Notes from Jan

Remember When…?

September 1, 2022

School started in our area this week. It’s been awhile since I attended school. Officially, decades. As for learning, I’m still curious and teachable. I hope. Although, sometimes strength masks as a know-it-all-stubbornness in me. Like one of my collection of coasters reads: “Sorry!!! I don’t take orders, I barely take suggestions.”

Still, I try to listen and learn. Like yesterday when I had breakfast with Kris, my daughter’s best friend. She grew into an amazing physician, who happens to like old people. Like Heather, my daughter. Both learned a lot during their teen years working at Blueberry Hill nursing home. Which bodes well for me, since I grew up to be old.

Kris and I talked about books, kids, work and Church. Eventually, she asked questions about my health. Left me feeling loved and cared for. Role reversals. Sort of a sacred switcharoo. It’s a form of staying in school for me. Learning to lean on, trust and flex.

Which, thanks to Chad, is why I’m flying tomorrow to North Carolina to see the southern branch of my family. I don’t do last minute well. But, Chad nudged me, did the work to make it happen. I needed that, since I miss my brother Ralph, Chris and family. The pandemic came between us. Nothing else. Remembering helps. You know how some of the best stories begin with, “Remember when…?” And we do remember stories told to, about and now by us to the next generation.

Not surprising, that was God’s idea first. Tell the stories to the children so they learn what God did . And so they and we remember and learn to pay attention to what God’s doing now. Also, we’re to tell the stories that didn’t end well. Like the ones with conseqences. But tell the redemptive stories. We all have both.

And that’s one reason I love and need Church. It’s Sunday school. Helps me bend, stay teachable, connected, accountable. Every Sunday we’re invited to haul our sorry stories to the One who knows how to redeem them. We confess our need of forgiveness and mercy. Then, cup our hands to receive more than bread. And drink in more than wine. We remember God’s love, faithfulnes and trust God’s holy editing of our stories. And an ending we could never dream up on our best days.

Which amazes me for the umpteenth time.

Grace.

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14 Comments

  • Reply Dale September 1, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    I do remember when “I came to Christ or He came to me.” I did not plan on it as I went reluctantly to an evangelistic church service. Jesus said “now” and I said “maybe later when I am done having fun – I was 15. He smiled and said, “now would be good” and it has been wonderful since then. I don’t know how long I will remember this but I still do and draw great comfort in what He has done in me since then. Today is the youngest we ever will be and that is worth remembering. Thanks for the prompt and perspective dear sister. You brought back a great memory. Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg September 7, 2022 at 12:59 pm

      Well, you can tell I’ve been away from the Perch and my computer. I’m workikng on another blog and haven’t responded to any of you from the last one. Time in North Carolina fed many hungers. As for your response to the blog, I loved the image of Jesus smiling and whispering, “Now would be good.” Thank you, dear brother.

  • Reply kris September 1, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Loved seeing you! Thanks for meeting up. Have a wonderful trip 🙂

    • Reply Jan Carlberg September 7, 2022 at 1:00 pm

      And I love time with you very dear Kris. Maybe next summer we can rent the BIG beachhouse and you can join us. Looking forward to Zoe’s birthday.

  • Reply Shannon Granitsas September 1, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    Amen to this my friend! “I love to tell the stor[ies]” and church is a reciprocal nourishing place. Blessings!
    Shannon

    • Reply Jan Carlberg September 7, 2022 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks, dear Shannon. Loved seeing your name show up. Looking forward to CBS this fall.

  • Reply Heidi Bunce September 2, 2022 at 5:44 am

    I hope you have a wonderful time with your family!!!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg September 7, 2022 at 1:02 pm

      I did, dear Heidi. And I had a great time having breakfast with you. Thanks for making that happen.

  • Reply Maggie Rowe September 2, 2022 at 6:36 am

    Jan! You are flying to my state today. My first thought is to jump into a car and drive to wherever you land as a welcoming party. I wish we could get you out here to the mountains. I usually agree with almost everything you write, but I’ve got a bone to pick with you today – by my definition, you are not old, dear friend. Your mind is so sharp we could cut meat with it. And that’s what you give us here on your blog. Grateful.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg September 7, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      Well, if I ever need a PR person, I know who to hire, Ms Maggie! North Carolina was just what I needed. BBQ and soul food with ny family. Considering the width of NC, you’d have quite the drive from the mountains of Ashville to Wilmington on the coast. Maybe we can meet in the middle sometime. Thank you for your encouragement, dear Maggie.

  • Reply George Richardson September 2, 2022 at 8:38 am

    So true. So needed. By both generations.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg September 7, 2022 at 1:08 pm

      What a fun surprise to see your name show up, Geroge. Hope you and Linda are doing well and no fires torched anything where you live in Colorado. Keep telling the stories. Love to you and Linda.

  • Reply Toni Lovingood September 2, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Jan,
    What a beautiful time of year to visit North Carolina and share those “Remember when” stories. Have a safe trip and get pictures with all your family.

    Toni

    • Reply Jan Carlberg September 7, 2022 at 1:11 pm

      Well, dear Toni, it was a sweet time. The sweetness enhaned by Elise, my neice, who baked a fresh coconut cake as a belated birthday gift. Three layers! Can’t remember when I did a 3 layer cake. So happy I went. Always am.

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