Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Expand Your Peripheral Vision


adventure conifer daylight desert
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Expand your peripheral vision
To see blessings in unexpected places.
How could Jonah in the whale do so
While he was down under – sleeping?

Reading the first chapter of Jonah,
I discovered Jonah sleeping below deck.
The sailors found him there, too.
They found he was the cause of the storm.

They tried to save the ship and him
By aggressively rowing  toward shore,
But God turned up the turbulence.
Finally, they had to throw him overboard.

The storm ceased. The seas calmed.
God sent a whale to swallow Jonah.
Inside the big fish, his vision widened!
Jonah was able to see the big picture.

You can’t hop a ship to get away
From the tasks God puts before you.
You have to stay and face the storm.
He sends turbulence to teach us.

We are in the midst of a storm today.
There is no end in sight for this virus.
God needs us to grow spiritually, and
Learn to rely on Him for our rescue.

Take comfort in knowing He’s in control
Of every storm that comes our way.
His mighty power and unfailing love
Governs whatever comes your way.

1 Timothy 4:4 helps us realize the truth:
“For everything God created is good,
And nothing is to be rejected
If it is received with thanksgiving.”

Are we to understand that this storm,
This COVID-19 is sent by God? No!
No, I do not believe God wills evil.
I believe He uses it to teach us lessons.

I do not understand the reasons why
Bad things happen to good people
Or why death rains down on our world.
But, I know God’s love surrounds me.

I know if He can send a whale
To swallow up Jonah and save the crew,
He can send a vaccine to cure this virus.
That’s how much He cares for me and You.

Expand your peripheral vison.
Look around you, don’t focus on what was.
Look to see the ways God is at work today.
Focus on what we have, not what we’ve lost.

Thank God today for all your many blessings.
Thank Him for the people who step up,
The courageous ones who make lives better.
Don’t get caught down under – sleeping!

photo of brown dog lying on throw pillow
Photo by Enrique Hoyos on Pexels.com

It’s not the “Dog Days of Summer!”
Wake up to a new day – 

A new chance to live and serve Him.

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Free to Do, Free to Bee…


Thank you, Guideposts, for your inspirational daily messages. On this Memorial Day that is so different from those past, I am grateful for the men and women who sacrificed for our freedom.

Free to Live and Build

I am grateful for the freedom to live in this beautiful place in Montana where the robins sing, build their nests, lay their eggs, and feed their babies right outside my dining room window! I’m free to just bee… free to do nothing but sit and watch today… if that’s my choice!

I see that wall to the north of my dining room table. The window there leads to our bedroom.
I watched Rita and Robbie, the robin duo, build the nest and lay the eggs. Fifteen days later, they hatched!
Now Rita Robin brings worms to the babies.
They are hungry little robins, begging for more.
Rita Robin leaves… and Robbie Robin comes to feed them next! Robins mate for life. It is such fun to watch them take turns caring for the nest. Rarely is it left uncovered like this these days.

Free to Bee… Free to Recover…

I found this beautiful, stunned bird sitting on the front porch this morning. Is it a wren? It’s really tiny. Even when TazE (our Boston Terrier) went out to sniff at it, it didn’t move. It was free to just bee… bee still for a while. A half hour later, it was recovered – and thankfully flew away. Free to recover. Free to fly.


Free to Marvel

As I sit here and watch the robins take turns in the nest, I am eternally grateful to those service men and women who gave their lives that I might enjoy the peace I have today. Peace to sit here and marvel at nature. Free to enjoy the peace, and to FaceTime with my daughters across the continent and across the Atlantic.

De & Laina

Peace to watch Bob head off with a neighbor to fish the Madison today.

I hope he is free to catch a big one, like my friend Susan Phillips did this week… and then free to catch and release so someone else can be free to have the thrill of catching this beauty! Our Madison River has a “Catch & Release” policy because the trout all are natives… no “planting” allowed. It’s a world-class fly-fishing mecca!!

The pristine Madison River in Madison County, Montana

What are you free to do today?
Tell me about it.
And what are you most grateful for?

Bee grateful
You are free…
Free to
Bee silly…
Free to just Bee!

See ya tomorrow.
Have a Meaningful, Peaceful Monday.

You: Kind, Smart, Important


Yes, you is!!
And you is well, too.
Hooray!!
You is smart like a fox!

Thank you, Paul Holdorf, for your beautiful photography.

Yup. you is so smart –
And you is intelligent –
You make a difference!

You is courageous –
And you is adventuresome –
You is goin’ places!

You is not perfect
But you know perfect moments,
And you make them count!

So now bee grateful
For all that you know you is –
And go change the world!

You is gonna tell
How is you gonna do that…
Tell me one thing NOW!!

Must We Die for Freedom?


History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an American holiday. This Memorial Day weekend feels very different from years past. Even though we are not having lock-down, stay-at-home orders in Montana, still most of us don’t feel free to have a large gathering with a picnic potluck as we usually do. We need to find new ways of honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Memorial Day is this Monday, May 25th, a day for us in the USA to honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States Military. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers. Women in Pennsylvania began this practice as early as 1864 following the end of the Civil War. Soon other states and cities did the same.

