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Like so many small towns across America, our tiny town of Gainesboro has experienced both progress and decline in its 203 years. Lately we have been enjoying a time of recovery, as new stores continue to open on our town square. Each entrepreneur has a story. One couple left a bustling, congested town an hour and a half away to enjoy our beautiful countryside. Now they’re raising goats, making goat milk soap, creating crafts and custom T-shirts, and selling them in their new store on the square. Another couple whose business in the Northwest folded during COVID regulations now operate an antiques and gift store next door to the goat milk soap store.

A man who inherited property on the square is now pouring himself into reviving it with an antique store, an event center, a posh vacation rental, and other ventures. A homeschooling dad is making things ready for a new pizza parlor. A retired couple who once worked in medical research and administration are preparing to open a healthy grocery store just off the square and a frozen custard shop nearby.

One thing that is exciting about these new places is that each of them is located in a building that is old. These entrepreneurs are not tearing down the old to make something new, but building on the past with something fresh and new.

I have been sticking to Ray like glue, as we say, but yesterday he encouraged me to go out to lunch with a few friends. I drove him to Notgrass headquarters so that he would have others nearby and did as he suggested. Yesterday was our one warmer day this week, sandwiched in between some cold temperatures. We friends met at the home of the one who lives in town and walked to the square in the cool and beautiful spring weather.

To our delight, the lady at the goat milk store had brought two bottle-fed spring kids with her. Isn’t this one adorable?

Not long before Ray and I got home, I saw some more new things, new signs of spring pushing out of the ground to tell us about our Creator. Nothing says Jackson County in the springtime more than these tiny lavender flowers that carpet our corner of the county each spring.

I have to look a little closer to see these tiny beauties every spring.

On the bank above the river, these pink flowers sat atop stems about 10 inches tall, and . . .

. . . yesterday I saw these that I am not sure I have seen before.

Each of our children was once a brand new blessing from God, and He gave us the precious gift of taking care of those brand new people.

God sends us many new blessings.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:3

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Therefore we have been buried with Him
through baptism into death,
so that as Christ was raised from the dead
through the glory of the Father,
so we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;
the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17


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