1,000 GIFTS, #928 to #948

928.  Peace of heart and the truth of  Proverbs 13:12 A “longing fulfilled” after hope has been “deferred.”

929.  Today is a wonderful, marvelous, and happy day! First and foremost it is because it is God’s created day, planned before the foundation of the world, January 7, 2013.

930. Eight years ago today Rev. Rastus Salter, our Pastor of 50 years crossed over into Heaven. We love him and thank God for his life and legacy. He gave my son Jeremy his sermon library before he passed away.  What a treasure! We miss you Preacher…Rastus

931. MORE HAPPY DAY NEWS – Our family just got word that my dad is headed out of our local hospital to a rehab facility! He is on the mend and Lord willing, he will be coming home after this next portion of his journey. Please pray as God brings him to your mind.  He faces intensive physical therapy and we will appreciate your prayers.

932. I  talked to one of the nursing administrators and she told me that our family had really made a “connection” (JESUS IN US) with one of the doctors who was taking care of my father.  This doctor told her that he looked at dad’s test results and thought all was hopeless.  Then he looked at us and “purposed in his heart” that it would not happen on his watch. God intervened with His mighty healing power! So thankful we are under God’s watchful eye.

933. Thank you Laura – for your medical expertise and for your kindness. Both qualities make you a fine nurse. And thank you for your comments about my blog. I love you for it. Thank you for being there for us.

934. Medical staff who have tended to my dad the past 36 days, Dr. Lomboy, Dr. Sripathi, Dr. Assad, Dr. Ogunsakin, Dr. Morales, Dr. Patel, Dr. Kahn; nurses Donna, Amber, Lori, Joy, Brian, John, Beverly; respiratory therapist Dendy and so many more that I don’t know your names. But God does – and I’m asking Him to bless you!

935. A Saturday where I was graced to see all four of my grandchildren…the younger two in the morning and the older two in the evening.

936. Zeke is the oldest…here he is reading books to his new puppy, Copper. He is such a smart little tender heart. Z

937. Next is Madie in the tub surrounded by bubbles…I even painted her nails a lovely purple polish, a first for this “mom of boys!” She loved it and so did I.  God has graced me with sweet granddaughters.Madie

938.  Grandchild #3, Jackson…in his new Gator, just like Pop has…he is so very proud…Jackson-Gator

939. And the youngest, this little precious grandgirl is as sweet as sugar. She is SO good and content and we are absolutely smitten with Miss Emery Caroline…Emery940. Sunday afternoon naps. I’ve missed them. Had one yesterday. It was so nice.

941. Jackson is amazing with an iPad. He can use it better than most adults and I am not kidding. He loves the song “Where I Belong” by Building 429. Love to hear him sing it.  Love that he is being raised by parents that BELIEVE “take this world and give me Jesus…” Jackson-WhereIBelong

942. Zeke “preached” the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den the other night to our family. He didn’t miss a lick.  He is serious about it too, and he got it right – great perception for a four year old.  Thankful that he is being raised by parents that believe in the God who “shuts the lions’ mouths!”

943.  Elisabeth Elliot – Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling – feelings don’t help much when you’re in the lions’ den or hanging on a wooden Cross. Faith is not inferred from the happy way things work. It is an act of will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of a God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ.Faith

944. Joy that really does come in the morning after a restless night.Vapor

945.  Pop and Jackson singing…precious.GaryandJackson

946.  I have a new route to work that includes a drive by this lumber yard.  I pulled over this morning to snap this picture of the American flag perched atop this crane. I love this!NewRoad

947.  And may we never forget the truth of this passage of scripture from Philippians 4:13.  My friend Patsy Randall took this picture in a little country church she visited recently.  In all we’ve been through as a family the past 5 weeks, I can testify that Christ in us gives us the strength and grace to bear up…in all things.Phi4-13

948.  And all things means “ALL THINGS.”  Romans 8:28 says,  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  ALL THINGS means ALL THINGS.  Embrace that glorious truth – no matter what your “ALL THINGS”  happens to be.

