Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Listen with Your Heart!


Bloganuary #17 “What’s a Super Power You’d Like to Have?”

I answered the question earlier today,
interpreting it as a “Secret Power”
– and those answers still stand.

But, I have had time to do my devotionals this morning
– and I’ve listened to a few podcasts
– and I’ve given this question greater thought.

It’s a Super Power… not just a secret power!
Here’s my answer to THAT question for today:

I’d like to have the Super Power to listen with my heart – truly listen to others – and see into their heart, their intent behind their words. In Bayside Church’s devotional on-line today, Kevin Thompson spoke to this issue of listening. Here’s what he said:

“Consider the power of listening. When we hear another person, we see them, value them, place their voice above our own. We restrain ourselves to give them space to speak. Sincere listening is born of humility. It is a genuine act of love. When we fail to listen, we are elevating ourselves above others. We arrogantly assume we already know what they might say or believe they can add no value to our lives. Planning our response when someone else is talking instead of truly hearing what they have to say is a sign of pride. Refusing to see and hear other people is one of the most dehumanizing acts we can take.

“When Jesus commands that we love our neighbors, one way we should do so is to listen to them. That’s not the whole command, but it’s part of it.

“So, which neighbors are you failing to hear? Too often, our lives become echo chambers in which the only people who have our ears are those with whom we agree. People with the same experience, perspective, and understanding provide the voices that influence us. Yet love calls us to a different way. Christians should have the most diverse voices influencing us because we believe everyone is created in the image of God, every person has value and purpose, and we understand the limits to our knowledge and experience.

“Imagine the difference love/listening could make in our world. Where authentic listening takes place marriages flourish. In a world of political divisions, what if the church modeled listening and loving people with whom we disagree politically. In a society divided among socioeconomic and racial divides, what could the church offer if we went out of our way to know, hear, understand, and love those with different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences than we have?

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE LOVED OUR NEIGHBORS—EVERY NEIGHBOR?

“The fantastic news of faith is that the God of Heaven has given us access to His ear at any moment. He invites us to speak to Him on an ongoing basis. This changes how we use our tongues. But it also changes how we use our ears. Receiving God’s invitation to hear from us, we begin to extend our ears to those to whom we otherwise might not listen. We seek to value them, learn from them, and be in a relationship with a diverse community.

Who is a neighbor you are not currently listening to? Start listening with your heart today.”

It actually doesn’t take a Super Power to listen with your heart … but to see inside the speaker’s heart to their intent … well, that might take a special gift from God – ya think?

Sending love ❤️ and prayers for your health and happiness.
It’s so good to be home!

I just returned from my annual physical.
In spite of a residual cough from this RSV,
my dear doctor tells me
I am no longer contagious –
and I’ve been given a clean bill of health.
Hooray! Bob’s feeling good, too.
Thanks for your loving prayers!

Thank you for
visiting JanBeek today.

See ya tomorrow(God willing)

Oh, and tell me – what’s a Super Power you’d like to have?


Bloganuary#17 – “What is a Secret Power You’d Like to Have?”

I want the secret power to have wisdom in all circumstances.
I want the secret power to turn all tears to laughter and joy.
I want the secret power to end all wars and create everlasting peace on earth.
I want the secret power to make Believers of all doubters so we all can meet in eternity someday.

What secret power do you want?

A Half a Dozen Passions


Bloganuary#16 asked us to write about something we are passionate about. I can’t pick just one! Can you? Do your passions include some of the six things I am passionate about?

Here are a half a dozen of mine:

1. Let’s start with my love of home and family and the delight at being safely back here again. That’s passionately on my heart right now after being gone 3 weeks, getting a miserable respiratory virus, and being cared for so lovingly by our son, Ty & his wife Monika:

Home Sweet Home

2. If you have read any of my blogs before this one, it will not surprise you that I am passionate about Jesus and His sacrifice that saved my soul. I love the Lord with all my heart and pray daily for His Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and actions, and to guard my tongue, and to inspire my writing. I read His Word daily and am passionate about inspiring others to Trust also in His promises.

3. I am passionate about music. Often I include a YouTube music clip at the end of my daily message here. I love to sing. I used to play the clarinet (was quite good once upon a time before arthritis bent my fingers so badly – my skill was thanks to years of private lessons my parents provided for me and hours of happy practice during those ages from 10 to 18 – – – I also play the accordion (you can find posts about that by putting “accordion” in the search bar in the upper right of my blog). I still am passionate about sharing the joy of the accordion with others – – – it’s like carrying a party on your back!

Here’s a wonderful video clip of a great song sent to me by a dear friend this morning:

4. I am passionate about cooking – and providing homemade meals for Bob and me that are pretty as well as nutritious and tasty. Besides music and writing, cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s one of the reasons I love following Caralyn’s posts on BeautyBeyondBones. If you haven’t followed her blog, do yourself a favor and check her out.

5. That’s another thing I am passionate about: finding things, places, people, books and blogs I love and sharing them with others. Here’s a link I hope will take you to the source of the picture below = (Thank you, Caralyn) https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/36990166/posts/3768091539

Isn’t that mango salsa
over a nice piece of flakey,
cooked-to-perfection halibut
enough to make your mouth water?

What are you passionate about?
I’d love to hear.

There I am in those days when I was able to serve as a volunteer at the Food Bank. (I can’t right now… until I am sure this RSV is all gone … and until Bob & I return from our trip next week to Mayo Clinic). BUT, that’s #6 on my list of passions: using the time and talents God has given me to serve others with love and compassion.

I bet you do that, too (or are you waiting until you retire?)… Don’t!
Begin now… it’s so rewarding! In this COVID world, find a way!
Your talents are in passionate need out there!!



God Bless You!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)


I was off-line as we traveled safely home yesterday. Thank you for your prayers! God heard. God answered. The weather conditions (except for one little patch of dense fog just before Twin Falls – out of Jackpot) and the roads were clear and perfect. We are happy to be home!

Coming through Island Park, guided by the moonlight
The Alpine glow of the sky led us homeward
in joyful anticipation

The Bloganuary prompt yesterday asked us to consider a “Life Lesson” worth remembering. I cannot do more justice to this question than to share with you this blog from “Written Word.” It’s perfect!

My response to her was to be sure that heart is filled with the voice of the Holy Spirit. Following such advice will always lead to satisfaction. God bless you!

Keeping up with the daily prompts from Bolganuary can be difficult when traveling. I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed from a fellow blogger today. Have a wonderful Sunday! ❤

Safe Traveling


Thank you for your prayers for our safe travel from CA to our home in Montana. The weather couldn’t have been better. The roads were clear. The traffic was not too bad. We’re halfway home. We feel your prayers! Keep ‘em flowing. We should be home by tomorrow late afternoon.

Thank God for improved health and answered prayers. See ya tomorrow (God willing) … Good night!

Nothing makes the cough disappear and the body feel better than a relaxed evening – half way home – a yummy beef and prawn fajita, an attentive waiter, and a delicious margarita!

Hugs,

JanBeek

My Ideal Day


Bloganuary #13 asked,

“What’s Your ideal day look like?”

Open hands
Open heart

Psalm 34:10b
“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

Isaiah 26: 3-4
“Those of steadfast mind
You keep in peace—
because they trust in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for in the Lord God
you have an everlasting rock.”

My Ideal Day is filled with:

  • Enough
  • Peace
  • Trust
  • Faith
  • Love
  • Friendship
  • Affirmation
  • Health
  • Music
  • Writing time
  • Reading time
  • Blessings
    …. to fill my cup to overflowing so I can share.
Share hugs and love

An Ideal Day ends with:

  • Gratitude for today
  • Peace of mind
  • Hope for tomorrow
  • Joy abounding

Romans 15:13

“Now may the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you will abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

And then I have
a good,
long,
restful
sleep-
zzzzzzz

My ideal day ends
with this peaceful music
and these beautiful scenes
(click on video/music below)
as I fall asleep
praying for you,
my friend.


Bee well!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)…

Me with my daughter-n-law, Monika

P.S.
We’re packing today
and heading back
toward Montana
tomorrow after two weeks
of recuperation time
from RSV
with our gracious,
kind,
generous
son and his wife.
God is good!

Happy Wordless Wednesday


Wordless in Placerville

See ya tomorrow

Emoji Preference


🤗

If it’s not a hug, then it’s another symbol of

❤️

LOVE

🙏🏽

When Bloganuary #12 asked the question,

“What’s your favorite Emoji?”

I thought this isn’t a very thought provoking subject. But I guess if you answered with a

🧻 or a 💊 or a 🥨 or an 🫒, then we’d have something to talk about, right?

🤪 I often send this one when I’m being silly … or I send this one 😴 each evening when I text “Good night” to my grandson. Those are pretty mundane.

I accidentally sent this Emoji to a friend 👙 recently. We both had a good laugh. It was not what we were talking about at all. Have you ever sent the wrong one by mistake?

One of my most frequent ones is this: 🐝 … I use it to remind my friends to 🐝 well! I’m still suffering with the nasty cough 😷 from this RSV. 😤😩😮‍💨

I wonder 🤔 when I will breathe normally again?

Keep praying 🙏🏽 for my return to good health, ok? God is listening … and I’m sure He wants us to be able to return home to Montana by this weekend! What are YOUR plans?

Love, JanBeek 🥰

Live Boldly!


Bloganuary #11 asked us this question:
“WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE BOLDLY?”
I called it #10 accidentally when I posted it tonight.
It’s really for tomorrow’s prompt…
But hey, part of living boldly is getting ahead of yourself, right?

Here it is… It’ll be the 11th before you read it no doubt.
https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/2022/01/10/live-boldly/

I borrowed this photo from the Bloganuary picture file.
Gotta find out who this beautiful bold blogger is!
If you know, please tell me!

Isn’t she a bold one, Mr. Grinch?

See ya tomorrow. Sleep tight…
… and pray that my miserable coughing stops
so I can get some sleep!

Love ya,
JanBeek

P.S. Did you click on that link and see how I answered the question?
How would YOU answer it?


Yesterday’s Bloganuary#9 prompt was one I skipped.
I missed a day because I didn’t want to write about the topic:
Assumptions I Think People Make About Me.

Ya, people probably assume…
but my mom always told me
when you assume,
you make an
Ass-
u-
me!

So I have negative feelings about assuming anything.
I’d rather dig out an old blog from the drafts file…
something I started a year or so ago and never finished.
I’d rather read other people’s answers about assumptions.
I’d rather skip a day of blogging
and just apply the 4R’s.
I needed to do that!

Rest
Relax
Rejuvenate
Read


So I did!

And here’s that old blog
that I never finished last August
right around the time my daughter, DeAna,
was having a birthday.
It was titled,
“Two Bodies”:

Two bodies
Two sides of the earth

Two people
One birth
Two hearts
One mind
She’s my daughter
Love binds.

Yup, I decided to skip #9 altogether.
I don’t like assumptions,
even if they are positive ones.
I’d rather talk about today’s prompt.

Bloganuary#10
asked me to post 5 things I’m grateful for.
I can do that… but don’t expect me to limit it to 5!!

You’ll find my answers here:
https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/2022/01/10/5-things-im-grateful-for/

Check it out…
and tell me,
besides your life itself,
what are you grateful for?

I’m grateful for you
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
… unless I decide to skip it!

I’m still at Ty & Monika’s in Placerville –
recuperating from RSV.
It’s a bugger!!

