Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Life’s Challenges’ Category

I AM


Have you pondered the meaning of life?
Have you spent time wondering,
“Why am I here?”
Who am I?

Do you wonder about your purpose?

I do!

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My more mundane answer is:
I am a Child of God,
a retired educator,
a wife, sister, aunt, friend,
a mom of 2, Grammy to 7, and
great-grandmother (GG) to one with 2 on the way.

But I am much more than that!

Today I am a volunteer, working at the reception desk
at the Madison Valley Medical Center.
It’s a quiet Wednesday afternoon.
Not much activity for this “Purple Lady” to record.

Hopefully the absence of “customers”
means people are relatively healthy.
No need for a doctor or lab test right now.
So, what are YOU doing today?

I am pondering life’s meaning
and my place in this spot in the world.
I want to get beyond the mundane.

If you were to write a poem or essay
answering the questions,
“Who Am I? Why am I here?
What is my Purpose?
What would you say?

Here is mine for today
(tomorrow it may change…
I am a work in progress):

I AM

I am a woman who is continually growing, stretching, discovering.

I am living a contemplative life defined by the
expansion of my heart.   heart shaped red balloon

My way of acting is different from the world’s way. I am different.

black and green desk globe

I am witnessing to a different way of BEING in the world.

I strive to live in ways that demonstrate the:

  • potential for compassion
  • grace of presence
  • revelation in each moment
  • unconditional love described as Agape in His Word

My life is lived on the edges of the world’s fluctuating values.

It’s a challenging place to be.

I am open and transparent, tuned in daily to God’s newness –
– to God’s Love growing in me,
– to the Peace and Joy the Lord offers so freely.

heart shaped red balloon

I AM Jan Beekman.
aka  JanBeek


(“I am a stew – a mixture of many parts,” Thanks, CD!)

.

And who are YOU?

Are You Leader or Follower?


Leader or Follower?

Some days I’m the leader;
Other days I like to follow.
But sometimes following
Is more than I can swallow.

animal beast big carnivore

Sometimes the folks who lead
Don’t seem to care the least
About the folks they’re leading;
They’re like this ugly beast.

The beast who tells us lies,
Who says “Do as I say,
But not as I do,” you know?
He tries to force his way.

We are not stupid sheep;
We know which way is right.
So stand your ground, my friends.
Don’t let him push his might.

The one who makes the rules,
Usually wins the game, they say.
But, some rules should be constant –
Don’t let him lead you astray.

My Inspiration

This poem was inspired by a Time Magazine article titled, “Whose standards will Democrats embrace?” by the eloquent former editor of Time Magazine, Nancy Gibbs.
This topic of leaders and followers is heavy on my heart. It’s not the simple kind of following that I wrote about years ago when I was looking at healthy parent-child relationships:

Follow Me

Days Gone By

When I was a youngster, one of the popular TV programs was “Father Knows Best.” I related to that … and so did a lot of my peers. Mom and Dad talked things over. They  presented a righteous front of solidarity. Sometimes Mom (in fact usually Mom) laid down the laws. Together, they enforced them. We were the “Leave it to Beaver” generation whose nuclear family lived by the universal rules spelled out in the Ten Commandments. “Do not lie” was paramount among them. “Love One Another,” was another. “Be kind to your neighbor,” right?

Appreciate one another’s differences. Know that we all are part of one body – and the head needs the hand; the leg needs the foot. We need to live in harmony.

What has happened to our Rules to Live By??

Crack the Door Open


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CRACK THE DOOR OPEN

See yourself opening doors to joy, peace, healing, prosperity, and love.
Doors to understanding, compassion, and forgiveness.
Doors to freedom…
Doors to self-worth and self-esteem…
Doors to self-love…
It is all here before you…
Which door will you open first? ~ Louise L. Hay

I have a lot of crackpot friends
Who make me laugh and sing
They say good friends always are
Half-cracked (if there is such a thing)

It’s through the cracks that light
Can sneak in and add levity
To the darkened places in
The hearts of you and me

We need those crackpot friends
Like we need doors that open wide
To let the light shine in our lives
And erase the shadows we try to hide

So, crack the door open, friends
And invite your light to shine bright
I need it in my life each day
I need it today; I’ll need it tonight

For life can be filled with darkness
If you close yourself into a knot and stay curled
Open your heart to the blessings out there
Crack the door open and welcome the world!

Bee Wise (Haiku x4)


Bee Wise

 

bee bumblebee insect macro

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Bee wise and gentle
Try to bee reasonable
Live your destiny

animal bees bloom blooming

Photo by Michael Hodgins on Pexels.com

Love one another
And pray for those who hurt you
Live with intention

purple flowers in bloom

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Just live your best life
Characterized by your faith
Bee the real you

Love and get along
Like bees in community
Spread wisdom’s honey!
honey bee s

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

       … “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life
and is characterized by getting along with others.
It is gentle and reasonable.”

James 3:17 (MSG)

Bring Love to Tasks


Mountains to climb
Carrying mountains sounds like quite a task!

What are tasks?
Are they unwanted work?
Ask yourself, are all tasks unwanted?

Do we sometimes make tasks out of what could be a pleasant job?

Are some “tasks” welcomed activities?
What makes the difference?
What are tasks?

agriculture backyard blur close up

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Ponder

As I ponder the questions above, I realize my bias! Yes, I think “tasks” are unwanted work. Jobs like cleaning toilets, balancing my checkbook, and weeding are not pleasant activities for me.

For some folks those activities might be joyful, or at least more pleasant than other chores. My mother-in-law used to love being out in her garden on her hands and knees weeding. She had a faulty heart valve replaced with a pig valve. She said that’s why she loved to “root” in her garden. She didn’t need to put it on her To-Do List. She did it as a hobby!

pen calendar to do checklist

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Procrastination Festers

I think I DO make a task out of somethings that could be pleasant. Seldom do I put on my “To-Do List” jobs like “Clean my office” or “Take the garbage to the dump.” Unattended tasks fester and mildew and become the Mountains we Carry instead of just climbing them!

I make the task of doing the dinner dishes more difficult when I  procrastinate and put it off after dinner. I think, “I’m too tired right now. I’ll do them in the morning.” If I had gone to the sink to do them right away, my husband might have joined me and as he washed and I dried, we might have had a very pleasant conversation and they would have been done in half the time it took me to do them the next morning after the food had crusted on the pots and pans! How can I make doing the dishes a hobby? Cooking is!

What makes the difference
between a task (work/job) and a pleasant activity?

  • timing
  • attitude
  • company
  • aptitude
  • necessity
  • love

As the title of this post suggests, a key difference between a task being work or that same task being a pleasant activity is the insertion of LOVE!

In Music of Silence, Benedictine monk, David Steindl-Rast and Shannon Lebell wrote,
“As long as we do work out of love for those whom we love, we do it for a good reason. Love is the best reason for our labors. Love makes what we do … rise like music…”

What are some of your tasks?
Can you make them rise like music?

 

Is writing a task for you?

man with hand on temple looking at laptop

Is your writing
done with love
or is it an activity
you feel compelled to do
on some sort of routine for
some unknown reason?

When Writing is a Chore

Most bloggers love to write, or we would not have a blog! Right? So it’s usually not a chore… not a task… not something we dread. If it were, then we’d know it is time to take a break! Let it go for awhile. Build up our inner enthusiasm!

Writing is easy for me most days. It flows like that river of melting snow that flooded our basement this week. During those few times when I feel blocked, I just set it aside, go for a walk, or I read other bloggers. Sometimes I go up to my Angel Room, pray and read a few devotionals, or I go to the kitchen and cook up something inspiring. I imagine myself having a conversation with the part of me that’s blocked.

“Tell me – what do you need?”

I listen for a response – and discover the places in me that need to be released. I find ways to insert the love that’s needed in order to express myself more clearly. I try to adopt a child-like level of enthusiasm for the ability to express my thoughts on paper or at the computer.

girls on desk looking at notebook

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Bring in the Love and Delight

How might you bring
more love and delight
to all the tasks you are called to do?

How might your perspective change
if you realized the world
NEEDS what you have to offer?

It does, you know!

planet earth

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So set aside those mountains you’re carrying.
Climb them instead!
Bring LOVE to your tasks
and make them “welcomed activities.”

See you tomorrow.

 

 

Supporting One Another


Being supportive:
Folks who love one another
Just simply do that!

8 TOPS 5-3-19
These are my TOPS friends –
We meet weekly on Wednesdays,
Weigh and encourage.
.
We learn and we laugh
With drama in the weight room.
Yo-yoing is tough!
.
Jan
.

One week I am the
Biggest loser of the group;
Next week it’s back on!

.
This week Cherrie wore
The hat of great distiction
Congratulations!
.
Cherrie
.
The hardest part is
Making those darn pounds stay off.
Encouragement helps!

.
Do you struggle with
Keeping your body perfect?
Seems like we all do!
.

But when I think of
Folks who cannot afford food,
I stop complaining!

person woman sitting old

There are many ways
To support One Another.
What is your best way?

No Joke!


It’s not a Happy April Fool’s Day!
No joke … the joke’s on me!

drape stains

Look carefully and you will see the water stain
on the bottom of the drapes
and the water mark on the carpet.
Look and see the snow drift outside the door.
There is no drain out there,
so where does the water go when it melts?
You guessed it!

We have lived in this Madison Valley, Montana home for 13 years – and this has never happened before! The owners before us lived here for 5 years and they said it never happened to them, either. This has been quite a winter! You’ve heard me complaining, haven’t you? More snow than a friend who’s been here since 1972 has ever seen!!

What does this have to do with a blog whose sub-title is “Love One Another?”

I’ll tell you… it has everything to do with people like Joe Smithson!

Joe Smithson
This delightful man is a God-send!

He came and helped me determine the extent of the damage.
He helped me understand ALL the furniture
in that downstairs bedroom has to come out
so he can come back with his rug cleaning equipment
and suck the water out and dry the carpet
and try to dry the walls where it has seeped up!

So, with my dear hubby off skiing today,
I found two other saints who came to help
move the bed, the dresser, the nightstands,
the desk, the chairs, the whole “kittenkaboodle”
out of there and into the game room
and other downstairs bedroom.
What a job!

guestroom empty

It’s a California King – with two top mattresses, two box springs,
a lower frame, and a headboard! Heavy stuff!
No way I coulda done it alone.

And the triple dresser is solid wood – a heavy sucker!
God bless those two friends who came to do the moving!

triple dresser empty

And before those could be moved, another friend came
and helped me move all the “stuff”
that was on top of all that furniture.
You know, nothing is “clear” like this
under ordinary circumstances, right?

Then, to avoid the continued drain
of the melting snow into the bedroom,
another saint of a friend came
with his shovel first –
and then his snowplow.

Steve's snowblower

The snowplow did
what would have taken all day with a shovel…
and did it so much more thoroughly.

Ah, the blog subject
is “Love One Another”

– right?

There is no greater love than to
lay down your life,
pick up your shovel,
load up your snowplow,
and come to help a friend in need.
That is a friend, indeed!!

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God bless you, Steve!!

Imagine how surprised Bob
is going to be
when he gets home
from a day at Big Sky
enjoying the slopes –
a last day (or so)
with spring skiing –
and sees how much more
is cleaned up
than the beach towel
he set out there
this morning
could have done
to fix the problem!!

Go back up to that first picture. If you look carefully, you will see the green and white polka-dot towel on the other side of the glass door. (Like putting a finger in the dyke to stop it, right?) Kind of gives you a new definition of April Fool!

Ah, God love ’em… we gotta put our priorities in order, don’t we?

Who can pass up a day on the slopes?

Unless it’s a day on the river!

Spring IS coming, you know!!
(Not soon enough here)

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How has your April Fool’s Day been?

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