Monday, November 23, 2009

he makes ALL things new

So in my last post, I wrote this has been a hard year ...
Saturday night our life group met to have our Celebration at the conclusion of the RESET spiritual growth campaign. Everyone was supposed to create "something" that described them. The creation could be ANYTHING: you could bring something, make something, do an interpretive dance .... it was limitless. Aaron and I happened to be in Greece when the group received the assignment, so ours was on the fly. BUT we were so impressed by our Life Group - after 4 years you think you know people - right??? Well no, the evening was full of insight and we continue to get to know each other better and better.

While there were no interpretive dances, one completely blew me away!
Tish is an artist, her occupation (in addition to being an awesome mommy) she does creative design - for her project she elected to create a painting. Something that has been on her heart for sometime. Her inspiration ... Jeremy. Our little Angel Man, my sweet son. That was enough for me to lose it Saturday.
She created a beautiful butterfly, to represent how God can use anything - regardless of how ugly a situation is he can use it .... here is her painting:
It is beautiful. At the conclusion of her presentation she gave the painting to Aaron and I. WHAT! We are thinking it will go in our bedroom, the walls are a deep purple, the wings stand out in a luminescent manner - it is the constant reminder that God Makes ALL things new. A wonderful image to see when going to bed and getting up ... how do you thank someone for such a insightful and powerful gift. ( I am still working on it)

It is hard to explain, but it is so meaningful when friends and family continue to honor Jeremy. I did not know that would mean so much to me, but I love talking about him. It is such a blessing for me, when asked about Jeremy. It is an honor to remember him:)


Friday, November 20, 2009

My Desire ...

My devotion from God Calling this morning describes the Desire of my heart ....

Not only must you rejoice, but your JOY must be made manifest. "Known unto all men." A candle must not be set under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light to all who are in the house. Men must see and know your JOY, and seeing it, know, without any doubt, that it springs from trust in Me, from living with Me.
The hard dull way of resignation is not My Way. When I entered Jerusalem, knowing well that scorn and reviling and death awaited Me, it was with cries of Hosanna, and with a triumphal procession. Not just a few "Lost Cause"followers creeping with Me into the city. THere was no note of sadness in My Last Supper Talk with My disciples, and "when we had sung an hymn" we went out unto the Mount of Olives. So trust, so conquer, so joy. Love colors the way. Love takes the sting out of the wind of adversity. LOVE .LOVE. LOVE of Me. The consciousness of MY Presence, and that of My Father, we are ONE, and HE - God - is LOVE.

I desire to radiate the JOY of the Lord ... this year has been tough.
It is my prayer that I manifest His Joy ... entering into the Holiday Season, Thanksgiving, Christmas - I pray that the glory of the Lord will shine through me and I am able to radiate HIS joy. I pray that each of you will also radiate his JOY too ... imagine the Love that we can spread with the conscious effort to manifest Joy.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

On a Limb

I am taking my business to the next level .....

Custom Beads by Beth Parties!
Gather your friends, check out my work and order custom pieces.
Simple steps to follow:
Book a party (
Invite some friends over
check out my work
fill out the custom order form
For each order placed, I request a $10 deposit with full payment on delivery.
Orders will be completed in 5-10 days.

At the suggestion of a dear friend
... I will also be creating Gift Certificates.
Details to follow ...
To book a party, send me an email
check out my work:


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For His Glory

This weekend I served on the Discipleship Walk, as a member of the team. I attended the Walk two years ago, January. That weekend was an amazing opportunity of renewal. Serving on the team had the same renewing properties.
Check around your area if you have not been on a Walk ... I encourage EVERYONE to do it!

This weekend was exhausting, It was a wonderful example of how the Body of Christ is alive, kicking and holding each other up. When I say exhausting, we are not running a boot camp - the exhaustion comes from being mentally and emotionally drained. But with the draining - you are open to a complete refill by the Spirit - What a spiritual high!

