Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Embrace Your Passion


Embrace your passion –
Figure out just what it is,
Then LIVE your passion.

Yesterday I lived –
I lived passionately –
But I did not blog.

Even though blogging
Is an important passion,
I did not write it.

Sometimes you need to
Set aside pen and paper –
Set aside writing –

And LIVE your passion!
I listened to the Spirit
And followed its voice.

Photo by Prashant Gautam on Pexels.com

My most important passion is what this blog’s sub-title spells out: spreading love, joy, peace, faith and unity.

In the process of living out my faith, I spend time every morning in my “SanctuAiree” among the angels, Bibles, devotionals, birds level with me in the trees, and the Holy Spirit alive and well. surrounding and in me. I listen for that still small voice – and try to obey its directives.

As the contact person and secretary for our Pastor Nominating Committee, I have worked consistently for over a year – collaboratively with my wonderful, dedicated team – to find the pastor we think God has in mind for us. We see a light at the end of the tunnel … and are praying for wisdom and discernment. Yesterday I worked on that project. I am passionate about helping to find the “right” person to lead our congregation into the future. It is a huge responsibility – and we take it very seriously.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do you have a project about which you are passionate? Are you living that passion? Do you see a light at the end of your tunnel? I’d love to hear about it.

Have you defined your purpose in blogging? Are you feeling like your purpose is being fulfilled? Are you passionate about it? Cristian Mihai in “The Art of Blogging” tells us often that unless we are writing about things we are passionate about, our messages will fall flat.

Sometimes I feel that my messages are not resonating with my readers. When I get that feeling, I have to back up and ask myself, “Who are you writing for?” If one or two of you respond, if I have reached into the heart of just one other blogging friend out there, that has to be enough. It’s not a numbers game! YOU are the only reader who matters. I am sharing my passion with YOU.

My passion is to LIVE in such a way that at the end of the day, I can say to myself, “I did what the Holy Spirit called me to do today, and I did it with gusto. I did my best – and now I can rest.”

My daddy and my Holy Father in Heaven said,
“Well done, Jan!”
Their voices matter!

Embrace Your Passion!

See ya tomorrow
(God willing)…
JanBeek

Happy Sunday!


Mine was a busy Sunday.
How was yours?
Where did you look today?

Looking for beauty
Can sometimes be elusive
When your eyes are closed

So open your eyes
To find the beauty around.
It is everywhere!

Where do your eyes look?

Do you look at it?
The “it” that’s blocking your view?
Where do your eyes go?

Look up to enjoy
The beauty, not the blockade!
Listen for the sounds.

The amorous dove
Is cooing to his partner:
“Come with me and rest.”

“It is the Sabbath –
A day to stop and relax.
Let’s go to our nest.”

“Are you listening?
Don’t look down – the nest’s not there.
Let’s fly to our roost.”

“You go if you want.
I’m perfectly happy here.
Cozy. Protected.”

“OK. I give up.
Every bird is not the same.
Be happy sitting…

But I want to go
Exploring other vistas.”

“Maybe tomorrow!”

Like that female dove,
Sometimes we seem to be stuck
In our own small rut.

Afraid to venture
Out into this great big world
To meet challenges.

There are lovely views
On horizon’s other side –
Beyond folds of light.

This view is Lisa’s –
It’s in North Carolina.
Sent to me with prayer.

I may not go there –
Not today or tomorrow.
But maybe someday.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

I want to explore
The beauty of Lisa’s world.
Its vistas call me…

Just as our preacher,
Dawn, who was in the pulpit,
Felt Africa’s call.

She shared her stories
With us in church this morning.
They were amazing!

Photo by Shelagh Murphy on Pexels.com

She spoke of children
Where poverty and illness
Put them at great risk.

Experiences
Shared with us in church today
Brought love of strangers.