Love & Blessings,



1,000 GIFTS, #860 to #874

Writing today from a wonderful place…HOME, in a wonderful mood (day off from work), and with a thankful heart for all the reasons below…and many more…

860.  Thankful first of all today for our veterans and their families.  My Dad served in the Vietnam War and was a career Marine. I’m so proud of him and I love him very much.   I love his patriotism and the way we fly both the American flag and the USMC flag here at the farm every day…

861.  I love this time of year, and I love planting little violas in my strawberry jar.  By the time spring rolls around and they have covered the jar, it is time for the begonias…

862. Last week on Election Day morning before we left for work, my husband was in the back of the house, and I was in the kitchen. We both tweeted at the same time (not knowing that we each were doing so) and our hearts were in tune.  God is our HOPE – always, no matter who resides on Pennsylvania Avenue.  TwitterSametime

863.  My church is hosting the annual state meeting of our denomination. Last night our choir and orchestra led in worship for the pre-convention “rally.”  It was glorious, simply glorious.  So good to see lots of our friends in the ministry and to be a church that leads the way in this state.  The theme is “The Great Commission…My Mission.”  Lord help us share Christ with others…

864.  This little sweetheart fell asleep when I was holding her.  She is a sleeping beauty for sure.Madieasleep

865. Fall gardening greens.  Thank you dear Lord for being our Master Gardener.FallGarden

866.  I pulled up all my zinnias in late summer and they have re-seeded.  What fun to have these summer flowers right here in fall. Sometimes God brings things to us in what may seem the wrong time to us, but His ways are best. Zinnias

867. This little grandgirl is 7 weeks old and is as sweet as she can be. Bright eyed and alert and so pretty.  She surprised me with a visit to my office last week…Emery

868.  My friend Lanie and I attended a class together to learn a technique combining quilting and embroidery.  We had the best time. I’m thankful for God’s grace in my life to give me such a wonderful lifelong friend. EmbroideryClass

869.  Today was a beautiful warm day. My youngest son brought Jackson to the farm for a while this morning.  He’d been sick and needed some fresh air…Jonathan caught this cute picture of him climbing the fence.  I enjoyed their visit.Fence

870.  So thankful to teach these beautiful senior adult ladies yesterday morning in Bible study.  They were such an encouragement to me.  I love my church family.SSClass

871.  One of the most wonderful seasons of the year is Autumn.  I love the colors of fall, the cooler air, the spicy scents of candles, the anticipation of the holidays, the uncommercialized holiday of Thanksgiving, and God’s grace as people pause to count their blessings…

872.  This Red Glory Maple…OctoberGloryMaple

873.  This gorgeous purple pansy…PurpleJoy

874.  I made this little “first Thanksgiving” onesie for my newest little granddaughter…you can be sure we are counting her life and addition to our family as one of God’s greatest gifts this year. ThanksgivingOnesie

I’m nearing the end of this 1,000 gifts journey and I’ve enjoyed every moment.  Would you consider beginning your own journey of counting His gifts of grace? You don’t have to put them in a blog.  There are apps for your smart phone, and guess what? A paper and an old-fashioned journal work just as well. But the greatest place to treasure these gifts is deep in your heart, where you can recall them without the aid of the internet or a computer…

Blessings to you,



1,000 GIFTS, #711 to #728

Was it only just last week I was so excited about a week off to slow down? Well…my heart is FULL to overflowing from the JOYS of last week’s slower pace. We enjoyed a simple staycation, a stay-at-home vacation, a concept I highly recommend…so restful for both body and soul.
711. So thankful for a wonderful service of patriotic music and powerful preaching at my church. I’m thankful to be an American citizen. Even with all the issues in our land today, there is still no place I would rather live as I sojourn this Earth…I’m praying for our country in this election year. (Daniel 2:20-23)
712. My friend Lanie and I had a “sew-in” last Friday. She brought her machine and several projects over and we also made dresses for our granddaughters. We laughed like only friends of many years friends can do. It was a day of JOY and soul therapy too…bonding and sewing and quilting.
713. Thankful to God for granddaughters. Lanie and I both raised sons, and now she has two granddaughters. I have one granddaughter and one on the way…God’s wonderful gracious grace. Here are the dresses we made on Friday…complete with monograms.
714. And here is my sweet girl in her dress…my daughter-in-law Carrie sent me this picture just this morning…touched my heart.
715. A trip to the Farmers Market with my daughter-in-law Erin for fresh vegetables to “put up” as we Southern women call that process. We blanched butter beans, zipper peas, and crowder peas for our freezers. Hard but fulfilling work. I loved spending the day with her and one of the reasons is because…
716.  …she left Jackson with us to spend the night and we had such a wonderful time with him. He is our youngest grandson, reminds us so much of his daddy at that age.

