Grace Gifts 15 to 49 [2016 Favorites]

Just a little under three hours left in 2016. Twenty sixteen was a really good year for me, more highs than lows and for that I am thankful. Especially for the knowledge that the consistency and faithfulness of my Heavenly Father never changes. He is always with me and I rejoice in the good times and trust Him in the bad times, knowing that He is ordering my steps.

I’m going to post pictures from every month of 2016 – a list of grace gifts for sure! These pictures make me so happy – they are just full of simple joys and to this simple woman it just doesn’t get any better.

JANUARY
January began with an appearance on Wheel of Fortune, America’s Game – with my friend Jan Leary for “Girlfriend Getaways!” It was a highlight of not only 2016 – but of my life! A dream come true. Team Jan WON and I wrote a post about it here on the blog. You can search and find it posted in February 2016.
FEBRUARY
A trip to the North Georgia Mountains in February with our boys and their families was delightful. We stayed in a beautiful cabin and spent quality family time together. Plans are already made for a repeat of this blessed time!My mom and sister and I enjoyed a Paint Party together as a Ladies Night Out at our church.  Luke 1:50 “His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.”

MARCH
We celebrated my Mom’s birthday and I’m always thankful to celebrate her life! She is a gift to everyone in our family.

These are my Praise Team people! I love them. We love to sing together and we really love each other too. Most of all, we love Jesus.
Three little grandsons [Jackson, Abe, Zeke] in plaid shirts and khaki pants on Sunday morning. Little church boys. I love them!

An app on my phone to show my distance (almost 7 miles, woohoo!) and route when I ride my bike. I love riding the country roads near our home. I miss it now that the cold weather and early sunsets prevent me getting outside. Spring will be here soon!

APRIL
April marked a blessed event that has been prayed for by Pop and Gran Jan since our oldest grandson Zeke was born 8 years ago.  We witnessed our son baptize his son at Cartersville First Baptist. We are so thankful Zeke has professed faith in Jesus Christ!

We celebrated my Dad’s 82nd birthday with a big family BBQ. Here is my Dad doing what he loves best – grilling, and my three menfolk enjoying themselves and I couldn’t be prouder of them!

MAY
Our grandson Jackson graduated from Kindergarten in May and our hearts were full as we reminisced our son Jonathan’s graduation from the same Kindergarten 26 years earlier.
I spent Mother’s Day weekend with Jeremy and his family and we had a Mother-Son picture made at the church. I’m so proud of this preacher son of mine!

Two fig trees for Mother’s Day. My husband knows me well. I told him I look forward to teaching my granddaughters how to make delicious homemade fig preserves one day.
JUNE
The highlight of June was another awesome all clear cancer free report for my husband as we spent the day in Atlanta. We celebrated with lunch at Pappasitos, one of our favorite restaurants. We also celebrated 39 years of marriage on June 11th.

June is the best month for gardens here in middle Georgia. The weather is usually not yet blazing hot and my flower gardens and vegetable garden are so pretty! My grandchildren Jackson and Emery helped me plant these green beans during Spring Break. They were bountiful.
A little Father’s Day love…my husband loves his boys! And they are such good daddies too. They were raised by the best, their own Father!June was the month for the inaugural Gran Jan Camp. I had one camper this year – my oldest grandson. He had just finished first grade so he met the “requirements.” 🙂 Next year I will have 3 campers. This is Zeke during our early morning devotional time together. It was a week I shall never forget. We loved our time together.
JULY
July is the month for the Morton Family Vacation and we had a great time at Cape San Blas, Florida this year. The cousins played so hard together and that made mine and Pop’s hearts so happy! I made their matching shirts and that made my heart happy too.

My son Jonathan and his wife and children were all in a Hutto family wedding in July. It was beautiful! My daughter-in-law’s brother Jared married his beautiful bride, Deanna. Isn’t this a beautiful family? AUGUST
August brought about another awesome event for me – my first published book. I was a co-author of Tasting Grace, a book about the mentoring in the kitchen ministry that my friend Jan Hamil and I began back in 2014. This is Leah Adams, my friend and published author of several other books. The book idea was hers and I’m thankful she brought me along for the journey. It is the most fulfilling ministry for me. Thankful to my friend Beth Moore for writing the foreword for us.
SEPTEMBER
I made a “Frozen” quilt for my granddaughter Emery’s 4th birthday. It was fun to go to her party and see the JOY as she celebrated with family and friends. This is one amazing little girl!

