1,000 GIFTS, #675 to #689

The tag line under the One Thousand Gifts book states “a dare to live fully right where you are.”  Well…right where I am is at home, at church, at work, in the garden, in my car, at the grocery store, sharing a meal with my family, in the choir loft, riding my bike over to visit my parents, in my quiet time place, in my sewing room, in my kitchen or laundry room, in a doctor’s office with a friend… All of these are simple places, nothing exotic like a fancy cruise ship or a remote tropical island. Yet in all these places my heart’s desire is to be fully there so as not to miss one single JOY He has for me. I often pray and ask the Lord to make me focused and fruitful. In the busyness of life, the simple joys are what keep me on center, and this week has been one of just that—blessed simplicity.
675. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary last Monday on June 11, and about mid-morning the receptionist called me to the front of my office building…be still my heart. My sweet husband sent me 35 of the most beautiful pink roses I have ever seen. I counted every one! Thank you sweet man of mine. God graced me when He brought you into my life…
676. Let me tell you about Ashley. I had 30 guests at my home this past Tuesday as I helped hostess a bridal shower for this sweet young woman. When I first met Ashley I noticed her blue yarn bracelet and was prompted in my spirit to ask her if she was going through the Beth Moore “Believing God” Bible study. (If you’ve done the study, you know what the blue bracelet represents.) She was, and we bonded instantly – sweet mercy it was wonderful. She and a group of cheerleaders from the University of GA (she was Captain) didn’t have the accompanying DVDs which are such an asset to the study, so I loaned them to her from our church’s women’s ministry library…and we bonded even tighter! I love her – she gives me hope for the future generation of young women who are believers in Jesus Christ.
677. Zeke came for a visit and a heavy rain the night before left the most wonderful puddle, so we “ripped and romped” as my Granny used to say. Yes we did. There was no mud, just a big deep puddle over a low grassy spot…pure JOY!
678. A day of celebration spent with my dearest friend Lanie. I accompanied her to the oncologist who gave her yet another good report. She is two years free from ovarian cancer. Hallelujah to our Great Physician. We celebrated and shopped all the way to Atlanta and all the way home…with a stop at our favorite quilt store, A Scarlet Thread.
679. Our little Jackson Boy spent a week at the beach with his parents (my youngest son and his wife) and his other grandparents. They had a wonderful time together and my daughter-in-law got some great pictures – she always takes the best pictures and I’m so thankful she shares them with Gran Jan.
680. So blessed by simple family time over pizza and salad and fun around the table. Could these two be any cuter?  Cousins born 2 weeks to the day apart. I can’t wait to see all God has in store for them as they grow up together…Jackson and Miss Madie Ruth.
681. A visit to the farm always includes some time seeing the moo cows. I love it that the boys were dressed alike. My daughters-in-law have great minds and they are great moms. 🙂
682. It’s magnolia time in Georgia. If you’ve never inhaled the scent of a magnolia, I can tell you that our Creator did as HE said, “He saw everything He had made, and it was good.”  I have two trees and they were gifts from some of the women in my church. I love that.

683. While driving home from my day in Atlanta with Lanie, a thunderstorm was brewing as I got closer to home. I am so thankful for the much needed rain. I could see this one coming and we ended up with 2 inches of rain and some great puddles…for little grandboys and Gran Jans.

