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Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Embrace Gray


Embrace gray?
No way!!
I hate gray!

Especially humid, sultry, gray days.
Smokey days that sting my eyes,
assail my nostrils,
and remind me
of the forest fires in the area.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

People’s homes are in danger.
Firefighters’ lives are at risk.
The habitats of birds and deer,
chipmunks and moose,
squirrels and rabbits
are being devoured.

The smoke blows in.
The sun is hidden.
Gray engulfs our valley.
I hate gray!

And yet, as I sit here
looking out at the gray,
praying for rain
to douse the fires
and chase the smoke away,
I hear the birds chirping in the trees.



They see the same gray sky,
smell the same smoke,
feel the same humid, sultry air,
and yet – they sing!
They dance in the leaves.
They fly free –
knowing a rainbow
sits beyond the gray.

Photo by Paweu0142 Fijau0142kowski on Pexels.com

So, rather than hating gray,
God is challenging me to
see gray in a new way.

See the light.
See gray as silver!

When my hair first started turning gray,
I dyed it – trying to keep
the deep brown color of my youth.
But God spoke to me:

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor,
it is attained by a righteous life.”

Proverbs 16:31
Embrace Gray!

Hello gray!
Hello silver!

I can sing your praises
just as the birds
continue to sing
on this gray day.

It’s all a matter of perspective, right?
Not everyone lives long enough
to earn their “crown of splendor.”

Silver brings wisdom.
It signifies the blessing of longevity.

How can you hate gray?
Embrace it and
thank God for that crown!!

How do you feel about gray?

See you tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Birthdays (stay 39!)


Dear Friends,

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.

How about you?

http://www.janbeek.blog/embrace-aging

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?

My great-grandson, Xander, needs my love and joy,
and I need patience, kindness and gentleness in abundance!

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 …)

Bob, our new friend, Jan (me), Monika & Ty –
Pretty sky, huh?
That’s our son, Ty, with me
We enjoyed the fun of chatting with our son & Moni while we waited.
Back home we found a wonderful
bottle of wine waiting for us –
a gift from our dear neighbors.
Thank you, Charlie & Janet!
Birthday roses from my granddaughter –
Thank you, Hope and Drew!
Flowers from our friends, Kathy & Ron-
with a really cute card!
Such fun! So nice of them!
Happy Birthday wishes from our #2 daughter, Laina…
I loved hearing her sing to me – from Maryland to Montana ❤
And our #1 daughter, DeAna, sang Happy Birthday and
sent us a picture of her beautiful flowers at
their restaurant in Switzerland.
Lovely, huh?

Sunday afternoon Bob, Ty & Monika went kayaking/paddleboarding while TazE & I found a shady spot and relaxed.

TazE found some cool grass and took a nap until…
Eloise and her Grandma Susie came.
With such good company, I put my book aside
and TazE left the shade to get acquainted.
It was a smokey day in the Madison Valley…
Lots of forest fires in the area –
and the wind blows the smoke into our
little piece of Paradise on Earth.

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!

My friend, Caroline Feldman, took this photo
at Ennis Lake last year with the swans clustered.
Here’s my photo taken from that same area
at Ennis Lake last winter…
See, you’re supposed to see the mountains!
Meantime, the paddleboarders returned –
And we returned home
to enjoy our last evening together.
Ty & Monika left this morning…
Thank you, Dear Ones,
for coming to help make
my 82nd birthday so memorable and special.
Now TazE and I are stretched out,
relaxing, and looking forward to an evening
watching the Olympic swimmers.

What are you doing this Monday evening besides surfing the net?

It was a very Happy Birthday…
Forever 39 at heart…
Thanks to all the friends who sent greetings.
I love you!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Steadfastness


When you hear the word “steadfastness,” what comes to mind?

Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

Steadfastness comes from the root word, STEADY.
I watched our family in Tahoe last month
play that game that tests how steady your hands are
and how skilled you are at choosing
what can be removed from the wooden pyramid
without toppling the whole thing over.

Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

The collegiate definition of steadfast is:

“firmly fixed in place”
or
“not subject to change”
or
“firm in belief, determination, or adherence”

Synonyms for steadfastness include:

constant,
dedicated,
devoted,
devout,
faithful,
fast,
steady,
and
true.

So, when I think of the word steadfastness,
I think of faithfulness and dedication.
I think of forever friends who stick by us
– always there for us in good times and bad.
I think of marriage –
-the ones that last
– and I am grateful for Bob’s steadfastness.

As a Man of God,
Bob has exhibited for nearly 60 years
the steadfastness of the Lord
in our marriage.
I am so grateful that God steered me
in Bob’s direction when it was time
to choose a partner for life.
I can substitute Bob’s name
for God’s name in this hymn –
because Bob’s steadfastness
has been so Christ-like.
I truly am blessed!

I am grateful that our families (both Bob’s and mine) set an example of faithfulness for us. There have been no divorces among our parents or grandparents for as far back as we can trace our roots. Likewise, our current families have set an example of faithfulness for our children and grandchildren.

Our son, Ty, and his wife, Monika will celebrate 32 years of marriage this September.

Our daughter, DeAna, and her husband, Andre’
have just celebrated their 34th anniversary.
Here are Bob & me 34 years ago at her wedding.



The dress she wore was my dress 25 years earlier – and she was married in the same University of Pacific chapel where Bob & I were wed. The steadfastness of family and traditions makes God smile, I’m sure.

Are you smiling, too?

This image represents steadfastness to me.

The pillar is our faith –
and the ropes are us –
connected through faith
for a lifetime and eternity
– together –
firm in belief, determination, and adherence!


When you
EMBRACE STEADFASTNESS
and consider the application of that word
in your life and acquaintances,
what image comes to your mind?



Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace World Peace


Tomorrow is Independence Day in the USA. July 4th… a day to celebrate America’s beginning. Dwight Roth posts about it quite poignantly. Check it out:

https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2021/07/03/independence-day-all-men-are-created-equal/

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could really embrace and LIVE that sense of equality our constitution espouses?

Where do you find places where world-wide peace is the major goal? How is it expressed?

In addition to poets like Dwight Roth, I love folks like Bob Goff, author of “Love Does.” He wrote:

“Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.”
― Bob Goff

Bob Goff’s books, “Love Does,” and “Everybody, Always” spell out in clear terms how the “love with actions and in truth” can make such a impact on your own peace – and can matter to the world at large. Check them out, if you have not read them already.

“Jesus talked to His friends a lot about how we should identify ourselves. He said it wouldn’t be what we said we believed or all the good we hoped to do someday. Nope, He said we would identify ourselves simply by how we loved people. It’s tempting to think there is more to it, but there’s not. Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become.”
― Bob Goff, Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People

That’s the only way we can work toward world peace…
One person, one act, one decision at a time.

It’s not really pride that is my motivator…
It is gratitude and love and a faith that
runs deep in my soul.
Thank You, God, for Your many blessings.
Thank you for Your love.
I pray that everyone in the world can feel it.

Thank you for the joy and peace that are mine.
May they radiate through me.
May I generously shine them on all I meet.

Feel the love.
Feel the peace.

Have a very Happy 4th of July!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Peace be with you!

Embrace Beauty


Vistas
Broad, expansive
Ridge to Valley
Valley, Mountains, Big Sky
Beauty

Poetry
Embrace Elfchen
It’s eleven words
Set in number pattern
Fun!

View from Pintail Ridge at Ducsay’s

Montana
Mountain Majesty
Expansive blue sky
Delightful precious generous friends
Home

Our neighbors’ new flagpole
A great addition to the “Hood”

Neighbors
Beautiful “Hood”
Always making improvements
Delightful to have around
Friends

Look carefully!
That’s the Hockings’ flagpole
from a different angle

Changes
Always beautiful
As evening came,
The shadows grew longer
Moon

Sundown
Pink reflection
in the north-east
Cool, crisp, refreshing air
Beautiful

Mmmm… steak and wine!

