Yesterday I wrote about embracing a clear conscience. Then I went up to my sanctuary and read some of my devotionals. As is often the case, I was astounded at how God synchronizes my reading and writing and my life.
One of my devotionals is a Bible Study published by the Moody Bible Institute, Today in the Word.
My friend, Caroline, and I are studying the books of 1st & 2nd Thessalonians. The topic on Wednesday was “Living with Integrity.” Integrity is one of my favorite words … one of the most important life concepts. Without it, there is no way we can have a clear conscience!!
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.”
A quiet life is one that knows when to tune out the thunder, avoid the noise and the crowds, and settle into a peaceful place where introspection is possible.
If we never steal ourselves away from the hustle and bustle long enough to look at ourselves honestly and listen to the Holy Spirit directing us, and analyze our thoughts and actions, how can we hope to live a life of quiet integrity with a clear conscience?
The Moody devotional reminded me:
“A quiet life does not mean moving to the country. It can be described as taking care of one’s own responsibilities, as opposed to meddling in others’ affairs. Such a person is peaceable and respectful of others.”
When we stop, take a break, slow down, and look around us and inside our souls, we open ourselves to discover the beauty and the peace around and in us.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I love hearing about how you’re doing… What’s your secret to a clear conscience and a peaceful existence?
Updated 10:20 AM ET, Sun May 9, 2021 Lynne Moody in a promotional photo for the ABC TV series “That’s My Mama.”
(CNN)Lisa Wright always knew she was adopted, but had no idea her biological mother was a star on one of her favorite television shows.Now Wright is sharing the story of having been reunited with actress Lynne Moody after 50 years in what reads like the perfect Hollywood ending, according to NBC’s “Today.” “I grew up watching my mother on TV and didn’t even know it,” Wright told the morning show. “‘That’s My Mama’ — that was our must-see TV. We all sat down and watched ‘That’s My Mama’ every week, and who knew? No idea. … And that’s my mama!”
Wright said she knew very little about Moody, who was 18 when she gave birth, and had a closed adoption.
“My (adoptive) mom told me, ‘Your mommy loved you, but she was really young, and she knew she couldn’t take care of you. I wanted the baby so bad, and that’s why your mom let me take care of you,'” Wright said. “You weren’t abandoned. This was just the best thing for you.”More of CNN’s Mother’s Day coverage
But encouraged by her son a few years ago to do genetic testing, Wright first tracked down an uncle who told her the family had been searching for her all these years and who led her to Moody, who, like her daughter, was living in Los Angeles.
Moody called her birth daughter.”A voice on the other end says, ‘Is this my daughter?’ And then I just went, ‘Oh, my God, is this my mother?'” Wright said. “And then she goes, ‘Yes, sweetie, this is your mom.’ It was just the most indescribable feeling.”It was a deep connection for Moody, who never had any other children and never thought she would find her beloved child.”When I found out that she was my daughter, at that moment, it was like I was giving birth,” Moody said. “Because I lost my legs, I was on the floor in a fetal position, screaming and crying. I didn’t know how deep that hole was.”
And the actress best known for roles in the TV series “Roots” and “Knots Landing” had a Mother’s Day message for all.”Life is full of surprises sometimes, so hang in there no matter what your circumstances are,” she said. “Be open to miracles, be open to surprises, and keep the faith.”
I have four adopted grandchildren. This story touched my heart for obvious reasons. On this Mother’s Day, there are many children out there who have been raised by loving adoptive parents. There are many biological parents out there who gave up their child for altruistic reasons. Some of them have located their children and have a happily-ever-after reconnection story. Others have reconnected, but the results were not so glorious. Still others have not tried to find their biological parents (or children) and live with that sense of unknowing, not sure that filling in the blanks would be helpful for anyone.
Whatever the situation, it is always heartwarming to me when I read about these cases of rejoining. It is sweet to know there are cases where the child can find his/her roots – and the parent can fill that empty spot with fresh discovery. I know when it happens and it is positive, God’s hand is involved… and it makes my heart sing.
I am grateful for the mom who gave her child up for adoption because she knew she could not provide a suitable home. I am equally grateful for the family who took the child in – and loved him or her completely – fully embracing him or her as their own.
