“The fun part of getting not one, but two black eyes, is making up some wild, harebrained event that caused them.
Sky diving accident?
Or when they turn yellow… trying out for a clown part in an adaptation of a Stephen King novel.”
I think I could pull off a clown part in a Stephen King adaptation, don’t you?
I don’t need to wait til they turn yellow… just match the magenta with my lipstick, clothing, and earrings, and (as Derrick suggested) EMBRACE THE BRUISES!!
If you’re just tuning in to this messed up face saga, I need you to know that I got into a wrestling match with a tiger – and I won. The tiger ran off into the woods, never to attack a human again!
And if you believe that, you need to buy my latest novel… published by Porterhouse … available on your next steak.
If you can’t embrace sunglasses and hide the damage, then ya gotta smile and bare it, right?
And while we’re at it, I have another story to tell you:
You know I’d not be likely to buy a case of beer – but good wine, now that’s another story!
Now if you think I have any flawless dance moves left in me, I have a glass of Kool-Aid to sell you. I have waaaay too many birthday stories to tell – and a whole lot of receipts for the Kool-Aid I’ve sold.
But, we’ve decided flying is a better way to go instead of driving these days. Driving requires sitting next to one another and trying to talk to each other. After nearly 60 years of marriage, what’s left to talk about? On a plane, if you’re lucky, you get the center aisle – and somebody new to talk to.
Seeing better was a perk of younger years. Hearing better is a perk of aging… but it takes a set of $4000 aids to do it.
As the birthdays pile up, we have to be sure we have our bifocals and our hearing aids before we leave home.
Next it’ll be our walking stick or a walker!!
Try not to lose your glasses or your car keys – That’s one of the problems we multi-birthday folks have. But that’s not as bad a losing your memory.
Did I tell you the story about how I got these black eyes? Oh, I did? It was back on the blog called EMBRACE HARD HEADS –
Oh well… That’s a story for another day.
Do you have a story to tell? Come on, be a sport… Entertain me!
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.
While you are thanking God for making you human, giving you courage to try hard things, helping you learn and grow and understand the lessons life has for you, don’t forget to count your blessings!
Goodness Surrounds you. You’ll find it If you look thoughtfully – Blessings!
Count your blessings Name them one by one Count your many blessings See what God has done
If that is your focus, You won’t have time to See the other side of the coin! You’ll be too busy giving back!!
We are blessed To be a blessing. Count your blessings See what God has done!
Focus on what you have Not what you wish you had! Use your gifts for others And watch them come back multiplied!
Plant the seeds in your garden carefully. Make sure they are in rich, fertilized soil. Keep your soul seeped in the encouraging Words of scripture… and you’ll grow fruits of the spirit!
I am thankful for you, Grateful for your presence in my life. You’re the flowers in my life’s garden. I feel blessed to have you visit JanBeek Leaving encouraging comments. Thank you!!
See you later. Have a blessed day!
I’m off to church… I’ll share my sermon notes later today. Come on back!
P.S. Did I tell you yesterday was my dad’s birthday? He would have been 110!! One of my many blessings is having him for my earthly father. Check out my blog from way back when – when I posted a poem I wrote about my dad:
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Just as no pot created on the potter’s wheel Ends up looking just like another pot, And yet each is beautiful in its own way, So each of us beautiful – no one is not!
Something beautiful, something good – All my confusion He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, But He made something beautiful of my life.
Give your brokenness and strife to God. Let Him make something beautiful in you. Then share it – as only you can do – So others can appreciate their uniqueness, too.
Use your unique qualities to make the world a better place. Don’t judge others or turn them away because they’re different. Embrace them. Love them. Appreciate the way they add color to your world. Know God designed each of us intentionally … be reverent!
I love you, my friend. Thank you for adding your uniqueness to my world. See ya tomorrow.
Being flexible: A sign of a healthy soul! It’s well with my soul.
Rigidity means There’s inflexibility… Like old, wrinkled skin.
Rigidity lacks The ability to spring – Spring up and bounce back.
Flexibility Is living life on the edge – Edge of Adventure!
