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Posts tagged ‘marriage’

Expectations


Frank Solanki

in his blog titled

Marriage Is A Strange Equation

published yesterday, April 24, 2022,
wrote this poem:

Marriage is a strange equation where
You take 1 Person
Add another Person
You get a Couple
So far so good
Now you add 0 Expectations to it
And you get infinite Love
Mind-boggling!

I wrote to Frank saying, “Hmmm… zero expectations? How do you do that?”
He responded, “I guess we should try and reduce it little by little. Eventually, it will get to zero.”

What do you think? Do you agree that zero expectations = infinite love?

Bob & me on our 59th

I follow Frank’s blog along with over 22,700 other admirers of his poetry. If you will forgive me, I wish to rewrite his latest. It seems to me that marriage does not have to be a strange equation. It can be:

The Perfect Equation

Marriage can be a perfect equation when
You take one person
Add another person
And get a couple
Then you add the Love of Christ
Next place the Holy Spirit in the center
You add God’s expectations of compassion
Mix in the joy of respect and faithfulness
And you get unconditional, infinite love
Now, that’s Mind-boggling!

Celebrated 60 years in February

True Friendship requires the same equation!
Take one person, add another, stir in Christ’s love
Center the Holy Spirit between you and
Sprinkle generously with compassion and respect
Remain faithful to one another, and
Keep a confidential, active, listening ear
You get unconditional, infinite love.
Isn’t that mind-boggling?

If you were asked to create a collage of true friends who epitomize that equation, who would you include? Long-time friends, family, neighbors, church friends, internet friends, friends in heaven, those you haven’t met yet? Think about it! My collages below are by no means complete… but for starters:

Are you a reliable friend?
Do you see yourself fitting into the equation?
Does your collage of friends include
those neighbors who stick “closer than a brother”?

Marriage and Friendship
are related!
They both carry with them
great expectations!

Proverbs 18:24

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Knowing I was hurting physically because I fell and disclocated/broke my pinky finger, friends sent cards, delivered food, sent texts, called, and dropped by. Did I EXPECT such an outpouring? Not at all! But did it do the trick? You bet! Those friends delivered the cheer and encouragement that we all need when we are feeling blue or tired or sick or (as in my case) a little stupid and careless.

Knowing my granddaughter and I were hurting emotionally because she just learned of and shared with me the news of her miscarriage, friends called, wrote, texted, responded on my blog & on FB, and reached out to Hope as well. Did we expect such an outpouring? No! But was it helpful and appreciated? You bet!

Thank You – It does help!
Does God EXPECT us to do so?
Yes!

Hebrews 10:24-25
Let us think of ways to motivate one another
to acts of love and good works.
And let us not neglect our meeting together,
as some people do,
but encourage one another

The Bible is full of expectations for us.
God expects us to lift one another up.
He commands us…
The greatest of these is
LOVE.
His last and final commandment:
Love one another!

Reach out to a friend today.
Reach out in love.
Do you do it because you expect something in return?
Of course!

My mom always told me,
“Whatever you send into the life of others
comes back into your own.”


(I’m sure she read that
in the Bible somewhere!)

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love & Marriage –
Go together like
a horse & carriage!


Who’s in your collage of friends today?
Tell ’em about it!


(
Share my blog with ’em!!)

5 Reasons to be Thankful


I could write a million reasons
to be thankful, couldn’t you?

But if you had a Thankfulness Journal
and each day you were only allowed space for five,
what would they be today?

  1. I am thankful for these five guys: Ed Platt, Bob Welna, Joe Stokes, Bob Beekman, and John Hauck.
    They put our stove back in the kitchen and hooked it up and moved our furniture back into the living and dining rooms. God bless ’em!!

2. I am thankful for our Ennis Arts Association and the program Cindy Owings presented to an appreciative audience at the Madison Valley Library today. Cindy’s book, The Purple Blanket, is available on Amazon. What fun it was to receive an autographed copy today!

3. I am so grateful for each new day… but especially the beautiful Madison Range that decorates our eastern landscape and the amazing sunrises that give us such wonderful views as we start the day.

4. I am so grateful for this fun-loving, faithful, generous, huggy character that I get to share my life with. Bob is the love of my life… and I am blessed to have had his companionship for these 60 years. We’ll celebrate our anniversary this Friday, thankful for each day God gives us together.