Madison County Food Bank

“When were You hungry and I fed You?
When were You thirsty and I gave You drink?
When were You a stranger and I welcomed You?
When were You naked and I gave You clothes?
When were You sick or in prison and I took care of You?”

“Whenever you did one of these to the least of these, my children, you did it unto Me.”


Paraphrased from Matthew 34-40

Love Stories from Africa

Our guest speaker told of her missionary trips to Uganda and Ghana, South African areas where she was called by God to go – not to speak of religion – but show the love of Christ through her actions. She helped children with cancer, families with loved ones dying of HIV-AIDS, orphaned children, farmers in need to seeds to plant their crops, or goats to provide milk, or workers who needed motor bikes to get to their places of employment. She danced to the music of the natives, and walked barefoot in the sands of these foreign lands.

Judgement turned to admiration. She gained appreciation for the resilience of these people. The poverty rate was 80% in many of the remote regions of the north. Improving their health care and job opportunities was the goal of the USA funding that she managed. The people had so little that every bit of help was doubly appreciated. They had so little, and yet they had so much. So much love. So much beauty.

Beauty comes smiling at us
Everywhere we turn
If we just open our eyes
See the love – and learn!

Learn to treasure all
the people God has made.
Reach out to those you meet.
Love them all – be not afraid!

Love is all we need.
Gotta keep it real simple:
Love God – Love People!!

Embrace Sunday.
Embrace God and Love One Another.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Hugs,

JanBeek

Embrace Bird Songs


Bird Songs – Haiku
by JanBeek

Let’s embrace bird songs.
They bring music to our souls.
Delight in their sounds!

The following video is a 42 minute delight.
It displays 80 birds,
identifies them for you,
and plays their songs.
I LOVE it!

I recommend that you
play it as background music
as you read the rest of my blog
and go about your day.

Peek back at it every now and then –
because the close-up pictures of these birds
and the words that identify them
and the settings where you find them
will be sure to delight you!

I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing.
They have built their nest in the eaves
Outside my bedroom window –
Crafted it with twigs and leaves.

Partner doves made their home there
And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!”
Soon they’ll lay their eggs there
And change their song to “I did did did it!”

But their nest is not hidden from us.
We can see their coming and their going.
Their song brings us daily happiness.
Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!

.

After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove…
Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you!
(You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)

“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”

Psalm 144:15

Just as each bird has its song,
People have songs that identify them.
Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll,
Others are known by their favorite hymn.

As I listen to music on my Amazon device
And I hear one I wanna put in my cart,
I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.”
My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart.
.

Take a break from the bird songs,
and listen to a song that touches my heart.
I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:


In my “Happiness Project”
(one sentence journal)
the verse at the top of the page
today was:

“It is neither wealth nor splendor,
but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”

– Thomas Jefferson

.

What Creates Happiness for You?


I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children.
Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children.
Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”

It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?

For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.

What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.

Doves are little gifts from God.
I love them and their song.

What is your favorite bird song?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!

(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)

See ya tomorrow (God willing).

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 Laughter


Comic Tammy

If you can laugh at yourself,
Laughter will always be with you.
We do the darndest things!!

Flight Attendant

On our trip home from Eugene, Oregon via Seattle, WA, we “lost” our carry-on suitcase. Because of a shortage of overhead bin space, we were asked to leave our carry-on at the entrance of the plane. At the end of the flight, the cart rolled out with all the luggage and ours wasn’t on it. There was a blue bag like ours, but it had a strange-looking lock on it, and it was a little bigger than ours, and the color wasn’t exactly right.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We figured somebody had accidentally picked up the wrong bag. We reported the missing bag to the flight attendant.

“You’re sure this isn’t yours?” she asked.

“We’re sure!” we both chimed in.

