Stay in the moment To avoid anxiety NOW is what we have
While we’re in the NOW, Lord help us to be aware Of what DOES matter
Tune our eyes to see And our ears to really hear What is important
Take away our bent To frivolity of life Give us Your wisdom
PHILIPPIANS 4:8 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.
Keeping Philippians 4:8 in your heart and focusing on the positivity of the NOW will make you smile!
Stay in the moment Take notice of little things And you will be blessed!
Tell me, what are you focusing on NOW?? What’s making you smile??
Do you have sunshine in your pocket? Do you have that happy feeling in your body? I dare you to watch this video without smiling!!
O for a world where everyone respects each other’s ways,
Where love is lived and all is done with justice and with praise.
O for a world where goods are shared and misery relieved,
Where truth is spoken, children spared, equality achieved.
We welcome one world family and struggle with each choice
That opens us to unity and gives our vision voice.
The poor are rich, the weak are strong, the foolish ones are wise.
Tell all who mourn, outcasts belong, who perishes will rise.
O for a world preparing for God’s glorious reign of peace,
Where time and tears will be no more, and all but love will cease.
And all but love will cease!
And no more hail storms will destroy our beautiful geraniums!!!!
We came back from our trip to Bozeman today and found our beautiful baskets of flowers and boxes of geraniums were TOAST!! Look at what we found on our front porch:
O for a world preparing for God’s glorious reign of peace, Where time and tears will be no more, and all but love will cease. And August hailstorms will cease to be… and our flowers will thrive – – – Lord, please!!
Angels are with us In every walk of our life Most have hidden wings
My angel friend, Terry, sent me this Jana Stanfield video. She said I am her angel. Truth is: she is mine!
Can it be that we serve one another As angels here on earth? Can it be that you are one, too?
Look at these darling children. Each of them is an angel here on earth. They just keep their wings hidden! (Except for the cymbalist… I think I see his wings peeking out!)
“Somewhere amongst them, or betwixt them, or gazing adoringly up at them just like you, here I am.”
That was a sentence I captured on a blog yesterday, but didn’t get the author’s name. I apologize. If you know who wrote this, please tell me in the comments below and I’ll add it. It is angelic writing, don’t you agree?
I have a host of angels here on earth who bring God’s love to me on a daily basis. I bet you do, too. Think about them today. Reach out and thank them today for the joy they bring to you.
Some of my Angels
This is Bob’s older brother, Bill, with his wife, Margie. Bob’s family members are angels in our lives.
With them is our son, Ty, and daughter-in-love, Monika. We are so blessed to have Tyroneee and Moni as angels among us.
Here is Terry (the friend who sent me Jana Stanfield’s angel song) with her husband, our friend, Jim. Can you just see what angels they are? We call Terry “SPARKLES!” She sparkles with love and compassion.
When I came home from the hospital after my recent hernia surgery, Terry sent Bob to get me at the hospital with this angel blanket that’s now draped over my bedroom chair. That’s what angel friends do: they wrap you warmly in their loving arms… and send you kisses!
This collage of photos from my sister, Sally, has several angels pictured on it. My dad to start with – bottom center – what an angel! My sis and my niece, Jodie with her son, Liam and husband, Bill. They are angels in my life, too.
And if you look closely, you can see Sally with TazE… our Boston Terrier. She was going to be named “Angel.” I had that name all picked out for her – until we met her!! TazE was a Tasmanian Devil (Taz) with E for Ears to match her bouncy personality and oversized ears. No, she was not an angel at all. But she has quieted down in her old age (she’s nine now) and maybe she qualifies as an angel in my life at this time. You think?
Chris is one of my three Swiss grandsons. He lived with us for a while last year … and was such an angel in our lives. Our seven grandchildren continue to be angels. Here is my youngest granddaughter, Faith (now 24) … Of course, she’s an angel in our lives!
