Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Blog’

Meaningful Memories


Welcome to Day #13
of my A-Z series,

How to
Add Greater Meaning
and Find More Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter is “M”
The topic: Meaningful Memories


My Memories Haiku

All have memories
Some more vivid than others
We’d like some to fade

person uses pen on book

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

But, not really…
Even painful memories serve a purpose.
As we reflect on them years later, we uncover truths –
Truths about ourselves we may not have realized at the time.
That’s what makes them meaningful!

As a writer who loves to write poetry, and someone who is exploring the significance of memories for adding meaning to our lives, I was fascinated by this

Interview with Poet kjmunro

by Frank J. Tassone

Question #3 was, “Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?”

Poet Kjmunro responded, “Sometimes I wish that I could be more comfortable in a crowd – but that may have more to do with being an introvert than being a poet. Writing poetry helps me to make sense of my life & my experiences, & because of it I have pushed my boundaries, accepted challenges, & pursued opportunities that have enriched my life… I can’t imagine my life without it.”

(You can click on the interview title above and see more of this meaningful post.)

woman holding blue shakspere book over face

Photo by JJ Jordan on Pexels.com

 

Likewise, I cannot imagine my life without the gift of writing – both poetry and prose. I enjoy writing poetry. I love reading it. I treasure the opportunity to share it.  Writing is a way to keep memories alive. It is a way to make sense of my life and my experiences. It is a way to express gratitude, to plan ahead, and to reflect. It is a way to push boundaries and accept challenges.

Yesterday in our Writers’ Group, the writing prompt was, “Tell Us About Someone You Used to Love.” The prompt brought to mind some very vivid, meaningful memories. Let me share my story with you:

Someone I Used to Love

I need to get up and face the student body on this October Spring Rally Day. But, I don’t want to.

I have made it as far as the front steps of the historic, brick Turlock Union High School before sitting down and letting the tears fall.

The sun is bright. Because it’s school spirit day, I have on one blue and one gold sock. My black and white saddle shoes are tucked beneath my poodle skirt with layers of crinoline fluffing around me. The blue and gold pom-poms lie motionless beside me. I look for the usual friends. No one approaches. They must all be inside already. Loneliness rings as the bell sounds the warning: first period will begin in ten minutes

What is it that has created such reluctance and dread in my soul?

About a week ago, my tall, athletic ex-boyfriend approached me in the hallway. “You know you don’t have any friends. The only reason people say Hi to you is because you say Hi to them first. If you didn’t, no one would talk to you.”

Oh my! Could it be true? Why was Richard telling me this? I used to love him. We used to have great fun together. Mutt and Jeff, they called us. Just because I broke up with him and am now dating soeone my own size, does that mean this 6’4″ basketball star should suddenly start bullying me?

Back in the 50’s I don’t think I knew the term “bullying.” I didn’t realize that’s what Richard was doing. His words cut deeply.

I decided to test out his hypothesis. I stopped cheerfully greeting everyone I saw with a “Hi!” Instead, I looked at them, waiting to hear their greeting first.

Richard was right! Most kids just looked quizically in my direction and walked past – or worse yet – they didn’t look at me at all. I felt like I must have forgotten my deodorant that day!

Now I’m feeling alone and abandoned on the front steps. I have ten minutes to get to class. With a deep sigh, I get up, take a deep breath, pick up my pom-poms, and head inside. My buddy, Phil, voted “Best Dressed Guy” in the senior class, walked up to me when I entered the building. I glance in his direction.

“What’s wrong with you lately?” he asked. “You’re being so stuck up!”

I told him what Richard had said.

“Oh, for cryin’ out loud,” he reprimanded, taking me by the shoulders.

I looked up into his caring blue eyes with tears in mine. “But Richard…” I sobbed, “he said…” I couldn’t go on.

Phil wrapped me tightly in his arms right there in the middle of Turlock High’s crowded hallway. Backing up a bit, he put his hands on my shoulders again. He leaned down and whispered, “He’s just jealous – and hurt. A big basketball star can’t stand it that his girl left him for a 5’3″ Stumper. He’s just trying to hurt you back. You just be the girl you always were. Don’t let anyone take away your perkiness.”

I used to love Richard. Now I just feel sorry for him. I saw him coming toward me as I headed for class.

“Hi!” I perked in his direction and walked on – shoulders squared – head held high.

