1,000 GIFTS, #325 to #346

Monday, September 26, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays
My Monday recording journey of counting grace gifts continues...all from His Hand.

325.  Cotton fields are blooming and there are hundreds of acres of cotton right across the street from our home...fields white unto harvest as far as you can see.
326. Text messages that begin "what are y'all doing today?" and end with lunch around the table.
327. Preparing breakfast for my Dad and surprising him by riding next door on the golf cart to deliver it to him.  He was sitting on the porch and was so proud of his breakfast! My mom and I enjoyed our coffee together while he ate.  He shared his raisin toast with her...
328. Praying together and being of one heart.
329. Bible study class full of women eager to learn and "get wisdom!"  I love my Wednesday night ladies.
330. Answered prayer with successful back surgery for a friend's teenage daughter. Praying for a full recovery.
331. A warm and dear hug for a friend whose father passed away 2 weeks ago and telling her that her loss had already touched my heart...prompting me to make breakfast for my dad and deliver it to him. Tears were shed.
332. The promise of lunch this week with two young 20-somethings, Taneea and Sarah. 
333. The joy that they would even want to spend time with me, a 50-something.
334. A life lived with the anticipation of splashing the Living Water with young women as I grow older, both in wisdom and in my walk of faith.
335. Cards in the mail, hand-written, full of love.
336. A Saturday afternoon all to myself...sewing...sewing...putting together a new quilt. These are some of the 5" squares that will form the blocks. They are lying on my ironing board. There will be many more made before the quilt is finished. Guess what? The fabric is called GRACE and I love that - it is so fitting for counting GRACE gifts.
337.  Here's a picture with the "Grace" tag...I hope my life is "tagged by Grace."
338. Lots of sweet tweets from my friends who attended Dot.Mom in Birmingham, a Lifeway conference for mothers - a time of great encouragement for them. I love you Sophie, Melanie, Robyn, Fran, Dedra, Dori, Amanda, Heather...I pray God blessed you deeply!
339. Sweet emails back and forth with my oldest son. He is a good man, a good husband, father, pastor.
340. A phone call from my youngest son who is out of state on business...he is a good man, a good husband, father, and he misses this little pumpkin, will be home very soon!
341. The little pumpkin with the yogurt-covered-smile. He misses his daddy too, but my sweet daughter-in-law said he has been a trooper.
342. A text message from my daughter-in-law that included a little video of my 16 month old granddaughter talking and making the cutest face as she talked, crinkling her nose.
343. Back-to-back nights at home with just my husband that included supper and then long conversation on the front porch swing, enjoying the cooler weather. Simple grace gifts.
344. I've been the wife of a minister for 34 years, 3 months, 15 days. Have I shared how much JOY there has been? Well there has. And heartache and sorrow too - but mostly joy, and I'm grateful. The joy of serving in one church for over 23 years, raising our boys here.
345. Having said that, I've been singing in my husband's choir for 34 years, 3 months, 15 days. I love that with all my heart. Each week the anticipation of being part of corporate worship under his leadership blesses me. I know he is a man of integrity and his personal worship enables him to lead in public worship. I know better than anyone else.
346. And this is our church choir. I love these people so much. It's hard to see me, but I'm on the very back row (always have been) on the far right as you face the choir.  This recording was made just yesterday morning by a man sitting in the congregation. Revelation 1:8 - He is Alpha and Omega.
 

1,000 GIFTS, #305 to #324

Monday, September 19, 2011

As I count these grace gifts to 1,000 with Mrs. Ann Voskamp, I am beginning to see a pattern, and that in itself is a gift to me. Back at the beginning of the year, I wrote this post on 1-1-11 and vowed to "Keep It Simple Sister." A goal to slow down and enjoy life's simple pleasures, to prioritize my time, my goals. This JOY of counting has helped me to see that the gifts I cherish and count are in God, my faith in Christ, my family, my precious grandchildren, friends, God's creation, gardening, quilting (my newfound JOY), and not in STUFF. May it ever be so, sweet LORD.

