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Embrace Reading


I love reading
Almost as much
As I love writing –
How about you?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As a teacher,
Reading to my students
Was my favorite time
Of every school day.

Every day when the students
Came in from lunch
Hyper and excited,
A good book settled them.

As a retired adult,
Spending time in
A captivating book
Is like being in a candy shop.

But some of my friends
Would rather color
Or watch TV
Or shop on-line.

How do you feel
About books and reading?
Do you relish a good read –
Or would you rather garden?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reading a good book
Takes you to gardens
And castles and wonders
Around the world.

Reading a good book
Increases your vocabulary
And helps you soar
To heights beyond your reach.

I’m not telling you
Anything you didn’t know.
So, tell me about a book
That carried you skyward.

I’m all ears!
Recommend a good book to me.

Embrace Reading!

That’s me – reading “The Wing Ding Dilly” by Bill Peet
to a 4th grade class in California.
Their teacher, Mrs. Souza,
invited friends on FB
to ZOOM read to her class.
I volunteered.
You should try it!
It was such fun!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
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!

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.

A Day to Remember!


December 21st

On this day in the year 1937, Walt Disney’s animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was introduced to a delighted American public. My sister was one day old. I was born a year and a half later.

Yesterday I posted a poem about God whistling through the trees – and added some other whistlers to the post. Here’s one of my favorite tunes to whistle:

I grew up with loving this movie and the song…


The drawings that created the animation for the movie were mostly done by Bill Peet. I met Bill Peet in the late 1960’s at a California Teachers’ Association Reading Conference. What a delightful man! Bill worked for Walt Disney as an artist most of his career. In his early 50’s, he retired from Walt Disney Studios and began publishing children’s picture books. This was one published in 1967, the year my daughter, DeAna, was born.

Bill Peet


Have you ever heard of him? Are you familiar with any of his books? I think many of the more than 30 books he wrote and published for children are available today on Amazon Books… especially in the Used Books section. I don’t think any are still being printed. But, I should research that. His home page lets you see this creative author/illustrator: http://www.billpeet.net/

Many of my Bill Peet books were autographed. I bought them at the CTA conferences and had the author personalize them to me and put his signature on them. I have given most of those to my daughter-in-law, Monika, who home-schooled our four California grandchildren.

Looking at that list, I remember hearing Bill read to us “The Wingdingdilly.” I remember his infectious laugh. That”s such a cute story! Here are a couple of his books that I still have. All his books have a wonderful moral to them. Many of them are written in poetic rhyme. His wonderful sense of humor comes through, just as it did when he produced the drawings for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Don’t you love his whimsical artwork?
Jennifer the automobile was already old in 1933…
Her best friend was a scrawny, stray cat named Josephine.
This is the story of a timid, scrawny little squirrel afraid to come down out of his tree…
Adorable!
How can tiny little gnats save those big animals of the forest during hunting season?

Another of Bill Peet’s books that I still have is Fly Homer, Fly – copyrighted in 1969, its pages’ edges are mouse chewed – don’t know how that happened – but not so bad it ate into any of the words! Homer is a simple farm pigeon who lives in an abandoned barn. Homer befriended a bedraggled sparrow who was blown by a storm into the barn. The adventures begin when Sparky, the Sparrow, convinced Homer to fly off to Mammoth City with him in search of Pigeon Park where every day was supposed to be a feast day.

And then on this day in 2020…

You just gotta try to find Fly Homer Fly… The pigeon & sparrow adventures reminded me of my youngest grandson, Chris, who arrived today in Colombia from Switzerland.

Yesterday Chris flew via Geneva – Madrid – Miami. And then he realized he had forgotten his American passport. He could not fly on from Miami to his next scheduled stop. So he had to go back to Geneva and have his brothers drive there from Sierre (a two-hour trip) to deliver his USA passport to him… and 52 hours later he finally got to his destination. Whew!! Can you imagine?? Might even beat Homer’s adventures!

I introduced you to our grandson, Chris, back in November of 2018 when he came to live with us for awhile and joined the Job Corps in Anaconda, Montana. Then COVID-19 hit and the government threatened to close the Job Corps centers that were run by the Forest Service. Anaconda was one of them. That was right about when Chrissy’s parents were here visiting. So, he decided to go back to Switzerland. He’s now studying to be a nurse. He met Natalia on-line… and I told you about their romance back in early 2019. Refresh your memory:
https://janbeek.blog/2020/02/23/love-on-the-internet/

Bob & Jan with Chris in December 2018

A Day to Remember

Our grandson will remember this day forever… and someday he will laugh about it with his grandkids, just the way his grandparents are enjoying the story today. It was a surprise to us that Chris made this trip! I hope you are enjoying the story, too… and like us, I hope you are saying a prayer for those crazy kids who choose to fly across the world in this COVID environment. Ah, love knows no barriers! God bless them!

