Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘children’

Embrace Freedom


God Bless America
Land of the Free…

God Bless America,
My home sweet home.
From Detroit to Houston
From San Francisco to New York,
It’s time to say,
“I love this land!”

There’s nothing like
a good ole hometown parade…
Celebrating our freedom –
Celebrating our love of this land.

Our little town of a thousand
Saw about 20,000 pour in today
To watch our old fashioned parade.
It’s like stepping back 50 years!

No fancy floats worth thousands
With hundreds of hours donated
To create a great big splash…
No sireee! Just good ole home-spun fun!

The Grand Marshalls were ladies
From the Madison Valley Woman’s Club
Celebrating one hundred years of
Service to this wonderful community.

You know you’re in Montana when
The town’s physician and his wife
Enter the parade on horseback
Celebrating their equine family!

Thanks, RJ and Andy!

We’re so blessed to have the MVMC
(Madison Valley Medical Center)
In our little community… so blessed!
Our nurses and doctors’ kids donned the float.

Bob & I had the fun of front row seats
Because our friends who live
Right on the parade route invited us to join them.
Main Street would not have allowed us these views!

Barbara & Roy … Thank you!

Their darling grandkids kept us entertained
As they watched the parade, too –
And ran to gather up the candy
That some of the participants threw to us!

We saw vehicles of every kind,
Decorated with flags and competing
To be chosen as the most unique
Or most beautiful, or most aged.

The Shriners are annual participants
Businesses used this parade
as an opportunity to advertise.
Ray Easter is a mainstay in our parade…
A native of Ennis – a rare breed, indeed!
Wouldn’t be complete without ponies!
The children love this little guy!
Puppies for Patriots
Maybe you can put Ennis, Montana
on your calendar for July 4, 2022.
Come and enjoy the fun!
I think it was 2019 when our daughters,
De & Laina, were able to be here.
Of course, we missed the parade
in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Maybe they can return to enjoy this holiday with us next year!

So nice to have this fun event back again
And the weather cooperated.
Parade was 10: to 11:30 and the
Rain didn’t come until later this afternoon!

Rain? Yup, surprise!
It was not predicted…
.
.

If you’re in the USA,
what did you do to celebrate
this special Independence Day today?

In another country?
Do you have parades like this?

Time for dinner…
Thanks for celebrating with us!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Great-Grandchildren


I am so blessed!
To live long enough to
Embrace Great-Grandchildren
is such a gift!

This is Cosette.
She is the darling offspring
of my grandson, Jordan,
and Joss – his significant other.

Joss is such a caring and happy mother!

And I cannot believe how tall Jordan has grown.
What a good daddy he is!
Here we are at church together yesterday morning.

Can you believe how tall (6’4″) my grandson is?
Never in a million years when he joined our family
at the age of 3 did we imagine he’d grow to this height!

In this photo, Jordan is the “Tin Man” sitting next to my sis, Sally.
Jordy and his siblings each are adopted…
gifts from God to Ty (back left in this photo).

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old
they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

The church service was lively and invigorating and inspirational.

My heart is singing God’s praises.
How was your Sunday?

We’re having a relaxed morning before heading
to spend time with Bob’s brother & sister-in-law
and their family in central CA.

How are you spending your week?
I hope you are well …

I am including love
and lots of well wishes here for you.
Pray for my daughter-in-law, Monika, will you?
She has a miserable case of the flu.

See ya tomorrow
(God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Travel


It’s fun to take a trip every now and then.
I’m so grateful that the opportunity to fly
from Montana to California is available to us now.
We had to cancel the trip last December
because of COVID-19.

But
– thank God –
we are able to use those tickets now…
and here we are!
On our way…

There’s Bob
– waiting in Salt Lake City –
for our connecting flight to Sacramento…

And I am communicating via WhatsApp
with our daughter in Switzerland…

Don’t you love the way the internet shrinks our world?
Hi DeDe!

Hi Mom & Dad … safe travels!

It’s a beautiful day here in Placerville, CA at our son’s house.
Ty & Monika treated us to an afternoon at a beautiful winery.
It’s just a short, lush, windy, oak-studded 30-minute drive
up the El Dorado hills from their house
(with lots of squirrel overpasses).

Love it!!

We enjoyed an afternoon of wine tasting and beautiful hors d’oeuvres in this wonderful setting.

My grandson, Sam, enjoyed a good book
and some snacks at a table of his own.
The weather was perfect!

Then we came back to Ty & Monika’s for a BBQed chicken dinner out on their lovely patio.

