Loving One Another

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Be Tenderhearted


Be Tenderhearted

Sometimes I am all business.
I put process ahead of persons,
process ahead of poetry,
the poetry of God’s whispers.

Sometimes I am too concerned
about the process to see
the point of the pin
that pricks at pained heartstrings.

Sometimes I’m caught in calendar,
all deadlines ahead of doorways
that lead to peace with patience,
that open to compassion with courage.

Sometimes God rises to reveal
a hardened heart that hears,
“Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry,
and plow through the process!”

Sometimes when I stop to see
the mangled mess I’ve made
with focus on the failures,
God stops my steps.

He points to the positives;
He gathers up the good
And puts the process behind,
Trading it for tenderheartedness.

He helps me humbly see
the covenant, the cross on Calvary,
the limitless love of letting
God’s grace return to the gathering.

Return it to the wondrous whispers
that only tenderness and transparency
can reveal as we enter the center
of God’s tender heart – and hear.

Hear His poetry, hold His hand,
sing His songs and shout “Shalom!”
Take His tender heart that tugs
at your heartstrings. Take it home.

Be Tenderhearted.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com



Growing in God’s Grace, Jan Beekman, poet

Living Longer & Better


Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

What helps you live longer and better?

Is it pills,
Vitamin C,
healthy eating,

clean air,
exercise,
friendships?


What are the keys to a longer, better life?

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

“There’s no magic formula to living longer and better.
But a certain character trait
makes getting older a lot more rewarding:
having an open mind and heart.”


Jim Hinch, Senior Editor, Guideposts magazine

.

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

.

“Wisdom …
That’s what makes getting older more rewarding.”

Bob Beekman,
my husband for 58 years

Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

.

“An open mind and heart,
both of which are tuned to love and peace,
daily immersed in God’s Word,
walking the talk,
those are the qualities
that make living longer a joyful experience.”


Yours Truly: JanBeek

.

And if I were to quote you,
what would YOU say

are the character traits
that make up the formula
for living longer and better?

Words Can Be Such Fun!


 BEAUTY PARLOR   
A place where women curl up and dye. 

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com


CHICKENS   
The only animal you eat before they are born and after they are dead. 

    
COMMITTEE   
A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


DUST   
Mud with the juice squeezed out. 

Photo by Daniel on Pexels.com


EGOTIST   
Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation. 

    
HANDKERCHIEF   
Cold storage.     

INFLATION   
Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.   

MOSQUITO 
An insect that makes you like flies better.  

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
A doctrine fostered by a delusional,  illogical minority.    

RAISIN   
A grape with a sunburn.     

SECRET   
A story you tell to one person at a time.  

SKELETON   
A bunch of bones with the person scraped off.  

Photo by Chris J Mitchell on Pexels.com


TOOTHACHE
A pain that drives you to extraction. 

TOMORROW       
One of the greatest labor-saving devices of today. 

YAWN   
An honest opinion openly expressed.     

WRINKLES   
Something other people have … similar to my character lines.  

Hah!!

 OLD
I very quietly confided to my friend that I was having an affair.
She turned to me and asked, “Are you having it catered?”
… and that, my friend, is the definition of ‘OLD’!

And just in case you wondered,
NO, by the way, I am not OLD!
80 is the new 40…
Didn’t anybody tell you??

Think young!

Have fun with words and ideas.
See ya tomorrow!

How Do I See Thee & Me?


Proverbs is a wonderful book of wisdom. Have you read it clear through? I read one chapter in it everyday. It has 31 chapters. This month I’ll read three chapters on the 29th. We don’t have a 30 or 31 in February! Then on March 1st I will start over again, but with a different translation. I find the various translations help me gather new and deeper meanings.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Today’s chapter 27 verse 19 is a perfect example of the way different translations can add different nuances:

The Message paraphrased version
by Eugene Peterson

“Just as water mirrors your face,
so your face mirrors your heart.”

Proverbs 27:19
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The NIV (New International Version)

“As water reflects a face,
so man’s heart reflects the man.”

Proverbs 27:19
Photo by Daisa TJ on Pexels.com

KJV King James Version

“As in water face answereth to face,
so the heart of man to man.”