And God bless us all.
Bee safe this Christmas week, my friends.
Do yourself a favor and go check out Bill Peet!
See ya tomorrow.
Keep your sense of humor alive.
It’s vital!

Love that”kid” …
Bee safe, Chrissy!


Hugs, GrammyJanBeek

Do You Journal?


Do you journal?
Do you write most days –
Only here on WordPress?
Do you write in other ways?

Journaling on WordPress
Is a great opportunity,
But I might not say
All that occurs to me.

My journal from Marcie & Monica

I have a wonderful journal –
A gift from two good friends.
They gave it to me last year
Knowing my journaling never ends.

Today I wrote an entry
About how November’s end –
And how Christmas is coming
Right around the next bend.

But, I don’t want to squander
All the lesson November brought,
So I recalled all the Take-Aways
Each November devotion brought:

Which of those take-aways
Speaks to your heart today?
Which will you carry with you
As you travel on your way?

Each day I read the message
And in a word or five,
I take the thought I need
This day to live and thrive.

I invite you to also journal
If it isn’t already a habit.
Find a booklet that fits your taste
Then think your thoughts and grab it!

Grab that booklet daily
To augment the things you say
On WordPress to your friends here.
Your grandkids will love it some day!

This is another of my journals

Do you journal?
Do you write most days –
Only here on WordPress?
Do you write in other ways?

Journaling can be very therapeutic.
It can get things off your chest.
Then you can refer back to it.
It can be comforting at best!

If you don’t journal in a booklet,
Try it, my friends, start today.
You may discover, as I did,
It’s a place to finish your “say!”

Reading your journal later
Is like looking in a rear view mirror.
It helps you see what was
And makes today seem clearer.

Try it! You’ll like it!!

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs from JanBeek

This song by Roy Clark tells us, “I never stopped to think what life was all about…”
Well, I find that journaling helps me to that as I can recall “Yesterday When I Was Young” by looking back…

Was Lost – Is Found


On his blog, RothPoetry, Dwight posted this today,

“Today we were asked to write poetry from our book shelf. Bjorn, at d’Verse, called it found poetry. The challenge is to arrange and make a poem using book titles from our shelf, without changing any titles. I thought these were a very fitting group for the times we are experiencing. See what you think?

Found Poetry

Violence

Money, Sex, and Power

The Brilliant Idiot

Dialogue with death”

So I thought it would be fun to take up the challenge and do my own “Found Poem.”

The bookshelf in my “Angel Room”

I’m OK – You’re OK

Faith is the Answer

Mornings with Jesus

Reach Out!

Go to Dwight’s WordPress blog: see some other Found Poems. Take up the challenge! Go to your bookshelf. Share a Found Poem with me. Have fun with it. I’d love ❤️ to hear from you.

Virtual hugs 🤗

Cheers!! JanBeek

Four Ways To Overcome Fear


Sometimes this COVID-19 feels like we’re walking through the “Valley of the Shadow of Death,” especially when we see the staggering statistics from Italy and realize how quickly the virus is spreading in places like New York City.

A friend told me today he feels we’re living in a period akin to the Great Depression or the Dust Bowl era. Songs are being composed about it. There are thoughtful essays being written. Scientists are creating impressive graphs showing the statistics of known contagions to death tolls and analyzing the relationships to age and climate. Novels will be written that will be classics in the decades to come.

How do we live through this “Valley of the Shadow of Death” without fear?

There are the usual responses: pray, sequester and meditate, have faith, bury your head…

But, while I do believe in the power of our Maker, and I pray daily for the Source of all comfort to bring us healing and peace, there are a few other ways I keep myself FROM feeling the gloom that seems to be enveloping so many. You probably have a list of ways, too. I’d love to have you share yours with me.

