Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘aging’

What Makes You Laugh?


Bloganuary#7 Prompt asked,
“What Makes You Laugh?”

If we can laugh at ourselves
We’ll always have something to laugh about.
If we can chuckle at our idiosyncrasies,
We’ll be happier, no doubt!

We can overcome difficulties faster
If we look at them through lenses
That are tinted with lots of humor.
Laughter is a medicine that cleanses!

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com
JOY is in ReJOYce!


The Bible has several examples of laughter.
Here are three:
1. Sarah laughed in unbelief.
2. Abraham laughed in wonder.
3. Then they both laughed in joy!

I find it interesting that I find no scripture of Jesus laughing. Do you know of any?

I agree with these illustrations.
Surely He laughed when He was with the children!

Besides laughing at yourself, what else makes you laugh?

A good meme?
A funny grandkid?
We can’t help laughing.
It’s better than complaining or crying!
Laughter is a blessing.

Honey, it’s you!
And it’s OK!!

What makes YOU laugh?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

These examples of laughter make me laugh in wonder
because they sound more like my respiratory virus cough
than they do real laughter! Come on, you can do better than this.
Give me a laugh!!

Embrace Great-Grandkids


Oh, the joy of being great-grandparents is a joy many never live long enough to experience. We do not take this for granted. An afternoon with our granddaughter, Hope, and her two children, Xander and Sienna, reinforced for us why God gives children to the young!!

In Genesis 17,
when God

himself appears to Abraham
and tells him that Sarah will bear a son,
Abraham falls on his face laughing
and exclaims,
“Can a child be born to a man
who is a hundred years old?
Can Sarah, who is ninety years old,
bear a child?”
(Genesis 17:17).

(Genesis 18:13-14)
After Sarah laughs,
God turns to Abraham, asking,
“Why did Sarah laugh, and say,
‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old? ‘
Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?”
Sarah has been caught
in the act of her private
laughter and mocking commentary,
a response which catches God off-guard.

We understand why when God granted Sarah the child she longed for all her life (she was in her 90s – so it was quite a miracle), she laughed (not believing God could really do that) and then she gave Isaac to the church. The priests there raised him!

Oh sure…. she gave her child to God in gratitude for God’s generosity. Suuure!!

I’ll bet she didn’t have the stamina to care for that lively little guy!

Hah! We loved visiting with our great grandkids, but we’re sure grateful it’s Hope who took them home – not us! Embrace those great-grandchildren… and then kiss ’em good-bye. You bet!!

I’m headed to bed. I’m exhausted!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love, JanBeek

I couldn’t lift her!!
Her mama had to help me
get her in my lap!

Embrace Wise Cracks


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.”

(Psalm 92:14)

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!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Good Cheer


1 Thess. 5:16-18a

Let godly thinking shape your attitudes.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”

With the right attitudes, we can be young at heart no matter what our chronological age may be.

No, we are still young…
Young at heart!
Can’t you see it?

Psalm 92:12-15

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Psalm 70:4

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.
Let those who love Your salvation say evermore,
“God is great!”

Each day has its own personality.
There will be happy and sad days.
Some will be quiet and restful,
while others will be filled with activity.

Some will be brimming with health,
others will find you facing unexpected challenges.

But, whatever the circumstance,
you can find moments of delight –
and you can thrive as you see the
blessings hidden – even in the worst of times.

Photo by Khimish Sharma on Pexels.com

This week I learned that my friend, Paul,
who was scheduled to replace our wood floor
(while we are gone next month on a trip to Europe)
fell off a ladder and broke some ribs.
In addition to the body aches, he was suffering
massive headaches. So, the doctor took x-rays.

The x-rays revealed that Paul had a brain tumor!
If he had not fallen off that ladder, there might not
have been the x-rays to reveal the tumor.
He had brain surgery yesterday morning.
The report came that “all is well.”

I don’t know if that means the tumor was benign,
or if it means they got it all and he will be fine.
Maybe it means all three!
But, I know Who has the answers…
and I know He hears my prayers.

