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Embrace Life


“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”

-Thomas Campbell

Today we are celebrating the life of my brother-in-law, Stan.
He gave us many reasons to smile.
He will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.

If you could write your obituary,
celebrating your life,
what would you want folks
to say about you?

Here lies __________________ (insert your name)
S/He was __________________ (insert an adjective)
We could count on him/her to ____________________ (what could folks count on you for?)
His/Her life was noted for ________________________ (what’s your legacy?)


Have you discovered how to discern His Will?
Are you asking God each day to help you do His Will?

How are you using your time today?
Time is our greatest gift.
Use it wisely!

We’re in Oregon with Bob’s sister.
Priceless time!

I am praying that you
have a Marvelous Monday!

Hugs to you.
See you tomorrow (God willing)…
JanBeek

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 Comfort


Embrace Comfort

Embrace
The comfort
Offered by others
Then return the favor
Comfort

Comfort
Makes life
A little easier
Even in our sorrow
Care

Whisper
Your cares
To our God
He hears every word
Believe

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Reach
Hold hands
Hug your friends
Even virtual hugs matter
Express

Love
Is comfort
Comfort in Action
Never underestimate your love
Increase!

Last night Bob & I received word that his brother-in-law, Stan, was in ICU. He had fallen in the shower and was unconscious. The paramedics came, performed CPR, broke three of his ribs in the process, but made sure he was breathing. Took him to the hospital. Stan and Bob’s sister, Bonnie, live in Oregon. We can’t hop in the car and go there, but thanks to technology, we can reach out in love. We can pray and ask our friends to pray, too. God hears. God cares. We can show we care, too.

Today we learned that the family has asked for Stan to be taken off of life support. He never regained consciousness… and if he survived, his brain would not be functioning properly. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not continued life on this earth, but the peace and comfort of eternal life. Thank God for our faith. We know we will meet again in heaven.

There are so many ways to show love. What are some of the ways you embrace comfort across the miles?

EMBRACE COMFORT



Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.


Hope to see you tomorrow.

I’m sending my love your way.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Knowing our dear Stan is departing his earthly body,
I am sending this lovely video
“If Tomorrow Starts Without Me”
to comfort
our sweet Bonnie and their children,
Tammy & Todd…
and all the Hunt/Smith/Beekman family
with my love.
May they find it comforting.

Embrace Monday


Monday

Embrace Monday now
It’s the only day you have
Live today fully!!

Embrace this new week
It’s the only week you have
Live this week fully

Today is the day
To be completely alive
Tomorrow’s not here

Morning will slip by
Gone – in the blink of an eye
But, there’s afternoon

Wet your plants today
Dance a jig in your front yard
Go ahead, be weird

Yes, you can be weird
Yes, you can be silly, too
Walk in the sunshine

Each minute is new
Each breath is God’s gift to you
Take none for granted

Embrace your beauty
Embrace it every Monday
Embrace Monday every day

Embrace your husband
Embrace the friends that you love
Be weird with others!

It’s okay to laugh
At the funny thoughts that come
Embrace your weirdness

Let’s Embrace Monday
It’s the only day we have
Tomorrow’s not here

Thanks for popping in on JanBeek

See ya tomorrow.
Maybe…

Embrace Common Sense


Proverbs 16:22

“Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.”

No one wants to be thought a fool.
No one wants to be seen as someone who lacks common sense.
When we hear stories about foolish people,
we say to ourselves,
“Thank God that’s not me!
I’d never build a house on the sand!”

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

What is our modern day “House on the Sand” story?
Can you think of a typical story that demonstrates
lack of common sense in today’s world?

Not just the foolish MAN!!
What a about those spendthrift women?

Today is the day President Biden signed an “American Rescue Plan” –
A stimulus package to the tune of 1.9 trillion dollars. Wow!
Hopefully it will create the millions of jobs promised
And give struggling lower-middle class and poor families a future.
Does it make sense?