Invitation
To dinner
On Father’s Day
Couldn’t have been better
Delicious



Visitors
From Alaska
Friends from Pakistan
Young man I tutored
Gratitude

Gifts
Beautiful Friends
Staying in Touch
Long after they move
Blessings

Meantime
Back Home
Father’s Day roses
Showing evidence of love
Forever

Father’s Day Roses

Flowers
God’s Beauty
In full bloom
They always are appreciated
Roses

Elfchen is a form of poetry
Sometimes called Elevensies
Because it consists of 11 words
In this configuration:
1+2+3+4+1 = 11
(You probably figured that out by now.)

Write an elfchen for me in the comments below, will you?
Be sure and use the word BEAUTY in your poem!!

Home
Embrace Beauty
Come visit us
We’d love seeing you
Welcoming

Music
Tells stories
Ed Sheeran sings
In a musical video
Beautiful

Define
What’s beauty?
I’m not beautiful…
Beauty’s as Beauty does
Hugs

Charm is deceptive,
and beauty is fleeting;
but a wo(man) who fears the Lord is to be praised. …
Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor Him, for He is your lord.

~ Psalms 45:11.

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Fellowship


Embrace Fellowship
Cherish being together
Time is so fleeting

Enjoy sharing time
So much, you forget photos!
Just be in the now.

.

Today our Presbyterian Women
met at a gorgeous home
right on the Madison River.

Those pictures above were taken
several years back at our
two annual fundraisers.

Today I intended to take some pictures
to post here for you to see
how much we enjoy our fellowship.
But, I was having so much fun,
I forgot to capture the event
with my iPhone!

Instead, it is stored up in my memory bank.
There were eleven of us.
We had Bible Study,
then dessert,
and then our business meeting.

We planned future events –
among them our volunteer schedule
at the local Blood Draw next week –
and our participation at the
Ennis Art Festival
(it was cancelled last year due to COVID).

Not being able to hold those functions
helped us realize just how much
fellowship means to our mental health.
We really missed the connections!

I’ll bet you had the same reaction.
Being isolated, socially distancing,
wearing masks, cancelling events…
all took their toll on us!
How good to be back together again!!

Dining at Sidewinders in Bozeman

Now we are able to go out to restaurants again.
We socially distance, but we don’t have to wear masks.
It is so good to feel safe in the company of others!

I ordered my favorite item on the Sidewinders menu:
Reuben sandwich with sweet potato fries.
MmmMmmmMmmmm!!

This afternoon, after our PW meeting,
our new pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds,
came for dinner and a fly casting lesson.
Bob took her to the back yard and she practiced.
Mary Grace is going to love going out on the Madison River.
The guys are all lined up ready to take turns…

I took this slo-motion video so she can critique her technique.
She’s a fast learner!

It was such a beautiful evening here.
We thoroughly enjoyed our fellowship with
Mary Grace. The Pastor Nominating Committee
process was a long, arduous task that lasted
about a year and a half… but MGR was worth waiting for!

Today our daughter, De, sent us links to this event coming up in Switzerland. (You remember our DeDe lives in Vissoie, Valais Switzerland, right?) We’ve been to this fun event in the past. “The Cow Fights” are an annual event.
They are well attended. People go not just to see the excitement of the cows selecting their “Queen Cow” by the survival of the fittest, but for the fun of fellowship with as many friends as they can muster. They bet on the cow of their choice, drink their fill of Swiss wine and beer, and enjoy a picnic lunch high up in the beautiful Alps.

We won’t be there this weekend for the event, but we look forward to fellowship with our daughter and her family this October (God willing). We learned yesterday that she has a polyp on an ovary. It was detected during a routine annual physical. We are waiting for the biopsy report. Please pray with us that it is benign – and she can have it removed with no long-term adverse affects.

