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Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Embrace Mothers


Me n Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to our moms!
Whether they are alive or dead,
They live daily in our thoughts –
Either lovingly or with dread.

Some folks weren’t as lucky
As I feel I was born to be.
I had a strong-willed mother
Who passed her strength on down to me.

Mom & Dad

Mom moved from her home in Washington
To marry my handsome Italian dad.
She spent her life in central California.
Musta made her mother rather sad.

Mom raised me and my sis, Sally,
To learn to stand on our own two feet.
From day one we were taught to know
School wasn’t done ’til college was complete.

She was born fifth of six children –
And her dad died when she was a teen.
College wasn’t an option for her, but for sure
Her girls would experience that scene!


Sally, Dad, Mom & me

Sally went to Jr. College and Brigham Young.
I graduated from University of Pacific (UOP).
Mom was pleased as punch to know –
If I needed to, I could take care of me!

She and Dad were great supporters
Of Bob & me their whole lives through.
I couldn’t have asked for better folks.
I hope you can say the same about you.

Dad Mom, Bob & me
That’s me with Mom, Sally & our daughter, De –
behind us is Dave Butters,
Sally’s husband who died way too young.
Mom’s selfie

Mom took selfies with a smile
Long before digital cameras and internet.
If she was alive today, she’d post ’em daily
And she’d have a huge following – you bet!

Today’s the day for us to remember
Our moms – and conjure up some joy
As we recall their better selves –
and set aside all thoughts that annoy!

I must remember no one’s perfect,
And I just hope when I’m dead and gone,
Our children will recall my better self,
And set aside times I was a moron!

I hope my kids will say,
“My mom was the Bee’s Knees”
and laugh at any bitterness
while remembering only the honey!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Embrace your Mothers today
(for real – or in your memories).
They did (or are doing) the best they could!!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace May Flowers


Happy May Day!

Time for a new wreath!

When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California (yes, there is a town by that name), May Day was a very special occasion.

In the classroom on the morning of May 1st we made baskets of paper or ribbon. Then we went out into the fields around the school and picked wildflowers. We hung our baskets on doorknobs around town, rang the doorbell, and hid in the bushes as we watched the surprised resident answer the door and find the colorful, hanging gift. In it was an invitation to come to the school that afternoon for our May Pole Dance.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
Sometimes we used our school colors for the ribbons
Other times we used an assortment of colors

It was not uncommon for us to dress in special costumes, but sometime, like the first picture of the Maypole, we would dress in white. Notice the flower wreaths in our hair. Ah yes, we went all out!

We’d weave in and out of each other to create the braided base on the Maypole. You can tell this last picture is recent. Back in the 40s and 50s no girls would be caught dead coming to school in Levis!! We would have probably been sent home!

Music would accompany our dance around the Maypole … The YouTube below shows that in some places, May Day still is celebrated in today’s world.

It’s a more complicated process than you might imagine!

I wonder if they still do
the baskets with flowers
in school rooms
and neighborhoods anywhere?

I love May flowers!

If you don’t have a wildflower field nearby,

maybe you can go to FTD and order your May Day flowers today!
There are lots of beautiful arrangements from which to choose!

Have a Happy May Day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Embrace May Flowers!

Do you do anything special for May Day?

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)

Embrace Easter!


He is risen indeed!

My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green.
The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.

A small, but appreciate gathering
lifted voices to sing
“He Arose!”
and
“He Lives!”

Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing
and nibble at the emerging greenery.
Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!

Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.

It was Communion Sunday as well as Holy Easter Sunday.
A very meaningful ritual … being able to partake in person with other Christian friends.
Our sermon topic was “Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble.”

What are your earliest
Memories of Easter Sunday?
Yellow crocuses, dogwoods,
And eggs hidden slightly away?

What are your earliest
Memories of recognizing in your life
God, the Risen Christ?
Do you have to think twice?

My memory was on a morning
When I’d victoriously ridden
My bike down a steep hill –
Suddenly God was not hidden.

I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene
With the other Mary who saw
That Jesus was not in the tomb.
An angel said He’d risen – such awe!

They were terrified to realize
You can’t escape God in Jesus.
They told no one what they heard –
Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?

They thought their hopes and dreams
Had been buried and sealed away,
Buried with Him – they believed.
They all deserted Christ that day.

Peter had denied Christ three times.
The other disciples hid in fear.
Have we also denied the messenger
Who told us Jesus is alive and here?

The Easter miracle assures us
Our crucified Lord is running free.
He is waiting for us to come out
Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!

Am I ready to believe the story
Of a man who dies, but rose again?
Am I ready to understand that He
Suffered that agony to free me from sin?

The Risen Christ stands before me
With nail prints in His hands and side.
Am I ready to hear the Good News
And know there’s no where I can hide?