717. Here he is on the front porch with Pop, watching down the road for his mommy and daddy to come…

718. Can you see why he reminds us of his daddy at that age? Herein is proof…

719. Time with my parents without the rush of a work schedule…we spent a day going to the local peach packing sheds and enjoyed fresh peach ice cream too.  I love my parents. Did you know the first commandment with a promise in God’s Word is found in Exodus 20:12?  Honor your father and mother…

720. Garden time. Enough said.

721. An entire day spent with my husband…shopping, eating out, uninterrupted conversation, reconnecting. So sweet and so important for good marriages.

722. Praying daily for a missions team from my church in Ukraine. I love these folks – every one of them. They are gathered here on their way to the airport in the wee hours of the morning last Friday. They are awesome people on mission for Jesus. As our Pastor, Dr. Perdue says, his desire is that the sun will never set on the ministry of our church as we serve globally. We also have students in South Africa as well as down the street from our church this week, serving in a trailer park conducting Backyard Bible Clubs. I LOVE MY CHURCH FAMILY…

723. Celebrating the JOY of my spiritual birthday – July 7th. Reflecting on the day the Savior reached down for me…I.HAVE.NEVER.BEEN.THE.SAME. Half my life I have known Him. And Hallelujah, He’s known me since before there was a me. (Psalm 139:16)
724. I know I often mention my fondness for sewing and embroidery, but I am especially happy to share these “crab shirts” I made at the request of my daughter-in-law Carrie for my grandchildren and some of their friends for a beach vacation. I loved doing this for them. I asked my daughters-in-law to save all the shirts I am making for the grandchildren because I think it would be fun to make a quilt out of them all one day…can we say Memory Lane?
725. Be still my heart. My little yet-to-be-born granddaughter’s first of many monogrammed gifts from Gran Jan. TIny little Emery, we are praying for your arrival to the family in September. Can’t wait to meet you…
726. The JOY of a rare opportunity to attend our son’s church and hear him preach yesterday morning – a message from the fifth chapter of Mark where Jesus delivers the man possessed by demons. Jeremy made a strong, clear biblical application and this momma’s heart was deeply moved and thankful.
727. My daughter-in-law Carrie’s pot roast dinner on Sunday. Family around the table is one of God’s sweetest gifts in my life.  

728. One of my favorite delights from last week is this picture I took of an old fireplace out in the middle of the country. My dad stopped to let me get the picture (that in itself is a gift too). I can’t help but wonder about the family that lived here long ago and the hands that built that fireplace.

What am I building that will stand the test of time? Am I investing in the lives of others for eternity and for Christ’s Kingdom?  God help me to see past the busyness of daily living that can so easily distract me from my true purpose here…



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, #615 to #638

Multitudes on Mondays (and knowing that His Grace abounds every other day too). Just keep counting…just keep counting…just keep counting…

615. Mercy – His Mercy. Mercy that triumphs…still relishing the Bible study on James

616. Granddaughters…turning two. TWO years of Madie – of JOY. A Gift from His Hand.
617.  Grandsons…turning two. TWO years of Jackson – of JOY. A Gift from His Hand.

618. Praying and believing God for a special word and then when my Pastor gets up to preach and reminds us that “the Power is in the Word,” and then being blessed as God delivers that special word to my heart.

