19 Jun

Hi Everybody! I’m back in action on Jana’s Journal!

Hi Everybody! I’m back in action on Jana’s Journal!

This is where I get to “talk” and share my thoughts with you! You are welcome to do the same. Make a comment…start a conversation and send it my way!

Once it arrives here… I will take care of publishing it! That way if somebody with nasty intentions tries to barge in and us cause trouble…they won’t be seen/heard or tolerated!

I am looking forward to seeing what’s next!

18 May

Blog transfer

Hello this is a message from Jana’s web developer, her blog was was moved to Jana’s new website. All of the posts dated before this one are duplicates of her original posts.

For those that wish to see the original blog to which they were submitted the link is below.

–    thank you.

Jana’s Journal

11 Nov

A Singer’s Lament

November 10, 2013

 A Singer’s Lament

I thought I’d be more pleasing
to my God if I refrained
from singing songs more secular
that’s how I have explained

my choice to never sing again
except about His Name
my ego never settled
and I’ve never been the same

I envy all the others
who are “old” but singing still
If I had kept on singing
would I not be “in His will?”

To sing of love and friendship
of rainbows and the rain
how could that be so sinful
when I quit what did I gain

“Brownie points in heaven”
I doubt I do have any
regrets that I don’t sing at all
oh, yes, I do have many

The songs I sang were happy
and some were soulful…sad
and singing was a medicine
whenever I felt bad

Now it’s too late…I had my chance
I gave it up…by choice
oh what a foolish thing I did
to throw away my voice

“Send in the Clowns” to cheer me
for “Here’s That Rainy Day”
The sun won’t come out “Tomorrow”
Nothing is coming “My Way”

“It’s my (pity)party”
If I want to I can cry
but I’d rather sing my songs again
and I’m asking God just why

I thought I’d be more “HOLY”
If I didn’t sing anymore
Though I put away His Gift to me
I’m a sinner…just like before

It didn’t make a difference
and I doubt it mattered at all
No “ministry” ever followed
there never has been a “CALL”

I miss being out performing
hearing laughter and seeing smiles
I might have been a blessing
and traveled many miles

If I’d kept singing and acting
and sharing a heart full of cheer
Oh, how I long for what’s lost now
But it’s lost forever…I fear

(Twenty years ago I was a Christian Radio host/interviewer…when I gave up my secular singing and acting career…thinking it was inappropriate to continue singing anything but inspirational/gospel music. I have since realized how I imposed on myself something God did require of me. This “Lament” is about the loss of the joy of singing and making people laugh)

10 Nov

It’s Not about ME!

Passed over by some
to some you’re a “gem”
ignored by many
don’t worry ’bout them
God who made you
knows your worth
if they can’t see it
carry on with mirth
Keep smiling and singing
and dance a bit too
celebrate often
the Gifts HE gave you
Give them away
often as you can
for that is exactly
what’s in His Plan
Every good gift
is meant to be shared
we’re not to count up
how many have cared
What a relief
when I can see
It really is not
at all about ME
Like a circus dog
I performed in the ring
and looked for approval
my songs I’d sing
Waiting to hear
compliments and applause
I know I was driven
and I know the cause
It’s time to relax
and simply “be”
now that I know
It’s NOT about ME
(by Jana Lapel for the book “Under the Makeup It’s Me!”)
c November 8, 2013
16 Mar



What can you do with me now, Lord?
I threw my pearls before swine
What can you do with me now, Lord?
You hear when I murmur and whine

What can you do with me now, Lord?
I am old and I’ve wasted my times
I’ve sung all my songs for the worldly
Now I’m left with my empty rhymes

What can you do with me now, Lord?
Your gifts…my talents ill-used
My heart is broken, I’m all alone
The ones that I trusted abused

What can you do with me now, Lord?
The love of my life passed away
You blessed us together so richly
but it ended too soon on THAT DAY

What can you do with me now, Lord?
You called me to travel first class
But I took the path called MY WAY
And now…look what’s come to pass

What can you do with me now, Lord?
I ignored what You’d planned for years
Are there any small pearls left inside me
Kept preserved by the salt in my tears?

