Joy was my word for 2018. As I read Jesus Always; Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young during my devotional times, daily I sought to find the joy in the journey set out before me. As the Christmas season has come and gone, along with two cherished weeks off from teaching/traveling/ministering, I’m grateful. As 2019 has started with nonstop rain, I am purposefully seeking an attitude of gratitude. Yes it’s dreary and pouring outside. Again. But this is my office today. I’m blessed to work from home. In comfy leggings and slippers. Where there is a sweet puppy and funny cat to keep me company. Precious music students will descend upon my home again this week, and I will be privileged to share the Good News of the Gospel heading into my 31st year of ministry to a world in desperate need of hope.
When I left Denver last year after spending my 2nd Christmas there with Ross and Brianna, I could not have asked for a more perfect Christmas. The Lord gave us a white Christmas AND we got to go skiing. But as I began to look toward this year, I wanted to be home. Airports and hotels remind you that there truly is no place like home. I had been praying all year that Ross and Brianna would come home for Christmas, asking the Lord for all of my family to be together this year, for the first time in four years. On Friday night, December 14th, at 10:00 p.m., Ross decided he would be coming home along with Brianna on the 20th. Five days' notice. That decision threw me into completely switching gears, booking an airline ticket and completely rearranging any plans I had of Christmas preparations and celebrations.
My first priority became trying to find a time to get my family all together, even if just for a meal. Ross and Brianna were here for four wonderful days December 20th-23rd, Robert, Elizabeth and James Michael came on the 28th, and Hannah and Clayton, Blue and Shadow on the 30th. While my family did come home for Christmas, they came in three separate visits. I cherished every minute of having them here at home, and was truly grateful. But if I can be honest, once it was all said and done. I found myself fighting feelings of disappointment. "Lord, I asked you for my family to be all together this Christmas," I heard myself saying in my mind. And then it hit me.
God is not Santa Clause. We don't write him our wish list and then get exactly what we want. But He is so faithful to give us exactly what He sees fit to allow, for His purposes, glory, and for our good. Did I get exactly what I wanted and asked for? No. But my beloved family members ALL came to celebrate Christmas with me here at home. Instead of grumbling about what did not happen, I am deeply grateful for what God did allow. My son came home! He was here, opening gifts, celebrating God's greatest gift to us all at home with me. There could have been no greater gift for this mama.
Even as I am finishing up writing this article, my Christmas tree is still up, Sammy is sleeping on the loveseat, and Zoey is beside me on the couch as a Hallmark movie is on. Life is more often than not, not the perfect happy ending we see on holiday movies. But God's Word promises that one day we will get our happy ending. We will all be together again. And in the meantime, He has put the word "grateful"l before me for this new year.
Before that Friday night when Ross told me he was finally deciding to come home, I was looking at the first Christmas in my entire life with no one here at home on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and I was struggling with that thought. Waking up for the first time on Christmas morning with neither of my children had me heavy-hearted. And while two precious friends welcomed me into their family Christmas celebrations, Sharon's on Christmas Eve, and Julie's on Christmas Day, I am abundantly grateful that my family came home! Not on Christmas Eve or Day, but they came. We were together. And for now, that is more than enough for me to give thanks to my Father who loves me and surprised me with unexpected blessings of family and friends right here at home.
January...a time we say goodbye to the past, and embark upon a new year. Ross and Brianna coming, with five days' notice brought four precious days with them on SC soil. They flew by, and once again I found myself standing tearfully in an airport watching them leave. But they came! Even as their departing flight from Columbia to Charlotte was delayed, and I found myself driving them to Charlotte unexpectedly so they could catch their connection to Denver, I found myself deeply grateful. That drive gave me an extra hour and a half with my son. I drove home with tears of gratitude streaming down my face. And they are flowing again. God was so kind in allowing them to come. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18.) I am certain that your life is not exactly as you had hoped, wished or envisioned. But it is the life the Lord has entrusted to you. A life full of His goodness and grace, wonder, unexpected blessings, and even surprises. An attitude of gratitude is a choice. May we choose well in 2019.