684. This picture in our blueberry garden is of all five of my men: my husband, my two sons, and my two grandsons.  We have certainly had a great harvest this spring, and not just in blueberries…
685. Jackson and his Pop. Sweetness.
686. I enjoyed some time with my youngest sister Jo this weekend. She is also the mom to two sons and a great mom she is. I really enjoy her company and it was good to sit on the porch with her and with our parents. She loves to come get fresh vegetables from the gardens.  More simple times, family times.
687. Thankful for my Pastor and the wonderful Father’s Day message he preached yesterday. Counting gifts of grace in my life include my own father, my husband who is a wonderful dad to our boys; and my boys, who are wonderful dads to their children. Blessings to the next generations.
688. My husband and I had a sweet time of prayer yesterday at the end of our church service…hearts full, thankful for our two sons and the fathers they are becoming. They are raising our grandchildren up to know and love Jesus and His Word. We were just pouring our hearts out in praise to the Lord for this week of celebrating 35 years of marriage and God’s Grace in our lives with our boys and their wives and our grandchildren. Gifts of JOY.
689. And I am most thankful to report that my church family sponsored all 80 of the children that Compassion sent to me for our Compassion Sunday two weeks ago.  I love my church family so much. Thank you all for helping release children from poverty in Jesus’ Name.
Love and Blessings,
Gran Jan
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1,000 GIFTS, #639 to #659

Jumping right in this week, with a heart at peace and a mind that is FULL…of His grace gifts.
639. Sweet time with some sweet ladies Thursday evening – sharing, walking, and picking fresh blueberries right here at the Farm.  Kindred spirits, His gifts of friendship.
640. My sweet husband and I made some hospital visits on Saturday. I love going with him and hearing his strong voice pray for the folks we visited. I love that I have a praying husband, I’m thankful for his prayers. Grace.
641. We visited this sweet baby girl, less than 24 hours old…her name means “My God Has Answered” in Hebrew.  Many folks prayed for this baby for years and He indeed answered in a wonderful way. 
642. My quilting brings me JOY…and the JOY multiplies when I finally get to give the quilts to the ones for which I make them. Below is Eliana’s quilt from the front…she’s all wrapped up in it above.
643. Talking with the man who is helping paint our farm fence, and hearing Hector’s story, how he came to America and knowing once again how God’s Grace is sufficient.
644. Compassion Sunday at my church yesterday. A young high school girl and I planned the event together.  Her name is Mary C. and God melded our hearts together beginning when I use to pick her and and take her to Awana at church on Wednesday nights, when she was still in elementary school…
645. Mary C and I shared our JOY in sponsoring children through Compassion on Sunday morning and as of last night, 49 CHILDREN HAVE BEEN SPONSORED!!!
646. Memories of first hearing about Compassion at a Live Concert when Travis Cottrell was recording his “JESUS SAVES” project. Shaun Groves told his story that night and I just came away being mesmerized by him and his love for this organization.
647. Picking up a packet after hearing Shaun speak and becoming the “sponsor” of a little boy who lives in Colombia, South America – and now feeling like Iduar is a part of my life…because he is.
648. Following the prompting of my husband a year later to “sponsor” another child through Compassion, a little girl named Gloria who lives in Uganda, who is also a part of our lives. 
649. Sharing the good news with Shaun by way of Twitter yesterday and having him respond blessed me. I’m thankful for his ministry and it has been multiplied now at my church with 49 more children released from poverty in Jesus’ Name…
650. Praying that God will make a way for me to one day go on a Compassion bloggers trip. That is a dream of mine.
651. The grace of long-time friends. Sharing a meal with Jack and Lanie after church on Sunday. Easy laughter that comes from spending a lot of time together.  
652. Praying for my boys and their families. Seeing them be good husbands and daddies. Not a day passes that my husband and I don’t thank the Good Lord above for His grace in blessing us with these sons.
653. Planning two bridal showers for later on this month.  Both couples love Jesus and are serving Him, one couple will be in full-time ministry. Thankful for these young people and the joy of blessing them blesses me.
654. Little grandboys with sunglasses on…
655.  Cool weather to sit on the front porch and have coffee and conversation.  One of our favorite things to do. Reconnecting after a busy day.
656. Ministering to long-time friends of 23 years who have had a death in their family. We do not grieve as those who have no hope. Thankful for the ministry of the Word.
657. Thankful for a pastor who says “The Power Is In the Word,” and then he preaches like he believes that.
658. Thankful for a youth pastor and his wife who are at the beach this week with hundreds of young people…pouring into them…making a difference.
659. Thankful for you who take the time to read this blog.  Would you consider leaving a comment? Thank you if you do.
God bless you ALL,
Jan
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1,000 GIFTS, #562 to #578

