By the way, I love that photo of Bob back in his beekeeper days when he permed his hair. Don’t you? It was taken in our house in Modesto, CA with our Boston, Jacques. He had funny buck teeth (the dog, not Bob).
Do you know why Bob curled his hair? He hates to wear hats. As a beekeeper with naturally oily hair, bees loved to buzz in there and sting his scalp. The curls lifted the hair off the scalp and dried out the oiliness. The bees left his head alone. Interesting, huh?
I hope you enjoy the collection of photos I put on the Bloganuary site today.
Tell me, can you choose a favorite photo that you have taken?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Bloganuary#16 asked us to write about something we are passionate about. I can’t pick just one! Can you? Do your passions include some of the six things I am passionate about?
Here are a half a dozen of mine:
1. Let’s start with my love of home and family and the delight at being safely back here again. That’s passionately on my heart right now after being gone 3 weeks, getting a miserable respiratory virus, and being cared for so lovingly by our son, Ty & his wife Monika:
2. If you have read any of my blogs before this one, it will not surprise you that I am passionate about Jesus and His sacrifice that saved my soul. I love the Lord with all my heart and pray daily for His Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and actions, and to guard my tongue, and to inspire my writing. I read His Word daily and am passionate about inspiring others to Trust also in His promises.
3. I am passionate about music. Often I include a YouTube music clip at the end of my daily message here. I love to sing. I used to play the clarinet (was quite good once upon a time before arthritis bent my fingers so badly – my skill was thanks to years of private lessons my parents provided for me and hours of happy practice during those ages from 10 to 18 – – – I also play the accordion (you can find posts about that by putting “accordion” in the search bar in the upper right of my blog). I still am passionate about sharing the joy of the accordion with others – – – it’s like carrying a party on your back!
Here’s a wonderful video clip of a great song sent to me by a dear friend this morning:
4. I am passionate about cooking – and providing homemade meals for Bob and me that are pretty as well as nutritious and tasty. Besides music and writing, cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s one of the reasons I love following Caralyn’s posts on BeautyBeyondBones. If you haven’t followed her blog, do yourself a favor and check her out.
Isn’t that mango salsa over a nice piece of flakey, cooked-to-perfection halibut enough to make your mouth water?
What are you passionate about? I’d love to hear.
There I am in those days when I was able to serve as a volunteer at the Food Bank. (I can’t right now… until I am sure this RSV is all gone … and until Bob & I return from our trip next week to Mayo Clinic). BUT, that’s #6 on my list of passions: using the time and talents God has given me to serve others with love and compassion.
I bet you do that, too (or are you waiting until you retire?)… Don’t! Begin now… it’s so rewarding! In this COVID world, find a way! Your talents are in passionate need out there!!
God Bless You! Thanks for visiting JanBeek. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
With the inspiration provided by scripture, prayer, daily devotionals, and a constant walk with my Lord, I am inspired every day be seek His Will for my life. I am inspired to seek His Truth. I am inspired to share His Love. I am inspired to share the Good News!
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I pray that Jesus inspires you, too.
Now, if I have to choose someone who is on earth today… a living human who inspires me, I would not be able to narrow is down to one person! Here are a few:
Derrick Knight – he inspires me to blog every day as he does, and to respond to all who leave a comment on my post (just as he does).
Ty and Monika – our son and daughter-in-law – they inspire me with their big hearts and open hospitality, their love for one another, their family and neighbors, and their faithfulness. They inspire me to be more open and communicative about my faith in Christ.
Marcie Fernandes – my long-time friend – she inspires me to be more forgiving, more open to seeing the good in others, less quick to be judgemental.
DeAna & Andre’ – our daughter and son-in-law – in Switzerland – they inspire me to be more “in the moment.” Carpe’ Diem!
It would be fun to have those six folks together here at Ty & Monika’s in California right now, but they are spread from here to England to Tennessee to Switzerland! They all live in my heart and my prayers each day, though.
Who inspires you and why? It’s a thoughtful question, don’t you agree?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow (God willing)
My high school buddy from the Stone Age, Doris, sent me a story today. It was written by a guy (no name available) who recalled an experience that stuck with him and changed him forever.