My reading this morning helped to describe the Glory that was felt this weekend.
From God Calling:
"Arise shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isaiah 60:1
The glory of the Lord is the Beauty of His Character. It is risen upon you when you realize it, even though on earth you can do so only in part. The Beauty of the Purity and Love of God is too dazzling for mortals to see in full. The Glory of the Lord is also risen upon you when you reflect that Glory in your lives, when in Love, Patience, Service, purity, whatever it may be, you reveal to the world a something of the Father, an assurance that you have been with Me, your Lord and Savior.

As I reflect on the weekend experience - there is such joy, and when I talk to Aaron about it - sometimes I cannot even remember things. The Spirit of the Lord was around and he used each of his daughters to spread his love - Disciples and Team. What an amazing community.

The women at my table, yes we have small groups that discuss various topics, these are such special women. We all opened our hearts to touch each others lives. It was all for HIS GLORY!
And WOW did it shine this weekend. I pray all the ladies continue to bask in His Glory and share it with all they encounter.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Joel ... it has been a while!

This was yesterdays devotion from Joel ... so good! This is a busy week, I head out Thursday for a Women's Retreat, that I am SO looking forward to. It has been such a blessing to be on the planning side. I am so excited for the ladies that will be attending. At the same time I have a number of items on my to-do list before heading out of town and contact for 4 days. Therefore, I am greatly encouraged by Joel's word ....

You Are Closer Than You Think

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE "So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit"(Galatians 6:9, the Message)

TODAY'S WORD from Joel and Victoria God has put dreams and desires in every person's heart. We all have goals we want to accomplish and situations we are believing will be turned around. Sometimes it seems to take longer than we thought. Sometimes things don't work out the way we planned, and it's easy to lose enthusiasm. Negative thoughts come to us that say, "It's never going to change." "You're never going to get well." "You're never going to get out of debt." If we're not careful, we'll get discouraged and end up just settling where we are. Many times, people miss out on God's best simply because they give up too soon. They don't realize how close they are to their victory.

Friend, don't let that be you today! Don't give up just because things seem hard. You are closer than you think! You've invested so much and you never know, just another few more days of believing, another few weeks of doing the right thing, another few months of staying in faith, and you could see that situation turn around. Remember, God is on your side! Keep standing and keep believing because you are closer than you think to fulfilling every desire He's placed inside of you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY"Father God, today I come to You again, believing that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. Give me Your strength to keep moving forward into the place of victory You have for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen."


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Istanbul, October 29th -30th

This morning was different, yes our breakfast came ... but we were not moving slowly into a port. Actually we had about 4 more hours until we reached the Istanbul port.

It was cooler on the balcony, it could have been the speed we were moving - but it felt about 5 degrees lower then the rest of the trip. This is what we saw while eating breakfast ...

this is behind us.
We had left the Mediterranean (Aegean) Sea, passed through a narrow channel and we are now in the Sea of Marmara (meaning Marble) ... This body of water connects to the Black Sea on the OTHER side of Istanbul.
So we enjoyed breakfast and began packing our bags. They would need to be packed and outside our rooms by Midnight. We would be heading home the next morning.
Around 11, we headed up to the deck to check out the lunch options and the view ... we were getting closer to Istanbul.
the shore line looked quite different then the previous ports ... these shot were taken through the window at our table during lunch:
the 6 minarets(the spikes), indicate that is the Blue Mosque:
the 4 here, Aya Sofya ...

Topkapi Palace...
the other side, actually Asia ...
This is the bridge that connects Europe and Asia
Sorry for the rail in the image
On our way to the dock
Once we docked, our group met in to prepare for our city tour, again we would be loading on to busses and show around. I was not exactly sure where we were headed, but that was typical. We then learned that October 29th is Turkish Independence Day, like the 4th of July. This was a big time day of celebration. That accounted for the number of flags we saw on the ride in, but that also meant the Grand Bazaar was closed. Aaron would not be getting a Genuine Fake Watch. But our tour would now include the Blue Mosque.
It was a drastic difference getting on the bus in this thriving metropolis compared to the other ports.
The water used to come right up to this wall ...
From the bus, the blue mosque
From the bus, AyaSofya
AyaSofya, was initially built by Justinian as a christian church. Then it was converted into a mosque as the rulers changed - now it is a museum.