When Bob & I were much younger, we were living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was happy in my teaching job, but Bob was restless. He had been coaching wrestling and teaching drivers’ education for about nine years. He’d had the “Seven Year Itch” for a couple years… looking for a way to feel compensated for the tons of extra hours he put in as a coach. But, coaches don’t get paid more than a measly $500 stipend for the gajillion extra hours. They watch the guy who comes and goes with the bells. In at 8: am and out at 3:00 pm. It was discouraging after a while. Love his students as he did, it was not “well with his soul.” He wanted the freedom to be compensated fairly for his efforts. So, he left teaching and returned to the family farm. Farming allowed him the flexibility he was craving.
He went back to the family farm … almonds, walnuts, and mainly – beekeeping. Producing honey, selling his bees’ product, scheduling his own time… Ah yes, the flexibility was good for his soul. He thrived!
Flexibility Is important for your soul. Keeps your life limber.
The freedom to fish Or go four-wheeling with friends: Retirement JOY!
Are you flexible? Can you readjust your life When it feels too stiff?
Do you feel you’re trapped In a spot not fulfilling? Make your soul feel well.
Listen to your heart. Life’s too short to be rutted – Stuck and unhappy!
Just dig yourself out. Uncover many options – Start digging today!
There’s a world waiting For the flexible and strong To step out in faith.
Know you are not stuck In an unfulfilling place. Exercise options!
Do some exploring. Embrace flexibility. You have just one life.
Look for your purpose Find it in your prayer-filled time Embrace Flexibility.
You were born to start The work set out just for you. God bless you today!
Just live your own dream – Not the dream of someone else. Step out in faith now!
Yup, that’s right – Flexibility means JOY – Jump into it NOW!
We’re living in joy! Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow.
For = before Give = before receiving Ness = before receiving give
N ever E xpect S atisfaction S imultaneously
Is there someone out there who has wronged you?
Have they treated you so badly, so unjustly, that you are having a hard time forgiving them?
Do you wish you could, and you’ve tried, but you just can’t find the grace to give them that satisfaction?
Do they deserve your unforgiving spirit?
Do they deserve a pay back?
Do you wish you could get even?
Would it serve them right!?
Serve them right if you never forgave them because they don’t deserve to be let off the hook?
Who’s caught on that hook anyway?
They may not even know they hurt you!
That happened to me once. I had a person who was a teacher in a different school. I used to be in the district office and now I was happily and obliviously back in the confines of my own classroom, loving every day with those darling children, putting those two years of district office administration behind me. It had been a tough time. Satisfying opportunities mixed with struggles to satisfy all the new teachers (K-12) who were required to come to my PETAL workshops.
P rinciples of E ffective T eaching A nd L earning
I enjoyed working with the new teachers, trying to help them be the best they could be. But, inevitably, you can’t please everybody, right? Not every one of them thought what I was teaching was useful to them. I probably rubbed some the wrong way. They’d prefer to be in their classrooms preparing for the next day, rather than being at a required workshop in “The Ivory Tower.” Do you relate?
No, they were not all smiles! But I did my best… and I got back to the classroom where I could interact daily with children as fast as I could! The District Office was waaay too far from children!
Then, “that happened to me!” A knock on my door at home one evening. When I answered it, there stood a teacher who had been in a series of my workshops. I invited him in. We sat on the sofa. He was nervous.
“I want you to know I forgive you,” he said.
I didn’t know I needed forgiveness. I didn’t know I had done something to offend him. I am sure my face registered shock.
“I have been harboring a grudge against you for two years,” he said. “I am going to a counselor for a lot of unresolved issues in my life, and my counselor said I need to resolve them.”
So he was in my living room, sitting next to me, letting me know I was forgiven.
I should have asked why. I should have asked him to explain what I did. But, I was too dumb-founded. I’m not sure I wanted to know. Let bygones be bygones, you know?
I just told him I was sorry for whatever I unknowingly did to offend him. I told him I held no ill feelings about him. Never did! I accepted his forgiveness. We hugged. He left.
That young man had been given the courage to confront his offender. He had been given the courage to let go. He had been given the courage to ask for forgiveness. My job was to accept it and to allow him to move on.
