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Archive for the ‘Promises’ Category

Embrace Emptiness


Lest our cup be emptied,
There’s no room for any more.
Lest we leave the empty tomb
We won’t know what is in store.

So, let’s embrace the emptiness
With gratitude and grace
Knowing that on the morn,
We’ll see the Savior’s face.

Meantime, in the emptiness
Of this quiet Holy Saturday,
Contemplate the miracle of His grace
And thank Him for coming our way.

Today we experience loneliness
Like the day after a loved one’s funeral…
But tomorrow we will understand
The gift He gave of Life Eternal.

God bless you, my friends.
I send my love,
JanBeek

Embrace Expectation


Photo by Laura Garcia on Pexels.com

What do you expect
When you hear “Expectation”?

Embrace Marriage


Happy 59th Anniversary today to my sweetheart, Bob, my life’s partner!!

February 11, 1962
Bob & his brother, Bill…
The week when we first met…
What a ham!!
While we were dating, and engaged,
I was bridesmaid in Bob’s sister, Bonnie’s wedding.
Our engagement was “trying times”

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!!

In the car – after the wedding – headed for the reception
We were married nearly three years
before I became pregnant
There’s DeDe and Ty with Bob –
-blowing out his birthday candles

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.

Bob curled his hair when he became a beekeeper in the 70’s.
We had lots of fun on weekends in the winter
going skiing together.

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!

I was teaching in Hughson, Ceres, and Modesto, CA in those days.
Then I moved into administration for a dozen years.
Principal and Curriculum Coordinator
Time passed.
Gray hair started to change our appearance!
We both claim we were the one who loved the most!!
After retirement, we were able to travel.
I dyed my hair for awhile before I learned to embrace the gray.
(That’s a good topic for another day)

Our Daughter, De

In 1987, our daughter, DeAna, married Andre’, a Swiss (the first cousin of our AFS exchange student).

She wore my wedding dress 25 years after I did!

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).

Thank you, Diana Housel, for this gorgeous photo of our dear 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!!!

You will recall, they have a restaurant there!
We NEED to go and see it in person!!

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!!

Pleeeease God, help us be able to travel to CA in June!
I need to see my darling great-granddaughter, Cosette!

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!

With God every day is full
of simple delights
and unexpected joys.

Couples that pray together, stay together.
And it helps to do other things together, too!

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…

The road is long… and
We’ve come a long way together.

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.

Happy Anniversary,
Sweetheart Bob.
I love you!

Wherever you lead me, I will follow…
I’ll go with you, with you, all the way!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed February 11th.
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Hope


My Favorite Student

Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites.
Right?

Ty, Roxanne (Merri), Jan & Bob

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!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

And every day when it was time to go home,
the girls all waved to Ty,
“Bye, Ty!”
they would swoon.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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!

Here’s my Ty with his little sister, DeAna.

Ah yes, my Ty is a sweetheart, just like his namesake!

See the sweetness sparkle?
Both Tys are a little older now!

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.”

Jeremiah 20:11

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.”

I wrote about Ty when he came to visit us
here in Montana a couple of years ago.
Here is the blog link:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/05/25/gift-from-the-heart/

A Gift from the Heart

After Ty & Roxanne left, they sent us a thank you gift for our hospitality. He created this cross for us. It hangs on my dining room wall as a constant reminder of my special student, Ty Stiles.

Notice the three bars?
Ty said they represent the Trinity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Please Heal Ty!!

Embrace Hope

“May the God of Hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him.”

Romans 15:13

The reign of Christ,
both present and in the future,
is our foundation of Hope.

Take Peace

“And in despair I bowed my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will toward men.

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep –
God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail –
With peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Embrace Peace.
Embrace Love.
Embrace Joy.
Embrace Prayer.
Embrace Hope.

See ya tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting
and praying with
JanBeek

I CAN Keep it Simple


If you have followed my blog for a month or more,
you have seen this journal before.
The topics are inspired by life and living.
I have written about:
I CAN
Volunteer
Share
Bee Hospitable
Tackle Transitions
etc.

Little did I know when I wrote some of those how difficult some would become. Hospitality requires guests, right? Well, so much for that! Most of our friends are afraid in this pandemic world to socialize.

