WOW! We are two weeks into 2012 and it has been a month since I wrote a post on my journey to 1,000 gifts of grace! I have had the best Christmas holiday and I'm thankful - blessed - content - and looking forward to 2012.
444. This is one of my favorite ornaments - and describes the truth of CHRISTmas. Although I wrote a Christmas post here, I'm still celebrating the JOY of one of the best Christmases our family has had in several years...full of His peace.
445. Me and my husband and our three grandchildren - what FUN! Thankful for sweet children who worked HARD to help us attempt to get a picture with three - three and under...
446. I came home from work one evening and my sweet husband had put up Christmas lights on the gate at the end of our driveway. The sky was so pretty and I counted it a blessing that he would do something that special for me!
447. Babysitting this precious little grandson. He was absolutely the sweetest boy this morning, and I LOVE JACKSON BOY! GRAN JAN'S JOY!
448. There is nothing like children at Christmas time...except grandchildren! We had the best time enjoying Zeke, Madie, and Jackson...it had been a long time since I bought some boy toys, and it was my first time to buy a doll [for sweet Madie].
449. These two little cousin cherubs are exactly two weeks apart in age...they are precious. I know I count them over and over (in various blessings), but let me tell you - I can't help it! This was Christmas Eve.
450. How many people have walked the aisles of churches and Billy Graham crusades while the song "Just As I Am" was being sung? Travis Cottrell has a fresh and glorious arrangement to this song that has really ministered to our church family. WE LOVE IT! Thank you Travis!
451. My dearest friend Lanie and I love to sew and quilt and recently have also been doing some machine embroidery. The week after Christmas we had our "QTT" (Quilting Time Together) sew-in and made some cute things for our grandchildren. The quietness of getting away and being with a long time friend is a great gift of God's grace.
452. Lanie and I have also started a fun idea we are calling the "Boomerang Bag." She gives me a gift in a bag and then I give her a gift back in the same bag...and so on. She gave me this mug and I gave her some quilting fabric last week. [Right now, it's her turn and I'm waiting for the Boomerang Bag to show back up.] Grin. The element of anticipation makes it all the more fun. No rules, no timeframe, just surprise fun.
453. This precious young mom serves on the Women's Ministry Leadership Team at my church. She is working on her doctorate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and she is also the mom of this beautiful baby girl, who is 5 months old today. I made my first baby quilt for her and she sent me this picture. I love this family.
Here is the quilt. I had so much fun making it.
454. Hot tea on a cold winter's night. I love Constant Comment Tea with its sweet orange and and spice flavor. God is so good to create all the wonderful flavors we enjoy.
455. I know we say the "blessing" over our food and some people even call it saying Grace, but do you truly stop and thank God for your food? After my trip to South Africa two years ago (journaled here) my outlook on all of my material blessings has not been the same. I took a picture of my salad last week and my co-workers laughed at me...but they thought it was a pretty salad too. And I was grateful to have it.
456. One of the most wonderful gifts of God's grace thus far in 2012 has been the arrival of our new pastor, Dr. Jim Perdue and his sweet family. We are beyond excited and thankful. He preaches expositionally - verse by verse by verse from God's Holy Word. We are thrilled - he is a man of integrity and he loves us like a pastor-shepherd should. He began his ministry on the first day of the first month of 2012. THANK YOU JESUS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS.
457. I am so thankful to have my parents - both healthy and active in our lives. My Dad is a great cook and here he is doing what he does best..."doctoring up" something my sister Jo had already prepared...WE LOVE YOU DAD!
458. My mom and sisters and I went to the Fabulous Fox in Atlanta the week before Christmas. We ate at Cheesecake Factory and we had a wonderful time. I love my family. I love being the oldest sister. I love being the brunt of all their jokes. This is me and my mom.
My two younger sisters...aren't they beautiful?
459. I absolutely love birds and really just love being outside to daily enjoy God's grace gifts. Last week I had the delight to pull up at work to a tree FULL of cedar waxwings. They are migratory and were eating all the berries off a Bradford tree.
460. A bit of Springtime on my kitchen window sill during winter. This is a pink hyacinth forced to bloom. I am thankful (again) for God's gifts of flowers and change of seasons. I also love those babies in that picture...they warm my heart no matter the season...
461. And one of God's greatest grace gifts to me - Bible study. I especially love the authors of this new study - James, Mercy Triumphs, Beth Moore and her daughter, Melissa Fitzpatrick. I will begin facilitating this in March. I'm praying for a great harvest.
462. My last gift tonight on this post was actually the start to my day this January morning. A beautiful colorful sky. Thank you Creator God.
In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer
to You and eagerly watch.