Notes from Jan

Home and Heart Tenders

July 22, 2016

I love my neighbor.

While I enjoyed time with  family and friends in North Carolina, my neighbor, Beth, watched over the Perch, watered plants and kept an eye out for stray packages and newspapers.  She does it without fuss and bother, leaving me feeling obligation free.

Such kindness and love-for-no-reason leave me pondering what it means to be, to do Christian.

As a list maker, I often caution myself against letting the to do  squeeze out the more important to be.  Steve Macchia’s Leadership Transformation nurtures  inner calm, a more contemplative way of living.

This morning I felt a tidal wave of grief over the loss of Jud’s presence in my life. Prayed a screaming kind of prayer and hoped my neighbors were out of town.

After a while, I opened up my email and saw a heading of a prayer for me.  I’m sure some computer guru knew how to personalize the list from Steve’s organization, but there it was.

Lord God Almighty, Thank you for Jan. What a comfort it is that when Jan is brokenhearted(and I was), you are close by. (Psalm 34:18)  I grabbed a Bible and read,” The Lord is close by to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”) Gently remind Jan today that every good gift comes from your hand. (James 1:17) and that plans for Jan’s future have always been filled with hope.(Jeremiah 24:11)

God knew I needed to read those words, sense that prayer. I have a hunch some of you need a boost, as well. Consider it a shared prayer for all us hanging on hope-ers.

Thank you, Steve.

Thank you, Beth.

Two good gifts from above from the One  who created Love for no reason.


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  • Reply Valerie McCoy July 22, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    If an embrace from a friend could subdue the tidal wave, so many of us would be at your doorstep at this moment. You and Jud were a great team, a finisher-of-each-others-thoughts,
    a gentle but resounding roar of love, a couple’s footprint for others to follow. Indeed what a perfect gift that was yours for a season, and those of us who are blessed to follow your writings are ever grateful for your teachable tears as well.

    • Reply Rita Smith Dove July 22, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Beautiful, Val.

  • Reply Myrna July 22, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I love how God works…. As witnessed by you when you needed His reassurance . Thanks for the reminder.

  • Reply Rita Smith Dove July 22, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    As always, thanks, Jan. My tidal wave of grief happened Monday. I felt as if I lost all the ground I thought I had gained. Just let me know how fragile I still am. So I too, needed that prayer. Thanks for sharing it with us. Hugs and prayers to you.

    • Reply Valerie McCoy July 22, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      Rita, I am praying the prayer for you right now.
      psalm 34:18
      And you haven’t lost any ground in mending your broken heart. Your authenticity is revealed in your suffering and I believe that it is when God does His best work. Let it come, precious friend, knowing that moments of new joy will again fill you. I was just reminded by Anne Lamott, that when we are suffering and our life seems like an emergency room crisis, with no answer to why, why, why……..hold close to this truth……”grace bats last.”….in all of our trauma, in all of our loudest screams……”grace bats last.” Your story…..and mine….is not finished yet.
      I love you so very much!!!

  • Reply Nancy Mering July 23, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Feeling very privileged to eavesdrop on this three-way conversation (Jan-Val-Rita) with the sharing of such raw pain. And grateful to be reminded that any Jesus follower and lover of God’s word can minister to others in meaningful, powerful ways; not just the ordained folks, glad as we are for them. Each of you is ministering today to those already feeling eviscerated by pain and loss, along with others who can reasonably think such a time may come for them–in other words, all of us needing the solace, promise and strength of these–and so many other–verses from the Psalms, James and Jeremiah. Each of you is a blessing this day in particular, and I’m grateful to have benefitted . . .

  • Reply Sabine Sile-Eglite July 23, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Thank you for sharing this. In January I lost my father and sometimes get overwhelmed with emotion remembering the loss. Reading this was just in the right time. Best wishes from Latvia!

  • Reply susan July 23, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Love to you, Jan. Next time you are in NC, I hope you’ll set aside a couple of days to stay with us. xoxo

  • Reply Cathy Ann Thiele July 24, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Jan. I too needed a boost, and your post did that. Much love to you always.

  • Reply Wendy Lane July 24, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I love how you give the glory to God – many would call that a “coincidence” – but I too believe it is a beautiful example of how very much God loves you! Ahhh so good! And how cool it is that as He comforts you, He is using you to comfort so many. Love Him. Love you! Praying for your tender, hurting heart. <3

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