Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankfulness before Thanksgiving

I have two people still posting their thanksgivings in Facebook for the month of November. Go girls!! I decided not to do it this year, but don't mistake that for be not being extremely grateful. 

I spent quite a bit of time last night reviewing my thankful/prayer journal from this year. I wrote up a long blog about it, only to have this app Bloggo, eat it. I'm not sure I'm thankful for Bloggo right at this moment. 

I am thankful for the many answered prayers. My immediate family is here for another year. Dad is doing ok with his bladder cancer and so many people have shown their love & support of my family. Prayers have gone up in a fierce way. We are waiting for his biopsy results in December. Regardless, seeing the love and support from so many has impacted us in great ways. Thank you. 

To look back and see prayers answered: all the sick I've prayed for, from the young to the old, the simple requests and special requests. Not all were answered how I would have liked but I also know God's ways are greater than mine and His understanding is much greater than mine. Those I lost this year hurt my heart but God is always there. 

I prayed in ernest about my finances. Out of the blue I checked and found a Financial Peace University  class being held five minutes from my house. This doesn't happen-I live in the middle of nowhere!!!  I'm moving so very slow but I feel good again. What a blessing!!

I've had my share of ouchies and lessons learned. People have let me down and disappointed me. People I care about. But that was also a blessing as it taught me to turn my troubles over to God and let Him judge and decide how to handle others' issues. 

I've often thanked God for the Christian bloggers, photographers, shop owners, friends, and pen pal!!  Y'all have no idea how wonderful and inspirational you are!! Ladies of Faith, you are so appreciated and a great blessing to my life! Thank you so much!!!

And last but so not least, I'm thankful for this relationship God is creating between me and Him. I have really enjoyed reading His word and learning how to be more like Him. I won't say it's always comfortable but it is beautiful. 

I have a loving family, peaceful home, good job, wonderful friends, blessed church family and God. Life is good. Here's to another year of thankfulness!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday, I greatly enjoyed my downtime today. Thanks for giving me great weather. Dear God, THANK YOU! Thanks for taking care of my Dad. :)  Thanks for placing wonderful Christian people in my life :)  Dear Sweet Niece #1: You are a joy, so smart and so energetic. Love the hat on you!  Dear Sweet Niece #2: lol holy cow, girl, you are wide open! Love watching you grow and learn. :)  Dear hot chocolate, some nights I just need you. Dear seester, I love you!  Dear Baby Lane, I saw you three times this week!! And you are so stinkin cute!!! 

Choose Joy!!! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mike Mike Mike - What Day Is It?!

Oh ya'll, when I went to see Sweet Niece #2 this morning before work, I was accosted with sweet kisses! Is that not the BEST way to start your day?  Loved it!

In our office, SOMEONE does the whole Hump Day commercial (what are they advertising again? I don't even remember) every Wednesday.  And leading up to Wednesday. Oh heck, we are always acting like a bunch of camels in our office. :)

So my message today is what I keep seeing in all my devotionals: FAITH and APPLYING FAITH.

Like this, " But without faith no one can please God.  We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who seraches for him."  Hebrews 11:6

I really like this verse,
"But it is just as the Scriptures say, 'What God has planned for people who love Him is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds!'"
1 Corinthians 2:9

FAITH! Do I have faith in the plan God has for me? Or am I trying to go it on my own?  Well, as we learned in Sunday School this week, even though we often muddle up the plans, God is so amazing He will still prevail and His plan will still come to fruition.  Yes, we may create some painful detours, but He will always see His plan come to be. So that's nice to know. I can't screw it up so bad that it won't happen!

AND - to know His plan for me is so great that I can't begin to wrap my hands around it because it is beyond my eyes or ears.  It's never entered my mind, the plans that God has in store for me! Amazing!

Yes, so amazing. So wonderful.  So blessed we are.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Muses.