Here are my four favorite remedies for avoiding the paralysis of fear:

  • Music – sing, play, or listen to uplifting songs on YouTube or XM Radio. I love seeing those folks on their balconies in Italy making joyful music together, don’t you? I just listened to Bono and Will.i.am singing a song they wrote for/to the Italians. Google it! Music soothes the soul and uplifts the spirit.
  • Write – as a blogger, you know how therapeutic it is to put words on paper, in a journal, on a card to a friend, or here on WordPress. Write about what keeps you positive and passionate.
  • Connect – on the internet or by phone, through a window or across a fence. I just installed a new app on my phone and iPad. It’s called ZOOM. Do you know it? The basic version is free. It’s like FaceTime, but it works on other platforms besides Apple products. My friends in California and Bob & I had a great conversation. It was like sitting across the table from our friends who are 1200 miles away from us. We miss them and it lifted our spirits to see and reconnect with them.
  • Walk – when the weather permits, go for a walk with your dog or a friend or both. I did that yesterday in our Lion’s Club Park. Yes, we practiced social distancing, but we could chat and laugh and encourage one another. It’s good for body and soul. And TazE loved it, too.

Do tell your dog he’s gotta walk, too!

Tell me, what ways do you avoid walking in the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” these days?

What are your favorite ways of avoiding fear?

Thanks for dropping by.
Visit a while, okay?
Add your ideas below.
See ya tomorrow.

Problems Are Opportunities


We are in a bit of a mess right now
But we will as a world of people
Get through this problem of COVID-19
If we focus on the possibilities.

We have to see the problem, though.
We can’t ignore it and decide
This is just a bunch of media hype.
Opportunities for containing it are coming.

The people who are working on a cure
Have to view the problem clearly.
They won’t create a vaccine or treatment
If they are convinced it’s only a hoax.

This major, world-wide problem is
An opportunity for people to see
A new and better world where people
Come together to create positive change.

Factories shut down and air quality improves.
Tourists are convinced to stay home, and
The waters in the canals of Venice are
Beginning to exhibit less pollution.

Schools are closed and parents are at home,
Schooling their children the best they can,
And hopefully spending quality time together.
Shut off the TV; limit screen time; TALK!

This problem IS providing us with opportunities.
Which ones are you taking advantage of?
Which closet got cleaned? What book did you read?
What distant friend did you call to reconnect?

Problems provide possibilities for creativity.
Use yours to make this corner of your world
A little brighter for your family and neighbors.
Remain positive. Spread hope. God bless you!

See ya tomorrow.
Sleep tight!

Hugs, JanBeek

29 Ways to Keep Wonder Alive


What makes you wonder?

Each morning I wonder what Bible verse will speak to me today.
I wonder what phrase I will “take away” with me.
I wonder how I can keep my faith
alive, growing, and contagious.

I read today’s page in Daily Guideposts 2020
and I go to my Bible to read
the chosen scripture in its larger context.
And then I write the “take away”
on the page provided at the end of the month.

These WONDERful phrases
keep the Wonder alive in my life.

I pray that perhaps these phrases
can help keep the wonder alive in your life, too.

  1. Know God is Always With You
  2. Use Your Talents for Common Good
  3. Love Selflessly
  4. Be a Ready Helper
  5. Share Wisely
  6. Find Strength in Faith
  7. Always Be Honest
  8. Trust in God’s Leading
  9. Keep Faith Alive
  10. Be a Blessing
  11. Love Without Condition
  12. Trust God’s Faithfulness
  13. God’s Love is Perfect ❤
  14. Set Your Affairs in Order
  15. Praise God for His Creativity
  16. Always Show Your Love
  17. Pray for Our Leaders
  18. Help Others in Need
  19. Play a Song of Perseverance
  20. Make Me a Loving Servant
  21. Thanks for Friends, Love, and Laughter
  22. Praise God for His Protection
  23. Foster Unity
  24. Concentrate on the Positive
  25. Thank God for Grit!
  26. Wear Your Faith Visibly and Honestly
  27. Commit to 40 Days of Sacrifice
  28. Put Faith Into Action
  29. Lean on Him for Wisdom and Strength
Keep Wonder alive in your life.
Act in WONDERful ways!

You may consider getting your copy of Daily Guideposts 2020
for your morning devotionals.
There are still ten months left
to enjoy and be inspired by its daily messages.
I find it to be a WONDERful way to start my day.

http://www.shopguideposts.org/Devotionals

Go out now and
DO LOVE in WONDER-filled ways.

See ya tomorrow.

