Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Life’s Challenges’ Category

Love on the Internet


Praying for Love

No, it’s not a love affair between me and my youngest Swiss grandson, Chrissy. But, Chrissy is the reason for my blog topic today.

I was shocked earlier this week to learn that Chrissy has a girlfriend. I didn’t know it. I hadn’t heard anything about it! And Chris lived for about 5 months here in Montana last year… it’s not like we’re distant relatives!

I was delighted to learn the news, because Bob & I have been praying everyday for Chris… asking God to keep him safe, help him find happiness, help him be accepted into the nursing program he has applied for, and help some smart young female discover what a sweet. lovable guy he is – and give him the love and affirmation he needs and deserves. I know God listens to my prayers. I was convinced He would answer these fervent requests.

Prayers Answered

Then I learned in a text exchange with our daughter (Chrissy’s mom) this week that not only has Chris found a girlfriend, but he found her with the magic of the internet!

I tell you, friends, it’s a new world out there! Our young people have prayers answered by a very hip God Almighty! Chris has been communicating regularly with darling Natalia – using the wonders of FaceTime, no doubt.

Aren’t they adorable together?

Long Distance Romance

I am not an old-fashioned 80-year-old Grammy who objects to internet match-making. I figure this is a big world, full of wonderful people all over the place. The person God intends for us may not live in our part of the world. In the olden days, people didn’t know about some distant soulmate unless they happened to travel to that foreign land and happened upon them “accidentally.”

In today’s world, Match.com and other dating sites link people up from across the world. I don’t know if that’s how Chris met Natalia or not, but if it is, good for him! What fun!!

Cut the Distance

In today’s world, if you spend enough time seeing and talking to one another on-line, and the sparks fly across the miles, there will come a time when (if you can afford it) you want to cut the distance and meet face-to-face.

If you think I was shocked to learn that Chris has a girlfriend, imagine my surprise when I discovered last Thursday that the next day Chris was flying 6,000 miles to meet Natalia and her family face-to-face. AMAZING!!

Photo by Victor Martinez on Pexels.com

No, that’s not a picture of them, but it IS a couple from the part of the world where they are… and I can just imagine that might be them!

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Research Helps

I did a little research and found the city where he is… the only city in Colombia with access to the ocean. I can imagine how beautiful it is. I researched ten top things to do in and around Cali… and of course I sent my grandson an e-mail suggesting a few of them for the two of them. Silly me! Natalia lives there! Of course she will know the top spots! And she’ll be able to give Chris suggestions a whole lot better than this long-distance, inquisitive Grammy can! But, the Devil made me do it! Hah!!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What Will They Do?

He probably won’t take her salsa dancing… that’s one of the things I learned Cali is famous for. I restrained from sending him the step-by-step instructions on how to learn to salsa in five short minutes! But I did send a link to a hot night spot where salsa dancing is featured!

Photo by FRANK MERIÑO on Pexels.com

He probably won’t take her out to a bee yard, but this is a picture of a Colombian beekeeper – – – and after all, Chrissy’s Grampy is a retired beekeeper! Wouldn’t you think he’d want to teach her all about that part of his family heritage?

Photo by Marvin Ozz on Pexels.com

He’ll probably take her to a restaurant more than once. My guess is, that’s about as close as he’ll get to the idea of salsa. But who knows? He’s full of surprises these days!!

Photo by EA on Pexels.com

Chris will probably take a walk along the shore – and enjoy many beautiful sites. I’ve asked him to take some more pictures and share them. Do you think he will? I hope so!!

Where Will it Go From Here?

What happens next?? Your guess is as good as mine! I don’t know if the relationship is meant to go beyond wonderful FaceTime conversations and a memorable trip to see her face-to-face and meet her family. Only God knows. But, in the meantime, I am grateful he made the trip there safely; he sent us one picture; he shared with me what city she lives in (so my curiosity could be satiated); and he and Natalia look happy together.

God bless you,
Chris and Natalia!

Ain’t love grand?
Do you have an internet love story to tell?

Stay tuned.
I’ll let you know what happens next
when I find out!

See ya tomorrow.

It's OK to…


  1. It’s OK to… Not to Have All the Answers

When Bob & I first moved from California to Montana back in 2006, I was a recently retired educator with over 30 years of teaching/administrating under my belt. I was not really ready to “hang it up.” You know, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”

So, when I joined the Friends of the Library and received a message from a young man who was seeking help to earn his GED (I think that stands for: General Education Diploma, but it might be Graduation Equivalence Diploma) … anyway, I was all in.