I hope you have a BFF – (Best Friend Forever) – a long term angel friend – someone you can count on in all circumstances – someone like my friend, Marcie:
We all have angels in our lives. People we will love until the end of time… people who exude God’s love. They are compassionate and considerate. They seem to know when we need them and they are there at the most important times. God bless the angels among us!
Each of you who comes to JanBeek and bothers to read and comment is An Angel of Mine!
What you mean to me, you’ll never know…. You came at just the right time into my life- and I want to share it with you… I appreciate you so much!
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
Come on in! I can have a meal ready for you in minutes. Our home is a place where we welcome all who welcome all! We want you to feel at home here!
Or just walk right in – because we don’t have a solid wood door where I can put a beautiful knocker. Our front doors are glass. The entry welcomes you with words on the wall that say “The greatest of these is love.” The word art was a Mother’s Day gift from our son & his wife, that first May after we moved here.
Hah! You can’t read it… it’s backward for some reason… and it’s blurry… but trust me, it says, “The Greatest of These is Love” right above the windows.
Those are the stairs that lead up to my sanctuary – my “Angel Room.”
So, that is what you see when you enter our home here in Ennis, Montana.
Our Dream House
But, this house has not always been my “dream home.” I don’t have a photo of my original dream house. It was in Heber City, Utah. I lived with that house on my screensaver in California for a year. We were ready to retire, looking for a place away from the growing congestion of California. We saw it near Salt Lake City, Utah. We toured it, fell in love with it, put a bid on it, and I dreamed of living there. But, the Lord had other ideas, I guess. The owner never responded to our perfectly generous offer, even after we went back a year later and put another bid on it.
The house was made of logs from the 1988 Yellowstone fire. Many of the logs still had the scorch marks on them. The front door was a massive wood entry with no handle. It had a lovely knocker like the one pictured at the top of this blog.
When you knocked on the door and someone came to let you in, a painting of Jesus (clearer and more beautiful than the one below) was on the wall just inside. The scripture from Revelations 3:20 was written beneath the painting.
The house seemed God-inspired – and I longed to live there.
However, it seems that Utah was not the place God had in mind for us.
This house, in this Pintail Ridge neighborhood, with lovely neighbors, this church in Ennis with these friends… this was (is) God’s dream house for us. When we put in a bid here, everything went like clockwork. (By the way, the trees were much smaller 15 years ago, and you could see the house from Mallards Roost Road clearly. Now we have a lovely forest!)
In God’s Will
Have you ever noticed that when you are walking in God’s will, the path seems smoother?
When you are walking in God’s will, deals ultimately work out better than you could have dreamed.
When you tune in to God’s will for your life, you end up in a better spot than any place you could have imagined for yourself!!
So, come on in, my friends! Mi casa es su casa!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Thank you – so many of you- who sent your love following yesterday’s blog when I told you about my heavy heart following the death of my cousin, Cliff. Your outreach warmed my heart.
Thank you for all the sweet responses and inspiring messages that helped make my 81st birthday so memorable. I love my WordPress community!
It’s Sunday, so of course, Bob & I went to church this morning. Our worship service was outside. It’s a beautiful day here in Ennis, Montana. Thank you, God, for the sunshine and mild temperatures in the 70s. Everyone wore masks and socially distanced. The sermon topic was based on two New Testament scriptures: Romans 8:26-30 (A Wonderful Future for God’s People) and Matthew 13: 31-33 (The mustard seed and the yeast).
Hope in Difficult Times (as usual I took my notes in poetry as I listened. Here they are:)
Bombarded daily with bad news, It’s hard to keep our spirits up. But reading the Bible is a fresh breath Of positivity and love that fills our cup.
The parables of the mustard seed and The yeast that magically rises the dough Are examples of Jesus’ storytelling. They are hard to easily explain, though.
Trying to explain the parables is like Describing photosynthesis to a four-year-old. You can say all you want to explain them, But we need simplicity in what we’re told!
See the mystery of God’s world. Don’t try to explain it away. Look at the wonders of creation And let the mystery come into play!