So, this gracious masked flight attendant escorted us to the Alaska Airlines Passenger Assistance desk.
On the way we exchanged pleasantries.
She discovered we’d been married 59 years.
She asked about our destination.
We asked about her life.
We had plenty of time to share.
It was a long walk to the help desk.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

At the customer service desk, the attendant took our phone number and other contact information and assured us that we’d be contacted when the person who mistook our bag for theirs realized their mistake and returned it.

We thanked her again and got her contact info from her. Later she sent us a picture of herself unmasked so we’d recognize her if she came to visit us in Montana. We really hope she will!!

As we were headed for our next departure gate to continue our travel home to Bozeman, MT, we saw another flight attendant wheeling a blue carry-on toward the help desk. Something caused us to turn around, follow him, and inquire about that suitcase when he got to the Alaska Airlines customer service area.

Our sweet and helpful flight attendant still was in that area. She came over to see the blue bag that was left behind and get an update on what was happening. The two attendants looked at the bag, turned the tag on it over and examined the name/address on it.

“Beekmans?” the male attendant asked?

“Yes,” we replled.

“This is your bag!” he told us.

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

We felt soooo stupid! We BOTH had denied that bag could be ours. We had created a hassle for the flight attendant and ourselves. NEEDLESSLY. We felt like such morons! We profusely apologized. They chuckled. We laughed out loud… a laugh filled with embarrassment.

Our sweet flight attendant patted us on the back. Gave us a comforting smile and said, “It could happen to any of us. Don’t worry!”

She said she wanted to adopt us as her “Marriage longevity role models.”

Thank you, Lisa!!

Ah, 59 years together! We often tell folks it takes the two of us to complete one another… two halves make a whole.

At that moment we thought we had both become slightly senile. Neither of us felt like half of a whole!! Maybe a quarter?

We can’t afford to have BOTH of us lose a few marbles. HELP!!

As we rolled our bag – hmmm… why hadn’t we noticed that lock on there before? Hmmm … was it really this size? Hmmm … why hadn’t we noticed the shade of blue?

We got the giggles. We laughed at our own feeble-mindedness and decided what we needed was a good glass of wine, a taco snack, and a chance to just sit and relax before we boarded the next flight.

I received a text from our dear flight attendant. She assured us that we were the highlight of her day. She sent us a picture of her beautiful family and invited us to come visit her if we are ever in the area where she lives. I can just hear her sharing the story about this “adorable old couple, married 59 years, not recognizing their own suitcase” and getting a good laugh for years to come.

We’re able to laugh about it, too. We hope she really will take us up on it and come to visit us in Montana!

The moral of the story:

The next time you do something stupid, give each other a high five. Get a good laugh at yourself, and realize:

You are not alone!
Laugh together.
No one can laugh AT you,
if they are laughing WITH you!

Embrace laughter.

Photo by Blue Bird on Pexels.com

And, by the way,
do you have some kind of bright florescent ribbon
that we can tie onto our luggage?


Something that we can’t mistake for someone else’s?

Send it along to us!!
And have a great Thursday!



Love,
JanBeek

Hah!!

Oh- and by the way, that girl at the top with her tongue out?
That’s Bob’s niece, Tammy.
She has a great sense of humor.
As a nurse – especially during this COVID-19 pandemic,
Laughter has been a saving grace!
Gotta keep your spirits up!!

Thanks, Tammy, for all you do to help others!

Embrace Being Home


Home
Warm, cozy
Feeling loved here
Love the feeling here
Embraced

Dormant
Under ground
Seeds and bulbs
Lie waiting for sun
Flowers

Collections
Called clutter
Some don’t understand
It carries our history
Memorabilia

Our good neighbor took this photo of our home with his drone.
Yes, here it is April 14th and we had a snow flurry today!
But spring WILL come. Beeeee patient!

Travel
Far Away
But return again
It waits for you
Home

We enjoyed being able to fly to Oregon to be with Bob’s sister, to support her and her family with our love during this time of loss. But, it felt so good to be back… Ennis is such a welcoming place. Yes, EMBRACE BEING HOME!

