If we don’t feel safe yet Traveling to places we want to go, Then let’s embrace virtual travel. Go with me to the most beautiful country: Switzerland!!
My daughter, DeAna, lives in this gorgeous country – I’ve shown you this picture recently of them in front of their restaurant:
De & Andre’ have three boys, Mike, Nick, and Chris. This week I received photos from Mike ( I think it was him who sent them) sharing a wonderful meal they all enjoyed at Mike and Tania’s apartment.
Natalia (Chris’ girlfriend) is in Colombia, so she was not able to be there in person. Thanks to ZOOM, however, she was in the room for an hour!! There is Nick with Celine:
(That’s Mike and Tania in the middle… And Chris with Natalia on the right)
I love the internet because it allows Long-distance grandparents To be part of their grandkids’ lives. Thank you, dear grandsons, for sharing with us!
Travel with me to other parts of Switzerland!
Doesn’t it make you want to go there? It really is picture postcard perfect everywhere you look!!
We forgive you, Andre’, for taking DeDe with you to this beautiful country. If there is some place in the world where we HAVE to travel because our family is there, we can think of no better place than Switzerland!!
Thanks for joining me, dear blogging friends. Sante’!! To your health!! Have a good night.
I just discovered this morning that my dear friend, Leena’s son, Vince, died suddenly on Friday. No warning! He was about the age of my son, Ty. Vince worked at our local grocery store. I saw him there often … always a smile, always a cheerful greeting. He was at work Friday. Friday night after dinner, he was sitting in his chair at home with his parents, and he just stopped breathing. Can you imagine the shock??
Prayers for All Grieving
My heart is broken for Leena and Bob and their family. My prayers go out to all of you who have lost a loved one this year.
Your hearts are grieving, too, as you face this first Valentine’s Day without that special person. God bless you! Link heartstrings with mine.
In our ZOOM church service this morning, I provided the “special music.” It was inspired by the February 14th message in Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional.
“When facing all kinds of difficulties, many of us have a tendency to power through in our own strength. But the reality is that’s never effective – at least not for long. God wants us to come closer to Him.
When we stay focused on Jesus, we can take comfort in knowing He’ll lead us through the hard places.
As you continue walking with Him, trust that He already knows what will happen in your life – and that regardless of what lies ahead, He will never leave you.”
EMBRACE HEARTS Lord, link mine to yours – And link ours to one another.
Embrace Hearts with one another – Offer your love and support to heal. Heal the broken-hearted by sharing. Share your love with a song or a meal.
Not everyone has a heart full of love today; Some are feeling quite empty. Lord, fill their hearts with the love of God – And encourage others to “Go With Him” today.
Let’s embrace blooming – Both the blooming of flowers As well as ideas.
Let’s embrace blooming – Blooming of plants and ideas As well as people.
Let’s embrace blooming – Blooming of people today; The world needs blossoms!
One is fully bloomed – One is on its way to bloom – A couple are curled.
To fully open, We must face toward the Son Light. Do not turn away!
Blossoms need sunlight. We need the light of the Son In order to bloom.
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”
Your soul will sparkle; It will bloom and grow in love If you walk humbly.
As long as Christ leads We can make it all the way; We can bloom and thrive.
Let your blossoms dance! Follow in obedience. Let your spirit shine.
Your smile’s contagious When you blossom from inside. Let’s Embrace Blooming!
Your blogging sparkles And your face reflects the Son. You’re brilliant and bright!
Fertilize others With words of encouragement. Continue to bloom!
My heart bubbles over with gratitude for God’s Bright and Brilliant Light. May it continue to bubble over in our hearts and lives. “Open up your heart and let the sunshine in!” Listen to the sunny song below – It’s a favorite from my childhood.
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?
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?
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?
Ever wonder how He could make Each snowflake different? Each eye unique – unlike any other? Each voice to sound like no other?
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:
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?
Happy 59th Anniversary today to my sweetheart, Bob, my life’s partner!!
Bob & I both have a deep faith. It was God who put us together. It was our faith and prayer that kept us together. During our engagement, he was in Germany, in the army. I was in college, wanting to enjoy college life. I broke up with him. But, God knew we belonged together. He made sure we got back together again! (Thank You, God!) And He helped us stick it out all these years through good times and bad. I’m so grateful!!
Our children, Ty & DeAna, have been such a blessing in our lives. Thank You, God, for the gift of these children!! During our early married years (after the first 8 months in Germany), we lived in Turlock (for a year) and then San Francisco and San Mateo. Bob worked for Shell Oil and then went back to college (San Francisco State). He earned his teaching credential and then coached wrestling and taught Driver’s Ed at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA.
We moved from the Bay Area back to the San Joaquin Valley in CA. Bob took over his Dad’s beekeeping business when his father retired. Did you know that beekeepers with hair that is close their head (hair that gets greasy or sweaty) are targets for bee stings? With a perm, the bees couldn’t get to the scalp.