It’s okay to read and not understand How God makes the world work. It’s okay to wonder and say “I don’t know,” We can’t see it all – Some’s in the dirt!
Some of the greatest miracles Of Jesus are buried from our minds. We can’t see the way His mysteries Play out – but we see the love that binds!
Look at how the mountains skip, And the trees clap their hands, And know that these exaggerations Are part of the Power where God stands.
Read the Bible not with a microscope, But with a telescope so that you Can see the bigness of His Word. He’s bigger than our understanding – That’s so true!
The music that accompanied our worship service today was so appropriate to this world we currently are trying to navigate. Sing along … the words are here for you on this You.Tube:
Lord, show me the Way, one day at a time! Help me believe in what I could be – and all that I am. Just give me the strength to do every day what You want me to do. So for my sake, teach me to take – One Day at a Time. Show me the Way!
The other song that we had printed on song sheets so we could sing along was “Mansion Over the Hilltop.” I had not heard it before. Have you?
In our call to confession, we read in unison these words from our bulletins:
“Let us trust in the words of the Psalmist who said, ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit,’ as we lay our burdens before our God.”
The biggest burden on my heart today is this big guy pictured on the left in the photo below. My cousin, Cliff, is shown here with three of his rowing buddies from the University of Washington. Cliff is losing his battle with cancer.
I lay my burdened heart before God as I asked for prayers for my cousin, Cliff Hurn. He is in his last days of trying to fight off cancer. He has fought the good fight and he is tired. Hospice has been called in and his family has gathered around. Please pray for his wife, Janine, his family, and all of us who love him so much.
Every time Bob and I see someone who is driving like they don’t have a brain in their gray and wrinkled head, we comment to one another, “Too many birthdays!” We’ve been doing that for years. And guess what? Now we are they!!
Well, at least HE is they! At 81 (he’ll be 82 in December), Bob is 5 months ahead of me. He’ll always be older! I can smile in the rear view mirror, wear a hat to cover the gray, and pretend I’m still a young chick! Heck, age is just a matter of how you feel, right? HEALTH is everything! Love is essential. God is good!
Yup, today is my birthday… and for the next 5 months, Bob & I are the same age. No way!!
The hair may be gray, and the face has a few added wrinkles with “too many birthdays,” but age is a matter of the MIND. Right? If you don’t mind, I don’t mind!
Just don’t call me old!!
Tell me I’m “bee-YOU-tiful” like this card I received yesterday from Bob’s sister! (Thank you, Bonnie)
And pick a few flowers from your garden to decorate your table… like my neighbor, Sue, did yesterday. (God bless her)
Keep singing and dancing (ya gotta keep movin’), writing and blogging your thoughts, dreaming and making those dreams come true, living your passions, and you’ll never have “Too Many Birthdays” – no matter how many years the calendar tells you!!
It’s time to open presents, sing the birthday song, blow out a few candles (don’t try to count them!) and praise God for the years he has given me “Too Many Birthdays!” I’ll take ’em all – gladly!
Have a Fabulous Friday! I’ll see you tomorrow and tell you all about my “Happy (not too many) Birthday!”
Come on, friends, sing along. I’m listening!!
(When I get old, I’m gonna wear more purple… Just don’t rush me!) Love, JanBeek
How do you speak – especially during social distancing – with a loved one who has dementia?
My sister, Sally, has dementia. She lives in a Masonic Home less than five minutes from her daughter, Jodie. It’s in Pennsylvania – a loooong ways from me in Montana! But, even though they are close, in today’s pandemic world, Jodie can’t go to visit her. Sally is on the second floor of the care facility and when Jodie drives to see her, she is not even allowed out of her car. They just have to wave to one another out their windows.
I am sure that is a very smart safety precaution on the part of the Masonic Home. Jodie just tested positive for the virus last week! Now she is in quarantine for two weeks.
