By Sherye S. Green
A Grand Legacy
Almost thirty years have passed since I gave birth to my baby girl. It seems like only yesterday when Mark and I were bringing our Lauren home from the hospital. Soon, she will deliver a child of her own. My husband and I can hardly wait to meet our third grandson.
Our family welcomed our first grandson, James, in June 2013. What a magical experience it was to watch our son, Mark, become a daddy to his new son right before our very eyes. My Mark and I went through a transformation of our own, as we went from Sherye and Mark to our new personas of Gracie and Daddy Mark. In November 2015, Mark and his wife, Abigail, welcomed a second son, Joel, to their family. Now thirteen months old, his every move displays determination and boldness, as if to say, “Look out, world! Joel is here!”
How grateful to the Lord I am for generations of role models with which He’s blessed our family. Becoming a grandparent, although fun and thrilling to the soul, is not for the faint of heart. Our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents on both sides of our family set a high bar for what a terrific “grand” ought to be.
The legacy I want to pass on to my grandsons can’t be purchased with gold and silver. The gift of wonder. Encouraging the possibility of who they can become. My uninterrupted time. The assurance that I will always be there for them. Passing on the torch of faith. More than anything, I want to touch the heart of my grandchildren and leave not only my fingerprints, but God’s, as well.
Since becoming Gracie, my grandsons have given priceless gifts to me. Unconditional love. Their total acceptance. A glimpse of the world through fresh eyes. The pure joy of playing and using one’s imagination to create a world as real as this one. I look expectantly to what this newest little fellow in our family has to teach his Gracie.
All God gives to each of us is one day at a time. I pray there are thousands of those days left ahead for me, especially to spend with my Daddy Mark and our children, children-in-love, and our grands. As fun as it is to shop for them and to spoil them occasionally, I know the gift they will need more than any other is the one that only Jesus Himself can give—the gift of eternal life.
Our oldest grandson, James, began attending the Awana program at his church last fall. Founded some seventy years ago, this program seeks to disciple children ages 2–18. One of the cornerstone principles of the curriculum is Scripture memorization. How exciting it has been to watch James soak up God’s Word as he hides it in his heart. James’ bright brown eyes sparkle when he quotes for us the newest Bible verse he’s learned. The look on his face and the tone of his voice bear witness to how real God already is to him. Seeds are being sown for a heavenly harvest.
Some of my greatest pleasures of being Gracie are wrapping my arms around James and Joel in a bear hug or snuggling together in the rocking chair under a warm quilt as we read a good storybook together. What fun it is to play a game of Hide and Seek or build a mighty tower from plastic blocks. Gracie looks forward to building her own special bond with Lauren’s little boy soon to join our family.
Perhaps the greatest privilege I have as Gracie is to pray for my grandchildren. Conversations I share with the Lord concerning their lives will have eternal value. At the top of my list for these precious children is that they would come to know the Lord and to love Him with all their heart and mind and soul and strength. I ask that God would gift them with a heart that is sensitive to His whisper and to the needs of others around them. May God grant to our grands an adventuresome spirit with which to live each day.
Only God knows how many grandchildren He will bring to Daddy Mark and to me.
Let the lives we lead, the words we share, and the memories we build with our grands always point those little hearts toward Heaven’s shore. “O God, you have helped me from my earliest childhood—and I have constantly testified to others of the wonderful things you do. And now that I am old and gray, don’t forsake me. Give me time to tell this new generation (and their children too) about all your mighty miracles” (Psalm 71:17-18 Living Bible).
May God’s unfailing love be the grand legacy we pass along.
Sherye S. Green is a Jacksonian, a teacher at Madison-Ridgeland Academy, and a wife, mother, and grandmother. Sherye and her husband, Mark, are members of First Baptist Church Jackson. She is also the author of Abandon Not My Soul.