What can you do with me now, Lord?
Is my vision too cloudy to see…
I want to believe there is something
Some reason for me to be

What can you do with me now, Lord?
Are there any more songs I can sing
I long just to be Your witness
and to soften the sorrow, the sting

What will you do with me now, Lord?
You’re the ONE who rescues the lost
You offer Your Grace to the wretched
Gave Your Son to die for the cost

What have you done with me now, Lord?
…brought me back to the future again
from the bittersweet life I’ve been living
It’s a new day…with YOU…I begin

29 Nov

Old Folks Need Visitors

Old Folks Need Visitors

When my daughter was a little girl…her dad (a string bass player) and a piano player and a drummer joined me for a series of visits to what was then called “extended care hospitals”.  Now we refer to them as assisted living residences.  We brought Christmas cheer to the patients/residents with our variety of music and shared the stages with the Edmonton (Alberta) Police Pipe and Drum band.  I watched the old folks’ tears flow…saw their feet tapping and words being silently mouthed. Sometimes we could actually  hear their voices joining in the old familiar  songs. This “gig” was offered to us over several Christmas seasons. I always felt badly that we were paid very well…when it was such an incredible blessing to bring joy to these people.  OLD FOLKS NEED VISITORS! 

Nurses told us stories of how so many of the patients never had a visitor.  I mean, NEVER!  So unless it was a special occasion and a program brought visitors to entertain…these folks sat in their rooms…or were left to lie in their beds…day after day…week after week…month after month and year after year…without ever seeing a “personal visitor”.

Over the years I came to know some of those residents.  One lady, who’d been a nun and a music teacher is one soul I have never forgotten. Her name was Sister Cecile.  She had taught music in Native Indian schools in the Canadian North. She loved to sing…though she could no longer play her guitar. I would hold the microphone so she could sing with me from her bed…which the staff had rolled into the room and right up close to the stage.  She had a beautiful smile…and twinkling eyes.

Then came a Christmas when Sister Cecile was missing from the audience. I inquired about her and we learned that she was too ill to come down to the program. “Santa Claus” (one of the police detectives who was built like the Jolly Old Man and had a heart of gold) suggested I bring my 6 year old daughter along and we’d go up to Sister Cecile’s room to do a little singing for her. As we entered her room it was obvious that she was now paralyzed from the neck down.  She could no longer sing…but she could whisper!  She told me “as long as I have breath I will praise HIM”!  Her faith was in tact…her eyes still twinkled as she gazed up at the sample of the Christmas cards she had mouth-painted …a total of 200 of them!  The staff sent them out to her friends…including the “family of sisters” from her Order in Quebec. I tearfully sang her favorite “Oh, Holy Night”…and Santa and my daughter, Melissa delivered her Christmas treats.  Sister Cecile was gone by the next Christmas …she had departed for her Eternal Rest…to reside  in the presence of the Lord she loved and served. Surely, the angels rejoiced at her arrival in that realm!

How often…I have claimed that every person in the world ought to have the opportunity to visit the “shut ins” in their communities.  It was “the best gift I ever got for Christmas”!
Giving …blessing…making a difference….proves to me that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Commercialism has lost its lustre for me.  TIME is the most precious gift I can receive from friends and family.  Unfortunately, there are FEW who have ANY TIME to share.
It is a rare treat…and a lost art…to get together and just sit and chat.  Maybe that is a sign that I really AM one of the “old folks” myself now.

Billions will be spent on GIFTS…STUFF of this world.  I am ” storing up my treasures in Heaven”…because I have seen how our belongings can be gone in a flash…like my parents’ home which burned to the ground when I was six months old…or the lost lives and homes in Hurricane Sandy…and other heart-breaking disasters around the globe.  What matters “in the end” is loving and being loved.  Does anybody have time?

I don’t run up credit card debt…using “pretend” money to buy things people don’t want or need…but I did send money to buy 40 pairs of shoes for barefoot kids who live in garbage dumps.  Then I wrote a little poem to 8 family members …telling them that I chose to send 5 pairs of shoes from each of them…instead of giving them a gift card to spend on themselves at the mall.  (Of course, I did give them one small gift to open this Christmas)  I rarely hear a “Thank you”…so I am never sure if they even knew what I sent them.  One year I called to see if the box arrived in the U.S. that I sent from Canada…and my granddaughter couldn’t remember?  “I think so” she said…it was no big deal.  I can’t blame the kids…it’s a whole society of material-minded people who are not yet “Old FOlks” so they don’t realize how things will change in years to come. They are busy texting, tweeting, facebooking, and convincing themselves that having 4,000 friends on line proves they are incredibly well-connected and socially in-step with their time!

Someday….THEY will be the “OLD FOLKS” who are lonely for company.  I hope they will have some visitors…maybe somebody who can sing them a song…but will there have been any worth remembering or singing?  Or will they have to tap their toes to a rap song?  At least it doesn’t matter if you are out of tune! 🙂

If you can…go visit some elderly folks…even if you don’t know them…they will love your gift of time… talk…treats…and if you can…bring a dog or cat for them to pet or better yet a little child. When my 6 year old Melissa… and I stopped in the room of Mrs. Dolly Goodman…after one of our shows…we learned that she was blind. This nice little lady hugged my daughter… and discovered Melissa’s long naturally curly hair…and though she couldn’t see those blond locks she loved stroking them. It made an impact on Melissa who would often aske me, “Mommy, can we go back and visit Mrs. Dolly Goodman”?   I’d tell her…”yes we will, honey, BUT I don’t have time this week”!  Of course, we never did go back to see Mrs. Dolly Goodman.  She passed away while I was “too busy”!