I know everything happens for a reason…
and I know God is in charge.
I am so grateful the tumor was discovered!
So, I can EMBRACE GOOD CHEER!

I am grateful for the faith I have that allows me to
behold life through the eyes of hope and positivity.


Colors are brighter,
laughter comes easier,
and the joy of simply being alive
sets the tone for daily celebration
of life’s infinite possibilities.

On this day of remembrance (9-11),
may you – with love and reverence –
embrace the good cheer of memories
that cherish the family members,
friends, co-workers, and tireless volunteers
who have made a mark upon your life.

May those memories inspire you
to live with such
integrity,
creativity,
faith,
and love,
that one day
the memory of you
will bring good cheer
to all who know you.

Be in prayer for those who are hurting.
Be in prayer for all who are in danger.
Be in prayer for all who live in fear.

Be in prayer for those who need
happiness to knock on their door today.

You’re in my prayers.
God bless you with good cheer!

Love and hugs,
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Stories


More on the saga of my bruised face!

A friend texted me and suggested,

“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!!

It’s getting better – don’t you think?

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.

… especially the body parts around my knees and ankles!
I’ve had my right knee replaced.
How about you,
you got any artificial parts
so they make you go through
the metal scanner at the airport?
Bob & I both get the fun of being frisked
every time we take a trip!

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 –


Remember?

You don’t?


Oh well…
That’s a story for another day.

Do you have a story to tell?
Come on, be a sport…
Entertain me!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Old Churches


Photo by gifted photograher, Gerry Mooney

This old church in McAllister, Montana is a treasure! The bell in the dome still rings, though the organ in the church no longer plays and the roof and foundation of it are compromised. It needs a lot of TLC.

Its history goes back to 1885 – when the land was gifted to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1887 the structure was completed. It was transferred to the Presbyterian Church (where Bob & I are members) in 1952.

We (as a congregation) love this old church, and many of our members, their friends, and their grandparents or parents or children or grandchildren have been married or baptized there.

Preserving precious old churches such as this one is an ongoing responsibility. It is costly and time-consuming. Respect for what it was and how it served its community in decades past keep us loving those old buildings.

Here are a few others that are treasures in their communities. If only they could talk!

Dilapidated
Sadly abandoned old church
Is God still in there?

Matthew 16:6.
In many ways Matthew chapter 16
is a chapter about the church.
Jesus was the first to mention the church.
He only mentions the church twice,
and both times are here in the book of Matthew.


In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said,
“And I say unto you,
That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”


This is the first time that Jesus used the word church.
He used the word church only twice,
so it is good to know exactly what Jesus taught about the church.
It may be that the things that Jesus taught about church
are the things that are the most important to know about it.

Church is a place to trust in God’s promised presence
( Matthew 18:20)
as we worship Him together,
out of a sense of love and obedience
( Colossians 3:16 ).

When the church is functioning biblically,
it’s more active and alive when the seats are empty,
and the community is filled with those
seeking to activate the gospel in love for each other.

Many of these old churches were also home
to the cemeteries that bear the tombstones
of its deceased members.

What a shame to allow them to
deteriorate and collapse.
But, who has the money
for restoration and maintenance?

Weekly church attendance is down in our society today.
It sometimes downplayed into a legalistic ritual.
According to Pewforum.org, 61% of churchgoers
attend to feel closer to God,
while a sizable majority of non-churchgoers
state they practice their faith in other ways.

Which is the right way?
Modern society may beg us
to believe the choice is ours,
but biblical truth is clear
about going to church.

Jesus Christ seeks in earnest
to meet us on a day set aside
to commemorate His defeat of death,
to equip us to sustain our faith until He returns.

I am so grateful for my friends
who sit in the pews with me every Sunday.
Indeed, they help me sustain my faith.

Old churches remind us of the
value placed on weekly worship
in communities gone by.

Let’s all work to keep our churches
vibrant, healthy, and inviting.
Don’t let it become a place of ruin!

