Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘friendship’

Listen with Your Heart!


Bloganuary #17 “What’s a Super Power You’d Like to Have?”

I answered the question earlier today,
interpreting it as a “Secret Power”
– and those answers still stand.

But, I have had time to do my devotionals this morning
– and I’ve listened to a few podcasts
– and I’ve given this question greater thought.

It’s a Super Power… not just a secret power!
Here’s my answer to THAT question for today:

I’d like to have the Super Power to listen with my heart – truly listen to others – and see into their heart, their intent behind their words. In Bayside Church’s devotional on-line today, Kevin Thompson spoke to this issue of listening. Here’s what he said:

“Consider the power of listening. When we hear another person, we see them, value them, place their voice above our own. We restrain ourselves to give them space to speak. Sincere listening is born of humility. It is a genuine act of love. When we fail to listen, we are elevating ourselves above others. We arrogantly assume we already know what they might say or believe they can add no value to our lives. Planning our response when someone else is talking instead of truly hearing what they have to say is a sign of pride. Refusing to see and hear other people is one of the most dehumanizing acts we can take.

“When Jesus commands that we love our neighbors, one way we should do so is to listen to them. That’s not the whole command, but it’s part of it.

“So, which neighbors are you failing to hear? Too often, our lives become echo chambers in which the only people who have our ears are those with whom we agree. People with the same experience, perspective, and understanding provide the voices that influence us. Yet love calls us to a different way. Christians should have the most diverse voices influencing us because we believe everyone is created in the image of God, every person has value and purpose, and we understand the limits to our knowledge and experience.

“Imagine the difference love/listening could make in our world. Where authentic listening takes place marriages flourish. In a world of political divisions, what if the church modeled listening and loving people with whom we disagree politically. In a society divided among socioeconomic and racial divides, what could the church offer if we went out of our way to know, hear, understand, and love those with different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences than we have?

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE LOVED OUR NEIGHBORS—EVERY NEIGHBOR?

“The fantastic news of faith is that the God of Heaven has given us access to His ear at any moment. He invites us to speak to Him on an ongoing basis. This changes how we use our tongues. But it also changes how we use our ears. Receiving God’s invitation to hear from us, we begin to extend our ears to those to whom we otherwise might not listen. We seek to value them, learn from them, and be in a relationship with a diverse community.

Who is a neighbor you are not currently listening to? Start listening with your heart today.”

It actually doesn’t take a Super Power to listen with your heart … but to see inside the speaker’s heart to their intent … well, that might take a special gift from God – ya think?

Sending love ❤️ and prayers for your health and happiness.
It’s so good to be home!

I just returned from my annual physical.
In spite of a residual cough from this RSV,
my dear doctor tells me
I am no longer contagious –
and I’ve been given a clean bill of health.
Hooray! Bob’s feeling good, too.
Thanks for your loving prayers!

Thank you for
visiting JanBeek today.

See ya tomorrow(God willing)

Oh, and tell me – what’s a Super Power you’d like to have?

My Ideal Day


Bloganuary #13 asked,

“What’s Your ideal day look like?”

Open hands
Open heart

Psalm 34:10b
“Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

Isaiah 26: 3-4
“Those of steadfast mind
You keep in peace—
because they trust in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for in the Lord God
you have an everlasting rock.”

My Ideal Day is filled with:

  • Enough
  • Peace
  • Trust
  • Faith
  • Love
  • Friendship
  • Affirmation
  • Health
  • Music
  • Writing time
  • Reading time
  • Blessings
    …. to fill my cup to overflowing so I can share.
Share hugs and love

An Ideal Day ends with:

  • Gratitude for today
  • Peace of mind
  • Hope for tomorrow
  • Joy abounding

Romans 15:13

“Now may the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you will abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

And then I have
a good,
long,
restful
sleep-
zzzzzzz

My ideal day ends
with this peaceful music
and these beautiful scenes
(click on video/music below)
as I fall asleep
praying for you,
my friend.


Bee well!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)…

Me with my daughter-n-law, Monika

P.S.
We’re packing today
and heading back
toward Montana
tomorrow after two weeks
of recuperation time
from RSV
with our gracious,
kind,
generous
son and his wife.
God is good!

Bloganuary #4 -Favorite Toy


Today’s topic on #Bloganuary is:
“What was your favorite toy as a child?”

