Our Graham Josiah

So very difficult to imagine that 18 years have flown by since I birthed Graham
on February 11th, 1995.
I was telling Graham the other day how I would stare at him as he nursed…
I could not get over how different he looked than Abigail and Emma.
Square jaw.  Fair skin.  Light eyes. Blonde hair.
Loyal, tender-hearted, gentle.  
The little one who would check people out before he decided if he would share a smile.

The same little guy who poked the tinted lenses out of a red pair of sunglasses
and for months and months, every day would wear them.
When he took them off at night, studiously placing them beside his 
bed, he would squint {as though he could not see without them – haha}.
He did it so often, 
I finally said to him {with tongue in cheek}, 
“Wow Graham, maybe we need to get your eyes checked”
…and leaning close, he whispered in his deep, gruff voice, 
“Mom, you know I’m just kidding, right?”
But still, morning after morning, the squinting would begin, 
until he placed his little red glasses on his face, wearing them the entire day.
{Graham with Grandma}
From the time he was just two, he would toddle over to the cupboards,
take out the Tupperware bowls and tediously set each one out, upside down,
in a very distinct order.
Each was specifically set in place.

Graham would then sit down on one of the smaller bowls, also upside down.
If one of the other bowls wasn’t quite to his liking,
he would get up and adjust it a bit.
A half inch this way
a half inch that way.
I would shake my head.

Day after day.
No exceptions.
The same routine.
The bowls would come out.
Perfectly placed.
Setting himself down.
Lift himself up for a small adjustment to one of the bowls.
Set himself back down.
Spoons in hand.
And play.
And play.
And play.
He was not merely banging.

The little guy had unbelievable rhythm.
And he would do that for hours.
So much so that by the time he was three we went to a professional music store and
bought a good set of small drums.
{He took two drum lessons. That’s all.}
There was no doubt in our minds that Almighty God had created Graham to be a worshipper
with his love for music and his natural musical gifting.
As a young teen he taught himself how to play guitar.
No lessons.
It just was the Lord.
Last year when we moved to Phoenix Graham auditioned to play with the adult worship team. 
Within a few weeks he was playing at our mega-church, Phoenix First Assembly, regularly.
{Last year, we were able to take this picture of Graham on the worship team, 
and the Lord was so sweet, as I snapped the picture, 
little did I realize that the stage camera was directly on Graham 
making him appear on the large side screens – 
Yippee Jesus!}
He plays drums or lead guitar on any given Sunday that he’s needed.
But his musical gifting is not the only thing that defines this young man of ours.
He has a prophetic calling as well.
Dreaming prophetically, for starters.
He had his first prophetic dream when he was just three years old.
At the time, Dw and I went to a pastor friend and shared what Graham had dreamed.
It was spot on about a serious situation in ministry.
We knew that the Lord was clearly showing us his prophetic gift.
Over the years, he has had several powerful and very prophetic {warning} dreams.
When he says he has a dream, trust me, we are all ears!
In fact, a couple of months ago, on a Saturday morning, Graham came to me.
He said, “Mom, I had the craziest dream.”
He proceeded to tell me, with great detail, every part of the dream.
The dream made me sick to my stomach.
It was serious and it would have serious implications if it came to pass. 
He and I talked and decided we should fast and pray.
The dream was definitely an unbelievable
 warning from the Lord.
Little did we know, there was no time to fast and pray!!
Within just two hours of his sharing the dream with me, 
the very dream he detailed, to our utter shock – was unfolding,
exactly as he had told me!
Our family went into prayer at mock-speed!
The outcome of this dream could have been devastating, 
had we not immediately begun to pray!
Yet, because of the warning, 
we knew exactly HOW to pray….
and pray we did.
That day was extremely intense as every single detail of the dream 
began to unfold right before our eyes.
{Yes friends, there is so much that happens in our lives, 
behind the scenes, that is not blogged about!}
And yet, due to the prophetic warning – the Lord had victory – and the 
end of the dream was completely different – 
only because of the power of prayer that day.
{I share this about Graham’s prophetic gifting, so that others can recognize that the same can be so in their children’s lives.  Pay attention.  God’s gifts are for us to utilize.  I shudder to think, had we not already known that Graham dreams prophetically, what could have happened recently, if we had not known how to pray and how to respond. Faithful God.} 

Graham loves his siblings, loves the orphan and loves missions.
He has done many trips to Mexico with us as a family
and of course, has done many mission trips to Uganda as well.

