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.
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!
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!
That night we were treated to a phenomenal dinner. My choice was veal with mushroom sauce. Mmmmm! Thank you, De & Andrê.
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!
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.
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)
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.
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.”
As we venture out, the lovely scenes are amazing in every season here.
Scenes so lovely!
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!
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).
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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.”
“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?
“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.”
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?
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!
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
Filled with Conviction
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!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing) Hugs!
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
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
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.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing) Hugs!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
This — this 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.
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.
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.
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?
“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?
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?
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??