Mother-Daughter

Here I am as a young mom with my daughter, DeAna.
I don’t have available with me here on vacation
Any photos of myself as a child at her age.
I’m think my toys were part of my education.

DeDe was born during Barbie era.
She had boyfriend Ken and their playhouse.
She could play for hours with them
And be as quiet as a mouse.

Here is our son, Ty, as a child.
I know what he liked most at a young age:
“BamBam” – his bouncing horsey!
Quiet wasn’t a word on any Tyroneee page!

I didn’t have those kinds of toys!
It was World War Two and we were poor.
We tore our napkins in half to save paper.
We knew the soldiers needed it more!

I was content to play outside.
Rocks and dogs and imagination
Kept me entertained for hours.
No need for a Play Station!

I didn’t know at that time
That we weren’t rich as can be!
I had all the love in the world –
And that was enough “play” for me.

My parents never failed to provide
For all of the things we needed.
If a parent’s goal is to raise happy kids,
Mom and Dad certainly succeeded!

I may have had a doll or two –
I really don’t remember.
What I envision when I think of play
Is our “wedding” in September.

My friend, Frankie, and brother, Aldo,
Lived on our same property.
We dressed up in some cloth we found.
He wrapped it all around us three.

Cousin Bobby was a little younger.
We convinced him to be preacher.
He walked ahead of us down the “aisle”.
My dog, Jumbo, was best man. What a creature!

Our pretend house was a large hole
We dug in the old cow field.
We fixed it up with pretend furniture,
And covered the entrance – truly concealed.

We often climbed down to that “house”.
It worked just fine as a place to play….
Until a cow fell in and broke its leg.
I remember the lickin’ I got that day!

So, what was my favorite toy?
It was probably the neighbor boy!
Eventually we both got accordions –
Music was the “toy” that brought us joy!!

The accordion still is one of my favorite toys!
What’s your favorite childhood toy??
Thank you, Mom, for helping me
know that imagination and creativity
are the best “toys” ever!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Are you enjoying the daily WordPress prompts?



Embrace Willing Helpers


Today a team of five willing helpers moved every bit of our furniture and appliances from our kitchen, dining room and living room. It was a monumental task!

Beekmans’ bare house

New wood flooring will be installed over this old, soft fir, scarred floor while we are gone to CA for Christmas and New Years. This is what the new/old wood will look like when it is finished:

That’s our friends, Julie & Mike’s new floor.

The wood is from a hundred year old silo in Malta, Montana. Bob saw it and fell in love with it. He decided it is what our house needs. When all is said and done, I hope it is as lovely as he anticipates – and it is worth the time, money, effort, and stress involved in such a major renovation! Our existing floor doesn’t look bad in the video, but it really is in bad shape – and the wood is soft – scars really easily. The replacement wood (going right over the top of this) will give us a brighter, lighter look. Happy New Year!

God bless our willing helpers who are making all this possible!

1921 silo in Malta, Montana

The crew who did all that work to move things today are saints! As I said, it was a major task! And the man who is harvesting the wood from this old silo is a wizard! His name is Paul. Do keep in in prayer. I just pray he maintains his health and is able to finish the project. It was originally planned for when we were on our trip to England and Switzerland last September, but Paul, FELL while doing the wood harvesting and broke some ribs and had other health issues that required surgery. So, of course, our project was postponed while he recuperated.

1921 silo

It’s fun to know the history of the wood – and to look forward to a new look in our home. But, it involves a whole lot more than what meets the eye… because one thing always leads to another, you know? I am reminded of Derrick & Jackie Knight’s recent renovation of their kitchen and entry and upstairs rooms. Derrick shared the step-by-step, day-by-day progress with us on his blog. Quite an undertaking!

We’ll be gone and Paul will be living here in our absence – – – doing his magic. I’ll show you the finished product (God willing) when we return next year, mid to late January. Meantime, do keep our safe travels in your prayers, will you? I’ll keep in touch along the way.

Have a Blessed Sunday. Bob & I will attend church this morning … and then do a little clean-up in our kitchen area to have it cleared and ready for Paul’s arrival tomorrow. What are your Sunday plans?

