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Archive for December, 2020

Last Day Sedoka


[Sedoka is a Japanese poetic form comprising 38 syllables in a sequence of 5, 7, 7, 5, 7, 7.]
It is the invitation from d’Verse Poetry today…

Last Day Sedoka

When my last day comes
Won’t be a celebration
Not one that I can attend
So I’ll celebrate
Last day of twenty-twenty
With a Hip-hip and Hooray!!

Jan Beekman

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Check out my inspiration for this Sedoka at
https://poetscornerblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/last-day-sedoka/

I CAN Embrace


I can embrace the future.
I can be ready for a fresh start.
I can take time to review
This past year and take heart.

Take heart that new beginnings
Offer us blessings to uncover.
Take heart that compassion’s awakened;
We’ve new opportunities to discover.

I can embrace the promises
That change and growth bestow.
I can be energized by
Welcoming strangers I’ve yet to know.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I can embrace the reality
Of dreams yet to fulfill,
Knowing God is ever faithful
When I’m living in His will.

As Bob Goff says, “Dream Big!”

I can embrace the coming year
With prayers for those in need –
And reach out to serve the hurting
With generosity – release the greed!

I embrace the coming decade
And hope to live rightly through it.
I embrace the coming vaccine –
It’ll be effective – we always knew it.

We knew that this pandemic
Could not stay with us forever.
There are too many blessed people
Out there who are creative and so clever.

But I am not waiting for the shot
To stop the misery and relieve the pain.
I embrace the fact that LOVE
Is what will make us whole again!

So, PEACE, my dear WP friends,
I send you the best medicine of all
For the end of this misery-filled year:
A smile, a virtual hug, a word of grace, an answer to your call.

Just like Bob Goff, Love Does,
He puts his cell phone number on his book covers.
Call on me … and I will answer every time:
(406) 599-9678

Happy New Year!
Big Embraces to you,
With Love, JanBeek

I CAN RELEASE


I CAN RELEASE

My Journal

My Journal prompts me to decide
What it is today that I CAN
And I WILL release.
It’s not always easy to decide.

In this end of 2020
With the start of a fresh new year
Just around the corner,
I CAN release the old.

I CAN release what obstructs
And I CAN make room
For the new, the better.
What must I release?

First I must REFLECT.
What was good in this mess?
What was worth keeping?
What should I have learned?

I have learned to sift –
Sift through the garbage of the year
And find the jewels. and keep them –
Throw out the garbage!

Kindness wins!

Reflect on the kindnesses
Offered to me from others…
And keep those thoughts alive
While I release the ugliness.

Every struggle contains lessons.
Reflect on the things
COVID-19 set before us.
Did it teach interdependence?

It’s not a problem faced
By just one country or state.
This pandemic is a world-wide
Challenge… we’re ALL effected.

Release the idea of “Me First” –
Release the “We’re the best” mentality.
Absorb the understanding that
We’re all this together.

“No man* is an island –
No man stands alone –
Each man’s joy is joy to me –
Each man’s grief is my own.

(*human)

We need one another,
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”

Release the idea of supremacy –
And reflect on God’s creation.
Know He made us ALL in His image.
Reflect on what that means.

When you hurt, I hurt.
When you are hungry, I MUST
Reach out to help you – and
Find the nourishment you need.

Images of people in food lines
Stretching for blocks,
And people waiting for vaccines
In “First come-first served” lines

GRIEVE ME!

There is enough food,
Enough resources in this world,
To meet each (hu)man’s need –
We just need to share!!

Release the tensions of this
Election year in the USA
And reflect on the voter turnout,
The level of participation.

Release the divisiveness
And concentrate on the idea
Of POWER in UNITY.
Work toward unification.

Release all attitudes of angst.
Reflect on the love shared –
And determine to be the change
We hope to see in 2021.

I CAN
and
I WILL.

WATCH ME!

Bee an angel and join me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.
Happy New Year!

Two Birthdays in Big Sky


Where’s the perfect place
to celebrate a birthday
if you live in Montana?
Well, Big Sky, of course!

