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Embrace the Present


Is your memory slipping? Mine is. The bad news is, my sweetheart’s memory is slipping down the same slope as mine. That’s not good news. For 59 years, we’ve covered for one another. Now we need someone else with a blanket and a diary… the blanket to cover our faux pas – and a diary to go back and retrieve the lost information!

I told you about the blue suitcase and our dual denial, right? http://www.janbeek.blog/embrace-laughter

Do you recall … neither of us remembering the actual color, size, and details of our luggage? Did you laugh with us? Well now, it is a situation where BOTH of us forgot about receiving something a year ago… denying it, causing someone else a lot of frustration, and needing a huge dose of forgiveness for the trouble we caused.

Ah, the mind is a sad thing to lose!!

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Now is what we have
Tomorrow isn’t here yet
Sift through sands of time

Yesterday is past
Remembering helps us learn
Embrace the Present

Diaries are fun… a great way to keep track of the present
and go back to retrieve what we want to remember!

Check out the expansion of that idea of living in the moment at this previous blog: https://janbeek.blog/2020/11/16/one-day-at-a-time

Haibun (俳文, literally, haikai writings) is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem,[1] short story and travel journal.

In the Haibun above, I addressed the short story and the diary idea in my prose – and then added a two-part Haiku to the story. Thanks for the inspiration from Dwight Roth who often contributes Haibun to d’versepoetry.com … and does it so well. Check out today’s post from Roth Poetry:

Being Alive

/ rothpoetry

I’m glad you shared today with me.

Looking shaggy –
I need a haircut!

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

Embrace the Present

Embrace Shadorma


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Click click click
The sound of typing
Is silent
There’s no click
Tapping on today’s keyboard
I miss it. Don’t you?

I love learning new poetic forms. Today Rahul Gaur introduced me to the shadorma. His example of it is superb. You can find it here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/84993506/posts/3274493365

Smoke Words Every Day Tumse Na Ho Payega

The roaring
Of an angry cat
Who’s hungry
Tells you “Run!”
Especially a lion –
Not a pussy cat!



The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a stanza – you can write a poem that is made of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5. So, like the haiku, the lines are relatively short. Rather poetically, the origin of the shadorma is mysterious.

Embrace Shadorma
Give it a try!

Embrace Enthusiasm


Are you enthused about life?
Have you overcome great strife?
Are you ready to step out enthusiastically
To conquer your challenges gleefully?

I am enthused because I look forward to returning to my volunteering today at the Madison Valley Medical Center. Ever since this pandemic shutdown last March, all the volunteers were told to stay home, socially distance, be safe, and wait this thing out. So this wonderful group of ladies who have annually saved the hospital the salary and benefits of at least two full-time staff members (as well as raising thousands of dollars in fund-raisers to donate for medical center needs) have been shut out. Yes, it was for our own safety… as well as others … but TODAY I GET TO GO BACK!!

I’m 3rd from the left second row…
And yes, you read that correctly –
it’s 31 thousand seven hundred dollars!

I am also enthusiastic today because after a year of searching with the Pastor Nominating Committee for a new pastor to lead our congregation forward following this strange year, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel! Our pastor of 32 years died and we’ve had a wonderful interim pastor who went out of retirement to help us. He is enthusiastically looking forward to returning to the retired life. I am looking forward to taking the next steps with our committee and our #1 candidate – – – enthusiasm bubbles over in all involved! What a wonderful way to approach Easter Sunday!

Today is Maundy Thursday. It’s the day Jesus invited the disciples into the upper room, washed their feet, and served the Last Supper. It was not with enthusiasm that they heard Him say He would die, be buried, and rise again in three days. They didn’t understand. But, I understand – so I am enthused!

The Last Supper

I am enthusiastic about the coming of Easter. I know we must endure the pain of “Good Friday” – wondering what’s good about the day Jesus dies on the cross. But, we know the rest of the story, so we can live through the remembrance of Christ’s misery because we know the way the story ends.

As a child I remember being enthusiastic about the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts. I see no harm in that, but as an adult the focus on Easter eggs doesn’t enthuse me… not unless the story that accompanies them is the reminder of the empty tomb when the child finds the plastic egg with no candy in it… and that child is the one who wins the Golden Egg – and realizes the empty egg was the favored one!

I just returned from volunteering at the medical center as a “Purple Lady” … member of the Auxiliary. I am enthused telling you that the two nurses and a host of staff members made it possible for around 120 Madison County residents to receive their vaccines today. Many of those were receiving their second shot. I enthusiastically look forward to “herd immunity.”

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com
COVID-19 BE GONE!!