On this Mother’s Day, may all those adopted children feel a sense of gratitude for the mom who gave them birth – and for the mom who raised them. May they know, whatever the circumstance, they are loved. They are wanted. They are not an accident. God don’t make mistakes!!
Embrace Anticipation! You never know what God has in store for you around the next bend.
Is your memory slipping? Mine is. The bad news is, my sweetheart’s memory is slipping down the same slope as mine. That’s not good news. For 59 years, we’ve covered for one another. Now we need someone else with a blanket and a diary… the blanket to cover our faux pas – and a diary to go back and retrieve the lost information!
Do you recall … neither of us remembering the actual color, size, and details of our luggage? Did you laugh with us? Well now, it is a situation where BOTH of us forgot about receiving something a year ago… denying it, causing someone else a lot of frustration, and needing a huge dose of forgiveness for the trouble we caused.
Ah, the mind is a sad thing to lose!!
Now is what we have Tomorrow isn’t here yet Sift through sands of time
Yesterday is past Remembering helps us learn Embrace the Present
In the Haibun above, I addressed the short story and the diary idea in my prose – and then added a two-part Haiku to the story. Thanks for the inspiration from Dwight Roth who often contributes Haibun to d’versepoetry.com … and does it so well. Check out today’s post from Roth Poetry:
Do you ever try to push things through and discover roadblocks?
That’s been my experience this week on more than one front.
Trying to push my agenda is harder than rolling hay – Especially when my agenda is not in sync with the Lord’s.
Trying to push through an agenda is like filming – Pointing the camera at the place you want to be And discovering that you have no film to get there. GO BACK AND RELOAD!! Take time to pray.
Life often puts us at crossroads where we choose – Do we go right or left? Or do we turn around? What did your script say? And who wrote it? Are you finding your own way or letting God lead?
Are you on your own time schedule or are you listening? Do you relinquish control and hear the Holy Spirit saying, “God’s Perfect Timing is perfect. Let go! Let it flow.” Stop pushing. Stop filming. Stop writing. Stop blogging.
Then, when you start up again, be deliberate! Be intentional. Be collaborative. Be teachable. Be flexible. Be patient. God’s Perfect Timing is Perfect!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I’ve been living my passion this week… Loving, learning, listening, sharing God’s grace.
Finding the pastor God has in mind for our church – and trying to arrange the perfect timing for a visit.
I took a break from WordPress to focus.
It was good to take a break.
Please add our Pastor Nominating Committee to your prayer list… and help us EMBRACE GOD’S PERFECT TIMING!
Embrace your passion – Figure out just what it is, Then LIVE your passion.
Yesterday I lived – I lived passionately – But I did not blog.
Even though blogging Is an important passion, I did not write it.
Sometimes you need to Set aside pen and paper – Set aside writing –
And LIVE your passion! I listened to the Spirit And followed its voice.
My most important passion is what this blog’s sub-title spells out: spreading love, joy,peace,faith and unity.
In the process of living out my faith, I spend time every morning in my “SanctuAiree” among the angels, Bibles, devotionals, birds level with me in the trees, and the Holy Spirit alive and well. surrounding and in me. I listen for that still small voice – and try to obey its directives.
As the contact person and secretary for our Pastor Nominating Committee, I have worked consistently for over a year – collaboratively with my wonderful, dedicated team – to find the pastor we think God has in mind for us. We see a light at the end of the tunnel … and are praying for wisdom and discernment. Yesterday I worked on that project. I am passionate about helping to find the “right” person to lead our congregation into the future. It is a huge responsibility – and we take it very seriously.
Do you have a project about which you are passionate? Are you living that passion? Do you see a light at the end of your tunnel? I’d love to hear about it.
Have you defined your purpose in blogging? Are you feeling like your purpose is being fulfilled? Are you passionate about it? Cristian Mihai in “The Art of Blogging” tells us often that unless we are writing about things we are passionate about, our messages will fall flat.
Sometimes I feel that my messages are not resonating with my readers. When I get that feeling, I have to back up and ask myself, “Who are you writing for?” If one or two of you respond, if I have reached into the heart of just one other blogging friend out there, that has to be enough. It’s not a numbers game! YOU are the only reader who matters. I am sharing my passion with YOU.
