Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘Beauty’

A Bustling End


The last two days of our marvelous three week trip to Switzerland were a bustling, busy, blessed time. Our daughter, DeDe, and her hubby, André, treated us royally with a trip to Chamonix, France on Monday and then a tour of the Gruyère Cheese Factory in Gruyère, Switzerland on Tuesday.

Up, up, up and over!

That’s the Rhone River Valley below.
We were headed through Switzerland to France.
It was a surprise gift for us
plus De’s best buddy, Laina (our daughter#2),
and her daughter, Katy.

Wow!
Look at this chalet next to ours.
We stayed in one named “Soli.”
(That’s De’s hubby’s nickname)
Enjoy the views out of every window!

See the snow covered peaks up there? We took a cog train up to that glacier!!

After settling into our beautiful chalet,
we walked to the place where the cog train (tram)
took us up to the top of the high peaks
where the glacier is.
With climate change, it is melting fast!

Here are Laina, DeDe & Katy –
taking the tram up to the glacier
that you could see from that first window view.
Bob with Laina & Katy at the glacier.
Here’s a live view of that trip up in the tram to the glacier…

That night we were treated to a phenomenal dinner.
My choice was veal with mushroom sauce. Mmmmm!
Thank you, De & Andrê.

We’re so grateful for their love of us and one another
… and their generosity!

Tuesday morning we drove back
up and over the mountains into Switzerland
to another surprise destination:
the town of Gruyere.
Gruyere is our favorite cheese.
How fun to see the place where it is made!

Wow! Look at the gruyere cellar where the rounds are aging!
De is showing us how heavy a round of gruyere is!

Tuesday night we returned to De & Andre’s chalet in Vissoie.
We packed, and prepared to go to Geneva to fly home.
Wednesday was supposed to be a smooth set of flights home.
However, with the Queen’s Procession,
our flight to London was delayed,
so we missed our connecting flight from Denver
and had to spend the night there.
This morning we finally made the flight to Bozeman
where our kind neighbor, Gary, met us and drove us home.
It’s a gray, dull, cool day …
not like the warm, blue sky days of Switzerland.
We’re spoiled!
But our hearts are filled
with the beauty and warmth
of our fabulous trip.

The rolling hills and milk-producing cows of the Gruyere area.
Here’s the fun of cheese fondue
and having our grandson, Nick, join us.
Our 3 grandsons & their sweethearts
were with us for so many fun and delicious occasions.
What a joyous three weeks we had!
Goodbye, France and Switzerland… thanks for the memories!

Thanks so much for traveling with us.
Back to reality in Montana now.
(Not a bad place to return to –
just a little smokey and cool right now)

Our house is behind those trees.


God bless you, family & friends.
We love you. 😍😘

See ya tomorrow –
Hugs, JanBeek

(of course God is willing, Laina!!)

Fairytale Wedding


Have you missed me? We’ve had a whirlwind four days here in Switzerland. Each day from eye opening early mornings to collapsing in bed at night has been phenomenal. If you’ve been following me, you know it was the weekend of my oldest grandson’s wedding.

Let me take you to the church and two fairytale receptions. Sit back and enjoy!

The wedding was full of music, fun, smiles, tears, promises, family & friends. A choir sang, our daughter, De, and Chrissy (our youngest grandson) sang a duet with Nick ( the middle brother) accompanying on guitar. I even had a role by reading a message ( in English, thank God) that they prepared for me – a message if forever love and devotion. Then we all headed to the outdoor reception nearby where wine, hors d’oeuvres and music flowed. Mike played in his alpenhorn group.

Look carefully! I’m holding Mike’s hand. The group just played “Amazing Grace” and dedicated it to me!!!!

The second reception was a sit-down dinner after more wine, beer, and socializing in this gorgeous outdoor setting:

We woke this morning back in Vissoie. Ready to go on another adventure. See ya later! Thanks for sharing and visiting with me.

Love , JanBeek

Scenes So Lovely


Seeing the falls he named in honor of his queen, David Livingstone wrote in his journal, “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”

Waterfalls and all God’s natural beauty affect me the same way. This country of Switzerland is so full of those “scenes so lovely.”

