“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”
Today we are celebrating the life of my brother-in-law, Stan. He gave us many reasons to smile. He will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.
If you could write your obituary, celebrating your life, what would you want folks to say about you?
Here lies __________________ (insert your name) S/He was __________________ (insert an adjective) We could count on him/her to ____________________ (what could folks count on you for?) His/Her life was noted for ________________________ (what’s your legacy?)
Have you discovered how to discern His Will? Are you asking God each day to help you do His Will?
How are you using your time today? Time is our greatest gift. Use it wisely!
I am praying that you have a Marvelous Monday!
Hugs to you. See you tomorrow (God willing)… JanBeek
The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.” But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one. When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s, I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.
The California Poppies song went like this:
“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun, Closing up at evening when the day is done. Pride of California, flower of our state, Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”
The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:
We’re the Caswell Cougars. We are Number One! Green and yellow banners Waving in the sun. Caswell is a place for Learning and for fun. We’re the Caswell Cougars; We are Number One!”
One of my fellow principals objected to our song. She felt I was in competition with her school. I responded, “There’s room at the top for more than one. Come up and join us!”
As I have journeyed through this life, I am going and growing. I am understanding better where my colleague was coming from.
Thirty years later I can look back And I can see my competitive spirit At work in that school song… Unintended yes, but obvious to others.
If life is viewed as a race, then there is room for only one at the top. The race goes to the swiftest. But a journey has room for many.
Hold my hand as we walk this path. Pray with me. stay by my side. Soon enough we will reach the mountain top And when we do, celebrate with me.
Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon where we will join his sister and her family. We will gather to give back to one another The love we have shared on this life’s journey.
We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband As their daughter and son speak of the ways Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love During his 86 years here on this earth.
As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge The grace of God that has allowed us to share These six decades with one another – And we take not one of those chapters for granted.
Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended, But we know his story doesn’t end here. We know death is not an end to our journey; It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.
We will share, hug, and weep for our loss, And we will assure one another of the faith we have. We know we will see one another in eternity. We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!
Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends. I send you my love as we journey this life together.
There are days when it seems harder than others to put on a happy face, don’t you agree? I don’t have a lot of those, so when I do, they usually are memorable.
I remember one such day when my dad was out of sorts. He was a business owner. Not the typical image of a “business owner” that comes to mind when you hear that description. His business was a Tallow Works. Do you know what that is? It’s a place that picks up dead animals from farmers and ranchers and meat scraps from butcher shops. All parts of those animals and scraps are processed. It’s a smelly business.
It’s devastating Beloved animals die Someone hauls them off
This is called a Haibun. It is a brief couple of paragraphs of prose, followed by a Haiku that adds dimension to the prose!
Oh, Lordy, Lordy!! My blog is supposed to share love, joy, peace, faith, and unity. How I got off on a kick of wanting to share various forms of poetry is all Dwight Roth’s fault! Blame him! He tried my Shadorma poetry and invited me to try his Haibun.
But he can’t be blamed for my morbid Haibun and photo today. My mind just went there after reading a post by someone who was recalling a sadness from their childhood. That day when Dad and I went to pick up a dead horse sticks in my memory because the horse was a child’s pet. It wasn’t like one of a herd of beef cattle or some old cow that got into the clover field, ate too much, bloated, and bit the dust!
My experiences with my dad, riding with him on weekends as we went to various farms to pick up the dead animals, usually were not sad times. I treasured one-on-one time with Daddy, and I was happy to get that time under whatever circumstances! The death of animals didn’t seem morbid to me. It was just part of the cycle of life! You know – like egg to tadpole, froglet to frog!
But on that particular Saturday, the animal’s young owner was there, crying as Dad hauled her beloved horse into the truck and we drove away. The horse did not represent the cycle of life. It was too young, and so was its owner! That was a day when it was harder to put on a happy face, you know?
This weekend Bob & I are headed to my brother-in-law’s funeral. He was 86. He led a good life. He was a believer who knew where he was headed when he left this earth. But, he had just had a knee replacement – just a week before – and he thought he had a lot of years left to enjoy the greater mobility that knee would give him. However, it is not our privilege to count our days!
Dying is, indeed, part of the cycle of life!
“Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
— John 11:26
It’s the life cycle Beloved animals die Are they in Heaven?
No, not like open heart surgery! It’s your open heart of love and compassion! It’s an open heart, ready to listen and respond.
