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Embrace Creativity


When are you the most creative?
Where do your creative juices flow most freely?
What’s your God-given creative talent?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am not a painter.
I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.

That’s Bob –
He’ll tell you he developed
his painting skills by
painting beehives for 30 years!
Now he’s painting the pastor’s house!!

Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?

Photo by Roman Koval on Pexels.com

When children are given the tools
and the examples early in life,
often that becomes the springboard
for a life of artistic talent shared.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

No one told me that my scribbles
might lead to a creative talent
that would be appreciated by others!

But, I was encouraged to sing as a child.
That was a talent that did not go unnoticed.
How could you ignore it when
I was a 3-year-old singing
“Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee”
all the way through the hymns at church.
Singing loudly and joyfully!

Hah!
It was during the time of WWII
and a popular song was
“Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree
(with Anyone Else But Me).”

You’re probably not old enough to remember it!!
Go ahead, click on it here.
You’ll love it!!

So how did my “Appo Tee” singing
graduate into a full-blown creative talent?
Like any talent, it takes
involvement,
participation,
practice.

I have been a member of a choir
for as long as I can remember…
… always in school, then in church,
and eventually our community choir.
I am not a soloist,
but I love singing in a duet
or trio or with a large group.
Recently our church choir
was able to start up again…
it is such a joy!


Once I even got to sing
with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
during one of their dress rehearsals
for their Christmas concert!

The rendition below of
“The Lord Bless You and Keep You”
was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir
at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62.
Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it.
I love it so much!

If your talent is not singing or painting,
maybe you developed a talent in another area –
like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Of course, one major talent I forgot mention
Is instrumental music …
the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument…
Such talent brings so much joy to the player
as well to a world of listeners.

I played the accordion and the clarinet
as a child and continued to do so
until just recently.
My accordion is not functioning,
there’s a hole in the bellows.

Perhaps I will find another
small accordion that I can handle…
and will resume that creative endeavor.
The children at the day care center
and the residents at our local
Nursing Home enjoyed it!

Here’s just a small clip –
(it’s only 10 seconds!!)
of me playing for the residents
at my sister’s place in PA
a couple of years ago.
(I won’t burden you with too much of this!)
Hah!

My cousin always used to send me comic strips
about the accordion.
One was a guy entering heaven
and the angel said,
“Welcome to Heaven,
here’s your harp.”
The other was a gal entering Hades.
The angel greeted her and said,
“Welcome to Hell,
here’s your accordion.”

Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!




The question remains:
What are your God-given talents?
Have you developed an area of creativity?

I forgot to mention writing!!
Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent
or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?

But, even this writing talent
doesn’t improve without practice, right?
Never stop learning and trying to improve –
regardless of the area of creativity…
gardening & photography (Derrick) –
poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.)
cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn)
You know who you are…
and what you need to do!

Our library was having a book sale last week.
For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book.
Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated,
and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer.
Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice.
And feedback always helps!

Roses are red.
Violets are pink.
I’m an emerging poet.
Man, don’t I stink?

No, don’t badmouth yourself!!
Keep workin’ at it…

Embrace Creativity!
Tell me about yours…

Thanks for sharing!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Moon


A friend passed this video on to me today and I just couldn’t resist passing it along to you. It’s stunning!

It inspired me t find poetry about the moon. Here’s one I really like:

Will You Come?

Edward Thomas – 1878-1917

Will you come?
Will you come?
Will you ride
So late
At my side?
O, will you come?

Will you come?
Will you come?
If the night
Has a moon,
Full and bright?
O, will you come?

Would you come?
Would you come
If the noon
Gave light,
Not the moon?
Beautiful, would you come?

Would you have come?
Would you have come
Without scorning,
Had it been
Still morning?
Beloved, would you have come?

If you come
Haste and come.
Owls have cried;
It grows dark
To ride.
Beloved, beautiful, come.



Have a peace-filled Monday night, my friends. Thank you for coming to visit JanBeek.

Embrace the Moon!

Love and Moon Hugs to you.

Embrace Animal Photography


Magpie – A Haiku

by JanBeek

Cloudy break of day
A large, angry magpie dives
Down on peaceful dove

Photo by shravan khare on Pexels.com
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Best Friends

A pup and kitty
Best friends – inseparable
Love that matching pair

Simple Love

Tucked under your chin
I feel completely secure
It’s true, simple love

Watching

Watching for a friend
Positioned so demurely
Aren’t I attractive?

Fawn is Flower

Tucked in beautifully
Fawn waits patiently for Mom
Remember Flower?

Beautiful Buck

Beside the lake’s edge
A beautiful buck listens
Are you thirsty, too?

Embrace Animal Photography

Embrace animals
And those who photograph them
They’re a happy lot

I hope my animal photographs
Most of which are taken by an anonymous photographer
Made you smile the way this darling baby and her pup are smiling
They certainly cheered me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

Have a Fabulous Friday.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)!

