“You will find enough of the abnormal in the so-called normal to meet your needs,” Mrs Wilhelmina Harbert said to me.
A Country Living quote shared by Sue Newell prompted me to remember that advice from my college counselor. I was majoring in music therapy. It was my junior year. I was having sleepless nights.
Music Therapy jobs were few and far between. Most were in State Hospitals where severely disturbed patients were. The thorns in my dear music therapy patients at the Stockton State Hospital where I was interning kept me from seeing their beauty. I only saw their distress. And I cared too much. I couldn’t leave the thorns behind when I left. I carried them with me.
Mrs. Harbert wisely suggested I switch my major to regular education. “You love people. You care about them. Our public school classrooms need people like you.” So, in my senior year, I began the work of obtaining my regular elementary education teaching credential.
Smartest move I could have made!
I used my music 🎶 as therapy every day in the classroom with countless so-called normal kids. It helped calm the abnormal in them. I helped them appreciate their uniqueness. (I’ll write more about how music therapy worked in another blog later that week.)
It’s fun to know I have a lot of the abnormal in my so-called “Normal” self!
I looked in the mirror, My face reflected there Showed lines of fear and worry, The strain of daily care. I looked into a quiet pool, Green branches framed my face. Snow-white cloud passed overhead, Some care seemed to erase.
The Winds of Fate – by Salesian Missions
I found myself in a shady nook My cares confessed to Him. I felt Him near and knew that He was looking deep within. I looked into His loving eyes; Reflecting back to me Was one I’d never truly known … The “Self” He’d helped me be. I looked into the mirror. Sweet peace reflected there. His perfect love had touched my life. He had erased all care.
Anna Lee Edwards McAlpin
Look into His face, my friends. Let Him into your heart. Let Him erase all cares. Feel His loving arms around you. Live in His peace.
Love Lives in His Enormous Heart Ready to share now Peace
Sending to you the Love, Joy and Peace that are mine through Christ.
He coined “Boldacious” And I immediately Claimed it as my own
Dwight: Roth Poetry Recognized the “Me” in it It’s a perfect word
“The righteous are bold because they know that God is for them and what they have to say is important.”
What does the Bible say about boldness? Being bold is having courage and speaking out against what’s wrong no matter what others think or say. It’s doing God’s will and continuing on the path that He put you on regardless of the hardship you face. When you’re bold you know God is always on your side so there’s never a reason to fear.
Are you Boldacious? You have every reason to be! You are unique! Use your uniqueness to the max!! You gotta be you!
1 Peter 4:10-11
God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God Himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God. All glory and power to Him forever and ever! Amen.
Step out BOLDACIOUSLY You gotta be all God made you to be TO THE MAX!
Have a boldacious day. Love from BoldaciousJanBeek
Staying young while growing older begins with a mind-set.
Notice I did not say, “Growing OLD.” Growing OLDER is not the same as growing old. I’m not OLD; at 82, I am simply in my advanced years – growing in wisdom and grace – with God’s blessings!
In the Natural Living newsletter, Dr. Z and Mama Z write the following:
“God will carry us through, even into our advanced years. Our Creator has had a plan for us since before we were born. He had our days numbered since the beginning of time and it is up to us to make wise decisions to help our bodies live a more vibrant and full life and to impart our wisdom to those placed in our lives.”
“Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.”
~ Job 32:7
I DO think about things differently… especially THINGS. Yes, I have my “treasures,” – those things I am reluctant to part with – but as time goes by, I realize the wisdom of knowing “I can’t take it with me.” And God don’t allow no U-Hauls in Heaven!!
In my daily devotions today, Charles Stanley wrote in his In Touch entry, “Our culture is obsessed with youth… But… Unless death intervenes, growing old is inevitable.”
See that’s where I differ with him. But it is only a matter of semantics, I’m sure. He must have meant “growing older.” Because he went on to say, “We can be young in soul and spirit, regardless of our chronological age.”
Magnificence comes with age… Yes, the root word is “magnify” and that’s what age does for us. It magnifies our failures (if we let it) – It magnifies our faults (if we let it) – It requires magnification to see clearly!
The question we need to ask ourselves is, “What am I magnifying as I age?”