We need to renew our economy, no doubt about it.
How do we find the “light in the darkness”?
Are the acts of getting checks out and getting the vaccine out
And into people’s arms steps in the right direction?
Seems sensible to some – but not all!

Total COVID-19 deaths in the USA as of today: 527,726.
Something needs to be done… no doubt about it.
Are we on a sensible path to end the pandemic?
Mobilizing thousand of vaccinators and creating new places –
That’s sensible.

President Biden reminded us of the things we couldn’t do.
He talked about the ways we have been divided as a country.
His reminder of the way people are walking in fear today
Was not news to any of us. We see and hear it every day.
Divisions are not sensible!

When will things get back to “normal”? What’s that?
What will “normal” look like when we come to our senses?
Will we have learned the lessons this pandemic
May have been sent to this earth to teach us?
Let’s be sensible.

More vaccines manufactured is in the future,
New tools to make it easier to get the vaccines,
Confidence in the safety of the vaccines –
Practicing CDC guidelines and being unified….
That’s good common sense.

But just as I was writing this, someone I love
Wrote to me and said she would not be getting
Her vaccine and neither will her husband.
Why not? What is the sense in the refusal?
Is my common sense and hers the same?

Seems to me that people who refuse
To wear a mask or get themselves vaccinated
Are living selfishly for themselves…
Their purpose is not to protect others.
Is that common sense?

Today is the one year anniversary
Of this COVID-19 pandemic’s announcement.
Sadly our nation and world are forever changed.
We have lost way too many dear friends.
It makes no sense.

Let’s build our future on the solid rock
Of unified common sense and faith in our democracy.
Let’s plan tomorrow with hopes and dreams
That address how much we need each other.
Embrace common sense!

Thanks for wearing a mask!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek .
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Flexibility


Being flexible:
A sign of a healthy soul!
It’s well with my soul.

Rigidity means
There’s inflexibility…
Like old, wrinkled skin.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Rigidity lacks
The ability to spring –
Spring up and bounce back.

Flexibility
Is living life on the edge –
Edge of Adventure!

When Bob & I were much younger, we were living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was happy in my teaching job, but Bob was restless. He had been coaching wrestling and teaching drivers’ education for about nine years. He’d had the “Seven Year Itch” for a couple years… looking for a way to feel compensated for the tons of extra hours he put in as a coach. But, coaches don’t get paid more than a measly $500 stipend for the gajillion extra hours. They watch the guy who comes and goes with the bells. In at 8: am and out at 3:00 pm. It was discouraging after a while. Love his students as he did, it was not “well with his soul.” He wanted the freedom to be compensated fairly for his efforts. So, he left teaching and returned to the family farm. Farming allowed him the flexibility he was craving.

He went back to the family farm … almonds, walnuts, and mainly – beekeeping. Producing honey, selling his bees’ product, scheduling his own time… Ah yes, the flexibility was good for his soul. He thrived!

Flexibility
Is important for your soul.
Keeps your life limber.

Retirement brings flexibility

The freedom to fish
Or go four-wheeling with friends:
Retirement JOY!

Are you flexible?
Can you readjust your life
When it feels too stiff?

Do you feel you’re trapped
In a spot not fulfilling?
Make your soul feel well.

Listen to your heart.
Life’s too short to be rutted –
Stuck and unhappy!

Just dig yourself out.
Uncover many options –
Start digging today!

There’s a world waiting
For the flexible and strong
To step out in faith.

Know you are not stuck
In an unfulfilling place.
Exercise options!

Do some exploring.
Embrace flexibility.
You have just one life.

Look for your purpose
Find it in your prayer-filled time
Embrace Flexibility.

You were born to start
The work set out just for you.
God bless you today!

Just live your own dream –
Not the dream of someone else.
Step out in faith now!

Photo by Josu00e9 Luis Photographer on Pexels.com

Yup, that’s right –
Flexibility means JOY –
Jump into it NOW!

