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Embrace Flexibility


Being flexible:
A sign of a healthy soul!
It’s well with my soul.

Rigidity means
There’s inflexibility…
Like old, wrinkled skin.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Rigidity lacks
The ability to spring –
Spring up and bounce back.

Flexibility
Is living life on the edge –
Edge of Adventure!

When Bob & I were much younger, we were living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was happy in my teaching job, but Bob was restless. He had been coaching wrestling and teaching drivers’ education for about nine years. He’d had the “Seven Year Itch” for a couple years… looking for a way to feel compensated for the tons of extra hours he put in as a coach. But, coaches don’t get paid more than a measly $500 stipend for the gajillion extra hours. They watch the guy who comes and goes with the bells. In at 8: am and out at 3:00 pm. It was discouraging after a while. Love his students as he did, it was not “well with his soul.” He wanted the freedom to be compensated fairly for his efforts. So, he left teaching and returned to the family farm. Farming allowed him the flexibility he was craving.

He went back to the family farm … almonds, walnuts, and mainly – beekeeping. Producing honey, selling his bees’ product, scheduling his own time… Ah yes, the flexibility was good for his soul. He thrived!

Flexibility
Is important for your soul.
Keeps your life limber.

Retirement brings flexibility

The freedom to fish
Or go four-wheeling with friends:
Retirement JOY!

Are you flexible?
Can you readjust your life
When it feels too stiff?

Do you feel you’re trapped
In a spot not fulfilling?
Make your soul feel well.

Listen to your heart.
Life’s too short to be rutted –
Stuck and unhappy!

Just dig yourself out.
Uncover many options –
Start digging today!

There’s a world waiting
For the flexible and strong
To step out in faith.

Know you are not stuck
In an unfulfilling place.
Exercise options!

Do some exploring.
Embrace flexibility.
You have just one life.

Look for your purpose
Find it in your prayer-filled time
Embrace Flexibility.

You were born to start
The work set out just for you.
God bless you today!

Just live your own dream –
Not the dream of someone else.
Step out in faith now!

Photo by Josu00e9 Luis Photographer on Pexels.com

Yup, that’s right –
Flexibility means JOY –
Jump into it NOW!

We’re living in joy!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Forgiveness


Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

For = before
Give = before receiving
Ness = before receiving give

N ever
E xpect
S atisfaction
S imultaneously

Is there someone out there who has wronged you?

Have they treated you so badly, so unjustly, that you are having a hard time forgiving them?

Do you wish you could, and you’ve tried, but you just can’t find the grace to give them that satisfaction?

Do they deserve your unforgiving spirit?

Do they deserve a pay back?

Do you wish you could get even?

Would it serve them right!?

Serve them right if you never forgave them because they don’t deserve to be let off the hook?

Who’s caught on that hook anyway?

They may not even know they hurt you!

That happened to me once. I had a person who was a teacher in a different school. I used to be in the district office and now I was happily and obliviously back in the confines of my own classroom, loving every day with those darling children, putting those two years of district office administration behind me. It had been a tough time. Satisfying opportunities mixed with struggles to satisfy all the new teachers (K-12) who were required to come to my PETAL workshops.

P rinciples of
E ffective
T eaching
A nd
L earning

I enjoyed working with the new teachers, trying to help them be the best they could be. But, inevitably, you can’t please everybody, right? Not every one of them thought what I was teaching was useful to them. I probably rubbed some the wrong way. They’d prefer to be in their classrooms preparing for the next day, rather than being at a required workshop in “The Ivory Tower.” Do you relate?

Photo by Rebrand Cities on Pexels.com

No, they were not all smiles!
But I did my best…
and I got back to the classroom
where I could interact
daily with children
as fast as I could!
The District Office was waaay too far from children!

Then, “that happened to me!” A knock on my door at home one evening. When I answered it, there stood a teacher who had been in a series of my workshops. I invited him in. We sat on the sofa. He was nervous.

“I want you to know I forgive you,” he said.

I didn’t know I needed forgiveness. I didn’t know I had done something to offend him. I am sure my face registered shock.