Our Women’s Ministry and Second Baptist Church hosted the Jennifer Rothschild “Fresh Grounded Faith” Conference the weekend of September 23-24, 2016. It was life-changing for many women and our joy to serve. Nearly 2 thousand women attended.
OCTOBER
October brings the Georgia National Fair which just happens to be held not too far from our home! I braved the Ferris wheel again this year for Zeke and Madie. We had a blast!
Three of my grandkids stayed a few days with us during Fall Break and granddaughter Madie enjoyed our miniature donkeys here at the Morton Farm so much. They are named Maybelle and Moses Morton.

NOVEMBER
I love Thanksgiving so much. The simplicity of food, family, and faith – without all the trappings of other holidays appeals to me so much. This year was extra special as my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on November 23, 2016, the day before Thanksgiving. The family gathered for a big photograph.

I enjoyed a sweet Thanksgiving school lunch with my son Jonathan and grandson Jackson at Jackson’s school the day after my birthday. I sorta think we three look alike in this picture and of course, I love that too.

I made a quilt for some sweet family friends, Laura and Hamp Jones, and they came by the house to pick it up Thanksgiving week. It was an overdue wedding gift and I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it for them.
DECEMBER
It was so sweet to see Jackson and Emery in the Children’s Christmas program at our church. Emery was “THE STAR” and Jackson portrayed Joseph. I pray the JOY of Christmas will be in their hearts as they grow older and realize just exactly what this beautiful season means.
I love this ornament…1977, our first Christmas together. This was our 40th Christmas as husband and wife. 

It was our great joy to have Keith and Krystyn Getty at our church for their “Irish Christmas” musical. Our choir sang and they sang and played. It was an amazing night of worship. Beautiful!
My five grandchildren who bring me more joy that I can adequately express!
It also brings me such joy to see my boys spending time together with their families. They got together just this week at Stone Mountain, GA for snow tubing and I know the cousins played hard.

This picture was made just a few hours ago at my mom and dad’s home next door to mine. It’s the Maloy girls. My sisters. I love them so much. we laugh easily with each other, we love our parents, and we love each others’ families. Having sisters who are also friends is a great gift I don’t take for granted.
As 2016 comes to a close and 2017 is dawning I want to just say how much I love my Lord, my family, my church, my friends, my life. God has been so good to me and it isn’t because I’m good, it’s only because He is good. All the time. I look forward to 2017 because I know Jesus Christ is already there. He goes before us and He is so faithful!

Happy New Year from the Mortons!

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 7 – April 1, 2015

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Easter is my favorite celebration on the calendar. As we can see in the beauty of Springtime, there is new life everywhere. Easter means everything to all believers in Jesus Christ – our HOPE for Everlasting Life – found only through Christ and His glorious resurrection from the dead. So I chose this verse:

1 Peter 1:3 (HCSB)
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
According to His great mercy,
He has given us a new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

When I read “according to His great mercy,” I am gripped with thankfulness. Mercy, so underserved – so freely given. New Birth – Living Hope – what great words in this verse! We had a glorious time of worship at my home church yesterday – my husband leading in worship, my son Jonathan participating by leading in worship during the song “Forever.” He did the speaking part like Isaac Wimberley did in this video below:

Hope you all had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday and will continue to enjoy the PROMISE of I Peter 1:3 every day!  This is the LINK FROM LIVING PROOF MINISTRIES with a word from “our sponsor” 🙂 Mrs. Beth Moore.

We Sing Hallelujah, the Lamb Has Overcome,

GRANJAN

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40 Days – Lent 2014

Today is Ash Wednesday and marks the first day of Lent. Growing up Southern Baptist, I never heard any mention of “Lent.” However, this marks the third year I’ve been intentional during this “40 Days” time.  Intentional for me in that I focus my mind and heart on why we as Christians celebrate this time of year.  For those of you like me, who did not grow up in a church that formally practiced this tradition, here is a definition of Lent:

Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Holy Week/Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – His suffering and His sacrifice, His life, death, burial and resurrection. Lent runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday and so includes 40 weekdays.

