Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

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

Embrace Service


Did you serve in the military?
When you think of service,
Do you think of military service?
There are other kinds…

Today is Veterans’ Day in the USA.

It is a day to honor our servicemen/women.
Not all our veterans served with a pure heart,
Motivated by the desire to serve for freedom’s sake.
Some just didn’t know what else to do!

Now, that may sound a little sacrilegious –
A little disrespectful to some of you.
But, I know for a fact at least one
Veteran who served out of frustration.

Hey, Bob, were you ever in the military?
“I think so… 2 years, 9 months, & one day.
I was in when the Berlin Wall was built.
Thank God I got out 3 months early for summer work!”

So you didn’t serve out of love of country?
“No! I was told I could learn electronics,
So I went into the Nike Ajax Program.
Then I discovered it was cancelled!

I ended up learning nothing about electronics.
It was a sham. The recruiters lied to me.
As a clerk typist, stationed in Germany,
I felt trapped by the military system.”

You see not all veterans served in wartime.
Not all veterans have a heartwarming,
Grateful, fuzzy feeling about their service.
Not even those who DID serve in wartime.

So how do we honor our veterans?
How do we honor the families of those
Who sacrificed their lives for us?
How do we honor the clerk typists?

Here’s Bob – a handsome soldier,
But don’t let the smile fool you.
He was shuffling papers, typing orders,
And counting the days ’til discharge.

Some folks enter the military out of high school
Because they are at loose ends.
They don’t know what else to do with their lives…
Not ready to go to college, not sure of a job.

Those folks can end up making a career
Of the army or navy, the marines or air force,
And can be excellent servicemen/women.
Original motive aside, they serve with honor.

So what’s my point on Veterans’ Day?
I guess it is… don’t generalize.
Don’t assume all veterans served
To help preserve our freedom.

Look at the size of our military.
Look at the money spent in peacetime.
Look at those who served during wars.
Look at those who gave their lives.

Look at the whole picture of war
And military and fighting and preserving.
Honor our veterans, yes…
But what about the drop-outs?

I don’t mean to belittle Veteran’s Day.
There are people out there who
Served for patriotic reasons…
And they deserve to be honored.

There are families who lost loved ones
Who served to preserve our freedom.
They deserve our gratitude and love.
Yes, Happy Veterans’ Day!

God Bless America!
And God bless those who serve to keep us free!


Embrace Kind Thoughts


Today I am reblogging a post by Pat Cegan… It touched me … and inspired me to want to be sure my palette is comprised of the kind thoughts of compassion, love, and other gifts of the Spirit Pat describes.

Thank you, Pat!

Unkind Thoughts — Source of Inspiration

An unkind thought is a double edge blade. It cuts the sender and receiver. If our thoughts covered receivers with visible colors, what colors would the world be? Am I creating rainbows of harmony or do dark colored clouds fill my world? May I have a palette of compassion yellow, healing greens, sacred purples, love-filled […]

Unkind Thoughts — Source of Inspiration

What color are your thoughts?

I pray you will blow any dark colored clouds away
but keep the rainbow of harmony!

Photo by Jakob on Pexels.com
Photo by 42 North on Pexels.com

Sending you my love.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Motivation


Find motivation
Whenever it is present
Multiple sources

Denzel Washington
Is a great motivator
Choose testimony

Find time to listen
Choose the points that touch your heart
And then pass them on

Here are the points that touched my heart:

“Just because you’re doing a lot more,
doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot more done!”

“Don’t confuse movement (activity)
with progress!”

“It’s not how much you have,
it’s what you do with what you have!”

“I pray you put your slippers
waaay under your bed tonight,
so when you get up in the morning,
you have to get on your knees to get them!”

“And while you’re down there…
say thank you …. [for all your blessings] …
in advance for what is already yours!”

“Anything you want, claim it!
Work hard to get it… when you get it,
reach back. Pull someone else up!”

As you search within yourself,
know that the Holy Spirit lives in you!

When you tune in to what God
through the Spirit is saying to you,
your motivation to rise above your circumstances,
and your ability to help others do likewise
will be pure in heart!

The video with Denzel Washington
demonstrated that kind of
motivation to me.
Did you also hear it
as from a pure heart?

The Bible tells us that our motivation
should not be selfish gain
or seeking approval based on our own merits;
rather, our motivation should come from God
and a desire to obey and honor Him.
Our first priority should be
our relationship with God.

Yes, that was one of Denzel’s quotes,

“Don’t just aspire to make a living,
aspire to make a difference!”

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, …whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.”

You are blessed to be a blessing.
Remember these motivating words,
“It’s not how much you have,
it’s what you do with what you have!”

What can you DO
to motivate someone’s
positive thoughts and actions
today?

Go out and do it!!


God bless you –
Sending my love your way-
See ya tomorrow (God willing).
JanBeek

Embrace Generosity


Give from your big heart
Embrace generosity
Use Christ’s example

Our Lord gave His all
So we’d have Life Eternal
It’s available

All you need to do
Is open your heart to Him
And embrace His love

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know that I have a habit of taking notes in poetry as I listen to the weekly sermon. Sometimes it’s easy to do that… other times the poetry escapes me. Today the message came to me in rhythm and rhyme quite easily! It was an inspirational take on this very familiar scripture. I hope it speaks to your heart as it did mine.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
by Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds
was based on this scripture:

Mark 12:38-44

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Sermon Notes

Usually this scripture
Is used on Stewardship Sunday;
But, relax! This is not
What I’ll talk about today!

Who among us will go to the bank,
Empty it, and put it in the offering plate?
I wouldn’t expect that of tou –
Not today… not on any date!

But, let’s look at the lofty ones,
The ones who act like priests,
But are not… and moreover,
They righteously parade and gorge on feasts.

Jesus isn’t just ranting, but teaching.
He tells the disciples about the widow’s life.
He praises her for her generosity
And coveys her years of trouble and strife.

He scold the scribes and pharisees
For giving out of their spare change.
While the widow gave all she had,
He admonishes the limits they arrange.

These two teachings arre Jesus’s last.
From here Jesus will face His fate.
Chist encourages us to learn
There’s no pay grade low enough to be ingrate.

The widow is a victim of the system.
But, in spite of that, she gives all –
Knowing her money will help someone.
That widow certainly stands tall!

As part of the sum of many,
She gives out of sacrificial love.
Likewise, Jesus gave His all, so we
Can learn from Him and join Him above.

“God so love the world
That He gave His only begotten Son
That whosoever believeth in Him
Shall not perish
But have everlasting life”

That marvelous rendition of this hymn by St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir reminds me of the men and boys’ double choir that we heard last month at Westminster Abbey in London. Sitting next to our daughter, who cried buckets of emotion all the way through it, I remembered my years as member of the University of Pacific’s A Capella Choir. We sang this version of the song at most of our concerts. I love it! I hope you are blessed by it, too. Soooo beautiful!!

Have a blessed rest of your Sunday
and a wonderful week!

I send you my love
and lotsa hugs.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Embrace Generosity…
and generously give as you are able…

Love,
JanBeek

That’s me with our pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds
She’s a gift from God!!

Embrace Comfort


“Being confident of this,
I take great comfort knowing
He who began a good work in me
will carry it out to completion…”

Philippians 1:6



Aren’t those comforting words?

God is doing a good work in me, this I know.
But that doesn’t mean I am going to be without troubles.
Hurt and pain are guaranteed in this world.
Through scripture, we can be comforted
by knowing that God is faithful,
and is always looking over us.

Our Heavenly Father truly cares
and is our protector and comforter in times of need.
Whatever the circumstance may be,
we can use comforting Bible verses
to find a peace that passes understanding.

8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8

Are you facing a difficult circumstance?
Something over which you have little if any control?
Maybe it is job related.
Maybe it is health related.
You might be in a state of transition.
Perhaps there are relational issues …

Whatever it is, know this:
Loved ones who walked before you
faced some of those same challenges.
They walk with you today…
And they intercede for you.

I believe that.
I feel my mom and my sis, and
I hear the Holy Spirit.
I am not alone.

You Never Walk Alone!

This rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
always inspires me and comforts me.
If Andrea, who is blind,
can face his daily challenges
and reassure us of life’s constant Companion
with such sincerity and conviction,
who am I to doubt the Comforter?

4 “Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4

Maybe you, like my friends Scott & Cheryl,
have recently lost a loved one –
a parent, a sibling, a dear friend, a pet…
If so, I pray you will feel the comfort
of our Lord and His promises
of Eternal Life.
Be at peace.

3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those
in any trouble
with the comfort
we ourselves
receive
from
God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Embrace Comfort”
And be the first to offer it to friends in need.

Every day we all need encouragement and words of comfort!

May you feel the loving arms of
our God of peace and comfort embracing you –
And may you pass along those comforting hugs
to all you meet who need your love and kindness.

See you tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek


Embrace Amazing Grace


Choked up with emotion,
Speechless, but obligated
To say something meaningful,
Barack Obama sang!

Now he won’t get any awards
For his pitch or tone,
But for his bravery,
A gold medal, indeed!

For his faith and love,
And for his ability
To inspire the crowd,
A blue ribbon!

When I meet my maker,
And you gather to cheer
My entry into Eternity,
Please sing Amazing Grace!

But, you might want to
Avoid the microphone
And let the Spirit lead
The others to drown you out!

Hah! God bless Barack –
I miss that guy in the White House.
I miss his family and
His Amazing Grace!!

There is something special
About that You.Tube
And its spontaneity.
Don’t you agree?

In contrast, this nearly lily white
Choir of perfect harmony,
Is beautiful for sure,
But somehow it seems stiff.

Or is that just me?

Maybe your taste for Amazing Grace
Turns more toward country.
There are as many versions
Of that song as you can imagine.

What’s your favorite?

The amazing story of the song
Is described beautifully in this video.
I totally enjoyed all 15 minutes of it.
I didn’t know what an influence he had
on the abolition of slavery!

I hope you will enjoy this video, too.

“The Lord gives us many blessings,
But unless we are grateful for them,
We lose much of the comfort from them.”


May God’s Amazing Grace
give you enormous comfort today
and always…

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Action


All talk and no action
Makes for a sad friend indeed.
A true friend steps up
To help in our time of need.

All talk and no action
Is a sorry commentary.
We’re not called to pontificate;
But what we do may vary.

Each situation’s unique
And calls for a different plan.
Jesus never hesitated –
Likewise, do what you can.

Last Sunday a dear friend
Fell in the parking lot at church.
Someone fortunately saw her,
So she wasn’t left in the lurch.

Friends jumped into action:
Her son was called. “Come today!”
Another brought her to the ER
And got a wheelchair right away.

Their example of action –
Stepping up when there’s a need –
Was exactly what Jesus did.
Remember the bread and fish feed?

Remember the blind man
Who said he wanted to see?
Jesus showed us how to act –
His examples sure impress me!

I want to be like Jesus.
I want to step up and be
The person you can count on
To act at each opportunity.

I’m grateful for the doctors
Who saw Bob’s need and acted.
Today they biopsied bone marrow.
Yesterday a PET scan was contracted.

All talk and no action
Allows health issues to grow.
Emotional issues likewise fester
When not addressed; don’tcha know?

Embrace action, my friends.
Jump in when you see a need.
Do it out of goodness –
Not monetary greed!


Thank you for embracing action, my friends.
Your prayers are faith in action.
You’re the best!

Tell me about the last time you saw a need and jumped in!
Could be as simple as what I did today. I was Bob’s chauffuess!!
(He’s usually MY chauffeur!)

Love,
JanBeek


Psalm 119:114.

“You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.”



Life can beat us down
with trials, sorrows and debilitating worries.
God’s messages about our future hope
can deeply encourage,
inspire, uplift
and motivate us.

Don’t worry; be happy!

“Therefore my heart is glad,
and my glory rejoices;
my flesh also will rest in hope.”

Psalm 16:9

“‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’”

Lamentations 3:24

H ang
O n to
P ositivity and
E ncouragement

As we prepare to return to Bozeman today for more lab work and a bone marrow biopsy for Bob, our hearts are full of gratitude for all the love and support extended to us during this time of tests, unknowing, waiting, and hopefulness. Our faith is strong and our prayers are many. Your prayers for Bob’s good results and proper/effective treatment are heard, we’re sure. Our God cares. Our God’s got this! We can rest in this knowledge. We can feel His loving arms around us. Thank you all!

I will keep you posted as we learn more. Yesterday the gastroenterologist (GI doctor) confirmed that the blood in the stool is not colon cancer… and the cause is more superficial. That was an answer to prayer. Today we are praying the bone marrow scan confirms that this is not AL Amyloidosis (a cancer in the marrow). The doctors are busy trying to rule things out so when they send us to Mayo Clinic, the experts there can move on to finding what type it IS (if in fact it IS that rare disorder)… and then a proper treatment can begin. The symptoms include a lower functioning of both the heart and the kidneys resulting in lack of stamina. That’s really hard for this guy who is used to hard, physical work and never having to think twice about what he is capable of doing!


Meantime, we start each day with grateful hearts for our friends here on WP, our supportive neighbors and family, and our God who holds us all in His care.

God bless you.
Have a wonderful Thursday.
Embrace Hopefulness!

Love, JanBeek

The Bozeman Library is a great place to be while I wait for Bob’s procedures to be finished!

Embrace Support Systems


Photo by Dio Hasbi Saniskoro on Pexels.com

Stand by your man

The woman’s husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, “My dearest, you have been with me all through the bad times. When I was laid off, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. You know what?”

“What dear?,” she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.

“I think you’re bad luck.”

OK, LAUGH!! But, no, don’t take that seriously!
Our spouses are such an important part of our support system!

But not all are blessed with a supportive spouse.
Some live alone;
some live in turmoil at home;
and some just feel abandoned.
Some just need a hand…


In “Mornings with Jesus,” my daily devotional today,
the scripture featured was

Isaiah 49:15-16

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands…”

The nail prints engraved on Jesus’s hands remind us that He died in our place.
We can be sure He will never forget us, even if everyone else on earth does.


Have you ever felt abandoned by everyone else –
left with nowhere to turn,
looking for solace
and finding it only in your faith?

I haven’t!


But I have friends and family who have experienced those emotions.
And some of them don’t know how to turn to their faith, either.
I had a niece who felt that way –
and she committed suicide!
So this topic of emotional support systems is very dear to me!


In the case of my niece,
she isolated herself from family and friends.
She suffered in silence.
She left the rest of us wondering where we went wrong.
How could we not have picked up
the stress signals that let us know
the depth of her despair?
But we didn’t…

Don’t be deceived by outward appearances!
Look deep inside.
Be the friend in whom your family and neighbors
can confide by asking questions and showing concern!

Yesterday I shared about the grief of losing a friend – – – an ATV buddy who died while we were on our trip. And I shared the difficulty of our news about my husband, Bob’s, health issues. The outpouring of love and support from friends on Facebook and blogging buddies here was heartwarming. I thank you for embracing my grief and sharing my hope and faith in good test results and clear diagnosis and effective treatments. Your emotional support is so appreciated!

This week is full of labs and scans, biopsies and various exams.
In the midst of it all, I draw strength from my faith.
I know God is with me and Bob.
I know He is in control.
I believe He works for our good.
And I feel your love and encouragement.
Thank you for being a part of my support system!
I appreciate you!

None of you shared yesterday
if there is a way I can pray for you…
a specific need you have.
Let me know, okay?
And thank you for keeping Bob & me
in your prayers as we take this one day at a time.

God Bless You!

Love,
JanBeek


Embrace Grief


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Jesus began to weep.
So The Jews said, “See how He loved him.”

John 11:35-36

This week we attended the funeral of a friend who died while we were off in Europe enjoying life. My friend, Jeannie, was grieving while I was obliviously enjoying life. We attended his memorial service when we returned. Many tears were shed. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed. Over the past decade or so, Bob & I enjoyed many hours of four-wheeling on our mountain trails with him.

As many of you know, if you have followed my blog a couple weeks or more, we visited Jackie & Derrick Knight while on our three week excursion. If you follow Derrick’s blog, too, you know he had just lost his dear mom… and he took a break from planning for her funeral in order to host us. We understood the sacrifice of time and emotion that this delay involved… and we appreciated it so much! It was good to hear later that he was able to facilitate a very meaningful funeral for his mum.

A good funeral
Shared grief in community
Be sad together

Lie down in green pastures

Read 23rd Psalm
Sing Amazing Grace with friends
Embrace your grieving



Engaging in the grieving process with a friend
caused me to do a lot of introspective thinking.
What if this was my husband?
How would I be handling this?
How could I cope?
Do I realize how blessed I am
to have had these 60 years together?
Do I cherish each minute
we have together
or do I take these blessings for granted?

1960 – at Bob’s sister’s wedding
1962 at our wedding
Us at our 59th anniversary last Feb.

Embracing grief also means embracing news that grieves us- learning to accept that news – and learning to give it to God. Last week we learned that Bob’s compromised heart & kidney functions are probably caused by “Amyloidosis.”

Oh my! Have you ever heard of that? It’s a condition that causes extra deposits of protein in your weakest organ(s). As I understand it, in some cases the weakest organ is the brain, so the extra protein gathers there and can cause dementia. In Bob’s case, the weak organs were heart & kidney.

The extra protein stiffens the heart muscles and causes them not to pump as efficiently. There are several kinds of amyloidosis. One is genetic. To the relief of our children and grandchildren, that one’s been ruled out!

Next week Bob will have a full body PET scan Wednesday and he will have a bone marrow exam on Thursday. The attempt is to rule out bone marrow Amyloidosis (we were told that version of it can be cancerous). So, the challenge is clear: Don’t grieve unnecessarily by worrying needlessly! Worrying about things over which you have zero control is a waste!

Only embrace grief when such sadness is called for! We weep when we see the depth of sadness in those around us. We all need space to be in our sadness. But don’t invite it! Don’t anticipate it! Take time for “good grief” when it is right to do so, just as Jesus seeped beside us when my friend’s husband died. But know Jesus is beside you, sharing your grief, but also fueling your hope.

Believe His power to create change.


Maintain your hope, dear friends.
When disturbing news is shared with you,
don’t imagine the worst.

Instead, give it to God,
knowing He is with you,
working for your good.

Trust in His Light
which shines in the darkness.

Turn to our Savior in prayer!


Lord, grant us the courage to open ourselves fully
to your word’s power and lean on your mercy.

Amen

Lord, thank You for sharing our suffering.
Help us channel our pain toward you.
Help us embrace grief when appropriate,
but focus on HOPE and Your MERCY always.
Amen

Do you have a prayer request that you are willing to share with me?
I’d be happy to pray for you.
Please add Bob and his situation to your prayer list.
Thank you!

Have a lovely Sunday …
and a Happy Halloween
🎃

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Daily Plans


Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

How do you plan your days?
There are so many different ways.
Some fly by the seat of their pants.
They do everything by chance.

How do you plan your days?
Do you go with the latest craze?
Do you map days out in advance?
Or do you run with happenstance?

Blessed with a Star on the Forehead
Posted about planning ahead
Then finding something instead
And proceeding with a little dread.

She wrote, “To stop doing something
I had planned to go do
something totally different
and unplanned is exciting and new.”

Check out her blog with the link below:

I have a habit of making
A list – so there’s no mistaking
How my day will proceed.
Getting done all that I need.

I sit in my sanctuary
Where my space is clean and airy,
And I pray for direction.
But sometimes, I need correction!

I know the best laid plans
Can fall into careless hands,
So, I keep my mind open –
Flexibility is copin’


Pexels.com

Take a look at tomorrow –
It’s a day we can borrow
Plans from years before.
But this year there’s more…

More trouble trick or treating;
Because the folks you’re meeting
May not have open doors.
COVID’s changed the scores.

Instead of making plans
For reaching out your hands
And filling bags with treats,
Let’s take those little sweets

And put them in a bowl…
Safe distribution’s the goal.
Be sure your treats are wrapped
And all precaution’s tapped.

This year Halloween is Sunday.
It’s supposed to be a fun day.
Is your costume ready to wear?
Will some kids join you there?

My sis always loved that day.
She embraced it in every way.
My grandkids loved her style.
Doesn’t she make you smile?

Embrace your daily planning
Pray this year no one’s banning
The fun of Halloween!
Save me a jelly bean!

See ya tomorrow… Happy Halloween!
What’s your favorite Trick or Treat?

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Wise Cracks


I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to
join a fitness club and start exercising.
I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors.
I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour.  But,
by the time I got my leotards on,
the class was over.

My memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging?
Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.



I talked with God about this today.

God said to me:
“Folks don’t mind your creases, Jan.
It is part of the aging process –
and those lines are roadmaps to your soul.
They tell how you’ve lived your life.
Your joys are there.
(Those are the creases beside each eye)
The times you were tickled are there.
(Notice those crinkles on your nose!)
Your worries are there.
(Those are the railroad tracks on your forehead;
sometimes caused not by worry, but by pondering!)


Those aren’t wrinkles –
They’re wise cracks!”

One of my favorite Bible verses about aging gracefully is
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.”

(Psalm 92:14)

God will carry us through, even into our advanced years.
Our Creator has had a plan for us since before we were born.
He had our days numbered since the beginning of time
and it is up to us to make wise decisions
to help our bodies live
a more vibrant and full life
and to impart our wisdom
to those placed in our lives.


How many wise cracks do you have?
Are you trying to hide them?
Or do you embrace them?

In the video below,
Lisa, Domestic Life Stylist,
moves our focus away from our
“Wise cracks” and shares
some wise tips on aging.
It’s worth a watch!

Her final words:
“Embrace the age you are!”
Wisdom indeed!
(I’m 82, how about you?)

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

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Gladness


He has made me glad!
This is the day the Lord has made,
And I rejoice with each breath.
I treasure each beautiful memory.

Memories are God’s gift to us.
Activities are life’s treasures.
Highlights are those that make us smile.
My highlights and Bob’s are different.

Ask him about his favorite time
During our three weeks away,
And he will not hesitate.
It’s the Swiss fighting cows!

(Actually, he corrected me:
Cows are in second place…
Family comes first – whew!)

Visiting Pipo, the Swiss cowboy,
And seeing his award-winning cows
Was a unique, memorable experience.
But it was not MY favorite!

As I have shared in prior posts,
It’s the people who rise to the top.
It’s the people who make me glad.
I will enter their pictures with thanksgiving in my heart:

First of all it’s family:
Our daughter and her husband
And his mom, dear Denise…
How blessed we are to have them in our lives!

Do you have family far away?
So far that it’s hard to see them often?
So far that you missed them during the COVID crisis?
But always in your heart, making you glad?

Of course, in our case, the scenery
Is a huge source of gladness.
DeAna married a Swiss, so we HAVE TO
Go there to visit as often as possible.

Being able to see our children
And spend time with our growing,
And maturing grandchildren
Is my greatest source of gladness.

Throw in the bonus of meeting up
With my cousin, Tommy, in London
And visiting with Derrick & Jackie in Downton,
And you have gladness on steroids!!

You’ve met some of the folks below already.
If you had a chance, and you could post
A picture of the folks who make you glad,
Who would they be?

These boys make my heart sing!!

Mike is our oldest. Here he is with his fiance’ Tania.
Tania gave us a walking tour of Sierre –
And they took us to brunch & to their apartment –
Along with Mike’s middle brother, Nick.

Nicky, the middle grandson, is such a sweetheart
And so is his girlfriend, Celine.
He & Mike created a spreadsheet of our daily activities –
And made sure we were taken care of!

Wouldn’t that make your heart glad?

Our youngest grandson, Chris, is busy –
Busy with his work and his schooling,
His girlfriend in Colombia, and also
His school’s extra-curricular activities.

We treasured the few times he was
Able to make time to be with us.
Here he is with his mom, our DeDe.
These two definitely make my heart glad.

Embrace gladness, dear friends.
Cherish the time you have with your loved ones.
Remember the days of joy and shared love;
Tuck them in your heart – and thank the Lord!

Here I am with our son, Ty.
He makes me glad, too.
Time with him and his family
is a treasure to cherish.

Take time to share your gladness.
This is the day the Lord has made,
So treasure it in your heart…
And sing with me, “He has made me glad!”

What or who makes your heart spill over with gladness?

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love,

JanBeek



Embrace Chalet Dreams


I have always loved Swiss chalets. How about you? I copied the picture of this one off the web at the time Bob & I were dreaming about the possibility of building a chalet of our own in California. (That was before we traveled to Montana, fell in love with the wide open spaces, the wild animals, and the Rocky Mountains – and bought our home here in Ennis).

As you know, we just returned from a trip to Switzerland because our daughter married a Swiss, has three of our grandsons there, and now has a Swiss chalet of her own! We needed to see her in her new setting.

DeAna remembers that when she was a child, we had a Swiss chalet music box. When you opened its lid, it played Edelweiss. Maybe she dreamed of one day having a real one. You think?

Ah, great it is to believe

by Edwin Markham

Ah, great it is to believe the dream
As we stand in youth by the starry stream;
But a greater thing is to fight life through
And say at the end, the dream came true!

Yes!! It is De & Andre’s chalet
Relais des Melezes Hotel and Restaurant

Here are some photos of chalets that we took on our trip to Switzerland this month. The first one of De & Andre’s! It has 4 hotel rooms above with the restaurant below. De & Andre’ live in one of those rooms and rent the other three. We stayed in one of them. Such fun!!

Which one would you dream of having for your vacation home? (I couldn’t afford to live there year-round… oh my, the cost of living is wonderful, but prohibitive unless you work there. The exchange rate for USA dollars to Swiss francs was – oh my!!)

You can see that we were very happy to be blessed to visit Switzerland, to see all those beautiful chalets and tour villages like Grimentz. W do not take this privilege for granted, believe me. God is good! We are living to see our dreams come true – and to witness our daughter’s dreams being fulfilled, too. What more can we ask?

He Had His Dream

He had his dream, and all through life,

Worked up to it through toil and strife.

Afloat fore’er before his eyes,

It colored for him all his skies:

The storm-cloud dark

Above his bark,

The calm and listless vault of blue

Took on its hopeful hue,

It tinctured every passing beam —

He had his dream.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

How about making your dreams come true? Dreaming of a trip to Switzerland, too? Why not go stay in one of De & Andre’s rooms?

Trip Advisor says:

5.0Excellent10 reviews#1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Vissoie Family-owned & family-operated auberge/restaurant in the heart of the Val d’Anniviers close to the resort destinations of Grimentz, Zinal, St. Luc and Chandolin. Rooms and restaurant have recently been renovated. André and DeAna have created a cozy, warm, and friendly atmosphere to make your stay/meal in our corner of the world one to remember.

Check it out! Here’s what Booking.com has to say:

www.booking.com › hotel › chRelais des Mélèzes, Vissoie – Updated 2021 Prices

Located in Vissoie, Relais des Mélèzes has a bar, ski-to-door access, terrace, and free WiFi. This 3-star hotel offers a concierge service. The hotel features family rooms. At the hotel, the rooms are fitted with a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. All rooms will provide guests with a wardrobe and a kettle.

