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Archive for the ‘Aging Gracefully’ Category

Embrace Birthdays (stay 39!)


Dear Friends,

I really appreciate all the Happy Birthday wishes extended my way this past weekend. Thank you so much!

Even though I am happy to tell you I am starting my 83rd year on earth, I am also happy to tell you that I am a fan of Jack Benny. Now, if you are too young to remember who Jack Benny was (or you are in another country where Jack Benny was not a nationally known figure), let me tell you: Jack Benny was a comedian who embraced 39 – and decided to stay that age forever more!

Actually, I embrace aging (I wrote a blog using that title once) – I I have no desire to be stuck at 39 or any other age.

How about you?

http://www.janbeek.blog/embrace-aging

Each year brings new insights. Each year brings new joys. Each year brings new challenges. I don’t want to miss any of them.

How about you?

“Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old. Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever. Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.”

Each day I pray for wisdom. Each day I ask God to increase my understanding and I thank the Holy Spirit for the fruits of the spirit that are mine: LOVE, JOY AND PEACE. And I ask God to help me with the other fruits of the spirit: patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… those that I work to increase as I mature in my faith.

How about you?

As I gather up those birthdays and mature in my faith, I remember to keep a child-like spirit. Enjoy that song. Sing it often. Teach it to your grandchildren. Sing it with your great-grandchildren. Put it in your heart.

You can’t be a lemon or a grape if you wanna be a fruit of the spirit!! Who wants to grow up to be a lemon anyway?

Work on that patience, Jan … your great-grandchildren need to see you model it! And your grand-dog needs you to exercise that gentleness and kindness, too. Ain’t always easy.

How about you?

My great-grandson, Xander, needs my love and joy,
and I need patience, kindness and gentleness in abundance!

On my birthday, Ty (our son) and Bob went out fishing (not catching… just fishing) … and that required a lot of patience! I went along for the joy of the ride. It was cool on the water in the morning, but the afternoon warmed up.

That evening Ty and our daughter-in-law, Monika, Bob & I went in to Bozeman for dinner and dessert. We had a delightful time at a table out front of “Hooked Sushi” enjoying the music being played down the sidewalk a half a block, and the people and dogs walking by. Such fun!

Only in a college town would you find this kind of vibrancy. I love it!

We went after dinner to a very popular ice cream store … and had great fun with some college students who were in line ahead of us. Look at this cute kid! (Ya, I had fun teasing him …)

Bob, our new friend, Jan (me), Monika & Ty –
Pretty sky, huh?
That’s our son, Ty, with me
We enjoyed the fun of chatting with our son & Moni while we waited.
Back home we found a wonderful
bottle of wine waiting for us –
a gift from our dear neighbors.
Thank you, Charlie & Janet!
Birthday roses from my granddaughter –
Thank you, Hope and Drew!
Flowers from our friends, Kathy & Ron-
with a really cute card!
Such fun! So nice of them!
Happy Birthday wishes from our #2 daughter, Laina…
I loved hearing her sing to me – from Maryland to Montana ❤
And our #1 daughter, DeAna, sang Happy Birthday and
sent us a picture of her beautiful flowers at
their restaurant in Switzerland.
Lovely, huh?

Sunday afternoon Bob, Ty & Monika went kayaking/paddleboarding while TazE & I found a shady spot and relaxed.

TazE found some cool grass and took a nap until…
Eloise and her Grandma Susie came.
With such good company, I put my book aside
and TazE left the shade to get acquainted.
It was a smokey day in the Madison Valley…
Lots of forest fires in the area –
and the wind blows the smoke into our
little piece of Paradise on Earth.

You can barely see the mountains outlined back there… not a typically beautiful day on Ennis Lake. Pray for the forest fires to be contained and the firefighters to be safe!

My friend, Caroline Feldman, took this photo
at Ennis Lake last year with the swans clustered.
Here’s my photo taken from that same area
at Ennis Lake last winter…
See, you’re supposed to see the mountains!
Meantime, the paddleboarders returned –
And we returned home
to enjoy our last evening together.
Ty & Monika left this morning…
Thank you, Dear Ones,
for coming to help make
my 82nd birthday so memorable and special.
Now TazE and I are stretched out,
relaxing, and looking forward to an evening
watching the Olympic swimmers.

What are you doing this Monday evening besides surfing the net?

It was a very Happy Birthday…
Forever 39 at heart…
Thanks to all the friends who sent greetings.
I love you!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace God’s Grip


Do you ever tell yourself, “Get a grip!”??

When life seems challenging and circumstances tax your patience,
do you ever wonder if God’s really gotcha covered?

Well, trust me –

Trust the Savior –

He’s gotta grip on you!

God’s gotta grip on me.

Our Lord’s not lettin’ us go!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Romans 8:38-39

“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

My Prayer for Today

“Gracious God, how grateful I am to rest secure in Your grip forever.”

God’s Not Gonna Lose Me

In today’s devotional time, Daily Guideposts 2021 reminded me that while I may misplace my sunglasses or my phone occasionally, God never misplaces me!

In his comments, Bill Giovannetti recalled a time when his daughter asked him, “What if I lost God? Or what if God lost me?”

Her younger brother responded, “Right, Josie, you’re the only person in the whole wide world that God forgot about!”

Reading Romans 8:38-39 together, Bill and his son reassured Josie and asked her, “If God keeps His Word, what is that verse telling you?”

“It’s telling me God never loses His sunglasses,” she said, “Or me!”



Today Bob & I celebrated my birthday
(I’ll match Bob’s age – and be 82 tomorrow).
Our hands certainly show
the wear and tear of work and years!

But, like that hold God has on us,
we’ve got a grip on one another –
and we’re not letting go!

GG (Great Grandma Jan) with Xander

Taking a clue from us and God,
Xander’s got a grip on his GreatGrandma Jan
(GG – that’s me!) and he’s not letting go!

Sienna & Hope
(my great-granddaughter and my granddaughter)

My great-granddaughter, Sienna,
gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope.
When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.

Sienna with Ty

It’s a double blessings when Grandpa
gets down on the floor with his granddaughter.
Our son Ty helped Sienna learn how to get a grip on puzzle skills.

Sienna with Monika

Children are blessed indeed
when they have a grandma who reads to them.
Sienna gets a grip on what books are all about
with Grandma Monika’s help.

Hope, TazE, Sienna, and me

How special to get a grip
on my great-granddaughter, Sienna,
and her mommy, Hope …
while they get a grip on TazE,
our Boston Terrier!

Monika, Sienna, Hope and Bob

Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together!
Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!

Xander and TazE

Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!

Xander decided he needed to get a grip on those puzzle skills, too.

Monika and Hope with Sienna & Xander…
They sang Happy Birthday
to help me get a grip on
turning a year older.
Not older… just more mature, right?
So nice!

Ty & Monika brought their big dog, Nakota…

… and TazE had trouble getting a grip on
having such a big buddy!

She was exhausted!
Time to get under the table
and get a grip on some rest!

Time for
me
to get some rest, too.



Never doubt that
you can rest in God’s Grip!!

Yes, He’s gotcha covered…

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Stepping Out


Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Have Faith and Step Out

Don’t overlook your life’s importance
or minimize its worth.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on
an allowance or Social Security.
No matter where you are in life,
you have so much to give.

The vital part of your life
never disappears or fades away.
Each of us is vital to God.
He gives us the courage to go out and live,
to heed His call, and step out in faith
on a new journey today.

In faithful obedience, lean forward
to hear Him. He doesn’t shout.
His call is quiet and personal.
Get serious. Listen carefully.
Are you up for a new journey?
Have faith and step out!

I wrote the poem, “Have Faith and Step Out” in 2002 while we were still living in California. I had officially retired from teaching in 1999, but daily I was looking for new direction, new purpose, new adventures. The International Library of Poetry published the poem in its 2002 Anthology of Poetry and sent me a dozen greeting cards with the poem printed on the front of them. Today I am using one of those cards for a friend who is stepping onto a new path.

The poem has become more meaningful in the nearly 20 years since its creation. The older I am, the more I realize, “No matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.” Your age doesn’t matter. Your place doesn’t matter. What matters is your mindset, your faith, your motivation.

It’s OK to be petrified.
Sometimes God takes us to
the edge of adventures
where we feel unprepared.
With faith,
He will remove our fear,
put us on a bridge,
and send us the Light to follow.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Quote from Deuteronomy 31:6

Today Bob is out on Lucille (our red-headed ATV on which we have a “Ball”)
with his former student, Victor, who is visiting from Alabama.
Victor was Bob’s wrestling student back in the 1970’s.
He reminded us that Bob also was
his Drivers Education teacher.
They are on an adventure –
going to a lake above Sheridan.
Our Boston, TazE, is with them.
Ah, yes, step out in faith.
Have fun!

