The Loft Link-Up [Hope…]

The Loft Linkup

It has been a while, too long actually, since I was able to join you Loft Link-Up bloggers. My word for 2016 is “LESS” and part of the less I am lessening involves less social media. I don’t include blogging as part of the less! Bloggers are writers, special folks, and I am proud to be one of y’all. The word HOPE resonated with me this morning, and I really wanted to share the reason for my HOPE! And I dearly love my friend and women’s ministry partner, Leah Adams!

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

Years ago I attended a Women of Faith event in Atlanta, GA and I heard Thelma Wells speak.  Her theme was HOPE. She said something that has stayed with me all these years. Her statement was “GIRL, YOU BETTER GET YOUR HOPES UP!”  This is the opposite of what we usually hear…don’t get your hopes up. The big difference is location, location, location! Where do you place your hope! Taken from the old hymn THE SOLID ROCK, I can confidently say “my hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

About seven years ago our family went through a season where our hope was deferred over and over again. It involved my oldest son and his wife in their heartfelt desire to become parents. After several years of infertility, they had decided to adopt a child and within weeks discovered they would be the parents of triplets, two boys and a girl.  After several months and the discovery of a scam, all hope was deferred.  But within one day, ONE DAY, my daughter-in-law discovered she was pregnant.  You can read the story on my blog at the link below.

What A Difference A Day Makes

The Tree of Life from the second part of  Proverbs 13:12 is found in the three beautiful children my son and his wife now have, from three healthy, wonderful pregnancies. And yes, they have two boys and a girl.  HOPE FULFILLED by the power of God and answered prayers.  So my friends I want to encourage you today. Get your hopes UP – but keep your hope in HIM. The only One who can bring that peace, that Tree of Life, that dream to you. Zeke_Madie_Abe

 

HOPE HAS A NAME! Jesus.
My Hope is in Him,

Jan

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 24 – December 15, 2015

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It’s a rainy night here in Georgia this New Year’s Eve Eve. Two of my grandchildren are playing nearby and it’s been nice to have some days at home. Being at home for several days in a row centers me. I’m a homebody at heart, although my husband and I did enjoy five days in New York City just two weeks ago with our friends the Dutchers. It was the perfect getaway after a time of loss as my precious 93-year-old mother-in-law passed away on December 8. She was a wonderful woman of faith and very special to me. We miss her but we rejoice that she is in the presence of the Lord.

I realized just earlier this afternoon that I had neglected to post my final Scripture Team Memory Verse of 2015. It makes it even more appropriate on this next-to-the-last-day of the year when you read it below…2 Corinthians 4:18:

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In some ways I can relate this verse to 2015 and 2016. Tomorrow is the last day of 2015. Except for tomorrow, 2015 is now SEEN.  I can roll events over in my heart and mind and replay them like a DVR. But as 2016 rolls around in 28 hours it remains totally UNSEEN.

I have no idea what this new year holds for me and my loved ones – but I hold fast to the truth that God knows. He knows because He is already there. He is omniscient, not limited by time or space, He is eternal. He is always the same. That truth comforts me. He promises to never never never never leave me and I’m counting on that.

So on this December 30th rainy evening I am fixing my eyes on what is unseen, what is eternal. I am trusting God to do a work in me in 2016 like never before. Less of me, more of Him. More time for others on things that count (eternal), less time wasted looking at screens (temporary).

I’ve enjoyed this Scripture Memory Team and the discipline of memorizing scripture is something I treasure. I’m thankful for the mind to do it and for the Word of God to hold in my hand, my heart, and my head.

Blessings and Happy New Year’s Eve Eve,

GranJan-BlogSignature

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 17 – September 1, 2015

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Psalm 119:57 (NET)
The Lord is my source of security.
I have determined to followed your instructions.

I’m continuing my seasons theme this year with verse 57 from Psalm 119. We are very close to Autumn on the calendar and I’m in the Autumn season of my life. This is a season I am relishing with JOY.  This joy includes witnessing the faithfulness of God in my life…the security and contentment in a beautiful marriage of 38 years to my best friend and the love of my life…the anticipation of retirement in a few years…the gift of having both my parents alive and well and living nearby…the delight of my grown sons and their wives all living for Jesus and taking care of their families and always the sheer JOY of my life…I am Gran Jan to FIVE AMAZING GRANDCHILDREN!

Chapter 119 in the book of Psalms is the longest in the Bible with 176 verses.  It is so beautiful to me. I love that verse 57 also represents my current age of 57 years. [That number will help me remember it as a I continue to memorize scripture as part of this “team” with Living Proof Ministries.]

The theme of seasons applies to me here now because I KNOW without any shadow of doubt that the Lord is my source of security. Why can I say that? Because I’m older and this assurance from living a long time and experiencing God’s faithfulness in the journey. Being able to look back and see God’s Hand and His plan is a gift. And the second part of the verse says I AM DETERMINED to follow His instructions. Yes I am! Because I know that He is good and faithful and His plans for me are true and perfect.

GranJan-BlogSignature

 

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First Days of School Days – 2015

All my grandchildren have returned to school. The two littlest ones are actually going to pre-school, but all five of them are in “school.” I am writing this post for the sheer JOY of having these pictures all in one spot so that I may look back on them one day. This blog is all about these great and wonderful blessings called grandchildren, Gran Jan’s JOY. They make me smile from the inside out. Just thinking about them can stir my heart.

My prayer for them this school year is that God will:

  • guard their hearts,
  • protect them from bullies,
  • keep them safe and well,
  • help them stand strong,
  • help them be kind to everyone,
  • help them have friends and be friends,
  • help them be a blessing to their teachers and…
  • instill in them the character of Christ and that the plans He has for them will begin to take shape.