We may not have observed Lent, but for over 20 years my church (under the direction of my wonderful husband Gary) presented “The Warner Robins Passion Play” for our community. Through music, worship, and drama, we depicted the life of Jesus, His crucifixion and resurrection.  Some of the most wonderful times as a worship ministry have been during this Holy Season.  I love this time of year – everything shouts NEW LIFE!

I want to share the devotionals that I have used during the 40 days of Lent.  The first one is free and is from Ann Voskamp’s blog, “A Holy Experience.” Click here on “The Trail to the Tree.”  It is a beautiful devotional. This is how Ann describes Lent: “It’s the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice.”

Another one is a book entitled Reliving the Passion by Walter Wangerin, Jr.  It is a 40 day devotional from the New Testament gospel of Mark.  It’s poetic and dramatic and I loved every page.

This year I am reading a book entitled Draw the Circle, by Mark Batterson. It is a 40 day prayer challenge that his church (National Community Church) in Washington, DC has used during Lent.

Please let me share that I don’t see Lent as anything “ritualistic” or a way to garner favor with Jesus.  God’s saving grace is free and I can’t do anything to cause God to love me any more than He already does.  I won’t “give up” anything – He gave His all for me. And another thing – my faith is a daily faith – experienced minute by minute.  These 40 days are special to this time of year and the significance of Easter in the life of a believer – but EVERY DAY is a gift of grace to me!  I especially love this song by Keith & Kristyn Getty – “The Power of The Cross.” Here is the first portion…
Oh, to see the dawn of the darkest day
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men, torn and beaten then
nailed to a cross of wood.
This the power of the cross
Christ became sin for us!
Took the blame, bore the wrath 
we stand forgiven at the cross.
I pray you will seek daily solitude these next 40 days – in prayer – in worship, thanking Jesus for His supreme sacrifice on the cross for you.
Gran Jan
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1,000 GIFTS, #949 to #966

949.  As I get so close to the GOAL of 1000 gifts, I am remembering today where it all began.  I was attending a conference for worship pastors (and their wives) with my husband, and we were in Birmingham, AL.  My first gifts, one to ten are here.  That conference is 2 weeks from today and we are part of the team that is hosting the event (Metro II) here in our state in beautiful Savannah, Georgia.  Time flies…

950.  And speaking of worship – here is our grandson Jackson singing “Where I Belong”  (Building 429)  in the tub just last night. He had heard that Pop (my husband) had sang it in “big church.”  Click on the little link below (Jackson-Tub) for 20 seconds of pure JOY.  “All I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong…take this world and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong…”  Jackson-Tub

951. Phone calls at work that begin like this, “Mom, you want to meet me and Carrie and the kids at Chick-fil-A for lunch?”  Indeed!  Then lots of hugs and kisses from Zeke & Madie Ruth before I head back to the office.  My favorite way to spend a lunch hour!  Thank you Jeremy for calling and inviting me.

952. Grace beyond all measure in the continued strength and healing in my dad’s recovery.  He is a miracle of the Lord and my heart is full to overflowing with thankfulness.  He is still in the hospital but is most assuredly on the mend.  Thank you for praying.

953.  My friend Lanie invited me to an “art party.”  The sponsor is Truth Be Told Art and it was absolutely wonderful.  It is a wonderful ministry where you paint His Truth on canvas. We painted the scripture from Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit. The artist led us step by step and we are so proud of our artwork!  Left to right in the picture is Kathy, me, Lanie, and Joy.  Both Kathy’s and Joy’s husbands are staff pastors at our church.  Blessed time of fellowship.  Pears
954.  Thank God for the JOY of some springtime weather right in the middle of winter…record highs last week.  This may be the perfect weather to me.  Just warm and wonderful, breezy, low to no humidity.