Us – looking forward to fun with family in sunny California

God bless you and keep you safe.
See you tomorrow (God willing)

Tomorrow is our day to pack!
Love,

JanBeek

Embrace Mary


Christmas is coming
You see it everywhere you look these days.
But…
It’s not a “Merry Christmas”
I am wishing for you!
It’s a “Mary Christmas!”
That’s in contrast to a “Martha Christmas!”

Luke 10:38-42

New International Version

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Are You Mary or Martha?

If I am not totally aware,
it is easy for me to fall into the Martha role.
Company is coming!
I love entertaining.

But, if I am busy being Martha,
I find at the end of the evening
I didn’t engage
in a meaningful conversation
with anyone!

“Oh, Jan, Jan!” Jesus would say to me,
“prepare for your guests in advance,
so when they come,
you can sit down
and enjoy their company!”

But what if guests pop in unexpected?
Should I be the Mary who lets Martha do all the work?
Surely there is a happy medium here somewhere!

Work or Shirk?

If company pops in unexpected,
drop everything and enjoy the surprise!
They didn’t come to see your house.
They probably didn’t come to eat your food.
They are there to see you!
So it’s not a question of work or shirk!

Put on a smirk –
take off the apron –
set aside the work!

If you convince them to stay
and enjoy a snack or a meal with you,
invite them in to your kitchen
and continue to enjoy one another
as you fix up some goodies together!


‘Tis the season to enjoy the love of company –
‘Tis the season to spread the joy
and remember the reason for the season.
It ain’t stressin’ yourself out with
decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping,
and
entertaining like Martha!

It’s Mary –
the Christ Child –
the simplicity of the stable –
the spontaneity of good friends –
and the Good News!

Mary Christmas!

Have yourself a Mary Christmas!

Love to you…
Pop in – and sit awhile!

Let’s listen to some relaxing Christmas music
and have a cup o’ tea or hot cocoa!

Hugs,

JanBeek

Embrace Cards


Do you save some of the cards people send you?
Are you inspired by the things your friends and family say to and about you?
I have a bulletin board on the back of the door that leads to my laundry room.
Each year I save the birthday cards I receive and post them there.
If ever I feel myself moving into a funk, and I need a spirit lift,
just reading a few of those cards definitely raises me up!

In my sanctuary, I have a bookshelf with my collection of Bibles and various devotionals. On it, I have a card that my friend, Terry, sent to me several years ago. I see it every morning and it is a marvelous source of encouragement and inspiration. Living up to the sentiment it expresses, being the person this friend sees in me, are daily challenges – daily goals. You can see why I have saved and I embrace this card:

Last year when my dear friend, Phyllis, died, I inherited a bagful of cards she had kept during her last year of life. Living in the nursing home during COVID-19 when visitors were not allowed in, the cards were a lifeline to the outside world. Never underestimate the value of the card you take the time to select and send to a friend. They are more precious than gold!

I am going to select some of the most meaningful of these cards and send them to Phyllis’ daughter(s) … knowing their messages will live on in the hearts of my friends’ family members, just as they live on in my heart.

With Thanksgiving coming, that USA holiday dedicated to an attitude of gratitude for our many blessings, I went to the Family Dollar Store yesterday. For $1.00 apiece, I picked up a dozen beautiful cards with lovely sentiments. With precious family and friends in mind, I selected carefully. Today I wrote a personal note of appreciation on each, addressed, and stamped them. Bob took them to the post office. They are on their way to special people who make my life better – just because they are a part of my world.

Letter writing and card sending does not need to be a lost art. Cards can be expensive (those same ones would be between $2.50 and $4.95 at a stationery store). But, check out your local dollar store! Don’t let the expense deter you! Get a few cards today. Find some time to write a personal note to the people who make your life better. Send them off to brighten someone’s day. Let your light shine through your words and thoughtfulness! You never know, your cards may be keepers, too!

Embrace Cards.
Embrace the Expressions of Appreciation you receive from others.

Send yours out tomorrow…
Be the friend everyone wishes they had!

Let your light shine
all the way to
where your loved ones are…


There’s still time for your cards to be received by Thanksgiving!

Good friends- Terry & Elaine –
So blessed to have these as “Keepers!”
Their light shines in my heart everyday!

Thanks for visiting.
Tell me – are you a card saver, too?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek

I dare you to listen to this song without smiling!!