Oh the church in the valley
Is a place I know so well…
Listen to Jim & Jesse
sing to you about it:

Do you have a little old white church in your history?

Embrace Gray


Embrace gray?
No way!!
I hate gray!

Especially humid, sultry, gray days.
Smokey days that sting my eyes,
assail my nostrils,
and remind me
of the forest fires in the area.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

People’s homes are in danger.
Firefighters’ lives are at risk.
The habitats of birds and deer,
chipmunks and moose,
squirrels and rabbits
are being devoured.

The smoke blows in.
The sun is hidden.
Gray engulfs our valley.
I hate gray!

And yet, as I sit here
looking out at the gray,
praying for rain
to douse the fires
and chase the smoke away,
I hear the birds chirping in the trees.



They see the same gray sky,
smell the same smoke,
feel the same humid, sultry air,
and yet – they sing!
They dance in the leaves.
They fly free –
knowing a rainbow
sits beyond the gray.

Photo by Paweu0142 Fijau0142kowski on Pexels.com

So, rather than hating gray,
God is challenging me to
see gray in a new way.

See the light.
See gray as silver!

When my hair first started turning gray,
I dyed it – trying to keep
the deep brown color of my youth.
But God spoke to me:

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor,
it is attained by a righteous life.”

Proverbs 16:31
Embrace Gray!

Hello gray!
Hello silver!

I can sing your praises
just as the birds
continue to sing
on this gray day.

It’s all a matter of perspective, right?
Not everyone lives long enough
to earn their “crown of splendor.”

Silver brings wisdom.
It signifies the blessing of longevity.

How can you hate gray?
Embrace it and
thank God for that crown!!

How do you feel about gray?

See you tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace God’s Grip


Do you ever tell yourself, “Get a grip!”??

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!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Romans 8:38-39

“ 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!

GG (Great Grandma Jan) with Xander

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!

Sienna & Hope
(my great-granddaughter and my granddaughter)

My great-granddaughter, Sienna,
gets a grip on her mommy, my granddaughter, Hope.
When children have a hold on loving, devoted parents, God smiles.

Sienna with Ty

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.

Sienna with Monika

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.

Hope, TazE, Sienna, and me

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!

Monika, Sienna, Hope and Bob

Not every family has the privilege of gathering 4 generations together!
Get a grip on longevity … and the joy of embracing great-grandpa!

Xander and TazE

Such fun to see TazE getting along so well with Xander!

Xander decided he needed to get a grip on those puzzle skills, too.

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!

Time for
me
to get some rest, too.



Never doubt that
you can rest in God’s Grip!!

Yes, He’s gotcha covered…

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Clarinet


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

Artie Shaw

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)

Love,
JanBeek

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!

Embrace Need


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?

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Often “Wanted” signs express what someone thinks is a NEED.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Daily there are folks who think they NEED
their Starbucks coffee first thing each morning
or they can’t get through the day.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

T’was a time when folks thought they NEEDED
toilet paper stacked up in their garages.
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

Now there’s a belief in some parts of the USA
that gas cans NEED to be filled and waiting for future use.
Because of a security breach, stations were shut down.
Folks NEEDED gas to get to their jobs or wherever…



What is on your NEEDS list?

I NEED hugs.
Physical touch is sooo important!
My husband thinks he NEEDS ice cream after dinner each night.

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.

We all NEED a friend-
and if you have a true friend,
you are rich, indeed!

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…

… or a cucumber roll

But then I googled my needs and I discovered:

Hah! What do you NEED?

A pup to snuggle with?
All you NEED for Christmas
is your two front teeth?
Maybe all you need is
a blanket and a good book!
Sometimes all I NEED
is a nice warm bath!!
A baby only needs
milk, loving hugs, a clean body,
and a swaddling cloth!

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.

I don’t NEED a tattoo!
But, isn’t that a hoot?
I NEED laughter!

Hah!

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!

What are your NEEDS?

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