Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘learning’

Embrace God’s Grip


Do you ever tell yourself, “Get a grip!”??

When life seems challenging and circumstances tax your patience,
do you ever wonder if God’s really gotcha covered?

Well, trust me –

Trust the Savior –

He’s gotta grip on you!

God’s gotta grip on me.

Our Lord’s not lettin’ us go!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Romans 8:38-39

“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

My Prayer for Today

“Gracious God, how grateful I am to rest secure in Your grip forever.”

God’s Not Gonna Lose Me

In today’s devotional time, Daily Guideposts 2021 reminded me that while I may misplace my sunglasses or my phone occasionally, God never misplaces me!

In his comments, Bill Giovannetti recalled a time when his daughter asked him, “What if I lost God? Or what if God lost me?”

Her younger brother responded, “Right, Josie, you’re the only person in the whole wide world that God forgot about!”

Reading Romans 8:38-39 together, Bill and his son reassured Josie and asked her, “If God keeps His Word, what is that verse telling you?”

“It’s telling me God never loses His sunglasses,” she said, “Or me!”



Today Bob & I celebrated my birthday
(I’ll match Bob’s age – and be 82 tomorrow).
Our hands certainly show
the wear and tear of work and years!

But, like that hold God has on us,
we’ve got a grip on one another –
and we’re not letting go!

GG (Great Grandma Jan) with Xander

Taking a clue from us and God,
Xander’s got a grip on his GreatGrandma Jan
(GG – that’s me!) and he’s not letting go!

Sienna & Hope
(my great-granddaughter and my granddaughter)

My great-granddaughter, Sienna,
gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope.
When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.

Sienna with Ty

It’s a double blessings when Grandpa
gets down on the floor with his granddaughter.
Our son Ty helped Sienna learn how to get a grip on puzzle skills.

Sienna with Monika

Children are blessed indeed
when they have a grandma who reads to them.
Sienna gets a grip on what books are all about
with Grandma Monika’s help.

Hope, TazE, Sienna, and me

How special to get a grip
on my great-granddaughter, Sienna,
and her mommy, Hope …
while they get a grip on TazE,
our Boston Terrier!

Monika, Sienna, Hope and Bob

Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together!
Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!

Xander and TazE

Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!

Xander decided he needed to get a grip on those puzzle skills, too.

Monika and Hope with Sienna & Xander…
They sang Happy Birthday
to help me get a grip on
turning a year older.
Not older… just more mature, right?
So nice!

Ty & Monika brought their big dog, Nakota…

… and TazE had trouble getting a grip on
having such a big buddy!

She was exhausted!
Time to get under the table
and get a grip on some rest!

Time for
me
to get some rest, too.



Never doubt that
you can rest in God’s Grip!!

Yes, He’s gotcha covered…

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Ukiah


As I strive to spread love, joy, peace, faith and unity, I often embrace haiku as a means of expression. Today I learned about a poetry form that is new to me: ukiah. It is reverse haiku. Instead of pattern of 5-7-5, it uses a 7-5-7 pattern. It is a joy to me to learn new things … and to put new ideas into practice. Do you find joy in newness?

Try applying new concepts
Making room for joy
Embrace ukiah today

Then I learned, Oh no! There’s another requirement for ukiah. It has to rhyme! All three lines? Or just two of the three?

I researched it and found the definition written by the person who invented it, Robert Ropars :

“My idea is the opposite of the haiku. I was thinking it should be a “Roparsku” but my lack of ego (and my very wise girlfriend) kept me grounded. So since I’m talking about the opposite, then reversed it would a “Ukiah.” Now searching around online I see some people have played with variations (calling this a “reverse haiku”), but only changed the syllabic construction. I think a true “reversal” would also take into account the rhyme aspect. In addition, this adds an extra level of challenge to the endeavor.

It would be composed of:
•3 lines in length
•rhyming
•lines 1 and 3 contain 7 syllables
•line 2 contains 5 syllables

Haiku example:
Winds blowing lightly
Leaves whispering in the dark
Stars twinkling above

Ukiah example:
Leaves are drifting in the night
The stars are so bright
Shivering I hold you tight

Wow… all three lines rhyme. That changes everything!
Poetry takes many forms.
This poem of Laura’s is free verse.

I took its ideas and tried to create a Ukiah using it:


You can’t see me; I hear you –
And you can’t touch – true,
But I feel you near clear through.

You do not taste my sad tears,
But I cry your fears.
Your sadness pierces like spears.

In this very empty room,
Silence is perfume:
A claustrophobic deep gloom.

I smell and feel it around.
Miss your loving sound.
Hate social distance ground!

Photo by Bekka Mongeau on Pexels.com

When ukiah is so sad,
Where’s joy to be had?
Just creating makes me glad.

Practice keeps newness churning.
Embrace the yearning.
Apply newness while learning.

7-5-7
and add rhyme…
Try it!
Embrace Ukiah!!

Be a sport!
Share your try at ukiah in the comments below.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing!)