955.  My oldest grandchild and I spent a long time just sitting on the bank of our pond on that beautiful Spring day last weekend. Zeke is a talker and we enjoyed long conversation. He calls this weeping willow our “picnic tree.”  We had a most wonderful time and I’m so thankful.ZekePond956.  And that perfect day was made more perfect by some “flowers” from Zeke. Dandelions…delightful! 🙂Dandelions

957.  I love the music of Travis Cottrell and our choir and orchestra and really our whole church enjoy his music.  Our Praise Team is working on “Jesus Saves.”  My husband is planning something very special when we sing it and it will feature a presentation of ALL the people who have come to Christ and been baptized in our church recently…YES! Jesus Saves!  I was actually in the audience the night Travis recorded this music at First Baptist Woodstock, Georgia. What a great memory!

958. I planted a Rose of Sharon last weekend.  Mine is white and I love this old-fashioned flowering shrub.  A sweet and precious friend, Jan Leary brought it to me from Atlanta.  Her father was in the hospital at the same time as mine.  We met in the hospital lobby and talked and encouraged each other through that trying time right at Christmas.  She is very special to me.  I love you Jan! We have a lot in common, beginning with our names.

959.  Life is but a vapor…James 4:14 from the Amplified Bible.  Barely a week goes by that I don’t think about something I learned from the Bible study on the book of James (Mercy Triumphs) by Beth Moore and her daughter Melissa Fitzpatrick. One cool morning last week as the vapor and fog was wafting through the pecan trees I stopped to take a picture…

Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow.
What is the nature of your life?
You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist)

that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].
Vapor

960.  Love this new “app” for the Scripture Memory Team!  I am memorizing Psalm 103 this year.   SSMT app

961.  Thankful for the safety of my friend Cindy who was home during an attempted break in at her home last weekend.  She is a woman of the Word and had the presence of mind to know that the attempted “robber” needs Jesus.  I am praying for God to bring her peace of heart and mind as she works through everything.  Jesus be near.

962. I had everyone over for a big family breakfast this past Saturday and we enjoyed some time outside. I love this picture of Jackson and Madie running.  They are exactly 2 weeks to the day apart. I pray they will be as close in friendship as their ages are in days…Running

963. Sweet Emery is always so HAPPY and I enjoyed some time with her in the house while everyone was visiting the cows!Emery-JOY

964. Our Pastor preached one of the most practical and clear messages yesterday on what it means to be a disciple of Christ that is GROWING in relationship with Him (from Hebrews 5:12-14).  I so desire to be a mature woman of faith!
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

1. Lack of growth limits your ability.
2. Lack of growth hinders your productivity.
3. Lack of growth reveals your immaturity.

965.  I assure you I did not draw any attention to myself or disturb anyone around me as I quickly took this picture (with my iPhone) at church yesterday, but I wanted to preserve this moment in my mind…a group of friends praying together at the close of our services.  I have no idea who or what they were praying for, but it touched me way down deep.  So thankful for small groups, Bible study, Sunday School and JESUS!  The bond that holds us all together is His love.  Thankful for that grace moment yesterday.PrayingTogether

 966.  And lastly…this quote from Dr. Perdue yesterday:

Grace didn’t come with a “to-do” list, Grace came with a DONE list.

AMEN AND AMEN!
Jan

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1,000 GIFTS, #875 to #900

It’s been a long month since I last posted, a long month.  We all have times of joy and times of sorrow; and then there are times where joy and sorrow meet. Even tonight as I write, my dad is in the Intensive Care Unit of our local hospital with a severe case of double pneumonia, a very sick man. Please pray for him. I sure love him and miss him and want him to be home soon.  So with that leading this post, I want to say…

875.  Thank You Jesus for the grace of a normal day, where we go to work and school and do our chores and come home again in the evening with everyone in full health. I’ve missed that so much the past week since Dad has been in the hospital…

876.  Thankful for another year of LIFE – I celebrated 55 years on November 16th. My husband, my parents, my sons and daughters-in-law and four grandchildren came over for dinner.  It could not have been sweeter and I am very thankful.55 cake

877.  A dozen pink roses…delivered in person to me at my office by my husband. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this man. God graced my life 35 1/2 years ago with Gary.  He is a gift straight to my heart.bday roses

878.  55th birthday blessings continue with the sweetness of my card inscription from my husband.  It was his BEST EVER and I mean that! (And of course I don’t have the energy of a 25 year old or the wisdom of a 75 year old…but I want to keep believing he thinks I look 35!) bday card

879.  Here are the FOUR JOYS of Gran Jan’s Joy.  This picture is everywhere now, on my iPhone, my computer…I love these grandchildren.Fou

880.  My first “senior discount” at a restaurant. I was truly excited and my sister-in-law thought I was “crazy.”  I am…crazy about being older and healthy and blessed, and not ashamed to get the discount!

