Faithful is a Yellowstone moose. He’s 14 years old! When our granddaughter, Faith, was about 10 years old, she visited us here in Montana. As a family, we visited Yellowstone Park. She and her three siblings each were given a little money to select a souvenir from the gift shop. As kids typically do, they chose something for themselves. But, Faith was not typical. She selected this moose – and gave it to me as a present … a thank you for their visit.
Today is Faith and her husband, Kyle’s wedding anniversary. They were married a year ago. Faith is as thoughtful a young lady as she was as a little ten-year-old. Every morning I say a special prayer for Faith and Kyle as I make my bed, and put “Faithful” back in his central place of honor in front of the pillows.
Fourteen years has taken its toll on Old Faithful. His hat is torn – and it was chewed a little by TazE when she was a puppy. But still, I cherish this little stuffed moose.
I tuck the torn hat in under his antler and ask the Lord,
“Please watch over Faith and Kyle. Tuck them under Your wings, O Lord, just as I tuck Faithful’s hat under his ear. Give them health and happiness, love and longevity. Keep them safe. And help them lean on Your love and their Faithfulness this day and every day. Amen.”
May they love with a universal love – always generous, compassionate, grateful and hopeful, brave and forgiving, proud and yet humble.
Do you have children? Or grandchildren? How about great-grandchildren? The most important gift you can give them is the gift of daily prayer.
God bless you, Faith and Kyle. And both our children and their families. Yes, we are so blessed. Thank You, God, for You are always FAITHFUL!
Dr. Jimmy Walters has been posting a 30 day series on healing. Today his topic was “Listening.” Check it out by clicking n “Day 26” below:
Dr. Jimmy said in his article, “… listening can inform us, guide us, as we grow and as we learn.”
My daughter DeAna, and her husband, Andre’ (pictured above and below here) are celebrating their 33rd anniversary today. It has been an interesting journey for them. They married when she was not quite 20 and he was 24. Young and naive, coming from a world apart – she a California girl and he a fun-loving guy who’d been working as a chef in Switzerland.
DeAna wore my dress and Andre’ wore Bob’s red bow tie and cummerbund as they were married in the same University of the Pacific chapel where Bob & I were wed 25 years earlier.
They remained in California four more years while De finished college, but eventually, they moved back to Andre’s hometown in Sierre, Switzerland. He missed his mountains, his family, his culture. I don’t blame him!!! De was pregnant with our first grandchild when they left. Talk about a difficult good-bye! But hey… Switzerland…. what a beautiful place to HAVE TO visit, huh?
Life was beautiful – but, oh so different – there.
Listening to Andre’s mom, Denise, was an important part of their marital success. As the years went by, DeAna and Andre’ grew in their ability to share their minds, let their dreams be known, and listen to one another.
Bob & I have been married 58 years, and we, too, are busy still learning to be better listeners. It’s a life-long process. But the effort is worth it. We, too, are happier now than ever.
Psalm 37:10-11 (MSG)
“The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness. Soar high in the skies, O God! Cover the whole earth with Your glory!”
Today the skies revealed a slight rainbow arching the skies … look carefully:
As I stood on the porch after the rain, listening to the thunder in the hills, the robins chirped from their nest nearby and the doves flew back onto the roof to coo at one another. Listen! The earth is alive with God’s symphonies.
The rain returned – just light sprinkles, but the birds continued their songs.
Bob came out on the porch and said, “What’s for lunch?” I responded with a shrug, “I don’t have anything planned.” “How about a hamburger and huckleberry milkshake?” he asked. Believe me, I listened, I heard, and … We were in the car in a jiffy.
The sign over Bob’s shoulder says, “Without ICE CREAM, Life is Darkness and Chaos.”
Without good listening, Without open sharing of dreams, You’ll miss out on lots of hamburgers and milkshakes!
Now, doesn’t that look like “God’s Vision for Your Life”??
Listen for your Health! Listen for your Happiness. Don’t miss out!
“… forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward…”
I need you to see a photo of my youngest granddaughter when she was a little baby. Read on and I’ll tell you why I want you to see this on a post that’s all about where you’re headed. Here’s Faith Austynn Beekman:
Faith was adopted at birth by our son, Ty, and his wife Monika. The story of her adoption is a good one for another day. But for now, let me fast-forward:
Faith has grown to be a woman of great faith. This photo of her between her two grandmothers was taken two years before she graduated from High School. I tried to find my photo of her at her graduation, but this was as close as I came to it.
