Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘Life and death’

101st Birthday


(Updated from yesterday with the link I promised)

My friend in our local senior living center is in his 101st year on earth. Next week he’ll celebrate another birthday. We want to have a special party … a wheelchair parade … with balloons and horns and a lot of hoopla. But he’ll have none of that. No siree! Just celebrate it with all the other April birthdays … don’t make no big deal about it.

But it IS a big deal! Don’t you agree?

Do you know how many sunrises and sunsets that is? More than I care to count! However, God bless him, my friend can count them all. His mind is still sharp as a rack. How does he do that?

I need to go ask my friend, Anita. She’s about ready to celebrate her 100th, and she’s sharp as a tack, too! Stay tuned. I’ll get the secrets from both of them … and I’ll share it here. I wanna get to be 100 and still have all my marbles in place, too.

I already know one of Anita’s secrets. Keep busy doin’ for others! She was a member of our Montana’s Senior Companion Program well into her 90s! Always out there “helping the old folks” by taking them to their doctor appointments, helping them get their groceries, shoveling their walks, you name it! What an inspiration!

Another senior friend of mine, Carol Orr, was in her 90s when this picture of her and me was taken. Like Anita, she kept her marbles polished and in place.

I asked Carol a few years after this photo
to share with me some of her life lessons –
and I posted a blog about that about a decade ago.
I’ll find it and give you a link tomorrow.

As promised, here is that link to Carol’s Life Lessons.
Hah! Time flies… it wasn’t a decade.
This link says it was only 3 years ago
– on Carol’s 95th birthday:
https://janbeek.blog/2019/07/28/95-years-of-life-lessons/

Meantime, I want you to ponder that 101 birthday coming up. S’pose he should have a parade just for him? Maybe not, if he doesn’t want it. But, shouldn’t we do SOMEthing special?

Paul Soren made a suggestion below. I like his idea. Don’t you?

Have a Happy Day, my friends.
It’s a beautiful, blue sky springtime day here in Ennis, MT.
Time to go plant some iris
in honor of our new great-granddaughter,
Mable Iris McSparron.

What are you planning to do today?

See ya later – alligator!!

Love, JanBeek

Unbelievable!


What is happening to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters is unbelievable! My heart hurts for them. What can we do to stop Putin’s madness? It is unprovoked murder. God, stop this madness!!!

It is impossible to imagine why these atrocities are occurring. Pray for peace. Pray for God’s miracle to save this country and its people and stop the bloodshed.

What else besides prayer can we do? Donate to a trusted organization such as UNICEF or Presbyterian Relief Fund or Doctors Without Borders where we know the money will go to the intended targets – the people of Ukraine and the helpers sent there to provide aid.

These kinds of unprovoked attacks and deadly occupation have got to be deemed unlawful – a war crime – punishable in the world courts. Enough already!! Stop the madness!!!

What do you think we ordinary concerned citizens should do? What would help the Ukrainians the most?

This is all surreal. Unbelievable!!

Embrace Grief


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Jesus began to weep.
So The Jews said, “See how He loved him.”

John 11:35-36

This week we attended the funeral of a friend who died while we were off in Europe enjoying life. My friend, Jeannie, was grieving while I was obliviously enjoying life. We attended his memorial service when we returned. Many tears were shed. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed. Over the past decade or so, Bob & I enjoyed many hours of four-wheeling on our mountain trails with him.

As many of you know, if you have followed my blog a couple weeks or more, we visited Jackie & Derrick Knight while on our three week excursion. If you follow Derrick’s blog, too, you know he had just lost his dear mom… and he took a break from planning for her funeral in order to host us. We understood the sacrifice of time and emotion that this delay involved… and we appreciated it so much! It was good to hear later that he was able to facilitate a very meaningful funeral for his mum.

A good funeral
Shared grief in community
Be sad together

Lie down in green pastures

Read 23rd Psalm
Sing Amazing Grace with friends
Embrace your grieving



Engaging in the grieving process with a friend
caused me to do a lot of introspective thinking.
What if this was my husband?
How would I be handling this?
How could I cope?
Do I realize how blessed I am
to have had these 60 years together?
Do I cherish each minute
we have together
or do I take these blessings for granted?

1960 – at Bob’s sister’s wedding
1962 at our wedding
Us at our 59th anniversary last Feb.

Embracing grief also means embracing news that grieves us- learning to accept that news – and learning to give it to God. Last week we learned that Bob’s compromised heart & kidney functions are probably caused by “Amyloidosis.”

Oh my! Have you ever heard of that? It’s a condition that causes extra deposits of protein in your weakest organ(s). As I understand it, in some cases the weakest organ is the brain, so the extra protein gathers there and can cause dementia. In Bob’s case, the weak organs were heart & kidney.

