1,000 GIFTS - #844...A New Granddaughter

Monday, October 1, 2012

844. Miss Emery Caroline Morton
This entire post is dedicated to my new granddaughter...
Gran Jan's JOY is over the top tonight with the JOY of a new grandchild, a little girl just four days old. The news began this past winter with a sweet little note from big brother, which is still hanging on my refrigerator...

Big Brother Jackson is such a precious grandson, Emery is going to love him!

We found out that our JOY was going to be PINK when they announced to us with the gift of a little pink onesie and then we visited the "First Glimpse" sonogram
 with the family a couple of months ago to see her sweet face.  What JOY!

I took this "little girl" outfit to the hospital with me back in the day when we didn't know in advance what our baby's gender would be. I brought a precious little boy home from the hospital in the Fall of 1984, so he came home wearing the "little boy" outfit. I kept this little pink rosebud outfit all these years and took it to the hospital with me as I waited for that little boy all grown up as he waited on his little girl's birth...

My daughter-in-law is a champion - was still jogging last week!
She birthed that baby girl and looked beautiful the entire time!

My son has a daughter, how precious to my heart.
He was so very thankful for a safe delivery and healthy baby.

Sweet family time in the hospital. 

Beautiful yard art by Granddaddy Hutto.

Home at last, family of four. 
Jackson was meeting his little sister for the first time.

A little daddy-daughter naptime...

Pop and Gran Jan spent some time with the family too...

Dearest little Emery,
Gran Jan loves you so much. I can't wait to be part of your life - I already love you and have been praying for you...that you would come to faith in Christ at a young age, and that you would love God and His Word, honor your parents, and be strong and healthy. This I know...God has a specific plan for YOUR life and I look foward to watching you grow into a sweet young lady. Your Mommy and Daddy love you so much and you are going to adore your big brother Jackson. He will be a great protector for you too!
I want to teach you so many things and I can't wait for precious family times that we will all share together as God wills and blesses our lives. I love you Emery Caroline.

1,000 GIFTS, #827 to #843

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm worn out tonight, but my heart is wonderfully full. Weary in body, but joyful in spirit. I saw a tweet last week by Dr. Paige Patterson (President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX) that said:
"Be wary when you are weary..."
It really resonated with me because I know how I can "be" when I become weary. The first thing that tells on me is my not-so-good-attitude. I become critical and irritable. The only cure is spiritual rest and physical rest.  But tonight my weariness is physical and it is because I have gone wide open this past weekend...and it's all good!

827.  A letter from my Compassion child, Iduar. Nothing can bring me a sense of peace or "rightness" like knowing the JOY of sponsoring this young man in Colombia.

828. This is the week we are expecting our 4th grandchild, a girl...the JOY is amazing because there is a knowing in my heart - a knowing of just how incredibly wonderful it is to be Gran Jan.

829. I literally just finished a dress for her earlier this evening. It is a size "1" so she won't be able to wear it until next spring/summer, but I just had to make something.  It was the smallest size on the pattern...and yes, there is monogram.
830.  I helped my oldest son with his two children this weekend as his wife attended a ladies retreat. I love being available to them. That is one of the reasons Gran Jan is weary this evening, but as I said, it's a "good weary." 

831.  My Dad wanted little Miss Madie to have an apple from his apple tree, so we complied of course.  She loved it and then didn't want to come back to my house.
832.  Here she is with my mom, Gigi (for Great-Grandmother). My mom was singing "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray..." My grandmother, Gigi's mother, used to sing that song to me too...
833. My baby boy and his baby boy (can you tell???) having a popsicle picnic.  It won't be long until he will be daddy to a daughter. We can hardly wait.
834. Homemade poundcake and a happy husband. He said, "you know poundcake is my favorite, don't you?" Yes, we've only been married 35 years and I know these things...I did something different. I used a muffin tin and made "poundcake cupcakes," and each one had it's own little crust (which is the best part).

835. I have no idea if these pumpkins will bear before frost, but I am sure enjoying the vine. It is growing like Jack's beanstalk...right before my eyes. So fun.
836. An incredible day of worship at church yesterday with songs of praise that focused on the Name of Jesus: "Be Unto Your Name," "Something About That Name," "Your Great Name," and "Something Happens."  WE HAD CHURCH and I am still processing the JOY.

837. Vance Pitman, a church planter from Las Vegas, NV preached in our services yesterday. I was so encouraged by his message of our purpose as believers, as a church. He was definitely a blessing and I am thankful our Pastor invited him to come be with us.

838. Being reminded that "Ministry is the overflow of intimacy with God." God calls us to Himself, and as we spend time with Him through prayer and His Word, we realize that intimacy proceeds ministry. He calls us to BE and then we can DO.  A great message from Rev. Pitman.

839. One of the sweetest things Zeke (four years old) has ever said to me was this past weekend. As we were watching Disney's Cinderella, he told me not to worry about the stepsisters being so mean to her because Cinderella's "favorite grandmother" was coming to help. I know he meant "fairy godmother," but he repeated "favorite grandmother" 3 times...and I will have to admit I liked it, a lot.

