Notes from Jan

When Once Is Not Enough

May 7, 2024

Apparently, according to my children and Grands, I have one of the “gifts” of aging. I repeat myself. And, even as I write, I know I shared this with you before. But God seems to agree that once is not enough. Since God, also, repeats himself.

If you read last week’s blog, you know I’m thinking about God’s four letter words. One of my favorite words is COME. And it’s so important, even to God, that saying it once is not enough. For example, “COME to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”(NLT) And in the Old Testament, “COME, all you who are thirsty…” Isaiah 55:1(NIV) Like I tell my Grands, “some things bear repeating.”

And, while confident I quoted this before, please read on. Why? Well, it’s a great quote and it nudged me to think about Amit on his birthday. He’s one of our kids’ and grands’ best friends. And over the years, his family feels part of ours. Amit, though turning fifty today, seems to have never lost a sense of childlike wonder and love of life.

So, ponder Chesterton’s glimpse of God at play

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning,’ Do it again’ to the sun, and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon.” (G.K Chesterton in Orthodoxy)

And so on this 7th day of May, I find myself asking who needs to hear some form of “Do it again”? Like, ” Please COME” again? Or who needs to hear God whisper, “COME” again? Such a simple invitation from the One to whom we can trust our burdens and weariness in body, mind and spirit. Also, our fears, hopes and dreams.

And when we come, God doesn’t say, “You, again!” But offers REST, mercy, peace, forgiveness, and guidance. And best of all, God does it again and again.

Holy monotony!

I don’t know how God does it so often.

But I need nudges to come again.

Trust, again.

And to be grateful.


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  • Reply Dale May 7, 2024 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks Jan, with me God usually says, “Well, look whose is here. Where have you been?” Of course, I am reluctant to tell Him the truth, so I say ministering in South Africa. Do you think He believes me” Probably not, but He still welcomes me as you remind us. Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 7, 2024 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks, Dale. But knowing you, it’s highly likely you were somewhere ministering in one way or another. Again.

  • Reply Maggie Rowe May 7, 2024 at 9:50 pm

    I never thought about how God repeats himself for emphasis. Thanks for giving the rest of us permission to do so also!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 8, 2024 at 4:38 pm

      Welcome home from Norway, dear Maggie. And yes, God knows we need reminders. Many years ago, Ruth Calkin wrote a book of poems entitled, “Tell Me Again,Lord I forget.

  • Reply Radina Welton May 7, 2024 at 11:55 pm


  • Reply Wendy May 9, 2024 at 10:30 am

    Holy Monotony = impressive too! Great post Jan!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 9, 2024 at 11:52 am

      Monotony sometimes shows up as routine. And routines can be good for body, mind and spirit. But you know that as an athlete, dear Wendy. And, as a parent, I can imagine how much God loves when we “come again” just for the pleasure of God’s company.

  • Reply Tina Hoofnagle May 12, 2024 at 7:25 am

    Such a great post! Thank you for being faithful to what the Spirit puts in your heart to put out to all of us. Your wisdom is full of encouragement.
    Tina H

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 13, 2024 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you, dear Tina, for the gift of your time to read this blog and then to respond. You encouraged me!

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