The extra protein stiffens the heart muscles and causes them not to pump as efficiently. There are several kinds of amyloidosis. One is genetic. To the relief of our children and grandchildren, that one’s been ruled out!

Next week Bob will have a full body PET scan Wednesday and he will have a bone marrow exam on Thursday. The attempt is to rule out bone marrow Amyloidosis (we were told that version of it can be cancerous). So, the challenge is clear: Don’t grieve unnecessarily by worrying needlessly! Worrying about things over which you have zero control is a waste!

Only embrace grief when such sadness is called for! We weep when we see the depth of sadness in those around us. We all need space to be in our sadness. But don’t invite it! Don’t anticipate it! Take time for “good grief” when it is right to do so, just as Jesus seeped beside us when my friend’s husband died. But know Jesus is beside you, sharing your grief, but also fueling your hope.

Believe His power to create change.


Maintain your hope, dear friends.
When disturbing news is shared with you,
don’t imagine the worst.

Instead, give it to God,
knowing He is with you,
working for your good.

Trust in His Light
which shines in the darkness.

Turn to our Savior in prayer!


Lord, grant us the courage to open ourselves fully
to your word’s power and lean on your mercy.

Amen

Lord, thank You for sharing our suffering.
Help us channel our pain toward you.
Help us embrace grief when appropriate,
but focus on HOPE and Your MERCY always.
Amen

Do you have a prayer request that you are willing to share with me?
I’d be happy to pray for you.
Please add Bob and his situation to your prayer list.
Thank you!

Have a lovely Sunday …
and a Happy Halloween
🎃

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Each Sunset


Embrace each sunset
Trust the sun will rise again
Pray for clearer skies

Taken on the way home from Bozeman
last night with smoke-filled skies

Psalm 65:8
“They who dwell in the ends of the earth
stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset
shout for joy.”

Embrace each sunset
Know the sunrise is coming
Count on God’s promise

One season follows
After another each year
Changing day by day

Enjoy the beautiful voice of Aled Jones
in this lovely song that reinforces the
Sunrise follows every sunset focus…
Close your eyes and imagine
your most beautiful sunset.

Tomorrow’s sunrise
Brings with it great promises
Embrace each sunset

See ya tomorrow (God Willing)
Make the most of it!
What will you do?

Tonight I am praying for my friend, {{{Derrick}}}
Do you follow his blog?
Check it out.
The photography is as captivating as the text.
I can hardly wait for the sunrise
when we get to see him & Jackie in person!
Stay tuned… I’ll share it with you.

The Next Generation


His mum peacefully retired over her last sunset on earth.
My heart goes to to Derrick & Jackie and their family.
Rest in peace, Mum. God bless you.
Leave the light on!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Our Military


My heart is breaking over the loss of the lives of 13 of our military in Afghanistan yesterday. The death toll from the blast includes 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy hospital corpsman, and one Army soldier, American officials said.

Today we learned the identity of one of those Marines who was needlessly killed yesterday in that bombing. He was only 20 years old. A young man who wanted to be a Marine all his life, according to a report I just heard. A young man who was due to be a dad in just three weeks. My heart goes out to his family and friends, the mother of his child, and to his unborn child. My prayers are with all those who lost loved ones in that attack yesterday… including the more than 100 Afghans who died in that bombing, too.

The above photo is Texas Marine David Lee Espinoza, 20,
killed in Kabul airport attack…
who was lauded for ‘courage and bravery,’

The young man is Kareem. His father’s interview was posted on-line. A portion of it was,
“Kareem loved what he was doing, he always wanted to be a Marine,” said Nikoui, noting that his son had been stationed close to home, at Camp Pendleton. This made it easy for Kareem to visit on weekends, and he often brought along “10 or 15 other Marines” with him. When the holidays rolled around, Kareem always brought a few buddies with him for a home cooked meal.

As I write this post, additional names are being released of those who were killed in the Kabul bombing. This one just came in:

“A Marine from the St. Louis area was among the 13 American service members and more than a hundred Afghans killed in a suicide bombing Thursday near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to the man’s father and a U.S. senator.

Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville, Missouri, was among the dead, his father, Mark Schmitz told the radio station KMOX.

“This has just been absolutely devastating,” Schmitz told the station Friday.

Schmitz told the station the U.S. Marine Corps came to his home to deliver “the horrific news” around 2:40 a.m. Friday.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley confirmed his death in a statement posted to Twitter.

“Today I spoke with the family of Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, of Wentzville, Missouri, a Marine who lost his life yesterday in the Kabul attacks, while proudly serving this nation. I promised his family that his service and his legacy will not be forgotten,” Hawley wrote.