Here is my Haiku series celebrating enthusiasm:

Enthusiasm
It’s a feeling of great joy
Anticipation

It’s sweet engagement
In delightful chosen tasks
Active involvement

Looking bright ahead
Accomplishments come at last
Feeling in God’s Will

Seeing smiles around
Others feeling included
Successful efforts

Anticipating
Hearing “Congratulations!”
It’s a job well done

It’s shared excitement
Knowing we have done our best
Enthusiasm!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Embrace Enthusiasm

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today
Have a Blessed Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

What are you enthusiastic about today?

I’m enthused that you are here, my friend.
Bee well!!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Comfort


Embrace Comfort

Embrace
The comfort
Offered by others
Then return the favor
Comfort

Comfort
Makes life
A little easier
Even in our sorrow
Care

Whisper
Your cares
To our God
He hears every word
Believe

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Reach
Hold hands
Hug your friends
Even virtual hugs matter
Express

Love
Is comfort
Comfort in Action
Never underestimate your love
Increase!

Last night Bob & I received word that his brother-in-law, Stan, was in ICU. He had fallen in the shower and was unconscious. The paramedics came, performed CPR, broke three of his ribs in the process, but made sure he was breathing. Took him to the hospital. Stan and Bob’s sister, Bonnie, live in Oregon. We can’t hop in the car and go there, but thanks to technology, we can reach out in love. We can pray and ask our friends to pray, too. God hears. God cares. We can show we care, too.

Today we learned that the family has asked for Stan to be taken off of life support. He never regained consciousness… and if he survived, his brain would not be functioning properly. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not continued life on this earth, but the peace and comfort of eternal life. Thank God for our faith. We know we will meet again in heaven.

There are so many ways to show love. What are some of the ways you embrace comfort across the miles?

EMBRACE COMFORT



Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.


Hope to see you tomorrow.

I’m sending my love your way.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Knowing our dear Stan is departing his earthly body,
I am sending this lovely video
“If Tomorrow Starts Without Me”
to comfort
our sweet Bonnie and their children,
Tammy & Todd…
and all the Hunt/Smith/Beekman family
with my love.
May they find it comforting.

Embrace Single Timeless Moment


From Psalm 90:1-2:  “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Photo by ritonn.photo on Pexels.com
Life’s amazing blessings
God’s Book of Life
unfolds Single timeless moment
Richer than any gold […]

Single Timeless Moment — Big Sky Buckeye

This blog is so beautifully written. I just HAVE to share it with you! Thank you, {{{Richard}}} for your shared talent, your positivity, your heart. Friends, treat yourself… click on the link to Big Sky Buckeye above. You’ll love it. I promise.

Embrace Gifts


We
All have
Gifts to give
All others do, too
Embrace

Embrace
The gifts
Celebrate others’ gifts
Open them with care
Receive

Gifts

Recognize
And see
What others give
To enhance your life
Appreciate

Name
Your gifts
Use them lovingly
Share them with humility
Blessings

Gifts are blessings to be shared

Share
Love and
Time and compassion
Remember that you matter
Engage

Engage
In life
With your heart
Wide open to receive
Gifts

Gifts
Don’t always
Come all wrapped
In pretty Christmas packages
Discern

Precious
Loving gifts
Often are disguised
In very simple acts of
Humility

You
Have gifts
Unique to you
Never underestimate your impact
Shine

Shine
Your gifts
With loving kindness
Embrace the many opportunities
Smile!

Thanks
For coming
To JanBeek today
Your loving presence here
Matters

Elfchen or Elevensie is a poetic form that uses eleven words in a configuration of 1,2,3,4,1. Did you recognize it as you read my post today? If you haven’t already, you should try it. It’s fun! Thank you, Richard at Big Sky Buckeye for inspiring me and sharing your gift! Check out his blog, my friends.

See ya tomorrow

P.S. I found this insightful You.Tube presentation on the subject of GIFTS… gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it was quite well done – and a good addition to the topic, Embrace Gifts. If you have time, I highly recommend it.

Embrace Wonder


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

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

Special Effects Video

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

Smooshed kisses –
Watch out noses!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

People recognize us by our voices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Louis C. Shimon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

EMBRACE WONDER!!
Come back tomorrow.

Embrace Writing Poetry


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.

Poet Jacqueline Suskin; photo by James Adam Taylor

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.”

Plan to write at least one poem a day.
Let your awe or pain or dreams inspire you.

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.

See ya tomorrow

Embrace Reading


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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

Embrace Reading!

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

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace 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.”

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

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.”

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

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.”

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

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!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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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