840. Sweet time of prayer with a friend who is grieving the death of her mom this past summer and all that ensues - her posssessions, the memories. I love how God graces us to learn from others and share with them at the same time.

841. Tickets already received for the May 31-June 1, 2013 Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore here in the grand state of Georgia! Planning with my Women's Ministry Team is already underway. I love these ladies and I love how we love the ladies we serve. It is a GIFT of His Grace.

842. Being asked to teach Sunday School "at the last minute," yesterday and finding myself with young ladies who are engaged to be married. The Lord prompted me to share Philippians 2:1-4 with them...great advice for us all, and most especially for those getting ready to become wives.

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,
if any tenderness and compassion,  2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded,
having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
 4 Not looking to your own interests
but each of you to the interests of the others.

843. Welcoming glorious Autumn this past Saturday, my favorite of all the seasons...
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

*Gran Jan*

1,000 GIFTS, #800 to #826

Monday, September 17, 2012

WOW - I am really nearing the goal of counting to one thousand gifts. As I seek to reach that goal I can say with complete confidence that a greater goal has been achieved... that of seeing His grace everywhere at all times with all JOY.

800. I love moonflowers. I took this picture one night last week on my back patio. (They bloom at dusk.) One of my favorite authors, Jan Karon, wrote a book entitled "The Trellis and the Seed,"  which is a book of encouragement about waiting...
801. These next few pictures all show God's bounty as we approach harvest. If these pictures bore you, I must say I will never get over the fact that "God planted a Garden," (Genesis 2:8) and I love gardens and farms. We live in the country with farms all around. This past Saturday evening we took a drive and a farmer was harvesting his peanuts...I really love this picture.
802.  Less than a mile from the peanut fields are acres and acres of soybeans...
803. And about a mile from the soybeans were acres and acres of cotton. The cotton is just starting to mature. My paternal grandfather (who died before I was born) was a farmer who grew peanuts and cotton.
804. Cooler morning temperatures which mean my favorite season is almost here. Autumn brings me so much energy, and I'm going to need it as we await...

805. The birth of our fourth grandchild, a girl...due in about 10 days. Here we are celebrating at a baby shower two weekends ago. Gran Jan, Mommy-to-be, and Nonna. Love this picture.
806. We Southern girls love our monograms - and I loved these precious pink monogrammed cookies at the baby shower for Emery.

807. My little 2 year old granddaughter Madie also came to the baby shower with my daughter-in-law. She is precious. Having raised boys, I am really enjoying watching her "girl play." She will sit in the little rocker in our den and rock her baby doll, patting her on the back and being the sweetest little mommy. It just blesses my heart.

808. And here is the finished dress I made her for fall. I really get excited thinking about all the little jumpers and dresses I can make for my grandgirls.
809. And of course I still have to make things for the little grandboys too...here is Jackson's fall shirt....with a manly monogram. ;)
810. Texting with my niece Amy who lives in California. I love that we can "connect" at a moment's notice. She shared with me "Be Here, Be Now," and that little saying sometimes comes to my heart and helps me focus. Amy is the daughter of my sister Jean who passed away when she was only 25 years old, and Amy was 23 months old. I wrote all about my sister Jean in this blog post. 

811. My other niece Melissa got married this past weekend in beautiful Savannah, GA. Here is the beautiful bride on the arm of my father, her grandfather. She is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside.

812. My parents - God's grace in my life. I am one of those blessed daughters that has sweet childhood memories and now much love and support as a grown woman. They are simple people who value family and hard work.

813. Wednesday night Bible study with some faithful women. We are completing a study this week by Priscilla Shirer, "Discerning the Voice of God."  It has been tremendous.

814. Looking forward to our next study by Kelly Minter, "The Fitting Room," (Putting on the Character of Christ). I am thankful for the way God is raising up these young women that teach and hold true to the Word of God. Thankful for women like Kay Arthur and Beth Moore that have paved the way for them.

815. Grandparents Day at my grandchildren's preschool. They are both in this picture (Madie is in the middle in the yellow blouse), and that tall little fella in the red shirt on the far right caught his Gran Jan's eye. He ran to me and gave me a hug that carried me the rest of the day...

816. Every Sunday after morning worship we wait for our grandson Jackson to come to "big church" to see us before we all leave. Just yesterday he sat right down at the pastor's pulpit and my son took this picture. I love seeing my family at church.

817. And even though I don't see my oldest son and his family at church each week, I know their influence for Christ in their church is strong.  My son pastors a great church in a neighboring community and I drove by this sign just this past week on my way into work. Joy for this mother's heart, multiplied grace.

818. A Saturday spent making a memory with our oldest grandson. We spent the day together with Zeke and rode the SAM Shortline Train to Plains, GA for the "peanut festival." Here is his with Pop after we had enjoyed the big parade. :)

819. A cup of hot tea soothes a scratchy throat. The tea (Constant Comment by Bigelow)
was tasty (my favorite flavor of spice and oranges) and the honey stirred in was sweet, but what was especially good was that my sweet husband prepared it and brought it to me as I was working on my Bible study...I am spoiled rotten. Grace?

