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Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

Embrace Your Journey


The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.”
But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one.
When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s,
I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.

The California Poppies song went like this:

“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun,
Closing up at evening when the day is done.
Pride of California, flower of our state,
Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”

The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:

We’re the Caswell Cougars.
We are Number One!
Green and yellow banners
Waving in the sun.
Caswell is a place for
Learning and for fun.
We’re the Caswell Cougars;
We are Number One!”

One of my fellow principals objected to our song.
She felt I was in competition with her school.
I responded, “There’s room at the top
for more than one.
Come up and join us!”

As I have journeyed through this life,
I am going and growing.
I am understanding better
where my colleague was coming from.

Thirty years later I can look back
And I can see my competitive spirit
At work in that school song…
Unintended yes, but obvious to others.



If life is viewed as a race,
then there is room for only one at the top.
The race goes to the swiftest.
But a journey has room for many.

Hold my hand as we walk this path.
Pray with me. stay by my side.
Soon enough we will reach the mountain top
And when we do, celebrate with me.

Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon
where we will join his sister and her family.
We will gather to give back to one another
The love we have shared on this life’s journey.

We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband
As their daughter and son speak of the ways
Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love
During his 86 years here on this earth.

As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge
The grace of God that has allowed us to share
These six decades with one another –
And we take not one of those chapters for granted.

Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended,
But we know his story doesn’t end here.
We know death is not an end to our journey;
It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.

We will share, hug, and weep for our loss,
And we will assure one another of the faith we have.
We know we will see one another in eternity.
We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!

Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends.
I send you my love
as we journey this life together.


See ya tomorrow (God willing),
JanBeek

Embrace Tranquility


The ticking of the clock –
The music of chimes’ agility –
The puppy in the corner snoring –
Ah, such tranquility!

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Ecclesiastes 4:6

“Better is a handful of quietness
than two hands full of toil
and a striving after wind.”

The windmill worked its way
Into the ground with daily spinning.
Standing quiet and tall, the hills
Live in tranquility – stillness winning.

Tranquility is not always stillness;
Sometimes it is purposeful motion –
Tossing away burdens and keeping
Hours of exercise and devotion.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Proverbs 14:30

“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.”

Tranquility at the core of your soul
Is the result of a heart filled with love.
Your bones cry out in joy when you
Let peace and calm in from above.

The Prayer of St. Francis

When you sow peace, love, hope,
Light, faith, pardon and joy,
Tranquility enters your being –
And no earthly tension can destroy.


James 3:18

“And a harvest of righteousness
is sown in peace
by those who make peace.”

Inside my kitchen cabinet

Arriving at a state of tranquility
In the midst of all this earth’s pain
Is like standing in a gorgeous garden
After a long, earth-quenching rain.

Derrick & Jackie’s garden

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.”

And to that we might add,

“Blessed are the gardeners,
for they shall find tranquility
in the beauty of their creation.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A sure path to tranquility:
Keep your eyes on the Son.
Easter is coming and so we know
Death did not win… Eternal Tranquility won!!

EMBRACE TRANQUILITY

SEE ya tomorrow (God willing)

What will you do today
to feel the tranquility
that is God’s gift to you?

I’m sending Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Forgiveness


Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

For = before
Give = before receiving
Ness = before receiving give

N ever
E xpect
S atisfaction
S imultaneously

Is there someone out there who has wronged you?

Have they treated you so badly, so unjustly, that you are having a hard time forgiving them?

Do you wish you could, and you’ve tried, but you just can’t find the grace to give them that satisfaction?

Do they deserve your unforgiving spirit?

Do they deserve a pay back?

Do you wish you could get even?

Would it serve them right!?

Serve them right if you never forgave them because they don’t deserve to be let off the hook?

Who’s caught on that hook anyway?

They may not even know they hurt you!

That happened to me once. I had a person who was a teacher in a different school. I used to be in the district office and now I was happily and obliviously back in the confines of my own classroom, loving every day with those darling children, putting those two years of district office administration behind me. It had been a tough time. Satisfying opportunities mixed with struggles to satisfy all the new teachers (K-12) who were required to come to my PETAL workshops.

P rinciples of
E ffective
T eaching
A nd
L earning

I enjoyed working with the new teachers, trying to help them be the best they could be. But, inevitably, you can’t please everybody, right? Not every one of them thought what I was teaching was useful to them. I probably rubbed some the wrong way. They’d prefer to be in their classrooms preparing for the next day, rather than being at a required workshop in “The Ivory Tower.” Do you relate?

Photo by Rebrand Cities on Pexels.com

No, they were not all smiles!
But I did my best…
and I got back to the classroom
where I could interact
daily with children
as fast as I could!
The District Office was waaay too far from children!

Then, “that happened to me!” A knock on my door at home one evening. When I answered it, there stood a teacher who had been in a series of my workshops. I invited him in. We sat on the sofa. He was nervous.

“I want you to know I forgive you,” he said.

I didn’t know I needed forgiveness. I didn’t know I had done something to offend him. I am sure my face registered shock.

“I have been harboring a grudge against you for two years,” he said. “I am going to a counselor for a lot of unresolved issues in my life, and my counselor said I need to resolve them.”

So he was in my living room, sitting next to me, letting me know I was forgiven.

I should have asked why. I should have asked him to explain what I did. But, I was too dumb-founded. I’m not sure I wanted to know. Let bygones be bygones, you know?

I just told him I was sorry for whatever I unknowingly did to offend him. I told him I held no ill feelings about him. Never did! I accepted his forgiveness. We hugged. He left.

That young man had been given the courage to confront his offender.
He had been given the courage to let go.
He had been given the courage to ask for forgiveness.
My job was to accept it and to allow him to move on.

My job was to handle what God had given me…
a clean slate in someone’s mind.
A clean slate where there had been a dark smudge.

Is there someone out there
who needs your forgiveness ?
Are you carrying a grudge?

Don’t wait!
Before receiving,
GIVE!
Give the gift to yourself…
the gift of letting go.

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take out your stony, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Thanks for following JanBeek
and for coming to read and leave a comment today.
You matter. I write for you.
God bless you!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Hugging


My daddy and me
Doin’ what comes naturally

I love that old musical from the 1950’s, Annie Get Your Gun. It is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name.

Does hugging come naturally to you?
If so, from whom do you think you inherited that quality?
Bob and I had that conversation after breakfast this morning.
His mom and dad were not huggy folks.
Mine were… especially my affectionate daddy.

Me and Daddy
when I was about 14 or 15.

Bob didn’t learn to be huggy from me.
He came that way… and I feel so blessed.
Marrying someone who was stand-offish
Would have been put me to a terrible test!

Doin’ what comes naturally
Isn’t the same for you and me.
I reach out and hug strangers –
At least ’til this pandemic distanced me.

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com

Bob and I are huggy people
We showed our kids the joy of touch
But not all children are so blessed
Some are abused; some aren’t touched that much.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

When our daughter, DeAna’s best friend, Laina,
Lost both her adoptive parents at a young age,
We were blessed to say, “Come be in our family.”
Having a “Daughter #2” was a blessing quite sage!

Our Laina keeps in daily touch. She wrote
A message to me yesterday.
I asked her if I could share it here.
This is what she had to say:

Embrace MomBee🥰

I keep waiting for your blog theme to be “Embrace Hugging” or similar.  Technically embrace does mean to hold someone closely in your arms so it’s almost funny to use the 2 words together. 

Well here’s my mini blog for the day.

We just don’t hug enough anymore.  For one reason, we can’t because of social distancing but also we don’t because we won’t take the time to do something that’s so extremely important.  

My genetic nature resisted hugs growing up. I inherited that from Marilyn my Irish born biological grandmother and apparently her daughter my biological mother was the same way. I was adopted by a very different personality. 