ZEKE1-Zeke

MADIE1-Madie

JACKSON1-Jackson

EMERY1-Emery

ABE1-Abe

Amen and amen, in the Mighty Name of Jesus!

GranJan-BlogSignature

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 13 – July 1, 2015

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Having just spent a week away at the wonderful “forgotten coast” along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida (Cape San Blas), my verse selection was very special…

Psalm 95:5
The sea is His, for it was He who made it

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This beautiful view was from the porch of the home we rented for the week. There is something peaceful about the ocean for me. I love the sound of the waves and the constant breezes.

But my favorite view of the week was the precious faces of my five grandchildren. I loved having uninterrupted time with them last week. Waking up to see them all in their pajamas and playing together all day until they went to bed at night, and then beginning that over again and again each morning. Thankful!5Grands-July 4 2015

Thankful to know the wonderful Creator of that beautiful ocean, and thankful that He knows my Name!

GranJan-BlogSignature

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The Loft Link-Up [The Place I Call Home…]

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This week over on  THE LOFT LINKUP at Leah’s Blog our writing assignment is “The Place I Call Home.” I love this topic and claim it joyfully because I am such a homebody. Even as a little girl I wasn’t one to easily spend the night with friends. I love home!

So…HOME is one of my favorite words. I really am a homebody. The dictionary defines me as “a person who prefers pleasures that center around the home; stay-at-home.” That’s me! I have a small TV in my sewing space/happy place that I enjoy. The 1970s series The Waltons airs on the Hallmark Channel in the evenings. That’s when I can usually be found sewing as I also work outside the home during the day. The other night Grandpa Walton said “home is one of the sweetest words there is!” I heartily agree with Grandpa.

This week at The Loft is especially timely to me because my husband and I moved “home” eight years ago to the day. We moved in with my parents on our 30th wedding anniversary, June 11, 2007.  So I came back home 30 years to the day I left home…on my wedding day, June 11, 1977. We moved in with them while our new home was being built right across the pasture from them. We all bought land together 8 years ago. So yes, yesterday we celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary.

Last night my husband and I went out for dinner for our anniversary to a place called The Carriage House, a restaurant that is in an old home 🙂 out in the country not far from where we live. While there we talked about the different homes and apartments we’ve lived in since we set up housekeeping 38 years ago. We built our country home 8 years ago, and we plan to retire in this home, “Lord willing,” as my Granny Maloy always said (James 4:15). I stopped and took this picture with my iPhone as I pulled out of our driveway this morning…IMG_9968Growing up in a military family I moved many times in my childhood. In fact, I had attended 10 different schools in 12 years by the time I graduated. But my sweet mother always made every home a real home for me and my sisters. She and my Marine Corps father always made sure we girls had our bedrooms set up first…then came the kitchen, which is the heart of my home to this day. So my training for making a house a home is special to me. When I married a minister man 🙂 back in 1977 I figured my moving days would begin again, but it hasn’t been that way. In 38 years of marriage and ministry we’ve served three churches and we’ve been home at Second Baptist, our “Second Family” for 27 years now. That is one of the greatest joys of our lives, raising our boys in one church, one town, one home.

When we moved to the farm eight years ago our whole priority in the move centered around family. A place where we could be near my aging parents (who are active and healthy still) and a place where our boys and their wives could come “home.” Since then, 5 precious grandchildren have been added to our family. They love to come to the farm. We pick blueberries, we fish in the pond, we ride the John Deere Gator around, we rip and run in the fields. We bird watch and we animal watch. We just “be.” It’s our homeplace. Ministry and working are great blessings and are also exhausting at times. Home is our place to center ourselves, to rest, rejuvenate and recover.

I am so happy to share my homeplace  “Three Willows Farm,” (named after the 3 big Weeping Willow trees at the pond) with you. The best way I can do that is to give you a little tour through pictures. Thank you for stopping in, and welcome to our home. You will drive down the lane of Willow Oaks and if you turn left you will come to our home and turning right will take you to my parents. They would welcome you too!IMG_9970We could visit my garden and then sit on the back patio to enjoy the blooming Confederate Star Jasmine. Or we could sit in a rocking chair on the front porch, or on the swing by the pond’s firepit. We have lots and lots of choices for sitting places around the farm because we enjoy sitting and talking and sharing and drinking a glass of tea. IMG_9977IMG_9985IMG_9986IMG_9975IMG_9974Farms and cows go together and so do farms and grandkids. We’ve got plenty of each and we’re thankful, most especially for the grandkids of course!IMG_9987IMG_9981IMG_9976IMG_9980IMG_9998IMG_1785IMG_9999The pond is a great place to gather to sit and think, pray, and fish! Lots of family time is spent at the pond, especially around the firepit in the evenings.IMG_9994IMG_9990IMG_9973IMG_9991IMG_9989IMG_9992

Another happy place is our big old country kitchen. This girl loves to cook and loves to feed folks! Here we are gathered around the table and around the Christmas tree…3GenerationsIMG_9979Home for me the past 38 years and 1 day has been where this man is!  He’s led our home and loved our home and taken care of our home and I’m a blessed woman. IMG_9982As believers in Christ we know that God’s Word teaches us from 2 Corinthians 5:1 that “the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Old songs also speak of our heavenly homes, “this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through…” and newer songs do the same “All I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong…” I sang a song with our choir for many years entitled “I just call it home,” and it was all about heaven. The chorus was so beautiful and true:

Some call it heaven, where life will not cease.
Some call it paradise, a land of sweet peace.
Some call it glory, with eyes on the throne,
But I’m longing for Jesus, so I just call it home.

I’m ready for that great homecoming! Thank  you all for stopping by today.

GranJan-BlogSignature

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The Loft Link-Up [I Am…]

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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

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