The weekend was a good one! Saturday morning I texted a friend until she mentioned - you know, we could talk. HAHA! So we did and it was great. She gives good business advice and I'm thankful for her.  :) I spent Saturday day at a pottery show with my mom and sister - our annual outing.  All three of us found someone we knew, so it was even better having our joy spread between friends.  I adore pottery and picked up a few pieces for gifts.  I could have gone hog wild, but didn't really have the funds (or the need) for all that in my house.

Sunday I met a sweet little boy, Lane, 3 weeks old and oh my gracious he is a cutie. How can you not fall in love with newborn babies? I think it's impossible.

One thing that keeps coming back to me over and over is how attitude plays such a large factor in our daily lives.  Like - Yes, I'm tired, still sick, butt draggin', etc etc. I could complain and moan about how TIRED I am, how BAD I feel, DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA. Play it up, get more sympathy, wallow in my low points. 

OR - I can get in the floor and marvel at how wonderful it is to play with my niece, notice how quickly she is learning her nursery rhymes, watch how she plays with her blocks and laugh at her silliness. Live life instead of letting life lead me around by the nose and suck out the joy.


Yeah, it doesn't always work.  Saturday evening I let things get to me a little too much and my feeling were hurt. Which pissed me off. Oh woe is me. (Seriously, get a grip!)  But it didn't last long and I was feeling ok again. Because SERIOUSLY - how blessed am I? Abundantly.  Amazingly.  Wonderfully.  God is so good and I am so ungrateful and being so childish.  By not taking care of myself (going to bed on time!!), I'm making it more difficult to love life. Bad Bethie. So my goal this week is to get back on track. 

And since I just snapped another person's head off... maybe I should go to sleep about 8 p.m. and see if I can restore my relatively good nature.  It's slipping quickly.  :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear weekend, I'm very excited about the pottery show you have in store for me!! Fun time with my mom and sister, too, so Come On Weekend, Let's Get Started!!  Dear Sweet Nieces, last weekend was wonderful with you both home. I'm so very thankful God brought both of you into my life. Dear Pintrest, I'm really happy to see so many felt food tutorials posted on your site. Sweet Niece #2 will have a Felt Farmer's Market before I'm done! (for her Christmas present!). Dear Crafty Coworker, your hats are looking so adorable! I love them so much and can't wait for Sweet Niece #1 to try her bright colored hat on next weekend! Dear cold weather, I hate you. Just an FYI.

Dear wonderful pen pal and friend, Thanks for the GREAT pick-me-up ... and for Macy's bows! What a special person you are to be so thoughtful! And it arrived on my doctor day, so it couldn't have been any better timing. Dear Minute Clinic, I love you and your speedy visits. I'm hoping I like your price better than my regular doctor, too. Dear #SheReadsTruth, I can't express how much I am enjoying (in a very painful way b/c my toes are being stepped on!) this study in James. Thank you for your efforts for all of us. Dear Private Prayer Request - I could really use some help from our Prayer Warriors. I am not at liberty to say why, but God still hears and knows. Thanks for your help.

Have a good weekend! :) I'll share mine with you next week. :)


I was approached by Angela  of Campus Book Rentals to partner with  by posting something on my blog.  I would be compensated.  First - I don't think I have many college aged kids reading this blog, but maybe some parents? And Second - I've never done this and heck if I know how legit it is, but I'll give you my review of what I learned through some research. 

1) Campus Book Rentals is a partner with Operation Smile. I'm big into supporting non-profits, having a non-profit background myself and knowing what beneficial work some of these organizations do within our local communities, and throughout the world, such as Operation Smile is doing. 

A little bit about Operation Smile from their website:  
  • Every 3 minutes, a child somewhere in the world is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. One in 10 children born with a cleft will die before their first birthday. 
  • During FY 12, 73.2% of all donations went directly to programs, while 20.6% was spent on fundraising and 6.2% for administration expenses. 
  • Operation Smile and its more than 5,000 medical volunteers are working every day around the world to provide safe, effective and free cleft lip and cleft palate reconstructive surgery for children all over the world.  We are an international medical humanitarian organization that works in over 60 countries that is dedicated to raising awareness of this life-threatening issue and providing lasting solutions. 
Please feel free to learn more about Operation Smile on their website.  Their focus is on the Philippines at the moment (understandably!).