Little did I know how hard it would become to volunteer. Most of my volunteer activities are forbidden right now. I can’t be a “Purple Lady” at the medical center desk. Our auxiliary couldn’t hold its fund raiser this year. We couldn’t earn the money to donate for new equipment and/or medical supplies as we have done in the past.

Yes, that’s right… $31,700. donated .
And remember, we are a little town of about 1,000 residents!
We couldn’t have our usual Madison Valley
Medical Center Christmas party.

Little did I realize how many opportunities I would have to “Tackle Transitions.” Back in June of 2018 when I wrote on that topic, God knew what was coming, but none of us had a clue. My transitions poem was prophetic:

Times of transition
Can be disconcerting –
Facing the unknown
Running, dodging, skirting.

Life is full of changes;
Nothing stays the same.
Rolling with the punches –
Listening for our name.

In the “roll call” of life,
Showing up to be
Ready for transitions
Sometimes is difficult for me.

But I know the Leader
Is my Maker who decides
What my next assignment is.
In Him my life abides.

So, embrace the coming changes;
Set aside all fear and sorrow.
Joyfully put your hand in His;
He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.

Choosing JOY in the midst of this pandemic is not easy.
My list of “I Can” do’s has changed this year.
But, I try to keep it positive:

I CAN
Believe
Only Imagine
ReJOYce
Whistle!

You recognize some of those. They became blogging themes.
This morning’s I CAN prompted today’s post:

I CAN
Keep it Simple

No large family gatherings
No stockings stuffed with toys
No sounds of giggling laughter
From excited girls and boys

No trudging through the snow
With accordion on my back
No carols at windows
Or St. Nicholas with his sack

It’s a different sort of year
COVID-19 has changed us quite a lot
We cancelled our travel plans
And we altered what we bought

Christmas Day will be different
We can mourn the things we miss
Or we can vow to keep it simple
Pray for those we cannot kiss

The virus and death took too many –
They’re in Heaven with our Lord
Let us focus on Christ Jesus
And the grace He richly poured.

Believe the Christmas promise
Jesus came to save our souls
Eternity knows no endings
His love comforts and consoles

Keep it Simple!

This nativity is over a hundred years old.
It belonged to my grandmother.
I treasure its simplicity.
My sister is one who went to her eternal home this year.
Sally would have been 83 on December 20th.
Eternity knows know endings.
I will see her again someday.
I Believe!
Thank You, Jesus!!

Have a Beautiful Christmas Week!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See you tomorrow.

Protected


I’m told Mother’s milk
Protects a baby at birth
And provides comfort

Photo by Cleyder Duque on Pexels.com

It’s a bit risque’
To post such a photograph
But it proves a point

Innocent Babies
Who nurse on their mother’s milk
Have immunity

Like that babe in arms
We, too, are safe – protected
In the arms of God

Job 11:18

“And you will have confidence,
because there is hope;
you will be protected
and take your rest
in safety.”

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Prayer of Protection

The light of God surrounds me
The love of God enfolds me
The power of God protects me
The presence of God watches over me
Wherever I am, God is.

My Sanctuary

I repeat that prayer
As I begin every day,
Standing in this spot.

I turn off the light
And let God’s light shine through me –
Reflecting His Love.

Everywhere I go,
I have faith that everything
Has His protection.

My view from my sanctuary

The Bible is full
Of protection promises
Here’s three hours worth!!!

No, I don’t expect you to sit here for three hours
and listen to all these scriptures, but they prove a point…
just as that nursing baby proves a point.
Protection is out there.
Protection is yours.
“Wherever I am, God is.”
Believe it! Own it!

God is my refuge… my Savior.
Jesus said, “Never will I leave you.
Never will I forsake you.”

I pray you feel His protection this day, too.

God bless you!

I hope you found comfort here.

The Lord is my Shepherd….
He refreshes my soul
and guides me along the right path.
Fear no evil…

See you tomorrow.
Hugs, JanBeek

When I first told my family…


We were having one of my favorite meals, spaghetti with meat sauce, when I first told my family that I had broken up with my fiance’. My dad nearly choked on his mouthful. My mom shoved her plate of spaghetti half-way across the table!

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

To this day, I can’t eat spaghetti with meat sauce without remembering that day.

