Notes from Jan

Real Pearls

October 22, 2018

Katharan Poco Blossom Harter Carlberg is eight today.

Soon I’ll head to their house for a family and friends pizza party.

Today’s news showed long lines of people, waiting to buy lottery tickets, hoping to be the next billionaire.

Reminded me of  this week’s verse for Community Bible Study.

“But lay up for yourselves  treasures in heaven,where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is there you heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21 (ESV)

Part of this not-so-gentle-Swedish death cleaning unearths how much  stuff I’ve accumulated over the years and makes me wonder the true cost of  these “treasures”  in time, money, energy, missed opportunities for something better.

How paltry most stuff looks next to people, nature and real life experiences.

Kate loves to play make believe and dress up.  As part of her birthday gift I sorted through some of my costume jewelry, wrapped it up and gave it to her yesterday at a birthday brunch.  After clipping on earrings, once her great grandmother’s, and wrapping herself in my fake pearls and assorted glittery pieces, she took a look at herself in the window, smiled and announced,  “I look like a really good Mom.”  To which her Mom responded, “That’s what you’ll be one day, Kate, if you choose.”

Of all the images she could’ve chosen, Kate picked, “a really good Mom.”

When we’re in the middle of it, we don’t always see too well.  It’s easy to  go for the trinkets and miss the treasures, like an eight year old who takes one look at herself and declares, “I look like a really good Mom.”

A real pearl for any, who for many reasons wonder, “How am I doing, God?”

Better than you think, and perhaps, “really good.”






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  • Reply Mark Taylor October 22, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Good for you and for Kate’s mom in helping Kate aspire to be “a really good Mom.” In too many households the response would be, “Oh, you don’t want to be a Mom. You want to be a doctor/lawyer/scientist/professor.”

    • Reply Jan Carlberg October 23, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      True, Mark. Kate’s mama has her Phd and is a therapist and a really good Mama, which her daughters exemplify. It’s possible to do both but challenging to keep the balance. I remember it well.

  • Reply Marty Lefever October 23, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Loved this . . . AND, love YOU, a “really good” grandma!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg October 23, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      Love being a Mormor ,aka MoMo aka grandma!

  • Reply Randall Mathews October 23, 2018 at 1:00 am

    So sorry that I missed Poco’s eighth b/d celebration. It would have been so much fun to see her smiling face and give her a big hug. Hope that our card arrived in time. It carried all of our love in it!!


    • Reply Jan Carlberg October 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      She received it, Randy, and misses you and your hugs at church. Thank you for remembering. She and we feel your love, dear “Grandpaman”, as they’ve called you since their grandfather left for heaven.

  • Reply Radina Welton October 23, 2018 at 3:29 am

    Really good for sure, Jan!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg October 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Every now and then, we all need a glimpse of what good and real pearls look like.

  • Reply Pat Boyd October 23, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Love this, love Kate and love you! Thanks

  • Reply Jan Carlberg October 23, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    And we love you, Pat!

  • Reply Raquel November 20, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Just so beautiful! You are such a gifted writer!
    Love you, mamaJan!

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