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Archive for the ‘Life’s Challenges’ Category

Embrace Pray-ers


James 5:16b

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

I embrace prayers
And I embrace the pray-ers
Reaching out to God

As Bob & I prepare to embark on our trip to London and Switzerland, we are humbled by the number of prayers being offered on our behalf by family and friends. Bob came back from his Alaska trip a week and a half ago unfit to travel again… but with care and prayer, he is so much better – – – and his doctors have given him the ok to take this next trip. It’s been booked since last March! We leave Sunday. Oh, time is swiftly passing!

We know God hears – and we know our dear Lord is holding us in the palm of His hand. We are grateful for the intercessory support.

I know you have faced challenging times, too, and you know the power of prayer when you are navigating rough waters.

I know Jesus is a pray-er. He modeled the effectiveness of prayer for us. I am not sure how many times in the Bible it says Jesus went to a quiet place and took time to pray… but I know it’s a lot! If He counted on speaking to God in order to determine His next steps, who am I to try to go it alone?

So, I am up this evening talking to God, knowing Jesus intercedes for me, too… and I can feel the prayers of friends and family who have shared comments such as, “Let us pray that all goes smoothly,” and “Praying for you and Bob… Seeing family is worth the effort. God’s peace,” and “I hope all of your test come back negative and your travel plans run smoothly.” Thank you, WordPress friends!

With a community of believers out there, friends sharing their prayers and good wishes, and with my faith in scripture such as James 5:16, I can go to bed this night and sleep peacefully. I know the One who holds me also holds the future … and wants only my good.

Thank You, Lord, for the love, support, and comfort You send through my spiritual family.

Thank you for helping me relax and put these COVID test results and travel requirements in God’s hands. If this trip to London and Switzerland is meant to be, all my worries are for nothing. As the meme above says, “Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change.” Instead, Jan, put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters!

Now that I am safely tucked into the Man from Galilee’s hand,
I can relax and go get a good night’s sleep!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Good night!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Doubting


May sound really weird
For a Christian to embrace
Doubting; How can I?

What does doubting mean?
I believed it’s unbelief.
But, let’s think again.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Matthew 28:17

“When they saw him,
they worshiped him;
but some doubted.”

Who is “they” who saw?
It was Jesus’ disciples.
What does “doubted” mean?

In my devotional time this morning, Daily Guideposts explained that the original text was in Greek. The word “doubted” in Greek is “distazo.” That does not mean unbelief. It is more accurately translated as “hesitation or uncertainty about how to respond.”

In today’s world, as the cartoon shows, the disciples would not have to think twice about how to respond. They would simply get out their cell phones and record this momentous reappearance of their Savior!!

But in the world of Jesus’ time, how would you respond when someone you watched die on the cross suddenly walked out of the tomb? “Distazo” seems appropriate to me. Whoa!! I’d be pretty unsure about how to respond, wouldn’t you?

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

Sometimes I am quite unsure about how to respond to situations in today’s world. How about you?

Our test kits came today for the COVID-19 test we have to self-administer and then mail FedEx in the envelope provided so it can go overnight to the place where the results are determined and then sent to me before our flight out of Chicago to London on Sunday night. (Whoa… that’s a long, complex sentence – did you grasp it?)

I am doubting … I am unsure about how to respond to the instructions.

Unfortunately, my test results won’t come in a fortune cookie. They will be sent to an app on my iPhone. Problem: my iPhone is 8 years old and it won’t upgrade to an IOS high enough to download the app. I am feeling doubtful. Very uncertain about how to respond. The new iPhone 12 and last year’s version (iPhone11) are not available here in Ennis. Checking with our nearest city, Bozeman, I discovered we don’t have an Apple store… and the Verizon Wireless store doesn’t have the phone I want in stock. I have to order it on-line from Apple. Will it arrive in time for our departure? What will I do if it isn’t here in time?

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

In this COVID-19 world, “distazo” is a natural response. We are unsure of how to respond in so many ways. Get the vaccine or not? Wear a mask or not? Get a booster or not? Join friends for a dinner out or not? Worship in church with others sitting close by or not? Travel or not? Get a new phone or not? Forget the whole thing?

I pray to God for help with decision-making, but I am not sure I am hearing His response. Should I keep asking? Should I reword my questions? Am I missing His answers?

