2017 Scripture Memory Team – June

June, how I love June! This month brings so much gardening JOY for me in my zone 8 garden. The daylilies and hydrangeas are at peak and so are the blueberries. The tomatoes are ripening and so are the peas and peppers.

June also brings my wedding anniversary and this year was extra special because in ended in a ZERO! Seems as if the celebrations and milestones that end in FIVE or ZERO are extra special, although we know they really are not!  Every celebration in life is special because life and family are gifts.  JUNE 11th WAS OUR 40TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!

I am posting about that next, but wanted to share my two June memory verses here. The theme is God’s tender CARE and COMFORT of us. I read the Isaiah 46:4 verse recently during a Bible study and it immediately resonated with me. Something about being married 40 YEARS…you ponder about how long that really is – 14,600 days plus at least 10 more for leap years! This verse has ministered to my soul. I’ve shared it several times with friends. We may change (and you’ll see that in the pictures in my next post…) but GOD IS THE SAME always and until my old age he will bear me up when I turn gray (it’s happening). He has made me and He will carry me. PRAISE HIS NAME!

Psalm 38:9 is especially tender too. He understands, he knows, he cares. My heart’s desire, my groaning. They are not hidden from Him. Sometimes I don’t even know myself, do you get that too? But He knows…and His Spirit interprets and intercedes on my behalf.  I know one thing, I want to make it to the 50th and 60th anniversaries with my sweet man!

Celebrating the JOYS of JUNE!

 

Share

2017 Scripture Memory Team – April

It’s the last day of April and this month brought joy to my gardening heart. I planted flowers and fixed up some containers on the front porch for ferns and red geraniums. In my raised bed vegetable garden, I’ve planted tomatoes, three kinds of peppers, sweet onions, butter peas and pink-eye peas. Everything is up and growing. In fact, we just got home from church a little while ago and I couldn’t wait to get in the garden to check out how everything was doing. I let my hens out of the chicken house to free-range for a bit and just enjoyed the last few hours of this last day of April. The two verses I am working to memorize from April are in the New Testament, I John 2:6 and Ephesians 4:32, both of them have to do with our walk, our behavior.

Our beliefs dictate our behavior. We behave what we believe. If we claim His Name I just believe folks ought to see that in our daily lives. Do I mess up? Of course, every day. But my aim is still to walk in the manner Jesus walked. Shining His light, listening for His voice throughout the day and walking in His Spirit. I can do that by praying, reading His Word, and by just being kind – as stated in Ephesians 4:32. I want to be known as a kind woman, and for the law of kindness to be on my tongue (Proverbs 31:26).

I love the tenderhearted word in this verse. To stay tenderhearted we have to forgive, be kind, forgive, love people, forgive. FORGIVE. As we’ve been forgiven. If you’re hurting due to unkind behavior from someone, as hard as it is to do – pray for them and ask God to help you forgive them. The more you pray for them the more tenderhearted your heart will become. And tenderhearted folks are a joy to be around.

Signing off now, expecting some April showers tonight…my next post will be my May flowers.

Blessings,

Gran Jan

Share

Zeke’s Baptism & Family Blessings

The Good Lord has been especially near to me lately. He is always near, even those times when I’m not where I need to be to hear Him, and for that I am thankful. But lately His goodness has been evident in many ways, more than I ever deserve. This past weekend we enjoyed one of the most blessed days in the life of a family of faith. We witnessed and celebrated the baptism of our oldest grandchild, Zeke, for whom this blog was begun almost 8 years ago now.  I wrote my very first post back in July 2008 about waiting for his birth. So much living has gone on since then. My name changed to Gran Jan and nothing is the same now, and it’s wonderful! This picture is from Sunday when my oldest son Jeremy baptized his oldest son Zeke. It was a precious visible picture of our spiritual legacy continuing to the next generation. Blog18

