The woman’s husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, “My dearest, you have been with me all through the bad times. When I was laid off, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. You know what?”
“What dear?,” she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.
“I think you’re bad luck.”
OK, LAUGH!! But, no, don’t take that seriously! Our spouses are such an important part of our support system!
But not all are blessed with a supportive spouse. Some live alone; some live in turmoil at home; and some just feel abandoned. Some just need a hand…
In “Mornings with Jesus,” my daily devotional today, the scripture featured was
Isaiah 49:15-16 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands…”
The nail prints engraved on Jesus’s hands remind us that He died in our place. We can be sure He will never forget us, even if everyone else on earth does.
Have you ever felt abandoned by everyone else – left with nowhere to turn, looking for solace and finding it only in your faith?
But I have friends and family who have experienced those emotions. And some of them don’t know how to turn to their faith, either. I had a niece who felt that way – and she committed suicide! So this topic of emotional support systems is very dear to me!
In the case of my niece, she isolated herself from family and friends. She suffered in silence. She left the rest of us wondering where we went wrong. How could we not have picked up the stress signals that let us know the depth of her despair? But we didn’t…
Don’t be deceived by outward appearances! Look deep inside. Be the friend in whom your family and neighbors can confide by asking questions and showing concern!
Yesterday I shared about the grief of losing a friend – – – an ATV buddy who died while we were on our trip. And I shared the difficulty of our news about my husband, Bob’s, health issues. The outpouring of love and support from friends on Facebook and blogging buddies here was heartwarming. I thank you for embracing my grief and sharing my hope and faith in good test results and clear diagnosis and effective treatments. Your emotional support is so appreciated!
This week is full of labs and scans, biopsies and various exams. In the midst of it all, I draw strength from my faith. I know God is with me and Bob. I know He is in control. I believe He works for our good. And I feel your love and encouragement. Thank you for being a part of my support system! I appreciate you!
None of you shared yesterday if there is a way I can pray for you… a specific need you have. Let me know, okay? And thank you for keeping Bob & me in your prayers as we take this one day at a time.
“You know it, deep down- you’re not made for ordinary. Your life is meant to be an adventure, fueled by grace and inspired by big dreams to make the world a better place. But, stuff gets in the way. Whether it’s people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that take you out along the way– we all have a longing to break out of the status quo and get after the life we’re meant to live.” – Bob Goff
That quote came from one of my favorite people in the world, Bob Goff, author of “Love Does.” He has a new website:
I may look like those bruises took me out along the way with that eyelid swollen and the bruise running down my cheek, but I am far from “taken out!” Instead I am thinking this is an “extraordinary” bruise from an “extraordinary bang” and I am blessed not to have suffered a concussion! My knock on the head is not stopping me from planning some extraordinary days ahead!
Likewise, the fires in CA and the flooding on the east coast and the hurricanes in Haiti and the war-torn people in Afghanistan may have stopped some people from feeling like they are living the “life we’re meant to live,” but such catastrophes cause us to also to thank God for our survival. They cause us to evaluate what’s ordinary and what’s extraordinary – what’s essential and what’s fluff.
Don’t look down and say, “Poor me!” Instead, look up, and thank God for the blessings that are still yours! That’s what I am trying to do today as I put a hot compress on that goose egg that still sits on my forehead – and plan for an extraordinary trip to England to meet our blogging friends, Derrick & Jackie in person, and to travel on to Switzerland to see our daughter and her family there. We haven’t been able to do that since COVID raised its ugly head. Waaay too long between visits with our DollyWolly!
As Bob Goff said, “Life is too short to just go through the motions.” Embrace the extraordinary! Be extraordinarily positive! Look at the bruises and the challenges – and remember, “whether its the people who tell you to be practical, a version of a faith that keeps you small, or a few bruises that … along the way,” they don’t have to pull you down. They don’t have to keep your dreams small. As Bob Goff says on his website and in his books, “Dream Big!”
What are you planning for your future that will keep you living those “Dream Big” ideas? Whatever it is, keep leaning on the One who answers your prayers!
