Embrace Butterflies Yes, it’s so easy to do! Figuratively.
Build a chrysalis – Then sequester for a while. Pop! You’re beautiful!
We all sequestered – We had to during COVID- Now we’re emerging.
Some folks are fearful – Thinking COVID’s not over. Maybe it isn’t.
With the variant Running rampant in places, Some crawled back inside.
Some still wear their masks; Some won’t go to restaurants – Prefer home dining.
Remaining inside Is important for some folks – Others spread their wings.
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!
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 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!
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.”
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!
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.
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)
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!
It’s perseverance That changes maybe’s to YES. Chase the doubt away!
To make an impact Just practice perseverance. Keep your dreams alive.
Being persistent As you work to problem solve: The road to success!
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.
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;andcharacter,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.…”
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
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!
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?
“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?
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!
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.
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.
“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
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. I leave with you my hopes and wishes for a most Blessed Christmas.
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.
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!
Have a Beautiful Christmas Week! Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See you tomorrow.