Talented musician and poet, Laura Sullivan, can look at her stats and know they spell SUCCESS. No doubt about it! When you earn your living as a musician – and you play to be heard, getting two and a half million listeners has got to be a rush. Don’t you think?
How About You?
How about you? Do you care how many followers you have on WordPress? Do you count a successful post by how many likes you get? Or by the number of comments? Or by the viewers the stats show?
Looking at your daily stats can reveal patterns that give you clues about what titles or numbers of posts per day can do.
BUT, they can be very discouraging.
What? All that effort and only 16 likes or comments?
When I look at my stats by the years instead of weeks or months, Wow! How encouraging! What a lot of improvement I made after I decided to post on a regular basis!
Hmmm, do those stats define success for me?
No! I won’t let numbers define me! But, look at those likes and comments for this 2020 year. Now, that can get my blood rolling through my veins at a quicker pace, can’t it?
Is it Numbers?
Oh no, wait! Are numbers why we do this? Are we motivated by our ability to reach out? Do our world views show us what we’re about?
Beware the Comparison Game!
When Cristian Mihai (The Art of Blogging) shows us his world map, every continent is colored in. It’s easy to play that comparison game – and decide you’re never gonna be good enough. Don’t fall into that trap!!
Define Your Purpose
Why do you blog? Is it for numbers? I doubt it!
Some people do it for money … they are full time bloggers and stats mean income. I understand that. But, my guess is that the majority of us are in it for the joy of being inspired and being an inspiration.
That’s my purpose! To spread positivity and optimism and to help us all just “Love One Another” more unconditionally.
When I get a response like the one below, that’s what makes it all worthwhile. That’s what makes my heart swell.
I want to be a “Beacon of Light and Hope.” Don’t we all??
Yesterday I receive this comment:
Yes, I want to be a beacon of hope and light … and be unafraid to tell you where that light originates! I can’t fulfill my purpose alone! Only as I am connected to my source am I authentic enough to inspire. It’s not a candle that keeps burning on its own!
The flame is “This Little Light of Mine” and I don’t intend to hide it under a bushel! Let it SHINE!!!
Who or what electrifies your light? What prompts your posts? Is it to inspire?
Let the stats speak… But don’t let them be your only motivation. SHINE!
My high school buddy from the Stone Age, Doris, sent me a story today. It was written by a guy (no name available) who recalled an experience that stuck with him and changed him forever.
Did the title of this blog draw you in? Stay with me.
The story writer told about the way a young Downs Syndrome man impacted the hearts of all he touched. I was moved by the story – and decided it was too good to keep to myself. I hope it touches your heart, too.
Nicky’s Lesson for Us All
In 1979, I was managing a Wendy’s in Port Richey, Florida. Unlike today, staffing was never a real problem, but I was searching for a someone to work 3 hours a day only at lunch. I went thru all my applications and most were all looking for full time or at least 20 hours per week. I found one however, buried at the bottom of a four inch stack, that was only looking for lunch part time.
His name was Nicky. Hadn’t met him but thought I would give him a call and see if he could stop by for an interview. When I called, he wasn’t in but his mom said she would make sure he would be there. At the appointed time, Nicky walked in. One of those moments when my heart went in my throat. Nicky suffered from Downs Syndrome. His physical appearance was a giveaway and his speech only reinforced the obvious. I was young and very sheltered. Had never interacted on a professional level with a developmentally disabled person. I had no clue what to do, so I went ahead and interviewed him. He was a wonderful young man. Great outlook. Task focused. Excited to be alive. For only reasons God knew at that time, I hired him for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week to run a grill.
I let the staff know what to expect. Predictably the crew made sure I got the message, “No one wants to work with a retard.” To this day I find that word offensive. We had a crew meeting, cleared the air, and prepared for his arrival.
Nicky showed up for work right on time. He was so excited to be working. He stood at the time clock literally shaking with anticipation. He clocked in and started his training. Couldn’t multi-task, but was a machine on the grill.
Now for the fascinating part… Back in that day, there were no computer screens to work from. Every order was called out by the cashier. It required a great deal of concentration on the part of all production staff to get the order right. While Nicky was training during his first shift, the sandwich maker next to him asked the grillman/trainer what was on the next sandwich. Nicky replied, “single, no pickle no onion.” A few minutes later it happened again. It was then that we discovered Nicky had a hidden and valuable skill. He memorized everything he heard! Photographic hearing! WHAT A SKILL SET.
It took 3 days and every sandwich maker requested to work with Nicky. He immediately was accepted by the entire crew. After his shift he would join the rest of his crew family, drinking Coke like it was water! It was then that they discovered another Rainman-esque trait. Nicky was a walking/talking perpetual calendar! With a perpetual calendar as a reference, they would sit for hours asking him what day of the week was December 22, 1847. He never missed. This uncanny trait mesmerized the crew.
His mom would come in at 2 to pick him up. More times than not, the crew would be back there with him hamming it up. As I went to get him from the back, his mom said something I will never forget. “Let him stay there as long as he wants. He has never been accepted anywhere like he has been here.”