Bob & Jan in Big Sky on Bob’s 82nd birthday

And what’s the best way to celebrate in Big Sky when you get there?
With a friend who shares the same birthday, of course!

Caroline & Chuck Feldman –
CG’s birthday was today, too.

It was their first trip up to Big Sky
through the Jack Creek Canyon …
and the day could not
have been prettier for the trip!

Headed up to Big Sky via Jack Creek Canyon
Jack Creek thawing
I love the jack fences when they are snow covered!
Gorgeous blue sky and snow-covered peaks
Montana Jack’s – the perfect spot for lunch
Easy to socially distance
Tables set 10 feet apart
Complimentary dessert for the birthday boys!
To heck with a plate and spoon –
We all ate outta the dessert plate!
We stopped for some extra fun on our way out.
Of course, we masked up when we were not eating.
Everyone was equally obedient.
Can’t be too careful in this COVID world!
We hate wearing them… it’s hard to breathe….
But we’d hate more to get the virus, so we comply!
My friend, Doris, sent me this meme this morning.
While up at Big Sky, I saw a lot of mask-wearing
that confirmed the concern!!
Back home to Ennis – cross the Madison River
It was a lovely trip –
and a memorable, fun day.
Back Home with my feet up…
Time to kick off my boots!

I hope your Tuesday was a Terrific as ours.
Do you have a birthday to celebrate this end of the year?
If so, I hope you do something memorable.

Have a Happy last week of 2020…
time to kick it off, too!

Photo by YI on Pexels.com


Where would you like to kick 2020 off to
while you welcome 2021?
A beach in Hawaii might be nice!

Thanks for visiting Big Sky with me vicariously today.
We all need to look forward to a safe, healthy 2021
I wish you could travel here for real.
We’ll take you up Jack Creek Canyon!

Hugs,
JanBeek

Today’s Birthdays


Yesterday it was Ray …
the guy with Bob
and that gorgeous trout.
Catch,
pose,
take photo,
release!

Happy Birthday yesterday, Ray!
A new boat for your special day?
Wow!! What a gift!
My Precious Husband

Happy Birthday, dear BobbyBee.
Today you are 82, but you don’t look it.
You don’t feel it most days either!
Thank God for your refreshed health!

This is livin’!!
Here’s to many more years of fishing fun!
Here’s to many more summers of ATVing…
… and enjoying the trails with your PUP!!
Here’s to happy visits with Peter
and other former students and friends!
Don’t look at me like that!
Comb your hair and let’s go…
Let’s head up to Big Sky…
with our buddies, the Feldmans.
Happy Birthday to Chuck, too!
Wish we could travel to Switzerland
to be with our daughter, DeDe!
… or to California to be with our son, Ty,
and with Faith & Kyle (granddaughter & her hubby)
Through Jack Creek Canyon to Big Sky

But… we are blessed to be right here
in beautiful south-west Montana
and a trip to Big Sky will be
a wonderful birthday celebration.
Let’s go!

Pie for your birthday?
Coming right up!

Happy Birthday, Bob!

Who’s Birthday?


Today it’s Ray!

Happy Birthday Ray!

And tomorrow?

Too Big a Pill to Swallow?


Is that idea of a virgin birth
too big a pill for you to swallow?
It gets in the way of faith
for a whole lot of folks.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, MT
dealt with that subject…
the virgin birth.
He titled it:

Conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and Born of the Virgin Mary


It’s a stumbling block for many
To think of a baby born of a virgin…
The idea can seem like a fairy tale.
It can be a pill too big to swallow.

Some people believe Christ was
Half God and half human.
Only One who is fully God
Can atone for our sins.

Only one who is fully human
Can experience our suffering and pain.
So many deny Jesus’ duality:
Jesus was born divine and became human.

Philippians 2:7
“But made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.”


This verse is our first statement of faith:
He found Himself as human
And humbled Himself.
He chose to be dependent on humans.

Jesus could not have been born
Without that simple peasant girl;
And He suffered all the human pain
And a cruel and painful death.

