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 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.
I 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).
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