Ty at the barbecue with his bottle fence in the background

Don’t you think this is a clever use of old wine bottles?

Moni, Ty, Bob, Sam & I enjoyed chatting time
while the chicken was smoking on the Traeger.
(Monika is taking the photo)

Their BBQ patio area is covered with grapevines.
I love the way the sun plays with the leaves
and highlights the baby grape clusters!

I hope you have a relaxed Saturday, dear friends.
You can be sure, I will be thinking of you –
and praying your weekend is
as wonderful as mine
promises to be!
Peace.

Embrace Travel Opportunities.

After more than a year of missed family gatherings,
we certainly will never take them for granted again!

This sign is at the base of one of those grapevines.
Such comfort in knowing God’s gotcha covered…
… no matter where you are.

Shalom


See ya tomorrow
(God willing).

Love & Peace to you,
JanBeek

Embrace Need


When you think of the word, NEED, what comes to mind?
Do you think of what YOU need or what OTHERS might need?
Have you internalized the difference between NEED and WANT?

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Often “Wanted” signs express what someone thinks is a NEED.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Daily there are folks who think they NEED
their Starbucks coffee first thing each morning
or they can’t get through the day.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

T’was a time when folks thought they NEEDED
toilet paper stacked up in their garages.
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

Now there’s a belief in some parts of the USA
that gas cans NEED to be filled and waiting for future use.
Because of a security breach, stations were shut down.
Folks NEEDED gas to get to their jobs or wherever…



What is on your NEEDS list?

I NEED hugs.
Physical touch is sooo important!
My husband thinks he NEEDS ice cream after dinner each night.

Learning the Difference
Between Necessity and Luxury

When our son, Ty, graduated from high school, he spent a year as an AFS (American Field Service) foreign exchange student in what was then Yugoslavia. He lived with a family who was communist. They wanted their son to learn English because the next year he intended to travel to the USA to attend college.

The family was “well off” by that country’s standards. The father was head of what we might call our EPA: “Environmental Protection Agency.” They lived in a small (less than 500 square feet) apartment in Beograd (Belgrade). The family of four had two bedrooms (one for the parents and one for their daughter), a very small kitchen, one bathroom, and a living room which converted into a bedroom at night for their son. Ty shared that space with the son.

Our son learned very quickly how very privileged he was growing up with us in California with plenty of space and a swimming pool in the back yard. He learned overnight the difference between necessity and luxury. He learned his NEEDS were much smaller than he once thought – and people could live happily with soooo much less.

We all NEED a friend-
and if you have a true friend,
you are rich, indeed!

Happiness does not NEED a big house, a fancy car, or a lotta money in the bank.
But, it does NEED at least one true friend… and a bunch of ’em is a bonus!!

Happiness does not need a room full of toys.
Children who can build their own tent,
play together in the woods,
and go home at the end of the day of play
to a loving family
and a nourishing meal
are blessed indeed!

I used to think that I NEEDED
a glass of wine and a sushi meal
every now and then…

… or a cucumber roll

But then I googled my needs and I discovered:

Hah! What do you NEED?

A pup to snuggle with?
All you NEED for Christmas
is your two front teeth?
Maybe all you need is
a blanket and a good book!
Sometimes all I NEED
is a nice warm bath!!
A baby only needs
milk, loving hugs, a clean body,
and a swaddling cloth!

And we all need a dream –
Someone who believes in us –
and encourages us –
and teaches us how
to live our dreams.

I NEED time in the wide open spaces,
time each morning in my sanctuary to pray
and to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance,
and I NEED music in my life…
because it lifts my spirits and strengthens me.

I don’t NEED a tattoo!
But, isn’t that a hoot?
I NEED laughter!

Hah!

See ya tomorrow.
Have a great rest of your day
wherever you are.

Embrace NEEDS.
See the needs of others –
and fulfill them if you can!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I NEED your comments!

What are your NEEDS?

Embrace Anticipation


Woman learned birth mother was star on ‘That’s My Mama’

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Updated 10:20 AM ET, Sun May 9, 2021 Lynne Moody in a promotional photo for the ABC TV series "That's My Mama." Lynne Moody in a promotional photo for the ABC TV series “That’s My Mama.”