Zahid was a 19 year old from Pakistan whose English was sketchy enough that he had trouble understanding the questions, let alone knowing the answers. I agreed to help him with the English/Language Arts/History areas while a good friend worked with him in the areas of Science and Math.

His host mom would drop him off at our house at 7:30 AM three times a week, and after an hour of study, I’d drive him to his place of work, just five minutes away. During our hours together, one of my greatest challenges was teaching Zahid that it’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” He tried to bluff his way through answers. It was often quite amusing!

Once Zahid learned to say, “I don’t know,” and admit to needing help with the answers, we made great progress. He eventually passed and got his high school equivalent diploma. Hooray!

2. It’s OK to… Feel all the Emotions

Zahid tried to hide his lack of knowledge and his feelings of discouragement. He tried to hide his frustrations. He attempted to bluff his way through the quizzes. It didn’t work. When he learned to let his emotions show, when he opened himself to being “real” with me, we made great progress.

3. It’s OK to… have Bad Days

Life is not always fair. Even with hard work and the best of intentions, our dreams don’t always pan out. The first time Zahid took his test for the credential, he failed. Without encouragement and a shoulder to cry on, he might have folded. He might have said, “Give it up! I can’t do this!” But, we didn’t let that happen. His host mom and dad joined our Positivity Club – and together we helped “Z” keep at it, learn from his mistakes, try again, and ultimately pass.

4. Its OK to …Let Yourself Cry

Once “Z” passed his GED, the next goal was to pass his driver’s behind-the-wheel and written tests and get a driver’s license. He worked hard at it.

My husband, Bob, is a retire teacher. (If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know he also is a retire beekeeper. But before he went back to the family bee farm, he taught driver’s education and coached wrestling for nine years in California.) So, Bob was a natural to help “Z” get his driver’s license.

Once that goal was accomplished, the next step was to buy a car. Zahid had saved the money he earned working at the local grocery store. He had enough to pay for a good “starter car.” But the problem that emerged was that he had no idea how to take care of a car. That’s where the “It’s OK to let yourself cry” comes in. He burned up the car’s engine by not checking the oil, the water, etc. The tears were real! It was a sad lesson in the reality of truth #5…

5. It’s OK to …Ask for Help

Bob would have been more than happy to help “Z” learn the basics of car maintenance, but Zahid never asked. It was a tough, expensive lesson. But “Z” learned it. He asked Bob to help him find a new engine. He did… and “Z” learned to ask for help in car maintenance in the future. That car gave him several years of reliable service and actually made it from Montana to Alaska when “Z” moved there for better job opportunities.

6. It’s OK to …Make Mistakes

Looking back over our experiences with that young Pakistani, we know we made mistakes, just as he did. We backed off when we should have moved forward and been more assertive with him. He tried bluffing and exercising independence when admitting his lack of knowledge and asking for help would have served him better. But, he learned – and so did we.

As long as we learn from our mistakes, it’s OK. In fact, making mistakes is sometimes the ONLY way we learn. Knowing what doesn’t work helps us eliminate some options and seek better solutions.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com
  • Don’t try to have all the answers.
  • Don’t be ashamed of your emotions. Be real. Let them show!
  • Don’t let the bad days get you down. We need valleys in order to appreciate the mountain tops!
  • Don’t hold back the tears. Let them flow when they need to. Let them cleanse you!
  • Admit your ignorance. None of us is an expert at everything. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Don’t let mistakes get you down. No one is perfect. We need to make mistakes in order to learn and move forward.

It’s OK to … select friends who lift you up, encourage you, and give you a shoulder to cry on when you need it.

It’s OK to … BE one of those friends. Happy, warm, genuine. Even long-distance, over the miles, through cyberspace, you can reach out and be the positive friend others are seeking.

Just do it! It’s OK…

Thank you for your visit,
your comments and
your friendship,

I appreciate you!

See you tomorrow.

Increased LOVE, like FAITH, takes EFFORT


Loving Takes Effort

I wrote this post back in February of 2012 as a new blogger. I decided today would be a good day to revive and update it, because it is as pertinent today (maybe even more pertinent) as it was eight years ago!

monk in front of children near brown concrete building
Photo by Suraphat Nuea-on on Pexels.com

Work at Loving!

Like you, I want to be more kind, more loving, more at peace. In giving, we receive. Kindness is reciprocal. Peace of mind is a gift to those who live in the fullness of LOVE. But, in a world full of hate and devisiveness, illnesses like depression and the current Corona Virus, we have to work at loving and finding peace!

