Notes from Jan

Thanksgiving Ladders

November 23, 2017

To some, November’s a depressing month, when  nature dulls down. Trees stand leafless, naked until snow blankets  their branches.  Days shorten, darkness lengthens. How wise, President Lincoln, to declare a day of Thanksgiving, to interrupt the bleakness with reminders of blessings.

The older I get, the more I appreciate and learn from the slower, muted times in  seasons, in me. As several of you know, this is the month Jud died.  It’s also the month our daughter was born.   Two ends of this marvelous spectrum called Life on this earth, our dash.

Margot, a friend, gave me a book she thought I’d like. She was  right: An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor.  Early in the book, Taylor writes of Jacob and his encounter with God after he fled from Esau, the brother he tricked out of his blessing.  The author goes on to retell the story of Jacob and his dream, “a ladder set up on the earth, with the top of it reaching to heaven and the angels of God ascending and descending it like bright-winged ants. Then, all of a sudden, God was there beside Jacob, without a single trumpet for warning.”

When Jacob awoke, he declares, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it.” (Genesis 28:16 NIV)

In darker times, I find myself reflecting on one of the author’s questions,  “What if God can drop a ladder absolutely anywhere?”

I remember singing around campfires a solemn, “We are climbing Jacob’s ladder” but this scene in Genesis sets me to wondering about times God’s been making His way down that ladder to me, not the other way ’round. The author nudges me to look for the ladder marks in my life.

So many moments, when God’s shown up, but often, only when looking back, have I sensed “Surely the Lord was in this place and I did not know it.”

To all of you who’ve been part of God’s ladder to me, to Jud, our family, Thank you.  You’ve been part of God’s Net,  encouraging us to take leaps of faith into the dark unknown,  finding God’s enough.

On this Thanksgiving morning, I pray for God’s blessings to come to and through you, for the possibility of a ladder appearing when God seems nowhere to be found, and if all else fails,  two kinds of pie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply Barrie Levine November 23, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I am sorry for your loss. Joy and sorrow meet together at times on the ladder in whatever direction they are going. Accepting both is accepting the true range of what life has to offer, what God offers. I accept.

  • Reply Randall K. Mathews November 23, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Dear Jan:

    I’ll take the two kinds of pie along with that heavenly ladder! Not sure where you will be for TG day but wherever, I trust that you will be with friends or family.
    You are always missed at CC and hope to see you next Sunday.
    Love and prayers,
    Randy and Alice Mathews

  • Reply Shelly November 23, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Jan! Grateful for your words of wisdom!!

  • Reply Raquel November 23, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, MamaJan! I thank God for YOU! Love you always!

  • Reply Becky Manseau Barnett November 23, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you for this good word, and for you! Happy Thanksgiving! xox

  • Reply Maggie Rowe November 24, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Love this reflection, Jan. I read it aloud to Mike as we sit weary and full on this Thanksgiving evening. Now I think I need that second piece of pie. With whipped cream.

  • Reply Dale Lefever November 25, 2017 at 1:31 am

    You are welcome and thanks for the privilege of loving you and Jud.

    Dale

  • Reply Linda Coonrod November 26, 2017 at 3:48 am

    And I thank you for the way God has used you as a blessing in my life. November was Margie’s month to go to heaven too. Many lessons there. Thank you for helping my learning.
    Thanksgiving blessings to you!

  • Reply Jeri December 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    You remind us of so many Truths, Jan. Thank you.

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