Waterloo, New York, held an annual community-wide event beginning in 1866. This led the town to be recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day by the federal government in 1966. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971. In 2000, Congress passed a resolution, urging Americans to set aside 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day “to observe a national moment of remembrance to honor the men and women of the United States military who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.” 

Thank you, Shutterstock, for this image.

Do You?

Do you celebrate Memorial Day? If so, how are my fellow Americans planning on celebrating Memorial Day this year?

I’m curious: How do those of you in other countries remember the people in your nation who have served in your military (or do you)?

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Wonderful Dream

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful dream-come-true to have us all just love one another? No fences, no walls, no borders, no nation against nation… just one world, unified, working in tandem for a better life for everyone?

Wouldn’t it be a dream-come-true if we all felt a sense of freedom without anyone having to die to maintain it?

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful dream if everyone stopped hoarding and just shared generously? Share toilet paper! Share the Good News! Share LOVE!

… a pet, and toilet paper
and a lotta LOVE!

Our military generously give their ALL.
The least we can do is give them a day of Gratitude for their service…
and a dream that one day we will all live as ONE,
end all wars, and live in PEACE!

God bless you, my dear Blogging family.
I pray that you have a peace-filled weekend.
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hugs, JanBeek

Wait, don’t leave until you comment!!
Tell me about how you honor your military
or tell me about your dreams for ONE WORLD of LOVE!

Switch the Channel


Your mind is like a radio –
You can tune it as you like:
Rap or blues, talk or news,
Sadness of a virus spike.

Your mind has endless channels.
It’s a miraculous machine.
It can distort the truth and scare you,
Or explain what “Do Love” can mean.

Our Bible feeds our radio
With thoughts from God above.
He tells us to tune carefully
To the stations that spread love.

Photo by Eduardo Braga on Pexels.com

Philippians 9:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable,
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy,
think about such things.”

Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

This verse in Philippians got me to thinking.
What are the things that I would consider in these categories?
Think about them… add your thoughts after each word.
Where do these words take you? What is:

  • true
  • noble
  • right
  • pure
  • lovely
  • admirable
  • excellent and/or praiseworthy
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

Lift your thoughts to the highest peak.
Let your mind’s radio tune in to the thoughts that are
uplifting and worthy of consideration.
I tried that this morning.
Here is what I came up with.
I encourage you to come up with your own.
How are your thoughts different from mine?

  1. Think on things that are TRUE:
    a) The Bible
    b) The love of my family
    c) The need for friendship
  2. Think on things that are NOBLE:
    a) Active, Honest, Capable and Fair government leaders
    b) Bob Goff’s “Love Does”
    c) The work of doctors, nurses, caregivers
  3. Think on things that are RIGHT:
    a) The innocence of little children
    b) Agape Love (as demonstrated by the unconditional love of my pup, TazE… and my devoted spouse, Bob)
    c) The obligation to reach out and help the needy
  4. Think on things that are PURE:
    a) The motives of devoted, loving friends
    b) The love of Christ for us sinners
    c) Blessings from heaven
  5. Think on things that are LOVELY:
    a) Signs of spring = green leaves, daffodils, crocus, tulips
    b) Kisses from my grandchildren (and great-grandchildren)
    c) Phone calls, letters, texts from our children
  6. Think on things that are ADMIRABLE:
    a) The work of classified staff (such as nurse’s assistants and custodians) in nursing homes and hospitals
    b) The volunteer work of pastors, elders, deacons, and others who give so much time/effort to the church
    c) The donations of those who give time, food, and resources to help the needy
  7. Think on things that are EXCELLENT or PRAISEWORTHY:
    a) The efforts of teachers who are committed to continue helping students learn via ZOOM and other technology during this pandemic
    b) The scientists who are working tirelessly to find a COVID-19 vaccine
    c) The dedication of people who continue to serve in spite of the virus – – – food service workers, truckers, pharmacists, etc.

Your mind is like a radio –
You can tune it to what’s good.
Find the Philippians 9:8 channel
And think of love. You should!

Change Your Mind’s Channel
to Thoughts of Gratitude

Thanks for tuning in to JanBeek.
Tell me about your uplifting thoughts
based on Phil. 9:8

See ya tomorrow.

Find Contentment


Paul Holdorf – Singing Sky Photography

Contentment

Paul Holdorf posted the following beautiful, eloquent essay on FaceBook today to accompany his wonderful photograph above. Do yourself a favor and take time to live in the scene with Paul and me for awhile. I am still there… in the arms of love and contentment.

