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Archive for the ‘kindness’ Category

Travel Backward!


Unable to post pictures here, I abandoned WP during these past three weeks and used FB to share our travels with friends. It’s been a magical time in England and Switzerland. If you, my WP friends, wish to travel vicariously with us, do click on my FB link and have a look… you can travel backward with us all the way to London and then to Downton where we were privileged to spend three days with blogging friend, Derrick Knight and his wife, Jackie. When I get home to Montana Thursday, I will resume my “Embrace” series.

www.facebook.com/601133053/posts/10159782999268054/

Embrace Company


Invite the neighbors.
There’s no need to be lonely;
They’re good company!

Also, go on out –
Invite your friends to join you.
Embrace company!

Kalena’s Tea House:
a great place for having lunch.
Sit outside -enjoy!

Be happy with your own company, too!

Headed to pick up
Bob & his buddies
at the airport today.

It’s been 9 long days
without him…
but I survived it!

Thanks to friends here
And my blogging friends out there,
I was never lonely!

Thanks for your company!

See ya tomorrow (God willing!)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Christ’s Presence


Angels in the room
Praying with Jesus and me
Embrace Christ’s presence

My sanctuary
Is a sacred, divine place
Jesus lives up here

Surrounding angels
Fervently with Christ and me
Pray daily to God

God knows every need
Even before it’s spoken
Bow in prayer with me

“Christ, my loving Lord,
Thank you for Your sure presence
Bringing daily peace.

Thanks for hearing me
When I’m calling out Your name.
Thanks for answered prayers.”

Bruises nearly gone –
Lump diminishing daily –
Families back in homes.

Neighbors reaching out,
Keeping loneliness at bay.
Sunshine on this day.

Blogging friends respond
With words of comfort and joy.
My heart overflows.

Thank you, my dear friends –
You are here to lend a hand
With words of kindness.

Embrace Christ’s Presence
In your life as well as mine.
We are blessed indeed!!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace the Extraordinary


LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS

“You know it, deep down- you’re not made for ordinary. Your life is meant to be an adventure, fueled by grace and inspired by big dreams to make the world a better place. But, stuff gets in the way. Whether it’s people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that take you out along the way– we all have a longing to break out of the status quo and get after the life we’re meant to live.” – Bob Goff

That quote came from one of my favorite people in the world, Bob Goff, author of “Love Does.” He has a new website:

https://www.bobgoff.com/?cid=21c33def-d0e2-408b-9d77-fcda6e15e879

Today’s black eye

I may look like those bruises took me out along the way with that eyelid swollen and the bruise running down my cheek, but I am far from “taken out!” Instead I am thinking this is an “extraordinary” bruise from an “extraordinary bang” and I am blessed not to have suffered a concussion! My knock on the head is not stopping me from planning some extraordinary days ahead!

Likewise, the fires in CA and the flooding on the east coast and the hurricanes in Haiti and the war-torn people in Afghanistan may have stopped some people from feeling like they are living the “life we’re meant to live,” but such catastrophes cause us to also to thank God for our survival. They cause us to evaluate what’s ordinary and what’s extraordinary – what’s essential and what’s fluff.

Don’t look down and say, “Poor me!” Instead, look up, and thank God for the blessings that are still yours! That’s what I am trying to do today as I put a hot compress on that goose egg that still sits on my forehead – and plan for an extraordinary trip to England to meet our blogging friends, Derrick & Jackie in person, and to travel on to Switzerland to see our daughter and her family there. We haven’t been able to do that since COVID raised its ugly head. Waaay too long between visits with our DollyWolly!

As Bob Goff said, “Life is too short to just go through the motions.” Embrace the extraordinary! Be extraordinarily positive! Look at the bruises and the challenges – and remember, “whether its the people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that … along the way,” they don’t have to pull you down. They don’t have to keep your dreams small. As Bob Goff says on his website and in his books, “Dream Big!”