Proverbs 27:19
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Each of those passages refers to the way a person’s heart reflects to that person (and maybe to others) who that person really is. Right? But, when I went to the CS Lewis Bible paraphrased, I found this translation:

“Just as water reflects the face,
so one human heart reflects another.”

Proverbs 27:19

Bible Interpretations

To me that CS Lewis version says it is not just a matter of looking at the way our heart reflects to ourselves who we really are … and can be seen in our facial expressions… but it also says our “heart-scape” influences how we see others.

We see others through our own heart content and our own heart lenses. We may be blind to who they really are, like this girl on a branch is blind to her own reflection. We often don’t see ourselves as others see us. And we don’t see others as they intend to be seen.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Does your face mirror your heart?
Or are there cracks in the space
between your heart mirror and your face?

Photo by Drigo Diniz on Pexels.com

Do you see others through a lens of love,
or is your heart-scape distorting what you see?

Photo by Виктория Лихолёт on Pexels.com

How Do I See Thee and Me?

Do I see thee through a clear lens,
a pure heart,
a heart of love and compassion?

Photo by Ikowh Babayev on Pexels.com
Photo by Natalie on Pexels.com

Ask yourself:
Do I see Me the same way?
Do I see myself as God sees me?
His redeemed, forgiven, beloved child?
Am I gentle with myself?
Am I open and positive?
Do I see the positivity in others?

I see thee dearly.
I see me clearly.
We are not merely
clones; we are beloved,
unique children of God.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I love you!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a blessed day!

See ya tomorrow.

It’s OK to…


  1. It’s OK to… Not to Have All the Answers

When Bob & I first moved from California to Montana back in 2006, I was a recently retired educator with over 30 years of teaching/administrating under my belt. I was not really ready to “hang it up.” You know, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”

So, when I joined the Friends of the Library and received a message from a young man who was seeking help to earn his GED (I think that stands for: General Education Diploma, but it might be Graduation Equivalence Diploma) … anyway, I was all in.

Zahid was a 19 year old from Pakistan whose English was sketchy enough that he had trouble understanding the questions, let alone knowing the answers. I agreed to help him with the English/Language Arts/History areas while a good friend worked with him in the areas of Science and Math.

His host mom would drop him off at our house at 7:30 AM three times a week, and after an hour of study, I’d drive him to his place of work, just five minutes away. During our hours together, one of my greatest challenges was teaching Zahid that it’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” He tried to bluff his way through answers. It was often quite amusing!

Once Zahid learned to say, “I don’t know,” and admit to needing help with the answers, we made great progress. He eventually passed and got his high school equivalent diploma. Hooray!

2. It’s OK to… Feel all the Emotions

Zahid tried to hide his lack of knowledge and his feelings of discouragement. He tried to hide his frustrations. He attempted to bluff his way through the quizzes. It didn’t work. When he learned to let his emotions show, when he opened himself to being “real” with me, we made great progress.

3. It’s OK to… have Bad Days

Life is not always fair. Even with hard work and the best of intentions, our dreams don’t always pan out. The first time Zahid took his test for the credential, he failed. Without encouragement and a shoulder to cry on, he might have folded. He might have said, “Give it up! I can’t do this!” But, we didn’t let that happen. His host mom and dad joined our Positivity Club – and together we helped “Z” keep at it, learn from his mistakes, try again, and ultimately pass.

4. Its OK to …Let Yourself Cry

Once “Z” passed his GED, the next goal was to pass his driver’s behind-the-wheel and written tests and get a driver’s license. He worked hard at it.

My husband, Bob, is a retire teacher. (If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know he also is a retire beekeeper. But before he went back to the family bee farm, he taught driver’s education and coached wrestling for nine years in California.) So, Bob was a natural to help “Z” get his driver’s license.

Once that goal was accomplished, the next step was to buy a car. Zahid had saved the money he earned working at the local grocery store. He had enough to pay for a good “starter car.” But the problem that emerged was that he had no idea how to take care of a car. That’s where the “It’s OK to let yourself cry” comes in. He burned up the car’s engine by not checking the oil, the water, etc. The tears were real! It was a sad lesson in the reality of truth #5…

5. It’s OK to …Ask for Help

Bob would have been more than happy to help “Z” learn the basics of car maintenance, but Zahid never asked. It was a tough, expensive lesson. But “Z” learned it. He asked Bob to help him find a new engine. He did… and “Z” learned to ask for help in car maintenance in the future. That car gave him several years of reliable service and actually made it from Montana to Alaska when “Z” moved there for better job opportunities.