2)  From the website - They are one of the original companies with the concept of renting college textbooks instead of purchasing them, then trying to sell them back to the campus book store at the end of the semester.  They been in business since 2007 and have over 1 million folks renting books from 5,800 colleges across the nation.  

If I understand it correctly, you can either rent books from them, or if you own books, you can rent your books to other folks via their website.  As a student renting a book, you may highlight in the book and treat it as if you own it.  (Down side - that means if you rent a book, it may be really marked up from the people ahead of you, as one person complained). However, for the cost savings over purchasing the books may be worth it to you.  Shipping is free both directions! 

So I asked someone who has one graduate and one still in college to help me compare this program to what she's been doing on Amazon.  She purchases the books used from online Amazon vendors. Once she is done, she sells the book on Amazon to recoup some money back.  We pulled two books from her recent inventory to see how it compares to 

The Human Record Vol1 Sources of Global History to 1700.                      
To Rent for 130 Days:  $58.49                     
To "Lend/rent" this book to other students:  $36.15 - $19 for their expenses = $17.15 in your pocket  
(Expenses: $11.70 in shipping, $3.30 markting, $2.20 Labor & Processing, $1.80 Profit for Campus Book Rentals)

The Human Record Vol1 Sources of Global History to 1700.
Purchased used: $48 + 3.99 ship = $51.99
Amazon Trade-in program:  $43.67 + free shipping = $43.67 (which she received as Amazon Credit for ANYTHING)
Total money spent to use the book: $8.32 

I personally think the Amazon deal is a better deal, however, if you don't want to deal with all that, maybe the is the way to go.  I have no idea what it would cost in your local campus book store.

I did try to check on other recent ones, not wanting to get too far out of date with the comparasions, but Campus Book Rentals werent accepting those from students for rent at this time.  My guess is there isn't a demand for them, but it doesn't allow me to compare. 

BOTTOM LINE: I think if you use your noggin, there are less expensive ways to get the books you need for college, however, I don't feel like this is a bad program.  And I'm glad to see companies partnering with non-profits to help give back and make the world a better place.  Who knows if they'll pay me for this review or not; regardless I have to be honest in how I feel. 

Do you have any dealings with college book programs like this or others? Feel free to comment below, I'm open to learning more about the process. :)  Thanks Ya'll! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

{Review} Minute Clinic... and other fun stuff.

Find the closest Minute Clinic to you!

Monday I was in such a great mood! Then Wednesday I ended up at the Minute Clinic with this ... whatever this is. The crud? The evilness? You know, the coughing, hacking, sneezing, feeling like you've been run over by a truck... yeah. That. I must say, I love the Minute Clinic! In and out quick, no waiting, no appointment needed, Ohhhh Yeahhh. AND they are running it through my insurance and billing me. Since my regular doc runs about $97 a visit, this should be cheaper and quicker! Let's all cheer! She was very knowledgeable, thorough and

A bright popcorn treat! 
How wonderful of a friend do I have that sends random gifts for no reason - and I receive it on my Doc Day!? LOVE IT! :) I thank God for my friends over and over because it's such a blessing to have these people in my life.

(On a side note:)
I gotta tell ya'll, right this minute I'm watching my co-worker go bonkers trying to run away from yet kill a spider at the same time. It's awesome entertainment (but I'm so thankful it's on her side of the room and not mine.)  Oh my, she has found success and is now celebrating the squished spider. Teehee!

OK, I'm hoping ya'll can help out a fellow blogger - her daughter needs at least 100 people to take a quick Google Survey - like 5 questions? - as part of her 8th grade science project.  Who wouldn't want to help out for that? You'll stay anonymous, so no worries. Just click the link below and help a chap out.  Thanks!

Consider this the good deed of the day.  Her mom's blog is Mice in the Kitchen, so check her out, too. 