Ah, tenacity… it paid off… I found it! Here Faith is with us on the day of her graduation. Look at how much taller she is! Or did I just shrink?
Why do you think it was so important to see Faith on her graduation day – on this post titled, “Where ya Headed?” Well, a scripture with ta similar message as Philippians 3:13 – was printed on the top of her commencement hat! Hebrews 12:1 …
Fast forward again. Here is Faith with her fiance’, Kyle McSparron, on the day of their engagement:
And here they are at the rehearsal dance the day before their wedding:
Faith’s life so far is a fairy tale of love and success and faithful direction. Obedience to God and to her parents’ teachings, adherence to Biblical Principles, and the tenacity to “run with endurance the race God has set before [her]” are criterion that characterize her young life.
Living the Race
Faith and Kyle joined her parents (our son) Ty and Monika with their dog, Nakota at our home for Thanksgiving last year. Kyle has an electrical business that is suffering the downturn caused by this COVID-19 pandemic. He needs our prayers as he works to keep the company afloat.
Faith is working for the state of Nevada as a “Disaster Preparedness Advisor” (that may not be the exact title, but you get the idea. Her job is particularly vital right now… and much can be done on-line. Moving forward, we can see the two of them are living Hebrews 12:1 as fully as possible.
Bob & I are in our pj’s in that photo because it was very early on the morning they were leaving to head back to California.
“Don’t look back. You’re not headed that way!”
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”
I don’t know to whom I should attribute that quote, but it sounds like somebody like Billy Graham would have said it… or Mother Theresa.” And I know it is so true. God is in charge of where I’m headed. If today’s world and our circumstances are any indication, then we know the path to where we’re going is a rocky one. The only way to navigate it is through faith and prayer.
See that moose on my bed? When Faith was about 6 or 7, she and her family came to visit us. We spent a day in Yellowstone National Park. It’s ony an hour’s drive from our home. At the end of the visit, she and her three siblings were given the opportunity to go into the gift shop and buy themselves something to help them remember the trip. Faith bought this moose – and then gave it to me! She has such a loving heart!
Each morning when I make my bed, I place “Faithful,” this little moose in front of the pillows, and I say a prayer for Faith and Kyle. I thank God for Faithful, my reminder of my granddaughter Faith – and I thank Him for her and her faith, for her beautiful marriage to Kyle, and I ask God to watch over them.
May God watch over you today, too, my friends. And may He guide you as you “Run with endurance the race He set before you.” Look to a bright future… It’s coming! Face Forward – That’s where you’re headed.
No, I am not practicing for divorce! After 58 eventful years of marriage, it’s too late to give up now!!
But life is not a bed of roses (or carnations!) And marriage is not easy! Nobody promised it would be.
Sometimes we get mad at one another. Sometimes we disappoint one another. Sometimes we don’t understand where the other one is coming from!
What Families Know
In his devotional today on Bayside Church’s on-line “Refuel,” Andrew McCourt talked about marriage and relationships.
He titled his message, “What Families Know,” and he said,
“People who aren’t married do married things… they are lovers practicing for divorce.”
Love Without Commitment
For as long as life began – back to the days of Adam and Eve – men and women have found a way to “find each other’s cracks.” And eventually pouring into that crack can burst the container!
Eve found Adam’s crack! And look what happened…
Andrew McCourt offered some suggestions for how to relate to one another in genuine love that does not seek to “find the crack” – but rather seeks to FILL AND FULFILL.
Andrew said something to this effect,
“What successful married folks know is this: there is an order to successful relationships.
First, you stand together shoulder to shoulder (Don’t let kids or anyone else get between you).
Second, you stand or sit together face-to-face (You look each other in the eye and you communicate).
Third, you do the bellybutton-to-bellybutton thing (You love each other emotionally and physically).”
Andrew said, “When we get that order of things reversed, that’s when we start Practicing for Divorce.”
When did this whole thing of living together first to try it out before getting married come into being?
I have a biased (informed, of course) opinion about that! I think “Three’s Company” is the culprit.
Living Together Out of Wedlock
I couldn’t find a picture of those three folks (a guy and two gals) who lived together in an apartment in NYC on a TV show back in the 70’s or early 80’s, but it was funny and popular and it made it look like it was okay for unmarried people of the opposite sex to live together. “Three’s Company” was one of my mom’s favorite shows. And she would be considered a prude by today’s standards.
