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Expectations


Frank Solanki

in his blog titled

Marriage Is A Strange Equation

published yesterday, April 24, 2022,
wrote this poem:

Marriage is a strange equation where
You take 1 Person
Add another Person
You get a Couple
So far so good
Now you add 0 Expectations to it
And you get infinite Love
Mind-boggling!

I wrote to Frank saying, “Hmmm… zero expectations? How do you do that?”
He responded, “I guess we should try and reduce it little by little. Eventually, it will get to zero.”

What do you think? Do you agree that zero expectations = infinite love?

Bob & me on our 59th

I follow Frank’s blog along with over 22,700 other admirers of his poetry. If you will forgive me, I wish to rewrite his latest. It seems to me that marriage does not have to be a strange equation. It can be:

The Perfect Equation

Marriage can be a perfect equation when
You take one person
Add another person
And get a couple
Then you add the Love of Christ
Next place the Holy Spirit in the center
You add God’s expectations of compassion
Mix in the joy of respect and faithfulness
And you get unconditional, infinite love
Now, that’s Mind-boggling!

Celebrated 60 years in February

True Friendship requires the same equation!
Take one person, add another, stir in Christ’s love
Center the Holy Spirit between you and
Sprinkle generously with compassion and respect
Remain faithful to one another, and
Keep a confidential, active, listening ear
You get unconditional, infinite love.
Isn’t that mind-boggling?

If you were asked to create a collage of true friends who epitomize that equation, who would you include? Long-time friends, family, neighbors, church friends, internet friends, friends in heaven, those you haven’t met yet? Think about it! My collages below are by no means complete… but for starters:

Are you a reliable friend?
Do you see yourself fitting into the equation?
Does your collage of friends include
those neighbors who stick “closer than a brother”?

Marriage and Friendship
are related!
They both carry with them
great expectations!

Proverbs 18:24

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Knowing I was hurting physically because I fell and disclocated/broke my pinky finger, friends sent cards, delivered food, sent texts, called, and dropped by. Did I EXPECT such an outpouring? Not at all! But did it do the trick? You bet! Those friends delivered the cheer and encouragement that we all need when we are feeling blue or tired or sick or (as in my case) a little stupid and careless.

Knowing my granddaughter and I were hurting emotionally because she just learned of and shared with me the news of her miscarriage, friends called, wrote, texted, responded on my blog & on FB, and reached out to Hope as well. Did we expect such an outpouring? No! But was it helpful and appreciated? You bet!

Thank You – It does help!
Does God EXPECT us to do so?
Yes!

Hebrews 10:24-25
Let us think of ways to motivate one another
to acts of love and good works.
And let us not neglect our meeting together,
as some people do,
but encourage one another

The Bible is full of expectations for us.
God expects us to lift one another up.
He commands us…
The greatest of these is
LOVE.
His last and final commandment:
Love one another!

Reach out to a friend today.
Reach out in love.
Do you do it because you expect something in return?
Of course!

My mom always told me,
“Whatever you send into the life of others
comes back into your own.”


(I’m sure she read that
in the Bible somewhere!)

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

Love & Marriage –
Go together like
a horse & carriage!


Who’s in your collage of friends today?
Tell ’em about it!


(
Share my blog with ’em!!)

Favorite Quote


Missed the prompt yesterday … so here it is a day late… or is it two days? Life’s been busy as we were packing and preparing for this trip to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota . Departure is at 5:55 tomorrow morning! But anyway, here’s my favorite quote. It’s what my mom always told me. But I’m sure it’s not original. Wonder who first said it?

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt “

What’s your favorite quote?

See ya later alligator

After while crocodile

Hah! Hugs from JanBeek

Bloganuary#18 – Books


“What Book Will You Read Next?” was the Bloganuary prompt yesterday. I was away from my computer all day, so I didn’t get a chance to answer it then. But here is my answer – a day late:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The book next on my reading list is Amanda Gorman’s “Call Us What We Carry.” Amanda is the young lady who wrote the poem that she read at the 2021 USA Presidential inauguration, “The Hill We Climb.” Her book of poems “captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing.” According to the inside flap of the book, “This book is a message in a bottle. This book is a letter. This book does not let up.” I loved Gorman’s poem for the inauguration message last year. I know I am going to enjoy delving deeper into her poetic prowess!

