Marsha and I have been blessed with the birth of another grandchild. Leah Nina Coyner made her appearance on January 17th, weighing in at 6 pounds 8 ounces, and 18.5 inches long. She is the daughter of our son Steve and his wife Jessica, and they named her (middle name) after my mother who passed away last summer. They also researched names and learned that Nina means “great grandchild” – so her name says who she is – the great grandchild of Nina.

What this means is that we have been doubly blessed. In fact during this past year, by virtue of marriages and births, we have gone from zero to four grandchildren. Our daughter Laura is married to Adrian, who has a 10 year old daughter Brianna who lives in Puerto Rico with her mother. Brianna has been with us the past three Christmases and for some summer visits, and she calls me “Abu Mike” because her first language is Spanish and Abu is short for Abuelo (grandfather). As Brianna explains it to me, Abu is like calling me “Gramps.” Adrian and Laura also gave birth to Austin Michael Coyner, our next grandchild.

Our son Steve married Jessica who was a single mom with a daughter Ashlee who is 12 years old, and she picked up on the name “Abu Mike” and also calls me that name. Now that Steve and Jess have given birth to Leah, we have our fourth grandchild – all within about a year.

In fact, it was just about a year ago that I shared with a prayer partner my hope that Marsha and I might be grandparents someday. Most of our close friends were already grandparents and often shared the joy of that experience. So my prayer partner prayed that God might indeed bless us with grandkids, and now after about a year we are doubly-doubly blessed with four! 

Recently I shared with one of our pastors about the joy of being a grandparent, he responded (he is a grandparent, too), “It is ever better than advertised.” Indeed it is.

While I realize that not every prayer is answer so promptly and abundantly, and we must always pray and be open to God’s answers coming in unusual and surprising ways, I write this E-pistle to celebrate that God’s blessings are amazing – and sometimes we are doubly-doubly blessed.