“I have been harboring a grudge against you for two years,” he said. “I am going to a counselor for a lot of unresolved issues in my life, and my counselor said I need to resolve them.”

So he was in my living room, sitting next to me, letting me know I was forgiven.

I should have asked why. I should have asked him to explain what I did. But, I was too dumb-founded. I’m not sure I wanted to know. Let bygones be bygones, you know?

I just told him I was sorry for whatever I unknowingly did to offend him. I told him I held no ill feelings about him. Never did! I accepted his forgiveness. We hugged. He left.

That young man had been given the courage to confront his offender.
He had been given the courage to let go.
He had been given the courage to ask for forgiveness.
My job was to accept it and to allow him to move on.

My job was to handle what God had given me…
a clean slate in someone’s mind.
A clean slate where there had been a dark smudge.

Is there someone out there
who needs your forgiveness ?
Are you carrying a grudge?

Don’t wait!
Before receiving,
GIVE!
Give the gift to yourself…
the gift of letting go.

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take out your stony, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Thanks for following JanBeek
and for coming to read and leave a comment today.
You matter. I write for you.
God bless you!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Hugging


My daddy and me
Doin’ what comes naturally

I love that old musical from the 1950’s, Annie Get Your Gun. It is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name.

Does hugging come naturally to you?
If so, from whom do you think you inherited that quality?
Bob and I had that conversation after breakfast this morning.
His mom and dad were not huggy folks.
Mine were… especially my affectionate daddy.

Me and Daddy
when I was about 14 or 15.

Bob didn’t learn to be huggy from me.
He came that way… and I feel so blessed.
Marrying someone who was stand-offish
Would have been put me to a terrible test!

Doin’ what comes naturally
Isn’t the same for you and me.
I reach out and hug strangers –
At least ’til this pandemic distanced me.

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com

Bob and I are huggy people
We showed our kids the joy of touch
But not all children are so blessed
Some are abused; some aren’t touched that much.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

When our daughter, DeAna’s best friend, Laina,
Lost both her adoptive parents at a young age,
We were blessed to say, “Come be in our family.”
Having a “Daughter #2” was a blessing quite sage!

Our Laina keeps in daily touch. She wrote
A message to me yesterday.
I asked her if I could share it here.
This is what she had to say:

Embrace MomBee🥰

I keep waiting for your blog theme to be “Embrace Hugging” or similar.  Technically embrace does mean to hold someone closely in your arms so it’s almost funny to use the 2 words together. 

Well here’s my mini blog for the day.

We just don’t hug enough anymore.  For one reason, we can’t because of social distancing but also we don’t because we won’t take the time to do something that’s so extremely important.  

My genetic nature resisted hugs growing up. I inherited that from Marilyn my Irish born biological grandmother and apparently her daughter my biological mother was the same way. I was adopted by a very different personality. 

I would feel myself stiffen up and become uncomfortable when someone hugged me. My (adoptive) mom was very loving and caring. She was a hugger and I reflect back on those hugs and feel bad for my involuntary reaction. I would squiggle (squirm+wiggle) away as fast as I possibly could leaving her unfulfilled.  Being a teenager and young adult I was too self-absorbed to notice the sadness on her face or to recognize her need for physical contact. If only I could go back in time and have a “do over”!  I would give her a proper hug. It would be a long squeeze and I wouldn’t let go until SHE squirmed to get free. Knowing her, she wouldn’t ever squirm! we’d still be hugging! Hugs instantly boost OxyContin levels. It’s scientifically proven. Hugs help to heal feelings of loneliness and isolation and anger. An extended hug increases serotonin levels and increases good mood. It strengthens the immune system. So why don’t we do it more? We need to do it more! I guess I can’t tell you to hug a stranger because they might smack you or scream but definitely hug those you love whenever they are near… I can’t wait to give you both long hugs in person. I promise I won’t squirm away.

Laina and “MomBee”

That picture of me with Laina is one of my favorites. I often use it as the “sign off” photo on my blog – edited to just be me. I had forgotten that it was taken on the occasion of my 80th birthday when Laina came to be with us and help us prepare for and carry out a party that included about 50 of our best MT friends. Laina lives in Maryland – and her trip here was such a gift. Helping us was for her, “Doin’ what comes naturally.”

