1,000 GIFTS, #347 to #369

My spirit is overflowing with grace gifts, and it’s not just because my counting is overdue…it is because of the tender mercies of Christ in my life. Many of my blessings this week surround a wonderful time away last week at the beach. I am in a very good place right now, both physically and spiritually at rest. God has taught me so much this past year and I love HIM so, MORE every day. Thank you sweet readers for sharing life’s JOY with me.

347. Blueberry pancakes are sweet, but not as sweet as this grandgirl eating them…

348. Continuing to read The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer. Every woman needs to read/embrace this book, no matter her age or season of life.

349. A movie date to see “Courageous” with my sweet husband. WE LOVED IT. Praying that God will use this movie for His glory (He already is). If you have not seen it yet – go go go.

350. Have I mentioned that my parents live “across the pasture?” Well they do, and I am blessed to have them so close – they are wonderful, loving, giving people. They dog-sat my younger sister’s two dogs week before last, and along with their dachsund, Dixie – they had a kennel. Here they are on an outing over to my house.  The dogs and the parentals needed a break.

351. My husband and I vacationed at the beach (Florida Gulf Coast) last week, and that in itself is a grace gift. There is something about being near the ocean that is restful to my spirit. Psalm 95:5 I’ve heard others speak of this peace, and it is certainly true for me. This year the weather was amazing, so cool and refreshing. We are thankful for the time to rest and spend time together – unbound by clocks and schedules. My favorite time is as the sun begins to set. Whether I’m home or at the ocean, I love dusk.

352. The sunrises are beautiful too. The ocean was as smooth as glass.
353. October 6, 1974 was a beautiful autumn Sunday night (a long time ago…). That “date” markes a “date” for me…the evening of my seventh date with my then new boyfriend. (Seven is the number of completion in the Bible – how fitting.)  We met at church, he was the young music minister. It was the summer before we each began our senior years of high school. That night was our first kiss and since we happened to be at the beach last week on the “37th anniversary of the first kiss,” I wrote it in the sand. The tide may have washed my sentiments away, but the sweet memory is forever etched in my mind. God surely blessed me when he brought my future husband into my life that night 37 years ago…
354. I love this man…thankful for God’s grace in bringing him to me (see #353).

355. I met a beautiful woman, Sybil, while shopping at the Destin Commons Mall day before yesterday. She assisted me in an Estee Lauder purchase at the Belks store. We shared more than mascara and lipstick…we shared Jesus Christ. When she was checking me out, she said “thank you Georgia Jan.”  Now Sybil had no idea that I use “Georgia Jan” as my blog name…she just knew I was from Georgia. Well that led into conversation about blogs, Bible study, and our favorite teachers…Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Kay Arthur. We discovered that she and I both attended the very first Deeper Still conference in Nashville four years ago and enjoyed sharing memories of that time.  I love random meetings like this. God bless you Sybil.

356. My youngest son and his wife and son joined us at the beach later in the week. Sweet family times. Pop was in heaven when Jackson fell asleep in his arms during a morning walk on the beach. We loved having lots of time with this little fella. He is SO smart!

357. We ate lunch twice at Dewey Destin Seafood. You could look through the planks in the pier and see the water below! We were able to get a choice seat…right at the very end of the pier. The weather was GLORIOUS, so was my Grouper sandwich.

358. Pumpkin spice coffee…on the balcony…with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. The wind blowing, the waxing gibbous moon (almost full), sweet conversation, hearts in love, souls at peace, minds at rest. G-R-A-C-E.

359. New crocs for the grandchildren. Boys=camo, girl=pink. Simple as that and I’m not waiting until Christmas to give them to them.

360. My husband loves seafood. (He even teased some friends and told them he would have shrimp milkshakes if he could.) We took a seafood break and ate Chinese at P.F. Changs one day, and I called him “P.F.” the rest of the week. P.F. stood for “Platter/Feast” because every meal he ordered had either the word platter or feast in the title…

361. I found a twenty-dollar-bill on the floor at the CVS drugstore last week.  When I turned it in, I thought the manager was going to call a press conference. He said, “people don’t turn in money.”  I told him that the money didn’t belong to me, but that I belong to Jesus, and His Spirit in me enabled me to do the right thing. I will say however, that it was quite a rush to look down and see that $20 lying there  🙂

362. On our way home from the beach we had a tire going flat so we stopped at a Wal-Mart to get it fixed. We thanked the Good LORD that it happened exactly when it did and not on a remote road. We also thanked Him for His perfect timing and provisions. The GPS said there was no Wal-Mart or auto store nearby…oh, really? Yes there is/was.

