Saturday, December 22, 2007

Love and Joy Come To You

Bright and early tomorrow morning, Nathan and I are headed up to the great wet north to spend Christmas at my sister Megan's home. Needless to say, we are very excited to see my whole family gathered together to celebrate the birth of our Savior and the love that we have for each other. As I will be gone and unable to post, I want to tell you all that we wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years. We love you all so much, and as the song from one of my favorite movies EVER says,

"May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just call me Eric Liddell

I finished week one of my "Couch Potato to 5k" program and started the second this morning. For those of you who aren't familiar with the program, you run for a certain amount of time and then walk for a certain amount of time, switching off for 20 minutes or so. Each week the ratios change a little bit until eventually you are running the whole time. So you start with running for 60 seconds and then briskly walking for 90. This morning I started running for 90 seconds, walking for 2 minutes. I thought it would be no big deal as the first week was pretty easy. Do you know what 30 extra seconds of running causes? More sweat, more prayers for death, and more satisfaction when you are done. I have to say that I am feeling pretty good about it though. I have had little soreness or pain. So like the song says, "Bring me my chariot of fire"... to pick me up and take me home in the eventuality that I pass out!

I thought that as Christmas is officially one week away I would like to share something that has always meant a lot to me and my family. In fact, my sister and I used to reenact this scene throughout the year to remind ourselves of what the true meaning of Christmas is. Enjoy.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Words of Wisdom

Yesterday was Stake Conference and it was wonderful. There were so many important messages given and the music was lovely. Our Stake President's talk, though, really touched me. He shared the story of when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. When threatened with this, their reply to the King was "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to a deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. " He then talked about the trials that we have in our lives and how we have expectations that by living our lives a certain way we will be blessed with reprieve. But what happens if we are not? Do we decide that if we do not receive the blessings that God has forgotten us or does not exist at all? Or do we understand that we are loved and watched over especially in our darkest hours? Then he began to list trials that we all pass through and ask if we can answer in the same way as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

God will bless me with health and strength, but if not...
God will bless me with the means to care for my family, but if not...
God will bless me with a happy marriage and family, but if not...

Then he asked us to insert the trials that we are passing through.

God will bless me with ________________, but if not...

It was not difficult to come up with my own list to think about. There are certain desires that I have for my family and myself, but I must accept the fact that if those desires do not materialize it does not mean that my Heavenly Father does not know my heart or my worthiness. It only means that I have to trust more that He also knows what is best for me and the people I love.

What a great reminder.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beware, the end is nigh!

I am very confused. I thought that by not having children you were automatically exempt from some church assignments but apparently I was wrong. Maybe it is just the commanding presence that I carry or my keen ability to survive in any situation (haven't died yet!) that made me the perfect candidate to become the Wolf pack leader in my ward. Or maybe it's my inability to say no. I haven't decided yet. So I guess I know what one of my gifts under the tree will be this year - a lovely khaki shirt with a jaunty kerchief. I am thinking of going General Custer on my uniform and adding sequins and fringe just to keep things FIERCE! Heaven help those boys...

On a happier note, last night I started the Couch Potato to 5k program and today I feel great! I have been inspired by my sister and her amazing accomplishment and as my tag for next year is "Feeling Great in 2008" I thought I should get my rear in gear. I think I did pretty well and I am looking forward to going again tomorrow. I found this great podcast that actually tells you when to speed up and slow down so you don't have to check your watch and it's all to a driving techno beat. It's very 1996. It was incredibly helpful, to say the least. If any of you are interested in the program, just go here.

The other part of my "Feeling Great" program is to re-read my scriptures in Spanish. Wow, it has been awhile. I am feeling pretty gringa. At the same time though, it is wonderful to go back to the language of my mission. It makes me happy every night before I go to sleep. But to ensure that I don't get too spiritual (yeah, like that's ever going to happen) I am reading East of Eden right now. I have decided that if I could write like anyone it would be Steinbeck. If you have not read this book and love a good soap opera, give it a go. You will not be disappointed.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ready or not...

So Megan tagged me to share seven interesting things about me. Normally I shun these things, but as I am a little afraid of her I'd better do it.

    1. I can't go to sleep if any doors, drawers, or cupboards are open in the bedroom. It's really weird, I know, but it freaks me out.

    2. I consider Bread and Butter pickles the fifth food group. However, Nathan does not and therefore I must time my pickles wisely if I want any lovin'.

    3. In February I will be finishing my MBA. From that day forward, I will sign my name Master Bad A__ Bethany Jones.

    4. I have been to 17 countries including 5 that I have lived in. One of them is Liechtenstein. None of them are Canada. Seriously.

    5. I once saw Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch open for New Kids on the Block. You know you are jealous.

    6. I have worked for the Tate Gallery in London and Howard and Phil's Western Wear at Tyler Mall in Riverside, California. Guess which one I liked more.

    7. I love Chronicles of Riddick. Read what you will into that.

I know you are all fascinated by this journey into the mind of Bethany Jones. Congratulations on surviving the experience. I now tag Nathan, Jen L., Megan J., and Karlie. You're it!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away...

Wow, it has been awhile since I posted! We have just been so busy with moving that blogging has just kind of taken a back seat. On the subject of moving, you should really try it in the middle of Arizona's worst storm of the year. Carrying mattresses in the middle of a thunderstorm should become a new Olympic sport because we would CLEAN UP!!! Jesse Owens, step off! Fortunately, rain is a wonderful thing here so we were actually pretty excited. In fact we have been excited a lot lately. Sometimes it seems that there is so much to be grateful for in your life that you just don't know where to start. I have received so much good news lately that I just have to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to:

1. My little brother Simon, who this week received his mission call to serve in the great Kentucky Louisville mission. We are SO proud of you and your choice to give of yourself for the next two years.

2. My lovely sister-in-law and her new fiancee J.J.. (That seems like a lot of periods!) What a wonderful time in your life. We are incredibly excited for you and this amazing step. Enjoy it to the fullest!

3. Our wonderful friends, Jen and Emery, who are going to be welcoming a new little Layton to the world next summer. You are the best!

4. My crazy brother-in-law who is not only surviving but thriving in his first Canadian winter. We love you, Elder Jones!

As Martha Stewart says, having so many things to be happy about is a good thing!