As Daily Guideposts has written in today’s devotional, “Doubt, distazo, is part of our faith journey.” It’s OK to question how to respond when we’re baffled by the challenges we face. Like the disciples, we are faced with some unbelievable situations. These are unprecedented times!

In these troublesome times,
we are encouraged to Stretch!!

Embrace Doubting!

Let your hesitation
and your uncertainty
cause you to
question more,
research more,
and pray more.

Let your hesitancy
and your uncertainty
cause you to
trust more,
experience more,
and increase your humility
as you allow yourself
to admit

“Crap!
I don’t have all the answers after all!”


Get in touch with the
Tiger in you!

Do you find yourself doubting about anything?
What causes you to experience “distazo“?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Spontaneous Leisure


Elfchen or “Elevenies”
are poems with eleven words
in a pattern of
1+2+3+4+1



Embrace

Spontaneous Leisure
as you relax
and enjoy life today:
Sunday


Sunday
mornings always
are hurried “UP
‘N AT T’EM” days.
Rush!

Shower.
Get up.
And get dressed.
Then gobble your breakfast.
Church!

(Click the arrow below)

Listen
“Rush Hour”
for a minute …
Then click it off.
Frenzy!

Happy?
Not likely.
That “Happy Hardcore”
Destroys any residual sanity.
Yuck!

(Go back and click outta that sound!)

Repetitive,
nerve wracking…
Who needs it?
Put your feet up.
Relax!


Wallow
in silliness
for a while;
Find yourself some laughter.
Chuckle!

Find
some friends
to join you.
Good for your soul.
Laze!

A few friends took me up on my suggestion yesterday. My silly blog was titled, “Embrace a Camel” and I really went off the deep end. One little friend got into a box and joined the insanity club!

How about you?
Do you take a day
to just be silly
and relax
every now and then?

It’s called “Spontaneous Leisure”
and I recommend it!

Today we slept in.
We dressed in a casual, leisurely fashion.
We ate brunch at 10: am
(our church didn’t ZOOM the service today
or we would’ve tuned in to it)
and then we went up to our sanctuary
and had our own worship service up there.

It was just the break from routine that we needed!

Embrace
Spontaneous Leisure.
Just treat yourself
Take an unintentional break –
Relax

Jesus
Accepts worship
Wherever it occurs.
God condones taking breaks.
Recline!

Question: “What does the Bible say about rest and relaxation?”.
Answer: “Rest” is defined as “peace, ease or refreshment.
“Relax” means “to become loose or less firm,
to have a milder manner,
to be less stiff.”
The Bible speaks quite highly of rest.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Doctor
ordered relaxation:
Just sit back –
Put your feet up –
Chill!

Embrace Spontaneous Leisure

Do it today!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Stressing Less


Trying to arrange for a trip abroad in this COVID world today will guarantee stress.

Today I used links sent to me by a friend who just returned from a trip to Canada and from our daughter who is planning to join us next week in London, and I tried to make the arrangements for the COVID tests required. Oh me, oh my! Can they make it more difficult?

Seems to me they are just trying to send us senior citizens over the sanity edge ridge into complete derangement!

Not only do we have to have proof of our vaccines, but we have to prove we tested negative within 72 hours of our departure from the USA to London. Then when we arrive in the UK, we have to have a test there within 2 days – and it has to be ordered in advance. We have to prove (before we leave the US) that we have ordered the 2 day test to be delivered to our place of destination in London. Oh bludder!! And none of these tests are free, of course!

So, I took a break from all that computer stuff and spent some time with a few friends… a great antidote to hysteria and complete lunacy!

Back at home, I let my mind wander as I checked out some of my favorite bloggers. That was definitely a stress reliever! I especially enjoyed reading:

Gottfried, Banter Republic and Roth Poetry and derrickjknight and Big Sky Buckeye– four of my favorite guys!

Those guys’ blogs are great indicators of “where my heart is!”

Also it was fun to let my mind wander and reduce stress with three of my favorite gal bloggers:

Pat Cegan, Source of Inspiration and

Ann Koplow, The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally and

Phyllis Rogers, Life On The Lake



Are you looking for ways to embrace stressing less? Here’s a helpful list I found:

I’m smiling now … just asked for and got that hug.
It’s soooo good to have Bob back home again!
He returned Wednesday night
from his fishing trip in Alaska,
and I was quite worried about him.