We’re not prejudiced… We’re her parents!

Go have a cup of coffee with DeDe.
I’ll tell her to leave the light on.
You tell her we sent you!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I hope I fueled your chalet dreams!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)!

Embrace Helpers


Do you have trouble asking for help? Or trouble receiving it? Or trouble knowing when you need it?

All of those are questions to which I must admit – yes! I enjoy being able to say, “I can do this!” Mom told me that two of my favorite words as a toddler were, “Me do!”

So, it should come as no surprise to you that I was reluctant to accept the help of a wheelchair when we were in Switzerland this month. Our daughter and grandsons were very wise, however. They didn’t ask. They just rented one and had it available for the loooong walks they knew would be part of our schedule. God bless ‘em!

Bob, with his congestive heart ♥️ failure – and me with my arthritic knee and ankles, needed it! And we appreciated taking turns being pushed as we toured Sierre (with Mike’s fiance’ Tania, as our gracious tour guide) and as we walked the distances required at the Sion Wine Festival. (Seeing how others see you when you’re in a wheelchair… well, that’s a topic for a future blog!)

The other help that we really treasured was our daughter, DeAna’s tech skills. She helped us find the links to the COVID-19 tests and other paperwork we needed before travel, the taxi we needed to get from airport to hotel/hotel to restaurant/ restaurant to train station, etc. Lordy, we could not have made this trip without her and all our other helpers!

Here are a few more photos of the phenomenal experiences we had:

The train took us from Derrick’s in Downton to London. We had a wait at Waterloo Station before the next train to the airport, so we took the opportunity to relax and grab a bite to eat. (Yes, food always is a highlight of foreign travel!)

The travel in London is very easy if you have someone helping you find the right direction, the right train or taxi. On the train, each stop is well labeled. Away we went… headed for Heathrow Airport and on to Geneva.

De’s husband, André, picked us up at the airport… another helper whose gracious assistance we accepted willingly. It was a drizzly, gray day, but that weather only lasted two days. The rest of our two weeks in Switzerland were gorgeous blue skies!

This is our view on morning #1 from Denise’s balcony in Sierre.

That first Swiss week, we were at André’s mom, Denise’s in Sierre. And of course, more food … and delicious wine. That’s our DeDe getting ready to serve the wine. Our grandsons, Nick & Mike, provided the cheese fondue. More evidence of generous helpers… doing the cooking and serving!

The fondue is always one of our favorite Swiss meals. As you know, Switzerland is noted for its cheese, chocolates, and watches… oh, and banking! It is an amazing, clean, technically advanced, beautiful country!

In advance of our arrival, our grandsons created a spreadsheet of activities they planned for us and sent it out to family, so others could choose times to be involved with our visit. Soooo sweet of them!


Thank you, Nicky, for being such a wonderful, loving helper!
We look forward to your visit here to Montana
this Thanksgiving with your sweetheart, Celine.

Thank you, Mike & Tania,
for taking such good care of us
and showing us so many beautiful sites!
We look forward to returning to Switzerland
next September for your wedding!

Back Home

In today’s sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church, our pastor, Mary Grace Reynold’s sermon fit right into this theme of “Embrace Helpers.” Using Mark 10:46-52 as her springboard, she shared the helping nature of Jesus. The story of the blind man who asked for Jesus’ help pointed clearly to need for us all to set aside our “Me do” childish attitude and ask for help when we need it. Accept help offered, and praise the Lord with all our hearts when that help comes.

Mark 10:46-52

New International Version

Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging.

47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”

50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Mmmm …

Thank you, DeDe, for marrying Andre’
and giving us this wonderful place to “have to” visit!
Thank you for all your help & love.



Dear blogging friends,
I pray when you have a chance to travel
and you need help seeing all you want to see,
you will take a lesson from Bartimaeus
and from Bob & me…
Ask for help –
Graciously receive it –
And enjoy the journey with gratitude

and joy in your heart!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Blogging Friends


I found this in my draft folder… Not on my site. How did that happen? (So, I am reposting it in case you missed it earlier)

How do you embrace your blogging friends? Sure, you can send them virtual hugs, but to embrace also means “to include.” Not just to grasp in your arms. It means “to adopt or take up.” Bob & I have adopted Jackie & Derrick Knight! We included them in our travels to England- and they graciously included us in their lives for three fun-filled days. You’re jealous, I know!

Now, when I go to Derrick Knight’s posts, I see their garden and the ponies, donkeys, and pigs in 3-D!! I feel the Knight’s hugs. I smell the sea snd feel the rocks on the shore at Milford On Sea! I have one of those pebbles here in Montana now. 👌🏽😍

Now that we’re home, I am reliving our European trip and it’s highlights in London, Downton, and Switzerland. I am grateful to friends who traveled vicariously with us on FB. I was unable to post photos here because my WP album was full. But, now I am busy erasing old photos and making room for more. I need you to reach out and “Embrace our Blogging friends” with me! Enjoy! Ah, the memories! So endearing!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Derrick & Jackie. You are wonderful!!!

Jan – so grateful to Derrick & his blog
Derrick & Jackie in their kitchen
Feeling Jackie’s hugs for real!
Visiting their garden under an umbrella
Jan & Bob with Derrick at Milford On Sea
Enjoying Jackie’s food for real

Time to travel around and see the donkeys, horses, swans, pigs, etc … all those roaming free animals Derrick & Jackie have shown us in the past … was amazing! Now when I see them on my computer screen I can feel them. I can smell them. I can place them in the context of their home and their drives through the forest. Ah, there’s nothing like being there!!

Embrace blogging friends/ open your heart and your home/ Mine’s open for you!

This heart-shaped leaf
in Derrick & Jackie’s garden
sums it up!

Love personified/ Gift of hospitality / Nothing can beat it!

Come travel tomorrow with De, Bob & me back to London for a day before flying on to Geneva and then Sierre and Vissoie – De’s home in Switzerland. Thanks for visiting with us on-line! I hope if you ever decide to take a trip to Montana – snd enjoy Yellowstone National Park, you will contact us and let us embrace you fir real at our home in Ennis. Yellowstone tone’is only an hour away!

See you tomorrow (God willing)

Love, JanBeek

Embrace Happy Memories


Why do you Travel?
Can’t you build memories here?
Be a homebody!

The travel bug bites
When you have family and friends
Who live far away

For me it’s not sites
Though they are wondrous for sure
London: AMAZING!

But it’s not the views
Of castles and of churches
That lures me on planes

We endured travel
To get to see our daughter
The lure is people!

Embrace memories
Yes, the sites are wonderful
But it’s the people!

That’s cousin Tommy
He was our London tour guide
Most memorable!

Better than the lights
On the Thames River at night
Was Tommy’s sparkle!

Better than London
And crossing the London Bridge
Was who we were with!

We endured the cold
Ventured out in London rain
Just to be with De

Tomorrow I’ll show
The other reason to go
To travel trouble

Travel in COVID
Is troublesome you can bet
But it’s well worth it

Fill out the papers
Embrace Happy Memories
Keep current passport!

As long as you find
People you miss and you love
All hassle’s worth it!

Thanks for traveling
Vicariously with us –
A magical trip!


Why do YOU travel
Or do you prefer rooting??
Either one’s okay!!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love & Happy Hugs

(from the homefront),
JanBeek

Embrace Pray-ers


James 5:16b

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

I embrace prayers
And I embrace the pray-ers
Reaching out to God

As Bob & I prepare to embark on our trip to London and Switzerland, we are humbled by the number of prayers being offered on our behalf by family and friends. Bob came back from his Alaska trip a week and a half ago unfit to travel again… but with care and prayer, he is so much better – – – and his doctors have given him the ok to take this next trip. It’s been booked since last March! We leave Sunday. Oh, time is swiftly passing!

We know God hears – and we know our dear Lord is holding us in the palm of His hand. We are grateful for the intercessory support.

I know you have faced challenging times, too, and you know the power of prayer when you are navigating rough waters.

I know Jesus is a pray-er. He modeled the effectiveness of prayer for us. I am not sure how many times in the Bible it says Jesus went to a quiet place and took time to pray… but I know it’s a lot! If He counted on speaking to God in order to determine His next steps, who am I to try to go it alone?

So, I am up this evening talking to God, knowing Jesus intercedes for me, too… and I can feel the prayers of friends and family who have shared comments such as, “Let us pray that all goes smoothly,” and “Praying for you and Bob… Seeing family is worth the effort. God’s peace,” and “I hope all of your test come back negative and your travel plans run smoothly.” Thank you, WordPress friends!

With a community of believers out there, friends sharing their prayers and good wishes, and with my faith in scripture such as James 5:16, I can go to bed this night and sleep peacefully. I know the One who holds me also holds the future … and wants only my good.

Thank You, Lord, for the love, support, and comfort You send through my spiritual family.

Thank you for helping me relax and put these COVID test results and travel requirements in God’s hands. If this trip to London and Switzerland is meant to be, all my worries are for nothing. As the meme above says, “Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change.” Instead, Jan, put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters!

Now that I am safely tucked into the Man from Galilee’s hand,
I can relax and go get a good night’s sleep!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Good night!

