1,000 GIFTS, #45 to #64

Monday, February 28, 2011

Here I am again on another Multitude Monday and LOVING this delightful discipline of counting toward 1,000 gifts.
#45.  An awesome planning meeting on Tuesday night with my Women's Ministry Leadership Team at the Olive Garden...good food, great fellowship, and hope of a glorious future as we serve the women in our church and community. I love you Cindy, Teresa, and Jennifer!
#46. Lunch with a sweet young woman that I love so much. We dined at "The Swanson" (a local restaurant in a downtown historical home) and encouraged each other as we've both been through some trials in our lives and church the past few months. God is so faithful.
#47. A great haircut from my sweet hairdresser, Brooke. Her shop is Salon Seven because she was born 7-7-77. Isn't that the neatest thing? And she is a believer. And my son is her pastor. Love that.
#48. I attended a class by our local county extension agent entitled "Vegetable Gardening 101."  I loved it and the teacher just happens to be a deacon from my church.  He did great.
#49. Sweet fellowship around great coffee with a great group of friends. Encouragement.
#50. As I type this it is thundering and the rain is coming down hard on my metal roof.
#51. Sharing fresh collard greens from my garden with a friend. She was so excited and told me Sunday at church that they were delicious. I love you, Denise!
#52. Attending a birthday party Saturday morning for a dear friend who is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. She embraces life and shares Jesus everywhere she goes. Her mantra is "shine like a highlighter" and she does. There were close to 100 women that dropped by and the money tree had enough for 3 to 4 more months of insurance. My best friend planned the party...and she is an ovarian cancer survivor of one year. She gave out of the abundance of her own grateful heart. There was not a dry eye.
#53. Seeing the widow of our church's pastor that served faithfully for 48 years before he passed away in 2005. We miss him so much and seeing her brought back wonderful memories. Precious woman of God.
#54. Saturday afternoon at a park with my youngest son and his wife and their 9 month old son, our grandson Jackson...followed up with pizza at their house. Good times.
#55. Awesome worship at church...great songs about the blood of Christ, beginning with the hymn "There is a Fountain," and ending with a choir special entitled "Not Guilty." Divine.
#56. Thankfulness for my Dad's recovery from back surgery four weeks ago. He is doing well, much better than I anticipated he would. He is behaving!
#57. A tweet from my grown son...unsolicited and kind. He loves his momma's cooking.
#58. The blessing to teach Sunday School to a group of women this past Sunday...just filling in for someone but I left with the blessing.
#59. Rice Krispy Treats made with Cocoa Krispies...thank you Pam!
#60. My grandboy Zeke is spending the night tonight...he is sleeping in the baby bed that his daddy slept in almost 30 years ago. He played with blocks and toys and hot wheels cars that his daddy and Uncle Jonathan played with as little boys. The legacy of children and grandchildren is my life's joy.
#61. A kind deed from a co-worker today.
#62. My spring garden is growing...pictures soon of Snow Peas!
#63. Good news from two friends undergoing cancer treatment. Praying for you Beth and Mac.
#64. A letter on the way to Gloria, my Compassion child.

Good Night Sweet Peeps,

1,000 GIFTS, #24 to #44

Monday, February 21, 2011

Multitude Monday is proving to be a real blessing and something in my heart feels lighter with joy as I anticipate counting to 1,000...thank you Ann Voskamp.  God gave you this plan for His people for this time. Gratitude is healing therapy.  This past week...
24. The gift of my husband's life as we celebrated his birthday on Feb 15th. I LOVE THIS MAN!
25. I am so grateful for the way Gary takes care of me and that God brought him into my life and that our marriage was part of God's plan before we were ever born.
26. Bible study with my ladies every Wednesday evening...we just finished Loving God With All Your Mind by Elizabeth George on Feb 16th, such a timely study.
27. Two days off from work this past Thursday and Friday, a chance to s-l-o-w down a bit, and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.
28. Time in my garden with red potatoes, Texas sweet onions, English peas, and snow peas all planted.
29. A harvest of the collard greens I planted last fall to make room for the onions, and the greens are now in the freezer...can't wait to cook them, my three men love them!
30. A family lunch on Saturday with the boys and their wives and our 3 grands...simple joys that are priceless.
31. A bottle of bubbles and a 2 1/2 year old grandson to chase them...
32. A new camera...I can't wait to learn how to use it.
33. A missionary from South Africa who preached Sunday at church.  Dr. Harold Peasley of Multi Ministries from Johannesburg preached a message from Genesis on the life of Lot. So good. 
34. Memories of our trip to South Africa from August 2009 were so real as we reunited with Dr. Peasley and my journal contains everything.  I will never forget these children:
35. The joy of singing a solo Sunday about "The Power of the Cross" and the sweetest folks I know singing behind me in the choir...
36. My Sunday afternoon nap...short but oh so sweet.
37. Choir rehearsal on Sunday afternoons and catching my husband's eye as he leads in worship.
38. A trip to Kroger after church and a husband who doesn't rush me...
39. A quiet day at the office today.
40. My sweet boss Mrs. Linda took me to lunch today at "The Oil Lamp," a local restaurant run by the Mennonites, and they sure know how to cook.
41. Blueberry plants growing and warm temperatures today.
42. My husband was off today, and he had grilled steaks ready when I got home from work. Reference Gifts #24, #25, #37, #38.
43. My grandson Zeke just called me on my cell phone, "whatcha doin' Gran Jan?" I'm loving you Zeke.
44. A walk across the farm after supper to visit my parents next door. They're good people and I'm thankful for them too, even when it's inconvenient. 

Count your many blessings
Every doubt will fly
And you will be singing
As the days go by!

Oh So Easy Lasagna!

Friday, February 18, 2011

This recipe has been a favorite in our family for a long time and is so easy to prepare. I made it often when my boys were both still in high school because you can feed a crowd! Add a nice green salad and good Italian bread and everyone is happy!

One small box of lasagna noodles, prepare as directed
2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
1 chopped onion (saute in 1 teaspoon olive oil until done)
1 large jar of your favorite prepared marinara sauce, or 2 small jars (28 ozs. each)
1 16 oz. container of Cottage Cheese
Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 4 cups)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (about 4 cups)
Shredded Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)

1. Brown ground beef, add cooked onion and prepared pasta sauce
and simmer for at least 30 minutes - longer if you have the time.
2. Boil lasagna noodles in water, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and about 1 Tablespoon
of oil to the water so the noodles won't be sticky. Do not overcook the pasta,
 it should be slightly firm as you will bake the lasagna as well.
3. Ladle a layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.
4. Next, place a layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce.
5.  Now cover the noodles with more meat sauce (be generous) and
 then dollop the cottage cheese as shown below:
6. Be more generous and sprinkle 2 cups each of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses on top!
 Lasagna noodles, more meat sauce, cottage cheese dollops, 
and then shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.

8. Finish with the Parmesan cheese.
9.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese melts
 and the lasagna is nice and bubbly!

10.  Before you slice and serve the lasagna, it is important to let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy and be blessed!  Every day you have together with your family...every meal shared around the table...they are gifts from God.  

1,000 GIFTS, #11 to #23

Monday, February 14, 2011

Multitude Monday is here again, bringing with it the wonderful joy of counting gifts as encouraged by Ann Voskamp in her wonderful blog, A Holy Experience. I am also reading her book One Thousand Gifts  and there is a Book Club that will bless you greatly with weekly video discussions from Ann herself! I am on my way to counting gifts, as the author says, the graces of daily living. This week, I am going to count my blessings in pictures...all taken this past week on my Blackberry phone.

11. Sunday dinner with these two sweet girls last week while in Birmingham for a worship pastor's conference with my husband. Here are Robyn, Sophie, and me. DELIGHT!
12.  A wonderful light and fluffy snowfall while in Birmingham...good for writing in mine and my sweetheart's initials...on the hood of his truck!
13.  A snowy night...the view from our room at the Conference Center.
14.  Homemade buttermilk biscuits...my maternal grandmother's recipe.

15.  Green cabbages harvested from my garden this past Saturday, 2-12-11
16.  A fire in my outside fire pit (a Christmas gift from my husband) this weekend...with a good cup of coffee and precious conversation with that sweet man...

17.  The sweetness of fruit and a grandboy who peeled his first clementine...all by himself!
18.  Hens on our farm, now producing eggs daily!
19.  These Valentine's Day flowers were on my desk this morning when I arrived at work. My sweet husband had delivered them on his way to the church where he serves as worship/executive pastor. Pale pink and highly scented...my favorite.
20. Grandboy Zeke opening his Valentine's Day card from Pop & Gran Jan...
21. Granddaughter Madie opening her Valentine's Day card from Pop & Gran Jan...
22.  Grandboy Jackson opening his Valentine's Day card from Pop & Gran Jan...
23.  A Valentine's Day card from my husband, full of promises made and kept...

Grace-filled week and I thank you Father for all of the above, and for all that is yet to come, because of Your sweet grace...


1,000 GIFTS, #1 to #10

Monday, February 7, 2011

I have wanted to join the ranks of gift counters for a long time now, ever since I discovered Ann Voskamp's wonderful blog, A Holy Experience.  Every time I visit it truly is...a holy experience. Her words are anointed, her writing so fresh and free. I love this young woman's heart and would love to meet her one day and give her a big old southern girl hug around the neck!

Since I'm just beginning my list of 1,000 gifts and it is a "Multitude Monday," I'm going for it. I am in a good place to do this - away for a conference with my husband that is very specific...for just worship pastors and their wives. It's good to be with like-minded folks and those who are seeking to have the mind of Christ. It's been a good day. 

1.  to be a pastor's wife, specifically to one whose calling is to lead in worship
2.  to share the joy of time away to refresh and renew
3.  hearing over 50 "music men" sing together in worship...glory voices!
4.  a text from my daughter-in-love this morning
5.  the joy of mentoring a young wife tonight about raising boys
6.  reading Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts" this afternoon in the quiet of a beautiful retreat center
7.  fellowship this evening with a fellow garden enthusiast, specifically a lover of daylilies
8.  roundtable discussions with other ministers wives...talking shop and occupational "hazards"  ;)
9. typing this blogpost while my own music man sleeps next to me...weary from a long day of taking in so much with his peers
10. connecting with a young steward at this retreat center named Daniel...and sharing with him about the Daniel of the Bible...JOY!

Thank you Jesus for the JOY of this day...a gift...the beginning of thousands.



1,000 GIFTS

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