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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Embrace Humor


I need some humor
Laughing makes me feel better
I bet you agree

I have a great friend
Who sends me laughter weekly
Let me share some here

Sometimes my dear friend
Finds things with a naughty streak
Try not to censure!

Okay, I better
Draw this to a sudden close
Before I offend

Beware the bears!
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs,
JanBeek

I CAN Embrace


I can embrace the future.
I can be ready for a fresh start.
I can take time to review
This past year and take heart.

Take heart that new beginnings
Offer us blessings to uncover.
Take heart that compassion’s awakened;
We’ve new opportunities to discover.

I can embrace the promises
That change and growth bestow.
I can be energized by
Welcoming strangers I’ve yet to know.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I can embrace the reality
Of dreams yet to fulfill,
Knowing God is ever faithful
When I’m living in His will.

As Bob Goff says, “Dream Big!”

I can embrace the coming year
With prayers for those in need –
And reach out to serve the hurting
With generosity – release the greed!

I embrace the coming decade
And hope to live rightly through it.
I embrace the coming vaccine –
It’ll be effective – we always knew it.

We knew that this pandemic
Could not stay with us forever.
There are too many blessed people
Out there who are creative and so clever.

But I am not waiting for the shot
To stop the misery and relieve the pain.
I embrace the fact that LOVE
Is what will make us whole again!

So, PEACE, my dear WP friends,
I send you the best medicine of all
For the end of this misery-filled year:
A smile, a virtual hug, a word of grace, an answer to your call.

Just like Bob Goff, Love Does,
He puts his cell phone number on his book covers.
Call on me … and I will answer every time:
(406) 599-9678

Happy New Year!
Big Embraces to you,
With Love, JanBeek

No, no 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 this sketch done by a 93-year-old friend of hers. 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.

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
last January 1st
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.

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?
Think
about
it.

I love you.
Thanks for taking time to read
JanBeek.
I hope it inspires you.
Bee well!
Bee LOVE.

See ya tomorrow.

Do You Journal?


Do you journal?
Do you write most days –
Only here on WordPress?
Do you write in other ways?

Journaling on WordPress
Is a great opportunity,
But I might not say
All that occurs to me.

My journal from Marcie & Monica

I have a wonderful journal –
A gift from two good friends.
They gave it to me last year
Knowing my journaling never ends.

Today I wrote an entry
About how November’s end –
And how Christmas is coming
Right around the next bend.

But, I don’t want to squander
All the lesson November brought,
So I recalled all the Take-Aways
Each November devotion brought:

Which of those take-aways
Speaks to your heart today?
Which will you carry with you
As you travel on your way?

Each day I read the message
And in a word or five,
I take the thought I need
This day to live and thrive.

I invite you to also journal
If it isn’t already a habit.
Find a booklet that fits your taste
Then think your thoughts and grab it!

Grab that booklet daily
To augment the things you say
On WordPress to your friends here.
Your grandkids will love it some day!

This is another of my journals

Do you journal?
Do you write most days –
Only here on WordPress?
Do you write in other ways?

Journaling can be very therapeutic.
It can get things off your chest.
Then you can refer back to it.
It can be comforting at best!

If you don’t journal in a booklet,
Try it, my friends, start today.
You may discover, as I did,
It’s a place to finish your “say!”

Reading your journal later
Is like looking in a rear view mirror.
It helps you see what was
And makes today seem clearer.

Try it! You’ll like it!!

Bye for now.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs from JanBeek

This song by Roy Clark tells us, “I never stopped to think what life was all about…”
Well, I find that journaling helps me to that as I can recall “Yesterday When I Was Young” by looking back…

Repurpose Your Life


Photo by Tim Samuel on Pexels.com

Mark Collins‘ prayer in Daily Guideposts today spoke to me.
He wrote:

“Lord, let me repurpose my own life
toward Your will
and not mine.”

What is your life’s purpose?

What have you determined to be your life’s purpose? Has it always been so?

Seems to me this pandemic has given us time to pause and reconsider what our life’s purpose is! This virus has been like a stop light – a red signal – “Wait here!”

As I paused and considered my life’s purpose this morning, I decided my purpose has shifted with each quarter century of my life. Have you considered how age, the passing of time, and the changing of circumstances have impacted your life’s purpose?

Maybe my purpose SHOULD always have been “to glorify God” – but did I know that? Did I live according to that calling? No!