I'm off to write letters (I know, real letters with stamps and everything!) and do some work.  I hope ya'll have a great Thursday and are getting ready for FRIDAY! WOOP WOOP!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lazy Wednesday Morning

I decided to take today off with grand plans of sleeping in late this morning. Of course, that didn't happen and never happens unless it's drug induced. So I woke up before six, laid in bed and finished Susan Branch's book, "A Fine Romance."  I didn't really want to finish it because then it would be over!! But I did and I'm so thankful to her for making lil' ol' me feel like a part of something so much larger. You'll just have to read the book, cover to cover, and experience it yourself. 

It's now after seven and I'm kicked back, listening to slow and dreamy Christmas music, enjoying a down today. Later this morning I plan on visiting a Minute Clinic to get some antibiotics for this dreadful sinus mess, hopefully making me feel better by Thanksgiving. I've stubbornly refused to spend the $90+ for a month now. Since it's moving into my chest, I decided to go ahead and get some help and feel human again. 

This was my view on the way to work yesterday. Beautiful!! I said I looked like snow clouds and I must have been right - we had flurries last night! Unheard of in South Carolina in November. I shudder to think of an icy cold winter. :( but I can't deny it's beautiful to see, just not fun to drive in. 

I suppose I should get up and be productive while I have a free moment. Y'all enjoy your Hump Day and be thankful for the blessings! :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Monday!

For a Monday, I'm pretty dang happy today.  Maybe because I came into work a tad bit late today, so I wasn't running around all rushed this morning. And I overslept with no worries, so that definitely contributed to my happiness level today. :)

I had the sweetest comment from Gayle at Miss Kopy Kat. Ya'll, if you don't follow her, you really want to start.  She is the Craftiness Queen! LOVE her tutorials and great ideas.  Seriously, check out this wreath, which is what she is featuring right now.  Admit it, you all want to go buy a wreath form and some mesh and get this awesome wreath rocking on your door.

I told her I wish she were my neighbor because I'd ask for some one-on-one remedial wreathing making.  In case you don't remember it, you can see my wreath #fail here.  My crafty talents do not extend to wreaths.  So maybe I'm glad Gayle isn't my neighbor, because she'd be really showing my house up and it would make me look like a crappy neighbor.

Anyway - all this to say, she asked me what I ended up doing with my weekend! I had THE BEST weekend, and it wasn't because of anything special, just the time with family.

Saturday I went shopping with my Mom, something we haven't done in ages! At one time, we shopped every weekend, all day long, until we were exhausted.  My bff would call just to ask if I were in Belk with Mom, because she pretty much knew that's exactly where we were. So Mom and I actually skipped Belk and went to the outlet mall about 30 minutes from the house. Started on our Christmas shopping for the girls (aka Sweet Nieces). Good times.

Sunday, went to church and headed to Mom & Dad's for lunch with Katie & the girls. AH was super snuggly, which is one of those cherished things because at 11-years-old, she isn't quite as snuggly as she was at one point. She's growing up!!! What the heck do you buy an 11-year-old for Christmas? Any suggestions?

Anyway, Macy was SO HAPPY to have her sister home. She just kept kissing and hugging on her, it was just precious.
Here is big sister waiting patiently for her kiss from little sister

Then little sister attacked, trying to get her arms around AH for a hug, but wasn't quite able to reach like she wanted.  So she kept burrowing her face into her big sister's neck, trying to share the love. It was hilarious! 

So yeah, there is a lot of text for you. :)  Last but DEFINITELY not least, please hug a veteran today.  Where would we be without these brave men and women?! I can't imagine! So thankful to them and to their families.  Thank you so much. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday's Letter

Dear Weekend, I'm looking forward to you, although I'm not sure what my plans are for you yet. Maybe I'll make some more felt food for littlest Sweet Niece's Christmas present.  Dear Lord, just today I've seen the circle of life in the birth posting from one blogger and another losing a family member unexpectedly.  I've been getting the message:  In all things give thanks (even during our suffering). I'm not sure how to do this, so please work in my heart on this one?  Dear Self, Girl, you make some stupid mistakes.  Looks like one could be catching up with you. Dear Praying People, please include my Dad in yours - thanks.  Dear Sinus Sickness, I've battled with you for over a month. I simply refuse to give the DR another $97 when I haven't finished paying off the last visit. Can you please just give me a break and GO AWAY?  Dear Sweet Nieces, I'm soooo happy to have ya'll together this weekend. :) I'm looking forward to the day when both of you are old enough to spend the night at Aunt Bethie's house!