Waterfalls and bridges in Switzerland amaze me!
Chalets with lovely flowers abound
This was on the way to Zinal yesterday
But De & André’s is the best!

As we venture out, the lovely scenes are amazing in every season here.

Tania at Hotel Weisshorn – photo by Mike Solioz – taken last autumn
Way back when … we climbed waaay up with DeDe.

Scenes so lovely!

Flowers are abundant in private gardens and public places.
André’s croûtes au fromage (potato or bread w cheese, etc.) is a Valaisan specialty. It’s a “scene so lovely” too!

André and De are so generous as they share their chalet, meals, transportation and their love with us and with De’s best buddy (our daughter #2 Laina) and her daughter Katy. What a grand reunion we had with them here yesterday!

Katy, Laina, me, Bob & DeDe

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Last night Mike & Tania joined us for a fun evening of raclette & karaoke. Chris & Nick and their girlfriends came, too. Ah, we are so blessed with this wonderful Swiss family!

Thanks for joining me and sharing these “Scenes so Lovely” today. Wish you were here in person! Come back tomorrow, okay? See ya then (God willing).

Hugs, JanBeek

Sweet Swiss Times


Our weekend began with a cloudy day in Sierre, Switzerland, but soon the sky cleared and the weekend was sunny and beautiful.

It was a beautiful fun-filled time with family and friends. Let me share some highlights with you. We’re having such sweet Swiss times! One highlight of our weekend was a choir festival in Véraz (near Sierre) where our daughter, DeDe, and grandson, Chris, sang with the Chippis choir.

Every day here in this beautiful country is full of the blessing of family and friends. Sweet catch-up time. I love sharing the fun with you.

Me with DeDe at the choir festival
Bob with DeDe

After the festival, we went to André’s brother’s fiancée’s place for a raclette evening. So nice to have catch-up time with Kad & Roger.

Meantime, our friends, Jim & Terry, took the bus from Vissoie up to Grimentz where they are enjoying a few days of hiking in those fabulous mountains. They’re sharing a few photos of their experiences. Have a look!

Wow! Great photo, Terry!
Terry, the hiker
Jim … the trooper
Hah! Listen to Terry’s description of their hike and Jim’s take on this!

Yes, the mountains are alive with the sounds of water and hikers and joy! Once upon a time, a dozen years ago, Bob & I took that hike. Now we are content to enjoy those high Alpine views through others’ cameras! Oh, and from the bus- of course.

Thank you for your responses to our posts. We love sharing our trip vicariously with you, dear friends. Wish you could be here in person.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)-

Love, JanBeek

Treasure the Journey


Life is a wonderful journey
Of ups and overs and downs
It’s filled with joy and sorrow
With more smiles (I pray) than frowns!

As I travel this road of life,
I weather the storms and bumps
I look for roses and buttercups
And try to jump over the humps

I look for butterflies and bees
And appreciate the beauty I see
I share the joy and the peace
That God daily gives to me.

Our WordPress friends
share their joy with us everyday.
For example:
Roth Poetry.com
posted about butterflies today.
He wrote:

“I just could not help myself today, when I saw these beautiful butterflies on my Zinnias. I kept shooting and shooting. and they stayed around flitting from flower to flower, poetry in motion! With my 200mm zoom, I was able to focus all the way in on them. These are some of the most beautiful butterflies I have seen!

Beauty flits lightly
from yellow to red buffet
Basking in sunshine

Check out Dwight’s gorgeous photos at:
https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/50171962/posts/4138042931

Life is a journey of beauty
Take time to allow it to sink in
Don’t let the ugliness and discord
Make your vision a stink-in!

There’s plenty of garbage out there
It’s not what God asks us to see
God says to focus on the beauty
There’s plenty of it in you and me!

Don’t let anyone tell you
You’re not up for this journey!

You might have to take a few pit stops,
you might get a flat tire here and there,
you might go through a few thunderstorms,
but through all your experiences,
fruit is being built.
You are becoming stronger,
and your faith and reliance
on God is growing.

I hope when you click on this link,
you can hear this wonderful song
by Jake Owen.

Laugh a lot and keep it light
Let sorrow just roll off your back
Turn a blind eye to the ugly sites
And give the love that others lack

“And no matter what dreams you’re chasing,
Never get above your raising.
May the simple things be amazing
On the journey of your life.”

Treasure the journey!

“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”

Proverbs 3:5–6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
and do not rely on your own understanding. 
Acknowledge him in all your ways, 
and he will make your paths straight.”

Years ago I wrote a poem that was published in the International Library of Poetry annual publication. The title of the book in 2002 was “Chasing Revelation.” My poem was titled, “Have Faith and Step Out.” You can find it here: https://janbeek.blog/2020/01/02/have-faith-and-step-out/ It is as poignant in my life today as it was 20 years ago… maybe more so. How about you? Does it apply? Are you up for the next step of your journey?

Step Out!
And Treasure The Journey!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Fearfully/Wonderfully Made


Photo by Paul Seling on Pexels.com

In the book of Psalms,
David writes in chapter 139 verses 13 and 14:

“for it was You who created my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You because
I have been fearfully and wonderfully made”.

What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made?

Fearfully
when translated from the Hebrew means
with great reverence,
heart-felt interest,
and
with respect.

Wonderfully
when translated from the Hebrew
means
unique
and
set apart.

Do you know you are
unique and set apart?
Do you feel the enormous amount of

reverence,
heart,
and
respect
that went into your making?

Or do you relate to this meme?

My body no longer looks like this:

Photo by Loe Moshkovska on Pexels.com

Okay, OK, ok, I hear you…
I never did look quite like that!!

BUT,
read more of that scripture in Psalm 139:

Psalm 139:13-16

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

And realize/internalize this message”

Genesis 1:26-27

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

When we badmouth our bodies, we are insulting God, don’t you think?

Last week when our Presbyterian Women met, the Bible lesson we studied was the story of Bathsheba. It pointed out the secular take on who Bathsheba was may be flawed. Instead of a gorgeous seductress, she may have been the victim. Hollywood’s version of her is the perfectly gorgeous Rita Hayward.

Is that how you see Bathsheba?

The artists who have painted her have a different version:

I much prefer this one! A little bit of a double chin, a poochy stomach, and hefty thighs. Yes, I can relate! Now don’t you think she was fearfully and wonderfully made?

We’re all different in our body type – and yet God says we all are beautiful, lovable, and created in His image. Do you believe that about yourself? Even if you’re not perfect?

Matthew 22:37-39

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Did you hear that?
“… as yourself.”

Yes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Accept God’s love.
Love yourself …
and then
You can love others!

Don’t let you body stiffen,
and don’t let your mind stiffen either!

There are bodies of all shapes and sizes –
All are made in God’s image –
All are fearfully and wonderfully made!

And – hey guys,
You don’t have to have a six-pack
to be considered handsome!

Those old Charles Atlas ads
are outdated –
and those muscles
don’t make the man!

That guy on the left is my Bob
at the time we met – – –
and his brother, Bill, on the right.
They don’t look like that today,
but they still are fearfully and wonderfully made –
and their bodies have lasted into their mid-80’s!

Hah! Here’s Bob celebrating his 80th a few years ago with his younger brother, Bruce, and his brother-in-law, Stan. When asked, “What makes the man?”

Bob answered, “Character! A man who says what he’ll do and does what he says. A man of his word.”

Being fearfully and wonderfully made
in the image of God means
you are made a hero
because you are made
with the characteristics of heroism.

12 Characteristics of Heroism

  • Brave
  • Filled with Conviction
  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Helpful
  • Honest
  • Inspirational
  • Exhibiting Moral integrity

And that’s not just for you guys out there.
Those are the qualities of a woman made in God’s image, too!

Add faithful to that list…
It’s a part of honesty
and being inspirational
and moral integrity.