Embrace Virtual Travel


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!!


Here is our daughter, De,
singing a duet with our youngest grandson, Chris.
At the end he says, “My ball of rice!”
That’s his reference to Natalia.
So sweet.
Aren’t they cute?

Thanks for joining me,
dear blogging friends.
Sante’!! To your health!!
Have a good night.

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace a Tree


Hug a tree for me
Find one you can wrap your arms
Around and hang on

Trees are like people
Some are so big that you can’t
Quite get around them

Like giant redwoods
All you can do is admire
Their magnificence

Some are just loners
They stand apart from others
Saying “Look at me!”

Some are connected
So tightly to each other
There’s no room to join

Others form a line
Saying, “Come and join us, but
You must look like us.”

Others welcome all
They are so hospitable
You just flock to them

Some are quite fruitful
They produce enough to share
And do every day

Others hide their fruit
Above gnarled exterior
Daring you to touch

Some are cold, distant
Dark and often depressing
Warning, “Keep away!”

I love trees who shine
Like bright, colorful people
Beckoning us near

Prickly trees are
Ones we try to steer clear of
Lest we should get caught

The young and tender
Beckon us to hold them tight
And protect their growth

Trees that nourish us
Are like the fruit-filled people
Who say, “Let me share.

Come see what I have.
Come taste of its sweet goodness.
I am rich with love.”

“Come sit beside me
Please let me give you some rest.
Come and embrace me.”

“I won’t hold my love
High above and out of reach;
Won’t put you at risk.”

“I’ll spread out my arms
And keep you safe from all harm.
I’ll listen. You talk!

Tell me your troubles.
Sit beneath my shade and rest.
Come, embrace a tree.”

We come in colors
Bright and shining as the sun.
Bare – when summer’s done

Trees are like people:
We hide our troubles inside
Deceptive faces.

Let’s learn from our trees.
Let’s let true colors shine through;
Show your true beauty.

Unlike this odd tree,
Keep your roots firmly grounded.
Embrace a tree now!

Any old tree will do!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Tell me, what’s your favorite tree?
Which one is like you?

Bob & I send our love.
See ya tomorrow.

“Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.”

—From “When Autumn Came” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
     translated by Naomi Lazard

Embrace Blessings


Video by my friend, Caroline Feldman.
We were looking at this blessed sunrise together this morning.

When God starts your day with this kind of a blessing,
how can your day go wrong?

TRUST in His blessings!

You just gotta smile, right?

This is the day that the Lord has made,
I will reJOYce and be glad in it!

Go ahead, click the arrow again!
Sing along! You can’t help but smile as you do!

How have you felt God’s blessings in your life this day?

Let me hear from you!

See ya in my prayers…
Love, JanBeek

Embrace Prayer


In today’s Daily Guideposts 2021, the writer, Amy Eddings, wrote about a time when she prayed relentlessly for guidance and courage – and felt her prayers were going unanswered. Have you ever felt that you were praying relentlessly for something and your request(s) seemed to be falling on deaf ears?

I remember last year when Australia was on fire and so many animals were dying and losing their habitats. I prayed along with the rest of our world for rain… but the fires raged on.

I have recently been praying incessantly for our Pastor Nominating Committee at our church. If you have followed my blog for awhile, you have read my sermon notes on Sunday from our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church. You know our pastor of 32 years died a year ago and we have a wonderful temporary pulpit fill who came out of retirement to help us. Rev. Hundley needs to be able to re-retire. So, we are searching for a solo pastor and I am praying hard. I believe in the power of prayer – and I believe in God’s perfect timing. Don’t you?

So, will you add my prayer request to your prayer list?
“Lord, help the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Pastor Nominating Committee
find the person God already has in mind for us.
Help them find the right new pastor
to lead the congregation into renewed spiritual growth in 2021.”

My husband, Bob, has been praying incessantly, too.
He is on our church’s leadership board
and as such is the “elder” in charge of Buildings and Grounds.
Our church owns an old church that is about 10 miles out of Ennis
in a tiny little village called McAllister.
The church was built in the 1880’s.
MVPC uses it once a year to maintain its
tax-free status as a “place of worship.”
It is in a serene country setting on a little over an acre of land.
It has electricity, but no water or septic system.
The church is for sale. We’re praying for the right buyer.

McAllister Church

Please add this to your prayer list, too, will you?
“Lord, send the right buyer to Rikki at Berkshire-Hathaway in Ennis, MT
– a person who will treasure this historic building
and use it for wholesome purposes.”

Gerry Mooney Photography
McAllister Church

When we EMBRACE PRAYER
and pray with a right spirit,
God hears, God cares, God answers.

Philippians 4:6,7: Pray about everything

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your request to God.”