Photo by Marius Venter on Pexels.com

Very few of us have the privilege of finding a spot like this one where we can sit quietly at the top of a peaceful place and just breathe the clear air slowly.

Where can we find peace in the midst of our bustling real world?

Work to Find Time to Know Him

I schedule TIME each morning to be with the Holy Spirit. In my quiet meditation time that morning back in 2012, I stumbled upon 2Peter 1:2-7. The question that starts that scripture caught my heart. “Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace?”

I was reading the Living Bible, paraphrased – a large print copy that used to belong to my father-in-law. Gratefully, I inherited it when he passed on to his eternal home. This passage was underlined. Grandpa Beekman had double-underlined the next sentence, “Then learn to know Him better and better.”

Meditation and Study Time

My sanctuary time each morning is all aboutgetting to know Him better, and listening for His still small voice. As I study God’s Word, and get to know Him better, there are many benefits. The rest of this passage spells them out – and I easily connected the idea of “increased faith” with the reality of “increased love.” But there is a long pathway that leads to increased love (which equates to more of God’s kindness and peace). It takes plain old good, hard work!

2Peter 1:3
“For as you know Him better,
He will give you, through His great power,
everything you need for living a truly good life:
He even shares His own glory
and His own goodness with us!”

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

Study to Know His Goodness and His Promises

I have added the capitals to “His.” The Bible doesn’t capitalize it. For me, the word requires a capital case letter when the him/his is not just any old him or his, but the One HIM, our Lord and Savior, God. So, when I share in His glory and goodness, it is special indeed! The scripture doesn’t stop there, though.

2Peter 1, Verse 4-
“And by that same mighty power,
He has given us all the other
rich and wonderful blessings He promised;
for instance, the promise to save us
from the lust and rottenness all around us,
and to give us His own character.”


Wow! What a promise!! How can I attain such blessings? Some would say it is totally by His grace. I don’t have to DO anything. Just because I BELIEVE I am His “chosen,” I will receive all these blessings. Well, not according to 2Peter 1: 5-7. Read on!

Work at Increased Faith

“BUT, to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do.”

(That’s always a trick to discern what He wants me to do!)

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

With Patience, Put Aside Your Own Desires

“Next, learn to put aside your own desires
so that you will become patient and godly,
gladly letting God have His way with you.”

I am reminded of my oldest grandson, Mikey.
He’s now 28, but when he was barely able
to pull himself up by his mother’s apron strings
and stand knee-high next to her,
he would tug on that apron
as she warmed his bottle in hot water on the stove.
Sure he was starving to death,
he would cry,
“Paaaay-shuns! Paaaay-shuns!”

(Ah yes, we long for paaay-shuns
even as we are barely able to verbalize a sentence!)

“Are you ready to go out and play in the snow with me?” Xander asked.

Walk the Path to Grow in the Capacity to Love

“This will make possible the next step,
which is for you to enjoy other people
and to like them,
and finally you will grow
to love them deeply.”

Grow to love.
Grow in faith.
Work at it.

Take the path that has “exercise stops” along the way.

  • Exercise your goodness first – the goodness Christ has given you.
  • Then stop to exercise wisdom – the knowledge we gain as we study God’s Word and practice being more and more like Christ.
  • Next, exercise selflessness and self-control, the fruits that the Holy Spirit has planted in you.
  • Practice patience and gentleness.
  • Your next stop on the exercise trail is labeled “Gratitude.” It is there that you learn to be grateful for the gifts you have been given while you focus on the gifts in others.

Put On Your Jesus Glasses

When you put on your Jesus glasses, you see the goodness, compassion, and faithfulness of others as God sees them. When you put on your Jesus glasses and appreciate all that is unique and wonderful about others, you see them as God’s creations. You have exercised enough now to love them.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Love Takes Effort!

Love is a gift worth working for. Thank God, He has freely loved us long before we knew how to love Him back. But now we do! We are getting to know God better and better. Praise the Lord!

The Bottom Line

Yes, the bottom line is the key:

Love One Another.

red love balloon
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

What will you do today to demonstrate your love for others?
Tell me about it!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Do tell me about your loving plans.
See ya tomorrow.

Cherish Aging


I have a journal titled, “I Can and I Will … Watch Me!”