I would feel myself stiffen up and become uncomfortable when someone hugged me. My (adoptive) mom was very loving and caring. She was a hugger and I reflect back on those hugs and feel bad for my involuntary reaction. I would squiggle (squirm+wiggle) away as fast as I possibly could leaving her unfulfilled.  Being a teenager and young adult I was too self-absorbed to notice the sadness on her face or to recognize her need for physical contact. If only I could go back in time and have a “do over”!  I would give her a proper hug. It would be a long squeeze and I wouldn’t let go until SHE squirmed to get free. Knowing her, she wouldn’t ever squirm! we’d still be hugging! Hugs instantly boost OxyContin levels. It’s scientifically proven. Hugs help to heal feelings of loneliness and isolation and anger. An extended hug increases serotonin levels and increases good mood. It strengthens the immune system. So why don’t we do it more? We need to do it more! I guess I can’t tell you to hug a stranger because they might smack you or scream but definitely hug those you love whenever they are near… I can’t wait to give you both long hugs in person. I promise I won’t squirm away.

Laina and “MomBee”

That picture of me with Laina is one of my favorites. I often use it as the “sign off” photo on my blog – edited to just be me. I had forgotten that it was taken on the occasion of my 80th birthday when Laina came to be with us and help us prepare for and carry out a party that included about 50 of our best MT friends. Laina lives in Maryland – and her trip here was such a gift. Helping us was for her, “Doin’ what comes naturally.”

Hugs may not come naturally to all of us.
But it is something we can learn…
and enjoy… and realize
how important that intimacy is.

Our daughter, De, with hubby, Andre’

Yesterday our grandson, DeAna’s youngest son, Chris, went to Vissoie
to have dinner at his parents’ restaurant and to give them a long overdue hug.
It had been over a month since he had made the trip up the mountain to see them.
I wrote to him afterward and said,
Thank you for going to be with your parents
and for giving your mom great big, heart-felt hugs.
We all need them.

DeAna and Chris

This morning he wrote back and said,
“Oh! It was my pleasure!
It’s been too long since I saw them,
I needed to squeeze their booooooones.

Can’t wait to squeeze yours, too!”

(Chrissy got that expression, “Squeeze yer bones!” from his GrampyBob…
It’s one of his favorites.)

Whose bones do you need to squeeze today?
Go do it!
Go and make hugging one of those things that is
“Doin’ what comes naturally!”

Thank you, Laina
for sharing your story with us.
Thank you for enhancing our family.

Thank you, blogging friends,
for visiting JanBeek today.
Hugs to you!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Single Timeless Moment


From Psalm 90:1-2:  “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Photo by ritonn.photo on Pexels.com
Life’s amazing blessings
God’s Book of Life
unfolds Single timeless moment
Richer than any gold […]

Single Timeless Moment — Big Sky Buckeye

This blog is so beautifully written. I just HAVE to share it with you! Thank you, {{{Richard}}} for your shared talent, your positivity, your heart. Friends, treat yourself… click on the link to Big Sky Buckeye above. You’ll love it. I promise.

Embrace Gifts


We
All have
Gifts to give
All others do, too
Embrace

Embrace
The gifts
Celebrate others’ gifts
Open them with care
Receive

Gifts

Recognize
And see
What others give
To enhance your life
Appreciate

Name
Your gifts
Use them lovingly
Share them with humility
Blessings

Gifts are blessings to be shared

Share
Love and
Time and compassion
Remember that you matter
Engage

Engage
In life
With your heart
Wide open to receive
Gifts

Gifts
Don’t always
Come all wrapped
In pretty Christmas packages
Discern

Precious
Loving gifts
Often are disguised
In very simple acts of
Humility

You
Have gifts
Unique to you
Never underestimate your impact
Shine

Shine
Your gifts
With loving kindness
Embrace the many opportunities
Smile!

