On a couple of occasions, now, I’ve written about this same topic – words and phrases we don’t use anymore or that have lost their original meaning. For instance, does anybody ever encounter (or even remember how to use) a “pay phone?” What about a “cassette tape?” If you use one of those, you’ll surely have to “rewind” at some point. And why do we still tell the kids to “roll up” the windows in the car? If we’re not careful, we’ll sound like a “broken record.” But “don’t touch that dial,” I’m not “running out of steam” just yet! When was the last time you experienced a “Kodak moment?” “On the flip side,” sometimes you’re just not up to having your picture taken because you feel like you’ve “been through the wringer.”

The context for each of my previous articles was the arrival of a new grandchild, and the arrival of our newest grandchild, Grace Elaine, prompted this one. Just as each grandchild is unique, so, too, were the circumstances surrounding each child’s arrival. Our first grandchild was adopted from a birth mother dealing with some very difficult and dangerous addiction issues. I found that the word “redeemed” described his situation quite well. Our next grandchild, also adopted, came from a different situation, but the birth mother simply knew she couldn’t provide all her baby would need. In a very real sense, the birth mother “bequeathed” him to his new family.

Grace’s arrival called to my mind another word we rarely use any more, the word “bestow.” To “bestow” means to give or present something, often something of value or honor. Like her cousins before her, Grace is an incredibly precious honor deeply loved and cherished by her family. During a recent visit with Grace and her parents, I had the chance to visit with our son-in-law about all the wonderful changes they’d experienced over the last couple of years. Unlike her sisters, our oldest daughter didn’t marry right out of college. In fact, she didn’t even meet her husband until she was into her 30’s. But once they met, things moved rather swiftly. In the span of just over 30 months, they went from meeting to dating to engagement to marriage to pregnancy to Grace’s arrival. So, by the time we all caught our breath, it felt a whole lot like Grace was simply, and almost suddenly, “bestowed” on us. The honor and responsibility that come with such a “bestowment” are still sinking in.

Each of our grandchildren is a gift I treasure deeply. In fact, I believe every child, every life, is a gift from God. The timing and circumstances of Grace’s birth, though, made her arrival special in its own way. Of course, her name itself speaks to an even greater gift – God’s gift of grace to all who will receive it. My prayer for Grace is that she will live into her name and will know God’s abundant grace in her own life, even as she shares it extravagantly with those around her. What greater gift could God bestow to Grace than His grace?

Redeemed, bequeathed, and bestowed. Oliver, Coehn, and Grace. What precious gifts, one and all.

To God be the glory!