Blessed New Year, dear friend,
Ministry at a Glance
What a wonderful time of the year Christmas is, truly my favorite. So I of course cherish each and every Christmas event, and always look forward to that season of the year, especially as a singer. I want to again thank the Sonoco Old Timers Club and West Hartsville Baptist Church in Hartsville, SC for welcoming me into your Christmas celebrations. Thank you, sweet ladies of Ninety Six First Baptist for asking me to be your speaker/singer for your beautiful Christmas tea. Thank you also to Gateway Assembly of God in Barnwell, SC, and First Baptist Church of Manning in Manning, SC for allowing me to share my Christmas concerts with your church family. And what a joy is was to be able to sing in my "home church" of Newspring Eastlan at the Greenville, SC campus, both for their morning worship and evening Christmas cantata. The highlight for me was singing a duet with my friend and Worship Pastor Jerry Stepp, and also having my college roommate Julie Caldwell join me that night.
To every single church or organization that welcomed me into your venues and hearts in 2018, thank you from the bottom of mine. Without you, I would not be heading into my 31st year of ministry. Thank you to each of you that is welcoming me in 2019, as together we share the love of Jesus. I am grateful for Allison Hodge, as we step into our 4th year of working and serving you together. It's going to be an amazing year, and I can hardly wait to see what all He has in store for us.
On the Homefront
*TV special- "The Fuhrman Diaries" on Fox Nation featuring Dawn Smith Jordan*
Dawn's family's story will be featured on an upcoming episode of "The Fuhrman Diaries," slated to air in March of 2019. The program is part of the subscription-based streaming platform Fox Nation. The show features LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman as he analyzes cases from his perspective. Dawn is scheduled to film her interviews January 24th/25th. Once we have a specific air date we will be sure to pass it along to you.
New Additions to the Website
We have recently added a new video to our website and would love for you to check it out and share it with friends. On both the homepage and "Media" tab you can view a recent recording of Dawn singing her song "Sister," which she wrote in 1988 for her sister Shari. We would like to thank Philip Council, worship pastor at Maysville Baptist Church in Maysville, GA, for his work editing the video and sending it to us. And we are excited about more videos to come. Now Booking Spring Events and Summer Love-Offering concerts Dawn's spring calendar is starting to fill up quickly, but there are a few dates still open. We would love for you to consider Dawn for your ladies' get together, Sunday service, or any other type of function your church may be having or looking to schedule.
We are also starting to book for Dawn's Summer Concert Series. Right now almost every Sunday in June, July and August are open. During the summer months, Dawn offers a FREE family friendly concert, simply asking for a love offering and travel.
If you are interested in hosting Dawn this spring or summer please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your church on Dawn's calendar! *Timeless Hymns II project* As most of you know, the production of Dawn newest CD was delayed due to health issues with the producer and his family. For those who pre-ordered Dawn's Timeless Hymns II project, you should have recieved a complimentary copy of Timeless Hymns I and also This Far from Dawn's record company president/producer Phillip Sandifer as a gift until the new project is completed. Thank you again for your patience and understanding on this!
On the Road Again
Sunday, January 20th
West Columbia First Nazarene
West Columbia, SC
Saturday, February 2nd
Green Valley Baptist Church
Sunday, February 3rd
Green Valley Baptist Church
Sunday, February 3rd
Emory & Henry College
Sunday, February 1oth
The Oaks Retirement Community
Sunday, February 17th
Sand Hill Baptist Church
Women's Day Morning Service
Tuesday, February 19th
Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church
Senior Adult luncheon
Thursday, February 21st
Carolinas Hospital Systems
Healthy Women Event 5:30 p.m.
Hodge-Podge Allison Hodge, Administrative Assistant
Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries Randy and Allison Hodge Abby (7), Hannah (5), Ryan (1)