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Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

Embrace Uniqueness


Aren’t you totally amazed at how
The Creator made us each so unique?
No two fingerprints, no two zebra’s stripes
Are the same – – – just take a peek!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

No two sets of eyes, not even twins
Have exactly the same DNA.
No two cats – and no two dogs
Are just the same – no matter what you say.

Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

No two leaves – nor clouds in the sky
Are just like any other one.
How did God create such uniqueness
In this world beneath the sun?

Photo by Vali S. on Pexels.com

No two ways of looking
At exactly the same motivation
will result in the same response –
Some see sadness others elation.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

It is our uniqueness that makes us
An interesting, diverse, beautiful world.
We fly our flags in different colors,
But in reality we’re all one world unfurled.

Photo by Shakeb Tawheed on Pexels.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s embrace our uniqueness
And celebrate how we see things differently
While remembering we are more alike
Than not… and we’re all designed magnificently!

Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

I am grateful for the unique qualities
Of each bird and fish and friend –
And I thank God for His imagination –
For His Creation – that has no end.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

There’s no one on earth like me;
No one in the whole world like you,
So embrace your uniqueness, my friend…
Share with others your point of view.

No one sees life quite like you do.
No one can paint or write as you do.
Let your expression of life splash out of you
And help others see the world anew.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart,
yet so that he cannot find out
what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Just as no pot created on the potter’s wheel
Ends up looking just like another pot,
And yet each is beautiful in its own way,
So each of us beautiful – no one is not!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Something beautiful, something good –
All my confusion He understood.
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,
But He made something beautiful of my life.

Give your brokenness and strife to God.
Let Him make something beautiful in you.
Then share it – as only you can do –
So others can appreciate their uniqueness, too.

Use your unique qualities to make the world a better place.
Don’t judge others or turn them away because they’re different.
Embrace them. Love them. Appreciate the way they add color to your world.
Know God designed each of us intentionally … be reverent!

I love you, my friend.
Thank you for adding your uniqueness to my world.
See ya tomorrow.

Hugs,
JanBeek

(& Bob – my unique hubby)

Embrace Growth


Growth comes in many different forms
Physical, psychological, spiritual –
Three of the ways we grow.
Am I growing?
Are you?
Huh?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes, like the caterpillar,
We have to STOP to grow.
We have to hide out.
We learn to quit.
Don’t push.
Rest.

Photo by Manuela Adler on Pexels.com

So, I determined several days to rest.
I rested last week and yesterday.
I didn’t come here to blog.
Hear the Holy Spirit.
Settle my mind.
Listen.

My days of rest from blogging
Were focused on listening –
Receiving His guidance,
Feeling God leading,
Really tuning in,
Growing.

Photo by Ryanniel Masucol on Pexels.com


Now I’m sitting with a box on my head.
I’m waiting expectantly –
Hoping that someone
Will lift the box –
Lead me
Home.


And when I am again safely home,
Lift the box and help me
Emerge from chrysalis
To spread my wings
And grow into
Butterfly!


Embrace Growth!

Happy Sunday to you!


May this be a week of emergence and growth.

Hugs to you!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Cheers!

Embrace Bird Songs


Bird Songs – Haiku
by JanBeek

Let’s embrace bird songs.
They bring music to our souls.
Delight in their sounds!

The following video is a 42 minute delight.
It displays 80 birds,
identifies them for you,
and plays their songs.
I LOVE it!

I recommend that you
play it as background music
as you read the rest of my blog
and go about your day.

Peek back at it every now and then –
because the close-up pictures of these birds
and the words that identify them
and the settings where you find them
will be sure to delight you!

I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing.
They have built their nest in the eaves
Outside my bedroom window –
Crafted it with twigs and leaves.

Partner doves made their home there
And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!”
Soon they’ll lay their eggs there
And change their song to “I did did did it!”

But their nest is not hidden from us.
We can see their coming and their going.
Their song brings us daily happiness.
Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!

.

After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove…
Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you!
(You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)

“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”

Psalm 144:15

Just as each bird has its song,
People have songs that identify them.
Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll,
Others are known by their favorite hymn.

As I listen to music on my Amazon device
And I hear one I wanna put in my cart,
I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.”
My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart.
.

Take a break from the bird songs,
and listen to a song that touches my heart.
I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:


In my “Happiness Project”
(one sentence journal)
the verse at the top of the page
today was:

“It is neither wealth nor splendor,
but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”

– Thomas Jefferson

.

What Creates Happiness for You?


I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children.
Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children.
Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”

It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?

For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.

What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.

Doves are little gifts from God.
I love them and their song.

What is your favorite bird song?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!

(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)

See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Today


If you knew today
Was your last day to be here
How would you spend it?

Lao Tzu:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

“Respond to anger with virtue.
Deal with difficulties while they are still easy.
Handle the great while it is still small.”