Why Do We Write?


Here is a link to my post on “Bloganuary” today.
The prompt for today is “Why Do You Like to Write?”

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

I tried posting on the Bloganuary WordPress site
rather than writing the message here.
I am trying to see if that results in more WordPress readers
who also are taking this 31 day challenge to answer
a given prompt each day. We’ll see.

https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/2022/01/08/why-do-we-write/

I am still in Placerville at my son, Ty’s house.
My coughing and sneezing was so bad this morning
that I was banned to my bedroom! No fun!!
But this RSV (respiratory virus) is highly contagious –
and I do not want to give it to Ty & Monika.
(I hope I have not done so already!)

Bob is feeling better,
but getting very tired of being house-bound.
His miserable cough is almost gone.
Praise God for answered prayers!

Now it’s my turn to turn the corner…
Keep those prayers coming!
I need ’em!|
Love,
JanBeek


P.S.
At least I have a warm house
to stay in –
with loving family
to take care of me –
and there’s sunshine outside!
I am not complaining!
Could be a lot worse!!

What Makes You Laugh?


Bloganuary#7 Prompt asked,
“What Makes You Laugh?”

If we can laugh at ourselves
We’ll always have something to laugh about.
If we can chuckle at our idiosyncrasies,
We’ll be happier, no doubt!

We can overcome difficulties faster
If we look at them through lenses
That are tinted with lots of humor.
Laughter is a medicine that cleanses!

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com
JOY is in ReJOYce!


The Bible has several examples of laughter.
Here are three:
1. Sarah laughed in unbelief.
2. Abraham laughed in wonder.
3. Then they both laughed in joy!

I find it interesting that I find no scripture of Jesus laughing. Do you know of any?

I agree with these illustrations.
Surely He laughed when He was with the children!

Besides laughing at yourself, what else makes you laugh?

A good meme?
A funny grandkid?
We can’t help laughing.
It’s better than complaining or crying!
Laughter is a blessing.

Honey, it’s you!
And it’s OK!!

What makes YOU laugh?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

These examples of laughter make me laugh in wonder
because they sound more like my respiratory virus cough
than they do real laughter! Come on, you can do better than this.
Give me a laugh!!


Bloganuary #6 asks us to consider the main Source of our inspiration.
That’s a no-brainer! As a Christian, the answer has to be Jesus!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

With the inspiration provided by scripture, prayer, daily devotionals, and a constant walk with my Lord, I am inspired every day be seek His Will for my life. I am inspired to seek His Truth. I am inspired to share His Love. I am inspired to share the Good News!

16 For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

I pray that Jesus inspires you, too.

Now, if I have to choose someone who is on earth today… a living human who inspires me, I would not be able to narrow is down to one person! Here are a few:

  1. Derrick Knight – he inspires me to blog every day as he does, and to respond to all who leave a comment on my post (just as he does).
  2. Ty and Monika – our son and daughter-in-law – they inspire me with their big hearts and open hospitality, their love for one another, their family and neighbors, and their faithfulness. They inspire me to be more open and communicative about my faith in Christ.
  3. Marcie Fernandes – my long-time friend – she inspires me to be more forgiving, more open to seeing the good in others, less quick to be judgemental.
  4. DeAna & Andre’ – our daughter and son-in-law – in Switzerland – they inspire me to be more “in the moment.” Carpe’ Diem!

It would be fun to have those six folks together here at Ty & Monika’s in California right now, but they are spread from here to England to Tennessee to Switzerland! They all live in my heart and my prayers each day, though.

Who inspires you and why?
It’s a thoughtful question, don’t you agree?

Jesus inspires me
to rely on Him

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Update on 2Beeks


Bob & I have “2Beeks” on our car’s license plate.
With the last name of Beekman, the nickname “Beek” is a natural.
Sometimes we catch people driving past us, looking strangely at us.
I imagine they are looking to see if we have particularly long noses!

I have a few new followers who joined JanBeek this month.
I think WordPress’s “Bloganuary” has brought them here.
Thank you!

If you are one of them, you may not have seen the post
where I showed our family a few evenings ago
sitting around the dinner table discussing our ancestry.

We gave Bob a bad time about his “honker” (beak by another name)
and we showed him how he inherited it from his great-grandfather!
Tonight we are giving Bob a bad time for another reason:
His honker is doing a lot of honking! He has RSV.

This respiratory virus put him in the hospital in Napa on January 1st.
What a way to start the new year, huh? RSV is nasty!
After spending the night there, he was dismissed Jan. 2nd
and we were able to travel back to our son’s to recuperate.

This is not the way we hoped to begin the new year.
But the good news is we had the option of coming
back to Placerville – it was a sunny CA day today.
The recuperation time is greatly appreciated!


Bob’s cough is getting better… and soon we will be
able to hit the road and return home to Montana.
It’s not what we intended, of course, for this “vacation.”
We wanted to visit friends in Pebble Beach –
and spend time with Bob’s brothers in the CA valley.

But, we are grateful that when this curve ball
was thrown at us, we had a beautiful alternative.
Thank God for loving family and friends, right?
God has a plan for why this has happened!

“And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called
according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

God knew we needed more rest and relaxation!
Our house isn’t ready to return there now anyway!

Our soft and marred fir floor’s being replaced with amazing old wood from a 1921 silo!

We hope your year has started off happily.
We pray you’re healthy and dong what you want to do.
We trust the Lord has us right where He wants us.
And we hope, dear friends, the same is true for you.

Happy New Year!

What’s an update on what’s happening in your life?
I’d love to know how your New Year began.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)


Our Bloganuary prompt for today is:
What is something you wish you knew how to do?

I wish I knew how to fly
Really fly into the sky
Fly without a plane
Fly alone way up high

I don’t wanna wait
Until I have angel wings
I wanna fly today
Without cumbersome things

I wish I knew how to fly
So I could visit you
I’d land on your doorstep
Right outta the blue!

What do you wish you knew how to do?

Aren’t these Bloganuary prompts fun?
Thanks for playing along!

In other words..
I love you for visiting
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow {God willing}

Today’s topic on #Bloganuary is:
“What was your favorite toy as a child?”

Mother-Daughter

Here I am as a young mom with my daughter, DeAna.
I don’t have available with me here on vacation
Any photos of myself as a child at her age.
I’m think my toys were part of my education.

DeDe was born during Barbie era.
She had boyfriend Ken and their playhouse.
She could play for hours with them
And be as quiet as a mouse.

Here is our son, Ty, as a child.
I know what he liked most at a young age:
“BamBam” – his bouncing horsey!
Quiet wasn’t a word on any Tyroneee page!

I didn’t have those kinds of toys!
It was World War Two and we were poor.
We tore our napkins in half to save paper.
We knew the soldiers needed it more!

I was content to play outside.
Rocks and dogs and imagination
Kept me entertained for hours.
No need for a Play Station!

I didn’t know at that time
That we weren’t rich as can be!
I had all the love in the world –
And that was enough “play” for me.

My parents never failed to provide
For all of the things we needed.
If a parent’s goal is to raise happy kids,
Mom and Dad certainly succeeded!

I may have had a doll or two –
I really don’t remember.
What I envision when I think of play
Is our “wedding” in September.

My friend, Frankie, and brother, Aldo,
Lived on our same property.
We dressed up in some cloth we found.
He wrapped it all around us three.

Cousin Bobby was a little younger.
We convinced him to be preacher.
He walked ahead of us down the “aisle”.
My dog, Jumbo, was best man. What a creature!

Our pretend house was a large hole
We dug in the old cow field.
We fixed it up with pretend furniture,
And covered the entrance – truly concealed.

We often climbed down to that “house”.
It worked just fine as a place to play….
Until a cow fell in and broke its leg.
I remember the lickin’ I got that day!

So, what was my favorite toy?
It was probably the neighbor boy!
Eventually we both got accordions –
Music was the “toy” that brought us joy!!

The accordion still is one of my favorite toys!
What’s your favorite childhood toy??
Thank you, Mom, for helping me
know that imagination and creativity
are the best “toys” ever!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Are you enjoying the daily WordPress prompts?




Today’s #Bloganuary prompt is:
Write about the last time you left your comfort zone.

The picture above tells a thousand words!
(Here are a few Haiku poems to explain)

Leaving comfort zone
Going into the hospital
Sitting at bedside

Leaving comfort zone
Entering the men’s bathroom
Helping hubby dress

Leaving comfort zone
Not a lovely, fragrant place
Smelly men’s urine

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Leaving comfort zone
Afraid some guy would step out
Just as I’m inside

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

Life is full of challenges.
Often we’re asked to step out,
Leaving our comfort zone
Is sometimes what it’s about.

When our help is needed,
We can’t always ask for sun;
Sometimes we step into shadows
To do what needs to be done.

It’s reassuring to know
If we faithfully ask for the Son,
We’ll have the strength and courage
To step out with help from The One.

He’ll give us the tools we need
To respond to the “Step Out” command.
So ask for God’s help and you’ll find
A prescription for a new Comfort Brand!

You’ll find a broader, available comfort zone,
And you’ll have the courage and words you need
To step out in ways you never dreamed of …
New, expanded comfort zones – guaranteed!

Have a Marvelous Monday!
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow…


See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek


“What’s a road trip I would like to take?”

Each day is a journey
As we travel life’s highway.
Sometimes it’s imaginary
And we wonder where we’d stay.

Each day is a road trip
Whether we leave our house or not.
Sometimes our imagination’s
The only road we’ve got.

But the road trip I imagine,
The one I would have done,
Is in a couple of binders:
“Maine or Bust” with lobster fun!

It may never become real –
So I search the internet
And travel vicariously –
The only trip I’ll get.

But, that’s OK, my friends,
If I never go for real,
Because each day is a journey.
The sights are the appeal!

Photo by Lachlan Ross on Pexels.com

So, off I’ll go a-shopping –
Lobster and oysters I will buy;
I’ll travel with my tastebuds
To Maine in my mind’s eye.

Where is it you’d like to go on a road trip?
Is this Bloganuary prompt one that triggered your tastebuds
?

For New Years 2022,
we traveled from home in Montana
to vacation and enjoy wine tasting fun
in Napa, California with friends.

But, as soon as Bob (my husband)
gets out of the hospital
(we traveled there yesterday),
we’ll head back home.

Sometimes our roadtrips
don’t take us
to the destination
we envisioned!

But, my mind keeps travel interesting
and I find adventure
wherever I am.
I hope you do, too.

An active mind is such a blessing!!

Pray with me today, my friends:
“Lord, help me keep all my marbles,
And remind me that happiness
is not where I am,
but who I am in YOU!”


God bless you!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Advice to Teenage Self


WordPress started a new program called Bloganuary each day they’ll give us a writing prompt. I’ll see if I can find inspiration in this new program – and share comments with some fellow bloggers I haven’t met before.

My 2021 blogs all began with my word for the year, “Embrace.” We had spent 2020 with the absence of hugs … and that was really hard for me. It was not difficult to think of a subject to embrace each day.

Our daughter, De, at age 19.

Now, let’s see what my life experience can do with these new daily prompts!

What Advice Would I Give to My Teenage Self?

