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!

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

Scripture Memory Team Verse 7 – April 1, 2015

10292544_713027298804447_2891017255611194206_n

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

Share

A Year to Remember…2014!

Here I sit on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2014. This has been a very blessed year for me and mine. We have all been healthy and strong. My husband is leading worship with more joy and passion than I’ve ever known him to, and he takes such good care of me and our home and family. Our church is growing with lots of new young families. Both my boys have experienced growth in their lives – Jeremy in ministry as a pastor and Jonathan with leadership awards and job growth in his career. My daughters-in-law are delightful – loving my sons and taking good care of their homes and children. What more could this mama desire for her family? I received a promotion and began a new job June 1st within my same organization. My parents and sisters and their families are all well. My heart is full…

Sometimes when I have the time, (or just because it brings me joy) I will scroll through the pictures on my iPhone. I did just that earlier this afternoon and picked out one (sometimes more) special favorite for every month from 2014. Letting pictures do my blogging has become common for me, so here I go again.

January 2014
Atlanta was hit with a huge snowstorm in January. This is the view from the passenger seat of my husband’s truck as we drove back home from the airport. My flight (and all flights) were cancelled for several days. I was meeting my friend and we were scheduled to fly to California to appear on the “Wheel of Fortune!” YES!!! Hopefully we will be rescheduled in 2015. We are ready to buy vowels and spin that wheel! 

January

February 2014
This is a picture of my youngest grandchild, Abe that was on the big screens in the church where my son Jeremy (Abe’s father) is the Pastor. My husband and I were there for a special service of dedication of Abe’s life. It was also my husband’s birthday. It was a great weekend – our first time to hear our son preach since he began his ministry at First Baptist Cartersville in September 2013, just one month after Abe was born. A very special weekend.

Feb

March 2012
This is my mom on her birthday! My sisters and I took her to lunch at a fun Mexican restaurant and celebrated her life and had a great time. We always do. I love my mom and I’m thankful for her faithful, consistent life. No drama! Just love and support.

March

April 2014
In April I went to Callaway Gardens with a dear friend, Sharon Riley. We attended the Birds of Prey Show and I am still tickled pink with the timing of this picture of a Great Horned Owl. I literally stuck my iPhone up and snapped the shot as this great bird flew over my head. The bird’s talons touched the top of my head as it flew over…wow!

April

May 2014
May was so special for my three oldest grandchildren! Zeke graduated from Pre-Kindergarten, and my 2nd and 3rd grandchildren (Madie and Jackson) celebrated their fourth birthdays just two weeks apart. (Each of my daughters-in-law had children born in May of 2010.)

IMG_6748 May-Madie May-Jackson

June 2014
A big summer shower produced some GIANT puddles here at the Morton Farm. The weather cleared and was great for puddle jumping and running followed by s’mores. This was a special memory and these two grandboys had a blast together. 

June

July 2014
The Fourth of July was a great week! I was off work and the weather was unseasonably cool and my boys and daughters-in-law and all five grands were here. We had a big breakfast together and then they all fished in the pond. This picture was impromptu and has become so precious. I have it framed at work and here at home and on my computer desktop. I am one blessed Gran Jan! 

July

August 2014
August 22-23 was a weekend that had been planned and prayed for since April of 2013! Our church was blessed to host Priscilla Shirer of Going Beyond Ministries for a women’s conference. All 2,200 seats of our church were filled and we had overflow seating in the choir loft. It was a glorious weekend that I will always remember. Many lives were touched and I pray that eternity will bear the results of this weekend. 

August

September 2014
Little Miss Emery, grandbaby number four, celebrated her second birthday with a Minnie Mouse themed party. Here she is with her daddy (my son), and sweet mama. (I made Emery’s birthday shirt!) It was so much fun and she is absolutely precious. She and big brother Jackson actually spent the night last night here with me and Pop. We made cookies, watched Frozen and had a big time. Gran Jan’s JOY.

September

October 2014
My sweet man and I went to the beach for a few days in October. We rested, ate delicious seafood, walked on the beach, shopped, and had a wonderful time. This time away together was way long overdue. We also visited a brand new church called Sunrise City Church in Fort Walton Beach that is being planted by two young men and their wives and two other couples that we’ve had the privilege to know most of their young lives. It was a great trip with special memories.

October October2014

November 2014
Back in September my best friend Lanie and I had a “sew-in” and I made these Christmas jammies for the grands. I gave them to all five of them on Thanksgiving and they donned them for a picture for me! It just doesn’t get any sweeter than this! More Gran Jan’s JOY!

November

December 2014
This picture was just last week on Christmas evening after our family tradition of breakfast on Christmas Day night. I love my family. As I’ve looked back over my camera roll today the themes of faith and family are everything to me. This blog is a record of the legacy I pray to leave for my grandchildren especially. I am very humbly grateful for God’s grace on my life and I sincerely mean that.