It is with great JOY I begin this Monday journey of counting to 1,000 as it is Spring Break here and I’m off work this week. Holy Week and time at home, His grace multiplied.
562. This beautiful pecan grove is part of an old home place. I love the way the trees arch toward each other across the road. Around these parts we always say that spring has officially arrived when the pecan trees leaf out…a bit early this year.
563. I love time in the garden and I was there most of the day today getting ready to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, and squash later this week.  I pulled up the remains of my winter garden and got one last batch of collard greens.  There’s something about the hard work and solitude there that brings me peace of heart.
564. My sweet North Georgia friend, Leah of The Point Ministries shared some of her beautiful miniature hosta plants and mailed them to me. I love that girl, she is a gift of grace to my life. She has a heart for God and she loves and teaches His Word.
565. I received my love for gardening from my maternal grandmother.  She loved to share cuttings from her garden. Not only did I receive some plants this week, I mailed a dozen daylilies from my garden to my friend Beth Moore in TX. She got them planted on Saturday – I know she will enjoy them. Made my heart happy to share them with her.
566. I love the night sky and especially loved this showing of the moon, Venus, and Jupiter last week. (The moon is in the center, Venus is in the middle and if you look really hard you can see Jupiter at the bottom of the picture, just above the tree line.)  What a wonderful Creator God.
 
567.  I had the wonderful honor to sing our country’s “National Anthem” at the retirement ceremony of an Air Force Lt. Colonel last week. I had a blast – the McElwain family is precious and they honored Christ in every way. What a delight that was – I love living in a military town – as the daughter of a Career Marine I feel right at home.
568. Two Saturdays ago, me, my mom and my dear friend Lanie spent the entire day participating in a “quilt shop hop” across Georgia. (We were celebrating my mom’s birthday too.) We made it to six of the 10 shops and had an absolutely delightful day together. I bought a pattern for this Twister Quilt:

569. Friday night pizza at our favorite family pizza place. Fun times when we can all be together.

570. Gran Jan has a new car tag…I love it. Being a grandmother has blessed me in so many ways.  I’m advertising the JOY.
571. Look at this little sweetie helping his daddy wash his truck. Grandchildren are God’s grace for raising your own children. Grandparenting is absolutely wonderful and I’m getting so excited about #4 on the way this fall.
572. A rainy Saturday at home and candelight – two of my favorite things.
573. I potted new ferns on my front porch during that cool morning rain this past Saturday. These are the Kimberly Queen variety – very hearty and heat tolerant.
574.  Fresh green beans smell so good when they are cooking.  And here in the South we cook them a long time and then a little longer.
575. I sat outside with my James Bible study homework one evening last week and enjoyed a nice fire in the fire pit. It was so peaceful. This study has really touched my heart and stirred me up. That’s a good thing. 
576. This past Sunday evening our pastor served the first Lord’s Supper since he became our pastor on January 1. He brought a great message – he is a great Bible expositor and has the heart of a pastor too. We are so thankful for his ministry – God has brought such love and peace to our midst. He is doing a work as we are growing and new families are joining each week.
577. Ladies Night Out last Thursday with some special friends as we attended an event sponsored by Covenant Care Ministries, a Christian adoption agency. I have several friends who have adopted children through their ministry. God is so good.
As Easter approaches this weekend I am ever mindful that without Christ’s death on the cross there would be no hope of Heaven. He paid my sin debt with the shedding of His blood. I received His gift of grace almost 27 years ago and I have never been the same.
SO thankful that…
578.
HALLELUJAH WHAT A SAVIOR!
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1,000 GIFTS, #509 to #523