305. As I stepped outside my office one day last week headed to lunch, I saw this beautiful Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on the zinnia flowers. Just that moment...for me. I love the camera on my cell phone for d-e-l-i-g-h-t-s just like this one!
306. First night of Fall Bible study last Wednesday night, as we began Beth Moore's study from Proverbs: "Wising Up...Wherever Life Happens."  Wisdom is Supreme, get it! Great group of women all ready and eager to dig into the Word of God. Proverbs 4:7
307. The joy of trusted confidence as a friend shared a prayer request concerning her health, and then the Spirit prompting me to pray for her. Thank you sweet Father for prompts to remember to pray.
308. A song from Travis Cottrell's newest release that has ministered to my soul, the depth of my soul I say.  It is called "Thanks Be To Our God."  I love this new CD very much, but song #13 has been on repeat track the most.
309. A first for me where my grandchildren are concerned! I went to Zeke's school, actually it is a Mother's Morning Out program at his church (where his daddy, my son, is the Pastor) for "Grandparents Day." They sang two songs and quoted a Bible verse and every one of them looked adorable.  And I got four spontaneous hugs. I was so sad that I had forgotten my camera. But when I returned to work I received this photo collage in an email. God graced me in that my friend who is a real photographer was there with a camera for his child...which records one of those wonderful hugs from Zeke!
310. The intoxicating divine smell of Tea Olive Shrubs blooming in our garden. My husband and I LOVE them. They bloom in the spring, in the fall, and on a warm winter's day they can surprise you with small white blooms which smell wonderful. We have them by the front porch swings and this is the shrub in my back patio garden. It was a gift for my 50th birthday from some wonderful friends...they bloom when the weather changes. I hope that I will "bloom in life's changing seasons too."  May it ever be, sweet Lord.
311. The full moon. I especially love the big Harvest Moon of this past week. I keep up with it on my Nook with a "moon phases app." Yes I do. I am a moon phases nerd. I love to talk waning and waxing gibbous...
312. A book and sweet card of encouragement received in the mail from Mrs. Esther Burroughs who spoke at our Women's Retreat last weekend. She is challenging me to "pour into" the lives of young women. The big watering can at the top of my blog is one of my favorite items - I collect watering cans. I need to remember to splash the Living Water of Jesus everywhere I go...
313. Plans made for a Prayer/Planning Retreat for our Women's Ministry team, pastor's wives, and other women's leaders in our church. It is going to be WONDERFUL. We will all stay in one cabin...with a fireplace...at a Retreat Center on the Savannah River. Can't wait!
314. My grandson Zeke spent the night this past weekend and while we were playing outside he lightly skinned both his knees when he fell. As I was applying Spiderman bandaids :), he said, "Gran Jan, will you pray and ask God to heal me?" I prayed and hugged him tight. He blesses me so.
315. My son sent me this picture and "asked for prayer."  He said it was the first time he had taken both children out to breakfast alone. His wife was attending a consignment sale and it is important to be FIRST in line at those...aren't they PRECIOUS? YES THEY ARE!
316. This is Jackson, the "Master of the Slide." Isn't he PRECIOUS? YES HE IS!
317. I finished Jackson's quilt top last week and am getting ready to put it together. Here is one of the blocks with his name...I can't wait to see how it all turns out.
318. Reaching for a soft tissue in my purse to hand to a woman next to me in the choir as her tears fell. Thankful for the bond of women, sisters, mothers, friends.
319. Once again our interim Pastor Rev. Joel Southerland blessed us with a word from the Word. God is using him greatly during this season in our church without a Senior pastor. There is a fresh healing wind of the Holy Spirit blowing across our congregation and the JOY is evident each time we gather to meet. I'm very thankful for lessons learned, continuing to pray for everyone...those gone, and that that remain. Soli deo Gloria.
320. A hint of fall in the air...my very favorite season of all.
321. A Girls' Night Out with my sweet best friend of 23 years, Lanie. Delicious fresh guacamole and chips at a restaurant in Macon...buzzing through Barnes and Noble, the Ulta store...time together that is so precious. Sharing prayer requests, life's seasons.
322. My first pumpkin spice latte of the season. Yes, that's a gift! I do love coffee.
323. Thanking God for my health has always been in my prayers to God, but has really been on my heart this week as so many are facing surgery and treatments and struggle with daily issues. Thank you Father for a healthy body.
324. Seeing my father kneel down beside Mrs. Mary's chair in her home, take her hand, and offer to help her with anything she needs in the days ahead. Mary is an elderly black woman who has just lost her husband of more than 50 years. I love our rural community. We had taken a meal to them...because that's what Southerners do. I've never been prouder of my dad than I was at that moment. He has a heart of gold. Being the tough former Marine that he is, you have to "mine it out sometimes"...but it was shining that moment.  :)

Multitude Monday Blessings to you,


The Resolution for Women Book Club!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Resolution Revolution with Priscilla Shirer!
Priscilla Shirer of Going Beyond Ministries will be kicking off her first book club meeting on Friday, September 16th LIVE at 10:00 am CST.  Click HERE and look for the link to join in the conversation on Friday. All you will need is a web browser and your book. I already have my book and have read the Introduction. As hard as it is going to be...I'm so ready!

1,000 GIFTS, #288 to #304

Monday, September 12, 2011

Grace gifts, still counting along the way; very thankful and very blessed.

