Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘children’

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 Easter!


He is risen indeed!

My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green.
The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.

A small, but appreciate gathering
lifted voices to sing
“He Arose!”
and
“He Lives!”

Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing
and nibble at the emerging greenery.
Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!

Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.

It was Communion Sunday as well as Holy Easter Sunday.
A very meaningful ritual … being able to partake in person with other Christian friends.
Our sermon topic was “Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble.”

What are your earliest
Memories of Easter Sunday?
Yellow crocuses, dogwoods,
And eggs hidden slightly away?

What are your earliest
Memories of recognizing in your life
God, the Risen Christ?
Do you have to think twice?

My memory was on a morning
When I’d victoriously ridden
My bike down a steep hill –
Suddenly God was not hidden.

I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene
With the other Mary who saw
That Jesus was not in the tomb.
An angel said He’d risen – such awe!

They were terrified to realize
You can’t escape God in Jesus.
They told no one what they heard –
Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?

They thought their hopes and dreams
Had been buried and sealed away,
Buried with Him – they believed.
They all deserted Christ that day.

Peter had denied Christ three times.
The other disciples hid in fear.
Have we also denied the messenger
Who told us Jesus is alive and here?

The Easter miracle assures us
Our crucified Lord is running free.
He is waiting for us to come out
Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!

Am I ready to believe the story
Of a man who dies, but rose again?
Am I ready to understand that He
Suffered that agony to free me from sin?

The Risen Christ stands before me
With nail prints in His hands and side.
Am I ready to hear the Good News
And know there’s no where I can hide?

With fear and amazement this Easter,
I will not go away from the empty tomb-
Back to daily routine, forgetting Him.
No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime.

All hail, Redeemer, Hail!
For Thou hast died for me.
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity.

Amen.

EMBRACE EASTER

It comes but once a year
Yet its significance
Lives in our hearts daily…
Thank God for the gift
of His Son
who secured my spot
and yours
in heaven.

Praise Him! Alleluia!
Amen!

Oh, and in the afternoon,
we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope,
and her husband, Drew, and their two children
(our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).

Hope & Drew
Xander
Sienna
Hunting for Easter eggs
Hope with Sienna
Isn’t this a fun appetizer tray?
And for a larger crowd,
how about this one?

Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season?
I did.. and I enjoyed every one.
I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:

That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby…
with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord.
So precious!!

And now,
the eggs are gone.
The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge.
The family departed.
The dishes are looming large –
Begging to be done…
But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you?
Sit down and relax.
Contemplate the day…
Think about what Easter means.
Thank God for the gift of His Son.
Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.
The dishes can wait!
My computer’s about to run outta battery…

Hope you had a Happy Easter weekend.


Have a good night.
See ya tomorrow.

Sending lots of love,
JanBeek

Embrace Obedience


Obedience
First listen
Learn to absorb
Take it all in
Heed

We all know what it means to be obedient, right? Listen, absorb, heed…
Did you hear any of these expressions when you were growing up?

“If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about!”

“Why?? Because I said so, that’s why!”

Photo by Joshua Santos on Pexels.com

“Yours is not to question why. Yours is just to do or die!”

Photo by Nelly Aran on Pexels.com

Where did those images of obedience come from? Certainly not from a Loving Father.

Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”Luke 11:28


“If only you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”
Isaiah 48:18

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com


“If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land”
Isaiah 1:19

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com


“And we are witnesses of these things;
and so is the Holy Spirit,
whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Acts 5:32

Who or What to Obey?

Obedience
Differs with
Who you obey
Make it “The Word”
God

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com


Samuel said,
“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.”
1 Samuel 15:22

To heed God’s Word
Is better than honey
Better than palaces
Better than money

To heed God’s voice
As He whispers in your ear
Is to hear His angels speaking
And to cherish what you hear

Obedience to the teachings
Of wise men and women, too
Is the road successful people
Travel daily. How about you?

Are you tuning in to wisdom
Are you listening really well?
If so, then your obedience
Will show – others will tell.

They’ll tell of your goodness.
They’ll see what brings you peace
And they’ll want to have a share
In the joy that will not cease.