Did the title of this blog draw you in? Stay with me.
The story writer told about the way a young Downs Syndrome man impacted the hearts of all he touched. I was moved by the story – and decided it was too good to keep to myself. I hope it touches your heart, too.
Nicky’s Lesson for Us All
In 1979, I was managing a Wendy’s in Port Richey, Florida. Unlike today, staffing was never a real problem, but I was searching for a someone to work 3 hours a day only at lunch. I went thru all my applications and most were all looking for full time or at least 20 hours per week. I found one however, buried at the bottom of a four inch stack, that was only looking for lunch part time.
His name was Nicky. Hadn’t met him but thought I would give him a call and see if he could stop by for an interview. When I called, he wasn’t in but his mom said she would make sure he would be there. At the appointed time, Nicky walked in. One of those moments when my heart went in my throat. Nicky suffered from Downs Syndrome. His physical appearance was a giveaway and his speech only reinforced the obvious. I was young and very sheltered. Had never interacted on a professional level with a developmentally disabled person. I had no clue what to do, so I went ahead and interviewed him. He was a wonderful young man. Great outlook. Task focused. Excited to be alive. For only reasons God knew at that time, I hired him for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week to run a grill.
I let the staff know what to expect. Predictably the crew made sure I got the message, “No one wants to work with a retard.” To this day I find that word offensive. We had a crew meeting, cleared the air, and prepared for his arrival.
Nicky showed up for work right on time. He was so excited to be working. He stood at the time clock literally shaking with anticipation. He clocked in and started his training. Couldn’t multi-task, but was a machine on the grill.
Now for the fascinating part… Back in that day, there were no computer screens to work from. Every order was called out by the cashier. It required a great deal of concentration on the part of all production staff to get the order right. While Nicky was training during his first shift, the sandwich maker next to him asked the grillman/trainer what was on the next sandwich. Nicky replied, “single, no pickle no onion.” A few minutes later it happened again. It was then that we discovered Nicky had a hidden and valuable skill. He memorized everything he heard! Photographic hearing! WHAT A SKILL SET.
It took 3 days and every sandwich maker requested to work with Nicky. He immediately was accepted by the entire crew. After his shift he would join the rest of his crew family, drinking Coke like it was water! It was then that they discovered another Rainman-esque trait. Nicky was a walking/talking perpetual calendar! With a perpetual calendar as a reference, they would sit for hours asking him what day of the week was December 22, 1847. He never missed. This uncanny trait mesmerized the crew.
His mom would come in at 2 to pick him up. More times than not, the crew would be back there with him hamming it up. As I went to get him from the back, his mom said something I will never forget. “Let him stay there as long as he wants. He has never been accepted anywhere like he has been here.”
I excused myself and dried my eyes, humbled and broken-hearted at the lesson I just learned. Nicky had a profound impact on that store. His presence changed a lot of people. Today I believe with every fiber of my body that Nicky’s hiring was no accident. God’s timing and will are perfect.
This Christmas, I hope we all understand what we are celebrating. We are all like Nicky. We each have our shortcomings. We each have our strong points. But we are all of value. God made us that way and God doesn’t make mistakes. Nicky certainly wasn’t a mistake. He was a valuable gift that I am forever grateful for.
We are celebrating the birth of the ONE that leveled the playing field for all of us. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, republican or democrat, or black or white. He doesn’t care if your chromosome structure is perfect. He doesn’t care what level of education you have attained. He cares about your heart. He wants us all to love and appreciate the gift HE gave us on Christmas, His son, the Savior, our salvation. His Son that was born to die for our sins. To pay our debt. To provide us a path for eternity.
So this Christmas, let’s check our hearts. There is a little bit of Nicky in all of us and I suspect there is a Nicky somewhere in your life who is looking for the chance to be embraced. Thank God for that. Thank God for His perfect gift, Christ Jesus.
Another of my high school friends, Kristy, sent me that sketch up there done by a 93-year-old friend of hers, Alice Paschal. What a wonderful rendition of that glorious Christmas Day! Like those two doves, my husband, Bob, and I are sitting in the rafters, peering down on that magical scene – marveling at the love Christ brought down to earth. Grateful for those who share His love in stories, words and actions.