I excused myself and dried my eyes, humbled and broken-hearted at the lesson I just learned. Nicky had a profound impact on that store. His presence changed a lot of people. Today I believe with every fiber of my body that Nicky’s hiring was no accident. God’s timing and will are perfect.
This Christmas, I hope we all understand what we are celebrating. We are all like Nicky. We each have our shortcomings. We each have our strong points. But we are all of value. God made us that way and God doesn’t make mistakes. Nicky certainly wasn’t a mistake. He was a valuable gift that I am forever grateful for.
We are celebrating the birth of the ONE that leveled the playing field for all of us. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, republican or democrat, or black or white. He doesn’t care if your chromosome structure is perfect. He doesn’t care what level of education you have attained. He cares about your heart. He wants us all to love and appreciate the gift HE gave us on Christmas, His son, the Savior, our salvation. His Son that was born to die for our sins. To pay our debt. To provide us a path for eternity.
So this Christmas, let’s check our hearts. There is a little bit of Nicky in all of us and I suspect there is a Nicky somewhere in your life who is looking for the chance to be embraced. Thank God for that. Thank God for His perfect gift, Christ Jesus.
Another of my high school friends, Kristy, sent me this sketch done by a 93-year-old friend of hers. What a wonderful rendition of that glorious Christmas Day! Like those two doves, my husband, Bob, and I are sitting in the rafters, peering down on that magical scene – marveling at the love Christ brought down to earth. Grateful for those who share His love in stories, words and actions.
Ready to Learn
May we all be like the workers in that restaurant long ago – ready to learn to love, learn to accept, learn to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable. May we learn to see one another through Jesus glasses, from the inside out.
My resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.” Little did I know when I created those 20/20 Perfect Vision glasses last January 1st what a challenge that would be!
I posted the picture of that little girl in early January, determined to talk less and to do more.
No Way of Knowing
I had no way of knowing when we celebrated the first of five planned Lenten breakfasts leading up to Easter that it would be our last. COVID-19 hit, our gatherings were shut down, and social distancing eliminated these opportunities.
Time to read more, time to think more, time to reflect on stories like the one at the top of this blog.
How will you spend the rest of this 2020 year? What will you do to Walk the Talk and Show the Love of Christ with those you meet? Think about it.
I love you. Thanks for taking time to read JanBeek. I hope it inspires you. Bee well! Bee LOVE.
I’d love to see how you complete one or both of those sentences.
I have given them a lot of thought lately.
Write your sentence before you look below for what I wrote.
I’m alive for a reason. I’m alive because my number hasn’t come up yet! My purpose in life is – to love – to accept love gratefully, – to spread that love far and wide – and to help others seek the Source of that joyous, peace-filled love.
I don’t love because I expect love in return… (but that usually happens). I love because God first loved me, my parents loved me, and I have been blessed with family and friends who love me. My cup overflows… and I NEED to share it.
How did you finish the sentence?
Have a great weekend. Live for your purpose! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
Today is World Mental Health Day. How is your mental health?
The Bible is full of wisdom that applies to mental health. Romans 12:18 is a perfect example. Living in peace with everybody includes Living in Peace with YOURSELF!
Some people live in a self-imposed prison, Locking themselves behind bars of self-hate; They fail to see the self that God created.
We all get those days that we just don’t feel good enough. Everything goes wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons from which we can learn. Here are my top ten verses that uplift and impact me when I’m at the lowest of lows:
1. Philippians 4:13:
I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.
2. Psalm 46:5
God is within her, she will not fall.
3. Proverbs 31:25
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
4. Psalm 28:76
The Lord is my strength and my shield.
5. 1 Corinthians 25:10
By the grace of God, I am what I am.
6. Romans 5:8
I loved you at your darkest.
7. Psalm 62:5-6
Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.
8. 2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
9. 1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10. 2 Chronicles 20:15
The battle is not ours, but God’s.
Keys to Positive Mental Health
The link below to an article by Brittany Morgan offers ten keys to mental health that worked for her. I found the article to be greatly inspiring. Among her ten ideas that resonated most with me was #1:
1. Unfollowed ‘energy vampires’ on all social media platforms
This one might need a little explaining, so bear with me. An energy vampire is basically anyone who comes into your life and drains you of your positive energy. (Or, any energy in general, for that matter.) I’ve been unlucky enough, as I’m sure you have as well, to meet several of these energy vampires in real life. I’ve decided this past year to unfollow any and all energy vampires on all of my forms of social media, and you should, too.
Life is too short to expend any extra energy on perpetually negative people.
If you agree with her thinking on that idea, you may want to click the link below to see the other nine points she makes.
10 Things I’ve Done For My Mental Health Since Last Year’s World Mental Health Day
On Mental Health Day, I wish you great peace and joy. Let God take your cares.
Lift them up to Him And let them just float away; Replace them with love –
With LOVE for yourself – Remember your Creator Made you to be loved.
When LOVE is poured out, The empty cup returns full! God replaces it.
Put your hand in the hand of the One who stilled the waters Put your hand in the hand of the One who calmed the seas Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee!
Don’t miss this wonderful song from 1970… One of my favorites!!
Play it again!! Sing along! Put your hand in God’s hand And have a peace-filled World Mental Health Day.