Where He leads me,
I will follow!

Remember,
no matter where you are in life,
you have so much to give.

Where are you being called to go today?
What are you being called to do?
Whatever it is, step out in faith.
He will give you grace and glory…
He’ll be with you all the way!

Have a Fabulous Friday!

Love and Hugs,
In Faith,
JanBeek

Embrace Being 26 Again!


Happy 26th birthday
to our new pastor
and dear friend,
Mary Grace Reynolds!

If you’ve followed my blog
for a week or more,
you have seen posts about
Mary Grace Reynolds.

For the past year and a half,
my life has been consumed
by the Pastor Nominating Committee.
The search was arduous, extensive,
long and detailed… and successful!

We reviewed over 100 Pastor Information Forms,
Followed up with phone calls, texts, ZOOMs
and reference checking on at least 40 of those.
The bottom line: We believe
Mary Grace was God’s choice for us!

Happy 26th birthday, Mary Grace!
God bless you!
Just two puffs – and all 26 candles were out!

Do you remember your 26th birthday?
Where were you?
What did you do?
What was your station in life?

1939 +26 = 1965; I was a new mom.
On this day, my baby, Ty, was 3 months old.
We were living in San Francisco –
Park Merced, near San Francisco State Univ.

I was teaching in Daly City, California.
Bob was working for Shell Oil in S.F.
Mama Fran was our babysitter –
But, I had the summer off.

Ah, to be 26 again!
What would I do differently?
I am not sure.
What would you do differently?

This was March of 1966. Ty is 11 months old!

Yes, I was 26 once upon a time.
Seems like an eternity ago.
Would I change anything if
I could go back and do it again?

Actually…
Nope!!

How about you??

Embrace the Present


Is your memory slipping? Mine is. The bad news is, my sweetheart’s memory is slipping down the same slope as mine. That’s not good news. For 59 years, we’ve covered for one another. Now we need someone else with a blanket and a diary… the blanket to cover our faux pas – and a diary to go back and retrieve the lost information!

I told you about the blue suitcase and our dual denial, right? http://www.janbeek.blog/embrace-laughter

Do you recall … neither of us remembering the actual color, size, and details of our luggage? Did you laugh with us? Well now, it is a situation where BOTH of us forgot about receiving something a year ago… denying it, causing someone else a lot of frustration, and needing a huge dose of forgiveness for the trouble we caused.

Ah, the mind is a sad thing to lose!!

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Now is what we have
Tomorrow isn’t here yet
Sift through sands of time

Yesterday is past
Remembering helps us learn
Embrace the Present

Diaries are fun… a great way to keep track of the present
and go back to retrieve what we want to remember!

Check out the expansion of that idea of living in the moment at this previous blog: https://janbeek.blog/2020/11/16/one-day-at-a-time

Haibun (俳文, literally, haikai writings) is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem,[1] short story and travel journal.

In the Haibun above, I addressed the short story and the diary idea in my prose – and then added a two-part Haiku to the story. Thanks for the inspiration from Dwight Roth who often contributes Haibun to d’versepoetry.com … and does it so well. Check out today’s post from Roth Poetry:

Being Alive

/ rothpoetry

I’m glad you shared today with me.

Looking shaggy –
I need a haircut!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace the Present

Embrace Growth


Growth comes in many different forms
Physical, psychological, spiritual –
Three of the ways we grow.
Am I growing?
Are you?
Huh?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes, like the caterpillar,
We have to STOP to grow.
We have to hide out.
We learn to quit.
Don’t push.
Rest.

Photo by Manuela Adler on Pexels.com

So, I determined several days to rest.
I rested last week and yesterday.
I didn’t come here to blog.
Hear the Holy Spirit.
Settle my mind.
Listen.

My days of rest from blogging
Were focused on listening –
Receiving His guidance,
Feeling God leading,
Really tuning in,
Growing.

Photo by Ryanniel Masucol on Pexels.com


Now I’m sitting with a box on my head.
I’m waiting expectantly –
Hoping that someone
Will lift the box –
Lead me
Home.


And when I am again safely home,
Lift the box and help me
Emerge from chrysalis
To spread my wings
And grow into
Butterfly!


Embrace Growth!

Happy Sunday to you!


May this be a week of emergence and growth.

Hugs to you!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Cheers!