Smile the bruises away.
Ignore those who put you in a box.
Embrace the faith that makes you extraordinary!

What are you planning for your future that will keep you living those “Dream Big” ideas?
Whatever it is, keep leaning on the One who answers your prayers!

The Fire Update in CA

Our son and his wife in CA still are safe from the Caldron Fire. They still are housing a family of 8 children and their mom who were evacuated from their home. They are living an extraordinary life right now, buoyed by all our prayers.

Our granddaughter in S. Lake Tahoe and her husband, Faith and Kyle, who were evacuated from their home, still are safely relocated for now in southern CA with their other grandparents. Today they received the gift of passes to visit Disneyland. It’s Kyle’s first visit there to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” The fire took a right turn just a mile from their house. Only God can control the wind! Answered prayers have saved their neighborhood. What an extraordinary God we have!

Continue to pray for extraordinary bravery and safety for our fire fighters.

Faith & Kyle

Please continue to pray for Faith and Kyle and their neighborhood…
and for Ty & Monika and their big hearts
which are open to such Christ-like help for their friends.

Monika and Ty –
an extraordinary couple

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Stay tuned!
And continue to be the extraordinary person God created you to be!

Embrace Contentment


Romans 12:18

“If it is possible,
so far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all.”

With all the strife in the world today,
the least we can do is to live in peace
with ourselves, our neighbors, our families.
And if we see someone in need,
reach out a helping hand.
Heaven knows, regardless of how bad
things seem to be for us,
it never is hard to find someone
who is worse off than we are.

He complained about
Having no shoes for his feet
Others had no feet

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Be contented with the little things.
They really aren’t so little after all!

Philippians 4:11-13

“Not that I am speaking of being in need,
for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
I know how to be brought low,
and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance,
I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger,
abundance and need.
I can do all things
through him who strengthens me.”

These photos were sent to me by Daughter #2 in Maryland.
That tornado and car pile-up were about 8 miles from her home.
She is thanking God for the fact that the strong winds
she had at her house didn’t knock down trees
or create a power outage.

Philippians 4:6

Keep praying!

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Pray with Me

God Almighty, I honor and praise You
for the works of Your hands,
for the beauty of the earth,
for the love You have for Your people
and for the animals.
I ask you now to protect
those who are ravaged by tornadoes
and floods, fires, and hurricanes,
wars and injustices.
Help us to know and trust
that You are with us
and You hear and answer
the fervent prayers of Your people.

Save us, Lord.
Bring peace.
Bring safety.
Bring rain to those who need it
and sunshine to those
who need freedom from flooding.

Help us find contentment
in Your care and promises.

Amen

Jan’s black eye fading

Find contentment in little blessings (some of them are not so little):

  • my black & blue eyes are healing
  • the bump on my forehead is decreasing
  • our smoky valley has cleared a little (we can see the mountains again)
  • the firefighters are diligently working to contain the wildfires
  • my grandson, Chris, made it safely to Colombia (that’s him & his girlfriend, Natalia’s picture behind me there)
  • so far our granddaughter’s house in South Lake Tahoe has not caught fire – and they are safely evacuated to stay with their other grandparents in southern CA
  • our son & his wife’s house is safe from the fires (and they are graciously housing a family who were evacuated from theirs)
  • my husband’s doctor has okayed his fishing trip to Alaska (he leaves next Monday) – in spite of some health scares this week – he is better :o)
  • you came to visit my blog and share the message of contentment in your life (in spite of challenges) – I look forward to your comments ❤

God bless you!
See ya tomorrow (God Willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Hard Heads


Do you have a hard head?
Have you ever tested it out?

I tested out the strength of my skull yesterday!

Not on purpose, of course.

I was walking to the back of the car
to push the button that closes the hatchback.
Friends approached from my right, so
I turned to greet them as I kept walking.
Little did I know Bob had pushed the button
and the hatchback door was on its way down.
I walked right into it! Ouch!!!