Looking out today at our neighbor’s house here in Montana,
I can’t help but thank God for this beautiful place we live.
I thank God for our “Hood” … gracious, loving, helpful neighbors.
The Hockings, across the field from us, installed a gorgeous
flag pole while we were on our trip to CA. What a great addition!
We look forward to future fellowship with them – soon!

Family time in Placerville

Meantime, here we are in this video – back in CA,
sitting around the table at our son’s house,
enjoying family fellowship, singing to our grandson-in-law,
Drew, who celebrated his birthday back in Montana.

Ah, Family Fellowship… there’s nothing like it!
I thank God each day for it.
With Father’s Day coming up
Sunday after this one,
I look at these fathers in my life,
and I thank God for their loving hearts.

I hope you have the gift of loving fathers in your
circle of fellowship, too.
Never take them for granted!
Not every child is so blessed!!

EMBRACE FELLOWSHIP

IT’S GIFT FROM GOD!

Happy Bob with his big catch!
Catch and Release!!
Fellowship with Fish!!

I pray all you dads out there can slow down this week,
enjoy life (it’s fleeting – passing waaay too fast), and
Embrace the Fellowship of family, friends and fish.

(And I pray Bob can take some time to go out fishing…
He’s been working waaay too hard this last few months.)

See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Family Time


Embrace family time
Our relatives are God’s gifts
Cherish time with them!

Bob & me with our son, Ty,
his wife, Monika, & son, Sam,
and her parents, Ruthie & Darrell,
and our grand-nephew, Liam

Lake Tahoe fun
A beautiful blue sky day
Comfortable breezes

Visiting Faithy
And her brand new big puppy
Was a real treat

Two legs on the stairs
The other two on the floor
Poppy knows comfort!

Cosette in the puppy pool

Our great-granddaughter
Figured out how to cool off
Showed pup what to do

Faith had great hors d’oruvres
Then they barbequed chicken
No one went hungry

The bear climbed a tree
To get away from people
Too full to climb far!

  1. A view of Lake Tahoe
  2. Jan & Bob at the lake
  3. Monika & Ty (the gracious hosts)
  4. Liam & Jodie (my niece & grand-nephew)
  5. Faith (my granddaughter)

When our son’s in-laws
Have time together with us,
Never lost for words!

Celebrate birthdays
Treasure the time together
Thank God for family

Cosette on horsey

Children grow up fast
Get together as often
As possibly can

Store up memories
Write – so you do not forget –
Take lots of pictures!

They came from southern California –
They came from Pennsylvania –
They came from Sacramento –
We came from Montana –
There were 16 of us for dinner!
When it’s shared family time,
the more the merrier.
Thank God for gracious family
who share their homes,
their beds, their food, their car…
… and best of all, their love.

Cousins – Liam & Sam

Next time we’re together,
it wouldn’t surprise me at all
if Liam is taller than Sam.
Like this sugar pine tree,
kids grow taller these days…
Must be all that family love!

I pray you have a loving family, too…
And you have many opportunities
To share family time together.

Cheers!
Have a great rest of your week.

I’ll see you tomorrow (God willing).

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Great-Grandchildren


I am so blessed!
To live long enough to
Embrace Great-Grandchildren
is such a gift!

This is Cosette.
She is the darling offspring
of my grandson, Jordan,
and Joss – his significant other.

Joss is such a caring and happy mother!

And I cannot believe how tall Jordan has grown.
What a good daddy he is!
Here we are at church together yesterday morning.

Can you believe how tall (6’4″) my grandson is?
Never in a million years when he joined our family
at the age of 3 did we imagine he’d grow to this height!

In this photo, Jordan is the “Tin Man” sitting next to my sis, Sally.
Jordy and his siblings each are adopted…
gifts from God to Ty (back left in this photo).