What book is next on your reading list?

See ya later today with prompt #19… stay tuned.

Love, JanBeek

Advice to Teenage Self


WordPress started a new program called Bloganuary each day they’ll give us a writing prompt. I’ll see if I can find inspiration in this new program – and share comments with some fellow bloggers I haven’t met before.

My 2021 blogs all began with my word for the year, “Embrace.” We had spent 2020 with the absence of hugs … and that was really hard for me. It was not difficult to think of a subject to embrace each day.

Our daughter, De, at age 19.

Now, let’s see what my life experience can do with these new daily prompts!

What Advice Would I Give to My Teenage Self?

I wrote a poem for my daughter, DeAna, when she was 19, married her sweetheart, André, and left us in CA to go live with him in his home country of Switzerland. My advice to her was wrapped up in this poem. It’s the same advice I would have given to my own teenage self:

I hope you are able to read that, dear blogging friends. And I hope you have been given (and can give in return) “Gifts Your Kids Can’t Break”

God bless you this New Year’s Day. May 2022 be a memorable year of many hugs and many blessings from Our Lord to you and your loved ones.

Please pray for my husband, Bob, who is in ER right now with congestive heart failure.

Love, JanBeek

Embrace Retards!


Ready to Be Touched

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.

Photo by Paul Efe on Pexels.com

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.

Merry Christmas!

Alice Paschal Nativity

Peering Down

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 New Years glasses

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.

Lenten Breakfast 2020

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

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.

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)…

Embrace Doubting


May sound really weird
For a Christian to embrace
Doubting; How can I?

What does doubting mean?
I believed it’s unbelief.
But, let’s think again.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Matthew 28:17

“When they saw him,
they worshiped him;
but some doubted.”

Who is “they” who saw?
It was Jesus’ disciples.
What does “doubted” mean?

In my devotional time this morning, Daily Guideposts explained that the original text was in Greek. The word “doubted” in Greek is “distazo.” That does not mean unbelief. It is more accurately translated as “hesitation or uncertainty about how to respond.”

In today’s world, as the cartoon shows, the disciples would not have to think twice about how to respond. They would simply get out their cell phones and record this momentous reappearance of their Savior!!

But in the world of Jesus’ time, how would you respond when someone you watched die on the cross suddenly walked out of the tomb? “Distazo” seems appropriate to me. Whoa!! I’d be pretty unsure about how to respond, wouldn’t you?

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

Sometimes I am quite unsure about how to respond to situations in today’s world. How about you?

Our test kits came today for the COVID-19 test we have to self-administer and then mail FedEx in the envelope provided so it can go overnight to the place where the results are determined and then sent to me before our flight out of Chicago to London on Sunday night. (Whoa… that’s a long, complex sentence – did you grasp it?)

I am doubting … I am unsure about how to respond to the instructions.

Unfortunately, my test results won’t come in a fortune cookie. They will be sent to an app on my iPhone. Problem: my iPhone is 8 years old and it won’t upgrade to an IOS high enough to download the app. I am feeling doubtful. Very uncertain about how to respond. The new iPhone 12 and last year’s version (iPhone11) are not available here in Ennis. Checking with our nearest city, Bozeman, I discovered we don’t have an Apple store… and the Verizon Wireless store doesn’t have the phone I want in stock. I have to order it on-line from Apple. Will it arrive in time for our departure? What will I do if it isn’t here in time?

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

In this COVID-19 world, “distazo” is a natural response. We are unsure of how to respond in so many ways. Get the vaccine or not? Wear a mask or not? Get a booster or not? Join friends for a dinner out or not? Worship in church with others sitting close by or not? Travel or not? Get a new phone or not? Forget the whole thing?