My passion is to LIVE in such a way that at the end of the day, I can say to myself, “I did what the Holy Spirit called me to do today, and I did it with gusto. I did my best – and now I can rest.”
If you can laugh at yourself, Laughter will always be with you. We do the darndest things!!
On our trip home from Eugene, Oregon via Seattle, WA, we “lost” our carry-on suitcase. Because of a shortage of overhead bin space, we were asked to leave our carry-on at the entrance of the plane. At the end of the flight, the cart rolled out with all the luggage and ours wasn’t on it. There was a blue bag like ours, but it had a strange-looking lock on it, and it was a little bigger than ours, and the color wasn’t exactly right.
We figured somebody had accidentally picked up the wrong bag. We reported the missing bag to the flight attendant.
“You’re sure this isn’t yours?” she asked.
“We’re sure!” we both chimed in.
So, this gracious masked flight attendant escorted us to the Alaska Airlines Passenger Assistance desk. On the way we exchanged pleasantries. She discovered we’d been married 59 years. She asked about our destination. We asked about her life. We had plenty of time to share. It was a long walk to the help desk.
At the customer service desk, the attendant took our phone number and other contact information and assured us that we’d be contacted when the person who mistook our bag for theirs realized their mistake and returned it.
We thanked her again and got her contact info from her. Later she sent us a picture of herself unmasked so we’d recognize her if she came to visit us in Montana. We really hope she will!!
As we were headed for our next departure gate to continue our travel home to Bozeman, MT, we saw another flight attendant wheeling a blue carry-on toward the help desk. Something caused us to turn around, follow him, and inquire about that suitcase when he got to the Alaska Airlines customer service area.
Our sweet and helpful flight attendant still was in that area. She came over to see the blue bag that was left behind and get an update on what was happening. The two attendants looked at the bag, turned the tag on it over and examined the name/address on it.
“Beekmans?” the male attendant asked?
“Yes,” we replled.
“This is your bag!” he told us.
We felt soooo stupid! We BOTH had denied that bag could be ours. We had created a hassle for the flight attendant and ourselves. NEEDLESSLY. We felt like such morons! We profusely apologized. They chuckled. We laughed out loud… a laugh filled with embarrassment.
Our sweet flight attendant patted us on the back. Gave us a comforting smile and said, “It could happen to any of us. Don’t worry!”
She said she wanted to adopt us as her “Marriage longevity role models.”
Thank you, Lisa!!
Ah, 59 years together! We often tell folks it takes the two of us to complete one another… two halves make a whole.
At that moment we thought we had both become slightly senile. Neither of us felt like half of a whole!! Maybe a quarter?
We can’t afford to have BOTH of us lose a few marbles. HELP!!
As we rolled our bag – hmmm… why hadn’t we noticed that lock on there before? Hmmm … was it really this size? Hmmm … why hadn’t we noticed the shade of blue?
We got the giggles. We laughed at our own feeble-mindedness and decided what we needed was a good glass of wine, a taco snack, and a chance to just sit and relax before we boarded the next flight.
I received a text from our dear flight attendant. She assured us that we were the highlight of her day. She sent us a picture of her beautiful family and invited us to come visit her if we are ever in the area where she lives. I can just hear her sharing the story about this “adorable old couple, married 59 years, not recognizing their own suitcase” and getting a good laugh for years to come.
We’re able to laugh about it, too. We hope she really will take us up on it and come to visit us in Montana!
The moral of the story:
The next time you do something stupid, give each other a high five. Get a good laugh at yourself, and realize:
You are not alone! Laugh together. No one can laugh AT you, if they are laughing WITH you!
And, by the way, do you have some kind of bright florescent ribbon that we can tie onto our luggage?
Something that we can’t mistake for someone else’s?
Send it along to us!! And have a great Thursday!
Oh- and by the way, that girl at the top with her tongue out? That’s Bob’s niece, Tammy. She has a great sense of humor. As a nurse – especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, Laughter has been a saving grace! Gotta keep your spirits up!!
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.