“But this is what I commanded them, saying,
‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God,
and you will be My people;
and you will walk in all the way
which I command you,
that it may be well with you.’
Jeremiah 7:23

When we live in obedience,
We can sing with the best of them:
It is well with my soul –
And we can can pray for the rest of them!

Embrace Obedience!
Easter is coming… when we set aside time
To thank our God for sending the Perfect Example
Of what Obedience – even to the cross – looks like.

Praise God!
Hear – Heed -Obey!

Jesus – simple, yet complex

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I pray my Embrace series is encouraging you.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Music


Whatever happens in your life
Can be made more meaningful
If you wrap it in a song.
It’s in your heart for soooo long…


What song wraps a moment of remembrance for you?

When you are in your late teens
Or in your early twenties,
If you fall in love and want to marry,
People might tell you you’re too young.

At least that’s the way it was
When I was a kid way back when.
So, this Nat King Cole song
Resonates in my heart.

Do you have a song from your teens
That stays in your heart today?
What message did it carry
That caused you to sing along or play?

Another Nat King Cole Song
That brings back sweet memories
Is this one: “When I Fall in Love.”
Do you know this one or are you “Too Young?”

Yes, music defines our era, doesn’t it?
Elvis was too loud and wiggly for me!
The Beatles didn’t come ’til I was
Out of college and busy working.

Big Bands were important to me.
I love listening to Tommy Dorsey;
And I loved being in the band
And in the orchestra. Did you?

As a child, we often sat around the radio
And listened to the big bands…
This song was one my mom loved.
She sang along and taught me to harmonize.

Did your mom or dad sing along
To the songs on the radio or TV?
Music is a huge part of my life –
And it brings me such joy. How ’bout you?

I dare you to play this Sachmo number –
“The Saints Go Marchin’ in” and not tap your feet
And if you’re like I am, then you will
Sing along when they get to the chorus.

Oh, and did you play an instrument?
Besides the accordion, I played
The clarinet; It was a pleasure
To hear that great clarinetist.

Good music brings you back –
Back to the place where you were
When you first heard it,
Doesn’t it?

A good symphony orchestra
Can take you back to the symphony hall
Or it could take you to the living room
Where this song was theme for what program?

All our lives long, we embrace music.
It is the way we learned our ABC’s.
Why didn’t our math teacher
Put the times tables to music??

Wasn’t that adorable?
Didn’t it bring you back?
When patients with dementia
Lose memory, songs remain.

Music occupies a place in our minds
That stays alive long after other things
Have vacated the scene!
What songs will remain to your end?

How has music enhanced your life?
Does it still play a big part?
The pandemic didn’t squelch music.
Instead it just became more creative.

I majored in music therapy in college,
So, this video touched my heart.
Even though I didn’t become a music therapist,
I used music every day in the classroom.

How do you use music to enhance your days?
Embrace music today… and let it
Lighten your heart and lift your spirits.
Dig dig dig dig do do do do
Dig dig dig a doo doo!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today

Don’t leave before you hear one of my favorite inspirational songs:

Open my eyes, Lord!

See ya later.

Embrace Virtual Travel


If we don’t feel safe yet
Traveling to places we want to go,
Then let’s embrace virtual travel.
Go with me to the most beautiful country:
Switzerland!!

My daughter, DeAna, lives in this gorgeous country –
I’ve shown you this picture recently of them in front of their restaurant:

De & Andre’ have three boys,
Mike, Nick, and Chris.
This week I received photos from Mike
( I think it was him who sent them)
sharing a wonderful meal they all enjoyed
at Mike and Tania’s apartment.

Natalia (Chris’ girlfriend) is in Colombia,
so she was not able to be there in person.
Thanks to ZOOM, however,
she was in the room for an hour!!
There is Nick with Celine:

(That’s Mike and Tania in the middle…
And Chris with Natalia on the right)

I love the internet because it allows
Long-distance grandparents
To be part of their grandkids’ lives.
Thank you, dear grandsons, for sharing with us!

Travel with me to other parts of
Switzerland!

Doesn’t it make you want to go there?
It really is picture postcard perfect everywhere you look!!

We forgive you, Andre’,
for taking DeDe with you
to this beautiful country.
If there is some place in the world
where we HAVE to travel
because our family is there,
we can think of no better place than
Switzerland!!


