Recently Gottfried (Banter Republic) wrote about the power of music. He reminded me of a most unforgettable experience I had back in the ‘60s when I was majoring in music therapy at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.
My counselor, Wilhelmina Harbert, conducted a clinic for children every weekend. I attended and assisted her. One of our attendees was a 5 year old named Jimmy. Jimmy was a puzzle. He had never spoken a word. The doctors were unable to determine the cause. He could grunt and squeal, laugh and cry audibly, so we knew vocalization was possible. But, he didn’t talk. He was cute as a button and I loved him dearly. He loved me, too. I could tell —- he gave me big hugs when he came into our workshop each weekend.
One Saturday morning I was sitting on the floor with Jimmy in my lap. we were in a circle with other students and children. Mrs. Harbert was playing a silly, rhythmic, nonsense song. The words were repetitive. “Hos-po-di-po-miel-wi” 🎵 “Hospodipomielwi” 🎶 Joyfully, over and over I sang along with the others in the circle. Jimmy clapped along.
I bounced Jimmy on my lap. I laughed. I continued singing. A little girl, next to us, MaryJane – who had cerebral palsy – turned to Jimmy and sang close to his ear.
Suddenly Jimmy started to sing, too. 🎶 “Hos-po-di-po-miel-wi!!”🎶 “Hospodipomielwi” 🎵
Music unlocked whatever gate was locked to Jimmy’s words!!
I cried as we continued to sing. I hugged that little boy so tightly that he stopped singing and laughed! I’ll never forget that moment! Then he resumed singing :o)
A year later when I saw Jimmy with his mom in the grocery store, she stopped me and said, “ Oh, Jan, it’s so good to see you. I don’t know if I should thank you or not. A year ago I prayed daily for Jimmy to talk. And now I can’t get him to shut up!”
We laughed. I gave her and Jimmy a hug. “It wasn’t me,” I explained. “Thank the Lord. Thank the gift of prayer and friendship. Thank music! It performs miracles!”
Thank you, Gottfried, for encouraging me to tell my story. Yes, music changes lives! Thank you for recognizing its power.
Thanks, friends, for joining JanBeek today. Come again soon. And sing along with Susie Q and me!
Sing Along! Feel the Power of Music Lift Your Soul!
Bloganuary#16 asked us to write about something we are passionate about. I can’t pick just one! Can you? Do your passions include some of the six things I am passionate about?
Here are a half a dozen of mine:
1. Let’s start with my love of home and family and the delight at being safely back here again. That’s passionately on my heart right now after being gone 3 weeks, getting a miserable respiratory virus, and being cared for so lovingly by our son, Ty & his wife Monika:
2. If you have read any of my blogs before this one, it will not surprise you that I am passionate about Jesus and His sacrifice that saved my soul. I love the Lord with all my heart and pray daily for His Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and actions, and to guard my tongue, and to inspire my writing. I read His Word daily and am passionate about inspiring others to Trust also in His promises.
3. I am passionate about music. Often I include a YouTube music clip at the end of my daily message here. I love to sing. I used to play the clarinet (was quite good once upon a time before arthritis bent my fingers so badly – my skill was thanks to years of private lessons my parents provided for me and hours of happy practice during those ages from 10 to 18 – – – I also play the accordion (you can find posts about that by putting “accordion” in the search bar in the upper right of my blog). I still am passionate about sharing the joy of the accordion with others – – – it’s like carrying a party on your back!
Here’s a wonderful video clip of a great song sent to me by a dear friend this morning:
4. I am passionate about cooking – and providing homemade meals for Bob and me that are pretty as well as nutritious and tasty. Besides music and writing, cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s one of the reasons I love following Caralyn’s posts on BeautyBeyondBones. If you haven’t followed her blog, do yourself a favor and check her out.
Isn’t that mango salsa over a nice piece of flakey, cooked-to-perfection halibut enough to make your mouth water?
What are you passionate about? I’d love to hear.
There I am in those days when I was able to serve as a volunteer at the Food Bank. (I can’t right now… until I am sure this RSV is all gone … and until Bob & I return from our trip next week to Mayo Clinic). BUT, that’s #6 on my list of passions: using the time and talents God has given me to serve others with love and compassion.