Love,
JanBeek


Do you love to travel?
What is your motivation to travel?
Some people travel to study history.
Some travel to see the scenery.
Bob traveled recently to “catch the big one!”
Others travel for business purposes.
Why do you travel?

This week my grandson, Mike,
who lived in Switzerland
took a trip to Greece
with his fiance’ Tania,
and sent me some wonderful photos.
Why do you think they traveled?

At the same time,
our daughter, DeAna,
sent us pictures
of her travel experience.
She and Andre’ (our son-in-law)
are traveling to Corsica this week.
Why do you think they traveled?

Look at the difference in travel mode!!

Bob & I traveled to Bozeman today.
That kind of travel counts, don’t you think?
It’s an hour’s drive…
We went for several reasons:
Get my new iPhone,
Get help programming the phone,
Get a haircut,
Buy new clothes for our trip to Switzerland.
Why do you think we’re going to Europe?

Snow-capped Madison Range
Ennis, MT 9-21-21

No, our trip to Switzerland
has nothing to do with Swiss cows.
Guess again!

I am praying that all these COVID tests
required for flying to London,
and then required for staying there,
and then required for leaving
and going to Switzerland
will arrive on time
to each of their destinations.
I have faith that God hears my prayers,
and God knows how much
we need to see our daughter
and the rest of our Swiss family.
Please pray with me
for all to go smoothly!

And stay tuned…

I hope to show you my favorite sites along the way.

Our buddy, Rex Hocking,
with his award-winning 30″ trout.

Bob says it’ll be pretty hard to beat
that wonderful, surreal trip
he just took with his buddies to Alaska.
Rex sent a photo of Bob fishing
(there was a bear on the shore
right across the river from
where he was)!
Just imagine that!

I can’t post that fisherman-bear photo today
(gotta figure out how to reduce the size of the file
and eliminate some of my WordPress photos
so I have room to add more in my media library)…
But, it is
pretty hard to beat
those kinds of experiences,
huh?

God willing,
and test results arriving on time,
we’ll be sharing our fun
in the days to come.

Where have you traveled recently?
Or what’s your favorite trip?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Doubting


May sound really weird
For a Christian to embrace
Doubting; How can I?

What does doubting mean?
I believed it’s unbelief.
But, let’s think again.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Matthew 28:17

“When they saw him,
they worshiped him;
but some doubted.”

Who is “they” who saw?
It was Jesus’ disciples.
What does “doubted” mean?

In my devotional time this morning, Daily Guideposts explained that the original text was in Greek. The word “doubted” in Greek is “distazo.” That does not mean unbelief. It is more accurately translated as “hesitation or uncertainty about how to respond.”

In today’s world, as the cartoon shows, the disciples would not have to think twice about how to respond. They would simply get out their cell phones and record this momentous reappearance of their Savior!!

But in the world of Jesus’ time, how would you respond when someone you watched die on the cross suddenly walked out of the tomb? “Distazo” seems appropriate to me. Whoa!! I’d be pretty unsure about how to respond, wouldn’t you?

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

Sometimes I am quite unsure about how to respond to situations in today’s world. How about you?

Our test kits came today for the COVID-19 test we have to self-administer and then mail FedEx in the envelope provided so it can go overnight to the place where the results are determined and then sent to me before our flight out of Chicago to London on Sunday night. (Whoa… that’s a long, complex sentence – did you grasp it?)

I am doubting … I am unsure about how to respond to the instructions.

Unfortunately, my test results won’t come in a fortune cookie. They will be sent to an app on my iPhone. Problem: my iPhone is 8 years old and it won’t upgrade to an IOS high enough to download the app. I am feeling doubtful. Very uncertain about how to respond. The new iPhone 12 and last year’s version (iPhone11) are not available here in Ennis. Checking with our nearest city, Bozeman, I discovered we don’t have an Apple store… and the Verizon Wireless store doesn’t have the phone I want in stock. I have to order it on-line from Apple. Will it arrive in time for our departure? What will I do if it isn’t here in time?

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

In this COVID-19 world, “distazo” is a natural response. We are unsure of how to respond in so many ways. Get the vaccine or not? Wear a mask or not? Get a booster or not? Join friends for a dinner out or not? Worship in church with others sitting close by or not? Travel or not? Get a new phone or not? Forget the whole thing?

I pray to God for help with decision-making, but I am not sure I am hearing His response. Should I keep asking? Should I reword my questions? Am I missing His answers?

As Daily Guideposts has written in today’s devotional, “Doubt, distazo, is part of our faith journey.” It’s OK to question how to respond when we’re baffled by the challenges we face. Like the disciples, we are faced with some unbelievable situations. These are unprecedented times!

In these troublesome times,
we are encouraged to Stretch!!

Embrace Doubting!

Let your hesitation
and your uncertainty
cause you to
question more,
research more,
and pray more.

Let your hesitancy
and your uncertainty
cause you to
trust more,
experience more,
and increase your humility
as you allow yourself
to admit

“Crap!
I don’t have all the answers after all!”


Get in touch with the
Tiger in you!

Do you find yourself doubting about anything?
What causes you to experience “distazo“?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Spontaneous Leisure


Elfchen or “Elevenies”
are poems with eleven words
in a pattern of
1+2+3+4+1



Embrace

Spontaneous Leisure
as you relax
and enjoy life today:
Sunday


Sunday
mornings always
are hurried “UP
‘N AT T’EM” days.
Rush!

Shower.
Get up.
And get dressed.
Then gobble your breakfast.
Church!

(Click the arrow below)

Listen
“Rush Hour”
for a minute …
Then click it off.
Frenzy!

Happy?
Not likely.
That “Happy Hardcore”
Destroys any residual sanity.
Yuck!

(Go back and click outta that sound!)

Repetitive,
nerve wracking…
Who needs it?
Put your feet up.
Relax!


Wallow
in silliness
for a while;
Find yourself some laughter.
Chuckle!

Find
some friends
to join you.
Good for your soul.
Laze!

A few friends took me up on my suggestion yesterday. My silly blog was titled, “Embrace a Camel” and I really went off the deep end. One little friend got into a box and joined the insanity club!

How about you?
Do you take a day
to just be silly
and relax
every now and then?

It’s called “Spontaneous Leisure”
and I recommend it!

Today we slept in.
We dressed in a casual, leisurely fashion.
We ate brunch at 10: am
(our church didn’t ZOOM the service today
or we would’ve tuned in to it)
and then we went up to our sanctuary
and had our own worship service up there.

It was just the break from routine that we needed!

Embrace
Spontaneous Leisure.
Just treat yourself
Take an unintentional break –
Relax

Jesus
Accepts worship
Wherever it occurs.
God condones taking breaks.
Recline!

Question: “What does the Bible say about rest and relaxation?”.
Answer: “Rest” is defined as “peace, ease or refreshment.
“Relax” means “to become loose or less firm,
to have a milder manner,
to be less stiff.”
The Bible speaks quite highly of rest.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Doctor
ordered relaxation:
Just sit back –
Put your feet up –
Chill!

Embrace Spontaneous Leisure

Do it today!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace a Camel


Time for some humor…
Never too late for a laugh.
You laugh if the child’s not yours!

Yes, hold your wife’s hand;
Hang on to each other tight
For many reasons!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Grab your partner’s hand.
Don’t let a camel come in
That protective box!

Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

Unless a camel
Shows up in your living room,
Embrace your partner!

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

But if you happen
To come across a camel,
Just invite him home!

I am feeling weird.
It’s a night to be silly.
Hug insanity.

Ever wonder what
Life is like for the insane?
Embrace a camel!

Oh goodness bludder!
Put me in a cardboard box…
I’m ready for bed.

Is there hope for me?

Humor is an emotional outlet.

Embrace a camel.
I needed a laugh tonight.
Did you need one, too?

Time for a shower
And then crawl in to my bed.
Come, friend, and join me!

Good night!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
JanBeek

Embrace Stressing Less


Trying to arrange for a trip abroad in this COVID world today will guarantee stress.

Today I used links sent to me by a friend who just returned from a trip to Canada and from our daughter who is planning to join us next week in London, and I tried to make the arrangements for the COVID tests required. Oh me, oh my! Can they make it more difficult?

Seems to me they are just trying to send us senior citizens over the sanity edge ridge into complete derangement!

Not only do we have to have proof of our vaccines, but we have to prove we tested negative within 72 hours of our departure from the USA to London. Then when we arrive in the UK, we have to have a test there within 2 days – and it has to be ordered in advance. We have to prove (before we leave the US) that we have ordered the 2 day test to be delivered to our place of destination in London. Oh bludder!! And none of these tests are free, of course!

So, I took a break from all that computer stuff and spent some time with a few friends… a great antidote to hysteria and complete lunacy!

Back at home, I let my mind wander as I checked out some of my favorite bloggers. That was definitely a stress reliever! I especially enjoyed reading:

Gottfried, Banter Republic and Roth Poetry and derrickjknight and Big Sky Buckeye– four of my favorite guys!

Those guys’ blogs are great indicators of “where my heart is!”

Also it was fun to let my mind wander and reduce stress with three of my favorite gal bloggers:

Pat Cegan, Source of Inspiration and

Ann Koplow, The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally and

Phyllis Rogers, Life On The Lake



Are you looking for ways to embrace stressing less? Here’s a helpful list I found:

I’m smiling now … just asked for and got that hug.
It’s soooo good to have Bob back home again!
He returned Wednesday night
from his fishing trip in Alaska,
and I was quite worried about him.

We spent a lot of yesterday at our medical center
here in Ennis, trying to see how we can
reduce his fluid retention,
get his kidneys and heart
functioning normally,
and help him prepare for the trip
to be with our daughter next week.
See why I am posting
EMBRACE STRESSING LESS
?


What do you do to reduce stress?
Try playing this video in the background
while you go about your next task.

“Come to me all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find much rest for your souls.
For my yoke fits perfectly,
and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

I found another resource on line today to reinforce today’s post:

marvaseatonLess News Might Reduce Stress

I totally agree with Marva. Watching less news is a GREAT way to reduce stress. But, don’t be an ostrich. Total lack of information can be a miserable stress inducer!

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Do they really stick their head in the sand?

Remember #4, 5 and 6 on that list above?
I’m headed off to do them right now.

What are some of your techniques
that help you
embrace stressing less?


I’ll see ya tomorrow (God willing).

Have a good night.


Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Each Sunset


Embrace each sunset
Trust the sun will rise again
Pray for clearer skies

Taken on the way home from Bozeman
last night with smoke-filled skies

Psalm 65:8
“They who dwell in the ends of the earth
stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset
shout for joy.”

Embrace each sunset
Know the sunrise is coming
Count on God’s promise

One season follows
After another each year
Changing day by day

Enjoy the beautiful voice of Aled Jones
in this lovely song that reinforces the
Sunrise follows every sunset focus…
Close your eyes and imagine
your most beautiful sunset.

Tomorrow’s sunrise
Brings with it great promises
Embrace each sunset

See ya tomorrow (God Willing)
Make the most of it!
What will you do?

Tonight I am praying for my friend, {{{Derrick}}}
Do you follow his blog?
Check it out.
The photography is as captivating as the text.
I can hardly wait for the sunrise
when we get to see him & Jackie in person!
Stay tuned… I’ll share it with you.

The Next Generation


His mum peacefully retired over her last sunset on earth.
My heart goes to to Derrick & Jackie and their family.
Rest in peace, Mum. God bless you.
Leave the light on!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Company


Invite the neighbors.
There’s no need to be lonely;
They’re good company!

Also, go on out –
Invite your friends to join you.
Embrace company!

Kalena’s Tea House:
a great place for having lunch.
Sit outside -enjoy!

Be happy with your own company, too!

Headed to pick up
Bob & his buddies
at the airport today.

It’s been 9 long days
without him…
but I survived it!

Thanks to friends here
And my blogging friends out there,
I was never lonely!

Thanks for your company!

See ya tomorrow (God willing!)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Christ’s Presence


Angels in the room
Praying with Jesus and me
Embrace Christ’s presence

My sanctuary
Is a sacred, divine place
Jesus lives up here

Surrounding angels
Fervently with Christ and me
Pray daily to God

God knows every need
Even before it’s spoken
Bow in prayer with me

“Christ, my loving Lord,
Thank you for Your sure presence
Bringing daily peace.

Thanks for hearing me
When I’m calling out Your name.
Thanks for answered prayers.”

Bruises nearly gone –
Lump diminishing daily –
Families back in homes.

Neighbors reaching out,
Keeping loneliness at bay.
Sunshine on this day.

Blogging friends respond
With words of comfort and joy.
My heart overflows.

Thank you, my dear friends –
You are here to lend a hand
With words of kindness.

Embrace Christ’s Presence
In your life as well as mine.
We are blessed indeed!!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Good Cheer


1 Thess. 5:16-18a

Let godly thinking shape your attitudes.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”

With the right attitudes, we can be young at heart no matter what our chronological age may be.

No, we are still young…
Young at heart!
Can’t you see it?

Psalm 92:12-15

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Psalm 70:4

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.
Let those who love Your salvation say evermore,
“God is great!”

Each day has its own personality.
There will be happy and sad days.
Some will be quiet and restful,
while others will be filled with activity.

Some will be brimming with health,
others will find you facing unexpected challenges.

But, whatever the circumstance,
you can find moments of delight –
and you can thrive as you see the
blessings hidden – even in the worst of times.

Photo by Khimish Sharma on Pexels.com

This week I learned that my friend, Paul,
who was scheduled to replace our wood floor
(while we are gone next month on a trip to Europe)
fell off a ladder and broke some ribs.
In addition to the body aches, he was suffering
massive headaches. So, the doctor took x-rays.

The x-rays revealed that Paul had a brain tumor!
If he had not fallen off that ladder, there might not
have been the x-rays to reveal the tumor.
He had brain surgery yesterday morning.
The report came that “all is well.”

I don’t know if that means the tumor was benign,
or if it means they got it all and he will be fine.
Maybe it means all three!
But, I know Who has the answers…
and I know He hears my prayers.

I know everything happens for a reason…
and I know God is in charge.
I am so grateful the tumor was discovered!
So, I can EMBRACE GOOD CHEER!

I am grateful for the faith I have that allows me to
behold life through the eyes of hope and positivity.


Colors are brighter,
laughter comes easier,
and the joy of simply being alive
sets the tone for daily celebration
of life’s infinite possibilities.

On this day of remembrance (9-11),
may you – with love and reverence –
embrace the good cheer of memories
that cherish the family members,
friends, co-workers, and tireless volunteers
who have made a mark upon your life.

May those memories inspire you
to live with such
integrity,
creativity,
faith,
and love,
that one day
the memory of you
will bring good cheer
to all who know you.

Be in prayer for those who are hurting.
Be in prayer for all who are in danger.
Be in prayer for all who live in fear.

Be in prayer for those who need
happiness to knock on their door today.

You’re in my prayers.
God bless you with good cheer!

Love and hugs,
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Beginnings


“I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth,
do you not perceive it?”

Isaiah 43:19
My dear friend, Elaine… I miss her!
Today she’s smiling down at us from
her Heavenly perch.

Are you beginning?
Some “new things” aren’t really new…
They’re reinventions.

Used to volunteer
Before COVID changed our world,
Helping some dear folks.

Now visitations
Are being allowed again.
So I’m beginning.

Today’s a fresh start.
Most of my friends are not there.
Time to make new ones!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, with eagerness
And joy, I begin again.
I have love to give.

The Holy Spirit
Planted an impulse in me.
Answer your heart’s call.

Where can you begin
To use your talents to help
Spread joy to others?

I’m smiling at the chance
to be of service again ❤

Bruises almost totally gone…
God is the Master rejuvenator!
Begin with passion and determination.

Tell me what you will do
to
EMBRACE BEGINNINGS
today!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Embrace Getting Ready


If you’ve followed my blog
or seen my posts on FaceBook,
you know my husband, Bob,
has been facing some medical challenges.
I asked for prayers for his return to usual stamina.

Thank you for those prayers,
(if you offered them up to God for us).
He is feeling soooo much better –
and the doctor has okayed his trip tomorrow!!

So, Happy Labor Day weekend, my friends!
I hope you are enjoying a relaxing, fun-filled day.

Bob is getting ready to go
on a fishing trip with two of his buddies.
They leave at 5: am tomorrow for Anchorage
and then will spend a week at Kulik Lodge,
way up north on the peninsula of Alaska,
in the area called Bristol Bay.
Have you every been to Alaska?
Have you been fishing there?

His buddies told him he doesn’t need to
bring all his flies on the trip.
The lodge and guides where he is going
will provide for him all the flies he needs.

Doesn’t that look inviting??

If all goes well, he will not only be able to catch some whoppers,
but he will have at least one smoked and shipped home with him!

While Bob is getting ready for his trip,
I am getting ready for his absence.
In our 60 years of wedded bliss,
I cannot remember ever being
away from him this long!

Here we are in the mid-60’s with our son, Ty.
Here we are together with my parents
in the late 1960’s – or early ’70s.
Here we are with 22 family/friends
at Bob’s 80th.
That’s our daughter DeAna
with her arm around her daddy
and our son, Ty, next to her
with his hand on my shoulder.
You can see from this photo of us
on our 59th anniversary that
the years have been good to us.

So, as I get ready to be away from Bob for more than a week,
send me some ideas for how to avoid loneliness!
Tell me how to get ready to fix a meal for one…
and to eat alone for 9 days!

A friend is coming over
to keep me company
for awhile tomorrow.
(Thank you, Julie!)

What are you doing Tuesday?

TazE says, “Just relax, Mom. I gotcha covered!”

Thank God for our pets, huh?
I know TazE will be great company.