It’s faith that gives you that character Bob was talking about!

May God bless you today –
Your mind and your body –
Know for sure, my friends,
you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Believe it!!

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

Love from Bob & Jan

Dressed for Success


Dressing for success
Means a lot of things to me
It’s more than clothing

Dressing for success
Means emerging peacefully
Clothed in righteousness

This lovely woman
Is dressed for certain success
Only needs a smile

Put on compassion
Don the right mood for your heart
Wear love on your sleeve

Photo by Nina Uhlu00edkovu00e1 on Pexels.com

Put on your hope-pack
Wiggle into shoes of strength
Cinch the belt of truth

Wear armor of grace
And the bonnet of bounty
Trash the coat of wrath

Burn the clodhoppers
Of worry and of anger
Just dress for success

Well, they ARE beautiful as they wear…
But it’s not the clothing of cloth that counts!

Ephesians 6:14-15
New International Version

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of peace.

Eight things to add to that list:
1. I have my health.
2. I have love.
3. I have faith.
4. I have trust in God who hears and answers prayers.
5. I have friends who faithfully join me in prayer.
6. My daughter-in-law, Monika had her gall bladder successfully removed and she is at home recuperating… dressed for comfort.
7. Her feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of faith.
8. I am blessed.

I am dressed for success.

Are you?

Here’s my bonnet of bounty!

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

Live Boldly!


Bloganuary #11 asked us this question:
“WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE BOLDLY?”
I called it #10 accidentally when I posted it tonight.
It’s really for tomorrow’s prompt…
But hey, part of living boldly is getting ahead of yourself, right?

Here it is… It’ll be the 11th before you read it no doubt.
https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/2022/01/10/live-boldly/

I borrowed this photo from the Bloganuary picture file.
Gotta find out who this beautiful bold blogger is!
If you know, please tell me!

Isn’t she a bold one, Mr. Grinch?

See ya tomorrow. Sleep tight…
… and pray that my miserable coughing stops
so I can get some sleep!

Love ya,
JanBeek

P.S. Did you click on that link and see how I answered the question?
How would YOU answer it?

Special Friends Make Life Special


Back in April of 21012, when I first started blogging, I posted this…
Today I was looking at old posts, trying to find photos I can erase to make room for the new.
I noticed that back in those days, I had few (if any) followers.
This post had zero likes… probably zero views… but it is still there – and…
It is worthy of a second look. I know that beautiful (inside and out) friend…
I have met other friends like her since then.

Today I posted “Embrace Blogging Friends,” and you, my dear reader, are one.
You are the faithful reader who has encourages me, nearly ten years later, to keep on.
You make like special. You are special. Thank you for loving me here at WP.
Thank you for encouraging me,
Thank you for being you.

Click on that title now… it deserves a couple of reads, I think!

https://janbeek.blog/2012/04/17/special-friends-make-life-special/

Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Love


Today’s topic was chosen before I read Caralyn’s post today.
After seeing what she shared yesterday,
I decided I cannot say anything on this topic
that would be more meaningful
than what she wrote.
So, I am reposting her message for you here.

It can be found in its entirety at
https://beautybeyondbones.com/2021/08/26/love-is-not-a-rescue-mission/#comment-148217
THANK YOU, CARALYN

Love Sets You Free

Posted on by beautybeyondbones

One of the most special things in my life, is the fact that my best friend since literally birth, is my neighbor in NYC.

Truly. Neighbors. Our buildings are 157 steps apart, and I couldn’t be luckier to have my true blue — someone who has been with me through thick and thin, the most supportive, loving friend right there — it is one of my life’s greatest blessings.

Anywho – I was over at her apartment last weekend for a movie night. We ordered Chinese food, drank wine, it was truly like we were a scene out of Friends.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

We watched The Last Five Years. A very obscure movie musical that, truly, only the “buffiest” of musical theater buffs know about.

But anyway — there was a line in the movie that literally made me stop and say…WOW.

Has that ever happened to you? Like something is just such a truth bomb that it literally stops you in your tracks?