Charles Stanley’s devotional today reminded us, “Never stop listening to the Father and learning from His Word. Allow godly thinking to shape your attitude. Be thankful, never stop laughing, and rejoice in the Lord. Above all, keep believing and loving Him with all your heart.”
Making the most of the dash means we have to stop dashing! We’re not created to be honeybees, dashing from one bit of pollen to another!
“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is obtained by following a righteous path.” ~ Proverbs 16:31
We are created in the image of God, designed to glorify Him each day by following the righteous path… stopping along the way and taking time to pour out the honey of forgiveness, dish out the power of experience, and spray the gladness of grace on all we meet.
The way Eugene Peterson paraphrased that verse in his study Bible, The Message, is this:
“Your words are so choice, so tasty; I prefer them to the best home cooking.”
So, let’s return to the original premise here: “Staying young while growing older begins with a mind-set.”
What is your mind-set today?
Are you young at heart? Are you pouring out the honey of forgiveness? Are you dishing out the power of experience? Are you spraying the gladness of grace?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
As often happens to me, I read the first devotional this morning in Daily Guideposts, and I was inspired to choose the word for my blog today. EQUIPPED!
Then when I opened the next devotional, “All God’s Creatures,” the March/April Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers, and the word “equipped” showed up twice on that page.
What are the chances, you ask? Pretty good batting average, I’d say. There it was again:
Ephesians 2:10 (a)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”
The story in “All God’s Creatures” was about a woodpecker who was “beautifully equipped for his unique purpose in life…” as he aggravated the writer with his incessant tapping on the tree trunk outside his window.
The writer, Terry Clifton, mused that he, too, is “a result of God’s handiwork – equipped with talents and skills that have meaning and purpose for [his] life.”
What has God equipped you with? What unique gifts and talents do you possess that allow you to let God’s workmanship shine through you to fulfill His purpose in your life?
On the Daily Guideposts’ page for today Jerusha Agen wrote, “All I have to do is walk with God through each day, confident He will provide all I need to accomplish His work.”
It all sounds so theoretical, doesn’t it? About as solid as that sand in the hand. But, what scripture is telling us is that our hearts are not made to be solid.
We are not expected to look at tasks from our earthly perspective. Tasks are formed for us beforehand by our Maker in Heaven.
Don’t eliminate the second part of the Ephesians 2:10 scripture: “…which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Like a skilled woodworker Who sees the image inside the log, God chiseled our lives and purposes Before the world saw us.
The tasks placed before us Are designed with us in mind. Look at them with Jesus glasses And see their infinite possibilities.
Do not be overwhelmed by the world’s naysayers. Walk with God through each day Confident you are equipped.
He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand. He directs your path – and hears you. He sees your needs and equips you. Rely on Him – and step out in faith!
What tasks are you equipped to accomplish today? “If you see someone falling behind, walk beside them.”
Let love pour from your heart like sand from your hand.
I’m off for a walk in faith. Join TazE & me?
See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love to you, JanBeek
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
When we badmouth our bodies, we are insulting God, don’t you think?
Last week when our Presbyterian Women met, the Bible lesson we studied was the story of Bathsheba. It pointed out the secular take on who Bathsheba was may be flawed. Instead of a gorgeous seductress, she may have been the victim. Hollywood’s version of her is the perfectly gorgeous Rita Hayward.
Is that how you see Bathsheba?
The artists who have painted her have a different version:
I much prefer this one! A little bit of a double chin, a poochy stomach, and hefty thighs. Yes, I can relate! Now don’t you think she was fearfully and wonderfully made?
We’re all different in our body type – and yet God says we all are beautiful, lovable, and created in His image. Do you believe that about yourself? Even if you’re not perfect?
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Did you hear that? “… as yourself.”
Yes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Accept God’s love. Love yourself … and then You can love others!
There are bodies of all shapes and sizes – All are made in God’s image – All are fearfully and wonderfully made!
And – hey guys, You don’t have to have a six-pack to be considered handsome!
Those old Charles Atlas ads are outdated – and those muscles don’t make the man!
That guy on the left is my Bob at the time we met – – – and his brother, Bill, on the right. They don’t look like that today, but they still are fearfully and wonderfully made – and their bodies have lasted into their mid-80’s!