During your busy holiday preparations…could you squeeze in a visit to someone who may be all alone?  I promise it will bless you …and there is no way to know how much of a blessing it would be to the ONE you take time for!

I am going to find the time…for someone…because, I too…am lonely!

Be blessed!

11 Nov







24 Oct

LIVING FOREVER? Suicide Crisis Alert!

Would you like to live forever?
There are times I could answer YES!  Other times I would declare NO!

This is one crazy messed up world!  Navigating through a normal day can be a huge challenge.  Ordinary “stuff” of life can overwhelm us.  Then the BIG STUFF happens… break-ups, financial disasters, fires, floods and other “natural” disasters… which feel very UNnatural…illness, death and grief! I’ve lived through a house fire (I was six months old), a hotel flood, a basement flood, a hurricane in New Jersey, an earthquake in Chicago (yes, Chicago in the 60’s) …it cracked our apartment wall!  I’ve lost pets, parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, went bankrupt, lost gigs and opportunities, lost friends, jobs ended, and watched cancer ravage loved ones…heart attacks steal others…suffered through 4 divorces only to lose the love of my life to prostate cancer!

Why would anybody want to keep on keepin’ on in this weary world?  Maybe because we are built to WANT to LIVE!
Which brings me to this important notice:

OUR GENERATION IS EXPERIENCING A PLAGUE OF SUICIDE!  It is killing our children and teens as well as adults…especially seniors.

I considered suicide while sitting on the (inside) window ledge of a 12th floor apartment on North Dearborn Street in Chicago. I was 24 years old and life had become unbearable and I thought I was SO BAD…that I didn’t deserve to live!

My 3 year old son saved me!!!  YES, it was the thought of HIM… IF I threw myself out the window to the snow covered street below on that January night…my little boy would forever have to explain how his mommy didn’t love him enough to live through her pain…to take care of him!!

THANK GOD …I “heard” HIS VOICE…(God’s) reminding me of my purpose at that moment…to be the mother of the child HE had entrusted me with.  Somehow in the midst of my muddled and mentally ill mind I had the sense to avoid jumping!

I was admitted to the psyciatric unit the next day…in a hospital just a few blocks away from the hospital I was born in! During that 2 week stay…I met other patients who were far worse off than I was. My middle-aged room mate was in for shock treatments.  How scary it was, to see this woman delivered back to her bed with a ghost-like gray face and glazed over eyes. She looked like a dead woman only she was breathing!

Another woman took a dislike to me and burned a hole in my red wool coat with a cigarette.  The hospital paid for it to be re-woven…but I always remembered the spot where that troubled lady vented her anger. I think she was jealous of my talkative and outgoing nature.

When I was admitted I was given an injection.  I inquired as to what that was for?  They told me it was to “make me talk”!  I laughed heartily and said: “They don’t realize I won’t need an injection to make me talk”!  And I didn’t!  I had lots to say about how painful my existence had been over the past almost quarter of a century!!

One night we watched an old lady…try to climb the glass wall in the cage-like room she was isolated in for her own protection.  This so-called “safe room” was right beside the nurse’s station…but the nurses didn’t pay alot of attention to her antics!  She screamed and yelled and lept at the glass walls; first one side then the other!  If it hadn’t been so terribly sad to see this patient in such an awful state…it would have been hilarious!  She looked like a monkey at the zoo!

One day in the craft room, about ten of us female patients were making party favors for an upcoming banquet at the nearby Methodist Church.  We were to glue pill cups on paper lace doilies and decorate them with ribbons and tiny fake flowers.  Then the cups would be filled with nuts and mints for the banquet guests to enjoy. While we were working on this project I suddenly got a wave of the giggles…and just had to share my spontaneous outburst with my hospital mates!  I exclaimed: “Ladies, do you realize we are in the loony bin making NUT CUPS?”
I was the ONLY one who laughed at my joke!

Later that week my shrink told me he knew I was going to be alright! He explained that I still had a sense of humor and that I dressed up in hot pink complete with a matching velvet hair bow (that was in style at the time!)  and these were 2 good signs that I still had some self esteem and a will to live!!