Embrace Action


All talk and no action
Makes for a sad friend indeed.
A true friend steps up
To help in our time of need.

All talk and no action
Is a sorry commentary.
We’re not called to pontificate;
But what we do may vary.

Each situation’s unique
And calls for a different plan.
Jesus never hesitated –
Likewise, do what you can.

Last Sunday a dear friend
Fell in the parking lot at church.
Someone fortunately saw her,
So she wasn’t left in the lurch.

Friends jumped into action:
Her son was called. “Come today!”
Another brought her to the ER
And got a wheelchair right away.

Their example of action –
Stepping up when there’s a need –
Was exactly what Jesus did.
Remember the bread and fish feed?

Remember the blind man
Who said he wanted to see?
Jesus showed us how to act –
His examples sure impress me!

I want to be like Jesus.
I want to step up and be
The person you can count on
To act at each opportunity.

I’m grateful for the doctors
Who saw Bob’s need and acted.
Today they biopsied bone marrow.
Yesterday a PET scan was contracted.

All talk and no action
Allows health issues to grow.
Emotional issues likewise fester
When not addressed; don’tcha know?

Embrace action, my friends.
Jump in when you see a need.
Do it out of goodness –
Not monetary greed!


Thank you for embracing action, my friends.
Your prayers are faith in action.
You’re the best!

Tell me about the last time you saw a need and jumped in!
Could be as simple as what I did today. I was Bob’s chauffuess!!
(He’s usually MY chauffeur!)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Support Systems


Photo by Dio Hasbi Saniskoro on Pexels.com

Stand by your man

The woman’s husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, “My dearest, you have been with me all through the bad times. When I was laid off, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. You know what?”

“What dear?,” she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.

“I think you’re bad luck.”

OK, LAUGH!! But, no, don’t take that seriously!
Our spouses are such an important part of our support system!

But not all are blessed with a supportive spouse.
Some live alone;
some live in turmoil at home;
and some just feel abandoned.
Some just need a hand…


In “Mornings with Jesus,” my daily devotional today,
the scripture featured was

Isaiah 49:15-16

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands…”

The nail prints engraved on Jesus’s hands remind us that He died in our place.
We can be sure He will never forget us, even if everyone else on earth does.


Have you ever felt abandoned by everyone else –
left with nowhere to turn,
looking for solace
and finding it only in your faith?

I haven’t!


But I have friends and family who have experienced those emotions.
And some of them don’t know how to turn to their faith, either.
I had a niece who felt that way –
and she committed suicide!
So this topic of emotional support systems is very dear to me!


In the case of my niece,
she isolated herself from family and friends.
She suffered in silence.
She left the rest of us wondering where we went wrong.
How could we not have picked up
the stress signals that let us know
the depth of her despair?
But we didn’t…

Don’t be deceived by outward appearances!
Look deep inside.
Be the friend in whom your family and neighbors
can confide by asking questions and showing concern!

Yesterday I shared about the grief of losing a friend – – – an ATV buddy who died while we were on our trip. And I shared the difficulty of our news about my husband, Bob’s, health issues. The outpouring of love and support from friends on Facebook and blogging buddies here was heartwarming. I thank you for embracing my grief and sharing my hope and faith in good test results and clear diagnosis and effective treatments. Your emotional support is so appreciated!

This week is full of labs and scans, biopsies and various exams.
In the midst of it all, I draw strength from my faith.
I know God is with me and Bob.
I know He is in control.
I believe He works for our good.
And I feel your love and encouragement.
Thank you for being a part of my support system!
I appreciate you!

None of you shared yesterday
if there is a way I can pray for you…
a specific need you have.
Let me know, okay?
And thank you for keeping Bob & me
in your prayers as we take this one day at a time.

God Bless You!

Love,
JanBeek


Embrace Stressing Less


Trying to arrange for a trip abroad in this COVID world today will guarantee stress.

Today I used links sent to me by a friend who just returned from a trip to Canada and from our daughter who is planning to join us next week in London, and I tried to make the arrangements for the COVID tests required. Oh me, oh my! Can they make it more difficult?

Seems to me they are just trying to send us senior citizens over the sanity edge ridge into complete derangement!

