A Mother's Memories - 30 Years

Monday, August 29, 2011

HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY Jeremy! There are days it seems like only yesterday since that hot August Saturday night of 1981 when you entered this world and I became a mom. (You were 19 days overdue, but you haven't been late since, and have been busy making up for lost time.) I love your name! Jeremy is a variant of Jeremiah and means "may Jehovah exalt, appointed by God." I believe on August 29, 1981, God appointed you and blessed me by allowing me the privilege to raise you and be your mom. To celebrate your 30th birthday today, I poured over lots of pictures and chose some of my favorites to share.
Four months old...still a UGA fan!
Six months old and you STILL love books...
You still have a winning smile.
You were a great big brother...
and you still are...
You love to tell a story...no matter the location.
You love to fish,
and play golf.
You still drive a truck (this was the day you got your license and
I cried when you drove yourself back to school).
You were a good student in Kindergarten...
and high school, and college, and seminary,
and hope to be Dr. Morton in the next year or so...
You've always had great friends...
You still do...
You married the girl of your dreams and we adore her!
You have a precious son and daughter...Gran Jan's JOY!
So on this your 30th birthday...I want to thank you for being a good son, a blessing to our family, a man of integrity. Your energy and zest for life are a delight. Thank you for being a son who honors the LORD, your calling as a Pastor, your wife, and your family. You are a JOY. Please never forget that for all of your days I'll see my little boy in the man you've become. I know you're grown, but I can't help it, don't want to, don't plan to...because I'm your Mom and don't you ever forget it...I love you son!

1,000 GIFTS, #246 to #269

Monday, August 22, 2011

Although I haven't posted in several weeks, I'm always counting...the JOY ever close as I see God's grace at work all around me, and most hopefully...deep within my heart, where the needs are greatest. Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be.

246.  Remembering our time in South Africa two years ago this week. That trip changed my heart forever. I kept a journal and logged it all here.
247.  A precious email from my friend Teresa who has caught the JOY of counting 1,000 gifts. She is our Women's Ministry Bible Study Director and loves the Word of God.
248.  A long encouraging email from Jennifer, a brand new mommy of a baby girl. Jennifer is a Christian counselor and her words matter. She is the youngest woman who serves in women's ministries at our church.  She is our little gleaning Ruth, but truthfully, we learn from each other.
249.  My moonflower vine is blooming. I love seeing God's handiwork and His creation blesses me so. These vines bloom at dusk, my favorite time of day.
250.  A party for my mother-in-law's birthday.  She has been a godly influence on my life and I'm so thankful for her. Family is everything to me and she has welcomed me and loved me for a long time. I'm forever grateful to her for raising such a wonderful son, my husband!
251.  It was LOUD grace, but I counted 14 little boys under the age of 10 at Memama's birthday party.  P-R-E-C-I-O-U-S. 
252.  There were two roses among those boys, my granddaughter Madie Ruth being one of them!
253.  My dad's mucadine vines are loaded this year.  He loves to garden.
254. Our Interim Pastor, Rev. Joel Southerland, has been preaching from  the 4th chapter of  James. He has certainly encouraged us in the Word of God. He ended our August 15th Sunday night service by asking all our staff pastors and their wives, our deacons and their wives and our pastor search team and their spouses to come down to the front of the church.  We literally had an "encouragement hug-fest," and were loved on and hugged and blessed by our church family.  Pure therapy from God's Word by God's people.
255.  This was his message that Sunday evening:
Seven Things You Can Do Instead of Slander:
     1. Edify (Ephesians 4:29)
     2. Encourage (Proverbs 12:25)
     3. Give Testimony (Psalm 145:10-12)
     4. Give Thanks (Ephesians 5:20)
     5. Praise God  (Psalm 9:1-2)
     6. Teach Others (Proverbs 13:14)
     7. Pray (Matthew 5:44) (Romans 12:14)
256. My first born son and his wife and their son all have August birthdays. My sweet daughter-in-law planned a party for the "boys" since their numbers matched up...here's the cake:
257. My youngest son and his wife gave Zeke a "toy laptop" for his birthday.  It is very nice and a great teaching toy. When we asked Zeke what he was going to do with his laptop, he said, "I'm going to use this to work on my sermons..." He's watching everything his daddy does. God's grace has blessed me with sons who are modeling godly lives for their children.
258.  After record triple digit heat this summer, it was nice to have some recent rain. Last week we enjoyed two rainy evenings at home! Delight. This was my view as I drove from work, right before turning on the road to home. Summer rains are so precious.
259. My friend Jennifer, the new mommy sent me this "WAIT" acrostic last week...I love it and it is timely - I hope it will be a grace gift to you as well:
Withstand: the schemes of the devil and he will flee from you (Ephesians 6:11).
Anticipate: the need - go back to the last word God spoke before His silence.
Serve HIM in that manner while waiting on a new word.
Integrate: your faith into everyday life.
Trust: simply the most difficult, because it can be done only in a Spirit-filled life.
260. The gift of sight confirmed by a great report from my eye doctor this past week.  He is a delight - a Messianic Jew, Dr. Eisner.  We love to talk about the LORD together.
261. A great email from my friend Leah Adams requesting prayer support for some new teaching material God is calling her to concerning being "covenant keepers."  She's great!
262. A quick, yet wonderful and blessed trip this past weekend to Hilton Head Island, SC. We were the guests of my son's in-laws, so Zeke and Madie had both sets of grandparents together and received a double portion of love. We had dinner in a restaurant that was near the marshes of the island.  It was so peaceful there.
263. On our way to Hilton Head we stopped for the day in Savannah, GA, one of our favorite places to visit in our beautiful state...I love the live oak trees and the history of this city. I am thankful for some overdue uninterruped conversation with my sweet mate.
264.  A short little video sent to me last evening by my youngest son's wife. I love my smartphone and am so thankful for the way she keeps me in the know with little snippets of Jackson's day. Grace indeed.
265.  A four-mile bike ride on Hilton Head, then meandering through the ruins of an old estate from the 1800's called the Baynard Plantation. 
266.  An impromptu fun game with Zeke and my husband in those dappled-light woods near the ruins.  Brought back memories of him playing with our boys...
267.  Plans for a treehouse came forth from their play time.  The grandchildren are in for fun at the farm when Pop builds the tree house!
268.  To be a mom and a grandmom.  Daily DOUBLE portions of Grace.
269.  To be HIS daughter, ALL GRACE...