Before I get to the big one liner, a little background about the movie: it’s about a couple’s marriage that falls apart. How uplifting, right?

But it’s scenes from when they first met, all the way through when the man leaves her, told in an alternating fashion from their different perspectives, him: starting from beginning to the end, her: from the end to the beginning….if that makes any sense at all.

But there was a line in his note to her, telling her that he was leaving…and he said, “I could never rescue you.”

And, I mean – wow, not only did that hit like a sack of bricks to the heart, but when I heard, I immediately thought – truer words have never been spoken.

Thisthis is exactly why I was single for so dang long. This is exactly why only now, have I embraced and welcomed love into my life: because I was not in a whole state, where I could bring someone into my life.

I was not yet at a place where I could welcome someone into my life as a woman who loved herself, had forgiven herself from the anorexia in her past, and freed herself from that shame.

And now — sitting here in an amazing relationship with an incredible man, I can easily say that the most beautiful thing in life, is to love and be loved in return. For so long, I feared doing just that, keeping people at arms length, not opening my heart, because I believed that my past made me unworthy of love. But friends, that is the biggest lie and bunch of malarkey that was keeping me from living fully alive. And though that makes me so sad to think about the abundant life I missed out on, I know that God was in control all along, and allowing things to unfold and bloom in the perfect timing.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

Recovery is a long and winding road, and long after you put the weight on, you still wrestle with that inner voice shouting that you’re you’re not enough, you’re too broken, you’re unlovable and full of shame. I thank God everyday for drowning out those lies with His truth. Because that is the only way I fully healed: Him.
.
The fact is: no one can rescue you. No one can love you enough to get better. No one can do it for you, or want it for you: You have have rescue yourself. Or rather — you and Jesus – together – have to rescue yourself. But you can’t expect your partner to save you: that’s not fair to them, not fair to you. And that’s why it took me so long to get to the beautiful place I’m in today: because I had to do the work. I had to go through that long, arduous, and difficult process of believing that I was worth loving.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

And the crazy thing is: it turns out that LOVE reaffirms all the healing truths God was whispering to me all along: truths that I was precious in His sight, that I was forgiven, that my life has value, but more than that: I was loved beyond my wildest dreams.

Love is truly the last step to a full recovery. It is the key that unlocks the freedom to live fully alive — the life of abundance that God created us for.

And it makes sense too, because God is love. And His love sets us free.

And, now – living in that freedom, I can safely say it is the most beautiful thing in the world. And dare I say, what we were created for.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

So — The Last Five Years — just goes to show that God can speak to you even in the most obscure ways: reminding us of His love, and the beautiful journey He’s brought us through, and helped us overcome.

Maybe this is super cheesy, and yeah, it probably is. 😉 But reflecting on all this, just makes me feel super grateful for this man who makes my heart feel safe, seen and loved. I might not need rescuing, but it is a beautiful thing to have a partner who loves and supports you just the way you are.

What’s a movie quote or song lyric that has stuck with you?

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

So, since Caralyn has reminded us that
“Life is vulnerability,”
and
Love is truly the last step to a full recovery,”
help me embrace these bruises
and love the changing colors, ok??
Love your troubles away!
Are they on their way to full recovery?

EMBRACE LOVE

Believe it or not,
it is getting better!

I dressed in yellow
to match the yellow hew
of the bruises yesterday
(I’ve always loved the cheerfulness of yellow)
and
by this morning,
the yellow is accentuated…
maybe chartreuse
is the color for this
beautiful, sunny, blue-sky
Saturday.
ADD A LITTLE GREEN AND BLUE TO THE YELLOW.

Don’t you love it?

Now, there’s a face only a mother could love!

Caralyn wrote, “it is a beautiful thing to have a partner who loves and supports you just the way you are.”

And I couldn’t agree more. I am certainly grateful for my partner of nearly 60 years who told me I was looking better this morning! Oh my… better than what? Love me just the way I am??

I LOVE YOUR VISIT
AND YOUR COMMENTS.

Thanks for sharing some loving thoughts.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Hugs,
JanBeek

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