288. A blessed Women's Ministry Conference this past weekend on 09-10-11 with the wonderful Mrs. Esther Burroughs. She is a precious mature Christian woman who shares from her life's experiences and all who listen benefit. She taught from John 4 and encouraged us to "splash the Living Water" as we "Go OUT of our way while ON our way..." It was glorious!
289. This is a picture from the Conference with Mrs. Esther (she is in the black and white stripes). I call it "Generational Joy." The two young women on the left are in their early 20's and are DELIGHTFUL! Esther encouraged us to pour into their lives.
290. Helping Hands at the Women's Conference...how blessed we are to have a church where people serve with JOY. Thank you Cindy, Sarah, Taneea, Teresa, Pam, Doris, Lisa, Kathy, Susan, Natalie, Lanie, Mindy, Lynn, Barbara, Rounette, Karen, Charlene, Patti, Jeanette, and Cheryl.
291. Sharing a recipe for Tomato Pie with my sweet friend Lanie.
292. Moonvines...this picture was taken just a few hours ago at dusk. I love these flowers. They will bloom all night and close up in the morning...
293. Another quilt class and girl's night out with Lanie. We learned techniques for "half-square triangles," but we learned much more than that...quality time in the car during a road trip helps you learn each other's hearts and prayer needs...what a gift from God.
294. Driving through this allee of trees as I leave home each morning and returning each evening and celebrating His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness at night.  (Psalm 92:1-2)  So grateful for my job and the people I work with and for. Grace.
295. Looking up from my desk at work just in time to see my oldest son and his son coming in the door to see me. Zeke gave me the sweetest hug ever. He said, "I'm your boy, Gran Jan."  He knows that blesses my soul.
296. Another great practical message from Rev. Joel Southerland as he preached from the book of Job on the value of our families.
297. Finding a long-lost receipt. Thankful. Needed it.
298. Collards and turnip greens planted in my fall garden.
299. Attending a wedding with my husband this past Saturday of a young woman named Julie who we've known since she was 5 years old. Her groom was injured in an accident 14 months ago. Seeing her speak vows that she has already lived by standing true to him gives me such hope for young people and marriage.
300. Two big bags of fresh peas from a friend at church - thank you Mrs. Rhoda! I love to sit and shell peas - it is so soothing.
301. Jasmine. In my garden.
302. Long bike rides with my husband down country roads, cool weather. Good exercise. Weight loss success! So thankful. 
303. Spending time with my youngest son and his son tonight. Getting to play with little Jackson, feed him, bathe him, and tuck him in was so tender for me. My daughter-in-law is taking a class and was not home. I missed her, but love seeing the home she is building for my son and grandson.
304. New books and the anticipation of reading "The Resolution for Women." The book is by Priscilla Shirer.  Excited about participating in her on-line book club this Friday.  Details will follow on my blog.

Nighty-night sweet friends,

1,000 GIFTS, #270 to #287

Monday, September 5, 2011

My heart is so full of JOY from counting blessings, the wonderful Grace of Jesus! Thanking Him today for this Multitude Monday, a rare and peaceful day off from work, a restful day.

270. A new season of Fall Bible study begins tomorrow and a kickoff brunch was held 2 weeks ago with lots of women attending - excited about studying God's Word.
271. Two littlest grandchildren sliding down slides...they are strong and healthy and I am so thankful.
272. A pretty little cat has taken up at the farm...I hope she stays...outside for sure! :)
273. My daughter-in-law Carrie sent a video of grandson Zeke singing a song he wrote, "Every Day We Go to Church..."  I've watched it dozens of times. So thankful she shared it with me!
274. Another video sent to me by my son of Zeke asking "Gran Jan, can I spend the night with you? I really want to..."
275. Zeke spending the night...pizza, popcorn and Charlotte's Web... I really wanted him to!
276. Celebrating my son's 30th birthday last Monday with this post.  Lots of memories of a fine son. God's Grace multiplied.
277. Thankful for Jeremy's wife, who also celebrated a birthday last week...she is a gift to our family.
278. The whole family for lunch on Saturday. I love to cook for them and we had grilled pork tenderloin, hasbrown casserole (recipe here), butter peas, collard greens from my garden (frozen last winter), and these delicious cheese muffins from The Pioneer Woman. I left out the sugar and used self-rising flour. My Dad ate two plates full and that blessed me so much.
279. My two sweet daughters-in-law blowing bubbles for the babies after lunch. They are both so tall and thin...beautiful...one blonde, one brunette, both long prayed for...
280. Three sweet grandbabies chasing those bubbles...it just doesn't get any sweeter!
281. My daughter-in-law Erin worked so HARD to get a picture of these 3...it is nigh impossible...but I love her for trying!
282. Chocolate-face Jackson...eating his momma's mini cupcakes!
283. A pot of chili simmering on the stove all day on this wonderful Monday off from work...my husband said it was the best ever.  I love to cook, have I mentioned that? :)
284. More material for more quilts...these are called "Charm Packs," and every square is 5" and represents all the fabric in a particular line. They make quilting fun and easy because all the fabric blends together...the pink butterflies will be for my granddaughter Madie.
285. I finished Erin's quilt and gave it to her two weeks ago. She loved all the colors and I hope she enjoys some long naps this fall and winter under her cozy quilt.
286. Just finished Jackson's "John Deere" quilt top about 3 hours ago. I rode my bike next door to my mom's house and hung it on her clothesline so I could take a picture. I can't wait to quilt it. (Zeke picked out the fabric for his John Deere quilt while he was here...)
287. Yesterday our interim pastor Bro. Joel Southerland, brought a message from Job 1:20-22 and I loved this quote..."In the storms of life, our REACTION determines our RECOVERY." I want my reactions to be right, Spirit-filled, and for His glory. It was a great message.
Count your blessings,
 name them one by one...
and it will surprise you
what the Lord has done!




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