P.S. Elfchen are poems with eleven words, written in a pattern of 1+2+3+4+1… Aren’t they fun?

Cheers!

Thanks for stopping by to welcome me home!
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Your Journey


The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.”
But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one.
When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s,
I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.

The California Poppies song went like this:

“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun,
Closing up at evening when the day is done.
Pride of California, flower of our state,
Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”

The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:

We’re the Caswell Cougars.
We are Number One!
Green and yellow banners
Waving in the sun.
Caswell is a place for
Learning and for fun.
We’re the Caswell Cougars;
We are Number One!”

One of my fellow principals objected to our song.
She felt I was in competition with her school.
I responded, “There’s room at the top
for more than one.
Come up and join us!”

As I have journeyed through this life,
I am going and growing.
I am understanding better
where my colleague was coming from.

Thirty years later I can look back
And I can see my competitive spirit
At work in that school song…
Unintended yes, but obvious to others.



If life is viewed as a race,
then there is room for only one at the top.
The race goes to the swiftest.
But a journey has room for many.

Hold my hand as we walk this path.
Pray with me. stay by my side.
Soon enough we will reach the mountain top
And when we do, celebrate with me.

Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon
where we will join his sister and her family.
We will gather to give back to one another
The love we have shared on this life’s journey.

We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband
As their daughter and son speak of the ways
Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love
During his 86 years here on this earth.

As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge
The grace of God that has allowed us to share
These six decades with one another –
And we take not one of those chapters for granted.

Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended,
But we know his story doesn’t end here.
We know death is not an end to our journey;
It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.

We will share, hug, and weep for our loss,
And we will assure one another of the faith we have.
We know we will see one another in eternity.
We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!

Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends.
I send you my love
as we journey this life together.


See ya tomorrow (God willing),
JanBeek

Embrace Inner Strength


Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

“Why do we need compassion?
Experience tells us that it brings inner strength.
It also benefits others
and we face many unnecessary problems
when we lack it.

To understand this
we must develop a holistic way
of seeing the bigger picture,
which means we must use our intelligence.”

Dalai Lama@DalaiLama



Inner Strength brings peace
When we use it to create
Inner compassion

Then compassion brings
Inner strength when we use it
To show outer peace

Peace be with you, my friends.
Tomorrow we’ll be on our way to Oregon
to be with my sister-in-law
as we celebrate the life and memory
of her husband of 60+ years.

May your soul
Rest in peace, Stanley P Hunt.

And my dear WordPress Friends,
May your day be filled with peace and blessings,
compassion and inner strength.
God bless you!

Hugs,
JanBeek


P.S. May you find sweet peace that passes understanding.

Embrace Haibun


There are days when it seems harder than others to put on a happy face, don’t you agree? I don’t have a lot of those, so when I do, they usually are memorable.

I remember one such day when my dad was out of sorts. He was a business owner. Not the typical image of a “business owner” that comes to mind when you hear that description. His business was a Tallow Works. Do you know what that is? It’s a place that picks up dead animals from farmers and ranchers and meat scraps from butcher shops. All parts of those animals and scraps are processed. It’s a smelly business.

It’s devastating
Beloved animals die
Someone hauls them off

This is called a Haibun. It is a brief couple of paragraphs of prose, followed by a Haiku that adds dimension to the prose!

Oh, Lordy, Lordy!! My blog is supposed to share love, joy, peace, faith, and unity. How I got off on a kick of wanting to share various forms of poetry is all Dwight Roth’s fault! Blame him! He tried my Shadorma poetry and invited me to try his Haibun.

https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2021/04/08/on-fire/

But he can’t be blamed for my morbid Haibun and photo today. My mind just went there after reading a post by someone who was recalling a sadness from their childhood. That day when Dad and I went to pick up a dead horse sticks in my memory because the horse was a child’s pet. It wasn’t like one of a herd of beef cattle or some old cow that got into the clover field, ate too much, bloated, and bit the dust!

