Loving One Another

What Makes You Happy?


What Makes You Happy?

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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!

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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 ❤️💕♥️


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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!


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It is Martin Luther King Sunday! We celebrated this momentous day at the Bloom in the Desert Ministries in Palm Springs, California. Rev. Kevin A. Johnson delivered the message. As is my habit, I took notes poetically during the sermon. Here is what I heard Rev. Kev say after the sharing of Bible story of Jesus’ first miracle:

Isaiah held firm and encouraged
The people to speak out.
Do not be silent; be encouraged.
Let your convictions eek out.

Exclusion and hate are taught
In many places in our land,
But pockets of humanity exist –
Some are right here where we stand.

We are called to be up-lifters.
In authentic ministry we speak.
Our call is to the Glory of God.
Love and kindness are what we seek.

In John 2:1-11, Jesus performed
His first miracle; quite a display!
Hundreds of gallons of water into wine!
My, what would we do with such today?

The point isn’t the miracle of wine.
It is the extravagance of Christ’s love.
It is the way Jesus helps in more
Ways than we can imagine – way above!

Jesus was only beginning His miracles.
He was tolerated until He messed
With the money of the church.
Then His ministry was put to the test.

Today is the celebration of MLK Jr.’s life.
We recall the way His life was given
In compassion for the poor and the sad,
For the disenfranchised and the imprisoned.

Martin Luther King lived out his faith
With a call to action in the power of peace.
Like Jesus and MLK Jr., we are called
To make our world more lovely and eliminate grief.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
Only love can do that.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is the unison prayer we read as a congregation. It touched my heart. I hope it impresses upon your heart, too:

“O God, all people are your beloved – across races, nationalities, identities, religions, sexual orientations, and all ways we are distinctive from one another. We are all manifestations of your image. ‘We are bound together in an inescapable network of mutuality and tied to a single garment of destiny.’ You call us to action for your unending work of justice, peace, and love. Reassure us of your presence among us now. Awaken us to delight in our diversity, which glimpses the mosaic of your beauty. Strengthen us in your steadfast love. Transform despair and fatigue into hope and action. In the protection of your wings, carry us to find rest, renewal, strength and hope. We are inspired by the example of your modern prophet and Christian disciple, our brother, Martin. Thank you. Amen.”

How did you celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Did you honor his legacy in a way that recognized his example, his passion for equality, non-violence, and love for all humankind? Tell me about it!

Don’t Pretend


I’ve never been good
At pretending or faking
I give it away

Whatever it is
You can read it in my eyes
Eyes never tell lies

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Genuinely love
Don’t pretend your affection
Sincerity wins

Love with a clean heart
Hold tightly to your loved ones
They are your pure joy!

 

Here we are today with our dear friend, holding tightly to one another, appreciating the pure joy of being together. Enjoying the opportunity to see them in their new home. Lovely, isn’t it? It was a beautiful day in southern California… the kind of blue sky, sunshiny day that drew us here. And the friendships maintained are true bonuses. No pretending necessary.

 

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Who do you love with a genuine affection? How do you delight and honor one another?

Sky Writers’ Haiku


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Enjoy Sky Writing
The sky writers had a ball
Messing up the sky

Why Rise Early?


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I miss the sunrise
If I rise a little late
Begin in beauty

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Writing Haiku


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Writing’s a habit
Breathing in and breathing out
Comes naturally


The World’s Six Best Doctors

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  Steve Jobs Died a Billionaire at age 56

This is his final essay:

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world.  In some others’ eyes, my life is the epitome of success.  However, aside from work, I have little joy.  In the end, my wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.  At this moment, lying on my bed and recalling my life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in have paled and become meaningless in the face of my death.

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone bear your sickness for you.  Material things lost can be found or replaced.  But there is one thing that can never be found when it’s lost – Life.  Whichever stage in life you are in right now, with time, you will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well and cherish others.  As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, we realize that a $300 or a $30 watch both tell the same time.  You will realize that your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.  Whether you fly first class or economy, if the plane goes down – you go down with it

Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth, that is true happiness!  Don’t educate your children to be rich.  Educate them to be happy.  So when they grow up they will know the value of things and not the price.  Eat your food as your medicine, otherwise you have to eat medicine as your food.

The One who loves you will never leave you for another because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find a reason to hold on. There is a big difference between a human being and being human.  Only a few really understand it.  You are loved when you are born.  You will be loved when you die.  In between, you have to manage!

The six best doctors in the world are sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence and friends.   Maintain them in all stages and enjoy a healthy life.”

 

Thanks for reading this, my blogging friends. I found it to be sad, and yet very inspirational. Certainly worth reading and heeding. It’s not the six “doctors” I expected to hear about! The absence of faith or any mention of God hit me. I wonder if that void accounted for his sentence, “… aside from work, I have little joy.”

Steve wrote, “You are loved when you are born.” I pray that is true of everyone, but sadly, I fear it is not. I am painfully aware of the fact that some children are born to a parent who does not want him/her. Some are abused, neglected, or abandoned.

Steve wrote, “You will be loved when you die.” I wish that were true for everyone, but sadly, I fear it is not always the case, either. Some people die alone, feeling very unloved.

He said, “… in between, you have to manage.” Yes, we do! But how? What guides your “management”?

Which of his pieces of advice were most meaningful for you? What bits of wisdom would you add?

Thought-provoking, isn’t it?

 

Finding a Horse


Have you ever looked

To purchase the perfect horse?

Is there such a thing?

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