These are my four oldest grandchildren together at Cartersville First Baptist this past Sunday [April 24, 2016] for Zeke’s baptism. Sweet cousins holding hands. I love everything about this picture! Zeke was so happy and isn’t his plaid jacket the greatest?  I love even more that he and cousin Jackson were sporting their plaidness together. Our sweet granddaughters are bookends in this picture, Jackson’s sister, Emery is on the left and Zeke’s sister, sweet Madie is on the right. Little Abraham was in the church nursery.
Blog10After we had a delicious lunch prepared by our daughter-in-love Carrie, Zeke’s mom, Sunday after church, Pop and my mom and I drove back to our home church because Jackson had a solo with our Preschool Church Choir. He is a singer like his Pop. Jackson throws his head back and sings! We loved hearing him singing “You Are God Alone.” He is in the orange shirt below at the microphone. He did so well – we are so proud of him, and he knew every word!Blog8

Here is my husband, Gary. The grandkids call him Pop.  They love him and so do I!  The top picture is from a recent opportunity he had to participate in a Worship Symposium at Liberty University. I was so proud of him as he was able to share his knowledge and experiences as a worship leader for over 40 years! The next picture is the famous RACE that the grandkids love. They are always bantering back and forth about beating him in a foot race. He told me that sweet Jackson will sometimes “slow down” and let him appear to win…love that sweet boy.Blog17

Blog5

Here is the Maloy patriarch, my father Tom Maloy, also from this past weekend. My dad will be 82 years old this Friday, April 29th. He hosted a family reunion and I saw cousins I haven’t seen in years! He is the only child still living from his family of origin that included 11 children. He was ninth in birth order, there were  8 girls and 3 boys. Here he is in his element – cooking! He smoked a whole hog and made his famous Brunswick stew and my mom and sisters made cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans, and there were lots of desserts. It was a great day for the Maloys. My three men are in the picture below Dad, enjoying the delicious meal. Blog2

Blog6

The next pictures are all from the past several weeks, just random family times and fun with the grandkids. I love every picture and the LOVE it represents in our hearts and home.  Here are the 3 grandboys at our church one Sunday. Jackson, Abe, and Zeke, all sporting their plaid shirts!Blog14Here is sweet Emery Caroline. My daughter-in-law captured this picture from Emery’s preschool at church as the kids were saying the blessing. This picture is already one of my all-time favorites. I don’t think words can describe the sweetness here. I said a blessing of thanks for the privilege to have her as a granddaughter. Blog15

Here is a picture of Jackson and Emery from Spring Break back the last week of March (2016). They spent the day with me at the Morton Farm. We planted green beans and squash, had fun with the animals and enjoyed the beautiful day.  I can’t wait for them to see the vegetables they planted – they are growing well!Blog12

This is sweet grandgirl Madie Ruth on a Daddy-Daughter Date with Jeremy.  She is as sweet as sugar, a little shy, and I believe she’s going to be a good athlete!Madie

Here is another athlete! Basketball is Jackson’s main game, but he’s doing well with T-Ball too! We love watching him at whatever sport he is playing at the time. Jonathan sends us videos on our phones of him playing with kids in the neighborhood who are older. Jackson holds his own and normally outplays them.  Hashtag Proud GranJan. Blog1

Abe loves to eat. He’s a Morton all the way with this trait 🙂 and reminds me of his daddy so very much. I captured this picture from my son’s Instagram account of Abe at a recent church dinner. I’d say it appears he enjoyed his chocolate brownie!FullSizeRenderI made a quilt as a gift for my youngest sister Jo’s 50th birthday on April 8th. She has told me several times how much she loves it and I can say I loved making it for her. I hope it brings her years of joy, just as she has brought to me.Blog11I discovered a nest of redbirds (my favorite) last weekend while doing some weeding in my garden. They are in a yellow rosebush. I saw the mama bird fly away so I know they are Cardinals. I can’t wait to see them fledge. Granddaughter Madie loves the outdoors with me too.  She already knows the names of flowers and loves to see the birds too.  Gran Jan’s JOY!Blog4

This last picture is of the Resurrection Ferns on the pecan tree near our driveway. They are dormant most of the time, but when it rains and they are refreshed they come out and make me so happy! Thank you Lord for times of refreshing. Blog13

Acts 3:19
Repent therefore and be converted,
that your sins may be blotted out,
so that times of refreshing may come
from the presence of the Lord

The pictures I’ve shared today have all refreshed my heart in some way. The Good Lord has blessed this Gran Jan beyond what I ever deserve. His grace is so real to me, His mercy so tender. I pray for times of refreshing in your life today.