1 John 5:14: God always hears

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

EMBRACE PRAYER

GOD BLESS YOU
and keep you safe and healthy.
That’s my prayer for you today.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Have a blessed Monday.
See ya tomorrow.

This is my favorite prayer… and I pray it fervently.
It spells out my purpose in life … to be an instrument of God’s peace…
TO SPREAD LOVE, FORGIVENESS, FAITH, HOPE, LIGHT AND JOY…

Sing along … and be blessed!

EMBRACE PRAYER

Live Life Forward


I CAN …

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or so, you already know that I journal most days in this little book that is dedicated to my dear and daring daughter, DeAna. I don’t write in it EVERY day, but often I do, when I am up in my sanctuary, motivated by my devotionals. Today was such a day.

Look ahead, my friend
Live Life Forward
Stare out the windshield
Not the rear view mirror

Look toward the future
Find the unexpected gifts
Share the love and grace
You find at every turn

Share the laughter
Share uninhibited joy
Share compassion
Ease each others pain

Find the hidden treasures
‘Neath the tears of sorrow
Let them wash you clean
Ready for tomorrow

Look ahead, my friend
Don’t let the past upset
Live life forward
And bury all regret

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

I have positive thoughts about today.
It’s snowing here…
and it is beautiful outside.
It’s warm and cozy inside.
I pray you are cozy, too.



Thanks for visiting JanBeek
And thank you to all my faithful followers –
Your comments make my day!
See ya tomorrow.

A photo taken from a drone by my friend, Whooter,
showing you how pretty it is
when the snow is beginning to turn things white.
Happy Christmas Weekend!

Only Imagine


In my journal yesterday, I created a six stanza Haiku. It’s where I’m comin’ from on this day when I delivered Bob (my sweet husband of 58 years) into the hands of a surgeon. It’s a relatively straight-forward procedure… an angiogram to determine any heart issues that were not detected with the x-rays and EKGs. Bob is in good hands… and I am here in the hotel room relaxing:

What is Heaven like?
I can only imagine.
I see glimpses here.

The help of a friend
The love of dear family
Colors of sunrise

The pureness of snow
Unconditional pet love
Hidden surprises

Gorgeous scenery
Flower pedals opening
Precious solitude

Whiskers of kittens
Soft and abundant kisses
Marvelous sunset

Magnificent Son
The warmth of welcoming arms
And eternal rest

The help of a friend
22 at Bob’s 80th in 2018
The love of family
Colors of sunrise
Pureness of snow
Unconditional pet love
Hdden surprises
Gorgeous scenery

Thank you to Curtis Wallace for his gift of photography.

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Such joy in flower petals opening – and sunflowers seeking the sun

Precious solitude… but not aloneness!
Whiskers of kittens
Our daughter DeDe, kissing her hubby, Andre’

Thank you, God, for soft and abundant kisses.

Our great-grandson, Xander, in Hope’s arms

Kisses know no age
Kisses reach into our hearts
Gratefully receive

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com
Begin Eternity Now
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Magnificent Son
Thank you for your sacrifice
So freely given

The warmth of welcoming hugs
Sending tight, heartbeat hugs to Bob
as he undergoes his heart procedure
My daddy’s hugs were the tightest!!

… and eternal rest –
That’s where my daddy is now.
What is heaven like?

I can only imagine!

Hugging blankets works
When hugging arms aren’t available

Just got a call from the hospital.
Bob is out of surgery.
Heart looks good.
No blockages.
No stents needed.
Thank you, God,
for hearing and answering prayer.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
and praying with me!
You’re the best!
See ya tomorrow.

Mountain Majesty


Thank you, Ed Coyle, for this beautiful photo of the grand Tetons in Wyoming.

My friends, Terry and Jim Groshong, are hiking in the area of the Tetons this week. It is such a gorgeous area. I need to share some of their photos with you.

The Tetons are truly amazing!
Terry & Jim enjoyed a visit to this museum today.
There’s my dear friend, Terry.
Bob calls her Sparkles (because she does).
Great photo, huh?
That previous photo
had to have been taken
through one of these holes,
don’t you think?

Don’t these photos make you want to take a trip to Jackson Hole, WY, and on to the areas around? Terry and Jim did some hiking… You may want to plan on that, too.

Bob and I worked at the manse (church parsonage) today. He painted the area above the garage door where the paint was chipping due to years of snow and sun bearing down on it. I stayed with Bob while he did this project yesterday and today. Not a good idea for an 81 year old to be up on ladders and scaffolding. But, it had to be done.

While Bob painted, we had an audience:

With a little noise, she got up and spent about a half an hour munching on the lawn.

Meantime, Bob completed his job. The manse looks refreshed!

That was the gray base coat. I’ll show you the finished product tomorrow. Time to go now and listen to our Presidential Debate between Biden and Trump. I pray for honest exchange and civility.

See ya tomorrow.

Love ya,
JanBeek

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