Hugs may not come naturally to all of us.
But it is something we can learn…
and enjoy… and realize
how important that intimacy is.

Our daughter, De, with hubby, Andre’

Yesterday our grandson, DeAna’s youngest son, Chris, went to Vissoie
to have dinner at his parents’ restaurant and to give them a long overdue hug.
It had been over a month since he had made the trip up the mountain to see them.
I wrote to him afterward and said,
Thank you for going to be with your parents
and for giving your mom great big, heart-felt hugs.
We all need them.

DeAna and Chris

This morning he wrote back and said,
“Oh! It was my pleasure!
It’s been too long since I saw them,
I needed to squeeze their booooooones.

Can’t wait to squeeze yours, too!”

(Chrissy got that expression, “Squeeze yer bones!” from his GrampyBob…
It’s one of his favorites.)

Whose bones do you need to squeeze today?
Go do it!
Go and make hugging one of those things that is
“Doin’ what comes naturally!”

Thank you, Laina
for sharing your story with us.
Thank you for enhancing our family.

Thank you, blogging friends,
for visiting JanBeek today.
Hugs to you!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Stretching


There are so many ways to stretch
And so many meanings to the word
Stretch your body and your mind
Stretch and let your soul be heard

Flexibility of mind and body
Are a result of regular stretching
Reaching just beyond your limits
Helps you find the goal you’re fetching

No one needs to feel they’re stuck
At a level that’s not satisfying
Keep stretching, reaching, believing
And you’ll get to where you’re trying

Our minds are powerful tools
They take us where we want to go
Stretch your vistas with good books
Let them round out what you know

It’s not just body and mind that stretch
When you apply the “Elastic Principle,”
Look for life’s other areas
Where you want to be invincible!

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Stretching our ideas to help us be
More flexible in odd situations
Helps us be more successful
In all sorts of challenges or vocations

Do you know the Tijuana Brass?
It was one of my favorite groups in the late ’50s & ’60s
His music stretched across the world!

My mind stretched immensely when
I traveled to Europe as a newlywed
I thought the USA was the world’s haven
And I found multiple havens instead!

Don’t squirrel away in a tiny space
Limiting your mind to prejudicial thoughts
Stretch your experiences and horizons
By seeking out new, delightful spots

Stretch your imagination in order to see
Sites that inspire you to face with glee
Each new day and its many wonders
They’re right here – and they’re free!

Are those the cutest baby owls you’ve ever seen?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Stretch your imagination to create
Space in your life to wander afar
Walk along paths of flowers blooming
And stand beneath your favorite star

Embrace stretching and soon you’ll see
The world through eyes expectantly
Looking at the mundane differently
Participating in life gleefully

Embrace Stretching!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
You help me be a possibilitarian!
See ya tomorrow.

How will you stretch gleefully today?

Embrace Silence


Today was a day to embrace silence.
Put away the TV rhetoric.
Turn off the music and chatter.
Just listen to the silence.

Back in 2017 I wrote about silence.
Time to resurrect that post:

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Silence is resounding in my ears.
Silence wipes away confusion and fears.
Silence speaks as all nature rings.
Silence breaks as songbird sings.

Silence whispers compassion’s song –
Let’s me contemplate yesterday’s wrong.
Allows God’s grace to fill this space
Instead of wallowing in my own disgrace.

Silence brings new life to God’s Word.
It lets the Holy Spirit speak and be heard.
It opens my heart to name the nameless
And enter their world blameless and shameless.

Open my heart, Lord, in silence to know
All that You’re saying, all that You show
Through challenges booming or hugs soft and sweet.
Help me to hear You in ALL that I meet.

Jan Beekman
11-30-2017

Embrace Emotions


The Scream by Edvard Munch

My second grandson was the screamer.
He spent the first couple years of his life doing it.
He certainly knew how to let his emotions out!

Screaming may not be the best way as an adult
To emote your emotions!
What are some healthy ways to let these feelings out?

