Notes from Jan

Lost and Found

May 4, 2021

April turned to May, since I last wrote. I’ve missed you but missed my family in California more. So after two shots(not what you’re thinking) and a dose of hope, I flew west for a month to hug and be hugged. I jumped into the unknown and found the net held. And for those days, living with family and friends, the net proved more like a trampoline, adding bounce and lift to body, mind and spirit. Love does that.

Still, sometimes I felt and still feel lost. The altered terrain of my world, as I age, and the world out there require updated mapping. I prefer the familiar. It feels safer inside a cocoon but I’m designed for life outside the womb my fears create.

Sometimes God gives me a holy nudge. Every now and then, I look at the clock and it reads: 2:22, 11:11, 3:33, or 5:55. And I smile at the odd chance of seeing such “perfect” alignment. So I say aloud (if alone), “Thank you, Jesus, for the reminder that my times are in your hands.”

And they are, but how am I to live each day during these uncharted times? What have I lost and found during this global pandemic? My grandson, Luke, found music in new ways during the pandemic. He taught himself guitar and piano. He found alone time, not all bad.

Well, I miss Luke and his music but find there’s no place like home, even on this bleak and drizzly day. And while I struggle, sometimes, to find my way, familiar words fortify me for the trek into the unknown, “The Lord is my shepherd: I have everything I need…he guides me along right paths.”(from Psalm 23 NLT) And no one knows better than the Good Shepherd where to find and how to tend lost sheep.

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  • Reply Anne Kirby May 4, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    You write beautifully. Thank you, Jan, for putting your thoughts on “paper”, so to speak. I have noticed as well, in the wee hours of tossing and turning, that the numbers on the clock very often line up as you state. The most common for me is 5:55, which takes me to a former life with my then- Air Force-husband. His plane was 555, or, the Triple Nickel. I wonder why I have to be reminded of those years as often as I do.

    Glad you are safely home.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2021 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you, dear Anne from Michigan. God seems to have many ways of tapping us on the shoulder, reminding us that we’re never lost to him. And that our time matters.

  • Reply Nancy vecchio May 4, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    Dearest Jan.
    I missed you and your blogs, but was so happy for you to be with your family and so glad you had a joyous time! Nothing like home sweet home! Praying God fills your days with beautiful times spent in His presence, hearing Him speak to you And live on you!! I just love you and hope we can meet one day in person, have tea and fellowship.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2021 at 10:13 pm

      And I look forward to meeting you in person, as well, dear Nancy. You’ve brought much, as co-core leader, to our Community Bible Study group during this year on Zoom. I’m always grateful for your honest reflections and tender heart.

  • Reply Cheryl May 4, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Jan ~ God bless you for sharing what a lot of us are feeling. Your writing always touches my heart.
    Blessings to you ~ Cheryl

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2021 at 10:16 pm

      Well, I’m grateful something touched your heart, that first spoke to mine, Cheryl. Thank you for the affirmation and taking time to read and respond.

  • Reply Maggie Wallem Rowe May 4, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Welcome back in more ways than one, dear Jan! We missed you. Your beautifully shaped words remind me of something Amy Carmichael once wrote about children at Dohnavur who went ahead of her to heaven: “They are not lost to us who are found to Him.” Thankful for your ministry to this community of readers.

  • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    What a beautiful quote from an amazing woman, Maggie. How Amy and other saints above must be praying for India during this pandemic that’s ravaging a land and a people she so dearly loved. We must pray for Indian and share our vaccines, not just medical supplies.

    • Reply Jeannene Webster May 4, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      Your words are like rain in the desert, always so greatly appreciated!

      • Reply Jan Carlberg May 5, 2021 at 2:24 pm

        Thank you, dean Jeannene, for your encouraging words. Some day, if not today, we may discover something new and good growing in us or others that took root during the desert days of this pandemic. God loves to surprise us.

  • Reply Huntley Leavens Skinner May 4, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    So glad you came west we did too and are here through 5 birthdays an anniversary Mother’s Day and many hugs and toddler play dates. We need to get together when we return in June to share our experiences and all God has said to us before and after vaccinations. Love to you, dear one.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 5, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      How fun to hear from you, dear Huntley, . You’ve taught me much through you generous and loving heart for Haiti. I look forward to seeing you after your return from your play dates out West.

  • Reply Dr. Patrick McCary May 5, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Jan, What a gift of authenticity you have! Jud sometimes shows up in my dreams. I am sure he shows up in your dreams. His kind and loving and rational spirit is alive. Know that he is your angel forever until you meet again. Lots of love from Diane and I. Pat

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 5, 2021 at 2:33 pm

      How I love hearing from you and Diane….old friends deliver shots of joy and hope whenever one shows up on this blog or through some other means. Face to face is always best but until then….thank you for connecting this way. You know Jud was NOT an angel….but I have fun picturing him watching over (not lurking)and praying for me and the family. If he reads this, he’s probably laughing at how he scared me to death(almost0 at MSU!!! Fun memories. Love always to you and Diane and your family, Pat.

  • Reply Raquel May 6, 2021 at 5:08 am

    Amazing, MamaJan! You are so gifted with words! You are a shining star that brings hope to this world. Love you always!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 6, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      Well, dear Raquelita, you bring joy to me all the way from the Netherlands. You continue to be part of our family.
      Love always, MamaJan

  • Reply Jennifer (Niffy)Williamson Dickinson May 7, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Hi Jan,
    I’m so happy for you that you were able to make the trek to California. I’m missed your Blogs and was so happy to see why you had not been writing was due to seeing your west coast family. I hope they are all doing well. Your words ring true for so many. So glad your home safe and healthy. Please tell the kids hello from me. Take care.
    Love Niffy

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 8, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      Love hearing from you, dear Niffy. I’ll be sure to pass along your Carolina “howdy” with a New England accent to the family here and in California. Loved having you as part of our family and neighborhood when “the kids” were growing up. Sending love to you, your family, JP and your sweet Mama.

  • Reply Alyssa Arnold May 9, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    My daddy and I do the same thing with 11:11! So glad you got to see you family!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 10, 2021 at 5:29 pm

      It was great to spend time with them and soak up some California sunshine. Though, they need rain badly. Hope you and Andrew are doing well and Utah is showing its seasonal beauty.

  • Reply dale May 10, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Jan,

    This is is a delayed response, but not a hesitant one. In fact, we have been with friends and family, who also are friends, since April 24; leaving Doug and family in Portland tomorrow. We will need rest from our rest, but it will be a consoling respite. Thanks for reminding us about what is important, so we don’t wait for God to show up while He is present and staring at us.

    Love, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 10, 2021 at 5:36 pm

      Happy to read you and Marty headed west. to spend time with Doug and family/friends. The vaccines are our passport to travel. Home will feel good, I’m sure. Springtime in Michigan is so beautiful…especially in the Traverse area with all the fruit tress. Love always to you and Marty and your family.

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