Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Let’s Do It!


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Let’s Do It!

God has entrusted us
With treasures of great worth.
Hope and inspiration are ours.
God gives us each other – and Christ’s birth.

God gives us, by His grace,
The gifts of immeasurable treasure.
He gives us the abilities
To use these gifts without measure.

We don’t get to choose
What treasures we receive,
But we are allowed to choose
What we do or achieve.

To fulfill our life’s purpose
Or to ignore our responsibilities
Is a choice we each make.
What are your possibilities?

We can double our gifts
Or we can ignore or bury ’em.
We can share our gifts
Or we decide they’re too heavy to carry ’em.

We will be rewarded according
To the return to  God on our gifts.
Our talents are ours to use or
We’ll watch dismayed as our reward shifts.

God will take from the selfish
The wonders He placed in their hands.
He’ll rebuke the ungrateful ones
Who ignore His service demands.

So, are we giving back double
The abilities God generously gave us?
Do we accept them and honor Him
By using the gifts that can save us?

He gave us comfort so we
Can return comfort to others.
He gives us perfect directions
For how to use our gifts for our brothers.

So, let’s do it!
Amen?

Jan Beekman

-based on a sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
-reflecting on Matt. 25:14-30
11/19/17

Retirement Vacation


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Retirement Vacation

A “Vacation” means to vacate

The work, the folks, the place –

To leave behind the stress and strain –

Get off the treadmill; leave the rat race.

But what if you’re retired

And you like the things you do?

What if you don’t have to work?

What’s a break from routine for you?

A “Staycation” means to stay put.

You don’t have to hop in a car.

You don’t need an RV or trailer.

You can take a break right where you are.

Stay in your retirement spot –

In the beautiful place where you give.

Continue to play with friends each day.

Your Staycation is the way that you live.

Gather your toys and relish your friends.

Invite family to come from afar.

You don’t have to vacate to live the good life.

You’re living it daily – right where you are.

Jan Beekman

7/21/17

What Do You Believe?


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Terminal or Eternal?

T ime on
E arth is not
R evolving.
M inutes spent
I n mortality
N ever repeat.
A lways spend each one
L ovingly and joyfully.

Time on earth is terminal.

Some believe in a revolving door called reincarnation, believing they’ll return as another person if the good deeds they do in this lifetime do not raise their karma above the 50% mark. Reincarnation becomes a chance to try it again. Be better, kinder, more loving and more wise the next time around, and eventually the Karmic Board will judge you worthy. Your life will tip the Karmic Scale and you’ll earn the right to resurrection and life in Eternity.

Others believe when this terminal life as a human being is over, they’ll return as a creature. They talk about what it might be like to come back as a family pet or as a bee, a bird, or a lion.

Acknowledging that life on earth is terminal, some think that this is all there is. When we die, that’s it. From dust we come; to dust we will return. No reincarnation. No resurrection. No nothing. What a bleak, meaningless existence that must be!

As for me, I believe life on earth is terminal. I don’t believe I’ll return as another person. I don’t see myself coming back in the form of another earthly creature. But, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this brief earthly life is not all there is. I want to live in love and peace, to spread joy and hope, and to serve my Maker and others. But, I don’t live giving out blessings because I think I’m earning the right to live eternally. I don’t serve to rack up points and move a notch closer to God in Heaven in the “After-Life.” My place already has been secured. I serve out of gratitude, hopefully with an attitude of generosity – grateful for the fact that the price was paid. Paid by God’s Son.

That’s what Easter is all about. It’s not bunnies and colored eggs, frilly new dresses, fancy hats, and patent leather shoes. It’s about a Man named Jesus, a span of three years of ministry on earth, teaching us how to live and how to treat one another, and a forty day period we call Lent. Lent is the time when Jesus was accused, tried, convicted for our sins, beaten, crucified on a cross, and buried in a tomb. Because He died with, “Father, forgive them,” on His lips, I am assured of my forgiveness. I know because He rose again, and because He lives, and because He promised, “I go to prepare a place for you,” when my terminal life on earth is over, I will take that place in Eternity reserved for me. My soul will live on. This is not the end.

This is what I believe. Easter assures me. This life is only the beginning.

Hallelujah! Happy Easter!

Called Toward Wholeness


Heart made of sand

Heart made of sand

Reflecting on the rejuvenation of Lazarus.
Bemoaning the death of a dear friend this week:

Jesus, the Healer, reached out.
He felt the pain of parting.
He would gift wholeness and healing.
But first, sorrowful tears were starting.

Like Jesus, our tears fall
When we lose a loved one.
We pray for health and healing,
But it doesn’t always come.

Not the way we expect.
God’s healing takes many forms.
Peace, His shalom, may come
In ways outside our worldly norms.

Totality, completeness, God’s Will
May come with blessings and harmony,
But sometimes wholeness may not be
Available to you and me.

We all suffer from heart’s scars.
We experience hurt often times.
Blemishes, like scratched diamonds,
Can be transformed: Beauty from crimes.

Yes, God’s grace can transform us.
God values us, scratches and all.
In gratitude, we respond
Hearing and answering His healing call.

We engage in the ministry
Of extending compassionate hands.
Our lives are God’s instruments.
Hear His call. Obey His commands.

Reach out in love.

Life & Death/Health & Healing


love hearts

Love poured out from all sides
After toxins poured out from my insides.
My appendix burst while (what gives?)
I treated the pain with laxatives.

Pretty stupid, I agree, but you see
I’d suffered a month of pain at high degree
Related to pneumonia and all the side
Effects of antibiotics and meds I tried.

So when my tummy ached real bad,
I thought it was from bowel restrictions I had.
Massage with essential oils and a heating pad
Didn’t ease – just aggravated – Eeee Gad!

Time to go to the emergency room,
My husband admonished my stubborn gloom.
The doc sent me to the MRI machine –
With the pain so bad I wanted to scream.

Diverticulitis was his best educated guess,
But he sent the tests to an expert – good progress –
Who looked them over and sent back the news:
“Burst appendix! Not a guess – just look at the clues!

Put her in an ambulance with IVs in place.
Antibiotics will kill the toxins in her space.
Get her to the surgery center, lickety-split,
Not a moment to lose – good thing she is fit.”

Taking care of your health at any age
Is crucial to fighting an appendix rage.
You don’t know when that cornichon pickle
Will decide to act up. It’s not like a tickle!

The pain of appendix is like child birth.
When it bursts, it is worse. Hold your girth!
But don’t try massage or heating pads, nope –
They make it worse. Take it from this ole dope!

We texted our family and many a good friend
To tell them the news and ask them to send
Prayers to our Maker to spare this fine life
And help heal the insides of Bob’s wife.

Not only did God listen and heal her he did,
But He offered compassion and love with no lid.
The sympathy poured in. The help overflowed.
The doc laparoscopically flushed til it glowed!

A week in a bed in a hospital room was a lot,
But the doc said at my age, the poison is fought
With less sure success than with the typically younger,
So be patience and heal while you regain your hunger.

The appetite’s small and the patience is short
When you’re strapped to a bed, I can report;
And a good RN is worth her weight in gold.
That was revealed clearly as the week did unfold.

The story below is a vivid description
Of one of the incidents that left its inscription
Indelibly stamped on my mind and my heart –
A sure-fire way to tell those nurses apart!

 

“What are you doing?” I asked the stranger who was busy hooking up some red glowing gadget to a finger on my right hand.

“Checking your blood pressure,” she responded as she hooked up a gadget to the index finger on my left hand. “Lean forward!” the bossy lady in white commanded.

A shrill sound like a wailing fire alarm went off as she pushed some kind of gizmo under the cushion of the chair where I was sitting in room 203 at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The old sourpuss pushed a button and stopped the alarm, but the right hand continued to glow and the left hand gadget beeped on a machine standing at my left ear.

“How do I stop that blasted thing?” I asked as she headed toward the door.

“Breathe more deeply;” she walked out and shut the door as she finished her sentence, “your oxygen level is too low. It’ll stop when…”

She was gone and I was sitting on a fire alarm, hooked to an incessant beeper, glowing with a red sparkler. I breathed deeply. The beeping continued. The fourth of July was still two weeks away. I was not ready for fireworks and sparklers! I was ready to kill the person who suddenly appeared out of nowhere, altering my world with no apparent authority to do so, and who left me – a sitting time bomb!

I had been in the hospital for about three days – maybe only two, I don’t know. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? I wasn’t! On the Saturday before, sometime while I was still at home in Ennis, suffering from what I thought was constipation, barely enduring a miserable stomach-ache, taking laxatives to try and get the bowels moving, my appendix burst. I had no way of knowing that’s what it was. By the time my husband took me to the Madison Valley Medical Center ER around 7:00 PM, I was in such pain, it resembled childbirth.

The PA on duty thought the MRI results indicated diverticulitis. He started me on antibiotics and pain killers. The test results were sent to an expert in Bozeman. That doctor sent back test results and instructions, “It’s a burst appendix. Be sure she has an IV with antibiotics and hydrocodone. Put her in an ambulance, and get her to our surgery center immediately!” The antibiotics probably saved my life. The toxins had exploded throughout my abdominal cavity. The surgeon said it looked like a cannon had gone off in there.

I sat on the chair, the beeper driving me crazy, the sparkler glowing and the call button over on the bed, just out of my reach. Nurse Ratched, the tyrant, had left it there when she exited my room. I could feel my blood pressure rising by the minute. I could stand it no longer! I stood up, the fire alarm under my butt sounded. My REAL nurse came running in.

“What’s up?”

“Who was that person who came and took over my world and hooked me up to all these things and left me stranded? Who gave her authority to do these things? Why are they necessary?”

As calmly as she could, my assigned RN said, “I don’t know. Let me find out.” She left without turning off the alarm or the beeper.

I was about to go crazy when she returned and silently began removing all the appendages.

“What gives?”

“Oh, not to worry,” my RN responded calmly. “She was in the wrong room!”

 

Ah, good health renewed – I’m on my way –
I can look back at all that drama someday
And smile as I thank God for answered prayer,
For help and healing and all that love to spare.

Montana Beauty



Traveling from the Madison

To the Gallatin Valley

The scenery so gorgeous

I have to pinch myself

To make sure it’s real.
Snow on May the 10th?

After welcoming the spring

Makes me question reality.

But hearing the robins sing,

I know it’s real!

Writers’ Workshop


I am excited to be taking an eight week writers’ workshop. It started last week with five of us ladies signed up to work with an amazing young woman named Allyson Adams. My friend, Lexi Sundell and I are trading off the driving responsibility. It’s about fifteen miles up the hill to Virginia City from where we live here in Ennis, Montana. A lovely drive, usually, but it snowed big time last week when it was Lexi’s turn to drive. I lucked out and had a gorgeous spring day yesterday when it was my turn to drive. Sharing the driving has the added bonus of quality one-on-one sharing with a fellow writer as we traverse the mountain and exchange ideas on what we’ve been writing or what we just learned and intend to do with it. Lexi is writing her memoirs. I am writing a book to honor my seven grandchildren (and ultimately their parents, too, I hope) and to share the wisdom my grandchildren are helping me gain on this amazing path called LIFE. Our goal is to start and finish this project in the eight-weeks of the workshop. Ambitious? Maybe. Lexi had a head start. She began her memoirs some time ago. My book is evolving as the class progresses.

The working title of my book is “Lessons My Grandchildren Are Teaching Me.” It started out in the past tense… Lessons I Have Learned… and has changed to the present as it dawned on me that the learning is an on-going, life-long process. The grandchildren, who all are now between the ages of 20 and 24, live in California and Switzerland, except for one. One is right here in Ennis. She moved here a year ago, coming to live with Grammy and Grampy for a much needed “fresh start.” Her name is Hope, and she has been the initial inspiration for this book project that is now consuming me. She also is one of the reasons that I stopped blogging about a year ago. Life got in the way! Something had to give as we focused our energies on being sorta parents again at the ripe, rich age of mid-seventies! So, I set aside WordPress and dug into helping a grandchild grow from 21 going on 12 to a bonafide young adult, capable of wise decision making, independent living, and being the responsible citizen she is becoming. We all are a work in progress. I am no exception!

It’s been a challenging year. Sharing the love of family, the joy of giving, the recognition and development of our spiritual gifts, and the confidence to grow from our mistakes and go on to make new ones and learn from them, too, has been an amazing experience. Our Hope has evolved from a beat down, introverted, jobless and homeless child to a confident, outgoing, employed and independent young woman. Her 22nd birthday is Mother’s Day. We’re going to celebrate with her and we’re here to continue the love and support and watch as she continues to make great strides. Hers will be the last chapter in my book. Hope for Hope! Stay tuned!

 

(Here is Hope – in yellow –  at about age 17 – with her siblings – before she decided she was tired of family rules and decided to go it on her own. Two years later, she was ready for her “Fresh Start.” And the story continues… My book is about these four PLUS my three grandsons who live in Switzerland. I’ll tell you more about my project in my next entry. Thanks for visiting.)

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