Loving One Another

Archive for February, 2020

How Do I See Thee & Me?


Proverbs is a wonderful book of wisdom. Have you read it clear through? I read one chapter in it everyday. It has 31 chapters. This month I’ll read three chapters on the 29th. We don’t have a 30 or 31 in February! Then on March 1st I will start over again, but with a different translation. I find the various translations help me gather new and deeper meanings.

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Today’s chapter 27 verse 19 is a perfect example of the way different translations can add different nuances:

The Message paraphrased version
by Eugene Peterson

“Just as water mirrors your face,
so your face mirrors your heart.”

Proverbs 27:19
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The NIV (New International Version)

“As water reflects a face,
so man’s heart reflects the man.”

Proverbs 27:19
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KJV King James Version

“As in water face answereth to face,
so the heart of man to man.”

Proverbs 27:19
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Each of those passages refers to the way a person’s heart reflects to that person (and maybe to others) who that person really is. Right? But, when I went to the CS Lewis Bible paraphrased, I found this translation:

“Just as water reflects the face,
so one human heart reflects another.”

Proverbs 27:19

Bible Interpretations

To me that CS Lewis version says it is not just a matter of looking at the way our heart reflects to ourselves who we really are … and can be seen in our facial expressions… but it also says our “heart-scape” influences how we see others.

We see others through our own heart content and our own heart lenses. We may be blind to who they really are, like this girl on a branch is blind to her own reflection. We often don’t see ourselves as others see us. And we don’t see others as they intend to be seen.

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Does your face mirror your heart?
Or are there cracks in the space
between your heart mirror and your face?

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Do you see others through a lens of love,
or is your heart-scape distorting what you see?

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How Do I See Thee and Me?

Do I see thee through a clear lens,
a pure heart,
a heart of love and compassion?

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Ask yourself:
Do I see Me the same way?
Do I see myself as God sees me?
His redeemed, forgiven, beloved child?
Am I gentle with myself?
Am I open and positive?
Do I see the positivity in others?

I see thee dearly.
I see me clearly.
We are not merely
clones; we are beloved,
unique children of God.

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I love you!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed day!

See ya tomorrow.

Ashes to Joy


In her devotional this morning, Cynthia Ruchti reminded me it’s Ash Wednesday. She wrote (on this Feb. 20 devotional in Daily Guideposts), “… my sins have been incinerated, a fine layer of ash is all that remains – and that layer has been blown away by the breath of Jesus’ mercy.”

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What a wonderful image that is! She reminded us of the devastation of the 2019 California fires that left whole neighborhoods (in fact major parts of whole cities, like Paradise, CA) incinerated. She mourned, “The ash was so fine it left only a dusting over the footprint of each lost home.”

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Cynthia reminded me that Ash Wednesday is “a time of reflection, self-sacrifice, spiritual discipline, and fasting to prepare the heart for Easter.” Her “Faith Step” at the conclusion of the message was: “Our humanity and our sinfulness have been conquered in Jesus and we are free. Ashes to joy. Dust to life. Live victoriously.”

At http://www.Christianity.com the author wrote:
“Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.”

My niece, Jodie

I am ready to embrace this season.
I am ready to “live victoriously.”
I am ready for “Dust to dust”
to become “Dust to Life.”

I am ready for “Ashes to ashes”
to become “Ashes to Joy.

Are you?

How do you recognize Lent?
Tell me about it.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya later.

Breathe & Create Space


I have enjoyed the teachings of Eckhart Tolle.
He was first introduced to me by Oprah Winfrey
when I took her on-line workshop
titled, “The Power of Now.”

Take Time to Breathe Slowly and Deeply

On the website, Respiratory Therapy Zone, there are some wonderful quotes that reinforce the importance of slow, deep breathing:

99 Awesome Quotes About Breathing (Respiratory Therapist Edition)

by Johnny Lung | Featured Articles

Breathing is the process of taking air into the lungs and expelling it back out into the world.

It’s important to understand what it means to breathe and to really have a deep understanding of the word.

To do that, let’s take a look at some of the absolute best quotes about breathing. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Best Quotes About Breathing:

1. Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life. – Giovanni Papini

2. Just breathe. – Author Unknown

3. Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite. – D. Antoinette Foy

4. Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. – Oprah Winfrey

5. Inhale the future, exhale the past. – Author Unknown

Ed Coyle Photography
Montana sunset

I like that last one…
for it is when we can breathe out the past
that we make space for the now.