(CNN)Lisa Wright always knew she was adopted, but had no idea her biological mother was a star on one of her favorite television shows.Now Wright is sharing the story of having been reunited with actress Lynne Moody after 50 years in what reads like the perfect Hollywood ending, according to NBC’s “Today.” “I grew up watching my mother on TV and didn’t even know it,” Wright told the morning show. “‘That’s My Mama’ — that was our must-see TV. We all sat down and watched ‘That’s My Mama’ every week, and who knew? No idea. … And that’s my mama!”

The series ran for two seasons on ABC from 1974-75. https://68151845e449bd7bd92b8064c37f7ae2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Wright said she knew very little about Moody, who was 18 when she gave birth, and had a closed adoption.

“My (adoptive) mom told me, ‘Your mommy loved you, but she was really young, and she knew she couldn’t take care of you. I wanted the baby so bad, and that’s why your mom let me take care of you,'” Wright said. “You weren’t abandoned. This was just the best thing for you.”More of CNN’s Mother’s Day coverage

But encouraged by her son a few years ago to do genetic testing, Wright first tracked down an uncle who told her the family had been searching for her all these years and who led her to Moody, who, like her daughter, was living in Los Angeles.

Moody called her birth daughter.”A voice on the other end says, ‘Is this my daughter?’ And then I just went, ‘Oh, my God, is this my mother?'” Wright said. “And then she goes, ‘Yes, sweetie, this is your mom.’ It was just the most indescribable feeling.”It was a deep connection for Moody, who never had any other children and never thought she would find her beloved child.”When I found out that she was my daughter, at that moment, it was like I was giving birth,” Moody said. “Because I lost my legs, I was on the floor in a fetal position, screaming and crying. I didn’t know how deep that hole was.”

And the actress best known for roles in the TV series “Roots” and “Knots Landing” had a Mother’s Day message for all.”Life is full of surprises sometimes, so hang in there no matter what your circumstances are,” she said. “Be open to miracles, be open to surprises, and keep the faith.”

Photo by Fuzzy Rescue on Pexels.com

I have four adopted grandchildren. This story touched my heart for obvious reasons. On this Mother’s Day, there are many children out there who have been raised by loving adoptive parents. There are many biological parents out there who gave up their child for altruistic reasons. Some of them have located their children and have a happily-ever-after reconnection story. Others have reconnected, but the results were not so glorious. Still others have not tried to find their biological parents (or children) and live with that sense of unknowing, not sure that filling in the blanks would be helpful for anyone.

Whatever the situation, it is always heartwarming to me when I read about these cases of rejoining. It is sweet to know there are cases where the child can find his/her roots – and the parent can fill that empty spot with fresh discovery. I know when it happens and it is positive, God’s hand is involved… and it makes my heart sing.

I am grateful for the mom who gave her child up for adoption because she knew she could not provide a suitable home. I am equally grateful for the family who took the child in – and loved him or her completely – fully embracing him or her as their own.

On this Mother’s Day, may all those adopted children feel a sense of gratitude for the mom who gave them birth – and for the mom who raised them. May they know, whatever the circumstance, they are loved. They are wanted. They are not an accident. God don’t make mistakes!!

Embrace Anticipation!
You never know what God has in store for you around the next bend.

Happy Mother’s Day!
Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace May Flowers


Happy May Day!

Time for a new wreath!

When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California (yes, there is a town by that name), May Day was a very special occasion.

In the classroom on the morning of May 1st we made baskets of paper or ribbon. Then we went out into the fields around the school and picked wildflowers. We hung our baskets on doorknobs around town, rang the doorbell, and hid in the bushes as we watched the surprised resident answer the door and find the colorful, hanging gift. In it was an invitation to come to the school that afternoon for our May Pole Dance.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
Sometimes we used our school colors for the ribbons
Other times we used an assortment of colors

It was not uncommon for us to dress in special costumes, but sometime, like the first picture of the Maypole, we would dress in white. Notice the flower wreaths in our hair. Ah yes, we went all out!

We’d weave in and out of each other to create the braided base on the Maypole. You can tell this last picture is recent. Back in the 40s and 50s no girls would be caught dead coming to school in Levis!! We would have probably been sent home!

Music would accompany our dance around the Maypole … The YouTube below shows that in some places, May Day still is celebrated in today’s world.

It’s a more complicated process than you might imagine!

I wonder if they still do
the baskets with flowers
in school rooms
and neighborhoods anywhere?

I love May flowers!

If you don’t have a wildflower field nearby,

maybe you can go to FTD and order your May Day flowers today!
There are lots of beautiful arrangements from which to choose!

Have a Happy May Day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Embrace May Flowers!

Do you do anything special for May Day?

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)

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.

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