63 more minutes until quitting time! :) Woop Woop! Hello weekend, here I come! :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Choose Joy!


Do you feel like I am screaming at you yet? Because I totally am.  It's been one of those days where God is pouring this message over my head in various ways and means, so I thought I'd share it with you.

My morning began with a devotional shared by a dear friend that is about the Debbie Downers in life.  You know know who I'm talking about - heck, I'm one of them way too often.  It's like they present a laundry list of bad things that are happening.  The grumbling, the complaining, the grousing... And it rubs off on everyone around them so that now you have a room full of people grumbling, complaining and grousing. Oh happy day! Doesn't this sound like fun!

To quote the Girlfriends in God devotional: "When you think about it, ingratitude is a casual despising of God’s sovereignty. It’s like saying we don’t like how He is running things and think we could do it better."

Holy cow!  I don't want to be the person who thinks my way is better than God's way! But you know what, I quite often am that person, and it's so shameful.  So, instead of grousing and complaining, I want to CHOOSE JOY. I want to trust in God and appreciate what He has given to me, because I know He has plans created specifically for me that are for His glory.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
     Jeremiah 29:11

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
     Romans 8:28

Here it is, in black and white, spoken directly from the Lord God Himself and written down by His people. He is telling us IT WILL BE OK because I AM WITH YOU.  Through anything we face, God is with us.

"But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength."   2 Timothy 4:17

I think Joy is all about FAITH.  Our grousing is because we think it should be different, better.  But if we have FAITH, we know God is with us. (any thoughts on this?? share please!)

This may be my word for 2014.  I haven't decided yet, but I do feel like this would be a great word to focus on for the new year.  (Was this my word for this year that I've tossed aside and not focused on at all? Hmm. maybe I hsould go back and check.) Oh good. I chose Simplify - #fail. So maybe this would stick a bit better. :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday's Letters

Ya'll, it's one of my favorites times of the week - FRIDAY'S LETTERS!

Dear Macy Mae, (1.) you are toooo cute. You were so much fun during Halloween, loving on your pumpkin, sitting on your pumpkin, you even dressed a little pumpkin-y for Halloween. And you discovered you liked getting loot just for being cute (like that doesn't happen everyday...).  Dear Family, (2.) I'm so very blessed to have all of you right around me. This picture of mom and her sister, both with their grandkids, just reminds me of growing up with all my aunts and uncles close by.  Love it.  Dear Lord, (3.) I have really appreciated and enjoyed your sunrises and sunsets lately.  Thanks for giving me a heart that can see Your beauty. Dear Christian Friends, (4.) you are so very encouraging to me - to see your faith and your success, you have no idea! Paulene, thanks for sharing this today on IG. :) Dear MJ, (5.) What a WONDERFUL surprise to bring me Susan Branch's book! I stayed up late last night reading it, I've taken small breaks throughout today and WOW, it's like you are right there with her for every step! It's just wonderful. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

I'm so glad the end is here for 31 Days.  :)  I enjoyed it, I'm very thankful that I'm actually back to feeling like blogging again instead of it just making me a touch sad.  31 Days really pulled me out of that funk and made me notice and appreciate God, my heavenly Father, so much more. So thanks for going on that bumpy ride with me (where I skipped a few days here and there).

I'm NOT doing the 31 Day of Thankful, but I'm sure I will blog more about things I'm thankful for in November.  So many blessings, so so many.  So I'm sure I'll share some this month.

But for now, since I'm already late turning in my article for the local magazine I write for, I better go focus on that for a while.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here soon!

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