SONY DSC

No party tonight here at home, but lots of celebrating in my heart! We have always preferred a quiet New Year’s Eve. I like to think about the year that is leaving and anticipate the dawning of a brand new year. May the Good Lord bless you all in 2015 with His great love. He is so faithful!

GRANJAN

Share

A Time For Everything

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, and the first verse of Chapter 3 may be the most well known passage, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”  Everything – all of life translates to seasons. From the beauty found in the four seasons of a year to the way the seasons of our lives change.  Everything.  To everything there is a season. 

Autumn may be my favorite season on the calendar, but I look forward to Winter and the joy the Christmas season brings, then there is the anticipation of a new year in just four weeks. I really love gardening in the Spring and Summer too. Each season brings its own beauty and joy. I want to savor some family memories here on Gran Jan’s Joy, so I’m going to post some pictures from our lives for the past several months…seasons and times for which I am so thankful.

Summer Family Breakfast with Four Generations at the Table!

Breakfast

Zeke and Madie in the cornfield across the road from our farm.

Corn

Sweet Emery in a dress I made for her…

Emery-greendress

A trip to the Farmers Market with the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables…

FarmMkt-Veggies

Gran Jan’s JOY – all five of them!

GranJansFIVE

Riding backroads…Georgia Red Clay

GA Red Clay

My oldest son and his family enjoying time at our pond…

JDfam-fishing

My youngest son and his son fishing…

Jonathan-Jackson-Fishing

Grandyounguns…there is nothing sweeter!  I love that they are all so close in age.

Lineup

Moonflowers from my summer garden…it was dark by the time the bloom unfurled.

Moonflower

Sweet peach ice cream on a hot summer evening…

PeaceIceCream

Summer storms and rain puddles for grandsons to jump!

PuddleJump

Homemade Fig Preserves…

IMG_7270

Front Porch Swings on Summer Saturday Mornings…

IMG_439094339-14

My dad and my youngest grandson Abe…I love this picture so much.

IMG_8437

Zeke’s First Day of Kindergarten…that season came too soon!

IMG_439094337

Sitting by the pond and the firepit my husband built for me on a cool summer evening…

IMG_439094338-12

Sweetest (and best) little soccer player…Jackson Morton!

IMG_439094337-2

A ride with my parents and this…the house my Dad lived in when he was 15…a true memory lane trip.

IMG_439094337-5

A painting party with some sweet friends…girlfriend therapy…

IMG_439094338-10

Baby quilts I made for new grandchildren born to two special friends, Pat Boutwell & Joan Falldine…

IMG_439094338-7IMG_439094338-4

Emery’s Minnie Mouse 2nd Birthday Party…Delightful! (I made her shirt, made me so happy!)

IMG_439094339

My youngest son ordained as a deacon at our church…no words to describe my joy.

IMG_439094339-3

1 & 2 Thessalonians Bible Study, “For not all have faith, but the LORD is faithful.”

IMG_439094337-3

A trip to the beach in October with my sweetie…it was so special!

IMG_439094339-7

While at the beach we attended Sunrise City Church – a highlight of the Fall Season for us.

IMG_439094338-6

Meeting Eric Metaxas at Covenant Care’s fundraiser and getting my book signed…

IMG_439094339-11

A text with grandgirl Miss Madie sporting a GranJan creation…day made!

IMG_439094339-4

White violas in a strawberry jar…one of my Fall traditions…

IMG_439094339-6

Coming home to find love notes from my husband all over the house…what a blessed woman I am!

IMG_439094338-8

Fall cotton fields…I love living in the country…

IMG_439094338-3

Christmas dresses for my grandgirls, made at a weekend sew-in with my BFF Lanie!

IMG_439094337-6

Babysitting our youngest grandchild, little Abe, two weekends in a row this past month!

IMG_8352

These pictures cover lots of time from this past Summer and Fall and each one is a sweet memory for me. I’m so thankful for my family and the JOY they bring to me. I’m also thankful for this season of my life…grandmothering these young ones. I can truly say I’ve loved and learned in every season of my life and I pray that continues to hold true for me as long as God leaves me here. He is so faithful.

GRANJAN

Share

Happy 30th Birthday Jonathan – Your Mama Loves You!

FullSizeRender

Happy 30th Birthday Jonathan!

October 22, 1984! A beautiful October morning in Athens, Georgia 30 years ago today when you made your entrance into the world! “I bet you’re hoping for a little girl,” folks at church would say.  I would answer back, “No, I’m hoping for a healthy child and God knows exactly what his Daddy and I need.” Yes God knew, and he blessed us with YOU – a beautiful healthy baby boy we named Jonathan.  Jonathan means “God has given, God’s gift.” Indeed. IMG_8106You were a good baby even though you had your “days and nights” mixed up for a while…I enjoyed those peaceful days taking care of you and your 3-year-old big brother Jeremy, and your sweet daddy got up with you most nights.IMG_8105Sunday, December 30, 1984 was the day we publicly dedicated you to the Lord and declared to raise you up in a Christian home. This was Central Baptist Church where your dad served as the Music & Youth Pastor.  Dr. Ben Glosson is holding  you in this picture. IMG_8104You loved music at an early age and would sit at the piano and play softly – never banging on the keys, just moving your chubby little fingers up and down the keyboard.  As you grew older many nights you would go to sleep listening to music. God put the gift of music in your heart at a very young age.IMG_8103You started walking at 9 1/2  months old. Your brother was so excited he insisted we call your daddy to come home from the church so we could all celebrate! And so we did! IMG_8102Your big brother loved you so much – and he still does! Psalm 133:1 was our brotherly verse – “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.” IMG_8081

IMG_8097Here are some of my favorite pictures of you…you were such an easy child to raise, with an easygoing temperament and you especially  loved your sleep! [I believe that is still true!] Many nights you would say, “I go night night,” and you’d get your blanket and go to bed…”IMG_8100IMG_8099IMG_8098Your daddy was so proud of you and this picture was taken at church one Sunday. You loved to come to “big church” and find your daddy there. Just like your kids do today…IMG_8101You were definitely a mama’s boy for a good while…and I loved every minute of that season, it was just too short!IMG_8089We moved to Houston County Georgia when you were just a little over 3 years old, so really this is home to you and your dad and I have thanked the Lord many times for the privilege to raise you and Jeremy in one community, in one church…  This is you with our Bassett Hound Beulah.  You loved that dog so much!IMG_8094You always made friends so easily and loved going to school at Second Baptist Kindergarten and Bonaire Elementary when you were young. Here you are on your first day of Kindergarten!IMG_8095IMG_8082IMG_8096Sports were a big part of your life early on and you easily won the “50 yard dash” on Field Day every year [except one…and we won’t talk about that]! You could run so FAST! Here you are with friends and neighbors Jackie and Miles Bell .  I love that Jackie is now our dentist…another joy of living in a community for a long time – lifelong friends!IMG_8092Birthday parties with the Morton family tradition of a “Giant Cookie!”  You remind me so much of your son Jackson in this photo!IMG_8093Your 13th Birthday – October 22, 1997 – officially a teenager! You were a Bonaire Middle School student and getting more handsome every year – loving life which included sports and friends and family time!IMG_8107IMG_8090Football, Basketball, Soccer, Track…you played them ALL and excelled! You were the first “Mr. Jaguar” at BMS! I loved it – because your good grades counted too! [I’m a proud mom – still am!] BMS SPortsHunting season was a good time for you and your dad and brother – love this of you three in camo!IMG_8091You started showing more interest in music and began playing guitar – and we are so proud of your musical gifts! IMG_8085High school years came with more sports! Your dad and I LOVED watching you run up and down the field like the wind…and especially when you caught a pass and scored a touchdown!IMG_8080Such a handsome young man – all dressed up in his tuxedo! Still handsome today!IMG_8083Lifelong friends with the Nash Family – this was a quail hunt with Jack, your dad, Jeremy, you, & Ben Nash. Good times – your dad always said you were a good shot..Quail HuntYou and your brother on the blue sofa – the one that y’all finally BROKE from flying down the hall, turning and landing on it in mid-air.  This was one of those rare occasions when you decided to share…[Psalm 133:1]IMG_8088High school graduation, Warner Robins High – Class of 2003! Happy times and with none other than your buddy Tal Talton! More good times to celebrate! IMG_8084I always believed that God had someone special chosen just for you…and this beautiful young woman came into your life at just the right time…Miss Erin Lee Hutto, the answer to our prayers for your life and future. IMG_8087Your wedding day came before your dad and I were ready to let you leave the nest, but what a beautiful day it was! June 7, 2008 – and we loved that you wrote a song especially for your bride and sang it to her…Erin&JonathanHere we are celebrating YOU today – your 30 years of life, but now you know the JOY of celebrating life. because on May 24, 2010 YOU became a daddy when your son was born! You have embraced that role with more passion than I ever imagined – you are a wonderful father to Jackson and Emery! We are so proud of you!JW&JHere you are at the Morton Farm teaching your son how to fish.  My boy and his boy – pure JOY!PhotoSweet Emery Caroline – your girl! We love her so much and she adores her Daddy too!EMERY-JWYour beautiful family – a wonderful wife and two awesome children, a son and a daughter – God has blessed you so much. It has been a JOY to see you grow into the man you are today.  Yes, you are a man, but you will ALWAYS and FOREVER be my baby boy. JonathanFamily-2013

IMG_8113Happy Birthday Jonathan – I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!

~Mom

Share