If we don’t feel safe yet Traveling to places we want to go, Then let’s embrace virtual travel. Go with me to the most beautiful country: Switzerland!!
My daughter, DeAna, lives in this gorgeous country – I’ve shown you this picture recently of them in front of their restaurant:
De & Andre’ have three boys, Mike, Nick, and Chris. This week I received photos from Mike ( I think it was him who sent them) sharing a wonderful meal they all enjoyed at Mike and Tania’s apartment.
Natalia (Chris’ girlfriend) is in Colombia, so she was not able to be there in person. Thanks to ZOOM, however, she was in the room for an hour!! There is Nick with Celine:
(That’s Mike and Tania in the middle… And Chris with Natalia on the right)
I love the internet because it allows Long-distance grandparents To be part of their grandkids’ lives. Thank you, dear grandsons, for sharing with us!
Travel with me to other parts of Switzerland!
Doesn’t it make you want to go there? It really is picture postcard perfect everywhere you look!!
We forgive you, Andre’, for taking DeDe with you to this beautiful country. If there is some place in the world where we HAVE to travel because our family is there, we can think of no better place than Switzerland!!
Thanks for joining me, dear blogging friends. Sante’!! To your health!! Have a good night.
Embrace Questioning! Do we embrace all questions? Like, “Are you stupid?”
No, it’s not questions, But the act of questioning That deserves embrace.
Not all questions are Developed with pure motives. Embrace those that are!
Embrace a pure heart Full of inquisitiveness. Ask because you care.
When you meet someone Ask their name and remember – Use it lovingly.
Ask about their life. Listen with sincere interest. Listening’s a gift.
Questioning’s one thing; Listening is another. They go hand in hand.
When I think of questioning with a pure motive and listening with an open heart, I think of Job. Even if you are not a Christian, seeped in the Bible stories, you have heard the expression, “The patience of Job.” (That’s pronounced Jobe… not job, like Steve Jobs, the American business magnate). What made the prophet, Job, come to mind?
Job is presented in the Bible as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God‘s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his children, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Searching for answers involves questioning. He does so without condemning God. He maintains his trust in God to ultimately work for his good – even when he is in the worst of his turmoil.
What a desolate looking man! What must he be saying to God? What questions would you be asking?
What does Job ask God? “He demands answers from God Himself. Job wants to know why bad things happen to good people. He knows it’s not right, and will not accept the saccharine answers of his friends.”
God, “Why Have You Made Me Your Target”? (Job 7:20)
God explains to Job that to us mere mortals sometimes there are no words—no rationalizations—that can make sense of the unhappiness we endure.
Trauma happens and we have to accept it. Explanations may make us feel better, but they mislead. Ultimately, Job, like all of us, must endure suffering not knowing why … or if the question even counts.
Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.
The Book of Job asks “why good people suffer,” but never actually answers the question. What it does do, is correct misconceptions about why we suffer. The truth of this wonderful tale is that man can’t know everything.
Again, let me repeat, “Once Job accepts this, he somehow manages to live with his trauma without becoming its victim.”
How does this story relate to your life and mine? Have you ever questioned why life was throwing stones at you that you didn’t deserve?
Or have you questioned why you didn’t get a job that you knew you deserved?
This happened recently to my son. He applied for a job that he knew he was qualified for. Another person was chosen instead. He got a form letter of rejection. Instead of falling into a fit of depression or raging in disbelief, he called the person who did get the job and congratulated her. He asked if there was anything he could do to support her in her assignment – and he asked her to keep an eye out in case she saw a position in the future for which she thought he might be a good fit.
Within a day, he received a call back and an extension of his responsibilities was offered along with a significant pay raise.
Now, I’m not suggesting that every time you ask the right questions with the right motive, you’ll get a pay raise!
No, it’s not that simple. But, what embracing questioning does is it changes your focus. The right questions – in the right spirit – make the difference between misery and openness. The difference between depression and expression. The difference between pessimism and positivity.
Embrace a pure heart Full of inquisitiveness. Ask because you care.
Don’t question, “Why you?” Instead ask, “What can I do?” “Can I be of any help?”
Your attitude counts. Humility is the key. Embrace questioning!
God is good. All the time! Even to the Jobs of this world! Be patient in love. Your pay raise is coming!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek Got any questions?? See ya tomorrow.
I could have called this “Embrace Maturity,” but that would have been pussyfooting around the issue. Not everyone matures as they age, but aging is not an option.
You do it or you die.