5. Listed last, but actually first in my life: I am thankful for God’s Word, my ability to read and comprehend it, the joy of sharing it with others, and the promises it holds for every day of life and beyond. Tonight eight of my friends who live in our local nursing home, The Manor, joined me for an hour of Bible Study. I love being with them and sharing selected scripture. So thankful that we can have that precious time together!

Do you have a Gratitude Journal?
Do you take time each day
to thank God for all your blessings?

If you do, you have discovered (as I have)
that naming those reasons to be thankful
has a way of magnifying the positive
and shrinking your troubles.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Hugs… Bee well!!

I’m thankful for this
Attitude of Gratitude.
Aren’t you?
What five things would you list today?

Ever Faithful


Remaining ever faithful is a life-long endeavor.

To what or to whom do you remain “ever faithful”?

For Christmas this year
our son, Ty, and his wife, Monika,
gave me this book.

The back cover has a an explanation
of the author’s purpose.

Each day David Jeremiah,
(the author of Turning Point
another devotional
I have been following for years),
selects a scripture,
and reflects on it.

Today’s reflection was especially meaningful to me:

It is trusting the Lord’s direction
day by day in our lives together
that has allowed Bob & me
to remain ever faithful
to one another for these 60 years!

This Friday we will celebrate our 60th anniversary.

This was last year on our 59th.
Here we are 60 years ago!

Yesterday we celebrated my granddaughter, Faith’s baby girl – due April 3rd – with a virtual baby shower. It was attended by about 20 friends from all over this part of our world – from Alaska and Hawaii to NY and across to CA – and states like ours (Montana) in between.

Our daughter-in-law, Monika (Faith’s mom) did a wonderful job researching ahead of time, planning, inviting, and coordinating the event. She linked in to an app that invited her to post a baby picture of the prospective mom as a baby and the prospective dad as a baby at the same age. Then the app blended the two parents and showed what the baby might look like if she favored the mom more. Another picture showed what she’ll look like if she favors dad’s side more.

Because Faith and Kyle actually resembled one another as babies, the two renditions were quite similar. That was fun!

Another activity had all the participants answering questions about the honored couple. The running scores were exhibited and the “winners” were awarded Amazon gift certificates. I didn’t participate in that… couldn’t figure out how to access the game screen! So much for technological prowess!! But folks who engaged had a lot of fun with it.

We were able see Faith & Kyle virtually unwrap each of their gifts, as each told us a little about the gift-giver… and because we were all on a ZOOM share screen, we could see each other. I was terribly impressed with Monika who was able to put all this together and move the activities along at a good pace.

My blog yesterday, “A Virtual Baby Shower,” showed you this expectant mom & dad. Here’s another photo of them:

Faith & Kyle McSparron

I know you join me in wishing them
a happy, healthy pregnancy.
Of course, I will share pictures
of their baby girl with you
when she is born in April.

Meantime, my prayer for them
is that they remain “ever faithful”
to one another –
and are loving, devoted parents
when their new little bundle arrives.
God bless Faith & Kyle!!

Bee well my friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I’ll see you tomorrow (God willing)
What are your Tuesday plans?

Hugs to you!

Oh, before I say good-bye,
Here’s a tribute to this
age-old tradition:
marriage!!


Bye for now!!

Embrace Respect


At the doctor’s office this week,
the physician asked us how long we’d been married.
As a couple in our 80’s, that’s a question we hear
Often in these days of hurry and scurry from the harried.

When we say it’ll be 60 years next February,
they say, “Congratulations, Wow!” and then they ask,
“What’s the secret to such a long relationship?”
They can see our smiles through our masks.

“Mutual respect,” I say. “And Faith,” Bob adds.
“We pray together daily because we believe
those who pray together stay together.”
The doc asks, “Do you have other tips up your sleeve?”

“Of course,” Bob responds with a twinkle,
“Never stop showing how much you care!”
And I reinforced the idea, “Mutual respect is a must.
Add the element of trust – and be willing to openly share.”

“At the same time,” I must add, “Remember this:
We are individuals who need to be allowed space.
We’re not connected at the hip, and we can go
our separate ways while sharing this place.”

Respecting one another means we value
the uniqueness each of us brings
to our marriage relationship – and its OK
for one of us to fiddle while the other one sings.

It’s OK for me to be in the bell choir and blog
while Bob watches Monday Night football.
It’s OK for him to prefer history or sports
while I read a novel or make a phone call.