With fear and amazement this Easter,
I will not go away from the empty tomb-
Back to daily routine, forgetting Him.
No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime.

All hail, Redeemer, Hail!
For Thou hast died for me.
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity.

Amen.

EMBRACE EASTER

It comes but once a year
Yet its significance
Lives in our hearts daily…
Thank God for the gift
of His Son
who secured my spot
and yours
in heaven.

Praise Him! Alleluia!
Amen!

Oh, and in the afternoon,
we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope,
and her husband, Drew, and their two children
(our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).

Hope & Drew
Xander
Sienna
Hunting for Easter eggs
Hope with Sienna
Isn’t this a fun appetizer tray?
And for a larger crowd,
how about this one?

Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season?
I did.. and I enjoyed every one.
I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:

That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby…
with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord.
So precious!!

And now,
the eggs are gone.
The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge.
The family departed.
The dishes are looming large –
Begging to be done…
But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you?
Sit down and relax.
Contemplate the day…
Think about what Easter means.
Thank God for the gift of His Son.
Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.
The dishes can wait!
My computer’s about to run outta battery…

Hope you had a Happy Easter weekend.


Have a good night.
See ya tomorrow.

Sending lots of love,
JanBeek

Embrace Karfreitag


Embrace Karfreitag!
That’s German for “Sorrowful Friday.”
The same day named “Guode Friday”
in Old English back in the 1200’s.

I always wondered how it got named “Good.”
What’s good about the Friday when Christ died?
I’m more apt to agree with the Germans”
It’s a sorrowful day!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Baltimore Catechism from 1885
says it is “Good Friday”
because it’s the day
Jesus showed his great love for mankind.

Matthew 27:46

And about three o’clock
Jesus cried with a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema tabachthani?”
that is,
“My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:59-61

“Joseph took the body,
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and placed it in his own new tomb…
He rolled a big stone in front
of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
were sitting there opposite the tomb.”

Today is the day when Jesus seems gone.
Mary and Mary Magdalene
wept in front of the giant rock
that was between them and the One they loved.
Can you imagine their despair?

The reason I am embracing “Karfreitag!”
is because I think it would be a shame
to jump from Sorrowful Friday
to the joy of Easter morning
without sitting for a day
and contemplating the
sorrow that surrounded
Christ’s death.

Imagine yourself at the tomb.
Imagine the shock of finding
Jesus gone…
with the stone rolled away.

Tomorrow is called
“Holy Saturday.”
This is all that is written about it:

The next day the Pharisees
and chief priests went to Pilate.
“Sir, they said, we remember
that while he was still alive
that deceiver said,
‘After three days I will rise again.’
So give the order
for the tomb
to be made secure
until the third day…”

What would you have thought
if you had seen this scene
on the day after Jesus died?

Holy Saturday
is a day to pause
gather our thoughts,
process what happened,
and get ready for the
beautiful message
of Easter.

See you tomorrow.
Love to you,
JanBeek

Before you go,
treat yourself to this wonderful rendition
of one of my favorite hymns
by a phenomenal boys’ choir …
joined by the wonderful men’s voices
of the King’s College Choir.
You’ll be glad you did!


Embrace Mornings


Begin your morning
By clicking on this music.
Play it while you read.

Gaither Instrumentals

“Let me hear in the morning
of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.”

(Psalm 143:8)

Begin each morning
Asking God for direction.
He’ll happily point.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

His finger won’t trap
You in a dead-end pathway.
No traps with Jesus.

Start each of your days
By asking for direction.
Plan with the Son’s words.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.”

(Lamentations 3:22-23)

Begin your morning
With a prayer list to follow.
Put your friends on it.

Let them know you care.
Reach out with a text or call.
Lift them each morning.

Psalm 143:8 NIV

8 Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go,
for to You I entrust my life.

Back up to that music…
Scripture fades in and out
as the pictures and the music changes.
So beautiful!

Like the words up there,
Mornings come and mornings go.
Embrace your mornings.


Let them be a time
When you pray for God’s guidance
To live life fully.

Psalm 5:3 NIV

3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.

Lisa Glines’ photo

Every morning, my friend Lisa and I exchange a prayer with/for one another Often it includes a photo of our morning scene. She lives on the east coast. Her sunrises usually differ from mine. Her sky beyond that iconic dead tree is full of life… full of promise for each new day. The lake beyond differs from my Madison Range here in my Montana morning.

Together we pray for one another… for God to guide us and grant us peace. I take such comfort in her prayers.

Do you have a prayer partner who lifts you up in prayer each morning? If not, I highly recommend you find one. Find a friend who will send you his/her sunrise. Enjoy beginning your day with a mutual prayer for love, joy, peace, health, happiness, and safety.

