Embrace thoughtfulness. Express appreciation. Take none for granted.
Express thoughtfulness. Embrace opportunities To show gratitude.
Thank you, WordPress friends, For being so very kind. I love your comments!
“But I rejoice with a deep and holy joy that now at length you have revived your thoughtfulness for my welfare. Indeed you have always been thoughtful for me,
But I rejoice with a deep and holy joy that now at length you have revived your thoughtfulness for my welfare. Indeed you have always been thoughtful for me…”
Ba no kuuki wo yomu culture in Japan. The ability of “Sensing someone’s feelings” generates thoughtfulness in Japanese culture and “understanding the situation without words”
A Thoughtful Tenacious Man
Thoughtful is not just how you treat others, but it is how you treat yourself, too. It is how you embrace life.
Steve Jobs is a man who faced many challenges in his life – experienced enormous success – and endured failures that would have devastated a more thoughtful, tenacious man.
A while after he knew his life span was limited, he gave an address to a group of college graduates. It is labeled as “One of the Greatest Speeches Ever.” It will give you pause to be thoughtful … and to experience the rest of your life much more thoughtfully. Do take time to hear it (even if you have done so already).
Ten thoughtful take-aways from Steve’s message:
Your beginnings in life do not have to define your life’s endings
Being a drop-out does not have to make you a loser. Trust that it will work out OK.
Tenaciously stumble into opportunities as you discover them. Grab them!
Dropping out may give you a chance to drop in to something better.
Find what you love and thoughtfully pursue it.
Don’t be afraid to start over; enjoy the lightness of being a beginner again.
Don’t lose faith.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
Live each day as if it is your last.
Death clears out the old to make room for the new… your life is limited. Make the most of it.
Embrace Thoughtfulness. Live thoughtfully!
What did you think of that Steve Jobs address?
Thanks for visiting – and thoughtfully responding.
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?
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)
When are you the most creative? Where do your creative juices flow most freely? What’s your God-given creative talent?
I am not a painter. I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.
Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?
When children are given the tools and the examples early in life, often that becomes the springboard for a life of artistic talent shared.
No one told me that my scribbles might lead to a creative talent that would be appreciated by others!
But, I was encouraged to sing as a child. That was a talent that did not go unnoticed. How could you ignore it when I was a 3-year-old singing “Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee” all the way through the hymns at church. Singing loudly and joyfully!
Hah! It was during the time of WWII and a popular song was “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with Anyone Else But Me).”
You’re probably not old enough to remember it!! Go ahead, click on it here. You’ll love it!!
So how did my “Appo Tee” singing graduate into a full-blown creative talent? Like any talent, it takes involvement, participation, practice.
I have been a member of a choir for as long as I can remember… … always in school, then in church, and eventually our community choir. I am not a soloist, but I love singing in a duet or trio or with a large group. Recently our church choir was able to start up again… it is such a joy!
Once I even got to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during one of their dress rehearsals for their Christmas concert!
The rendition below of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it. I love it so much!
If your talent is not singing or painting, maybe you developed a talent in another area – like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.
Of course, one major talent I forgot mention Is instrumental music … the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument… Such talent brings so much joy to the player as well to a world of listeners.
I played the accordion and the clarinet as a child and continued to do so until just recently. My accordion is not functioning, there’s a hole in the bellows.
Perhaps I will find another small accordion that I can handle… and will resume that creative endeavor. The children at the day care center and the residents at our local Nursing Home enjoyed it!
Here’s just a small clip – (it’s only 10 seconds!!) of me playing for the residents at my sister’s place in PA a couple of years ago. (I won’t burden you with too much of this!) Hah!
My cousin always used to send me comic strips about the accordion. One was a guy entering heaven and the angel said, “Welcome to Heaven, here’s your harp.” The other was a gal entering Hades. The angel greeted her and said, “Welcome to Hell, here’s your accordion.”
Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!
The question remains: What are your God-given talents? Have you developed an area of creativity?
I forgot to mention writing!! Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?
But, even this writing talent doesn’t improve without practice, right? Never stop learning and trying to improve – regardless of the area of creativity… gardening & photography (Derrick) – poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.) cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn) You know who you are… and what you need to do!
Our library was having a book sale last week. For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book. Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated, and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer. Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice. And feedback always helps!
Roses are red. Violets are pink. I’m an emerging poet. Man, don’t I stink?
