1,000 GIFTS, #845 to #859

As my Granny used to say, “there’s been a lot of water passed under the bridge” since we last got together.  I have been extremely busy since my last post, but not too busy to stop and count…so here continues the blessed JOY of counting the gifts of God’s grace, so undeserved, yet so welcomed.

845.  We have a fantastic facility right near home that hosts a National Fair each year…I enjoyed a date with my sweet husband there and snapped this picture as the sun was setting. Peaceful time spent with the one I love.Fair

846.  I am serving with some sweet ladies on the team for the Beth Moore Living Proof Live event scheduled for next May 31-June 1, 2013, here in Georgia. There is absolutely nothing like the sweet spirit of immediate fellowship. Our bond is Christ.LPL Team

847.  My sweet dad is as proud of this antique tractor as he can be.  He loves the way it “sounds,” and I believe it takes him back to a simpler time in life. I certainly understand that!

848.  My newest little granddaughter and her sweet brother…be still my heart. God’s grace multiplied…I can’t wait to see how their love for each other grows. How special it would be to have a big brother.

849.  I often times feel very rushed…rush to work, rush to the grocery store, rush to prepare a meal, rush to finish, rush, rush rush.  But for 3 days last month over a long weekend my friend Lanie and I enjoyed a serene unrushed time. We celebrated her birthday and her 3 years surviving ovarian cancer.  We attended the Georgia Quilt Show, we sewed, we laughed, we ate Mexican food at Pappasitos, we stayed up until the wee hours and we were exhausted, but it was pure therapy.  Here is her van packed and loaded with our sewing “stuff.”QTT
850.  The 3D Nemo Nerds. I took Zeke and Madie to the matinee one afternoon to see “Finding Nemo” in 3D.  When Zeke put on the glasses he said, “Gran Jan, Nemo is swimming right at me, I can touch him!”  We had a wonderful time and they were so good.  That was a first for the 3 of us, but it was so fun.  I love being Gran Jan.Nemo

851.  While driving down the road while in Atlanta with my friend Lanie, we passed this little church and I saw the pastor’s name on the sign.  The name of the pastor who performed my wedding 35 years ago…I love what the sign said and that Pastor Jones is still serving…what a delight!  Still in God’s Hands!  Indeed we are.  Grace.

852.  I made a little pumpkin onesie for our newest little punkin grandgirl…Emery…PunkinOnesie
853.  And Turkey shirts by Gran Jan for the grands…I consider it a blessing to be able to enjoy doing this, for the machine, for the grandchildren in my life to enjoy.  God is so good. I love to see them wearing the shirts I make for them!SONY DSC

854.  The women’s ministry of my wonderful church had a ministry project this past month to support a local Christian adoption agency by hosting a baby shower.  The response was tremendous and it took a truck (my husband’s) to load everything up!  So thankful for the young women who choose LIFE for their unborn babies and the blessing of adoption.CovenantCare

855.  I love the way our church has responded in worship the past few months.  The Spirit has been so strong among us, and I believe it is God’s grace and pleasure in how our Pastor gives preeminence to the Word of God.  I love my church.  And I love our Worship Pastor husband because I know him, I live with him, and I see his genuine integrity day in and day out.

856.  When my daughter-in-law Carrie sent me the pictures of these two in their Fall Festival outfits I just kept staring at them with joy because I see their JOY.  Zeke is so proud to be a policeman.  He and Madie both have spent the night several times the past month and we have FUN. They fill a place in my heart and meet a need to keep “mothering.”  I know you grandmothers get it…especially you moms of sons who cut those apron strings long ago…Gran Jan’s JOY.  God’s grace.  Daily grace to have them close by.  I count that blessing EVERY single day.ZandM
857. I finished this heart quilt for the new baby daughter of our church’s instrumental music pastor and his wife.  It was fun to design and fun to quilt.  I love the way a quilt crinkles and puffs up the first time it is washed after it is all quilted and finished.Quilt

858.  I spent all afternoon this past Saturday helping my Mom divide her daylilies.  We had lots of help from my husband because the flower clumps had gotten so large we couldn’t  lift them.  I really enjoyed that time with her.  The fresh air, daylilies to share and some for my own garden too.