363. While the tire was being repaired I meandered through the store and bought sewing machine needles and a new rotary cutter for some quilt fabric I have.  So thankful for my quilting JOY!

364. While walking back to the auto department, I saw an elderly gentleman in one of those little scooters going up and down the aisles. He seemed a little “out of sorts,” so I asked him if I could help him. He told me that he lived alone and was looking for a pot to cook in, to warm up food. I found a perfect one on clearance and he was so pleased. That little random act of JOY was a blessing to my heart. I thanked the Lord for our low tire and my divine appointment.  We also shared Jesus in that clearance aisle.

365. A great report, a super great report from my annual physical. Aside from my salvation, God’s grace gift of excellent health is so very precious to me. I thank Him daily.

366. Although I do not embrace “fortune cookies,” I loved this one…because he was sitting right to my left, the one with whom I shared a kiss 37 years ago…remember? 
367. The welcome sight of HOME…fall color and a field of white cotton across the street.
368. Collard greens and turnip greens growing growing growing…I love this garden.

369. Rainy days and Mondays do NOT get me down. This has been a glorious week and to have the blessing of a day off (Columbus Day Holiday) to reflect, count grace gifts, and reflect some more…
Thank you JESUS.

1,000 GIFTS, #305 to #324

As I count these grace gifts to 1,000 with Mrs. Ann Voskamp, I am beginning to see a pattern, and that in itself is a gift to me. Back at the beginning of the year, I wrote this post on 1-1-11 and vowed to “Keep It Simple Sister.” A goal to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures, to prioritize my time, my goals. This JOY of counting has helped me to see that the gifts I cherish and count are in God, my faith in Christ, my family, my precious grandchildren, friends, God’s creation, gardening, quilting (my newfound JOY), and not in STUFF. May it ever be so, sweet LORD.
305. As I stepped outside my office one day last week headed to lunch, I saw this beautiful Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on the zinnia flowers. Just that moment…for me. I love the camera on my cell phone for d-e-l-i-g-h-t-s just like this one!
306. First night of Fall Bible study last Wednesday night, as we began Beth Moore’s study from Proverbs: “Wising Up…Wherever Life Happens.”  Wisdom is Supreme, get it! Great group of women all ready and eager to dig into the Word of God. Proverbs 4:7
307. The joy of trusted confidence as a friend shared a prayer request concerning her health, and then the Spirit prompting me to pray for her. Thank you sweet Father for prompts to remember to pray.
308. A song from Travis Cottrell’s newest release that has ministered to my soul, the depth of my soul I say.  It is called “Thanks Be To Our God.”  I love this new CD very much, but song #13 has been on repeat track the most.
309. A first for me where my grandchildren are concerned! I went to Zeke’s school, actually it is a Mother’s Morning Out program at his church (where his daddy, my son, is the Pastor) for “Grandparents Day.” They sang two songs and quoted a Bible verse and every one of them looked adorable.  And I got four spontaneous hugs. I was so sad that I had forgotten my camera. But when I returned to work I received this photo collage in an email. God graced me in that my friend who is a real photographer was there with a camera for his child…which records one of those wonderful hugs from Zeke!
310. The intoxicating divine smell of Tea Olive Shrubs blooming in our garden. My husband and I LOVE them. They bloom in the spring, in the fall, and on a warm winter’s day they can surprise you with small white blooms which smell wonderful. We have them by the front porch swings and this is the shrub in my back patio garden. It was a gift for my 50th birthday from some wonderful friends…they bloom when the weather changes. I hope that I will “bloom in life’s changing seasons too.”  May it ever be, sweet Lord.
311. The full moon. I especially love the big Harvest Moon of this past week. I keep up with it on my Nook with a “moon phases app.” Yes I do. I am a moon phases nerd. I love to talk waning and waxing gibbous…
312. A book and sweet card of encouragement received in the mail from Mrs. Esther Burroughs who spoke at our Women’s Retreat last weekend. She is challenging me to “pour into” the lives of young women. The big watering can at the top of my blog is one of my favorite items – I collect watering cans. I need to remember to splash the Living Water of Jesus everywhere I go…
313. Plans made for a Prayer/Planning Retreat for our Women’s Ministry team, pastor’s wives, and other women’s leaders in our church. It is going to be WONDERFUL. We will all stay in one cabin…with a fireplace…at a Retreat Center on the Savannah River. Can’t wait!
314. My grandson Zeke spent the night this past weekend and while we were playing outside he lightly skinned both his knees when he fell. As I was applying Spiderman bandaids :), he said, “Gran Jan, will you pray and ask God to heal me?” I prayed and hugged him tight. He blesses me so.
315. My son sent me this picture and “asked for prayer.”  He said it was the first time he had taken both children out to breakfast alone. His wife was attending a consignment sale and it is important to be FIRST in line at those…aren’t they PRECIOUS? YES THEY ARE!
316. This is Jackson, the “Master of the Slide.” Isn’t he PRECIOUS? YES HE IS!
317. I finished Jackson’s quilt top last week and am getting ready to put it together. Here is one of the blocks with his name…I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
318. Reaching for a soft tissue in my purse to hand to a woman next to me in the choir as her tears fell. Thankful for the bond of women, sisters, mothers, friends.
319. Once again our interim Pastor Rev. Joel Southerland blessed us with a word from the Word. God is using him greatly during this season in our church without a Senior pastor. There is a fresh healing wind of the Holy Spirit blowing across our congregation and the JOY is evident each time we gather to meet. I’m very thankful for lessons learned, continuing to pray for everyone…those gone, and that that remain. Soli deo Gloria.
320. A hint of fall in the air…my very favorite season of all.
321. A Girls’ Night Out with my sweet best friend of 23 years, Lanie. Delicious fresh guacamole and chips at a restaurant in Macon…buzzing through Barnes and Noble, the Ulta store…time together that is so precious. Sharing prayer requests, life’s seasons.
322. My first pumpkin spice latte of the season. Yes, that’s a gift! I do love coffee.
323. Thanking God for my health has always been in my prayers to God, but has really been on my heart this week as so many are facing surgery and treatments and struggle with daily issues. Thank you Father for a healthy body.
324. Seeing my father kneel down beside Mrs. Mary’s chair in her home, take her hand, and offer to help her with anything she needs in the days ahead. Mary is an elderly black woman who has just lost her husband of more than 50 years. I love our rural community. We had taken a meal to them…because that’s what Southerners do. I’ve never been prouder of my dad than I was at that moment. He has a heart of gold. Being the tough former Marine that he is, you have to “mine it out sometimes”…but it was shining that moment.  🙂
Multitude Monday Blessings to you,