Fear

But some fear is real and intended
It’s good to embrace fear when a bear is growling at you
It’s good to fear a runaway truck or an avalanche
Know when to embrace fear!

Anger

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Screaming in anger at a situation you can’t control
may not be the best way to embrace your emotion
But anger in itself is not wrong
Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers
Embrace righteous anger!

Sadness/Grief

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In Daily Guideposts today, Erika Bentson wrote,

“Cowgirls don’t cry!”
She admitted that she is “not the type to carry tissues”
but instead she can “brush over ]her] feelings.”
“Mourning doesn’t come easily to me,” is how she began.
Even in the face of her father’s death, she “stayed strong – mostly.”

In the end of the article, Erika quoted a friend who told her,
“Tears are a testament to what a great dad he was.”
She encouraged her to let the emotions show.
“Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,” she told her.

Embrace your sadness!
Allow your grief to play out!

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take your stony, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Embrace your tears!
Let them flow.

Shame

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Speaking of
“Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,”
what about it?
Does shame have a place in our emotional outlet?

Psalm 34:4-5

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

Psalm 31:17

“O Lord, let me not be put to shame,
for I call upon You;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go silently to Sheol.”

Where does that emotion of shame fit in?
When we have screwed up and we know it,
When we have said something without thinking,
When we have done something to hurt someone else,
It is the shame we feel that causes remorse.
It is the remorse that leads to repentance.
It is the repentance that leads to “calling out”
And it is calling out that leads to forgiveness.
Do not wallow in shame.
Face your actions,
face your emotions,
and clear your conscience.

Confront your shame and eliminate it!

Despair

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do not despair!
Replace despair with hope.
Despair is not a healthy emotion.
We are humans, prone to error,
But we are not desperate!

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed…”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This is one of my favorite verses.
It is my faith that keeps me from despair-
And my prayer for you is that regardless of your circumstance,
you also can have the faith “which surpasses all understanding.”

Do not embrace despair!

Peacefulness

I feared that my second grandson, the Screamer,
would grow up to be a very disgruntled human being.
I should never have let that emotion embrace me.
Embrace the peacefulness of hope!
Embrace the peacefulness of letting go.
Embrace the peacefulness of knowing
God’s got this!!

There’s Nick – at peace with self and nature.

The emotions that accompany peacefulness
are joy, contentment, satisfaction, and submission.

Nick and Celine’s slippers with their peaceful dog

Embrace Peace!

Pride

What about that emotion of pride?
Pride in self? Pride in your accomplishments –
Pride in the person your children or grandchildren have become –
What about pride?

Proverbs 11:2

“When pride comes,
then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.”

Romans 12:16

“Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty,
but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.”

Bob is reading a book right now titled, Soul Survivor, by Philip Yancey.
In it he learned about thirteen people who influenced Yancey’s life.
One of them is Gandhi who always traveled third class.
When asked why, his response was,
“Because there is no fourth class.”

Humility

In the last years of his life, Gandhi adopted a man with leprosy.
Daily he bathed him and changed that man’s bandaged.

Proverbs 22:4

“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

Gandhi was invited to meet the King of England.
Gandhi approached the king wearing only his loincloth.
A bystander asked him why he was dressed so scantily.
He responded, “He is wearing enough clothes for both of us,”

Gandhi embraced the emotion of humility to the extreme.
As a result, he was indeed rewarded with “honor and life,”
but his riches were not in gold and silver,
for he disdained material possessions,
his riches were in honor, peace, and a meaningful life.

When you go to Google and enter Gandhi’s name,
Mahatma Gandhi – Wikipedia, it will tell you:
“Mahatma Gandhi,
as he is known by his followers with reverence,
preached the philosophy of non-violence
which has become even more relevant today.
His commitment to non-violence
and satyagraha (peaceful resistance)
gave hope to marginalized sections of India.”

Humility is a Wonderful Emotional Outlet!

Embrace the emotions
associated with humility:

joy
compassion
contentment
satisfaction
and leave all your worries behind!

See ya tomorrow.

Tell Me:
Which emotion will you embrace more today?
And which will you try to release?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek!