I heard a loud crack when it hit.
A softer head would have split open
and (as head wounds go) it would have
bled profusely! But, I have a hard head, my friends!
The blood stayed inside and created a
black and blue goose egg!

Ah, thank God for friends!

Speaking of friends, Bob drove me home.
My head was throbbing like crazy!
I called our neighbor/friend, Janet, who is a nurse.
She came right over. Ice packs, pain killers,
Hugs and consolation… then alternating heat & ice.
Just what the doctor would have ordered!

TazE in my lap

As if the care of a friend wasn’t enough,
I was blessed with a very concerned, loving TazE.
She never comes and crawls in my lap,
but yesterday she wouldn’t leave my lap
(except to get up every now and then,
look me in the eye, kiss my cheeks and chin,
and then crawl back into my lap).
Aren’t animals amazing? So intuitive!
She knew “Mama” was hurting… and she
was there for me until the neighbors all arrived
to make sure everything was OK
and to pamper and feed me.
Then TazE was content to go back to her own bed!

This morning, after a shower and a couple of pain pills,
I was smiling once again… feeling no pain… and grateful
that the swelling had gone down and the bruising had not
traveled too far into my face.

Ah, my friends, EMBRACE HARD HEADS!
They come in handy at a time like this!

Oh, and by the way,
watch in the direction you’re walking today, okay?
Hah! No point in testing how hard-headed you are!!

It helps to comb my hair over the bruise.
You can hardly notice it, right?

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Big-Hearted Folks!


Do you have big-hearted folks in your life?
How do you recognize them?

This morning my husband, Bob,
was driving to the nearest gas station
on a new mower for the church
that was donated by a big-hearted
anonymous donor when the mower stopped.
It didn’t have enough gas in it to get
the two and a half blocks to the gas station.

He was stalled in front of the house
of a lady we have known casually
(she used to work at a furniture store in town).
We didn’t know where he lived,
but Bob recognized her when
she came out and asked,
“Can I help you?”

A few minutes later she returned
from her garage with a gallon of gas
for Bob to put in the mower
so he could get to the station and fill up.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Yesterday our son, Ty, learned that
a family of eight from his church
had to be evacuated from their home.
The Caldor fire is the one in El Dorado County,
CA where we were concerned that Ty & Monika
might have to evacuate, but their home
seems to be below the fire line sufficiently
for them to be “out of danger.” (We pray!)

Ty and Monika are such big-hearted people
that they offered their home to the family
while our son and daughter-in-law
moved temporarily into their RV.

Now our concern is for our granddaughter, Faith.
She and her husband are in South Lake Tahoe –
and the fire seems to be headed for their neighborhood.

PRAY!!

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

Our choir director/pianist for or church
fell from the top of her steps leading into
her garage a few weeks ago.
She dislocated her shoulder and tore
a bunch of ligaments – needing surgery.
She lives about 40 miles from here –
40 miles from the nearest medical
and physical therapy center.

Our big-hearted friends here in Ennis
opened their home to her and her pup.
They drove her the 50 miles from here
to the surgery center – and back/forth
to the major hospital over a couple weeks.
Big-hearted people like them keep
showing up in our lives.
How about your life?

Today Bob was using the new mower to
cut the grass at the church.
We have ordered a mulching kit for it,
but it is not here yet, so the grass
was piled up on the sides of the mow strips
as he cut the overgrown lawn.

Big-hearted friends who are members
of our church offered to go and help
rake and bag the lawn trimmings
and take them to the dump.

How kind!!

It is that heart full of love
that is big-hearted!

Reminds me of the story of
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
If you will recall, when he reached out
to the people in Whoville to help them,
“His heart grew ___ sizes that day!”

Do you remember how many sizes?

That’s the key to being big-hearted…
Reaching out to help others
without expecting anything in return.

