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Posts tagged ‘COVID-19’

Embrace Butterflies


Embrace Butterflies
Yes, it’s so easy to do!
Figuratively.

Butterflies represent emergence to me

Build a chrysalis –
Then sequester for a while.
Pop! You’re beautiful!

No longer a worm!!

We all sequestered –
We had to during COVID-
Now we’re emerging.

Coming out brilliantly

Some folks are fearful –
Thinking COVID’s not over.
Maybe it isn’t.

Is the pandemic behind us?

With the variant
Running rampant in places,
Some crawled back inside.

Tiptoe outside carefully

Some still wear their masks;
Some won’t go to restaurants –
Prefer home dining.

Depends where you live

Remaining inside
Is important for some folks –
Others spread their wings.

Unique!

Like these butterflies,
Each situation’s different.
So, to each his own!

One of the lessons I learned during this past year and a half or so is that no two people react exactly the same to the same stimulus. We hear through our own filters. We see through our own past experiences. We can’t lay our trip on someone else! We all built our own chrysalis and stayed inside as long as we felt we needed to. Some are inside still. We all will emerge more beautiful in our own sweet time, if we allow our “feelers” to engage with our own needs while respecting the needs of others.

Embrace the butterfly.
Fly when you’re ready.
See ya in Big Sky!

Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Enthusiasm


Are you enthused about life?
Have you overcome great strife?
Are you ready to step out enthusiastically
To conquer your challenges gleefully?

I am enthused because I look forward to returning to my volunteering today at the Madison Valley Medical Center. Ever since this pandemic shutdown last March, all the volunteers were told to stay home, socially distance, be safe, and wait this thing out. So this wonderful group of ladies who have annually saved the hospital the salary and benefits of at least two full-time staff members (as well as raising thousands of dollars in fund-raisers to donate for medical center needs) have been shut out. Yes, it was for our own safety… as well as others … but TODAY I GET TO GO BACK!!

I’m 3rd from the left second row…
And yes, you read that correctly –
it’s 31 thousand seven hundred dollars!

I am also enthusiastic today because after a year of searching with the Pastor Nominating Committee for a new pastor to lead our congregation forward following this strange year, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel! Our pastor of 32 years died and we’ve had a wonderful interim pastor who went out of retirement to help us. He is enthusiastically looking forward to returning to the retired life. I am looking forward to taking the next steps with our committee and our #1 candidate – – – enthusiasm bubbles over in all involved! What a wonderful way to approach Easter Sunday!

Today is Maundy Thursday. It’s the day Jesus invited the disciples into the upper room, washed their feet, and served the Last Supper. It was not with enthusiasm that they heard Him say He would die, be buried, and rise again in three days. They didn’t understand. But, I understand – so I am enthused!

The Last Supper

I am enthusiastic about the coming of Easter. I know we must endure the pain of “Good Friday” – wondering what’s good about the day Jesus dies on the cross. But, we know the rest of the story, so we can live through the remembrance of Christ’s misery because we know the way the story ends.

As a child I remember being enthusiastic about the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts. I see no harm in that, but as an adult the focus on Easter eggs doesn’t enthuse me… not unless the story that accompanies them is the reminder of the empty tomb when the child finds the plastic egg with no candy in it… and that child is the one who wins the Golden Egg – and realizes the empty egg was the favored one!

I just returned from volunteering at the medical center as a “Purple Lady” … member of the Auxiliary. I am enthused telling you that the two nurses and a host of staff members made it possible for around 120 Madison County residents to receive their vaccines today. Many of those were receiving their second shot. I enthusiastically look forward to “herd immunity.”

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com
COVID-19 BE GONE!!

Here is my Haiku series celebrating enthusiasm:

Enthusiasm
It’s a feeling of great joy
Anticipation

It’s sweet engagement
In delightful chosen tasks
Active involvement

Looking bright ahead
Accomplishments come at last
Feeling in God’s Will

Seeing smiles around
Others feeling included
Successful efforts

Anticipating
Hearing “Congratulations!”
It’s a job well done

It’s shared excitement
Knowing we have done our best
Enthusiasm!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Embrace Enthusiasm

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today
Have a Blessed Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

What are you enthusiastic about today?