I wrote a poem for my daughter, DeAna, when she was 19, married her sweetheart, André, and left us in CA to go live with him in his home country of Switzerland. My advice to her was wrapped up in this poem. It’s the same advice I would have given to my own teenage self:

I hope you are able to read that, dear blogging friends. And I hope you have been given (and can give in return) “Gifts Your Kids Can’t Break”

God bless you this New Year’s Day. May 2022 be a memorable year of many hugs and many blessings from Our Lord to you and your loved ones.

Please pray for my husband, Bob, who is in ER right now with congestive heart failure.

Love, JanBeek

Embrace Power


I wrote this back on Dec. 26
I couldn’t post it because
I had no internet connection
That’s just the way it was!

But now, four days later
A lot has come and gone
And we have electricity again
It’s nearly New Years dawn!

Here’s the Dec. 26 post:

“I woke up early this morning
To a winter wonderland
Turned on the electric heater
No heat! Didn’t understand…

Flipped on the light switch
But – lo –the house remained dark
Snow-laden trees had toppled and
Knocked down power poles at the park

My car was buried in the driveway
I saw it when light began to dawn
So much for going anywhere
Today’s plans were buried – gone!”

“My cell phone has a flashlight
I clicked it on to see
Walked downstairs and noticed
The coffee was made for me

Hooray, the timer had worked
Before the outage occurred
So with coffee and my flashlight
I settled down to read His Word

The message for this darkest day
Was obviously God-inspired
Rick Hamlin said in Guideposts
God-Light is always wired

We can’t rely on electricity
For the light to guide our way
With Christ there are no outages.”
Hear what Isaiah has to say:

“But they who wait for the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”


Isaiah 40:31

Relying on the strength in Christ
I troubleshoot this scene
How to make pancake breakfast
Plug into God-power; be keen!

Ah yes, we have propane
But to light it, I need flame
Here came our son with his lighter
The BBQ one (what’s its name?)

And then his wife appeared
With a gas lantern in her hand
A light to guide my pancake grill –
Creativity is so grand!

Rick Hamlin told the story
Of the Magi at the manger
They came with precious gifts
And then they sensed the danger

“Opening their treasure chests,
they offered him gifts of
frankincense and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream
not to return to Herod,
they left for their own country
by another road.”


Matthew 2:11-12

The time the Magi came
Is called the Epiphany
And when we discover newness
It’s an epiphany for you and me.

It was new to learn to cook
Without the usual routine
But, as the Magi realized,
Creativity meets the scene

“After any epiphany,” Hamlin wrote,
“You can’t go back to doing things
The same old way.” So be ready
For the newness epiphany brings.

Scripture speaks newness to us
When we are stuck and need it most.
It helps us with our current troubles.
Turn to it and hear the Holy Ghost.

Speak through the Holy Spirit to
Our Lord – and ask for assistance.
Be ready to understand the message
When you ask for it with persistence.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit
within me.”


Psalm 51:10

The electricity returned to us
In time to celebrate Bob’s special day
He turned 83 on the 29th
The “right spirit” came in a special way

Birthday breakfast time

Breakfast in the morning
With our son and daughter-in-law
Joined by friends most lovely
God blessed us – I was in awe!

In awe of the beauty outside us
In awe of the beauty within
In awe of our many blessings
The day was just to begin…

Wine tasting with Ty & Monika
Bob & Jan on his 83rd – So blessed!

We were joined by Ty & Monika
For a day in the Shenandoah Valley
Wine tasting and then a lovely dinner
And a tasty dessert as the grand finale!

Bob on phone to his brother

Many family and friends
Called to wish Bob a happy day
It was a wonderful birthday –
Just perfect in every way!

So embrace the power of God, friends
Let His power guide your way
And you’ll never worry about an outage
His might and power are here to stay!

Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve.
We are in the Napa, California area now.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful
If you could join us here somehow?

Happy New Year!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,

JanBeek

Embrace Christmas Memories


Time with family is memorable, indeed
We’re grateful for the ones who embrace the holiday mood
We’re blessed to have them open their home
And share their love and delicious food.

Our daughter, De, in Switzerland
shared photos of their beautiful meal
Imagine how plates like these
enchant your guests (think how they feel)!

The family in far-off Europe
included our grandsons with our De
I’m grateful for the internet
and the pictures she shared with me.

Nick, De, Mike & Chris

Here in California
Eleven of us gathered round –
add two big, rambunctious dogs
and laugh as kids and animals clowned.

Christmas Day was a time for fun
with love and gifts exchanged
Friends shared photos of their day
Our family did, too … we got arranged!

Thank you, Ty & Monika
for your gracious hospitality –
we’re blessed to have our son & spouse
share their life & love with Bob & me.

I pray your day was blessed
and you celebrated Christ’s birth
with those you love gathered round –
good food, warm hugs, and lots of mirth!

A note for this day-after-Christmas-morning: Faith (our granddaughter) and Kyle were headed home to S.Lake Tahoe last night and about 3 hours later had to turn around and come back to Placerville. The road ahead was closed due to heavy snow and lots of accidents ahead. The good news is that they were not involved in one of them… and we’re all safe and sound… feeling blessed!

Merry Christmas!
Bee 🐝 well!
Bee blessed!

Keep the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love in your heart year-round! May Jesus remain alive in you!

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Baby Jesus


jesus christ figurine
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

 

If you look for Me at Christmas

You won’t need a special star-

I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,

I’m right there where you are.

You may not be aware of Me

Amid the celebrations-

You’ll have to look beyond the stores

And all the decorations.

But if you take a moment

From your list of things to do

And listen to your heart, you’ll find

I’m waiting there for you.

You’re the one I want to be with,

You’re the reason that I came,

And you’ll find Me in the stillness

As I’m whispering your name.

Love, Jesus

 

background close up day daytime
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas, dear Blogging Friends.
May your day be filled with
love, hugs, and opportunities
to reflect on the real Reason for the Season.

I first posted this poem in 2018.
I decided it was worth posting again this year
because many of you are new followers,
and some of you who saw it three years ago
may have forgotten it … I did!

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas to you!

Celebrate that precious baby today.
Put Jesus in your heart to stay-
Carry Him with you in a blessed 2022…
We’re counting on it to be better each day!

What are your post-Christmas plans?
We’re getting ready to celebrate
my girlfriend, Sue’s birthday the 28th
and Bob 83rd b’day – the 29th the date.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Christ Child


One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know?”
The lyric I like most in it is, “Mary, did you know,
when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?”

And one of my favorite versions of the song is sung by the Pentatonix…

Have a listen… the words are powerful
and this quintet is magnificent!!

Did you know, the sleeping child you’re holding is the Great I Am?

Have a very meaningful Christmas!
Remember the meaning of the One.
Embrace the Christ Child – and
Thank God for His Only Son!

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God bless you and your loved ones this Christmas.
I am praying for your health and happiness…
and for your faith in Christ which gives you eternal life –
Guaranteed!

Thank you, God!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Have a beautiful Christmas eve!
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Mi Familia


Mi Familia is such a blessing
We’re so glad we are here
The trip was long and arduous
But we traveled without fear

We knew God was with us
Your prayers were felt for sure
Thank you, God, for safety
With You our trip was secure

God bless “Mi Familia!” It is so good to be with them! Monika, our daughter-in-law, is taking the picture. That’s Ruthie & Darrell, her parents, on the left. Our son, Ty, is at the head of the table there… and of course, Bob & me. We’ll be joined on Christmas day by our grandson, Jordan, and his family – – – and our granddaughter, Faith, and her husband. They are expecting their first child (a baby girl) in April. We are so excited for them!

Monika and Ruthie fixed a wonderful dinner last night:
salmon and veggies and potatoes.
Yum!

We spent time talking
about our heritage
and remarking about
how much Ty looks like my dad,
his Grandpa Sal.
Can you see the resemblance?

Then we had fun
giving Bob a bad time
about his “honker!”
See how he inherited his nose
from his paternal great-grandfather Davis?
That’s his dad’s mother’s father.

Prior to dinner
we took time to toast “Cheers!”
to all the family and friends
who prayed us safely here –
and gave thanks to God
for answered prayers.

Outside the weather was chilly,
rainy, and then foggy …
but the spirit of Christmas
was alive and well,
warm and inviting.

Across the continent – and over the Atlantic to Switzerland,
our crazy, fun-loving grandson, Nick
(and his sweetheart Celine)
celebrated the birthday of the King
in their own way with a milkshake
from the Burger King!

Don’t you love the way the internet
shrinks the world and brings
“Familia” into our lives
from around the world?

Merry Christmas to you,
my dear blogging friends.
I pray that you have a meaningful,
love-filled holiday
with your family gathered round.

Remember the Reason for the Season…
and bring that Christ Child into your family circle.

God bless you.
Let me know what your Christmas plans are, okay?
I look forward to hearing from you…
and I thank you so much
for following my blog.
I post with you in my heart and prayers.

Bee Happy!
Bee Well!

I send my love and hugs.
Have a wonderful time with your family!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Safe Travels


Thank you so much for your prayers for our safe travel and clear roads and beautiful weather. Your prayers were answered.

That was the area we were most worried about: Island Park, Idaho. It was so perfect today. God is good! We could not have asked for more perfect weather and more beautiful road conditions! You were with us, dear friends. Thank you!

Perfect sunset!!

Enjoying a relaxing dinner in Elko, Nevada.

Bob & I traded off driving. It made the 500 +/- miles go much more smoothly.

Have a good night – and continue your prayers, please. They worked!!

Meantime, in Switzerland, DeAna & André are enjoying a busy December at Relais des Mélèzes – their beautiful Swiss chalet/hotel/restaurant in Vissoie, Switzerland. They are in need of health and healing prayers. Can you add them to your very effective prayers, please?

Thanks so much! See ya tomorrow (God willing) … another 500 miles to go through, up & over Donner Pass – Lord, hold off the storm!

Amen?

Embrace Willing Helpers


Today a team of five willing helpers moved every bit of our furniture and appliances from our kitchen, dining room and living room. It was a monumental task!

Beekmans’ bare house

New wood flooring will be installed over this old, soft fir, scarred floor while we are gone to CA for Christmas and New Years. This is what the new/old wood will look like when it is finished:

That’s our friends, Julie & Mike’s new floor.

The wood is from a hundred year old silo in Malta, Montana. Bob saw it and fell in love with it. He decided it is what our house needs. When all is said and done, I hope it is as lovely as he anticipates – and it is worth the time, money, effort, and stress involved in such a major renovation! Our existing floor doesn’t look bad in the video, but it really is in bad shape – and the wood is soft – scars really easily. The replacement wood (going right over the top of this) will give us a brighter, lighter look. Happy New Year!

God bless our willing helpers who are making all this possible!

1921 silo in Malta, Montana

The crew who did all that work to move things today are saints! As I said, it was a major task! And the man who is harvesting the wood from this old silo is a wizard! His name is Paul. Do keep in in prayer. I just pray he maintains his health and is able to finish the project. It was originally planned for when we were on our trip to England and Switzerland last September, but Paul, FELL while doing the wood harvesting and broke some ribs and had other health issues that required surgery. So, of course, our project was postponed while he recuperated.

1921 silo

It’s fun to know the history of the wood – and to look forward to a new look in our home. But, it involves a whole lot more than what meets the eye… because one thing always leads to another, you know? I am reminded of Derrick & Jackie Knight’s recent renovation of their kitchen and entry and upstairs rooms. Derrick shared the step-by-step, day-by-day progress with us on his blog. Quite an undertaking!

