Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘respect’

Ten Ways to Keep Marriage Alive


Ten Ways to Keep Marriage Alive

 

accessory anniversary band celebration

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:

  1. Accept and Respect one another’s differences, and celebrate your areas of sameness.
  2. Stick by one another – even as you slowly disintegrate.
  3. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Be forgiving.
  4. Defend one another to a hostile world.
  5. Be strong in your faith; pray and laugh and play together.
  6. Be a diligent partner, doing more than your share without bitterness or resentment or complaint.
  7. Praise one another for the little things.
  8. Never take one another for granted.
  9. Always be trustworthy; don’t stab one another in the back!
  10. Practice the art of compromise – with God as your Constant Guide.

Keep Learning

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!

box cheerful color cute

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Hang tight!!


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See ya later.

 

Ubuntu!


Ubuntu!

 

Guest Minister

Today at church our guest minister was Dan Hollard, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, Montana. Our pastor for the past 25+ years has been Rev. Jean Johnson. Jean is on disability leave right now … in a rehab facility in Great Falls, MT.

Pray for Jean

Join me in prayer for Rev. Jean Johnson’s release from pain and ability to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

Sunday Surprises

Meantime, it’s a surprise each Sunday to see who is in the pulpit and to hear a different kind of message. Today’s message was titled, “Spirit of Peace.” I think Dan Hollard must have spent some time in Africa, because he put on an authentic African accent and told us the story of Ubuntu (Oooo-boon-too).

He based his message on the scripture of Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Here’s what I heard through my filter and took away this morning:

lunch table

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

There was a woman in Africa named Dorothy
Who embodied the spirit of Ubuntu
She was all about community and humanity.
Her kitchen was open to all … she’d welcome you.

She lived the spirit of Matthew 25:
If you see someone naked, clothe them.
If you see someone hungry, feed them.
We’re all one; you should never loathe them!

Dorothy was like a mother to all
Who entered her village; she’d invite
The hungry and poor to dine in her kitchen.
The sense of community was pure delight.

Like Nelson Mandela who invited his captors
To enjoy his inauguration feast,
Dorothy welcomed one and all –
Didn’t label anyone as one of the “least.”

Instead she lived a life that demonstrated
“I am who I am because of who we are.”
She knew “We are all connected.”
Her love lifted all people to “par.”

Everywhere in the world what we need
Is more Dorothys who live out Matthew 25.
Regardless of religion or color or creed,
We need Ubuntu to spread far and wide.

We must fill our world with love and joy.
We must fill the world with God’s peace.
We must feed the hungry and show respect
And love to all. Come and join my feast!

Shalom!

Ubuntu!
Have a Matthew 25 Sunday.
“I am because we are.”
We are all connected.
colorful dancers

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See you tomorrow.

 

How Do We Stay Together?


Happy 19th Anniversary to Ed & Maria!

Ed & Maria Platt

Happy 55th Anniversary to Bruce & Ann

Bruce & Ann Beekman

Happy 57th Anniversary, Bonnie & Stan

Bonnie (Beekman) & Stan Hunt

Happy 60th Anniversary, Marge & Bill !!

Bill & Marge Beekman

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

Jan & Bob – How’d ya do it?

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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!!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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!

God Bless You

I love you

See ya tomorrow

True Colors


True Colors

colorful dancers

You Color My Life!
You’re there to spread the sunshine
When shadows hide joy.

Show your true colors
By joining hands all around –
Reaching out in love.

tough times

Do you agree with that?
Do you think leaving answers
Issues of Respect?

Thinking of abuse;
Considering disrespect –
Sometimes there’s no choice.

But, looking at most
Issues of the “toughest times,”
LOVE is the answer.

Demonstrate bright love!
Climb the rainbow of color
To the Pot of Gold.

 

scenic view of sky with rainbow

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Compassion is gold.
Stick around and help others –
Absence creates voids!

What’re YOUR True Colors??
Are they Love and Compassion?
Or blackness and voids?

heart of love
See Ya Tomorrow!

 

Love Uniqueness


Love Uniqueness

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Sermon notes
from message based on
John 17:20-26
“That They May Be One.”


Jesus prayed for Oneness
For each divided sect.
As He is One with God,
He prayed we will show respect.

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.
The ways in which we
Polarize ourselves here
Is tiring. It saddens me.
It brings no one cheer.
.
All people are more similar
Than different from each other.
We establish boundaries
To separate from our brothers.
.
We do it to prove that
We are right and we’re accepted.
We name others as losers
And place them outside  –  rejected.
.
Jesus prayed that we would just
Love One another – differences and all.
He prayed for our Oneness.
Honor uniqueness; stand tall!
.
Oneness is not about eliminating
The differences we see.
It’s about loving our uniqueness.
Love your neighbor, even your enemy!
.
It is about Oneness with God;
It’s a boundary-less love.
It’s only possible with help
From the Divine Source above.
.
If we call ourselves Christian,
We must stop bickering and be
The loving children our Creator intended.
Love differences;  love even me!

cropped-snapchat-me
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Be one with all.
In Christ’s Love we Pray,
Amen.
.

JanBeek’s poetic notes
from a sermon
by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
June 2, 2019

What will you do today to demontrate your love for one another?
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See you tomorrow

You Said to Do What??


You said for me to do what??
Love my enemies??

Are you crazy? How am I supposed to do that??

Yesterday’s sermon dealt with this scripture:
Luke 6:27-38 – – – telling us not to condemn or hate!

selective focus photography of cowboy holding revolver pistol statue

In the face of needless shootings and bombings,
In the midst of war and suppression,
You said for me to do what???
“Love Your Enemies!”

Oh sure!

Here are my notes from the sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT
preached yesterday, February 24, 2019:

We excuse and justify our own faults
While magnifying those same faults in others.
By our own human nature,
We condemn our sisters and brothers.

.
Oh sure, there are some easier than others
To love and enjoy being around,
But Jesus asks us to actually love
Those who annoy us. Is that advice sound?

.
How can we eliminate grudges
And love those who hate us?
How can we look beyond wrongs
And ignore the way they bait us?

.
Jesus said we’re never justified
In hating – even those who mistreat us.
Do good to and pray for those who
Ignore us or laugh at those who greet us.

.
They not only show us disrespect,
But they insult us to our best friend.
How are we to turn the other cheek
To those who rob and curse us without end?

.
Jesus commands we give more than
Expected, and do it without expectation
Of anything in return. Follow the Golden Rule
And in heaven enjoy the celebration.

.
The bottom line is to live in love.
Love everyone – – – especially those who hate.
Everybody loves lovers, but we must do more.
Love the loveless… Now, before it’s too late!

.
Amen?

The question I asked was, “How?”
How do we love our enemies?
Certainly not on our own.

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It takes divine guidance
and help from above.
Pray, my friends.
Only through
Him who loved us first
Can we love others
Unconditionally.

pink love fabric decor with feathers

Photo by Amber Lamoreaux on Pexels.com

Antelope


Recently I posted an A-Z list of what makes me happy. One of my blogging friends responded and suggested I use those items as titles for future blogs. I like that idea, and decided I’d take her suggestion. But I had two items for each letter of the alphabet. I’ll choose just one of the two each day and see if I can keep at it for 26 consecutive days. I’ve never made it to more than 9 in a row in the past. So here we go!

Day #1 = Antelope

Meet Little Annie

She was the neighborhood pet

Fish and Wildlife killed her

Well, that little Haiku didn’t end the way you expected, did it? Why would the Fish and Wildlife authorities euthanize such a precious creature?

Annie was abandoned by her mother. Neighborhood kids found her in the bushes on their property. Not wanting her to starve, they began feeding her milk from a baby bottle. The mama antelope never returned. Eventually, Annie followed the children to their home.

As the weather turned colder, Annie began sleeping in their garage. During the day she roamed free. She made friends in the “hood.” Folks loved her. Naturally. She became bolder, and would enter people’s garages if their door was left open. One person decided she was a nuisance. She called the Fish & Wildlife (F&W) folks and told the children that she had done so.

Alarmed that they may have done something wrong, they told their folks about the disgruntled neighbor lady. Afraid of what the authorities might do, they called a friend whose house borders a nature preserve. The friends relocated Annie to their beautiful property that has a creek running through it.

Before Annie’s location was discovered by the F&W, and before she was able to be adopted by an antelope herd in the preserve, we visited her one last time.

Annie kissed us, ate out of my husband’s hand, and bid us good-bye, blinking her beautiful, long eyelashes. We all prayed that she’d link up with a herd.

No such luck! F&W found her, put her in their truck, brought her to their local headquarters and euthanized her! 😪

I know there are laws. I know people aren’t supposed to feed or tame wild animals. But, come on!! Wasn’t there a place she could have lived happily? A petting zoo somewhere or an animal preserve where she could have been placed far from people?

We live on a piece of property in Montana where the antelope come through daily. It’s the antelope freeway in our back yard. I often film them in that space between us and the neighbors. I love them! I’ve learned so much about them as I watch their migration from the mountains behind us to the Madison River east of us. But, I let them keep their distance. And I pray those Mamas keep good track of their babies!

Enjoy one of my videos! That’s Bob and me talking to them.

❤️ Rest In Peace, Annie ❤️

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