Teacher – 24 years – loved every minute! 1961, Stockton, CA – 1st grade 1962, Germany, Wurzburg Army Base – 1st grade 1963-64, Turlock, Cunningham School – kindergarten 1964-67, Daly City, CA – K, 4th, 7th-8th 1968- 79, Hillsborough, CA – 7th/8th, K, 4th, K-6 summer school 1979-81, Hughson, CA – 1st grade & GATE classes 1982- 99, Ceres, CA – 4th grade, principal (K-8), then…
This is Lorei with me. She was my first grade student in 1961 when I first started teaching in Stockton before Bob & I were married.
Like so many of the students who came after her, my life is richer because she has stayed connected all these years.
Teaching is not just a job. It is a life choice, a passion, a joy!
Some of these dear kindergarteners are my Facebook friends today. Reach out Ortners, Leslie, Pamela Pon (where are you?), Sean, Kurt, Karen… You’re all in my heart!
… then, yes, after years in the classroom, I spent 9 years as a Principal – – – had wonderful colleagues —
The Ceres Unified School District was a delightful place to work. I have so many fond memories!
This was a great staff!!
I was invited to try my hand at working as a mentor to new principals and as the coordinator for various programs such as art, new teacher training, federal and state programs, etc. So, I went to the district office as a curriculum coordinator. It was too far away from the children! I returned to my first love: the classroom.
I had these little second graders I picture below here for two years (as 1st & 2nd graders)… it was a wonderful way to end a delightful career.
Recognition for a job well done came in many forms, but the best is knowing I made a difference in the lives of a few children and maybe helped some of my colleagues along the way, too.
I enjoyed my life as an educator immensely. I retired in 1999, but didn’t stop working. I supervised student teachers for a few years at Stanislaus State College before volunteering for a couple of years to teach illiterate adults how to read. Loved doing that! So rewarding!!
But the most important of my “jobs” in my lifetime was:
… wife, mom, homemaker, sister, friend … Never underestimate the impact & importance of those jobs! Take them seriously. Some people say that there – -on the home front- there lies the most important job of all!!
That photo is the whole Beekman clan at Bob’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I love this photo … our daughter, DeAna, and her “Swisster” Sylviane, and our son, Ty, are on the right of this picture next to us. So, this had to have been around 1984…
And now, volunteering is part of my life … and those jobs I choose, like the Senior Center or the Food Bank, the Manor (our local nursing home) or church fellowship hour, those “jobs” are what continue to give me a sense of purpose.
If I could leave a legacy that exemplified these six words, I’d die happy!
First, I want folks to say, “She loved the Lord with all her heart ❤️ and she sincerely loved her family and friends.” 🥰
(Yes, my family is a huge part of my legacy… they will live on and on … and hopefully exemplify the values I hold so dear!)
Additionally, may they say, “She was ethical and lived a life of integrity. Trying to avoid hypocrisy, Jan lived to show her faith on her sleeve, striving to behave in a way that would be pleasing to God.”
Gracious living means extending to others the undeserved love and forgiveness, the acceptance, inclusion, and hospitality that we received daily from the Lord. May they say, “She was gracious.”
I hope my legacy includes the idea of attentiveness to others, attentiveness to the details of the responsibilities assumed, and daily attention to prayer and Bible Study. I happily shared those with others. A desired part of my legacy would include, “Jan was attentive.”
Daily I asked God to help me shine His compassion through me to others. My heart reached out regularly to family, friends, former students, neighbors, and others in need. Strangers were just “friends I hadn’t met yet.” I would like my legacy to include, “She was compassionate.”
Yummy? It’s not that I want to be considered yummy, it is that I love to cook. As part of my legacy, may I be remembered as someone who delighted in preparing yummy meals for Bob and for guests in our home. May I be remembered as someone whose greatest joy was in serving others.
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
When I leave this earth and join the heavenly angels, I am counting on seeing all those saints who went on before me… And we’ll feast on heavenly food and feed the scraps to all my Boston Terriers who’ll be there at the pearly gates to greet me.
Yes, you’re in my life for a reason. Thanks for showing up on my blog!
From my Christian perspective, this prompt is a no brainer for anyone in the USA with a moral bone in his/her body. But I have good Christian friends who disagree with me, so why open the gap and create more divisiveness?