Turn your morning over to God and ask Him to guide your footsteps each day. Embrace Mornings. Embrace Prayer. Embrace Life.

Have a beautiful morning.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!
Didja make that corned beef recipe I shared yesterday?
Mine’s in the crockpot.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Your Irishness


  1. On St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, everyone is a little bit Irish. Some more than others, of course. Embrace your Irishness!
  2. Check out the recipes below and go shopping for those ingredients today!
  3. Prepare a crockpot of corned beef and cabbage (you can do it today… it’ll taste better tomorrow after it sits in its flavorings overnight)
  4. Play a medley of Irish jigs and reels to keep you in the mood
  5. Bake some Irish cupcakes for dessert (see recipe from Better Homes & Gardens below)

Corned Beef and Cabbage

By Lena Abraham Mar 8, 2021 Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage Horizontal Ethan Calabrese

Synonymous with American St. Patrick’s day celebrations, corned beef and cabbage is the perfect hearty meal for a chilly mid-March night. Though this slow cooker version can be done in 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high, the brisket cooks best low and slow. If you’re looking to venture outside the spice packet, try out the homemade blend on this corned beef brisket.

Got leftovers? Check out our favorite corned beef leftover ideas

 
Yields: 6
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 9 hours

INGREDIENTS:

2 or 3 medium yellow onion, cut into large wedges

2 or 3 large carrots, cut into thirds

1/2 lb. stalks celery, cut into thirds

8 to 12 baby potatoes, halved

2-3 lb corned beef brisket 

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 or 3 Tblsp. pickling spice

2 sprigs thyme

2 or 3 bay leaves

1 head of green cabbage, cut into large wedges

Directions

  1. Add onion, carrots, celery and potatoes to bowl of your crock pot. Place corned beef on top and season generously with salt, pepper, and pickling spices. Scatter thyme and bay leaves over meat and fill slow cooker bowl with water until it is almost completely covering the meat.
  2. Cook on low for 9 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, until meat is tender. Add cabbage to crock pot and cook on high for 45 minutes to 1 hour more until cabbage is tender and cooked through. Remove meat and vegetables from slow cooker, slice and serve.
Hide a few 4 leaf clovers under the dinner plates…
Good luck finding them!!

Pot o’ Gold Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes I instantly think of Guinness cupcakes. This cupcake idea comes with a festive surprise inside to wow anyone who takes a bite.

By Alissa and Elise McGeehan
Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Share: Pot o’ Gold Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Recipe Summary

hands-on: 1 hr
total: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 24
Nutrition Info

Pot O' Gold Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • ¾ cup special dark cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s)
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur or caramel-flavor coffee creamer
  • ⅓ cup butterscotch-caramel sauce (such as Mrs. Richardson’s)
  • ½ cup assorted green and/or gold sprinkles

Directions

  • Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twenty-four 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with cupcake liners. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Step 2 – Melt the 1 cup butter in a saucepan over medium-low. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in Guinness, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and granulated sugar. Continue stirring until smooth.
  • Step 3 – In the bowl of an electric mixer combine brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Add melted butter mixture and beat on medium-low until cooled. Reduce to low. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until eggs are incorporated.
  • Step 4 – With mixer on medium, add flour mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (They will be nearly full.)
  • Step 5 – Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cool in pans 5 minutes; remove to wire rack. Let cool.
  • Step 6 – For frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the softened butter on medium-high until creamy. Reduce speed; add powdered sugar, liqueur, caramel sauce, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  • Step 7 – Push the large end of a large pastry tip into center of each cupcake, twist to remove a plug of cupcake; set plugs aside. Fill each cupcake with approximately 1 teaspoon of the sprinkles. Trim off half the cupcake plugs and place in holes to seal in sprinkles. Pipe or frost cupcakes. Makes 24 cupcakes.
A refreshing drink to go with your dessert!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow!
See ya then…
Tell me how your day goes!

Don’t forget to look for that pot o’ gold under the rainbow!

Photo by Paweu0142 Fijau0142kowski on Pexels.com

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.

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

Too Big a Pill to Swallow?


Is that idea of a virgin birth
too big a pill for you to swallow?
It gets in the way of faith
for a whole lot of folks.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon
by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, MT
dealt with that subject…
the virgin birth.
He titled it:

Conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and Born of the Virgin Mary


It’s a stumbling block for many
To think of a baby born of a virgin…
The idea can seem like a fairy tale.
It can be a pill too big to swallow.

Some people believe Christ was
Half God and half human.
Only One who is fully God
Can atone for our sins.

Only one who is fully human
Can experience our suffering and pain.
So many deny Jesus’ duality:
Jesus was born divine and became human.

Philippians 2:7
“But made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.”


This verse is our first statement of faith:
He found Himself as human
And humbled Himself.
He chose to be dependent on humans.