The Fire Update in CA
Our son and his wife in CA still are safe from the Caldron Fire. They still are housing a family of 8 children and their mom who were evacuated from their home. They are living an extraordinary life right now, buoyed by all our prayers.
Our granddaughter in S. Lake Tahoe and her husband, Faith and Kyle, who were evacuated from their home, still are safely relocated for now in southern CA with their other grandparents. Today they received the gift of passes to visit Disneyland. It’s Kyle’s first visit there to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” The fire took a right turn just a mile from their house. Only God can control the wind! Answered prayers have saved their neighborhood. What an extraordinary God we have!
Continue to pray for extraordinary bravery and safety for our fire fighters.
Please continue to pray for Faith and Kyle and their neighborhood… and for Ty & Monika and their big hearts which are open to such Christ-like help for their friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow(God willing)
Stay tuned! And continue to be the extraordinary person God created you to be!
If you can laugh at yourself, Laughter will always be with you. We do the darndest things!!
On our trip home from Eugene, Oregon via Seattle, WA, we “lost” our carry-on suitcase. Because of a shortage of overhead bin space, we were asked to leave our carry-on at the entrance of the plane. At the end of the flight, the cart rolled out with all the luggage and ours wasn’t on it. There was a blue bag like ours, but it had a strange-looking lock on it, and it was a little bigger than ours, and the color wasn’t exactly right.
We figured somebody had accidentally picked up the wrong bag. We reported the missing bag to the flight attendant.
“You’re sure this isn’t yours?” she asked.
“We’re sure!” we both chimed in.
So, this gracious masked flight attendant escorted us to the Alaska Airlines Passenger Assistance desk. On the way we exchanged pleasantries. She discovered we’d been married 59 years. She asked about our destination. We asked about her life. We had plenty of time to share. It was a long walk to the help desk.
At the customer service desk, the attendant took our phone number and other contact information and assured us that we’d be contacted when the person who mistook our bag for theirs realized their mistake and returned it.
We thanked her again and got her contact info from her. Later she sent us a picture of herself unmasked so we’d recognize her if she came to visit us in Montana. We really hope she will!!
As we were headed for our next departure gate to continue our travel home to Bozeman, MT, we saw another flight attendant wheeling a blue carry-on toward the help desk. Something caused us to turn around, follow him, and inquire about that suitcase when he got to the Alaska Airlines customer service area.
Our sweet and helpful flight attendant still was in that area. She came over to see the blue bag that was left behind and get an update on what was happening. The two attendants looked at the bag, turned the tag on it over and examined the name/address on it.
“Beekmans?” the male attendant asked?
“Yes,” we replled.
“This is your bag!” he told us.
We felt soooo stupid! We BOTH had denied that bag could be ours. We had created a hassle for the flight attendant and ourselves. NEEDLESSLY. We felt like such morons! We profusely apologized. They chuckled. We laughed out loud… a laugh filled with embarrassment.
Our sweet flight attendant patted us on the back. Gave us a comforting smile and said, “It could happen to any of us. Don’t worry!”
She said she wanted to adopt us as her “Marriage longevity role models.”
Thank you, Lisa!!
Ah, 59 years together! We often tell folks it takes the two of us to complete one another… two halves make a whole.
At that moment we thought we had both become slightly senile. Neither of us felt like half of a whole!! Maybe a quarter?
We can’t afford to have BOTH of us lose a few marbles. HELP!!
As we rolled our bag – hmmm… why hadn’t we noticed that lock on there before? Hmmm … was it really this size? Hmmm … why hadn’t we noticed the shade of blue?
We got the giggles. We laughed at our own feeble-mindedness and decided what we needed was a good glass of wine, a taco snack, and a chance to just sit and relax before we boarded the next flight.
I received a text from our dear flight attendant. She assured us that we were the highlight of her day. She sent us a picture of her beautiful family and invited us to come visit her if we are ever in the area where she lives. I can just hear her sharing the story about this “adorable old couple, married 59 years, not recognizing their own suitcase” and getting a good laugh for years to come.
We’re able to laugh about it, too. We hope she really will take us up on it and come to visit us in Montana!