 
As I begin this second half of counting His gifts of grace all around me, I’ve thought about this journey that was begun last February. I’m not the same person I was, all glory to Jesus. I have been stretched in my faith and I wouldn’t trade the lessons learned for anything. I absolutely love this season of life I am in…
509. The deep contentment that comes from a long, steady marriage. I love what my friend Beth Moore has said before that applies to this joy:  “a long walk of obedience in the same direction.”  That long walk of obedience can apply to many areas of our lives…by God’s grace.
510.  The joy of family. I love Saturday morning breakfasts with everyone around the table. There are four generations here…my parents, me and my husband, my sons and their wives and our grandchildren. I was sitting by my mom and Zeke before I stepped away to take this picture…
511. Impromptu gatherings. This Valentine’s night supper last week at a local pizza restaurant was so much fun. I love my boys and their wives & the grandchildren so much – thankful to spend this “day of love” with them for a meal.

512.  Kissing Cousins. Sweet Madie grabbing a kiss from sweet Jackson… She had just told me to “take her picture.”  These two grandchildren are 2 weeks to the day apart in age. JOY!

513.  Blueberry pancakes are always on the table. Looking forward to June when our blueberries are in season again.
514.  Today…a holiday from work called “President’s Day,” is so welcome to me. I am committed to pray for this election year as we seek a new President. This scripture from Daniel 2:20-22 comforts me in these days of uncertainty in our country…
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
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.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.
515. Late afternoon sun breaking through the clouds.
516. When our former minister resigned (December 2010), our church went through an interim time in search of a new senior pastor. [I wrote about our new pastor in this past last November.  We are so blessed by the awesome expository preaching of our pastor Dr. Jim Perdue. He is a shepherd to us.] Before Pastor Jim came, God blessed us with a wonderful interim pastor – Rev. Joel Southerland. We honored the Southerland family at church yesterday and then had a big old churchwide fellowship last night! EVERYONE was talking about the sweetness of the Spirit in our midst. This is Brother Joel & his precious wife Sherryde. God blessed our hearts with this couple and their girls Savana and Mikayla. They will always be part of our lives as they were instruments of love and healing in our church. We love y’all.
Wall to wall fellowship at SBCWR…
517. Sweet Miss Madie and her Hollywood entrace to the family breakfast this past Saturday…this girl does not meet a stranger.
518. Jackson loves loves loves tractors, big trucks, motorcycles, anything with wheels. This is my Dad’s big John Deere out in the hay barn. They stopped there on their way out this past Saturday. Jackson has to see the moo cows and chickens…and the tractors.
519. My best friend Lanie is making a quilt called “What Cancer Cannot Do.” I wept tears of joy and thankfulness to God when she showed the finished quilt top to me last week. This is the quilt label…how I praise God for sparing her life. (Teal is the color for ovarian cancer.) She encourages all women to have their annual physicals. That is when her cancer was discovered.  One of the quotes on the quilt top says, “Cancer cannot destroy friendship.”  Amen my sweet friend.
520. Right now as I type this, there is a big fire in this new firepit my husband purchased. It has 3 Willows Farm cut out on the rim in two places. We love living in the country with redneck firepits made from big old recycled propane tanks…we are going green here at the farm.
521. My oldest son Jeremy and his wife Carrie took their two children, Zeke and Madie, to go see Memama Morton this morning. She is their great-grandmother and my precious mother-in-law. She will be 90 in June and is the matriarch of our family…a godly woman who has taught me so much. I love her dearly. We enjoyed a long visit with her this past Friday evening.
522. For some reason my 3 grandchildren love my pantry. Maybe it’s the Spiderman and Dora snacks that I keep there. 🙂  
523. I love to browse seed catalogs and think of the delicious fresh vegetables we will enjoy from my garden this summer.  In fact, I need to head outside now and PRUNE back the rosebushes and crepe myrtles. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post – I wouldn’t take anything for the journey of my life this past year, the PRUNING has been hard, but oh so necessary for growth. Thank you Jesus.