Jesus could not have been born
Without that simple peasant girl;
And He suffered all the human pain
And a cruel and painful death.

It’s a gigantic leap of faith
To fully believe the virgin birth.
But, take comfort in knowing
Even the disciples had trouble.

Even though they walked
With Jesus on this earth,
They had trouble believing
He was the Holy Son of God.

The initial act of faith
Is not that total belief.
The initial act of faith
Is to invite Jesus into your heart.

When your own life is changed
By the love of Christ in you,
Then your faith will grow;
You will share that faith with others.

Jesus sees the pearls in the dust.
Not what we are, but
What God intends us to become.
In Christ, our faith can help us get there.

We don’t begin as full believers.
We begin as that dependent manger child.
We begin looking for a Teacher of Wisdom,
And Jesus, the Holy Son of God enters.

Let Him walk with you.
Let Him help your faith to grow.
When it comes to faith,
The heart is one step ahead of the intellect!

Pastoral Prayer

by Steve Hundley

We have run our yearly race to Bethlehem, O Lord, and many are tired from what has been a very difficult year.  We know that You did not mean it that way, but intended for Your Son’s birth to bring us peace and joy and renewal, and a sense of togetherness that comes from this season of love and giving.

In the stillness of this moment we turn our hearts to You as the needle of a compass points to True North.  Amidst all the tension of this year, may You remain at the center, calling us to hope and to clarity of purpose.  On the eve of a new year, give guidance to us and the nations of the world, as we seek to find our way out of this pandemic.  Incline our hearts to modesty, honesty, and compassion.  Let us be tender to all of those in need, especially the young, the old, the tired, the poor, the sick, and all who are struggling just to survive.,,

So many have died these last 10 months, O Lord.  Hold in Your arms those who grieve, whose spirits are distressed by the loss of loved ones, or jobs, or homes in all of the uncertainty that surrounds them.  Speak to us in our worship, we pray, in something heard or seen or felt, that we may go from this place of worship with a renewed sense of Your presence in our lives.

Let the months before us bring rest to a weary world and hope to millions who continue to dwell in darkness.  Use us who wait before You to accomplish Your will, through devotion and imagination and love.  We pray this prayer in the name of Christ our Savior… Amen

May you, my dear WP friends,
find the peace,
comfort,
hope,
and clarity of purpose
for which we pray.

This describes my purpose! I will declare His coming
and live in modesty, honesty, and compassion.

How about your clarity of purpose?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Don’t forget to comment below.
I would love to hear about
your Sunday and your purpose.
Hugs!!

See ya tomorrow…

Never Go Back!


No, I don’t want to go back!
I don’t want to revisit the old normal.
Surely as we move from 2020
to a new year, we’ll create a better normal.

This is my prayer this Christmas:
Lord, help us learn what You
have in mind for us to learn
from this rare year we’ve just survived.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Letter from a Wordsmith

With his permission, I am sharing with you the first part of a Christmas letter I received this week from my former pastor, Rev. Brent Mitchell. He is a master wordsmith! He said what’s in my heart so much better than I could have said it.

“Mark it how you will,
2020 was a year not lost,
but forever to be remembered
for both its absences
and its unexpected gifts.

By the middle of March,
it became apparent that
what we thought as normalcy
had left its predictable confines
for parts unknown,
leaving no forwarding address.

Masked and gloved,
we were left to fend for ourselves
absent even the comfort
of shaking hands
or intimate conversations,
the communion around tables,
camaraderie of birthdays celebrated,
the sacred closeness of hospital visits.

Absent of the humanizing connectivity,
of those familiar and holy intersections,
we were left to laugh alone,
to cry alone,
and hope in seclusion.
It cost us treasures we never knew
were so valuable
and time that cannot be recalled.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“But admit it:
There were unexpected gifts.
There were letters we finally wrote,
the books we never touched until now,
the prolonged stillness that allowed us to think again,
and listen to what our hearts were saying.

We talked to God
because the hours got quiet enough
to hear His still small voice.
It happened because we watched enough TV
to realize we had watched TV enough,
and golden silence gave us gifts
that weren’t insipid.

“I think, in short, that if we were paying attention,
not only did we get older,
but almost certainly wiser
because even a painful awareness
of what lurks in our hearts and minds
is worth more than gold.

The gift was rediscovering
at a visceral level
that we really are never alone;
nor in the absence of everyone,
are we left unloved.

“My prayer is that when this is over,
and it will one day be over,
we won’t forget the things we learned
the hard way this year:
that God willing,
we’ll never go back
to the tired normalcy of endless distractions,
of busyness as usual,
and the noise that never ends.”

The Mitchell Musings
December 2020
Peace to you.
Good Night, my friends.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve Day.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I leave with you my hopes and wishes
for a most Blessed Christmas.

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