What God Has Given

Apr 26, 2017 by

Fifteen years ago today, this little angel came into the world.

BabyAngel2005 (2)I’m sorry, Nathan, but none of your baby pictures are on my desktop, and this one is worth a “Bad mom. Bad!”

His middle name should have been Surprise (maybe in Gaelic). Instead we chose Joseph.

I found out I was pregnant the day after September 11, 2001 while in the middle of writing my first book for Focus on the Family.

Christian was about to turn eleven.

I’d given away all of our baby stuff except the outfit Christian came home from the hospital in, the remains of his favorite blanket, and a few toys that were no longer suitable for public viewing.

Maybe his first name should have been Gaelic for Surprise!

Instead we chose Nathan, which means “God has given.” My baby book said it meant “Gift of God.” From the moment I read that definition, I knew God had sent this surprise because we needed one. The timing couldn’t have been weirder, but the whole idea of a surprise is that it arrives when we least expect it, right?

He has lived up to his name ever since.

God has given us so much through Nathan, aka Nate.

He gave Christian a little brother. I learned how badly he’d wanted one when, on the way home from the hospital, he said, “Now I have a car seat to sit next to,” and when he responded to my next offer to let him break the wishbone with, “I don’t need to do that anymore. I always wished for a brother.”


He provided a lot of joy.

This face says it all.


He made it possible for me to have a kid around longer. I don’t know what I would have done if divorce had been immediately followed by the empty nest phase. I can’t even think about it. I don’t even mind being older than most of his friends’ moms.


And oh, the endless supply of Facebook material! Such treasures.

He is smart.

He is talented. (He made Jazz Ensemble for next year!)

He is hilarious.

He is tenderhearted.

I’m so glad God surprised us!


I love you, Nate the Great!

Happy Birthday!

IMG_0535 (2)I love you, Nate the Great! Happy Birthday! Click To Tweet

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  1. Susan

    Awww- Happy Birthday to your Nathan!! I just found you via the Restory Podcast! I could really resonate what you said about being single as a Mama. I’ve been raising my 16 year old twins on my own since they were a year old. Hard work, but very fulfilling. Nice to “meet” you, Jeanette!

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      It’s nice to meet you too, Susan! I am so glad that you enjoyed the podcast.

      Yes, raising kids alone is full of challenges. But the rewards are worth it!

  2. Cheryl Thompson

    That is the most lovely and fitting tribute to an amazing son! Happy birthday, Nathan. You are a great person, and I mean that! I hear about you all of the time from your mom and she is justifiably proud and delighted in you. I think you have a spectacular future ahead of you! Happy, happy birthday!!

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      Thank you for reminding Nathan how deeply loved he is!

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