We’ll be gone and Paul will be living here in our absence – – – doing his magic. I’ll show you the finished product (God willing) when we return next year, mid to late January. Meantime, do keep our safe travels in your prayers, will you? I’ll keep in touch along the way.

Have a Blessed Sunday. Bob & I will attend church this morning … and then do a little clean-up in our kitchen area to have it cleared and ready for Paul’s arrival tomorrow. What are your Sunday plans?

Us – looking forward to fun with family in sunny California

God bless you and keep you safe.
See you tomorrow (God willing)

Tomorrow is our day to pack!
Love,

JanBeek

Embrace Faithfulness


Every morning I begin my day
with a cup of coffee and a climb
up the stairs to my sanctuary
where I spend time with my Bible,
devotionals, prayers, and Jesus.

One of my devotionals is “These Days,”
a daily devotion for living by faith,
published by the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation.
Its format is scripture, devotional, prayer.

Today’s scripture was:

Isaiah 40:11

He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.”

In the devotional, the author, Hope Douglas Harle-Mould,
wrote about the comfort Jesus provides.
She included a poem she wrote to
Our God of all Faithfulness:

“We pray for a cure; God sends us healing.
We pray for continued life; God gives us new life.
We pray death will not come; God overcomes death.
We pray in anguish; God weeps with us.
We pray in fear; God teaches us to laugh.
We pray for ourselves; God gives us each other.
We pray for miracles; God fills us with love.
We pray for the future; God showers us with blessedness.
God, help me trust the voices heralding your hope.”

I am assured
as I read and pray
and study God’s word,
that just as he
carries the lamb
in his arms,
he will be faithful
to carry me.

As I descend the twelve stairs
at the end of my devotional time,
I recite my personal
TWELVE STEP PROGRAM
Thank You, Jesus, for the:

  1. Love,
  2. Joy, and
  3. Peace (that are mine). Help me with
  4. Patience,
  5. Kindness
  6. Goodness, and
  7. Faithfulness (which brings blessings),
  8. Gentleness, and
  9. Self-control.
  10. Help me live humbly with an attitude of gratitude, and
  11. A response of generosity, forgiveness,
  12. Obedience, and integrity.
    In Jesus name,
    Amen!

When I get to the 7th step,
I see the metal sculpture
that says, “Blessings” above my door.
It was a gift from our dear friends,
Jim & Terry, so I pause to thank God
for their faithful friendship.
When I get to the bottom of the stairs,
I see this cross on the wall:

It was made by Native Americans.
I pause to pray for them
and their peace and prosperity.
I send occasional gifts to
schools for Native American children –
– places like St. Labre’ and St. Joseph’s –
and they faithfully write back
acknowledging my small donation.

A student at St. Labre’ School
for Native American children

Faithfulness is a two-way street.
We pray to God faithfully; God answers.
We give to people who touch our hearts;
they give back with gratitude & smiles.
We read God’s Word faithfully each day;
He gives us wisdom and discernment,
understanding and blessings.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Check out this different version of that old song, The B-I-B-L-E… I love it! What a way to learn to names of the books of the Bible, huh?

How do you begin your day, my friends?
What does FAITHFULNESS mean to you?

Thanks for visiting today.
I hope your Friday is blessed, indeed!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Respect


At the doctor’s office this week,
the physician asked us how long we’d been married.
As a couple in our 80’s, that’s a question we hear
Often in these days of hurry and scurry from the harried.

When we say it’ll be 60 years next February,
they say, “Congratulations, Wow!” and then they ask,
“What’s the secret to such a long relationship?”
They can see our smiles through our masks.

“Mutual respect,” I say. “And Faith,” Bob adds.
“We pray together daily because we believe
those who pray together stay together.”
The doc asks, “Do you have other tips up your sleeve?”

“Of course,” Bob responds with a twinkle,
“Never stop showing how much you care!”
And I reinforced the idea, “Mutual respect is a must.
Add the element of trust – and be willing to openly share.”

“At the same time,” I must add, “Remember this:
We are individuals who need to be allowed space.
We’re not connected at the hip, and we can go
our separate ways while sharing this place.”

Respecting one another means we value
the uniqueness each of us brings
to our marriage relationship – and its OK
for one of us to fiddle while the other one sings.

It’s OK for me to be in the bell choir and blog
while Bob watches Monday Night football.
It’s OK for him to prefer history or sports
while I read a novel or make a phone call.

It’s OK for Bob to sit for a while and read
while I clean off the table after dinner.
But when it comes time to do the dishes,
Get up and help if you wanna win her!

It’s Ok to divide some of the chores.
I don’t wanna learn to mow the lawn!
And Bob can’t turn on the washing machine;
but share some tasks – don’t be withdrawn!

Does that mean we always agree?
That we never argue with each other?
No, not at all… we’re human after all!
But we don’t fight with one another!

You can disagree with mutual respect.
The key to that statement is to listen.
Honor your partner’s right to an opinion –
and enjoy equality – not one forcing dominion.

What’s the secret to a long, happy relationship?
Mutual respect, shared faith, and trust –
equal rights, space, avoiding fights,
and time apart every now & then – if you must!

Bob enjoys fishing… I don’t!

I enjoy volunteering at the Food Bank or Nursing Home –
that’s not in Bob’s sweet spot!

We both enjoy a nice glass of wine
with a tasty meal – and occasionally eating out.
It’s important to find some common ground
otherwise you’ll smile less and increase your pout!

So, my friends, what’s the bottom line?
God helped us find each other from the start –
And through the years we’ve leaned on Him for help.
We thank the Lord for His loving heart!

Gratitude can’t be left our of the equation.
Don’t forget to thank Jesus and remember to say
“Thank you” to one another every day.
Thank Heaven, our love is here to stay!

Hah!
Do you think I should learn to fish?

What are your secrets to a long and happy marriage?
I wish you a life-time of mutual love and respect.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Bible Study


Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Tonight I enjoyed sharing the Bible
with friends at our local nursing center.
It’s a privilege to get to know these folks
whose hearts are soft and tender.

The Bible lesson tonight from Psalms
was about how to handle despair.
We all face such emotions at times –
especially during holidays everywhere.

When our families are far away
and we have no way of traveling,
it feels to some they are “trapped”
and their lives are unraveling.

But while Psalm 42 begins in sorrow,
expressing ways life is unfair,
the tone quickly changes to joy
when touting the wonders of prayer.

Psalm 42: 1-8

As the deerf pants for streams of water,g

so my soul pantsh for you, my God.

My soul thirstsi for God, for the living God.j

When can I gok and meet with God?

My tearsl have been my food

day and night,

while people say to me all day long,

“Where is your God?”m

These things I remember

as I pour out my soul:n

how I used to go to the house of Godo

under the protection of the Mighty Oned

with shouts of joyp and praiseq

among the festive throng.r

Why, my soul, are you downcast?s

Why so disturbedt within me?

Put your hope in God,u

for I will yet praisev him,

my Saviorw and my God.x

My soul is downcast within me;

therefore I will remembery you

from the land of the Jordan,z

the heights of Hermona—from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deepb

in the roar of your waterfalls;

all your waves and breakers

have swept over me.c

By day the Lord directs his love,d

at nighte his songf is with me—

a prayer to the God of my life.g

Photo by Oliver Sju00f6stru00f6m on Pexels.com

We talked about the way a waterfall
endlessly sends its spray below
and washes away all debris
in its consistent, cleansing flow.

God does that for each of us
when we turn to Him in prayer.
He washes away despair and
replaces it with love beyond compare.

At night God’s song reverberates
in our souls as we fall asleep.
“Joy to the World” we sang –
His peace is ours to keep.

May the peace of the Baby Jesus
be yours these precious holidays.
Live at peace with others –
and share Christ’s love always!

Tell others about the Good News
and let them know that God’s Word
is your ticket to peace and joy.
Let your actions be love that’s heard.

Lead or join a Bible Study
and let the message come alive
in the way you live each day.
Let’s all help the Good News to thrive.

Amen?

Merry Christmas season, my friends.
Be sure to take time for Bible Study each day…
It’ll brighten your path with the Lord’s Word as a lantern.

Do you have a favorite verse that speaks to you today?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Flow


Although the flow
May feel like a free fall,
Embrace the flow.
There’s Someone at your call.

He’s right there to catch you
When you’re about to land.
He won’t let you crash –
He’ll hold out His hand!

Yesterday Bob & I dashed off to Bozeman for three reasons –
and there ended up being four… oh actually five:

  1. Drop off his pickup at “Dark Horse Snug Tops” to replace the hinge on his hatch cover
  2. Go to an appointment with the nephrologist (what’s that? -the doctor who deals with the branch of medicine related to physiology and diseases of the kidneys-)
  3. Keep an appointment with the cardiologist (you all know that’s a heart doctor), and an unexpected
  4. X-ray of his abdomen… oh, and I was there for a 5th reason:
  5. To shop for the veggies to make vegetable soup for tomorrow’s fellowship at church

We were hoping that the nephrologist would say his kidneys show no signs of protein or amyloid deposits – and so a biopsy would not be necessary. God answered that prayer!

We were hoping the cardiologist would say all the preliminary tests are done and show no signs of AL Amyloidosis (the cancerous kind) – and so no more labs and scans before our trip to Mayo Clinic in January. God answered that prayer.

The unexpected x-ray showed yes, the abdomen area is full of air (that’s why it sounds like a kettle drum when you tap on it) – but it’s not fluid – and he’s not showing signs like pain or vomiting – so we won’t deal with that issue right now. God is good! We trust His timing on this – (and all our other decisions).

I got my veggie shopping done (Thanks, CostCo, for your lovely fruits and veggies) – and …

The pickup latch cover hinge was fixed and BONUS: they replaced the key mechanism that was troubling (God answers prayers you didn’t know to mention … He’s way ahead of you!)

So, go with the flow…

John 7:38

“Out of the believer’s heart
will flow rivers of living water.”

Today’s word in Unity‘s Daily Word is FLOW. The introductory thought is, “I flow with the nourishing life of God.” John 7:38 is the featured scripture. The devotional (quoting Lao Tzu) says, “The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things, without trying to.”

As believers, we know that “supreme good” is God. We know God is “The Flow.”

Unity‘s Daily Word goes on to say, “Whether I experience this flow as a current of a river, the swelling of ocean waves, or my body’s life-sustaining circulation, I am in sync with this flow, which by its nature knows which way to go and what to do.”

How refreshing is that thought to you? It nourishes my soul. By the Holy Spirit, I know God’s life is in me – moving, changing, dancing and singing. I am one with the flow. I need not dash and rush and worry about things happening on time! I need not worry about Bob’s heart and kidneys, his abdomen or his pickup. I need not worry about his lack of stamina on the drive home. Just go with the flow – and trust. Follow along in the car – and honk if his pickup drifts and he seems to be falling asleep!!

Sometimes the flow is slow and steady … and I am out there in a fiery mood, trying to rush it along.

Don’t be in a rush
To try to get too much done.
Let the smooth flow of God
Stop you mid-run!

Delight in the sneakiness
Of a red sunset’s glow,
And take time to relish
The soft taste of snow.

Embrace the joy
Of vegetables’ texture and smell,
The magic of herbs as they cook,
And bid stressing farewell!

Embrace the flow
Of God in your life.
Let Him slow you down
As you eliminate strife.