Here is our daughter, De,
singing a duet with our youngest grandson, Chris.
At the end he says, “My ball of rice!”
That’s his reference to Natalia.
So sweet.
Aren’t they cute?

Thanks for joining me,
dear blogging friends.
Sante’!! To your health!!
Have a good night.

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Marriage


Happy 59th Anniversary today to my sweetheart, Bob, my life’s partner!!

February 11, 1962
Bob & his brother, Bill…
The week when we first met…
What a ham!!
While we were dating, and engaged,
I was bridesmaid in Bob’s sister, Bonnie’s wedding.
Our engagement was “trying times”

Bob & I both have a deep faith. It was God who put us together. It was our faith and prayer that kept us together. During our engagement, he was in Germany, in the army. I was in college, wanting to enjoy college life. I broke up with him. But, God knew we belonged together. He made sure we got back together again! (Thank You, God!) And He helped us stick it out all these years through good times and bad. I’m so grateful!!

In the car – after the wedding – headed for the reception
We were married nearly three years
before I became pregnant
There’s DeDe and Ty with Bob –
-blowing out his birthday candles

Our children, Ty & DeAna, have been such a blessing in our lives. Thank You, God, for the gift of these children!! During our early married years (after the first 8 months in Germany), we lived in Turlock (for a year) and then San Francisco and San Mateo. Bob worked for Shell Oil and then went back to college (San Francisco State). He earned his teaching credential and then coached wrestling and taught Driver’s Ed at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA.

Bob curled his hair when he became a beekeeper in the 70’s.
We had lots of fun on weekends in the winter
going skiing together.

We moved from the Bay Area back to the San Joaquin Valley in CA. Bob took over his Dad’s beekeeping business when his father retired. Did you know that beekeepers with hair that is close their head (hair that gets greasy or sweaty) are targets for bee stings? With a perm, the bees couldn’t get to the scalp.

You ask why he didn’t just wear a hat like most beekeepers do? Bob hates wearing a hat! He didn’t wear protective gloves either. Those are topics for another day!

I was teaching in Hughson, Ceres, and Modesto, CA in those days.
Then I moved into administration for a dozen years.
Principal and Curriculum Coordinator
Time passed.
Gray hair started to change our appearance!
We both claim we were the one who loved the most!!
After retirement, we were able to travel.
I dyed my hair for awhile before I learned to embrace the gray.
(That’s a good topic for another day)

Our Daughter, De

In 1987, our daughter, DeAna, married Andre’, a Swiss (the first cousin of our AFS exchange student).

She wore my wedding dress 25 years after I did!

I have written about De & Andre’s fairy tale story in the past. She moved to Switzerland when our first grandchild was “in the hopper.” That was nearly 30 years ago! Every other year we would go to visit them (so, no, we didn’t really wait ’til retirement to travel … we just got to do more of it after Bob left beekeeping and we moved here to Montana).

Thank you, Diana Housel, for this gorgeous photo of our dear Montana!!

This is the village of Vissoie, Switzerland where DeDe and Andre’ live now.
Andre’ and De have three boys.
Our Swiss grandsons are Mike, Nick & Chris.
We hope to travel there this October to spend time with them.
Virus, be gone!!!

You will recall, they have a restaurant there!
We NEED to go and see it in person!!

Our Son, Ty

Our son, Ty, blessed our family in 1989
by marrying his sweetheart, Monika.
The two of them adopted four children.
Sam, Hope, Jordan & Faith are young adults now.
I’ve written about them here on my blog.
Our lives are so enriched by this extended family.
Ty & Moni live in CA, near Lake Tahoe.
This picture of them was taken of them
at our youngest granddaughter, Faith’s wedding.
We hope to travel to CA to be with them this year in June.
Virus be gone!!

Pleeeease God, help us be able to travel to CA in June!
I need to see my darling great-granddaughter, Cosette!

Life is Full

Life is full of love and joy and promises for a bright tomorrow. We have so much for which to be grateful. We know we are blessed to have one another and to have lived into our 80s and remained married to that same partner for nearly 60 years.

Embrace Marriage, my friends! And EMBRACE YOUR LIFE’S PARTNER if you are fortunate as I am to have one!

