Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘Birds’

Slow Down!


A beautiful, bright yellow, little bird found its demise this morning. Flying too fast, confused by reflections in our large kitchen window, it crashed into it. Sometimes birds who do that are just stunned, After lying on the ground a while, they get up and fly away. This one was not so fortunate.

There is a bird that looks just like this one
that is flying from tree to tree outside the kitchen window.
Obviously, it is looking for its buddy.
My heart goes out to the poor, lonesome one.

I am reminded as I see this little beauty of the lesson to be learned here:
SLOW DOWN
and
LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING!

If you’ve followed my blog this past month, you know I didn’t do that! I was walking too fast – and I was not watching where I was going. I caught my right shoe on the top of the (higher than normal) curb, and down I went! Fortunately, I caught the weight of my fall on my left pinky finger. Not my head or hip. Not my right hand. Not my face. It could have been so much worse. I have lots to be thankful for. But the message is clear. SLOW DOWN!

Photo by Song kaiyue on Pexels.com
Isaiah 40:31

But they who wait for the Lord 
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

But, if you run, make it be in a safe place to do so… and keep your eyes on the road ahead. And when you walk, be purposeful. Look ahead. Be alert. When you wait, wait patiently. Pray for guidance. Listen. Be discerning. Be obedient.

I’ve got time for slow dances in the kitchen now. The Lord said, “Rest. Ice that hand! Exercise those fingers. Go to your occupational therapy sessions, and skip all those other obligations for now. Wait!”

OK, Lord. I am listening.

Are you listening, my friend?

Slow down! And have a safe, sane, and happy Tuesday.

That picture is a reminder of another time a year or so ago
when I was walking too fast and not looking where I was going.

Oh my… not a very fast learner, am I??
S’pose I got the message this time?

Have you??

See ya later –
Love,
JanBeek

Looking forward to a healed, useful hand again!

Here’s a wonderful song (I had not heard it before) about that message of slowing down… so true!

Giving Your All


Mark 12:41-44

And he sat down opposite the treasury
and watched the people putting money into the offering box.
Many rich people put in large sums.
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins,
which make a penny.
And he called his disciples to him
and said to them,
“Truly, I say to you,
this poor widow has put in more
than all those who are contributing to the offering box.
For they all contributed out of their abundance,
but she out of her poverty
has put in everything she had,
all she had to live on.”

Our dear neighbor, Scott, came by today.
He brought his shovel and gave us his all!
All the energy he had stored up he poured out!

Our front porch was buried in snow.
Our TazE’s exit from the kitchen door was blocked
with over a foot of snow.
The sidewalk approaching our house
was covered with over 2 feet of snow
that the wind had blown as a drift yesterday.

When Scott left, the porch and entry were cleared.
The sidewalk is passable, so UPS and FedEx
can deliver the package we are expecting today.
And TazE was able to go out
and do her business.
Hooray!

The robins who were hovering
under the patio chairs yesterday
are dancing in the trees today.
The sun is out – melting the snow
that had clung to the branches.

Happy Holy Week, my friends.
Scott gave us his all!
He was exhausted when he finished.
God bless him!

Jesus gave His all!
How much energy – how many coins –
are we willing to give?

I send my love to you, my friends.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!
See ya tomorrow … Maundy Thursday…
Hugs, JanBeek

Montana Springtime


Montana Springtime
Blowy snowy mighty cold
Poor little robins

Finding protection
Under patio lawn chair
Smart little birdies

Robin copycat
Decided to follow suit
Safe under the stool

God help the lone dove
Perched on a branch shivering
Where’s your nest, loved one?

Montana springtime
You tried to arrive last week
Whoops! A false alarm!!

Meantime, snuggle up!
Stay warm!


Send us some sunshine, will you?
I’m committed to staying positive…
and finding a way to stay warm
just like those robins.
You, too?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Equipped!


Photo by sergio omassi on Pexels.com

Ephesians 2:10 (a & b)

“For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.”

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

As often happens to me,
I read the first devotional
this morning in Daily Guideposts,
and I was inspired to choose
the word for my blog today.
EQUIPPED!

Then when I opened
the next devotional,
“All God’s Creatures,”
the March/April
Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers,
and the word “equipped”
showed up twice on that page.

What are the chances, you ask?
Pretty good batting average, I’d say.
There it was again:

Ephesians 2:10 (a)

“For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus
for good works.”

The story in “All God’s Creatures” was about a woodpecker who was “beautifully equipped for his unique purpose in life…” as he aggravated the writer with his incessant tapping on the tree trunk outside his window.

The writer, Terry Clifton, mused that he, too, is “a result of God’s handiwork – equipped with talents and skills that have meaning and purpose for [his] life.”

