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Embrace Thoughtfulness


Embrace Thoughtfulness

It’s Thoughtful Thursday
A day to step back – reflect
What does today hold?

I won’t jump right in
I’ll stand at the water’s edge
Dip my toe in it

Think about the day
Ponder possibilities
Hear my soul speaking

Photo by Manuela Adler on Pexels.com

Embrace Thoughtfulness
Listen to thoughts as water
Falls with purity



Pile rocks as you pray
Putting important things first
Each rock is a task

Choose them carefully
Tasks are opportunities
Order thoughtfully

Photo by Daisa TJ on Pexels.com

Let your thoughts reflect
Then allow them to emerge
As a daily plan

Pause, pray and listen
Plan, and then jump in with faith
Embrace Thoughtfulness.

Photo by Camila Cordeiro on Pexels.com

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.


Have a calm, thoughtful, and a purposeful Thursday.

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Common Sense


Proverbs 16:22

“Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.”

No one wants to be thought a fool.
No one wants to be seen as someone who lacks common sense.
When we hear stories about foolish people,
we say to ourselves,
“Thank God that’s not me!
I’d never build a house on the sand!”

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

What is our modern day “House on the Sand” story?
Can you think of a typical story that demonstrates
lack of common sense in today’s world?

Not just the foolish MAN!!
What a about those spendthrift women?

Today is the day President Biden signed an “American Rescue Plan” –
A stimulus package to the tune of 1.9 trillion dollars. Wow!
Hopefully it will create the millions of jobs promised
And give struggling lower-middle class and poor families a future.
Does it make sense?

We need to renew our economy, no doubt about it.
How do we find the “light in the darkness”?
Are the acts of getting checks out and getting the vaccine out
And into people’s arms steps in the right direction?
Seems sensible to some – but not all!

Total COVID-19 deaths in the USA as of today: 527,726.
Something needs to be done… no doubt about it.
Are we on a sensible path to end the pandemic?
Mobilizing thousand of vaccinators and creating new places –
That’s sensible.

President Biden reminded us of the things we couldn’t do.
He talked about the ways we have been divided as a country.
His reminder of the way people are walking in fear today
Was not news to any of us. We see and hear it every day.
Divisions are not sensible!

When will things get back to “normal”? What’s that?
What will “normal” look like when we come to our senses?
Will we have learned the lessons this pandemic
May have been sent to this earth to teach us?
Let’s be sensible.

More vaccines manufactured is in the future,
New tools to make it easier to get the vaccines,
Confidence in the safety of the vaccines –
Practicing CDC guidelines and being unified….
That’s good common sense.

But just as I was writing this, someone I love
Wrote to me and said she would not be getting
Her vaccine and neither will her husband.
Why not? What is the sense in the refusal?
Is my common sense and hers the same?

Seems to me that people who refuse
To wear a mask or get themselves vaccinated
Are living selfishly for themselves…
Their purpose is not to protect others.
Is that common sense?

Today is the one year anniversary
Of this COVID-19 pandemic’s announcement.
Sadly our nation and world are forever changed.
We have lost way too many dear friends.
It makes no sense.

Let’s build our future on the solid rock
Of unified common sense and faith in our democracy.
Let’s plan tomorrow with hopes and dreams
That address how much we need each other.
Embrace common sense!

Thanks for wearing a mask!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek .
See ya tomorrow.

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 Stretching


There are so many ways to stretch
And so many meanings to the word
Stretch your body and your mind
Stretch and let your soul be heard

Flexibility of mind and body
Are a result of regular stretching
Reaching just beyond your limits
Helps you find the goal you’re fetching

No one needs to feel they’re stuck
At a level that’s not satisfying
Keep stretching, reaching, believing
And you’ll get to where you’re trying

Our minds are powerful tools
They take us where we want to go
Stretch your vistas with good books
Let them round out what you know

It’s not just body and mind that stretch
When you apply the “Elastic Principle,”
Look for life’s other areas
Where you want to be invincible!

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Stretching our ideas to help us be
More flexible in odd situations
Helps us be more successful
In all sorts of challenges or vocations

Do you know the Tijuana Brass?
It was one of my favorite groups in the late ’50s & ’60s
His music stretched across the world!

My mind stretched immensely when
I traveled to Europe as a newlywed
I thought the USA was the world’s haven
And I found multiple havens instead!

Don’t squirrel away in a tiny space
Limiting your mind to prejudicial thoughts
Stretch your experiences and horizons
By seeking out new, delightful spots

Stretch your imagination in order to see
Sites that inspire you to face with glee
Each new day and its many wonders
They’re right here – and they’re free!