We’re living in joy!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Forgiveness


Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

For = before
Give = before receiving
Ness = before receiving give

N ever
E xpect
S atisfaction
S imultaneously

Is there someone out there who has wronged you?

Have they treated you so badly, so unjustly, that you are having a hard time forgiving them?

Do you wish you could, and you’ve tried, but you just can’t find the grace to give them that satisfaction?

Do they deserve your unforgiving spirit?

Do they deserve a pay back?

Do you wish you could get even?

Would it serve them right!?

Serve them right if you never forgave them because they don’t deserve to be let off the hook?

Who’s caught on that hook anyway?

They may not even know they hurt you!

That happened to me once. I had a person who was a teacher in a different school. I used to be in the district office and now I was happily and obliviously back in the confines of my own classroom, loving every day with those darling children, putting those two years of district office administration behind me. It had been a tough time. Satisfying opportunities mixed with struggles to satisfy all the new teachers (K-12) who were required to come to my PETAL workshops.

P rinciples of
E ffective
T eaching
A nd
L earning

I enjoyed working with the new teachers, trying to help them be the best they could be. But, inevitably, you can’t please everybody, right? Not every one of them thought what I was teaching was useful to them. I probably rubbed some the wrong way. They’d prefer to be in their classrooms preparing for the next day, rather than being at a required workshop in “The Ivory Tower.” Do you relate?

Photo by Rebrand Cities on Pexels.com

No, they were not all smiles!
But I did my best…
and I got back to the classroom
where I could interact
daily with children
as fast as I could!
The District Office was waaay too far from children!

Then, “that happened to me!” A knock on my door at home one evening. When I answered it, there stood a teacher who had been in a series of my workshops. I invited him in. We sat on the sofa. He was nervous.

“I want you to know I forgive you,” he said.

I didn’t know I needed forgiveness. I didn’t know I had done something to offend him. I am sure my face registered shock.

“I have been harboring a grudge against you for two years,” he said. “I am going to a counselor for a lot of unresolved issues in my life, and my counselor said I need to resolve them.”

So he was in my living room, sitting next to me, letting me know I was forgiven.

I should have asked why. I should have asked him to explain what I did. But, I was too dumb-founded. I’m not sure I wanted to know. Let bygones be bygones, you know?

I just told him I was sorry for whatever I unknowingly did to offend him. I told him I held no ill feelings about him. Never did! I accepted his forgiveness. We hugged. He left.

That young man had been given the courage to confront his offender.
He had been given the courage to let go.
He had been given the courage to ask for forgiveness.
My job was to accept it and to allow him to move on.

My job was to handle what God had given me…
a clean slate in someone’s mind.
A clean slate where there had been a dark smudge.

Is there someone out there
who needs your forgiveness ?
Are you carrying a grudge?

Don’t wait!
Before receiving,
GIVE!
Give the gift to yourself…
the gift of letting go.

Ezekiel 36:26

“I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take out your stony, stubborn heart
and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Thanks for following JanBeek
and for coming to read and leave a comment today.
You matter. I write for you.
God bless you!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Stretching


There are so many ways to stretch
And so many meanings to the word
Stretch your body and your mind
Stretch and let your soul be heard

Flexibility of mind and body
Are a result of regular stretching
Reaching just beyond your limits
Helps you find the goal you’re fetching

No one needs to feel they’re stuck
At a level that’s not satisfying
Keep stretching, reaching, believing
And you’ll get to where you’re trying

Our minds are powerful tools
They take us where we want to go
Stretch your vistas with good books
Let them round out what you know

It’s not just body and mind that stretch
When you apply the “Elastic Principle,”
Look for life’s other areas
Where you want to be invincible!

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Stretching our ideas to help us be
More flexible in odd situations
Helps us be more successful
In all sorts of challenges or vocations

Do you know the Tijuana Brass?
It was one of my favorite groups in the late ’50s & ’60s
His music stretched across the world!