GranJan-BlogSignature

Share

The Loft Link-Up [I Am…]

THe_Loft_Link_Up

I am joining in a weekly link-up with my friend LEAH ADAMS called “The Loft” and am really looking forward to this.  Topics are assigned and you write and share. This appeals to the student and life-long learner in me. This week’s assignment is a sort of introduction, hence “I am…”

I am Jan, a woman of faith in Jesus Christ…a seasoned woman. Seasoned is a sweet way to say I am older. Born in 1957 – age 57! [I love that number alignment that won’t come around again.] I am a woman of many roles, but I first want to say this – I am a woman who knows THE GREAT I AM. Here is a link to MY STORY! Jan_MortonI am a wife, a pastor’s wife ~ I have been married for 38 years to my high school sweetheart Gary. He is such a fine man and we are still in love. I respect him so much. He has been a worship pastor and in ministry for over 40 years. In fact we first met at a country church and I was only 16 years old. He was leading the choir and congregation that long ago Sunday, and we caught each other’s eye even then.October2014I am a mom ~ I have two grown sons and they have brought me more joy than I ever dreamed. Raising them has been my life’s privilege. My oldest is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Cartersville, Georgia. My youngest works as a program manager involving something with the F-15 and the B-1 planes (I’m really not sure – it’s technical) for the United States Air Force (he is a civilian). They both love what they do and I’m so proud of them. They love their mama too. (Oldest on right below, youngest on left.)BoysI am a mother-in-law ~ My boys married two classy girls and they are precious to me. They love my boys and take care of their homes and children. They are tall and beautiful and gifts of God to our family, both of them are answers to many prayers for my boys. (Blonde is married to my oldest, brunette is married to my youngest.)IMG_3950I AM GRAN JAN ~ I had to put that in all caps because…5 grandchildren! Ain’t nothing like it. The inspiration for my blog, the JOYS of my heart! They are ages 6½, 5, 5, 2½, and 1½. To me, grandchildren are God’s best “do-over” and I am smitten with every single one of them.NovemberI am a daughter/daughter-in-law/sister/sister-in-law/aunt/niece/cousin ~ My parents live next door and are in good health. I cherish all my people. This is my family of origin, I’m the oldest of 4 sisters. One is in heaven. Dad and usI am an employee ~ I have a good job working as the Administrative Assistant to our local School Superintendent. I can retire in less than 2 ½ years and I’m longing for that season, but aim not to miss anything in my current season. be all thereI am a simple woman. I don’t think I’m  even high maintenance (whatever that means). I really love to be home, puttering in my garden, working on a quilt in my sewing room, reading a book, sitting in the swing by our pond, or cooking a meal. I love to sing in my church’s choir, teach the Bible and plan women’s ministry events. I’m healthy and strong and I really do “shout for joy at the work of His Hands.” I love the night sky, full moons, and God’s glorious creation. When I found that dove nesting in my River Birch tree this past weekend…IMG_4159IMG_439094339-6IMG_439094338-7IMG_4215I was recently a guest writer/contributor on Beth Moore’s blog a few months ago as part of a Scripture Memory Team. My post there tells some more about who I AM and the SEASONS OF LIFE. I am looking forward to meeting others in The Loft.

Blessings,

GranJan-BlogSignature

Share

May 2014 Memories

The past month has been so very busy – and as I’ve so often done in the past on my blog, I’m going to let my pictures tell the story. I really am a visual learner – and this is confirmed in my preference of sharing pictures. I see and I read and I remember…and I don’t want to forget any of these wonderful spring memories!  Because my people are my heart…

Family heartI had a great time last month with a dear co-worker and friend, Sharon Riley.  We spent a beautiful afternoon at Callaway Gardens, Georgia. While there we took in the “Birds of Prey” show.  I had an “up close and personal” encounter with a Great Horned Owl.  It was glorious.  The trainer even came up and asked me I was okay after the talons of the owl touched the top of my head as it flew over.  I told her I wasn’t fine…I was marvelous.  It was thrilling.  Look at the wingspan of this beautiful owl!  And the very next week on my drive in to work, I saw one in a tree as I drove…double delight.

owl

Two of my grandchildren are both four years old, Madie and Jackson are cousins exactly two weeks apart.  More double delight!  Madie is the oldest and she had a “princess party.”  She told me she was actually the Queen.  Indeed.  I made a shirt for her to wear.  All the little girls wore purple princess capes that Madie’s materal grandmother made.  It was quite the event.  She is quite the Queen…of our hearts.