Embrace Laughter


Comic Tammy

If you can laugh at yourself,
Laughter will always be with you.
We do the darndest things!!

Flight Attendant

On our trip home from Eugene, Oregon via Seattle, WA, we “lost” our carry-on suitcase. Because of a shortage of overhead bin space, we were asked to leave our carry-on at the entrance of the plane. At the end of the flight, the cart rolled out with all the luggage and ours wasn’t on it. There was a blue bag like ours, but it had a strange-looking lock on it, and it was a little bigger than ours, and the color wasn’t exactly right.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We figured somebody had accidentally picked up the wrong bag. We reported the missing bag to the flight attendant.

“You’re sure this isn’t yours?” she asked.

“We’re sure!” we both chimed in.

So, this gracious masked flight attendant escorted us to the Alaska Airlines Passenger Assistance desk.
On the way we exchanged pleasantries.
She discovered we’d been married 59 years.
She asked about our destination.
We asked about her life.
We had plenty of time to share.
It was a long walk to the help desk.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

At the customer service desk, the attendant took our phone number and other contact information and assured us that we’d be contacted when the person who mistook our bag for theirs realized their mistake and returned it.

We thanked her again and got her contact info from her. Later she sent us a picture of herself unmasked so we’d recognize her if she came to visit us in Montana. We really hope she will!!

As we were headed for our next departure gate to continue our travel home to Bozeman, MT, we saw another flight attendant wheeling a blue carry-on toward the help desk. Something caused us to turn around, follow him, and inquire about that suitcase when he got to the Alaska Airlines customer service area.

Our sweet and helpful flight attendant still was in that area. She came over to see the blue bag that was left behind and get an update on what was happening. The two attendants looked at the bag, turned the tag on it over and examined the name/address on it.

“Beekmans?” the male attendant asked?

“Yes,” we replled.

“This is your bag!” he told us.

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

We felt soooo stupid! We BOTH had denied that bag could be ours. We had created a hassle for the flight attendant and ourselves. NEEDLESSLY. We felt like such morons! We profusely apologized. They chuckled. We laughed out loud… a laugh filled with embarrassment.

Our sweet flight attendant patted us on the back. Gave us a comforting smile and said, “It could happen to any of us. Don’t worry!”

She said she wanted to adopt us as her “Marriage longevity role models.”

Thank you, Lisa!!

Ah, 59 years together! We often tell folks it takes the two of us to complete one another… two halves make a whole.

At that moment we thought we had both become slightly senile. Neither of us felt like half of a whole!! Maybe a quarter?

We can’t afford to have BOTH of us lose a few marbles. HELP!!

As we rolled our bag – hmmm… why hadn’t we noticed that lock on there before? Hmmm … was it really this size? Hmmm … why hadn’t we noticed the shade of blue?

We got the giggles. We laughed at our own feeble-mindedness and decided what we needed was a good glass of wine, a taco snack, and a chance to just sit and relax before we boarded the next flight.

I received a text from our dear flight attendant. She assured us that we were the highlight of her day. She sent us a picture of her beautiful family and invited us to come visit her if we are ever in the area where she lives. I can just hear her sharing the story about this “adorable old couple, married 59 years, not recognizing their own suitcase” and getting a good laugh for years to come.

We’re able to laugh about it, too. We hope she really will take us up on it and come to visit us in Montana!

The moral of the story:

The next time you do something stupid, give each other a high five. Get a good laugh at yourself, and realize:

You are not alone!
Laugh together.
No one can laugh AT you,
if they are laughing WITH you!

Embrace laughter.

Photo by Blue Bird on Pexels.com

And, by the way,
do you have some kind of bright florescent ribbon
that we can tie onto our luggage?


Something that we can’t mistake for someone else’s?

Send it along to us!!
And have a great Thursday!



Love,
JanBeek

Hah!!

Oh- and by the way, that girl at the top with her tongue out?
That’s Bob’s niece, Tammy.
She has a great sense of humor.
As a nurse – especially during this COVID-19 pandemic,
Laughter has been a saving grace!
Gotta keep your spirits up!!

Thanks, Tammy, for all you do to help others!

Embrace Your Journey


The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.”
But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one.
When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s,
I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.

The California Poppies song went like this:

“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun,
Closing up at evening when the day is done.
Pride of California, flower of our state,
Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”

The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:

We’re the Caswell Cougars.
We are Number One!
Green and yellow banners
Waving in the sun.
Caswell is a place for
Learning and for fun.
We’re the Caswell Cougars;
We are Number One!”