6. It’s OK to …Make Mistakes

Looking back over our experiences with that young Pakistani, we know we made mistakes, just as he did. We backed off when we should have moved forward and been more assertive with him. He tried bluffing and exercising independence when admitting his lack of knowledge and asking for help would have served him better. But, he learned – and so did we.

As long as we learn from our mistakes, it’s OK. In fact, making mistakes is sometimes the ONLY way we learn. Knowing what doesn’t work helps us eliminate some options and seek better solutions.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com
  • Don’t try to have all the answers.
  • Don’t be ashamed of your emotions. Be real. Let them show!
  • Don’t let the bad days get you down. We need valleys in order to appreciate the mountain tops!
  • Don’t hold back the tears. Let them flow when they need to. Let them cleanse you!
  • Admit your ignorance. None of us is an expert at everything. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Don’t let mistakes get you down. No one is perfect. We need to make mistakes in order to learn and move forward.

It’s OK to … select friends who lift you up, encourage you, and give you a shoulder to cry on when you need it.

It’s OK to … BE one of those friends. Happy, warm, genuine. Even long-distance, over the miles, through cyberspace, you can reach out and be the positive friend others are seeking.

Just do it! It’s OK…

Thank you for your visit,
your comments and
your friendship,

I appreciate you!

See you tomorrow.

Cherish Aging


I have a journal titled, “I Can and I Will … Watch Me!”

I don’t write in it every day; just when I am inspired by something else “I Can” do that “I DID!” Some of my topics are I CAN:

  • Emerge
  • Participate
  • Heal
  • Remember
  • Bee Positive
  • Taste
  • Encourage

You get the idea…



Today my topic was I CAN “Cherish Aging.” I was inspired by my experience last Tuesday at Big Sky Ski Resort while I sat at the bar, sipping my Irish coffee, and enjoying my book.

“You remind me of my grandma,”
The young waitress smiled and said,
“She was a little, compassionate lady
Who loved me dearly – and was too soon dead.”

She told me of her virtues, her illness,
And her faith. Tears filled her eyes.
She told me how she missed her hugs –
And their long talks. Grandma was quite wise.

Then, wiping away the teardrops,
She went on about her job.
Soon she returned with a piece of apple pie
On which was a big whipped cream blob.

“I thought you’d like this little treat;
My grandma sure loved apple pie,”
She gave me a hug and rushed away.
Now it was my turn to cry.

I don’t mind t all growing older
If my wrinkles and my silver hair
Can bring cherished memories to someone
And make them know: Us Grandmas Care!

Look at these wonderful Pexels.com photographs of various grandmothers:

Photo by Luizmedeirosph on Pexels.com
Photo by Edu Carvalho on Pexels.com
Photo by Sayan Ghosh on Pexels.com
Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com
Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com
Photo by Dazzle Jam on Pexels.com
Photo by Himesh Mehta on Pexels.com
Photo by Yulia Rozanova on Pexels.com

The one above is my daughter-in-law, Monika, with my great-granddaughter, Cosette. Monika’s a young, loving grandmother … See, not all gramas are silver-haired and wrinkled!

Look back at those grandmas. Which one touches your heart the most? Do any of them remind you of YOUR grandma? Tell me about her!

Here I am with Xander and Sienna.

Do CHERISH AGING!
It brings with it
many blessings and joys.

And the alternative?
Don’t go there young!!

See ya later.

Optimism is Far-Sighted


If you’re myopic
Looking only at your feet
You can’t see the joy

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Ya gotta look out
Optimism’s far-sighted
Valley’s got mountains!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today’s tasks are hard
That’s a lotta wood to chop
The warmth is worth it

What does tomorrow bring?

Know that your troubles
Aren’t going to last forever
Optimism reigns!

Don’tcha just gotta see the optimism
when you look at Bob’s giddy face?

Thanks for looking out beyond
your blog to see mine!

I hope it cheered you.
I love you, my friends!


See ya later!

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