Notes from Jan

What Do You Want for Christmas?

December 13, 2023

The older I get, the less I want or need and the more I’m aware of the needs of others. And it’s not because I can’t think of anything I want or need, it’s because I’m more aware of everything I already have. I’ve come to think of it as one of the gifts of growing older. It’s one of God’s ways of preparing us for life after this world with its promotions, blinking lights and promises of this and that to cure our ills, needs and fulfilll our neverending list of wishes.

Yesterday I flew to California to spend time with my daughter Heather, Matt, Lily, Luke and Basil. And to meet their new puppy, Teddy. He’s so cute and looks like a little Teddy bear. But it served as one more reminder of one of my needs. And yours. To be together with friends and family. To belong.

Well, I can’t believe how much email found its way into my box while I flew from sea to shining sea. But one was from Maggie Wallem Rowe. He blog is so worth reading. But in it she quoted Ann Voskamp, one of my favorite writers. This quote from Ann summed up what I want most for Christmas.

I don’t want a Christmas you can buy. I don’t want a Christmas you can make. What I want is a Christmas that holds me, remakes me, revives me. I want a Christmas that whispers JESUS.”


How about you?

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  • Reply Linda Campbell December 13, 2023 at 11:08 pm

    Amen – thank you for the thoughtful reminder of the sweetness of whispering the name of Jesus.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 14, 2023 at 11:46 am

      Yes dear Linda, when we allow space for the stillness of Advent we create quiet zones where whispers are more easily heard. And so I wish you the gift of quiet moments to settle and comfort. God Jul.

  • Reply Donna Poynton December 13, 2023 at 11:38 pm

    Amen, I want the same. Jesus, our All in All.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 14, 2023 at 11:48 am

      And may you be blessed, dear Donna, with a fresh sense of the presence of Jesus as you go about life amid the clutter and noise of this time of year. It only takes a moment or two beside that manger in Bethlehem to grasp God’s love for you and this whole hurting wortld.

  • Reply Toni Lovingood December 14, 2023 at 8:17 am

    Merry Christmas Jan. Enjoy your wonderful family. Thanks for all your writings. Such encouragement. I enjoy them all.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 14, 2023 at 11:53 am

      Thanks, dear Toni. And I wish you and your family a wonder-full Christmas season, as well. I’m grateful for you and your ongoing encouragement. May God bless you with some moments to sense the gift of Jesus in new ways for you and through you to those who need reminders of the true gift and heart of Christmas.

      • Reply Toni Lovingood December 14, 2023 at 1:00 pm

        That last sentence is the perfect prayer for me this Christmas.

        • Reply Jan Carlberg December 15, 2023 at 7:35 pm

          I think it’s a good prayer for me, too, Dear Toni.

  • Reply Patty Wick December 14, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Amen! I agree with you Jan❣️. Give me Jesus, He is all I ever need❣️. Have a blessed time with your family❣️. Thank you for sharing all that you do, for your wonderful storytelling!! You have always been one of my favorite speakers ❣️❣️

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 14, 2023 at 11:57 am

      Wow! Thanks, dear Patty. And hearts are my favorite motif (it’s Scandinavian.) so it was fun to see your reponse sprinkled with hearts.
      And so I pray that your heart is encouraged during this Advent season to lean into this period of waiting and holy expectation. May God’s peace settle and bless you now and in the year to come.

  • Reply Dale December 14, 2023 at 11:29 am

    Thanks Jan. I agree but have to confess I need a Christmas that shouts Jesus. It’s not my hearing but my listening that needs assistance and, perhaps, a miracle. Blessings and love, brother Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 14, 2023 at 12:02 pm

      And I pray too, mu dear brother Dale, for your hearing and mine, as well as for the ability to truly listen, especiallh to those with whom I’m prone to disagree or ignore. May the Jesus you and Marty love and serve bless you with a deeper sense of His love and care for you and your family. And may your Christmas shout JESUS!

  • Reply Maggie Wallem Rowe December 14, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Jan, I am honored that you made mention of my weekly posts when YOURS are the ones I anticipate each week. So glad you are in California with family! Amber, Ben, and the kids are driving down from NJ to join us late next week, and our single son is doing the 18 hour drive from his new home in Texas. Your “Gordon kids” can’t make it down now that they are back in New England – we will miss them. But Jesus has assured us that He is coming (again!)

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 15, 2023 at 7:42 pm

      Well, sounds like you’ll have a house full of family, dear Maggie. But I’m sure you’ll miss the New England branch. They are very loved in these parts, however. It’s good to have some family but there’s nothing like when all the kids and grands come home. God, our Father, must feel like that with a deep longing for all his children to come home.

  • Reply Wendy December 15, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    Love it. Merry Christmas to you and yours dear Jan!! <3

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 15, 2023 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks, dear Wendy. God Jul to you, Steve and your dear family.

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