1,000 GIFTS, #827 to #843

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm worn out tonight, but my heart is wonderfully full. Weary in body, but joyful in spirit. I saw a tweet last week by Dr. Paige Patterson (President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX) that said:
"Be wary when you are weary..."
It really resonated with me because I know how I can "be" when I become weary. The first thing that tells on me is my not-so-good-attitude. I become critical and irritable. The only cure is spiritual rest and physical rest.  But tonight my weariness is physical and it is because I have gone wide open this past weekend...and it's all good!

827.  A letter from my Compassion child, Iduar. Nothing can bring me a sense of peace or "rightness" like knowing the JOY of sponsoring this young man in Colombia.

828. This is the week we are expecting our 4th grandchild, a girl...the JOY is amazing because there is a knowing in my heart - a knowing of just how incredibly wonderful it is to be Gran Jan.

829. I literally just finished a dress for her earlier this evening. It is a size "1" so she won't be able to wear it until next spring/summer, but I just had to make something.  It was the smallest size on the pattern...and yes, there is monogram.
830.  I helped my oldest son with his two children this weekend as his wife attended a ladies retreat. I love being available to them. That is one of the reasons Gran Jan is weary this evening, but as I said, it's a "good weary." 

831.  My Dad wanted little Miss Madie to have an apple from his apple tree, so we complied of course.  She loved it and then didn't want to come back to my house.
832.  Here she is with my mom, Gigi (for Great-Grandmother). My mom was singing "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray..." My grandmother, Gigi's mother, used to sing that song to me too...
833. My baby boy and his baby boy (can you tell???) having a popsicle picnic.  It won't be long until he will be daddy to a daughter. We can hardly wait.
834. Homemade poundcake and a happy husband. He said, "you know poundcake is my favorite, don't you?" Yes, we've only been married 35 years and I know these things...I did something different. I used a muffin tin and made "poundcake cupcakes," and each one had it's own little crust (which is the best part).

835. I have no idea if these pumpkins will bear before frost, but I am sure enjoying the vine. It is growing like Jack's beanstalk...right before my eyes. So fun.
836. An incredible day of worship at church yesterday with songs of praise that focused on the Name of Jesus: "Be Unto Your Name," "Something About That Name," "Your Great Name," and "Something Happens."  WE HAD CHURCH and I am still processing the JOY.

837. Vance Pitman, a church planter from Las Vegas, NV preached in our services yesterday. I was so encouraged by his message of our purpose as believers, as a church. He was definitely a blessing and I am thankful our Pastor invited him to come be with us.

838. Being reminded that "Ministry is the overflow of intimacy with God." God calls us to Himself, and as we spend time with Him through prayer and His Word, we realize that intimacy proceeds ministry. He calls us to BE and then we can DO.  A great message from Rev. Pitman.

839. One of the sweetest things Zeke (four years old) has ever said to me was this past weekend. As we were watching Disney's Cinderella, he told me not to worry about the stepsisters being so mean to her because Cinderella's "favorite grandmother" was coming to help. I know he meant "fairy godmother," but he repeated "favorite grandmother" 3 times...and I will have to admit I liked it, a lot.

840. Sweet time of prayer with a friend who is grieving the death of her mom this past summer and all that ensues - her posssessions, the memories. I love how God graces us to learn from others and share with them at the same time.

841. Tickets already received for the May 31-June 1, 2013 Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore here in the grand state of Georgia! Planning with my Women's Ministry Team is already underway. I love these ladies and I love how we love the ladies we serve. It is a GIFT of His Grace.

842. Being asked to teach Sunday School "at the last minute," yesterday and finding myself with young ladies who are engaged to be married. The Lord prompted me to share Philippians 2:1-4 with them...great advice for us all, and most especially for those getting ready to become wives.

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,
if any tenderness and compassion,  2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded,
having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
 4 Not looking to your own interests
but each of you to the interests of the others.

843. Welcoming glorious Autumn this past Saturday, my favorite of all the seasons...
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

*Gran Jan*

1,000 GIFTS, #800 to #826

Monday, September 17, 2012

WOW - I am really nearing the goal of counting to one thousand gifts. As I seek to reach that goal I can say with complete confidence that a greater goal has been achieved... that of seeing His grace everywhere at all times with all JOY.

