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,