I’m enthused that you are here, my friend.
Bee well!!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Kindness


Bob’s brother-in-law, Stan, died
At noon today, Oregon time.
Our hearts are heavy, of course,
But we hear heaven’s bells chime.

The Lord is blessed to receive
His creation back into His arms.
Our arms ache for one more hug,
One more poem with all his charms.

We’re not the only ones who’ve lost
A loved one to death this year.
This pandemic has taken too many
And this virus is not over, we fear.

As Stan was lying in his hospital bed,
Health care workers included his daughter, a nurse.
So many of our faithful ones have stepped up to help
Or else this COVID-19 would have been much worse.

The kindness shown by the hospital staff
Helped the family cope with their loss.
The kindness we all show every day
Is a way we live what we learn at the cross.

Stan’s death was not the result of the virus,
But his departure carries with it the sting
Of a beautiful life ended on earth.
Can we focus now on how the angels sing?

Showing kindness to the folks we meet
Is a way to acknowledge their pain.
We know everyone has a burden to bear;
And many don’t have the words to explain.

My neighbor has a treasured pet who is sick,
My friend lost her brother yesterday.
My husband’s fisher buddy needs surgery,
And my granddaughter has bills she can’t pay.

The man with the gun was bullied in his youth,
And he took out his hate in a store.
The victims’ families are beside themselves.
We all are wondering how we can take any more.

Embrace kindness as a first line of defense.
Embrace kindness as the action you choose.
Embrace kindness, for you know in your heart
It’s the way to show love and help hate defuse.

Bible Verses about ‘Kindness’

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.— 1 Corinthians 13:4-5


As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.— Colossians 3:12

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.— Galatians 5:22-23

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.— Ephesians 4:32

EMBRACE KINDNESS TODAY
(and every day!)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow
(Lord willing)

Embrace Perseverance


This quote came in the mail today from Billy Mills, national spokesperson for “Running Strong for American Indian Youth” – a project associated with Christian Relief Service.

The synchronicity of the arrival of this in mailbox today was not lost on me. I already had spent my hour up in my sanctuary reading my Bible, devotionals, and praying for you – and other family and friends on my prayer list (yes, you are there!). Among the names on my list is “Native American Youth.” Lord knows their needs and yours.

The word that was my “Take-Away” from that time upstairs today was “Perseverance.” And that’s BEFORE the mail came with this gift! Go back up and read it again… “Collective Perseverance…” and HOPE …Resilience and Certainty in tomorrow – – – Tomorrow: a better day!

Persevere in those choices!!

It’s perseverance
That changes maybe’s to YES.
Chase the doubt away!

To make an impact
Just practice perseverance.
Keep your dreams alive.

God says you are Unique…
Designed for Greatness!!

Being persistent
As you work to problem solve:
The road to success!

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

I can’t just sit here
Expecting success to come.
Gotta go get it!

It’s perseverance –
Working to make it happen
That completes the goal.

What are you working
To complete with great success?
Live with that purpose.

Persevere with Purpose

But tenacity
Ain’t easy when we don’t see
The results we need.

Positivity
Is hard to always maintain
When we keep failing.

But unless we fail,
We’re not trying hard enough!
Gotta fail to learn.

3 “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out His love
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,
whom He has given us.…”

Romans 5:3-4

Don’t let the fact that
There’s certain failure keep you
From taking chances!

Folks who developed
The vaccines we are using
Failed many times.

Before succeeding,
They conjured up their courage
And kept on trying.

That’s the way it is!
So Embrace Perseverance
And live your purpose.

1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded
by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us,”
Hebrews 12:1

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Look at that runner;
He did not win his first race!
But perseverance paid off.

What race are you in?
What’s marked out for you to do?
Step out and do it!

Embrace Perseverance!

59 years and still counting

Long term marriages like ours don’t happen accidentally.
Takes lots of perseverance.
Believe me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

Before you click out,
leave a comment below, will you?

What is the “race marked out for you” today?

Embrace Common Sense


Proverbs 16:22

“Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.”

No one wants to be thought a fool.
No one wants to be seen as someone who lacks common sense.
When we hear stories about foolish people,
we say to ourselves,
“Thank God that’s not me!
I’d never build a house on the sand!”