800. I love moonflowers. I took this picture one night last week on my back patio. (They bloom at dusk.) One of my favorite authors, Jan Karon, wrote a book entitled "The Trellis and the Seed,"  which is a book of encouragement about waiting...
801. These next few pictures all show God's bounty as we approach harvest. If these pictures bore you, I must say I will never get over the fact that "God planted a Garden," (Genesis 2:8) and I love gardens and farms. We live in the country with farms all around. This past Saturday evening we took a drive and a farmer was harvesting his peanuts...I really love this picture.
802.  Less than a mile from the peanut fields are acres and acres of soybeans...
803. And about a mile from the soybeans were acres and acres of cotton. The cotton is just starting to mature. My paternal grandfather (who died before I was born) was a farmer who grew peanuts and cotton.
804. Cooler morning temperatures which mean my favorite season is almost here. Autumn brings me so much energy, and I'm going to need it as we await...

805. The birth of our fourth grandchild, a girl...due in about 10 days. Here we are celebrating at a baby shower two weekends ago. Gran Jan, Mommy-to-be, and Nonna. Love this picture.
806. We Southern girls love our monograms - and I loved these precious pink monogrammed cookies at the baby shower for Emery.

807. My little 2 year old granddaughter Madie also came to the baby shower with my daughter-in-law. She is precious. Having raised boys, I am really enjoying watching her "girl play." She will sit in the little rocker in our den and rock her baby doll, patting her on the back and being the sweetest little mommy. It just blesses my heart.

808. And here is the finished dress I made her for fall. I really get excited thinking about all the little jumpers and dresses I can make for my grandgirls.
809. And of course I still have to make things for the little grandboys too...here is Jackson's fall shirt....with a manly monogram. ;)
810. Texting with my niece Amy who lives in California. I love that we can "connect" at a moment's notice. She shared with me "Be Here, Be Now," and that little saying sometimes comes to my heart and helps me focus. Amy is the daughter of my sister Jean who passed away when she was only 25 years old, and Amy was 23 months old. I wrote all about my sister Jean in this blog post. 

811. My other niece Melissa got married this past weekend in beautiful Savannah, GA. Here is the beautiful bride on the arm of my father, her grandfather. She is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside.

812. My parents - God's grace in my life. I am one of those blessed daughters that has sweet childhood memories and now much love and support as a grown woman. They are simple people who value family and hard work.

813. Wednesday night Bible study with some faithful women. We are completing a study this week by Priscilla Shirer, "Discerning the Voice of God."  It has been tremendous.

814. Looking forward to our next study by Kelly Minter, "The Fitting Room," (Putting on the Character of Christ). I am thankful for the way God is raising up these young women that teach and hold true to the Word of God. Thankful for women like Kay Arthur and Beth Moore that have paved the way for them.

815. Grandparents Day at my grandchildren's preschool. They are both in this picture (Madie is in the middle in the yellow blouse), and that tall little fella in the red shirt on the far right caught his Gran Jan's eye. He ran to me and gave me a hug that carried me the rest of the day...

816. Every Sunday after morning worship we wait for our grandson Jackson to come to "big church" to see us before we all leave. Just yesterday he sat right down at the pastor's pulpit and my son took this picture. I love seeing my family at church.

817. And even though I don't see my oldest son and his family at church each week, I know their influence for Christ in their church is strong.  My son pastors a great church in a neighboring community and I drove by this sign just this past week on my way into work. Joy for this mother's heart, multiplied grace.

818. A Saturday spent making a memory with our oldest grandson. We spent the day together with Zeke and rode the SAM Shortline Train to Plains, GA for the "peanut festival." Here is his with Pop after we had enjoyed the big parade. :)

819. A cup of hot tea soothes a scratchy throat. The tea (Constant Comment by Bigelow)
was tasty (my favorite flavor of spice and oranges) and the honey stirred in was sweet, but what was especially good was that my sweet husband prepared it and brought it to me as I was working on my Bible study...I am spoiled rotten. Grace?