The moral of the story:
The next time you do something stupid, give each other a high five. Get a good laugh at yourself, and realize:
You are not alone! Laugh together. No one can laugh AT you, if they are laughing WITH you!
And, by the way, do you have some kind of bright florescent ribbon that we can tie onto our luggage?
Something that we can’t mistake for someone else’s?
Send it along to us!! And have a great Thursday!
Oh- and by the way, that girl at the top with her tongue out? That’s Bob’s niece, Tammy. She has a great sense of humor. As a nurse – especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, Laughter has been a saving grace! Gotta keep your spirits up!!
In this crucial time We need to stop, look, listen Stop now and bow down!
In kindergarten, we were taught to stop, look and listen. We made traffic lights as an art project. As a kindergarten teacher in the 70’s, I taught the children to recognize their colors, write their numbers, sing their ABC’s and listen for the sounds the letters made. I taught them safety features. Looking out for themselves and for one another. Yes, we had partners who took care of each other when we went out on field trips.
It’s time once again For us to stop, look, listen Practice safety rules
It’s time once again To look out for each other Hold hearts across miles
Just STOP, everyone! Stay sequestered and stop now Look for ways to help
Listen for the cries Of people less fortunate Look for solutions
Kim Taylor Henry is one of the contributing writers for Daily Guideposts 2020. This week, she has taken us through her devotionals on a journey to the Holy Land. We stopped with her in Jerusalem and bemoaned the way “the city bustled on.”
Kim thought of the words of Jesus: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem… how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
She wrote that when she traveled to Jerusalem, she “had expected to feel connected to God through tranquility.”
Instead, as she stood on a hill looking down at the expanse of the city, she wanted to cry out, “Stop everyone! This is holy ground! Bow down. Worship. Praise.”
We were just like that – Chaotic, bustling, busy – Moving way too fast
Then this virus hit We came to a screeching halt Stop, look and listen!
Now we have the time We are forced to be at home How will this change us?
Will we use this time To reclaim our best values To reach out in love?
The city is still The children are in their homes It seems the world stopped
Take time to bow down Reconnect with your Maker Let His Will guide you
When Kim Taylor Henry left Jerusalem and traveled on to Gethsemane, she expected to find “a hushed highlight” for her trip. She wrote that she thought she would find “a spot where I would reflect on our Savior’s suffering, a place of pain, yet serenity.”
“Instead ,” she wrote, “I saw a fenced-off grouping of knobbly olive trees… It didn’t feel peaceful.”
Opportunity or Tragedy
We have the opportunity during this COVID-19 pandemic to create in our homes a place of peace, a spot where you sense a “hushed highlight” in the opportunity to just BE… just BE together with family or alone in your space…
We can create a tragedy where we feel “fenced off” and we can be resentful, and we can worry and let our fear blind us to the opportunities that are before us.
Indifference or Awareness?
Traveling on the Via Dolorosa, the road to Calvary, the place outside the city of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, Kim Taylor Henry wrote in her Guideposts devotional,
“I felt irritated by what I viewed as near oblivion to the sanctity of the path. Crass crowds and the array of souvenir shops disturbed me.”
But she went on to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha, the hillside where Jesus and the two thieves’ crosses remained, and she felt a sense of hush and respect.
Kim asked herself, “Why is the Via Dolorosa bustling with indifference and commercialism while the sites of death and resurrection are worshipful?” And she postulated, “Perhaps it’s a reminder that I, like so many wrapped up in the world… realize my errors too late, and bow down after the fact – when crisis has already struck.”
Is it Too Late?
Help us not to wait Until the crisis has struck Devastating us
Help us to heed NOW The directions we’re given And let us bow down
Stop, look and listen Like kindergarteners did No, it’s not too late!
Thank you, Kim Taylor Henry, for permission to quote your writing. Thank you, Guideposts, for your wonderful DailyGuideposts 2020spirit-lifting devotionals. I appreciate this resource that helps me each day stay focused on the positive ways we can remain in His Word and “Walk the Talk” as we learn to better love and care for one another.