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 wentoff the deep end. One little friend got into a box and joined the insanity club!
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.
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.
“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!
“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.
“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.”
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.
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!
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
This — this 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.
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.
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.
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?
“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?
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?
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??
“The fun part of getting not one, but two black eyes, is making up some wild, harebrained event that caused them.
Sky diving accident?
Or when they turn yellow… trying out for a clown part in an adaptation of a Stephen King novel.”
I think I could pull off a clown part in a Stephen King adaptation, don’t you?
I don’t need to wait til they turn yellow… just match the magenta with my lipstick, clothing, and earrings, and (as Derrick suggested) EMBRACE THE BRUISES!!
If you’re just tuning in to this messed up face saga, I need you to know that I got into a wrestling match with a tiger – and I won. The tiger ran off into the woods, never to attack a human again!
And if you believe that, you need to buy my latest novel… published by Porterhouse … available on your next steak.
If you can’t embrace sunglasses and hide the damage, then ya gotta smile and bare it, right?
And while we’re at it, I have another story to tell you:
You know I’d not be likely to buy a case of beer – but good wine, now that’s another story!
Now if you think I have any flawless dance moves left in me, I have a glass of Kool-Aid to sell you. I have waaaay too many birthday stories to tell – and a whole lot of receipts for the Kool-Aid I’ve sold.
But, we’ve decided flying is a better way to go instead of driving these days. Driving requires sitting next to one another and trying to talk to each other. After nearly 60 years of marriage, what’s left to talk about? On a plane, if you’re lucky, you get the center aisle – and somebody new to talk to.
Seeing better was a perk of younger years. Hearing better is a perk of aging… but it takes a set of $4000 aids to do it.
As the birthdays pile up, we have to be sure we have our bifocals and our hearing aids before we leave home.
Next it’ll be our walking stick or a walker!!
Try not to lose your glasses or your car keys – That’s one of the problems we multi-birthday folks have. But that’s not as bad a losing your memory.
Did I tell you the story about how I got these black eyes? Oh, I did? It was back on the blog called EMBRACE HARD HEADS –
Oh well… That’s a story for another day.
Do you have a story to tell? Come on, be a sport… Entertain me!
This old church in McAllister, Montana is a treasure! The bell in the dome still rings, though the organ in the church no longer plays and the roof and foundation of it are compromised. It needs a lot of TLC.
Its history goes back to 1885 – when the land was gifted to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1887 the structure was completed. It was transferred to the Presbyterian Church (where Bob & I are members) in 1952.
We (as a congregation) love this old church, and many of our members, their friends, and their grandparents or parents or children or grandchildren have been married or baptized there.
Preserving precious old churches such as this one is an ongoing responsibility. It is costly and time-consuming. Respect for what it was and how it served its community in decades past keep us loving those old buildings.
Here are a few others that are treasures in their communities. If only they could talk!
Dilapidated Sadly abandoned old church Is God still in there?
Matthew 16:6. In many ways Matthew chapter 16 is a chapter about the church. Jesus was the first to mention the church. He only mentions the church twice, and both times are here in the book of Matthew.
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “And I say unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This is the first time that Jesus used the word church. He used the word church only twice, so it is good to know exactly what Jesus taught about the church. It may be that the things that Jesus taught about church are the things that are the most important to know about it.
Church is a place to trust in God’s promised presence ( Matthew 18:20) as we worship Him together, out of a sense of love and obedience ( Colossians 3:16 ).
When the church is functioning biblically, it’s more active and alive when the seats are empty, and the community is filled with those seeking to activate the gospel in love for each other.
Many of these old churches were also home to the cemeteries that bear the tombstones of its deceased members.
What a shame to allow them to deteriorate and collapse. But, who has the money for restoration and maintenance?
Weekly church attendance is down in our society today. It sometimes downplayed into a legalistic ritual. According to Pewforum.org, 61% of churchgoers attend to feel closer to God, while a sizable majority of non-churchgoers state they practice their faith in other ways.
Which is the right way? Modern society may beg us to believe the choice is ours, but biblical truth is clear about going to church.
Jesus Christ seeks in earnest to meet us on a day set aside to commemorate His defeat of death, to equip us to sustain our faith until He returns.
I am so grateful for my friends who sit in the pews with me every Sunday. Indeed, they help me sustain my faith.
Old churches remind us of the value placed on weekly worship in communities gone by.
Let’s all work to keep our churches vibrant, healthy, and inviting. Don’t let it become a place of ruin!
Oh the church in the valley Is a place I know so well… Listen to Jim & Jesse sing to you about it:
Do you have a little old white church in your history?
