1,000 GIFTS, #386 to #408

Here I am again on this Monday, my heart brimming with multitudes of gifts – more grace gifts, lessons learned, memories made, and in just a week! Just the blessing of being HERE on this earth, at this time, in this generation, is a gift. The Word of God tells us our life is but a vapor in James 4:14

This is a picture of the vapor in the cool mornings around our pond this week.

I’m so thankful because:

386.  …I am very content in my life’s current season:
387.  …I am halfway through my 34th year of a solid marriage to a Godly man
388.  …both my parents are still healthy and well
389.  …my sons are happily married to wonderful young women
390.  …my grandchildren are healthy, delightful, and bring me JOY
391.  …my sisters Joan and Jo are there for me any time I need to talk
392.  …I have a wonderful circle of friends
393.  …my church family is Rock solid.  
394. I’m so blessed with my quilting time. It calms me to sit at my sewing machine and ponder and pray as I sew. I finished Madie’s quilt Saturday and it was fun to work with such “girly” fabric for a change from the boys’ tractor themed quilts. This was a simple pattern of squares and rectangles but I love the old-fashioned look. Madie is a beautiful child and I know she will continue to grace our family.
395. This is my quilting buddy and best friend of 23 years – what a treasure Lanie is. We’re old school and don’t mind sharing that. Faith and family are our joys. We enjoyed a recent “sew-in.” Today’s generation of women is missing something that women in times past did – getting together to quilt, sew, can food – train – mentor. We need that.
396. I love my job – I actually do have a “day job” besides being a pastor’s wife. I have worked for our local board of education for 23 years. The people in our offices are true public servants. Sharon is one of those folks, and she brought me some apples from the North Georgia mountains. She is “Gran Sharon” and when she became a grandmother 11 years ago, it was actually then I decided I would be “Gran Jan.”  And so I am.
397. Saturday was fun as the boys came very early to cut firewood. It’s been a long time since the back door opened and I saw my boys come in together. Raising them has been my life’s greatest JOY. I love their bantering – always have. I know they could quote Psalm 133:1 right now…
398. My husband loves to deer hunt. He was in the woods and when I got home I found these sweet “love notes” all around. Reference #387 – amen?
399. This is a cotton field – a HUGE one. Right now on farms all around us – cotton, pecans, and peanuts are being harvested. My paternal grandfather was a sharecropper and raised cotton and peanuts. I love to hear my dad talk about him because I never knew him. But I know I would have loved him dearly.
400.  What a joy my mom and I discovered as our camellia bush is finally blooming. We planted this one four years ago and the wait was well worth it. They bloom when nothing else is…what a great life lesson. I want to do the same!
401. My grandson Zeke spent the night and he was with me and my mom.  My grands call her “Gigi” (Great-Grandmother). She and Zeke were walking with pockets full of rocks to throw in the pond.  It’s their thing to do – and he never forgets.
402. We moved from our home of 20 years “in town” to the country life on the farm four years ago last week, October 27. I love this land already and the traditions we are making with our grandchildren. Another JOY of this season of life.

403. My dad has wanted a fence along the front of our farm for these 4 years, and it’s just something we haven’t been able to get done. Well, now we have. A fence on a list of grace gifts? Yes – because if you knew how happy it made my dad, you’d know just how thankful I am to do something for him for all the things he’s done for me my whole life. It was my husband’s idea. He is a generous man.
404. Our church’s senior adult ministry is called XYZ for “eXtra Years of Zest.” The XYZers went on a trip last week and my mom went with them. They had a blast. (Older ladies are still little girls wanting to have fun and from all accounts, they did.) I’m grateful for Pastor Mike Slade and his wife Susan who lead this ministry. These girls are the cream of the crop. Back row: Mrs. Lynn, Mrs. Sara, Mrs. Rita, Mrs. Gayle. Front row, Mrs. Lola, Mrs. Lois (my mom), and Mrs. Ann. My mom told me she got her picture taken with Dr. David Jeremiah and they also had former President George W. Bush as a speaker at the conference. Blessings indeed.

405. Yes my garden. Aside from time with my family – this is a happy happy place for me. I love to sit on that stone bench under that river birch tree..
406. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches shaped like hearts for a little boy who has stirred up so much love in my heart when I became Gran Jan the day he was born. I love you Zeke!
407. Me and my sweet husband with our youngest grandboy Jackson…more love stirred up in my heart. Thank you Erin for sending me this picture. It was good to have y’all with us on vacation this month.
408.  As I’ve learned from reading Ann Voskamp’s book and more importantly, God’s Word, there are times of hard eucharisteo.  We are to give thanks in all things, not just the pleasant and joyful and blessed times.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16. Rejoice always,
17. Pray without ceasing,
18. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
This past year has been a time of deep reflection, in prayer, in learning, in trusting. Even surrounded by family and friends, the sweetest times have been those when the still small Voice of His Spirit spoke to the deepest places of my heart.  Abide – be still – I’m in control. Abiding in stillness is not easy in this day of go go go – but it is always where the times of growth occur. I want to be fruitful, don’t you?


  1. You are amazing GJ! We are planning the reconstruction of our yard and you’d better believe I’m begging for a raised bed garden. Love you!

  2. ok, all of these things are amazing but the note on the sewing machine?? so sweet. Thank you for your wonderful comment on my blog!! and for stopping by to link up. 🙂 so nice to meet you!

  3. I want to be like you when I grow up!!! Just saying….

  4. I ordered my book this morning. I can’t wait to dive in and begin listing my gifts. One of my favorite scriptures is “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I have that one posted in my house. On another note, we moved to the country from town 4 years ago…August. The common thread that we have continues…and I won’t even tell you where I work. (grinning) Jan

  5. #395….I could not agree more:)

  6. I saw you last week at Hobby Lobby but I was too embarassed to introduce myself. 🙂 But I wanted to tell you that I’ve started working through Ann Voskamp’s book and I LOVE it. It’s made me stop and start counting my blessings more and more. I can’t wait to start sharing them on my blog as well! I’ve enjoyed reading yours!

  7. I saw you last week at Hobby Lobby but I was too embarassed to introduce myself. 🙂 But I wanted to tell you that I’ve started working through Ann Voskamp’s book and I LOVE it. It’s made me stop and start counting my blessings more and more. I can’t wait to start sharing them on my blog as well! I’ve enjoyed reading yours!

  8. Sweet, sweet post. Love the notes your husband left you and love that you have a sewing buddy and longtime friend to share the time with. I watched one of my long time friends be buried today, but he leaves a long beautiful legacy of grace and love and hope. Sounds like you are doing the same. Popping in from A Holy Experience. Blessings always, Angela

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