I pray to God for help with decision-making, but I am not sure I am hearing His response. Should I keep asking? Should I reword my questions? Am I missing His answers?

As Daily Guideposts has written in today’s devotional, “Doubt, distazo, is part of our faith journey.” It’s OK to question how to respond when we’re baffled by the challenges we face. Like the disciples, we are faced with some unbelievable situations. These are unprecedented times!

In these troublesome times,
we are encouraged to Stretch!!

Embrace Doubting!

Let your hesitation
and your uncertainty
cause you to
question more,
research more,
and pray more.

Let your hesitancy
and your uncertainty
cause you to
trust more,
experience more,
and increase your humility
as you allow yourself
to admit

“Crap!
I don’t have all the answers after all!”


Get in touch with the
Tiger in you!

Do you find yourself doubting about anything?
What causes you to experience “distazo“?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Teachers


This week school started
Children back in their classrooms
Masks are required

Teachers wear their masks
Most children are feeling safe
God bless our teachers

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Some must test daily
States requirements differ
God bless our teachers

Some still distance learn
Listening to a screen is hard
Harder than up close

Virtual lessons
Leave many students outside
Levels of comfort

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Not all the children
Have the proper equipment
Nor their private space

Some live in chaos
Choose invisibility
Fearful of teasing

The choice should be theirs
But how do teachers teach blanks
God bless our teachers

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Embrace our teachers
They yearn to be close and touch
Give encouragement

Send a thank you card
To a teacher in your town
Appreciate them

Times are difficult
When masks and distance require
Such separation

Some things must be taught
Up close, very personal
COVID-19 SUCKS!

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Please

Send a thank you now
To a teacher in your life
Embrace your teachers!

Feeling better

Thank you for your prayers
for my bruised face.
It’s getting better everyday.

Pray for our teachers!
They have a tough assignment
in the midst of this pandemic.
They need our love and support.

And parents, please, set a loving example
for the sake of your children…
No more fighting!!

It’s so harmful to kids
when they see their parents fighting

In the news this week
We saw some parents slugging
Over mask ideas

The damage to kids
When adults behave like this
Is so long lasting!

10 Effects of Parents Fighting in Front of Children

parenting.firstcry.com › articles › impacts-of



YOU are your children’s first teacher!
You are your child’s life-long teacher,
Your behavior sets your most lasting legacy.
Parents, be your children’s BEST teacher!!


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

Embrace Anger


Today’s sermon was titled, “Please Go to Bed Angry.”

What??? We all know what the Bible tells us:

So how could our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds tell us to go to bed angry?
What a weird twist on a well-known scripture, huh?
What was the point she was making?
Here are the notes I took as I listened to today’s sermon:

Sit with yourself in silence
Long enough to feel the anger
That’s hidden inside of you.

If you’re not angry,
You’re not really livin’ –
Anger is a quiet, deep given.

Anger leads to rage and hatred.
Anger leads to destruction –
And we might not know it’s there.

I’m angry, and I name it.
I see it; I control it.
Paul tells us, “Walk away!”

Don’t let your anger lead you to sin.
Some people hurt us intentionally
And the gospel says, “Walk away!”

But there are people in our lives
Who need to be there –
And we may find some of them “angry.”

What do we do with anger?
Acknowledge it, define it, use it.
Let it build for the common good.

When I “feel” anger,
It doesn’t have to define me.
Sleep on that anger and address it.

Weather the conflict and
Don’t let it divide us.
Initiate the pain confrontation.

Managing anger demands strength
And a clearness of mind.
Let it be the light illuminating
a better way forward.

Amen?

Anger is like boiling water inside you.
It bubbles up and alerts you
To the need to get it up and out.

Righteous anger is addressed
In the Bible very clearly when
Jesus overturned the tables.

The money changers were
Ripping off the worshipers.
Jesus would have none of that!

John 2:15 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. Matthew 21:12 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. Mark 11:15 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves…



If Jesus had slept on that anger,
Might he have responded differently?
I doubt it. The situation was untenable!

