In our Spotlight this month is Beth Nelson
Owner and Director – Visiting Angels, Caregiver Extraordinaire
“When you can’t be there, our angels can.”
Tell us your FAITH story.
I was heavily influenced by my mother’s faith and her endless gratitude. Even in the difficult times she would strongly express her thanks. “Thank you God for this sunny day, the flowers, the ocean…” This foundation of praise that my mom passed on to me led me to my own faith…I never doubted God was real.
Gratitude is my all-day worship.
I am constantly saying, “Thank you, God,” in my mind and out loud, as a result, my heart and mind is often filled with Him.
When my mother was pregnant with me, she already had two children, and there were pretty significant financial struggles. My mom had fallen away from going regularly to church and was looking for direction. She was having a few quiet moments when she felt the Holy Spirit’s presence and with it the assurance that everything would be okay. This was a faith-changing moment for Mom. From then on, she believed the Holy Spirit was always watching over and guiding us, especially me. And many times when visiting my grandparents, my PopPop would exclaim as we walked into the house, "The Holy Spirit sent you!" Very profound.
As I got older I longed for a deeper understanding and knowledge of God and His Word.
I wanted to know more about His promises because I understood that I couldn’t know someone unless I knew what they said. As a young professional in New York, I attended various bible studies. I loved meeting with others over the bible, but I was also very timid and self-conscious. I was afraid I might be called on, so I didn’t get in too deep.
After I had my kids, I began to struggle with depression. Naturally compassionate, empathic, and intentional about loving others, I really was at a loss of what to do about it. I experienced self-blame and guilt. I was convinced it was my fault for being depressed.
For the first time, I saw that there was good and evil in the world.
Until this point, I hadn’t explored bad, evil, Satan. Now I seemed to be dealing with the voice of God versus the voice of Satan…at war in my mind. This difficult period prepared me for the next big step in my faith life.
At 47, I joined a small group bible study where I began to understand His Word and His promises. Shortly thereafter I attended a Moms In Prayer retreat in Texas with my bible study friends. It was there that I became an adult Christian. I gave up things I was holding onto and handed them over to God…especially my children and the SELF-esteem that was rooted in Mamma Pride instead of God-esteem.
What does LIFE look like for you?
After several years as a full-time mother, it became necessary to return to work. Reluctant at first,
I became a certified Life Coach, specializing in de-cluttering the homes and lives of older people. In need of more steady work, I joined the sales force at Crate and Barrel. While this wasn’t in line with my pre-kids work in Human Resources, I felt as though I had a green light from God. The resistance I felt about working more vanished when I came across this scripture in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”(MSG)
I approached this job the way I approached life. If someone came into that store, I assumed God brought them my way and wanted to use me to bless them. I applied myself to every task whole-heartedly, whether it was sales or heavy stockroom work.
I was eventually rewarded for my hard work; the company invited me to become a recruiter.
I loved this…it was right up my alley. When the recession hit, every level of management was back to sales, including me.
Perfect timing, because I felt God nudging me to do something new
One day I saw in our church bulletin one of those little ads, “Visiting Angels – When you can’t be there, our angels can.” It advertised professional care for elderly parents or relatives.
I didn’t need their service, but I literally said, “I better call them.” And, in a bold move, I did.
I wanted to discuss working for Visiting Angels, however there were no openings. The woman I spoke to mentioned a growing office nearby whose owner was potentially interested in selling his franchise.
Without a resume, I called and set up a meeting. Visiting Angels was a chance to bring all my skills--recruiting, office management, administrative, and helping and caring for others--into one place. I asked the owner to let me run his Ramsey office so he could focus on growing his business in the other area. I worked there two days a week, while continuing two days at Crate and Barrel. Immediately, I loved the work at VA. I loved going into people’s homes and helping them survive, and even thrive, in a crisis.
In May 2011, a little over a year and a half later, my husband and I bought Ramsey Visiting Angels. Personally, I have been stretched, challenged, and grown dramatically. We’ve tripled the business doing what I love…helping people!
How does community inspire your life?
I’m always looking for ways to serve—wherever I am, whomever I’m with, whatever I’m doing.
My community consists of my family - my husband, kids, and step kids. I see my elder parents frequently and do all I can to assist them. I’m also very close to my sister, brother, and their families.
I have several friends, most of them for a long time, who I love very much. And I love my small group girls. They are a critical part of my community, and contribute greatly to my faith. We enjoy an annual retreat in a house at the Jersey shore. It is precious time for me; we share our lives and our faith for a full weekend.
While most of my community happens outside my church, being a part of a church community is important to me. I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and the rituals still give me great comfort. My husband, Bert, and I attend the Salvation Army, where I love the scripture-based services and the worship.
Where and how does the above come together for you?
The world is my community and I live for the opportunity to bless, all day, every day.
I pray that I see God in people and do unto others as I would have them do unto me. I desire to edify constantly, avoid comparison, offer and receive the gift in everything.
Gratitude is a part of my molecules. And it’s a place where Faith, Life, and Community definitely come together.
My passion is to be saturated by the Truth and promise of our Lord Jesus, I would like to be completely empty of self, belongings, material items, and live pure in the light, only giving. I long to discern clearly what is from Him and what is not. I seek to be bolder about believing and receiving. As my dear friend, Karen, says, “Don’t limit God—He’s a big God!”
I hope to one day have a missionary experience…for a few weeks/months…maybe the rest of my life!