I don’t write in it every day; just when I am inspired by something else “I Can” do that “I DID!” Some of my topics are I CAN:

  • Emerge
  • Participate
  • Heal
  • Remember
  • Bee Positive
  • Taste
  • Encourage

You get the idea…



Today my topic was I CAN “Cherish Aging.” I was inspired by my experience last Tuesday at Big Sky Ski Resort while I sat at the bar, sipping my Irish coffee, and enjoying my book.

“You remind me of my grandma,”
The young waitress smiled and said,
“She was a little, compassionate lady
Who loved me dearly – and was too soon dead.”

She told me of her virtues, her illness,
And her faith. Tears filled her eyes.
She told me how she missed her hugs –
And their long talks. Grandma was quite wise.

Then, wiping away the teardrops,
She went on about her job.
Soon she returned with a piece of apple pie
On which was a big whipped cream blob.

“I thought you’d like this little treat;
My grandma sure loved apple pie,”
She gave me a hug and rushed away.
Now it was my turn to cry.

I don’t mind t all growing older
If my wrinkles and my silver hair
Can bring cherished memories to someone
And make them know: Us Grandmas Care!

Look at these wonderful Pexels.com photographs of various grandmothers:

Photo by Luizmedeirosph on Pexels.com
Photo by Edu Carvalho on Pexels.com
Photo by Sayan Ghosh on Pexels.com
Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com
Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com
Photo by Dazzle Jam on Pexels.com
Photo by Himesh Mehta on Pexels.com
Photo by Yulia Rozanova on Pexels.com

The one above is my daughter-in-law, Monika, with my great-granddaughter, Cosette. Monika’s a young, loving grandmother … See, not all gramas are silver-haired and wrinkled!

Look back at those grandmas. Which one touches your heart the most? Do any of them remind you of YOUR grandma? Tell me about her!

Here I am with Xander and Sienna.

Do CHERISH AGING!
It brings with it
many blessings and joys.

And the alternative?
Don’t go there young!!

See ya later.

Practicing for Divorce


No, I am not practicing for divorce!
After 58 eventful years of marriage, it’s too late to give up now!!

February 11, 1962

But life is not a bed of roses (or carnations!)
And marriage is not easy!
Nobody promised it would be.

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Sometimes we get mad at one another.
Sometimes we disappoint one another.
Sometimes we don’t understand
where the other one is coming from!

Yes, I make Bob wonder lots of times!

What Families Know

In his devotional today on Bayside Church’s on-line “Refuel,”
Andrew McCourt talked about marriage and relationships.


He titled his message, “What Families Know,” and he said,

“People who aren’t married do married things…
they are lovers practicing for divorce.”

It’s an age-old problem!

Love Without Commitment

For as long as life began – back to the days of Adam and Eve – men and women have found a way to “find each other’s cracks.” And eventually pouring into that crack can burst the container!

Eve found Adam’s crack!
And look what happened…

Andrew McCourt offered some suggestions for how to relate to one another in genuine love that does not seek to “find the crack” – but rather seeks to FILL AND FULFILL.

Andrew said something to this effect,

“What successful married folks know is this:
there is an order to successful relationships.

First, you stand together shoulder to shoulder
(Don’t let kids or anyone else get between you).

Second, you stand or sit together face-to-face
(You look each other in the eye and you communicate).

Third, you do the bellybutton-to-bellybutton thing
(You love each other emotionally and physically).”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reverse Order

Andrew said, “When we get that order of things reversed, that’s when we start Practicing for Divorce.”

When did this whole thing of living together first to try it out before getting married come into being?

I have a biased (informed, of course) opinion about that! I think “Three’s Company” is the culprit.

Photo by Fikayo Aderoju on Pexels.com

Living Together Out of Wedlock

I couldn’t find a picture of those three folks (a guy and two gals) who lived together in an apartment in NYC on a TV show back in the 70’s or early 80’s, but it was funny and popular and it made it look like it was okay for unmarried people of the opposite sex to live together. “Three’s Company” was one of my mom’s favorite shows. And she would be considered a prude by today’s standards.

When my niece lived with a guy before marriage in NYC, my mom said it was a great idea because it made her safer in an unsafe city!

See how media can change our idea of right and wrong?

Ah, here: I found a video. It was a darling TV show!

Bayside’s “Refuel” Podcast

If you want to hear Andrew McCourt himself
and his actual words on the subject,
try this link:
bit.ly/devo021020
I have that on my iPhone and it takes me there.

