Tag Archives: Jackson

Surprise me, God

     At this phase of my life journey, one of my favorite prayers is simply, “Surprise me, God!”

     This type of praying is still rather unique for me because I tend to be somewhat of a control freak who hasn’t liked surprises of any kind until perhaps the past couple years.

     A couple weekends ago, Ron and I surprised our older daughter and her family when we showed up at the Texas Roadhouse in Eugene, Oregon. Angie, Jonny, Mackenzie and Sydney with her boyfriend, Vic, were preparing to eat dinner prior to attending our grandson’s first home game playing hockey with the Eugene Generals. We’d told only Mackenzie—the family’s premier secret-keeper—our plans.

     Our delightful weekend served to remind me that sometimes God’s surprise includes precious fun-filled times with friends and family! Here the entire family celebrates with a spiffed-up Jackson, who made us all jump up and shout a short time earlier when he scored a spectacular goal.

Surprise Me, God

Sometimes God’s surprise includes precious fun-filled times with

friends and family!

 

     One week after our family surprise, Ron and I enjoyed a Friday lunch together followed by a walk along the beach. When we arrived home, Ron realized he’d lost his new, specially formulated and very expensive glasses. He left immediately to re-trace his route.

     No, the glasses hadn’t been found at the restaurant, he was told.

     He didn’t see them in the lot where we’d parked.

     (Of course, the entire time he was searching, both Ron and his wife who’d remained at home were praying.)

     My husband’s final stop was at the lake where he had knelt in the sandy beach to take photos. The man who’d been donning his wetsuit at the same time we were walking and taking pictures, had returned from his swim and commented, “Where did these come from?” just as Ron arrived next to the fellow’s beach towel to inquire whether he’d seen a pair of glasses. There, clasped in the questioning man’s hands, were Ron’s [new, specially formulated, very expensive] spectacles!

     This stressful incident reminded me that sometimes God’s surprise comes in the form of a gracious and merciful discovery!

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     I enjoy looking at ways the Bible tells how God surprised different people. These examples come immediately to mind this morning as I write this blog post.

     Joseph, who, like the little boy, Alexander, in the children’s book, had known more than his share of “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days,”[1] was quite suddenly surprised by God when he was released from an Egyptian prison and catapulted to second in command of the Egyptian government in only a short period of time. (For Joseph’s story see Genesis Chapter 37-50)

     Moses, who after 40 years, undoubtedly felt resigned to a future of tending sheep in the Midian Desert, was surprised by God through the encounter of a burning bush. God’s updated marching orders sent Moses to lead a band of over a million folks with slavery-instituted mindsets to a land God promised to their ancestors hundreds of years earlier. (See Exodus 3.)

     A teenage girl, Mary, surprised when an angel told her she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. (See Luke 1:26-56)

     A ragtag group of shepherds, surprised when a band of angels announced the birth of the Messiah. (See Luck 2:8-20)

     A group of grieving women surprised once again by an angel. This time, they were assured their beloved friend and teacher, Jesus, was no longer in the tomb but had risen, even as he’d promised. (See Matthew 28:1-10)

     I once heard a minister say words that resonated at the time and continue to return to my memory as truth:

     “God never acts quickly, but God always acts suddenly.”

     Today, as I conclude, I’m praying for each person reading this post..

     Dear God, please surprise this reader with one of Your good gifts! You know each need, each prayer, each heart. Surprise in a way that’s unique and causes him or her to recognize Your kindness in the surprise.

      Amen

Sue Reeve

  1. To listen to this delightful children’s book, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6rp0SZX7l

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Grandma Thoughts About ‘YOLO’

     Last Saturday was a special day. June 3rd, was a ‘milestone’ birthday for me. (I’m still processing this birthday, and will undoubtedly be writing more about it in the future.)

     The most special thing about June 3, 2017, however, is my firstborn grandson, Jackson, graduated from high school.

     When Jackson was just a tyke, I realized how little I knew about boys. I’d relished being a grandma to his two older sisters. I love to read, and Sydney and Mackenzie enjoyed cuddling on either side of grandma while we read book after book. The first time I tried reading to Jackson, the little guy didn’t remain still for a moment. In fact, he crawled over my head while I was attempting to share the wonder of words!

     I wasn’t sure I even liked little boys!

     Then, when he was 5 years old, my daughter told me a story Jackson’s kindergarten teacher told her during their parent/teacher conference. A little girl joined the class mid-way through the year. She was shy and a bit backward. When the group of kindergarteners walked as a group to the library, they were asked to hold the hand of a classmate. The teacher inquired, “Who will hold Katie’s (pseudonym) hand?” The children all turned away, except Jackson who said matter-of-fact, “I’ll hold her hand.” Katie was happy, and the teacher told my daughter how Jackson’s unpretentious kindness impressed her.

     This little story warmed Grandma’s heart, and from that story to this day, I’ve adored the first ‘man child’ born into our immediate family.

     Jackson, the little boy who crawled over his grandma’s head when she attempted to read a book as she perceived it ‘should’ be read, has never stopped moving. He’s also never stopped being kind, considerate, unpretentious and able to stand up against unhealthy peer pressure.

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     Our grandson is a naturally gifted athlete, but he’s also been willing to listen to coaches and work hard. He played most of the past football season with a seriously-injured hand, and in spite of physical discomfort, he excelled and was named his team’s MVP.

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     In September Jackson will join the Eugene (Oregon) Generals Junior Hockey team to play his favorite sport at an advanced level.