When my niece lived with a guy before marriage in NYC, my mom said it was a great idea because it made her safer in an unsafe city!
See how media can change our idea of right and wrong?
Ah, here: I found a video. It was a darling TV show!
Bayside’s “Refuel” Podcast
If you want to hear Andrew McCourt himself and his actual words on the subject, try this link: bit.ly/devo021020 I have that on my iPhone and it takes me there.
On With My Day
‘Tis time for me to get on with my day. Tomorrow is our actual anniversary… 58 years. It’s not always been a bed of roses, but the key ingredient always has been there:
Yup, that’s the bottom line! So, whatever your relationship… whether it’s three’s company, living with your lover, or married, keep that RESPECT alive!
And there are a few other tips for how to keep from practicing for divorce, too. I’ll save those for tomorrow.
Next Tuesday Bob & I will celebrate our 58th anniversary. We still have that spark alive and well! We started celebrating already by going to a wonderful “Food & Wine Pairing Event” last night.
Later today, when Zach, the coordinator of the event, sends me pictures, I will share the photos of the various plates with you. They were small portions, but delicious and beautifully presented. No one left hungry. It was quite something!
Bob thoroughly enjoyed his conversation with our friend, Els, afterward. During the meal he got to sit next to Doug Badenoch, the wine guru from The Wine Gallery in Bozeman, MT. Doug was the one who chose the wine pairings. He did a great job.
Today is a snowy, cold day in Ennis. It’s a good day to stay hunkered inside.
Bob and I have been married more than 57 years. Our love for one another is more alive today than it ever has been. (I read that statement to him just now and asked if he agreed. Of course, he said, “Of course,” That’s part of the secret, guys! Ya gotta readily agree on things like that!)
How do we do it? How do we keep love alive after all these years? What is a healthy marriage anyway?
Jane Smiley, in her book, At Paradise Gate, wrote the following:
“You know what getting married is? It’s agreeing to take this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, wildly interested in you because you’re the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You’re his responsibility now, and he is yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won’t.
What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time? Poo! Don’t be weak. Have some spine! He’s yours and you’re his. He doesn’t beat you or abuse you, and you’ve made the same bargain. Now that you know what it’s like to be married, now that all the gold leaf has sort of worn off, you can make something of it; you can really learn to love each other.”
I love that take on marriage by Jane Smiley. It coincides with my opinion on what it takes to make a marriage work. Here is my list: Ten Constant Steps toward Being Married Happily Ever After:
Accept and Respect one another’s differences, and celebrate your areas of sameness.
Stick by one another – even as you slowly disintegrate.
Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Be forgiving.
Defend one another to a hostile world.
Be strong in your faith; pray and laugh and play together.
Be a diligent partner, doing more than your share without bitterness or resentment or complaint.
Praise one another for the little things.
Never take one another for granted.
Always be trustworthy; don’t stab one another in the back!
Practice the art of compromise – with God as your Constant Guide.
Yes, when all the gold leaf has sort of worn off and you’re each comfortable in your own space, keep the space open and inviting. Invite one another in. Keep on learning to love one another as long as you both shall live.
You’re in this box together. You’re in it for the long haul. Enjoy the ride!
And Happy 57th Anniversary (58 in February) to Bob & me – as we enjoy this 80th year of our lives – and celebrate our togetherness – and thank God for our health
How do couple stay together so long?
That’s a question Bill & Marge were asked at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding when the 4 Beekman couples were the last ones left on the dance floor after the disk jockey (DJ) said, “All couples married less than 55 years sit down.”
Wow! Here we were… eight old farts still standing, still dancing, still together.
Marge Beekman’s answer was, “Never go to bed mad at each other.”
Bill Beekman was asked for his answer. He said, “I agree with Marge.“
The DJ said, “Did you see that? Did you hear that? He let her answer first and then he just agreed with her. There’s the secret to a long married life!”
Are There Other Secrets?
Well, if he had asked me, “How have you stayed together for 57 years?” I would have answered with not just one, but TEN ideas! (He would have had to cut me off!)
These ideas have worked for us in our long marriage – and have contributed to my ability to tell you, “We’re not just still together, but I love him more today than I did the day we married.”
What Are the Tips for Longevity in Relationships?
Pray together – make the Lord central in your relationship – ask Him to guide your days and help you with every decision. Listen for His Holy Spirit to speak to you and help you as you walk daily in His Will to the best of your abilities.