Madie - crown

Madie-collage

Jackson had a “Grand Prix” tractor-truck-car birthday party.  All the children brought their little cars.  It was a FUN time for all!  It was here at the Morton farm with lots of space to drive.  My daughter-in-law even made “roads” for the children to follow.  It was a great theme and the adults had as much fun as the children.

Jackson-bday party

I also made a shirt in honor of Jackson’s fourth birthday. He loves orange and Gran Jan was happy to comply.  He is a precious boy and we love him so much too!

Jackson- 4

Jackson-collage

Sweet notes of love from my boys for Mother’s Day. They are both fine men, respected in their work, genuine and kind. Being a mom to Jeremy and Jonathan is pure JOY to me. I am so thankful and this right here holds true for me…

love you mom

My grandson Zeke graduated from Pre-K a couple of weeks ago. It was a great time! He sang his heart out, and I can honestly say it was one of the sweetest children’s programs I have ever attended. My son and his wife, and my husband Gary and I were so proud of him that our hearts were about to burst.  He has brought so much JOY to this Gran Jan and is the reason this whole blog began for me…  Great things ahead for this little fella – he has a heart for God.

Zeke - graduation

I was able to keep my youngest little grandson for a couple of nights and my JOY was full as he napped in the same baby bed as his daddy. I am such a softie when it comes to things like that.  Traditions, family legacy, God’s goodness.

Abe-happyAbe-babybed

My oldest son and his wife celebrated TEN YEARS of marriage in May also! Talk about family legacy, love, and the JOY of life. I am the most blessed mother-in-law.  My two girls love my sons and are awesome mommas to our 5 grandchildren.  You can’t put a price on any of these gifts from God!  I made a scrapbook for them of their dating, engagement, rehearsal dinner and wedding.  I know the grandchildren will love seeing the foundation of faith into which they were born. More gifts of God’s grace to us! My youngest and his wife will celebrate SIX YEARS next week. 

10 years

Fun times abound around blueberry time here at the farm and the early varieties are bearing beautifully. Blue bounty for sure. The kids love running in and out of the blueberries with me close behind reminding the little ones, “only pick the blue ones, the blue ones, the blue ones…leave the green ones.”  Who knew this would become such a fun tradition that cold day my husband and I planted those 20 bushes?

blueberry garden

The Jasmine and petunias are so pretty right now too.  The petunias are from my maternal Grandmother.  They re-seed and are an old-fashioned variety that smell so good.  I love that connection to my grandmother.  She was a green-thumb girl and I always say I inherited my love for gardening from her. The jasmine over our porch swings is an annual delight in May. Sweet.

petuniasjasmine

I love sewing for these two little granddaughters.  They have brought a tenderness to me and my husband that we didn’t experience because we raised boys! We are so thankful to have these littles girlies in our lives…we enjoyed some time on the swing during Jackson’s birthday party a couple of weekends ago.

grandgirls

Just today I made this little outfit for Emery (Miss Hollywood above).  She is a sweetheart and also spent the night here at the farm this past weekend.  For one who is especially attached to her momma and daddy…she never once mentioned them! I love it – she was happy happy happy with Pop and Gran Jan.

Emery-capris

Pop and I love our family. We literally share with each other EVERY DAY about how thankful and blessed we are.  We count our blessings. We keep God’s goodness ever in front of us as reminders of His love and faithfulness.  There is nothing sweeter than getting a grandchild to sleep and then holding him in your arms. Gary got Abe to sleep during Zeke’s graduation and by the smile on Pop’s face, he was enjoying the sweetness.

