1,000 GIFTS, #675 to #689

Monday, June 18, 2012

The tag line under the One Thousand Gifts book states "a dare to live fully right where you are."  Well...right where I am is at home, at church, at work, in the garden, in my car, at the grocery store, sharing a meal with my family, in the choir loft, riding my bike over to visit my parents, in my quiet time place, in my sewing room, in my kitchen or laundry room, in a doctor's office with a friend... All of these are simple places, nothing exotic like a fancy cruise ship or a remote tropical island. Yet in all these places my heart's desire is to be fully there so as not to miss one single JOY He has for me. I often pray and ask the Lord to make me focused and fruitful. In the busyness of life, the simple joys are what keep me on center, and this week has been one of just that---blessed simplicity.

675. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary last Monday on June 11, and about mid-morning the receptionist called me to the front of my office building...be still my heart. My sweet husband sent me 35 of the most beautiful pink roses I have ever seen. I counted every one! Thank you sweet man of mine. God graced me when He brought you into my life...

676. Let me tell you about Ashley. I had 30 guests at my home this past Tuesday as I helped hostess a bridal shower for this sweet young woman. When I first met Ashley I noticed her blue yarn bracelet and was prompted in my spirit to ask her if she was going through the Beth Moore "Believing God" Bible study. (If you've done the study, you know what the blue bracelet represents.) She was, and we bonded instantly - sweet mercy it was wonderful. She and a group of cheerleaders from the University of GA (she was Captain) didn't have the accompanying DVDs which are such an asset to the study, so I loaned them to her from our church's women's ministry library...and we bonded even tighter! I love her - she gives me hope for the future generation of young women who are believers in Jesus Christ.

677. Zeke came for a visit and a heavy rain the night before left the most wonderful puddle, so we "ripped and romped" as my Granny used to say. Yes we did. There was no mud, just a big deep puddle over a low grassy spot...pure JOY!

678. A day of celebration spent with my dearest friend Lanie. I accompanied her to the oncologist who gave her yet another good report. She is two years free from ovarian cancer. Hallelujah to our Great Physician. We celebrated and shopped all the way to Atlanta and all the way home...with a stop at our favorite quilt store, A Scarlet Thread.

679. Our little Jackson Boy spent a week at the beach with his parents (my youngest son and his wife) and his other grandparents. They had a wonderful time together and my daughter-in-law got some great pictures - she always takes the best pictures and I'm so thankful she shares them with Gran Jan.

680. So blessed by simple family time over pizza and salad and fun around the table. Could these two be any cuter?  Cousins born 2 weeks to the day apart. I can't wait to see all God has in store for them as they grow up together...Jackson and Miss Madie Ruth.

681. A visit to the farm always includes some time seeing the moo cows. I love it that the boys were dressed alike. My daughters-in-law have great minds and they are great moms. :)

682. It's magnolia time in Georgia. If you've never inhaled the scent of a magnolia, I can tell you that our Creator did as HE said, "He saw everything He had made, and it was good."  I have two trees and they were gifts from some of the women in my church. I love that.

683. While driving home from my day in Atlanta with Lanie, a thunderstorm was brewing as I got closer to home. I am so thankful for the much needed rain. I could see this one coming and we ended up with 2 inches of rain and some great puddles...for little grandboys and Gran Jans.

684. This picture in our blueberry garden is of all five of my men: my husband, my two sons, and my two grandsons.  We have certainly had a great harvest this spring, and not just in blueberries...

685. Jackson and his Pop. Sweetness.

686. I enjoyed some time with my youngest sister Jo this weekend. She is also the mom to two sons and a great mom she is. I really enjoy her company and it was good to sit on the porch with her and with our parents. She loves to come get fresh vegetables from the gardens.  More simple times, family times.

687. Thankful for my Pastor and the wonderful Father's Day message he preached yesterday. Counting gifts of grace in my life include my own father, my husband who is a wonderful dad to our boys; and my boys, who are wonderful dads to their children. Blessings to the next generations.