It’s OK for Bob to sit for a while and read
while I clean off the table after dinner.
But when it comes time to do the dishes,
Get up and help if you wanna win her!

It’s Ok to divide some of the chores.
I don’t wanna learn to mow the lawn!
And Bob can’t turn on the washing machine;
but share some tasks – don’t be withdrawn!

Does that mean we always agree?
That we never argue with each other?
No, not at all… we’re human after all!
But we don’t fight with one another!

You can disagree with mutual respect.
The key to that statement is to listen.
Honor your partner’s right to an opinion –
and enjoy equality – not one forcing dominion.

What’s the secret to a long, happy relationship?
Mutual respect, shared faith, and trust –
equal rights, space, avoiding fights,
and time apart every now & then – if you must!

Bob enjoys fishing… I don’t!

I enjoy volunteering at the Food Bank or Nursing Home –
that’s not in Bob’s sweet spot!

We both enjoy a nice glass of wine
with a tasty meal – and occasionally eating out.
It’s important to find some common ground
otherwise you’ll smile less and increase your pout!

So, my friends, what’s the bottom line?
God helped us find each other from the start –
And through the years we’ve leaned on Him for help.
We thank the Lord for His loving heart!

Gratitude can’t be left our of the equation.
Don’t forget to thank Jesus and remember to say
“Thank you” to one another every day.
Thank Heaven, our love is here to stay!

Hah!
Do you think I should learn to fish?

What are your secrets to a long and happy marriage?
I wish you a life-time of mutual love and respect.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace LoveLiving


What is “LoveLiving”?
Duh, it is living in love!
Uh, but every day?

Are we allowed angst?
Are some days just terrible?
Are you wondering?

How do folks do it?
How do folks just hang in there?
We all face tough days!

Mom & Dad

Today would have been
My mom and dad’s 80th.
Don’t they look happy?

But don’t let smiles
Fool you into false thinking.
Days weren’t always great!

Sometimes Mom shouted
In frustration at my dad.
He’d just grin at her.

His was the sweetest
Grin and the biggest of hugs.
No one could stay mad.

But it’s not healthy
To keep everything inside.
He should have shouted!!

Silence brings ulcers!
LoveLiving ain’t always soft.
Sometimes it is hard!

Jesus taught us that!
He wasn’t always smiling,
Yet always loving.

Holidays are hard.
Families don’t always agree.
Disagree in love.

LoveLiving is loud.
Cry out loud if you need to.
Tell folks how you feel.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

But, no fair fighting!
Compassionately share all
And avoid ulcers!

Let your family in.
Share emotions openly.
Do it with respect.

Respect is the key
To living in love each day.
It is essential.

It will be 60
Years of marriage in two months.
Sixty LoveLiving.

Was it always fun?
No, there were troubling times.
But, we prayed them through.

Faith is essential.
Like a rope with three tough strands:
You, me, and the Lord!

Bonnie Beekman Hunt and Stan Hunt

At our granddaughter’s
Wedding two plus years ago,
All four Beekmans danced.

We were the last ones
Left on the dance floor to show
The fruits of long love.

Four Beekman siblings,
All married fifty-five plus.
Wasn’t always fun!

Bob & me at
Bonnie & Stan’s wedding

Shortly after this
I foolishly broke us off.
But Bob was steadfast.

He’s true LoveLiving.
Said, “Not YOUR way or MY way,
But it is OUR way!”

It’s so fortunate
That I bought into that stance!
So blessed with this man!

Here we are
at DeAna’s wedding

Then, twenty-five years
Later, our daughter, DeDe
Married her sweetheart.

Our LoveLiving has
Rubbed off on her and Andre’…
Not always easy!

But, sticking it out
Through the good days and the bad
Pays off in the end.

Monika and Ty with
DeAna and Andre’

Our son and his wife,
Ty and Monika Beekman,
Practice LoveLiving.

They celebrated
Thirty-two years together
This last September.

Ain’t always easy.
Some days a wing and a prayer
Were all that tied them.

Monika & Ty

But, LoveLiving is
Knowing it’s great to forgive,
And growing in love.

LoveLiving is hard.
Jesus never promised ease.
But He is with us.

Our Lord promised us
He’d help in times of trouble.
All we do is ask!

Jesus carries us
When our burdens feel heavy.
LoveLiving is hard!

Jesus carries us
When we can’t walk on our own.
Let Him lift you up.

Jesus quiets us
When we are feeling let down.
Give him your worries!