More Great Quotes

6. The trick to life is to just keep breathing. – Johnny Lung

7. Learn how to exhale, the inhale will take care of itself. – Carla Melucci Ardito

8. When the breath is unsteady, all is unsteady; when the breath is still; all is still. Control the breath carefully. Inhalation gives strength and a controlled body; retention gives steadiness of mind and longevity; exhalation purifies body and spirit. – Goraksasathakam

9. The wisest one-word sentence? Breathe. – Terri Guillemets

10. Only those who know how to breathe will survive. – Pundit Acharya

11. If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance. – Andrea Boydston

12. Pause, breathe. Repair the universe, then proceed. – Author Unknown

13. Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. – Thich Nhat Hanh

14. Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding. – Thich Nhat Hanh

15. Breathe, it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. – Author Unknown

Bob & Nancy at Big Sky

It’s a good life when at 81 you still are downhill skiing and you can go with your ski buddy up to the top of Big Sky and enjoy the freshness of the Good Life. That’s where Bob & Nancy are today.

It’s not a bad life when you can look out your window at the Madison Range, Jack Creek Canyon and Fan Mountain, and breathe in the freshness of the air, and know how blessed you are!

Breathe in the fresh air
Fill it gently in your lungs
Release all tension

Breathe deeply – – – Release
Now, go out into the world
And plant a love seed

It’s a grand Tuesday!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.

Honey and Wisdom


“Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to the taste.
Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul;
if you find it,
there is future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.”

Proverbs 24: 13-14

Storing Honey

That honey jar on the right with the bees and hearts was given to us 8 years ago for our 50th wedding anniversary from Bob’s beekeeper nephew and his wife. Bryan Beekman is a California beekeeper with about 10,000 beehives. His wife, Michelle, has the “Honey Hut” on their property in Clovis.

No, I have not kept that honey for 8 years!! (But, I could have if I wanted to… honey never spoils unless you add water to it! They found good, edible honey in King Tut’s tomb!)

A jar like that only last a few weeks in our house before it has to be refilled. We pour from it into the honey bear. It’s easier to pour out of the bear. I keep both of those containers in the cabinet to the right of the stove. A warm spot is best for storing honey. Never refrigerate it!! When the jar is empty, we refill it from a 5 gallon jug that we keep in the warm room downstairs.

Look carefully at the jar. The letters almost are all washed off. It used to say, “Happy 50th, Bob & Jan.” I need to take it back to Michelle to have it repainted one of these trip to California! But would that be like restoring an antique? Would it lose some of its value?

Honey as a Gift

Because Bob’s a retired beekeeper, folks often give us honey as a gift when they return from their travels. This jar was a gift from a friend in Maryland. Notice the label says, “100% Pure Raw Varietal Honey.” That’s important! You want to know from which flowers the bees gathered their nectar. Honey has flavors as distinct as wines or berries or the smell of various flowers. Pure orange honey has the taste of the smell of the orange blossoms. I love it!

Describing Honey Flavors

However, some honey label writers get carried away, just as some folks who describe the flavors of wine do on their labels. I don’t often taste the earth or the tobacco in a glass of wine. And I can’t taste “vanilla-marshmallowy goodness” in this Pacific Northwest honey. However, I believe them when they say it’s pure and raw.

Preserving Honey’s Attributes

Pure means it hasn’t been mixed with other stuff… and raw means it hasn’t been heated above a certain temperature. Heating honey too much (like boiling it on the stove or in the microwave) kills many, if not all, of its healthy qualities.

If you love honey as we do, remember to bee wise in the way you select and buy it, and remember to bee wise in the way you store and preserve it. And remember to use it as a substitute for sugar as often as you can. It’s better for you – and it takes less honey to taste the sweetness than sugar. Also, honey is the browning agent in waffles or bread.

And it’s all about wisdom.
Bee Wise.
Eat Honey!!

See ya later.

Love on the Internet


Praying for Love

No, it’s not a love affair between me and my youngest Swiss grandson, Chrissy. But, Chrissy is the reason for my blog topic today.

I was shocked earlier this week to learn that Chrissy has a girlfriend. I didn’t know it. I hadn’t heard anything about it! And Chris lived for about 5 months here in Montana last year… it’s not like we’re distant relatives!

I was delighted to learn the news, because Bob & I have been praying everyday for Chris… asking God to keep him safe, help him find happiness, help him be accepted into the nursing program he has applied for, and help some smart young female discover what a sweet. lovable guy he is – and give him the love and affirmation he needs and deserves. I know God listens to my prayers. I was convinced He would answer these fervent requests.

Prayers Answered

Then I learned in a text exchange with our daughter (Chrissy’s mom) this week that not only has Chris found a girlfriend, but he found her with the magic of the internet!