Whether it is with a gallon of gas
or loaning your shelter to friends in need
or taking a friend to their doctor appointment
or providing food for a family who’s hurting
or bagging lawn clippings,
there are countless ways we can
use our big-hearted generosity
to make the world a better place.

Join me
as we extend our heart
to those around us…

and pray for those in need
of food, shelter, friendship, health, safety, etc.

We can’t do everything,
but we can do SOMEthing.

What will you do today?


Embrace Anger


Today’s sermon was titled, “Please Go to Bed Angry.”

What??? We all know what the Bible tells us:

So how could our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds tell us to go to bed angry?
What a weird twist on a well-known scripture, huh?
What was the point she was making?
Here are the notes I took as I listened to today’s sermon:

Sit with yourself in silence
Long enough to feel the anger
That’s hidden inside of you.

If you’re not angry,
You’re not really livin’ –
Anger is a quiet, deep given.

Anger leads to rage and hatred.
Anger leads to destruction –
And we might not know it’s there.

I’m angry, and I name it.
I see it; I control it.
Paul tells us, “Walk away!”

Don’t let your anger lead you to sin.
Some people hurt us intentionally
And the gospel says, “Walk away!”

But there are people in our lives
Who need to be there –
And we may find some of them “angry.”

What do we do with anger?
Acknowledge it, define it, use it.
Let it build for the common good.

When I “feel” anger,
It doesn’t have to define me.
Sleep on that anger and address it.

Weather the conflict and
Don’t let it divide us.
Initiate the pain confrontation.

Managing anger demands strength
And a clearness of mind.
Let it be the light illuminating
a better way forward.

Amen?

Anger is like boiling water inside you.
It bubbles up and alerts you
To the need to get it up and out.

Righteous anger is addressed
In the Bible very clearly when
Jesus overturned the tables.

The money changers were
Ripping off the worshipers.
Jesus would have none of that!

John 2:15 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. Matthew 21:12 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. Mark 11:15 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves…



If Jesus had slept on that anger,
Might he have responded differently?
I doubt it. The situation was untenable!

Some actions and incidences
Deserve our righteous anger.
No need to sleep on it!

But other reasons for anger
Are not so clear cut!
Let the resolution stew a while!

After sleeping on it,
You may find there is a better solution
Than the one you thought of yesterday.

Let God speak to you.
Listen to His calming influence.
Respond biblically!

So, while we may embrace the right to be angry,
And we may feel justified exhibiting righteous anger,
The real path to a peaceful, joyful, and fulfilling life
Is the path described in Colossians 3:12. It’s my choice!

How about you?

Embrace Each Day


Each day in your life is a gift.
Embrace each with open arms.
Look for the positive ways
You can enhance the day with your charms.

Finding a thought to focus on,
Or a word to guide your path
Can help make each day better.
Then – end it with a bubble bath!!

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

I begin each day with devotionals
That point me in the right direction.
Then as I walk in His will the best I can,
I try to spread His love and affection.

The “take-away” from each day’s reading
Is a way to stay the true course.
Let me share last month’s daily thoughts.
“Daily Guideposts” was my source.

Daily Take-aways

  1. Catch Problems Early
  2. Support Others’ Efforts
  3. Look for God’s Signs
  4. Let Hope Abound
  5. Embrace Today
  6. Let God Lead You
  7. Keep Moving Forward
  8. Look for a Hopeful Future
  9. Worship and Serve the Lord
  10. Respond to Life Cheerfully
  11. God Meets My Every Need
  12. God’s Wellspring Quenches
  13. Let God’s Word and Light Guide
  14. Tend My Heart’s Garden Daily
  15. Show Your Love and Appreciation
  16. Trust God
  17. Stop Worrying
  18. Be Open to Opportunities
  19. Be Thankful for Family
  20. Trust God to Answer Prayer
  21. Embrace Butterflies (Know the chrysalis important)
  22. Listen for God’s Ah-Hahs!
  23. Rest Secure in God’s Grip
  24. Just Enjoy Life
  25. Embrace Christ’s Power and Presence
  26. We are One Family
  27. Live Intentionally
  28. See God’s Goodness
  29. Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
  30. Know God Knows
  31. Thank God for Life!