My fiance’ and I had been engaged for about a year. He was in the army, stationed in Germany. I was a senior in college, missing the social life, trying to remain true to my engagement. I wanted to attend the school’s dances and other social functions. It was hard!

Rather than being untrue to my boyfriend who was so far away (we had not seen each other in six months), I broke off with him. Obviously, my parents were devastated. Especially when they learned the guy I wanted to date was a divorce’.

“Why buy a used car when you can have a new one?” my dad finally spoke. Then he got up and walked out of the room. (Yes, Dad was a man of few words, but a list of prejudices a mile long!)

Mom followed him, without speaking a word. That was so unlike her.

Proverbs 6: 20-23

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 21 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. 23 For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.

The man I broke up with was from a family very much like my own. He grew up in the same area I did. We shared common roots. My parent and his got along wonderfully. The man I wanted to date was nine years older than I. I won’t get into why he was so attractive to me, but suffice to say, my parents’ dismay touched me deeply.

They let me have my “fling.” They did not bad-mouth my new friend. But when my ex-boyfriend came home on leave, they invited him over. When I returned home from college that weekend, he was there. I realized how much I loved him. That love has carried us through 58 years of marriage. Not always perfect, not always blissful, but always respectful, and always knitted together in prayer, faith in God, and common purpose. The love has grown as years passed – and I am grateful every day for my parents’ wisdom.

Put a plate of spaghetti and meatballs in front of me. I can taste the kindness of my parents in every meatball. I can hear my mom’s silence and feel her prayers in every slurp of pasta. I feel my dad’s concern about age differences and divorce. I keep their love in my heart with every Italian meal! God bless ’em!!

Today at d’Verse we are trying a new form of poetry. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary experiences of a second one.   There are over 80 types of synesthesia described by science.   Nearly every combination of sensory experiences or cognitive concepts is possible.

Seeing music as colors is one form of synesthesia. Perceiving letters as personalities is another one, or seeing numbers in color. Even hearing colors or touching smells.

How about tasting memories?
Do you have any of those?

Photo by Ali Nafezarefi on Pexels.com

This post is a combination prompt: 1) My Madison Valley Writers’ Group Prompt was the title of the blog, and 2) the d’Verse prompt informed the style and content. It’s not poetry… but it may qualify as Synesthesia. What do you think?

My Italian Daddy and me

See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

Be Braided


When you see the word “Braid,” what do you think of?

Photo by Bran Sodre on Pexels.com

Those braids appear to be two strong strands twisted together.
(Isn’t she beautiful?)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Likewise, this rope seems to have two strong strands twisted, right?

Photo by Roman Koval on Pexels.com

When I used to braid my daughter’s hair, I needed three strands to create the braid.

Today’s devotional made me think about these various braids and contemplate the strength of the three strands. Here was the scripture:

Eccelesiates 4:12

“And though a man might prevail
against one who is alone,
two will withstand him –
a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Katie Minter Jones in “Mornings with Jesus” by Guideposts wrote a devotional based on that scripture. In it she recounted how difficult the days of early marriage were as she and her husband “struggled through difficult times.”

She quoted a friend as saying, “Together we worked hard to get where we are now. It definitely takes two to make a marriage work, and that’s not fifty-fifty. Each person has to give 100%.” Finger pointing and trying to divvy stuff up 50-50 leads to disaster.

One of her lady friends said, “It takes three to make a successful marriage, the husband, the wife, and Jesus.” Each person must give 100% to each other and 100% to Jesus.”

That seems like a tall order! But doing so creates the three strands that make the braid unbreakable. Couples need to walk with Jesus to have a strong marriage.

Here’s my take on what that looks like.

The tie that binds

When our hearts are bound in love around our Lord’s cross, His mercy and grace strengthen our relationship and help us grow closer. As we walk hand in hand, praying and staying together in love, God blesses us. Jesus Christ strengthens us. The Holy Spirit braids our hearts in His love and care. Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian Love. Be braided!

Write your spouse a love letter today and include a prayer.