Encourage one another and build each other up,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"When a baby is born, so is a grandmother." 
Three years ago today when this little boy, the firstborn of our firstborn, came into our family, I became Gran Jan... This blog, Gran Jan's Joy, was born out of our family's journey of faith as we waited on God. The first post I ever wrote, Waiting Room, tells part of the story. Zeke, whose name Ezekiel means "God strengthens" was a much prayed for and anticipated child. Here he is at just 15 minutes old. That is my son's hand on his little head. I should have known Zeke was going to be a character from the look of that little "peep eye." He was already checking us out, afraid he was missing some action. Oh if he only knew, he WAS the action!
I picked the name Gran Jan a long time ago, before my boys were even married. I have a special friend who is Gran Sharon, and I told her that one day I would be "Gran Jan," and so I kept that name close at heart all these years. Little did I know how special it would be. When we locked eyes on this little fellow, everything changed...I was officially Gran Jan!
This picture is very special to me. Jeremy had put on Zeke's first diaper in the baby nursery at the hospital. I looked up just in time to see my son bending over to kiss the top of his son's head.  Be still my heart.
I call this picture "In Granddaddy's Arms." My husband was talking and Zeke was listening to every single word and did not take his eyes off his Pop! 
These special memories resonate in my heart today as we celebrate Zeke's birthday and I celebrate my JOY in becoming Gran Jan. We have two more miracles now, Zeke's little sister, Madie Ruth, and our youngest grandson, Jackson. They are both 15 months old, and  are absolutely the greatest joys of our lives. I count my blessings in threes.

Your relationship with your children changes when they become parents themselves. I remember thinking how much more I loved and respected my own mom and dad when I became a mom...the circle of life indeed.  Our sons and daughters-in-law are great parents and I couldn't be more blessed and proud of them.

Happy Birthday to you Zeke, you are truly Gran Jan's JOY.  Thank you for opening up a part of my heart that I had no idea existed. I feel as if I have been given a second chance on being a mom, a mom with lots more practice...a grandmom.  I've read that grandmothers are mothers come into the fullness of their grace.  Perhaps. I just know this...I love you three grandchildren with all my heart, and I promise as long as God gives me breath I will be there for all of you, for you are Gran Jan's JOY, and the joy of the Lord is my strength. 
Three years of Zeke's life...
Three years as Gran Jan...
Three little grandchildren..


1,000 GIFTS, #231 to #245

Monday, August 1, 2011

Today has been a wonderful Multitude Monday. It started with a sweet time in the Word this morning...
231. I'm so very grateful and thankful for my quiet time place...
232.  I am on day 86 of a 90-day devotional by Beth Moore entitled "90 Days with Jesus the One & Only."  I've lingered way longer than 90 days as I spent the 40 days of Lent reading  a devotional recommended by my friend Joanne Heim a couple of years ago. After I finish Beth's devotional I am going to read through the book of Acts. I LOVE THE WORD OF GOD!
233. Last Tuesday our Women's Ministry hosted a "Summer Sisters Salad Supper." We enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship with salads of every kind and desserts galore. Over 200 women attended and my dear friend Lanie Nash shared her journey through ovarian cancer. Women's ministry is hard work, but rewarding...I serve with the best team ever. I could NOT imagine this ministry without Cindy, Teresa, and Jennifer. They serve with hearts of gold.
234.  Speaking of women's ministry, I received a precious email early this morning from Leah Adams of The Point Ministries.  She is a North Georgia gal and my cooking-canning buddy. Leah is coming to be the guest speaker for our Women's Ministry's 14th Annual Christmas Brunch, December 3, 2011, 10:00 a.m. to noon. Leah is a delight. She is a disciplined woman with a passion for the Word of God. She emailed to tell me that she is praying as we plan and prepare.  It blessed my soul!  Thank you Leah - I love you girl! 
235. This little buddy spent the night last Thursday with his Pop and Gran Jan...this smile is the result of a quick trip to the Dairy Queen for ice cream.  D-E-L-I-G-H-T!  (Zeke...not the ice cream!)
236.  Please don't think me irreverent for taking this picture at such a time...but I wanted to capture the JOY of seeing all these men kneeling in prayer at the altar before evening worship last night. We were singing "Somebody's Praying" as the men filled the altar in prayer.  Oh God, raise up men to lead our homes, our churches, our land...
237.  I love participating in the "SSMT" Siesta Scripture Memory Team.  Today is August 1st, the day we post our verses to the LPM Blog.   Here's my post from this morning:
August 1, 2011 at 7:52 am
James 3:18 (NLT)
And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

238. Yesterday after church we went to the home of my youngest son and his wife to visit and take a nap as we had to be back at church early Sunday afternoon. We live out in the country and it just saves a trip home!  Besides that...we get to fellowship with our youngest grandboy Jackson.  D-E-L-I-G-H-T.
239.  This is the fabric for another new quilt!!! I had ordered some accompanying fabric and found out it was discontinued.  But just today a kind woman in Customer Service at Hancocks of Paducah, KY told me she personally went and found the exact yardage I needed for my quilt.  What a blessing. I thanked her...
240. The book I ordered came in the mail last week. It is a new book that I love for two reasons.  The topic - the Word of God...and the artist...one of my favorites. Karla Dornacher.  Her gifts bless me.
241. I've shared from my heart about the death of my sister Jean 26 years ago.  I wrote this post  last year on the 25th anniversary of her death.  It is the "most read" post on my blog. Just this past Saturday I got to spend time with my niece Amy, Jean's beautiful daughter.  She lives in California, and is visiting home this week. Time with her is rare. There are no words to describe how much she is like her Momma.  Although Amy was only 23 months old when Jean died...she is JUST LIKE HER.  What a gift.
242.  Tonight's supper included zucchini fresh from the garden. My sweet husband cooked and cleaned up the dishes. I love that man.  He takes such good care of me.
243.  My little granddaughter Madie is really talking a lot. She didn't spend the night last week, but I'm looking forward to girl-time with her.  I didn't have that as a "boy mom!" I want to teach her to make biscuits...
244.  And as I sit here listening to the beautiful piano music from Ann Voskamp's blog I was thinking about the wonderfully gifted pianist at our church.  He is actually the Instrumental Worship Pastor. His name is Rev. Dawson Hull and he is a gifted musician.  Just yesterday I was blessed by his gifts.  As our interim pastor Joel Southerland was sharing during the invitation about "being a Friend of God," Dawson played an impromptu gentle medley that included "What A Friend We Have in Jesus."  His sweet wife Taneea is also a gifted musician. Their spirits are a blessing to our church family.  We are thankful for them.

It's time to hit "publish post" and get ready for bed...and read...and continue to count these gifts to 1,000.  My heart is full tonight...another gift.
245.  A quiet heart...a contented heart.



1,000 GIFTS

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