Today is the day
It’s the only day we have
How will we spend it?

More from Lao Tzu:

“Your own positive future begins in this moment.
All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.”

Productivity
Is not always busyness
Take time to settle

When difficulties
Nag at you from every side
God is growing you

Take time to be still
Hear His gentle voice; listen
Think before flying

Caterpillar waits
Inside a tight chrysalis
Time is transforming

Embrace your today
Spend it busily waiting
For the right flight time!

Time keeps on slippin’
Slippin’ into the future
So, Carpe’ Diem!!

Embrace Today!

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Waiting


Our
Pastor Nominating Committee
has been working for months –
Seems like a year already –
Trying to find the person
God has in mind for us.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

In this COVID-19 pandemic world,
It is an on-line ballgame.
Research, paperwork, phone calls,
ZOOM meetings, waiting –
It’s easy to become discouraged.
BUT…

Embrace Waiting!

Isaiah 64:4

“Be encouraged,
knowing that God has planned
good things for those who wait.”

Yesterday the Lord reinforced
the idea of spontaneity
And so I wrote about it.
Today, He said, “Flip the page!”

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

The other side of spontaneity is patience.
The other side of the coin says, “Wait!”
The next page tells us to set aside
Frustration and replace it with trust.

Today’s message in the
Daily Readings for Devoted Living,
In Touch Magazine says,

“Sometimes… it may seem
He’s unconcerned about us,
because our prayers aren’t answered
as quickly as we expect.
When that happens,
we need to remember
it doesn’t mean God has stopped working.
He is actively involved in our lives,
but often in ways that are not visible.”

Hidden Lake, Montana

Behind the trees,
out of our sight,
there may be the answer
we are looking for.
Wait for the right answer!
Don’t settle for less.

In Touch Magazine‘s message today
went on to remind me,
“God orchestrates circumstances,
changes people’s hearts,
and protects his children
from making foolish decisions
that could have disastrous consequences.”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

“Waiting times
are opportunities
for growth in
character,
obedience,
faith,
and
service.”

Today in the Word
from Moody Bible Institute
carried that same theme
in my devotional today,

“What about you?
Are you feeling stuck in God’s waiting room today?
While it is no doubt frustrating,
these times of delay
are not necessarily
a deviation from God’s plan.
Trust God’s hand
to set the next stage for your life.
Let Him work in and through you,
even during your waiting time.”

John Mayer sang a song
“Waiting on the World to Change” –
but I don’t think that’s what
God has in mind for you.
I think God is asking you
to pray about your uncertainly.
God is asking us to
study His Word and
learn from Him how to move forward.
How is this song a different message?

In our period of waiting,
God does not want us to feel powerless.
We struggle with fear, insecurity,
doubt, and a feeling of lack of power,
but Christ is working in our hearts.
As I sit in God’s waiting room,
I pray for discernment,
courage of conviction,
confidence and wisdom.

If you are also feeling like you’re in God’s waiting room,
Pray with me,
“Lord,
use this time
when nothing
seems to be happening.
Use it for Your purposes.
All our days are Yours.
Amen!”

Embrace Waiting

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I’ll be waiting for your answer to my question,
“How did that song by John Mayer
send a different message about waiting?”

Are you waiting for the world to change?

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Questioning


Embrace Questioning!
Do we embrace all questions?
Like, “Are you stupid?”

No, it’s not questions,
But the act of questioning
That deserves embrace.

Not all questions are
Developed with pure motives.
Embrace those that are!

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

When you meet someone
Ask their name and remember –
Use it lovingly.

Ask about their life.
Listen with sincere interest.
Listening’s a gift.

Questioning’s one thing;
Listening is another.
They go hand in hand.

When I think of questioning with a pure motive and listening with an open heart, I think of Job. Even if you are not a Christian, seeped in the Bible stories, you have heard the expression, “The patience of Job.” (That’s pronounced Jobe… not job, like Steve Jobs, the American business magnate). What made the prophet, Job, come to mind?

Job is presented in the Bible as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God‘s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his children, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Searching for answers involves questioning. He does so without condemning God. He maintains his trust in God to ultimately work for his good – even when he is in the worst of his turmoil.

What a desolate looking man!
What must he be saying to God?
What questions would you be asking?

What does Job ask God?
“He demands answers from God Himself. Job wants to know why bad things happen to good people. He knows it’s not right, and will not accept the saccharine answers of his friends.”

God, “Why Have You Made Me Your Target”? (Job 7:20)

God explains to Job that to us mere mortals sometimes there are no words—no rationalizations—that can make sense of the unhappiness we endure.

Trauma happens and we have to accept it. Explanations may make us feel better, but they mislead. Ultimately, Job, like all of us, must endure suffering not knowing why … or if the question even counts.

Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.

