A beautiful, bright yellow, little bird found its demise this morning. Flying too fast, confused by reflections in our large kitchen window, it crashed into it. Sometimes birds who do that are just stunned, After lying on the ground a while, they get up and fly away. This one was not so fortunate.
There is a bird that looks just like this one that is flying from tree to tree outside the kitchen window. Obviously, it is looking for its buddy. My heart goes out to the poor, lonesome one.
I am reminded as I see this little beauty of the lesson to be learned here: SLOW DOWN and LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING!
If you’ve followed my blog this past month, you know I didn’t do that! I was walking too fast – and I was not watching where I was going. I caught my right shoe on the top of the (higher than normal) curb, and down I went! Fortunately, I caught the weight of my fall on my left pinky finger. Not my head or hip. Not my right hand. Not my face. It could have been so much worse. I have lots to be thankful for. But the message is clear. SLOW DOWN!
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
But, if you run, make it be in a safe place to do so… and keep your eyes on the road ahead. And when you walk, be purposeful. Look ahead. Be alert. When you wait, wait patiently. Pray for guidance. Listen. Be discerning. Be obedient.
I’ve got time for slow dances in the kitchen now. The Lord said, “Rest. Ice that hand! Exercise those fingers. Go to your occupational therapy sessions, and skip all those other obligations for now. Wait!”
OK, Lord. I am listening.
Are you listening, my friend?
Slow down! And have a safe, sane, and happy Tuesday.
That picture is a reminder of another time a year or so ago when I was walking too fast and not looking where I was going.
Oh my… not a very fast learner, am I?? S’pose I got the message this time?
See ya later – Love, JanBeek
Here’s a wonderful song (I had not heard it before) about that message of slowing down… so true!
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Today I woke after a good night’s sleep. Feeling a throbbing, I looked over at my hand; It was more swollen than when I went to bed. The pins holding the pinky in place were buried.
Yesterday I visited the occupational therapist. She put compression sleeves on the fingers. They are designed to reduce the swelling. Maybe it would have been worse without them.
It doesn’t do any good to complain, To mope around and feel sad and blue. You gotta keep on the sunny side of life – And a good way to do that is to let go!
Let go of the doubts and relinquish grumbles. Find someone who’ll hold your hand and assure you That everything is gonna be okay – be patient! Give your troubles to God and put on a smile.
Bob and I seem to trade off times for help. There I am holding his scarred up hand! Now it’s his turn to gently hold mine. We are so blessed to have one another!
I pray that you have loved ones beside you Who comfort and assist you when you need it. It’s easier to see the sunny side of life When God gives you family and friends who care.
So relinquish your troubles to those who can Be the hands and feet of God beside you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and accept it! Let others share the sunny side of life with you.
God bless you! “Bee” well… Reach out and “Bee” someone else’s helping hand!!
Some people seem to have aged like fine wine. I aged like milk…. I got sour and chunky.
Is 82 old? I’ve spent my life and my blogging career (over a decade now) denying “old” and encouraging vim & vigor!
Now, all of a sudden, as I nurse my bruised and broken left hand, try to type with one hand, and I struggle to cut my pain meds in half so I can welcome normal bowel movements again, I am feeling sour, chunky, and sorry for myself. Ever been there?
I have blogged only once or twice in the weeks since my careless trip over the curb and my broken and dislocated left pinky. I try to make light of it.
But I challenge you: Tie your non-dominant hand to your waist. Make it inoperable/immobile. Then leave it like that for two weeks. Try taking a shower, washing your hair, changing the sheets on your bed, slicing meat for a stir-fry, putting on socks, or pulling up your pants. How’s it working?
Believe me, it’s worse than having a finger in a trap! The whole arm and hand are out of commission! But… true to form, I find comfort in knowing it could be worse!
I drink a toast to the blessings! It coulda been worse! It coulda been the dominant hand or the head or a hip! It coulda been permanent damage. This, too, shall pass!!
So, after all, count your blessings, Jan; you had just gotten a manicure – and you didn’t even break a nail! Now I ask you, how lucky can you be?
Happy Cinco de Mayo came and went! Our granddaughter’s birthday came and went! Mother’s Day came and went! Neighbors and friends came and are still coming to help with meals and household chores. So, I’m smiling and grateful.
I’m aging pretty well! Don’t you think? How about you?
See ya tomorrow, God willing… Have a Terrific Tuesday. I send my love, JanBeek
Guess what? Looking on the bright side and putting on a happy face is NOT the end of your generation!!
Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”
When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.
“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.
What comes to your mind?
In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.
In my devotional time this morning, I read an article that spoke to me of the way poetry fits into my life … a life that is filled with the wonder of poetic healing. I am impelled to share it with you because I hope it will inspire and validate your poetic instincts the way it did mine.
Before you read it, you may want to scroll to the bottom here and click on Laura Sullivan’s piano music. Listen to it as you read Jacqueline Suskin’s inspiring article.
Finding the Poetry in Everyday Life
by Jacqueline Suskin From – Posted on Jan 25, 2021 A professional poet provides tips on healing your life by adopting a poetic mindset.
There’s a saying: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” These days, the battle feels especially hard. From everyday challenges to the forces dividing our nation, it’s fair to ask: How can I bring more joy to my life? More peace?
My answer: poetry.
I’m a professional poet. For a decade, I earned a living doing a project I called Poem Store… I wrote a story I wrote a few years ago for Guideposts about how poetry can be a vital part of someone’s prayer practice …
What is it about poetry that makes it such a powerful, universal language?