Embrace Aging


I could have called this “Embrace Maturity,”
but that would have been pussyfooting around the issue.
Not everyone matures as they age,
but aging is not an option.

You do it or you die.

However, I embraced this meme when I saw it:

Aging is a privilege only given to the lucky ones, you know.
So, yes, I will count this year …
but at 81, I sometimes forget if it is 80 or 81
and if I try to get by with the lesser number,
I have an 82 year old husband who is quick to remind me.

Hah! Can’t fool him…
He keeps a check on me – – –
but he’s not big on donuts.
Darn!

My daughter
(most of you have met her on this blog in the past –
DeDe – lives in Switzerland)
sent me this a little while back.
She particularly liked it
because one of Bob’s nicknames for me
is “Rocky”

Most of you also know that I have a sanctuary
where I spend the first hour most every morning…
and in it I have three antique rockers.
Ah, yes, it’s the perfect image of me!

But the chair that brings us
mutual joy
is the one we put in the back of our ATV
and pull out when we stop for a break.
The best way to embrace aging
is to find a hobby that you can enjoy
with someone you love.

For Bob and me, it is joining friends
and going four-wheeling
on these wonderful Rocky Mountain trails. ..
stopping to fish the mountain lakes.
Ah, that’s livin’!!

What hobbies
make your aging process more enjoyable?
One of our mutual hobbies
(besides four-wheeling)
is teaching Sunday School.

Here are darling Ruby & Cord.

COVID got in the way
of being able to meet each Sunday morning
with these two darlings and one other…
and then these two moved away.
As they age, their mom sends us pictures.

Getting picture from family and friends
is a great way to welcome the new day
and look forward to the next time you can visit.

Aging is easier to embrace if you have dreams –
something to look forward to, right?

We dream of next October –
when COVID-19
will be controlled
and it will be safe
to travel to see our daughter,
De, and her husband, Andre’ –
and stay in one of the hotel rooms above the restaurant.

As we age,
some of the benefits
outweigh the struggles
that come with aching joints
and lowered energy levels.

One of them is,
when your grandkids act up
and get on your nerves,
you can just send ’em back to their folks!

Couldn’t do that when you were younger
and they were your own kids!

Gotta look for the perks in this aging process!

Oh my!
Take ’em home!!

Another advantage of aging
is that we have time to reminisce
about the “Good Ole Days”
and the songs we used to sing
that these youngsters with their guitars and drums
don’t seem to understand anymore.

And if those songs
and the memories they bring
aren’t enough to make you feel good
about still being on this earth,
try singing this one:

Another way to “Embrace Aging”
is to relish the extra time
you have to just find a good book,
pour yourself a hot chocolate or a glass of wine,
curl up in front of a warm fire,
and spend some uninterrupted quality time.

When you were younger, that luxury was seldom yours, right?

Now, if you are a youngster (under retirement age)
reading this blog,
you are probably thinking that I am a dreamer.
You’re right. I am!
And each day I dream up all kinds of things
to keep me exuberant about life.

Yesterday it was effervescence.
The day before it was … oh, do I have to go back that far?

Nope!
A trick to aging gracefully is to remain playful.
Keep your hobbies,
and make up ways to keep the sparkle alive.
Take those boots that were left at the front door
and get creative!

If you can’t get out because you’re snowed in –
and you’re longing for sushi,
but the nearest place is an hour away,
send money to your kids
and tell them to go out for sushi on you.
But make sure they send you a picture…
and drool all over the computer screen
when they send it!

Ask your friends to send you a picture
of the table they decorated for some recent holiday –
and then marvel at their creativity
as you sit down for the 10th night in a row at your kitchen counter…
thanking God for your life,
your food, your kids, and your kitchen counter.

A trick to embracing aging
is to always remain thankful for your blessings…
even if they aren’t at a yacht club!!

Now, here’s a couple who knows how to live it up:
My friends, the Rosens.

Embrace Aging
by feeding your mind
Hope, Truth and Love
on a daily basis.

Don’t let your mind tell you you’re OLD.
That’s a state of mind for the senile.
It’s not for you!