Give each other space – you are a couple, but you are also people with your own ideas, your own needs, and your own agendas. Allow each other the right to make individual decisions and keep your own identities bright and alive. We even have separate checking accounts. As long as the household needs are met, I don’t have to account to him for every penny of my retirement money that I spend… and likewise, his retirement play money is his to play with as he chooses. Give each other individual freedoms!!
Listen to one another – really hear! Care about what the other thinks and find out why he/she really believes that. Never stop learning from one another.
Go to church together – find a worship community and cultivate their friendships. We are Christians – and we want you to be able to see that in our love for one another and our love for YOU. “They will know we are Christians by our love ❤ ” is not just a song we love to sing, but a life we strive to live. Our Christian friends are our support system, our help in time of need, our prayer partners. There is no friend like the long-term friends you make under the cross of Jesus!
Play together – you may each have your own idea of what “fun” is (He fishes, I don’t. I love movies & popcorn, he doesn’t. He skis, I don’t. I go to Writer’s Group each Friday, he doesn’t. He loves yard work … or at least does it masterfully, I don’t. I love to volunteer at the Sr. Center, the Medical Center, help seniors in need, he doesn’t.) You get the idea. But we love to go riding on the Montana mountain trails with friends in our ATV – and we love entertaining friends in our home, hosting over-nighters for a week or a month or even a year in our home. We love going out to Dave’s Sushi or enjoying a BBQed dinner with fine wine at home. The idea is, find your areas of commonality and play happily together!
Treasure and Appreciate One Another – Bob’s nickname for me (he has many, but my favorite ) is “Precious.” I appreciate his expressions of love and affection and his readiness to show appreciation. He often comments on things like, “My, you look pretty today!” or “I like the way you added that spice to the ______ (fill in the blank) for dinner tonight.” In return I try not to take for granted his beautiful yard work or the delicious waffles he makes for breakfast or his warm and plentiful hugs. Thank you is such an important word in any relationship!
Love One Another – even when you don’t Like each other! None of us is perfect. We often do things to “piss each other off!” It could be something as simple as leaving the toilet seat up or not putting the lid back on the toothpaste. Or it could be a major thing like staying out late without saying you were going to do so – and not calling to say where you are. Showing LOVE for one another is treating your partner the way you want to be treated and expressing yourself clearly without anger (if possible) when your expectations are not met. Loving is compromising and not always expecting things to go your way. Love is forgiving and trying NOT to be the annoying one in the relationship!
Be Kind and Compassionate – Yes, we all make mistakes. We do stupid things. We say things we wish we could take back. When we are at our worst, that’s when we need kindness most. It’s when our partner is at his/her worst that we find it most difficult to be kind in return. But harshness begets hatred and ugliness begets violence. Our response is crucial. Of course, there are caustic relationships that are unhealthy and are not meant to be sustained. No one is called to be a doormat. My heart goes out to those who are in relationships with those who inflict mental or physical abuse. Especially when help is offered, but refused. Sometimes leaving is the most loving option. Kindness/Compassion is a two-way street!
Trust! – Without mutual trust, the relationship is doomed! My husband, Bob’s ski buddy is Nancy. She is a 50-something dynamo who is a ball of energy and fun. She’s a fantastic skier and loves to do those double diamond runs – just like Bob does. If I didn’t trust Bob, I could be jealous of the time they spend together on the slopes and I could conjure up all sorts of images of what I think might or might not be happening. But, Bob & I always have lived with mutual trust – and so instead of worrying, I treasure Nancy’s friendship, too. I love getting together whenever we can with her and her fun-loving husband, Dan. In fact, she’s the one I told you about a few days ago when I said I wanted to adopt a Daughter #4. You gotta trust – and in that confidence enjoy a multitude of friendships and a plethora of opportunities you might miss otherwise!
Respect! – It’s the bottom line. Without mutual respect, you may as well call it a day NOW. I have been around couples where one of them is so disrespectful to his/her partner that it smells up the room. The air is so caustic, you don’t want to be within ten miles of ’em. You want to shake ’em and wake ’em up to what they are doing to one another – or what one is doing to the other. But, rarely does intervention help. You sigh, shake your head, and vow not to ever do that to YOUR loved one. That’s a vow worth keeping if your relationship is worth having! ALWAYS show respect to your partner… and while you’re at it, respect yourself. God don’t make no junk … you’re a treasure!