However, I embraced this meme when I saw it:
Aging is a privilege only given to the lucky ones, you know. So, yes, I will count this year … but at 81, I sometimes forget if it is 80 or 81 and if I try to get by with the lesser number, I have an 82 year old husband who is quick to remind me.
Hah! Can’t fool him… He keeps a check on me – – – but he’s not big on donuts. Darn!
My daughter (most of you have met her on this blog in the past – DeDe – lives in Switzerland) sent me this a little while back. She particularly liked it because one of Bob’s nicknames for me is “Rocky”
Most of you also know that I have a sanctuary where I spend the first hour most every morning… and in it I have three antique rockers. Ah, yes, it’s the perfect image of me!
But the chair that brings us mutual joy is the one we put in the back of our ATV and pull out when we stop for a break. The best way to embrace aging is to find a hobby that you can enjoy with someone you love.
For Bob and me, it is joining friends and going four-wheeling on these wonderful Rocky Mountain trails. .. stopping to fish the mountain lakes. Ah, that’s livin’!!
What hobbies make your aging process more enjoyable? One of our mutual hobbies (besides four-wheeling) is teaching Sunday School.
COVID got in the way of being able to meet each Sunday morning with these two darlings and one other… and then these two moved away. As they age, their mom sends us pictures.
Getting picture from family and friends is a great way to welcome the new day and look forward to the next time you can visit.
Aging is easier to embrace if you have dreams – something to look forward to, right?
We dream of next October – when COVID-19 will be controlled and it will be safe to travel to see our daughter, De, and her husband, Andre’ – and stay in one of the hotel rooms above the restaurant.
As we age, some of the benefits outweigh the struggles that come with aching joints and lowered energy levels.
One of them is, when your grandkids act up and get on your nerves, you can just send ’em back to their folks!
Couldn’t do that when you were younger and they were your own kids!
Gotta look for the perks in this aging process!
Another advantage of aging is that we have time to reminisce about the “Good Ole Days” and the songs we used to sing that these youngsters with their guitars and drums don’t seem to understand anymore.
And if those songs and the memories they bring aren’t enough to make you feel good about still being on this earth, try singing this one:
Another way to “Embrace Aging” is to relish the extra time you have to just find a good book, pour yourself a hot chocolate or a glass of wine, curl up in front of a warm fire, and spend some uninterrupted quality time.
When you were younger, that luxury was seldom yours, right?
Now, if you are a youngster (under retirement age) reading this blog, you are probably thinking that I am a dreamer. You’re right. I am! And each day I dream up all kinds of things to keep me exuberant about life.
Yesterday it was effervescence. The day before it was … oh, do I have to go back that far?
Nope! A trick to aging gracefully is to remain playful. Keep your hobbies, and make up ways to keep the sparkle alive. Take those boots that were left at the front door and get creative!
If you can’t get out because you’re snowed in – and you’re longing for sushi, but the nearest place is an hour away, send money to your kids and tell them to go out for sushi on you. But make sure they send you a picture… and drool all over the computer screen when they send it!
Ask your friends to send you a picture of the table they decorated for some recent holiday – and then marvel at their creativity as you sit down for the 10th night in a row at your kitchen counter… thanking God for your life, your food, your kids, and your kitchen counter.
A trick to embracing aging is to always remain thankful for your blessings… even if they aren’t at a yacht club!!
Embrace Aging by feeding your mind Hope, Truth and Love on a daily basis.
Don’t let your mind tell you you’re OLD. That’s a state of mind for the senile. It’s not for you!
Tell your mind that aging just adds to your story… and you’re not finished telling it yet!
Have fun, my friend. Make room for sunsets.
Look forward to sunrises.
And believe in miracles… Because you are one!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow.
Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not? Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction? Do you wonder why certain things happen? Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?
What if you grew up with a dad Who was a Special Effects Artist? What would the world seem like To you if this was your daily reality?
Ever wonder what life would be like If you had not met the person who Is front and center in your life now? Who would be with you instead?
Ever wonder how God created The beauty of a rainbow or sunset? The colors of the variety of birds? Or every zebra’s stripes unique?
Ever wonder how He could make Each snowflake different? Each eye unique – unlike any other? Each voice to sound like no other?
Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?
Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:
Ever wonder what life would be like If the only thing we bothered to talk about Was the good that we see in others? This is a poem my mom had memorized:
Wouldn’t this old world be better If the folks we meet would say “I know something good about you,” And then treat us just that way?
Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy If each handclasp warm and true Carried with it this assurance, “I know something good about you”?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If the good that’s in us all Were the only thing about us That folks bothered to recall?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If we praised the good we see? For there’s such a lot of goodness In the worst of you and me.
