I really appreciate all the Happy Birthday wishes extended my way this past weekend. Thank you so much!
Even though I am happy to tell you I am starting my 83rd year on earth, I am also happy to tell you that I am a fan of Jack Benny. Now, if you are too young to remember who Jack Benny was (or you are in another country where Jack Benny was not a nationally known figure), let me tell you: Jack Benny was a comedian who embraced 39 – and decided to stay that age forever more!
Actually, I embrace aging (I wrote a blog using that title once) – I I have no desire to be stuck at 39 or any other age.
Each year brings new insights. Each year brings new joys. Each year brings new challenges. I don’t want to miss any of them.
How about you?
“Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old. Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever. Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.”
Each day I pray for wisdom. Each day I ask God to increase my understanding and I thank the Holy Spirit for the fruits of the spirit that are mine: LOVE, JOY AND PEACE. And I ask God to help me with the other fruits of the spirit: patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… those that I work to increase as I mature in my faith.
How about you?
As I gather up those birthdays and mature in my faith, I remember to keep a child-like spirit. Enjoy that song. Sing it often. Teach it to your grandchildren. Sing it with your great-grandchildren. Put it in your heart.
You can’t be a lemon or a grape if you wanna be a fruit of the spirit!! Who wants to grow up to be a lemon anyway?
Work on that patience, Jan … your great-grandchildren need to see you model it! And your grand-dog needs you to exercise that gentleness and kindness, too. Ain’t always easy.
How about you?
On my birthday, Ty (our son) and Bob went out fishing (not catching… just fishing) … and that required a lot of patience! I went along for the joy of the ride. It was cool on the water in the morning, but the afternoon warmed up.
That evening Ty and our daughter-in-law, Monika, Bob & I went in to Bozeman for dinner and dessert. We had a delightful time at a table out front of “Hooked Sushi” enjoying the music being played down the sidewalk a half a block, and the people and dogs walking by. Such fun!
Only in a college town would you find this kind of vibrancy. I love it!
We went after dinner to a very popular ice cream store … and had great fun with some college students who were in line ahead of us. Look at this cute kid! (Ya, I had fun teasing him …)
Sunday afternoon Bob, Ty & Monika went kayaking/paddleboarding while TazE & I found a shady spot and relaxed.
You can barely see the mountains outlined back there… not a typically beautiful day on Ennis Lake. Pray for the forest fires to be contained and the firefighters to be safe!
What are you doing this Monday evening besides surfing the net?
When life seems challenging and circumstances tax your patience, do you ever wonder if God’s really gotcha covered?
Well, trust me –
Trust the Savior –
He’s gotta grip on you!
God’s gotta grip on me.
Our Lord’s not lettin’ us go!
“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My Prayer for Today
“Gracious God, how grateful I am to rest secure in Your grip forever.”
God’s Not Gonna Lose Me
In today’s devotional time, Daily Guideposts 2021 reminded me that while I may misplace my sunglasses or my phone occasionally, God never misplaces me!
In his comments, Bill Giovannetti recalled a time when his daughter asked him, “What if I lost God? Or what if God lost me?”
Her younger brother responded, “Right, Josie, you’re the only person in the whole wide world that God forgot about!”
Reading Romans 8:38-39 together, Bill and his son reassured Josie and asked her, “If God keeps His Word, what is that verse telling you?”
“It’s telling me God never loses His sunglasses,” she said, “Or me!”
Today Bob & I celebrated my birthday (I’ll match Bob’s age – and be 82 tomorrow). Our hands certainly show the wear and tear of work and years!
But, like that hold God has on us, we’ve got a grip on one another – and we’re not letting go!
Taking a clue from us and God, Xander’s got a grip on his GreatGrandma Jan (GG – that’s me!) and he’s not letting go!
My great-granddaughter, Sienna, gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope. When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.
It’s a double blessings when Grandpa gets down on the floor with his granddaughter. Our son Ty helped Sienna learn how to get a grip on puzzle skills.