Have a good Sunday evening.
I send my love and hugs your way.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace the Extraordinary


LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS

“You know it, deep down- you’re not made for ordinary. Your life is meant to be an adventure, fueled by grace and inspired by big dreams to make the world a better place. But, stuff gets in the way. Whether it’s people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that take you out along the way– we all have a longing to break out of the status quo and get after the life we’re meant to live.” – Bob Goff

That quote came from one of my favorite people in the world, Bob Goff, author of “Love Does.” He has a new website:

https://www.bobgoff.com/?cid=21c33def-d0e2-408b-9d77-fcda6e15e879

Today’s black eye

I may look like those bruises took me out along the way with that eyelid swollen and the bruise running down my cheek, but I am far from “taken out!” Instead I am thinking this is an “extraordinary” bruise from an “extraordinary bang” and I am blessed not to have suffered a concussion! My knock on the head is not stopping me from planning some extraordinary days ahead!

Likewise, the fires in CA and the flooding on the east coast and the hurricanes in Haiti and the war-torn people in Afghanistan may have stopped some people from feeling like they are living the “life we’re meant to live,” but such catastrophes cause us to also to thank God for our survival. They cause us to evaluate what’s ordinary and what’s extraordinary – what’s essential and what’s fluff.

Don’t look down and say, “Poor me!” Instead, look up, and thank God for the blessings that are still yours! That’s what I am trying to do today as I put a hot compress on that goose egg that still sits on my forehead – and plan for an extraordinary trip to England to meet our blogging friends, Derrick & Jackie in person, and to travel on to Switzerland to see our daughter and her family there. We haven’t been able to do that since COVID raised its ugly head. Waaay too long between visits with our DollyWolly!

As Bob Goff said, “Life is too short to just go through the motions.” Embrace the extraordinary! Be extraordinarily positive! Look at the bruises and the challenges – and remember, “whether its the people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that … along the way,” they don’t have to pull you down. They don’t have to keep your dreams small. As Bob Goff says on his website and in his books, “Dream Big!”

Smile the bruises away.
Ignore those who put you in a box.
Embrace the faith that makes you extraordinary!

What are you planning for your future that will keep you living those “Dream Big” ideas?
Whatever it is, keep leaning on the One who answers your prayers!

The Fire Update in CA

Our son and his wife in CA still are safe from the Caldron Fire. They still are housing a family of 8 children and their mom who were evacuated from their home. They are living an extraordinary life right now, buoyed by all our prayers.

Our granddaughter in S. Lake Tahoe and her husband, Faith and Kyle, who were evacuated from their home, still are safely relocated for now in southern CA with their other grandparents. Today they received the gift of passes to visit Disneyland. It’s Kyle’s first visit there to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” The fire took a right turn just a mile from their house. Only God can control the wind! Answered prayers have saved their neighborhood. What an extraordinary God we have!

Continue to pray for extraordinary bravery and safety for our fire fighters.

Faith & Kyle

Please continue to pray for Faith and Kyle and their neighborhood…
and for Ty & Monika and their big hearts
which are open to such Christ-like help for their friends.

Monika and Ty –
an extraordinary couple

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Stay tuned!
And continue to be the extraordinary person God created you to be!

Embrace Teachers


This week school started
Children back in their classrooms
Masks are required

Teachers wear their masks
Most children are feeling safe
God bless our teachers

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Some must test daily
States requirements differ
God bless our teachers

Some still distance learn
Listening to a screen is hard
Harder than up close

Virtual lessons
Leave many students outside
Levels of comfort

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Not all the children
Have the proper equipment
Nor their private space

Some live in chaos
Choose invisibility
Fearful of teasing

The choice should be theirs
But how do teachers teach blanks
God bless our teachers

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Embrace our teachers
They yearn to be close and touch
Give encouragement

Send a thank you card
To a teacher in your town
Appreciate them

Times are difficult
When masks and distance require
Such separation

Some things must be taught
Up close, very personal
COVID-19 SUCKS!

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Please

Send a thank you now
To a teacher in your life
Embrace your teachers!

Feeling better

Thank you for your prayers
for my bruised face.
It’s getting better everyday.

Pray for our teachers!
They have a tough assignment
in the midst of this pandemic.
They need our love and support.

And parents, please, set a loving example
for the sake of your children…
No more fighting!!

It’s so harmful to kids
when they see their parents fighting

In the news this week
We saw some parents slugging
Over mask ideas

The damage to kids
When adults behave like this
Is so long lasting!

10 Effects of Parents Fighting in Front of Children

parenting.firstcry.com › articles › impacts-of



YOU are your children’s first teacher!
You are your child’s life-long teacher,
Your behavior sets your most lasting legacy.
Parents, be your children’s BEST teacher!!


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

Embrace Contentment


Romans 12:18

“If it is possible,
so far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all.”

With all the strife in the world today,
the least we can do is to live in peace
with ourselves, our neighbors, our families.
And if we see someone in need,
reach out a helping hand.
Heaven knows, regardless of how bad
things seem to be for us,
it never is hard to find someone
who is worse off than we are.

He complained about
Having no shoes for his feet
Others had no feet

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Be contented with the little things.
They really aren’t so little after all!

Philippians 4:11-13

“Not that I am speaking of being in need,
for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
I know how to be brought low,
and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance,
I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger,
abundance and need.
I can do all things
through him who strengthens me.”

These photos were sent to me by Daughter #2 in Maryland.
That tornado and car pile-up were about 8 miles from her home.
She is thanking God for the fact that the strong winds
she had at her house didn’t knock down trees
or create a power outage.

Philippians 4:6

Keep praying!

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

Pray with Me

God Almighty, I honor and praise You
for the works of Your hands,
for the beauty of the earth,
for the love You have for Your people
and for the animals.
I ask you now to protect
those who are ravaged by tornadoes
and floods, fires, and hurricanes,
wars and injustices.
Help us to know and trust
that You are with us
and You hear and answer
the fervent prayers of Your people.

Save us, Lord.
Bring peace.
Bring safety.
Bring rain to those who need it
and sunshine to those
who need freedom from flooding.

Help us find contentment
in Your care and promises.

Amen

Jan’s black eye fading

Find contentment in little blessings (some of them are not so little):

  • my black & blue eyes are healing
  • the bump on my forehead is decreasing
  • our smoky valley has cleared a little (we can see the mountains again)
  • the firefighters are diligently working to contain the wildfires
  • my grandson, Chris, made it safely to Colombia (that’s him & his girlfriend, Natalia’s picture behind me there)
  • so far our granddaughter’s house in South Lake Tahoe has not caught fire – and they are safely evacuated to stay with their other grandparents in southern CA
  • our son & his wife’s house is safe from the fires (and they are graciously housing a family who were evacuated from theirs)
  • my husband’s doctor has okayed his fishing trip to Alaska (he leaves next Monday) – in spite of some health scares this week – he is better :o)
  • you came to visit my blog and share the message of contentment in your life (in spite of challenges) – I look forward to your comments ❤

God bless you!
See ya tomorrow (God Willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Firefighters


This is the image of the Caldron fire in Amador County, California… only 14% contained … with strong winds moving it northeast toward Tahoe. According to our daughter-in-law today, the fire has grown to 177,260 acres and has destroyed 653 homes.

The line on the right shows you the 5.77 miles from the fire to our granddaughter’s house yesterday. Today it has moved closer and ALL residents (22,000) of South Lake Tahoe have been evacuated. They have only one exit highway open – and it leads to Nevada.

The line on the left shows the 5.49 miles from the storm yesterday to our son’s house. The purple dot in the fire’s “mouth” shows the place where the home is of our son’s friends – the ones who were evacuated and are now living in Placeville with Ty and Monika.

It is hard in the midst of such danger, loss of property, loss of homes, loss of lives and livelihoods, to keep a positive attitude. But, we cannot allow ourselves to despair!

Trust is a huge key to sanity!
Gratitude is a huge key to sanity!

For our granddaughter, Faith, and her husband, Kyle, the running water they are appreciating today may not be from their own faucet, but it is in the home of life-long friends of her other grandparents…

… and they were able to evacuate their home with some clothes… not just the pajamas they were wearing like some who were rushed out of their homes in the dark of the night…

… and they have food, love, shelter, and their dog! Of course, there is so much for which to be grateful!

I prayed for Faith & Kyle’s safety.
I prayed for our son & his wife’s safety..
They are safe.
Thank You, God!

But, as I thank God for the safety of my loved ones,
I am remembering to be especially thankful
for the firefighters who continue day and night
to try and save people’s lives, homes, our forests,
and our cities/towns/businesses.
God bless our firefighters!

Keep smiling (if you can) through the storms of life…
And try not to let the struggles get you down.
They are designed to strengthen us!!

Remember the scripture that says,

Psalm 46:1-2,

7 “God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall
into the heart of the sea;
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”.


My grandson, Sam, told me a few days ago,
“Grammy, just wear dark glasses.”
Don’t forget to listen to the advice of your kids –
they are smarter than you realize!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Be a friend to a firefighter
Be a friend to your neighbor
Be a friend who gives someone in need
a reason to smile today.

That’s what friends are for!

Embrace Your Daughter


Are you blessed with a daughter
who is your DollyWolly?
We are!
Today is her 54th birthday.
Happy Birthday, DeAna Laura Beekman Solioz!

Born August 29, 1967, DeAna was given her name
because it was as close as we could come to
having the DeAngeles (my maiden name) carried on.
Just drop the tail on the g and that’s how the spelling
of DeAna came to be.