You ask why he didn’t just wear a hat like most beekeepers do? Bob hates wearing a hat! He didn’t wear protective gloves either. Those are topics for another day!
Our Daughter, De
In 1987, our daughter, DeAna, married Andre’, a Swiss (the first cousin of our AFS exchange student).
I have written about De & Andre’s fairy tale story in the past. She moved to Switzerland when our first grandchild was “in the hopper.” That was nearly 30 years ago! Every other year we would go to visit them (so, no, we didn’t really wait ’til retirement to travel … we just got to do more of it after Bob left beekeeping and we moved here to Montana).
This is the village of Vissoie, Switzerland where DeDe and Andre’ live now. Andre’ and De have three boys. Our Swiss grandsons are Mike, Nick & Chris. We hope to travel there this October to spend time with them. Virus, be gone!!!
Our Son, Ty
Our son, Ty, blessed our family in 1989 by marrying his sweetheart, Monika. The two of them adopted four children. Sam, Hope, Jordan & Faith are young adults now. I’ve written about them here on my blog. Our lives are so enriched by this extended family. Ty & Moni live in CA, near Lake Tahoe. This picture of them was taken of them at our youngest granddaughter, Faith’s wedding. We hope to travel to CA to be with them this year in June. Virus be gone!!
Life is Full
Life is full of love and joy and promises for a bright tomorrow. We have so much for which to be grateful. We know we are blessed to have one another and to have lived into our 80s and remained married to that same partner for nearly 60 years.
Embrace Marriage, my friends! And EMBRACE YOUR LIFE’S PARTNER if you are fortunate as I am to have one!
Today, February 11, 2021, our 59th anniversary, starts our 60th year of marriage, doesn’t it? When a baby turns one, they are starting their 2nd year on earth. Yes, that’s the way it works! Sixty years with one life partner!! I am extremely blessed!
On Super Bowl Sunday, we had a Pizza Party. We made our pizza together. Turned out pretty well! We plan to keep on doing things together as long as the Good Lord allows…
With God’s grace and blessings, we will continue to travel this road of life together for many more years to come. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future… and we let Him lead us.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed February 11th. See ya tomorrow.
How do you define adversity? It is symbolized by tough times. It is exhibited by disagreements. It represents challenges.
How do we deal with adversity? Why should we embrace it? Misfortune means misery, right? Calamity and distress are its partners.
But the Bible says, “The Lord is A stronghold in times of trouble.” The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed. “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10b)
So let us embrace adversity By understanding it is a vehicle That strengthens us just as fire Tempers steel and hardens it.
We are called to share each other’s burdens. That is one of the purposes of church: Congregations are called to care for, Encourage, empathize, and strengthen one another.
“The church is a network of shoulders Supporting the collective weight Of everyone’s troubles, lifting burdens, Helping others find rest for their weary hearts.” (Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries)
God often uses hard times to get our attention. When things are going great, we are not so quick to turn to Him. But trials drive us to our knees for answers and comfort.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
The adversity that I faced recently was the death of my “favorite student,” Ty Stiles. The picture above could easily have been him. His early death was “misfortune” to the highest degree! I have told you about him in several recent blogs. Yesterday was his Memorial Service at Monte Vista Chapel, his home church in Turlock, CA. I was blessed to be able to attend it virtually because the church recorded it on a YouTube broadcast.
How do we face the “misfortune” of such a loss? Only by our faith! Only by knowing God keeps His promises and Ty has gone to Heaven. We will go there some day, too. We will all be reunited. In the meantime, adversity turns to adventure. We are invited to live our lives with thankfulness for the privilege of knowing one another. We are asked to change our perspective from “I can’t handle this,” to “”I can’t handle this on my own, but I can with Jesus’ help.”
Let the adventure of today’s challenges bring strength when we feel weak, safety when we feel danger, comfort when we feel distress. Let us be the ones who stand tall and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Be ever ready to leap for joy and with your song, ever praise the Lord who is our strength.
Pray for his comfort and strength, rather than praying that he’d simply remove difficulties. Embrace Adversity. Be the shoulder others lean on. God will bless you!
In my devotional time this morning, I read an article that spoke to me of the way poetry fits into my life … a life that is filled with the wonder of poetic healing. I am impelled to share it with you because I hope it will inspire and validate your poetic instincts the way it did mine.
Before you read it, you may want to scroll to the bottom here and click on Laura Sullivan’s piano music. Listen to it as you read Jacqueline Suskin’s inspiring article.
Finding the Poetry in Everyday Life
by Jacqueline Suskin From – Posted on Jan 25, 2021 A professional poet provides tips on healing your life by adopting a poetic mindset.
There’s a saying: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” These days, the battle feels especially hard. From everyday challenges to the forces dividing our nation, it’s fair to ask: How can I bring more joy to my life? More peace?