Children are blessed indeed when they have a grandma who reads to them. Sienna gets a grip on what books are all about with Grandma Monika’s help.
How special to get a grip on my great-granddaughter, Sienna, and her mommy, Hope … while they get a grip on TazE, our Boston Terrier!
Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together! Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!
Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!
Monika and Hope with Sienna & Xander… They sang Happy Birthday to help me get a grip on turning a year older. Not older… just more mature, right? So nice!
Ty & Monika brought their big dog, Nakota…
… and TazE had trouble getting a grip on having such a big buddy!
She was exhausted! Time to get under the table and get a grip on some rest!
Embrace Butterflies Yes, it’s so easy to do! Figuratively.
Build a chrysalis – Then sequester for a while. Pop! You’re beautiful!
We all sequestered – We had to during COVID- Now we’re emerging.
Some folks are fearful – Thinking COVID’s not over. Maybe it isn’t.
With the variant Running rampant in places, Some crawled back inside.
Some still wear their masks; Some won’t go to restaurants – Prefer home dining.
Remaining inside Is important for some folks – Others spread their wings.
Like these butterflies, Each situation’s different. So, to each his own!
One of the lessons I learned during this past year and a half or so is that no two people react exactly the same to the same stimulus. We hear through our own filters. We see through our own past experiences. We can’t lay our trip on someone else! We all built our own chrysalis and stayed inside as long as we felt we needed to. Some are inside still. We all will emerge more beautiful in our own sweet time, if we allow our “feelers” to engage with our own needs while respecting the needs of others.
Embrace the butterfly. Fly when you’re ready. See ya in Big Sky!
Do you embrace trust? In whom do you place your trust? The Lord says, “Trust Me!”
Then He said to His disciples, “Why can’t you trust Me?”
Are you facing strife? Is life full of challenges? Where do you place trust?
Do you have answers – Solutions all by yourself? Independence sucks!
Interdependence Is what the Lord asks of us. Put your hand in His!
When you reach to Him, Count on His hand there for you. Invest time with God.
Commit to trust Him. Recount His great faithfulness. Put away your doubts.
Give God something small. Then allow yourself to trust Him with bigger things.
Psalm 91 is a profound reminder that nothing can separate us from the love of God. It’s a strong reminder of God’s loving care and protection. It is a call to trust in God, even in the midst of danger. The Psalmist reminds us of the safest place:
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty.”
Bob and I are facing some challenging situations these days related to his health, our own home improvements, and church property decisions. We are not alone in facing these dilemmas, but opinions of others can often be conflicting. The Bible tells us that we must put our trust in the one who stills the waters. Lay our souls bare before the Lord and listen for His mighty word… Watch for His guidance … Seek His counsel.
Often the road to answers has a fork in it. Knowing which path to take requires discernment, openness, and trust.
Victor Salazar and Bob have stayed in touch for 50 years. How has that happened?
Victor was Bob’s wrestling student when Bob coached at Hillsdale High in San Mateo, CA. back in the 1970’s. Every year at Christmas, we exchanged Christmas cards. Victor let us know where he was each year – and his career took him to over 30 different countries! What a joy to have Vic come from Alabama to reconnect with us here in Montana this week!
I have had the fun of that kind of connection with former students, too. This is Ty Stiles and his wife with Bob & me. He was my kindergarten student in 1962! I named our first child, Ty. We never let Ty Stiles out of our sphere of contact. He was in my prayers daily. He came with his wife, Roxanne, from California to visit us a few years ago. About a year after his visit, sadly, Ty left this earth for is eternal home. My memories of him and his visit warm my heart every single day as I look at the cross he welded and sent to us shortly after his visit.
There’s no greater joy Than to reconnect with friends From long, long ago
5 Ways to Keep Long-time Friends
Pray lovingly for them daily.
Be sure to keep them in your address book and write to them often (don’t just rely on social media)
Pick up the phone and talk to them, emptying yourself into them… it’s an investment. Be loyal and be confidential.