***

Reliving these vivid memories more than sixty years later, I realize how impactful Richard’s words and Phil’s encouragement were. It was an important growing up experience. I haven’t let anyone take away my perkiness since then.

Meaningful memories stay with us – and change us – forever.
Thank you, Phil, and Richard!

***

Do you have a meaningful memory?
One that helps you make sense of your life and experiences?

Are You Stuck?


Is my blog stuck?

Is writing on the same topic,
“Adding Meaning to Life,”
everyday related to being in a rut?

red car on muddy road near trees

Photo by ahmad syahrir on Pexels.com

At my request, professional blogger of excellence,
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai,
gave me ten tips on how to improve my blog.
One of them was,

“… choose one day of the week
to write some weekly type of blog
that [your] ideal reader would love.”

Before making that suggestion, he asked me to define my “ideal reader.” You, my blogging friend, or my daughter, or my creative, encouraging friend, you are it!

1390553f-787d-4807-b92b-df0906206227
That’s DeDe, my dear daughter

You know I often use Sundays to post my sermon notes. You know I listen intently to capture what the minister is saying to me, and I record my notes in poetry.

It’s not a stretch to call this my “different weekly type of blog.” I hope you look forward each Sunday to seeing/hearing what the message was in church this morning. Here is today’s:

Rev. Jean Johnson, Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

Ennis, MT, April 28, 2019, John 20:19-31

STUCK?

The disciples were stuck

In the same room as they

Were a week ago when

It was a glorious Easter Day.

.

Why were they still there?

What difference did Christ make?

What difference has his death

Made for your life’s sake?

.

Has His resurrection made

A difference in your days?

Or are you, like the disciples,

Stuck in your usual ways?

.

I should be doing better –

Living more authentically today.

I should be listening carefully

Like the disciples on their Emmaus way.

.

But changing old patterns

Is a process that takes time.

Is staying behind locked doors

A cowardly, unacceptable crime?

.

I wanted to wake up today

To a whole new world of joy.

But the news today was the same old

Sad, violent acts, and hates that destroy.

.

Change is well overdue.

I want to see instant relief,

But the hatred in this world

Tends to shake my firm belief.

.

The empty tomb tells me

That the risen Christ is here.

He’s working with you and me

To change our doubts to cheer.

.

Where you are is your

Starting place where you are.

It’s the place Christ comes

And lets you out to follow His star.

.

Have faith to see

Christ is risen;

He’s unstuck.

So should we be!

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We cannot be stuck in this place of 
violence, synagogue shootings, and
a world of intolerance, prejudice,
wars, and hunger. Listen to the pleads
of the Rabbi who spoke to us today.
Don’t let this dark period hide the light.
Go out and BE THE LIGHT!!

Happy 7th Anniversary


I received this notice today:

img_6733-e1555470462888.png

 

Seven is my magic number!

It’s God’s number for “completeness.” On the 7th day he rested.

Seven is our house number.

Seven is the number of grandchildren I have.

Seven is my birthday month.

Our phone number ends in a 77.

So does our PO Box number.

Our current house is the 7th dwelling
my husband and I have shared in our 57 years of marriage!

IMG_1491

But, my friends, 7 is not my number for completeness. It’s the number that causes me to look  in amazement  at all this synchronicity – and realize, “This is good!”

But, I am nowhere near complete – and neither is this JanBeek blog!  This is good – and it’s fun, but it’s not great yet!

I’m a work in progress, ending my 7th decade on earth … and ready to enter new challenges, new learning, new sharing. Growing in knowledge and grace. Striving to blog with intention and purpose – to make a positive difference for my faithfilled blogging friends.

I look forward to making new friends and keeping in touch with those who’ve hung in there with me. Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. Please try to check in with me daily and see what’s new – and leave me some encouragement, too!

I will continue to share what I am passionate about as I enter this 8th year of blogging.

As I approach my 8th decade on this earth, I share the love, joy and peace that are mine through faith. I express my gratitude. I seek help with expressions of patience, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I share ways life is a blessing and ways I have learned to manage the challenges life tosses at us. I write about things I care about (like today’s fire at Notre Dame). Sometimes I write just to entertain. Every now and then I just wanna make you laugh (like Jesus is Walkin’ on Water Again).

I hope my sharing helps and inspires and encourages my followers.