Each sunrise is an opportunity
To begin anew and make life better.
Carry the daily take-away with you
And live following Christ to the letter.

He led the way with His perfect life,
Showing us how to love one another.
He didn’t promise a bed of roses,
Didn’t create puppets who would smother
The good in each day or be down-trodden.
God created us to be strong and tenacious.
Gave us a heart we could stretch and broaden.

So, from sun up to sun down each day,
Embrace the opportunities you are given
To reach out in love and compassion
And improve the place where you are livin’

What “Take-Away” speaks to you today?
What can you embrace with open arms?
What road beckons you to drive in and enter
A place that needs your love and charms?

Embrace each day as a new beginning –
A time to see what you can do
To make the world a better place,
And encourage those loved ones close to you.

How will you do that, my friend?
What can you do to brighten the corner where you are?

My mom

My mom brightened her corner…
That was one of the original “selfies” –
(around 1989)
Long before the word was coined
with the use of our cell phones!

Such a character!!

Mmmmmm

I co-hosted fellowship after worship service today.
Baked yummy, moist, gooey, chewy chocolate cupcakes…
Mmmmm…


What will you do to brighten the corner where you are?


Embrace Each Day…
Each is a new opportunity!

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Helpers


Where would we be without the helpers in our lives?
Yesterday a young lady came and helped me clean my house.
Climbing ladders to get to light fixtures and getting down
on my hands and knees to do floors is just not in the cards
for this 82-year-old body any more. God bless my helper!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

While I was getting help inside, Bob had two helpers out in the yard.
Like my inability to climb ladders and spend time on my knees,
Bob has discovered that his body has some new limitations, too.
It’s just not wise for him to try to trim the trees
or do all the weeding and hedging on his own.
Thank God for the young, strong helpers
who are willing to come and lend a hand!

Our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland,
had need of repair this week.
She had polyps in her uterus.
Thank God, they were benign,
but they needed to be removed.
Thanks to the “helper” who used her gold dust
to repair/scrape De’s uterus and bring her
back to full health… more beautiful than ever!

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

Just as we need help with the physical work
as we add years to our bodies,
so do we need help with tasks
that are beyond our skill levels.

Today our daughter, Laina, discovered a problem she couldn’t fix.
A neighbor’s tree had lost a limb during a recent storm,
and the limb crashed through her guest bedroom window.
With the help of a gracious and talented helper,
she now has a new double-paned glass.
Thank God for helpers!

I am reading a book titled, “Life is Messy” by Matthew Kelly.
In it he describes the Japanese art of Kintsugi.
It is repairing broken objects with glue that has gold in it.

He wrote, “When a vase or bowl or cup is broken,
artists gather up the broken pieces and glue them back together.
…They mix gold dust with the glue. They don’t try to hide the cracks.
They own them, honor them, even accentuate them.”

Matthew Kelly’s point in bringing in the concept of Kintsugi
is that we all are broken and in need of repair.

He asks the question, “Can someone who has been broken
be healed, and become more beautiful and more lovable
than every before?”


And his resounding YES is illustrated by these repaired bowls.

He makes this point very clear:
“We are each other’s wounded healers.
We posses the gold dust needed to glue other people back together,
making them more beautiful and lovable than ever.”

Where would we be without the helpers in our lives?
Our broken souls would remain broken… and
Our sad hearts would break in two…
without those who love us with their gold dust of love
that glues us back together again!

Embrace Helpers…
Those who help us clean,
Those who help us garden,
Those who repair our cars
or fix our broken windows…
Those who help us heal…
God bless them all!

God bless YOU for being a helper.

I made sandwiches for those young people who
were out there helping Bob with his yard work.
We each can do our part – we all can be helpers!

How did you use your gold dust to help someone else today?

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