859.  Some sweet times with the Lord where He is affirming to me that He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother…

On this eve of a very pivotal election for President of our great country, I am praying for God’s grace to be evident in the lives of believers across America.  We must keep praying and believing and trusting in the fact that God is in control no matter who lives on Pennsylvania Avenue and sits in the White House.  In God We Trust! I love this passage from Daniel 2:20-22:

20 “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.

In the Hollow of His Hand,



1,000 GIFTS, #770 to #785

Life is good because God is good. I’m very thankful (currently overwhelmed by His grace) as I sit here on a rainy Monday evening continuing this compilation of counting gifts to one thousand. I’ve scrolled back through these gifts several times and it brings me so much JOY to do so. To see His Hand, His faithfulness to undeserving me.
770. Something I don’t talk about much here is my “day job,” but I’m grateful to have one. I will testify that it has not been easy to be a pastor’s wife who works full time outside the home. His Grace has kept me going. In the early days I did it to help meet financial needs in our family. Even then God provided a job to this momma so I could be close to my boys and not miss any of their activities as I’ve worked in our local school system. They’ve long been out of school, but I’m still there…by God’s grace.
771. Two young couples I know expecting babies this winter each found out their unborn babies are boys…exactly the desires of their hearts. I’m happy with them.
772. My blog title is Gran Jan’s JOY, so it should be no secret by now that my grandchildren are just that. And most especially when one of them is enjoying a cupcake at her big brother’s Spiderman party. Delight. Miracles all of them. His Grace.
773. The birthday boy with the Spiderman cake. He is so precious. He thinks Spiderman kills spiders and we love him for it.
774. So thankful for my new Serger and looking forward to the sewing I want to do for my granddaughters. It finishes seams like a dream.
775. I came home from a women’s ministry team meeting one night and my husband had made jalepeno cornbread. From my recipe. It was delicious. It is now his job.  I love him so much.
776. Going to choir rehearsal and working on this music…JOY as I think about God sending His Son to earth…His Grace coming down.
777. Yesterday was one of the sweetest days in our church. Our pastor preached a powerful message from the book of Joshua on the power of a changed life – Rahab. Then last night we came together and witnessed the baptism of 16 people as they each shared  testimonies ending with “I am Not Ashamed.” It was tender and emotional and a night of praise. I love my church. Thank you David Falldine for this photo…
778. Music is such a gift of His grace. Being married to a worship pastor is pure JOY to me. I love what Gary gets to do and he loves what God has called him to do. This song has ministered to our church family so much in worship…Ten Thousand Reasons.
779.  Fresh okra from the garden…one of the last vegetables of summer.

780. Pickled okra made from my friend Lanie’s recipe. My friend Leah in North Georgia and I love making squash pickles – wonder if Leah makes okra pickles? 🙂

781. Looking forward to Fall and the sweet potatoes growing in my garden and wishing the little bunny that keeps eating the green vines would seriously stop it.
782. A phone call from this sweet saint, Esther Burroughs. She is planning to come speak to a group of worship pastor’s wives next February 2013. We were talking about the event as my sweet husband is helping sponsor the Metro II Conference in beautiful Savannah, GA. I can hardly wait for our time together.
783. Early mornings in the Word with song #13 on repeat. “Thanks Be To Our God.”  Actually counting His gifts of grace as Travis Cottrell sings them. These lyrics are a balm.
784. One of the best ladies events I have ever attended just this past weekend, Living Proof Live in Charleston. SC with 50 ladies from my home church and 9,000 total in attendance. This event requires a blog post all it’s own. Soon. “Embracing the Facing” was Beth Moore’s teaching topic from Genesis 31-32 – Jacob and Esau. It was strong and good.
785. Hearing my little grandson Jackson telling the story of Adam and Eve, of Naaman, and Jonah from his Jesus Storybook Bible. One of the blessings of this season of life is seeing the spiritual development of my grandchildren and being thankful for their parents (our children) raising them up in the LORD.
Count your own blessings my friends – whether you record them this way or use the iPhone app that Ann Voskamp has or whether you treasure them in your heart…keep counting His goodness to you. He is a Great and Mighty God.

