Loving One Another

What Makes You Happy?


What Makes You Happy?

beach blue sky cheerful clouds

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I was headed yesterday to visit a friend who lives about an hour away. Stuck in traffic, waiting for a very long, very slow train to pass, I was getting more and more grumbly. I was late for lunch! I decided drumming my fingers on the steering wheel and complaining was doing no good. I should change my mindset – think about what makes me happy instead.

So, I started this mental activity of alphabetically coming up with a list of things that make me happy. I texted a few to my friend (along with an apology and explanation for why I was late) and finished the list just about the time the looooong train finally finished crossing the intersection:

 

What Makes Me Happy?

  • Antelope and Accolades
  • Birthdays and Beaches
  • Christmas and Comfort
  • Dogwoods and Dawn
  • Easter and Enthusiasm
  • Friends and Family
  • Grandkids and Gratitude
  • Hospitality and Hugs
  • Integrity and Inspirations
  • JellyBellies and Justice
  • Kids and Kisses
  • Learning and Laughter
  • Music and Mountains
  • Neighbors and Nourishment
  • Opportunities and Oysters (on the half shell)
  • Puppies and Possibilities
  • Quiet and Quirkiness
  • Relaxation and Roses
  • Scripture and Springtime
  • Thankfulness and Trust
  • Understanding and Unconditional Love
  • Visitors and Vacations
  • Writing and WordPress
  • Xander and Xylophones
  • Yodeling and Yellow
  • Zoos and Zebras

 

So, try it! Next time you’re stuck in traffic, instead of grumbling and strumming, think about what makes you happy. You’ll pass the time with a smile instead of a frown, and the train will fly by!

bridge clouds cloudy dark clouds

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Share Your Smile


Mother Theresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.”

I believe it.

Do you?

Shortly after we

Moved to Montana,

I joined the

Madison Valley

Writers’ Group.

Smiles helped me

Make friends.

Shared writing

Helped us

Get to know

One another better.

.

Here is a poem

I wrote back then.

It’s still pertinent

(maybe even more so)

Today… don’t

You agree?

.

A Smile

.

“If you see someone without a smile,” the old saying goes,

“Give ’em one of yours.” It’ll chase away their woes.

It won’t hurt you a bit and it don’t take no time.

Might even be returned, and won’t cost you a dime.

.

If you see someone without a smile, maybe they just need

The kind of cheer you got – to bring ’em up to speed.

You might throw in a handshake, or a “Howdy, how ya be?”

Might be their first friendly touch in a day or two or three.

.

Might be they’d like to tell you how they truly are,

‘Cuz usually when folks ask that, they don’t really car.

So, add some hospitality to the smile you send their way,

And shucks, you never know, ya might just make their day!

Oh, and by the way,

That’s my DollyWolly,

DeDeBee’s Smile.

Ain’t it great?

“Peace begins with a smile.”

Hey, Bloggers


Hey, Bloggers,

How ya feelin’ today?

Have ya found yer smile,

Or did the blues get in the way?

.

Hey, Bloggers,

What’s your mood today?

Have ya found yer happy,

Or did some news get in the way?

.

Hey, Bloggers,

How’s yer heart today?

Do ya feel the love in there,

Or did some muse get in the way?

.

Hey, Bloggers-

I read yer post today.

It set me here to thinkin’

‘Bout what you had to say.

.

Hey Bloggers,

When life gits pure insane,

Come visit me at JanBeek

And I’ll help your spirit gain

. That smile you lost,

. A renewed sense of happy, and

. Hearts for Loving One Another

❤️💕♥️💕❤️💕♥️💕❤️

Drop by anytime.

Hey, Bloggers –

I got love to spare!

Come share ❤️💕♥️


adult background beach blue

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

 

How to Create Hope in a World of Conflict

 

Today is the day Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a life-time appointment to the Supreme Court of the USA.  It is a day of deep national divide. Many are feeling relief that our right to be “innocent until proven guilty” has been affirmed. Others are feeling emotional despair. On this day of huge chasms, how can we create, maintain and foster a spirit of hope?

Here are three ideas for creating hope in this, our own personal, world of conflict:

1. Let Go

In a heartfelt article in this month’s Daily Word, a devotional published by Unity, I was encouraged today to “let go of trying to change things…, take some deep breaths, and rest in tranquility for a while.”

The devotional referred me to Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” I really need that gentle rest for my soul today!

I decided to look and see how that passage was translated in The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.  His Study Bible often gives me an insight that the King James or the NIV (New International Version) don’t. Sure enough, in our more modern vocabulary, The Message in Matt. 11:29-30 begins, “Are you tired? Worn out?”

Wow! Yes, after a few days of being drawn into conflicting testimonies, angry shouting, accusations and denials, and crowds protesting, I am tired. I am worn out. I am deeply troubled. I am looking for harmony!

The Message version goes on to say, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace… Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

That’s what we all need! We need to live freely and lightly. We need to enter each day in an unforced rhythm of grace. We need live each day with a renewed sense of hope. Let go!

2. Be Nuts!

This month’s National Geographic magazine had a timely, pertinent article by Anne Lamott titled, “Despite Perils, Decide to Hope.” Her beginning sentence reads, “You would almost have to be nuts to be filled with hope in a world so rife with hunger, hatred, climate change, pollution, and pestilence, let alone the self-destruction or severely annoying behavior of certain people.” But she goes on to tell us that she lives in a state of “boundless hope” most of the time. She must be nuts then, right? How does she do it? She says she lives in hope by being optimistic, trusting, and confident that those she loves will be okay, no matter what.

That’s what we all need! We need to be more optimistic. We need to be more trusting. We need to be more confident that everything is ultimately going to be okay. Let go of what we cannot control. Focus on what we have the ability to change. Start with our own attitudes.

3. Take Action

In this week’s Guideposts magazine there is an article titled, “Heartfelt.” It tells about a Salvation Army crafts project – sewing red hearts. Called “Others,” it began in Bangladesh in 1997 with the goal of helping single women become financially able to support themselves and their children without prostituting themselves. Since its onset, “Others” has helped 1600 women in Bangladesh come out of human trafficking and step into a brighter future. The article was so compelling that I went to the website: guideposts.org/hearts-for-others and donated to the cause. For $10. or more, OTHERS will send you two handmade hearts. My donation will help other women find hope where there is despair.

With the internet and its world-wide reach, there are literally millions of places we can reach out to take action for causes in which we believe – issues for which we feel a deep compassion. Additionally, within our own communities there are dozens of places we can volunteer to offer our services.

Volunteering was one of Ann Lamott’s thrusts in her National Geographic article. She said, “Create goodness in the world and that gives us hope… ” Her examples include helping with school labs, with building water wells, cleaning up estuaries and water sheds. She said by volunteering, we wake “to the momentousness of life – the power of loving hearts.”

In my little town of Ennis with less than a thousand people, I volunteer at our local Food Bank (distributing food to the less fortunate), our Senior Center (working as a sous chef to prepare meals for folks 55 and over who come for nourishment and camaraderie), and at the Madison Valley Medical Center (greeting, answering phones, guiding patients to needed services, fund raising for needed hospital equipment, etc.).  Volunteering does indeed give me the opportunity to make a difference where I can … and focus on the areas where I have the power to create goodness.

Creating Hope in a World of Despair

So, how can we adopt an attitude of hope, of optimism, trust, and confidence in a world of conflict? We don’t do it by pointing fingers. We don’t do it by accusations and finding someone else to blame. We don’t do it by closing ourselves in a closet and avoiding exposure. We don’t do it by looking out for #1 and to Hell with the rest of the world! We do it, I believe, by following the greatest commandment. It is the sub-title of my JanBeek blog: Love One Another.

Look for the good. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Emulate it. Praise it. Tell people how much they matter. Treat others with respect. Listen. Value one another. Give others hope and encouragement. Serve with kindness. Focus on being compassionate. Find your niche. Let your cup overflow. Love One Another. Spill out HOPE!

Tell me one thing you can do this day or this week… just one thing…  to create HOPE in our desperate world. Let Go. Be Nuts. Take Action. How will you reach out?


Jesus is Walkin’ on the Water Again!

I saw the fish ajumpin’ –

Areachin’ for my fly.

I saw the trout acomin’ –

Then turn; I don’t know why.
.

Then Jesus walked beside me –

Come right up to my boat

And skeered them fish to leavin’.

He sure done git me goat!

.

I’ll try another bugger,

And when I set me hook,

I’ll check to make sure Jesus

Ain’t there. Take a good look!

.

Cuz sure as them’s raisin’ –

Ya, sure as there is play,

I thought I seen my Jesus

Walkin’ the river today!

.

It weren’t no sacred Sunday.

I ain’t done nothin’ wrong.

But maybe He’s attracted

To the river’s bubblin’ song.

.

I sure as heck cain’t blame Him.

That river calls me, too.

I don’t suppose that river song

Has ever attracted you.
.

Huh?

Ya ain’t the only one!!

Ya got a fish story to tell!??


May your National Day of Prayer

be a day when your heart strings

are connected to God’s heartstrings

HeartStrings

Enter a caption

And may your prayers be answered

with all the love God, in grace and mercy, can muster.

Amen!

I’m Back!


About a year ago I stopped writing in WordPress. My email account associated with it was full and overflowing. The task of keeping up overwhelmed me. Something had to give. So, I just stopped blogging. It’s been a good reprieve.

Then, about a month ago I flew home to Montana from a family reunion in California and brought a cold virus with me. It turned into pneumonia and threw me for a nose dive! I was so zonked by it that whole days went by in my pajamas, too drained to get out of bed or off the couch! I had way too much time to think. My husband got the bug from me. The only difference between my pneumonia and his “walking pneumonia ” was that he was too stubborn to lie down! As soon as he felt better, he went skiing. Relapse! He spent a couple days in his pj’s, too. Then when he felt better, he went skiing again. After the second relapse, he gave himself a week before he was on a ladder, painting the eaves. I gave myself the full month … in fact it’s been five weeks. Finally, I am better. I feel like I am going to survive! God bless the friends who brought food, called, prayed, visited, shopped for me, found good books to keep me entertained and still, and sent cards of encouragement! I am so grateful.

During this time of forced rest, I had time to think. Time to evaluate my life. Time to reprioritize. Time to read one of my favorite WordPress bloggers, Janet Riehl, order and savor her newest book, Sightlines, and time to be inspired by her insights and talents enough to sign up for an eight-week Writers’ Workshop. I’m back! I’m committed to starting a writing project and finishing it. I’m ready to rejoin the world of the living and make my voice heard.

Stay tuned!

Reflections


My confession, admission, and plea to God today is this:

None of us lives to just self alone;
Each of us lives for the other.
Whatever we do, be it rosy or blue,
Reflects on our sister and brother.

None of us sits on the judgment seat.
We’re not assigned to decide
If someone’s dull or bright, wrong or right,
Sending them to a corner to hide.

None of us lives a faultless life,
Though we try our utmost to seek
The humble hill to fulfill Your will
In our deeds and the words we speak.

We stumble and fall and fail to be
Examples of the upright and strong.
Try as we may, we know that someday
We’ll have to account for each wrong.

We’ll each have to stand before Your judgment seat
And review how we’ve spent every minute.
So, Lord, help us give every day that we live
All the love and the grace You put in it.

Help us to generously welcome all
To be part of whatever we do.
None of us lives to ourselves alone;
We always reflect on You.

Amen?

Amen!

The Pleasure of Not Writing


 

Yes, take time to think

Think many positive thoughts

Then make time to write

 

But, write everyday?

Is that really positive?

How about a break?

 

Every other week I meet with a Writers’ Group. Our attendance varies between two and eight. We never know who’ll show up, but even if I am there alone, I enjoy going to that writers’ spot and sharing ideas with fellow writers via my blog.

When others attend (usually two or more join me), we begin with a prompt that we pull out of a hat (actually a little bag), and then we free write for 15 minutes or so. Each of us shares orally with one another what we’ve written during free write – and then we share something we’ve been working on at home, making copies for each other to look on and offer positive criticism.

During the free write, I get a kick out of how many different approaches we take to the same prompt. A few weeks ago the prompt was, “The Pleasure of Not Writing.”

Here is what my fifteen minute rambling produced:

 

Writing is an itch

That needs to be scratched,

But I can turn around

And grieve the time that’s snatched!

 

I can get so wrapped up

In getting words out of my brain

That it can be exhausting

And on life – take quite a drain!

 

I need to take a break

And not write for a day or two;

Do something else creative –

What would that be for you?

 

Would you watch TV and vegetate?

Would you fish or visit friends?

Would you clean, or sort, or gravitate

To some project without ends?

 

I take pleasure in my writing.

I love hearing from bloggers out there,

But I think there’s pleasure in not writing –

I’m just not sure I know where!

 

Oh wait – I know a place I’ll go –

To the kitchen where I’ll cook –

To the Food Bank where I’ll serve –

To Plain Jane’s to have a look.

 

I’ll bide my time at the mall

Or take in a concert or two.

What pleasure will you find NOT writing?

What other activities are happy for you?

 

A pedicure? Ah, it feels so good!

Time at the beach? Ah, so refreshing!

Quiet time with Jesus?

Ah yes, I’m headed to my lovely sanctuary now.

Join me!

Raincheck


flying people fly levitate

Bouncing in puddles

Singing on a rainy day

Storms cannot stop us

.

Waiting for sunshine

Can take a very long time

Don’t take a rain check

.

Weather every storm

Get up and put your shoes on

Puddles await you

boy jumping near grass at daytime

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We Are Loved


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Photo by Amber Lamoreaux on Pexels.com

Rachel Mankowitz wrote on her Cricket pages in WordPress today… and her words touched my soul. She ended her post with this:

“On Friday nights at my synagogue we often exchange one of the traditional prayers (Ahavat Olam) for an alternative version, written by Rami Shapiro:

We are loved by an unending love.
We are embraced by arms that find us
even when we are hidden from ourselves.

We are touched by fingers that soothe us
even when we are too proud for soothing.
We are counseled by voices that guide us
even when we are too embittered to hear.
We are loved by an unending love.

We are supported by hands that uplift us
even in the midst of a fall.
We are urged on by eyes that meet us
even when we are too weak for meeting.
We are loved by an unending love.

Embraced, touched, soothed, and counseled

ours are the arms, the fingers, the voices;
ours are the hands, the eyes, the smiles;
We are loved by an unending love.

Even if we can’t envision God as the healer of our wounds, we have something more concrete to rely on: community. We have the power to see each other, and heal each other. Among all of the roles we can play in each other’s lives, this is one of my favorites.

Hallelujah.”

I love the words to that traditional Jewish prayer. Oh, how they touched me! You need to go and read the whole of Rachel’s post!

Healer of the Broken Hearted

 


SYNCHRONICITY

“… the simultaneous occurrence of causally unrelated events and the belief that the simultaneity has meaning beyond mere coincidence.”

Has such synchronism happened to you? Can you think of a time when there was a coincidence in time/events/things that was too synchronous to be coincidental? I can!

white lighthouse

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

Just last weekend, I watched a movie on my Amazon Prime Video that was titled, Lightkeepers. It was a delightful film starring Richard Dreyfuss in which he played the role of the lighthouse keeper. Love lost and love renewed, life lost and life renewed, heartwarming and real. I highly recommend it.

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But what does this have to do with synchronicity? Well, in the four days since I watched that movie, I have seen lighthouses at least once each day… in a TV ad, in the newspaper, in the centerfold of my November issue of In Touch Magazine… this photo by Charles Stanley:

image_56400288084178

I posted it accidentally in a post of its own, titled Lighthouses, just a few minutes ago. I was trying to save it to use in this post and I ended up posting it alone – – – and losing everything I had written so far on this subject of Synchronicity. Hmmm…

Then, this morning, before I could redo the post that I started, my friend who comes once a week for prayer, praise, study and devotional sharing time with me, arrived with a new cloth bag in which she carries her books, etc. What do you think the bag had pictured on the cover?

white lighthouse during golden hour
You guessed it!

What do we do with such synchronicity? Does it make you think? Do you ask yourself, “What are these reoccurrences trying to teach me?” I do!

Charles Stanley’s photo had this scripture printed below it:
“O send out Your Light and Your Truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places. Then I will go to the alter of God, to God my exceeding joy; and upon the lyre I will praise you, O God, my God.” Psalm 43:3-4

I don’t play the lyre, but I play the accordion. Upon the accordion I will praise You, O God, my God. I will bring exceeding joy to the people in our local nursing home. I will accept the call, and be the light that God has given me. Yesterday I wrote about Reciprocity … receiving and giving back. Today it’s time for me to “Walk the Talk.”

woman in stripes holding hands with person wearing bracelets

Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

Come – and Go shine forth!!

Lighthouse



RECIPROCITY

What gifts have you been given that you are able to “give back”?

1 Peter 4:10-11 “Love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless – cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way God’s bright presence will be in everything through Jesus, and He’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything – encores to the end of time. Oh yes!”

And the simplified version of 1Peter4:10 from the ESV reads, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

In the first version, Eugene H. Peterson in The Message mentioned two specific gifts: words and help. As bloggers, we know the gift of words is ours – and we intend by sharing our words to be a help to our readers, right?

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

How has the sharing of my words helped you? Did the reciprocity of giving and receiving described in 1Peter 4:10-11 speak to your heart as it did to mine?

In my Daily Guideposts devotional yesterday morning, Sabra Ciancanelli shared this scripture and ended with a prayer. I spoke it to my God today.

Join me:

“Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the variety of blessings You bestow upon us and the magic that happens when we share, honor, and celebrate our gifts.” Amen

We’re All Hypocrites


WE’RE ALL HYPOCRITES

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hypocrisy is easy to spot in others, but we often miss it in ourselves. Lord, reveal any hypocrisy in my life!

Psalm 139:23-24
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Yes, we’re all hypocrites! We just aren’t perfect, darn it. We have great intentions. We desperately want to walk in “the way everlasting,” but hey, we’re only human, right? We stray.

Don’t judge me too harshly when I falter. Maybe if I didn’t set my standards so high, it would be easier to reach them, to meet and keep them. Should I lower my expectations?

Where do I find my standards?

As Christians, don’t we all strive to be more like Jesus? Oh my Lord, help me! If I’m trying to be like You, I’m struggling to be perfect! The goal can’t get any higher. No wonder I “fall short of the Glory of God.”

Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The Lord knows all my offenses. He knows all my anxious thoughts.

God hears our silent murmuring, our laments. We don’t have to tell Him about our shortcomings. He recognized them before we did. If we’re open to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, we’ll feel His guiding hand trying to help us stay in the Way Everlasting.

In addition to the Spirit within, He’ll send us the love of family and friends who love us in spite of our failures. And He’ll send us annoying critics who shout, “Hypocrite!” And we’ll run to our Hospital for Sinners, our community of believers who meet with us each week to worship and refuel. They are people like us who are praying the prayer of Psalm 139:23 – “Search me, God, and know my heart…”  Together we’ll lock arms and strive to “walk the talk” – and get back to the Way Everlasting.

At least for the moment!

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