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

What is our modern day “House on the Sand” story?
Can you think of a typical story that demonstrates
lack of common sense in today’s world?

Not just the foolish MAN!!
What a about those spendthrift women?

Today is the day President Biden signed an “American Rescue Plan” –
A stimulus package to the tune of 1.9 trillion dollars. Wow!
Hopefully it will create the millions of jobs promised
And give struggling lower-middle class and poor families a future.
Does it make sense?

We need to renew our economy, no doubt about it.
How do we find the “light in the darkness”?
Are the acts of getting checks out and getting the vaccine out
And into people’s arms steps in the right direction?
Seems sensible to some – but not all!

Total COVID-19 deaths in the USA as of today: 527,726.
Something needs to be done… no doubt about it.
Are we on a sensible path to end the pandemic?
Mobilizing thousand of vaccinators and creating new places –
That’s sensible.

President Biden reminded us of the things we couldn’t do.
He talked about the ways we have been divided as a country.
His reminder of the way people are walking in fear today
Was not news to any of us. We see and hear it every day.
Divisions are not sensible!

When will things get back to “normal”? What’s that?
What will “normal” look like when we come to our senses?
Will we have learned the lessons this pandemic
May have been sent to this earth to teach us?
Let’s be sensible.

More vaccines manufactured is in the future,
New tools to make it easier to get the vaccines,
Confidence in the safety of the vaccines –
Practicing CDC guidelines and being unified….
That’s good common sense.

But just as I was writing this, someone I love
Wrote to me and said she would not be getting
Her vaccine and neither will her husband.
Why not? What is the sense in the refusal?
Is my common sense and hers the same?

Seems to me that people who refuse
To wear a mask or get themselves vaccinated
Are living selfishly for themselves…
Their purpose is not to protect others.
Is that common sense?

Today is the one year anniversary
Of this COVID-19 pandemic’s announcement.
Sadly our nation and world are forever changed.
We have lost way too many dear friends.
It makes no sense.

Let’s build our future on the solid rock
Of unified common sense and faith in our democracy.
Let’s plan tomorrow with hopes and dreams
That address how much we need each other.
Embrace common sense!

Thanks for wearing a mask!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek .
See ya tomorrow.

I CAN Embrace


I can embrace the future.
I can be ready for a fresh start.
I can take time to review
This past year and take heart.

Take heart that new beginnings
Offer us blessings to uncover.
Take heart that compassion’s awakened;
We’ve new opportunities to discover.

I can embrace the promises
That change and growth bestow.
I can be energized by
Welcoming strangers I’ve yet to know.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I can embrace the reality
Of dreams yet to fulfill,
Knowing God is ever faithful
When I’m living in His will.

As Bob Goff says, “Dream Big!”

I can embrace the coming year
With prayers for those in need –
And reach out to serve the hurting
With generosity – release the greed!

I embrace the coming decade
And hope to live rightly through it.
I embrace the coming vaccine –
It’ll be effective – we always knew it.

We knew that this pandemic
Could not stay with us forever.
There are too many blessed people
Out there who are creative and so clever.

But I am not waiting for the shot
To stop the misery and relieve the pain.
I embrace the fact that LOVE
Is what will make us whole again!

So, PEACE, my dear WP friends,
I send you the best medicine of all
For the end of this misery-filled year:
A smile, a virtual hug, a word of grace, an answer to your call.

Just like Bob Goff, Love Does,
He puts his cell phone number on his book covers.
Call on me … and I will answer every time:
(406) 599-9678

Happy New Year!
Big Embraces to you,
With Love, JanBeek

I CAN RELEASE


I CAN RELEASE

My Journal

My Journal prompts me to decide
What it is today that I CAN
And I WILL release.
It’s not always easy to decide.

In this end of 2020
With the start of a fresh new year
Just around the corner,
I CAN release the old.

I CAN release what obstructs
And I CAN make room
For the new, the better.
What must I release?

First I must REFLECT.
What was good in this mess?
What was worth keeping?
What should I have learned?

I have learned to sift –
Sift through the garbage of the year
And find the jewels. and keep them –
Throw out the garbage!

Kindness wins!

Reflect on the kindnesses
Offered to me from others…
And keep those thoughts alive
While I release the ugliness.