688. My husband and I had a sweet time of prayer yesterday at the end of our church service...hearts full, thankful for our two sons and the fathers they are becoming. They are raising our grandchildren up to know and love Jesus and His Word. We were just pouring our hearts out in praise to the Lord for this week of celebrating 35 years of marriage and God's Grace in our lives with our boys and their wives and our grandchildren. Gifts of JOY.

689. And I am most thankful to report that my church family sponsored all 80 of the children that Compassion sent to me for our Compassion Sunday two weeks ago.  I love my church family so much. Thank you all for helping release children from poverty in Jesus' Name.

Love and Blessings,
Gran Jan

1,000 GIFTS, #660 to #674

Monday, June 11, 2012

Along with the daily gifts of God's goodness in our lives, this past week has been one of  milestones in our family, of birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Family is everything to me and I only wish I had more time to spend with all of them. We are busy in ministry, jobs, and taking care of day-to-day responsibilities. Just like you and your family. But taking the time to stop and count the gifts of grace Jesus gives makes the pace a bit slower so you can truly focus on what is right here and now, gifts from His hand...

660. Today is our 35th wedding anniversary. I have been a tad emotional about celebrating this milestone. Why does it seem that events that end in "0" or "5" are more special? God has certainly blessed my sweet Gary and me all these years.  We were so young and so in love. Then...and now...

661. The very first time Gary and I laid eyes on each other was when my family and I visited the little Baptist church where he was leading worship at the age of 17. We were high school sweethearts and began dating the summer before our senior year of high school.

662. Here we are on our wedding day, June 11, 1977...when 35 years ago today I took his hand in mine and promised before God and friends to love him for all time...

663. June 10th marked a milestone in my mother-in-law's life too - her 90th birthday. She is a precious woman and if I can be the mother-in-law to Carrie and Erin that she has been to me, I will be a mighty blessed woman. We celebrated with a big family party - 70+ family members came and honored the Morton Matriarch.

664. Here she is as a young bride herself...I love this picture, and I'm very thankful for her faithful love to me and her testimony as a woman who loves the Word of God. She has 5 brothers and four of them were preachers. What a wonderful family I married into...her maiden name is Moody and the family tree has lines to the famous evangelist, D.L. Moody. One of her brothers is named after him.

665. My Dad made his famous passed-down-many-generations-recipe Brunswick Stew for the Maloy Family Reunion this past weekend. He recently shared the recipe with my youngest son Jonathan. I love to hear my parents share stories of their growing up years. I sent this picture to both my sisters and for some reason we all got teary-eyed. For all his gruff "former Marine" ways, our father still has a big old tender heart. This making of the stew is a special memory for him of his own father and grandfather.

666. Baptism at the beach. Our young people just returned home from their annual beach retreat and they celebrated this year with something never done before - baptism on site in the ocean...what a testimony. I pray the foks who witnessed this will be touched and blessed. So proud of Pastor Mike and his wife Julie, and Pastor Ben and his wife Leia.

667. I planted these while calla lily bulbs last year and then forgot about them - they blessed and suprised me this year. I love white flowers.

668. We have been blessed with wonderful rains the past week. I love the way the water drops look on this daylily, it seems refreshed. My blog header has the verse from Isaiah 58:11...may your soul be as a well-watered garden. A favorite passage of mine.

669. An impromptu visit to my office last week by my little granddaughter Madie Ruth. She stayed with me for about 20 minutes while her brother finished his swimming lesson. It was a mixup in schedules for my son and his wife, but a pure delight to me. Living close to my boys and their wives and grandchildren is a DAILY blessing that I count. (I got this picture from Facebook, it was taken while she was at her other grandma's house, and I know Mrs. Catharine is happy to live close to the grandchildren too...)
670. While driving home from Memama's 90th birthday party we went through a town called Porterdale.  Many of my dad's sisters worked in this old cotton mill. It was a thriving mill for many years and my dad's father worked there too. I love the history of this town. My Granny attended the Porterdale Baptist Church. I was born not too far from this little town.

671. My youngest son and his wife celebrated four years of marriage on June 7th. When your children are blessed and happy in the homes they leave yours for...there are no words adequate enough to express the JOY this brings. Pray for your children's spouses...no matter how young your children are.

