 12:21
God is in control - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -John 16:33
Hoping you find your happy place this weekend!!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
We all want to find fulfillment, be blessed, have a little joy. There's many ways to make that happen, even for pessimists like me. Encouraging others is a sure-fire way to achieve a little happiness. Show a little kindness and you'll receive a bigger blessing than you gave!
I don't consider myself much of an encourager, even though I manage from time to time. I'm working on that. :-)
Thankfully, I have a wonderful group of encouragers around who inspire me with things like...
a teenage son whose summer was measured by mission trips and volunteer hours instead of text messages and requests for cash...
...unexpected handcrafted thanks from the other side of the country...
...surprise gifts of family heirlooms from dear friends...
...one son drawing pictures for his brother...
...the sweet gift of a ring because my baby says I am a princess...and reminders that I AM a princess because I am daughter of the King of Kings!
And what could be more encouraging than that?
(For some more uplifting ideas, please visit (In)Courage!)
Monday, August 10, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I'll admit it - sometimes my quiet time is really hard. Showing up for it is easy. Staying focused during it? Not so much. My prayers feel like the same ones day after day. I try to be still and listen for God's voice, but I struggle with that, too. My mind starts planning my day, reliving the last one, or just flying off on a tangent altogether - it's so frustrating!
I'm a very literal person, so I want things to be spelled out in black and white for me to read, like a note. Or if God would just decide to speak out loud to me, we could have a real conversation and I would absolutely know what He said. That would be so good! C'mon, is a burning bush or a little glimpse of glory too much to ask?
But it doesn't work that way for me, and it requires a lot more effort on my part to hear what He has to say. Many times I have to do a little leg work to get what God wants me to know. Take one day last week, for example...
One morning I was specifically looking for some guidance on a situation that brings me a great deal of frustration. I was sitting in my spot, eyes closed, trying to keep my mind from wandering off and making a to-do list for the day, when pictures of different animals kept popping into my mind. First I saw a lion, and then an elephant. And a bird. And on and on.
So, I started thinking. "Animals, MANY animals, in the Bible....the ark! NOAH!!"
I grabbed my Bible and turned to Genesis 6 and started reading the story of Noah. I read about how righteous he was - the only blameless man left on earth. God told Noah how rotten the human race had become and how He was going to flood the earth and just wipe everything out. Except Noah and his family. I read about God's plan for Noah, including blueprints of the ark, where He had planned every detail right down to the size of the air vents. Then I read verse 22: "So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him."
Well, why wouldn't he? He was a righteous dude!
I kept reading. Noah built that ark, and God gave orders about who and what should be brought on board. And in Genesis 7:5 - "So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him."
He did everything as the Lord commanded him.
There's my black and white. "Do what I told you to, Beth! So what if you don't like it? I am your God, and I know what is best. There will be many times when you won't like what I ask you to do. Will you trust me, or will you give up?"
And in that moment, my answer was clear.
If God gives me a command, I need to listen. Like it or not. If he tells me to build an ark, then I need to pick up a hammer. If He tells me to feed the hungry, then I need to grab a plate. If He tells me to write, then I need to pick up a pen. I just need to be obedient to whatever it is I've been asked.
And so do you.
But, there's more! Genesis 8 goes on to say that God remembered Noah. Not in an an, "Oh yeah, I met that guy once" kind of way. God had made a covenant with Noah, and He was faithful to keep His promise by delivering Noah from that flood safely.
God asked Noah to do something very difficult.
God delivered him.
God may ask us to do hard things, but they are for our good, whether we can see it or not. We need to trust God to remember us. And when we are obedient to His call, He will remember us.
Now that I have my answer, I've gotta go find a hammer. It looks like it might rain. :-)
Lord, forgive me when I try to have everything my way. My human nature wants to be in charge, and sometimes rebels against what You have commanded me to do. When I start to listen to the lies whispered to me by this world, remind me that I am a child of the Light and I have no business in the dark. I want to be obedient to you, Lord, but I can't do it without Your help! "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:4-5
And here he is now, sort of:
He is also a LOT more destructive than we thought he'd be, even for a puppy. We put a gate on our deck so he can have a bit of freedom while we're gone during the day. He decided to use it as a chew toy:
Can you see it? How about now?
Somebody please tell me he'll grow out of this soon! PLEASE?
Friday, July 31, 2009
Today, I'm going with a Friday Fill-in because, well, it's FRIDAY!
(If you like these, you can get them here.)
1. It's time for caffeine.
2. The car; it's not a bad place for a moment or two of peace and quiet.
3. I must be dreaming if I think I can accomplish my to-do list any time soon.
4. Jesus is the best thing I have ever known.
5. My pantry is simply pathetic - I really should buy some food.
6. The last time I laughed really loudly was probably this week.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a bit of shopping, tomorrow my plans include working and Sunday, I want to not be working, but I am!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Which has brought prodding by a few of you readers (ONE, in PARTICULAR, and you know who you are - ahem!) to get me to post again.
I aim to please, so here is my attempt at filling you in on what's been going on around here this spring and summer.
Michael has been involved in:
*Practice for both
*Going to the beach
*Hospital volunteering and
How did that happen??
*Played regular season and All-Star baseball
*Played with his cousins both here and in Fayetteville
*Spent time with Gramma at the salon and
*Gone to the beach
*Graduated from preschool and
*Gone to the beach
Jeff has been:
*Assistant coaching Aaron's team
*Building a house for a great couple
*Managing the salon
*Breaking ground on our church building and
*Going to the beach
I have been:
*Involved in all the above :-)
*Reading a few books
*Knitting a baby gift (almost done!)
*Spending WAY too much time on Facebook
*Attempting a Square Foot Garden
*Surviving short-staffing at work
*Working at the salon
*Getting a promotion!
*Going to the beach (but there's no photographic evidence of my presence on that trip because I was the ONLY ONE WHO TOOK PHOTOS!) and
*in the midst of all this activity, I let my quiet time get smaller and smaller and lemme tell ya, it hurts. God seemed further and further away, and was as quiet as He may ever have been. But we're on the road to recovery :-)
So - does that explain why I haven't had time to blog?????
But I have missed it, and hope that when school starts back I'll have more downtime at home and a few minutes to actually write again!!
So, what have YOU been doing the past few months? Fill me in. In the comments. Blow off the cobwebs and dust you'll find there and leave me a few morsels of bloggy fun. I'm all ears...