Are those the cutest baby owls you’ve ever seen?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Stretch your imagination to create
Space in your life to wander afar
Walk along paths of flowers blooming
And stand beneath your favorite star

Embrace stretching and soon you’ll see
The world through eyes expectantly
Looking at the mundane differently
Participating in life gleefully

Embrace Stretching!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
You help me be a possibilitarian!
See ya tomorrow.

How will you stretch gleefully today?

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


Embrace Confidence


These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy…
I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too)
I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time.
Today is it!

In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D.
Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love”
and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine,
Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”

“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote.
“This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”

In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.

“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.

It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

How does someone overcome
such prejudicial treatment
and regain the confidence
that ALL PEOPLE deserve?


That is the question Dr. Walker
deals with in her profession.
She conquered it in her own life with
“years of psychological work,
spiritual practice,
self-care, and healing.”

Dr. Brenda Wade wrote,
“When we feel too hurt or afraid
to let ourselves out,
it becomes impossible
to let others in.”

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Embrace the confidence
that there is
hope and a future
and a return of self-confidence
when self-insight
and self-love
can be applied.

The pain of those early wounds go deep.

We know that
we ALL have a responsibility
to respond to one another in love,
with compassion and respect,
and to stand together hand-in-hand
to obliterate oppression and prejudice.

Embrace that future
with
confidence and determination!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Pastoral Prayer

Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:

“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?

Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons…
* Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place.
* We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world…
* Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace.
* Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing…
* Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones…
* May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed…
* In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out…
* As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”

Amen                         

Embrace with Confidence,
my friends,
the knowledge that you
regard all God’s Children as equals…
and determine never to inflict on anyone
the pain of rejection
or the sting of shame.

As God’s children…
Let us live as One.
Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place!
Embrace Confidence!

Hugs to you.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Hope


My Favorite Student

Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites.
Right?

Ty, Roxanne (Merri), Jan & Bob

See that young man on the left up there?
His name is Ty.
He is my favorite!

(Well, in honesty… don’t be dismayed
if you’re one of my students….
I have lots of favorites, OK?
But Ty… well, read on!)


Ty was my kindergarten student in 1962-3.
Every day when he stepped off the school bus,
the girls all stopped what they were doing.
“Hi Ty!” they would swoon.
Yes, even kindergarten girls
recognize a sweetheart when they see one!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

And every day when it was time to go home,
the girls all waved to Ty,
“Bye, Ty!”
they would swoon.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I was a newlywed.
It was my second year of teaching.
I decided if I had a boy someday,
I would name him Ty.
And I did!

Here’s my Ty with his little sister, DeAna.

Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!

See the sweetness sparkle?
Both Tys are a little older now!

So why the HOPE title?

Yesterday I heard the devastating news
that my favorite student, Ty,
has been diagnosed
with Stage 4 cancer.
It has metastasized.
He needs our prayers.
My heart is heavy,
but I am a believer…
and HOPE
is what believers do,
right?

Day before yesterday I posted this scripture:

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“Plans to prosper you
and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope
and a future.”

Jeremiah 20:11

I know God has Ty tucked into the palm of His hand,
just as He holds our world in His hand.

I know God is watching over Ty and his treatment process.
But, won’t you add your prayers to mine?
“Dear Lord, please give healing to Ty.”

I wrote about Ty when he came to visit us
here in Montana a couple of years ago.
Here is the blog link:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/05/25/gift-from-the-heart/

A Gift from the Heart

After Ty & Roxanne left, they sent us a thank you gift for our hospitality. He created this cross for us. It hangs on my dining room wall as a constant reminder of my special student, Ty Stiles.

Notice the three bars?
Ty said they represent the Trinity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Please Heal Ty!!

Embrace Hope

“May the God of Hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him.”

Romans 15:13

The reign of Christ,
both present and in the future,
is our foundation of Hope.

Take Peace

“And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will toward men.

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep –
God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail –
With peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Embrace Peace.
Embrace Love.
Embrace Joy.
Embrace Prayer.
Embrace Hope.

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting
and praying with
JanBeek

I CAN Embrace


I can embrace the future.
I can be ready for a fresh start.
I can take time to review
This past year and take heart.

Take heart that new beginnings
Offer us blessings to uncover.
Take heart that compassion’s awakened;
We’ve new opportunities to discover.

I can embrace the promises
That change and growth bestow.
I can be energized by
Welcoming strangers I’ve yet to know.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I can embrace the reality
Of dreams yet to fulfill,
Knowing God is ever faithful
When I’m living in His will.

As Bob Goff says, “Dream Big!”

I can embrace the coming year
With prayers for those in need –
And reach out to serve the hurting
With generosity – release the greed!