It’s a gigantic leap of faith
To fully believe the virgin birth.
But, take comfort in knowing
Even the disciples had trouble.

Even though they walked
With Jesus on this earth,
They had trouble believing
He was the Holy Son of God.

The initial act of faith
Is not that total belief.
The initial act of faith
Is to invite Jesus into your heart.

When your own life is changed
By the love of Christ in you,
Then your faith will grow;
You will share that faith with others.

Jesus sees the pearls in the dust.
Not what we are, but
What God intends us to become.
In Christ, our faith can help us get there.

We don’t begin as full believers.
We begin as that dependent manger child.
We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom,
And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.

Let Him walk with you.
Let Him help your faith to grow.
When it comes to faith,
The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!

Pastoral Prayer

by Steve Hundley

We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year.  We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.

In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North.  Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose.  On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic.  Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion.  Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,

So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord.  Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them.  Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.

Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness.  Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love.  We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen

May you, my dear WP friends,
find the peace,
comfort,
hope,
and clarity of purpose
for which we pray.

This describes my purpose! I will declare His coming
and live in modesty, honesty, and compassion.

How about your clarity of purpose?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Don’t forget to comment below.
I would love to hear about
your Sunday and your purpose.
Hugs!!

See ya tomorrow…

Live Life Forward


I CAN …

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or so, you already know that I journal most days in this little book that is dedicated to my dear and daring daughter, DeAna. I don’t write in it EVERY day, but often I do, when I am up in my sanctuary, motivated by my devotionals. Today was such a day.

Look ahead, my friend
Live Life Forward
Stare out the windshield
Not the rear view mirror

Look toward the future
Find the unexpected gifts
Share the love and grace
You find at every turn

Share the laughter
Share uninhibited joy
Share compassion
Ease each others pain

Find the hidden treasures
‘Neath the tears of sorrow
Let them wash you clean
Ready for tomorrow

Look ahead, my friend
Don’t let the past upset
Live life forward
And bury all regret

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

I have positive thoughts about today.
It’s snowing here…
and it is beautiful outside.
It’s warm and cozy inside.
I pray you are cozy, too.



Thanks for visiting JanBeek
And thank you to all my faithful followers –
Your comments make my day!
See ya tomorrow.

A photo taken from a drone by my friend, Whooter,
showing you how pretty it is
when the snow is beginning to turn things white.
Happy Christmas Weekend!

A Blessed Christmas


I am grateful for you, dear WordPress friends.
I pray your day was blessed indeed.
Merry Christmas!

ZOOM Christmas

Did you get to actually be with your family? Or did you ZOOM with them as we did? The picture above is Christmas Eve morning. Bob & I had the opportunity to see and talk with (left to right) our son, Ty, [then that’s us], group shot of our grandson and granddaughter with our son’s in-laws, then my niece, Jodie & her husband, Bill and son, Liam, from their home in PA, our daughter #2 Laina in the Baltimore area, and our daughter-in-law, Monika, in CA. We had a wonderful hour-long conversation. Next best thing to being together in person! Thank you, ZOOM!!

Bob gave me this wonderful, warm sweater.
Laina sent us this warm greeting this morning.
She is such a thoughtful, loving daughter!
Our grandson sent us this adorable picture,
thanking us for the slippers we sent to him and his adorable girlfriend.
My dear friend, Terry, gave me this Willow Creek angel for Christmas.
You know how angels are an important part of my life.
How sweet and thoughtful of her!

What are the gifts that brightened your day today?
I hope you are feeling as blessed as we are.

A photo from our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland
brightened our Christmas. So nice to see her
with her hubby, two of her 3 boys, plus her mother-in-love.
Our dear neighbor, ,Scott, treated us to a very special bottle of wine.
We are decanting it to enjoy it with our special dinner…
a standing rib roast. Wish you could share it with us!
We’re looking forward setting up and learning to use this gift from our son and his wife.
Technology continues to amaze us… the advances are amazing!

Bob & I are using our relatively new smoker to smoke a standing rib roast for our Christmas dinner. Like technology, things like smokers and cell phones require a learning curve. We’re on the uphill side of that curve!