Not only do we have to have proof of our vaccines, but we have to prove we tested negative within 72 hours of our departure from the USA to London. Then when we arrive in the UK, we have to have a test there within 2 days – and it has to be ordered in advance. We have to prove (before we leave the US) that we have ordered the 2 day test to be delivered to our place of destination in London. Oh bludder!! And none of these tests are free, of course!

So, I took a break from all that computer stuff and spent some time with a few friends… a great antidote to hysteria and complete lunacy!

Back at home, I let my mind wander as I checked out some of my favorite bloggers. That was definitely a stress reliever! I especially enjoyed reading:

Gottfried, Banter Republic and Roth Poetry and derrickjknight and Big Sky Buckeye– four of my favorite guys!

Those guys’ blogs are great indicators of “where my heart is!”

Also it was fun to let my mind wander and reduce stress with three of my favorite gal bloggers:

Pat Cegan, Source of Inspiration and

Ann Koplow, The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally and

Phyllis Rogers, Life On The Lake



Are you looking for ways to embrace stressing less? Here’s a helpful list I found:

I’m smiling now … just asked for and got that hug.
It’s soooo good to have Bob back home again!
He returned Wednesday night
from his fishing trip in Alaska,
and I was quite worried about him.

We spent a lot of yesterday at our medical center
here in Ennis, trying to see how we can
reduce his fluid retention,
get his kidneys and heart
functioning normally,
and help him prepare for the trip
to be with our daughter next week.
See why I am posting
EMBRACE STRESSING LESS
?


What do you do to reduce stress?
Try playing this video in the background
while you go about your next task.

“Come to me all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find much rest for your souls.
For my yoke fits perfectly,
and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

I found another resource on line today to reinforce today’s post:

marvaseatonLess News Might Reduce Stress

I totally agree with Marva. Watching less news is a GREAT way to reduce stress. But, don’t be an ostrich. Total lack of information can be a miserable stress inducer!

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Do they really stick their head in the sand?

Remember #4, 5 and 6 on that list above?
I’m headed off to do them right now.

What are some of your techniques
that help you
embrace stressing less?


I’ll see ya tomorrow (God willing).

Have a good night.


Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Firefighters


This is the image of the Caldron fire in Amador County, California… only 14% contained … with strong winds moving it northeast toward Tahoe. According to our daughter-in-law today, the fire has grown to 177,260 acres and has destroyed 653 homes.

The line on the right shows you the 5.77 miles from the fire to our granddaughter’s house yesterday. Today it has moved closer and ALL residents (22,000) of South Lake Tahoe have been evacuated. They have only one exit highway open – and it leads to Nevada.

The line on the left shows the 5.49 miles from the storm yesterday to our son’s house. The purple dot in the fire’s “mouth” shows the place where the home is of our son’s friends – the ones who were evacuated and are now living in Placeville with Ty and Monika.

It is hard in the midst of such danger, loss of property, loss of homes, loss of lives and livelihoods, to keep a positive attitude. But, we cannot allow ourselves to despair!

Trust is a huge key to sanity!
Gratitude is a huge key to sanity!

For our granddaughter, Faith, and her husband, Kyle, the running water they are appreciating today may not be from their own faucet, but it is in the home of life-long friends of her other grandparents…

… and they were able to evacuate their home with some clothes… not just the pajamas they were wearing like some who were rushed out of their homes in the dark of the night…

… and they have food, love, shelter, and their dog! Of course, there is so much for which to be grateful!

I prayed for Faith & Kyle’s safety.
I prayed for our son & his wife’s safety..
They are safe.
Thank You, God!

But, as I thank God for the safety of my loved ones,
I am remembering to be especially thankful
for the firefighters who continue day and night
to try and save people’s lives, homes, our forests,
and our cities/towns/businesses.
God bless our firefighters!

Keep smiling (if you can) through the storms of life…
And try not to let the struggles get you down.
They are designed to strengthen us!!

Remember the scripture that says,

Psalm 46:1-2,

7 “God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall
into the heart of the sea;
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”.


My grandson, Sam, told me a few days ago,
“Grammy, just wear dark glasses.”
Don’t forget to listen to the advice of your kids –
they are smarter than you realize!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Be a friend to a firefighter
Be a friend to your neighbor
Be a friend who gives someone in need
a reason to smile today.

That’s what friends are for!

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