Some actions and incidences
Deserve our righteous anger.
No need to sleep on it!

But other reasons for anger
Are not so clear cut!
Let the resolution stew a while!

After sleeping on it,
You may find there is a better solution
Than the one you thought of yesterday.

Let God speak to you.
Listen to His calming influence.
Respond biblically!

So, while we may embrace the right to be angry,
And we may feel justified exhibiting righteous anger,
The real path to a peaceful, joyful, and fulfilling life
Is the path described in Colossians 3:12. It’s my choice!

How about you?

Embrace Ukiah


As I strive to spread love, joy, peace, faith and unity, I often embrace haiku as a means of expression. Today I learned about a poetry form that is new to me: ukiah. It is reverse haiku. Instead of pattern of 5-7-5, it uses a 7-5-7 pattern. It is a joy to me to learn new things … and to put new ideas into practice. Do you find joy in newness?

Try applying new concepts
Making room for joy
Embrace ukiah today

Then I learned, Oh no! There’s another requirement for ukiah. It has to rhyme! All three lines? Or just two of the three?

I researched it and found the definition written by the person who invented it, Robert Ropars :

“My idea is the opposite of the haiku. I was thinking it should be a “Roparsku” but my lack of ego (and my very wise girlfriend) kept me grounded. So since I’m talking about the opposite, then reversed it would a “Ukiah.” Now searching around online I see some people have played with variations (calling this a “reverse haiku”), but only changed the syllabic construction. I think a true “reversal” would also take into account the rhyme aspect. In addition, this adds an extra level of challenge to the endeavor.

It would be composed of:
•3 lines in length
•rhyming
•lines 1 and 3 contain 7 syllables
•line 2 contains 5 syllables

Haiku example:
Winds blowing lightly
Leaves whispering in the dark
Stars twinkling above

Ukiah example:
Leaves are drifting in the night
The stars are so bright
Shivering I hold you tight

Wow… all three lines rhyme. That changes everything!
Poetry takes many forms.
This poem of Laura’s is free verse.

I took its ideas and tried to create a Ukiah using it:


You can’t see me; I hear you –
And you can’t touch – true,
But I feel you near clear through.

You do not taste my sad tears,
But I cry your fears.
Your sadness pierces like spears.

In this very empty room,
Silence is perfume:
A claustrophobic deep gloom.

I smell and feel it around.
Miss your loving sound.
Hate social distance ground!

Photo by Bekka Mongeau on Pexels.com

When ukiah is so sad,
Where’s joy to be had?
Just creating makes me glad.

Practice keeps newness churning.
Embrace the yearning.
Apply newness while learning.

7-5-7
and add rhyme…
Try it!
Embrace Ukiah!!

Be a sport!
Share your try at ukiah in the comments below.

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

Embrace Fly Fishing


It’s a beautiful evening
for a maiden fly fishing adventure.
Bob & Steve took Mary Grace out on the Madison.

First, she needed a rod, reel, tippet, and some flies.
Steve Hundley made a box of ’em for her!
Then he taught her how to tie one on.
Every flyfisherperson needs a good pair of boots.
Thank you, Fran McNiell!!
Every fisherperson needs a license, too.
Next year Mary Grace will be a resident
and it won’t cost as much, we hope!
It was $120 for non-residents this year.
That was quite an increase!
Mary Grace watched carefully as Bob readied the boat.
Three happy fisher(wo)men!! Almost ready…
OK, boat’s in the water… now hop in!
The weather was warm (92 degrees) –
but it will be cooler on the river.
I watched to be sure they were on their way…
(They put in at 8 Mile Fishing access)
Then I drove the pick up with trailer home.
Happy Fly Fishing, Mary Grace.
I hope you have a great time!!

Stay tuned, friends.
I’ll give you a report tomorrow to let you know how they did.
I hope they are able to catch a few big ones.
They will call when they are ready
for me to get them at the “take out” in Ennis.
Bob says, “The tug is the drug.”

Do YOU embrace fly fishing??

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