Pop and Abe

These FIVE grandbabies (5 1/2,  4, 4, 20 months and 9 months) are a source of great JOY and they also bring a great sense of accountability to me. I want to stay by the stuff, live strong, and show them all what it means to be a Christ-follower. I want them to know that Gran Jan believed what she lived and that Jesus is everything.

5 grands

This quote helps me.  Sometimes I’m so busy thinking ahead, planning ahead, and being ahead that I can miss the moments that count every day.  Chasing grandyounguns through the blueberries, blowing bubbles for Jackson and Madie to jump and pop, reading to Zeke, playing with Emery, rocking Abe…quiet times in my sewing room and in my garden.  Long conversations over coffee while sitting in the swing by the pond with my sweet man. Those are the gifts I cherish – that keep me centered.  Faith and family.

May 2014 has been full of them.  This is one content Gran Jan.

be all there

Share

Tomato Sandwich – Southern Summer Staple!

Summertime in the South is wonderful with all the delicious fresh fruits and vegetables we enjoy…corn, okra, watermelon, butter beans, squash, cucumbers, blueberries, zipper peas, peppers, blackberries, cantaloupe, zucchini, peaches, green beans, purple hull peas, and of course, THE TOMATO! I planted 10 tomato plants this year in my garden. Below are the different varieties…Early Girl, Husky Red Cherry, Super Fantastic, Goliath, Big Beef, Park’s Whopper, and Better Boy. What fun names!
TomatoVarietiesWe had four ripe tomtatoes this week, and today for lunch I enjoyed eating my first tomato sandwich of the Summer of 2013. 🙂
TomatoSandwichFollowing is the “recipe” for a truly Southern delicacy, a tomato sandwich:
Ingredients:
Vine-ripened tomatoes
Mayonnaise (preferably Hellmans)
White bread (a must, although I did use “white wheat”)
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. Remove core from tomato and then slice.
2. Put mayonnaise on BOTH slices of the bread.
3. Carefully place tomatoes on bread, overlap if at all possible.
4. Salt and pepper the tomato slices.
5. Put one piece of bread on top of the other.
6. Carefully lean over the kitchen sink with your sandwich.
7. Say the blessing and thank God for your delicious tomato sandwich.
8. Take a bite and then let the juice run down your chin…

Happy Summer!

GRANJAN

Share

Spring 2013 – Lots of Living Being Lived!

So much “living has been lived” since I blogged a month ago! Life is good because God is good, He is always good. He continues to faithfully reveal His love to me in wonderful ways. I take pictures all the time with my iPhone camera, so I really want to let my pictures do the blogging for me…as I did when I was counting grace gifts to 1,000 here on my blog the past two years. There have been lots of celebrations this month in our family! My life continues again with familiar themes of faith, family, fun,  farm, and always of course…the flowers

FAITH
June 1st marked a very special day for my husband and me – the 25th anniversary of  ministry at our wonderful church! Our church family gave us a love offering and a paid vacation trip of our choosing.  Last night (June 9th) we celebrated with a reception and so many memories flooded our hearts. They are precious people, a  loving and generous church family. God surely blessed us when He led us there with our two little boys 25 years ago…1989-MortonFamily25 Years

I was blessed to serve on the planning team for the recent Living Proof Life event in Atlanta. My church had 76 ladies attend and we had a wonderful time.  Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell make a great team as the Word was shared and the Worship was divine. The last session was a celebratory time of responsive reading, singing, praying, and dedication like nothing I’ve ever experienced – unprecedented for one of the LPL events.  So thankful for the time I shared with friends there.

This group of ladies with our fearless leader Mandy Parker were tremendous servants.
(Mandy is in the white blouse kneeling on the first row.)LPL Team

LPL2013

My friend Sophie Hudson, author of this book below, “A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet” was at the conference  (on the far right in the picture above).  She is a genuine, precious woman of faith.  I LOVE HER and this book is one I will re-read and go to often. She loves her family, her Southern heritage, and I so get her.  She is one of the blessings that have come to  me from “the internets.” Sophie'sBook

FAMILY & FUN
May is the month my two middle grandchildren celebrate their birthdays exactly two weeks apart! They each celebrated their 3rd birthdays with sweet parties planned by my daughters-in-law.  Madie had a “Bubblegum Party” theme (since she is now allowed to have bubble gum), and Jackson had a “Jake the Pirate Party.”  They each had so much fun at each others’ parties with family and friends, and Gran Jan had fun making the birthday shirts they wore at their parties.  Here are the hugging cousins at Madie’s party…it just doesn’t get any sweeter!HuggingCousins

Here is the Birthday Princess wearing her “#3 Bubble Gum Machine” shirt made with love by Gran Jan.  She is a sweet girl!Madie-3

Here is Jackson’s  “#3 Pirate Birthday” shirt made with love by Gran Jan.Jacksons3

My daughter-in-law Carrie took this picture of Zeke and Madie on their last day of playschool.  She couldn’t have captured a sweeter moment! It is perfection and I’m so thankful to have it here to share with you.  One of my favorite pictures ever. I pray these two will always be there for each other…nothing like siblings!ZandM

We also celebrated my nephew Payton’s graduation from high school on May 25th with a HUGE FAMILY GATHERING complete with matching “Maloy Family” shirts compliments of my sister Joan. We enjoyed delicious King Crab and all the trimmings at the “Crab Fest 2013.”  It was so great to have everyone together and my daughter-in-law Erin has great skills for setting up a photography shoot! Crabfest2013

Both my boys have celebrated wedding anniversaries recently…Jeremy & Carrie celebrated 9 years May 22nd and Jonathan and Erin celebrated 5 years on June 7th.  NO GREATER JOY for this mom than to see my sons and daughters-in-law building homes together!JandC

JandE

Zeke played tee-ball with Upward Sports Ministries at our church this Spring and we had a great time watching him “play ball!”
My son was one of the coaches and we enjoyed watching him too! 🙂Zeke-TeeBall

Little Miss Emery is now 8 months old and brings everyone JOY with her sweet and precious disposition. She is a GOOD GIRL!Emery 8 monthsEmeryandMe

Grandbaby #5, our gender tie-breaker! (We have 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters.)
We love you already and can’t wait to meet you in just under  3 months. TieBreaker

Mother’s Day 2013 was special and I’m thankful for my boys’ wives who gave me great gifts – pretty red jewelry from Carrie and this photo collage flowerpot that Erin put together with all the grandchildren’s pictures around the whole pot! I love it!PhotoPot

Today is Memama Morton’s 91st Birthday. She is the Morton Family Matriarch and the best mother-in-law this daughter-in-law could ever have.  She loved me from the start, she prays for our family, and she has never once “interfered” with our lives.  I pray I can be as good to my daughters-in-law as she has been to me. We love you so much Memama! Memama91


FLOWERS!
We’ve had a great Spring 2013. The weather has been cool and rainy, my flowers and garden are flourishing, and best of all
God’s tender mercies are new every morning…image

Daylilies… MidnightMagic

PurpleJoyJan'sTwisterGlorious gardenias and roses…GardeniasRedMrLincoln My “Blushing Bride” Hydrangeas…BlushingBrideHydrangea

Blackberries…Blackberries

Wonderful sweet-smelling Confederate Jasmine over the spring arbor…Jasmine

As I close this post tonight, I am thinking toward a very special day, the most special day a man and woman can celebrate.  Tomorrow is our 36th wedding anniversary.  Gary and I began our lives together 6-11-1977. God has blessed us with a wonderful family, a fruitful ministry, and a solid marriage based on trust and love. I am so thankful that 36 years ago as a young (way too young to be getting married) 19 year old woman that God knew what I needed and provided you for me when I didn’t even know He was taking care of me.  I love you Gary – and my love for you is stronger than ever. Being your wife has been my life’s greatest joy.  Thank you for taking such good care of me… even going to the blueberry garden early in the morning last week to pick blueberries for my yogurt.  You’re a fine man and I’m one spoiled, blessed woman!GaryPickingBlueberries61177

Love to all of you and thank you for reading all the way to the end…life’s SIMPLE JOYS are really the best,
and only made sweeter when surrounded by the love of Christ.

GRANJAN

Share