When life seems challenging and circumstances tax your patience, do you ever wonder if God’s really gotcha covered?
Well, trust me –
Trust the Savior –
He’s gotta grip on you!
God’s gotta grip on me.
Our Lord’s not lettin’ us go!
“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My Prayer for Today
“Gracious God, how grateful I am to rest secure in Your grip forever.”
God’s Not Gonna Lose Me
In today’s devotional time, Daily Guideposts 2021 reminded me that while I may misplace my sunglasses or my phone occasionally, God never misplaces me!
In his comments, Bill Giovannetti recalled a time when his daughter asked him, “What if I lost God? Or what if God lost me?”
Her younger brother responded, “Right, Josie, you’re the only person in the whole wide world that God forgot about!”
Reading Romans 8:38-39 together, Bill and his son reassured Josie and asked her, “If God keeps His Word, what is that verse telling you?”
“It’s telling me God never loses His sunglasses,” she said, “Or me!”
Today Bob & I celebrated my birthday (I’ll match Bob’s age – and be 82 tomorrow). Our hands certainly show the wear and tear of work and years!
But, like that hold God has on us, we’ve got a grip on one another – and we’re not letting go!
Taking a clue from us and God, Xander’s got a grip on his GreatGrandma Jan (GG – that’s me!) and he’s not letting go!
My great-granddaughter, Sienna, gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope. When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.
It’s a double blessings when Grandpa gets down on the floor with his granddaughter. Our son Ty helped Sienna learn how to get a grip on puzzle skills.
Children are blessed indeed when they have a grandma who reads to them. Sienna gets a grip on what books are all about with Grandma Monika’s help.
How special to get a grip on my great-granddaughter, Sienna, and her mommy, Hope … while they get a grip on TazE, our Boston Terrier!
Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together! Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!
Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!
Monika and Hope with Sienna & Xander… They sang Happy Birthday to help me get a grip on turning a year older. Not older… just more mature, right? So nice!
Ty & Monika brought their big dog, Nakota…
… and TazE had trouble getting a grip on having such a big buddy!
She was exhausted! Time to get under the table and get a grip on some rest!
I used to play the clarinet. I was once upon a time pretty good at it. I was first chair in the University of Pacific Band and Orchestra. But now my arthritic fingers won’t cover the holes. I can’t get a B natural out of it for love nor money!
Unlike the saxophone, the clarinet keys require finger covers. When I had to put my instrument in the closet and say Good-bye to my clarinet playing days. I was sad. But I have an enormous appreciation for good clarinetists. They don’t come much better than Artie Shaw! Do go up there and click to listen to his rendition of “My Heart Stood Still” And sing along!
MY HEART STOOD STILL
Songwriters: Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart
I took one look at you That’s all I meant to do And then my heart stood still My feet could step and walk My lips could move and talk And yet my heart stood still Though not a single word was spoken I could tell you knew That unfelt clasp of hands Told me so well you knew I never lived at all Until the thrill of that moment When my heart stood still I took one look at you That’s all I meant to do And then my heart stopped right there My feet could step and walk My lips could move and talk And yet my heart stood still Though not a single word was spoken I could tell you knew That unfelt claps of hands Told me so well you knew I never lived at all Until the thrill of that moment When my heart stood still
Sally and I were in the Turlock Junior Band as well as the Turlock High School Band. Many years of fond musical memories!
Did you play an instrument when you were in school? Do you play it still?
Embrace the Clarinet! It’s a great instrument!!
What did you do today? I hope you had a great Monday.
See ya tomorrow(God willing)
P.S. Here is a solo I was once able to play when I was at UOP and practicing my clarinet several hours every day.
I admire musicians who are able to keep their skills alive their whole lives long. Any skill requires practice to maintain mastery.
What skills do you practice to keep them alive? MIne are cooking and writing. I can do those even though my fingers are gnarled!
When you think of the word, NEED, what comes to mind? Do you think of what YOU need or what OTHERS might need? Have you internalized the difference between NEED and WANT?
What is on your NEEDS list?
Learning the Difference Between Necessity and Luxury
When our son, Ty, graduated from high school, he spent a year as an AFS (American Field Service) foreign exchange student in what was then Yugoslavia. He lived with a family who was communist. They wanted their son to learn English because the next year he intended to travel to the USA to attend college.
The family was “well off” by that country’s standards. The father was head of what we might call our EPA: “Environmental Protection Agency.” They lived in a small (less than 500 square feet) apartment in Beograd (Belgrade). The family of four had two bedrooms (one for the parents and one for their daughter), a very small kitchen, one bathroom, and a living room which converted into a bedroom at night for their son. Ty shared that space with the son.
Our son learned very quickly how very privileged he was growing up with us in California with plenty of space and a swimming pool in the back yard. He learned overnight the difference between necessity and luxury. He learned his NEEDS were much smaller than he once thought – and people could live happily with soooo much less.
Happiness does not NEED a big house, a fancy car, or a lotta money in the bank. But, it does NEED at least one true friend… and a bunch of ’em is a bonus!!
Happiness does not need a room full of toys. Children who can build their own tent, play together in the woods, and go home at the end of the day of play to a loving family and a nourishing meal are blessed indeed!
I used to think that I NEEDED a glass of wine and a sushi meal every now and then…
But then I googled my needs and I discovered:
Hah! What do you NEED?
And we all need a dream – Someone who believes in us – and encourages us – and teaches us how to live our dreams.
I NEED time in the wide open spaces, time each morning in my sanctuary to pray and to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, and I NEED music in my life… because it lifts my spirits and strengthens me.
See ya tomorrow. Have a great rest of your day wherever you are.
