Let’s embrace bird songs. They bring music to our souls. Delight in their sounds!
The following video is a 42 minute delight. It displays 80 birds, identifies them for you, and plays their songs. I LOVE it!
I recommend that you play it as background music as you read the rest of my blog and go about your day.
Peek back at it every now and then – because the close-up pictures of these birds and the words that identify them and the settings where you find them will be sure to delight you!
I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing. They have built their nest in the eaves Outside my bedroom window – Crafted it with twigs and leaves.
Partner doves made their home there And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!” Soon they’ll lay their eggs there And change their song to “I did did did it!”
But their nest is not hidden from us. We can see their coming and their going. Their song brings us daily happiness. Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!
After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove… Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you! (You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)
“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall; happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”
Just as each bird has its song, People have songs that identify them. Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll, Others are known by their favorite hymn.
As I listen to music on my Amazon device And I hear one I wanna put in my cart, I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.” My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart. .
Take a break from the bird songs, and listen to a song that touches my heart. I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:
In my “Happiness Project” (one sentence journal) the verse at the top of the page today was:
“It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”
– Thomas Jefferson
What Creates Happiness for You?
I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children. Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children. Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”
It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?
For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.
What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.
Doves are little gifts from God. I love them and their song.
What is your favorite bird song?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!
(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)
Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not? Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction? Do you wonder why certain things happen? Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?
What if you grew up with a dad Who was a Special Effects Artist? What would the world seem like To you if this was your daily reality?
Ever wonder what life would be like If you had not met the person who Is front and center in your life now? Who would be with you instead?
Ever wonder how God created The beauty of a rainbow or sunset? The colors of the variety of birds? Or every zebra’s stripes unique?
Ever wonder how He could make Each snowflake different? Each eye unique – unlike any other? Each voice to sound like no other?
Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?
Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:
Ever wonder what life would be like If the only thing we bothered to talk about Was the good that we see in others? This is a poem my mom had memorized:
Wouldn’t this old world be better If the folks we meet would say “I know something good about you,” And then treat us just that way?
Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy If each handclasp warm and true Carried with it this assurance, “I know something good about you”?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If the good that’s in us all Were the only thing about us That folks bothered to recall?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If we praised the good we see? For there’s such a lot of goodness In the worst of you and me.
Wouldn’t it be nice to practice That fine way of thinking, too? You know something good about me! I know something good about you.
(Louis C. Shimon)
Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!
Ever wonder what your life would be like If you were born to a different mother? You wouldn’t be you, would you? What if your mother had different attributes?
My mother loved poetry (obviously) – And so that love of words well spoken Rubbed off on me – and I wonder What would life be like without poetry?
“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
Wisdom is not relegated to the aged. Daniel was a boy of 17 when he was chosen. You are chosen today to tap into The wisdom God has for you!
“Walk with the wise and become wise.”
God gives us true friends Who are wise and wonderful. They are His gifts to us To help us EMBRACE WISDOM
He has chosen friends for us Who are wise and full of grace. They walk into our hearts And leave their footprints all over it!
In today’s Daily Guideposts, Ginger Rue wrote, “…you become like the five people you spend the most time with.” She told a story about how her husband, “Sweet Dwight,” is a person she wishes to emulate. “I hope someday to have a heart like my husband’s: wise, and full of grace… and always looking for the best in people.”
Who is a star in your life, an example of wisdom and grace? Are the five people you spend the most time with people whose lives you wish to emulate? Can you name them?
I love reading Almost as much As I love writing – How about you?
As a teacher, Reading to my students Was my favorite time Of every school day.
Every day when the students Came in from lunch Hyper and excited, A good book settled them.
As a retired adult, Spending time in A captivating book Is like being in a candy shop.
But some of my friends Would rather color Or watch TV Or shop on-line.
How do you feel About books and reading? Do you relish a good read – Or would you rather garden?
Reading a good book Takes you to gardens And castles and wonders Around the world.
Reading a good book Increases your vocabulary And helps you soar To heights beyond your reach.