With holiday time
Comes the pressure we create
With long to-do lists.

Often we just need
To set all those lists aside
And do LoveLiving!

Seek the Lord’s presence.
Imitate acts of kindness.
Let His LoveLight shine!

Happy LoveLiving, my friends.
What will you do this week to spread the
LoveLight that shares the
REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON?

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com


May the Lord Bless and Keep You.
I send you lots of hugs and cheer.
JanBeek

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 Getting Ready


If you’ve followed my blog
or seen my posts on FaceBook,
you know my husband, Bob,
has been facing some medical challenges.
I asked for prayers for his return to usual stamina.

Thank you for those prayers,
(if you offered them up to God for us).
He is feeling soooo much better –
and the doctor has okayed his trip tomorrow!!

So, Happy Labor Day weekend, my friends!
I hope you are enjoying a relaxing, fun-filled day.

Bob is getting ready to go
on a fishing trip with two of his buddies.
They leave at 5: am tomorrow for Anchorage
and then will spend a week at Kulik Lodge,
way up north on the peninsula of Alaska,
in the area called Bristol Bay.
Have you every been to Alaska?
Have you been fishing there?

His buddies told him he doesn’t need to
bring all his flies on the trip.
The lodge and guides where he is going
will provide for him all the flies he needs.

Doesn’t that look inviting??

If all goes well, he will not only be able to catch some whoppers,
but he will have at least one smoked and shipped home with him!

While Bob is getting ready for his trip,
I am getting ready for his absence.
In our 60 years of wedded bliss,
I cannot remember ever being
away from him this long!

Here we are in the mid-60’s with our son, Ty.
Here we are together with my parents
in the late 1960’s – or early ’70s.
Here we are with 22 family/friends
at Bob’s 80th.
That’s our daughter DeAna
with her arm around her daddy
and our son, Ty, next to her
with his hand on my shoulder.
You can see from this photo of us
on our 59th anniversary that
the years have been good to us.

So, as I get ready to be away from Bob for more than a week,
send me some ideas for how to avoid loneliness!
Tell me how to get ready to fix a meal for one…
and to eat alone for 9 days!

A friend is coming over
to keep me company
for awhile tomorrow.
(Thank you, Julie!)

What are you doing Tuesday?

TazE says, “Just relax, Mom. I gotcha covered!”

Thank God for our pets, huh?
I know TazE will be great company.

Have a good Sunday evening.
I send my love and hugs your way.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Answered Prayers


Have you had a worry today?
Something you have no control over?
I have!

My daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland
had surgery this morning.
When I went to bed last night,
I prayed to God.

“Take care of my girl, God.
Be with the surgeon.
Guide the anesthesiologist.
Make the results perfect.
Keep the whole process in Your capable hands!”

I set aside worry.
I slept soundly after giving it to God.
This morning DeDe sent me a text.
“It all came out ok.
I am fine!”

Praise God for answered prayers!

Do you turn your worries over to God in prayer?
Then, do you remember to thank our Heavenly Father
when the things and people you pray for turn out OK?

.

Every day I sit in my rocker up in my sanctuary
and I pray for my family and friends.
I pray for my neighbors and my church friends,
I pray for my pastor, my cousins who live in other states,
my son and daughter and their families, and
I pray for you, my Word Press friends.

If I have know specific needs
(like DeAna’s surgery this morning),
I will make my requests specific.
But most of the time I just ask God,
“Please take care of these beloved people.
You know their needs. Be with them, Lord.”

Like a river cutting through rock.
my prayers are tenacious.
I know God hears my prayers.
I know the Holy Spirit speaks to me
and reminds me of the people I need to remember.
I know God expects me to be persistent in prayer.
I am inspired by the way Jesus prayed.

This painting of Jesus praying
sits in front of me in my sanctuary.
So, as I pray, I know Jesus intercedes for me.
I know He hears and He models prayer for me.


Luke 6:12

“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray,
and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”

.

Prayers for Yourself

Not all prayers are for others.
Sometimes we need to pray for ourselves.
We need to ask God to provide for our needs
and we need to thank God for the way He provides.

Bob and I will celebrate our 60th anniversary next February.
Every day I pray to God for Bob’s health and safety
and I thank God for sending him into my life.
Every day I spend with him as my partner
is an answered prayer.



Every day
our lives are blessed
by the power of what love can do.
Our love grows richer
year after year.
Are you so blessed, too?