We spent a lot of yesterday at our medical center
here in Ennis, trying to see how we can
reduce his fluid retention,
get his kidneys and heart
functioning normally,
and help him prepare for the trip
to be with our daughter next week.
See why I am posting
EMBRACE STRESSING LESS
?


What do you do to reduce stress?
Try playing this video in the background
while you go about your next task.

“Come to me all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find much rest for your souls.
For my yoke fits perfectly,
and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

I found another resource on line today to reinforce today’s post:

marvaseatonLess News Might Reduce Stress

I totally agree with Marva. Watching less news is a GREAT way to reduce stress. But, don’t be an ostrich. Total lack of information can be a miserable stress inducer!

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Do they really stick their head in the sand?

Remember #4, 5 and 6 on that list above?
I’m headed off to do them right now.

What are some of your techniques
that help you
embrace stressing less?


I’ll see ya tomorrow (God willing).

Have a good night.


Hugs,
JanBeek

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 Good Cheer


1 Thess. 5:16-18a

Let godly thinking shape your attitudes.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”

With the right attitudes, we can be young at heart no matter what our chronological age may be.

No, we are still young…
Young at heart!
Can’t you see it?

Psalm 92:12-15

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Psalm 70:4

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.
Let those who love Your salvation say evermore,
“God is great!”

Each day has its own personality.
There will be happy and sad days.
Some will be quiet and restful,
while others will be filled with activity.

Some will be brimming with health,
others will find you facing unexpected challenges.

But, whatever the circumstance,
you can find moments of delight –
and you can thrive as you see the
blessings hidden – even in the worst of times.

Photo by Khimish Sharma on Pexels.com

This week I learned that my friend, Paul,
who was scheduled to replace our wood floor
(while we are gone next month on a trip to Europe)
fell off a ladder and broke some ribs.
In addition to the body aches, he was suffering
massive headaches. So, the doctor took x-rays.

The x-rays revealed that Paul had a brain tumor!
If he had not fallen off that ladder, there might not
have been the x-rays to reveal the tumor.
He had brain surgery yesterday morning.
The report came that “all is well.”

I don’t know if that means the tumor was benign,
or if it means they got it all and he will be fine.
Maybe it means all three!
But, I know Who has the answers…
and I know He hears my prayers.

I know everything happens for a reason…
and I know God is in charge.
I am so grateful the tumor was discovered!
So, I can EMBRACE GOOD CHEER!

I am grateful for the faith I have that allows me to
behold life through the eyes of hope and positivity.


Colors are brighter,
laughter comes easier,
and the joy of simply being alive
sets the tone for daily celebration
of life’s infinite possibilities.

On this day of remembrance (9-11),
may you – with love and reverence –
embrace the good cheer of memories
that cherish the family members,
friends, co-workers, and tireless volunteers
who have made a mark upon your life.

May those memories inspire you
to live with such
integrity,
creativity,
faith,
and love,
that one day
the memory of you
will bring good cheer
to all who know you.

Be in prayer for those who are hurting.
Be in prayer for all who are in danger.
Be in prayer for all who live in fear.

Be in prayer for those who need
happiness to knock on their door today.

You’re in my prayers.
God bless you with good cheer!

Love and hugs,
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Aloneness


Yesterday was a day to read, relax, and mind the advice of my Unity devotional… rest, recharge my battery, my whole being. I didn’t blog… but I took time to slow down and take breaks. I wasn’t totally alone. My friend, Julie, came by for a few hours and helped me empty my china cabinet in preparation for when we have to clear out all our dining/living room furniture to have the floors redone. Here is the inspirational message that asked me to “experience the peace and tranquility that rejuvenates me.”

The view from my bathroom window

Summer’s behind us
Leaves are turning bright colors
Welcoming Autumn

Before he left on his trip to Alaska Sunday,
Bob spent some quiet time
up in my sanctuary with me

Quiet’s essential
To hear the angels singing
Rejoicing in God

Sitting on my porch,
I glory in the sun’s rays
Rejoicing daily

Aloneness is grand
If you realize one thing:
You’re never alone!

Take time to wander
An imaginary path
Jesus by your side

Know that your friends are
praying for you every day
Watching the sunrise

(Thank you, Lisa, for this)
Imagine flowers
Covering every hillside
Singing God’s glory

Treasure the silence
Embrace precious aloneness
Feel the Holy One

He’s in Swiss mountains
He’s sitting beside rivers
Keeping company
Hear His bubbling voice
Calling from flowing waters,
“Come, find rest with Me!”