No, don’t badmouth yourself!! Keep workin’ at it…
Embrace Creativity! Tell me about yours…
Thanks for sharing! See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
My friend, Lee, sent me a You.Tube video today. He said it was “worth your time and thoughts.” I agree!. It was narrated by a guy with a wonderful British accent. I bet it was created several years ago. The words in blue below are his. The red is my editorial comment about that item!
Whether you wear a $300. or a $3. watch, they both tell the same thing.
But the whole deal is, this watch does so much more than tell time! And it costs way more than $300. . Price tag = $539.98
Whether you carry a $300. or a $30. handbag, the amount of money inside is still the same.
This one actually is a $2,350. Guggi If you buy it, you’ll certainly have less money to put inside! Don’t you have better things to do with your money??
Whether we drive a $150,000. car or a $30,000. car, the road and distance are the same… and we get to the same destination.
But, the Ferrari is so much more fun! And you can certainly go faster! (If you survive at those speeds, that is)
Whether you drink a bottle of $300. or a $10. bottle of wine, the hangover is the same.
But Wine Spectator Magazine says, “It’s not as if wines that cost $10. or less are going to make you feel bad, or that wines that cost over $50 are never going to give you a hangover… How much wine you consume is the biggest variable…” So, in both cases, it’s the whole bottle? Not a good idea regardless of the price!
Whether the house you live in is 300 sq. ft. or a huge mansion with 30,000 sq. ft., loneliness is the same.
Yes, you can be lonely in a shack or you can be lonely in a castle. The size of the house has little to do with it. But, remember loneliness and alone are two different animals. Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. And just because you have a kajillion people around you doesn’t mean you feel loved. It has nothing to do with the size of your house… it’s the size of your heart!
Whether you fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down – you go with it.
True! But aren’t some seats safer than others? An article in the Huffington Post – when asked about the safest place to sit to a plane – wrote this, “Each incident or crash is unique. Impact could come from a nosedive, a water landing, or a runway collision. As a result there is no safest seat.”The good news in that article, though, is “Air travel is the safest form of transportation in the country.” Bon Voyage!! . .
In that same video sent to me this morning by my friend, Lee, this interesting addition was included:
Five Undeniable Facts of Life
Don’t educate your children to be rich; Educate them to be happy, so when they grow up, they will look for the VALUE of things, not the price.
2. Eat your food (a balanced diet) as your medicine otherwise you will have to eat medicine as your food.
3. The ones who love you will never leave you for another because even if there are 100 reasons to give up, s/he will find one reason to hold on.
4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human… Only a few really understand it.
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage.
May as well manage joyfully! Embrace Values and live the good life…
When your sunset comes, You will have no regrets!
Good night, my friends. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
In my reading this morning, These Days – Daily Devotionals for Living by Faith, I was inspired by the commentary of Robin Gallaher Branch of Memphis, Tennessee. The scripture that motivated her thoughts was from Ezekiel 1-2:1
The word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar, and the hand of the Lord was on him there.
What Does That Scripture Mean?
Study that painting. Obviously artists have been inspired by this scripture. But somehow, as I read it again, the depth of its meaning escaped me. I was not quite sure what to make of it. Robin Branch, on the other hand, saw “A Vision is a Divine Interruption.”
She wrote, “I tell my students this: Expect Divine Interruptions.”
Why? Because they occur regularly in the Bible.
And that is what she understood was happening to Ezekiel in this passage. She wrote, “He was minding his own business when the heavens suddenly opened.”
Another artist depicted the scene this way:
Wow! Robin Branch describes it in words, “He saw four living creatures in human-like forms. Each had four faces: those of human being, lion, ox, and eagle… When the creatures moved, their wings sounded like mighty waters.”
What did he do? Ezekiel’s response was, “I fell on my face.” (verse 28)
God Interrupts Our Lives
Ezekiel shows us what to do when God interrupts our lives with a vision, a dream, or an angelic encounter. Worship and wait to be addressed!
But, how many of us have had God present Himself to us in a vision or a dream or an angelic encounter?
Maybe more of us than we realize! Do we open our eyes and hearts to recognize those defining moments? Do we see the angels in our midst? Do we know God makes divine appointments with us? Do we feel His presence?
Live in Expectancy
Do you live in a state of expectation, looking to see God in others? Do you know God is making broken things brand new? I see God in you! I see God in the defining moments of my life.
