Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘motivation’

Punch the Damn Keys


Photo by Andri on Pexels.com

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.

Trust & Step Out


In joy you step out
Trusting every step you take
Listening for His Word

Guided by scripture,
And not your understanding,
You can Walk the Talk!

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight.”

Listen for His Leading

In my Daily Guideposts 2020 devotional today, Kim Taylor Henry told us about her trip to the Holy Land. God took away her fear of traveling to that part of the Middle East. She listened to His prompting when an invitation showed up on social media. Signing up for the trip was a leap of faith.

Is there a place you would like to visit, a spot you’d like to go, but for whatever reason, you are hesitating? Take it to the Lord in prayer, and listen for His leading.

I have had Maine and Nova Scotia on my “Bucket list” for about a decade now. I am not sure why that part of the world is calling me. Is it the lobster? The ocean? The farm stays? A cruise opportunity? In my 80 years on earth, I have never taken a cruise. Many (if not most) of my friends have. I can die happy without ever going on a cruise, but I feel God calling me to that part of the world. I wonder why?

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

Maybe It’s the Lighthouses

I have had a long-standing love of lighthouses. I wrote about them back in November of 2018

https://janbeek.blog/2018/11/16/synchronicity/

Lead with Your Heart

God places in our hearts other reasons to have certain places on our Bucket List. Usually for me, the places I want to travel have little to do with the place. They have everything to do with the people. (That’s why we have traveled to Switzerland so many times… our daughter and her family are there!)

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you will recognize these people below as my cousin, Janine, and her husband, Cliff. I posted about Cliff’s battle with esophageal cancer last November 9th. Since that time he has been through Hell and back… and is a determined survivor.

https://janbeek.blog/2019/11/09/prayers-for-cliff/

Janine and Cliff moved a year or so ago from the Seattle, Washington home where we last saw them – about 5 years ago, I think – to Clinton, north of Seattle on Whidbey Island. Wikipedia tells me Clinton is on this 3.7 sq. mi. piece of land whose total population back in 2010 was less than 1,000. I am sure it grew by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Wikipedia has a few delightful pictures of it on their website:

But, it is not the scenery that draws me to this place. As I said, my motivation is the people I love. As I listen for God’s leading, God calls me to the love.

Faith Step

What is the next step you’re ready to take? Are you leaning on your own understanding?

Ask God to make your path straight. Listen for His leading. Then step out in faith.

2020 is a year for 20/20 CLARITY.
It is a time for New Beginnings.
What will they be?

THESE DAYS,
Daily Devotions for Living in Faith,
ended its 2019 entries with this prayer:

“God of all our beginnings,
plant your hope so deeply within us
that we never lose it.
Show us the beauty of small beginnings
and nurture Your life within our own lives.”

Walk in faith and TRUST

Where will you STEP OUT toward today?
Tell me!!

See ya tomorrow.

7 Habits of Effective Lovers


Loving is Connecting.
Blogging is Connecting.

My blog, “Loving One Another” is all about how to love, encourage, and inspire one another. Cristian Mihai of “The Art of Blogging” says we need to be able to express in 6 words or less why we blog and what we blog about.

I answered his query saying,
“I spread love and inspiration daily.”
That’s six words.

I augmented my answer by adding,
“I plan to inspire, inform, entertain, and encourage.”

I find pictures to enhance my messages.
And I am inspired by other bloggers’ messages.
Hopefully we shine on one another.

If we want to shine, to inspire and encourage others, to be unconditional, effective lovers, are there some tips we need to keep in mind?

Yes, I believe there are habits that lovers of people, lovers of animals, lovers of nature and of God, need to develop. I think they include these SEVEN HABITS OF EFFECTIVE LOVERS:

1. Listening with Intent

Effective lovers perk up their ears and really hear the voices, the sounds, the cries and laughter, the heart of everything around them.

2. Seeing non-judgmentally

Effective lovers look for the best in others. They see what they’re looking for. They see the person, animal or object as the Creator intended them/it to be. They imagine perfection, wholeness, beauty. They bring out the love that’s embedded in what they see.

3. Feeling with Compassion & Empathy

Effective lovers feel what others are feeling. They are compassionate and empathetic … not sympathetic. They don’t look at someone or something and say, “Oh, I feel so sorry for you/it.” They try to put themselves in the others’ shoes. They look for solutions. They offer real help. They fertilize the dying bush or bring the parched animal a drink.

4. Reaching Out

Effective lovers extend a helping hand without being asked. Their “feelers” are out looking for ways to help. They have a servant’s heart.

5. Taking Time

A habit effective lovers develop is the act of taking time for others. Whether it is visiting a friend who’s sick, caring for a pet while its owner is away, watering a garden, going to a nursing home, building a birdhouse or helping to complete a project, the effective lover is ever ready.

6. Praying

Knowing your own power is limited, knowing we’re all imperfect mortals who need divine guidance, effective lovers pray for others, pray for world peace, pray for endangered species and help in times of disasters and seemingly insurmountable struggles. Effective lovers reach for help beyond themselves.

We know our own limitations, and we know our own weaknesses. We know we do not always exhibit the kindness, patience and gentleness that effective lovers need. So, we ask for divine guidance and help from the One who strengthens us.

7. Tenacity

Effective lovers have staying power. They are tenacious. They are in it for the long haul. They are not quick to let go. Instead, they continue to love through thick and thin.

Like this beautiful spider web that is covered with snow, but hanging on for dear life as the wind howls outside my sanctuary, this web has a job to do. It will capture any insects that survive the storm … it will provide food for the spider that created it. It hangs on and fulfills its given purpose.

Substitute “children” in the message above
for “friends” or “spouse”
or “pets” or whatever fits for you.
What is your purpose that you are living to fulfill?

Being an Effective Lover involves listening, seeing, feeling, reaching, taking time, praying, and being tenacious… and it’s worth all that effort because you know:

“What you bring into the lives of others comes back into your own.”

Do you agree with these 7 habits or qualities
for “Effective Lovers”?
Do you have others you might add?

Tell me!

God Bless You!

See ya tomorrow

Fun with My Writers’ Group


Every first and third Friday our Madison County Writers’ Group meets in Ennis, Montana. We may have just two participants, or we could have eight or ten. Last February during our third Friday meeting, there were just two of us. I recently came across my notes from that meeting.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

We begin our meeting each time with a prompt we draw from a bag. Anyone can add prompts to the bag at any time. On this particular Friday, Steve drew the prompt, “Writer’s Block.” We had ten or fifteen minutes to write on that prompt and then share with one another what we had written.

I decided to write a Haiku. It ended up as a 5 stanza poem… each stanza a syllabic count of 5-7-5 syllables. What would you have written with the prompt “Writer’s Block”?

Let me share mine with you.

Writer’s Block can trap
You and me in wordless haze
Floating in nothing

Nothingness can hold
You and me in dilemma
Pen in hand stands still

Stillness can reveal
Treasures in the quietness
You just can’t force it

Forcefulness is great
If you adamantly feel
Thoughts begin to swirl

Swirling thoughts spin out
With contemplation and ease
The Block disappears

We had so much fun sharing our ideas on Writer’s Block that we decided to draw another prompt. This one was “Words.” We gave ourselves another ten minutes.

This time since I was on a roll with the Haiku rhythm, I wrote a 3 stanza poem. Sharing it later with my husband, Bob, he asked, “What determines if your Haiku is going to be one stanza or 3 or 5?”

“You write what you have to say,” I told him. “When you have said it, you stop. The thoughts dictate the length.”

Here’s what I wrote to the prompt, WORDS:

When words just fail me,
I sit back and dream awhile.
Dreams don’t have to speak.

When dreams are wordless,
My imagination spins –
Motivating scenes.

Let pictures emerge.
Print them on your mind and soul.
Eventually: WORDS!

These kinds of dreams come to us as writers, but they come to painters and potters and musicians as well. It’s a capacity of the human brain that needs to be cultivated.

A productive life is one that can get beyond writers block, can use words to express inner feelings, and can listen with heart to the unspoken words of those around them.

I hope you are a proponent of the kind of arts education that promotes such critical thinking. Let your curious mind fly free.

Be a wise consumer of words and thoughts and dreams! Do you have a Writers’ Group? If so, tell me about it. If not, think about forming one. It’s such fun to share your creative thoughts with others face to face, not just on WordPress.

See ya tomorrow. Cheers!

They’re All Carrots


They’re All Carrots

orange carrots on table

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

In My Devotional Today

Rick Hamlin likened our act of praising God to the act of munching on a handful of carrots.

Rick said he ate carrots as a kid not because some adult said they were good for his eyes or his health, but simply because he liked them.

“Whoever said the things that are good for us
have to be hard or come as a result of great struggle
or simply taste yucky?” Rick Hamlin asked.
“Think of… the carrot, not the stick,
about how people are motivated by rewards
rather than threats or punishment…
Praise, thankfulness, enthusiasm,
kindness – they are all carrots, not sticks.”

Carrots in the Classroom

When I was in my last two years of teaching, before I retired (from public education, but not from working) in 1999, I had a group of second graders that I had taken on from first grade.

Our classroom “Discipline Plan” was a set of rules with rewards. They were as sweet as honey! Our classroom theme was a garden. Bees (with the students’ names on them) flew above, in, and around the bulletin board garden. In the soil were listed rules such as “Bee Courteous,” –  “Bee Honest” – and  “Bee Helpful.” A favorite one was “Lettuce Carrot for One Another.”

pexels-photo-1340369.jpeg

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

If a student was caught BEEing good, exhibiting one of the characteristics mentioned in the rules of conduct, their bee would “fly” into my apron pocket – the pocket with a heart on it. A heart would be drawn on their bee’s body. At the end of the day, the bee flew back into the paper garden, and the thoughtful child added a paper seed to their garden plot on the bulletin board. At the end of the week, all bees that had hearts on them would have their seeds traded for a plant – a vegetable or fruit or flower to “grow” in their plot. (I wore a different colored apron each day of the week – inspired by Patricia Mckissack‘s book, “Ma Dear’s Aprons.” It’s one of my favorite children’s books.)

 

Just that little act of recognition – taking the bee down, tucking it into the heart pocket, and saying, “Thank You for BEEing ________,” – encouraged more students to do likewise.

Carrots in Our Daily Walk

If we “carrot” for one another on a daily basis, we will find ourselves munching on praise, thankfulness, enthusiasm, and kindness. Our gardens of compassion will grow, and we’ll bee happier people. Guaranteed!

We need to carry lots of “carrots” – and eliminate the “sticks”  – on our daily walk. Thank and praise God for the acts of kindness and compassion shown to us each day. Bee caught BEEing good!!

 In today’s devotional in Guideposts,
Rick Hamlin went on to say,
“God likes us to praise Him because it’s good for us.
It feels good.
The words are sweet in our mouths,
nourishing, crunchy, and satisfying. Irresistible.
Like munching on a handful of carrots.”

vegetables market basket carrots

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Praise God! And thank Him for His wonderful blessings.

Then go out and pay it forward.
Remember you are blessed to be a blessing.
It’s all a bunch of carrots!
Meant to be shared…

Munch on love!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

Are We Just “Pissin’ in the Wind”?


My blogging friend, Claudia, posted today questioning the effectiveness of her blog. Essentially, she questioned, “Is anybody reading it? Does it make a difference? What’s my purpose?”

I commented on her blog, writing, “I understand your concern, Claudia. I have some of those same questions, doubts, and frustrations. How many million bloggers are out there? And for what purpose? Is it worth the time? Am I accomplishing anything? My husband says I’m just “pissin’ in the wind!” Well, my response is that every writer is doing likewise unless they have readers who are somehow encouraged, influenced, inspired, entertained, and/or educated by those written words. So, that’s my purpose… to create an audience of readers who are somehow inspired by my words to think, to reflect, to open their eyes to see something differently – and perhaps to be encouraged to reach out in love to one another a little more often, sincerely, and deeply. To know God and to thank Him more often for our many blessings – that’s another focus. But, I know we do those things better face-to-face than we do on social media. So, is my blogging taking away from the face-to-face opportunities? No, it’s late… I wouldn’t be out interacting with others at this hour anyway. Not now. Social media (blogging and FaceBook) help me broaden my reach. Don’t they? Or am I just “pissin’ in the wind?”

What do you think? Do you have a purpose for this writing activity called blogging? Do you feel your blog is accomplishing that? How do you know? Do people read and respond to your shared ideas? Is anybody out there?

Or are we all just “pissin’ in the wind” ??

Why Write?


writing notes idea class

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

One reason we write:

It etches wisdom deeper

Into heart and mind.

Give me another reason why you write.

(Your answer doesn’t

Have to fit this 5-7-5

Lovely Haiku form)

But it could 🤪👌🏽

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