Save the “Bees”

I had little to no chance of developing poor grammar habits as the daughter and granddaughter of English teachers. Interestingly, as Nan’s memory rapidly fades, the ingrained-Educator in her is enhanced amongst a new set of pupils… her nurses.  During medication distribution, assistance with dressing, or mealtime, she will correct the slightest slip of a prepositional ending or incorrect subject and verb agreement.  I smile as the young nurses anxiously approach her, sweating a schooling.

For most of my life, I was a passive student of grammar just catching onto the continuous correction.  I learned the gritty grammar facts from my grandmother.  For instance, the verb “to be” is the most irregular verb in the English language.  Meaning, it does not follow the typical rules of conjugation among the forms of infinitive, present tense, past tense, past participle, or present participle.  Are you now starting to get anxious recalling your ninth-grade grammar teacher? I know the feeling!  Mine was epically demanding (and educationally edifying)… Eastern Kentucky children shiver under shelves of American Lit with thoughts of “Killer Cline.”

I’d be hard pressed to finish a multiplication chart to the 12’s, and I think (hope?) it’s because my heart is and always was in the arts… primarily the written sort.  I want to breathe in beautifully crafted sentences; I absolutely will always adore alliteration (see what I did there?), and timeless metaphors are my love language.  Despite all of my enthusiasm (i.e. geekiness) for the skillfully written word, there is one grammatical error that I will forever embrace.  I practically happy-dance when I hear folks say they “bees” doing something.  Such as: I bees shuckin’ corn; We bees sayin’ Grace; They bees makin’ coffee.

My love for this incorrect conjugate goes against my natural tendencies to prefer smooth lines, straight edges, and spell checks.  I don’t really even know why…. Maybe it’s my small streak of rebellion (surely inherited from those aforementioned women)…. Perhaps it’s the whole beekeeper bit… Or just because the error draws fond reminders of all things good and Southern.

For the love of Harper Lee, let’s not over-correct “bees” into extinction.

Unfortunately, the hallways of high schools aren’t as happy as they once were.  The anxiety of tests has been overshadowed by the grave realities that face youth today.

They bees anxious.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. (  Did you catch that?  Anxiety is worry about something in the future.  When we are anxious, we aren’t living in the present.  When the feelings of anxiety creep in and cloud the moment, remember that in that same moment we are living, breathing, and strengthened by the Almighty God.

We need bees worried no more.

When Moses, a man “slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10), asked God Almighty what His name was, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” (Exodus 3:14).

So, “I am” is the name that God gives us for Himself.  He declares His nature as necessary, constant, certain, and eternal.  Generations later, Jesus says to the Pharisees, “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58).  It’s further explanation that Abraham, like all of us, had to come into existence…. God had to create him.  30+ years ago, I—Neena Gaynor—had never been born and therefore had never been. There was never a time when the Son of God was not.  Let’s switch gears slightly to throw in a little Greek: God says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8).  He’s the beginning and the end!

What a comfort! I need not be consumed by anger or depression about something that occurred in my past.  We know we should not worry or be anxious about something that may never come to fruition in the future.  We should be diligent, working with the knowledge that we are fully equipped by our good Father.

“I am” is present—in any form or tense.  HE is present… Here…. With us!  What a comfort that our God is above all rules of man and even the laws of time.

We live in uncertain times and send our children to schools where the students and teachers alike are shaken.  Let’s send them all with the knowledge that our God is present.  May we have the courage to let Him in…. into our schools, into our homes, and into our hearts.

We are able… with Jesus.

God bless you,



Photo by Nicola Tolin on Unsplash

Author: Neena

Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, and beekeeper. Her first novel, THE BIRD AND THE BEES, is a Christian contemporary romance available now. Visit her at

10 Replies to “Save the “Bees”

  1. What a great insight! I see this in my siblings going to school and have to think to myself that the technological and digital world I work and live in, is contributing to this overall feeling. Good thoughts for a Tuesday!

    1. Neena Hamilton Gaynor . . . I respond tonight only minutes before I head to the bed for rest. I began this day of living at 7:31 a.m., awakening when my overly-expensive IPhone X did its obligatory “ding-ding” as an unexpected text swooshed into my consciousness. Now, I do indeed talk from time to time with the man who sent me the message, but I can’t remember hearing from him that early in the morning since that first-year hall duty he and I shared in our first year as new Teachers at Boyd County High.

      What a sweet surprise—“wordslikehoney” beneath a picture of you! Neena, I here reply a bit because I must. But, I stay awake beyond midnight to share a few words with you because I WANT to let you know how beautifully effective your piece of writing is.

      Your title is creatively enticing—especially because I love honey, and I love honey bees. To your great credit, that title not only drew me toward an early-morning read—it gained power as you moved into the “to be” verbals memories and the ultimate climax of the greatest reality of all. Our Heavenly Father is, indeed, the great I AM, and your tying that reality to your discussion of the no-no usage of “to be” verbals was and is just . . . well, it’s just a wonderful blend of making your points clear and powerful. I applaud you for that!

      May I applaud again? You naturally—even as you utilize the “to be” instructive memories and as you make your point about God’s self–proclaimed name and His eternal and realistic present import—you naturally load your writing with what makes writing a pleasure to read. You have learned the value of active verb choices more often than not and thereby gained the power of image-filled expression.

      Neena, I love much about this piece, and I thank you for opening your mind and heart and for boldly sharing such timely truth with passion and power. Although I was just waking when I began reading this morning, I thought about your words off-and-on in the midst of a busy business day—and I smiled. And, a time or two, I felt a “happy-dance” welling up from inside. I know what that feeling was. Like I later replied to your daddy, I felt enormous celebration to see you express so powerfully your connection with God in Jesus! And, I sensed (in the past of earlier today) and sense even now (in the present moment) an enormous pride to see and hear the maturity of the serious young woman and loving Mother you have become,

      Write on, Neena . . .
      J. Cline

      1. Mr. Cline, I’m thankful for your encouraging words! I especially appreciate your very intentional, thoughtful reply. I pray you are well.
        Oh, and “Kind Cline” suits you much better… 😉

        1. Ms. Neena, you’ve created a poetic new name . . . my, oh, my—you just can’t help being as sweet as hive-honey, can you?!! With a big smile, I borrow a heartfelt quote for you from Mr. Keating in that classic film ending that pops goose bumps on me every time I see it—“thank you . . . thank YOU,” 🙂
          Godspeed and God’s best blessings for you and your family always!

  2. A beautifully written reminder to not be anxious but to find peace in the one who created us. Keep doing what you love Neena!

  3. You are such a beautiful writer 🙂

    Wait, are you from Eastern Kentucky? If so, where at? The English language fascinates me. I used to be a horrible writer. Now, I teach ESL to students from all over the world that want to learn English. Now, I can’t help but pay attention to grammar everywhere I go.

    1. Thank you! Yes… I grew up in Boyd County before my family moved to the Lexington area. Are you a fellow hillbilly? 😉 Grammar and accents… I enjoy both!

  4. English not being my native tongue, so I feel the pain of the English grammar every time I try to write. But because I love writing I just decided to do it anyway, grammar mistakes or not! Love your reminder! Do I really believe he is a present presence, or a presence present, in the present, all the time!!! 🙂

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