Thanks
For coming
To JanBeek today
Your loving presence here
Matters

Elfchen or Elevensie is a poetic form that uses eleven words in a configuration of 1,2,3,4,1. Did you recognize it as you read my post today? If you haven’t already, you should try it. It’s fun! Thank you, Richard at Big Sky Buckeye for inspiring me and sharing your gift! Check out his blog, my friends.

See ya tomorrow

P.S. I found this insightful You.Tube presentation on the subject of GIFTS… gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it was quite well done – and a good addition to the topic, Embrace Gifts. If you have time, I highly recommend it.

Embrace Humility


Humility Reigns
Its opposite is boasting
Let others do it!

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with
compassion,
kindness,
humility,
gentleness
and
patience.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Luke 14:11

For all those who exalt themselves
will be humbled,
and those who humble themselves
will be exalted.”

Photo by Vu0103n Long Bu00f9i on Pexels.com

With humility
Offer whatever you have
With a cheerful heart

Photo by Timothy Paule II on Pexels.com

Good to be brilliant
But bragging about your smarts
Dulls intelligence

Let the compliments –
Accolades about your job –
Come from other folks

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

So, be generous
With giving out accolades
Show your gratitude

Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com

Thanks for your service
Thanks for your affirmations
You give so humbly

Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

Humility Reigns
It’s not easy to achieve
In a “You deserve it” society

Step out of your skin
And step into others’ lives
Everyone needs praise

My favorite singer in the 1950’2

You can find the words
Tell someone they’re marvelous
It’s not hard to do!

Proverbs 27:2

“Let someone else praise you,
and not your own mouth;
an outsider,
and not your own lips.”

Hugs to you
from Bob & me

We think you are marvelous!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Inspiration


“How do you define inspiration?”
I asked my husband, Bob, that question at breakfast this morning.
He said, “Enthusiastic Appreciation that Motivates.”
I nodded. Yes, when we are inspired, the next step is action!

Photo by Martin on Pexels.com

We may not be inspired to physically climb mountains,
But inspiration will lead us to climb higher than
We would without that motivation, right?
I am motivated to be grateful for all my blessings.

In my gratitude, I know I am blessed to be a blessing.
I am inspired to reach out in love to those around me.
I am inspired to share the things that keep me moving.
I am motivated to want to help my friends move forward, too.

Actions do speak louder than words, but words count!
I can bless my friends and family with affirmative thoughts,
Just as you inspire me by your positive comments.
I am grateful for the way you inspire me.

Today is “Presidents’ Day” in the USA – a day to remember –
Remember and be grateful for the two presidents who
Inspired our nation to form as one union and then to unite
After a Civil War that tore us apart: Washington and Lincoln.

In my Daily Guideposts today, the writer, John Dilworth,
Was inspired by Colossians 3:23 to write about his experience
With President Jimmy Carter’s Air Force One when the
Then President Carter visited the base where he was stationed.

His picture of Air Force One is a reminder of the way
The team of cadets worked at the fueling station
With total commitment, unified teamwork, and
Precise execution to service the President’s plane.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
(This may not be the president’s plane – but you get the idea)

Col. 3:23

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

What inspires you to total commitment?
When have you experienced total team commitment?
Where have you seen precise execution of a task?
What do you think inspired each of those situations?

John Dilworth ended his message with this:

“Today as we honor our past and current presidents,
I must ask myself, ‘How can I do my best for the president today?’
… One thing we can all do every day is pray for the president.”

Pray for our world’s leaders, for their discernment, safety, and effectiveness.

Here is my Elfchen for today –
Inspired by Proverbs, chapter 15
(An “Elevenie” – poem with 11 words in a pattern of 1,2,3,4,1):

Inspiration
Gentle Answer
Wise loving correction
Happy heart, cheerful face
Understanding

Put on your happy face –
And be inspired to do something for somebody else today.
Start now!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Adversity – 8 Ways


How do you define adversity?
It is symbolized by tough times.
It is exhibited by disagreements.
It represents challenges.