The Book of Job asks “why good people suffer,” but never actually answers the question. What it does do, is correct misconceptions about why we suffer. The truth of this wonderful tale is that man can’t know everything. 

Again, let me repeat, “Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.”

How does this story relate to your life and mine?
Have you ever questioned why life was
throwing stones at you that you didn’t deserve?

Or have you questioned why you didn’t get a job that you knew you deserved?

This happened recently to my son. He applied for a job that he knew he was qualified for. Another person was chosen instead. He got a form letter of rejection. Instead of falling into a fit of depression or raging in disbelief, he called the person who did get the job and congratulated her. He asked if there was anything he could do to support her in her assignment – and he asked her to keep an eye out in case she saw a position in the future for which she thought he might be a good fit.

Within a day, he received a call back and an extension of his responsibilities was offered along with a significant pay raise.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every time you ask the right questions with the right motive, you’ll get a pay raise!

No, it’s not that simple. But, what embracing questioning does is it changes your focus. The right questions – in the right spirit – make the difference between misery and openness. The difference between depression and expression. The difference between pessimism and positivity.

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

Don’t question, “Why you?”
Instead ask, “What can I do?”
“Can I be of any help?”

Your attitude counts.
Humility is the key.
Embrace questioning!

My son posted this meme
the day before his interview.

God is good.
All the time!
Even to the Jobs of this world!
Be patient in love.
Your pay raise is coming!!

Hah!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Got any questions??
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Wonder


Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not?
Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction?
Do you wonder why certain things happen?
Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?

What if you grew up with a dad
Who was a Special Effects Artist?
What would the world seem like
To you if this was your daily reality?

Special Effects Video

Ever wonder what life would be like
If you had not met the person who
Is front and center in your life now?
Who would be with you instead?

Smooshed kisses –
Watch out noses!!

Ever wonder how God created
The beauty of a rainbow or sunset?
The colors of the variety of birds?
Or every zebra’s stripes unique?

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
Double rainbows – no less!!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
No two are alike!!

Ever wonder how He could make
Each snowflake different?
Each eye unique – unlike any other?
Each voice to sound like no other?

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com
No two are alike… amazing!!
Each eye is unique.
No two are the same.
Amazing!!

Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?

Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:

People recognize us by our voices.

Ever wonder what life would be like
If the only thing we bothered to talk about
Was the good that we see in others?
This is a poem my mom had memorized:

Wouldn’t this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say
“I know something good about you,”
And then treat us just that way?

Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy
If each handclasp warm and true
Carried with it this assurance,
“I know something good about you”?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If the good that’s in us all
Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If we praised the good we see?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me.

Wouldn’t it be nice to practice
That fine way of thinking, too?
You know something good about me!
I know something good about you.

(Louis C. Shimon)

Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!

Ever wonder what your life would be like
If you were born to a different mother?
You wouldn’t be you, would you?
What if your mother had different attributes?

My mother loved poetry (obviously) –
And so that love of words well spoken
Rubbed off on me – and I wonder
What would life be like without poetry?

I wonder what life will be like
when there is no more COVID-19.

Laura Sullivan is a musical artist
Whose poetry and piano expertise
I shared with you in a previous blog:
https://janbeek.blog/2020/12/15/shared-poetry-music/

Ever wonder what this world would be like
Without the wonder of music?
The streams would have to stop and
The wind would have to cease.

Ever wonder how one could live happily
Without having a sense of wonder?
What do you wonder about, my friend?
What gives you a sense of awe and wonder?

(By the way, that “Nature Sounds” video will play for 10 hours.
Do you think the image or sound will change after a while?
Ever wonder how they did that?)


Sending my love and hugs.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Wonder which of your friends
would like a link to this post?

Bob & Jan
at breakfast
on our 59th anniversary
yesterday.

Thank you for all your positive comments and good wishes.
I wonder what blogging would be like if I didn’t have YOU in it?
Not a pretty thought!

EMBRACE WONDER!!
Come back tomorrow.

Embrace Reading


I love reading
Almost as much
As I love writing –
How about you?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As a teacher,
Reading to my students
Was my favorite time
Of every school day.

Every day when the students
Came in from lunch
Hyper and excited,
A good book settled them.

As a retired adult,
Spending time in
A captivating book
Is like being in a candy shop.

But some of my friends
Would rather color
Or watch TV
Or shop on-line.

How do you feel
About books and reading?
Do you relish a good read –
Or would you rather garden?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reading a good book
Takes you to gardens
And castles and wonders
Around the world.

Reading a good book
Increases your vocabulary
And helps you soar
To heights beyond your reach.

I’m not telling you
Anything you didn’t know.
So, tell me about a book
That carried you skyward.

I’m all ears!
Recommend a good book to me.

Embrace Reading!