Every struggle contains lessons.
Reflect on the things
COVID-19 set before us.
Did it teach interdependence?

It’s not a problem faced
By just one country or state.
This pandemic is a world-wide
Challenge… we’re ALL effected.

Release the idea of “Me First” –
Release the “We’re the best” mentality.
Absorb the understanding that
We’re all this together.

“No man* is an island –
No man stands alone –
Each man’s joy is joy to me –
Each man’s grief is my own.

(*human)

We need one another,
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”

Release the idea of supremacy –
And reflect on God’s creation.
Know He made us ALL in His image.
Reflect on what that means.

When you hurt, I hurt.
When you are hungry, I MUST
Reach out to help you – and
Find the nourishment you need.

Images of people in food lines
Stretching for blocks,
And people waiting for vaccines
In “First come-first served” lines

GRIEVE ME!

There is enough food,
Enough resources in this world,
To meet each (hu)man’s need –
We just need to share!!

Release the tensions of this
Election year in the USA
And reflect on the voter turnout,
The level of participation.

Release the divisiveness
And concentrate on the idea
Of POWER in UNITY.
Work toward unification.

Release all attitudes of angst.
Reflect on the love shared –
And determine to be the change
We hope to see in 2021.

I CAN
and
I WILL.

WATCH ME!

Bee an angel and join me!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.
Happy New Year!

Two Birthdays in Big Sky


Where’s the perfect place
to celebrate a birthday
if you live in Montana?
Well, Big Sky, of course!

Bob & Jan in Big Sky on Bob’s 82nd birthday

And what’s the best way to celebrate in Big Sky when you get there?
With a friend who shares the same birthday, of course!

Caroline & Chuck Feldman –
CG’s birthday was today, too.

It was their first trip up to Big Sky
through the Jack Creek Canyon …
and the day could not
have been prettier for the trip!

Headed up to Big Sky via Jack Creek Canyon
Jack Creek thawing
I love the jack fences when they are snow covered!
Gorgeous blue sky and snow-covered peaks
Montana Jack’s – the perfect spot for lunch
Easy to socially distance
Tables set 10 feet apart
Complimentary dessert for the birthday boys!
To heck with a plate and spoon –
We all ate outta the dessert plate!
We stopped for some extra fun on our way out.
Of course, we masked up when we were not eating.
Everyone was equally obedient.
Can’t be too careful in this COVID world!
We hate wearing them… it’s hard to breathe….
But we’d hate more to get the virus, so we comply!
My friend, Doris, sent me this meme this morning.
While up at Big Sky, I saw a lot of mask-wearing
that confirmed the concern!!
Back home to Ennis – cross the Madison River
It was a lovely trip –
and a memorable, fun day.
Back Home with my feet up…
Time to kick off my boots!

I hope your Tuesday was a Terrific as ours.
Do you have a birthday to celebrate this end of the year?
If so, I hope you do something memorable.

Have a Happy last week of 2020…
time to kick it off, too!

Photo by YI on Pexels.com


Where would you like to kick 2020 off to
while you welcome 2021?
A beach in Hawaii might be nice!

Thanks for visiting Big Sky with me vicariously today.
We all need to look forward to a safe, healthy 2021
I wish you could travel here for real.
We’ll take you up Jack Creek Canyon!

Hugs,
JanBeek

Never Go Back!


No, I don’t want to go back!
I don’t want to revisit the old normal.
Surely as we move from 2020
to a new year, we’ll create a better normal.

This is my prayer this Christmas:
Lord, help us learn what You
have in mind for us to learn
from this rare year we’ve just survived.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Letter from a Wordsmith

With his permission, I am sharing with you the first part of a Christmas letter I received this week from my former pastor, Rev. Brent Mitchell. He is a master wordsmith! He said what’s in my heart so much better than I could have said it.

“Mark it how you will,
2020 was a year not lost,
but forever to be remembered
for both its absences
and its unexpected gifts.

By the middle of March,
it became apparent that
what we thought as normalcy
had left its predictable confines
for parts unknown,
leaving no forwarding address.

Masked and gloved,
we were left to fend for ourselves
absent even the comfort
of shaking hands
or intimate conversations,
the communion around tables,
camaraderie of birthdays celebrated,
the sacred closeness of hospital visits.