 John 15:1-2 (Amplified Version)
I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing]
 He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and
 repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit,
to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.


 


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1,000 GIFTS, #500 to #508

500. Home. A wonderful place to be on this cold wintry night. I love that this 500th gift – a tribute to my home – is right in the middle of my counting to 1,000. Our home is also a centerpiece of grace for our family, our ministry, HOME. A place to just be – a respite from busy lives. So very thankful for HOME. A gift of His grace, it belongs to Him.
501. A time of sweet fellowship in our HOME for the pastors and their wives from our church. We enjoyed time around the table for a meal, and then time just sitting together, laughing and sharing stories. A gift to be together – to serve together.
502. The Jesus Storybook Bible where “every story wispers His Name.”  We love this Bible for children and enjoy reading it to our grandchildren. I LOVE reading it for me!
503.  This book, “The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes”  was a favorite book to read at bedtime with our boys when they were small. My grandchildren have it and I gave a copy to our pastor’s wife and student ministry associate’s wife too.
504. An awesome time of prayer and planning with Cindy, Teresa, and Jennifer last week. I am so blessed to serve with these precious ladies in women’s ministry. Our hearts are knit together in His love and we had one of the best meetings in years. We are planning some missions projects and also some special events for the women in our church. 
505. Wednesday night Bible study is so special. I look forward to spending time with some very special ladies each week.  We are almost through with Duty or Delight by Tammie Head. I would have loved to have had this material 30 years ago when I was a young pastor’s wife caught up in “spiritual performance.”  Thankful to say today that my delight is in Him and serving Him is not a duty.
506. A very special time Saturday morning with my whole family here for breakfast. I really enjoy simple times the best and we surely enjoy each other’s company.  My three grandchildren are beginning to play together and it is delightful.
507. It was a joy to attend my church’s “Anna’s Banquet,” this past Saturday. The banquet is for widows. Our pastors and deacons serve the widows a meal and then we just enjoyed each other’s company. I loved sitting with Sarah, Sara, Aileen and Frances.  PRECIOUS!

508. I began my list with thankfulness for my earthly HOME, but I am very aware (and very sure) that my real HOME is Heaven. But until I take up residence there, I want to treat every day as special – precious – gifts of His grace, because as James 4:14 says…

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.
For what is your life?
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time,
and then vanisheth away.

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1,000 GIFTS, #444 to #462

 

WOW! We are two weeks into 2012 and it has been a month since I wrote a post on my journey to 1,000 gifts of grace! I have had the best Christmas holiday and I’m thankful – blessed – content – and looking forward to 2012.

444. This is one of my favorite ornaments – and describes the truth of CHRISTmas. Although I wrote a Christmas post here, I’m still celebrating the JOY of one of the best Christmases our family has had in several years…full of His peace.

445. Me and my husband and our three grandchildren – what FUN! Thankful for sweet children who worked HARD to help us attempt to get a picture with three – three and under…
446. I came home from work one evening and my sweet husband had put up Christmas lights on the gate at the end of our driveway. The sky was so pretty and I counted it a blessing that he would do something that special for me!
447. Babysitting this precious little grandson. He was absolutely the sweetest boy this morning, and I LOVE JACKSON BOY! GRAN JAN’S JOY!
448. There is nothing like children at Christmas time…except grandchildren! We had the best time enjoying Zeke, Madie, and Jackson…it had been a long time since I bought some boy toys, and it was my first time to buy a doll [for sweet Madie].
449. These two little cousin cherubs are exactly two weeks apart in age…they are precious. I know I count them over and over (in various blessings), but let me tell you – I can’t help it! This was Christmas Eve.
450. How many people have walked the aisles of churches and Billy Graham crusades while the song “Just As I Am” was being sung? Travis Cottrell has a fresh and glorious arrangement to this song that has really ministered to our church family. WE LOVE IT!  Thank you Travis!
451. My dearest friend Lanie and I love to sew and quilt and recently have also been doing some machine embroidery. The week after Christmas we had our “QTT” (Quilting Time Together) sew-in and made some cute things for our grandchildren. The quietness of getting away and being with a long time friend is a great gift of God’s grace.
452. Lanie and I have also started a fun idea we are calling the “Boomerang Bag.” She gives me a gift in a bag and then I give her a gift back in the same bag…and so on. She gave me this mug and I gave her some quilting fabric last week.  [Right now, it’s her turn and I’m waiting for the Boomerang Bag to show back up.] Grin. The element of anticipation makes it all the more fun. No rules, no timeframe, just surprise fun.
453. This precious young mom serves on the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team at my church. She is working on her doctorate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and she is also the mom of this beautiful baby girl, who is 5 months old today. I made my first baby quilt for her and she sent me this picture. I love this family.
Here is the quilt. I had so much fun making it.
454. Hot tea on a cold winter’s night. I love Constant Comment Tea  with its sweet orange and and spice flavor. God is so good to create all the wonderful flavors we enjoy.
455. I know we say the “blessing” over our food and some people even call it saying Grace, but do you truly stop and thank God for your food? After my trip to South Africa two years ago (journaled here) my outlook on all of my material blessings has not been the same. I took a picture of my salad last week and my co-workers laughed at me…but they thought it was a pretty salad too. And I was grateful to have it.
456. One of the most wonderful gifts of God’s grace thus far in 2012 has been the arrival of our new pastor, Dr. Jim Perdue and his sweet family. We are beyond excited and thankful. He preaches expositionally – verse by verse by verse from God’s Holy Word. We are thrilled – he is a man of integrity and he loves us like a pastor-shepherd should. He began his ministry on the first day of the first month of 2012. THANK YOU JESUS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS.
457. I am so thankful to have my parents – both healthy and active in our lives. My Dad is a great cook and here he is doing what he does best…”doctoring up” something my sister Jo had already prepared…WE LOVE YOU DAD!
458. My mom and sisters and I went to the Fabulous Fox in Atlanta the week before Christmas. We ate at Cheesecake Factory and we had a wonderful time. I love my family. I love being the oldest sister. I love being the brunt of all their jokes. This is me and my mom.
My two younger sisters…aren’t they beautiful?
459. I absolutely love birds and really just love being outside to daily enjoy God’s grace gifts. Last week I had the delight to pull up at work to a tree FULL of cedar waxwings. They are migratory and were eating all the berries off a Bradford tree.
460. A bit of Springtime on my kitchen window sill during winter. This is a pink hyacinth forced to bloom. I am thankful (again) for God’s gifts of flowers and change of seasons. I also love those babies in that picture…they warm my heart no matter the season…
461. And one of God’s greatest grace gifts to me – Bible study. I especially love the authors of this new study – James, Mercy Triumphs, Beth Moore and her daughter, Melissa Fitzpatrick. I will begin facilitating this in March. I’m praying for a great harvest.
462. My last gift tonight on this post was actually the start to my day this January morning. A beautiful colorful sky. Thank you Creator God.
In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
 In the morning I will order my prayer
to You and eagerly watch.
Psalm 5:3

 

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1,000 GIFTS, #427 to #443

So many times on this journey to 1,000 gifts I am reminded of the old hymn “Count Your Blessings.” I’ve heard it and sang it so many times in church with my husband leading in worship. I’ve been in church services when people would testify of His blessings. So really this counting is not a new thing, but a great discipline of old. The chorus of the hymn says:

Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.
Soooooooooooooooooo, here I go, almost half-way there!

427.  Since my post almost a month ago I celebrated my birthday on November 16. I’m thankful for all the cards and gifts and wonderful birthday messages on Facebook. I really was overwhelmed with love. I’m thankful for LIFE.

428.  Birthday flowers from my husband (roses), and my sweet friend and partner in women’s ministry, Cindy (fall bouquet). The colors were vivid and brought me so much JOY. Our Creator God sure makes beautiful flowers.
429. Thanksgiving. Next to Easter, it is my favorite holiday because it is “uncluttered.” Family, food, fellowship, and exactly what this post is about – BLESSINGS. This picture says it all…food everywhere. It was a great year because EVERYONE was around the table. That in itself is a gift of His grace.
430. My dad loves our homeplace and is so proud of this new sign at his driveway. Double M Farm Road. Watching him enjoy life brings me great joy. I love my parents. They celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on November 23rd. Grace.
431. Planting pansies is one of my many fall delights. I love to plant the little violas in my strawberry jar. Another JOY from our marvelous Creator. Flowers in COLD weather!
432. While outside enjoying my gardening day, I had quite an audience.
433. A week off for Thanksgiving. It was the best week I’ve had in a long time. It began with a visit to see my amazing mother-in-law, included time with my grandchildren, my whole family around my table, time in the garden and in the sewing room, and the PEACE and JOY of awaiting our new pastor’s arrival!
434. My church’s women’s ministry has an annual Christmas Brunch and this year we had an amazing speaker – Leah Adams of Point Ministries.  God has given her a message about leaving a Godly legacy. She brought a word from THE WORD and is a delightful woman. I am very thankful for her life and ministry. God is using her and did I mention that she is delightful?
435. This sweet woman is my Merle Norman lady. I love Mrs. Sarah. Isn’t she beautiful? Thank you Mrs. Gayle for sending me this picture from the Christmas Brunch. I thank God for the women He has brought into my life to encourage and mentor me in the faith. My heart’s desire is to do the same for the women He brings in my life.
436. A combination Birthday/Christmas/Valentine’s/Groundhog Day/Anniversary/Fourth of July/Memorial Day, etc. etc. gift. A new embroidery machine for my sewing DELIGHTS. This is my sewing room happy place. The new machine is on the left.
437. Because of #436, I can now make my own labels for my quilts (this is the first one I made and it is for a Christmas table runner I quilted). I really look forward to making personalized gifts for my grandchildren too. I have much to learn but am enjoying every minute. My friend Lanie has been so much help to me.
438. My baby boy with his baby boy. JOY. They are clones. I love this picture and their similar expressions…
439. God sent us the prettiest, brightest, largest, fullest, and most delightful RAINBOW I have ever laid my eyes on. It even made the local news. I pulled off the road 3 times on my drive home from work to just delight in it’s beauty and to praise and thank my COVENANT KEEPING GOD.
440. I babysat my oldest son’s children one night a couple of weeks ago so he and his wife could attend an event for Dr. Johnny Hunt. Out of the blue, this little fellow looked up and said to me, “Gran Jan, we don’t pray to kings…we only pray to God.” I actually took this picture right after he shared that WISDOM with Gran Jan. He is three years old and is the inspiration for my blog. I love you Zeke.
441. DAILY GRACE. One of my many favorite hymns is ““Come Thou Fount” I especially love this line because in the busyness of life as wife, mom, Gran Jan, daughter, sister, friend, employee, choir member, women’s ministry leader, I am prone to WANDER. Sweet Jesus keep my heart centered on You.
442. I love my front porch swing and it now has a fresh coat of red paint. Red is my favorite color and my sweet husband painted it for me. He also surprised me one night last week with supper ON THE TABLE when I came home from work. He is the kindest and most generous man I know and he is mine.
443. This precious red-bowed beauty is my granddaughter Madie. She is sweeter than Georgia sweet tea. She is starting to “talk up a storm” as we say in the South. We were making reindeer cookies. She was putting Rudolph’s red M&M nose in place. Here is a link to making these reindeer cookies from Southern Living. Easy and fun.
Next week is going to be all about CHRISTMAS and I cannot wait to share gifts of the season. If you’re prone to wander, may God bind your wandering heart to Himself and may you intentionally seek quiet moments every day to reflect on the JOY of His coming to this Earth to redeem your soul.
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