Archive for 2007

Merry Christmas

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I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas. This is easily my favorite time of the year since Jesus is the Heart of it All. Like many others, however, I often find myself becoming bogged down with my to-do-list that accompanies this holiday. I’m busy baking cookies, decorating, addressing cards, and getting together with family and friends. In all the hustle and bustle, I constantly strive to keep Jesus in the front and center. Pray that all of us can keep Christ within our Christmas.

Be sure to check out my photos. I have some pictures of our visit to the Columbus Zoo and their great Christmas light display. The zoo strings millions of lights every year and it continues to get better and better. The newer LED lights are so bright and beautiful. Our family loves to come at least once, if not twice, to see the display.

Please have a wonderful and safe Christmas.

God Bless You,
Beth

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope you’re having a wonderful time with family and friends. There are so many things to be thankful for and I try to thank God everyday for even the most smallest blessings. Ever think what it would be like not to having running water in the house? Yuck! Think how many times you would have to run outside when you needed it. Indoor plumbing is right up there on the “biggie” list of thankful items that I never want to take for granted, either. 🙂

But this week there is something nearer and dearer to my heart when it comes to thanks. My husband was rear-ended on his way to work last Monday and the impact was hard enough to total our big F-150 4X4 Super Crew truck. It broke the driver’s seat, but PTL my hubby was able to come home. He has whiplash and in pain…..but he’s home. Yeah! I thank God for His protection.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving….and remember: God deserves Thanksgiving everyday. I will post some Thanksgiving pixs later.

Love ya,
Beth

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Last Camping Trip of the Season

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Okay, let’s face it….I’m a real diehard camper. As much as I love the fall, I don’t like when those cold winds begin to blow and signal the end of the camping season. Last weekend was wonderful for camping and the two electric heaters kept the pop-up nice and toasty at Deer Creek State Park. It was sad to clean out and winterize the camper on Sunday, but the job is done. All I can do is wait patiently for a warm spring. Please be early and warm. 🙂

Life is like that, too. We move through phases that resemble seasons and things change. People come and go, we move from place to place, and our kids grow up. Our oldest is a senior and has already been accepted as a biology major for the fall of 2008. The day-to-day things we do often seems to trudge slowly along until we look back and then….Bam….we have leaped years, not days.

As far as having a high school senior goes, I don’t know which of us has more “seniorist”. It seems like the parents are as busy with the scholarship searching and college information overload as the student. I am serious about this…really…since it’s affecting my writing. Who has time to write anymore???

Our senior claims her brain’s fried, but mine was toasted first. But it’s wonderful at the same time. Does that make any sense?? I’m enjoying the teen years of our girls. They are a blast.

I’ll try to write before Thanksgiving.

Bundle up and stay warm….or if you’re in a warmer region, take in some sun for me. 🙂

Love ya,
Beth

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Everyday Acts of Kindness

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You’ve probably heard or read about something called, “Random Acts of Kindness”. Recently, I saw a bumper sticker that touted the virtues of this phenomenon. It’s really is a great idea! When you think about it, doesn’t everyone like to be pleasantly surprised with an act of kindness. It’s a wonderful concept that was recently reinforced during a Bible study as a viable way to share God’s love with those around us.

My first experience…………………the Taco Bell drive-thru. My teen daughters creatively made up cards that said either, “God cares about you” or “God loves you”. We pulled into the drive-thru and I paid for my order. Then I handed the clerk (about 19 years old) money for the order behind me. It confused her terribly. She told me she wasn’t sure if I was allowed to pay for someone else and promptly went for the manager.

The manager came back smiling and explained to the clerk that it was perfectly fine (and wonderful) for someone to show kindness in this way. The manager leaned toward the window and said to me, “The young people today are too cynical.” I told her and the clerk that I hoped this act of kindness would help people to know there are good things in this life and that God wants us to know and share that.

I paid for the car behind me and handed the handmade card to clerk to give them. The biggest smile beamed from her face then. “God bless you,” she said.

Since then, God has given our family opportunities to continue sharing these acts of kindness. It’s important that the people know the reason….it’s not just a nice thing to do, but an expression of God’s love for them. The next project: handing out Fall Harvest bags (almost like a reverse trick-or-treat) to the workers in the grocery store where we shop. Most of the workers (deli, bakery, dairy, frozen, etc.) already know us enough from our years of shopping, but we want to share something more than face recognition and a hi-how-are-you-doing with them. The girls are excited. We’ve filled the bags with wrapped candy and have stickers on the bag that let them know God cares.

You know, it’s not such a bad plot line for a romance book. I’ll have to think more about it. Until then…………….share God’s love with your community and let them know how much He cares. Drop me a line if you have any great ideas to share with the other readers.

Blessings,
Beth

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Discovering Significance

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Life is full of significance. God’s significance! Do you feel like you make a difference in this world? I’ve been praying a lot lately that God will help me to show His love to other people. Sometimes this is really hard. Let’s face it—-there are some people who are very difficult to love. This is a work-in-progress for me.

Leighton Ford is quoted as saying, “God loves us the way we are, but he loves us too much to leave us that way.” Isn’t that a great thought! It fits very well with my current manuscript. The heroine is dealing with issues of feeling insignificant to change the world around her or to make a difference with her feuding family, and consequently, she chooses to withdrawl rather than join in. The hero is the type who just keeps going when the going gets tough and can’t understand why others can’t do the same. Unlikely couple…..unlikely romance…..but a likely God.

Things are hopping at the Loughner household. School work (including some college classes for our senior), sports, and church activities keeps things moving…and shaking. Of course, camping is also great this time of year.

This brings me to thank God and those who have and are protecting our country, in the past and present, to give us the safety and peace of mind to continue in our way of life. There are those in other countries who have a much different (and difficult) “normal” to their lives. Please remember to pray for our country and armed forces.