Here she is with her brother Tyroneeee…
at about one month of age…
always sticking er tongue out!
DeAna and me when she was about 8 or 9 months
What a cute little button nose, huh?
Her second Christmas…
with Santa and brother Ty
I love this picture of her as a 1st or 2nd grader.
Sparkly eyes… healthy new front teeth…
and perky pony tails.
So cute!!
This is such a precious photo of
DeDe with her Grandma Beekman ❤
One of my favorites –
– to show DeDe’s perky smile –
about 8th grade, I think.
Time flies!
And before you know it,
she was getting married –
and would soon move to Switzerland
to live her life there as DeAna Solioz.
But we were very blessed to be able to
put a bottle of our favorite
Runquist wine in our suitcase,
hop a plane, and
spend time in Switzerland with her
every other year
(until COVID)!
Within 6 or 7 years, De and Andre’ had three sons –
and watching Mike, Nick & Chris grow up
has been a wondrous opportunity…
(as they came here every other year
during the first decade of their lives).
DeAna has retained her best buddy
from her days at Downey High in Modesto, CA
(and we have claimed her as or Daughter #2)…
We treasure the times De returns to the states
and we are able to celebrate happy times
together with De and Laina.
(That picture was 2019 before COVID)
.

Recently DeAna had surgery…
and it was hard being a mom
with a daughter so far away
at a time like that.
But I sent her encouragement
and love – like this meme:

And she sent me pictures to reassure me
that she was doing OK.
Thank God for the internet, huh?
Now De and Andre’ have a new restaurant
and (God willing and the Delta variant doesn’t go crazy)
we are going to be able to go there
in October to see them and their place in person.
Happy Birthday, DollyWolly!
We are so grateful to God for
giving us such a wonderful daughter!

If you have the blessing of a daughter
who is a DollyWolly in your life,
embrace her once for me, wouldja?

And have a good night.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Love


Today’s topic was chosen before I read Caralyn’s post today.
After seeing what she shared yesterday,
I decided I cannot say anything on this topic
that would be more meaningful
than what she wrote.
So, I am reposting her message for you here.

It can be found in its entirety at
https://beautybeyondbones.com/2021/08/26/love-is-not-a-rescue-mission/#comment-148217
THANK YOU, CARALYN

Love Sets You Free

Posted on by beautybeyondbones

One of the most special things in my life, is the fact that my best friend since literally birth, is my neighbor in NYC.

Truly. Neighbors. Our buildings are 157 steps apart, and I couldn’t be luckier to have my true blue — someone who has been with me through thick and thin, the most supportive, loving friend right there — it is one of my life’s greatest blessings.

Anywho – I was over at her apartment last weekend for a movie night. We ordered Chinese food, drank wine, it was truly like we were a scene out of Friends.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

We watched The Last Five Years. A very obscure movie musical that, truly, only the “buffiest” of musical theater buffs know about.

But anyway — there was a line in the movie that literally made me stop and say…WOW.

Has that ever happened to you? Like something is just such a truth bomb that it literally stops you in your tracks?

Before I get to the big one liner, a little background about the movie: it’s about a couple’s marriage that falls apart. How uplifting, right?

But it’s scenes from when they first met, all the way through when the man leaves her, told in an alternating fashion from their different perspectives, him: starting from beginning to the end, her: from the end to the beginning….if that makes any sense at all.

But there was a line in his note to her, telling her that he was leaving…and he said, “I could never rescue you.”

And, I mean – wow, not only did that hit like a sack of bricks to the heart, but when I heard, I immediately thought – truer words have never been spoken.

Thisthis is exactly why I was single for so dang long. This is exactly why only now, have I embraced and welcomed love into my life: because I was not in a whole state, where I could bring someone into my life.

I was not yet at a place where I could welcome someone into my life as a woman who loved herself, had forgiven herself from the anorexia in her past, and freed herself from that shame.

And now — sitting here in an amazing relationship with an incredible man, I can easily say that the most beautiful thing in life, is to love and be loved in return. For so long, I feared doing just that, keeping people at arms length, not opening my heart, because I believed that my past made me unworthy of love. But friends, that is the biggest lie and bunch of malarkey that was keeping me from living fully alive. And though that makes me so sad to think about the abundant life I missed out on, I know that God was in control all along, and allowing things to unfold and bloom in the perfect timing.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

Recovery is a long and winding road, and long after you put the weight on, you still wrestle with that inner voice shouting that you’re you’re not enough, you’re too broken, you’re unlovable and full of shame. I thank God everyday for drowning out those lies with His truth. Because that is the only way I fully healed: Him.
.
The fact is: no one can rescue you. No one can love you enough to get better. No one can do it for you, or want it for you: You have have rescue yourself. Or rather — you and Jesus – together – have to rescue yourself. But you can’t expect your partner to save you: that’s not fair to them, not fair to you. And that’s why it took me so long to get to the beautiful place I’m in today: because I had to do the work. I had to go through that long, arduous, and difficult process of believing that I was worth loving.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

And the crazy thing is: it turns out that LOVE reaffirms all the healing truths God was whispering to me all along: truths that I was precious in His sight, that I was forgiven, that my life has value, but more than that: I was loved beyond my wildest dreams.

Love is truly the last step to a full recovery. It is the key that unlocks the freedom to live fully alive — the life of abundance that God created us for.

And it makes sense too, because God is love. And His love sets us free.

And, now – living in that freedom, I can safely say it is the most beautiful thing in the world. And dare I say, what we were created for.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

So — The Last Five Years — just goes to show that God can speak to you even in the most obscure ways: reminding us of His love, and the beautiful journey He’s brought us through, and helped us overcome.

Maybe this is super cheesy, and yeah, it probably is. 😉 But reflecting on all this, just makes me feel super grateful for this man who makes my heart feel safe, seen and loved. I might not need rescuing, but it is a beautiful thing to have a partner who loves and supports you just the way you are.

What’s a movie quote or song lyric that has stuck with you?

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

So, since Caralyn has reminded us that
“Life is vulnerability,”
and
Love is truly the last step to a full recovery,”
help me embrace these bruises
and love the changing colors, ok??
Love your troubles away!
Are they on their way to full recovery?

EMBRACE LOVE

Believe it or not,
it is getting better!

I dressed in yellow
to match the yellow hew
of the bruises yesterday
(I’ve always loved the cheerfulness of yellow)
and
by this morning,
the yellow is accentuated…
maybe chartreuse
is the color for this
beautiful, sunny, blue-sky
Saturday.
ADD A LITTLE GREEN AND BLUE TO THE YELLOW.

Don’t you love it?

Now, there’s a face only a mother could love!

Caralyn wrote, “it is a beautiful thing to have a partner who loves and supports you just the way you are.”

And I couldn’t agree more. I am certainly grateful for my partner of nearly 60 years who told me I was looking better this morning! Oh my… better than what? Love me just the way I am??

I LOVE YOUR VISIT
AND YOUR COMMENTS.

Thanks for sharing some loving thoughts.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Our Military


My heart is breaking over the loss of the lives of 13 of our military in Afghanistan yesterday. The death toll from the blast includes 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy hospital corpsman, and one Army soldier, American officials said.

Today we learned the identity of one of those Marines who was needlessly killed yesterday in that bombing. He was only 20 years old. A young man who wanted to be a Marine all his life, according to a report I just heard. A young man who was due to be a dad in just three weeks. My heart goes out to his family and friends, the mother of his child, and to his unborn child. My prayers are with all those who lost loved ones in that attack yesterday… including the more than 100 Afghans who died in that bombing, too.

The above photo is Texas Marine David Lee Espinoza, 20,
killed in Kabul airport attack…
who was lauded for ‘courage and bravery,’

The young man is Kareem. His father’s interview was posted on-line. A portion of it was,
“Kareem loved what he was doing, he always wanted to be a Marine,” said Nikoui, noting that his son had been stationed close to home, at Camp Pendleton. This made it easy for Kareem to visit on weekends, and he often brought along “10 or 15 other Marines” with him. When the holidays rolled around, Kareem always brought a few buddies with him for a home cooked meal.

As I write this post, additional names are being released of those who were killed in the Kabul bombing. This one just came in:

“A Marine from the St. Louis area was among the 13 American service members and more than a hundred Afghans killed in a suicide bombing Thursday near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to the man’s father and a U.S. senator.

Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville, Missouri, was among the dead, his father, Mark Schmitz told the radio station KMOX.

“This has just been absolutely devastating,” Schmitz told the station Friday.

Schmitz told the station the U.S. Marine Corps came to his home to deliver “the horrific news” around 2:40 a.m. Friday.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley confirmed his death in a statement posted to Twitter.

“Today I spoke with the family of Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, of Wentzville, Missouri, a Marine who lost his life yesterday in the Kabul attacks, while proudly serving this nation. I promised his family that his service and his legacy will not be forgotten,” Hawley wrote.

I THANK OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM
FOR THEIR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY
AND THEIR WORK TO KEEP US
FREE AND SAFE.

God bless our military.
Keep them safe, Lord.
Let them come home to their families
alive and well… not in a box!

Dear Friends,
EMBRACE OUR MILITARY.
They need our appreciation and support every day.

See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

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