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I’m very excited to announce that the newest book on Around the Loop’s publishing bookshelf is now available on Amazon.

The book, “The Raising of a Prophet” was written by Renee Kelley; she shares her life story and how the faith and values she was instilled with have shaped her adult life, and is impacting the lives of her family and children.

If you’re raising children, and want them living the life that God has set up for them, you should consider this book for your home.

Author: Beth R - Categories: books and movies,faith and values

Dream Killers


Sometimes friends,  family members, enemies, random people or just life works against you to get your discouraged from your goals and dreams. They may not mean to – they may just be trying to make sure you aren’t expecting too much.

Or they may be doing their very best to get you to give up.

Either way, don’t. Don’t give up on your dreams- whether it’s a job,  writing a story or a song,  living to your full potential,  starting a new ministry or non-profit, starting college – whatever it is.

Don’t do it. Don’t give up. Do not let someone steal something so precious from you.

If you’re dealing with a dream-killer, just do like David – he had to face his giant – a giant who was trying to destroy his dreams, as well as the dreams of all his people. He had to knock that giant in the head, lay it out on the ground, and chop it’s head off so it had no more power over anyone again.

Be a David.

Author: Beth R - Categories: faith and values,Living an intentional life

For as long as I’ve lived in Crenshaw County, I’ve made it a point to come to the Christmas parade; it’s on the first Saturday in December at 11 every year.

After all the floats, fire trucks, beauty queens, football teams and scout groups march through, the toy run starts. It began about 26 years ago, when three guys heard about some kids who weren’t going to have a very good Christmas; so they gathered their friends and headed out with a bunch of toys. They just happened to fall in behind the parade that first time, and ever since it’s been a tradition.

One of the guys who started it just happens to be my youngest daughter’s father-in-law. I can remember taking her as a little kid and she would get so excited about the motorcycles that she would scream. She absolutely loved it- I guess I should have known then that it would play a big part in all our lives.

So I was very pleased and honored when Spyder and Ed asked Randy and I last year if we’d be willing to take it over and sponsor it. Both of them are no longer able to be there like they want, and of course we were thrilled to be asked.

It wasn’t as big as we’d have liked- sometimes the weather keeps folks away. But our dream is to build it up to be the biggest toy run in the southeast US.

Randy and I both believe in dreaming big and we both believe in working for what we want. I imagine God’s put us in this position for a reason and we’re going to do our best to make sure that Spyder, Ed and JR are pleased with our work, and God too!

I have always loved going to the mountains for vacations; when my brothers and I were young, our parents would take us up to Cherokee, or to see the Tweetsie Railroad. We loved going – we always kept an eye out for bears beside the road (they loved looting the garbage cans) and at least once during the trip, we’d have a picnic in one of the roadside parks.

After Randy and I got married, we made trips up to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg every few years; we’ve ridden the motorcycles all through that part of Tennesse and loved every minute of it.

My heart is breaking for all those whose homes are now lost; I can’t imagine losing everything.  I know they’ll rebuild if possible, but so many things that are lost can’t be replaced.

Two thoughts- first, if you’ve got pictures you want to keep, please consider copying or scanning  them and keeping the duplicates in a safe deposit box,  or somewhere else that would be safe.  Other family heirlooms  might not be so easily kept safe but at least you’d have family pictures.

Second, if you’d like to donate to help rebuild the area, there are several options. Salvation Army is always my favorite charity, but another good idea might be the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Dolly Parton’s foundation has also pledged to donate money to every family who has lost their home, and is taking donations towards assisting the families in other ways as well.

If you’ve ever been to the Smoky Mountains, please join me in praying for the people who live and work there. Their lives have been changed in a very short time, and they truly need our prayers.

Author: Beth R - Categories: faith and values

The house we live in is where Randy grew up in.  I love living here but because it’s an older house, it has some issues.

For example, the carpet in our bedroom and the living room is in pretty bad shape. It needs replacing, but right now we’re trying to get through the holidays and then we’ll decide if we want new carpet or just go with new tile throughout the house: living room, den, kitchen, hall and our room. (I’m pulling for new tile.) Then we can have throw rugs where we need them.

And I really don’t hate my carpet- I just don’t like it. It’s hard to keep it clean; and some places are worn.  It makes me feel bad when someone comes over because I’m afraid they’re looking at my carpet and wondering why I’m not doing a better job of housecleaning.

