Let beauty fill you Only lovely quietude Calm reassurance
Take a walk outside Look up into the big sky Marvel at beauty
Appreciate home Let its peacefulness fill you Find a quiet space
You can find a spot You may not have a big porch But it’s a big world
I see God at work Holding our world in His Hand Helping us save it
Hold the whole world close We have a global challenge But God is in charge
Out of this chaos A healthier planet grows Creating beauty
You can find beauty Right in the space of your home Look in your kitchen
She sent a video of this loaf. In the video, she was cutting a slice and then tapping the crust for us to hear how crunchy it is. We had fun using “What’s App” to exchange some beautiful silliness. Then I wrote this Haiku:
Listen to the crust Crunchy and appetizing Crackle’s Symphony
Beauty in the kitchen … Beauty in the dining room … Beauty is where you make it … Beauty is where you find it.
Let beauty fill you!
Have fun with beauty on your blog! Have you tried the new “Block Editor” here on WordPress? They have greatly improved it – and made options (like colored text) so much easier to access.Thank you, WordPress!!
Make it a beautiful day! Thanks for stopping by JanBeek.
Leave me a message telling me about something beautiful in your world right now.
Thank you that “before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely” (Psalm 139:4). Thank You that there are no surprises with You. Help me find deep comfort in the fact that You are unshockable and nothing is too great, too terrible, too large, or too heavy for You. Help me see the problems that I face today in light of how big You are. Amen.
Reprinted with permission from Max Lucado
So, the praying part is easy, right? There are folks like Max Lucado out there who can help us find the right words. Live in the faith that God hears – and He is with us – and it’s true: nothing is too great for Him.
But What About Perseverance?
How do we keep on keeping on? The Autobahn Assoc. shared this suggestion today:
“… talk about the power of birds, … this year they take on an even more powerful meaning. They enliven our days, brighten the trees, serenade in our backyards and city parks, and bestow us with so much joy and hope, all bundled together in feathers and lively personalities.”
Breathe in the calm of our feathered friends. Listen to their songs! Watch their deliberate and graceful movements!
We can find such comfort by watching the activities of our fine feathered friends. See how they continue to sing their songs.
In his podcast today Bob Goff asked us to “Hit the pause button. Step back and think about your life.” He asked his listeners to ask ourselves:
What opportunity has this Coronavirus-induced-shutdown given to you?
What can you do that in the normal routine of everyday you don’t have time to do?
How do you deal with uncertainty and ambiguity?
Where are you now and how are you feeling? Are you dwelling in fear?
What are your most important values and how are you exhibiting those during this time of world-wide crisis?
Bob Goff continued to make suggestions: 1) Be sober about what’s going on. 2) Be picky about what you focus on. 3) Turn the volume down on the hype. 4) Limit screen time. 5) Follow the recommendations of the experts – wash hands, avoid crowds, stay home if you’re sick, etc. 6) Live authentically, remaining true to who you were created to be.
Who Were You Created to Be and Do?
Bob Goff quipped, “Introverts have been preparing for this for years!”
But some of us are not introverts. We’re having trouble hunkering down inside and having our jobs, our volunteer activities, our restaurants, schools and churches all closed to us. What can we do to remain true to ourselves and feel like we’re not just sitting around wringing our hands helplessly?
How would you answer the question, “Who were you created to be?”
I thought about it and decided:
I was created to “Walk the Talk and Live with Integrity.”
I was created to “Reach out to others with love and compassion.”
I was created to “Use the talents God gave me to make the world a better place.”
What is YOUR Purpose?
How can you persevere in the face of this latest shutdown – and the gloomy predictions that this could last a year and a half or more?
What talents has God given you that you can use to make your life seem worthwhile in the midst of these world-wide changes? Using those talents is a way to remain true to your purpose.