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old
they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

The church service was lively and invigorating and inspirational.

My heart is singing God’s praises.
How was your Sunday?

We’re having a relaxed morning before heading
to spend time with Bob’s brother & sister-in-law
and their family in central CA.

How are you spending your week?
I hope you are well …

I am including love
and lots of well wishes here for you.
Pray for my daughter-in-law, Monika, will you?
She has a miserable case of the flu.

See ya tomorrow
(God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Travel


It’s fun to take a trip every now and then.
I’m so grateful that the opportunity to fly
from Montana to California is available to us now.
We had to cancel the trip last December
because of COVID-19.

But
– thank God –
we are able to use those tickets now…
and here we are!
On our way…

There’s Bob
– waiting in Salt Lake City –
for our connecting flight to Sacramento…

And I am communicating via WhatsApp
with our daughter in Switzerland…

Don’t you love the way the internet shrinks our world?
Hi DeDe!

Hi Mom & Dad … safe travels!

It’s a beautiful day here in Placerville, CA at our son’s house.
Ty & Monika treated us to an afternoon at a beautiful winery.
It’s just a short, lush, windy, oak-studded 30-minute drive
up the El Dorado hills from their house
(with lots of squirrel overpasses).

Love it!!

We enjoyed an afternoon of wine tasting and beautiful hors d’oeuvres in this wonderful setting.

My grandson, Sam, enjoyed a good book
and some snacks at a table of his own.
The weather was perfect!

Then we came back to Ty & Monika’s for a BBQed chicken dinner out on their lovely patio.

Ty at the barbecue with his bottle fence in the background

Don’t you think this is a clever use of old wine bottles?

Moni, Ty, Bob, Sam & I enjoyed chatting time
while the chicken was smoking on the Traeger.
(Monika is taking the photo)

Their BBQ patio area is covered with grapevines.
I love the way the sun plays with the leaves
and highlights the baby grape clusters!

I hope you have a relaxed Saturday, dear friends.
You can be sure, I will be thinking of you –
and praying your weekend is
as wonderful as mine
promises to be!
Peace.

Embrace Travel Opportunities.

After more than a year of missed family gatherings,
we certainly will never take them for granted again!

This sign is at the base of one of those grapevines.
Such comfort in knowing God’s gotcha covered…
… no matter where you are.

Shalom


See ya tomorrow
(God willing).

Love & Peace to you,
JanBeek

Embrace Gladness


What has made you glad today?
Are you thanking God for this day?

I will reJOYce for He has made me glad.
This is such a beautiful spring day –
The weather is a gift from God
and
My dear husband, Bob, has our yard
Looking like a very inviting park.

Come sit awhile with me.
Enjoy the birds singing.
Enjoy the sunshine.
Let the peacefulness
of the mountain vistas
Make you glad!

Our robins are such a treat.
They make me glad!

Let your heart sing with the music of the birds!
So beautiful!

I had a yellow chested blackbird singing to me this morning-
-and while up in my sanctuary, a pair of doves
landed on the garage roof
and sang their hearts out.

(Thank God
it wasn’t those
“common cranes”
or the “snipe”
or the “corn crepe.”
Those would have driven me crazy!

(If you glide your cursor over the red line on the video,
it will tell you what kind of bird you are listening to.

The European turtle dove sounds like those we have here.
They make me glad!

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Our friend, Jim, took a break
from his yard work today
and came to visit for awhile.

Friends who drop by to visit
make my heart glad!

Tomorrow I get to spend time with his wife,
my good friend, Terry.
We’ll share a lunch and catch up on life.
Sharing life with friends makes me glad!

This blanket’s a gift from Terry.
Seeing it, wrapping myself up in it,
that makes me glad!

“Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before His presence with singing.”

Psalm 100:2

What makes you glad?

Share with me…
Your comments make me glad!


EMBRACE GLADNESS!

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek!

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