820. He also makes a mean pan of jalepeno cornbread...which he has done a lot lately. I will post the recipe soon - it is very good. He called me as I was leaving work one afternoon and said "the cornbread is in the oven."  God surely graced me by bringing Gary into my life all those years ago. God's gift of grace in my marriage has grown exponentially over the years as my love for my husband has grown too...

821. Looking foward to the Georgia Quilt Show next month with my friend Lanie. Tickets and reservations are made. We call it the QTT (Quilting Think Tank and Quilting Time Together). Good friends are God's sweet grace. Lifelong friends are priceless.

822.  My youngest son works on our local Air Force Base as a Project Manager. I'm not quite sure what he does but I know from reliable sources that he is very good at his job. He had to go TDY (temporary duty) last week to Nevada...and sent me this picture as he visited Hoover Dam. I'm so proud of him and his work. He is a great son, brother, husband, father, and worship leader.

823. There is a very quaint public place in downtown Perry near where I work that is especially nice to have lunch.  My friend Sharon and I did just that last week. We took our Subway sandwiches and sat outside ane enjoyed the glorious cool weather.

824. I am most thankful for our pastor's series of messages in the book of Joshua on Sunday mornings. He is an awesome expository preacher - and the Word of God is so rich. He began a series just like night on Zephaniah. It's going to be a hard word, but the hard words are just as needed and show His grace to us strong.

825. One of our staff pastors and his wife have been serving in Kenya the past 2 weeks. Can't wait to hear from Pastor Matthew and Kathy as they return home this week.  May the sun never set on the ministry of Second Baptist Church...

826. Rejoicing with another of our staff pastors in the birth of a daughter. We love you Dawson and Taneea and celebrate this gift of God to your family...

Thankful tonight for the simplicity of gifts seen in faith, family, and friends. It's all His grace.  Blessed.

Jan

1,000 GIFTS, #786 to #799

Monday, September 3, 2012

It has been a wonderful long 3-day weekend filled with time at home, time in worship, time with family, and time with friends.  Those gifts are all wrapped up in my list this evening...

786. Three-day weekends with Monday's off. Grateful.

787. Celebrating my oldest son's birthday. He's a fun-loving, passionate preacher - but he was sweet enough to wear this "chick-fil-a hat" for his children. My husband and I met Jeremy and his family for lunch on his birthday last Wednesday - August 29th.  Fun times.

788. Counting one of my life's greatest JOYS and blessings, being a mom. I've been one for 31 years now...and I'm grateful for my two boys, two daughters-in-law, and precious grandchildren.  I love being a mother.

789.  And I LOVE being a grandmother too, this is my oldest boy's boy. When he came running to me at Chick-fil-a last week and gave me that big hug I thought my heart would burst open. God's grace.

790. Getting ready for my fall garden planting this morning, and I found this praying mantis on my lemon thyme...he really struck a prayerful pose for me, now didn't he?

791. Homemade tomato pie - my husband loved it and it blesses me to cook for my happy hearty eating family.

792. I've spent a lot of time in my sewing room this weekend and made four "burp cloths" for my little Emery...September is her birth month!  Can't wait to meet her. Won't be long now.

793. As my husband, youngest son and youngest grandson were leaving church Sunday, they were playing the "one two three jump" game and I grabbed my iPhone and snapped this picture...THREE GENERATIONS leaving church together. Thank you LORD.

794. Ann Voskamp - who is the inspiration behind 1,000 Gifts, retweeted a tweet of mine last week and it just made my heart happy. She wrote a beautiful post on marriage...you can go read it here.

795. I love fall the best of all and I'm making a cute little fall jumper for Miss Madie Ruth...complete with a fall scarecrow. This applique was 25 steps and I had a lot of fun picking out the colors and fabric scraps to design it. 

796. A little hummingbird flew into our garage and I was able to hold her while she caught her breath - then she zoomed away...and I caught my breath. I loved that.

797. Sending a quart jar of pickled okra to my mother-in-law because I know she loves it and making it for her brought me a special joy.  She's been such a good role model for me all these 35 years I've been married to her baby boy. 

798. Breakfast is my husband's favorite meal of the day. We enjoyed good conversation this morning over delicious jalepeno cheddar sausage made at a local shop called M & T Meats.

799. My daughter-in-law Erin is great with child and we are counting the days to Emery's birth later this month.  She and Jonathan have prepared the most beautiful room for this baby girl...I am so thankful for my boys and their wives - they are great parents and it brings me such JOY to know my grandchildren are being raised up in love and being taught the ways of Christ.

My grace gifts lists have a common theme - faith - family - friends. I am thankful for the joys of simple living and counting these gifts makes me realize even more that my JOYS are those simple treasures of daily living. I am very thankful and counting my blessings makes me even more aware of how blessed I am.  It's a good discipline and it will keep your mind and heart focused on what really matters...faith - family - friends.

God is Good,
JAN 

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