But you know what? My friends love me no matter what my carpet looks like…. they want to come see me because of ME, not my carpet. We can talk and pray together, and have cookies and tea together, because we love one another, not because of how my carpet looks, or how old my dining room table is, or how my sofa lets you sink in when you sit down.

Because they love ME…. not my house.

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,faith and values



I’ve been watching the news about the storm that’s heading for our east coast. I cannot begin to imagine how it feels to know that everything you hold dear- family and friends, possessions, etc- are endangered and could be washed away in the next few days.

I hope and pray that the storms don’t hit and do the damage they’re projecting… I pray that everyone stays safe and gets out if they need to leave- belongings can be replaced but your lives can’t.

And saying that, I’d like to remind all of us of what FEAR stands for. It’s either:

Forget Everything And Run


Face Everything And Rise

Use wisdom to stay safe and live to fight another day.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Author: Beth R - Categories: faith and values

I’m working on my Christmas gift list. I’ve seen some beautiful gift ideas made from antique sheet music. But if you know me well, you know there’s no way I could ever cut up sheet music, any more than I could cut up a book, unless it’s a book no longer worth reading (falling apart, or so definitely badly written that using it for something else is a blessing to the poor paper it’s printed on.)

I was able to find some images of vintage sheet music, especially some beautiful Christmas songs. I’m going to try my hand at making some of the ornaments to use as part of gift decorations. Then they can be used next year on the tree. I’m excited to learn some new craftiness – I never know how these things are going to turn out. 🙂

Pictures may follow!

Just pondering today…

All of us want folks to look up to us, to think highly of us. We want to be valued by others. So we make an effort to look our best; to act our best; to be our best.

But who we are when no one is looking, when we’re sitting at our desk alone, making choices – that is who we really are. When we’re driving on a long stretch of road and decide to throw trash out, or to go way over the speed limit to make up some time- that’s who we really are. No one knows what we’ve done except us and our Judge.

Who you are when you’re by yourself- that’s who you really are. Is it someone you’re proud of? Would you want your friends to know that real person?

If the answer is no- maybe it’s time to make some changes.

Author: Beth R - Categories: faith and values

When you were a kid, did anyone ever ask you, “What will you be when you grow up?” I’m sure most every child has answered that question.

When I was young, all I wanted to be was a teacher; I’m not sure I ever thought about what I wanted to teach, but I knew I wanted to stand before a class and help people learn.

Then as an adult, I decided to finally buckle down and get my degree teaching English and literature.  My thought was that because I love to read, I would love reading students’ work and helping them better their craft.

Life threw a few more curves and that possibility faded.

But then I started working from home. Sometimes I didn’t even realize I was still working towards that childhood dream, but it was always in front of me.  And all the things I thought I wanted to become as a child are now what I get to do every day! Not the way I thought it would- me sitting behind a desk with a room full of kids to whom I’m teaching grammar, math, science and spelling… but as someone who works one on one with clients to help them be the best they can be. Reading their stories and making sure grammar, spelling and sentence structure is correct, all while making sure their voice is still heard – which sometimes means using “bad” grammar, spelling and sentence structure. Because we don’t always speak correctly 100% of the time – sometimes we southrons drop our “g”s, or say “ya’ll” or “ain’t” or “gonna”;  the author’s voice is more important than being 100% correct.

I’m exactly what I wanted to be when I was growing up- how cool is that? I had to take the long way ’round, and it doesn’t look like what I expected, but I’m living the life I always wanted.

So…. what do you want to be when you grow up? And what are you doing to make that happen? Live life specifically and intentionally- and be what you want to be.

Being happy never goes out of style. Lilly Pulitzer

The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are. Goldie Hawn

Being happy in your skin that’s what it’s all about. Koo Stark

The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the domination of outward conditions. Robert Louis Stevenson

Two things I have learned about happiness:

  • You’re going to be just about as happy as you choose to be.
  • Real happiness comes not from having what you want, but wanting what you have.

So, before your feet hit the floor in the morning, say “Good morning, Lord! It’s gonna be a great day. I’m making up my mind to make the best of every situation. I’m going to make a difference today with Your help.”

Say it like you mean it….and as I tell my daughter, “Be the boss!”

Author: Beth R - Categories: faith and values,Living an intentional life
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