Happy Birthday, JJ!

I left Orlando in a rush after the birth of my first grandson to head to El Paso, Texas to anticipate the birth of Josh and Rachel’s firstborn.  Josh Jr (JJ) was sweet to wait for Granma to get there! Just two and one-half days later, after a yummy italian lunch together, Rach called me from her bedroom to say she thought her water had broken.

Watching Rachel go through a long labor together with my son at her side was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I have witnessed many births, but have never seen a husband and wife partner so beautifully through labor. I also enjoyed sharing the experience with Rachel’s wonderful parents, John and Gloria. We laughed and prayed together…and John ate quite a few of my homemade chocolate chip cookies. Smile.

JJ reminded me so much of his daddy when he was born. I think we were all surprised when he came out with light eyes and hair, which he gets not only from Dad but from Rachel’s paternal grandmother. I have written before about the tearful moment when Josh took his minutes-old son aside to speak his first words to him. He wanted his baby boy to know he was a sinner whose Daddy wanted to someday introduce to his Savior. It was a moment I hope to never forget.

As you can see, JJ’s hair became a striking red that gains him attention everywhere he goes. He is a sweet, thoughtful and gentle little boy who endears himself to all who meet him. His quiet personality is a nice balance to his “live loud” cousins. Yet JJ has his own struggles when his tender heart gives way to sinful attitudes. His parents are doing a wonderful job using these common childish reactions to point him to the Savior Daddy told him about 7 years ago today.

I have often marveled at God’s kindness to allow me to witness the births of my first two grandsons in less than three days some 1,700 miles apart. The days following JJ’s birth not only gave me precious time with my son’s firstborn. They also provided sweet times between my first daughter-in-law and me. I got to serve her; cook; light candles and play worship music; clean; help Josh organize a “Costco shelf” with extra household supplies; and watch her adjust to first-time motherhood with joy and grace.

I loved her before, but left with deeper affection and respect for her than ever.

Letting you into my life with stories about my grandchildren isn’t just an excuse to talk about them. It’s a way to let the little world that visits here see God in the story of my life. You see, I wasn’t supposed to have children, which means my little people wouldn’t have existed. Because God hears and heals, this adorable redhead came into the world.

Is your heart weighed with worry or concern that God doesn’t hear and heal? Have you been praying about something for a really long time that hasn’t happened? I can’t tell you how God will answer your prayers. But He promises He hears…and that he withholds “no good thing” from those He calls His own.

I pray that my stories remind you of your own. Your life is a story of God’s love, redemption, faithfulness and goodness just like mine. I have eleven little people whose existence remind me regularly that God hears and heals.

What reminders are around you?


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