Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘learning’

Stop, Look, Listen!


In this crucial time
We need to stop, look, listen
Stop now and bow down!

In kindergarten, we were taught to stop, look and listen. We made traffic lights as an art project. As a kindergarten teacher in the 70’s, I taught the children to recognize their colors, write their numbers, sing their ABC’s and listen for the sounds the letters made. I taught them safety features. Looking out for themselves and for one another. Yes, we had partners who took care of each other when we went out on field trips.

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It’s time once again
For us to stop, look, listen
Practice safety rules

It’s time once again
To look out for each other
Hold hearts across miles

Just STOP, everyone!
Stay sequestered and stop now
Look for ways to help

Listen for the cries
Of people less fortunate
Look for solutions

Kim Taylor Henry is one of the contributing writers for Daily Guideposts 2020. This week, she has taken us through her devotionals on a journey to the Holy Land. We stopped with her in Jerusalem and bemoaned the way “the city bustled on.”

Kim thought of the words of Jesus:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem…
how often I have longed
to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her chicks
under her wings,
and you were not willing.”


She wrote that
when she traveled to Jerusalem, she
“had expected to feel
connected to God
through tranquility.”

Instead, as she stood on a hill
looking down at the expanse of the city,
she wanted to cry out,
“Stop everyone! This is holy ground!
Bow down. Worship. Praise.”

Photo by Cameron Casey on Pexels.com

We were just like that –
Chaotic, bustling, busy –
Moving way too fast

Then this virus hit
We came to a screeching halt
Stop, look and listen!

Now we have the time
We are forced to be at home
How will this change us?

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

Will we use this time
To reclaim our best values
To reach out in love?

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The city is still
The children are in their homes
It seems the world stopped

Take time to bow down
Reconnect with your Maker
Let His Will guide you

When Kim Taylor Henry left Jerusalem
and traveled on to Gethsemane,
she expected to find “a hushed highlight” for her trip.
She wrote that she thought she would find
“a spot where I would reflect on our Savior’s suffering,
a place of pain, yet serenity.”


“Instead ,” she wrote,
“I saw a fenced-off grouping of knobbly olive trees…
It didn’t feel peaceful.”

Opportunity or Tragedy

We have the opportunity
during this COVID-19 pandemic
to create in our homes
a place of peace,
a spot where you sense
a “hushed highlight”
in the opportunity to just BE…
just BE together with family
or alone in your space…

OR

We can create a tragedy
where we feel “fenced off”
and we can be resentful,
and we can worry
and let our fear
blind us to the opportunities
that are before us.

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Indifference or Awareness?

Traveling on the Via Dolorosa, the road to Calvary, the place outside the city of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, Kim Taylor Henry wrote in her Guideposts devotional,

“I felt irritated by what I viewed as near oblivion to the sanctity of the path. Crass crowds and the array of souvenir shops disturbed me.”

But she went on to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha, the hillside where Jesus and the two thieves’ crosses remained, and she felt a sense of hush and respect.

Kim asked herself, “Why is the Via Dolorosa bustling with indifference and commercialism while the sites of death and resurrection are worshipful?” And she postulated, “Perhaps it’s a reminder that I, like so many wrapped up in the world… realize my errors too late, and bow down after the fact – when crisis has already struck.”

Is it Too Late?

Help us not to wait
Until the crisis has struck
Devastating us

Help us to heed NOW
The directions we’re given
And let us bow down

Stop, look and listen
Like kindergarteners did
No, it’s not too late!

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Thank you, Kim Taylor Henry, for permission to quote your writing. Thank you, Guideposts, for your wonderful Daily Guideposts 2020 spirit-lifting devotionals. I appreciate this resource that helps me each day stay focused on the positive ways we can remain in His Word and “Walk the Talk” as we learn to better love and care for one another.

See ya tomorrow.

Write a Tanka


Photo by Talha R on Pexels.com

How do you write tanka?

The basic structure of a tanka poem is 5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7. In other words, there are 5 syllables in line 1, 7 syllables in line 2, 5 syllables in line 3, and 7 syllables in lines 4 and 5.

The Tanka poem is very similar to haiku but Tanka poems have more syllables and it uses simile, metaphor and personification.

Ah, so it’s not just the syllable count that matters. The subject matter has to involve simile, metaphor and personification. Raise the stakes!!

What are Simile, Metaphor and Personification?

  • Simile = Both similes and metaphors are forms of comparison that compare words in a sentence. They can be used to make your sentences more interesting. How are similes and metaphors different? A simile is a word that compares words in a sentence. You can usually tell if a simile is present in a sentence when you see the words as or like. Don ate his salad like a vacuum cleaner. His arms were weak and felt like noodles. The thunder was as loud as fireworks.
  • Metaphor = Like a simile, a metaphor compares words in a sentence; however, instead of saying that one thing is like something else, a metaphor actually makes one thing become something very different by renaming it. A metaphor can sometimes use words like is, are, or was (and other words) to signal that a metaphor is present. However, a metaphor never uses the words like or as to compare. The smoke was cotton balls billowing from the chimney. You are my hero. The sun was a furnace.
  • Personification = Personification is the act of giving non-living things human characteristics. Here is a sample of a short paragraph that uses personification to describe a house:

    Our house is an old friend of ours. Although he creeks and groans with every gust of wind, he never fails to protect us from the elements. He wraps his arms of weathered wood around us and keeps us safe. He’s always been a good friend to us and we would never leave him.
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Which of those three does my Tanka below employ?

Jesus is a tree

Whose trunk is strong and stable

From it, we branches

Grow out of His love and care

And we bear His compassion

Is it a simile, a metaphor or personification?

Try a Tanka of your own. And have a Terrific Tuesday!

See ya later.

The 5 P’s of Blogging


The Art of Blogging . One of the bloggers I have followed from Day 1 on Word Press is Cristian Mihai who writes on The Art of Blogging. His tips always are right on! His coaching is helpful for those of us who are trying to improve our blogging skills. Isn’t that all of us?

woman in front of her computer

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

This week he reminded us that blogging is not about numbers. It’s not about how many followers or how many “likes” or how many comments we get. It’s about the people. “Build relationships,” he told us. Cristian continued by reminding us that it’s about passion. Write about things you really care about, he instructed. You can’t improve your blog if you don’t know WHY you are blogging, he said. Cristian Mihai always reminds me that I need to be clear about my purpose. What do I hope to accomplish?
ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

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People, Passion, Purpose, Precision, and Pleasure . I wrote to Cristian thanking him for the 3 P’s of successful bloggers, but then suggested we need to add two more P’s: precision and pleasure. I need to be precise about what I write. Make sure the words are spelled correctly, the grammar is correct, and the format is pleasing. Add sub-titles. Add pictures. Edit out superfluous words. Read it aloud to myself or my dog. Make sure it sounds real.

No one will return to a blog that is sloppy or one that uses objectionable language. Or at least not many people will. We all know that. Those kinds of words and messes turn me off!

top view of black and white typography sentences

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

And the 5th “P” of successful blogging is pleasure. I take pleasure in writing about the things I am passionate about. I get enormous pleasure out of communicating with the people who leave comments. I love getting to know people from India, Sri Lanka, Canada, Venezuela, Germany, Finland, etc… it’s FUN!! I really enjoy looking at where y’all are from.

man sitting on a green grass field

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Have FUN! . As long as you’re having fun, taking pleasure in the writing process, and enjoying the connections that your blog makes possible, I think you’re on the right track. As long as you write about your passions (one of mine is this “Loving One Another” subject), and as long as you stay true to your purpose and do it with the greatest precision you can muster, then I think you are a blogging “artist.”

I’m glad you are here at JanBeek. I hope we can get to know one another, encourage one another, and give each other feedback as often as possible.

You matter to me. You’re my people!

friends-price-tags

Have a good night. See ya tomorrow.

How Do I See Thee & Me?


Proverbs is a wonderful book of wisdom. Have you read it clear through? I read one chapter in it everyday. It has 31 chapters. This month I’ll read three chapters on the 29th. We don’t have a 30 or 31 in February! Then on March 1st I will start over again, but with a different translation. I find the various translations help me gather new and deeper meanings.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Today’s chapter 27 verse 19 is a perfect example of the way different translations can add different nuances:

The Message paraphrased version
by Eugene Peterson

“Just as water mirrors your face,
so your face mirrors your heart.”

Proverbs 27:19
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The NIV (New International Version)

“As water reflects a face,
so man’s heart reflects the man.”

Proverbs 27:19
Photo by Daisa TJ on Pexels.com

KJV King James Version

“As in water face answereth to face,
so the heart of man to man.”

Proverbs 27:19
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Each of those passages refers to the way a person’s heart reflects to that person (and maybe to others) who that person really is. Right? But, when I went to the CS Lewis Bible paraphrased, I found this translation:

“Just as water reflects the face,
so one human heart reflects another.”

Proverbs 27:19

Bible Interpretations

To me that CS Lewis version says it is not just a matter of looking at the way our heart reflects to ourselves who we really are … and can be seen in our facial expressions… but it also says our “heart-scape” influences how we see others.

We see others through our own heart content and our own heart lenses. We may be blind to who they really are, like this girl on a branch is blind to her own reflection. We often don’t see ourselves as others see us. And we don’t see others as they intend to be seen.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Does your face mirror your heart?
Or are there cracks in the space
between your heart mirror and your face?

Photo by Drigo Diniz on Pexels.com

Do you see others through a lens of love,
or is your heart-scape distorting what you see?

Photo by Виктория Лихолёт on Pexels.com

How Do I See Thee and Me?

Do I see thee through a clear lens,
a pure heart,
a heart of love and compassion?

Photo by Ikowh Babayev on Pexels.com
Photo by Natalie on Pexels.com

Ask yourself:
Do I see Me the same way?
Do I see myself as God sees me?
His redeemed, forgiven, beloved child?
Am I gentle with myself?
Am I open and positive?
Do I see the positivity in others?

I see thee dearly.
I see me clearly.
We are not merely
clones; we are beloved,
unique children of God.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I love you!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed day!

See ya tomorrow.

It’s OK to…


  1. It’s OK to… Not to Have All the Answers

When Bob & I first moved from California to Montana back in 2006, I was a recently retired educator with over 30 years of teaching/administrating under my belt. I was not really ready to “hang it up.” You know, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”

So, when I joined the Friends of the Library and received a message from a young man who was seeking help to earn his GED (I think that stands for: General Education Diploma, but it might be Graduation Equivalence Diploma) … anyway, I was all in.

Zahid was a 19 year old from Pakistan whose English was sketchy enough that he had trouble understanding the questions, let alone knowing the answers. I agreed to help him with the English/Language Arts/History areas while a good friend worked with him in the areas of Science and Math.

His host mom would drop him off at our house at 7:30 AM three times a week, and after an hour of study, I’d drive him to his place of work, just five minutes away. During our hours together, one of my greatest challenges was teaching Zahid that it’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” He tried to bluff his way through answers. It was often quite amusing!

Once Zahid learned to say, “I don’t know,” and admit to needing help with the answers, we made great progress. He eventually passed and got his high school equivalent diploma. Hooray!

2. It’s OK to… Feel all the Emotions

Zahid tried to hide his lack of knowledge and his feelings of discouragement. He tried to hide his frustrations. He attempted to bluff his way through the quizzes. It didn’t work. When he learned to let his emotions show, when he opened himself to being “real” with me, we made great progress.

3. It’s OK to… have Bad Days

Life is not always fair. Even with hard work and the best of intentions, our dreams don’t always pan out. The first time Zahid took his test for the credential, he failed. Without encouragement and a shoulder to cry on, he might have folded. He might have said, “Give it up! I can’t do this!” But, we didn’t let that happen. His host mom and dad joined our Positivity Club – and together we helped “Z” keep at it, learn from his mistakes, try again, and ultimately pass.

4. Its OK to …Let Yourself Cry

Once “Z” passed his GED, the next goal was to pass his driver’s behind-the-wheel and written tests and get a driver’s license. He worked hard at it.

My husband, Bob, is a retire teacher. (If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know he also is a retire beekeeper. But before he went back to the family bee farm, he taught driver’s education and coached wrestling for nine years in California.) So, Bob was a natural to help “Z” get his driver’s license.

Once that goal was accomplished, the next step was to buy a car. Zahid had saved the money he earned working at the local grocery store. He had enough to pay for a good “starter car.” But the problem that emerged was that he had no idea how to take care of a car. That’s where the “It’s OK to let yourself cry” comes in. He burned up the car’s engine by not checking the oil, the water, etc. The tears were real! It was a sad lesson in the reality of truth #5…

5. It’s OK to …Ask for Help

Bob would have been more than happy to help “Z” learn the basics of car maintenance, but Zahid never asked. It was a tough, expensive lesson. But “Z” learned it. He asked Bob to help him find a new engine. He did… and “Z” learned to ask for help in car maintenance in the future. That car gave him several years of reliable service and actually made it from Montana to Alaska when “Z” moved there for better job opportunities.

6. It’s OK to …Make Mistakes

Looking back over our experiences with that young Pakistani, we know we made mistakes, just as he did. We backed off when we should have moved forward and been more assertive with him. He tried bluffing and exercising independence when admitting his lack of knowledge and asking for help would have served him better. But, he learned – and so did we.

As long as we learn from our mistakes, it’s OK. In fact, making mistakes is sometimes the ONLY way we learn. Knowing what doesn’t work helps us eliminate some options and seek better solutions.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com
  • Don’t try to have all the answers.
  • Don’t be ashamed of your emotions. Be real. Let them show!
  • Don’t let the bad days get you down. We need valleys in order to appreciate the mountain tops!
  • Don’t hold back the tears. Let them flow when they need to. Let them cleanse you!
  • Admit your ignorance. None of us is an expert at everything. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Don’t let mistakes get you down. No one is perfect. We need to make mistakes in order to learn and move forward.

It’s OK to … select friends who lift you up, encourage you, and give you a shoulder to cry on when you need it.

It’s OK to … BE one of those friends. Happy, warm, genuine. Even long-distance, over the miles, through cyberspace, you can reach out and be the positive friend others are seeking.

Just do it! It’s OK…

Thank you for your visit,
your comments and
your friendship,

I appreciate you!

See you tomorrow.

Punch the Damn Keys


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Cristan Mihai is a blogging guru who started his blog within a month of when I did in 2012. His posts on “The Art of Blogging” have taught me so much about how to create and continue to improve my JanBeek, Loving One Another website. A constant piece of advice that Cristian repeats at least weekly is: “Punch Those Damn Keys.”

https://artofblogging.net/

Ironically, today Cristian posted,

The Road to Order #1000 Continues

Posted on by Cristian Mihai

In his “About” introduction to himself on his website, Cristian wrote:

“Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990)
grew up in Constanta, Romania.
And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to.
Sometimes he writes.
Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. 
He can’t, however, draw a straight line.
No matter how much he tries.
Not even with a ruler.
And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.”

You can tell by that introduction that he has a wonderful sense of humor. You know he is an English-as-a-second-language blogger.
You would never know that by visiting his website. His English is perfect! And his tips, ideas, lessons about how to improve are priceless.
He offers his services in a number of ways –
and he is sponsored by several companies on his website.
He’s a full-time blogger.
He tells us that TENACITY is one of the most effective qualities
if you want to grow your blog.

What’s ironic about his “The Road to 1,000th Order” blog?

He posted today “The Road to 1,000 …”
the same day I received this notification of
congratulations from WordPress:

Posting for Readers

I am not selling anything on my blog, so I won’t get 1,000 orders
But I would love to get 1,000 followers! And I am pleased to know I have posted that record 1,000 number of times – pleased because I know my posts and my readers have grown and improved through the years.

I post for my readers… and to my readers. I post to encourage, inspire, educate, and occasionally just to share my love, to share my joy or to entertain.

I post to show you the scenery, people, activities, and animals in whatever corner of the world I am today, knowing it may be very different from your surroundings. I enjoy seeing where you are and what you are doing.

Each day one or two new folks join us. Each day between 70 and 120+ folks from around the world visit JanBeek. Of those an average of 15 to 20 click “like” to let me know they have been there. If I am lucky, 8 or 10 will leave a message (usually it is only 2 or 3 comments, however). Usually I have no idea who more than 75% of my visitors are (except that WordPress tells me where they are from).

Encouraged or Discouraged?

Are those numbers typical? Are they encouraging or discouraging?

They are neither. They just are what they are. The “Discover” site on WordPress has 42,500,197 followers!! What would I do with that? I’d have to hire several private secretaries to keep up!!

It is not the numbers that keep me posting. One thousand posts since 2012… of those, the last 148 have been consecutive. It is not the numbers… it is the contacts, the friendships, the connections with people I have come to love here – or conversations with those I love in other walks of my life, as well. I hope to meet face-to-face someday the new friends like Derrick and Richard who are so kind with their messages of affirmation.

It was 148 days ago when I decided to make blogging a priority after my devotional time each morning.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com
My sanctuary where I meditate, read, pray, and write each morning
(when I am home in Montana)

Get Serious

It was 148 days ago when I committed to taking that part of Cristian Mihai’s advice, that “Get serious about it,” very seriously.

Just “Punch those damn keys!” Say what you mean – and mean what you say. Get passionate! Share what you care about. Be the change you want to see in the world … one word, one post, one action, at a time.

Cristian Mihai – The Art of Blogging

Cristian has 131,548 followers and often offers them perks… like today, “A random person will be selected among those who order until we reach #1000 will receive six months of reblogging, one sponsored post per month for a duration of six months, and a one-on-one Skype chat with me.”

I am one of Cristian’s 1,000. I ordered his on-line book, “The Art of Blogging,” and I subscribed to some one-on-one tutoring from him. He gave me some great advice about formatting, headlines, content, and networking. I recommend you take him up on his offered perk today. Who knows, maybe you will be the 1,000th person! He’s offering a great reward!

Thanks for visiting.
See ya tomorrow.

Purpose of Art Ed


Arts education includes not only the visual arts, but also music, culinary arts, and all forms of creative expression.

The difficulty in auditory performing arts education is that excruciating learning period before clarinets stop squawking and violins stop screeching. Unlike my mother, who couldn’t stand it and sent me and my clarinet out to the shed across the driveway to practice, the teachers can’t send the students outside to learn! At least not all the time!

Those darling violin students that I introduced you to yesterday do not sound (yet) like the YouTube video I posted of beautiful violin virtuosos. God bless the teachers, students, and appreciative audiences who recognize the learning process and love them through the squawks and squeaks!

Listen without covering your ears!

Support arts education in your schools and in the independent Arts Academies that teach visual and performing arts after school and on weekends. God bless those teachers! Ya gotta love ’em!!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Don’t hide your face and cover your ears.
Don’t send ’em out to the shed!
Ya gotta love ’em!!

See ya later!

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