6/22/11

Embracing My Grandmotherhood

I love being a "Grammy" and enjoying fun, family gatherings ... and especially quiet times alone with each grandchild.

As we sat as an extended family around a campfire on Father's Day, roasting marshmallows for s'mores, I watched my three granddaughters and smiled at their uniqueness. One raced in and out of the area ~ first taking a bicycle ride, then stopping to entertain family, and then scooting off again on the bicycle. Another, the youngest, stood with her hands on her cheeks, gazing at the fire and taking in with wide eyes the warmth and wonder of the blaze. The oldest roasted marshmallows to perfection for various family members.

LinkTwo days before, I'd taken this older granddaughter, Megan, to Sea World for the opening of Turtle Reef. We visited several shows, rode the rapids twice, ate at Shipwreck Cafe, and visited several displays before ending with the fireworks. At the end of the evening, as we "closed down" the park at 11 pm, we walked, exhausted, to the car. Megan put her arm around me and said, "Gram Cracker, this was a perfect day."

Oh, how I want more of those perfect days!

I spoke recently with Megan's other grandmother ~ Nana ~ and shared a book with her that I love. She was so intrigued by it, I had to give her a copy. The title of Sharon Hoffman's book ~ A Car Seat in My Convertible? (New Hope Publishers, 2008) ~ certainly piqued her interest, but it was the subtitle that captured her heart, as it did mine: Giving Your Grandkids the Spiritual Ride of Their Lives. It resonated. It's what this Grammy and Nana so desire for their grandchildren.

"Remember this," Hoffman wrote, "Everything we do can be a platform for honoring God and advancing His kingdom in the lives of our grandchildren; everyday moments can become teachable moments."

I did indeed remember Hoffman's words as I chatted with Megan at Sea World. In the car on the way and all through the park, we talked about choices and priorities. We discussed popularity. I listened to her heart as she talked about her dreams. We chatted about God's unique creations. It was, indeed, a perfect day.

The scriptures are full of admonitions for parents, but a few relate to grandparenting as well. I especially love Psalm 78:4, 6, which reminds us to share the things of God with our children and "the generation to come." What a joy to open their hearts and minds to eternal values.

I learned so many practical things in reading Hoffman's book. Here are a few jewels that motivate and encourage me:
  • "What a mighty influence we grandmoms possess when the love of a grandmother for her grandchild is connected with God's power through prayer!"
  • "While praying, I also like to 'hold their hand.' I place my hand on a crayon-traced handprint of their little hands that I've glued right on their individual page" [in a prayer journal].
  • Regarding busy grandmothers: "We must firmly establish in our own hearts what in life we need to hold on to and what we can let go of.... Ask God every day to allow you to see areas where you might be willing to rearrange your life to make it less busy and more available or accessible to the loved ones in your life."
  • "We can all serve the Lord in caring for our grandchildren through the so-called little things."
  • "Don't let go of your playfulness."
  • "Have a one-on-one conversation with the grandchild you're sensing needs it the most."
  • [And for the grandmother who struggles with her past or with issues of surrender today] "God's passionate display of love on Calvary's cross is for all the beaten down grandmoms."
The most important chapter in the book, perhaps, is near the end. A wise grandmother will want to leave her grandchildren and all who come after them a legacy of spiritual heirlooms. I wondered ~ what will my grandchildren "see" in the things I leave behind, and especially in the notes and markings in my Bible? What lasting treasures will they inherit?

Hoffman's book is like found gold. Nana and Grammy are working together to build a legacy of truth and godly values in the lives of their grandchildren, and Hoffman's book is a powerful, helpful tool.

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