Daily Word, a Unity Publication, provides a daily word (or words) to ponder. It has a short devotional to enhance the word. Today’s word was “Expectation.” In the commentary, the title was, “Expectation keeps my mind positive and my heart full.
“Living in a state of expectancy kindles a quiet excitement in my heart, keeping me passionate about life.”
If I live in expectancy, I encounter defining moments …
Moments that define us are often not recognized until years later.
What are Defining Moments?
Of course, if you are married happily, you know a defining moment in your life is your wedding. That one is easy to recognize.
Defining moments are those that impact you, change your direction, or reinforce it. They change your thinking. They wake you up to an Ah-hah moment, or they sit quietly in your subconscious – ready for the day you are prepared to recognize their impact and put their lesson to work in your life.
I asked Bob, as we were together in our sanctuary this morning, doing our Bible Study and devotionals, “What are the defining moments of your life?”
Right away, he said, “Our wedding day.”
See, I told you.. that one’s a given. Especially for folks like us who have stuck it out through thick and thin for 59 years!
Not All Are Positive
Not all of your defining moments are going to be the mountaintop experiences. Some are experienced in the valleys of our lives.
One of mine was when I had a burst appendix. I thought I was constipated and that’s why I ached so much. I tried laxatives. I tried a therapeutic massage. It just got worse. Finally the pain was so intense, I couldn’t sleep and I was crying out. Bob took me at midnight to the emergency room in the hospital just 5 minutes from home. They ran a bunch of tests, took x-rays, thought it was diverticulitis. Sent the x-rays to the larger hospital in Bozeman (an hour’s drive away). The doctors there looked at them and called to say, “Get that lady in here right now! She has a burst appendix.”
Why was this a “defining moment”? A dear lady (one of our medical center volunteers named Donna) road with me in the ambulance to Bozeman held my hand and prayed with me the whole way. She was an angel on earth! She helped me survive the painful ride to the hospital. Once there, the doctors told me I could have died. At my age (I was 79 or 80), many don’t survive such an ordeal.
it’s probably not a good idea to ignore excruciating pain or self-medicate
it’s not wise to diagnose your own ailment
a prayer angel can make all the difference between life/death and comfort/agony
Some Defining Moments are Very Positive
A mountaintop defining moment for me occurred when I was only 16 years old. It was the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I was attending a summer “Music Therapy Clinic” at the College of the Pacific. One of our participants was a little boy named Jeremy. He about 4 years old and had never spoken. He had a voice. He could scream when he was upset. He could moan. He could whimper. But he had not spoken any words.
My music therapy counselor/teacher, Mrs. Harbert, was playing the piano. We all were sitting on the floor in a circle. Each of us had a child in our lap. Mine was Jeremy. Mrs. Harbert was playing a non-sensical, very rhythmic song. Its only word was “Hospodipomilwi.”
I bounced Jeremy on my lap and sang quietly in his ear.
All of a sudden, Jeremy began to sing!! “Hospodipomilwi”
A year or so later, I saw Jeremy and his mom when I was shopping near the college. She said, “I can’t believe I used to pray for him to speak. Now I can’t get him to stop talking!”
There is no greater thrill than to help a needy child
Music is magical
I wanted a career where I could work with children and music
God’s Divine Interruptions Change Us
We were living in California. Bob was still working as a beekeeper. I was retired. He wasn’t sure he was ready to retire yet, but we talked about it. We didn’t know where we wanted to live after his retirement, but we were pretty sure we didn’t want to stay in California. The state was growing in population faster than the the infra-structure could handle the numbers.
Then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Life changed. We changed.
I won’t take you through the whole three year process, just suffice to say, it was a defining moment! His cancer caused us to reevaluate where we were, who we were, and where we wanted to be.
It is the reason we now live in this place we call God’s Country, Ennis Montana.
The Road of Life is Filled with Defining Moments
The road of life is filled with highs, lows, mountaintops and valleys, potholes and gravel.
When life knocks you down, when you are going along minding your own business and the heavens open up, or the bridge collapses and you fall into a crevice, remember Ezekiel.
He fell on his face. He called out to God. He waited for God to direct him.
Let God’s still small voice direct you. Like my Donna, watch for the angels all around you.
Let His strength illuminate your path. Like Josh Williams, see God in others and let their strength encourage you.