820. He also makes a mean pan of jalepeno cornbread...which he has done a lot lately. I will post the recipe soon - it is very good. He called me as I was leaving work one afternoon and said "the cornbread is in the oven."  God surely graced me by bringing Gary into my life all those years ago. God's gift of grace in my marriage has grown exponentially over the years as my love for my husband has grown too...

821. Looking foward to the Georgia Quilt Show next month with my friend Lanie. Tickets and reservations are made. We call it the QTT (Quilting Think Tank and Quilting Time Together). Good friends are God's sweet grace. Lifelong friends are priceless.

822.  My youngest son works on our local Air Force Base as a Project Manager. I'm not quite sure what he does but I know from reliable sources that he is very good at his job. He had to go TDY (temporary duty) last week to Nevada...and sent me this picture as he visited Hoover Dam. I'm so proud of him and his work. He is a great son, brother, husband, father, and worship leader.

823. There is a very quaint public place in downtown Perry near where I work that is especially nice to have lunch.  My friend Sharon and I did just that last week. We took our Subway sandwiches and sat outside ane enjoyed the glorious cool weather.

824. I am most thankful for our pastor's series of messages in the book of Joshua on Sunday mornings. He is an awesome expository preacher - and the Word of God is so rich. He began a series just like night on Zephaniah. It's going to be a hard word, but the hard words are just as needed and show His grace to us strong.

825. One of our staff pastors and his wife have been serving in Kenya the past 2 weeks. Can't wait to hear from Pastor Matthew and Kathy as they return home this week.  May the sun never set on the ministry of Second Baptist Church...

826. Rejoicing with another of our staff pastors in the birth of a daughter. We love you Dawson and Taneea and celebrate this gift of God to your family...

Thankful tonight for the simplicity of gifts seen in faith, family, and friends. It's all His grace.  Blessed.

Jan

1,000 GIFTS, #786 to #799

Monday, September 3, 2012

It has been a wonderful long 3-day weekend filled with time at home, time in worship, time with family, and time with friends.  Those gifts are all wrapped up in my list this evening...

786. Three-day weekends with Monday's off. Grateful.

787. Celebrating my oldest son's birthday. He's a fun-loving, passionate preacher - but he was sweet enough to wear this "chick-fil-a hat" for his children. My husband and I met Jeremy and his family for lunch on his birthday last Wednesday - August 29th.  Fun times.

788. Counting one of my life's greatest JOYS and blessings, being a mom. I've been one for 31 years now...and I'm grateful for my two boys, two daughters-in-law, and precious grandchildren.  I love being a mother.

789.  And I LOVE being a grandmother too, this is my oldest boy's boy. When he came running to me at Chick-fil-a last week and gave me that big hug I thought my heart would burst open. God's grace.

790. Getting ready for my fall garden planting this morning, and I found this praying mantis on my lemon thyme...he really struck a prayerful pose for me, now didn't he?

791. Homemade tomato pie - my husband loved it and it blesses me to cook for my happy hearty eating family.

792. I've spent a lot of time in my sewing room this weekend and made four "burp cloths" for my little Emery...September is her birth month!  Can't wait to meet her. Won't be long now.

793. As my husband, youngest son and youngest grandson were leaving church Sunday, they were playing the "one two three jump" game and I grabbed my iPhone and snapped this picture...THREE GENERATIONS leaving church together. Thank you LORD.

794. Ann Voskamp - who is the inspiration behind 1,000 Gifts, retweeted a tweet of mine last week and it just made my heart happy. She wrote a beautiful post on marriage...you can go read it here.

795. I love fall the best of all and I'm making a cute little fall jumper for Miss Madie Ruth...complete with a fall scarecrow. This applique was 25 steps and I had a lot of fun picking out the colors and fabric scraps to design it. 

796. A little hummingbird flew into our garage and I was able to hold her while she caught her breath - then she zoomed away...and I caught my breath. I loved that.

797. Sending a quart jar of pickled okra to my mother-in-law because I know she loves it and making it for her brought me a special joy.  She's been such a good role model for me all these 35 years I've been married to her baby boy. 