Giving birth is risky business. Raising children is risky business. They’re expensive! They’re trouble.
Do I regret deciding to raise two children? No! They are a gift from God!
Here’s that spunky boy in today’s world:
Our son and his wife also took the risk. They decided to raise a family. But they were not able to have biological children. So, they took the risk of adopting… Not just one, but four children! Adopting is risky business!! God bless them!
Do they regret it? You’ll have to ask them!
But, I know that decision of theirs impacted our whole extended family!
When our granddaughter, Hope, was 18, she decided she was grown up enough to make her own decisions, so she took a risk and left home. She decided to live with a girlfriend. (That’s her in stripes in that photo, and the two little ones are hers: Xander & Sienna.)
Well, that living arrangement didn’t last. Moving out is risky business. In just a few months, Hope was homeless, couch-hopping, and in trouble. We took the risk and invited her to come to live with us in Montana. It’s a risk we “do not regret.”
That little baby you prayed for this week is Hope’s #3 … Charlotte. Thank you, Hope, for taking the risk of raising a family. As David Jeremiah wrote in “Ever Faithful” this week:
Life Takes Time…
“Be patient with yourself and with others. Put down roots. Stay in one place. And remember… nothing takes the place of God’s work over time.”
Yesterday I texted Hope:
“Hope, how are you and Charlotte doing?” “We are doing good!!! She’s eating and sleeping well!” “How are Xander and Sienna?” “Ok! They’re doing good! I’m recovering well! And the kids, too. They love her!“
Yes, life is risky business. Raising kids is risky business. And we never stop parenting as long as we and our children are alive.
Yesterday that little girl in Santa’s lap up in that 1968 photo was driving to a lunch date in Switzerland (where she lives) when a car dashed out into her path.
Oh my! Learning to drive is a risk. Do you ever regret teaching your kids to drive?
Now, I need you to pray for DeAna and her transportation, OK?
And don’t forget to praise God. She’s OK, even if the car is not!
See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
No, I don’t regret having children. Yes, Ty & De are God’s gifts. But, every day’s a risk, isn’t it?
“Everything in our house has a story to tell. I believe a house feels more like a home when it’s full of stories.”
– Diana Matthews
Yes, everything in my house has a story. But the biggest story of all (if the wood could talk), would be the wood floors.
They are 100 year old boards from an old silo in Malta, Montana. The silo was sold to a carpenter who took it apart floor by floor and repurposed the nail-pocked boards in the homes or cabins of crazy folks like us!
There is Paul, the carpenter, on top of the silo. As he was removing the wood to use it on top of the soft, scarred fir that was already on our floors, he fell…
He could have killed himself, but miraculously, he only broke a few ribs. That delayed our replaced floors by a few more months than healing ribs would have taken.
Paul was having massive headaches during his rib-healing-process. The doctors examined all parts of him and discovered a brain tumor! If he had not fallen and broken his ribs, perhaps the tumor might not have been discovered until much later. I say it was a “God thing!”
But what does this have to do with “when you didn’t take action but wish you had”??
We saw those lovely floors in some friends’ cabin and Bob fell in love with them. The colors, the character, the nail holes, the story behind them. He just had to have floors like that. As I said earlier, our soft fir floors were badly scarred and needed to be refinished.
I spoke up and told Bob I thought we should just refinish what we already had. Especially since the floor has radiant floor heating!!
But I did not persevere. After Paul’s tumor was successfully removed, and he was on the road to full recovery, the work began. He put that 5/8″ of extra wood on top of our old floors.
Yes, it brightened up the room with its lighter color. Yes, it has a story and great character. But, what a lot of work! And what a lot of money! And the radiant floor heating is not as effective over that extra layer!
In marriage partnerships, we have to pick our battles. Some things are worth fighting over. Others are not. Discernment is the key!
I decided this was not a battle I should undertake. So, I “didn’t take action.” The result is lovely, the story is memorable, the wood talks, but “What would you do differently?”
I’d insist we refinish the old floors! God gave me time to make my case with diplomacy and insistence while Paul healed.
Why didn’t I?
Welllll… a picture’s worth a thousand words…
What would you have done?
Does your home have stories to tell?
See ya tomorrow. Have a peace-filled day~ Love conquers all!