Don’t worry about health.
Don’t stress over unfinished tasks.
Just go with the flow –
And take time for some laughs!

Overflow this Advent season
with the love of Christ Jesus,
the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
and the easy flow of God
answering prayers
in your life.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Flow!

And Have a Relaxed, blessed Advent Season!

Embrace Great-Grandkids


Oh, the joy of being great-grandparents is a joy many never live long enough to experience. We do not take this for granted. An afternoon with our granddaughter, Hope, and her two children, Xander and Sienna, reinforced for us why God gives children to the young!!

In Genesis 17,
when God

himself appears to Abraham
and tells him that Sarah will bear a son,
Abraham falls on his face laughing
and exclaims,
“Can a child be born to a man
who is a hundred years old?
Can Sarah, who is ninety years old,
bear a child?”
(Genesis 17:17).

(Genesis 18:13-14)
After Sarah laughs,
God turns to Abraham, asking,
“Why did Sarah laugh, and say,
‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old? ‘
Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?”
Sarah has been caught
in the act of her private
laughter and mocking commentary,
a response which catches God off-guard.

We understand why when God granted Sarah the child she longed for all her life (she was in her 90s – so it was quite a miracle), she laughed (not believing God could really do that) and then she gave Isaac to the church. The priests there raised him!

Oh sure…. she gave her child to God in gratitude for God’s generosity. Suuure!!

I’ll bet she didn’t have the stamina to care for that lively little guy!

Hah! We loved visiting with our great grandkids, but we’re sure grateful it’s Hope who took them home – not us! Embrace those great-grandchildren… and then kiss ’em good-bye. You bet!!

I’m headed to bed. I’m exhausted!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love, JanBeek

I couldn’t lift her!!
Her mama had to help me
get her in my lap!

Embrace Similes & Metaphors


The wind is like a lion
The wind is a howling hyena
The wind is like a frisky lamb
The wind is a cotton ball

The part of Montana where we live (Madison Valley in Madison County) is a wind tunnel. Right now as I sit here at my computer, I can see it. I can hear it. I can read my barometer telling me that it ranges between 15 and 25 mph this morning. Occasionally gusts of 35 mph rock the flaps on the exhaust pipe above the stove in the kitchen. People who visit us here in Ennis often comment, “How can you stand it?”

We really don’t mind it when we stop and think about what it does. The wind blows the rain clouds in. It blows the storm off to the east and over the mountain range. We can see the clouds moving and we marvel at the way those wind gusts keep us from becoming an overgrown city! Our response to those visitors’ comments is, “Oh it’s terrible! You wouldn’t want to live here!”

The wind blows the storms in
and it blows the clouds out again.

The wind is like a scooper
The wind is a funnel
The wind is like a filter
The wind is a sieve

The wind sifts out
the weak of heart & spirit!

No, we don’t get tornadoes here!
Our winds are not that bad!
But they can be inhospitable.
We’d move if that’s all we had!

Welcome to the Madison River –
Flyfishing capitol of the world!

The wind is like a welcomed monitor
The wind is a necessary friend
The wind is like a vacuum cleaner
The wind is a friendly lion

Simile/ˈsiməlē : a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g., as brave as a lion, crazy like a fox ).
Metaphor: compares two things directly without using “like” or “as”; the subject IS the object. Metaphors are more direct than similes, which can make them seem stronger or more surprising. Example: The sunrise this morning was an ocean of honey dusted with powdered sugar.

Nope, you wouldn’t like living in Madison County!
Hah!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I am sending love, joy, peace, faith and
a sense of unity your way this day.

Don’t let them get blown away!

Blogging is like a private jet.
It can take you anywhere!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)


Ready to Be Touched

My high school buddy from the Stone Age, Doris, sent me a story today. It was written by a guy (no name available) who recalled an experience that stuck with him and changed him forever.

Did the title of this blog draw you in? Stay with me.

The story writer told about the way a young Downs Syndrome man impacted the hearts of all he touched. I was moved by the story – and decided it was too good to keep to myself. I hope it touches your heart, too.

Photo by Paul Efe on Pexels.com

Nicky’s Lesson for Us All

In 1979, I was managing a Wendy’s in Port Richey, Florida. Unlike today, staffing was never a real problem, but I was searching for a someone to work 3 hours a day only at lunch. I went thru all my applications and most were all looking for full time or at least 20 hours per week. I found one however, buried at the bottom of a four inch stack, that was only looking for lunch part time.

His name was Nicky. Hadn’t met him but thought I would give him a call and see if he could stop by for an interview. When I called, he wasn’t in but his mom said she would make sure he would be there. At the appointed time, Nicky walked in. One of those moments when my heart went in my throat. Nicky suffered from Downs Syndrome. His physical appearance was a giveaway and his speech only reinforced the obvious. I was young and very sheltered. Had never interacted on a professional level with a developmentally disabled person. I had no clue what to do, so I went ahead and interviewed him. He was a wonderful young man. Great outlook. Task focused. Excited to be alive. For only reasons God knew at that time, I hired him for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week to run a grill.

I let the staff know what to expect. Predictably the crew made sure I got the message, “No one wants to work with a retard.” To this day I find that word offensive. We had a crew meeting, cleared the air, and prepared for his arrival.

Nicky showed up for work right on time. He was so excited to be working. He stood at the time clock literally shaking with anticipation. He clocked in and started his training. Couldn’t multi-task, but was a machine on the grill.

Now for the fascinating part… Back in that day, there were no computer screens to work from. Every order was called out by the cashier. It required a great deal of concentration on the part of all production staff to get the order right. While Nicky was training during his first shift, the sandwich maker next to him asked the grillman/trainer what was on the next sandwich. Nicky replied, “single, no pickle no onion.” A few minutes later it happened again. It was then that we discovered Nicky had a hidden and valuable skill. He memorized everything he heard! Photographic hearing! WHAT A SKILL SET.

It took 3 days and every sandwich maker requested to work with Nicky. He immediately was accepted by the entire crew. After his shift he would join the rest of his crew family, drinking Coke like it was water! It was then that they discovered another Rainman-esque trait. Nicky was a walking/talking perpetual calendar! With a perpetual calendar as a reference, they would sit for hours asking him what day of the week was December 22, 1847. He never missed. This uncanny trait mesmerized the crew.

His mom would come in at 2 to pick him up. More times than not, the crew would be back there with him hamming it up. As I went to get him from the back, his mom said something I will never forget. “Let him stay there as long as he wants. He has never been accepted anywhere like he has been here.”

I excused myself and dried my eyes, humbled and broken-hearted at the lesson I just learned. Nicky had a profound impact on that store. His presence changed a lot of people. Today I believe with every fiber of my body that Nicky’s hiring was no accident. God’s timing and will are perfect.

This Christmas, I hope we all understand what we are celebrating. We are all like Nicky. We each have our shortcomings. We each have our strong points. But we are all of value. God made us that way and God doesn’t make mistakes. Nicky certainly wasn’t a mistake. He was a valuable gift that I am forever grateful for.

We are celebrating the birth of the ONE that leveled the playing field for all of us. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, republican or democrat, or black or white. He doesn’t care if your chromosome structure is perfect. He doesn’t care what level of education you have attained. He cares about your heart. He wants us all to love and appreciate the gift HE gave us on Christmas, His son, the Savior, our salvation. His Son that was born to die for our sins. To pay our debt. To provide us a path for eternity.

So this Christmas, let’s check our hearts. There is a little bit of Nicky in all of us and I suspect there is a Nicky somewhere in your life who is looking for the chance to be embraced. Thank God for that. Thank God for His perfect gift, Christ Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

Alice Paschal Nativity

Peering Down

Another of my high school friends, Kristy, sent me that sketch up there done by a 93-year-old friend of hers, Alice Paschal. What a wonderful rendition of that glorious Christmas Day! Like those two doves, my husband, Bob, and I are sitting in the rafters, peering down on that magical scene – marveling at the love Christ brought down to earth. Grateful for those who share His love in stories, words and actions.

Ready to Learn

May we all be like the workers in that restaurant long ago – ready to learn to love, learn to accept, learn to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable. May we learn to see one another through Jesus glasses, from the inside out.

I first posted this in December of 2020 … and here it is a year later … December of 2021 … and in many ways, we are more engulfed in the effects of COVID-19 now than we were then!

My New Years glasses

My resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.”
Little did I know when I created those
20/20 Perfect Vision glasses
January 1, 2020
what a challenge
that would be!

I posted the picture
of that little girl
in early January,
determined to talk less
and to do more.

Lenten Breakfast 2020

No Way of Knowing

I had no way of knowing when we celebrated the first of five planned Lenten breakfasts leading up to Easter that it would be our last. COVID-19 hit, our gatherings were shut down, and social distancing eliminated these opportunities.

Time

Time to read more,
time to think more,
time to reflect
on stories
like the one
at the top
of this blog.

I asked you, my WP readers,
“How will you spend
the rest of this 2020 year?
What will you do to
Walk the Talk
and
Show the Love of Christ
with those you meet?”

I asked you,
“Think about it.”

And here it is another year gone by,
still dealing with the effects of COVID-19,
and still asking the same questions.
still making the same requests:

And I still want you to know,
I love you.
I hope you have avoided
the ravages of the virus.
I hope you are well,
and looking forward to a
wonderful Christmas with loved ones.


Thanks for taking time to read
JanBeek.
I hope it inspires you.
Bee well!
Bee LOVE.

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)…

Embrace Simplicity


Who am I to tell you
How to live your life?
Who am I to suggest
Ways to eliminate strife?

Simplicity’s elusive
In this world of more and more.
Simplicity’s evasive
For both the rich and poor.

When we live in a world of plenty
We have more than we need, lots more.
We have so much it pushes its way
Onto the chairs and into the floor.

We go out shopping for others
And find a book we can’t live without.
No more room on our bookshelves –
“Stop! Embrace Simplicity!” our houses all shout.

Embrace Simplicity!

We go out shopping for others
And some absolutely essential gift
Jumps off the shelf and tells us,
“You need this for your own spirit lift!”

But living with less stuff and clutter
Is the best spirit lifter you will find.
Let’s embrace simplicity, my friends.
It’s an important clearing of the mind!

Like weeds in an otherwise garden of beauty,
Your mind and your home need clear space!
Get rid of the clutter and give your brain room
To live in simplicity and to exude love and grace.

Maybe this Christmas my shopping
Should be in my own cluttered house.
Instead of searching, stressing, and buying,
I wonder who’d like that lovely red blouse?


I’m off to see if I can follow my own advice.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
But, I really like that blouse…
Maybe I’ll have to think twice!

Have a Simply Happy Week, my friends.
All I want for Christmas is YOU visiting me here!!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Brightness


Light
Dispels Darkness
Open His Word
Let it enlighten you
Brightness

Brightness
Is yours
If you ask
Take it to others
Share

Today at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church,
here in Ennis, Montana,
Pastor Mary Grace Reynold’s sermon
was inspired by the New Testament scripture
Matthew 2: 4-18

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[a]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”[b]

What a terrible scripture
to focus on during this
season of Advent!
But… the “Take-away” from the message was this:

Sermon Notes:

If something unnerves you, pay attention!
The realm of unpleasantness is not what
we expect in Advent as we wait for the Messiah.
Killing all the boy babies? Worse than unnerving!

The season of Hope, Faith, Joy and Love
is not supposed to be unsettling.
Let’s weep with Rachel over the loss of children.
Let’s weep over the bleakest of backgrounds.