Poetry reveals beauty in the smallest details of creation. It finds light in the darkest shadow. It is a guide and a teacher, reminding readers that life is a miracle, something to be celebrated. Good poetry tells deep truths about joy and pain, triumph and grief. Like the Psalms, poetry explores every aspect of human experience, shying away from nothing and expressing gratitude for everything.
That’s why I believe poetry can be healing for anyone. You don’t have to be a professional poet.
Here are some suggestions for cultivating a poetic mindset, gained from a lifetime of writing, teaching and finding my place on this planet:
1. Be in awe of everything. A dictionary definition of awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”
… The poetic mindset starts with the idea that nothing is an accident. Everything is interrelated and plays a part in a greater whole. Therefore, everything deserves notice and even celebration.
The signs are everywhere. Autumn leaves swirling in wind. A luminous raindrop on your window. The sight of someone you love peacefully asleep. Stars on a clear winter night. (And I, JanBeek, have to interject here: the sight of snowflakes dancing outside on your patio)
Even on your hardest day, a glance around will reveal something miraculous. When I focus on the intricate grandeur of nature, I feel myself relax. My mind unclenches from my problems, and I know that something larger is present, no matter what happens.
Awe is easy to cultivate. Close your eyes. Now open them. What is the first thing you see? Look closer. Ask yourself: How was this thing made? Where did it come from? What does it look like, feel like, smell like, maybe even taste like? What is good about it? What does it remind you of? Does it bring happy thoughts or sad ones? Why? What does it tell you about yourself or the divine?
I’m willing to bet your randomly selected object is full of meaning. A poetic mindset helps you tune into that significance whenever you want. It’s an inexhaustible source of healing, refreshment and inspiration.
2. Make pain your teacher.
Are you brokenhearted and angry? There’s a poem for that…
A poem is a place where you can pour out your hardest feelings. Make the words shout, burn. Don’t be afraid. You can always throw the page into the fireplace once you’ve filled it. Or seal it in an envelope and come back to it later.
Poetry can be a repository for everything difficult in your life.
But there’s more. I find that when I write about something I’m struggling with, my negative feelings begin to ebb. By writing, remembering, I am forced to admit that not everything is so bad. The world is complicated. There is darkness and light. Forgiveness comes into view.
The more I put everything on the page—the whole truth, not just an edited version—the more I ask why things happened. If I could have done things differently. Whether my poem is trying to teach me something. Here’s part of a poem I wrote while I was grieving a loved one.
You were a shining man always giving us a reason to rejoice and so you still are, you always will be.
Writing about grief helped me widen my perspective. I learned that memories are emblems of ongoing life after death. That doesn’t end my grief. My grief teaches me a healing truth.
3. Seek what inspires you.
Life isn’t perfect, but you can live with love and trust anyway.
Poetry helps us remember this essential piece of wisdom. What comes from God is good, and there is always goodness to be found once you train yourself to look.
Poetry to me is a form of praise. I build poems from things I see, people I meet and thoughts and feelings found deep inside. As I present those treasures in poetic language, I am celebrating what is good in them. My poems have an innate optimism. Poetry looks for the bright side of life, whatever is inspiring and beautiful even in the midst of hardship.
To see the world as a poet is to be aware of beauty wherever you go. A poet believes that beauty is a clue to the essential nature of existence. Pay attention to that feeling of joy as you spot a delicate tracery of dew in a spider’s web on your morning walk. The beauty, and your joy, are helping you see something deeply true about life.
4. Open yourself to a new perspective.
Few objects are more humble than the pencil. Yet, for me, a pencil is holy. Every pencil is special because I imagine the thoughts and images that it can be used to create and communicate. What are the holy objects in your life? A poet looks for what is beloved in everything, no matter how ordinary.
That is what makes poetry a force for healing. When you look for what is beautiful, good, true and holy in everything around you, you are really looking for God. When you write down what you see, you are engaged in a deep form of prayer.
When your mind and your heart develop this habit of poetic prayer, you cannot be overcome by the world’s troubles because you carry a treasury of goodness inside yourself.
Your poems don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to rhyme. They don’t have to impress anyone. All they need is a new perspective, that of a poetic mindset.”
Thank you, Jacqueline Suskin. Your Guideposts article inspired me. I hope it inspires my WordPress friends, too.
EMBRACE WRITING POETRY
Here’s a poem from a fantastic musician, Laura Sullivan, who also dabbles in poetry. If you’re unfamiliar with her music, do yourself a favor and click on the YouTube at the bottom here.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Do you have a poem to share? I’d love to have you share something poetic in the comments section here.
These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy… I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too) I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time. Today is it!
In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D. Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love” and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine, Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”
“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote. “This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”
In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.
“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”
It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.
It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”
How does someone overcome such prejudicial treatment and regain the confidence that ALL PEOPLE deserve?
That is the question Dr. Walker deals with in her profession. She conquered it in her own life with “years of psychological work, spiritual practice, self-care, and healing.”
Dr. Brenda Wade wrote, “When we feel too hurt or afraid to let ourselves out, it becomes impossible to let others in.”
Embrace the confidence that there is hope and a future and a return of self-confidence when self-insight and self-love can be applied.
The pain of those early wounds go deep.
We know that we ALL have a responsibility to respond to one another in love, with compassion and respect, and to stand together hand-in-hand to obliterate oppression and prejudice.
Embrace that future with confidence and determination!
Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:
“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?
Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons… * Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place. * We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world… * Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace. * Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing… * Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones… * May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed… * In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out… * As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”
Embrace with Confidence, my friends, the knowledge that you regard all God’s Children as equals… and determine never to inflict on anyone the pain of rejection or the sting of shame.
As God’s children… Let us live as One. Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place! Embrace Confidence!