In Chapter 8 of Nehemiah,
“…all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”
With open hearts, they “lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord.”
Do you listen eagerly with an expectant mind and heart? Do you listen with a mind that genuinely wants to know more? If so, you will hear the Lord speaking to you when you earnestly pray.
Yesterday I was encouraged to listen – to engage “ears that really hear” – as I bowed in reverence to God while up in my sanctuary. I was feeling badly that no one from our Beekman family was scheduled to be in Oregon next Monday for Bob’s brother-in-law’s funeral. Bob’s sister, Bonnie, lost her husband, Stan, last week. Bonnie has three brothers. Two are in California and plan to go to Stan’s burial later this month. It is scheduled to occur in his hometown cemetery in southern CA. But, we are here in Montana … and were not planning to attend either event. We had lots of excuses. None of them seemed to be holding water!
God spoke loudly and clearly to me as I opened my heart to His message in the daily devotional, In Touch, by Charles Stanley.
“So many things clamor for our focus, but nothing is as important as what the Lord has to say. He is worthy of our undivided attention.”
“Open your heart,” God said to me. “Nothing is more important in your life next week than to be with Bonnie.”
So we will fly to Oregon on Sunday. We will be there to demonstrate our open hearts of love for Bob’s sister and her family. We will not live with “If Only” in our hearts.
It will be a short trip. We’ll return here for those other important obligations on Tuesday… but the Sunday/Monday things can wait. God said “THIS IS MY MESSAGE TO YOU.” And He said it loud and clear. “Open your hearts. Open your wallets. Reschedule what you planned to do here. Find ways to delegate. You’re not indispensable here. Schedule your plane, rental car, and hotel. BE THERE!”
So, dear WordPress friends, if you don’t see a post Sunday or Monday, you’ll know why. How many consecutive days I have posted is not a number that is worth worrying about. Opening our hearts to our loved one who has lost her spouse… that’s the focus!
“Rest assured that whoever listens to God’s Word with an open heart and alert mind will receive from Him.”
I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
My day started with a 7:00 am Sunrise Service at our Madison Range putting green. The sun worked to peek out through the cloudy sky.
A small, but appreciate gathering lifted voices to sing “He Arose!” and “He Lives!”
Mule deer gathered close by to listen to our singing and nibble at the emerging greenery. Spring is just thinking about making its debut here!
Usually right after sunrise service, we go as a group to the Baptist Church and enjoy a yummy breakfast of assorted baked goodies and egg casseroles. This year, because of COVID-19, we had to be content to go home and make our own breakfast. Afterward, we went to church where we wore masks, socially distanced, and enjoyed the sermon of the day delivered by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley.
What are your earliest Memories of Easter Sunday? Yellow crocuses, dogwoods, And eggs hidden slightly away?
What are your earliest Memories of recognizing in your life God, the Risen Christ? Do you have to think twice?
My memory was on a morning When I’d victoriously ridden My bike down a steep hill – Suddenly God was not hidden.
I’m reminded of Mary Magdalene With the other Mary who saw That Jesus was not in the tomb. An angel said He’d risen – such awe!
They were terrified to realize You can’t escape God in Jesus. They told no one what they heard – Too scared… a Savior to relieve us?
They thought their hopes and dreams Had been buried and sealed away, Buried with Him – they believed. They all deserted Christ that day.
Peter had denied Christ three times. The other disciples hid in fear. Have we also denied the messenger Who told us Jesus is alive and here?
The Easter miracle assures us Our crucified Lord is running free. He is waiting for us to come out Of hiding to see Him. He waits for me!
Am I ready to believe the story Of a man who dies, but rose again? Am I ready to understand that He Suffered that agony to free me from sin?
The Risen Christ stands before me With nail prints in His hands and side. Am I ready to hear the Good News And know there’s no where I can hide?
With fear and amazement this Easter, I will not go away from the empty tomb- Back to daily routine, forgetting Him. No, with reverence I acknowledge Christ in this room.
Crown Him the Lord of years, The Potentate of time, Creator of the rolling spheres Ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, Hail! For Thou hast died for me. Thy praise shall never, never fail Throughout eternity.
It comes but once a year Yet its significance Lives in our hearts daily… Thank God for the gift of His Son who secured my spot and yours in heaven.
Praise Him! Alleluia! Amen!