Hope everyone has time to stop and enjoy the beautiful colors of fall.

God Bless,
Beth

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Summer Happenings

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Summer is still trucking along at a fast clip. I keep hoping to write more blogs, but time slips away before I know it. So, what’s been happening? First of all, let me tell you about a great small Bible group devotion we’re doing right now. It’s called “Outflow” by Steve Siogren and Dave Ping. It’s worth your time to take a gander at this book. I’m learning so much this summer about how to deepen my relationship with God.

Camps and more camps! It seems like every week one or both of our girls is going off to camp. One is returning today and another starts on Monday. That’s the way it has been all summer. They are having a great time. Mom is tired, but they aren’t. What’s the deal with that???

Camping has not been happening since our great trip to Arkansas to search for diamonds. Hopefully, the fall will bring more opportunities to camp. I really miss the camp fire. 🙂

The new cover for my “Ohio Weddings” book should be up and running on the website soon. This book is a 3-in-1 romance book from Barbour Publishing that includes the 3 Bay Island books. It will be available in February 2008. It can be found in Christian bookstores and Wal-mart.

That’s all for now. I pray that you are having a wonderful summer.

Keep Shining,
Beth

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Happy July 4th

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July 4th is one of my favorite holidays. Not only do we have the freedom to celebrate our Independence, but we do it with flare…..no pun intended. We had our family picnic last Saturday at my brother Paul’s house and had a wonderful time. Great food, great company and even great weather. I want to take this time to thank our Veterans and Troups for providing us with a safe country and atmosphere so that we can gather as family and friends. Safety should never be taken for granted.

I’ll try to post a picnic pix soon. There is one high school reunion photo posted, so visit the photo albums.

Have a Booming Time on the 4th,
Beth 🙂

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Wonderful High School Reunions

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June seems to be the month of reunions whether it be for the family or old school chums. It’s hard to believe, but I’m headed for my 30th high school reunion this weekend. I love catching up with old friends and seeing people who might have been missing from reunion action for decades. Our 1977 senior class was huge enough (almost 800) that we were on a split schedule throughout most of our high school years. Needless to say, there will be a few classmates I won’t know or remember. There’s a good reason why I take my yearbook to every reunion.

Reunions also prompt you to make a review of your life. Am I being the person God wants me to be today? How far have I progressed in my Christian walk over the past five years, ten years…thirty? Where am I today in comparsion to my original goals? How have my goals changed? Thirty years ago my goals were college, a life-long career in nursing and marriage. There were no plans for children…perish the thought.

I did complete my nursing degree and was in the process of going back to college when I met my husband. We decided to marry a year later. Although I loved college, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue my education in nursing, so I “temporarily” abandoned additional college classes. Once the kids came along and I became a stay-at-home mom, the college classes idea was indefinately postponed….and still is. Now it’s almost time to begin financing their college educations.

Professional writing was never one of my early goals. It wasn’t a hope since I didn’t believe I held any real talent in that area. Likewise, homeschooling wasn’t even in my vocabulary ten years ago, but God has a way of changing our goals. I’m glad He’s the one running the show and not me. 🙂

So, here I am 30 years later, looking a bit older, hopefully a lot smarter, and deeper in my walk with God. May God bless everyone of you evaluate your goals and hopes for 2007 and beyond.

Hugs and Prayers,
Beth

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Time and Energy

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Have you ever noticed how much more time and energy you have when the warmer weather and prolonged sunlight join forces? The Christian life is a lot like that, too. Extending our exposure to the “Son” gives us more time with Him and more energy to do what God wants us to do. I struggle off and on to be faithful to my personal devotions and prayer time, but when I’m on target, I feel much more connected.

Mostly, it’s an issue of time…..or a lack thereof. So many things compete for my time; some things which are beyond my control. My busy schedule often results in a lack of regular writing…whether on my blog or one of my books. I’m really, really trying to be better about this.

Have a Happy Memorial Day and pray for our troops. Take time to thank an active serviceman (or woman) and/or a veteran for their service.

Keep Looking to the Son,
Beth

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Spring Break at the Crater of Diamonds State Park

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It was an unusual idea for spring break. I mean, how many people are crazy enough to travel 850 miles from Ohio to Arkansas for the chance to search for diamonds in a dirt field? Well…we and our friends Bill and Marlene were crazy enough and that’s exactly what we did. The Crater of Diamonds State Park (near Texarkana) is the only place in the world where the public can dig for diamonds and keep what they find. An average of 3 were found each day we were digging, but alas….we weren’t the ones to find them.

It wasn’t until our last day when we ventured into a small (everything in Murfreesboro is small and quaint) town shop that we saw just how tiny some of these diamonds were….and decided we probably threw out all of our diamonds. We were looking for something a little bigger. Oh, well….we had plenty of fun talking with people from all around the country and the world.

Arkansas is a beautiful state and the little town of Murfreesboro was wonderful. We ate at Buddy’s Ranch House, Cheryl’s Restaurant and the Sonic Drive-In. It was great food where the question of the day was: Will that be white or brown gravy for your chicken.The sidewalks rolled up early and things closed on Sunday. What a nice change from the hectic pace of the big city 24/7/365. Thanks Murfreesboro!

We then pulled the camper to Memphis, TN. We visited Graceland and Beale Street where there was plenty to do. The trip wouldn’t have been complete without stopping in Horse Cave, Kentucky to go on a cave tour. Our guide, Chris Clark, was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. Thanks for the tour.

Don’t miss the photos from our diamond hunting and Memphis trip. There was no more memory left in the camera for pixs at Horse Cave. Our daughter took a zillion pixs inside Graceland. Sorry!

Diamondless, but Happy,
Beth

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