Wouldn’t it be nice to practice That fine way of thinking, too? You know something good about me! I know something good about you.
(Louis C. Shimon)
Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!
Ever wonder what your life would be like If you were born to a different mother? You wouldn’t be you, would you? What if your mother had different attributes?
My mother loved poetry (obviously) – And so that love of words well spoken Rubbed off on me – and I wonder What would life be like without poetry?
Happy 59th Anniversary today to my sweetheart, Bob, my life’s partner!!
Bob & I both have a deep faith. It was God who put us together. It was our faith and prayer that kept us together. During our engagement, he was in Germany, in the army. I was in college, wanting to enjoy college life. I broke up with him. But, God knew we belonged together. He made sure we got back together again! (Thank You, God!) And He helped us stick it out all these years through good times and bad. I’m so grateful!!
Our children, Ty & DeAna, have been such a blessing in our lives. Thank You, God, for the gift of these children!! During our early married years (after the first 8 months in Germany), we lived in Turlock (for a year) and then San Francisco and San Mateo. Bob worked for Shell Oil and then went back to college (San Francisco State). He earned his teaching credential and then coached wrestling and taught Driver’s Ed at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA.
We moved from the Bay Area back to the San Joaquin Valley in CA. Bob took over his Dad’s beekeeping business when his father retired. Did you know that beekeepers with hair that is close their head (hair that gets greasy or sweaty) are targets for bee stings? With a perm, the bees couldn’t get to the scalp.
You ask why he didn’t just wear a hat like most beekeepers do? Bob hates wearing a hat! He didn’t wear protective gloves either. Those are topics for another day!
Our Daughter, De
In 1987, our daughter, DeAna, married Andre’, a Swiss (the first cousin of our AFS exchange student).
I have written about De & Andre’s fairy tale story in the past. She moved to Switzerland when our first grandchild was “in the hopper.” That was nearly 30 years ago! Every other year we would go to visit them (so, no, we didn’t really wait ’til retirement to travel … we just got to do more of it after Bob left beekeeping and we moved here to Montana).
This is the village of Vissoie, Switzerland where DeDe and Andre’ live now. Andre’ and De have three boys. Our Swiss grandsons are Mike, Nick & Chris. We hope to travel there this October to spend time with them. Virus, be gone!!!
Our Son, Ty
Our son, Ty, blessed our family in 1989 by marrying his sweetheart, Monika. The two of them adopted four children. Sam, Hope, Jordan & Faith are young adults now. I’ve written about them here on my blog. Our lives are so enriched by this extended family. Ty & Moni live in CA, near Lake Tahoe. This picture of them was taken of them at our youngest granddaughter, Faith’s wedding. We hope to travel to CA to be with them this year in June. Virus be gone!!
Life is Full
Life is full of love and joy and promises for a bright tomorrow. We have so much for which to be grateful. We know we are blessed to have one another and to have lived into our 80s and remained married to that same partner for nearly 60 years.
Embrace Marriage, my friends! And EMBRACE YOUR LIFE’S PARTNER if you are fortunate as I am to have one!
Today, February 11, 2021, our 59th anniversary, starts our 60th year of marriage, doesn’t it? When a baby turns one, they are starting their 2nd year on earth. Yes, that’s the way it works! Sixty years with one life partner!! I am extremely blessed!
On Super Bowl Sunday, we had a Pizza Party. We made our pizza together. Turned out pretty well! We plan to keep on doing things together as long as the Good Lord allows…
With God’s grace and blessings, we will continue to travel this road of life together for many more years to come. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future… and we let Him lead us.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed February 11th. See ya tomorrow.
“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
Wisdom is not relegated to the aged. Daniel was a boy of 17 when he was chosen. You are chosen today to tap into The wisdom God has for you!
“Walk with the wise and become wise.”
God gives us true friends Who are wise and wonderful. They are His gifts to us To help us EMBRACE WISDOM
He has chosen friends for us Who are wise and full of grace. They walk into our hearts And leave their footprints all over it!
In today’s Daily Guideposts, Ginger Rue wrote, “…you become like the five people you spend the most time with.” She told a story about how her husband, “Sweet Dwight,” is a person she wishes to emulate. “I hope someday to have a heart like my husband’s: wise, and full of grace… and always looking for the best in people.”