My job was to handle what God had given me… a clean slate in someone’s mind. A clean slate where there had been a dark smudge.
Don’t wait! Before receiving, GIVE! Give the gift to yourself… the gift of letting go.
“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Thanks for following JanBeek and for coming to read and leave a comment today. You matter. I write for you. God bless you! See ya tomorrow.
I love that old musical from the 1950’s, Annie Get Your Gun. It is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name.
Does hugging come naturally to you? If so, from whom do you think you inherited that quality? Bob and I had that conversation after breakfast this morning. His mom and dad were not huggy folks. Mine were… especially my affectionate daddy.
Bob didn’t learn to be huggy from me. He came that way… and I feel so blessed. Marrying someone who was stand-offish Would have been put me to a terrible test!
Doin’ what comes naturally Isn’t the same for you and me. I reach out and hug strangers – At least ’til this pandemic distanced me.
Bob and I are huggy people We showed our kids the joy of touch But not all children are so blessed Some are abused; some aren’t touched that much.
When our daughter, DeAna’s best friend, Laina, Lost both her adoptive parents at a young age, We were blessed to say, “Come be in our family.” Having a “Daughter #2” was a blessing quite sage!
Our Laina keeps in daily touch. She wrote A message to me yesterday. I asked her if I could share it here. This is what she had to say:
I keep waiting for your blog theme to be “Embrace Hugging” or similar. Technically embrace does mean to hold someone closely in your arms so it’s almost funny to use the 2 words together.
Well here’s my mini blog for the day.
We just don’t hug enough anymore. For one reason, we can’t because of social distancing but also we don’t because we won’t take the time to do something that’s so extremely important.
My genetic nature resisted hugs growing up. I inherited that from Marilyn my Irish born biological grandmother and apparently her daughter my biological mother was the same way. I was adopted by a very different personality.
I would feel myself stiffen up and become uncomfortable when someone hugged me. My (adoptive) mom was very loving and caring. She was a hugger and I reflect back on those hugs and feel bad for my involuntary reaction. I would squiggle (squirm+wiggle) away as fast as I possibly could leaving her unfulfilled. Being a teenager and young adult I was too self-absorbed to notice the sadness on her face or to recognize her need for physical contact. If only I could go back in time and have a “do over”! I would give her a proper hug. It would be a long squeeze and I wouldn’t let go until SHE squirmed to get free. Knowing her, she wouldn’t ever squirm! we’d still be hugging! Hugs instantly boost OxyContin levels. It’s scientifically proven. Hugs help to heal feelings of loneliness and isolation and anger. An extended hug increases serotonin levels and increases good mood. It strengthens the immune system. So why don’t we do it more? We need to do it more! I guess I can’t tell you to hug a stranger because they might smack you or scream but definitely hug those you love whenever they are near… I can’t wait to give you both long hugs in person. I promise I won’t squirm away.
That picture of me with Laina is one of my favorites. I often use it as the “sign off” photo on my blog – edited to just be me. I had forgotten that it was taken on the occasion of my 80th birthday when Laina came to be with us and help us prepare for and carry out a party that included about 50 of our best MT friends. Laina lives in Maryland – and her trip here was such a gift. Helping us was for her, “Doin’ what comes naturally.”
Hugs may not come naturally to all of us. But it is something we can learn… and enjoy… and realize how important that intimacy is.
Yesterday our grandson, DeAna’s youngest son, Chris, went to Vissoie to have dinner at his parents’ restaurant and to give them a long overdue hug. It had been over a month since he had made the trip up the mountain to see them. I wrote to him afterward and said, “Thank you for going to be with your parents and for giving your mom great big, heart-felt hugs. We all need them.“
This morning he wrote back and said, “Oh! It was my pleasure! It’s been too long since I saw them, I needed to squeeze their booooooones. Can’t wait to squeeze yours, too!”
(Chrissy got that expression, “Squeeze yer bones!” from his GrampyBob… It’s one of his favorites.)
Whose bones do you need to squeeze today? Go do it! Go and make hugging one of those things that is “Doin’ what comes naturally!”
Thank you, blogging friends, for visiting JanBeek today. Hugs to you! See ya tomorrow.