He’s been told he looks a lot like Stephen Curtis Chapman!
Even SCC thinks so!
How crazy is that?

And so today, we celebrate the 18th birthday of our second oldest son of ours…
the young man who doesn’t really like 
having pictures taken of himself
“unless someone is in the picture with me”

Picnic of Crepes in Graham’s room..

{Jubilee is feeling much better, thank you for praying – details soon.}
Ruby thinks birthdays are crazy fun!

On the phone with Emma from Uganda. 
Would you be so kind in wishing this young man 
of ours 
a very Happy 18th Birthday?
No doubt, his sweet little smile will eek out as he reads the wishes.
Cause down deep, I can tell he’s pretty tickled it’s his 18th birthday!
Lastly, a video of our boatload singing Happy Birthday this morning…. 
as we delivered his homemade crepes to enjoy in his bed…
{both with Nutella and fruit –  
one with strawberries
 the other with bananas and  blueberries}
We love you Graham with all our hearts and 
we are so thankful that God brought you to our arms. 
We are so proud of you and your walk with God. 
You are a invaluable blessing to all who know you
and we are confident that God is going to continue to accomplish unimaginable things
as you continue to yield to Almighty God’s calling on your life.

82 thoughts on “Our Graham Josiah

  1. Happy birthday Graham!! The glasses part made me laugh so hard! My friend's daughter does the same thing. She got a pair of leopard print (they are now only orange) sunglasses at VBS two summers ago and has had them on almost pretty much every minute since then unless she is sleeping. She got them when she was four, now she is six! Her mom will be happy to know that they will be gone before she turns 18!

    1. Julie, Thank you for your kind words. My big kids seldom get mentioned, but they are an integral part of our family. I had to take this opportunity to tell the world what a great kid he is! He's non-assuming and doesn't like attention, but I could not let this special day pass without honoring him! Thank you for leading a comment. He's a blessing and you would surely enjoy getting to know him in person! xo

  2. Oh my Linny. I scooted over to see this and what a blessing of a son he is. You can just tell by you writing this how incredibly proud you are of him. Big smiles right now. What a joy, what an absolute joy. Happy HaPpY Birthday Graham! Hopefully someday I will have the privilege of meeting you too here in Texas! BTW I love that you love that you are a mom 🙂

  3. The the story of you Graham! Happy Birthday! I know I already said it earlier, but thought twice is better than once. What a blessing you are to your family. Hope you day was filled with love, joy and happiness. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for you in this new stage in your life!

  4. Hey Dude,
    Happy Birthday!!! 18, wow…..and the story about you and the Tupperware bowls and
    playing….sounds like our 27 yr. old son, Caleb, when he was 2 1/2…He still drums
    and did teach himself to play guitar….loves the Lord, but started wandering and
    just recently started seeking again…Please pray for him, as he is musical like you..
    Thanks a ton for doing this on your adult days of 18….
    Love from NC

  5. Happy 18th birthday, Graham! Just so you know I teared up seeing the affection you have for little Ruby by your side. Continue to go after all it is that God has gifted you for and given you the direction.

  6. Happy birthday Graham! We think you are just as sweet as your mom says that you are. I hope and pray that our boys grow to love the Lord as much as you do and be sensitive to his Spirit like you are. Praying that this year is filled to overflowing with love, fun memories and a deeper revelation of who God is and what he made you for.

  7. Happy Birthday Graham! In a week or so, he will be blessing coworkers and friends of mine from around the world with his worship leading. I pray it blesses him ten fold. Looking forward to hearing all God does in his life!!!

  8. Happy Birthday Graham!!! Praying you had a great day! I have to say that I love what you and your dad did today… sweet memories!!! Praying the Lord blesses you with a great upcoming year serving Him and growing closer to HIM daily!!!

  9. Happy 18th Birthday, Graham, from some brothers and sisters in Christ who once lived in Phoenix, and are currently living in Washington State. We are so thankful for the blessing it is to be acquainted with your family now through blog land!

    We praise the Lord for the Godly young man that you are, and for all the awesome things He is doing in and through you as you seek to follow, love and serve Him with all your heart, soul and mind!!!