I’m hangin’ in there, and I hope you do, too!

Send seven of your friends this way., will you?
Let’s grow together!

thankyou_clip1

Beautiful People


Beautiful People

 

Beautiful people
From a Grateful Heart

Today I am reflecting on the beautiful people in my life. I am thanking God for those loving, sincere, caring, sharing people He has put into my path. I could fill this page with their names and pictures! But, I won’t.

I will put their faces up to God and ask Him to BEE with each one of them. Give them health and strength and guard their paths. He knows each of their needs better than I do!

Your Beautiful Friends

Who are those beautiful people God has put into your life? Take a minute to bring each of their faces up to the Lord, and thank Him. What a gift they are!

Your Presence in my On-line Life

I do not take for granted YOU… You beautiful people who take the time to read and to respond to my daily on-line life. I’m on the 182nd consecutive day of making this place a part of my daily routine. I like starting my morning with an inspirational thought that I can share with you.

Although I am not “all about numbers” – and the stats are not what guide me, I am grateful for each of the 450+ people who pressed “Follow” on JanBeek – and especially for those of you who take time to leave a comment. It helps me know I am not just blowin’ in the wind!

block blow blur child

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Visiting and Being Inspired by Others

I enjoy seeing what you have created, too. Some of us do not have the kind of blog that will attract thousands (what would we do to monitor that anyway?), but we know the folks who do visit us regularly are people who care. You are like-minded people who also have “Inspire Others to Live a Better, more Loving Life” as one of your goals.

You do inspire me to keep sharing sincere love, to keep on caring, and to keep on encouraging. You are a blessing!

Thank you!

Bring Love to Tasks


Mountains to climb
Carrying mountains sounds like quite a task!

What are tasks?
Are they unwanted work?
Ask yourself, are all tasks unwanted?

Do we sometimes make tasks out of what could be a pleasant job?

Are some “tasks” welcomed activities?
What makes the difference?
What are tasks?

agriculture backyard blur close up

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Ponder

As I ponder the questions above, I realize my bias! Yes, I think “tasks” are unwanted work. Jobs like cleaning toilets, balancing my checkbook, and weeding are not pleasant activities for me.

For some folks those activities might be joyful, or at least more pleasant than other chores. My mother-in-law used to love being out in her garden on her hands and knees weeding. She had a faulty heart valve replaced with a pig valve. She said that’s why she loved to “root” in her garden. She didn’t need to put it on her To-Do List. She did it as a hobby!

pen calendar to do checklist

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Procrastination Festers

I think I DO make a task out of somethings that could be pleasant. Seldom do I put on my “To-Do List” jobs like “Clean my office” or “Take the garbage to the dump.” Unattended tasks fester and mildew and become the Mountains we Carry instead of just climbing them!

I make the task of doing the dinner dishes more difficult when I  procrastinate and put it off after dinner. I think, “I’m too tired right now. I’ll do them in the morning.” If I had gone to the sink to do them right away, my husband might have joined me and as he washed and I dried, we might have had a very pleasant conversation and they would have been done in half the time it took me to do them the next morning after the food had crusted on the pots and pans! How can I make doing the dishes a hobby? Cooking is!

What makes the difference
between a task (work/job) and a pleasant activity?

  • timing
  • attitude
  • company
  • aptitude
  • necessity
  • love

As the title of this post suggests, a key difference between a task being work or that same task being a pleasant activity is the insertion of LOVE!

In Music of Silence, Benedictine monk, David Steindl-Rast and Shannon Lebell wrote,
“As long as we do work out of love for those whom we love, we do it for a good reason. Love is the best reason for our labors. Love makes what we do … rise like music…”

What are some of your tasks?
Can you make them rise like music?

 

Is writing a task for you?

man with hand on temple looking at laptop

Is your writing
done with love
or is it an activity
you feel compelled to do
on some sort of routine for
some unknown reason?

When Writing is a Chore

Most bloggers love to write, or we would not have a blog! Right? So it’s usually not a chore… not a task… not something we dread. If it were, then we’d know it is time to take a break! Let it go for awhile. Build up our inner enthusiasm!

Writing is easy for me most days. It flows like that river of melting snow that flooded our basement this week. During those few times when I feel blocked, I just set it aside, go for a walk, or I read other bloggers. Sometimes I go up to my Angel Room, pray and read a few devotionals, or I go to the kitchen and cook up something inspiring. I imagine myself having a conversation with the part of me that’s blocked.