Tell your mind
that aging just adds to your story…
and you’re not finished telling it yet!

Have fun, my friend.
Make room for sunsets.

Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Look forward to sunrises.


And believe in miracles…
Because you are one!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace the Progress


Sedoka is a traditional Japanese unrhymed poetic form
comprising two three-line ‘katauta’
with a syllabic sequencing
of 5/7/7, 5/7/7

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Bold and beautiful
They’re leaning on each other
Sympathizing and learning
Learning how to thrive
In a world of white privilege
Embrace the progress

Femininity
Can be carried way too far
Masculinity can, too
Appreciate self
Enjoy unique attributes
Let’s all embrace the progress

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

I invite you to try your hand at a Sedoka.
It’s fun! See a sample at this link:
https://poetscornerblog.wordpress.com/2021/02/06/for-the-weekend-a-sedoka-i

Embrace Connections


https://smarturl.it/ThanksForTheDance

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Did you click the link?
The link was “Thanks for the Dance”
From Leonard Cohen.

If you didn’t hear –
Didn’t see the video,
Go up and do it!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

EMBRACE CONNECTIONS
Look into another’s heart
See the hidden pain

Learn to disagree
Learn to listen with your heart
Show your compassion

Connections can save
The loneliest from despair
Suicide is real

Express your concern
Let your compassion embrace
Those in depression

Depression is real
Too often it is hidden
Inside solitude

Leonard Cohen’s poem
Hit me right between the eyes
Took me to my niece

‘Twas nineteen years old
When her life appeared hopeless
Jumped Golden Gate Bridge

Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

‘Twas two weeks later
When her decomposed body
Washed its way ashore

Only dental charts
Helped to identify her
Memories are raw

Never imagined
Her pain was so very deep
Didn’t see the signs

So much is known now
Nearly forty years ago
We just weren’t aware

Today it’s rampant
Especially Montana
Third in the nation

Growing suicides
It’s not a good statistic
Something must be done


These are images from Leonard Cohen’s impactful video. (Haven’t watched it yet? Go back up to that link. Take five minutes and then come on back.) The poetry and his raspy, musical voice will touch your heart. You’ll carry it with you.

You’ll ask yourself, “What Happens to the Heart?” and you will want to be more aware, more compassionate, more helpful. You’ll look in your friend’s eyes. You’ll study your loved one’s face. You’ll ask questions. You’ll care. And you’ll want to know WHAT CAN I DO? When you see sadness, despair, loneliness, you’ll want to help. How??

There are visible
Ways we can show how we care
Check out resources

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness


Embrace Connections
They can make the difference
YOU are important!

Thanks for dropping by JanBeek

Sending you love and hugs
Stay Connected!!
See ya tomorrow


Embrace Confidence


These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy…
I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too)
I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time.
Today is it!

In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D.
Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love”
and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine,
Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”

“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote.
“This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”

In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.

“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”

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It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.

It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”

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How does someone overcome
such prejudicial treatment
and regain the confidence
that ALL PEOPLE deserve?


That is the question Dr. Walker
deals with in her profession.
She conquered it in her own life with
“years of psychological work,
spiritual practice,
self-care, and healing.”

Dr. Brenda Wade wrote,
“When we feel too hurt or afraid
to let ourselves out,
it becomes impossible
to let others in.”

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Embrace the confidence
that there is
hope and a future
and a return of self-confidence
when self-insight
and self-love
can be applied.

The pain of those early wounds go deep.

We know that
we ALL have a responsibility
to respond to one another in love,
with compassion and respect,
and to stand together hand-in-hand
to obliterate oppression and prejudice.

Embrace that future
with
confidence and determination!

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Pastoral Prayer

Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:

“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?

Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons…
* Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place.
* We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world…
* Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace.
* Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing…
* Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones…
* May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed…
* In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out…
* As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”

Amen                         

Embrace with Confidence,
my friends,
the knowledge that you
regard all God’s Children as equals…
and determine never to inflict on anyone
the pain of rejection
or the sting of shame.

As God’s children…
Let us live as One.
Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place!
Embrace Confidence!

Hugs to you.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

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