Ready to Learn
May we all be like the workers in that restaurant long ago – ready to learn to love, learn to accept, learn to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable. May we learn to see one another through Jesus glasses, from the inside out.
I first posted this in December of 2020 … and here it is a year later … December of 2021 … and in many ways, we are more engulfed in the effects of COVID-19 now than we were then!
My resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.” Little did I know when I created those 20/20 Perfect Vision glasses January 1, 2020 what a challenge that would be!
I posted the picture of that little girl in early January, determined to talk less and to do more.
No Way of Knowing
I had no way of knowing when we celebrated the first of five planned Lenten breakfasts leading up to Easter that it would be our last. COVID-19 hit, our gatherings were shut down, and social distancing eliminated these opportunities.
Time to read more, time to think more, time to reflect on stories like the one at the top of this blog.
I asked you, my WP readers, “How will you spend the rest of this 2020 year? What will you do to Walk the Talk and Show the Love of Christ with those you meet?”
I asked you, “Think about it.”
And here it is another year gone by, still dealing with the effects of COVID-19, and still asking the same questions. still making the same requests:
And I still want you to know, “I love you.“ I hope you have avoided the ravages of the virus. I hope you are well, and looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with loved ones.
Thanks for taking time to read JanBeek. I hope it inspires you. Bee well! Bee LOVE.
Christmas is coming You see it everywhere you look these days. But… It’s not a “Merry Christmas” I am wishing for you! It’s a “Mary Christmas!” That’s in contrast to a “Martha Christmas!”
New International Version
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Are You Mary or Martha?
If I am not totally aware, it is easy for me to fall into the Martha role. Company is coming! I love entertaining.
But, if I am busy being Martha, I find at the end of the evening I didn’t engage in a meaningful conversation with anyone!
“Oh, Jan, Jan!” Jesus would say to me, “prepare for your guests in advance, so when they come, you can sit down and enjoy their company!”
But what if guests pop in unexpected? Should I be the Mary who lets Martha do all the work? Surely there is a happy medium here somewhere!
Work or Shirk?
If company pops in unexpected, drop everything and enjoy the surprise! They didn’t come to see your house. They probably didn’t come to eat your food. They are there to see you! So it’s not a question of work or shirk!
Put on a smirk – take off the apron – set aside the work!
If you convince them to stay and enjoy a snack or a meal with you, invite them in to your kitchen and continue to enjoy one another as you fix up some goodies together!
‘Tis the season to enjoy the love of company – ‘Tis the season to spread the joy and remember the reason for the season. It ain’t stressin’ yourself out with decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, and entertaining like Martha!
It’s Mary – the Christ Child – the simplicity of the stable – the spontaneity of good friends – and the Good News!
Have yourself a Mary Christmas!
Love to you… Pop in – and sit awhile! Let’s listen to some relaxing Christmas music and have a cup o’ tea or hot cocoa! Hugs, JanBeek
The Light of Love surrounds me The Light of Love enfolds me The Light of Love strengthens me Wherever I am, the Light of Love is.
LoveLight is powered by the Source. The Source is God, my Creator. The love of God enfolds me. The power of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is!
If I walk in awareness of LoveLight, It is easier to shine in the darkness. It is easier to let God’s Light shine through me. It is easier to find the path He intends for me. It is easier to respond to others with compassion. It is easier to find JOY at every turn.
Embrace the LoveLight in you! Recognize its Source. Praise God for each blessing. Recognize their Source. Pray for God’s patience and kindness to be manifested in you this day. Shine!
Each morning as I sit in my 100+ year old rocker that was made by Bob’s great grandfather, and I count my blessings, thank God for them, and plan my day ahead, I thank God for you! You, my WP readers, are a source of Light for my writing. You light up my life! Your responses are a source of encouragement. My goal is to spread the LOVE, JOY, PEACE, FAITH and sense of UNITY that are mine. I hope you feel those blessings in your life, too. Let that LOVELIGHT shine through you today.
1 John 2:9-10 “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.”
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love [God], for I have put my trust in You.”