I THANK OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM
FOR THEIR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY
AND THEIR WORK TO KEEP US
FREE AND SAFE.

God bless our military.
Keep them safe, Lord.
Let them come home to their families
alive and well… not in a box!

Dear Friends,
EMBRACE OUR MILITARY.
They need our appreciation and support every day.

See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Values


My friend, Lee, sent me a You.Tube video today. He said it was “worth your time and thoughts.” I agree!.
It was narrated by a guy with a wonderful British accent. I bet it was created several years ago.
The words in blue below are his. The red is my editorial comment about that item!

Whether you wear a $300. or a $3. watch,
they both tell the same thing.

But the whole deal is, this watch does so much more than tell time!
And it costs way more than $300. . Price tag = $539.98

Whether you carry a $300. or a $30. handbag,
the amount of money inside is still the same.

This one actually is a
$2,350. Guggi
If you buy it, you’ll certainly
have less money to put inside!

Don’t you have better things to do with your money??


Whether we drive a $150,000. car or a $30,000. car,
the road and distance are the same…
and we get to the same destination.

Photo by Pavlo Luchkovski on Pexels.com

But, the Ferrari is so much more fun!
And you can certainly go faster!
(If you survive at those speeds, that is)

Whether you drink a bottle of $300. or a $10. bottle of wine,
the hangover is the same.

But Wine Spectator Magazine says, “It’s not as if wines that cost $10. or less are going to make you feel bad, or that wines that cost over $50 are never going to give you a hangover… How much wine you consume is the biggest variable…” So, in both cases, it’s the whole bottle? Not a good idea regardless of the price!

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

Whether the house you live in is 300 sq. ft. or a huge mansion with 30,000 sq. ft.,
loneliness is the same.


Yes, you can be lonely in a shack or you can be lonely in a castle. The size of the house has little to do with it. But, remember loneliness and alone are two different animals. Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. And just because you have a kajillion people around you doesn’t mean you feel loved. It has nothing to do with the size of your house… it’s the size of your heart!

Photo by Sheila on Pexels.com

Whether you fly first or economy class,
if the plane goes down – you go with it.


True! But aren’t some seats safer than others? An article in the Huffington Post – when asked about the safest place to sit to a plane – wrote this, “Each incident or crash is unique. Impact could come from a nosedive, a water landing, or a runway collision. As a result there is no safest seat.” The good news in that article, though, is “Air travel is the safest form of transportation in the country.” Bon Voyage!!
.
.

In that same video sent to me this morning by my friend, Lee, this interesting addition was included:

Five Undeniable Facts of Life

Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah on Pexels.com
  1. Don’t educate your children to be rich;
    Educate them to be happy, so when they grow up,
    they will look for the VALUE of things, not the price.
Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

2. Eat your food (a balanced diet) as your medicine
otherwise you will have to eat medicine as your food.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

3. The ones who love you will never leave you for another
because even if there are 100 reasons to give up,
s/he will find one reason to hold on.

4. There is a big difference between a human being
and being human… Only a few really understand it.

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

5. You are loved when you are born.
You will be loved when you die.
In between, you have to manage.

Live
Love
Laugh

You have to manage!

May as well manage joyfully!
Embrace Values
and live the good life…

then…

When your sunset comes,
You will have no regrets!

Good night, my friends.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Loving Memories


In Loving memory
Of my dear, only sister
All of us gathered

Many remembered
The loving kindness of her
I wrote and read this poem:

Sisters are a real treasure –
A gift from Heaven with love.
Sally shared with me a relationship
Designed by God above.

When Sally and I were little,
Mom dressed me as her twin.
People thought we really were –
But she would say, “I’m the oldest –
so I win!”

I used to blame my sis for things
When I was the culprit – clearly!
“I no pick the flaws – maybe Sally d!”
Fist full of flowers, I’d point sincerely.

She never held it against me;
Her heart was too big for grudges!
Always first to shrug nd forgive,
She didn’t need a lot of nudges.

We both joined Turlock High Band;
Played clarinet – marched in every parade.
But she preferred being treasurer –
Being sure ny dues were paid.

When God gave out number sense,
I must have hid behind the door –
Or else I missed it because my sis
Had enough for the two of us -and more!

We never really competed with each other.
She did her own thing – for sure.
A more unique soul never existed –
Cut from a loving mold – honest and pure.

She’d give you the shirt off her back
If she thought you needed one –
And she never missed a potluck –
Or any other activity with games and fun.

Her closet was quite organized
From Valentine’s to New Year’s Day.
You never had to guess the holiday –
Her clothing was the display.

