Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Ashes to Joy


In her devotional this morning, Cynthia Ruchti reminded me it’s Ash Wednesday. She wrote (on this Feb. 20 devotional in Daily Guideposts), “… my sins have been incinerated, a fine layer of ash is all that remains – and that layer has been blown away by the breath of Jesus’ mercy.”

Photo by Jakob on Pexels.com

What a wonderful image that is! She reminded us of the devastation of the 2019 California fires that left whole neighborhoods (in fact major parts of whole cities, like Paradise, CA) incinerated. She mourned, “The ash was so fine it left only a dusting over the footprint of each lost home.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Cynthia reminded me that Ash Wednesday is “a time of reflection, self-sacrifice, spiritual discipline, and fasting to prepare the heart for Easter.” Her “Faith Step” at the conclusion of the message was: “Our humanity and our sinfulness have been conquered in Jesus and we are free. Ashes to joy. Dust to life. Live victoriously.”

At http://www.Christianity.com the author wrote:
“Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.”

My niece, Jodie

I am ready to embrace this season.
I am ready to “live victoriously.”
I am ready for “Dust to dust”
to become “Dust to Life.”

I am ready for “Ashes to ashes”
to become “Ashes to Joy.

Are you?

How do you recognize Lent?
Tell me about it.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya later.

Honey and Wisdom


“Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to the taste.
Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul;
if you find it,
there is future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.”

Proverbs 24: 13-14

Storing Honey

That honey jar on the right with the bees and hearts was given to us 8 years ago for our 50th wedding anniversary from Bob’s beekeeper nephew and his wife. Bryan Beekman is a California beekeeper with about 10,000 beehives. His wife, Michelle, has the “Honey Hut” on their property in Clovis.

No, I have not kept that honey for 8 years!! (But, I could have if I wanted to… honey never spoils unless you add water to it! They found good, edible honey in King Tut’s tomb!)

A jar like that only last a few weeks in our house before it has to be refilled. We pour from it into the honey bear. It’s easier to pour out of the bear. I keep both of those containers in the cabinet to the right of the stove. A warm spot is best for storing honey. Never refrigerate it!! When the jar is empty, we refill it from a 5 gallon jug that we keep in the warm room downstairs.

Look carefully at the jar. The letters almost are all washed off. It used to say, “Happy 50th, Bob & Jan.” I need to take it back to Michelle to have it repainted one of these trip to California! But would that be like restoring an antique? Would it lose some of its value?

Honey as a Gift

Because Bob’s a retired beekeeper, folks often give us honey as a gift when they return from their travels. This jar was a gift from a friend in Maryland. Notice the label says, “100% Pure Raw Varietal Honey.” That’s important! You want to know from which flowers the bees gathered their nectar. Honey has flavors as distinct as wines or berries or the smell of various flowers. Pure orange honey has the taste of the smell of the orange blossoms. I love it!

Describing Honey Flavors

However, some honey label writers get carried away, just as some folks who describe the flavors of wine do on their labels. I don’t often taste the earth or the tobacco in a glass of wine. And I can’t taste “vanilla-marshmallowy goodness” in this Pacific Northwest honey. However, I believe them when they say it’s pure and raw.

Preserving Honey’s Attributes

Pure means it hasn’t been mixed with other stuff… and raw means it hasn’t been heated above a certain temperature. Heating honey too much (like boiling it on the stove or in the microwave) kills many, if not all, of its healthy qualities.

If you love honey as we do, remember to bee wise in the way you select and buy it, and remember to bee wise in the way you store and preserve it. And remember to use it as a substitute for sugar as often as you can. It’s better for you – and it takes less honey to taste the sweetness than sugar. Also, honey is the browning agent in waffles or bread.

And it’s all about wisdom.
Bee Wise.
Eat Honey!!

See ya later.

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.

Memories of Childhood


I remember glimpses of my childhood – an Ozzie & Harriet family with Dad going off to work and Mom staying home…

I remember our small, sparkly white house on the end of Fig Lane in Newman, at the center of California’s hot San Joaquin Valley…

I remember sitting around the radio in the living room listening as a family to “The Cisco Kid” and “One Man’s Family” and “Inner Sanctum” …

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I remember Dad’s three-tiered tulip bed and the day I picked a bouquet of them and got into trouble…

I remember being scolded, and as I stood there with a fist-full of the precious blooms saying to Dad, “I no pick the flaws… maybe Sally pick the flaws!”

