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Grandma’s Wisdom

10 Oct

How many of these descriptions of grandmothers sound like YOUR grandma?

  • A grandmother is a lady who has no little children of her own. (LOL!) She likes other people’s.A Hug and Kiss for Grandma
  • A grandfather is a man grandmother.
  • Grandmothers don’t have to do anything except be there when we come to see them. They are so old they shouldn’t play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the store and have lots of quarters for us.
  • When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.
  • They show us and talk to us about the color of the flowers and also why we shouldn’t step on “cracks.”
  • They don’t say, “Hurry up.”
  • Usually grandmothers are fat, but not too fat to tie your shoes.
  • They wear glasses and funny underwear.
  • They can take their teeth and gums out.
  • Grandmothers don’t have to be smart.
  • They have to answer questions like, “Why isn’t God married?” and “How come dogs chase cats?”
  • When they read to us, they don’t skip. They don’t mind if we ask for the same story over again.
  • Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don’t have television, because they are the only grown ups who like to spend time with us.
  • They know we should have snack-time before bedtime, and they say prayers with us every time, and kiss us even when we’ve acted bad. (1)

A few weeks ago, while I (Dawn) visited my dear aunt Julia in Kokomo, Indiana, I had the wonderful blessing to return to the town where my Grandparents lived while I was a little girl. I visited a park where I caught crawdads under a famous old red covered bridge.

 Grandparents' graveI visited my grandparents’ homes ~ very old and broken down now ~ and then the cemetery where they were buried. There was just something about seeing their tombstones that brought me up short, and made me realize, once again, that someday my name will be carved on a tombstone. As my husband snapped a photo, I thought about my grandparents, and especially my Grandma Lillian Webb, nicknamed “Bill,” for some reason.

I often talk about my mom’s mom, Grandma Parks, because she was the last of the four grandparents to pass on, and she was a woman that I loved dearly. My sister Pam had the privilege of caring for her until she died.

But my Grandma Webb is etched into my memory because of the things she said. Perhaps you had a grandma like her.

I am so grateful for her influence in my life. Some things she said were the typical things that all grandmas say ~ like “Pretty is as pretty does.” But the times I remember most were the special moments when she encouraged me to live for God. I remember praying at her knee in her living room as she taught me to simply have a conversation with God like I’d have with a good, loving friend.

Grandma told me repeatedly that she was praying for me and praying for my husband who was “growing up somewhere in the world. (That is something this Grammy now does for her own grandchildren!) Grandma told me to be careful about the choices I made in life, because many of them would be hard to change, if I got them wrong. She encouraged purity and integrity, and Grandma reminded me that success comes from “acknowledging God” and obeying Him ~ not depending on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). And it was my Grandma Webb who wisely sent me the information about a Bible college in Pennsylvania when I was considering some secular ones nearer my home. It changed the direction of my life.

Grandma could be stubborn, but it was stubbornness for good. She knew God and wanted all of her family to know Him, too. She fulfilled Psalm 145:4 ~ “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” She left my sister and I a rich legacy of God-centered thinking that helped to shape our lives.  I know that I was spurred on to seek wisdom because of the wisdom I saw in my Grandma and her Bible-based perspective on life. Because of my Grandma ~ in fact, because of all my grandparents ~ I understood the steadfast love of the Lord (Psalm 103:17).

Grandma and son

Grandma and my dad

Now a Grandma myself, I’ve realized that grandmas have the potential to shape the future as they share truth with not only their children, but their precious grandchildren. They can encourage their their dreams, and point them toward the only things that matter in this life:  love of God and His Word; and love for people that causes us to reach out to serve, teach, and share the Gospel. In this way, grandmothers (and grandfathers) “bear fruit in old age” (Psalm 92:14-15).

Do you have good memories of your Grandma? If not, was or is there a wise “Grandma” figure in your family or church who has helped to shape your life and walk with God?

Take time to thank the Lord for this precious woman ~ and if she is still alive, drop her a note to express your love and gratitude.

(1) “Grandmothers,” Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3676, http://www.cybersalt.org

Better than Botox

10 Jul

Phyllis DillerPhyllis Diller’s self-deprecating humor (when she kept it clean) often made me (Dawn) laugh. She once said,  “My photographs don’t do me justice ~ they just look like me.” I’ve used that line myself on occasion.

Arlene Pellicane wrote about Diller in one chapter of her book, 31 Days to a Younger You. [Note: You can get Arlene’s book at love-wise under “Books/Products by Other Authors.”]

Discussing the topic of “Plastic Surgery, Botox, and Other Modern Marvels,” Pellicane began by sharing some of Diller’s humor, noting that the comedian was never one to conceal her facelifts.