On With My Day

‘Tis time for me to get on with my day. Tomorrow is our actual anniversary… 58 years. It’s not always been a bed of roses, but the key ingredient always has been there:

RESPECT

Yup, that’s the bottom line!
So, whatever your relationship…
whether it’s three’s company,
living with your lover,
or married,
keep that RESPECT alive!

And there are a few other tips
for how to keep from practicing for divorce, too.
I’ll save those for tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
I hope I haven’t offended any of you out there.

See ya later!

Be the Salt & the Light


Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana was inspired
by Matthew 5:13-20

Photo by Lorena Martínez on Pexels.com

If you have been a JanBeek follower, you know I usually post on Sunday afternoon the notes I take while listening to the morning’s sermon. Most of the time, I take the notes poetically – because that’s how my brain hears the message. Here is today’s:

Be the Salt and the Light

When did you first feel old?
Was it when your kids were teens?
Their language came from another world –
It was hard to figure what it means.

Teens aren’t the only ones with strange language.
Jesus had some pretty weird expressions, too.
“You are the salt of the earth,” He said.
What does that mean to you?

Salt is used to purify, to season, and to seal.
It was the seal of the covenant and it put out fires.
What did Jesus intend when He called us salt?
Did He intend us to be a spice? My soul inquires.

He said we are to be the “Light of the World.”
What does that mean? I want to know.
This is supposed to be “The Christian Century,”
But where is our light, friends? Where does it glow?

Jesus told stories about the insignificant.
He told of lost coins and mustard seeds.
He spoke of the lost and the powerless.
He commanded us to take care of their needs.

The things we do as Christians can have
A lasting affect on others’ action and thought.
They watch us, question us, sometimes imitate us –
When we’re quietly going about doing what we ought.

We ARE the salt of the earth and the world’s light.
We need to play the part and let our faith shine from above.
We can’t forget who we are – nor get cluttered with junk –
Or we’ll lose our effectiveness to spread God’s love.


So, what “junk” clutters your life, blocks your light, and dilutes your salt?

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

What’s Junk?

It doesn’t needs to be literal “junk” like that in this junk yard.

It might be over-emphasis in an area that takes you away from what you would like to be doing instead.

It might be worry over something that may or may not happen.

It might be possessions that we need to clear out… cuz most of us have too much “stuff.” (I know I am leaving way more “junk” than I should in my house for my kids to sort through and throw away someday.)

What is your “junk” that clutters your actions and your thinking?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Salt is Spice – – Spice Up Your Life

In my sermon notes, I wrote, “The things we do as Christians can have
A lasting affect on others’ action and thought…”

By spicing up our life, I mean our actions and thoughts might include:

  • the sweetness of sugar as we reach out to help others
  • the enhancement of salt as we perform random acts of kindness
  • the zestiness of pepper as we sprinkle joy and laughter to those around us
  • the longevity of curry as we continue to connect with long-lasting friends and family with love
  • the healing power of tumeric as we exhibit compassion
Photo by Tucu0103 Bianca on Pexels.com

Be the Light

Being the “Light of the World” is a matter of shining love in the darkness. Before the regular sermon, Pastor Steve gave a special message directed to the children today. He sat on the chancel steps, invited the kids to come sit with him, and he handed them a candle. He lit his own candle and said, I would like to light your candle, too, but I’m afraid if I did, then I wouldn’t have a light on mine.”

The kids looked at him quizzically. “Don’t you agree?” he asked them.

They shook their heads, “No.”

“Really? If I light your candle with mine, then I will still have light?”

“Yes,” they nodded as they held out their candles.

Sure enough, he lit their candles with his, and there was not less light… but more!

The message here is clear…
BE THE LIGHT.
SHARE THE LIGHT.
SPREAD THE LIGHT.
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!

I’LL DO MY PART.
Will you join me?
See ya tomorrow.

Universal Wisdom


I found this “Japanese Wisdom” on Facebook. People had commented about it and clicked their “likes” and “loves” and “sad” … and that one person who was “sad” was probably the one who wrote an irate comment denouncing the title.

Oh my, how sad that someone would see this
and be incensed that the Japanese took ownership!
Hey, I don’t care who thought it up first,
I just love it.
And I think it is more than true:
“If you don’t know, shut up!”

There is no reason to be offended by something as clever and universal as this. Just embrace it!

I am headed to have breakfast and go to church.
I will pray for that caustic person
who was offended to have a peace-filled day.
“If it’s not nice, don’t say or write it!”

Have a blessed Sunday.

Photo by nicollazzi xiong on Pexels.com

See ya later.

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