Today, February 11, 2021, our 59th anniversary, starts our 60th year of marriage, doesn’t it? When a baby turns one, they are starting their 2nd year on earth. Yes, that’s the way it works! Sixty years with one life partner!! I am extremely blessed!

With God every day is full
of simple delights
and unexpected joys.

Couples that pray together, stay together.
And it helps to do other things together, too!

On Super Bowl Sunday, we had a Pizza Party.
We made our pizza together.
Turned out pretty well!
We plan to keep on doing things together
as long as the Good Lord allows…

The road is long… and
We’ve come a long way together.

With God’s grace and blessings,
we will continue to travel this road of life together
for many more years to come.
We don’t know what the future holds,
but we know Who holds the future…
and we let Him lead us.

Happy Anniversary,
Sweetheart Bob.
I love you!

Wherever you lead me, I will follow…
I’ll go with you, with you, all the way!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed February 11th.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Curiosity


Photo by Tucu0103 Bianca on Pexels.com

Do you have a burning question?

As a teacher of elementary children for nearly a quarter of a century and the mom of two very curious children, I can tell you that one of the most annoying questions is “Why?”

I remember the day I finally asked my father, “Why not?” when he told me NO. I was about 20 years old! Can you imagine? Being raised in a family where when Dad said, “No,” that was final? No questions asked. Just obey?

My kids were not like that. It was a different era. They asked, “Why?” before they knew how to say, “Chocolate!”

I think a measure of a child’s intelligence
may be how many times s/he asks “Why?”
The explorations,
poking,
questioning,
prodding,
relentless
inquisitive nature
of some children and adults
can be downright annoying,
though.

Seldom straight or smooth

The path may not be a straight one…
And it may be hard to determine where it leads,
but curiosity will keep you (and them) moving forward.
There is a huge NEED to know what’s beyond the bend!

As parents and teachers
we sometimes want to shield our children
from the unknown.
There may be danger out there.
I had a tendency to be protective.
I know that’s where my dad was coming from
when he said, “No!”

But squelching curiosity
because of fear of the unknown
is a dangerous path.
It can lead to many
missed opportunities
and
lost happiness.

Instead of being annoyed
by the “Why?” and the “Why not?”
we need to teach ourselves
and our children the importance of
always questioning.

Accepting “No”
for an answer
without questioning
can lead to
stagnation.

Instead of squelching curiosity,
let’s turn our questioning into
research with a purpose.

Curious people don’t just look
Curious people see
Curious people don’t just see
Curious people question
Curious people don’t just question
Curious people probe

With a thirst for answers,
Curious people are relentless.
They keep asking until
They find answers that satisfy.

Curiosity changes our perceptions.
It changes our way of seeing things.
It helps us gain the wisdom
That less curious people
Spend a life-time chasing.

Francoise Sagan is credited with that quote.
Who was he?
Are you curious?
I was.


Françoise Sagan (born Françoise Delphine Quoirez; 21 June 1935 – 24 September 2004) was a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Sagan was known for works with strong romantic themes involving wealthy and disillusioned bourgeois characters. Her best-known novel was her first – Bonjour Tristesse (1954) – which was written when she was a teenager.

Want to know more?
Put her name in your Google search engine.
We are so blessed to have an encyclopedia at our fingertips.
Folks with insatiable appetites for answers
can ask the who, what, why, when, and how questions
and Siri or Alexa or Wikipedia are right there.
What a gift these are to the curious.

Imagine what Einstein might have done with today’s technology!!!

EMBRACE CURIOSITY!
Let your “Why?”
be followed by
active listening,
thoughtful reading,
and the
explorations,
poking,
questioning,
prodding,
trying again,
inquisitive nature
that those children and adults
exhibited who were
downright annoying.
Go ahead!
Be annoying!

All Aboard!!

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting
JanBeek
today.

I’m curious.
What are you up to?
What are you curious about?

Embrace Gratitude


What are you grateful for today?

Just as children are grateful for their parents,
their homes, their teachers,
their food,
and so much more,
so we as adults must remember
to express gratitude for those same things
and for one another.

How do you express your gratitude?

I really appreciate this video
and express my gratitude
by sharing it with you.
No, you can’t click on this one…
it’s just a photo.