Recall beginnings
Embrace blessed aloneness
Rekindle yourself


Watch the trees embrace
The changing of earth’s seasons
Change your season, too

Let Autumn return
In all its wondrous splendor
And color your world
Photo by Ikowh Babayev on Pexels.com

Know you are perfect –
Made in God’s perfect image.
Embrace Aloneness!



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

Sending gentle hugs and quiet moments of peace
(My bruises are almost all gone!!)

Jan – alone today –
with painting of Bob fishing in the background.

Bob’s in Alaska for the next 7 days.

Pray for his health and safety, please.

And remember … walk on with hope in your heart
and you’ll never walk alone!

Thank you, Andrea Bocelli, for the gift of your voice, your music, your heart!!

Embrace Getting Ready


If you’ve followed my blog
or seen my posts on FaceBook,
you know my husband, Bob,
has been facing some medical challenges.
I asked for prayers for his return to usual stamina.

Thank you for those prayers,
(if you offered them up to God for us).
He is feeling soooo much better –
and the doctor has okayed his trip tomorrow!!

So, Happy Labor Day weekend, my friends!
I hope you are enjoying a relaxing, fun-filled day.

Bob is getting ready to go
on a fishing trip with two of his buddies.
They leave at 5: am tomorrow for Anchorage
and then will spend a week at Kulik Lodge,
way up north on the peninsula of Alaska,
in the area called Bristol Bay.
Have you every been to Alaska?
Have you been fishing there?

His buddies told him he doesn’t need to
bring all his flies on the trip.
The lodge and guides where he is going
will provide for him all the flies he needs.

Doesn’t that look inviting??

If all goes well, he will not only be able to catch some whoppers,
but he will have at least one smoked and shipped home with him!

While Bob is getting ready for his trip,
I am getting ready for his absence.
In our 60 years of wedded bliss,
I cannot remember ever being
away from him this long!

Here we are in the mid-60’s with our son, Ty.
Here we are together with my parents
in the late 1960’s – or early ’70s.
Here we are with 22 family/friends
at Bob’s 80th.
That’s our daughter DeAna
with her arm around her daddy
and our son, Ty, next to her
with his hand on my shoulder.
You can see from this photo of us
on our 59th anniversary that
the years have been good to us.

So, as I get ready to be away from Bob for more than a week,
send me some ideas for how to avoid loneliness!
Tell me how to get ready to fix a meal for one…
and to eat alone for 9 days!

A friend is coming over
to keep me company
for awhile tomorrow.
(Thank you, Julie!)

What are you doing Tuesday?

TazE says, “Just relax, Mom. I gotcha covered!”

Thank God for our pets, huh?
I know TazE will be great company.

Have a good Sunday evening.
I send my love and hugs your way.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

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 Teachers


This week school started
Children back in their classrooms
Masks are required

Teachers wear their masks
Most children are feeling safe
God bless our teachers

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Some must test daily
States requirements differ
God bless our teachers

Some still distance learn
Listening to a screen is hard
Harder than up close

Virtual lessons
Leave many students outside
Levels of comfort

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Not all the children
Have the proper equipment
Nor their private space

Some live in chaos
Choose invisibility
Fearful of teasing

The choice should be theirs
But how do teachers teach blanks
God bless our teachers

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Embrace our teachers
They yearn to be close and touch
Give encouragement

Send a thank you card
To a teacher in your town
Appreciate them

Times are difficult
When masks and distance require
Such separation

Some things must be taught
Up close, very personal
COVID-19 SUCKS!

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Please

Send a thank you now
To a teacher in your life
Embrace your teachers!

Feeling better

Thank you for your prayers
for my bruised face.
It’s getting better everyday.

Pray for our teachers!
They have a tough assignment
in the midst of this pandemic.
They need our love and support.

And parents, please, set a loving example
for the sake of your children…
No more fighting!!

It’s so harmful to kids
when they see their parents fighting

In the news this week
We saw some parents slugging
Over mask ideas

The damage to kids
When adults behave like this
Is so long lasting!

10 Effects of Parents Fighting in Front of Children

parenting.firstcry.com › articles › impacts-of



YOU are your children’s first teacher!
You are your child’s life-long teacher,
Your behavior sets your most lasting legacy.
Parents, be your children’s BEST teacher!!


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

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