As I begin this second half of counting His gifts of grace all around me, I've thought about this journey that was begun last February. I'm not the same person I was, all glory to Jesus. I have been stretched in my faith and I wouldn't trade the lessons learned for anything. I absolutely love this season of life I am in...
509. The deep contentment that comes from a long, steady marriage. I love what my friend Beth Moore has said before that applies to this joy: "a long walk of obedience in the same direction." That long walk of obedience can apply to many areas of our lives...by God's grace.
510. The joy of family. I love Saturday morning breakfasts with everyone around the table. There are four generations here...my parents, me and my husband, my sons and their wives and our grandchildren. I was sitting by my mom and Zeke before I stepped away to take this picture...
511. Impromptu gatherings. This Valentine's night supper last week at a local pizza restaurant was so much fun. I love my boys and their wives & the grandchildren so much - thankful to spend this "day of love" with them for a meal.
512. Kissing Cousins. Sweet Madie grabbing a kiss from sweet Jackson... She had just told me to "take her picture." These two grandchildren are 2 weeks to the day apart in age. JOY!
513. Blueberry pancakes are always on the table. Looking forward to June when our blueberries are in season again.
514. Today...a holiday from work called "President's Day," is so welcome to me. I am committed to pray for this election year as we seek a new President. This scripture from Daniel 2:20-22 comforts me in these days of uncertainty in our country...
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.
515. Late afternoon sun breaking through the clouds.
516. When our former minister resigned (December 2010), our church went through an interim time in search of a new senior pastor. [I wrote about our new pastor in this past last November. We are so blessed by the awesome expository preaching of our pastor Dr. Jim Perdue. He is a shepherd to us.] Before Pastor Jim came, God blessed us with a wonderful interim pastor - Rev. Joel Southerland. We honored the Southerland family at church yesterday and then had a big old churchwide fellowship last night! EVERYONE was talking about the sweetness of the Spirit in our midst. This is Brother Joel & his precious wife Sherryde. God blessed our hearts with this couple and their girls Savana and Mikayla. They will always be part of our lives as they were instruments of love and healing in our church. We love y'all.
Wall to wall fellowship at SBCWR...
517. Sweet Miss Madie and her Hollywood entrace to the family breakfast this past Saturday...this girl does not meet a stranger.
518. Jackson loves loves loves tractors, big trucks, motorcycles, anything with wheels. This is my Dad's big John Deere out in the hay barn. They stopped there on their way out this past Saturday. Jackson has to see the moo cows and chickens...and the tractors.
519. My best friend Lanie is making a quilt called "What Cancer Cannot Do." I wept tears of joy and thankfulness to God when she showed the finished quilt top to me last week. This is the quilt label...how I praise God for sparing her life. (Teal is the color for ovarian cancer.) She encourages all women to have their annual physicals. That is when her cancer was discovered. One of the quotes on the quilt top says, "Cancer cannot destroy friendship." Amen my sweet friend.
520. Right now as I type this, there is a big fire in this new firepit my husband purchased. It has 3 Willows Farm cut out on the rim in two places. We love living in the country with redneck firepits made from big old recycled propane tanks...we are going green here at the farm.
521. My oldest son Jeremy and his wife Carrie took their two children, Zeke and Madie, to go see Memama Morton this morning. She is their great-grandmother and my precious mother-in-law. She will be 90 in June and is the matriarch of our family...a godly woman who has taught me so much. I love her dearly. We enjoyed a long visit with her this past Friday evening.
522. For some reason my 3 grandchildren love my pantry. Maybe it's the Spiderman and Dora snacks that I keep there. :)
523. I love to browse seed catalogs and think of the delicious fresh vegetables we will enjoy from my garden this summer. In fact, I need to head outside now and PRUNE back the rosebushes and crepe myrtles.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post - I wouldn't take anything for the journey of my life this past year, the PRUNING has been hard, but oh so necessary for growth. Thank you Jesus.
John 15:1-2 (Amplified Version)
I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing]
He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and
repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit,
to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.