Absent of the humanizing connectivity,
of those familiar and holy intersections,
we were left to laugh alone,
to cry alone,
and hope in seclusion.
It cost us treasures we never knew
were so valuable
and time that cannot be recalled.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“But admit it:
There were unexpected gifts.
There were letters we finally wrote,
the books we never touched until now,
the prolonged stillness that allowed us to think again,
and listen to what our hearts were saying.

We talked to God
because the hours got quiet enough
to hear His still small voice.
It happened because we watched enough TV
to realize we had watched TV enough,
and golden silence gave us gifts
that weren’t insipid.

“I think, in short, that if we were paying attention,
not only did we get older,
but almost certainly wiser
because even a painful awareness
of what lurks in our hearts and minds
is worth more than gold.

The gift was rediscovering
at a visceral level
that we really are never alone;
nor in the absence of everyone,
are we left unloved.

“My prayer is that when this is over,
and it will one day be over,
we won’t forget the things we learned
the hard way this year:
that God willing,
we’ll never go back
to the tired normalcy of endless distractions,
of busyness as usual,
and the noise that never ends.”

The Mitchell Musings
December 2020
Peace to you.
Good Night, my friends.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve Day.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I leave with you my hopes and wishes
for a most Blessed Christmas.

I CAN Keep it Simple


If you have followed my blog for a month or more,
you have seen this journal before.
The topics are inspired by life and living.
I have written about:
I CAN
Volunteer
Share
Bee Hospitable
Tackle Transitions
etc.

Little did I know when I wrote some of those how difficult some would become. Hospitality requires guests, right? Well, so much for that! Most of our friends are afraid in this pandemic world to socialize.

Little did I know how hard it would become to volunteer. Most of my volunteer activities are forbidden right now. I can’t be a “Purple Lady” at the medical center desk. Our auxiliary couldn’t hold its fund raiser this year. We couldn’t earn the money to donate for new equipment and/or medical supplies as we have done in the past.

Yes, that’s right… $31,700. donated .
And remember, we are a little town of about 1,000 residents!
We couldn’t have our usual Madison Valley
Medical Center Christmas party.

Little did I realize how many opportunities I would have to “Tackle Transitions.” Back in June of 2018 when I wrote on that topic, God knew what was coming, but none of us had a clue. My transitions poem was prophetic:

Times of transition
Can be disconcerting –
Facing the unknown
Running, dodging, skirting.

Life is full of changes;
Nothing stays the same.
Rolling with the punches –
Listening for our name.

In the “roll call” of life,
Showing up to be
Ready for transitions
Sometimes is difficult for me.

But I know the Leader
Is my Maker who decides
What my next assignment is.
In Him my life abides.

So, embrace the coming changes;
Set aside all fear and sorrow.
Joyfully put your hand in His;
He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.

Choosing JOY in the midst of this pandemic is not easy.
My list of “I Can” do’s has changed this year.
But, I try to keep it positive:

I CAN
Believe
Only Imagine
ReJOYce
Whistle!

You recognize some of those. They became blogging themes.
This morning’s I CAN prompted today’s post:

I CAN
Keep it Simple

No large family gatherings
No stockings stuffed with toys
No sounds of giggling laughter
From excited girls and boys

No trudging through the snow
With accordion on my back
No carols at windows
Or St. Nicholas with his sack

It’s a different sort of year
COVID-19 has changed us quite a lot
We cancelled our travel plans
And we altered what we bought

Christmas Day will be different
We can mourn the things we miss
Or we can vow to keep it simple
Pray for those we cannot kiss

The virus and death took too many –
They’re in Heaven with our Lord
Let us focus on Christ Jesus
And the grace He richly poured.

Believe the Christmas promise
Jesus came to save our souls
Eternity knows no endings
His love comforts and consoles

Keep it Simple!

This nativity is over a hundred years old.
It belonged to my grandmother.
I treasure its simplicity.
My sister is one who went to her eternal home this year.
Sally would have been 83 on December 20th.
Eternity knows know endings.
I will see her again someday.
I Believe!
Thank You, Jesus!!

Have a Beautiful Christmas Week!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See you tomorrow.

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