672.  Peaches, peanuts and pecans - I love these homegrown Georgia products.  The farm across the road from us is growing peanuts this year. We took a basket of peaches to my mother-in-law on Saturday, at her request. :)

673. And I'm growing green beans and they are so plentiful. You know I can't have a post without something from my garden...I've shared the green beans with many already.

674. There is a part of me that wonders if I am old (or thought to be "old") since I've been married 35 years? Most days I don't feel old, and I certainly enjoy being around people of all ages, so I'm not "set in my ways" (yet).  This I do know - growing old is a gift from our Lord and our lives are in His Hands. Eternal life is the greatest grace gift I will ever count and I hope you know that He is yours and you are His. I want to grow old gracefully. I pray about that often.


1,000 GIFTS, #639 to #659

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jumping right in this week, with a heart at peace and a mind that is FULL...of His grace gifts.

639. Sweet time with some sweet ladies Thursday evening - sharing, walking, and picking fresh blueberries right here at the Farm.  Kindred spirits, His gifts of friendship.

640. My sweet husband and I made some hospital visits on Saturday. I love going with him and hearing his strong voice pray for the folks we visited. I love that I have a praying husband, I'm thankful for his prayers. Grace.

641. We visited this sweet baby girl, less than 24 hours old...her name means "My God Has Answered" in Hebrew.  Many folks prayed for this baby for years and He indeed answered in a wonderful way. 

642. My quilting brings me JOY...and the JOY multiplies when I finally get to give the quilts to the ones for which I make them. Below is Eliana's quilt from the front...she's all wrapped up in it above.

643. Talking with the man who is helping paint our farm fence, and hearing Hector's story, how he came to America and knowing once again how God's Grace is sufficient.

644. Compassion Sunday at my church yesterday. A young high school girl and I planned the event together.  Her name is Mary C. and God melded our hearts together beginning when I use to pick her and and take her to Awana at church on Wednesday nights, when she was still in elementary school...

645. Mary C and I shared our JOY in sponsoring children through Compassion on Sunday morning and as of last night, 49 CHILDREN HAVE BEEN SPONSORED!!!

646. Memories of first hearing about Compassion at a Live Concert when Travis Cottrell was recording his "JESUS SAVES" project. Shaun Groves told his story that night and I just came away being mesmerized by him and his love for this organization.

647. Picking up a packet after hearing Shaun speak and becoming the "sponsor" of a little boy who lives in Colombia, South America - and now feeling like Iduar is a part of my life...because he is.

648. Following the prompting of my husband a year later to "sponsor" another child through Compassion, a little girl named Gloria who lives in Uganda, who is also a part of our lives. 

649. Sharing the good news with Shaun by way of Twitter yesterday and having him respond blessed me. I'm thankful for his ministry and it has been multiplied now at my church with 49 more children released from poverty in Jesus' Name...

650. Praying that God will make a way for me to one day go on a Compassion bloggers trip. That is a dream of mine.

651. The grace of long-time friends. Sharing a meal with Jack and Lanie after church on Sunday. Easy laughter that comes from spending a lot of time together.  

652. Praying for my boys and their families. Seeing them be good husbands and daddies. Not a day passes that my husband and I don't thank the Good Lord above for His grace in blessing us with these sons.

653. Planning two bridal showers for later on this month.  Both couples love Jesus and are serving Him, one couple will be in full-time ministry. Thankful for these young people and the joy of blessing them blesses me.

654. Little grandboys with sunglasses on...

655.  Cool weather to sit on the front porch and have coffee and conversation.  One of our favorite things to do. Reconnecting after a busy day.

656. Ministering to long-time friends of 23 years who have had a death in their family. We do not grieve as those who have no hope. Thankful for the ministry of the Word.

657. Thankful for a pastor who says "The Power Is In the Word," and then he preaches like he believes that.

658. Thankful for a youth pastor and his wife who are at the beach this week with hundreds of young people...pouring into them...making a difference.

659. Thankful for you who take the time to read this blog.  Would you consider leaving a comment? Thank you if you do.

God bless you ALL,



1,000 GIFTS

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