My experiences with my dad, riding with him on weekends as we went to various farms to pick up the dead animals, usually were not sad times. I treasured one-on-one time with Daddy, and I was happy to get that time under whatever circumstances! The death of animals didn’t seem morbid to me. It was just part of the cycle of life! You know – like egg to tadpole, froglet to frog!

But on that particular Saturday, the animal’s young owner was there, crying as Dad hauled her beloved horse into the truck and we drove away. The horse did not represent the cycle of life. It was too young, and so was its owner! That was a day when it was harder to put on a happy face, you know?

This weekend Bob & I are headed to my brother-in-law’s funeral. He was 86. He led a good life. He was a believer who knew where he was headed when he left this earth. But, he had just had a knee replacement – just a week before – and he thought he had a lot of years left to enjoy the greater mobility that knee would give him. However, it is not our privilege to count our days!

Dying is, indeed, part of the cycle of life!

“Everyone who lives
and believes in me
will never die.
Do you believe this?”

— John 11:26

S’pose that horse and sweet little girl will be reunited in Heaven?

It’s the life cycle
Beloved animals die
Are they in Heaven?

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow –
God willing!

JanBeek

Embrace your Open Heart


No, not like open heart surgery!
It’s your open heart of love and compassion!
It’s an open heart, ready to listen and respond.

In Chapter 8 of Nehemiah,

“…all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

With open hearts, they “lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord.”

Do you listen eagerly with an expectant mind and heart? Do you listen with a mind that genuinely wants to know more? If so, you will hear the Lord speaking to you when you earnestly pray.

Photo by lucas souza on Pexels.com


Yesterday I was encouraged to listen – to engage “ears that really hear” – as I bowed in reverence to God while up in my sanctuary. I was feeling badly that no one from our Beekman family was scheduled to be in Oregon next Monday for Bob’s brother-in-law’s funeral. Bob’s sister, Bonnie, lost her husband, Stan, last week. Bonnie has three brothers. Two are in California and plan to go to Stan’s burial later this month. It is scheduled to occur in his hometown cemetery in southern CA. But, we are here in Montana … and were not planning to attend either event. We had lots of excuses. None of them seemed to be holding water!

God spoke loudly and clearly to me
as I opened my heart
to His message
in the daily devotional,
In Touch,
by Charles Stanley.

“So many things clamor for our focus,
but nothing is as important
as what the Lord has to say.
He is worthy of our undivided attention.”

“Open your heart,” God said to me.
“Nothing is more important in your life
next week than to be with Bonnie.”

So we will fly to Oregon on Sunday. We will be there to demonstrate our open hearts of love for Bob’s sister and her family. We will not live with “If Only” in our hearts.

It will be a short trip. We’ll return here for those other important obligations on Tuesday… but the Sunday/Monday things can wait. God said “THIS IS MY MESSAGE TO YOU.” And He said it loud and clear. “Open your hearts. Open your wallets. Reschedule what you planned to do here. Find ways to delegate. You’re not indispensable here. Schedule your plane, rental car, and hotel. BE THERE!”

So, dear WordPress friends, if you don’t see a post Sunday or Monday, you’ll know why. How many consecutive days I have posted is not a number that is worth worrying about. Opening our hearts to our loved one who has lost her spouse… that’s the focus!

They were with us when we celebrated Bob’s 80th two years ago.

“Rest assured that whoever listens to God’s Word
with an open heart and alert mind
will receive from Him.”

Charles Stanley

I love the Lord, for He heard my voice;
He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me,
I will call on Him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:1-2

If God can turn His ear to me
and respond with an open heart of love.
Who am I not to return the gesture?

Are you ready to
EMBRACE YOUR OPEN HEART, too?


I’m off to volunteer this afternoon at the medical center’s vaccination center.
Yay!

See ya tomorrow.

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