1,000 GIFTS, #749 to #769

In the rhythm of life, the ups and downs we all experience…spiritually, emotionally, and physically – the gift of seeing His grace gifts all around brings a balance that centers me. I am so thankful. The counting continues and it blesses me way down deep.
749. My sister Joan celebrated a birthday on July 27 – she is one of the most generous women I know. She loves to give and because of that, God has entrusted her with a lot – because she knows where her blessings come from. I love you middle sister.
750. I love my pastor. He is so genuine and kind. I was so happy when I got to church on July 29th and he was preaching a message on “believers baptism.” It was the anniversary of my own baptism 27 years ago…I felt God’s love in a special way as I remembered my baptism. (Believers baptism is baptism by immersion after salvation – that is what my church practices and what I believe.)
751. An absolutely amazing gift – to see the face of my unborn granddaughter through the miracle of a 3D sonogram. She is beautiful and we are thrilled that she will be joining our family late next month.  Praying for a safe and easy delivery for my daughter-in-law.
752. A Saturday drive through the country with my husband unbound by an agenda and time to stop for peach ice icream at Lane’s Orchards.

753. As often as we’ve driven the backroad home, we’ve never seen this old cemetery before. It’s amazing when you see when you take the time to slow down and really look…like counting His gifts. The dates were pre-Civil War – 1850s.

754. A new baby quilt for a little girl who is also due late next month. I love that she and my granddaughter will grow up in church together. Her daddy is Dawson Hull, one of our staff pastors, and he directs our church orchestra and is a gifted musician. His wife Taneea is also a talented musician. They are a sweet couple and I loved making this quilt for their little girl. This is just the quilt top – I hope to begin quilting this weekend.

755. Rain. Thunder rumbling. Approaching summer storm. Sitting on the front porch enjoying the cooler air with my husband and son Jonathan and his son Jackson.  Hearing Jackson say his mommy was at a “girl party” and laughing…he is only 2. She was attending a baby shower…indeed.
756. Three generations…”ready, set, go.” Jackson looking back saying, “Gran Jan…”
757. Singing an old gospel song at church “When the Savior Reached Down For Me,” and having the senior citizens talk about remembering that day in their lives too…
758. A working dinner with my Women’s Ministry Leadership Team – Cindy, Teresa, Jennifer. Words can’t adequately express how much they mean to me. They embody servant leadership.
759. A new Bible study and personal messages (tweets) from the author Priscilla Shirer the very day we began. The class was so tickled. So was the teacher (me). 🙂
760. Running into my son Jeremy’s 2nd grade teacher at the grocery store and having her remember what a special little boy he was. She knew God had great plans in store for him. She said he impacted her life in a great way. I love the gift of being in a community so long that your lives intersect like this.
761. Onesies. All for baby Emery. Gran Jan loves her embroidery machine.
762. My niece Amy celebrated a birthday August 8th. Amy  is the daughter of my sister Jean who passed away at age 25. Amy never knew her momma but she is so much like her. I wrote a post about Jean that has had more response than any I’ve ever written… If you haven’t read it, please visit here. I miss Jean every day.
763. My other niece Melissa is getting married next month. She and her momma (my middle sister Joan) came down and visited last week and my sister brought some of her favorite salsa.  Here she is being silly with my mom, her grandmother…I love my family so much.
764. My daughter-in-law Carrie put together this photo collage of Zeke and Madie Ruth’s first day of school at their church playschool.  Delightful.
765.  Beautiful pink sky and awesome Creator God. He speaks to me through sights such as this. I love living in the country.
766. We’ve been singing the song “10,000 Reasons” at church and I can’t get the song out of my mind (and heart). I love the line that says “whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.”  A mature walk of faith in Christ KNOWS that whatever does come – our God is in control. Thank you Jesus.
767. How about 100,000 reasons to be thankful? This was my odometer this past Wednesday night. When it turned over one hundred thousand SAFE miles, I stopped and pulled over to the side of the road and thanked the Lord for keeping me and every single passenger safe during my travels.
768. This boy. Gran Jan’s JOY = grandchildren.
769. I love Elisabeth Elliot. I’ve had a little daily calendar by her on my desk for over 10 years. It is called “Keep A Quiet Heart.” I especially loved this quote from last Friday – and I was praying hard about a situation.  This is true.
Blessings to you all who stop by to read these gifts. I hope you are counting your own blessings each day too.  God is so faithful.

1,000 GIFTS, #690 to #710

I’m getting closer to the mark of the 1,000th gift, and as much as I anticipate reaching the goal, the greater JOY has been the journey. I mean that. I am thankful for this JOY and discipline, knowing that His grace gifts will not end even when I reach the goal…

690. Glory glory glory – precious TIME unbound by the clock or a schedule…time to just “be,” as I’m off work this week. Lots of projects lined up, but I can’t wait to get started on them all…one at a time, just like this counting.