Embrace NEEDS. See the needs of others – and fulfill them if you can!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek. I NEED your comments!
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.
Happy 59th Anniversary today to my sweetheart, Bob, my life’s partner!!
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!!
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.
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!
Our Daughter, De
In 1987, our daughter, DeAna, married Andre’, a Swiss (the first cousin of our AFS exchange student).
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).
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!!!
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!!
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!
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…
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.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed February 11th. See ya tomorrow.
I’m quoting Kim from Writing in North Norfolk. “I’m welcoming dVerse poets to Prosery, when we ask you to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of your choice: flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction.
As it’s a kind of flash fiction, we have a limit of 144 words; an additional challenge is to hit 144 exactly. The special thing about Prosery is that we give you a complete line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in your story, within the 144-word limit. You may change punctuation but you are not allowed to insert words in between parts of the quotation.
We see Ole Tom with his bent shoulders and thinning torso We see his wind-weathered face and his thinning gray hair He sits in my living room strumming his guitar Singing the fourteenth verse of an old folk song He has a thousand such songs tucked into his head Along with the entire books of Matthew and Acts We see him as an ancient sage We look at him through the wrong end Of the long telescope of Time His mind is sharper than mine ever was And he shows no signs of stopping Each Christmas Ole Tom recites the Christmas story From the book of Acts, never reading, just expounding Amazing the congregation with his masterful memory He is the epitome of a wise man: Ninety-three going on thirty Never see him as old and never underestimate Ole Tom Turn that telescope around!
What fun to participate in dVerse poets’ invitation to Prosery. It’s a challenge to come up with a 144 word poem, but not when you have such a delightful subject as Ole Tom. How we loved him!! He will live in our hearts forever.
Do you have an ole Sage in your life? Count your blessings if you do… and consider joining the fun at dVerse Poets!
Were you able to find the “complete line from a poem” that I was required to insert as part of my Prosery? Which do you think it was?
See ya tomorrow. Have a Terrific Tuesday! Love, JanBeek
The older we get, The more ready we must be For our angel friends To leave you and me.
They ascend to heaven Where loved ones wait To greet them in song At the pearly gate.
When our hair turns silver And wrinkles show our age, We have to be ready To turn the eternal page.
The eighties are great; It’s a decade of reflection And a time to appreciate Every earthly connection.
But it also is a time When we look at this season As the winter of our years, And we search for life’s reason.
We look at life differently Than we did in our teens. We see through our experience What life is – what purpose means.
It’s not about what we can get, Or what riches we acquire. It’s about the love we give To the people we admire.
It’s about reaching out to strangers Who are falling between the crack. It’s about filling their needs – Helping give the things they lack.
Reaching up in prayer and praise I thank the Lord for all His gifts. As long as I have life and breath, I’ll reach out to give others lifts.
I hope you’ll use your senior years To do the same – to spread your love – Because we are blessed to be a blessing. For every day, I thank. God above.
My Prayer for You
When your time comes To say good-bye to earth, May the angels welcome you And your friends rejoice at your New Birth! Amen
Welcome to Heaven, Phyllis. I miss you here… But I rejoice at your Eternal Reunion. May all who were blessed by your presence And who entered the pearly gates before you did Be there to welcome you HOME. God bless you! Keep the light on!
Do we have an obsession with image? More concerned about the outside than the inside? As a nation… as a world?
Are you fed up with it? Do you feel it is robbing us of our sense of purpose and our wisdom?
These are some questions I gleaned from Scilla Elworthy, the elderly South African woman in the Ted Talk above:
Are you fully alive in your body? Do you have energy and attractiveness in your soul? Are you content with what is? Can you remove the mask, let the wrinkles show, and still like yourself?
Self-acceptance is a great, great gift!
Obsession with image is tiring… Yes, I believe that!
What makes you feel electric? Does the world see your energy? Do you have real aliveness?
Health, exercise, purpose, usefulness… those are the keys!
Many people struggle to find purpose in life. Scilla Elworthy said, “Most people fear pain and loneliness.”
We worry about what will happen when we are no longer able to care for ourselves and must rely on other people.
Dementia is a real fear for me. My mother was diagnosed with it before she died. My sister is in a home today – a nursing home – being cared for because she has Alzheimer’s. It is in my family. Is it in my future? I cannot dwell on that! I must live in the NOW and love myself so I can love others. The keys are:
prayer and meditation,
time in nature… being outside with things that are alive
What about death? It is inevitable. Approach it with curiosity. Think through it. Know that death is not finality.
What are the gains of growing older? We can speak out! Dare to speak up about those things that we think are wrong! Stand up for those things! Make a contribution by making a difference – by being true to ourselves.
Know that with age comes wisdom. Wise, experienced leaders are a gift to the world. As we age, we can be that older, wiser person who sees beyond the horizon. The world need us!
But age and wisdom are not synonymous. Wisdom does not come automatically. We can’t live in a foxhole and gain wisdom. We need to go out and risk adventure. Risk rebuke. Risk the world hating you. We need to be true to ourselves as we lift our heads to what is happening around us and seek the solutions to the challenges we all face. We can’t be ostriches with our head in the sand.
A friend of mine said she has decided that the best way to avoid dissension is just to avoid having an opinion. “I try to remain totally objective – with no opinion expressed. Opinions just garner arguments,” she said.
We can’t let ourselves live in that kind of fear! Avoidance invites stagnation.
“Whoever is free from all fear will always be safe,” Scilla Elworthy said in the Ted Talk above. So, we must let go of any fear we have of speaking out.
What do you care about? What’s your opinion about aging? Let’s hear it!!
I’m not afraid of growing older. Just don’t call me old!! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek