Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘treasures’

Live Life Forward


I CAN …

If you’ve followed my blog for a week or so, you already know that I journal most days in this little book that is dedicated to my dear and daring daughter, DeAna. I don’t write in it EVERY day, but often I do, when I am up in my sanctuary, motivated by my devotionals. Today was such a day.

Look ahead, my friend
Live Life Forward
Stare out the windshield
Not the rear view mirror

Look toward the future
Find the unexpected gifts
Share the love and grace
You find at every turn

Share the laughter
Share uninhibited joy
Share compassion
Ease each others pain

Find the hidden treasures
‘Neath the tears of sorrow
Let them wash you clean
Ready for tomorrow

Look ahead, my friend
Don’t let the past upset
Live life forward
And bury all regret

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

I have positive thoughts about today.
It’s snowing here…
and it is beautiful outside.
It’s warm and cozy inside.
I pray you are cozy, too.



Thanks for visiting JanBeek
And thank you to all my faithful followers –
Your comments make my day!
See ya tomorrow.

A photo taken from a drone by my friend, Whooter,
showing you how pretty it is
when the snow is beginning to turn things white.
Happy Christmas Weekend!

The Reason


The Reason for the season
Is not always clear.
Today as I was decorating,
This message caught my ear.

Time to decorate
For the coming of Jesus.
It’s Holiday Time.

Time to decorate
The foyer and entryway;
Put up Christmas wreaths.

This fresh wreath is in the cool foyer
This one’s in the entry
(on the other side of the foyer).
See the stairs to my sanctuary there?

Time to decorate
Dining room and kitchen, too.
Poinsettia in place.


Time to decorate
Living room and outside, too.
Hang lighted snowflake.

Time to decorate
For the coming of Christmas
Where is the manger?

Is Jesus in your decor?

I can decorate.
The reason for the season
Must be apparent.

Bring out the hand-made stockings
and all the memories
those stockings bring to mind!
When I hang this little guy
on the tree, I remember
Bob’s years as a beekeeper.
Bob’s Aunt Nora made this one.
She lives on in our hearts.
Before we had TazE,
we had two other Boston Terriers:
Angelo and Angela.
Their memories remain alive with these ornaments.
Remembering our Bostons
is part of the Christmas joy.

Look carefully at that picture.
Santa is back there…
But in front of him is a clay manger scene.
It looks pretty primitive.
That’s because it is!
Out son made this as an art project
in Sunday School when he was about 6 years old.
He’s now 55.

Do you keep such works of art
and take them out each year
to treasure the memories?

Can you guess
what this is?

It is a case from a friend who visited from Africa –
and in the case are these darling manger scene figures
made from grasses:

They remind me of our dear
friend from Zimbabwe, Lamiel,
who lives in my heart.
Grandma Beekman’s Christmas egg

When the Christmas decoration boxes come up from the basement, with them come so many memories.
This is a real egg with a window cut out by my dear mother-in-law, Laura Belle Beekman.
She painted it red, decorated it, and added a musical angel to the center of it.
It was my Christmas gift from her in the early 60’s, shortly after Bob & I were married.
With her Faberge’ style eggs, she comes alive again – and lives in our Christmas decor.

See the date on this?
1971!!

When I hang this ornament on our tree each year,
my Hillsborough, California kindergarten class comes alive.
This one with our kitty,
was the sample I made as my students were creating theirs –
with a picture of themselves on their ornaments.
One of those students, Heidi, still has hers.
She posted it on FaceBook last week.
What a treasure!
Heidi is now 55!!

The boxes of ornaments are filled with memories.
Not all can go on the tree…
But it’s such fun to decorate.

How are you doing with your holiday decorations?
Have you put up a tree?
Or do you have a Menorah?
Or an Advent Wreath?
Tell me about your decorating fun this time of the year.

And meantime, click on the link below
and enjoy two of my favorite singers
singing one of my favorite Christmas songs.

Merry Christmas is coming…
Enjoy your decorating!
And don’t forget the
REASON for the SEASON!!
See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

Are You Blessed with Long-time Friends?


Do you have long-time friends for whom you are eternally grateful?

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These are our friends, Cecilia and Tom. We are visiting them in Camarillo, CA. What a grand way to begin the new year … with long-time friends, touring the gorgeous Camarillo area and visiting their fantastic Camarillo Library! Cecilia and I worked together in Ceres, CA in the 80’s and 90’s. I love and respect her – and treasure the opportunity I had to work professionally with her. She is a long-time friend with whom I have stayed in connection through FaceBook.

How do you stay in touch with long-time friends?

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This is my long-time friend, MaryFran. She was my neighbor in the 50’s. We were the very best of friends… maid-of-honor in each other’s weddings. Then we lost touch with one another. Sometimes that happens. For no particular reason. Friends can be for a reason or a season or a life-time. And when you are true friends, time just slips away and dissolves when you get back together again after years of separation. I called her when we were in CA within an hour of her home. At her gracious invitation, we just dropped by. What a gift to catch up with one another again! Long-time friends are forever friends.

How do you reconnect with friends from whom you have been separated?

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This is my long-time friend, Rosalie, with our daughter, DeDe. Our daughter lives in Switzerland. She flew to California to surprise us for her daddy’s 80th birthday Dec. 29th. Rosalie in like family. She and her husband, Mike, drove hundreds of miles to surprise Bob for his birthday. Forever in my heart… no matter how far apart! We met Rosalie and Mike in 1963 when Bob & I were moving our meager belongings into an apartment in the San Francisco area. We were instant friends.

Do you have those kinds of soul sisters and brothers who just seem to have been destined to be in your life? If so, count your blessings. Know that whenever you can be together, your ties will tighten – and your blessings will increase. These are the kinds of friends you’d want at your bedside when you breathe your last breath. They are the ones who would fly across the continent to be with you in a heart beat if you needed them. And we feel the same way about them! What treasures!!

Do you have new friends who are long-time friends?

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When I first met Terry, I knew she was my soul sister! Like my meeing with Rosalie more than 50 years ago, Terry was one of those people I felt I must have known in a prior life! We met in Ennis, Montana about a decade ago. She comes every summer, but lives in California during the rest of the year. When Terry is in Montana, we get together with her and her husband, Jim, as often as we possibly can. When we visit California, we are sure to drop by their place and spend precious time together. Our hearts connect.

Whether they are long-time friends, or new friends who feel long-time,
our lives are greatly enriched by friendships.
I would not be complete without them.

I am sometimes asked, how do you make so many friends?
The answer is a simple cliche’:

 

To have a friend, you must be a friend.

Through thick and thin… be there for one another!

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I am grateful for my bestest buddy, Marcie!
Always there for me… always supportive.

AND…


I’m so grateful to be married to MY BEST FRIEND!!

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Tell me about a friendship you treasure.

 

One-of-a-Kind


Do you ever have a tendency to measure yourself against others?

I do… and I often come up short! After all, I’m only five foot nothing.  Really!!

centimeters length measure measurement

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

If I measure me against me,
I could be 6’3″

If I measure me against YOU,
I’m maybe not even 2’2″

So, who do I use?
Whose feet do I choose?

Who carries my blues?
Who walks in my shoes?

“No one,” you say?

“God took His soft clay
And molded a shape –
Unique! Full of play.”

 

body statue

Photo by Paul Seling on Pexels.com

God gifted your soul
Full of treasures untold –
Then He threw out the mold.
You’re more precious than gold.

Who do I measure myself against then?

“No one,” God smiles.
“You’re a one-of-a-kind gem!”

My grandson said, “So what do we do with this knowledge?”

I answered,  “Remember, you are unique.
Don’t let your self-esteem be measured by the
size of someone else’s anything!”

 

(Go back to the clay figure and you can see
what kind of “anything” that caused that deduction!)

grayscale portrait photo of shocked woman

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

Oh bludder!!!


Bite your tongue, my friend …
Know you were created PERFECTLY –

and Have a Merry Christmas!

yellow tape measure

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Let’s Do It!


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Let’s Do It!

God has entrusted us
With treasures of great worth.
Hope and inspiration are ours.
God gives us each other – and Christ’s birth.

God gives us, by His grace,
The gifts of immeasurable treasure.
He gives us the abilities
To use these gifts without measure.

We don’t get to choose
What treasures we receive,
But we are allowed to choose
What we do or achieve.

To fulfill our life’s purpose
Or to ignore our responsibilities
Is a choice we each make.
What are your possibilities?

We can double our gifts
Or we can ignore or bury ’em.
We can share our gifts
Or we decide they’re too heavy to carry ’em.

We will be rewarded according
To the return to  God on our gifts.
Our talents are ours to use or
We’ll watch dismayed as our reward shifts.

God will take from the selfish
The wonders He placed in their hands.
He’ll rebuke the ungrateful ones
Who ignore His service demands.

So, are we giving back double
The abilities God generously gave us?
Do we accept them and honor Him
By using the gifts that can save us?

He gave us comfort so we
Can return comfort to others.
He gives us perfect directions
For how to use our gifts for our brothers.

So, let’s do it!
Amen?

Jan Beekman

-based on a sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
-reflecting on Matt. 25:14-30
11/19/17

My Dog’s a Nuisance


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My dog is a nuisance, an absolute pest.

With her in the house, there is truly no rest.

She buries her bones under bushes and trees;

She begs at the table and scatters her fleas.

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She flattens my pillow and sleeps on my bed.

I awaken at night with her nose on my head.

She runs us in circles; I’m getting worn out.

I won’t be a slave for this flat-nosed little sprout!

 

Errr, pardon, excuse me? But what did you say?

You ask if I’m giving my puppy away?

You’ve the nerve to suggest you’ll take her with pleasure.

Why, certainly not! She’s an absolute treasure!

 

      This is adapted from another of those old poems that my mom cut out of the local newspaper back in 1938 and pasted to a piece of cardboard that she tacked to the inside of her kitchen cupboard door.  We always had dogs when I was a kid growing up. The first one, Teddy, a fox terrier, was a house pet. None of them after him were allowed in the house. I think it was because we moved out to the country and the dogs got too dirty. I could hardly wait when Bob & I were married to get an indoor dog that I could cuddle the way I used to sleep with Teddy. Terriers are perfect indoor pets. Not too big, very little shedding, playful, and lovable. Our TazE is named for that little bit of devil in her – and E – for the big ears. When she was a pup the ears were just about all you saw! Since then she’s grown into them somewhat, but true to her Boston Terrier nature, they still are very prominent. (The better to hear you with, my dear!) She doesn’t have fleas – that was just a part of the whimsical poem – and she doesn’t bury bones, but she does occasionally beg at the table (I don’t reward it, but guests sometimes will give her scraps before I catch them!). She does run us in circles – and chases the bunnies that live under our porch. The antelope and deer know better than to come into our yard space, too. She’s a handy little guardian!

But no, I’m not giving my little nuisance away! 

Give It Away Now!


I have an old, tattered book end. It’s quite chipped. On it is an old man with a sombrero and a donkey, moulded out of plaster of paris. I think the set probably was purchased by my parents back in the late thirties shortly after they were married. Is that old Mexican fellow feeding his donkey or is he pulling the stubborn animal, trying to get him to go where he wants him? I prefer the latter story. This old piece of “junk” is probably not worth much on the open market. I doubt I’d get a quarter for it in a yard sale. But, to me –  it’s priceless. My sister and I used to make up stories about this old fella when we were kids. It’s place of honor was on a table in the sitting room where the furniture of blond wood and red fabric was a wedding gift from Dad’s best friend. He and Dad had a bet about which of them would marry first. Dad won. The friend bought Dad a red sofa, chair, ottoman, and a table with matching blond wood. My niece has the furniture. My sister, Sally, has one of the book-ends. I have the other.

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The book-end sits on the crowded bookshelf in my living room here in Montana. It doesn’t draw much attention to itself in the spot where I have it placed, but yesterday I met the old man’s parents – or maybe his elderly cousins. Made of the same plaster of paris, painted the same hues of yellow and red with touches of green, the elderly couple were front and center on the mantle in a new friend’s home. They were sitting closely on a wooden bench, knapsack thrown to the side where he was sitting, umbrella leaning on her side. Years of living together made them almost look as if they could be brother-sister, but experience told you – no, they were a husband and wife – and if that couple could talk, they’d have 60+ years of stories to share. My eyes were riveted on them as I asked my friend if her honored couple had a story. She didn’t speak. I looked at her. Tears welled up and her voice was husky. She whispered, “Oh yes!”

“Will you tell me?” I asked.

“Do you have time?”

“For this story, I have all the time in the world,” I replied.

We took a seat on her lovely white brocade sofa. “When I was a little girl,” she began… (somehow i knew the piece had to date back fifty years or more, so her introduction didn’t surprise me)… “my dear father used to take my mom every now and then to the local jewelry store and let her pick out a piece of jewelry. My sister and I were not trusted in the store where so many pretty, shiny things were sitting at finger-tip level, so we waited (in good weather) outside the store while they went in to do their shopping. In the window of Severson’s Jewelry Store sat this carving. My sister and I called the old couple Grandma and Grandpa. To pass the time while our parents were inside, we made up stories about them. Our imaginations were wild, and we kept one another well entertained. One day when we arrived at the store, the old carving was not in the window. Mr. Severson had brought it inside. It was in a glass case at the back of the store. He said it was time to revamp the store’s windows. With a promise that we would not touch anything, our parents let us come inside and sit in front of the glass case. By the twinkle in his eye and his occasional chuckle, we could tell the store owner was eavesdropping on our story-telling and enjoying the tales my sis and I created.

“Eventually Mr. Severson retired, the store was closed, and the old couple on the carved bench disappeared. My sister disappeared at about the same time. She was twelve years old when she was tragically killed in a car accident. Mr. and Mrs. Severson came to her funeral to express their condolences. A few years later, we went to Mrs. Severson’s funeral to express our condolences to the jeweler who had become an old friend of the family by that time.

Years went by. I graduated and went away to work. I was home one weekend visiting my parents when there was a knock on the door. Mr. Severson stood there with a wrapped box. Inside was that precious carving – Grandma and Grandpa on the bench. ‘You need this,’ he said. Speechless, I hugged him. ‘It means as much to you as it does to me,’ he explained. ‘It’s time I give it away now.’

“Does it have a story?” my friend repeated my question. “What story would you like to create for Grandma and Grandpa today?”

I came home and pulled my book-end off the shelf. I looked at that old man with the donkey and wondered, is it time to give him away? Should I give it away now? Is there anyone to whom it means as much as it does to me? I wonder…

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