I bet you do that, too (or are you waiting until you retire?)… Don’t! Begin now… it’s so rewarding! In this COVID world, find a way! Your talents are in passionate need out there!!
God Bless You! Thanks for visiting JanBeek. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
When are you the most creative? Where do your creative juices flow most freely? What’s your God-given creative talent?
I am not a painter. I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.
Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?
When children are given the tools and the examples early in life, often that becomes the springboard for a life of artistic talent shared.
No one told me that my scribbles might lead to a creative talent that would be appreciated by others!
But, I was encouraged to sing as a child. That was a talent that did not go unnoticed. How could you ignore it when I was a 3-year-old singing “Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee” all the way through the hymns at church. Singing loudly and joyfully!
Hah! It was during the time of WWII and a popular song was “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with Anyone Else But Me).”
You’re probably not old enough to remember it!! Go ahead, click on it here. You’ll love it!!
So how did my “Appo Tee” singing graduate into a full-blown creative talent? Like any talent, it takes involvement, participation, practice.
I have been a member of a choir for as long as I can remember… … always in school, then in church, and eventually our community choir. I am not a soloist, but I love singing in a duet or trio or with a large group. Recently our church choir was able to start up again… it is such a joy!
Once I even got to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during one of their dress rehearsals for their Christmas concert!
The rendition below of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it. I love it so much!
If your talent is not singing or painting, maybe you developed a talent in another area – like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.
Of course, one major talent I forgot mention Is instrumental music … the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument… Such talent brings so much joy to the player as well to a world of listeners.
I played the accordion and the clarinet as a child and continued to do so until just recently. My accordion is not functioning, there’s a hole in the bellows.
Perhaps I will find another small accordion that I can handle… and will resume that creative endeavor. The children at the day care center and the residents at our local Nursing Home enjoyed it!
Here’s just a small clip – (it’s only 10 seconds!!) of me playing for the residents at my sister’s place in PA a couple of years ago. (I won’t burden you with too much of this!) Hah!
My cousin always used to send me comic strips about the accordion. One was a guy entering heaven and the angel said, “Welcome to Heaven, here’s your harp.” The other was a gal entering Hades. The angel greeted her and said, “Welcome to Hell, here’s your accordion.”
Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!
The question remains: What are your God-given talents? Have you developed an area of creativity?
I forgot to mention writing!! Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?
But, even this writing talent doesn’t improve without practice, right? Never stop learning and trying to improve – regardless of the area of creativity… gardening & photography (Derrick) – poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.) cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn) You know who you are… and what you need to do!
Our library was having a book sale last week. For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book. Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated, and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer. Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice. And feedback always helps!
Roses are red. Violets are pink. I’m an emerging poet. Man, don’t I stink?
No, don’t badmouth yourself!! Keep workin’ at it…
Embrace Creativity! Tell me about yours…
Thanks for sharing! See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
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?
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.
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
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.”
I bounced Jeremy on my lap and sang quietly in his ear.
All of a sudden, Jeremy began to sing!! “Hospodipomilwi”
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!”
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
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
Let’s embrace bird songs. They bring music to our souls. Delight in their sounds!
The following video is a 42 minute delight. It displays 80 birds, identifies them for you, and plays their songs. I LOVE it!
I recommend that you play it as background music as you read the rest of my blog and go about your day.
Peek back at it every now and then – because the close-up pictures of these birds and the words that identify them and the settings where you find them will be sure to delight you!
I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing. They have built their nest in the eaves Outside my bedroom window – Crafted it with twigs and leaves.
Partner doves made their home there And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!” Soon they’ll lay their eggs there And change their song to “I did did did it!”
But their nest is not hidden from us. We can see their coming and their going. Their song brings us daily happiness. Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!
After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove… Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you! (You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)
“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall; happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”
Just as each bird has its song, People have songs that identify them. Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll, Others are known by their favorite hymn.
As I listen to music on my Amazon device And I hear one I wanna put in my cart, I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.” My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart. .
Take a break from the bird songs, and listen to a song that touches my heart. I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:
In my “Happiness Project” (one sentence journal) the verse at the top of the page today was:
“It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”
– Thomas Jefferson
What Creates Happiness for You?
I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children. Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children. Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”
It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?
For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.
What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.
Doves are little gifts from God. I love them and their song.
What is your favorite bird song?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!
(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)