Here are mine…

Dear Bob,
I am so grateful for your love and for our mutual reliance on Jesus, our Lord. Thank you for praying with me, staying with me, putting Christ first in our lives, and relying on Him during our times of struggle. His sacrificial love is the perfect reminder of how we need to take care of each other. His presence binds us in purpose and braids us with His promises and His peace. Thank you!
Love Forever and Ever, Rockie ;o) ❤

Dear God,
Thank you for blessing our marriage and knitting our hearts together. May my blogging friends find that same peace and grace and purpose in life. May they sense Your guidance in their relationships and be braided with You. Amen.
In His Care, Jan

Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Let the light of God shine on your relationship,
be central to your lives,
and braid you together with peace and purpose.
God bless you!


See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

What a Friend!


Today I received in my “Messages” a picture of a dear friend who is fighting cancer. She is in a hospital bed at home. Her family is gathered around and her BFF (best friend forever) is on her way to be at her bedside. My heart goes out to the BFF and to my friend’s husband and children. Seeing a friend preparing to leave this earth is soooo hard!

But, my dear friend is a devoted Christian, and she knows where she is headed. She does not fear death, because she has a friend in Jesus – and she believes in God and His promises. It’s comforting to know where you will spend eternity. It’s just hard on those left behind.

Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was the perfect topic for this day when my heart is aching because my dear friend and her family are suffering.

Today we had a guest minister, Phil Taylen. Here are my

Sermon Notes on: “Friendship Sharing”

Friendship is a special thing.
In it we all are connected.
In the New Testament, we see how
In God’s friendship, we all are protected.

The best part of friendship is
Sharing with each other the Good News,
Asking one another and telling them
Of how Jesus opens new views.

God cares about our friendship.
He opens His arms to you.
Through Christ, He came to show us
How to love as He loves: True.

As believers, we need YES faces;
Our countenance should show Trust.
God’s light should shine through us.
Radiate His love; We MUST!

To communicate God’s love
We must be trustworthy and fair.
We must share our eternal vision,
And tell our friends we’ll all be there!*

(*there is our eternal home
with Christ and one another)

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Share the simplicity of scripture,
Be sure the promise of God is heard.
He gave His only begotten Son
To save our souls. Believe His Word!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

Lean on Him and His promises.
Know that when your Christian friends
Leave this earth, they are going
To heaven … where eternal life never ends.

See you “there,” my friends!

See ya tomorrow.

Pray for my friend, Gloria, will you?
And I pray for you…
that you have faith in His promises, too.
Love ya,
JanBeek

Are You Trustworthy?


Today’s sermon was based on the story of two sons, asked to help their dad. One said yes and didn’t do it, the other said no, but did it anyway. Do you know that story? Imagine those were your sons.

Which of the two sons would you consider trustworthy? How would you react to their replies and subsequent behavior?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley, at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT spoke on that topic today, inspired by the story in Matthew 21: 28-31.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

As usual, I listened to the sermon and took my notes in poetry. He started out by telling us about his grandmother’s advice to him when he announced (after graduating from college) that he had decided to go to seminary:

“When you stand up to preach,
Don’t scold those who don’t come.
They aren’t there to hear it,”
My grandmother advised (she wasn’t dumb!).

“When you preach – remember
To stomp on your own feet first.
When you do that,” my grandma said,
“You’ll serve living water to those who thirst.”

In today’s scripture, we heard
Of two sons and their replies.
One said yes and didn’t do it.
The other, “No!” but did it. Which one cries?

The one who failed to follow through
Was the one who’ll live with regret.
Unlike him, we need to be obedient.
Don’t say yes – and then forget!

Paul Tillick said, “In every human heart
Is a faint recollection of our Maker.”
If that’s true, we can see God
Even in the disobedient faker.

The second son may have said “Yes, but…”
In his response of a silent “No,”
Other things may have taken precedence,
But he didn’t want his “No” to show.

How many times do we say yes
And then fail to follow through?
Better to say No and then do it.
I want to be trustworthy; how about you?

What jobs are you being asked to do?
Are they tasks you look forward to?
Or are you dragging your feet?

Photo by Rodolfo Quiru00f3s on Pexels.com
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Schedule it for tomorrow
After a relaxing Sunday afternoon/evening.
And then…
Just Do It!

Hugs,
JanBeek

Bye for now!
As your trustworthy blogger,
I’ll see you tomorrow.

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