Thursday, April 25, 2013

Babysitters-Opportunity to Bless

Grandparents don't always choose to be babysitters for their grandchildren, but it is often expected of us. Whether we do or don't, we can all sit with our little ones in special times of giving attention and love.

Romans 12:16 (ESV) says, "Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight." Can you imagine with me the picture of a wrinkled, white haired grandparent surrounded by children laughing and listening to one another?

I have had the challenge and privilege of caring for each of my grandladies and grandmen before they started school. Babysitting, for me, has been a daily experience. But there are times now that we are offered the opportunity to spend time with them over night or throughout the weekend.

Recently, we had our oldest Grandladies (ages 13 and 11) visit over night. Memories were made with a walk around the park, a funny movie, shopping for a checker board, a united effort to make a yummy dinner, and then roasting marshmallows over the fire pit. It was wonderful to hear how much they loved spending time with us. Times like these will get fewer, and so we made the most of it. A few planned activities was all it took to make the time remarkable. But the activities do not compare to the conversations and laughter we shared. We enjoyed each other. We had fun!

Some Grandpas and Grandmas live far away from their grands. They are blessed to see them at vacation time or on special family occasions. Others see their children and grandchildren often. Both can enjoy the role of Babysitter. We only need to think out of the box when we find time to sit with our precious little ones.

Those who live across the miles from their grandchildren have many opportunities to communicate today that were not available in the past. Technology makes it possible for us to see each other and spend some quality time together. Taking the time to read or ask questions over the computer could be the path to bonding. For those who feel unable to traverse the electronic maze, I would say, "Try it". You have a chance to be blessed and to be a blessing.

Neighborly grandparents are not limited to time spent reading or playing. Going on special outings or participating in children's art, sports or educational activities as they grow keeps us close and keeps us active as well.

Above all it is most important to enjoy our grandchildren. We should greet them with open arms and send them home with a smile and a promise to see them again soon. Every opportunity with them should be an opportunity to bless them.

A note for those raising grandchildren: It is a difficult task to be both parent and grandparent. In my opinion it is very important to be the best parent you can be for them. Maybe there will be times when you can slip into the role of grandparent and enjoy the bond you have in a different light. Look for those opportunities not only for your sake but theirs as well. Nurturing the unique relationship of grandparent and child is worth it to both parties.

Father God, You open Your arms to all who would come to You. You make the time we spend with You full of new and exciting revelations. I don't spend near as much time as I should with You. I am sorry for that. Thank You for the love You pour out on us every day. Thank You for welcoming all the little children and bringing them close to You. Teach me to be a grandparent like You are a Father to me. You can teach me so much!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Grand Review

I grew up in a family that celebrated life in many ways. We, of course, had the mandatory celebrations for birthdays, weddings, graduations and other significant milestones. We also made other occasions a tradition that is celebrated even to this day.

The Colorado State Fair is held in Pueblo, my hometown. The city would have parades to celebrate the event and hopefully draw people into Fair. Every year, for as long as I can remember, our family has been a part of the Kids Day Parade. Every child in our family that would be in Pueblo on the day of the parade, would be dressed up and urged to either ride the home made float or be the muscle to pull or push it down the street. It was just as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids.

The big adult kids worked hard whipping up costumes and decorating wagons, bikes and scooters in accordance with the theme of the parade. Little hands would be urged to help in any way possible and often added more mess to be cleaned up by the parents. We are proud to boast of winning a lot of trophies over the years. Its a family challenge and a family fun time.

Watching a parade is fun too. Spectators automatically become unofficial judges. We look over the entries giving our opinions as to the execution of the theme and following of the rules. I guess we do this in more than just parades. We do it in life as well.

Parents are judged by their children in how they play their role and follow the rules. Grandparents are subjected to those same judgments by adult children and even the grandchildren. We are paraded before a host of other family and friends who think they know what we should do. In my opinion we can still enjoy participating in the roles and rules of guiding the children along life's highway. It takes knowing a few simple roles and rules that really are flexible and freeing. We will look at some of these things in upcoming blogs.

Father God, You are our Creator. You made us to work in different roles according to who You made us to be. You are also the Lawgiver. You decide the good and bad of our thoughts words and actions. We have so often taken Your place and for this we are sorry. Forgive us. Thank You for the joy and excitement of parades! Thank You for giving us many ways to celebrate You. We need You as our just judge. Our parade of life is Your praise!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Walking in Truth

III John 4 says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."

John says what our hearts long for, doesn't he? When our children follow in Jesus' footsteps, we find a joy that exceeds the happiness that comes with trophies, or degrees. We want to know that those who follow us on the road to eternity embrace the truth and tread carefully in order not to not fall to the enemy's deceptions.

Our children's children can be named in this heart longing as well. We all would like to see a long line of followers making their way to their final destination along the road of reality,not fantasy. Followers need leaders. A leader must be walking in truth in order to show others a clear direction. Grandparents can be chief in their families as wizened path finders, if they know the way.

Many times we ask "How?" How can we help lead our families in the right way when we, ourselves, stumble and fall? How can we point them in the right direction when we sometimes don't know which way to go? I suppose that is why I am so glad that God has made a way and given us a guide book to follow. He even sent us a Teacher, and then sent us a Personal Assistant to help us every day.

It is important for us to know that we can begin our walk in the Truth at any time. We can jump off of the circular track of deception and on to the high way. We only need to check out the Book to be introduced to The Teacher and He will send His Helper to get us on the right track.

You, God, are Truth. You are Good. You are The Way to the joy we seek. I am saddened to realize that I walk in circles far too often. I stray from Your truth and wander away from the good You prepare for me every day. Forgive me! I understand that, when I walk in truth, You are filled with joy because You love me and want the best for me. Thank You for providing all I need to walk in the right direction. I need You to be my Teacher, my Father, and my Helper.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Grandparents go by many names: Nana, Poppop, Grandma, Grandpa, Granny, Pappy, many others and my favorite, Grommers. We may all have different monikers with our grandchildren but we are all enjoying the blessing of life as a grandparent.

Before my children gave me grandchildren, I heard stories of the amazing feeling that came with that gift. I believed these veterans of life's milestones, but truly had no idea until my first grandlady arrived in a flurry of excitement! What was this surprising wonder I felt? I still cannot describe it, but I do know it was and still is a grand feeling.

Stepping into the role of Grandparent brought new roles and new rules. It also brought new privileges and a new purpose. I stumbled through most of these and have had to learn many lessons about the new position I held. I hope to share some of my insights in the next few blogs. I hope you will follow me and enjoy the stuff that makes someone a Grand Parent!

One thing I am sure of is that my heart longs for the joy John spoke about in his third book and verse four: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 4 (ESV)I always add "and grandchildren" though I believe that Johns' words are from God (and He has no grands). And, yes, He does have great joy when ALL His children walk in the truth.

Father, You have many children and no grandchildren, yet, it made You happy to give Your children the gift of being a part of future generations. You are wise and loving. You creatively draw us deeper into You through our relationships with our heritage and our children and their children. Forgive us when we run away from the responsibilities and only want the blessings of grandparenting. Thank You for growing our families and growing us when we are in the truth. Author of the Grand life, teach us our roles, rules, privileges and purpose through Your word. We are here to listen and learn.