We called our neighbor/friend, Whooter, for help this morning when we were trying to figure out how to do this. Dear Whooter texted us back, sent us a photo that made our day, and gave us the advice we needed. Love that guy!!

I’m sure he didn’t intend me to broadcast this photo,
but you needed a good laugh, too, right?

Whooter gave us a great recipe for a rub to put on the meat, and meat thermometers to help us know we are headed in the right direction in the smoking process. God bless him! Do you have neighbors who are life-savers for you at times like this?

Our good friends, the Delektas, had a present under our tree today.
It’s a gorgeous knife that will be the greatest tool for carving this roast
if it ever smokes sufficiently for us to eventually eat it!
Don’t get in the way, TazE… it’s sharp!!

As we prepare for our Christmas dinner, we are listening to the horrible news about the bombing in Nashville this morning. So sad that there are such sick people out there! How could someone intentionally do something so devastating?

Our prayers go out for those who were injured and prayers of gratitude that there are no known fatalities. We have friends who live in Nashville- not far from this blast. And I have a cousin who lives there. My heart goes out to all those in Harm’s Way. We all are affected by such atrocities. It makes us all feel vulnerable. It saddens my heart.

God be with those firefighters who were injured.
May they recover fully and be home with their families soon.

I am enjoying this beautiful pillow that our friends, Sue & Jerry gave us this Christmas.
What’s a favorite gift that you have been given?

Thank God for each minute you are given to share
the love, joy, and peace that are Jesus Christ’s gifts to us.
Have a very Merry Christmas, my friends.
Our standing rib roast WILL be done soon.
I am counting on it.

Sigh…
The smoker keeps shutting off.
We may have to call Whooter again!
(That’s just an internet photo!!)

Merry Christmas, my friends.
What did you do today?

See ya tomorrow.

Hugs from JanBeek, Bob & TazE!

Never Go Back!


No, I don’t want to go back!
I don’t want to revisit the old normal.
Surely as we move from 2020
to a new year, we’ll create a better normal.

This is my prayer this Christmas:
Lord, help us learn what You
have in mind for us to learn
from this rare year we’ve just survived.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Letter from a Wordsmith

With his permission, I am sharing with you the first part of a Christmas letter I received this week from my former pastor, Rev. Brent Mitchell. He is a master wordsmith! He said what’s in my heart so much better than I could have said it.

“Mark it how you will,
2020 was a year not lost,
but forever to be remembered
for both its absences
and its unexpected gifts.

By the middle of March,
it became apparent that
what we thought as normalcy
had left its predictable confines
for parts unknown,
leaving no forwarding address.

Masked and gloved,
we were left to fend for ourselves
absent even the comfort
of shaking hands
or intimate conversations,
the communion around tables,
camaraderie of birthdays celebrated,
the sacred closeness of hospital visits.

Absent of the humanizing connectivity,
of those familiar and holy intersections,
we were left to laugh alone,
to cry alone,
and hope in seclusion.
It cost us treasures we never knew
were so valuable
and time that cannot be recalled.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“But admit it:
There were unexpected gifts.
There were letters we finally wrote,
the books we never touched until now,
the prolonged stillness that allowed us to think again,
and listen to what our hearts were saying.

We talked to God
because the hours got quiet enough
to hear His still small voice.
It happened because we watched enough TV
to realize we had watched TV enough,
and golden silence gave us gifts
that weren’t insipid.

“I think, in short, that if we were paying attention,
not only did we get older,
but almost certainly wiser
because even a painful awareness
of what lurks in our hearts and minds
is worth more than gold.

The gift was rediscovering
at a visceral level
that we really are never alone;
nor in the absence of everyone,
are we left unloved.

“My prayer is that when this is over,
and it will one day be over,
we won’t forget the things we learned
the hard way this year:
that God willing,
we’ll never go back
to the tired normalcy of endless distractions,
of busyness as usual,
and the noise that never ends.”

The Mitchell Musings
December 2020
Peace to you.
Good Night, my friends.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve Day.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I leave with you my hopes and wishes
for a most Blessed Christmas.

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