Oh, and in the afternoon, we had the joy of a visit from our granddaughter, Hope, and her husband, Drew, and their two children (our great-grandchildren, Xander and Sienna).
Did you send out and receive a few Easter cards this season? I did.. and I enjoyed every one. I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you:
That was decorated with a glitter cupcake by our darling Ruby… with a note added from her big brother, first grader, Cord. So precious!!
And now, the eggs are gone. The Easter ham left-overs are in the fridge. The family departed. The dishes are looming large – Begging to be done… But first, join me and the Easter bunny, will you? Sit down and relax. Contemplate the day… Think about what Easter means. Thank God for the gift of His Son. Let’s drink a toast to Eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom. The dishes can wait! My computer’s about to run outta battery…
Proximity Is nearness Space that’s measured Feeling a treasured presence Closeness
Movement Closing in Walking toward you Feeling your loving care Proximity
Movement Closing in Walking toward you Feeling your loving care Proximity
Dream Embrace Proximity We never know How long we’ll have Together
Wishes Are important Dreams stay big My wish for you: Proximity
My sister-in-law, Bonnie, had the gift of her children and grandchildren’s close proximity yesterday as she dealt with the grief of separation. Hopefully they will ease the pain with beautiful shared memories. One of my other sisters-in-law sent me these pictures of Stan today. (If you follow my post, you know Bonnie’s husband died yesterday). I will post a few of Ann Beekman’s photos here so you can feel the proximity of this crazy family – full of joy and love for one another.
May the memories of my dear brother-in-law remain alive in our hearts And the proximity of his character comfort and sustain all his loved ones.
What’s a favorite memory you pray your family and friends will use to help them remember you when you are gone?
What photo will keep you in close proximity to them?
Embrace The comfort Offered by others Then return the favor Comfort
Comfort Makes life A little easier Even in our sorrow Care
Whisper Your cares To our God He hears every word Believe
Reach Hold hands Hug your friends Even virtual hugs matter Express
Love Is comfort Comfort in Action Never underestimate your love Increase!
Last night Bob & I received word that his brother-in-law, Stan, was in ICU. He had fallen in the shower and was unconscious. The paramedics came, performed CPR, broke three of his ribs in the process, but made sure he was breathing. Took him to the hospital. Stan and Bob’s sister, Bonnie, live in Oregon. We can’t hop in the car and go there, but thanks to technology, we can reach out in love. We can pray and ask our friends to pray, too. God hears. God cares. We can show we care, too.
Today we learned that the family has asked for Stan to be taken off of life support. He never regained consciousness… and if he survived, his brain would not be functioning properly. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not continued life on this earth, but the peace and comfort of eternal life. Thank God for our faith. We know we will meet again in heaven.
There are so many ways to show love. What are some of the ways you embrace comfort across the miles?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Hope to see you tomorrow.
I’m sending my love your way.
Knowing our dear Stan is departing his earthly body, I am sending this lovely video “If Tomorrow Starts Without Me” to comfort our sweet Bonnie and their children, Tammy & Todd… and all the Hunt/Smith/Beekman family with my love. May they find it comforting.
If we don’t feel safe yet Traveling to places we want to go, Then let’s embrace virtual travel. Go with me to the most beautiful country: Switzerland!!
My daughter, DeAna, lives in this gorgeous country – I’ve shown you this picture recently of them in front of their restaurant:
De & Andre’ have three boys, Mike, Nick, and Chris. This week I received photos from Mike ( I think it was him who sent them) sharing a wonderful meal they all enjoyed at Mike and Tania’s apartment.
Natalia (Chris’ girlfriend) is in Colombia, so she was not able to be there in person. Thanks to ZOOM, however, she was in the room for an hour!! There is Nick with Celine:
(That’s Mike and Tania in the middle… And Chris with Natalia on the right)
I love the internet because it allows Long-distance grandparents To be part of their grandkids’ lives. Thank you, dear grandsons, for sharing with us!
Travel with me to other parts of Switzerland!
Doesn’t it make you want to go there? It really is picture postcard perfect everywhere you look!!
We forgive you, Andre’, for taking DeDe with you to this beautiful country. If there is some place in the world where we HAVE to travel because our family is there, we can think of no better place than Switzerland!!
Thanks for joining me, dear blogging friends. Sante’!! To your health!! Have a good night.