Embrace Swiss Beekeeping


In 2018 we were in Switzerland and our daughter, DeAna, arranged for our grandson, Michael Solioz, to visit a Swiss beekeeper with his Grampy Bob. Bob wrote up some questions ahead of time, and Mike translated them for the man who is the president of the Sion Beekeepers’ Club.

This video is so professionally done by Mike. I guarantee you will enjoy it. The beekeeper is such a delightful man – a retired physician!

So, what did you think of that?

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know that Bob is a retired beekeeper… He did that for over 20 years after he retired from teaching/coaching.

Photo by FRANK MERIu00d1O on Pexels.com

No, that’s not Bob up there. He rarely dressed up like that! No suit, no gloves, just the hat and veil sometimes. He is the “bee whisperer” according to beekeeper hobbyists here who enlist his help with their hives occasionally.

Notice Bob’s short pants, bare hands, and hat without veil. Experienced beekeepers seem to know how to approach the bees with peaceful intentions that the bees can sense… unless they’re Africanized bees (that’s a whole other blog topic someday).

Anyway, it was fun to uncover that 2018 Swiss beekeeper interview. I hope you enjoyed it.

Bob & I wish you a Happy Monday
and a fun-filled, productive week.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Fly Fishing


It’s a beautiful evening
for a maiden fly fishing adventure.
Bob & Steve took Mary Grace out on the Madison.

First, she needed a rod, reel, tippet, and some flies.
Steve Hundley made a box of ’em for her!
Then he taught her how to tie one on.
Every flyfisherperson needs a good pair of boots.
Thank you, Fran McNiell!!
Every fisherperson needs a license, too.
Next year Mary Grace will be a resident
and it won’t cost as much, we hope!
It was $120 for non-residents this year.
That was quite an increase!
Mary Grace watched carefully as Bob readied the boat.
Three happy fisher(wo)men!! Almost ready…
OK, boat’s in the water… now hop in!
The weather was warm (92 degrees) –
but it will be cooler on the river.
I watched to be sure they were on their way…
(They put in at 8 Mile Fishing access)
Then I drove the pick up with trailer home.
Happy Fly Fishing, Mary Grace.
I hope you have a great time!!

Stay tuned, friends.
I’ll give you a report tomorrow to let you know how they did.
I hope they are able to catch a few big ones.
They will call when they are ready
for me to get them at the “take out” in Ennis.
Bob says, “The tug is the drug.”

Do YOU embrace fly fishing??

Embrace Bird Songs


Bird Songs – Haiku
by JanBeek

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.”

Psalm 144:15

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)

See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Wonder


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?

Special Effects Video

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?

Smooshed kisses –
Watch out noses!!

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?

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
Double rainbows – no less!!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
No two are alike!!

Ever wonder how He could make
Each snowflake different?
Each eye unique – unlike any other?
Each voice to sound like no other?

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com
No two are alike… amazing!!
Each eye is unique.
No two are the same.
Amazing!!

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:

People recognize us by our 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?

I wonder what life will be like
when there is no more COVID-19.

Laura Sullivan is a musical artist
Whose poetry and piano expertise
I shared with you in a previous blog:
https://janbeek.blog/2020/12/15/shared-poetry-music/

Ever wonder what this world would be like
Without the wonder of music?
The streams would have to stop and
The wind would have to cease.

Ever wonder how one could live happily
Without having a sense of wonder?
What do you wonder about, my friend?
What gives you a sense of awe and wonder?

(By the way, that “Nature Sounds” video will play for 10 hours.
Do you think the image or sound will change after a while?
Ever wonder how they did that?)


Sending my love and hugs.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Wonder which of your friends
would like a link to this post?

Bob & Jan
at breakfast
on our 59th anniversary
yesterday.

Thank you for all your positive comments and good wishes.
I wonder what blogging would be like if I didn’t have YOU in it?
Not a pretty thought!

EMBRACE WONDER!!
Come back tomorrow.

Embrace Wisdom


Thank you, dear blogging reader, for tuning in to Day #40 of my “Embrace” series.

Forty is a meaningful number in the Bible.
But its significance is not limited to biblical application.
Forty days:

  • is mentioned 146 times in the Bible.
  • is used to designate important time periods in the Bible.
  • is the number of days before his temptation, that Jesus fasted: “forty days and forty nights” (Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2).
  • is the period from the resurrection of Jesus to the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:3).
  • carries significance in today’s world: Minus 40 degrees, or “40 below,” is the only temperature that is the same in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
  • was important in the Middle Ages: when the bubonic plague gripped Europe, ships would be isolated in harbor for 40 days before passengers could go ashore.
  • is the origin of words we use in today’s pandemic: The Italian word for 40 is quaranta—hence quarantine.
  • is the number of weeks a typical pregnancy actually lasts – Forget nine months!

The wisdom of Jesus’ emphasis on 40 came from God.
Our wisdom has the same source.
All we need to do is tap into it!

James 3:17

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Colossians 3:16

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

That state of peaceful happiness,
that contentment,
comes from our ability
to seek wisdom
and to follow the leading
of those words of instruction.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Daniel 1:17

“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!

Proverbs 13:20

“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!

Watch for those friends
as God puts them in your path!

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?

Bob is a star in my life… and so are CG & Caroline
Terry & Jim are stars in my life
Marcie is the friend everyone wishes s/he had!
She always looks for the good in everyone.

Daniel 12:3

“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

Psalm 147:4

“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. “

If the God of Heaven and Earth has named the stars,
And if He has created all that is seen and unseen,
How surely can we count on His wisdom, and
How assured we can be of His Wisdom if we but ask.

Look for the wisdom in the friends you choose.
Embrace the love in their hearts that shines
Like the stars in the sky – and reflects
The wisdom of their Maker who is alive in them.

EMBRACE WISDOM

I pray you have the JOY
of wise and loving friends.
They truly are God’s gifts to us.
Terry & Elaine are two of my wise stars.

Thank You for them, God!

Thank you for visiting JanBeek today.
May the words of my blog
And the thoughts in my heart
Inspire you to reach out to your life’s stars.

(They can be friends we spend on-line time with…
especially in these days of COVID-19 social-distancing!)

Thank them…
and thank God
for His wisdom
that sent them to you!


Remember, we become
like the five
we spend the most time with.
Choose wisely!!

See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Reading


I love reading
Almost as much
As I love writing –
How about you?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

I’m all ears!
Recommend a good book to me.

Embrace Reading!

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!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow

Embrace Success


How do you define success?

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

S tanding
U p
C atching
C laps
S alutations and
S miles

Defining success is step one to attaining it.
We have to know what we want to see
before we can know if we’ve attained it or not.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, you set a goal … like getting a degree…
And when you achieve that goal,
Then you can say, “Yay! I succeeded!”
Right?

But what if your goal is elusive?
What if you’re not sure about the outcome?
How do you achieve success?
Is it a journey?

Heehee… did you laugh?
Well, the point is, success is not a journey!
Success is a cycle!
It’s not a destination.
It’s a process that has no end.

Photo by Drew Rae on Pexels.com

In my “Refuel*” devotional time a couple of days ago, I heard a theory about the Cycle of Success that made perfect sense to me. I hope it speaks to you the way it did to me.

* Bayside Church – Refuel devotional – http://bit.ly/devo020221

Cycle of Success

  1. TEST – take risks, be creative
  2. FAILURE – fail forward! Don’t lose your enthusiasm. All success involves trial and error.
  3. LEARN – it’s not what you know that counts; it’s what you do with what you know.
  4. IMPROVE – how does what you learn improve you or your quest?
  5. REENTER – back up to the top – begin again – test
Photo by Kyle Loftus on Pexels.com

Success is a series of Ah-Hahs. It is a LIGHT that keeps on shining. It is never done.

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” …

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” –

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” … (It’s not a road, it’s a cycle!)

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” –Confucius

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better. Jim Rohn

“Setting goals is the first step into turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill

Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. Zig Ziglar

One of my measures of success
in this blogging world is
getting comments from my friends.

What are your goals?
How do you measure your success?
Tell me about it…

Bob says, “Here’s my definition of success!”

Have a great Thursday evening and Friday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek


Embrace a Tree


Hug a tree for me
Find one you can wrap your arms
Around and hang on

Trees are like people
Some are so big that you can’t
Quite get around them

Like giant redwoods
All you can do is admire
Their magnificence

Some are just loners
They stand apart from others
Saying “Look at me!”

Some are connected
So tightly to each other
There’s no room to join

Others form a line
Saying, “Come and join us, but
You must look like us.”

Others welcome all
They are so hospitable
You just flock to them

Some are quite fruitful
They produce enough to share
And do every day

Others hide their fruit
Above gnarled exterior
Daring you to touch

Some are cold, distant
Dark and often depressing
Warning, “Keep away!”

I love trees who shine
Like bright, colorful people
Beckoning us near

Prickly trees are
Ones we try to steer clear of
Lest we should get caught

The young and tender
Beckon us to hold them tight
And protect their growth

Trees that nourish us
Are like the fruit-filled people
Who say, “Let me share.

Come see what I have.
Come taste of its sweet goodness.
I am rich with love.”

“Come sit beside me
Please let me give you some rest.
Come and embrace me.”

“I won’t hold my love
High above and out of reach;
Won’t put you at risk.”

“I’ll spread out my arms
And keep you safe from all harm.
I’ll listen. You talk!

Tell me your troubles.
Sit beneath my shade and rest.
Come, embrace a tree.”

We come in colors
Bright and shining as the sun.
Bare – when summer’s done

Trees are like people:
We hide our troubles inside
Deceptive faces.

Let’s learn from our trees.
Let’s let true colors shine through;
Show your true beauty.

Unlike this odd tree,
Keep your roots firmly grounded.
Embrace a tree now!

Any old tree will do!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Tell me, what’s your favorite tree?
Which one is like you?

Bob & I send our love.
See ya tomorrow.

“Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.”

—From “When Autumn Came” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
     translated by Naomi Lazard

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