What has God equipped you with?
What unique gifts and talents do you possess
that allow you to let God’s workmanship
shine through you to fulfill His purpose in your life?

On the Daily Guideposts’ page for today
Jerusha Agen wrote,
“All I have to do is walk with God
through each day,
confident He will provide
all I need to accomplish His work.”

Heart made of sand

It all sounds so theoretical, doesn’t it?
About as solid as that sand in the hand.
But, what scripture is telling us
is that our hearts are not made to be solid.

We are not expected to look at tasks
from our earthly perspective.
Tasks are formed for us beforehand
by our Maker in Heaven.

Don’t eliminate the second part
of the Ephesians 2:10 scripture:
“…which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.”

Photo by Werlley Meira on Pexels.com

Like a skilled woodworker
Who sees the image inside the log,
God chiseled our lives and purposes
Before the world saw us.

The tasks placed before us
Are designed with us in mind.
Look at them with Jesus glasses
And see their infinite possibilities.

Do not be overwhelmed
by the world’s naysayers.
Walk with God through each day
Confident you are equipped.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand.
He directs your path – and hears you.
He sees your needs and equips you.
Rely on Him – and step out in faith!

What tasks are you equipped to accomplish today?
“If you see someone falling behind, walk beside them.”

Let love pour from your heart
like sand from your hand.

I’m off for a walk in faith.
Join TazE & me?


See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love to you,
JanBeek

Only in Snowy Places?


Today’s blog is inspired by a conversation I had this morning with Ruthie, my son’s mother-in-law.

Photo by Matu Bil on Pexels.com

Up pops the crocus leaves
Tiny sprouts of green
Signaling winter’s end –
A very welcomed scene.

Only in snowy places
Do crocus flowers grow.
What makes that a fact?
I’d really like to know.

So I checked it out
With a quick click or two
And learned about this flower.
Does its beauty attract you, too?

In her article about gardening, Marie Iannotti wrote the following about crocuses: “Growing from bulb-like structures called corms, crocuses are low-growing perennial plants from the iris (Iridaceae) family. In many regions, crocus flowers (Crocus spp.) mark the arrival of spring. These early bloomers can often be seen peeking up through the snow well before any other flowers appear on the landscape. They grow in a range of conditions, including woodlands, coastal gardens, and suburban lawns. Bloom colors on the tube-shaped flowers include mauve, lavender, and yellow. …”

The crocus in our yard are this gorgeous color of lavender. I wasn’t aware that they also come in mauve and yellow, are you?

My daughter-in-law’s mom, Ruthie, grew up in Switzerland and has lived her adult life in southern California. Speaking with her this morning, telling her about the crocus that are popping up in our yard, she said, “I haven’t seen a crocus since I was a child in Switzerland. They only grow where there’s snow.”

That got me thinking and wondering … and as you read above, they actually grow in a range of conditions. I intend to send her a few “corms” as an Easter gift next week – and I will be very curious to see if they will grow in her yard. She lives not too far from Los Angeles … certainly a place where snow is not expected! But, Marie Iannotti included “suburban lawns” as a place they grow, so we’ll see.

Not quite the same as her Swiss mountainside, huh?

What are some things
that you might expect to see
only in snowy places?

Let’s find a few images
that come to mind:

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com
Snowdrops

I love snowdrops. We don’t have any of these in our yard. Gotta remedy that!!

I did a little research on these flowers too, and learned this from Longfield Gardens’ site: “Like other spring-blooming bulbs, snowdrops use their foliage to generate energy for next year’s flowers. Resist the temptation to cut back the leaves or mow them down while they are still green. Within a couple weeks, the foliage will yellow and melt away on its own.

When snowdrops are growing in a location that suits them, the bulbs will multiply and can eventually carpet a large area. The bulbs don’t mind being crowded and rarely need dividing. If you want to move some bulbs to a new area or share them with friends, dig and divide them in early spring, right after flowering and before the foliage begins to yellow. Handle them carefully so the foliage stays attached to the bulbs, and get them back into the ground as quickly as possible.

You may find it takes a couple years to establish large clumps of snowdrops, but once the bulbs have naturalized, you will have flowers every spring for generations to come.”

What springtime flower inspires you?

I hope your home is blessed with a colorful,
sweet smelling, beautiful gift of flowers today.

If I could send you a few “corms”
as an Easter gift, I would!

Bee well!
I send you my love and hugs this day.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.


See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Gray


Embrace gray?
No way!!
I hate gray!

Especially humid, sultry, gray days.
Smokey days that sting my eyes,
assail my nostrils,
and remind me
of the forest fires in the area.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

People’s homes are in danger.
Firefighters’ lives are at risk.
The habitats of birds and deer,
chipmunks and moose,
squirrels and rabbits
are being devoured.