My answer: poetry.
I’m a professional poet. For a decade, I earned a living doing a project I called Poem Store… I wrote a story I wrote a few years ago for Guideposts about how poetry can be a vital part of someone’s prayer practice …
What is it about poetry that makes it such a powerful, universal language?
Poetry reveals beauty in the smallest details of creation. It finds light in the darkest shadow. It is a guide and a teacher, reminding readers that life is a miracle, something to be celebrated. Good poetry tells deep truths about joy and pain, triumph and grief. Like the Psalms, poetry explores every aspect of human experience, shying away from nothing and expressing gratitude for everything.
That’s why I believe poetry can be healing for anyone. You don’t have to be a professional poet.
Here are some suggestions for cultivating a poetic mindset, gained from a lifetime of writing, teaching and finding my place on this planet:
1. Be in awe of everything. A dictionary definition of awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”
… The poetic mindset starts with the idea that nothing is an accident. Everything is interrelated and plays a part in a greater whole. Therefore, everything deserves notice and even celebration.
The signs are everywhere. Autumn leaves swirling in wind. A luminous raindrop on your window. The sight of someone you love peacefully asleep. Stars on a clear winter night. (And I, JanBeek, have to interject here: the sight of snowflakes dancing outside on your patio)
Even on your hardest day, a glance around will reveal something miraculous. When I focus on the intricate grandeur of nature, I feel myself relax. My mind unclenches from my problems, and I know that something larger is present, no matter what happens.
Awe is easy to cultivate. Close your eyes. Now open them. What is the first thing you see? Look closer. Ask yourself: How was this thing made? Where did it come from? What does it look like, feel like, smell like, maybe even taste like? What is good about it? What does it remind you of? Does it bring happy thoughts or sad ones? Why? What does it tell you about yourself or the divine?
I’m willing to bet your randomly selected object is full of meaning. A poetic mindset helps you tune into that significance whenever you want. It’s an inexhaustible source of healing, refreshment and inspiration.
2. Make pain your teacher.
Are you brokenhearted and angry? There’s a poem for that…
A poem is a place where you can pour out your hardest feelings. Make the words shout, burn. Don’t be afraid. You can always throw the page into the fireplace once you’ve filled it. Or seal it in an envelope and come back to it later.
Poetry can be a repository for everything difficult in your life.
But there’s more. I find that when I write about something I’m struggling with, my negative feelings begin to ebb. By writing, remembering, I am forced to admit that not everything is so bad. The world is complicated. There is darkness and light. Forgiveness comes into view.
The more I put everything on the page—the whole truth, not just an edited version—the more I ask why things happened. If I could have done things differently. Whether my poem is trying to teach me something. Here’s part of a poem I wrote while I was grieving a loved one.
You were a shining man always giving us a reason to rejoice and so you still are, you always will be.
Writing about grief helped me widen my perspective. I learned that memories are emblems of ongoing life after death. That doesn’t end my grief. My grief teaches me a healing truth.
3. Seek what inspires you.
Life isn’t perfect, but you can live with love and trust anyway.
Poetry helps us remember this essential piece of wisdom. What comes from God is good, and there is always goodness to be found once you train yourself to look.
Poetry to me is a form of praise. I build poems from things I see, people I meet and thoughts and feelings found deep inside. As I present those treasures in poetic language, I am celebrating what is good in them. My poems have an innate optimism. Poetry looks for the bright side of life, whatever is inspiring and beautiful even in the midst of hardship.
To see the world as a poet is to be aware of beauty wherever you go. A poet believes that beauty is a clue to the essential nature of existence. Pay attention to that feeling of joy as you spot a delicate tracery of dew in a spider’s web on your morning walk. The beauty, and your joy, are helping you see something deeply true about life.
4. Open yourself to a new perspective.
Few objects are more humble than the pencil. Yet, for me, a pencil is holy. Every pencil is special because I imagine the thoughts and images that it can be used to create and communicate. What are the holy objects in your life? A poet looks for what is beloved in everything, no matter how ordinary.
That is what makes poetry a force for healing. When you look for what is beautiful, good, true and holy in everything around you, you are really looking for God. When you write down what you see, you are engaged in a deep form of prayer.
When your mind and your heart develop this habit of poetic prayer, you cannot be overcome by the world’s troubles because you carry a treasury of goodness inside yourself.
Your poems don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to rhyme. They don’t have to impress anyone. All they need is a new perspective, that of a poetic mindset.”
Thank you, Jacqueline Suskin. Your Guideposts article inspired me. I hope it inspires my WordPress friends, too.
EMBRACE WRITING POETRY
Here’s a poem from a fantastic musician, Laura Sullivan, who also dabbles in poetry. If you’re unfamiliar with her music, do yourself a favor and click on the YouTube at the bottom here.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Do you have a poem to share? I’d love to have you share something poetic in the comments section here.