691. I saved zinnia seeds from last summer all winter long and planted them in the Spring – they are bringing much JOY and I’ve enjoyed sharing them. They have grown exceedingly abundantly more than I could have imagined.

692.  Fresh corn from my Dad’s garden and his JOY in sharing it with so many folks.

693. I kept my oldest grandboy weekend before last, he even came to church with us on Sunday! I loved every single moment with him. It is very special to have one-on-one time with my grandchildren. I enjoy having them ALL, but the noise level and activity of three 3 and under is wild sometimes. He enjoyed playing on my mom’s front porch as we visited with her.

694.  He enjoyed helping Pop water the new pecan trees…his little tractor was a birthday gift to him when he was two.
 695.  Our children’s ministry presented the musical, “What’s Up Zak?” , the story of Zacchaeus…Jesus Changes Everything… It was tremendous and there were souls saved that morning!!! God is so faithful. I am so thankful for all the workers who gave their time to serve our children and their families. We were blessed to have the author of the musical worshipping with us and she was blessed too – thank you for coming Mrs. Ingram.
696. Zeke loved climbing up in Zacchaeus’s Sycamore Tree…
697. A very special surprise visitor to my office last week! My youngest grandson Jackson. Made my day…
698. The sweet voice of my little granddaughter Madie Ruth. She spent the night with us this past Thursday and I loved having her…she said, “I love you Jan-Jan.” Made me smile every time. 
699. My first garden tomato ripened on the first day of summer…and now they are bountiful. Enjoyed a tomato sandwhich for supper Sunday night, a Southern delicacy.
700. A nest of sparrows in my mother’s fern on her front porch. His Eye is on the Sparrow…and is also on you…do you know that truth?
701. Peaceful times at dusk, reflecting Psalm 92:2 – “His faithfulness at night…” These two geese have taken up here at our pond and the female is injured – she doesn’t fly. The male stays by her side. They mate for life – isn’t that wonderful?

702.  Our church’s annual “Family Night Spectacular” was just that – spectacular. Sweet sweet sweet fellowship and fireworks! The Family of God. What grace is this?

703. Zeke and Jackson enjoyed the games at the church family fun night…
704. Hay cutting at the farm…I love the smell of freshly mown hay. That is my dad in his tractor.
705.  A “twister pinwheel” quilting class day before yesterday and time with my friend Lanie that began with pancakes at IHOP and much fun and laughter around the sewing machines at a new quilt shop in Macon we discovered…Couture Sewing Center that is run by two sweet sisters.

706. The wedding of my sweet young friend, Ashley (see blessing #676)…Jesus was lifted high at this wedding…
707.  A beautiful sunset one night last week…
For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.
Psalm 57:10
708. A new bluebird house that my sweet husband put up for me…in my beautiful garden which he built for me too.  I love you Gary. We have so many bluebirds here at the farm and I can’t wait for the ones who come to this little house…
709. I got outside very early this morning to beat the record heat we’ve been having the past few days and pruned my hydrangeas. There are many many spiritual applications in the garden, and none stronger to me than pruning…I prayed as I pruned that the Master Gardener would prune my heart too. It’s painful but necessary.
 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;
and every branch that bears fruit He prunes,
 that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:2

710.  This beautiful Swallowtail butterly was enjoying the zinnias in my garden, and I had my iPhone with me outside so I captured the moment…

I hope you will find time this week to capture the moments He sends your way each day as you stop and count the gifts of grace that surround you – hard gifts, sweet gifts, tangible gifts, gifts unseen…all from His Hand.