A Year of Rumi


On FaceBook today I found this jewel:

A Year of Rumi

By Andrew Harvey

52,192 people have taken this course

When the great Sufi mystic and poet Jalal-ud-Din Rumi died at sunset in Konya, southern Turkey, on December 17, 1273, he had composed over 3,500 odes, 2,000 quatrains, and a vast spiritual epic called the Mathnawai. Now with A Year of Rumi from acclaimed Rumi scholar Andrew Harvey, you will receive a hand-selected poem from this incredible visionary’s life work every day for the next year – that’s 365 poems from the 13th century.

Increasingly, Rumi is being recognized as the unique spiritual genius he is, as someone who is fused at the highest level and with the greatest possible intensity the intellect of a Plato, the vision, passion and soul-force of a Christ or Buddha, and the extraordinary literary gifts of a Shakespeare. Rumi is, not only the world’s greatest mystical poet, but also an essential guide to the new planetary spiritual renaissance that is slowly emerging from the ruins of our civilization. He speaks to us from the depths of our own sacred identity, and what he says has the electric eloquence of our innermost truth. No other poet or philosopher has Rumi’s almost frightening intimacy of address, and has conveyed the terror, rapture and wonder of awakening to Divine Love with such fearless and gorgeous courage, such humility and such unflinching clarity. “The daily poems have become a routine part of my morning, and they always seem to resonate with difficulties that I am currently facing. That means that each morning, I am given a few minutes to just consider the meaning behind my choices, the value behind what I care about, and ways to better love those closest to me. These few minutes have become a centering time of self-actualization.”You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.

One of the world’s foremost Rumi interpreters, Andrew Harvey began a life-long exploration and explication of Rumi and Sufi mysticism in Paris in 1984, with a group of French Sufis and under the guidance of Eva De Vitray-Meyerovitch, the magnificent translator of Rumi into French. This collection of versions of Rumi by Andrew Harvey contains some of the master’s most luminous verse, along with some of his lesser-read poems, with the aim of presenting a balanced view of his teaching that includes both the high-flying love of God and the rigorous path of discipline essential for those who seek it.

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

“Whatever lifts the corners of your mouth, trust that.”

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.”

“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.”

“In the blackest of your moments, wait with no fear.”

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.”

“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.” Actual course participants share their experiences

“I just started my year of Rumi and it is one of the best gifts I could ever give myself!”

“Rumi brings me closer to God than I have ever been. I feel as though Rumi lives within me and I, him. I hope to find through this course that Rumi can help me let go and let God.”

“Rumi is the truth. The whole world it is in danger – how we can change that only by love? To love each other and not by words, but by actions. Love is the universal law. We live in world with no boundaries, no walls and no control. We are free and do not want to be controlled.”

“Have you not spent hours gazing at the night sky under a spiraling Milky Way in utter joy? Rumi must have done that. His oneness with All is everywhere explicit in this work.”

“Rumi messages are very spiritual and deep, sometimes it takes me a few days to get the real meaning, but the process is what is about to open up and seek deep within you.”

“Rumi has the ability to always connect with the Almighty, as if in tune.”

“I have found that every time I read a Rumi poem it immediately resonates within my soul, my spirit. I use to be in quest for the perfect Rumi poem; however, I have found that each are so loving and beautiful that they are expanding inside of me. The more I take them in the more they grow and the deeper the feelings of these gems go inside my soul, my spirit. There is a personal journey commencing for me and I find that there are few words to adequately explain what I am feeling but that of the feeling of joy.”

“I enjoy receiving the daily translations in my inbox, it delights my soul to relish in all that is Rumi. I have a greater appreciation for the simple pleasures of life because of his poetry. He inspires me to create not from the mind, but to feel and think with the soul.” About Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey is an internationally renowned religious scholar, writer, and teacher, and the author of over 30 books, including the critically acclaimed Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi, as well as The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism, Journey to Ladakh, The Return of the Mother, Son of Man, and The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine Using the World’s Mystical Traditions. He is also coauthor of the best-selling The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. His work has been honored with the Benjamin Franklin Award and the Mind Body Spirit Award (both for Mary’s Vineyard: Daily Readings, Meditations, and Revelations, with photographs by Eryk Hanut), and the Christmas Humphries Award for A Journey in Ladakh. Born in south India in 1952, Harvey studied at Oxford University and became a Fellow of All Soul’s College in 1973. He is Founding Director of the Institute for Sacred Activism.

This article inspired me to look more deeply into this 13th century genius. My blogging. Writers’ Group friend, Lilie Allen (@ WordPress Tea, Toast and Kindness) often quotes him. I think this 365 page book of selected writings by Rumi sounds promising.

What do you think?

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