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

I remember walking down Fig Lane with my sister, Sally, headed to P Street School wearing my Mary Jane’s…

I remember how proud I was of those new shoes…

I remember trips every September to San Francisco to get new school clothes: new shoes, a new dress, underwear, a sweater, a coat… the essentials…

I remember eating crab legs at Fisherman’s Wharf while I gazed at the boats coming in and going out of the harbor…

I remember my first plane trip, flying to Seattle to be with my mom’s family there when her mom died…

I remember Dewey Wright, my first true love, and the Valentine card he gave me in kindergarten, and how he chased me around the playground until I caught him …

I remember moving from that little white house at the end of Fig Lane to a house out in the country right next door to my Dad’s mom…

I remember the day my cousin, Billy, came to live with us – and how upset he was – and how upset I was when he tore our doll house apart and scattered our toys…

I remember dashing past a gobbling turkey who chased me to my grandma’s back door after school…

I remember my father’s tears when his mother died…

I remember moving out to that God-forsaken place twenty miles from nowhere to begin life anew, with Dad going into business with Uncle Igino and Uncle Melio …

I remember the smell of the Pacific Tallow Works that was about 150 yards from our house, and how impossible it was to close up the house tight enough …

I remember Tiofila and Engracia and Dalia, my sweet little Spanish-speaking playmates, whose mom made fantastic tortillas, and the day they were transported back to Mexico by some cruel authorities…

I remember crying for days when I heard Dalia had died on that trip back to Mexico …

I remember Manuel Ynzunza, his basketball skill, and our first kiss out behind the cafeteria … oh, the thrill of it…

I remember “Dimples,” my Cocker Spaniel who had four puppies – and the fascination of observing the births …

Photo by A.Revolution on Pexels.com

I remember riding a horse, unable to control it, and being pushed into a barbed wire fence, putting a gash in my right leg …

I remember how impossible it was for Mom to leave the office unattended to take me to the doctor (she was Dad’s secretary-bookkeeper), so she taped my gash closed and how it healed leaving a big scar …

I remember the day my Aunt Jean, Billy’s mom, came to take him back … how I was filled with mixed emotions, sorrow and relief …

I remember my mom’s older sister, Aunt Evelyn, coming from Washington to visit and bringing clothes my cousins had outgrown, and Mom spending nights altering them to fit Sally & me …

I remember walking at least a mile (seemed like five) to catch the school bus and riding for at least an hour (seemed like five) while we picked up other kids to go to Crows Landing Elementary School…

I remember Mrs Yetter, my third grade teacher, who was almost bald…

I remember my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Ethel Horwedle, and how she wrote her cursive E, and how she let me sing to the tunes of the square dance records, and let me teach the class new square dance moves…

I remember Mrs. Marlow, the principal’s wife who was my 7th and 8th grade teacher… how she let me go during spelling class to help the kindergarten teacher (because, “You don’t need the spelling lesson,” she’d say after giving me a pre-test on which I always got 100%) …

I remember wearing an “I Like Ike” button and learning in 8th grade about each of his cabinet members as they were one-by-one appointed…

I remember Howard Thorkelson, our class genius, who got polio when we were in 8th grade and was gone a long time… returning in a neck and back brace for our graduation…

I remember learning to play the clarinet and doing so well that the band leader invited me to play with the high school band…

Sally & me with our clarinets

I remember being too small to fit into a high school band uniform, and having suspenders that pulled the pants up under my armpits…

I remember playing an accordion duet with Evelyn at our 8th grade graduation, but don’t remember Evelyn’s last name …

This was my first accordion. It’s over 100 years old!

I don’t remember a lot of things, but I remember feeling cared for, and feeling like I could become whatever I set my mind to, and not realizing we were poor…

We actually weren’t you know. We had each other. We had love. We had everything.

I remember…

I Remember by Annika Perry


It’s three o’clock in the morning and I can’t sleep, so I am up reading and commenting on some of the blogs I follow. One of them is Annika Perry’s Writing Blog. The picture above is linked to a delightful collection of random memories beautifully written. Treat yourself by clicking on the link below.

I guarantee it won’t put you to sleep, but will prompt you to create a list of “I Remember” vignettes of your own.

Originally posted on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine: Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020 This is the first post by …

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – #Memories – I Remember by Annika Perry — Annika Perry’s Writing Blog

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.

The Corona Whistleblower


The message below was posted on FaceBook by my friend, Marge Derby. It was written originally on this FB page:

Carry The Light
https://www.facebook.com/honorchrist/photos/a.177332439849468/495661498016559/?type=3&tn=H-R

All across China, people are talking about Dr Li Wen Liang. He was the doctor who discovered the novel corona virus and in the early morning of February 7, 2020 at 2:58 am, he was promoted into glory and went home to be with our Father in heaven.

Back in December last year, he was arrested for being a whistleblower ‘spreading rumors’ about a mysterious pneumonia like virus. This morning we found out he was in fact a fellow brother in Christ. Our hearts are deeply moved by his sacrificial choice to spread awareness about the virus despite the risks he faced, especially to his reputation and to his own health.

He continued to care for patients up until he was infected himself. What a legacy to leave behind of what it means to be like Jesus to those hurting in a time of crisis. He chose to be an example of Immanuel, ‘God with us’ to the people of Wuhan.