Hah! Here’s Bob celebrating his 80th a few years ago with his younger brother, Bruce, and his brother-in-law, Stan. When asked, “What makes the man?”
Bob answered, “Character! A man who says what he’ll do and does what he says. A man of his word.”
Being fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God means you are made a hero because you are made with the characteristics of heroism.
12 Characteristics of Heroism
Filled with Conviction
Exhibiting Moral integrity
And that’s not just for you guys out there. Those are the qualities of a woman made in God’s image, too!
Add faithful to that list… It’s a part of honesty and being inspirational and moral integrity.
It’s faith that gives you that character Bob was talking about!
May God bless you today – Your mind and your body – Know for sure, my friends, you are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing) Hugs!
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 that sketch up there done by a 93-year-old friend of hers, Alice Paschal. 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.
I first posted this in December of 2020 … and here it is a year later … December of 2021 … and in many ways, we are more engulfed in the effects of COVID-19 now than we were then!
My resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.” Little did I know when I created those 20/20 Perfect Vision glasses January 1, 2020 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.
I asked you, my WP readers, “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?”
I asked you, “Think about it.”
And here it is another year gone by, still dealing with the effects of COVID-19, and still asking the same questions. still making the same requests:
And I still want you to know, “I love you.“ I hope you have avoided the ravages of the virus. I hope you are well, and looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with loved ones.
Thanks for taking time to read JanBeek. I hope it inspires you. Bee well! Bee LOVE.
Whence cometh your trust? Where’s your confidence? Who helped you believe?
From whence comes value – Value you carry inside? Who builds your self worth?
Insecurity And self-doubt can invade you. Do you lock them out?
The keys to your trust Are in God’s love and mercy. He made and loves you.
Your value in Christ Should give you great confidence. Carry your head high!
As as Child of God, You join His Royal Family. Embrace confidence!
Embrace family love. Gather and build others up. Love one another.
Family confidence Comes from great togetherness And sharing your love.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
1 John 3:1
As a child, my mom was the family member who built my confidence. She assured me that I could do whatever I set my mind to. She supported every effort academically, socially, and spiritually. She told me, “If you don’t accept your high value, you not only deny yourself, but you minimize your Creator.” Her confidence in my abilities made me sure of my capabilities.
Did you have a family member or friend, a Sunday School teacher, or a neighbor, an aunt or an uncle who helped you build up your confidence? Someone who reminded you, “God don’t make no junk”?
The Bible is clear that I can’t do anything to make my Father in Heaven love me more or less.
Our confidence is built when our earthly family assures us likewise that we are loved unconditionally – and that they believe in us.
So, fully believe In God’s mercy and His love. There’s success in you!
God put success there! He implanted confidence. Believe your value!
Is there someone in your life who could use a little confidence building? Is there someone you can build up by assuring them of their self-worth? Is there someone who needs to hear that you believe in them – and that you think they can do whatever they set their mind to do? Do they need to know “God don’t make no junk?” Go out and raise ’em up!
I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.
My memory’s not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.
Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.
I talked with God about this today.
God said to me: “Folks don’t mind your creases, Jan. It is part of the aging process – and those lines are roadmaps to your soul. They tell how you’ve lived your life. Your joys are there. (Those are the creases beside each eye) The times you were tickled are there. (Notice those crinkles on your nose!) Your worries are there. (Those are the railroad tracks on your forehead; sometimes caused not by worry, but by pondering!)
Those aren’t wrinkles – They’re wise cracks!”
One of my favorite Bible verses about aging gracefully is “Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.”
God will carry us through, even into our advanced years. Our Creator has had a plan for us since before we were born. He had our days numbered since the beginning of time and it is up to us to make wise decisions to help our bodies live a more vibrant and full life and to impart our wisdom to those placed in our lives.
How many wise cracks do you have? Are you trying to hide them? Or do you embrace them?
In the video below, Lisa, Domestic Life Stylist, moves our focus away from our “Wise cracks” and shares some wise tips on aging. It’s worth a watch!
Her final words: “Embrace the age you are!” Wisdom indeed! (I’m 82, how about you?)
See ya tomorrow (God willing). Thanks for visiting!