Life is frequently bleak, but take heart!
Into this bleakness a star appeared in the sky.
Into this bleakness the vulnerable baby was born.
Into this bleakness, a cruel king felt threatened.

Herod, the king sat in the stain of
his own shallow angst and envy.
He looked foolishly to the stars,
believing in his own deity.

Threatened by an innocent baby,
reported to be coming as a king,
Herod ordered the death of all boys
under the age of two in Bethlehem.

God heard the cries of “the least of these.”
Jesus remembered those cries when He
reminded us to care for “the least of these.”
And friends, we each are part of “the least of these.”

Jesus/God knows the hearts of the bleak.
He injects hope in the hearts of the hopeless.
He injects love, joy and peace
into our bleak world today.

Rejoice in the brightness of God’s love.
Rejoice that God claims us.
Do not be surprised by God’s compassion.
Bask in the warmth of His bright love.

May peace, love, hope and joy be yours
this Advent season – and into the new year.
May the brightness of Jesus/God be within you.
Share His bright light with others.

Amen?

Wreath
Advent Memories
Light each candle
Remember what each symbolizes
Jesus

Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds & me


Embrace Brightness!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Living Water


Photo by Gabriel Peter on Pexels.com

From Wikipedia: Living water … is a biblical term which appears in both the Old and New Testaments. In Jeremiah 2:13 and 17:13, the prophet describes God as “the spring of living water”, who has been forsaken by his chosen people Israel. Later, the prophet Zechariah described Jerusalem as a source of “living water”, “half [flowing] east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter” (Zechariah 14:8). The Pulpit Commentary notes that the city of Jerusalem “was, as we know, abundantly supplied with water by many conduits and subterranean channels; but standing, as it does, surrounded by hills higher than itself, it is physically impossible that the waters could literally flow as stated. The description is symbolical…”[1] …”

In John’s Gospel,
the phrase is attributed to Jesus
speaking with the Samaritan woman
whom he meets at Jacob’s Well in Sychar:

“If you knew the gift of God
and who it is that asks you for a drink,
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water”
(John 4:10).

In this Christian season of Advent, the season described in Britannica as “Advent, (from Latin adventus, “coming”), in the Christian church calendar, the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and also of preparation for the Second Coming of Christ” it is appropriate that we consider who Christ is, why He came, and what His presence as the Holy Spirit means in our lives.

Living Water
(an Elfchen = 1,2,3,4,1)

Living
For Jesus
A Loving Life
Accepting His Cleansing Grace
Water

I have a Bible that I gave to a friend years ago.
When she died, her family returned it to me
with a thank you.
The Bible is titled, “Living Water.”
Every scripture in it that contains the word “water”
is printed in blue ink.
All the photographs in the Bible are of water.
It is beautiful!

The family wrote a note to me
thanking me for this gift to my friend.
In this Bible my friend found her salvation.
Her family knows she accepted the
“Living Water” into her heart –
and accepted the gift of eternal life.
We will meet again in eternity!

Sometimes reading the Bible can feel like looking at “muddy water,”
especially the Old Testament when it gets into the wars,
the sexual escapades, the genealogical lists…
but stand still in the scripture;
study it with a devotional written by
a Biblical scholar,
and the muddy water can become clear!

Inside the “Living Water”
– for those who thirst –
I copied a quote from D.L Moody:
“This book will keep you from sin,
or sin will keep you from this book.”

May you find peace this busy season – peace as you intake Living Water for your soul. My prayers are with you this day… and always. Thanks so much for following JanBeek. I pray you find here love, peace, joy, faith, and the invitation for UNITY in this world. Let’s just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

I am headed to our local nursing home to help with Bingo today. I have a few Christmas decorations displayed in my home. A dear neighbor/friend came and helped me. God bless her! What will you do to spread your love to others today?

Peace be with you!
Hugs,
JanBeek

We’re surrounded by “Living Waters.
Sometimes we feel like we’re swimming in them.
They’re not murky!
They are clear and calm.
The Lord is swimming with us…
He is our “Life Preserver!”
Praise God!

Embrace Mary


Christmas is coming
You see it everywhere you look these days.
But…
It’s not a “Merry Christmas”
I am wishing for you!
It’s a “Mary Christmas!”
That’s in contrast to a “Martha Christmas!”

Luke 10:38-42

New International Version

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Are You Mary or Martha?

If I am not totally aware,
it is easy for me to fall into the Martha role.
Company is coming!
I love entertaining.

But, if I am busy being Martha,
I find at the end of the evening
I didn’t engage
in a meaningful conversation
with anyone!

“Oh, Jan, Jan!” Jesus would say to me,
“prepare for your guests in advance,
so when they come,
you can sit down
and enjoy their company!”

But what if guests pop in unexpected?
Should I be the Mary who lets Martha do all the work?
Surely there is a happy medium here somewhere!

Work or Shirk?

If company pops in unexpected,
drop everything and enjoy the surprise!
They didn’t come to see your house.
They probably didn’t come to eat your food.
They are there to see you!
So it’s not a question of work or shirk!

Put on a smirk –
take off the apron –
set aside the work!

If you convince them to stay
and enjoy a snack or a meal with you,
invite them in to your kitchen
and continue to enjoy one another
as you fix up some goodies together!


‘Tis the season to enjoy the love of company –
‘Tis the season to spread the joy
and remember the reason for the season.
It ain’t stressin’ yourself out with
decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping,
and
entertaining like Martha!

It’s Mary –
the Christ Child –
the simplicity of the stable –
the spontaneity of good friends –
and the Good News!

Mary Christmas!

Have yourself a Mary Christmas!

Love to you…
Pop in – and sit awhile!

Let’s listen to some relaxing Christmas music
and have a cup o’ tea or hot cocoa!

Hugs,

JanBeek

Embrace LoveLight


The Light of Love surrounds me
The Light of Love enfolds me
The Light of Love strengthens me
Wherever I am, the Light of Love is.

LoveLight is powered by the Source.
The Source is God, my Creator.
The love of God enfolds me.
The power of God protects me.
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is!

If I walk in awareness of LoveLight,
It is easier to shine in the darkness.
It is easier to let God’s Light shine through me.
It is easier to find the path He intends for me.
It is easier to respond to others with compassion.
It is easier to find JOY at every turn.

Embrace the LoveLight in you!
Recognize its Source.
Praise God for each blessing.
Recognize their Source.
Pray for God’s patience and kindness
to be manifested in you this day.
Shine!

God bless you!

Each morning as I sit in my 100+ year old rocker that was made by Bob’s great grandfather, and I count my blessings, thank God for them, and plan my day ahead, I thank God for you! You, my WP readers, are a source of Light for my writing. You light up my life! Your responses are a source of encouragement. My goal is to spread the LOVE, JOY, PEACE, FAITH and sense of UNITY that are mine. I hope you feel those blessings in your life, too. Let that LOVELIGHT shine through you today.

1 John 2:9-10
Anyone who claims to be in the light
but hates a brother or sister
is still in the darkness.
Anyone who loves their brother and sister
lives in the light,
and there is nothing in them
to make them stumble.”

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love [God],
for I have put my trust in You.”

Sending LoveLight to you this day.

Cheers!!


Hugs, too!
JanBeek

Embrace LoveLiving


What is “LoveLiving”?
Duh, it is living in love!
Uh, but every day?

Are we allowed angst?
Are some days just terrible?
Are you wondering?

How do folks do it?
How do folks just hang in there?
We all face tough days!

Mom & Dad

Today would have been
My mom and dad’s 80th.
Don’t they look happy?

But don’t let smiles
Fool you into false thinking.
Days weren’t always great!

Sometimes Mom shouted
In frustration at my dad.
He’d just grin at her.

His was the sweetest
Grin and the biggest of hugs.
No one could stay mad.

But it’s not healthy
To keep everything inside.
He should have shouted!!

Silence brings ulcers!
LoveLiving ain’t always soft.
Sometimes it is hard!

Jesus taught us that!
He wasn’t always smiling,
Yet always loving.

Holidays are hard.
Families don’t always agree.
Disagree in love.

LoveLiving is loud.
Cry out loud if you need to.
Tell folks how you feel.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

But, no fair fighting!
Compassionately share all
And avoid ulcers!

Let your family in.
Share emotions openly.
Do it with respect.

Respect is the key
To living in love each day.
It is essential.

It will be 60
Years of marriage in two months.
Sixty LoveLiving.

Was it always fun?
No, there were troubling times.
But, we prayed them through.

Faith is essential.
Like a rope with three tough strands:
You, me, and the Lord!

Bonnie Beekman Hunt and Stan Hunt

At our granddaughter’s
Wedding two plus years ago,
All four Beekmans danced.

We were the last ones
Left on the dance floor to show
The fruits of long love.

Four Beekman siblings,
All married fifty-five plus.
Wasn’t always fun!

Bob & me at
Bonnie & Stan’s wedding

Shortly after this
I foolishly broke us off.
But Bob was steadfast.

He’s true LoveLiving.
Said, “Not YOUR way or MY way,
But it is OUR way!”

It’s so fortunate
That I bought into that stance!
So blessed with this man!

Here we are
at DeAna’s wedding

Then, twenty-five years
Later, our daughter, DeDe
Married her sweetheart.

Our LoveLiving has
Rubbed off on her and Andre’…
Not always easy!

But, sticking it out
Through the good days and the bad
Pays off in the end.

Monika and Ty with
DeAna and Andre’

Our son and his wife,
Ty and Monika Beekman,
Practice LoveLiving.

They celebrated
Thirty-two years together
This last September.

Ain’t always easy.
Some days a wing and a prayer
Were all that tied them.

Monika & Ty

But, LoveLiving is
Knowing it’s great to forgive,
And growing in love.

LoveLiving is hard.
Jesus never promised ease.
But He is with us.

Our Lord promised us
He’d help in times of trouble.
All we do is ask!

Jesus carries us
When our burdens feel heavy.
LoveLiving is hard!

Jesus carries us
When we can’t walk on our own.
Let Him lift you up.

Jesus quiets us
When we are feeling let down.
Give him your worries!

With holiday time
Comes the pressure we create
With long to-do lists.

Often we just need
To set all those lists aside
And do LoveLiving!

Seek the Lord’s presence.
Imitate acts of kindness.
Let His LoveLight shine!

Happy LoveLiving, my friends.
What will you do this week to spread the
LoveLight that shares the
REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON?

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com


May the Lord Bless and Keep You.
I send you lots of hugs and cheer.
JanBeek

Embrace Planning


It is the season
Plan the next celebration
Decorating time

Half the mantle’s orange
With green snowflake and some snow
It’s transition time

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

Toasting the season
Planning for the one to come
Hanukkah – Christmas

Some shopped Black Friday
Frenzied present selections
I prefer waiting

Choose slowly for each
Plan your days so you stress less
Avoid rushing crowds

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Plan time for some fun
Share time with some precious friends
It’s a time to love

Make great memories
Invite your loved ones to join
Combine plans with them

Carol and I planned
A day for painted Santas
On little fingers

Planning is a way
To ensure you get things done
And go where needed

Listen to your heart
Call on the Lord for guidance
Follow in His Way

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Philippians 4:6

Never Fear

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Asking God for help
As you plan the days to come =
Definitely wise!