Can you imagine the joy he must have felt as he entered into eternity and heard the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?

So today, please pray for his family, especially his wife who is also infected and 8 months pregnant with their second child. May God heal them supernaturally and give them grace, peace, strength and comfort during this time.

Dr Li Wen Liang penned a deeply touching Chinese poem. It is translated below into English. The original Chinese is there, telling of how he would miss his family, his beloved Wuhan, and then he quoted 2 Tim 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

He went on to write, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

“The Hero Who Told The Truth”
Here is a captivating, heart-touching Chinese poem I’ve tried to translate into English. It was written in memory of Mr Li Wenliang, a Christian doctor and whistleblower who died from the corona virus himself after being punished for issuing the first warning about the deadly corona virus outbreak.
我不想當英雄。
我還有爹娘,
還有孩子,
還有懷孕臨產的妻,
還有許多的病人在病房。
盡管正直換不來善良,
盡管䢛途迷茫,
可還是要繼續進行,
誰讓我選擇了這國這家,
多少委屈,
等打完這仗,
垂淚如雨仰天遠望。
“I don’t want to be a hero.
I still have my parents,
And my children,
And my pregnant wife who’s about to give birth,
And many of my patients in the ward.
Though my integrity cannot be exchanged for the goodness of others,
Despite my loss and confusion,
I should proceed anyway.
Who let me choose this country and this family?
How many grievances do I have?
When this battle is over,
I will look up to the sky,
With tears like rain.”
我不想當英雄。
只是做為醫生,
我不能眼看著這不明的病毒,
傷害著我的同行。
還有那多無辜的人們,
他們盡管已奄奄一息,
可眼睛裏總望著我,
帶著生命的希望。
“I don’t want to be a hero.
But as a doctor,
I cannot just see this unknown virus
Hurting my peers
And so many innocent people.
Though they are dying,
They are always looking at me in their eyes,
With their hope of life.”
誰成想我競死了!
我的靈魂分明在天上,
望著那張白色的病床,
床上分明是我的軀體,
軀體上還是那熟悉的臉龐。
我的父親母親在哪?
還有我親愛的妻子,
那當年我苦苦追求的姑娘。
“Who would have ever realised that I was going to die?
My soul is in heaven,
Looking at the white bed,
On which lies my own body,
With the same familiar face.
Where are my parents?
And my dear wife,
The lady I once had a hard time chasing?”
天上有一道光!
那光的盡頭是人們時常說起的天堂。
我寧願不去哪裏,
我寧願回到武漢我的家鄉。
那裏有我新買的房子,
每月還要還貸的賬。
我怎能舍得,
我怎能舍得!
沒有兒子的爹娘,
該有多麽悲傷;
沒有了丈夫的寶貝,
該如何面對這未來的滄桑。
“There is a light in the sky!
At the end of that light is the heaven that people often talk about.
But I’d rather not go there.
I’d rather go back to my hometown in Wuhan.
I have my new house there,
For which I still have to pay off the loan every month.
How can I give up?
How can I give up?
For my parents without their son,
How sad must it be?
For my sweetheart without her husband,
How can she face the vicissitudes in her future?”
我分明死了。
我看見他們把我的軀殼,
裝進一個袋子。
在袋子的近傍
有許多死去的同胞,
象我一樣,
在黎明時分,
被推進火的爐堂。
“I am already gone.
I see them taking my body,
Putting it into a bag,
With which lie many compatriots
Gone like me,
Being pushed into the fire in the hearth
At dawn.”
再見了,難舍的親人。
永別了,武漢我的故鄉。
但願你們在災難過後,
還記得曾經有人,
努力地讓你們盡早知道真相。
但願你們在災難過後,
學會正直,
不再讓善良的人們,
遭受著無盡的恐懼,
和無奈的悲傷。
“Goodbye, my dear ones.
Farewell, Wuhan, my hometown.
Hopefully, after the disaster,
You’ll remember someone once
Tried to let you know the truth as soon as possible.
Hopefully, after the disaster,
You’ll learn what it means to be righteous.
No more good people
Should suffer from endless fear,
And helpless sadness.”
“那美好的仗我已經打完了,
應行的路我已行盡了,
當守的道我守住了。
從此以後,
有公義的冠冕為我留存。”
《聖經》提摩太後書4:7
“I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the race.
I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness.”
2 Timothy 4:7, Holy Bible

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

My Prayer

Rest in peace, Dr. Li Wen Liang. God bless you – and God be with your dear family. We all will pray for your wife, your son, and your unborn child. May God miraculously heal her and save your children. Amen

They are not forgotten.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

I hope this story touched your heart as it did mine.
Please join me in prayer for Mrs. Liang
and the victims of this deadly virus.
Pray for a cure!

See you tomorrow.

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