Let them know how much they mean to you, but don’t force the relationship. It has to be natural. Don’t insist that the relationship is forever reciprocal. Some friendships are meant to be seasonal… and the season may last years – but maybe not. You can’t control that.
Be honest and transparent with them … let them see your warts. It shows you trust them not to hurt you… and you are trustworthy in return.
Embrace Long-time Friendships Never let those precious folks go Keep them forever in your heart How long we’ll be here, we can’t know
Embrace Long-time Friends My heart’s covered with footprints. How about your heart?
Don’t overlook your life’s importance or minimize its worth. It doesn’t matter if you’re on an allowance or Social Security. No matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.
The vital part of your life never disappears or fades away. Each of us is vital to God. He gives us the courage to go out and live, to heed His call, and step out in faith on a new journey today.
In faithful obedience, lean forward to hear Him. He doesn’t shout. His call is quiet and personal. Get serious. Listen carefully. Are you up for a new journey? Have faith and step out!
I wrote the poem, “Have Faith and Step Out” in 2002 while we were still living in California. I had officially retired from teaching in 1999, but daily I was looking for new direction, new purpose, new adventures. The International Library of Poetry published the poem in its 2002 Anthology of Poetry and sent me a dozen greeting cards with the poem printed on the front of them. Today I am using one of those cards for a friend who is stepping onto a new path.
The poem has become more meaningful in the nearly 20 years since its creation. The older I am, the more I realize, “No matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.” Your age doesn’t matter. Your place doesn’t matter. What matters is your mindset, your faith, your motivation.
Today Bob is out on Lucille (our red-headed ATV on which we have a “Ball”) with his former student, Victor, who is visiting from Alabama. Victor was Bob’s wrestling student back in the 1970’s. He reminded us that Bob also was his Drivers Education teacher. They are on an adventure – going to a lake above Sheridan. Our Boston, TazE, is with them. Ah, yes, step out in faith. Have fun!
Where He leads me, I will follow!
Remember, no matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.
Where are you being called to go today? What are you being called to do? Whatever it is, step out in faith. He will give you grace and glory… He’ll be with you all the way!
When you hear the word “steadfastness,” what comes to mind?
Steadfastness comes from the root word, STEADY. I watched our family in Tahoe last month play that game that tests how steady your hands are and how skilled you are at choosing what can be removed from the wooden pyramid without toppling the whole thing over.
The collegiate definition of steadfast is:
“firmly fixed in place” or “not subject to change” or “firm in belief, determination, or adherence”
Synonyms for steadfastness include:
constant, dedicated, devoted, devout, faithful, fast, steady, and true.
So, when I think of the word steadfastness, I think of faithfulness and dedication. I think of forever friends who stick by us – always there for us in good times and bad. I think of marriage – -the ones that last – and I am grateful for Bob’s steadfastness.
As a Man of God, Bob has exhibited for nearly 60 years the steadfastness of the Lord in our marriage. I am so grateful that God steered me in Bob’s direction when it was time to choose a partner for life. I can substitute Bob’s name for God’s name in this hymn – because Bob’s steadfastness has been so Christ-like. I truly am blessed!
I am grateful that our families (both Bob’s and mine) set an example of faithfulness for us. There have been no divorces among our parents or grandparents for as far back as we can trace our roots. Likewise, our current families have set an example of faithfulness for our children and grandchildren.
Our son, Ty, and his wife, Monika will celebrate 32 years of marriage this September.
Our daughter, DeAna, and her husband, Andre’ have just celebrated their 34th anniversary. Here are Bob & me 34 years ago at her wedding.
The dress she wore was my dress 25 years earlier – and she was married in the same University of Pacific chapel where Bob & I were wed. The steadfastness of family and traditions makes God smile, I’m sure.
Are you smiling, too?
The pillar is our faith – and the ropes are us – connected through faith for a lifetime and eternity – together – firm in belief, determination, and adherence!
When you EMBRACE STEADFASTNESS and consider the application of that word in your life and acquaintances, what image comes to your mind?
Thanks for visitingJanBeek today. See ya tomorrow(God willing)