Let the defining moments speak to you. Like Jeremy, find your voice and sing! Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi
When I searched to see if I have used this theme of tenacity already this year, I found a link to “Tenacity Defined” written a couple of years ago … before I started the current “Embrace” series. So, I decided it was OK to use the theme again because I have whole different take on it now.
So much has happened in these last three years since that 2018 post. Among the defining “happenings” is COVID-19. Impacting my view of life has been the way in which the pandemic exposed some of our worst tendencies. The issue of racism raised its ugly head. (I guess it never really was hidden)… but … In spite of the tenacity of people who to this day follow the non-violent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., there has been an increase in violent crime – and especially racially motivated hatred.
I saw images of people of Asian descent being knocked to the ground, innocent little Chinese ladies being beaten, and people standing by observing these horrendous acts – and doing nothing to stop them.
Where does tenacity fit in to this line of thinking?
Jeremy Liew from Riverside, Connecticut wrote in Time Magazine this week, “The last year made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.” In his article titled, Newfound Empathy, he explains his discomfort, ending with, “I am still uncomfortable, but now I am confident. I appreciate who I am. I am grateful for what I have – my education and health, and my three annoying sisters.”
Jeremy’s tenacious attitude, at the tender young age of 13, does not come magically. He must have some role models out there who are helping him appreciate his uniqueness, and value his attributes.
The song’s theme of “Never Give Up” reminds me that change comes slowly, but it comes. Like MLK,Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, we need to adopt that attitude of hope. Tenaciously hang on to HOPE. And then we need to live it! We need to be able to say, along with Jeremy Liew, “I am confident.”
In 1936, when she was a bride, transplanted from Washington to central California, my mom had a habit of cutting favorite poems out of the newspaper and taping them to a piece of cardboard. She hung that cardboard inside her kitchen cabinet.
It is now hanging inside my kitchen cabinet here in Montana. I treasure it… and I hold tenaciously to the lessons those various poems teach me. What a legacy, huh? The poem above was brought to mind today by Ann Koplow’s wonderful blog. She titled her post:
“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.”
It takes TENACITY to look for and find the good in others. But it is so worth it!! I have a plaque in my dining room that reminds me of this fact. Here it is:
In that Time Magazine article, Jeremy Liew went on to explain, “I was uncomfortable being singled out for how I look (I am an Asian American Pacific Islander). A year ago, people looked at me as f I had COVID-19 or brought it to my community…”
Since when do we traumatize people because of the way they look? Since when do we marginalize them and make them feel inferior?
You say, “Since time immortal”??
Well, I say, “Well, It is time to make a change!”
As the song at the top of this blog says, “I will take a chance to be who I’m meant to be. I won’t let fear keep me from trying. It’s time for me to make a change. Start living the life I want. I’m gonna reach for the sky way up high. I’m never giving up. It’s up to me to see who I can be. Make change reality. I’m never giving up.”
Not only do I need to live the life I want and be who God made me to be, but I need to spread that message to others. Find the gold in them. Encourage them to be all that God made them to be, too.
One of my favorite bloggers is Cristian Mihai “The Art of Blogging” … If you go to his About page and read his explanation of who he is, you will see that it ends with these 4 lines:
“Sometimes I think I am who I am because someone has to be.
I believe it’s always strangers who ask the most difficult question.
‘Who are you?‘
I just wrote 1,500 words and I’m still not sure you know who I am.“
That last link is one of Cristian’s blogs that I think is so powerful that I told him he needs to bookmark it and read it when he is 80, because he writes about the trials of being a 20-something-year-old. He writes it now as a 31-year-old who has wisened beyond his years. He looks at life through very unique lenses. He is tenacious about passing along to others “The Art of Blogging” with the hope of improving us all.
The road to our best self is a long and arduous one. No one ever said it was gonna be easy. After all, we’re only human! But in our humanity is a divine core. We were made in God’s image. We are His Beloved. So, when I talk about finding the gold, that’s the core I am talking about.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Do you have something you are needing to do? Something you might feel ill equipped to accomplish? Or maybe, just not as strong as you thought you might be… and needing to take it one baby step at a time? Well, that’s where tenacity comes in. Start slowly… work yourself up to the full extent of your power … the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
Mom used to tell me, “Everything worth having is worth working for!”
I believe it. And that includes things like love, equality, unity, strength, freedom, peace, clarity, and direction.
One thought at a time. One step at a time. One act at a time.