Dear Friends, I’m delighted to have another opportunity to talk with Jan Elder! Jan is a wonderful author, and she’s also a kindhearted person. Our conversations always leave me feeling understood and valued. I really appreciate her!
Danele: Hello, Jan! I’m so glad that you’re able to talk with us today!
Jan: Danele, thank you for having me on your inspirational blog. I am so happy to be here!
Danele: I’m happy you’re here as well! I can’t wait to learn more about you! Can you tell us where you feel the presence of God the most?
Jan: It may sound funny, but it seems like I feel the closest to God when I’m alone in my car. I listen to music (mostly Christian although anything with great chords and harmonies makes me happy) or I might be enjoying one of my favorite stations, or perhaps a CD of one of my beloved teaching ministers. But I find that when I am inspired, THE MOMENT I’m touched by His presence, turning off that sound system and talking to God as if He were right there in the seat next to me (and He is) helps me to feel wrapped in love. He listens. He hears me. And He understands like no one else. Now I think up reasons to go somewhere!
Danele: That’s wonderful! Time spent in the Lord’s presence is so precious! Now, Jan, what’s your favorite Bible story?
Jan: It seems like I’ve been hearing the story of Joseph everywhere I go these days and the importance of waiting on God’s timing. Knowing that when I want to “hurry up” God, remembering that He’s the one in control and that He sees the big picture helps me to stay in faith. Learning to trust that He’s got it all in His hands helps to settle me down. And also remembering that when Joseph was in prison—probably the time of his greatest despair—he still ministered to others. What a stellar example for when I feel down. What’s that old saying? It’s hard to feel down when you’re giving someone else a hand up.
Danele: That’s beautiful, Jan! Thanks for sharing your heart. I know that your family went through a difficult time lately. Would you like to talk about it?
Jan: A little over a year ago, my Aunt Jean died. She was 91, a fine Christian woman, and she was still mentally alert and in very little pain at the end. Not a bad way to go, but what moved me, though, was not just that I would miss her, but that she was my mother’s twin sister, and the last one of Mom’s siblings to pass away. As you might imagine, my mother took it hard. Now, not only was she an orphan with no living parents, but she was also the sole survivor in her family. The grief and sense of aloneness made mom’s health take a nosedive and she landed in the hospital. For the first time, this vibrant, “fully alive,” “fully engaged” woman began to draw in upon herself and voice that she was now ready to leave this world behind. She sounded on the brink of despair.
Danele: That’s awful, Jan! I’m so sorry!
Jan: I tell you, it scared me a little. Oh yes, my mother was ready to go to heaven—she had given her life to the Lord when she was ten—but never before had she talked about giving up and possessing the desire to go home to Jesus. When she made it out of the hospital, she was in rehab for another three weeks before she returned to her own independent apartment. I was able to visit her most days (she lives about an hour away from me) and gradually, her will to live returned as her health improved. We talked about what was behind this sense of despondency, discussed her purpose in life, and she began to see that she still had a lot of living to do.
Mom lives in a terrific retirement community along with 1,500 other senior citizens. Many of those people are, as of yet, unsaved. In fact, for most, where they are living now is their “last stop.” Mom had held many Bible studies since she moved there in 2003, she had led some of her friends to make that all-important decision to live a life in Christ, and she was still in reasonably good health and able to continue that work. She realized that her reason for living was to continue to show others that they were beloved children of God.
Today, at not quite 93, Mom is writing her sixth book, a collection of stories about dear friends she has known throughout her life. Yes, I am proud to say she knows how to use a computer, she emails, and she’s even on Facebook! I’m sure I will be helping her some with this new venture, but the ideas are all hers.
And what did I learn from all of this? Not only will I cherish every moment I still have with her here on earth, but it’s never too late for anyone to make a difference right where God has placed them. I only hope that when I’m a nonagenarian (and I very well might be because mom had several relatives live well into their hundreds) I can live out my life with such a magnificent purpose in mind.
Danele: Wow! That’s marvelous, Jan! Your mother sounds like a very special person! Now, here’s another question for you—what do you think heaven is going to be like?
Jan: I have heard that we all get jobs in heaven. Not jobs that are “work” but jobs that are FUN! So when I’m not singing and praising God (and the music is going to be GLORIOUS!!!), I’m going to be petting cats, playing fetch with the dogs, and galloping horses like the wind! After that, I’ll be walking with Jesus on a warm, sandy beach, surf lapping at our toes. And hey, everyone is invited, so let me know if you want to come along!
Danele: Oh, Jan! You just made me smile! Now, before I let you go, can you give us a list of the books you have written?
Jan: Sure! Manila Marriage App, A Semi-Precious Christmas, Love, Lies, and Fireflies, Frosting and Flurries (Boxed set of Christmas novellas with four other authors), and Moostletoe.
Danele: The holidays are approaching, and I know that Moostletoe is a Christmas story. Can you please share its back cover blurb?
Jan: Fresh out of divinity school, Rev. Samantha Evans is ready to conquer the world for Christ. She lands in Moose Creek, Maine, a tiny backwater town with more moose per square mile than men. Even worse, one of her new parishioners chews up new ministers for breakfast, and he’s determined to send her packing.
Forest ranger Eric Palmer is done with women. Determined to live simply with no encumbrances, he’s moved to Northern Maine to study the moose population. With Christmas right around the corner, he runs into his buddy, Sammie, the girl who’d been his best friend when they were teenagers. Unlike most of the women in his life, he trusts her implicitly. But could she ever be more than a friend?
When Samantha’s career is on the line, Eric must save her job and rescue his own shattered heart in the process. But how does Matilda the town moose factor in?
Danele: That sounds like fun! I know that Moostletoe can be purchased as part of Frostings and Flurries, a boxed set of Christmas novellas. Can you give us the purchasing link for the set?
Danele: Moostletoe has also become available for purchase as an individual story outside of the box set. Can you give a link for purchasing the book individually?
Danele: And finally, Jan, can you give us a link where we can keep updated on Moostletoe and your other books?
Jan: Of course! https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Elder/e/B00VXW5F2C
Danele: Jan, thank you so much for being with us today! I really enjoyed talking with you!
Jan: Danele, it’s been a privilege to be invited to appear on your blog today. Thank you for your ministry.
Friends, Jan Elder is a wonderful person! If you would like to learn more about her, or her books, please follow the links below. I hope you have a wonderful day!