Pondering options
Setting your priorities =
Trusting God’s answers


Just keep on trusting
Keep on planning days ahead
Happy Holidays!

God bless your planning!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
What’s your plan?

Embrace Planning!
Love ya,
JanBeek


  1. Grandson, Nick, and his girlfriend, Céline, joined us for Thanksgiving. I am so grateful for family who come all the way from Switzerland to share time with us!

    (See the bottom of the post for numbers 2-9 explaining the rest of the photos. Try to guess what you think I may say about each before you peek down there!)

 

2. Neighbor/friend, “Whooter” (Greg Winden, came at 8:30 am to help Bob prepare the smoker and to help me put the finishing touches on the turkey. I am so grateful for such caring, generous folks. We are blessed to live in this “hood!”

3. Thanksgiving is a day to be shared. I am thankful for those who joined us to make the day festive.

4 – 5. There’s Whooter helping Bob get the bird in the smoker. And there’s the turkey ready to be carved. I am grateful for Whooter’s tip: stuff the turkey with chunks of apple and orange! It kept the meat so moist! Have you ever done that with your turkey or baked chicken??

6. That’s our friend, Kathy, with Nick & Céline, and our pastor/friend, Mary Grace enjoying a few before dinner refreshments on Thanksgiving Day. Those hors d’oeuvres are part of Thanksgiving “trimmings”!

7. Meantime, in Switzerland our daughter, DeAna was having her own reasons to give thanks. Duchess (Pipo’s queen cow) gave birth to a healthy calf (a future queen for sure) and we gave thanks for his gift of naming her after our De! The calf ids (Diana – pronounced Deanna in French)! It’s quite an honor!!

8. That’s SureShot Lake … frozen over and dehydrated. We gave thanks for the fun of driving up there yesterday, but we’re disappointed to see how low it is. Those dirt mounds out there generally are under water!

9. Most mornings I start my day with a very special “Good morning” and a picture of the sunrise with prayers from my friend, Lisa, in S. Carolina.

Do you have a special friend who prays for you daily and greets you with his/her sunrise? If so, you are blessed indeed! I know for sure that I am!

What else contributed to your day of turkey and trimmings? I’m still celebrating… just finished a bowl of turkey soup made from the leftovers. Yum!

Enjoy your Saturday night, my friends. See ya Sunday. When I count my blessings, you’re right up there with the turkey!! Yup, part of the trimmings!

Bob & me on our 59th anniversary-
It’ll be 60 in February!!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week, too. Can’t let this weekend pass without telling you how much I appreciate your visits here. Posting on WordPress is one of my favorite hobbies – and it wouldn’t be worth a darn if it weren’t for you. God bless you! Thanks for commenting and telling me a little about those things that count on your list of blessings.

Bee well!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)…
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Illumination


Illumination
Shining your light on others
Sparkling every day

Illumination
Letting your inner light shine
Knowing your light’s source

It is Thanksgiving
Designed to reach out in love
Share your gratitude

We are so grateful
For Nicky & Celine here
We’ve had fun with them.

It was great to go
And see the dinosaur bones
A super display!

Illumination
Learning about the fossils
Just fascinating!

Illumination
Eating excellent sushi
Embracing cultures

MMMmmm, it was good!
We loved sharing – comparing
Naming – Enjoying!

Illuminate Home
Get ready to share your meal
Thank God for your friends

I thank God for you
I pray for health and safety
For each one of you.

Tell me about your Thanksgiving.
I hope your day is filled with good food,
Good friends, and lots of great conversation.

I am sorry that some were unable to come
Because not all are vaccinated and some
Feel vulnerable with this darn COVID-19
Still threatening to infect even those with Boosters.

I pray for an end to this pandemic
And for all who can do so to go and get the vaccine.
Embrace illumination – shine your light on healthy choices!
But, it is not for me to judge… if you choose not to,
You have your reasons – and I love you anyway.

Just BEEEEE SAFE!
And Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Missing my sis…

Keeping you in my prayers.
Thanks for visiting today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)…
Love,
JanBeek


Today we went to Yellowstone National Park with our grandson, Nick, and his sweetheart, Celine.

The only entrances into the park that were open were the north gate by Gardner and the north-east gate by Cooke City. We were able to enjoy the Mammoth Hot Springs and the road to the Tower. Only on that last road were we able to spot a few bison. Not being able to go through West Yellowstone to Old Faithful was a disappointment, but Nick will just have to return with Celine some summer when the whole park is available. Highlights today were:

  1. TazE enjoying the Bighorn sheep that were right by the road (we did, too)

2. Enjoying a day in Yellowstone at Mammoth Hot Springs with Nick & Celine

3. Being healthy & vigorous enough to enjoy walking the Mammoth Hot Springs trail, too!

4. Stopping in Gardner for refreshments on our way home

5. And enjoying the changing colors of the night sky on our way home

Hopefully next trip we’ll be able to go through West Yellowstone and see Old Faithful in her glory. But meantime, we had a great day with bighorn sheep, bison (at a distance), antelope, mule tail deer, and a bald eagle delighting our visitors.

Nick took lots better pictures than I did… and his Instagram posts will delight his followers, I am sure.

Hopefully you can come some day, too… and enjoy this beautiful park with us.

Meantime, thanks for visiting with us today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

To see more of Yellowstone Park, click on that August 9, 2019 post. Our cousin, Sofia, visited the Park with us on that occasion. Old Faithful and the hot springs were in full array.

Embrace Your Imperfections


Your imperfections
Are not the Creator’s fault.
Know, no one’s perfect!

We all have our faults.
And as we age, wrinkles show.
Otherwise you’re numb.

It’s our emotions
That birth our imperfections.
So, just embrace them!

In today’s Daily Guideposts, Bill Giovannetti ended his devotional with this prayer: “Lord, You alone are perfect. Help me be good with that. Amen.”

Bill shared that perfectionism lurks in the corners of his heart, always ready to pounce.

Do you have that problem? Do you expect yourself to write the perfect article, paint the perfect picture, bake the perfect cake, or create the perfect garden? Does the fear of making mistakes nag at you? Do your imperfections make you question your worth? Do you ever feel like covering your troubling issues by hiding in a box?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Here are seven verses to help you lay down the idol of perfectionism and embrace your own weaknesses.

  • Romans 5:7-8. …
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9. …
  • James 3:2. …
  • Matthew 19:21. …
  • Galatians 1:10. …
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:4. …
  • Romans 8:15.

What does God say about perfectionism?

Romans 15:7
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

God/Jesus doesn’t require your perfection, because He is the only one who is perfect. His acceptance of you can help you accept others with their flaws as well.

In this season of Thanksgiving,
I invite you to sit quietly with yourself.
Thank God for the way you are “wonderfully made,”
And give yourself a break.

As you listen to these relaxing hymns
of Thanksgiving and worship,
count your many blessings.
Embrace your imperfections,
and know they simply prove
you are human!

Are you familiar with “Kintsugi” or “Kintsukuroi”? This is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The method is similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

Like repaired pottery, Kintsugi style, our imperfections are those cracks that allow room for the power and grace of God to fill us with the gold of humility, repentance, and dependence on Him.

Bill Giovannetti wrote, “… my worth before both God and those I love doesn’t depend on me being perfect. It just depends on me being me.”

Me being me!

“Help me be who You made me to be.
Help me accept myself with all my imperfections.
Help me, Lord, to relax in Your promise of acceptance.
Help me love unconditionally, refraining from judging others,
just as You love and accept me – just as I am.
In Jesus name, Amen.”

Thanks for visiting today.
I pray you see yourself as God’s beloved creation –
imperfections and all!

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Delight


What delights you?
When you think of that word,
what comes to mind?
Here are a few things that delight me:

Unlike that chuckler,
I actually delight in shopping
in the mall with my husband.

I delight in a glass of wine
with my dinner each evening.
Just one…

It is delightful
to return home –
especially after being gone awhile.

No, I don’t delight in
the prospect of being “old,”
but I delight in friends who have
a great sense of humor.
I embrace the delight of laughter!

I delight in flowers…
Every time of the year.
Fresh flowers cheer me.
I love having them near me.

I delight in prayer.
I delight in the Lord.
I delight in Susan Boyle
singing this prayer of
St. Francis of Assisi.
I delight in music.

I delight in family.
Time together is so precious.
That’s “Mi Familia” on our son’s side up there.
Below is our daughter with her hubby & mother-in-law.
We delighted in our recent trip to Switzerland to be with them.

What delights you, my friend?
Here’s that music I mentioned.

Some things that delight me …
but not in order of importance are:

  1. Shopping with Bob
  2. A glass of wine a day
  3. A lovely home to return to
  4. Friends and humor
  5. Flowers
  6. Prayer, the Lord & music
  7. Family time

Tell me what delights you.
Embrace Delight!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Cards


Do you save some of the cards people send you?
Are you inspired by the things your friends and family say to and about you?
I have a bulletin board on the back of the door that leads to my laundry room.
Each year I save the birthday cards I receive and post them there.
If ever I feel myself moving into a funk, and I need a spirit lift,
just reading a few of those cards definitely raises me up!

In my sanctuary, I have a bookshelf with my collection of Bibles and various devotionals. On it, I have a card that my friend, Terry, sent to me several years ago. I see it every morning and it is a marvelous source of encouragement and inspiration. Living up to the sentiment it expresses, being the person this friend sees in me, are daily challenges – daily goals. You can see why I have saved and I embrace this card:

Last year when my dear friend, Phyllis, died, I inherited a bagful of cards she had kept during her last year of life. Living in the nursing home during COVID-19 when visitors were not allowed in, the cards were a lifeline to the outside world. Never underestimate the value of the card you take the time to select and send to a friend. They are more precious than gold!

I am going to select some of the most meaningful of these cards and send them to Phyllis’ daughter(s) … knowing their messages will live on in the hearts of my friends’ family members, just as they live on in my heart.

With Thanksgiving coming, that USA holiday dedicated to an attitude of gratitude for our many blessings, I went to the Family Dollar Store yesterday. For $1.00 apiece, I picked up a dozen beautiful cards with lovely sentiments. With precious family and friends in mind, I selected carefully. Today I wrote a personal note of appreciation on each, addressed, and stamped them. Bob took them to the post office. They are on their way to special people who make my life better – just because they are a part of my world.

Letter writing and card sending does not need to be a lost art. Cards can be expensive (those same ones would be between $2.50 and $4.95 at a stationery store). But, check out your local dollar store! Don’t let the expense deter you! Get a few cards today. Find some time to write a personal note to the people who make your life better. Send them off to brighten someone’s day. Let your light shine through your words and thoughtfulness! You never know, your cards may be keepers, too!

Embrace Cards.
Embrace the Expressions of Appreciation you receive from others.

Send yours out tomorrow…
Be the friend everyone wishes they had!

Let your light shine
all the way to
where your loved ones are…


There’s still time for your cards to be received by Thanksgiving!

Good friends- Terry & Elaine –
So blessed to have these as “Keepers!”
Their light shines in my heart everyday!

Thanks for visiting.
Tell me – are you a card saver, too?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek

I dare you to listen to this song without smiling!!

Embrace Scorpios


If my mom were alive today, she’d be celebrating her 106th birthday.
Born 11-15-1915, she was an Scorpio, through and through.