Before you click on the video below,
look up at that man’s face.
See the kindness in his eyes.
See the bit of a smile on his lips.
Notice he is looking at his passenger
in her pretty turquoise scarf.
Anticipate what you think he may be saying to her.
Notice the bouquet of red roses blurred in the foreground.
Now – click on the video below
… and be prepared to be touched!

You may not have been able to understand the words
this Iranian man was speaking to his wife,
but your understanding of the message was clear.
Right?
Didn’t it warm your heart
and reinforce the need to be grateful for one another?


When I think of my family, gratitude bubbles up inside me.

1) I am grateful for my husband’s love… for me and for our children.
2) I am grateful for bouquets of roses. (I could see him passing a bouquet on to others to share love.)
3) I am grateful for the happy home my parents provided for me was a child.
4) I am grateful that my husband’s parents were faith-filled, loving parents, too.
5) I am grateful that my children provided loving homes for their children.

Pass it on!!

There is no greater gift we can give our children than to love one another.
Be grateful for that love and keep it alive!

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

As you EMBRACE GRATITUDE,
think of 4 or 5 things you’re grateful for today.
I’d love to have you share a few of them in the comments below.

We may be blurry, but we’re together!
I’m grateful for our family.
(That was last year… I look forward to being together again in 2021)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Cute Puppies


Found on FaceBook – so cute!
Happy Puppy
This is our Boston, TazE, when we first got her.
She is now ten years old!

I just needed a diversion today
away from politics and religion
and anything serious.
So, I decided puppies
were a great way
to get my head cleared
and put a smile on my face.
Don’t you agree?
A little dab of puppy
does it!

Today at d’Verse, De Jackson, asked us to write a Quadrille poem (exactly 44 words) with the word dab in it.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com
Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.com
Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com
Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

How about you?
Do you have a favorite pup picture to cheer me?
Or a favorite puppy story?
Time to share!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Hope


My Favorite Student

Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites.
Right?

Ty, Roxanne (Merri), Jan & Bob

See that young man on the left up there?
His name is Ty.
He is my favorite!

(Well, in honesty… don’t be dismayed
if you’re one of my students….
I have lots of favorites, OK?
But Ty… well, read on!)


Ty was my kindergarten student in 1962-3.
Every day when he stepped off the school bus,
the girls all stopped what they were doing.
“Hi Ty!” they would swoon.
Yes, even kindergarten girls
recognize a sweetheart when they see one!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

And every day when it was time to go home,
the girls all waved to Ty,
“Bye, Ty!”
they would swoon.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I was a newlywed.
It was my second year of teaching.
I decided if I had a boy someday,
I would name him Ty.
And I did!

Here’s my Ty with his little sister, DeAna.

Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!

See the sweetness sparkle?
Both Tys are a little older now!

So why the HOPE title?

Yesterday I heard the devastating news
that my favorite student, Ty,
has been diagnosed
with Stage 4 cancer.
It has metastasized.
He needs our prayers.
My heart is heavy,
but I am a believer…
and HOPE
is what believers do,
right?

Day before yesterday I posted this scripture:

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“Plans to prosper you
and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope
and a future.”

Jeremiah 20:11

I know God has Ty tucked into the palm of His hand,
just as He holds our world in His hand.

I know God is watching over Ty and his treatment process.
But, won’t you add your prayers to mine?
“Dear Lord, please give healing to Ty.”

I wrote about Ty when he came to visit us
here in Montana a couple of years ago.
Here is the blog link:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/05/25/gift-from-the-heart/

A Gift from the Heart

After Ty & Roxanne left, they sent us a thank you gift for our hospitality. He created this cross for us. It hangs on my dining room wall as a constant reminder of my special student, Ty Stiles.

Notice the three bars?
Ty said they represent the Trinity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Please Heal Ty!!

Embrace Hope

“May the God of Hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him.”

Romans 15:13

The reign of Christ,
both present and in the future,
is our foundation of Hope.

Take Peace

“And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will toward men.

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep –
God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail –
With peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Embrace Peace.
Embrace Love.
Embrace Joy.
Embrace Prayer.
Embrace Hope.

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting
and praying with
JanBeek

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