In Praise of Godly Grandmas

23 Jun

Note: This post is just for Grandmas, but  others may enjoy it, too.

Grandkids Kissing GrandmaSpeaker and writer Vonda Skelton wrote about one of her grandmothering experiences:

A few years ago, my granddaughter Ellie and I were passing the time on a family trip by playing one of our favorite road games, “I Spy.” It was Ellie’s turn, and she had me searching high and low for something purple, our favorite color.

It wasn’t on the beach towel, the flower on her shirt, or her purple nail polish. I had a good view of the entire van from my back seat location, but it wasn’t helping. What else could it possibly be?

“You’ll never guess this one,” the seven-year-old announced. That was all I needed to hear. Zooming down the highway at 70 miles per hour, my competitive streak went into overdrive. But there was nothing purple left in the car.

Hispanic Grandma“Are you sure you mean purple?” I asked, eying her sister Christiana and the sweater she wore ~ “Could it be pink?”

“No, Nana, it’s purple. I promise.” She crossed her arms. You might as well give up. You’ll never guess.”

Five minutes later, I gave up. “OK, what is it?” She pointed. I leaned over and scanned the floorboard. “There’s nothing purple down there.”

“Not there. There,” she said, pointing again. I followed her pointing … My spider-veined leg.

Purple is no longer my favorite color. *

This story is from a book by Sharon Hoffman called A Car Seat in My Asian Grandma & GranddaughterConvertible? *, an insightful book for any grandmother (Nana, Grammy, Me-Maw or whatever she’s called) who wants to be a godly influence in her grandchildren’s lives.

Can you sing the praises of a godly grandmother, or a grandma who loved you unconditionally? I (Dawn) know that some cannot, and that is a true shame ~ representing hurts and lost opportunities. (But I know of many who have “recovered” from insensitive or selfish grandparents, and learned how to properly love their own grandchildren.)

I have nothing but praise for my two godly, loving grandmothers. I know beyond any doubt that they both prayed for me, and they also passed along an authentic spiritual heritage.

Reading Hoffman’s book encouraged and inspired me.  She suggested so many fun ways to be involved. But fun times aren’t the only way to connect with grandchildren. (Pam endorsed the book, saying, “My sippicup is overflowing from all the wisdom, practical ideas, real-life stories, and illustrations!”)

One of my favorite parts of the book deals with bathing grandkids in prayer ~ using a special journal guide.

Hand printThe prayer journal helps grandchildren know that you are praying for them. Hoffman updates hers regularly with new photos of the family. She might take a photo of their little feet, and pray that God will help them walk with God. And she places a traced hand-print on the main page for each child. As she prays, she “holds” the child’s hand ~ placing her own hand on their hand-print.

In another section of the book, she encourages leaving a legacy of spiritual heirlooms. “As your grandchildren see that your values are eternal values rather than temporal, they’ll want to emulate your life,” she said. Instead of getting a case of the guilties and feeling like she has to buy grandchildren everything they want, the wise grandmother will use examples in her life to help them see that “good things are worth waiting for.”

Among her suggestions for passing on a spiritual heritage:  Share your family Grandma in Churchhistory with each one … attend church … let your life send a message of unconditional love to your grandchildren … leave loving, laughing memories.

“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 (Proverbs 13:22a).

A powerful question near the end of the book is important not only as we think about our grandchildren, but others who know us: “What will your grandchildren learn about you when your Bible is passed down to family members?” (Mine will see notes, quotes, and dates that I prayed for them.)

If you’re a grandmother, there are countless ways that you can influence and encourage your grandchildren, and discovering them is part of the adventure.

How about you? What special grandmothering “techniques” have you used to bless your grandchildren?

* A Car Seat in My Convertible? by Sharon Hoffman (New Hope Publishers, 2008), pp. 65-66.

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2 Responses to “In Praise of Godly Grandmas”

  1. Charlotte June 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    When buying gifts for a teen aged granddaughter living in another city, and living an affluent lifestyle, became an issue because I did not know what to get for her, I started sending scripture verses of encouragement. Now I send her a special verse every month of the year on her day. She has responded with gratitude.

  2. Dawn Wilson June 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    What a great idea, Charlotte. (The only thing I would add, which would encourage the “spiritual legacy” aspect of grandmothering, is to tell her how that scripture has inspired or influenced you, personally.) You sound like a great grandma!

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