I tell you, friends, it’s a new world out there! Our young people have prayers answered by a very hip God Almighty! Chris has been communicating regularly with darling Natalia – using the wonders of FaceTime, no doubt.

Aren’t they adorable together?

Long Distance Romance

I am not an old-fashioned 80-year-old Grammy who objects to internet match-making. I figure this is a big world, full of wonderful people all over the place. The person God intends for us may not live in our part of the world. In the olden days, people didn’t know about some distant soulmate unless they happened to travel to that foreign land and happened upon them “accidentally.”

In today’s world, Match.com and other dating sites link people up from across the world. I don’t know if that’s how Chris met Natalia or not, but if it is, good for him! What fun!!

Cut the Distance

In today’s world, if you spend enough time seeing and talking to one another on-line, and the sparks fly across the miles, there will come a time when (if you can afford it) you want to cut the distance and meet face-to-face.

If you think I was shocked to learn that Chris has a girlfriend, imagine my surprise when I discovered last Thursday that the next day Chris was flying 6,000 miles to meet Natalia and her family face-to-face. AMAZING!!

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No, that’s not a picture of them, but it IS a couple from the part of the world where they are… and I can just imagine that might be them!

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Research Helps

I did a little research and found the city where he is… the only city in Colombia with access to the ocean. I can imagine how beautiful it is. I researched ten top things to do in and around Cali… and of course I sent my grandson an e-mail suggesting a few of them for the two of them. Silly me! Natalia lives there! Of course she will know the top spots! And she’ll be able to give Chris suggestions a whole lot better than this long-distance, inquisitive Grammy can! But, the Devil made me do it! Hah!!

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What Will They Do?

He probably won’t take her salsa dancing… that’s one of the things I learned Cali is famous for. I restrained from sending him the step-by-step instructions on how to learn to salsa in five short minutes! But I did send a link to a hot night spot where salsa dancing is featured!

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He probably won’t take her out to a bee yard, but this is a picture of a Colombian beekeeper – – – and after all, Chrissy’s Grampy is a retired beekeeper! Wouldn’t you think he’d want to teach her all about that part of his family heritage?

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He’ll probably take her to a restaurant more than once. My guess is, that’s about as close as he’ll get to the idea of salsa. But who knows? He’s full of surprises these days!!

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Chris will probably take a walk along the shore – and enjoy many beautiful sites. I’ve asked him to take some more pictures and share them. Do you think he will? I hope so!!

Where Will it Go From Here?

What happens next?? Your guess is as good as mine! I don’t know if the relationship is meant to go beyond wonderful FaceTime conversations and a memorable trip to see her face-to-face and meet her family. Only God knows. But, in the meantime, I am grateful he made the trip there safely; he sent us one picture; he shared with me what city she lives in (so my curiosity could be satiated); and he and Natalia look happy together.

God bless you,
Chris and Natalia!

Ain’t love grand?
Do you have an internet love story to tell?

Stay tuned.
I’ll let you know what happens next
when I find out!

See ya tomorrow.

Soup Exchange


Have you ever participated in a soup exchange?
I’ve been to several cookie exchanges,
but today was my first soup exchange.

With most containers of soup, a recipe was provided.

This recipe was attached to a jar of soup ingredients.
What a great idea…
we get to dump it into 7 cups of water
and make our own!

We got to take a quart of each soup home with us.
And we had a tasting party before we left.

I brought this one. No way I could begin to give you a recipe. It had clam chowder, cheddar cheese, potatoes, onions, fresh crab lumps, garlic, etc. A menagerie that turned out pretty tasty!

We didn’t get a recipe
for this “Barefoot Contessa Corn Chowder” either.
But, it was deeelicious.
It had big potato chunks
and bacon in a creamy corn broth.

Here’s a recipe for a soup that was not present. Chicken Parmesan … I don’t have one of those new-fangled slow cookers, but I bet my old crock pot would work just fine. The ingredients sound wonderful. I am going to make this as soon as we finish up all the samples I brought home.

in addition to the soup recipes, our librarian (who organized the event) put together a packet that included these tips and tricks on freezing soup.

Love One Another

You may be wondering how this post fits my blog’s theme of “Loving One Another.” (Or maybe you’re not wondering at all.) Anyway, you know that one of the ways we show our love for one another is at meal time.

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” is an age-old saying that I have found to be quite true.

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And a good way to show our love to our family and friends is to invite them to a feast. It’s an age-old practice.

We like to host pot-lucks for our friends in the “hood.” Everyone brings a favorite dish and we enjoy fun, food and fellowship.

At church, potlucks are a regular occurrence. I think I am going to suggest our church host a soup exchange one of these Sundays. But, I will ask people to bring their own quart jars to fill. Today we brought our soup assortment home in zip lock plastic bags. That was a bit awkward. But it worked.