The smoke blows in.
The sun is hidden.
Gray engulfs our valley.
I hate gray!

And yet, as I sit here
looking out at the gray,
praying for rain
to douse the fires
and chase the smoke away,
I hear the birds chirping in the trees.



They see the same gray sky,
smell the same smoke,
feel the same humid, sultry air,
and yet – they sing!
They dance in the leaves.
They fly free –
knowing a rainbow
sits beyond the gray.

Photo by Paweu0142 Fijau0142kowski on Pexels.com

So, rather than hating gray,
God is challenging me to
see gray in a new way.

See the light.
See gray as silver!

When my hair first started turning gray,
I dyed it – trying to keep
the deep brown color of my youth.
But God spoke to me:

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor,
it is attained by a righteous life.”

Proverbs 16:31
Embrace Gray!

Hello gray!
Hello silver!

I can sing your praises
just as the birds
continue to sing
on this gray day.

It’s all a matter of perspective, right?
Not everyone lives long enough
to earn their “crown of splendor.”

Silver brings wisdom.
It signifies the blessing of longevity.

How can you hate gray?
Embrace it and
thank God for that crown!!

How do you feel about gray?

See you tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Gladness


What has made you glad today?
Are you thanking God for this day?

I will reJOYce for He has made me glad.
This is such a beautiful spring day –
The weather is a gift from God
and
My dear husband, Bob, has our yard
Looking like a very inviting park.

Come sit awhile with me.
Enjoy the birds singing.
Enjoy the sunshine.
Let the peacefulness
of the mountain vistas
Make you glad!

Our robins are such a treat.
They make me glad!

Let your heart sing with the music of the birds!
So beautiful!

I had a yellow chested blackbird singing to me this morning-
-and while up in my sanctuary, a pair of doves
landed on the garage roof
and sang their hearts out.

(Thank God
it wasn’t those
“common cranes”
or the “snipe”
or the “corn crepe.”
Those would have driven me crazy!

(If you glide your cursor over the red line on the video,
it will tell you what kind of bird you are listening to.

The European turtle dove sounds like those we have here.
They make me glad!

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Our friend, Jim, took a break
from his yard work today
and came to visit for awhile.

Friends who drop by to visit
make my heart glad!

Tomorrow I get to spend time with his wife,
my good friend, Terry.
We’ll share a lunch and catch up on life.
Sharing life with friends makes me glad!

This blanket’s a gift from Terry.
Seeing it, wrapping myself up in it,
that makes me glad!

“Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before His presence with singing.”

Psalm 100:2

What makes you glad?

Share with me…
Your comments make me glad!


EMBRACE GLADNESS!

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek!

Embrace Uniqueness


Aren’t you totally amazed at how
The Creator made us each so unique?
No two fingerprints, no two zebra’s stripes
Are the same – – – just take a peek!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

No two sets of eyes, not even twins
Have exactly the same DNA.
No two cats – and no two dogs
Are just the same – no matter what you say.

Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

No two leaves – nor clouds in the sky
Are just like any other one.
How did God create such uniqueness
In this world beneath the sun?

Photo by Vali S. on Pexels.com

No two ways of looking
At exactly the same motivation
will result in the same response –
Some see sadness others elation.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

It is our uniqueness that makes us
An interesting, diverse, beautiful world.
We fly our flags in different colors,
But in reality we’re all one world unfurled.

Photo by Shakeb Tawheed on Pexels.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s embrace our uniqueness
And celebrate how we see things differently
While remembering we are more alike
Than not… and we’re all designed magnificently!

Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

I am grateful for the unique qualities
Of each bird and fish and friend –
And I thank God for His imagination –
For His Creation – that has no end.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

There’s no one on earth like me;
No one in the whole world like you,
So embrace your uniqueness, my friend…
Share with others your point of view.

No one sees life quite like you do.
No one can paint or write as you do.
Let your expression of life splash out of you
And help others see the world anew.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart,
yet so that he cannot find out
what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Just as no pot created on the potter’s wheel
Ends up looking just like another pot,
And yet each is beautiful in its own way,
So each of us beautiful – no one is not!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Something beautiful, something good –
All my confusion He understood.
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,
But He made something beautiful of my life.

Give your brokenness and strife to God.
Let Him make something beautiful in you.
Then share it – as only you can do –
So others can appreciate their uniqueness, too.

Use your unique qualities to make the world a better place.
Don’t judge others or turn them away because they’re different.
Embrace them. Love them. Appreciate the way they add color to your world.
Know God designed each of us intentionally … be reverent!

I love you, my friend.
Thank you for adding your uniqueness to my world.
See ya tomorrow.

Hugs,
JanBeek

(& Bob – my unique hubby)

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).

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