881.  My oldest son Jeremy is a pastor. He preached the doctrinal sermon at our denomination’s state meeting on 11-13-12. The state convention happened to be held at our church, the church where Jeremy grew up. It was a full circle moment for me. If you’d like to hear a glorious message on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, go to a video of him preaching  the message here.  JD at GBC

882. My husband is a hunter – he especially loves deer season.  He was pulling out early one morning and I snapped this picture of him, his truck, his Gator, his “stuff.”  It made me happy to see him getting to do something he loves so much. Gary- hunting

883.  Gary and I love the fall foliage of  our  local Hickory trees. We found a couple of dozen on our land in the woods and spent one afternoon “tagging” them. We hope to transplant them around our home and pond one day soon…Tagging Hickorys

884. My three oldest little turkeys on Thanksgiving Day at Gran Jan’s house.  I made their shirts…they made my day!SONY DSC

885. My daughter-in-law Erin made a delicious Paula Deen banana pudding…it was so good, and the best part was she left it at my house on Thankgiving Day!  The recipe is Not Yo Mamas Banana Pudding and is very very good.

886.  Four little reindeer shirts for my four grandchildren. I really love creating things for them. I know the “season” for this is short (especially for the boys) and I want to enjoy every moment. They do grow up so quickly.Reindeer shirts

887.  A new little calf on the farm…with the perfect markings of his mother. So fun to me!cows markings

888.  Last week before my dad was moved to ICU, he and I had a heart-to-heart talk that I will treasure forever. He wanted to apologize for his shortcomings as a father and I was reassuring him that I had no memories of those.  He was still in the hospital, but was awake and alert, and it was a moment of such peace for this daughter.

889.  Firepits on the patio and coffee and conversation.  We always say…”this is why we live in the country.” Firepit

890. First Thankgiving…First Christmas…precious granddaughter Emery, with a Gran Jan embroidery design 🙂Emery Christmas Design

891. Sitting outside on the patio and cracking pecans for the freezer.  Time to be busy and time to think…at the same time.  I love that.Pecans

892.  I snapped this picture from my car window while sitting at a traffic light a few days ago.  In fact, a lot of folks were pulled over taking pictures of this gathering of crows on the water tower.  It was so noisy and quite a sight…made me smile!crows

893.  Every other year Living Proof Ministries hosts a “Scripture Memory Team” where you memorize 2 verses a month for a year and post them on their website for accountability.  It is WONDERFUL.  Watch for all the details at the http://blog.lproof site in the next week or two.

894.  Prayers and prayer support from friends.  Today I have received emails, text messages, and voice mails from friends praying for my dad’s recovery.  They are such a strength to me, and I hope when we are through this journey that I will remember the “comfort with which I was comforted,” and do likewise.  II Corinthians 1:3-4

895.  The most glorious Christmas worship music ever presented by our choir and orchestra.  It was so wonderful to have the support of our Pastor as he presented the gospel and 12 folks joined the Family of God and trusted Christ as their Savior.  He is the greatest gift of all.Choir

896. My best friend Lanie has a new little grandson, born a couple of weeks early, little Levi is doing well.  Can’t wait to see him grow up in the Lord as he is raised to know and love Christ.Levi

897.  My little grandson Zeke practicing his letters.  My son said he chooses to do this at bedtime as a stalling tactic.  He tells his parents he “needs to write his letters.”  His dad was a staller too.  He still doesn’t require much sleep…like father, like son (like Gran Jan).Zeke - letters

898.  The full moon and this cross of clouds on my way to work caught my eye one morning last week.  Creator God.morning moon

899.  Health care providers, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, food service workers, janitors, technicians – everyone – working, serving, caring.  God bless them all.  Reminded this week how much we all need each other.  Thankful, so thankful.

900.  Roses in December. These are my Mr. Lincoln roses showing off. I needed them to do so – and I am enjoying this promise of springtime, both here, and in my heart.  Mr Lincoln

Love and blessings –

Gran Jan

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1,000 GIFTS, #860 to #874

Writing today from a wonderful place…HOME, in a wonderful mood (day off from work), and with a thankful heart for all the reasons below…and many more…

860.  Thankful first of all today for our veterans and their families.  My Dad served in the Vietnam War and was a career Marine. I’m so proud of him and I love him very much.   I love his patriotism and the way we fly both the American flag and the USMC flag here at the farm every day…

861.  I love this time of year, and I love planting little violas in my strawberry jar.  By the time spring rolls around and they have covered the jar, it is time for the begonias…

862. Last week on Election Day morning before we left for work, my husband was in the back of the house, and I was in the kitchen. We both tweeted at the same time (not knowing that we each were doing so) and our hearts were in tune.  God is our HOPE – always, no matter who resides on Pennsylvania Avenue.  TwitterSametime

863.  My church is hosting the annual state meeting of our denomination. Last night our choir and orchestra led in worship for the pre-convention “rally.”  It was glorious, simply glorious.  So good to see lots of our friends in the ministry and to be a church that leads the way in this state.  The theme is “The Great Commission…My Mission.”  Lord help us share Christ with others…

864.  This little sweetheart fell asleep when I was holding her.  She is a sleeping beauty for sure.Madieasleep

865. Fall gardening greens.  Thank you dear Lord for being our Master Gardener.FallGarden

866.  I pulled up all my zinnias in late summer and they have re-seeded.  What fun to have these summer flowers right here in fall. Sometimes God brings things to us in what may seem the wrong time to us, but His ways are best. Zinnias

867. This little grandgirl is 7 weeks old and is as sweet as she can be. Bright eyed and alert and so pretty.  She surprised me with a visit to my office last week…Emery

868.  My friend Lanie and I attended a class together to learn a technique combining quilting and embroidery.  We had the best time. I’m thankful for God’s grace in my life to give me such a wonderful lifelong friend. EmbroideryClass

869.  Today was a beautiful warm day. My youngest son brought Jackson to the farm for a while this morning.  He’d been sick and needed some fresh air…Jonathan caught this cute picture of him climbing the fence.  I enjoyed their visit.Fence

870.  So thankful to teach these beautiful senior adult ladies yesterday morning in Bible study.  They were such an encouragement to me.  I love my church family.SSClass

871.  One of the most wonderful seasons of the year is Autumn.  I love the colors of fall, the cooler air, the spicy scents of candles, the anticipation of the holidays, the uncommercialized holiday of Thanksgiving, and God’s grace as people pause to count their blessings…

872.  This Red Glory Maple…OctoberGloryMaple

873.  This gorgeous purple pansy…PurpleJoy

874.  I made this little “first Thanksgiving” onesie for my newest little granddaughter…you can be sure we are counting her life and addition to our family as one of God’s greatest gifts this year. ThanksgivingOnesie

I’m nearing the end of this 1,000 gifts journey and I’ve enjoyed every moment.  Would you consider beginning your own journey of counting His gifts of grace? You don’t have to put them in a blog.  There are apps for your smart phone, and guess what? A paper and an old-fashioned journal work just as well. But the greatest place to treasure these gifts is deep in your heart, where you can recall them without the aid of the internet or a computer…

Blessings to you,

Jan

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1,000 GIFTS, #845 to #859

As my Granny used to say, “there’s been a lot of water passed under the bridge” since we last got together.  I have been extremely busy since my last post, but not too busy to stop and count…so here continues the blessed JOY of counting the gifts of God’s grace, so undeserved, yet so welcomed.

845.  We have a fantastic facility right near home that hosts a National Fair each year…I enjoyed a date with my sweet husband there and snapped this picture as the sun was setting. Peaceful time spent with the one I love.Fair

846.  I am serving with some sweet ladies on the team for the Beth Moore Living Proof Live event scheduled for next May 31-June 1, 2013, here in Georgia. There is absolutely nothing like the sweet spirit of immediate fellowship. Our bond is Christ.LPL Team

847.  My sweet dad is as proud of this antique tractor as he can be.  He loves the way it “sounds,” and I believe it takes him back to a simpler time in life. I certainly understand that!

848.  My newest little granddaughter and her sweet brother…be still my heart. God’s grace multiplied…I can’t wait to see how their love for each other grows. How special it would be to have a big brother.

849.  I often times feel very rushed…rush to work, rush to the grocery store, rush to prepare a meal, rush to finish, rush, rush rush.  But for 3 days last month over a long weekend my friend Lanie and I enjoyed a serene unrushed time. We celebrated her birthday and her 3 years surviving ovarian cancer.  We attended the Georgia Quilt Show, we sewed, we laughed, we ate Mexican food at Pappasitos, we stayed up until the wee hours and we were exhausted, but it was pure therapy.  Here is her van packed and loaded with our sewing “stuff.”QTT
850.  The 3D Nemo Nerds. I took Zeke and Madie to the matinee one afternoon to see “Finding Nemo” in 3D.  When Zeke put on the glasses he said, “Gran Jan, Nemo is swimming right at me, I can touch him!”  We had a wonderful time and they were so good.  That was a first for the 3 of us, but it was so fun.  I love being Gran Jan.Nemo

851.  While driving down the road while in Atlanta with my friend Lanie, we passed this little church and I saw the pastor’s name on the sign.  The name of the pastor who performed my wedding 35 years ago…I love what the sign said and that Pastor Jones is still serving…what a delight!  Still in God’s Hands!  Indeed we are.  Grace.

852.  I made a little pumpkin onesie for our newest little punkin grandgirl…Emery…PunkinOnesie
853.  And Turkey shirts by Gran Jan for the grands…I consider it a blessing to be able to enjoy doing this, for the machine, for the grandchildren in my life to enjoy.  God is so good. I love to see them wearing the shirts I make for them!SONY DSC

854.  The women’s ministry of my wonderful church had a ministry project this past month to support a local Christian adoption agency by hosting a baby shower.  The response was tremendous and it took a truck (my husband’s) to load everything up!  So thankful for the young women who choose LIFE for their unborn babies and the blessing of adoption.CovenantCare

855.  I love the way our church has responded in worship the past few months.  The Spirit has been so strong among us, and I believe it is God’s grace and pleasure in how our Pastor gives preeminence to the Word of God.  I love my church.  And I love our Worship Pastor husband because I know him, I live with him, and I see his genuine integrity day in and day out.

856.  When my daughter-in-law Carrie sent me the pictures of these two in their Fall Festival outfits I just kept staring at them with joy because I see their JOY.  Zeke is so proud to be a policeman.  He and Madie both have spent the night several times the past month and we have FUN. They fill a place in my heart and meet a need to keep “mothering.”  I know you grandmothers get it…especially you moms of sons who cut those apron strings long ago…Gran Jan’s JOY.  God’s grace.  Daily grace to have them close by.  I count that blessing EVERY single day.ZandM
857. I finished this heart quilt for the new baby daughter of our church’s instrumental music pastor and his wife.  It was fun to design and fun to quilt.  I love the way a quilt crinkles and puffs up the first time it is washed after it is all quilted and finished.Quilt

858.  I spent all afternoon this past Saturday helping my Mom divide her daylilies.  We had lots of help from my husband because the flower clumps had gotten so large we couldn’t  lift them.  I really enjoyed that time with her.  The fresh air, daylilies to share and some for my own garden too.

859.  Some sweet times with the Lord where He is affirming to me that He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother…

On this eve of a very pivotal election for President of our great country, I am praying for God’s grace to be evident in the lives of believers across America.  We must keep praying and believing and trusting in the fact that God is in control no matter who lives on Pennsylvania Avenue and sits in the White House.  In God We Trust! I love this passage from Daniel 2:20-22:

20 “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.

In the Hollow of His Hand,

Jan

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