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.
My second grandson was the screamer. He spent the first couple years of his life doing it. He certainly knew how to let his emotions out!
Screaming may not be the best way as an adult To emote your emotions! What are some healthy ways to let these feelings out?
But some fear is real and intended It’s good to embrace fear when a bear is growling at you It’s good to fear a runaway truck or an avalanche Know when to embrace fear!
Screaming in anger at a situation you can’t control may not be the best way to embrace your emotion But anger in itself is not wrong Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers Embrace righteous anger!
In Daily Guideposts today, Erika Bentson wrote,
“Cowgirls don’t cry!” She admitted that she is “not the type to carry tissues” but instead she can “brush over ]her] feelings.” “Mourning doesn’t come easily to me,” is how she began. Even in the face of her father’s death, she “stayed strong – mostly.”
In the end of the article, Erika quoted a friend who told her, “Tears are a testament to what a great dad he was.” She encouraged her to let the emotions show. “Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,” she told her.
Embrace your sadness! Allow your grief to play out!
“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Embrace your tears! Let them flow.
Speaking of “Don’t be ashamed that you’re human,” what about it? Does shame have a place in our emotional outlet?
“O Lord, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon You; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.”
Where does that emotion of shame fit in? When we have screwed up and we know it, When we have said something without thinking, When we have done something to hurt someone else, It is the shame we feel that causes remorse. It is the remorse that leads to repentance. It is the repentance that leads to “calling out” And it is calling out that leads to forgiveness. Do not wallow in shame. Face your actions, face your emotions, and clear your conscience.
Confront your shame and eliminate it!
Do not despair! Replace despair with hope. Despair is not a healthy emotion. We are humans, prone to error, But we are not desperate!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This is one of my favorite verses. It is my faith that keeps me from despair- And my prayer for you is that regardless of your circumstance, you also can have the faith “which surpasses all understanding.”
Do not embrace despair!
I feared that my second grandson, the Screamer, would grow up to be a very disgruntled human being. I should never have let that emotion embrace me. Embrace the peacefulness of hope! Embrace the peacefulness of letting go. Embrace the peacefulness of knowing God’s got this!!
The emotions that accompany peacefulness are joy, contentment, satisfaction, and submission.
What about that emotion of pride? Pride in self? Pride in your accomplishments – Pride in the person your children or grandchildren have become – What about pride?
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
Bob is reading a book right now titled, Soul Survivor, by Philip Yancey. In it he learned about thirteen people who influenced Yancey’s life. One of them is Gandhi who always traveled third class. When asked why, his response was, “Because there is no fourth class.”
In the last years of his life, Gandhi adopted a man with leprosy. Daily he bathed him and changed that man’s bandaged.
“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”
Gandhi was invited to meet the King of England. Gandhi approached the king wearing only his loincloth. A bystander asked him why he was dressed so scantily. He responded, “He is wearing enough clothes for both of us,”
Gandhi embraced the emotion of humility to the extreme. As a result, he was indeed rewarded with “honor and life,” but his riches were not in gold and silver, for he disdained material possessions, his riches were in honor, peace, and a meaningful life.
When you go to Google and enter Gandhi’s name, Mahatma Gandhi – Wikipedia, it will tell you: “Mahatma Gandhi, as he is known by his followers with reverence, preached the philosophy of non-violence which has become even more relevant today. His commitment to non-violence and satyagraha (peaceful resistance) gave hope to marginalized sections of India.”
Humility is a Wonderful Emotional Outlet!
Embrace the emotions associated with humility: joy compassion contentment satisfaction and leave all your worries behind!
Tell Me: Which emotion will you embrace more today? And which will you try to release?
I could have called this “Embrace Maturity,” but that would have been pussyfooting around the issue. Not everyone matures as they age, but aging is not an option.
You do it or you die.
However, I embraced this meme when I saw it:
Aging is a privilege only given to the lucky ones, you know. So, yes, I will count this year … but at 81, I sometimes forget if it is 80 or 81 and if I try to get by with the lesser number, I have an 82 year old husband who is quick to remind me.
Hah! Can’t fool him… He keeps a check on me – – – but he’s not big on donuts. Darn!
My daughter (most of you have met her on this blog in the past – DeDe – lives in Switzerland) sent me this a little while back. She particularly liked it because one of Bob’s nicknames for me is “Rocky”
Most of you also know that I have a sanctuary where I spend the first hour most every morning… and in it I have three antique rockers. Ah, yes, it’s the perfect image of me!
But the chair that brings us mutual joy is the one we put in the back of our ATV and pull out when we stop for a break. The best way to embrace aging is to find a hobby that you can enjoy with someone you love.
For Bob and me, it is joining friends and going four-wheeling on these wonderful Rocky Mountain trails. .. stopping to fish the mountain lakes. Ah, that’s livin’!!
What hobbies make your aging process more enjoyable? One of our mutual hobbies (besides four-wheeling) is teaching Sunday School.
COVID got in the way of being able to meet each Sunday morning with these two darlings and one other… and then these two moved away. As they age, their mom sends us pictures.
Getting picture from family and friends is a great way to welcome the new day and look forward to the next time you can visit.
Aging is easier to embrace if you have dreams – something to look forward to, right?