The Resolution for Women Book Club!

The Resolution Revolution with Priscilla Shirer!
Priscilla Shirer of Going Beyond Ministries will be kicking off her first book club meeting on Friday, September 16th LIVE at 10:00 am CST.  Click HERE and look for the link to join in the conversation on Friday. All you will need is a web browser and your book. I already have my book and have read the Introduction. As hard as it is going to be…I’m so ready!

1,000 GIFTS, #288 to #304

Grace gifts, still counting along the way; very thankful and very blessed.
288. A blessed Women’s Ministry Conference this past weekend on 09-10-11 with the wonderful Mrs. Esther Burroughs. She is a precious mature Christian woman who shares from her life’s experiences and all who listen benefit. She taught from John 4 and encouraged us to “splash the Living Water” as we “Go OUT of our way while ON our way…” It was glorious!
289. This is a picture from the Conference with Mrs. Esther (she is in the black and white stripes). I call it “Generational Joy.” The two young women on the left are in their early 20’s and are DELIGHTFUL! Esther encouraged us to pour into their lives.
290. Helping Hands at the Women’s Conference…how blessed we are to have a church where people serve with JOY. Thank you Cindy, Sarah, Taneea, Teresa, Pam, Doris, Lisa, Kathy, Susan, Natalie, Lanie, Mindy, Lynn, Barbara, Rounette, Karen, Charlene, Patti, Jeanette, and Cheryl.
291. Sharing a recipe for Tomato Pie with my sweet friend Lanie.
292. Moonvines…this picture was taken just a few hours ago at dusk. I love these flowers. They will bloom all night and close up in the morning…
293. Another quilt class and girl’s night out with Lanie. We learned techniques for “half-square triangles,” but we learned much more than that…quality time in the car during a road trip helps you learn each other’s hearts and prayer needs…what a gift from God.
294. Driving through this allee of trees as I leave home each morning and returning each evening and celebrating His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness at night.  (Psalm 92:1-2)  So grateful for my job and the people I work with and for. Grace.
295. Looking up from my desk at work just in time to see my oldest son and his son coming in the door to see me. Zeke gave me the sweetest hug ever. He said, “I’m your boy, Gran Jan.”  He knows that blesses my soul.
296. Another great practical message from Rev. Joel Southerland as he preached from the book of Job on the value of our families.
297. Finding a long-lost receipt. Thankful. Needed it.
298. Collards and turnip greens planted in my fall garden.
299. Attending a wedding with my husband this past Saturday of a young woman named Julie who we’ve known since she was 5 years old. Her groom was injured in an accident 14 months ago. Seeing her speak vows that she has already lived by standing true to him gives me such hope for young people and marriage.
300. Two big bags of fresh peas from a friend at church – thank you Mrs. Rhoda! I love to sit and shell peas – it is so soothing.
301. Jasmine. In my garden.
302. Long bike rides with my husband down country roads, cool weather. Good exercise. Weight loss success! So thankful. 
303. Spending time with my youngest son and his son tonight. Getting to play with little Jackson, feed him, bathe him, and tuck him in was so tender for me. My daughter-in-law is taking a class and was not home. I missed her, but love seeing the home she is building for my son and grandson.
304. New books and the anticipation of reading “The Resolution for Women.” The book is by Priscilla Shirer.  Excited about participating in her on-line book club this Friday.  Details will follow on my blog.
Nighty-night sweet friends,

1,000 GIFTS, #231 to #245

Today has been a wonderful Multitude Monday. It started with a sweet time in the Word this morning…
231. I’m so very grateful and thankful for my quiet time place…
232.  I am on day 86 of a 90-day devotional by Beth Moore entitled “90 Days with Jesus the One & Only.”  I’ve lingered way longer than 90 days as I spent the 40 days of Lent reading  a devotional recommended by my friend Joanne Heim a couple of years ago. After I finish Beth’s devotional I am going to read through the book of Acts. I LOVE THE WORD OF GOD!
233. Last Tuesday our Women’s Ministry hosted a “Summer Sisters Salad Supper.” We enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship with salads of every kind and desserts galore. Over 200 women attended and my dear friend Lanie Nash shared her journey through ovarian cancer. Women’s ministry is hard work, but rewarding…I serve with the best team ever. I could NOT imagine this ministry without Cindy, Teresa, and Jennifer. They serve with hearts of gold.
234.  Speaking of women’s ministry, I received a precious email early this morning from Leah Adams of The Point Ministries.  She is a North Georgia gal and my cooking-canning buddy. Leah is coming to be the guest speaker for our Women’s Ministry’s 14th Annual Christmas Brunch, December 3, 2011, 10:00 a.m. to noon. Leah is a delight. She is a disciplined woman with a passion for the Word of God. She emailed to tell me that she is praying as we plan and prepare.  It blessed my soul!  Thank you Leah – I love you girl! 
235. This little buddy spent the night last Thursday with his Pop and Gran Jan…this smile is the result of a quick trip to the Dairy Queen for ice cream.  D-E-L-I-G-H-T!  (Zeke…not the ice cream!)
236.  Please don’t think me irreverent for taking this picture at such a time…but I wanted to capture the JOY of seeing all these men kneeling in prayer at the altar before evening worship last night. We were singing “Somebody’s Praying” as the men filled the altar in prayer.  Oh God, raise up men to lead our homes, our churches, our land…
237.  I love participating in the “SSMT” Siesta Scripture Memory Team.  Today is August 1st, the day we post our verses to the LPM Blog.   Here’s my post from this morning:

August 1, 2011 at 7:52 am
James 3:18 (NLT)
And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

238. Yesterday after church we went to the home of my youngest son and his wife to visit and take a nap as we had to be back at church early Sunday afternoon. We live out in the country and it just saves a trip home!  Besides that…we get to fellowship with our youngest grandboy Jackson.  D-E-L-I-G-H-T.

239.  This is the fabric for another new quilt!!! I had ordered some accompanying fabric and found out it was discontinued.  But just today a kind woman in Customer Service at Hancocks of Paducah, KY told me she personally went and found the exact yardage I needed for my quilt.  What a blessing. I thanked her…

240. The book I ordered came in the mail last week. It is a new book that I love for two reasons.  The topic – the Word of God…and the artist…one of my favorites. Karla Dornacher.  Her gifts bless me.