No further comment from JanBeek necessary. Just savor Paul Holdorf’s creativity. ❤

“I can’t help but wonder what life was like for the occupants of this home. One might at first say that life sure is easier now, but is it? To be sure, it was a hard life, but it must be so rewarding to directly benefit from hard work. Very few things had to be purchased. Most things were made from whatever was available. A hard days work did not have to be converted to cash in order to benefit the family. The same soil that had to be scrubbed out from under fingernails, when properly tilled and watered, grew food for the table. It also grew food for the livestock that in turn also provided sustenance for the inhabitants of this home. As I stood there, I could hear the life that once resided here. A chair scraped on the rough wood floor as Dad got up to go make sure all was well outside before darkness settled in. The children helped clear chipped and faded dishes from the table as Mom brought in a pale of water to rinse things off. There was enough light left for several hours of exploration, so soon the distance sounds of laughter blended in with the clanking of dishes and the splash of dirty dishwater being thrown out the open door. Next to the door, in the corner of the room, stood an old broom, patiently waiting to remove the gravelly evidence of an evening well played. Later, after the children were all played out and tucked into a crowded bed, a silhouette could be seen in the warm light of the setting sun. Out in the yard, next to the swing hanging from a tree, a tired but fulfilled couple sat on an old log bench with their arms around each other. She leaned her head on his strong shoulder, and he thankfully leaned his head over hers. They watched the golden light dip behind the distant mountains and spread a blanket of oranges and reds over the high mountain valley much like the bedspread that would soon bring warmth and comfort to this couple. They work hard, they sleep when the sun sleeps and rise with it in the morning but it is a good life. Nothing is wasted, and everything is wisely used. I walk away from my daydream as they drift off to sleep. Stars begin to twinkle and an owl calls from its roost out in the forest. Rest and rejuvenation fill weary bodies with readiness for the next day, when they’ll do it all over again with joy and contentment in lives well lived.”

Life is Like a Teeter-Totter


Image

Remembering Back

I first posted this poem back in 2012 on this JanBeek blog. I have revived it today because most of you were not my followers to see this back 8 years ago!

In 1991 I wrote a poem for my mom to wish her a Happy Birthday. With the framed poem, I gave her the ceramic teeter-totter you see pictured above.

The piece is a wind-up music box that plays “Playmates” as the little mice go up and down. She always had the poem and music box with her the next fourteen years as she was in and out of hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes. When she died, I inherited them – and I treasure the memories they bring to mind.

Mom’s Cousin

My mom had a cousin close to her age, Madge Pickering, who lived with mom’s family when she was a child. Eventually Madge married and moved into a home of her own. She and her husband had two sons, Ronnie & Donnie.

Mom married and moved to California where my sister and I were born. I loved meeting and spending time with my cousins when we would go to spend Christmas vacation back in Washington with Mom’s family.

Stayin’ in and Losin’ Touch

Through the years I have stayed in touch with the older of those two cousins, Ronnie. He is near my age. However, I had lost touch with Ronnie’s little brother, Donnie, until a Saturday about a decade ago. Found out Donnie also lives here in Montana now!

Donnie, whom I had not seen in 60 years, and his wife, Patti, came to spend Labor Day weekend with Bob and me about ten years ago. What a treat! We reminisced and told stories and went through family photos and various family “artifacts.”

One of my inherited treasures is a letter written on the occasion of our mutual great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. They were married September 1, 1875. The letter is “A Saga of the Valley” – the valley in and around North Bend and Fall City, Washington where my mother and Donnie’s mom were born and raised. The letter was typed on onion skin, is brittle and faded, and hard to read – but is is legible.

I retyped it and sent it to my newly reacquainted cousin, Donnie. I trust he shared it with his daughter who is into the study of genealogies.

Treasuring Memories

As I was headed into the office to my computer, I spotted the ceramic teeter-totter music box. I realized I had forgotten to share that artifact with Donnie. His mom, like mine, was a devoted mother who was wonderfully supportive of her two sons. I hope he appreciated this funky little poem. I didn’t hear back from him. But, now – a decade later, it is more true than ever… and I know he will concur:

Life is Like a Teeter-Totter!

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of ups and downs.
Kids learn to roll and toss with it,
To shake away the frowns,
If they have a loving home
To lean back and reminisce on when they roam.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of bounces and of bumps.
Kids learn to rock with a jolly jump
And shake away the lumps
If they have a loving mother
To hug them tight and with kisses smother.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
It works better in pairs,
They keep each other balanced
And handle love in shares
If they have had their mother’s arms
To guard against abuse and harms.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of laugh and silly giggle.
Full of noise and wonderment –
Girls to squeeze and boys that wiggle –
If they have been secure in love
Both from home’s hearth and God above.

Thank you, Mom, for filling my life
With love… more ups than downs, for sure.
You seemed to know my every need;
For every hurt you had a cure.
Happy Birthday, Mother dear –
I thank God each day that you are near!

God Bless our Moms!!

Mom, me, Dad, and my sis, Sally
(Hah, some things never change…
I wore that necklace with a new blouse just yesterday)

I hope you have had a Memorable Mother’s Day.
What memories do you treasure of your mom??
JanBeek ;o)

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