“Tell me – what do you need?”

I listen for a response – and discover the places in me that need to be released. I find ways to insert the love that’s needed in order to express myself more clearly. I try to adopt a child-like level of enthusiasm for the ability to express my thoughts on paper or at the computer.

girls on desk looking at notebook

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Bring in the Love and Delight

How might you bring
more love and delight
to all the tasks you are called to do?

How might your perspective change
if you realized the world
NEEDS what you have to offer?

It does, you know!

planet earth

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So set aside those mountains you’re carrying.
Climb them instead!
Bring LOVE to your tasks
and make them “welcomed activities.”

See you tomorrow.

 

 

The Pleasure of Not Writing


 

Yes, take time to think

Think many positive thoughts

Then make time to write

 

But, write everyday?

Is that really positive?

How about a break?

 

Every other week I meet with a Writers’ Group. Our attendance varies between two and eight. We never know who’ll show up, but even if I am there alone, I enjoy going to that writers’ spot and sharing ideas with fellow writers via my blog.

When others attend (usually two or more join me), we begin with a prompt that we pull out of a hat (actually a little bag), and then we free write for 15 minutes or so. Each of us shares orally with one another what we’ve written during free write – and then we share something we’ve been working on at home, making copies for each other to look on and offer positive criticism.

During the free write, I get a kick out of how many different approaches we take to the same prompt. A few weeks ago the prompt was, “The Pleasure of Not Writing.”

Here is what my fifteen minute rambling produced:

 

Writing is an itch

That needs to be scratched,

But I can turn around

And grieve the time that’s snatched!

 

I can get so wrapped up

In getting words out of my brain

That it can be exhausting

And on life – take quite a drain!

 

I need to take a break

And not write for a day or two;

Do something else creative –

What would that be for you?

 

Would you watch TV and vegetate?

Would you fish or visit friends?

Would you clean, or sort, or gravitate

To some project without ends?

 

I take pleasure in my writing.

I love hearing from bloggers out there,

But I think there’s pleasure in not writing –

I’m just not sure I know where!

 

Oh wait – I know a place I’ll go –

To the kitchen where I’ll cook –

To the Food Bank where I’ll serve –

To Plain Jane’s to have a look.

 

I’ll bide my time at the mall

Or take in a concert or two.

What pleasure will you find NOT writing?

What other activities are happy for you?

 

A pedicure? Ah, it feels so good!

Time at the beach? Ah, so refreshing!

Quiet time with Jesus?

Ah yes, I’m headed to my lovely sanctuary now.

Join me!

Blogger Award


Hello Fellow Bloggers!

Look what I received this week!

What an honor! Thank you, Libarah, at liba.home.blog  for nominating me for this blogger recognition award.


As part of receiving and posting this award, I was asked to give a summary of how my blog started. Well, back in 2012 when I was new to Montana, I joined a local Writers’ Group. One of my fellow writers, Lilie Allen, was a WordPress blogger. I logged on to her site to enjoy her creativity between our various group meetings. She encouraged me to start a blog of my own, so I did. Thank you, Lilie.

I was also asked to give two pieces of advice for any new bloggers.

  1. My first piece of advice is to start slowly. Like maybe once a week. Dip your big toe into this blogging pool. Test the waters. Write from your heart. Share things you have written before to see what kind of reaction you get.
  2. Secondly, read other bloggers’ posts and respond to them. Find people like Cristian Mihai and Jordan Peters at “The Art of Blogging” who have WordPress sites full of great ideas. Glean advice from those who’ve perfected their craft and generously share their blogging tips with those of us who are working at honing our skills in this new world.

Then, hardest of all, I was asked to select at least 15 other bloggers to pass this award on to. How do I pick? How do I know their blogging addresses? I wored on this and can’t figure out how to make these names work as links for you. And it was hard to narrow it down to fifteen.  There are so many good ones out there. These are some of the ones I follow and appreciate:

And last, I was asked to let each nominee know I’ve nominated them and give a link to my post. Here is my notification. I wonder if they’ll see it.

Thank you, again, Liba at Libarah for honoring me with your selection. Now how do I get that wonderful award to show up on the margin of my JanBeek blog?

 

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