How do we deal with adversity?
Why should we embrace it?
Misfortune means misery, right?
Calamity and distress are its partners.

But the Bible says, “The Lord is
A stronghold in times of trouble.”
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed.
“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”
(Psalm 34:10b)

So let us embrace adversity
By understanding it is a vehicle
That strengthens us just as fire
Tempers steel and hardens it.

We are called to share each other’s burdens.
That is one of the purposes of church:
Congregations are called to care for,
Encourage, empathize, and strengthen one another.

“The church is a network of shoulders
Supporting the collective weight
Of everyone’s troubles, lifting burdens,
Helping others find rest for their weary hearts.”

(Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries)

God often uses hard times to get our attention.
When things are going great,
we are not so quick to turn to Him.
But trials drive us to our knees for answers and comfort.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield,
my heart trusts in Him,
and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise Him.

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

The adversity that I faced recently was the death of my “favorite student,” Ty Stiles. The picture above could easily have been him. His early death was “misfortune” to the highest degree! I have told you about him in several recent blogs. Yesterday was his Memorial Service at Monte Vista Chapel, his home church in Turlock, CA. I was blessed to be able to attend it virtually because the church recorded it on a YouTube broadcast.

How do we face the “misfortune” of such a loss? Only by our faith! Only by knowing God keeps His promises and Ty has gone to Heaven. We will go there some day, too. We will all be reunited. In the meantime, adversity turns to adventure. We are invited to live our lives with thankfulness for the privilege of knowing one another. We are asked to change our perspective from “I can’t handle this,” to “”I can’t handle this on my own, but I can with Jesus’ help.”

Let the adventure of today’s challenges bring strength when we feel weak, safety when we feel danger, comfort when we feel distress. Let us be the ones who stand tall and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Be ever ready to leap for joy and with your song, ever praise the Lord who is our strength.

Pray for his comfort and strength, rather than praying that he’d simply remove difficulties. Embrace Adversity. Be the shoulder others lean on. God will bless you!

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Connections


https://smarturl.it/ThanksForTheDance

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Did you click the link?
The link was “Thanks for the Dance”
From Leonard Cohen.

If you didn’t hear –
Didn’t see the video,
Go up and do it!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

EMBRACE CONNECTIONS
Look into another’s heart
See the hidden pain

Learn to disagree
Learn to listen with your heart
Show your compassion

Connections can save
The loneliest from despair
Suicide is real

Express your concern
Let your compassion embrace
Those in depression

Depression is real
Too often it is hidden
Inside solitude

Leonard Cohen’s poem
Hit me right between the eyes
Took me to my niece

‘Twas nineteen years old
When her life appeared hopeless
Jumped Golden Gate Bridge

Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

‘Twas two weeks later
When her decomposed body
Washed its way ashore

Only dental charts
Helped to identify her
Memories are raw

Never imagined
Her pain was so very deep
Didn’t see the signs

So much is known now
Nearly forty years ago
We just weren’t aware

Today it’s rampant
Especially Montana
Third in the nation

Growing suicides
It’s not a good statistic
Something must be done


These are images from Leonard Cohen’s impactful video. (Haven’t watched it yet? Go back up to that link. Take five minutes and then come on back.) The poetry and his raspy, musical voice will touch your heart. You’ll carry it with you.

You’ll ask yourself, “What Happens to the Heart?” and you will want to be more aware, more compassionate, more helpful. You’ll look in your friend’s eyes. You’ll study your loved one’s face. You’ll ask questions. You’ll care. And you’ll want to know WHAT CAN I DO? When you see sadness, despair, loneliness, you’ll want to help. How??

There are visible
Ways we can show how we care
Check out resources

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness


Embrace Connections
They can make the difference
YOU are important!

Thanks for dropping by JanBeek

Sending you love and hugs
Stay Connected!!
See ya tomorrow


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