“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”
As we approach life through the lens of grace, dreams are possible, dreams come true, and we learn to never stop dreaming.
My husband, Bob was scheduled to go on a once-in-a-lifetime fishing trip to Alaska this year. Except for this pandemic, he would have been there right now.
Ah yes, he was going with two buddies. One of the buddies used his fly miles to arrange for Bob’s transportation. That financial help made the trip possible, because even with that help, Bob was out of pocket over $6,000 in various reservartions.
When the pandemic hit – and masks are required at the lodge and restrictions were going to compromise the enjoyment of the experience, the guys decided to cancel.
The company gave them credit, not a refund. Good for 2021. They keep the money until then.
Both of Bob’s buddies are at least a decade younger than he is. They were fine with the idea of a credit… and waiting to use it in 2021 when we dream of this CORONA-19 Virus being under control with an effective vaccine.
BUT, Bob said, “At 81, how do I know what my health will be like in a year? How do I know if I will be able to fly to Alaska and enjoy the rigors of a fishing trip?”
He wanted a refund. “That’s a long time to keep that much money of mine,” he told the fishing company.
I overheard the conversation. My response was, “It’s okay, Bob. Let them keep it. Let them give you a credit. Plan that 2021 trip, and look forward to it! Know that your health will be fine – and you will be strong enough to go and enjoy he experience. It’s important to live with unfulfilled dreams. When we stop dreaming, we stop living!”
Dream big, Bob! Imagine catching that big one! Imagine spending a week or two with your good buddies. Imagine being healthy and strong and holding that big one all by yourself!
Pray for God’s grace as you look forward to each tomorrow. Live with gratitude for the health and happiness He gives you each day. Know that He cares for you… and that “of His fullness” we have received – and will continue to do so.
Dream Big. Never Stop! Live with unfulfilled dreams. Let them keep you moving forward.
Thanks for stopping by today. I send you my love and best wishes for a DREAM BIG day! What are your unfulfilled dreams? Hugs, JanBeek
Thank you, Vitu Santos for this wonderful photo. It speaks volumes to me… and it exhibits to me the message of today’s sermon…
At the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT today, Rev. Steve Hundley delivered his sermon titled, “Is Your Cross Too Heavy?” The Lord prompted me to take my sermon notes in the shape of a cross. The photo of the cross sermon above is the result of that effort.
To illustrate his point – that we need to give Jesus our burdens, lighten our load, and live in joy, Rev. Steve used this story:
“It’s hard for an egg to become a bird, but it would be harder for a bird to fly while still in the egg.”
Let go the egg… and FLY! Give Jesus your burdens and follow Him with JOY, not because you HAVE to, but because you WANT to.
God bless you with the JOY of Life Given Away because you WANT to!
Have a Happy Labor Day weekend. See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
Do we have an obsession with image? More concerned about the outside than the inside? As a nation… as a world?
Are you fed up with it? Do you feel it is robbing us of our sense of purpose and our wisdom?
These are some questions I gleaned from Scilla Elworthy, the elderly South African woman in the Ted Talk above:
Are you fully alive in your body? Do you have energy and attractiveness in your soul? Are you content with what is? Can you remove the mask, let the wrinkles show, and still like yourself?
Self-acceptance is a great, great gift!
Obsession with image is tiring… Yes, I believe that!
What makes you feel electric? Does the world see your energy? Do you have real aliveness?
Health, exercise, purpose, usefulness… those are the keys!
Many people struggle to find purpose in life. Scilla Elworthy said, “Most people fear pain and loneliness.”
We worry about what will happen when we are no longer able to care for ourselves and must rely on other people.
Dementia is a real fear for me. My mother was diagnosed with it before she died. My sister is in a home today – a nursing home – being cared for because she has Alzheimer’s. It is in my family. Is it in my future? I cannot dwell on that! I must live in the NOW and love myself so I can love others. The keys are:
prayer and meditation,
time in nature… being outside with things that are alive
What about death? It is inevitable. Approach it with curiosity. Think through it. Know that death is not finality.