1,000 GIFTS, #595 to #614

This Multitude Monday finds me at peace and I can say with confidence this counting has much to do with my restful countenance.  Twenty Twelve is passing quickly to me, how about you?
595.  My Wednesday night Bible study class completed our study of the book of James. We were a weepy mess that last night…what a gift that study was to us. I love this fourteenth verse from the fourth chapter (this is the Amplified version).  Read it and ponder the brevity of our lives. Rest in the assurance that our Blessed Controller has everything well in control.
Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow.
What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor
(a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while
and then disappears [into thin air].
596. I wrote my last post from the Metro Worship Conference. It was a gift from God to be there and I am thankful for our church that supports that time away for my husband. Texas was wonderful – great weather and great hospitality from the host pastors there.  These next round of counted blessings were truly that to me, unexpected gifts.
597. The days were long and full as we went from “daylight to dark” every day – but there was time for fun too, like when I got up close to this TX Longhorn. When he turned to walk through the gate, he tipped his head to get his horns through. It tickled me. We all need to “adapt.”
598. I loved seeing these young people who put on a “private rodeo” for us. They were so gracious and lined the fence and wished us all well. So refreshing.
599. Hymns have been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I have memories of my parental grandmother singing hymns and playing the piano. We were blessed to hear Keith & Kristyn Getty in concert. “The Power of the Cross,” and “In Christ Alone” are two of my all-time favorites. The Gettys are modern hymn writers – what a grace gift.
600. One of the sweetest gifts of all for me was meeting the sweet Mrs. Sheri Bell. Her husband is the Worship Pastor at the amazing Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. He was our gracious host all week. Sheri and I just “hit it off,” and had so much in common (besides being married to music men). We both love gardening. Because of that…
601. We loved our time together at the Dallas Arboretum walking and enjoying the beautiful gardens. She planned so many wonderful things for us that week.
602. And a highlight for my soul was the JOY of hearing Sheila Walsh as she spoke to us worship pastors’ wives. She is so genuine and so kind. Her message really stirred me up and I’m thankful for the stirring and the tender mercies of Jesus. 
603. Our last night at the Metro Conference was a “NIGHT OF WORSHIP.” Have you ever seen such a choir? They sang and then Pastor Jack Graham called all the worship pastors and wives down to the front of the church and prayed over us – it was one of the sweetest times ever. His Grace was thick in that place.
604. So blessed to attend the wedding of the son of long-time friends at our home church when we returned home.  Thankful for Christian & Olivia as they start their lives together in Christ. Hope and grace for the next generation.
605. Gardening joys as Spring continues…green beans, tomatoes, butter peas, cucumbers, green peppers, zucchini and yellow squash!
606. Jasmine blooming over my swing is especially sweet…
607. The first hydrangea – what an awesome Creator to bless us with such beauty…
608. A Blueberry bounty and my grandchildren LOVE them. It is so fun to go out to the garden with them and pick fresh blueberries. A simple JOY, but that is what I love. I picked a quart just tonight…

609. Jackson’s JOY at every tractor, especially his Pop’s…

610. I am so thankful for my pastor and his family. They began their ministry with us on the first day of this year and I can truthfully say that God graced our church when He brought them into our lives. I made these little ladybug shirts for his girls this past weekend. His wife has a blog that blesses me so much! Visit Stephanie at her blog here.

611. Dinner out last week with the “Rincon Retreat” girls. Just sweet fellowship – no agendas other than celebrating the bond of women’s ministry.
612. Farm and country living is grand – critters everywhere.  The “farm cat” brought us a surprise day before yesterday…her kittens. There are four of them and they are wild as can be, but oh so cute…they are hiding behind my hydrangea bushes. I need a cat whisperer. I know where the term “hissy fit” comes from now…we will NOT keep them!
613. Thankful for the gift to celebrate my Dad’s birthday yesterday. My sister Jo had us all over for Sunday dinner, it was so good. I’m thankful for my Dad. He is a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. A proud Career Marine, Vietnam War Veteran and my dad.
614. My last gift to count on this Multitude Monday is so dear to my heart that I can barely contain my excitement. I began this blog “Gran Jan’s JOY” almost four years ago while awaiting the joy of becoming Gran Jan.  We found out last week that grandbaby #4 is…
Praise God From WHOM All Blessings Flow
Praise Him All Creatures Here Below
Praise Him Above Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.


1,000 GIFTS, #579 to #594

Another Multitude Monday, and I am having a “memory lane” moment right this very moment. I began this journey of counting His grace gifts to 1,000 last year while attending a conference for worship pastors with my husband. My very first list is right here and here I am again…attending the Metro Worship Pastor’s Conference right now in Texas. GRACE.

579. I’m sitting in the lobby of the conference hotel and I love the sounds I’m hearing right now…the booming voices of the worship pastors all around me shouting greetings to one another as they are arriving…”hello brother,” “how are you,”  “how is your family,”  “good to see you.”  I love the family of God and I wish you could be in the meetings when these guys sing…a foretaste of glory divine. (Music people are wonderfully loud…in my observation.)

580. Just this morning my husband was in the conference hotel lobby talking to Ryan Dahl, the founder of Praise Charts Publishing. Gary shared an email with Ryan that our son Jeremy had written him (Gary) recently about the blessing of being raised up singing hymns…which led to Ryan writing a blog post on the spot – it was one of those God-ordained moments that has already set the tone (pun intended) for this week. You can read the email and the blog post by clicking here.

581. The great joy to worship yesterday morning at Prestonwood Baptist Church.  What a church! They celebrated 797 people saved on Easter Sunday last week. WRAP YOUR HEART AROUND THAT! The preaching by Dr. Graham was great (a message on leadership), the worship was amazing, and the people were so friendly. We sat with our dear friends Jack and Sharon Price (Prism Music). When you never get to sit in church with your husband, it means so much to just sit WITH him in a worship service.

582. It was a blessing to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday – and the GREATER JOY is that we are able to celebrate His Victory over death, hell, and the grave every single day. Hallelujah what a Savior. These are my three grands in their Easter finery…Zeke in his “theer thucker thuit” and Madie and Jackson.  Gran Jan’s JOY!


583. This is my family…the “Real Maloys.”  My parents, me, my sisters Joan and Jo. I love these people with all my heart. We were all together Easter weekend (Jo’s birthday).

584. I often write and share about the joy and blessing of being a country dweller, but I’m very serious when I say it is a gift of God’s Grace to come home to the quiet of the country. Yes, we drive a bit further, but the solitude is worth the travel time…it’s peaceful here with front porch time;

585. Peaceful with garden time (which happens to be therapy to me – honestly it does);

586. Genesis 1:29
 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb
that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth,
and every tree whose fruit yields seed;
to you it shall be for food.

587. Chicken yard time…I love all their various clucking “sounds” and funny ways.

588. And I love their contribution to our family breakfast time…who knew a dozen eggs would fit in my husband’s John Deere cap? 🙂  I forgot to get the basket from my mom.

589. I’m working on a baby quilt for a long, long, awaited baby. God is good and Heather and Bubba are going to be wonderful parents to their baby girl…due to arrive in June. I’m thankful for my new found love of quilting and the gift of grace in their lives too.
590. There is a willow tree on the banks of our pond that Zeke and I like to sit under and have picnics when he comes to the farm. I am calling it the Picnic Willow and I love to spend time with my grandchildren.

591. My friend Lanie made a quilt to raise funds for cancer research. She herself is an ovarian cancer survivor.  God is so good – she brought this quilt to our James Bible study last week and we were talking about the power of prayer and healing from James 5.

592. This past Friday at work was wear purple for “Military Child Appreciation Day,” and these are some of my wonderful coworkers – my work family. We live and work in a military town and are blessed and thankful for our armed forces and their contributions to our daily lives. This is a great bunch of purple-wearing folks!

593. This is my Dad and his great-granddaughter, my granddaughter Miss Madie. My dad had 8 sisters (he is lone survivor in his family of origin, which included 11 children, 8 girls and 3 boys), and he is the father of four girls (I am the eldest), so it didn’t take too much for this sweet little girl to win his heart. 

594. This is the first of my daylilies to begin to show signs of blooming. I can’t wait and love to “come to the garden alone…” like the old hymn says. 

Speaking of “showing signs of blooming and growth,” I am asking the Good LORD to be with all of us at the Metro Worship Conference and I need to log off and take care of some things…I am praying for all that God has in store for me, that I will BE a blessing to others and that God will speak to my heart in the deepest places…I am so thankful for His grace.



1,000 GIFTS, #463 to #478

463. I love my church. I love the people. They are family. Second Baptist Church, Warner Robins GA is my church HOME. My husband has served on staff there almost 24 years (June 1st). We raised our boys there – they were both saved and baptized there. I have a grandson there now – how awesome is that? On Wednesdays I head there straight from work to teach Bible study. This week I was blessed at the sight of the late winter sun shining on the steeple. Thank you Jesus for Your Light and this light in the community.
464. And I love my oldest son’s church too. He pastors Cross Point Baptist Church and is a mighty fine son, brother, husband, daddy, and preacher. I am most blessed to be his mom. I would sure love to hear him preach in person more often, but I’m thankful for their podcast. Also thankful he and his wife and my two oldest grandchildren are close by.
465. And here are those two babies sporting their “dinosaur” shirts I made for them. They were headed to Mother’s Morning Out and I’m grateful to my sweet daughter-in-law for taking the time to share this picture with Gran Jan.
466. My youngest son hosts an annual BBQ for his friends in January. It was last weekend. Jonathan has always had a lot of friends. (Here he is in our “barn,” getting ready for the feast.) He is a good man to have for a friend. He is also a wonderful son, husband, daddy, and brother.  It is pure JOY to be his mom.
467. My dad is a great cook and he loves to cook. (Reference gift #457.) He and Jonathan (above) spent the day before the Friends BBQ making my dad’s family recipe of southern Brunswick Stew. The stew was delicious but I love even more that they made a memory and dad passed down that tradition. They even cooked it in an old cast iron pot that belonged to my dad’s dad. Priceless to me.
468.  My church hosted the Bailey Smith Real Evangelism Conference this past weekend. I’m thankful for the legacy of this great man and thankful for the pastors and wives that were encouraged by the conference.  Our choir sang Wednesday night and it was a JOY.

469. Evangelist Bill Stafford is one of the heroes of our family. He preached in the conference that I just mentioned above. God has used this man to teach me about the Christ Life, about stewardship and about selflessness. I have not arrived by any means, but I’m thankful for this saint who is nearing 80 years old. Thankful for pastors and evangelists of his generation. May God raise up more mighty men like these.

470. There was another great conference this past week that I was supposed to attend, but I just knew I needed to be home for the event at my own church.  SSMTC (Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration) was the culmination of a year-long scripture memory committment through Living Proof Ministries. I participated in the first event in Houston back in 2010 after memorizing all year in 2009.  I thank God for the power of His Word – this grace gift NEVER stops giving.
471. I’m thankful that even though I could not attend, the tender hearted teacher in Beth Moore made a way for the event to be streamed live. Thank you God and may you bless the staff at Living Proof Ministries for this precious gift to us. I watched Saturday morning on my laptop.
472. These are two dear friends of mine from AL and TN that attended the SSMTC. We met through the ministry of the BLOG and outreach of Living Proof Ministries. Truly. They are dear to me. Genuine friends who I can contact at the reach of an iPhone. 🙂  Thankful for technology in this generation, and especially Hey Tell 🙂 Right girls?
473. Although I could not attend the SSMTC I wanted to share my JOY in my spiral of verses for 2011. I can literally see God’s Hand at work through the progression of the year and the Word that ministered to my heart. I love God’s Word. I encourage you to begin a memory plan if you’re not already doing so. It will be LIFE to you. 
474. Red cowboy boots on a list of gifts? You betcha! My sweet husband gave me these when I turned 40 (just a wee bit ago). 🙂 I wore these to let my friends at SSMTC 2012 know I was with them in Texas spirit on Friday. 🙂
475. This is my 365 Day Picture app on my iPhone. You simply take a picture for every day of the year to capture your year in photos. Technology is a wonderful thing when kept in its proper place. God’s Word tells us in James 4:14 that life is but a vapor. I can honestly say that I count every day on this Earth as a gift from the Good Lord. I’m savoring them.
476. Thankful for doctors who take care of little boys when they don’t feel well. My daughter-in-law sent me this picture of sweet Jackson boy on the way home from the doctor yesterday. Thankful for God’s healing in our lives, physically and spiritually. They stopped to get him a Sonic fruit slush – how precious is that?
477. Thankful again for the joy of handwork and the way it calms my busyness and centers my heart. I made this for my little granddaughter for Valentine’s Day. She called me last night and told me she was praying for me (via her daddy’s coaching). I can’t wait to give this to her.
478. I came home from work one evening last week to see two of the most important men in my life (besides my sons and grandsons) laying out a plan to plant 35 pecan trees here at the farm.  My husband and my Dad. Thankful thankful thankful for them.
Sweet blog readers! Thank you for your comments and for your support. I pray your week goes well and you can see His Grace Gifts through your daily lives. He is ever present even when you don’t realize that truth. That is the joy of counting these gifts – you see them EVERYWHERE and you become more aware than ever of the simplicity of life at a slower pace, sensitive to His Voice and Spirit. I’m learning – sojourning.