    Rejoicing with you!

    P.S. Happy Birthing day to mom and dad! You're doing an awesome job! 🙂

  10. Happy 18th Graham – this is a big one – the start of "real" life and you are on the right road. Many wishes for happiness and blessings in your years to come. Never stop listening to hear that voice and remember to heed and try to maximize the knowledge you gain through dreams.

  11. Looks like you had a great day Graham. If you look at the picture that was taken of you on the big screen then thing that struck me was the words on the screen "The time has come to stand for all we believe me" and you show that. Thank you for being you and for showing and reminding others to stand up to what we believe in. You are a very talented man. Happy Birthday x

  12. Happy Happy Birthday, Graham! You are such a blessing to your parents, your siblings, your church, and your community. Can't wait to see where God continues to lead you in His work. And, I agree….you look alot like SCC! (:
    Hope your day was great!

  13. Happy Birthday, Graham! What a wonderful, God-honoring young man you are. I know your parents and family are so proud of you, and we – your bloggy friends – are so proud of you too. Blessings to you, and so excited to see the amazing, astounding plans God has for your life!

  14. Oh my goodness! Does Graham ever look like Steven Curtis Chapman! Must be related somehow…lol…or God decided it was good to duplicate someone good! I'm beginning to think that if I had an older daughter I might be thinking that a pre-arranged marriage might be a good thing! lol! I'm sure he'll have no problem finding a wonderful wife! Happy Birthday Graham!

  15. Happy, HAPPY birf-day, Graham – you rock! Some lovely young woman is going to be so blessed to snag you one of these days. Keep yielding to the Father so He can continue to shape you into the image of Christ.

  16. Happy Birthday Graham! I hope and pray you have the most amazing day ever! We to will be celebrating our sons 18th birthday this July. He is also a lover of music. He taught himself guitar and is now working on drums and piano. I hope the Lord truly blesses you today.

    For some reason Google has me listed unknown. My name is Peggi

    1. So cool your son taught himself as well! Since I have not a musical fiber in my being, I am in awe of how God gives one a ton of musical gifting and another not a drip. Crazy!!

      Also wonder why Google has you as "Unknown"…made me smile when you said, "My name is Peggi." ha! Thank you for speaking up!

  17. Happy Birthday Graham. Sorry I am a little late to the party. It has always been clear how special you are just by hearing the little from your mom here and always by the pictures of you so tender and loving with your brothers and sisters. I loved reading more about you today. I had to smile because when I was little I would get out all my moms tupperware and pans and made my self a drum set. We laugh about how I would play them all the time. I finally got a cheap set from sears and kept playing. Then a friend of my moms let me use a "real" set. I was so excited it was all I ever wanted. He showed me a few things maybe twice and I just kept playing. I play on a worship team as well and feel so blessed to do so since I did not have lessons. Of course being a girl and now a older girl, haha , it really kind of shocks people. Praying for you and know he has such great plans for you. I had the Lord lay you on my heart months ago and I see you doing really big things with your music and glorifying God. I thank Him for this and that my kids can see such a Godly young man. Blessings and favor on you.

  18. Happy Birthday, Graham….you are a blessing and I know God will use you because you are so totally yielded to Him. I pray that this coming year will be one that blows your socks off, watching God work out His plan and will for you!

    Love…Nancy & ShaoXi Johnson

  19. Happy Birthday Graham, I did leave a comment for you some days ago, but I don't see it in here, so I must have missed pressing the "enter" button… I hope you have a lovely day on your birthday 🙂 May the Lord bless you and guide you to where He wants you to be and may you have the full joy of knowing that you are exactly in the palm of His hand 🙂 Praying for His protection over you and for wisdom and discernment.

  20. Sorry I missed posting Happy Birthday on the correct day. Anyway, Graham, we are blessed to know you and love your heart and your gentle spirit. We pray that you have your best year yet!! Many blessings from the McLemores!

  21. Although it's late and the special day passed, I want to still wish you a belated blessing on your birthday, all the way from South Africa. I won't take for granted the fact that you love and serve the Lord of Hosts, it could be so different. Thanking God for men like Graham who want to serve and love Him and are being used of God to sew seeds in His kingdom. Health, wealth and happiness for you this year.

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