619. Anticipation…

620. Delight…

621. My oldest son and his children, (my two oldest grandchildren) came and stayed with us for a week while my daughter-in-law was out of the country visting her sister who is a missionary. He shared at church that Sunday that “you always need your mom.”  It was Mother’s Day and I was blessed by that.
622. Getting to hear my son preach the Word. I can’t adequately convey what that does to my heart. It stirs me up and I’m thankful for the grace that abounds in our lives.
623. Especially thankful for my mom and my two sisters who are also moms…
624. Picking blueberries and eating them right then…

625. The Super Moon this month.

Psalm 8:3-4, Amplified Bible

3  When I view and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which You have ordained and established,

4  What is man that You are mindful of him,
and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?

626. Dusk, my favorite time of day. This evening was especially nice with a cool breeze and these two to enjoy the pond with us…
627. The Garden…for me, it is always the garden, and only because of the Master Gardener who makes it grow, and that He knows my name…
628. Sod…yes, sod for my garden. It was a gift to me and I am very grateful to my hard-working husband who has built my dream garden for me.
629.  Dirt roads in the country…
630. Praying for a little girl not yet born as I sit to work on a baby quilt for her. She is a long-awaited, much prayed for baby girl…due next month…always in His time.
631. Seeing my Dad get much joy from restoring a farm tractor, and much more importantly, seeing him grow in his faith. Zeke had to try out the tractor too.
632. Thankful for a husband who knows how much I love to see the birds come to my feeders.  He took this picture of a goldfinch through our kitchen window and sent it to me…JOY
633. It’s fence painting time at the farm. The wood has now cured enough to receive the paint…it is a process – just like everything, it takes time (Ecclesiastes 3). Thankful to our son Jonathan for his help.
634. Last day of preschool – seeing my son Jeremy with his son Zeke…stirred memories of my boys and their JOY at the last day of school…
635. Eight years of marriage celebrated by my oldest son and his bride, Carrie. Thankful for their commitment to each other and to their family and their ministry. 
636. When the weatherman says “scattered showers,” I always hope that the scattered showers water my flowers…so thankful for the random rain and a quiet evening at home.

637. These old-fashioned reseeding petunias had their beginnings in my maternal grandmother’s garden. I am grateful for a gardening Granny who passed her love on to me.
638. On this Memorial Day Monday I am very grateful for a day set aside to honor our fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives. I was raised in a military family with a Dad who served 3 tours in Vietnam. We live in a military town and are blessed to see and worship and fellowship with living heroes.  With all the problems that abound, I’d still rather live here in America than anyplace else I know. This picture was taken just this morning here at our farm. Those are my father’s flags. He is a living hero too.  
Gran Jan


1,000 GIFTS, #409 to #426

My heart is as near to overflowing these days as it has ever been – aside from my salvation day, my wedding day, my sons’ births and weddings, and the days my grandchildren were born—I am full of praise and thanksgiving to the Good LORD for His unmerited grace and tender mercies to me these recent days.

409. I’m starting my list today with the blessed news that my church has a new pastor, Dr. Jim Perdue, and he will begin his ministry at our church on January 1, 2012. He has a lovely wife and four beautiful children. He grew up in our church and is now coming home after getting his seminary education and pastoring the past 10 or so years. HE LOVES US! What a season we endured prior to his coming – God has surely been my Shield, Defense, Strong Tower, Refuge, and my Best Friend. Thank you JESUS! The timing is just God as we approach the season of Thanksgiving. I am most humbly thankful.

410. Fall is my favorite season. I praise God for His gifts of seasons to enjoy. The color this year has been spectacular. 

411. I received a voice mail last week from a young woman named Fran that blessed my heart in the deepest places. She loves Jesus and is in the “zone” raising 3 young men. Her desire is to live a life that counts and she is so much FUN! We are “siestas” which is an affectionate term for members of the Living Proof Ministries blog community. It is the most genuine, caring group of believers ever. Right siestas?  Thank you Fran for encouraging me on every level. You know I love you and I’m here for you.

412. Following these wonderful young women as they journeyed to Ecuador on a Compassion bloggers trip. Sophie, Melanie, Ann, Amanda, Kelly.  You bless me!

Compassion Bloggers: Ecuador 2011

413. I attended a fundraising banquet last week for Covenant Care Ministries, an adoption agency that places children in two-parent Christian homes. The speaker talked about everyone’s adoption story…as we are adopted into the family of God by the provision of Christ’s death on the cross. Hallelujah and Amen.

414. My two oldest grandchildren go to Mother’s Morning Out twice weekly at their church. Last week the firetruck came.  Oh the JOY! My grandboy is on the front row and is seated – far left. Everything to Zeke is “so fun.”

415. My daughter-in-law Erin really loves to bake and she’s very good at it – actually I think she’s quite good at everything she does. Check out her cake against the cover of the October Southern Living Magazine.  I told you she was good!

416. My dad is a retired Marine Captain and Vietnam War veteran. I am so proud of him. He has always worked hard and provided for our family. He loves this country and we fly the flags here at our farm every day of the year – but this past Veterans Day, 11-11-11, they seemed extra bright against the blue November sky.

417. Captain Tom, my father. I love him.

418. I’ve made quilts for each of my 3 grandchildren for Christmas gifts. These are the labels I will sew on the back of the quilts for Zeke and Madie Ruth.

419. In my father’s footsteps, and in his boots. This is my youngest grandboy wearing my son’s boots.  Couldn’t you just squeeze him?

420. There is a song on Travis Cottrell’s latest CD that is entitled “Thanks Be To Our God.”  That song has been used of God to minister to my soul – I’m talking every single time I hear it. It is anointed. I’m so grateful.  Reference #409. “For the road that leads from darkness into light…for the hope that rescues us from endless night…”

421. Worship. Just as We Are. There is another song on that same release that is the “Just As I Am” invitation song used in hundreds of Billy Graham crusades. But Travis’s version has a beautiful addition about coming to Christ and how He receives us JUST AS WE ARE that my husband has used in our worship services the past 2 Sundays. Just get the whole CD – you will be blessed.

 I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
by the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God – Just As I Am…

422. Planning our Thanksgiving menu via text messages with my sisters Joan and Jo. So glad this is a year where all the family will gather together (at our home) and not one of those off years where we scatter – even though I do know those years are blessings to the other families too!

423. My Wednesday night Bible study group is going through Beth Moore’s “Wising Up – Proverbs study.” Last week we learned about Wisdom for Moms. Not a dry eye. My life’s greatest joy has been to raise my two sons. No other accolade or accomplishment means more to me that being a mom and Gran Jan.

424. I am thankful for my home and the farming community in which I live. The land of cotton. I don’t have to “wish I was there” as the old song says…I am there. It is cotton harvest time in these here parts…I can’t help but wonder what my paternal grandfather and his father would have thought about all this “modern equipment.”

425. I’m blessed to have a mom who is a wonderful gift of grace to our family. She recently went on a retreat with some senior citizens from our church and they were able to meet Dr. David Jeremiah. I listen to this man preach most every weekday morning on the Sony radio in my bathroom as I’m getting ready for work. He is a great communicator. (That’s my mom in the white jacket on the far right.)
426. This lone red maple is so beautiful in the field. The variety is “October Glory” maple, and even though we are now in November – she is still GLORIOUS! I’m in the fall season of my life too as I approach my 54th birthday in just 2 days. My life’s desire is to stand strong (and sometimes alone) and say “Soli Deo Gloria.”  For the Glory of God Alone! Yes I know I just made an analogy to a tree…but I love it.

For the strengh to carry on
And forgiveness great and strong
And the promise of Your mercies ever new
Thanks Be To Our God


Watch and Pray

Election Night…2008

I love the old hymn, “Jesus Paid it All.” Today I’ve been singing and meditating on the phrase that says “Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thine all in all.”

I also love the land of my birth, the USA, very much. I have been watching and praying, and claiming this verse from Proverbs 28:2:

“When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but when the ruler is a man of discernment, understanding, and knowledge, its stability will long continue.”

I am praying that no matter what the voters decide, we as the body of Christ will rest in the fact that we know and believe that Jesus is the SAME, yesterday, today, and forever! HE is our stability!

God Bless the USA!