Do you put any stock in the Zodiac signs? Here’s what the internet reveals about people born October 23 to Nov. 21:

Scorpio

Scorpio is one of the most misunderstood signs of the zodiac. Because of its incredible passion and power, Scorpio is often mistaken for a fire sign. In fact, Scorpio is a water sign that derives its strength from the psychic, emotional realm. Like fellow water signs, Cancer and Pisces, Scorpio is extremely clairvoyant and intuitive.

What makes this water sign unique is its distinctive venomous sting. Like their celestial spirit animal, the scorpion, Scorpios lie in wait and strike when least expected. Life is a game of chess for these calculating water signs, who are constantly plotting several steps ahead in order to orchestrate an eventual checkmate. This doesn’t mean their intentions are necessarily nefarious. Scorpios simply know what they want and aren’t afraid to work hard and play the long game to get it.

This is one of my favorite pictures of mom and me. She knit my sweater and sewed the skirt that went with it. She fixed my hair so meticulously! Look at the little watch on my wrist. Don’t I look loved and cared for?

My Scorpio mom was not afraid to work hard – for what she wanted and for what she wanted my sister and me to have. As I mentioned in a recent post about self-confidence, she planted in me the firm belief that I could do and be anything I set my mind to.

November 1937

That’s my mom (Elizabeth) with my dad (Salvadore) at their wedding. They met on a double date set up by mom’s younger sister, Emogene. Later known to me as “Aunt Jean,” Emogene was Sal’s date and Elizabeth was matched with Sal’s best buddy, Joe Cabral. By the end of the evening the couples had switched partners. Two months later Sal & Elizabeth (soon to be known as Betty) were married. Yes, as early as 1937, Mom was a Scorpio who knew what she wanted and managed to get it (him)!!

Long before the word “Selfie” was established, Mom knew how to take one! Here she is in front of the bathroom mirror, capturing a shot of her new hairdo. Quite striking still even well into her 80s, don’t you think? She had flawless skin… very few wrinkles! But she didn’t spend a lot of time out in the sun either – and she creamed her face with the best of products morning and night.

To demonstrate how Mom was a Scorpio who embraced “Life [as] a game of chess … constantly plotting several steps ahead in order to orchestrate an eventual checkmate,” let me tell you a story.

It was a hot California Valley summer. The temperature in the kitchen was a few degrees warmer than the triple digit figures outside. The house had no air conditioning. Betty (my mom) was in the kitchen, roasting to death as she roasted a prime rib for a special birthday dinner for her daughter (me) who was home from college to celebrate with her parents. Betty needed a cross breeze to cool off the kitchen. She had asked Sal (my dad) many times to replace the stationary window above the kitchen sink with one that would side open. He had not done so. Frustrated with his lack of follow through, she decided to force the issue. She took a hammer from the kitchen tools drawer, stood back half way across the room, and threw the hammer through the window. How she avoided getting shattered glass in the food or on her or me was a God thing! But, needless to say, she had a cross breeze – and soon after she got the window replacement she needed.

How my dad stayed married to this crazy Scorpio is beyond me! He had the patience of Job! He obviously loved her spunk and her “incredible passion.” He recognized that she was “extremely clairvoyant and intuitive” – and he gave her a lot of wriggle room! Mom was a poetry lover, a whiz at mathematics (she was Dad’s company’s bookkeeper), and she was a winner at Bridge (I never learned to play it).

She was stylish and impeccably dressed and groomed – until her last days. It was then that I knew she was not long for this world… when I picked her up at her Senior Care Nursing Home to take her one afternoon to a doctor’s appointment and noticed she had her blouse on inside-out. I called it to her attention and suggested we go back up to her room for her to fix it. Her response was, “Oh, who gives a shit?!”

Now, that was not my real mom! Dementia had stolen her from me! The scorpion lost her usual sting and Alzheimer’s replaced he “calculating water sign” with something else… something nefarious. Instead of “[using] emotional energy as fuel, cultivating powerful wisdom through both the physical and unseen realms,” she became careless and caustic. It was not a transition I was prepared for. Dementia can do that, you know.

Here is Mom with me and my sis, Sally (who also had dementia before she died last year), and my daughter DeDe… during the a celebration of my brother-in-law’s birthday. (That’s his picture posted behind us.)

Mom’s flowered, Hawaiian shirt speaks of happy times when life was full of the days when she knew how to “work hard and play the long game to get [what she wanted].”

Happy 106th Birthday, Mom!

What’s your Zodiac sign? Does its description fit who you are (most of the time? some of the time? not at all?) … Tell me about it!

I am a Leo. Born July 24th, parts of this description that fit … but I hope I have matured in my Christian life enough to let the Holy Spirit round out some of the self-centered tendencies and make me more compassionate than this would suggest: “Roll out the red carpet because Leo has arrived. Passionate, loyal, and infamously dramatic, Leo is represented by the lion and these spirited fire signs are the kings and queens of the celestial jungle. They’re delighted to embrace their royal status: Vivacious, theatrical, and fiery, Leos love to bask in the spotlight and celebrate… well, themselves.

I was named Janet – after Janet Gaynor, the first female Academy Award winner. That’s where I get my ham! But, I am more than happy to share the spotlight… and celebrate YOU! Tell me about your sign!

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)


Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Confidence


Whence cometh your trust?
Where’s your confidence?
Who helped you believe?

From whence comes value –
Value you carry inside?
Who builds your self worth?

Insecurity
And self-doubt can invade you.
Do you lock them out?

Photo by William Eickler on Pexels.com

The keys to your trust
Are in God’s love and mercy.
He made and loves you.

Your value in Christ
Should give you great confidence.
Carry your head high!

As as Child of God,
You join His Royal Family.
Embrace confidence!

Embrace family love.
Gather and build others up.
Love one another.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Family confidence
Comes from great togetherness
And sharing your love.

“See what great love
the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!”

1 John 3:1

As a child, my mom was the family member who built my confidence. She assured me that I could do whatever I set my mind to. She supported every effort academically, socially, and spiritually. She told me, “If you don’t accept your high value, you not only deny yourself, but you minimize your Creator.” Her confidence in my abilities made me sure of my capabilities.

Did you have a family member or friend, a Sunday School teacher, or a neighbor, an aunt or an uncle who helped you build up your confidence? Someone who reminded you, “God don’t make no junk”?

Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

The Bible is clear
that I can’t do anything
to make my Father in Heaven
love me more or less.

Our confidence is built
when our earthly family
assures us likewise
that we are loved unconditionally –
and that they believe in us.

So, fully believe
In God’s mercy and His love.
There’s success in you!

God put success there!
He implanted confidence.
Believe your value!

Embrace Confidence!!

Is there someone in your life who could use a little confidence building?
Is there someone you can build up by assuring them of their self-worth?
Is there someone who needs to hear that you believe in them –
and that you think they can do whatever they set their mind to do?
Do they need to know “God don’t make no junk?”
Go out and raise ’em up!


See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Angels


Do you believe in angels?
Do you have a Guardian Angel?

Fellow blogger,

A Star on the Forehead,

wrote the following on her post today:

“I remind myself of the agreement I have with my Guardian Angels.
They are allowed to take anyone and anything from my life
that it is not and will not be good for me.
No questions asked. It doesn’t need to make sense.”

Do you believe angels can actually work to save you from harm?

There is a story in the book of Acts about an angel who freed Peter from prison. It always has fascinated me. It’s hard to deny the presence of angels when you know things like this have happened:

Acts 12:5-17

Peter Freed from Prison

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but [a]constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were [b]keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”

16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.

I asked Bob this morning, “Have you ever been saved by an angel?”

“Oh yes,” he replied without hesitation.

“When?” (I knew what he was going to say.)

“When I fell asleep at the wheel of my truck with a load of honeybees on the bed of the truck… I went off the road and missed a culvert by 6″ before being jarred awake and slamming on the brakes. I know my guardian angel was working overtime!”

Psalm 91:11 assures us that our angels are indeed here to protect us.

My friend, Sue, and her husband, Jerry, had a similar experience.
They were driving back from Bozeman one rainy Saturday
when their car slid on a slick, rainy spot.
They were facing down the steep side over the railing
when Sue spontaneously said,
“God help us!”

Immediately, their car tilted backward and onto the road.
The two of them sat there astounded.
They drove home in awe and wonder.
They shared their experience in church the next day.
Yes, many nodded in a knowing way…
others shared their Guardian Angel stories
during fellowship that day.

Not all angels are celestial beings.
I believe God has put invisible wings on each of us!!
He asks us to “Love one another” just as He has loved us.

(I had fun posing in front of a myriad of wings that are displayed
in Redlands, CA at a spot dedicated to 58 beautiful souls who were gunned down.

“Live and Let Live
Live and Let Love”

I wrote a poem for a resident
of our Madison Valley Nursing Home
several years ago.
She had damaged her shoulders
in a fall and was unable to lift her arms.
For Christmas that year,
I gave her a Willow Creek angel with no wings.

Here is the angel and the poem:

“Angels on earth
Such as Gloria
Wear their wings
in their loving arms.
Though she may not
Be physically able
To reach out
And embrace you,
Her invisible wings
Stretch her heart
To reach miles
With warm smiles,
Sparkling eyes,
And words of grace –
Loving and wise.

Amen

EMBRACE THE ANGEL IN YOU!

Do you have a story to tell about
a time your guardian angel saved you?


See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek


Embrace Serving


Yesterday’s post had to do with service:
Focusing on Veteran’s Day and military service.
I alluded to the fact that there are many ways
To serve, but I didn’t elaborate on that.

Did you read that line and pause?
Did you think about the expanded meaning
Of service – the act of serving – and its
Relationship to Christian living?

I did! But, I decided to wait until today
To embrace the myriad of ways
We enjoy and benefit from serving.
We are encouraged to “Be Servants!”

Scripture calls us to serve others in love as Galatians 5:13 says,
“For you were called to freedom, brothers [and sisters].
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.”

Having a servant’s heart means to help others in love
without expecting something in return,
serving in appreciation of the gifts
God has already given us.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Helper
Divinely guided
Opening my heart
Aware of God’s calling
Servant

Definitely a “calling!”


In my Daily Word from Unity.org today,
I was inspired by the message of “Guidance.”
In it, the writer embraced serving,
reminding us that as we prepare to do so,
we need to listen to the still, small voice
of the Holy Spirit within us.

“There are many ways of connecting with Spirit,
but the first is by letting go.
I must first release the situation
I want guidance about.

With my human self out of the way,
I stop my mind from trying to
figure out the answer.

After letting go,
I meditate,
enjoy some devotional reading time,
and become aware of God’s [presence]…”

Jesus was the consummate servant.
His Holy Spirit puts in each of us a servant’s heart.
Serving others is one of our main purposes in life!

38 Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over,
will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use,
it will be measured to you.”

Luke 6:38

A new commandment I give you:
Love one another.
As I have loved you,
so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know
that you are My disciples,
if you love one another.

John 13:34-35

Pray With Me


“Heavenly Father,
keep my focus
on the one thing
You have commanded:
that I love others
as You have loved me.
Give me a servant’s heart
that I may love in word and action”
Amen

EMBRACE SERVING TODAY, MY FRIENDS.
What will you do today to demonstrate your love in action?

You gotta watch & listen to this…
So gorgeous!!
I helped Bob set up his
appointments for continued
medical evaluations today.
We’re headed to Mayo Clinic in Rochester in January!
He’s my love focus!!

Thanks for visiting today.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: