Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘creativity’

Wonderful Wednesday


Good morning, my friends!

It’s a Wonderful Wednesday!

Find a way to give.

My friend, Steve, has no trouble finding neighbors who need
their driveways shoveled or blown out. What a gift that is!

Volunteering to help others is giving back … or paying it forward! Someday Steve won’t be able to do this anymore. Then, hopefully, someone will volunteer to shovel or blow out HIS driveway!

Look at the book my daughter sent me:

I bet you have a story to tell about some “giving” you have done.
I try to give daily, so when I received this book, I thought,
Why not write about it?

Sous-Cheffing

I love working at our Senior Center as a sous chef (that’s a fancy name for potato and carrot peeler. salad maker, and onion slicer). I can pretend I am at a fancy Paris Bistro… and my customers are the most precious children of God! (Actually, they are!)

Visiting Shut-ins

Another way to volunteer your gifts is to visit a friend who is in a nursing home or at the hospital. Anyone can do that! It doesn’t take lessons or months of practice. Just an open heart, and a wiilngness to treat yourself to the infectious smiles your visit will bring.

In our little town of Ennis, Montana, I introduced you day before yesterday to Artists on Main, the wonderful art gallery with its amazing variety of locally created art for sale. We are blessed to have that shop… and if I had the ability to paint or sculpt or whittle or create pottery, jewelry, or stained glass, I’d use that talent to provide items for my friend, Carol, to sell… or I’d visit a friend and bring a product of my creativity as a gift.

Share Your Writing

But, that kind of art is not my forte’… I love to write, so I share my blogs orally with friends in the hospital. I read “Art is Life” to one of my dear friends this morning.

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Play Your Instrument

Before going to the hospital, I shared another one of my gifts: the accordion. Do you play an instrument?

I started learning to play the “squeezebox” when I was about ten years old. (Every good little Italian girl or boy played the accordion in those days!) Now, it is a seldom seen (in person) whimsical, portable instrument that can bring joy wherever it goes!

This one is over a hundred years old.
I bought it from Frankie, my sorta cousin, about 70 years ago.
It still works, but with only 8 buttons, you are limited to songs in the key of  F, C, G or A.

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Many people today have never seen or heard an accordion played in person. They think of Lawrence Welk and expect me to play Flight of the Bumble Bees or The Beer Barrell Polka with bellow shakes.

Once upon a time, I actually could play those advanced pieces. But now, I am content to accompany the hymn singing at church when the piano or organist is ill or out of town… or accompany singing at the Lenten Breakfast where no other instrument is available. (I did that early this morning).

In the summer, I entertain  at our Art Festival in the park.
Sometimes I pull it out at home after dinner with friends
and we have a sing-along.
It makes for a memorable evening.

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If music is not your forte’, think of other ways you can give.

I belong to the Madison Valley Medical Center Auxuliary. Sitting at the desk a couple of Fridays each month is one way I can volunteer. Donating our home for the “Home Tour” fund-raiser is another way. Our auxiliary earns thousands with that fund-raiser every year and gives the benefits back to the hospital for new equipment, beds, sheets, and other needs. It’s gratifying to be a volunteer. I’m in the center, middle row here.

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I hope you will consider ways you can volunteer your talents
for the benefit of others.
Perhaps you already do – in ways different from mine.

Tell me about a way you volunteer
or give back.
Does it express your purpose and passion?

Your story may inspire others!

 

Surrounded by Angels


On a cold and frosty Montana morning
I sit in my sanctuary – surrounded by angels
And the stillness within and without
Takes me to my inner sanctuary

Come and join me this morning
In the beauty of a winter day
From the warmth of my Angel Room
My place of respite, where the Holy Spirit dwells

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The sky is dark and we’re in a cloud

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The angels within sing quietly; they’re never loud

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Jesus prays with me from His place in my cloud

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And reminds me that FAITH is not for the proud

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With humble appreciation, I think of the faces

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Who surround me with love in these heavenly spaces

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I thank God for the trees all frosty with glitter

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I dream of the people gone before me – they flitter

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In and out of my prayers, like the three angels here

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They remind me of prayer partners far away, yet so near.

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I think of the gifts of poets and artists

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The angels surround me – sending thoughts that are part of us

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Some are melancholy, reminding me of my sins

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Others are joyful, and my gratitude spins

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I remember the angel who decorated this egg

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And all the other creative friends – Watch over them, I beg

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Help my friends who are ill and need special care

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Shine Your light on them… let them know You are there

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Bring them comfort and health and wisdom galore

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Hold them close to Your Heart, Lord, give them so much more…

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… than ever they dreamed of; like the birds of the air

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Let them know you are with them; show them how much You care.

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As the darkness subsides and the blue sky emerges,

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Send them all Your GREAT LOVE that in my heart surges…

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Great love for the angels that brighten my day.

And now, my dear friends, I send some your way!

heart shaped red balloonGo on your blessed, lovely, angel-filled way!And thanks for joining me in my sanctuary today.

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Hugs from JanBeek

Renewing Creativity


Contemplate rhythm
Renew creativity
Establish practice

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Patterns of nature
Reminders of importance
Seek repetition

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Frisky animals
Reminders of  neediness
Practice playfulness

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Elegant creatures
Constant reminders to seek
Beauty in our lives

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Stillness in nature
Wonderful reminder, yes,
To find perfect rest

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Rest is an essential part of renewing creativity.
In “The Book of Creation,” J. Philip Newell wrote,

“The extent to which we are divorced from the complementary
rhythms of restfulness and creativity is the extent to which
we are cut off from patterns of well-being
within ourselves and our relationships.”

J Philip Newell went on to explain,

“If we fail to establish regular practices of stillness and rest, our creativity will be either exhausted or shallow. Our countenance,  instead of reflecting a vitality of fresh, creative energy that is sustained by the restorative depths of stillness, will be listless or frenetic.”

Are you sometimes feeling listless or frenetic? 

J Philip Newell concludes,
“Creativity without rest,
and productivity without renewal,
leads to exhaustion of our inner resources.”


Want to renew your creativity?

  • Contemplate rhythms of nature
  • Practice repetition
  • Be playful
  • Seek beauty
  • Find rest
  • Count your blessings

 

Remember the Elements of Creativity

According to Christine Valters Paintner in her book, The Artist’s Rule,
“Creativity is an essential and life-giving practice that (in order to flourish) requires:

  • Spaciousness
  • Attention, and
  • Intention”

 

What will you do today to increase your creativity?

How will you give yourself
the spaciousness
to call attention
to your blessings, and
to your intention
to write your next blog
more creatively?

 

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Plan ahead… Give it a rest… Think about it…

 

 … and write a comment below, will you?

 

It helps me to know I’m not “blowin’ in the wind!”

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

 

The Genius in You


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Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

It’s a Shame!

It’s a shame we can’t always
feel our creative juices flowing.
It’s a shame sometimes
we sit there knowing
locked inside are
words of wonder –
rolling, rocking,
sounding thunder.

It’s a shame the words
can’t come out,
can’t take a bow
and start to shout;
can’t let the world know
without a doubt,
there’s a genius
locked inside!

It’s a shame!

Beauty in Blunders


Beauty in Blunders

What comes to mind when you think of the word “blunder”?
Mistake?
Goof-up?
Stumble?
Stupidity?

How about “Courage in Creativity”?

Yesterday our local chapter of GFWC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs) held its monthly meeting. I have the privilege of serving in the capacity of Madison Valley Woman’s Club (MVWC) Chaplain. As such, I am asked to present a message to the ladies at the start of each meeting. I try to tie it into the theme of the month’s program if I can, and make it inspirational. If one person is personally touched enough to comment about it later, I think there is a chance I have reached my goal. If I notice someone is brought to tears as the message hits home, I know! Yesterday, the MVWC theme was “The Art of Quilting.” The speaker, who only began quilting a decade ago, shared a variety of phenomenal creations. There wasn’t a noticeable blunder among them!

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My message to the ladies was for them to take Courage in their Creativity. Do not be intimidated by what appears to be perfection in others. I have a beautiful cross stitch hanging in my entryway. I brought it to the meeting yesterday for my friends to admire. Then, after I read the message on it and gave them time to admire the handiwork, I shared its blunder.

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Can you find the blunder? I shared the following quote from Leaves of Gold, An Anthology of Prayers, Memorable Phrases, Inspirational Prose and Poetry, edited by Clyde Francis Lytle:

There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it ill becomes any of us
To find fault with the rest of us.
         – Anonymous

We are often quick to point out the faults of others, but some of us put a magnifying glass on our own inadequacies and easily see our own mistakes where others might not notice them at all. It is not necessarily true, as Dryden wrote, “Everyone is eagle-eyed to see another’s faults and deformities.” Often we are eagle-eyed to see our own! I didn’t see Lucy’s blunder in her stitchery. Did you find it? She knew that the pattern called for a dozen bees. Count them. She has thirteen. Which one is “deformed”? Which one doesn’t belong? It wasn’t in the pattern. Its body is too square. Its wings are too short. It was stitched to cover up a mistake. I love that bee! It makes my stitchery unique – a one-of-a-kind – just like its creator! Just like each of us!

We may think we are too square or too short or too tall or too fat or too skinny… too something. We DO see the log in our own eye while we overlook the splinter in our neighbor’s. Don’t we?

Now that you know that bee is a blunder, can you see the beauty in it? Can you sense the courage in the creator who covered her “error” with her own original? Now that you know it’s there, can you look beyond the blunder? Or looking at it, can you see why my emphasis is on “Beauty in Blunders”?

Yes, we have our faults. We create mistakes. But, without the freedom to make them, we’d be afraid to get out of bed in the morning! In Leaves of Gold, LaRochefoucauld is quoted as saying, “We confess our little faults only to persuade others that we have no great ones.” Well, no one is fooled! Especially not us! We can’t trick ourselves into believing that our work is perfect. This side of heaven, it never will be! But, take Courage in your Creations! Bee bold and adventuresome! Embrace your faults while you strive to BEE all that God created you to BEE…

Find the Beauty in your Blunders.

God bless you!

 

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