We are grateful for the love we share
and the way our friends and family
love us in return.

Thank you, friends.
Thank You, God…
for answered prayer!!

We found a love
only few ever find.

If life should end tomorrow,
I’d leave this earth a millionaire –
Because every day with you, my dear,
Is a day of answered prayer.

I love you, BobbyBee.

What answered prayer
is your “million dollar gift”
my friends?

Embrace Steadfastness


When you hear the word “steadfastness,” what comes to mind?

Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

Steadfastness comes from the root word, STEADY.
I watched our family in Tahoe last month
play that game that tests how steady your hands are
and how skilled you are at choosing
what can be removed from the wooden pyramid
without toppling the whole thing over.

Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

The collegiate definition of steadfast is:

“firmly fixed in place”
or
“not subject to change”
or
“firm in belief, determination, or adherence”

Synonyms for steadfastness include:

constant,
dedicated,
devoted,
devout,
faithful,
fast,
steady,
and
true.

So, when I think of the word steadfastness,
I think of faithfulness and dedication.
I think of forever friends who stick by us
– always there for us in good times and bad.
I think of marriage –
-the ones that last
– and I am grateful for Bob’s steadfastness.

As a Man of God,
Bob has exhibited for nearly 60 years
the steadfastness of the Lord
in our marriage.
I am so grateful that God steered me
in Bob’s direction when it was time
to choose a partner for life.
I can substitute Bob’s name
for God’s name in this hymn –
because Bob’s steadfastness
has been so Christ-like.
I truly am blessed!

I am grateful that our families (both Bob’s and mine) set an example of faithfulness for us. There have been no divorces among our parents or grandparents for as far back as we can trace our roots. Likewise, our current families have set an example of faithfulness for our children and grandchildren.

Our son, Ty, and his wife, Monika will celebrate 32 years of marriage this September.

Our daughter, DeAna, and her husband, Andre’
have just celebrated their 34th anniversary.
Here are Bob & me 34 years ago at her wedding.



The dress she wore was my dress 25 years earlier – and she was married in the same University of Pacific chapel where Bob & I were wed. The steadfastness of family and traditions makes God smile, I’m sure.

Are you smiling, too?

This image represents steadfastness to me.

The pillar is our faith –
and the ropes are us –
connected through faith
for a lifetime and eternity
– together –
firm in belief, determination, and adherence!


When you
EMBRACE STEADFASTNESS
and consider the application of that word
in your life and acquaintances,
what image comes to your mind?



Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Defining Moments


In my reading this morning, These Days – Daily Devotionals for Living by Faith, I was inspired by the commentary of Robin Gallaher Branch of Memphis, Tennessee. The scripture that motivated her thoughts was from Ezekiel 1-2:1

The word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel,
son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans
by the river Chebar, and the hand of the Lord
was on him there.

What Does That Scripture Mean?

Study that painting. Obviously artists have been inspired by this scripture. But somehow, as I read it again, the depth of its meaning escaped me. I was not quite sure what to make of it. Robin Branch, on the other hand, saw “A Vision is a Divine Interruption.”

She wrote, “I tell my students this: Expect Divine Interruptions.”

Why? Because they occur regularly in the Bible.

And that is what she understood was happening to Ezekiel in this passage. She wrote, “He was minding his own business when the heavens suddenly opened.”

Another artist depicted the scene this way:

Wow! Robin Branch describes it in words, “He saw four living creatures in human-like forms. Each had four faces: those of human being, lion, ox, and eagle… When the creatures moved, their wings sounded like mighty waters.”

What did he do? Ezekiel’s response was, “I fell on my face.” (verse 28)

God Interrupts Our Lives

Ezekiel shows us what to do when God interrupts our lives with a vision, a dream, or an angelic encounter. Worship and wait to be addressed!

But, how many of us have had God present Himself to us in a vision or a dream or an angelic encounter?

Maybe more of us than we realize! Do we open our eyes and hearts to recognize those defining moments? Do we see the angels in our midst? Do we know God makes divine appointments with us? Do we feel His presence?

Live in Expectancy

Do you live in a state of expectation, looking to see God in others? Do you know God is making broken things brand new? I see God in you! I see God in the defining moments of my life.

Daily Word, a Unity Publication, provides a daily word (or words) to ponder. It has a short devotional to enhance the word. Today’s word was “Expectation.” In the commentary, the title was, “Expectation keeps my mind positive and my heart full.

