Don’t overlook your life’s importance or minimize its worth. It doesn’t matter if you’re on an allowance or Social Security. No matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.
The vital part of your life never disappears or fades away. Each of us is vital to God. He gives us the courage to go out and live, to heed His call, and step out in faith on a new journey today.
In faithful obedience, lean forward to hear Him. He doesn’t shout. His call is quiet and personal. Get serious. Listen carefully. Are you up for a new journey? Have faith and step out!
I wrote the poem, “Have Faith and Step Out” in 2002 while we were still living in California. I had officially retired from teaching in 1999, but daily I was looking for new direction, new purpose, new adventures. The International Library of Poetry published the poem in its 2002 Anthology of Poetry and sent me a dozen greeting cards with the poem printed on the front of them. Today I am using one of those cards for a friend who is stepping onto a new path.
The poem has become more meaningful in the nearly 20 years since its creation. The older I am, the more I realize, “No matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.” Your age doesn’t matter. Your place doesn’t matter. What matters is your mindset, your faith, your motivation.
Today Bob is out on Lucille (our red-headed ATV on which we have a “Ball”) with his former student, Victor, who is visiting from Alabama. Victor was Bob’s wrestling student back in the 1970’s. He reminded us that Bob also was his Drivers Education teacher. They are on an adventure – going to a lake above Sheridan. Our Boston, TazE, is with them. Ah, yes, step out in faith. Have fun!
Where He leads me, I will follow!
Remember, no matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.
Where are you being called to go today? What are you being called to do? Whatever it is, step out in faith. He will give you grace and glory… He’ll be with you all the way!
On her post, Marion Driessen invited her readers to try it… try writing a six word story.
Oh, I discovered later that the invitation was posted on Posted on . Do you suppose it still is valid?
I’m going to try it… just a short trial. I can embrace the fun of it… Even if it is out of date!
She challenged her readers, “Write a story about SUPERSTITION in just six words. Let a photo or image inspire you to write a story. Or first write the story, and then make or search for a picture to go with it.“
Then she suggested, “Publish your Six word story on your own website/blog and paste the link to that post in a comment to this one here at Figments. I will include your contribution in this post, forming a list of stories.”
OK… here’s mine!
Black cat crossed my path – Doomed!
Yup, I’m doomed! No way this short post is gonna end up on Marion’s website.
But, oh well, it was fun anyway. My blog is all about spreading HOPE. We can hope, can’t we?
When are you the most creative? Where do your creative juices flow most freely? What’s your God-given creative talent?
I am not a painter. I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.
Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?
When children are given the tools and the examples early in life, often that becomes the springboard for a life of artistic talent shared.
No one told me that my scribbles might lead to a creative talent that would be appreciated by others!
But, I was encouraged to sing as a child. That was a talent that did not go unnoticed. How could you ignore it when I was a 3-year-old singing “Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee” all the way through the hymns at church. Singing loudly and joyfully!
Hah! It was during the time of WWII and a popular song was “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with Anyone Else But Me).”
You’re probably not old enough to remember it!! Go ahead, click on it here. You’ll love it!!
So how did my “Appo Tee” singing graduate into a full-blown creative talent? Like any talent, it takes involvement, participation, practice.
I have been a member of a choir for as long as I can remember… … always in school, then in church, and eventually our community choir. I am not a soloist, but I love singing in a duet or trio or with a large group. Recently our church choir was able to start up again… it is such a joy!
Once I even got to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during one of their dress rehearsals for their Christmas concert!
The rendition below of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it. I love it so much!
If your talent is not singing or painting, maybe you developed a talent in another area – like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.
Of course, one major talent I forgot mention Is instrumental music … the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument… Such talent brings so much joy to the player as well to a world of listeners.
I played the accordion and the clarinet as a child and continued to do so until just recently. My accordion is not functioning, there’s a hole in the bellows.
Perhaps I will find another small accordion that I can handle… and will resume that creative endeavor. The children at the day care center and the residents at our local Nursing Home enjoyed it!
Here’s just a small clip – (it’s only 10 seconds!!) of me playing for the residents at my sister’s place in PA a couple of years ago. (I won’t burden you with too much of this!) Hah!
My cousin always used to send me comic strips about the accordion. One was a guy entering heaven and the angel said, “Welcome to Heaven, here’s your harp.” The other was a gal entering Hades. The angel greeted her and said, “Welcome to Hell, here’s your accordion.”
Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!
The question remains: What are your God-given talents? Have you developed an area of creativity?
I forgot to mention writing!! Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?
But, even this writing talent doesn’t improve without practice, right? Never stop learning and trying to improve – regardless of the area of creativity… gardening & photography (Derrick) – poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.) cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn) You know who you are… and what you need to do!
Our library was having a book sale last week. For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book. Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated, and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer. Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice. And feedback always helps!
Roses are red. Violets are pink. I’m an emerging poet. Man, don’t I stink?
No, don’t badmouth yourself!! Keep workin’ at it…
Embrace Creativity! Tell me about yours…
Thanks for sharing! See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”
When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.
“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.
What comes to your mind?
In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.
Embrace your passion – Figure out just what it is, Then LIVE your passion.
Yesterday I lived – I lived passionately – But I did not blog.
Even though blogging Is an important passion, I did not write it.
Sometimes you need to Set aside pen and paper – Set aside writing –
And LIVE your passion! I listened to the Spirit And followed its voice.
My most important passion is what this blog’s sub-title spells out: spreading love, joy,peace,faith and unity.
In the process of living out my faith, I spend time every morning in my “SanctuAiree” among the angels, Bibles, devotionals, birds level with me in the trees, and the Holy Spirit alive and well. surrounding and in me. I listen for that still small voice – and try to obey its directives.
As the contact person and secretary for our Pastor Nominating Committee, I have worked consistently for over a year – collaboratively with my wonderful, dedicated team – to find the pastor we think God has in mind for us. We see a light at the end of the tunnel … and are praying for wisdom and discernment. Yesterday I worked on that project. I am passionate about helping to find the “right” person to lead our congregation into the future. It is a huge responsibility – and we take it very seriously.
Do you have a project about which you are passionate? Are you living that passion? Do you see a light at the end of your tunnel? I’d love to hear about it.
Have you defined your purpose in blogging? Are you feeling like your purpose is being fulfilled? Are you passionate about it? Cristian Mihai in “The Art of Blogging” tells us often that unless we are writing about things we are passionate about, our messages will fall flat.
Sometimes I feel that my messages are not resonating with my readers. When I get that feeling, I have to back up and ask myself, “Who are you writing for?” If one or two of you respond, if I have reached into the heart of just one other blogging friend out there, that has to be enough. It’s not a numbers game! YOU are the only reader who matters. I am sharing my passion with YOU.
My passion is to LIVE in such a way that at the end of the day, I can say to myself, “I did what the Holy Spirit called me to do today, and I did it with gusto. I did my best – and now I can rest.”
The roaring Of an angry cat Who’s hungry Tells you “Run!” Especially a lion – Not a pussy cat!
The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a stanza – you can write a poem that is made of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5. So, like the haiku, the lines are relatively short. Rather poetically, the origin of the shadorma is mysterious.
In my devotional time this morning, I read an article that spoke to me of the way poetry fits into my life … a life that is filled with the wonder of poetic healing. I am impelled to share it with you because I hope it will inspire and validate your poetic instincts the way it did mine.
Before you read it, you may want to scroll to the bottom here and click on Laura Sullivan’s piano music. Listen to it as you read Jacqueline Suskin’s inspiring article.
Finding the Poetry in Everyday Life
by Jacqueline Suskin From – Posted on Jan 25, 2021 A professional poet provides tips on healing your life by adopting a poetic mindset.
There’s a saying: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” These days, the battle feels especially hard. From everyday challenges to the forces dividing our nation, it’s fair to ask: How can I bring more joy to my life? More peace?
My answer: poetry.
I’m a professional poet. For a decade, I earned a living doing a project I called Poem Store… I wrote a story I wrote a few years ago for Guideposts about how poetry can be a vital part of someone’s prayer practice …
What is it about poetry that makes it such a powerful, universal language?
Poetry reveals beauty in the smallest details of creation. It finds light in the darkest shadow. It is a guide and a teacher, reminding readers that life is a miracle, something to be celebrated. Good poetry tells deep truths about joy and pain, triumph and grief. Like the Psalms, poetry explores every aspect of human experience, shying away from nothing and expressing gratitude for everything.
That’s why I believe poetry can be healing for anyone. You don’t have to be a professional poet.
Here are some suggestions for cultivating a poetic mindset, gained from a lifetime of writing, teaching and finding my place on this planet:
1. Be in awe of everything. A dictionary definition of awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”
… The poetic mindset starts with the idea that nothing is an accident. Everything is interrelated and plays a part in a greater whole. Therefore, everything deserves notice and even celebration.
The signs are everywhere. Autumn leaves swirling in wind. A luminous raindrop on your window. The sight of someone you love peacefully asleep. Stars on a clear winter night. (And I, JanBeek, have to interject here: the sight of snowflakes dancing outside on your patio)
Even on your hardest day, a glance around will reveal something miraculous. When I focus on the intricate grandeur of nature, I feel myself relax. My mind unclenches from my problems, and I know that something larger is present, no matter what happens.
Awe is easy to cultivate. Close your eyes. Now open them. What is the first thing you see? Look closer. Ask yourself: How was this thing made? Where did it come from? What does it look like, feel like, smell like, maybe even taste like? What is good about it? What does it remind you of? Does it bring happy thoughts or sad ones? Why? What does it tell you about yourself or the divine?
I’m willing to bet your randomly selected object is full of meaning. A poetic mindset helps you tune into that significance whenever you want. It’s an inexhaustible source of healing, refreshment and inspiration.
2. Make pain your teacher.
Are you brokenhearted and angry? There’s a poem for that…
A poem is a place where you can pour out your hardest feelings. Make the words shout, burn. Don’t be afraid. You can always throw the page into the fireplace once you’ve filled it. Or seal it in an envelope and come back to it later.
Poetry can be a repository for everything difficult in your life.
But there’s more. I find that when I write about something I’m struggling with, my negative feelings begin to ebb. By writing, remembering, I am forced to admit that not everything is so bad. The world is complicated. There is darkness and light. Forgiveness comes into view.
The more I put everything on the page—the whole truth, not just an edited version—the more I ask why things happened. If I could have done things differently. Whether my poem is trying to teach me something. Here’s part of a poem I wrote while I was grieving a loved one.
You were a shining man always giving us a reason to rejoice and so you still are, you always will be.
Writing about grief helped me widen my perspective. I learned that memories are emblems of ongoing life after death. That doesn’t end my grief. My grief teaches me a healing truth.
3. Seek what inspires you.
Life isn’t perfect, but you can live with love and trust anyway.
Poetry helps us remember this essential piece of wisdom. What comes from God is good, and there is always goodness to be found once you train yourself to look.
Poetry to me is a form of praise. I build poems from things I see, people I meet and thoughts and feelings found deep inside. As I present those treasures in poetic language, I am celebrating what is good in them. My poems have an innate optimism. Poetry looks for the bright side of life, whatever is inspiring and beautiful even in the midst of hardship.
To see the world as a poet is to be aware of beauty wherever you go. A poet believes that beauty is a clue to the essential nature of existence. Pay attention to that feeling of joy as you spot a delicate tracery of dew in a spider’s web on your morning walk. The beauty, and your joy, are helping you see something deeply true about life.
4. Open yourself to a new perspective.
Few objects are more humble than the pencil. Yet, for me, a pencil is holy. Every pencil is special because I imagine the thoughts and images that it can be used to create and communicate. What are the holy objects in your life? A poet looks for what is beloved in everything, no matter how ordinary.
That is what makes poetry a force for healing. When you look for what is beautiful, good, true and holy in everything around you, you are really looking for God. When you write down what you see, you are engaged in a deep form of prayer.
When your mind and your heart develop this habit of poetic prayer, you cannot be overcome by the world’s troubles because you carry a treasury of goodness inside yourself.
Your poems don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to rhyme. They don’t have to impress anyone. All they need is a new perspective, that of a poetic mindset.”
Thank you, Jacqueline Suskin. Your Guideposts article inspired me. I hope it inspires my WordPress friends, too.
EMBRACE WRITING POETRY
Here’s a poem from a fantastic musician, Laura Sullivan, who also dabbles in poetry. If you’re unfamiliar with her music, do yourself a favor and click on the YouTube at the bottom here.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Do you have a poem to share? I’d love to have you share something poetic in the comments section here.
My word for 2021 is “Embrace.” Each day during my devotional time, I am prompted with a word or two that tells me what to embrace today. Yesterday it was “Silence.” Did you miss me? I was silent. No blog.
Today I am prompted to say, “Embrace One Another.” You may be thinking, “But… How can we embrace one another in the midst of this pandemic when Social Distancing is required?” How?
However, I am afraid that many people will respond, “No, I can’t hug anyone like that right now.” So, are there other ways to “Embrace One Another” besides hugging? Think about that! What can you do? Write!
You embrace me when you embrace my ideas, respond to my post, send me a text, smile at me, affirm me.
How can I embrace you without being able to come close and hug you tight? I’ll pray for you and text you. Respond.
Send me a picture of a flower e-mail email@example.com Send me a comment telling me that you do care! Embrace. Now!
Thanks for visiting my blog today. Will you take the next step? Embrace One Another. Embrace me! God Bless You!