That’s me – reading “The Wing Ding Dilly” by Bill Peet
to a 4th grade class in California.
Their teacher, Mrs. Souza,
invited friends on FB
to ZOOM read to her class.
I volunteered.
You should try it!
It was such fun!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace Success


How do you define success?

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

S tanding
U p
C atching
C laps
S alutations and
S miles

Defining success is step one to attaining it.
We have to know what we want to see
before we can know if we’ve attained it or not.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, you set a goal … like getting a degree…
And when you achieve that goal,
Then you can say, “Yay! I succeeded!”
Right?

But what if your goal is elusive?
What if you’re not sure about the outcome?
How do you achieve success?
Is it a journey?

Heehee… did you laugh?
Well, the point is, success is not a journey!
Success is a cycle!
It’s not a destination.
It’s a process that has no end.

Photo by Drew Rae on Pexels.com

In my “Refuel*” devotional time a couple of days ago, I heard a theory about the Cycle of Success that made perfect sense to me. I hope it speaks to you the way it did to me.

* Bayside Church – Refuel devotional – http://bit.ly/devo020221

Cycle of Success

  1. TEST – take risks, be creative
  2. FAILURE – fail forward! Don’t lose your enthusiasm. All success involves trial and error.
  3. LEARN – it’s not what you know that counts; it’s what you do with what you know.
  4. IMPROVE – how does what you learn improve you or your quest?
  5. REENTER – back up to the top – begin again – test
Photo by Kyle Loftus on Pexels.com

Success is a series of Ah-Hahs. It is a LIGHT that keeps on shining. It is never done.

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” …

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” –

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” … (It’s not a road, it’s a cycle!)

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” –Confucius

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better. Jim Rohn

“Setting goals is the first step into turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill

Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. Zig Ziglar

One of my measures of success
in this blogging world is
getting comments from my friends.

What are your goals?
How do you measure your success?
Tell me about it…

Bob says, “Here’s my definition of success!”

Have a great Thursday evening and Friday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek


Embrace Curiosity


Photo by Tucu0103 Bianca on Pexels.com

Do you have a burning question?

As a teacher of elementary children for nearly a quarter of a century and the mom of two very curious children, I can tell you that one of the most annoying questions is “Why?”

I remember the day I finally asked my father, “Why not?” when he told me NO. I was about 20 years old! Can you imagine? Being raised in a family where when Dad said, “No,” that was final? No questions asked. Just obey?

My kids were not like that. It was a different era. They asked, “Why?” before they knew how to say, “Chocolate!”

I think a measure of a child’s intelligence
may be how many times s/he asks “Why?”
The explorations,
poking,
questioning,
prodding,
relentless
inquisitive nature
of some children and adults
can be downright annoying,
though.

Seldom straight or smooth

The path may not be a straight one…
And it may be hard to determine where it leads,
but curiosity will keep you (and them) moving forward.
There is a huge NEED to know what’s beyond the bend!

As parents and teachers
we sometimes want to shield our children
from the unknown.
There may be danger out there.
I had a tendency to be protective.
I know that’s where my dad was coming from
when he said, “No!”

But squelching curiosity
because of fear of the unknown
is a dangerous path.
It can lead to many
missed opportunities
and
lost happiness.

Instead of being annoyed
by the “Why?” and the “Why not?”
we need to teach ourselves
and our children the importance of
always questioning.

Accepting “No”
for an answer
without questioning
can lead to
stagnation.

Instead of squelching curiosity,
let’s turn our questioning into
research with a purpose.

Curious people don’t just look
Curious people see
Curious people don’t just see
Curious people question
Curious people don’t just question
Curious people probe

With a thirst for answers,
Curious people are relentless.
They keep asking until
They find answers that satisfy.

Curiosity changes our perceptions.
It changes our way of seeing things.
It helps us gain the wisdom
That less curious people
Spend a life-time chasing.

Francoise Sagan is credited with that quote.
Who was he?
Are you curious?
I was.


Françoise Sagan (born Françoise Delphine Quoirez; 21 June 1935 – 24 September 2004) was a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Sagan was known for works with strong romantic themes involving wealthy and disillusioned bourgeois characters. Her best-known novel was her first – Bonjour Tristesse (1954) – which was written when she was a teenager.

Want to know more?
Put her name in your Google search engine.
We are so blessed to have an encyclopedia at our fingertips.
Folks with insatiable appetites for answers
can ask the who, what, why, when, and how questions
and Siri or Alexa or Wikipedia are right there.
What a gift these are to the curious.

Imagine what Einstein might have done with today’s technology!!!

EMBRACE CURIOSITY!
Let your “Why?”
be followed by
active listening,
thoughtful reading,
and the
explorations,
poking,
questioning,
prodding,
trying again,
inquisitive nature
that those children and adults
exhibited who were
downright annoying.
Go ahead!
Be annoying!

All Aboard!!

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
today.

I’m curious.
What are you up to?
What are you curious about?

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