Doesn’t this sound like something you’d like to try?
Oh, BTW, this was my view of Fan Mountain on my way home.
It was a beautiful blue-sky day.

I hope you had a joyful day, too.
Tell me about it!

See ya tomorrow.

It's OK to…


  1. It’s OK to… Not to Have All the Answers

When Bob & I first moved from California to Montana back in 2006, I was a recently retired educator with over 30 years of teaching/administrating under my belt. I was not really ready to “hang it up.” You know, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”

So, when I joined the Friends of the Library and received a message from a young man who was seeking help to earn his GED (I think that stands for: General Education Diploma, but it might be Graduation Equivalence Diploma) … anyway, I was all in.

Zahid was a 19 year old from Pakistan whose English was sketchy enough that he had trouble understanding the questions, let alone knowing the answers. I agreed to help him with the English/Language Arts/History areas while a good friend worked with him in the areas of Science and Math.

His host mom would drop him off at our house at 7:30 AM three times a week, and after an hour of study, I’d drive him to his place of work, just five minutes away. During our hours together, one of my greatest challenges was teaching Zahid that it’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” He tried to bluff his way through answers. It was often quite amusing!

Once Zahid learned to say, “I don’t know,” and admit to needing help with the answers, we made great progress. He eventually passed and got his high school equivalent diploma. Hooray!

2. It’s OK to… Feel all the Emotions

Zahid tried to hide his lack of knowledge and his feelings of discouragement. He tried to hide his frustrations. He attempted to bluff his way through the quizzes. It didn’t work. When he learned to let his emotions show, when he opened himself to being “real” with me, we made great progress.

3. It’s OK to… have Bad Days

Life is not always fair. Even with hard work and the best of intentions, our dreams don’t always pan out. The first time Zahid took his test for the credential, he failed. Without encouragement and a shoulder to cry on, he might have folded. He might have said, “Give it up! I can’t do this!” But, we didn’t let that happen. His host mom and dad joined our Positivity Club – and together we helped “Z” keep at it, learn from his mistakes, try again, and ultimately pass.

4. Its OK to …Let Yourself Cry

Once “Z” passed his GED, the next goal was to pass his driver’s behind-the-wheel and written tests and get a driver’s license. He worked hard at it.

My husband, Bob, is a retire teacher. (If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know he also is a retire beekeeper. But before he went back to the family bee farm, he taught driver’s education and coached wrestling for nine years in California.) So, Bob was a natural to help “Z” get his driver’s license.

Once that goal was accomplished, the next step was to buy a car. Zahid had saved the money he earned working at the local grocery store. He had enough to pay for a good “starter car.” But the problem that emerged was that he had no idea how to take care of a car. That’s where the “It’s OK to let yourself cry” comes in. He burned up the car’s engine by not checking the oil, the water, etc. The tears were real! It was a sad lesson in the reality of truth #5…

5. It’s OK to …Ask for Help

Bob would have been more than happy to help “Z” learn the basics of car maintenance, but Zahid never asked. It was a tough, expensive lesson. But “Z” learned it. He asked Bob to help him find a new engine. He did… and “Z” learned to ask for help in car maintenance in the future. That car gave him several years of reliable service and actually made it from Montana to Alaska when “Z” moved there for better job opportunities.

6. It’s OK to …Make Mistakes

Looking back over our experiences with that young Pakistani, we know we made mistakes, just as he did. We backed off when we should have moved forward and been more assertive with him. He tried bluffing and exercising independence when admitting his lack of knowledge and asking for help would have served him better. But, he learned – and so did we.

As long as we learn from our mistakes, it’s OK. In fact, making mistakes is sometimes the ONLY way we learn. Knowing what doesn’t work helps us eliminate some options and seek better solutions.

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  • Don’t try to have all the answers.
  • Don’t be ashamed of your emotions. Be real. Let them show!
  • Don’t let the bad days get you down. We need valleys in order to appreciate the mountain tops!
  • Don’t hold back the tears. Let them flow when they need to. Let them cleanse you!
  • Admit your ignorance. None of us is an expert at everything. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Don’t let mistakes get you down. No one is perfect. We need to make mistakes in order to learn and move forward.

It’s OK to … select friends who lift you up, encourage you, and give you a shoulder to cry on when you need it.

It’s OK to … BE one of those friends. Happy, warm, genuine. Even long-distance, over the miles, through cyberspace, you can reach out and be the positive friend others are seeking.

Just do it! It’s OK…

Thank you for your visit,
your comments and
your friendship,

I appreciate you!

See you tomorrow.

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