“Her one liners about plastic surgery brought her fame and endeared her to women and plastic surgeons alike,” Arlene said.

“Punch lines like:

  • The only parts left of my original body are my elbows.
  • My Playtex Living bra died … of starvation.
  • I never made Who’s Who, but I’m featured in What’s That?” (1) 

I (Dawn) have found that some  women have unrealistic expectations about plastic surgery and other external “miracle” procedures to procure “beauty.” Those who believe all the advertising and hype about beauty fail to understand that physical beauty won’t last, but true inner beauty is both attractive and eternal.

Arlene doesn’t condemn botox or other procedures, but she does offer words of wisdom.

“Having cosmetic surgery will change your appearance, but it won’t change your life,” she Women with Inner Beatysaid. “Friend, if you’re not enough without plastic surgery, you’ll never be enough with it. You were lovingly and beautifully created by God. If you feel insecure about your appearance, the true transformation of beauty will first happen in your mind and heart, not on the surgery table.” (2)

I am tempted to stop right there. Arlene said it all. We are awed by women with true, inner beauty. Refined by their Creator and Heavenly Father, joy radiates from their lives.

I’m just going to add some scriptures to encourage you, if you struggle with your appearance. (All are in the English Standard Version.)

  • …For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b)
  • I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)
  • Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  (Proverbs 31:30)
  • So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
  • Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.  (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Arlene concludes her book with these words, “Looking and feeling younger is about accepting your appearance, embracing your God-given age, and doing your best to improve your assets. Hear the voice of your heavenly Father as He looks at you, His daughter, and proclaims, ‘Good.’ … You are a luminous work in progress.”

Luminous. I like that.

We are told to let our “light” shine so others will glorify the Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). So, shine, Friend … you are BEAUTIFUL!

(1) Arlene Pellicane, 31 Days to a Younger You: No surgery, No Diets, No Kidding (Harvest House Publishers, 2010), p. 97

(2) ibid, p. 98

Moms Know Best

8 May

Ham in a PanA young wife was in the kitchen cooking her first Easter meal.  Before placing the ham in a large roasting pan, she cut off an ample section from one of the ends.

“Why did you do that?” her husband asked.

“Well, I really don’t know why but that’s the way my mother did it.”

Determined to get an answer for her husband, the young wife called her mother who said, “That’s the way my mother did it.”

A call to Grandma revealed the answer. “My dear, the reason I cut the end off of the ham was because I didn’t have a pan big enough to hold it.” 

That has always been a favorite story of mine, and it’s often used to illustrate why we shouldn’t use unfounded traditions of the past.   But now, as a mom of three young boys, I’m starting to see the great importance of building meaningful traditions.

My own mother was a pro at creating meaningful traditions!  The evening meal, where our family sat together at the dinner table, was a tradition in our home.  Mom worked hard to make each mealtime a ministry.

Whether it was a Texas-themed table setting to celebrate our roots on “Alamo Day,” green milk on St. Patrick’s day, heart-shaped meatloaf and mashed potatoes for Valentine’s Day, or just the calm assurance that at the end of the school day I knew our family would stop everything to sit down and eat together… mealtime was a good time for me.  It was a time I listened to my dad’s prayers, laughed and shared, learned life’s lessons, and felt heard and loved and cared for.

These are the times I know helped shape my godly understanding, build strength of character, and bind  our family tightly together like no other time. Before we left the table, we participated in a short devotional time that I now realize was specifically child-centered. Mom took cooking and serving from being routine chores to being an avenue for ministry through her planning, preparation, presentation, and prayers.  Every time she served us, she was also serving the Lord (Col. 3:23).

I haven’t quite mastered the art of preparing the gourmet meals each evening as my mother did, but I haven’t lost the concepts she showed me … creating time each day to show my family a deep love not only by meeting a need of satisfying a physical hunger for food, but creating time to show love, care, understanding, and talking about God’s truth.  Whether it’s picking a dinner that my child knows was made especially because it is his favorite, or everyone sharing a favorite memory for each piece of pizza they eat, I hope my children will feel the same sense of security of family that those times created for me.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I’d like to thank my mom for helping me to see the importance of making mealtime a ministry.  I raise my glass of green milk to you!

DeedraDeedra Scherm has been married for 14 years to Kris and Mom to David (6), Keifer (4), and Charlie (21 months.)

Deedra is an author, producer, inventor, and President and CEO of Lemon Vision Productions (www.lemonvision.com) a company that creates inspired media for kids.  Deedra loves fun games, great food, and fantastic movies, but her most cherished times are those surrounded by family.

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