I’m not telling you Anything you didn’t know. So, tell me about a book That carried you skyward.
That’s me – reading “The Wing Ding Dilly” by Bill Peet to a 4th grade class in California. Their teacher, Mrs. Souza, invited friends on FB to ZOOM read to her class. I volunteered. You should try it! It was such fun!!
As a teacher of elementary children for nearly a quarter of a century and the mom of two very curious children, I can tell you that one of the most annoying questions is “Why?”
I remember the day I finally asked my father, “Why not?” when he told me NO. I was about 20 years old! Can you imagine? Being raised in a family where when Dad said, “No,” that was final? No questions asked. Just obey?
My kids were not like that. It was a different era. They asked, “Why?” before they knew how to say, “Chocolate!”
I think a measure of a child’s intelligence may be how many times s/he asks “Why?” The explorations, poking, questioning, prodding, relentless inquisitive nature of some children and adults can be downright annoying, though.
The path may not be a straight one… And it may be hard to determine where it leads, but curiosity will keep you (and them) moving forward. There is a huge NEED to know what’s beyond the bend!
As parents and teachers we sometimes want to shield our children from the unknown. There may be danger out there. I had a tendency to be protective. I know that’s where my dad was coming from when he said, “No!”
But squelching curiosity because of fear of the unknown is a dangerous path. It can lead to many missed opportunities and lost happiness.
Instead of being annoyed by the “Why?” and the “Why not?” we need to teach ourselves and our children the importance of always questioning.
Accepting “No” for an answer without questioning can lead to stagnation.
Instead of squelching curiosity, let’s turn our questioning into research with a purpose.
Curious people don’t just look Curious people see Curious people don’t just see Curious people question Curious people don’t just question Curious people probe
With a thirst for answers, Curious people are relentless. They keep asking until They find answers that satisfy.
Curiosity changes our perceptions. It changes our way of seeing things. It helps us gain the wisdom That less curious people Spend a life-time chasing.
Francoise Sagan is credited with that quote. Who was he? Are you curious? I was.
“Françoise Sagan (born Françoise Delphine Quoirez; 21 June 1935 – 24 September 2004) was a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Sagan was known for works with strong romantic themes involving wealthy and disillusioned bourgeois characters. Her best-known novel was her first – Bonjour Tristesse (1954) – which was written when she was a teenager.
Want to know more? Put her name in your Google search engine. We are so blessed to have an encyclopedia at our fingertips. Folks with insatiable appetites for answers can ask the who, what, why, when, and how questions and Siri or Alexa or Wikipedia are right there. What a gift these are to the curious.
EMBRACE CURIOSITY! Let your “Why?” be followed by active listening, thoughtful reading, and the explorations, poking, questioning, prodding, trying again, inquisitive nature that those children and adults exhibited who were downright annoying. Go ahead! Be annoying!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I’m curious. What are you up to? What are you curious about?
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.
My high school buddy from the Stone Age, Doris, sent me a story today. It was written by a guy (no name available) who recalled an experience that stuck with him and changed him forever.
Did the title of this blog draw you in? Stay with me.
The story writer told about the way a young Downs Syndrome man impacted the hearts of all he touched. I was moved by the story – and decided it was too good to keep to myself. I hope it touches your heart, too.
Nicky’s Lesson for Us All
In 1979, I was managing a Wendy’s in Port Richey, Florida. Unlike today, staffing was never a real problem, but I was searching for a someone to work 3 hours a day only at lunch. I went thru all my applications and most were all looking for full time or at least 20 hours per week. I found one however, buried at the bottom of a four inch stack, that was only looking for lunch part time.
His name was Nicky. Hadn’t met him but thought I would give him a call and see if he could stop by for an interview. When I called, he wasn’t in but his mom said she would make sure he would be there. At the appointed time, Nicky walked in. One of those moments when my heart went in my throat. Nicky suffered from Downs Syndrome. His physical appearance was a giveaway and his speech only reinforced the obvious. I was young and very sheltered. Had never interacted on a professional level with a developmentally disabled person. I had no clue what to do, so I went ahead and interviewed him. He was a wonderful young man. Great outlook. Task focused. Excited to be alive. For only reasons God knew at that time, I hired him for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week to run a grill.
I let the staff know what to expect. Predictably the crew made sure I got the message, “No one wants to work with a retard.” To this day I find that word offensive. We had a crew meeting, cleared the air, and prepared for his arrival.
Nicky showed up for work right on time. He was so excited to be working. He stood at the time clock literally shaking with anticipation. He clocked in and started his training. Couldn’t multi-task, but was a machine on the grill.
Now for the fascinating part… Back in that day, there were no computer screens to work from. Every order was called out by the cashier. It required a great deal of concentration on the part of all production staff to get the order right. While Nicky was training during his first shift, the sandwich maker next to him asked the grillman/trainer what was on the next sandwich. Nicky replied, “single, no pickle no onion.” A few minutes later it happened again. It was then that we discovered Nicky had a hidden and valuable skill. He memorized everything he heard! Photographic hearing! WHAT A SKILL SET.
It took 3 days and every sandwich maker requested to work with Nicky. He immediately was accepted by the entire crew. After his shift he would join the rest of his crew family, drinking Coke like it was water! It was then that they discovered another Rainman-esque trait. Nicky was a walking/talking perpetual calendar! With a perpetual calendar as a reference, they would sit for hours asking him what day of the week was December 22, 1847. He never missed. This uncanny trait mesmerized the crew.
His mom would come in at 2 to pick him up. More times than not, the crew would be back there with him hamming it up. As I went to get him from the back, his mom said something I will never forget. “Let him stay there as long as he wants. He has never been accepted anywhere like he has been here.”
I excused myself and dried my eyes, humbled and broken-hearted at the lesson I just learned. Nicky had a profound impact on that store. His presence changed a lot of people. Today I believe with every fiber of my body that Nicky’s hiring was no accident. God’s timing and will are perfect.
This Christmas, I hope we all understand what we are celebrating. We are all like Nicky. We each have our shortcomings. We each have our strong points. But we are all of value. God made us that way and God doesn’t make mistakes. Nicky certainly wasn’t a mistake. He was a valuable gift that I am forever grateful for.
We are celebrating the birth of the ONE that leveled the playing field for all of us. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, republican or democrat, or black or white. He doesn’t care if your chromosome structure is perfect. He doesn’t care what level of education you have attained. He cares about your heart. He wants us all to love and appreciate the gift HE gave us on Christmas, His son, the Savior, our salvation. His Son that was born to die for our sins. To pay our debt. To provide us a path for eternity.
So this Christmas, let’s check our hearts. There is a little bit of Nicky in all of us and I suspect there is a Nicky somewhere in your life who is looking for the chance to be embraced. Thank God for that. Thank God for His perfect gift, Christ Jesus.
Another of my high school friends, Kristy, sent me this sketch done by a 93-year-old friend of hers. What a wonderful rendition of that glorious Christmas Day! Like those two doves, my husband, Bob, and I are sitting in the rafters, peering down on that magical scene – marveling at the love Christ brought down to earth. Grateful for those who share His love in stories, words and actions.
Ready to Learn
May we all be like the workers in that restaurant long ago – ready to learn to love, learn to accept, learn to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable. May we learn to see one another through Jesus glasses, from the inside out.
My resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.” Little did I know when I created those 20/20 Perfect Vision glasses last January 1st what a challenge that would be!
I posted the picture of that little girl in early January, determined to talk less and to do more.
No Way of Knowing
I had no way of knowing when we celebrated the first of five planned Lenten breakfasts leading up to Easter that it would be our last. COVID-19 hit, our gatherings were shut down, and social distancing eliminated these opportunities.
Time to read more, time to think more, time to reflect on stories like the one at the top of this blog.
How will you spend the rest of this 2020 year? What will you do to Walk the Talk and Show the Love of Christ with those you meet? Think about it.
I love you. Thanks for taking time to read JanBeek. I hope it inspires you. Bee well! Bee LOVE.