241. I’ve shared from my heart about the death of my sister Jean 26 years ago.  I wrote this post  last year on the 25th anniversary of her death.  It is the “most read” post on my blog. Just this past Saturday I got to spend time with my niece Amy, Jean’s beautiful daughter.  She lives in California, and is visiting home this week. Time with her is rare. There are no words to describe how much she is like her Momma.  Although Amy was only 23 months old when Jean died…she is JUST LIKE HER.  What a gift.

242.  Tonight’s supper included zucchini fresh from the garden. My sweet husband cooked and cleaned up the dishes. I love that man.  He takes such good care of me.
243.  My little granddaughter Madie is really talking a lot. She didn’t spend the night last week, but I’m looking forward to girl-time with her.  I didn’t have that as a “boy mom!” I want to teach her to make biscuits…
244.  And as I sit here listening to the beautiful piano music from Ann Voskamp’s blog I was thinking about the wonderfully gifted pianist at our church.  He is actually the Instrumental Worship Pastor. His name is Rev. Dawson Hull and he is a gifted musician.  Just yesterday I was blessed by his gifts.  As our interim pastor Joel Southerland was sharing during the invitation about “being a Friend of God,” Dawson played an impromptu gentle medley that included “What A Friend We Have in Jesus.”  His sweet wife Taneea is also a gifted musician. Their spirits are a blessing to our church family.  We are thankful for them.
It’s time to hit “publish post” and get ready for bed…and read…and continue to count these gifts to 1,000.  My heart is full tonight…another gift.
245.  A quiet heart…a contented heart.

1,000 GIFTS, #207 to #215

 I have had one of the absolute BEST weeks in a long time! It has been very peaceful and quiet – and this wafted over to the same PURE Joy in my spirit – all from Jesus. This JOY will be reflected in my list of counting grace gifts to 1,000:
207. Nowhere to go last week…off work…reconnecting with all things H-O-M-E…stillness.
208. Celebrating my re-birthday this week, the day I became a born again believer in Jesus Christ, on 7-7-85. I’m 26 years old in the LORD, and I wrote my story here.
209. Lots of garden time last week and the daily delights of fresh tomatoes.
210. A “sew-in” with my friend Lanie. I had a pattern for a “sewing mate,” and we made them together. So peaceful and fun, more JOY. This creation holds all your sewing notions close at hand. The bag on the far right is a little trash container for threads, etc.
211. My son is fishing in Canada this past weekend, and he is so proud of this Walleye, the biggest catch at the Lodge this summer. He is a JOY to my heart.
212. On my backroad drive to go to my friend’s for our sew-in, I saw this hay bale. I loved it and was reminded to pray for my friend Beth Moore as she wraps up her study on the book of James.  The other side of the bale said “James 5:16.” 
213. Plans are being made for a baby shower in a few weeks, and I’m one of the hostesses. The baby girl we are celebrating will be born into a family of strong women of faith and she will mark the Fourth Generation!  I sure love y’all – Mrs. Mary (great-grandmother), Pat (grandmom), Pam (great Aunt), Jennifer (mom-to-be), Lindsey (aunt), Allison (aunt), Stephanie (aunt), and little miss Taylor Kate (baby girl due in August).  The joy of long-time friends from serving in one church for over 23 years…PRICELESS!
214. My mom and I spent most of Saturday morning painting our front gates…the fellowship was so good and I really did enjoy spending that time with her.
214. The reference of Habakkuk 3:17-19 has come to me from many sources the past month. Again this morning while listening to David Jeremiah and his new series entitled “The Joy of Encouragement.”  He did.
215. My daughter-in-law Erin saw this bookrack in a magazine and that smart girl duplicated it! Her Dad made the rack and I sewed the fabric that made the “shelves.”  Jackson loves it – he loves books. So did his daddy. 
Counting my blessings, naming them one by one – all the way to one thousand!


One of my very favorite artist/authors is having a give-away on her blog, and I wanted to be sure you all knew about the chance to enter!

Go here to read all about it.  Her name is Karla Dornacher and I have a “link” to her in my blog sidebar as well.  Her art is whimsical and fun and she loves the Lord.  The book below is one of my favorites…

Her writing speaks to me of the simple joys of life, and always always blesses.

Check it out, okay?