Spiritual

About Jana Greene

Beggars

By:  Jana Greene

Hello, Dear Reader, and welcome.

So what you should you know about me?

My husband is my best friend, and we have been together for 15 years. No one is more suprised than me to have a happy marriage. “Through the mill,” is how I might describe what life has doled out – from blending the family to my disability. But (cliche notwithstanding) it has all made us stronger than ever.

Our blended family includes three now-grown daughters – who are my favorite people – one granddaughter, and three very spoiled kitty cats.

In 2001, I came to the end of myself and all of my delusions of put-together-ness, which is to say – I got sober from alcohol. If you know me even casually, you know I am an alcoholic.

 I haven’t had a drink in 20 years, but I am still – forever – in recovery, something that keeps me humble and coming back for more of what got me clean in the first place.  

Every single day.

I keep my recovery “out there” because there is somebody, somewhere who is hiding bottles and drinking that “two” beers just to stop the shaking and who is so, so, ashamed. I know shame.

Or maybe he/she is addicted to drugs, or porn, or the approval of others –  it’s all the same to your soul – or cannot seem to find a reason to wake up in the morning. 

I can’t tell you how to fix it, but I can tell you what (or who) got me through. I can tell you that I 100% expected to die during that hard time, and sometimes would have considered it a relief.

Had I drunken myself to death, I would never KNOW things, though. I would have missed out on this (as my favorite author Anne Lamott says) this big, juicy creative life. But now I KNOW it’s possible! Faith and humor are key.  Oh, and boundaries, on occasion.

I have a genetic constellation of diseases that are part of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – a connective tissue disorder. I have chronic pain, severe fatigue, and frequent injuries. In short, your body is held together with Gorilla Glue; mine is held together with bubble gum.

Every cell in the human body is made up of collagen. My body makes mutated, ineffective collagen. I am in my 50’s and need a can roughly 50% of the time, depending on my pain level.

Due to comorbidities, I also have POTs – orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. My body does not effectively regulate things that come automatically – like blood pressure and temperature regulation. This creates a whole other level of issues.

I have had Ehlers Danlos all my life but wasn’t properly diagnosed until I was 40 – 12 years ago. I sometimes write in how being chronically ill effects me, and my relationships. It can be raw, y’all.

Work history? I’ve worked at insurance and real estate agencies, mortgage companies, law offices, and as a day-care teacher. As a single mother I worked several at a time – including a hardware store paint-slinger and as a part-time hotel maid.  All were character building.  But I’ve been a writer – legit or not – since I could hold a crayon.

I am imperfect all the way. I cuss a little, too.

As a writer,  I use the forbidden “three dots”… too often and cannot bear to part with the text-forbidden smiley faces 🙂 and sometimes use run-on sentences because I think they convey stream-of-consciousness better and yes, I know all of these are against the Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” guidelines.  I have written for one small newspaper and one large-ish one, and have had several articles published in “In Recovery Magazine.” Of all the things I’ve done, writing is my love.

I write for the selfish reason that it helps me productively process the pain and pleasure in life when I pour words onto a page. 

And for the selfless reason in a hurting world, we all need one another.

Maybe you can relate to something I’m going through. Maybe you’ve gotten through something that I’m struggling with. I’m a big believer in One Love. 

I’m also what you call one of those “deconstructed” Christians – but GOOD NEWS! I came out the other side with a love for Jesus like I’ve never had, left a whole lot of dogma by the wayside, and my fundamentalist roots in the dust.

I just love Jesus and believe his love is inclusive. All means all. Nobody gets left out. Nobody gets left behind.

In my earlier writings, you may get smacked in the face with some evangelical-speak, but that’s just where I was then, and this is where I am today.

Because, all of these things I tell you about me, are true, but none define me. I am a Christ follower, but not an Evangelical. I preach the Gospel of inclusion and acceptance, but most of all heavy-handed grace.

Because that’s what has been given me.

I’ll show you where I found sustenance. No pushiness. Just love.

The blog is named for a quote from D.L. Niles: “Christianity is one beggar telling another where to find bread.”

When I couldn’t love myself enough to lift myself up, I crawled back to Jesus, and He  said “You look hungry… come to the table!” God is my sustenance.

All posts are copyrighted.   Feel free to share a link to this blog and let me know who you are sharing it with, please 🙂

19 thoughts on “About Jana Greene

  1. I cannot wait to bake with you! I look forward to your words, I too am flawed and deal with my own issues. I have always been a believer, but I now seek God’s guidance and am trying to let go to his will (those who know me know I tend to be a control freak)…and my grammar vice is using parentheses! Lisa S.

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  2. I am so happy to find your blog! If the posts which follow are as witty, sensitive, transparent and with the depth of the first one, then we are definitely all in for many future treats. Love the title and the truth behind it. I look forward to feasting at your blog/bakery frequently, because I too continue to carry all the trappings and the identifying marks of a beggar calling out to my fellows. Much love Jana, and may your sails be filled with fair writing winds.

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  3. I am so proud of you and look forward to each and every post you write. You are an amazing example of humility and vulnerability. I know I have much to learn from you. Sending you so much love!!!

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  4. I love your writings and look forward to more my sister in sobriety and life sweet friend. So focused, honesty from your heart. So so proud of you and the life you have made for yourself and your girls. You continue to inspire me. xoxox

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  5. Love, Love, Love it Jana! I love how real and raw you are! I can’t wait to read more! Write on my sista, write on…

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  6. Jana, I am so happy for you. You ate a terrific writer an I can’t wait to read more. Much love and many blessings.

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  7. Lisa!!! So good to hear from you! Thank you so much….this blogging thing is out of my comfort zone, to be honest….but I’m just going with it. You are amazing as well (and haven’t aged a day in 20 years!) Sending much love right back to you!

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  8. You have a gift to which you will reply that I do, too, but I don’t have the same gift you do. I sincerely believe we both are blessed and called to use words for His glory–mine are meant to be spoken and yours have to be written. God fills us, blesses us, uses us in different ways to spread his message of healing, redemption, hope, and love–and I am proud to walk or run along side of you (not that you are actually running anywhere at this moment in time), my brilliant writer friend, straight to God!

    “Here we are God, Use us!”

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  9. Ahhh, yes. You are so gifted, my Melissa. We are on parallel journeys, you and I. Thank you for your support – which you have always been so generous with. Onward and upward for that one true goal, so much infinitely bigger than ourselves. Love you so.

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