BUT today our kids and grandkids are being bullied…rejected…overwhelmed in our society…and they are “OFFING” themselves faster than we can keep up with the reports. THE INTERNET plays a huge part in the desensitizing young people! They participate in the dangerous “game” of cyber-bullying from a distance. Do they realize the seriousness of how their WORDS can
KILL, STEAL and DESTROY!  (Biblical warning about the enemy of our soul…who desires to “take us out” one way or another!  This “fierce lion” is prowling about looking for the vulnerable!
We can’t afford to “sleep” through the signs!

In my day the kids threw verbal insults, spitballs or rocks at me …so the principal allowed me to be dismissed from school early. Early dismissal meant I could walk home before the bullies had a chance to catch up with me! Then in high school I endured hair pulling, pinches and slaps on the face…
delivered by envious classmates during a schoolbus ride home from a state music contest.  Their initial celebration when I won “first place” in the state with my vocal performance soon turned to jealousy once again.  My parents had many talks with the principal and teachers about how to handle it all! It’s pretty frightening to have your so-called friends turn on you with such vicious behavior.

THANKFULLY, I was a very determined kid…
committed to my dream of becoming a professional entertainer…and those mean bullies could not steal my dream!

CHECK OUT the CROSSROADS  (crossroads.ca)
in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
They are currently devoting 2 weeks of programming and promoting a book “Why They Die” to raise awareness and create TV and Internet programs to HELP!
IT is URGENT! They Need our help!

About living FOREVER?  I live through the difficult times of this life by keeping in mind that there IS a WAY to live FOREVER in ETERNITY with my CREATOR. He sent His Son…Jesus/Yeshua to make a way for this fallen world of messed up people.

It only takes recognizing how far from HIS PLAN for our lives we have strayed…asking Him for forgiveness…THEN FORGIVING anyone who has hurt us in any way…(can’t be done in human terms but HE helps us with that too!) and asking to BELONG TO HIM…in the life that Never Ends.
Where there is no more weeping and wailing…nor pain and sorrow…nor illness and death.

I think THIS IS IT!  I’m Goin’ for it…YOU?

p.s. Let’s do everything we can for the kids who are dying far too young…and not knowing there is  HOPE!

06 Sep

Mom’s Passing

Today was the one year anniversary of my Mom’s passing on her 92nd birthday…Labor Day 2011.  I didn’t know how I’d feel today…of course, sad that I couldn’t call her in Salina, Kansas and wish her a Happy Birthday or email Petals Flowers and order her a nice fall bouquet.  It was the first time in my life, in fact, that I couldn’t call her or send a card or somehow be in touch on her birthday.

I think I wrote on fb about the eerie fear that creeps up on me every January in anticipation of my Groundhog Day birthday on February, 2nd.  It must have been the frequency of reading obituaries in the paper and noting that people often do die on their birthdays.  Then MOM did it!  Maybe my fears were “prophetic” about her all the time!
I might add that I am not “ready to go” until I finish writing my testimony book…and I remind myself of that every January as we approach Ground Hog Day!

It may be that I subconsciously postpone writing that project in hopes of delaying the “end”.  Silly as that may be…I think the frail human brain…at least mine…does play those kind of games with us.

Mom had had enough suffering with Barrett’s Syndrome cancer…and she lived through four years of laser treatments at the Rochester Mayo Clinic…to keep the diseased lesions at bay.  She loved food…but it became impossible to swallow toward the last few months of her life …and tube feeding was the beginning of the end for her.

Though I had a stormy relationship with my mother…off and on my whole life…she was “MY MOM”…and I miss the phone calls.(even though she often responded in a cranky and disapproving voice to whatever I shared!)  I do great impersonations of her comments…and anybody who knew her says I sound just like her!!
I didn’t see much of Mom after she left her 36 year widowhood behind to marry her high school sweetheart when they were both 77.  She asked me to sing at their wedding and I got to visit her in her adopted home in Kansas three times…including attending her joint 90th Birthday Party with my step-dad.

To Remember Mom’s birthday today I called him.  He is a well-known retired realter named Gib Wenger who turned 93 in June… as Mom would have been today.  He still drives…and was heading out for lunch with friends, but he was glad that I called…as were my Dad’s two sisters…my Aunt Anita (Nete) in Arizona and Aunt Kas in Iowa. Distance keeps us apart in miles but not in spirit…and with my aunts…the telephone is still “the next best thing to being there”.  Their generation and mine…know the value of the human voice connection.  I am thankful to still have the freedom to visit with a few people on the phone rather than only being in touch via the internet.

YET…without the internet I wouldn’t be writing this blog!  I protest too much! In case you are reading!

Happy Birthday Mom…the slate is clean…
Love and Peace at last…

Your “unpredictable” and multi-named daughter!