I intend to: 1) Continue to post a blog here daily with ideas that uplift and bring hope. 2) Write cards/letters/e-mails/texts/messages and make phone calls to friends and family. 3) Exhibit love, compassion, tolerance, empathy, and joy – spreading those as far and wide as I can. (See photo below) 4) Do something I’ve always wanted to do but for some reason have put off. 5) Keep in touch with friends on-line by playing games like “Words with Friends” (Scrabble) and commenting on their FaceBook posts while I post positive things there, too. 6) Pray and meditate and daily read God’s Word and devotionals, such as Guideposts and In Touch magazine.
Do you have a half a dozen or so things you can list as your intentions?
Maybe deliver flowers or food to a friend who is shut in? Just call ahead and then drop it at his/her doorstep. I did that today.
Tell me what you plan to do to make the world a better place.
Thank you for your prayers for the people of Tennessee who were so grievously affected by the 50 mile stretch of devastation in and beyond Nashville this week. My friend, Debbie, who lives in Nashville half the year, sent me this update this morning:
“Morning, Jan. What I didn’t tell you in the text was the immense response of the people of Nashville. Hands on Nashville, with 25000 volunteer slots, is full. People connected with houses of worship or no connection to anything other than this is home are pouring out of their comfort to help. People are showing up with strong backs (including team members of the Titans and Predators), chain saws, showing up with blankets (it was 29 degrees this am and no electricity in the tornado zones), showing up with ready to eat meals (son Joel is preparing 1500 meals each day), showing up with diapers, flashlights, batteries. Celebrities, including our beloved Dolly (Parton) and Taylor (Swift) and many others, have opened their checkbooks very wide, as have organizations such as the National Football League and the National Hockey League. In Nashville, as we did during the devastating flood of 2010, we show up. In Nashville, We Rise.“
Tennessee tornadoes kill at least 25. More than 150 people were hurt and thousands of homes and businesses were flattened when the twisters hit in the middle of the night.
Thank God for answered prayer as more than 25 thousand people have stepped up and in to physically help the people devastated by this disaster! They are using their money, time, and talents to do what they can to alleviate the suffering and aide those in dire need.
They are angels stepping in to lift the spirits, clean up the debris, and rebuild where possible. They are using their talents to feed the hungry (God bless Debbie & Steve’s son, Joel, whose place of business was spared. It had $50,000 worth of food in freezers and storage, and was only 1/4 mile from the tornado’s path). Now he is using those resources to feed the homeless and hurting. God bless him! He’s one of thousands of angels on earth… God’s hands and feet!
Use Your God-given Talents
I wrote this poem this morning while reading my devotionals and Bible and praying for help to arrive in Tennessee – before I saw Debbie’s update. It certainly fits the way folks are using their talents in and around Nashville right now.
Use Talents Wisely
God has given each of us Talents that are unique to us. Some are singers, others plow, Others use their funds somehow.
Some are math-magicians – true; Others are writers, just like you. Whether science or literature, Use your talents and be sure They are developed as your own, Gaining skill as seeds are sown. Don’t envy others for what they do. Use the talents given to you.
Moles must dig, and roosters crow, Unique gifts they use and grow. Likewise we must search and know Just what talents from us must flow.
Like a poet who thinks in rhymes, You might paint or prepare a pot. Keep your eye on what you’ve got, And never try to be what you’re not.
In the wake of this devastation, give the people strength and courage. In the aftermath of death and destruction, give the people hope and tenacity.
We know this “ordinary day” in the lives of so many is not “ordinary” in Tennessee. The extraordinary natural disaster has left more than 25 dead, countless wounded, and thousands without home, church building, or business. Some have lost their jobs as the place they worked no longer exists. Please be with these people. Be with the loved ones of the deceased.
We look at today, grateful for sparing our lives, knowing but for Your grace, we might have been in the midst of Harm’s Way. We thank You for the miraculous way you saved people, like the teenage girl who was whisked in the gale up and out of her home and dumped under a pile of debris into her neighbor’s swimming pool!
We thank you for the rescue workers who pulled people out, for the hospital staff who are working overtime to save lives, and for all those who have stepped up to help by using their time, talents, and money however You placed it on their hearts to do so.
Help us hear, dear God, what You are asking us to do… besides pray. Prayer is a given!
“Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to the taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
Proverbs 24: 13-14
That honey jar on the right with the bees and hearts was given to us 8 years ago for our 50th wedding anniversary from Bob’s beekeeper nephew and his wife. Bryan Beekman is a California beekeeper with about 10,000 beehives. His wife, Michelle, has the “Honey Hut” on their property in Clovis.
No, I have not kept that honey for 8 years!! (But, I could have if I wanted to… honey never spoils unless you add water to it! They found good, edible honey in King Tut’s tomb!)
A jar like that only last a few weeks in our house before it has to be refilled. We pour from it into the honey bear. It’s easier to pour out of the bear. I keep both of those containers in the cabinet to the right of the stove. A warm spot is best for storing honey. Never refrigerate it!! When the jar is empty, we refill it from a 5 gallon jug that we keep in the warm room downstairs.
Look carefully at the jar. The letters almost are all washed off. It used to say, “Happy 50th, Bob & Jan.” I need to take it back to Michelle to have it repainted one of these trip to California! But would that be like restoring an antique? Would it lose some of its value?
Honey as a Gift
Because Bob’s a retired beekeeper, folks often give us honey as a gift when they return from their travels. This jar was a gift from a friend in Maryland. Notice the label says, “100% Pure Raw Varietal Honey.” That’s important! You want to know from which flowers the bees gathered their nectar. Honey has flavors as distinct as wines or berries or the smell of various flowers. Pure orange honey has the taste of the smell of the orange blossoms. I love it!
Describing Honey Flavors
However, some honey label writers get carried away, just as some folks who describe the flavors of wine do on their labels. I don’t often taste the earth or the tobacco in a glass of wine. And I can’t taste “vanilla-marshmallowy goodness” in this Pacific Northwest honey. However, I believe them when they say it’s pure and raw.
Preserving Honey’s Attributes
Pure means it hasn’t been mixed with other stuff… and raw means it hasn’t been heated above a certain temperature. Heating honey too much (like boiling it on the stove or in the microwave) kills many, if not all, of its healthy qualities.
If you love honey as we do, remember to bee wise in the way you select and buy it, and remember to bee wise in the way you store and preserve it. And remember to use it as a substitute for sugar as often as you can. It’s better for you – and it takes less honey to taste the sweetness than sugar. Also, honey is the browning agent in waffles or bread.
Have you ever participated in a soup exchange? I’ve been to several cookie exchanges, but today was my first soup exchange.
With most containers of soup, a recipe was provided.
This recipe was attached to a jar of soup ingredients. What a great idea… we get to dump it into 7 cups of water and make our own!
We got to take a quart of each soup home with us. And we had a tasting party before we left.
I brought this one. No way I could begin to give you a recipe. It had clam chowder, cheddar cheese, potatoes, onions, fresh crab lumps, garlic, etc. A menagerie that turned out pretty tasty!
We didn’t get a recipe for this “Barefoot Contessa Corn Chowder” either. But, it was deeelicious. It had big potato chunks and bacon in a creamy corn broth.
Here’s a recipe for a soup that was not present. Chicken Parmesan … I don’t have one of those new-fangled slow cookers, but I bet my old crock pot would work just fine. The ingredients sound wonderful. I am going to make this as soon as we finish up all the samples I brought home.
in addition to the soup recipes, our librarian (who organized the event) put together a packet that included these tips and tricks on freezing soup.
Love One Another
You may be wondering how this post fits my blog’s theme of “Loving One Another.” (Or maybe you’re not wondering at all.) Anyway, you know that one of the ways we show our love for one another is at meal time.
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” is an age-old saying that I have found to be quite true.
And a good way to show our love to our family and friends is to invite them to a feast. It’s an age-old practice.
We like to host pot-lucks for our friends in the “hood.” Everyone brings a favorite dish and we enjoy fun, food and fellowship.
At church, potlucks are a regular occurrence. I think I am going to suggest our church host a soup exchange one of these Sundays. But, I will ask people to bring their own quart jars to fill. Today we brought our soup assortment home in zip lock plastic bags. That was a bit awkward. But it worked.
I hope you had a joyful day, too. Tell me about it!