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     Youth is a wonderful time when the body is strong and possibilities for the future are endless. It is also a time when defining decisions can change the trajectory of one’s life. Millennials, the generation to which Jackson belongs, have adopted an acronym, YOLO, which means “You Only Live Once.” There’s great truth in this acronym even though I realize sometimes hedonistic or flat out dumb decisions become justification for ‘YOLO.’

     Like millions of parents and grandparents across the nation, I wish only the best blessings for the precious young men and women who grasp their diplomas while we in the audience recall the passing years, clap, cheer and snap photos.

     To Jackson, who introduced his grandma to the delight of little boys, I hope and pray you’ll always remember YOLO! Your ‘Baby Boomer’ grandma wishes for you:

A life lived fully.

Choices made wisely.

Days blessed richly.

Joy on your journey.

     To each reader and those special ones in your lives, I pray blessings on your journeys…

Sue Reeve

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Happy Birthday, Dear Jackson!

     I grew up with two sisters and was nearly 9-years old when my little brother arrived on the scene.

     Even though I wanted a son, God instead blessed me with two daughters.

     Our first two grandchildren? You guessed it! Two adorable little girls.

     When we received the news our daughter’s sonogram left no doubt a little boy was going to appear on the family scene, everyone was ecstatic.

     Jackson Eric arrived June 22, 1999.

     I was incredibly privileged to spend the first two weeks of Jackson’s life with him and his family in California. His two older sisters and I made a banner welcoming him home from the hospital. I gave Jackson his first at-home bath, an activity both of my daughters have allowed me to do for each grandbaby.

     From the get-go, our new grandson—a little ‘man-child’—seemed mysterious to me. Before long, I realized my understanding of little boys was minimal. Over the past 17 years, the mystery has subsided, but my admiration for the amazing ‘man-child’ God brought into my life continues to grow.

     Jackson is one of those all-around good kids. He recently returned from the Caribbean, invited to accompany his friend’s family on a fantastic vacation. Jackson is the type of young man you’d like to be your kid’s friend. He’s well mannered, considerate, bright, quiet, and remarkably witty.

     Jackson is a natural-born athlete. Even as a tiny baby, their family doctor was amazed by his muscular definition. While his athletic ability is God-given, what makes Jackson excellent is not only his love for every sport, but his commitment to hard work, his willingness to be coached, his dedication to team and humility concerning his ability.

     Jackson began playing tackle football when he was just a little guy—around 7 years old. This picture, taken after a game played in the rain and mud, is my very favorite snapshot of my firstborn grandson.

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     A couple years ago, while Jackson was visiting us, I told him even though I don’t know much about sports, I do know a good deal about character. I assured my beloved grandson that while his sports ability impresses me, what I truly admire about him is his character.

     Jackson’s athletic prowess will wane. Even in the best human speciman, physical ability diminishes—can even be snatched away. Good character, however, has the ability to grow and develop as a boy, girl, man,or woman chooses to make one good decision upon another.

     Nothing can rob us of our character.

     We sent Jackson his birthday check early this year so he could have a little extra spending money while in the Caribbean. We’re not wealthy people. I’ve often wished I had greater financial resources to share with our kids and grandkids, but there is one thing I can give.

     Prayers.

     Prayers won’t buy ‘stuff,’ but their benefits are priceless and timeless.

     Since my first daughter was a little tyke, I’ve searched for Scripture I could pray for my daughters and grandchildren. In my position as Care Connect Director at Lake City Church, I’ve compiled some of those in a handout we make available to parents, grandparents or people concerned about praying for the special kiddos in their lives.

     Today, as I celebrate the life of my grandson, who’ll soon enter his senior year of high school, I’d like to share some of these Scripture prayers with you, my Listening on the Journey friends.

     Blessings throughout your days and the days of those children you love!

Sue Reeve

Scripture and Prayer

Praying for My Children, Grandchildren or a Child I Love

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5 NLT)

My Prayer: You know I need wisdom, Lord. I need your heart to be the best parent (grandparent/influence) I can be. I’m asking you to direct me in these areas:

  1. ________________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________

My Thanksgiving today:

  1. ________________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________

 All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. (Isaiah 54:13 NIV)

My Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you that you know even what I don’t know about this child’s heart. I’m going to trust you will teach this child what I cannot. I want to partner with you. Help me with:

  1. ________________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________

Philippians 4:6 & 7 tells me to bring my requests with thanksgiving. Thank you for:

  1. ________________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________

Satan asked this question of God concerning Job. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?” (Job 1:10)

My Prayer: Lord, even as you did for Job so many, many years ago, I ask that you would build a strong hedge of protection around (child’s name). Protect him/her from physical, emotional, intellectual, sexual and spiritual harm. My requests:

1.__________________________________________________________________

2.__________________________________________________________________

3.__________________________________________________________________

My Thanksgiving today:

1.__________________________________________________________________

2.__________________________________________________________________

3.__________________________________________________________________

Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52 NIV). Also,   (Hebrews 13:21 CEV). I pray that God will make you ready to obey him and that you will always be eager to do right. May Jesus help you do what pleases God.

My Prayer: Thank you, God, for giving me a picture of Jesus as a child. I pray that even as Jesus did, (child’s name) will grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Help him/her to grow healthy intellectually, physically, spiritually and socially and help him/her desire to do what pleases God. Specifically, help him/her:

  1. ________________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________

My Thanksgiving today:

  1. ________________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. (Proverbs 22:6 NLT)

My Prayer: I want to see this child grow into a good adult who is a productive citizen and who loves you, Lord. Show me how to direct him/her:

  1. _______________________________________________________________
  2. _______________________________________________________________
  3. _______________________________________________________________

My Thanksgiving today:

  1. ________________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________