Notes from Jan

Apron Diplomacy

July 27, 2018

She wears one.

Come for a meal or afternoon tea and you’ll find her in the kitchen, dressed to thrill in an apron.

Not just an apron, for any taking thrill to another level.

Aprons are throwbacks to another time, when eating out meant you were invited to someone else’s house.

And so it was the other day when I entered my friend’s house.

The feast began with a whiff of something baking.

Who’d fire up an oven on such a HOT day?

One who’d add a layer of warmth onto herself, aproned protection against splatters from scratch cooking and baking.

Her gifts of time and thoughtfulness tend me still, as I anticipate leftovers for lunch  One always leaves with “a little something extra” to take home.

What’s happened to us, we who call ourselves some variation of “Evangelical Christian”?

My friend and I don’t agree on everything, still we remain friends.

Perhaps some of it’s tied up in a humble apron, chosen and worn by someone used to work, knowing real life comes with accidents, imperfections,  and issues.

Can’t help recalling the biblical account of the Last Supper. (John 13 in The Message)

Jesus, having aproned himself,  knelt, washed, wiped feet, then sat and shared the heart of God with the undeserving.

Leaves me wondering what’s possible during this time of deep division in our country and beyond.

Armed with aprons(no strings attached), how can we become people providing places for civil discourse, budding friendships and promises of something better?

Saw a T-shirt this week with these words:



Imagine the possibilities of a band of brothers and sisters, young and old aproned diplomats, committed to listening, learning, serving, then freely sharing seconds of Grace with infusions of Hope plus ” a little something extra” to take home.













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  • Reply Eleanor July 27, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Dear Jan, A few years ago I gave my granddaughters and grandsons wives, an apron that my mother made along with a poem about aprons. I still have mine. Glad you are feeling better. Love Eleanor

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 27, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      A thoughtful gift, Eleanor, to link generations. Yes, it’s good to feel better. Thank you.

  • Reply Dale Lefever July 27, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks Jan,

    Your blog prompted me to look up the definitions of diplomacy. One is to treat others in a sensitive and effective way. A great combination of words. It sounds like grace and truth.

    One quick anecdote. My father was the oldest of 14 and his mother always wore an apron. No one knew another brother or sister was coming until they heard the cry. Aprons are good protectors of life.

    Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 27, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      Your definition of diplomacy, “treat others in a sensitive and effective way” seems to come more naturally seated around a table together, being served something easier to swallow than most of our words. Thanks, Dale, for your insights. Must’ve been some gathering when your Dad’s family got together ! I’d be surprised if your grandmother spent much time without an apron.

  • Reply Wendy July 29, 2018 at 12:48 am

    So good Jan! My husband said at our daughter’s wedding “we have learned how to love and respect in a deeper way than ever before people who believe so differently than we do .” It is not easy, but it’s so worth every bit of that effort and hard work it takes . Love you!!

  • Reply Dan Russ August 1, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Unless we all wear aprons, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Grazie, Jan!

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