I really appreciate all the Happy Birthday wishes extended my way this past weekend. Thank you so much!
Even though I am happy to tell you I am starting my 83rd year on earth, I am also happy to tell you that I am a fan of Jack Benny. Now, if you are too young to remember who Jack Benny was (or you are in another country where Jack Benny was not a nationally known figure), let me tell you: Jack Benny was a comedian who embraced 39 – and decided to stay that age forever more!
Actually, I embrace aging (I wrote a blog using that title once) – I I have no desire to be stuck at 39 or any other age.
Each year brings new insights. Each year brings new joys. Each year brings new challenges. I don’t want to miss any of them.
How about you?
“Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old. Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever. Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.”
Each day I pray for wisdom. Each day I ask God to increase my understanding and I thank the Holy Spirit for the fruits of the spirit that are mine: LOVE, JOY AND PEACE. And I ask God to help me with the other fruits of the spirit: patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… those that I work to increase as I mature in my faith.
How about you?
As I gather up those birthdays and mature in my faith, I remember to keep a child-like spirit. Enjoy that song. Sing it often. Teach it to your grandchildren. Sing it with your great-grandchildren. Put it in your heart.
You can’t be a lemon or a grape if you wanna be a fruit of the spirit!! Who wants to grow up to be a lemon anyway?
Work on that patience, Jan … your great-grandchildren need to see you model it! And your grand-dog needs you to exercise that gentleness and kindness, too. Ain’t always easy.
How about you?
On my birthday, Ty (our son) and Bob went out fishing (not catching… just fishing) … and that required a lot of patience! I went along for the joy of the ride. It was cool on the water in the morning, but the afternoon warmed up.
That evening Ty and our daughter-in-law, Monika, Bob & I went in to Bozeman for dinner and dessert. We had a delightful time at a table out front of “Hooked Sushi” enjoying the music being played down the sidewalk a half a block, and the people and dogs walking by. Such fun!
Only in a college town would you find this kind of vibrancy. I love it!
We went after dinner to a very popular ice cream store … and had great fun with some college students who were in line ahead of us. Look at this cute kid! (Ya, I had fun teasing him …)
Sunday afternoon Bob, Ty & Monika went kayaking/paddleboarding while TazE & I found a shady spot and relaxed.
You can barely see the mountains outlined back there… not a typically beautiful day on Ennis Lake. Pray for the forest fires to be contained and the firefighters to be safe!
What are you doing this Monday evening besides surfing the net?
When life seems challenging and circumstances tax your patience, do you ever wonder if God’s really gotcha covered?
Well, trust me –
Trust the Savior –
He’s gotta grip on you!
God’s gotta grip on me.
Our Lord’s not lettin’ us go!
“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My Prayer for Today
“Gracious God, how grateful I am to rest secure in Your grip forever.”
God’s Not Gonna Lose Me
In today’s devotional time, Daily Guideposts 2021 reminded me that while I may misplace my sunglasses or my phone occasionally, God never misplaces me!
In his comments, Bill Giovannetti recalled a time when his daughter asked him, “What if I lost God? Or what if God lost me?”
Her younger brother responded, “Right, Josie, you’re the only person in the whole wide world that God forgot about!”
Reading Romans 8:38-39 together, Bill and his son reassured Josie and asked her, “If God keeps His Word, what is that verse telling you?”
“It’s telling me God never loses His sunglasses,” she said, “Or me!”
Today Bob & I celebrated my birthday (I’ll match Bob’s age – and be 82 tomorrow). Our hands certainly show the wear and tear of work and years!
But, like that hold God has on us, we’ve got a grip on one another – and we’re not letting go!
Taking a clue from us and God, Xander’s got a grip on his GreatGrandma Jan (GG – that’s me!) and he’s not letting go!
My great-granddaughter, Sienna, gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope. When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.
It’s a double blessings when Grandpa gets down on the floor with his granddaughter. Our son Ty helped Sienna learn how to get a grip on puzzle skills.
Children are blessed indeed when they have a grandma who reads to them. Sienna gets a grip on what books are all about with Grandma Monika’s help.
How special to get a grip on my great-granddaughter, Sienna, and her mommy, Hope … while they get a grip on TazE, our Boston Terrier!
Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together! Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!
Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!
Monika and Hope with Sienna & Xander… They sang Happy Birthday to help me get a grip on turning a year older. Not older… just more mature, right? So nice!
Ty & Monika brought their big dog, Nakota…
… and TazE had trouble getting a grip on having such a big buddy!
She was exhausted! Time to get under the table and get a grip on some rest!