What are the gains of growing older? We can speak out! Dare to speak up about those things that we think are wrong! Stand up for those things! Make a contribution by making a difference – by being true to ourselves.
Know that with age comes wisdom. Wise, experienced leaders are a gift to the world. As we age, we can be that older, wiser person who sees beyond the horizon. The world need us!
But age and wisdom are not synonymous. Wisdom does not come automatically. We can’t live in a foxhole and gain wisdom. We need to go out and risk adventure. Risk rebuke. Risk the world hating you. We need to be true to ourselves as we lift our heads to what is happening around us and seek the solutions to the challenges we all face. We can’t be ostriches with our head in the sand.
A friend of mine said she has decided that the best way to avoid dissension is just to avoid having an opinion. “I try to remain totally objective – with no opinion expressed. Opinions just garner arguments,” she said.
We can’t let ourselves live in that kind of fear! Avoidance invites stagnation.
“Whoever is free from all fear will always be safe,” Scilla Elworthy said in the Ted Talk above. So, we must let go of any fear we have of speaking out.
What do you care about? What’s your opinion about aging? Let’s hear it!!
I’m not afraid of growing older. Just don’t call me old!! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
There I am in the top-middle – happily holding my two bells, ready to practice with the Ennis Bell Ringers. This photo was taken last December before all this COVID-19 pandemic was known. We learned a series of songs to play at a Christmas concert, and were set to start learning patriotic songs so we could give a concert here in Ennis on the 4th of July. And all of a sudden, everything was cancelled. You know the feeling.
I sing in our church choir, too… and those practices had to be cancelled.
I volunteered (past tense) at our Senior Center as a sous chef, and at our local hospital as a receptionist one day a week. Those opportunities to serve were cancelled.
singing with the choir
playing with the bell ringers
volunteering as a sous chef
volunteering to work one day a week at our local hospital
visiting my friends at the local nursing home
having neighborhood parties
hugging my friends
the carefree safety of flying to California or Pennsylvania or Switzerland to be with my children and their families, my sis and my niece
the freedom to shake hands with people I meet
and so much more…
I am grateful that we live where we do because here in the Madison Valley of Montana, we still are able to:
go four-wheeling in the mountains with friends in the wide-open spaces
attend church services outside on the lawn
hug one another (Bob & me… thank God!)
wear a mask and socially distance at CostCo or our local grocery store to do our shopping
interact with family and friends using the internet… here’s my sister in her last FaceTime meeting with her daughter and grandson (a real smile – yay!)
We still can hop in the car and go to see the beautiful scenery around us. In places up high, there still is snow on the ground!
And thanks to the internet, friends who go to visit Yellowstone Park can send pictures of the bison – and we can enjoy the sights they see vicariously!
So, instead of focusing on what I miss, I guess I should look at the joys we still can enjoy, right? My grandson, Mike, in Switzerland, went to a friend’s wedding last weekend – and he sent me a lovely picture of him with his darling girlfriend, Tania. I miss seeing him in person and meeting his friend in person, but I am grateful that he reaches out to me and that he sent this terrific photo:
They have those same beautiful mountains there – even prettier – that we have here in Montana. See them behind the couple? The Alps are pretty spectacular! And of course, you noticed that foot that’s stuck in the photo there, right? Someone’s having fun. I can feel the joyfulness, can’t you?
What is it that you are missing? And what are you grateful for today? Tell me!
See ya tomorrow. Love ya…. thanks for visiting JanBeek
Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. … Each day has enough trouble of its own… Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live … So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. … “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
I asked Donna, “Do you know that song?” She replied, “I do!” and then she sent me the song she was singing.
Here’s the one I was singing:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God…”
What is it you seek? Is it the Kingdom of God? Let’s pursue God first.
What are “all these things”? The scripture was referring to food and clothing… the basics… and reminding us how God takes care of the birds and the lilies of the field.
When I pursue the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, I am seeking His wisdom. I am seeking the peace that only He can give. I am seeking understanding and the deep compassion that God’s Son taught us. I am seeking to exemplify His love ❤️ and the joy that comes with Trust in His Promises. 🙏🏽 I seek His righteousness so that I may exhibit greater patience, kindness, gentleness, and goodness.
Seek Ye first the kingdom of God … and all these things will be given unto you.
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Pray for discernment I love the Lord’s perfect will Freckles and lashes!!
Do not let the world Trick you into seeking pride – It’s a dead-end street.
Do not let the world Trick you into seeking wealth – Not in hoarded coins.
Do not let the world Tell you what to dream about – Look in God’s Word.
Let the Son set you free. You shall know the Truth And the Truth shall set you free. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge Him.
I pray for you, my friend… For your health, happiness, safety, And for God to guide you in His Way.
Ya gotta read this post! It’s full of gorgeous flowers from derrickjknight
and you don’t want to miss seeing more! It’s full of a variety of humor and thoughtfulness!
Do you know the word “HodgePodge”?? Is it real or is it one that my mom made up? When I put it in Pexels to look for a picture, nothing came up. But my iPhone dictionary had it! Here are some synonyms:
Don’t you love the concept? It doesn’t say “junk” (which is often what I thought of when I used the word hodgepodge). No, not junk… just a mishmash of unrelated ideas or an assortment of things that can actually be related – like this meat on a grill.
Need to Share
Today’s blog is a mishmash – a hodgepodge of various things, ideas, photos that caught my eye this week. I saved them because I either loved them or hated them, laughed or groaned at them, and I wanted to share them for your viewing, too.
Love One Another
My blog’s subtitle is “Loving One Another” – so I try to share ideas that represent ways we can reach out in love more fully and unconditionally to one another.
A friend (who was born in Canada but is now a USA citizen) sent me these pictures/memes/jokes/thoughts today. I decided if the election goes the wrong way next November here in the USA, Canada may be my next residency! It appears they have a handle on how to “Love One Another.” Even their graffiti is kinder than ours!!
And if they wear a hat with something written on it, I guess it is positive, too…
Going on with my hodgepodge, I received this meme from a friend today. It made me laugh. I think laughter is what keeps me going these days!
Oh, Other Options?
You say you have other survivor options? One way my blogging friend, Derrick Knight and his wife, Jackie, are surviving this pandemic is by being voracious gardeners. And Derrick is a phenomenal photographer. Let me add to my hodgepodge today by sharing a couple of my favorite photos he posted recently from his rainy vistas in Great Britain:
Pictures Bring Back Memories
In my past life, some of you know I was a teacher for 24 years and a principal for 9 years and worked in the district office as curriculum coordinator (wearing a hundred hats with all kinds of responsibility and no authority to back ’em up!)… and then I decided to do what I loved most – and go back into the classroom before I retired. I taught a first grade and took them on to second. Oh, what a joy that was! Many of those students are my FaceBook friends today… 21 years later!!
That poppy brought back those memories because the school where I was principal for 9 years was Caswell Elementary in the Ceres Unified School District in California. Our school song was:
“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.
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!!
And the HodgePodge Continues…
Yesterday, if you read my blog, you know we went for a farewell ice cream social to say “See ya later” to our two favorite little Sunday School friends, Cord and Ruby. We are praying for their happy resettling on their dad’s home ranch in Jordan, MT. It’s a six-hour drive from here. They’ll have horses and cattle and dogs and cats and lots of room to roam. Our love and prayers go with them. We gave them great big farewell hugs and told ’em how much we love and will miss them.
Great HodgePodge Finish
A great end to my hodgepodge for today is this wonderful photo that I JUST received via the magic of WhatsApp from my daughter, DeAna. She wrote,
“I took this photo from the parking lot near our restaurant this morning while thinking of you.”
Ah, our children certainly know how to melt a mothers heart, don’t they? Nothing could make me happier than to know that when my daughter sees a symbol of our faith, she thinks of me! What a gift, huh?
Maybe I am not so disturbed after all!!
What HodgePodge of thoughts captured your imagination today? I hope they were a medley of love and laughter, memories and musings that lightened your soul.
Days in Montana Are out of a fairy tale: Unbelievable!
Come for a trail ride On Lucille, our ATV, Into the mountains.
Today North Meadow – First past gorgeous Sure Shot Lakes, Then to reservoir.
The fish were jumping – Little ones jumped on the fly. Big ones were cautious.
Lunch was relaxing With our dear friends, the Washburns. Wish you could have come!
The fish are jumpin’ – Summertime – livin’s easy… And life is peaceful!
Barbara & I enjoyed the scenes And did a little hiking Trails above the lake
TazE came with us We enjoyed the clear blue skies With clouds drifting by.
They call this Big Sky There’s a very good reason Unimpeded views!
Makes you want to keep on singing!!
Quake Lake’s a wonder. Have you heard the great story? Come – and I’ll tell you!
Thanks for joining me for another beautiful Montana day. It’s so wonderful to live in this great state with the wide open spaces… especially during this pandemic. Nothing heals like Mother Nature at her finest… in Madison County, Montana.
Stay in the moment To avoid anxiety NOW is what we have
While we’re in the NOW, Lord help us to be aware Of what DOES matter
Tune our eyes to see And our ears to really hear What is important
Take away our bent To frivolity of life Give us Your wisdom
PHILIPPIANS 4:8 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.
Keeping Philippians 4:8 in your heart and focusing on the positivity of the NOW will make you smile!
Stay in the moment Take notice of little things And you will be blessed!
Tell me, what are you focusing on NOW?? What’s making you smile??
Do you have sunshine in your pocket? Do you have that happy feeling in your body? I dare you to watch this video without smiling!!
When troubles come… Where do you go to be lifted up? I go into the mountains. There God fills my cup.
I was not able to go with Bob these last couple of weeks when he took our ATV up into the Tobacco Root Mountains and the Gravelly Range.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I had surgery to repair a hernia a couple of weeks ago. The doctor said those bumpy rides on our four-wheeler, “Lucille” (she’s red-headed and she is a BALL), were off-limits.
So, Bob took our friend, Julie, last week… and this week he took our friend, Elaine. Both of them loved it. I’m so glad he shares the fun with friends who appreciate the beauty of Montana’s mountains as much as we do!
Elaine is the wife of our minister and friend, Steve Hundley. I share my poetic sermon notes each Sunday with you. It’s Steve who preaches those captivating messages! Elaine took the pictures I am sharing with you today. She has some real beauts here!!
You can see the tip of Lucille’s tire here … obviously Bob stopped many times along the trail so Elaine could get out and snap a shot of the view. As you can see, they traveled up above the tree line into the snow. It’s mid-July and Montana’s mountain tops still have snow. Bundle up! Yup, it was cold up there while I was enjoying a 75 degree day down in the Madison Valley.
No camera lens is as miraculous as the lens God gives each of us with our eyes… especially if we have 20/20 vision. But, a skilled photographer can come close with a good camera. I love the composition of this one with the rocks on rock in the foreground, don’t you?
Thank you, Elaine, for sharing with us your day with Bob and God! We are so blessed to be friends with one another and with nature and with our Creator! I love you! ❤
And thank you, my WordPress friends, for going with us into the mountains where we can all feel closer to God. There, He fills my cup! Did He fill yours, too?
I added the words below here to my blog from a couple days ago where I had a video posted of Susan Boyle singing this song… but some folks weren’t able to access the video.
I leave you today with this wonderful Peace Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. Make Me a Channel of Your Peace…
Thank you, Lord, for your great creation. I find such peace in Your mountains!
I hope you did, too, my friends. See ya tomorrow. JanBeek