On Sunday I had my first ZOOM meeting with my sis. Rochelle, the Activities Director facilitated the meeting. Sally was basically non-responsive, so it was hard to know what to say. Rochelle repeated my comments to be sure Sally heard, but even then I barely got a nod most of the time. Still, it was good to see her.
Do You Relate?
Do you have a parent or sibling, a neighbor or friend with dementia? If so, you know what I mean. You’ve been in my shoes, and you long to be up close and personal with your loved one so you can look into each other’s eyes and make real connections.
Here are Bob and me with my sis, Sally, and her husband, Dave, waaaay back in the days of flat-tops, skinny ties and thighs, and 3″ heels! It must have been Easter … we’re all decked out. I will send her this photo. Dave died of a massive heart-attack more than 20 years ago. Pictures are an important way to tap into memories.
Using Technology to Tap Memories
I took my laptop out on the porch and showed Sally our scene of the mountains. I reminded her of the Thanksgivings we have spent together here sitting on the porch (or looking out this window), enjoying that view. Still, no change of facial expression and no words. Maybe it’s because the ground and mountains are often snow-covered in November!
Don’t Give Up – Keep Trying!
I talked about our times together at various Thanksgivings around the dining room table and showed her that scene. She has visited us in November at least ten years in a row before she needed to go to assisted living and wisely chose to be near her daughter and grandson.
Reach Way Back
Reaching back into the cobwebs of my brain, I remembered us as young girls sitting on our grandmother’s porch, reaching out into the “weeds” and finding stalks of sweet anise, breaking them off, and munching on them like you might snack on a stalk of celery.
Actually, I still love to munch on sweet anise. I remembered I have some in the refrigerator. So, I went with my laptop over to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and asked Sally if she remembered sitting on Grandma’s porch, nibbling on this while we waited for mom to come and get us after school.
When I showed her the sweet anise (commonly known today as fennel), I got my first real smile from her. She nodded. Ah, folks, smells and food are great memory triggers!!
The greatest trigger for memory when you are visiting with a loved one who has dementia is music. Find an old tune. Dig out that old pair of shoes that might bring back memories and play the sweet old songs that mom used to sing to us.
Study and Seek advice
Today on Facebook, my niece Tammy, who is a registered nurse and works with many Alzheimer’s patients, posted this helpful reminder:
Apply What You Learn – Reach Out
I have a friend in our nursing home here in Ennis who has dementia. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the residents have been on lock-down. No visitors. No outings. But recently, the nursing home constructed a “Visiting Booth.” It’s a little 8′ x8′ structure with a roof, two side walls (north and south), an opening to the east. It has a plexiglass partition to the west.
On a sunny day this week I called the nursing home and scheduled a visit with my friend. The nursing home arranges half hour visitations. At the appointed time, the CNA, Bonney, wheeled the resident (my friend) out into the fresh air and into the booth. I sat on the outside of the plexiglass on a park bench. It was hard to hear, but Bonney did what Rochelle had done for my sister and me. She repeated to my friend whatever I said.
I brought my laptop and my cell phone. Used the cell phone “hot spot” to connect to the internet. Logged on to a five year old video of my friend’s daughter singing and playing the SAW in a church service. Bonney brought the laptop into the booth and held it close to my friend. Of course, she thoroughly enjoyed seeing her daughter, hearing that beautiful, inspiring song, and visiting with me about things we had done together in years past.
I left with a song in my heart at the end of our visiting time. I couldn’t figure out how to get the video of Peggy and her saw from my FB page to this post. But, I found Peggy with her violin singing and playing “How Great is Our God” with Jordy Christo, on You.Tube, so I’ll post that here.
If you go to http://www.facebook.com/janbeekman you can find the “Amazing Grace” video with Peggy and her saw. It’s worth the click and your time. This is what it’ll look like when you get there:
I pray that you are inspired to reach out to someone today who needs to hear from you.
We may be limited by this pandemic, but we are not frozen. Do what you can to brighten someone’s day!
See ya tomorrow. Have a Wonderful Wednesday. Love and Hugs… Stay Well!! JanBeek