798. Breakfast is my husband's favorite meal of the day. We enjoyed good conversation this morning over delicious jalepeno cheddar sausage made at a local shop called M & T Meats.

799. My daughter-in-law Erin is great with child and we are counting the days to Emery's birth later this month.  She and Jonathan have prepared the most beautiful room for this baby girl...I am so thankful for my boys and their wives - they are great parents and it brings me such JOY to know my grandchildren are being raised up in love and being taught the ways of Christ.

My grace gifts lists have a common theme - faith - family - friends. I am thankful for the joys of simple living and counting these gifts makes me realize even more that my JOYS are those simple treasures of daily living. I am very thankful and counting my blessings makes me even more aware of how blessed I am.  It's a good discipline and it will keep your mind and heart focused on what really matters...faith - family - friends.

God is Good,
JAN 

Beth Moore - Living Proof Live Charleston

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This exact time last week I was just settling back in at home from an awesome weekend, talking as fast as I could re-living everything to my sweet husband. Fifty-one ladies from Second Baptist Church attended the Living Proof Life event (sponsored by Lifeway) in Charleston, SC. There were 9,000 women there and it was one of the best events I've ever attended. It will definitely be one of my favorite memories of 2012. I'm asking God to let His Word and the worship remain in my bones...to help me press in closely and retain all that His Spirit revealed to me.

Beth taught from Genesis 32-33, "Embracing the Facing," was her title. I've never heard the story of Jacob and Esau taught more powerfully/practically. Here are Beth's eight points (underlined) with notes added:

1. We're here to become more honest versions of ourselves (get honest/get blessed).
2. We cannot walk in our full birthright as part fraud (desire full daughtership). Do we pray it then work it, or pray it then obey it? Every independent action to work out a situation is an act of unbelief. We work at our rest when we give situations to God then take them back. Our working on them is pure laziness - it is much harder to just leave the thing alone...
3. We've got to stick a "WITH" back in the way we work people (work WITH people, not WORK people). Are we heel grabbers or hand takers? Ask yourself these questions to see how they fit when you are "working with people:"
     *What's in it for me?
     *Is there a single slice of insincerity?
4. It's time to go face down and face up (we want the healing without the dealing).
5. Children of faith can't wrestle with people without wrestling with God*I will not let go until He blesses me" said Jacob - there IS a blessing coming. We are close to Jesus when we are wrestling with Him. The Hebrew for embrace (habaq) and wrestle (abaq) are very similar. [Intimacy with Jesus in both situations.]
6. God can use a crippling defeat to bring about our greatest victory (Jacob's hip being put out of socket crippled him - right before his victory and reunion with his brother.)  Don't regret what He brings out of those regrets.
7. God can bring a shocking peace to our fiercest wars.
8. We've grasped the blessing when we keep trying to GIVE IT AWAY! (At that moment, Jacob had the full right of his sonship.)
  Here are some highlights of our weekend...

We pulled out of the church parking lot at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning...
Very thankful for Mr. Phil Randall our excellent bus driver,
and Cindy Schult, our precious Women's Ministry Events Director.

We stopped for a wonderful picnic lunch at the SC Welcome Center...

We were blessed with RESERVED FRONT ROW seats...

I had appliqued a little shirt for Beth's granddaughter that said: "No Place Like Bibby's," (Beth's grandmother name). I gave it to Travis Cottrell on Friday night, and asked  him to give it to her in case I didn't get to see her. She loved it and showed it to everyone as she was sharing about her family.

Here is a closeup of the shirt - I made one for my granddaughter too...

Travis sang my favorite song from his latest CD - "Thanks Be To Our God." You can hear it in the recap video at the bottom of this post. 

I love these girls...they have fun everywhere they go...
I love that women had time to fellowship with each other.

We posed for a group photo before having lunch and heading home...

I stayed afterward for a group photo with the "Siestas." Beth had made signs for us...mine says "Mayor of Siestaville," and her's says "Mama."

And finally, the amazing talents of Mr. Rich Kalonick...I am so very grateful to have this recap that he so beautifully compiled.


Speak Lord, Speak
Jan

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