Who is a star in your life, an example of wisdom and grace? Are the five people you spend the most time with people whose lives you wish to emulate? Can you name them?
these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo
Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred
Malleable are lists of sins we accrue
a barter between gains we’ve won and debts we owe
Embrace unlimited shades of blue
Exhausting – holding this constant guard
Even stormy melancholy seas are drenched in
these delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo
Healing power pulses in each flaw
like a broken heart that still beats
Recognize beauty manifested though fragile and scarred
I was going to call my blog today “Embrace Healing,” but the I came across the post above. I decided that post is a gift in blueness – and it speaks more to my mood today than “healing” does.
Today I am blue… because the note I received from my former student’s mother-in-law, Marilyn, left me with no hope for Ty Stiles’ earthly healing. I studied my broken heart and looked again at Marilyn’s words. “He told Roxann [his wife] that he is ready to go to Heaven.” As I prayed for Ty’s last days, I looked at that broken heart again.
Did you ever realize that the two parts of a broken heart are angel’s wings? Look again!
God’s angels spoke to me and reminded me that death is not final. Jesus conquered death. Ty is a believer. Ty is called according to His purpose. Yesterday Ty’s church members gathered outside his home for a prayer vigil. One of his cousins made the gathering into a FaceTime chat so he could see/hear the prayers being offered on his behalf (and if he was unable to hear and comprehend, at least I know his wife, Roxann, could. The prayers were for her, as well.
As I shared in my “Embrace Reassurance” blog a couple days ago, God hears. God cares. God answers. Sometimes HEALING does not come in the form of a magical cure. Sometimes it comes as RELEASE.
Ty is ready to let go pain. God is asking me to let go my blueness. Release the melancholy that blue sometimes represents, and instead, embrace the “delicate hues of sapphire, turquoise, and indigo” – and the promise of the vast blueness of Heaven where “Healing power pulses” and God is ready to transform the broken heart into angel wings.
My heart is with you as you leave the pain and embrace the beautiful blueness of Christ’s Kingdom. Someday I’ll join you there, Ty. Meantime, keep the Pearly Gates polished!
Thanks for joining me at JanBeek and thank you for praying for Ty and Roxann. See you tomorrow.
Just as children are grateful for their parents, their homes, their teachers, their food, and so much more, so we as adults must remember to express gratitude for those same things and for one another.
How do you express your gratitude?
I really appreciate this video and express my gratitude by sharing it with you. No, you can’t click on this one… it’s just a photo.
Before you click on the video below, look up at that man’s face. See the kindness in his eyes. See the bit of a smile on his lips. Notice he is looking at his passenger in her pretty turquoise scarf. Anticipate what you think he may be saying to her. Notice the bouquet of red roses blurred in the foreground. Now – click on the video below … and be prepared to be touched!
You may not have been able to understand the words this Iranian man was speaking to his wife, but your understanding of the message was clear. Right? Didn’t it warm your heart and reinforce the need to be grateful for one another?
When I think of my family, gratitude bubbles up inside me.
1) I am grateful for my husband’s love… for me and for our children. 2) I am grateful for bouquets of roses. (I could see him passing a bouquet on to others to share love.) 3) I am grateful for the happy home my parents provided for me was a child. 4) I am grateful that my husband’s parents were faith-filled, loving parents, too. 5) I am grateful that my children provided loving homes for their children.
Pass it on!!
There is no greater gift we can give our children than to love one another. Be grateful for that love and keep it alive!
As you EMBRACE GRATITUDE, think of 4 or 5 things you’re grateful for today. I’d love to have you share a few of them in the comments below.
Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites. Right?
See that young man on the left up there? His name is Ty. He is my favorite!
(Well, in honesty… don’t be dismayed if you’re one of my students…. I have lots of favorites, OK? But Ty… well, read on!)
Ty was my kindergarten student in 1962-3. Every day when he stepped off the school bus, the girls all stopped what they were doing. “Hi Ty!” they would swoon. Yes, even kindergarten girls recognize a sweetheart when they see one!
And every day when it was time to go home, the girls all waved to Ty, “Bye, Ty!” they would swoon.
I was a newlywed. It was my second year of teaching. I decided if I had a boy someday, I would name him Ty. And I did!
Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!
So why the HOPE title?
Yesterday I heard the devastating news that my favorite student, Ty, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. It has metastasized. He needs our prayers. My heart is heavy, but I am a believer… and HOPE is what believers do, right?
Day before yesterday I posted this scripture:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
I know God has Ty tucked into the palm of His hand, just as He holds our world in His hand.
I know God is watching over Ty and his treatment process. But, won’t you add your prayers to mine? “Dear Lord, please give healing to Ty.”