After God created Sally, though,
He threw away the mold.
No one earth could match
Her heart, her style – so quirky and bold!

Sally loved her family – of that we had no doubt.
She loved her church and her yippy pups.
She adored her Lodge sisters and her scouts.
She generously gave us oregano, bee stuff, and cups.

I smile when I look at her pictures.
They tell a story of a life filled with joy.
They help me recall my sister’s love –
And be grateful – She was the Real McCoy!

Here is Sally with my grandson, Jordan. The two of them shared a December 20th birthday.

I ended my remarks at Sally’s Memorial with this scripture:

1 Kings 3:12b
“…no one like you has been before you
and no one like you shall arrive after you.”

Rest in peace, Sis.
I’ll see ya later!

And my dear blogging friends, I’ll see YOU later, too.
Bob & I will head back to Montana via Delta Airlines tonight.
Your prayers for our safe travel and smooth connections will be greatly appreciated.

Embrace Storytelling


Don’t let your stories
Die inside you when you’re gone
Let stories out now

We are headed to California to spend time with our son and his family and with Bob’s brother and his family.

With my niece and her family, we will have the Memorial Service for my sister that had to be cancelled last December. My niece wants me to say a little about my sis at the memorial service. Where do I begin? Where do I stop? How do I choose? There is so much to tell.

That picture of the two of us was taken 30 years ago at my daughter’s wedding. It brings back so many memories!

There is Sally with her two nephews and two nieces (our son’s children)… taken when the youngest two were around 8 years old. They are 25 now! I could write a book about my sister’s affection for holidays and the joy she got out of dressing up for each one of them. Her closet – full of clothes – was arranged according to holidays!

I don’t have to tell you what time of year this was! She and GiGi (or was that MeMe?) were headed to celebrate with us. Life with Sally was one celebration after the next. Lordy! Don’t let the stories die with her. Keep them alive!

Let those stories out
Just Embrace Storytelling!
Share more tomorrow…

Lord help the mister
Who comes between me and my sister
And Lord help the sister
Who comes between me and my man…
(or something like that… hah!)
We never had that trouble!

… but isn’t that a cute song?

Embrace Harmony


Live in harmony
Let your steps dance to the tune:
“Embraceable You!”

Romans 12:16-18

Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty,
but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.
Repay no one evil for evil,
but give thought to do what is honorable
in the sight of all.
If possible,
so far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all.

Living peacefully
Brings out the best in others –
Invites harmony.

Photo by Candelario Benu00edtez on Pexels.com

Beautiful to see –
Guys who live in harmony –
Enjoy company.

The relationships
Born of friendship and shared joy –
Beautiful to see.

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

Beautiful to be
Playing harmoniously –
Embracing friendships.

As my outer world
Reflects my inner spirit,
Harmony abounds.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is humanitylove.png

Happiness is when
what you think,
what you say,
and
what you do
are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi

My friend, Elaine Forsberg, recently left this earth for her eternal home. The memorial service for her was last weekend. She was a woman who raised her children to love God, follow Jesus, embrace harmony, and play harmonically. She did all those things herself. She taught by example.

Her son, Jim, plays the guitar and the saw! Her daughter, Peggy, also plays the saw… and the violin (magnificently). If you had attended Elaine’s service, you would have come away knowing this was a woman of great integrity – a woman who loved God – a woman secure in her destiny.

The Gandhi quote above fit Elaine Forsberg to a tee!

Besides loving God, Elaine loved music. She played the piano and made it possible for her children to appreciate the beauty of harmony.

The video below with its beautiful harmonies and gorgeous scenes of nature would be a favorite of hers. It’s a favorite of mine, I sang in the A Capella Choir all four years at the University of the Pacific. It was one of my favorite activities in college – and those harmonies still live in my heart.

To survive in peace and harmony,
united and strong,
we must have one people,
one nation,
one flag.

Pauline Hanson

My prayer today is this:

O Lord, may we learn to live in harmony.
May our world embrace harmonious unity.
Help us, God of Creation,
to learn to follow Your commandments.
There is no better way, we know, to live peacefully.
Help us “Embrace Harmony”
and spread its beauty to all we meet.
Today we focus on harmony, peace, wholeness, and joy.
Embrace us, O Lord,
as these thoughts flower in our consciousness –
and bring our dreams of world-wide harmony to vivid life.
Amen.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

May you feel the peace of harmony
in your heart today.


God bless You!
See ya tomorrow!

Embrace Life


“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”

-Thomas Campbell

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!

We’re in Oregon with Bob’s sister.
Priceless time!

I am praying that you
have a Marvelous Monday!

Hugs to you.
See you tomorrow (God willing)…
JanBeek

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