ABOUT Simply Jan
If you’re coming here to look for expert advice on, well, anything, then you may need to keep on moving. I’m a woman who knows a little about a lot, but not a lot about anything. However, if you would like to see a simple woman trying to make her way through a not-so-simple life, you’ve found the right place.
I’m the mother of three children, not to mention a few other “children of the heart.” Two of my children were born by other mothers in Latin America before finding their forever home with me. My children range in age from 8 to 19. So while I know all about the bittersweetness of watching a child fly the nest, I also know the day-to-day joys and challenges of the more hands-on parenting of younger children.
I’m a single mother, trying to figure out how to juggle it all without dropping any of the balls. Don’t look too closely. You just might see how many I’ve missed that are bouncing around at my feet.
I’m the guardian of too many cats and a dog. Most of them are rescues. All of them add to the madness, the mess, and the mania that is my life. I wouldn’t change a thing. I find that my interaction with all God’s creatures teaches me so much about life.
I’m a woman of faith who happens to be a pastor of a small but growing church. I don’t claim to be a great theologian, a renowned orator, a wise counselor, or a gifted administrator, but I do love my people and my work. For me, faith (even faith leadership) means being real about the joys and the struggles of the journey.
I know too much about losing loved ones too early in life (my best friend at age 37 and my sister at age 49). I know too much about feeling helpless when loved ones are forced to battle serious illness (my brother with MS). Grief is a very real part of my life.
I know too much about other things in life, like financial struggles, and parenting an ADHD child, and worrying about parents with health challenges.
I know what it’s like to be a transplant. After a lifetime of living in Upstate South Carolina, I’ve spent the last two years learning and loving life on the coast. I love both places so much that I’m often not sure where my heart’s home lies.
I also know the joy that comes from so many things: children’s laughter, a pet’s antics, the beauty of the sunset over water, the peaceful song of the ocean (except maybe during hurricane season), the excitement of doing something that makes a difference, the soul-nourishing words of encouragement from family, church members, and friends.
As you can see, life is anything but simple. I can’t give you the three steps to happiness or the five strategies for success. All I can offer is simply myself and hope that somewhere in my story you might recognize glimpses of your own story and realize that whatever you are going through, you aren’t alone.