One of my fellow principals objected to our song.
She felt I was in competition with her school.
I responded, “There’s room at the top
for more than one.
Come up and join us!”

As I have journeyed through this life,
I am going and growing.
I am understanding better
where my colleague was coming from.

Thirty years later I can look back
And I can see my competitive spirit
At work in that school song…
Unintended yes, but obvious to others.



If life is viewed as a race,
then there is room for only one at the top.
The race goes to the swiftest.
But a journey has room for many.

Hold my hand as we walk this path.
Pray with me. stay by my side.
Soon enough we will reach the mountain top
And when we do, celebrate with me.

Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon
where we will join his sister and her family.
We will gather to give back to one another
The love we have shared on this life’s journey.

We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband
As their daughter and son speak of the ways
Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love
During his 86 years here on this earth.

As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge
The grace of God that has allowed us to share
These six decades with one another –
And we take not one of those chapters for granted.

Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended,
But we know his story doesn’t end here.
We know death is not an end to our journey;
It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.

We will share, hug, and weep for our loss,
And we will assure one another of the faith we have.
We know we will see one another in eternity.
We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!

Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends.
I send you my love
as we journey this life together.


See ya tomorrow (God willing),
JanBeek

Embrace Maturing


Embrace Maturing –
Not everyone does with age;
Some remain childish!

Happy Birthday, Son,
Our 56 year old boy –
You’re God’s gift to us!

I posted some pics
On my Facebook page today.
Here’s WordPress sharing:

Maturity is to be embraced.
Never fear growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many –
Embrace aging and getting bolder.

Life is full of great surprises.
Improving since those Little League Days.
From riding toy horses and tractors
To inheriting a Porsche and a smile that stays.

If you have your dear wife and your health,
If you have friends, a good job, and kids
Who love and appreciate who you are,
With God’s help, you won’t land on the skids!

Our son, Ty, always was a great ham.
He played George’s role in the school play
When he was about ten-years-old.
Of course, a star was born that day!

We’ve always been proud of who he is –
Pleased as punch with the man he’s become.
A devoted husband, a loving grandpa, too –
And to many a neighbor, a reliable chum.

His faith in the Lord has strengthened with age,
The maturity of his belief’s a wonder to behold
May he live a long, fruitful life in retirement –
And never fail to share God’s wisdom. Just be bold!


Our daughter-in-law, Monika by his side
Is a marvelous complement to our son.
May they live to a ripe old age together –
In the end hearing, “Well done, good and faithful ones!”

Love from Mom & Dad Bee

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today-
Embrace Maturing!

See ya tomorrow.
Happy Birthday, Ty – and Bill Welge, too!

Embrace Proximity


Proximity
Is nearness
Space that’s measured
Feeling a treasured presence
Closeness

Tomorrow may be in heaven…
But there is a tomorrow for all Children of God

Movement
Closing in
Walking toward you
Feeling your loving care
Proximity

Bonnie & Stan
60 years of standing together,
Leaning on one another
Treasuring proximity

Movement
Closing in
Walking toward you
Feeling your loving care
Proximity

Dream
Embrace Proximity
We never know
How long we’ll have
Together


Bob & Jan
59 years and treasuring our proximity

Wishes
Are important
Dreams stay big
My wish for you:
Proximity

My sister-in-law, Bonnie, had the gift of her children and grandchildren’s close proximity yesterday as she dealt with the grief of separation. Hopefully they will ease the pain with beautiful shared memories. One of my other sisters-in-law sent me these pictures of Stan today. (If you follow my post, you know Bonnie’s husband died yesterday). I will post a few of Ann Beekman’s photos here so you can feel the proximity of this crazy family – full of joy and love for one another.

The Beekman/Hunt/Payne family guys
Stan clowning behind Bob & Bruce
Bonnie & Stan at a family dinner
Bonnie & Stan at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding
Stan & Bonnie after an Hawaiian trip
A souvenir hat from Hawaii
Stan loved hats –
Guess where this one came from!

May the memories of my dear brother-in-law remain alive in our hearts
And the proximity of his character comfort and sustain all his loved ones.

What’s a favorite memory you pray
your family and friends will use
to help them remember you
when you are gone?

What photo will keep you in close proximity to them?

Here’s mine!

Stand by me
Lean on me
Embrace Proximity

See ya tomorrow
JanBeek

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