We dream of next October – when COVID-19 will be controlled and it will be safe to travel to see our daughter, De, and her husband, Andre’ – and stay in one of the hotel rooms above the restaurant.
As we age, some of the benefits outweigh the struggles that come with aching joints and lowered energy levels.
One of them is, when your grandkids act up and get on your nerves, you can just send ’em back to their folks!
Couldn’t do that when you were younger and they were your own kids!
Gotta look for the perks in this aging process!
Another advantage of aging is that we have time to reminisce about the “Good Ole Days” and the songs we used to sing that these youngsters with their guitars and drums don’t seem to understand anymore.
And if those songs and the memories they bring aren’t enough to make you feel good about still being on this earth, try singing this one:
Another way to “Embrace Aging” is to relish the extra time you have to just find a good book, pour yourself a hot chocolate or a glass of wine, curl up in front of a warm fire, and spend some uninterrupted quality time.
When you were younger, that luxury was seldom yours, right?
Now, if you are a youngster (under retirement age) reading this blog, you are probably thinking that I am a dreamer. You’re right. I am! And each day I dream up all kinds of things to keep me exuberant about life.
Yesterday it was effervescence. The day before it was … oh, do I have to go back that far?
Nope! A trick to aging gracefully is to remain playful. Keep your hobbies, and make up ways to keep the sparkle alive. Take those boots that were left at the front door and get creative!
If you can’t get out because you’re snowed in – and you’re longing for sushi, but the nearest place is an hour away, send money to your kids and tell them to go out for sushi on you. But make sure they send you a picture… and drool all over the computer screen when they send it!
Ask your friends to send you a picture of the table they decorated for some recent holiday – and then marvel at their creativity as you sit down for the 10th night in a row at your kitchen counter… thanking God for your life, your food, your kids, and your kitchen counter.
A trick to embracing aging is to always remain thankful for your blessings… even if they aren’t at a yacht club!!
Embrace Aging by feeding your mind Hope, Truth and Love on a daily basis.
Don’t let your mind tell you you’re OLD. That’s a state of mind for the senile. It’s not for you!
Tell your mind that aging just adds to your story… and you’re not finished telling it yet!
Have fun, my friend. Make room for sunsets.
Look forward to sunrises.
And believe in miracles… Because you are one!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow.
Reach out to others Make meaningful connections Share your thoughtfulness
Did you click the link? The link was “Thanks for the Dance” From Leonard Cohen.
If you didn’t hear – Didn’t see the video, Go up and do it!
EMBRACE CONNECTIONS Look into another’s heart See the hidden pain
Learn to disagree Learn to listen with your heart Show your compassion
Connections can save The loneliest from despair Suicide is real
Express your concern Let your compassion embrace Those in depression
Depression is real Too often it is hidden Inside solitude
Leonard Cohen’s poem Hit me right between the eyes Took me to my niece
‘Twas nineteen years old When her life appeared hopeless Jumped Golden Gate Bridge
‘Twas two weeks later When her decomposed body Washed its way ashore
Only dental charts Helped to identify her Memories are raw
Never imagined Her pain was so very deep Didn’t see the signs
So much is known now Nearly forty years ago We just weren’t aware
Today it’s rampant Especially Montana Third in the nation
Growing suicides It’s not a good statistic Something must be done
These are images from Leonard Cohen’s impactful video. (Haven’t watched it yet? Go back up to that link. Take five minutes and then come on back.) The poetry and his raspy, musical voice will touch your heart. You’ll carry it with you.
You’ll ask yourself, “What Happens to the Heart?” and you will want to be more aware, more compassionate, more helpful. You’ll look in your friend’s eyes. You’ll study your loved one’s face. You’ll ask questions. You’ll care. And you’ll want to know WHAT CAN I DO? When you see sadness, despair, loneliness, you’ll want to help. How??
There are visible Ways we can show how we care Check out resources
Reach out to others Make meaningful connections Share your thoughtfulness
Embrace Connections They can make the difference YOU are important!
Thanks for dropping by JanBeek
Sending you love and hugs – Stay Connected!! See ya tomorrow
These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy… I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too) I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time. Today is it!
In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D. Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love” and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine, Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”
“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote. “This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”
In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.
“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”
It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.
It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”
How does someone overcome such prejudicial treatment and regain the confidence that ALL PEOPLE deserve?
That is the question Dr. Walker deals with in her profession. She conquered it in her own life with “years of psychological work, spiritual practice, self-care, and healing.”
Dr. Brenda Wade wrote, “When we feel too hurt or afraid to let ourselves out, it becomes impossible to let others in.”
Embrace the confidence that there is hope and a future and a return of self-confidence when self-insight and self-love can be applied.
The pain of those early wounds go deep.
We know that we ALL have a responsibility to respond to one another in love, with compassion and respect, and to stand together hand-in-hand to obliterate oppression and prejudice.
Embrace that future with confidence and determination!
Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:
“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?
Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons… * Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place. * We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world… * Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace. * Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing… * Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones… * May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed… * In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out… * As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”
Embrace with Confidence, my friends, the knowledge that you regard all God’s Children as equals… and determine never to inflict on anyone the pain of rejection or the sting of shame.
As God’s children… Let us live as One. Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place! Embrace Confidence!