Life seemed so simple as a child!

First Quarter

In that first quarter of my life, the innocence of childhood helped me see others with a purity of heart, but most of my purpose was pretty self-centered.

To be honest with myself and you, most of age 0 to 25 was devoted to serving self.

Second Quarter

Then in the second quarter, my life’s purpose shifted from self to family. With marriage and children, it was important to turn the focus from myself to my husband and our children.

These were the years when my career flourished and I spent a lot of time devoted to my job. But even as I did so, it all came back to bringing in the resources to provide a better life and more opportunities for us and our children.

Age 25 to 50 my life’s purpose was mostly devoted to serving family.

Photo by Arthur Krijgsman on Pexels.com

Third Quarter

In the third quarter of my life, I moved from being a mom with kids at home, and being a teacher in the classroom working with children, to being a cheerleader for my young adult children and a leader for teachers.

Even after I retired, my role as a cheerleader for my children and grandchildren and as a leader in various organizations where I volunteered was focused on how I could reach out to help.

My purpose in life from age 50 to 75 seemed to be to serve others.

Fourth Quarter

And then came this fourth quarter of my life. The period from 75 to 100 is when I have come face to face with the purpose God intended for me all along: to glorify Him.

Everything I do these days is intended to fulfill the purpose the Lord intended for me: to serve God.

I look for ways to BEE what He made me to BEE… to use the talents He gave me … and to use them for HIS PURPOSES.

I look for ways to DO what God needs me to DO to BEE His hands and feet on earth.

I find places where the love, joy and peace that are mine are lacking… and I try to spread those Fruits of the Spirit wherever I go.

What Really Matters

How much more meaningful
my life would have been
if I had spoken this prayer
by Mark Collins years ago:

“Lord, let me repurpose my own life
toward Your will
and not mine.”

Photo by Paulo Mu00e1rcio Dos Santos on Pexels.com

Don’t wait until the fourth quarter of your life to repurpose!
Ask God today to help you discern what He has in mind for you.
You can serve family and others more effectively if you:

1) Pray for God’s guidance
2) Listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you, and
3) Use your gifts, talents and time to serve God first.

In so doing, God will bless you in ways you can hardly imagine!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

By using your time,
gifts and talents
for the glory of your Creator,
you will find true joy,
a true sense of fulfillment,
and an REAL answer to:
What is my life’s purpose?

Score what really matters NOW.
Don’t wait until the fourth quarter!!

See ya tomorrow!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

A comment below
telling me what you have defined
as your life’s purpose
would be so interesting to me.
Do consider commenting!

Me, Worry?


Matthew 6:31-34

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’
or ‘What shall we drink?
or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the pagans run after all these things,
and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

In today’s Mornings with Jesus devotional
from Guideposts,
Isabella Yosuico wrote,
“I seek Jesus’ direction…
I am struggling to keep an open mind
and follow where He leads…”

Isabella went on to say that having faith means
“… prayerfully doing what I can today
and recognizing what I cannot do.”

Photo by Ric Rodrigues on Pexels.com

Isabella encouraged her readers to
“… stay in the present day,
entrusting uncertainties to Christ.”

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

There is such comfort
in the knowledge
that Jesus Christ
prays with me.

He is my Confidante.
He is my Rock.
He is my Guide.
I have no reason to worry.

Me, Worry?
No way!!

It is easy to obsess
Over the condition of this earth,
But God is in control,
And He knows the planet’s worth.

He holds it in His palm
And knows its every leaf.
In the eyes of our Lord,
This pandemic’s really brief!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

All the world
Is holding its breath –
Some behind masks,
Some behind fear,
Some behind doors,
Afraid to come near.
Breathe in Peace.
Experience a patch
Of stillness,
Kindness, and
Presence.
Each waking day.
Carry it with you.

“… do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Bye for now!
See ya tomorrow.

Hugs,
JanBeek

I Rock!


I climb the stairs each day,
Then I turn on the light.
Sometimes it’s still dark out.
I rock ’til it gets bright.

Sipping my cup o’ coffee,
Rocking as I pray,
I meditate and read His Word
As I welcome each new day.

I can rock away troubles;
I can sit here and be still.
I can listen to the Spirit,
And discern the Father’s Will.

I can rock in my wicker chair
Until my head and heart are clear.
I can feel the Lord’s presence
And thank God He’s ever near.

And when my rocking’s over
I thank Jesus for his time,
And slowly I descend the stairs
(It’s my 12-step program climb).

Climb down to face the world.
Climb down to start my day.
Use the Fruits of the Spirit
In a thoughtful kind of way:

  1. Thank You for the LOVE,
  2. the JOY
  3. and the PEACE that are mine.
  4. Help me, Lord, with PATIENCE,
  5. KINDNESS
  6. GOODNESS
  7. and FAITHFULNESS (which brings blessings)
Can you read the word above the door?
It says, “Blessings.”

8. Help me with GENTLENESS,
9. and SELF-CONTROL.


10. Help me live HUMBLY with an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
11. and a response of GENEROSITY, FORGIVENESS,
12. OBEDIENCE and INTEGRITY.

IN JESUS NAME, AMEN!
And now I am at the bottom of the stairs where these words greet me across from the front door – “The Greatest of These is Love” – and these angels smile at me on the wall beneath the stairs:

A gift from Norbert and Elke Schaller.
I say a prayer each day for them, too –
They and their daughters, Simone & Caroline.

I rock! And my day will rock, too
Because I have taken time to pray.
I rock! And you will rock, too
Because I pray for you, too, each day.

This is page one of my prayer list.

On the back side of this page
Is a list of each WordPress friend.
I ask the Lord to guard you.
Rock on! Accept the love I send.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Have a love-filled day!
See ya tomorrow.

Meantime, enjoy this song that was a hit in 1955
(I was a sophomore in high school…
great memories of rockin’ school dances!!)

When I first told my family…


We were having one of my favorite meals, spaghetti with meat sauce, when I first told my family that I had broken up with my fiance’. My dad nearly choked on his mouthful. My mom shoved her plate of spaghetti half-way across the table!

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

To this day, I can’t eat spaghetti with meat sauce without remembering that day.

My fiance’ and I had been engaged for about a year. He was in the army, stationed in Germany. I was a senior in college, missing the social life, trying to remain true to my engagement. I wanted to attend the school’s dances and other social functions. It was hard!

Rather than being untrue to my boyfriend who was so far away (we had not seen each other in six months), I broke off with him. Obviously, my parents were devastated. Especially when they learned the guy I wanted to date was a divorce’.

“Why buy a used car when you can have a new one?” my dad finally spoke. Then he got up and walked out of the room. (Yes, Dad was a man of few words, but a list of prejudices a mile long!)

Mom followed him, without speaking a word. That was so unlike her.

Proverbs 6: 20-23

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 21 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. 23 For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.

The man I broke up with was from a family very much like my own. He grew up in the same area I did. We shared common roots. My parent and his got along wonderfully. The man I wanted to date was nine years older than I. I won’t get into why he was so attractive to me, but suffice to say, my parents’ dismay touched me deeply.

They let me have my “fling.” They did not bad-mouth my new friend. But when my ex-boyfriend came home on leave, they invited him over. When I returned home from college that weekend, he was there. I realized how much I loved him. That love has carried us through 58 years of marriage. Not always perfect, not always blissful, but always respectful, and always knitted together in prayer, faith in God, and common purpose. The love has grown as years passed – and I am grateful every day for my parents’ wisdom.

Put a plate of spaghetti and meatballs in front of me. I can taste the kindness of my parents in every meatball. I can hear my mom’s silence and feel her prayers in every slurp of pasta. I feel my dad’s concern about age differences and divorce. I keep their love in my heart with every Italian meal! God bless ’em!!

Today at d’Verse we are trying a new form of poetry. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary experiences of a second one.   There are over 80 types of synesthesia described by science.   Nearly every combination of sensory experiences or cognitive concepts is possible.

Seeing music as colors is one form of synesthesia. Perceiving letters as personalities is another one, or seeing numbers in color. Even hearing colors or touching smells.

How about tasting memories?
Do you have any of those?

Photo by Ali Nafezarefi on Pexels.com

This post is a combination prompt: 1) My Madison Valley Writers’ Group Prompt was the title of the blog, and 2) the d’Verse prompt informed the style and content. It’s not poetry… but it may qualify as Synesthesia. What do you think?

My Italian Daddy and me

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

Be Braided


When you see the word “Braid,” what do you think of?

Photo by Bran Sodre on Pexels.com

Those braids appear to be two strong strands twisted together.
(Isn’t she beautiful?)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Likewise, this rope seems to have two strong strands twisted, right?