Aaron is standing next to one of the columns of Marble - HUGE
When Aya Sofya was built it was a church .... there are christian images and mosaics all over. When it became a mosque, instead of tearing out and destroying the images - they covered them with thick plaster. In essence preserving them!
the alter in the front ... the center window would be center, notice the alter to the right, facing EAST. When it was transformed to a mosque, the people had to pray facing east ....
Self portrait, by the alter ...
aaron trying to surprise me ...

walking over to the Blue Mosque
courtyard of Blue Mosque
to enter the Mosque, we had to take off our shoes, and we thought Aaron might have to wear a skirt wrapped around his shorts ....
He was cleared, his shorts were long enough ....
the carpet was so soft ...

inside the Blue Mosque ....
The inside - it was a prayer time ....
columns ...

shoes back on ...
but should he have sat here ... if you can read on the steps it says "Do Not Sit Here"
After the Blue Mosque our bus took us to a small shopping area, but again because of the holiday most were closed. So we headed back to the ship, ordered room service (coffee and hot chocolate - awsome mixed!) and got prepared for dinner.

For the final night, RTV6 planned for us to go out on the town for dinner. We ate at Zeyrekhane (i have no idea how to pronounce it!) "Turkish Cuisine at the heart of Istanbul"
We did not just dine, RTV6 rented the entire place, it was ours to hang on the terrace over looking water and the city - wonderful views ....
a mosque lit up ...
on the terrace, sipping "fig juice" it was not the best ..... must be an acquired taste?
The beacon lights are close to our ship ...
inside the restaurant:

at our table :
Aaron made a special friend:

special music
special dancer, from what we could understand, this belly dancer was one of the top in Turkey!
Dinner, Authentic Cuisine ... this was beef wrapped in a pastry, like Beef Wellington .... and a large sprig of lettuce

main dish .... my dad's comment: i looks like someone already ate it.
But it sure did taste good!
dessert ... Sultans Fingers .... not so good (to me)

chocolate cookies, i was too full for even a taste, but Aaron liked them

Hot tea, with an apple flavor, i did like this!
the tea came with small spoons .... Aaron was up for the challenge

Karen and Paul, Mr McDonalds!

Jacki and I ....
Then it was back to the ship, our bags needed to be packed and ready for pick up in 1 hour!
We did not order room service for our final morning, instead we got all packed up, vacated our room and headed to the breakfast buffet ...
When it was time our "color" was dismissed from the ship. WE relocated our bags in the terminal and loaded up busses for the airport to head home ....
Drive to the airport ....
our ship across the "Golden Horn"
Fishing boats in the Sea of Marmara
It took about 45 min to get to the airport, then another hour to get through security and checked in ... then a second round of security at the gate - Turkey does not play!
We had a 3 hour flight to Munich, we raced through customs, another security check and right on to the next plane. For our 9 hour flight to Chicago ... granted we were gaining 6 hours on the flight it was still a long day!

We arrived in Chicago with no issues, glided through customs, found our bags, dropped our bags off and learned our 9:45 flight was delayed .... 2 hours!
We made our way to the gate and found Mr McDonalds was treating RTV6 to McDonalds:) I enjoyed a happy meal, Aaron ... had something. My mind is foggy.

It was nice to be "home - almost.

The flight from Chicago arrived in Indy at 2, my dad picked us up and we where in our bed by 3:15am .... 9 am in Greece! We slept about 5 hours, then began moving getting ready for Aaron's Dads Retirement Party .... 43 years with GM.

What a trip, this was simply amazing.
Aaron and I had not even IMAGINED that the Lord would have planned something like this for us. Even now, after being home two weeks, I cannot believe it.
The Lord is good, and he is true to his promises. PRAISE THE LORD!