Notes from Jan

Because You Asked…

January 13, 2022

“Texture: Express Yourself!” Our New Year’s Eve party assignment. I came as JELL-O.

But then you knew that if you read my last blog…JELL-Oh!

So since some of you were curious and others wanted permission to copy my costume/necklace, here it is.

Momo, age eighty-won,as Jell-0 with her eleven year old GRANDson, Basil Benjamin Willis, on December 31, 2021

And because life’s so worth living and change is possible until it’s not, I’ve added a few quotes from some of my favorite writers.

Ponder away.

For instance, “Dancing almost always turns out to be a good idea.” Anne Lamott

And now, “Work like you don’t need the money. Dance like no one is watching And love like you’ve never been hurt.” Mark Twain

Well, to this I add one of my favorites by anonymous. “I danced like no one was watching but someone was watching, thought I was having a seizure and called an ambulance.”

So remember or notice,”There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven…a time to grieve and a time to dance,” Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 4, NLT . This is a Bible verse I wish I’d been asked to memorize as a kid in Sunday School.

“Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Well, he’s not a favorite author but the quote suited my purpose when I considered the courage to set my feet free, no matter how awkward I felt.

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing…” Psalm 30:11, NLT

“No good ever comes from putting up walls. What people mistake for safety is in fact captivity. And few things thrive in captivity.” Louise Penny (one of my favorite mystery writers)

For instance, some of the walls we erect, like we don’t dance because it could lead to you-know-what, in the long run didn’t stop s-e-x altogether, thank God, and kept some of us scared to enjoy life to its fullest. God’s idea, not mine. (John 10:10) Sometimes it appears we try to act more spiritual than God. There’s dancing in heaven. We might want to practice.

“Let them praise his name (God’s) with dancing…” Psalm 149:3,NLT

And last, “We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. And we become something new by ceasing to be something old.” Frederick Buechner

So enjoy the gift of this new day, then turn up the music and dance like nobody’s watching, except the One who loves watching us enjoy life to its fullest. This is the same God who calls us Beloved, not clumsy or wallflowers.

A one and a two and a three and a…WOW!

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18 Comments

  • Reply Alice January 13, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    And a one and a two
    And it’s hard to do
    when you’re 91 and need a cane to keep from falling over.
    But while I was told in my youth that dancing was sinful, I’ prefer God’s opinion on the matter. So I better start practicing.
    And a one and a two….

    • Reply Jan Carlberg January 13, 2022 at 4:31 pm

      Well, dear Alice, for 91 you’re hard to keep up with, author, mentor and more. Thanks for reading. I love getting Christmas cards and letters. Thanks for yours. Good to know you and Randy and still living life fuller than most. Although your family in Illinois is happy to have you nearby, we still miss you at church.

  • Reply Radina Welton January 13, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    I SO tune in to this!! I too was one who was told not to dance “because it might lead to something”. Now I watch my 10-year-old granddaughter dance and join in living.through her joy, if only in my head and soul. She’s been taking ballet, jazz, and tap lessons for four yeas now and is literally skipping, leaping, and spinning through life. I love it!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg January 13, 2022 at 4:33 pm

      Thankfully we can live vicariously through our GRANDS and they nudge us to experience life at another level of JOY. Always a treat to hear from you, dear Radina. Knowing your love of music, it must’ve been extra hard for you to remain seated when the music started. For me, too.

  • Reply Wendy January 13, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    Oh this is just fabulous! The photo!! The quotes (borrowing some!) and your thoughts, as always. Thank you for sharing. <3

    • Reply Jan Carlberg January 13, 2022 at 4:38 pm

      Feel free to borrow. As I wrote I thought how some pull verses from the Bible to underscore a point, build a wall to fence us in…often out of context. Hopefully, there’s no debate on the ones I picked, If there are protests outside my Perch, I’ll just crank up the music and dance until they go away or I collapse from exhaustion!

  • Reply Evelyñ Morgan January 13, 2022 at 2:21 pm

    My dear, sweet Baptist roomie – I realize most Baptists back in the day were what we now call loyalists. My dad wouldn’t allow me to dance in P.E. class and I had to sit and watch. I realize now it deprived me of balance and am awkward trying to keep my feet in sync with music. However, Baptists nowadays have come to realize it’s not about what we DO, but what is in the heart. I am proud to be called Baptist, but more so a Christian. We do set an example by what we do, but more so by how we live. I do have a problem with watching sensual activity on TV and the almost naked dancers. That does not honor Christ and they would have a problem drawing a sinner to repentance.

    It makes me a bit nervous when you condemn Baptists, because we don’t all have that legalistic mindset. I love you and don’t want you to take this the wrong way. It is not shameful to be a Baptist.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg January 13, 2022 at 4:56 pm

      Dear Evie, you make a valid point. It’s not all Baptists, God knows there are a gazillion variations. Just as all dancing does not honor God, neither does all our eating, for example. Yet, churches I grew up in never spoke out about gluttony. A little dancing might have helped work off some of the second helpings I enjoyed at those potluck suppers. There’s not a branch of Christendom that doesn’t have issues. I just spoke to one area of my upbringing that was challenging for me. By the time my brothers came along, they attended proms and danced. We live and learn, hopefully, about what it means to follow the ways of Jesus versus rules made up by folks who sometimes live more by fear than faith. Thanks, dear Evie, for reading and responding. I always love hearing from you. It is not “shameful to be a Baptist.” There’s plenty of shame and blame in this old world. On the other hand, we who call ourselves Christians are wise to step back, look in the mirror, listen to what we say and how we look when we say it, and consider our actions at home and in public. By the way, I think Jesus danced.

  • Reply Evelyñ Morgan January 13, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    My dear, sweet Baptist roomie – I realize most Baptists back in the day were what we now call legalists. My dad wouldn’t allow me to dance in P.E. class and I had to sit and watch. I realize now it deprived me of balance and am awkward trying to keep my feet in sync with music. However, Baptists nowadays have come to realize it’s not about what we DO, but what is in the heart. I am proud to be called Baptist, but more so a Christian. We do set an example by what we do, but more so by how we live. I do have a problem with watching sensual activity on TV and the almost naked dancers. That does not honor Christ and they would have a problem drawing a sinner to repentance.

    It makes me a bit nervous when you condemn Baptists, because we don’t all have that legalistic mindset. I love you and don’t want you to take this the wrong way. It is not shameful to be a Baptist.

  • Reply Evelyñ Morgan January 13, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    Sorry for duplication – auto correct at work.

  • Reply Evelyñ Morgan January 13, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    “loyalists” s/b legalists

  • Reply Nancy Vecchio January 13, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    I love this Jan!! My favorite thing at our family Christmas party was when my three sisters and I turned up the oldies and danced like we didn’t care if anyone was looking!! We laughed and sang and had a great time cutting loose! Like when we used to finish cleaning and washing the supper dishes and heading into the living room to turn on the stereo with our mom and dance away!!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg January 13, 2022 at 4:58 pm

      What a fun image, Nancy. Keep dancing. It’s good for your heart, or so I’ve heard.

  • Reply Dale Lefever January 13, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks Jan,

    When you are scheduled to compete on Dancing with the (senior) Stars I will fly to attend this live production. Or, I will live stream if my walker is in for repairs. 🙂

    Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg January 13, 2022 at 5:02 pm

      Horrors! Well, since I’m a beginner at all of this, you can save your flight miles or money for something more worthwhile. I won’t be competing any time soon.. Besides that old red nightgown would trip me up or whoever got stuck trying to keep me upright.

  • Reply susan j mcmullen January 26, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    You go girl! We don’t dance enough for sure.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg January 26, 2022 at 9:22 pm

      Well, my GO is SLOW but it was a fun evening with those Grands. Jello moves easily!
      Hugs to you in North Carolina, dear Susan.

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