My mind stretched immensely when
I traveled to Europe as a newlywed
I thought the USA was the world’s haven
And I found multiple havens instead!

Don’t squirrel away in a tiny space
Limiting your mind to prejudicial thoughts
Stretch your experiences and horizons
By seeking out new, delightful spots

Stretch your imagination in order to see
Sites that inspire you to face with glee
Each new day and its many wonders
They’re right here – and they’re free!

Are those the cutest baby owls you’ve ever seen?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Stretch your imagination to create
Space in your life to wander afar
Walk along paths of flowers blooming
And stand beneath your favorite star

Embrace stretching and soon you’ll see
The world through eyes expectantly
Looking at the mundane differently
Participating in life gleefully

Embrace Stretching!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
You help me be a possibilitarian!
See ya tomorrow.

How will you stretch gleefully today?

Embrace Questioning


Embrace Questioning!
Do we embrace all questions?
Like, “Are you stupid?”

No, it’s not questions,
But the act of questioning
That deserves embrace.

Not all questions are
Developed with pure motives.
Embrace those that are!

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

When you meet someone
Ask their name and remember –
Use it lovingly.

Ask about their life.
Listen with sincere interest.
Listening’s a gift.

Questioning’s one thing;
Listening is another.
They go hand in hand.

When I think of questioning with a pure motive and listening with an open heart, I think of Job. Even if you are not a Christian, seeped in the Bible stories, you have heard the expression, “The patience of Job.” (That’s pronounced Jobe… not job, like Steve Jobs, the American business magnate). What made the prophet, Job, come to mind?

Job is presented in the Bible as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God‘s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his children, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Searching for answers involves questioning. He does so without condemning God. He maintains his trust in God to ultimately work for his good – even when he is in the worst of his turmoil.

What a desolate looking man!
What must he be saying to God?
What questions would you be asking?

What does Job ask God?
“He demands answers from God Himself. Job wants to know why bad things happen to good people. He knows it’s not right, and will not accept the saccharine answers of his friends.”

God, “Why Have You Made Me Your Target”? (Job 7:20)

God explains to Job that to us mere mortals sometimes there are no words—no rationalizations—that can make sense of the unhappiness we endure.

Trauma happens and we have to accept it. Explanations may make us feel better, but they mislead. Ultimately, Job, like all of us, must endure suffering not knowing why … or if the question even counts.

Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.

The Book of Job asks “why good people suffer,” but never actually answers the question. What it does do, is correct misconceptions about why we suffer. The truth of this wonderful tale is that man can’t know everything. 

Again, let me repeat, “Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.”

How does this story relate to your life and mine?
Have you ever questioned why life was
throwing stones at you that you didn’t deserve?

Or have you questioned why you didn’t get a job that you knew you deserved?

This happened recently to my son. He applied for a job that he knew he was qualified for. Another person was chosen instead. He got a form letter of rejection. Instead of falling into a fit of depression or raging in disbelief, he called the person who did get the job and congratulated her. He asked if there was anything he could do to support her in her assignment – and he asked her to keep an eye out in case she saw a position in the future for which she thought he might be a good fit.

Within a day, he received a call back and an extension of his responsibilities was offered along with a significant pay raise.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every time you ask the right questions with the right motive, you’ll get a pay raise!

No, it’s not that simple. But, what embracing questioning does is it changes your focus. The right questions – in the right spirit – make the difference between misery and openness. The difference between depression and expression. The difference between pessimism and positivity.

Embrace a pure heart
Full of inquisitiveness.
Ask because you care.

Don’t question, “Why you?”
Instead ask, “What can I do?”
“Can I be of any help?”

Your attitude counts.
Humility is the key.
Embrace questioning!

My son posted this meme
the day before his interview.

God is good.
All the time!
Even to the Jobs of this world!
Be patient in love.
Your pay raise is coming!!

Hah!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Got any questions??
See ya tomorrow.

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