I embrace the coming decade
And hope to live rightly through it.
I embrace the coming vaccine –
It’ll be effective – we always knew it.

We knew that this pandemic
Could not stay with us forever.
There are too many blessed people
Out there who are creative and so clever.

But I am not waiting for the shot
To stop the misery and relieve the pain.
I embrace the fact that LOVE
Is what will make us whole again!

So, PEACE, my dear WP friends,
I send you the best medicine of all
For the end of this misery-filled year:
A smile, a virtual hug, a word of grace, an answer to your call.

Just like Bob Goff, Love Does,
He puts his cell phone number on his book covers.
Call on me … and I will answer every time:
(406) 599-9678

Happy New Year!
Big Embraces to you,
With Love, JanBeek

I CAN RELEASE


I CAN RELEASE

My Journal

My Journal prompts me to decide
What it is today that I CAN
And I WILL release.
It’s not always easy to decide.

In this end of 2020
With the start of a fresh new year
Just around the corner,
I CAN release the old.

I CAN release what obstructs
And I CAN make room
For the new, the better.
What must I release?

First I must REFLECT.
What was good in this mess?
What was worth keeping?
What should I have learned?

I have learned to sift –
Sift through the garbage of the year
And find the jewels. and keep them –
Throw out the garbage!

Kindness wins!

Reflect on the kindnesses
Offered to me from others…
And keep those thoughts alive
While I release the ugliness.

Every struggle contains lessons.
Reflect on the things
COVID-19 set before us.
Did it teach interdependence?

It’s not a problem faced
By just one country or state.
This pandemic is a world-wide
Challenge… we’re ALL effected.

Release the idea of “Me First” –
Release the “We’re the best” mentality.
Absorb the understanding that
We’re all this together.

“No man* is an island –
No man stands alone –
Each man’s joy is joy to me –
Each man’s grief is my own.

(*human)

We need one another,
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”

Release the idea of supremacy –
And reflect on God’s creation.
Know He made us ALL in His image.
Reflect on what that means.

When you hurt, I hurt.
When you are hungry, I MUST
Reach out to help you – and
Find the nourishment you need.

Images of people in food lines
Stretching for blocks,
And people waiting for vaccines
In “First come-first served” lines

GRIEVE ME!

There is enough food,
Enough resources in this world,
To meet each (hu)man’s need –
We just need to share!!

Release the tensions of this
Election year in the USA
And reflect on the voter turnout,
The level of participation.

Release the divisiveness
And concentrate on the idea
Of POWER in UNITY.
Work toward unification.

Release all attitudes of angst.
Reflect on the love shared –
And determine to be the change
We hope to see in 2021.

I CAN
and
I WILL.

WATCH ME!

Bee an angel and join me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.
Happy New Year!

Two Birthdays in Big Sky


Where’s the perfect place
to celebrate a birthday
if you live in Montana?
Well, Big Sky, of course!

Bob & Jan in Big Sky on Bob’s 82nd birthday

And what’s the best way to celebrate in Big Sky when you get there?
With a friend who shares the same birthday, of course!

Caroline & Chuck Feldman –
CG’s birthday was today, too.

It was their first trip up to Big Sky
through the Jack Creek Canyon …
and the day could not
have been prettier for the trip!

Headed up to Big Sky via Jack Creek Canyon
Jack Creek thawing
I love the jack fences when they are snow covered!
Gorgeous blue sky and snow-covered peaks
Montana Jack’s – the perfect spot for lunch
Easy to socially distance
Tables set 10 feet apart
Complimentary dessert for the birthday boys!
To heck with a plate and spoon –
We all ate outta the dessert plate!
We stopped for some extra fun on our way out.
Of course, we masked up when we were not eating.
Everyone was equally obedient.
Can’t be too careful in this COVID world!
We hate wearing them… it’s hard to breathe….
But we’d hate more to get the virus, so we comply!
My friend, Doris, sent me this meme this morning.
While up at Big Sky, I saw a lot of mask-wearing
that confirmed the concern!!
Back home to Ennis – cross the Madison River
It was a lovely trip –
and a memorable, fun day.
Back Home with my feet up…
Time to kick off my boots!

I hope your Tuesday was a Terrific as ours.
Do you have a birthday to celebrate this end of the year?
If so, I hope you do something memorable.

Have a Happy last week of 2020…
time to kick it off, too!

Photo by YI on Pexels.com


Where would you like to kick 2020 off to
while you welcome 2021?
A beach in Hawaii might be nice!

Thanks for visiting Big Sky with me vicariously today.
We all need to look forward to a safe, healthy 2021
I wish you could travel here for real.
We’ll take you up Jack Creek Canyon!

Hugs,
JanBeek

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