“Living in a state of expectancy kindles a quiet excitement in my heart, keeping me passionate about life.”

If I live in expectancy, I encounter defining moments …

Moments that define us are often not recognized until years later.

What are Defining Moments?

Jan & Bob
1962

Of course, if you are married happily, you know a defining moment in your life is your wedding. That one is easy to recognize.

Defining moments are those that impact you, change your direction, or reinforce it. They change your thinking. They wake you up to an Ah-hah moment, or they sit quietly in your subconscious – ready for the day you are prepared to recognize their impact and put their lesson to work in your life.

I asked Bob, as we were together in our sanctuary this morning, doing our Bible Study and devotionals, “What are the defining moments of your life?”

Right away, he said, “Our wedding day.”

See, I told you.. that one’s a given. Especially for folks like us who have stuck it out through thick and thin for 59 years!

Not All Are Positive

Not all of your defining moments are going to be the mountaintop experiences. Some are experienced in the valleys of our lives.

One of mine was when I had a burst appendix. I thought I was constipated and that’s why I ached so much. I tried laxatives. I tried a therapeutic massage. It just got worse. Finally the pain was so intense, I couldn’t sleep and I was crying out. Bob took me at midnight to the emergency room in the hospital just 5 minutes from home. They ran a bunch of tests, took x-rays, thought it was diverticulitis. Sent the x-rays to the larger hospital in Bozeman (an hour’s drive away). The doctors there looked at them and called to say, “Get that lady in here right now! She has a burst appendix.”

Why was this a “defining moment”? A dear lady (one of our medical center volunteers named Donna) road with me in the ambulance to Bozeman held my hand and prayed with me the whole way. She was an angel on earth! She helped me survive the painful ride to the hospital. Once there, the doctors told me I could have died. At my age (I was 79 or 80), many don’t survive such an ordeal.

I learned:

  • it’s probably not a good idea to ignore excruciating pain or self-medicate
  • it’s not wise to diagnose your own ailment
  • a prayer angel can make all the difference between life/death and comfort/agony

Some Defining Moments are Very Positive

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A mountaintop defining moment for me occurred when I was only 16 years old. It was the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I was attending a summer “Music Therapy Clinic” at the College of the Pacific. One of our participants was a little boy named Jeremy. He about 4 years old and had never spoken. He had a voice. He could scream when he was upset. He could moan. He could whimper. But he had not spoken any words.

My music therapy counselor/teacher, Mrs. Harbert, was playing the piano. We all were sitting on the floor in a circle. Each of us had a child in our lap. Mine was Jeremy. Mrs. Harbert was playing a non-sensical, very rhythmic song. Its only word was “Hospodipomilwi.”

Hoss-poe-dee-poe-meal-wee

Hos-po-de-po-mil-we

Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi

I bounced Jeremy on my lap and sang quietly in his ear.

All of a sudden, Jeremy began to sing!! “Hospodipomilwi”

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A year or so later, I saw Jeremy and his mom when I was shopping near the college. She said, “I can’t believe I used to pray for him to speak. Now I can’t get him to stop talking!”

I learned:

  • There is no greater thrill than to help a needy child
  • Music is magical
  • I wanted a career where I could work with children and music

God’s Divine Interruptions Change Us

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We were living in California. Bob was still working as a beekeeper. I was retired. He wasn’t sure he was ready to retire yet, but we talked about it. We didn’t know where we wanted to live after his retirement, but we were pretty sure we didn’t want to stay in California. The state was growing in population faster than the the infra-structure could handle the numbers.

Then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Life changed. We changed.

I won’t take you through the whole three year process, just suffice to say, it was a defining moment! His cancer caused us to reevaluate where we were, who we were, and where we wanted to be.

It is the reason we now live in this place we call God’s Country, Ennis Montana.

The Road of Life is Filled with Defining Moments

The road of life is filled with highs, lows,
mountaintops and valleys,
potholes and gravel.

When life knocks you down,
when you are going along
minding your own business
and the heavens open up,
or the bridge collapses
and you fall into a crevice,
remember Ezekiel.

He fell on his face.
He called out to God.
He waited for God to direct him.

Let God’s still small voice direct you.
Like my Donna,
watch for the angels all around you.

Let His strength illuminate your path.
Like Josh Williams, see God in others
and let their strength encourage you.


Let the defining moments speak to you.
Like Jeremy, find your voice
and sing!
Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi

Embrace Defining Moments



What are YOUR defining moments?

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