Photo by Roman Koval on Pexels.com

When I used to braid my daughter’s hair, I needed three strands to create the braid.

Today’s devotional made me think about these various braids and contemplate the strength of the three strands. Here was the scripture:

Eccelesiates 4:12

“And though a man might prevail
against one who is alone,
two will withstand him –
a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Katie Minter Jones in “Mornings with Jesus” by Guideposts wrote a devotional based on that scripture. In it she recounted how difficult the days of early marriage were as she and her husband “struggled through difficult times.”

She quoted a friend as saying, “Together we worked hard to get where we are now. It definitely takes two to make a marriage work, and that’s not fifty-fifty. Each person has to give 100%.” Finger pointing and trying to divvy stuff up 50-50 leads to disaster.

One of her lady friends said, “It takes three to make a successful marriage, the husband, the wife, and Jesus.” Each person must give 100% to each other and 100% to Jesus.”

That seems like a tall order! But doing so creates the three strands that make the braid unbreakable. Couples need to walk with Jesus to have a strong marriage.

Here’s my take on what that looks like.

The tie that binds

When our hearts are bound in love around our Lord’s cross, His mercy and grace strengthen our relationship and help us grow closer. As we walk hand in hand, praying and staying together in love, God blesses us. Jesus Christ strengthens us. The Holy Spirit braids our hearts in His love and care. Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian Love. Be braided!

Write your spouse a love letter today and include a prayer.

Here are mine…

Dear Bob,
I am so grateful for your love and for our mutual reliance on Jesus, our Lord. Thank you for praying with me, staying with me, putting Christ first in our lives, and relying on Him during our times of struggle. His sacrificial love is the perfect reminder of how we need to take care of each other. His presence binds us in purpose and braids us with His promises and His peace. Thank you!
Love Forever and Ever, Rockie ;o) ❤

Dear God,
Thank you for blessing our marriage and knitting our hearts together. May my blogging friends find that same peace and grace and purpose in life. May they sense Your guidance in their relationships and be braided with You. Amen.
In His Care, Jan

Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Let the light of God shine on your relationship,
be central to your lives,
and braid you together with peace and purpose.
God bless you!


See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Hold On!


What do you need to hold on to?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At this stage in my life, I don’t need to buy anything else
(except maybe food to sustain Bob & me
and a plane ticket or two to travel
to see our kids when it’s safe to do so)
… but I need to get rid of things instead.

How about you? If you were given this prompt,
“Hold on to your ____,”
how would you fill in the blank?
Ann Kaplow tickled my creative funny bone with her post today:

Day 2886: Hold on to your …

Posted on October 19, 2020 by Ann Koplow

Check it out and see some of the things she identified.
Here are a few things I think I should hold on to:

Photo by Ferdinand Studio on Pexels.com

Hold on to your umbrella;
Let the wind carry you away.
Hang on and float high
To a joyous, better day.

Photo by Fru00f6ken Fokus on Pexels.com

Hold on to your future
Let it carry you to the sky,
To days of brighter sunshine.
Let it carry you up high.

Hold on to your faith;
Let it carry you to love.
Let it bring you greater wisdom
And powers from above.

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

Hang onto your head;
Keep your intellect intact.
Be cautious and discerning;
Know all you hear ain’t fact.

Hold onto your friends,
But remind them to wear masks.
That was Anne Kaplow’s prompt.
Be safe – is all she asks.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Hold on to earth’s hope
For a better, safer world.
Be kind to our planet –
Don’t let this virus stay unfurled.

What do your think we should hold on to?

I’m gonna hold on to Bob.
I’m feeling so blessed that he is feeling so much better.
Did I tell you that the afternoon my sis died
was the day he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure?

I’m gonna hold on to our wonderful doctor
who stayed long after her “shift” was over –
and ordered blood work, x-rays, and an EKG,
and stayed til the results came in.
Then she walked us up the stairs to the front door
to see how Bob did with climbing stairs.
Then called the next morning to
check on him and offer encouragement
and an appointment this week
for an echocardiogram.

Yes, I’m gonna hold on to that wonderful doctor!!

And this guy:


We have had so many friends
and family members praying for us.
God is good.
All the time.
He put a song of praise in my heart.
God hears and answers prayer!


Life is looking up.
We’re holding on!
{{{Hugs}}} to you.
You hold on, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

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