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What can we do as Christian Grandparents?

Christian grandparents can make a difference. All Grandparents are special. Christian Grandparents should be extra special. All Grandparents have a lasting influence on their grandchildren. A Christian grandparent should have a godly influence that lasts for eternity.
I would love to hear from other Christian Parents and Grandparents as we address some very important issues.
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Too soon olt

An old Mennonite saying that my parents liked to quote was, "Too soon olt; too late shmart."  We still quote it, usually with a laugh, but when it comes right down to it, for us grandparents, these words hold a sad reality.

As grandparents, we've already made some horrific mistakes that ended in years of anguish. We were smart back in our youth, at least we thought we were; much smarter than our concerned parents.  We had it all together.  We were the parents of young children, and we reserved the right raise them ourselves and make our own mistakes. And we did, thinking all the while that we were doing just fine, and that we would have the fairy tale happily ever after ending.

After all, God was the one who would protect our children.  He just wanted us to believe Him and entrust our children to Him. 

The problem was that God had entrusted our children to us to nurture and care for, to train spiritually, to show by example, and, as a parent with the nature of our own Heavenly Father, to protect at all cost.

We learned what heart ache was when we saw our son lose his way. It gave us experience in the worst kind of suffering. What can be worse than to see your own child heading toward the fires of Hell?

The Bible tells us grandparents, repeatedly, to pass on our experiences, and to teach the next generation, and we really do try.  But just as we shrugged off the wisdom of our parents, so our children, who had us as an example, shrug off our warnings, and we watch helplessly as our grandchildren drift farther away from the path of life.

We reap what we sowed, but the saddest part of all is that so will they. And their pain will be no less devastating.

I cry with you, my grandparent readers, and pray that God will forgive us of the youthful arrogance of our past, and break this deadly chain.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

God fulfills the desires of grandparents and grandchildren

Again, I am overwhelmed at the leading of the Lord, and His tenderness in answering the prayers of a Grandma for her Grandchildren.

I have been praying that God would do something special for my granddaughter to show her how much He cared for her.  He had already, many times, but the young, just as the old, need constant reminders.

Noelia had been looking forward to doing homeschool on our new property.  She was almost as excited about the land as I was.  There would be less textbook stuff and more hands on learning.  And she would be able to feed chickens and pet the lambs, all important things to a little girl with a big heart for animals.

But our Heavenly Father had one more treat in store for our granddaughter.  The day we took possession of the land, we met the neighbors and found out that they "just happened" to be Noelia's very good friends from Awana and our homeschool group.  And ... they have horses and dogs and cats, too.

On Saturday, she spent a happy afternoon with her friends while Bruce and  I enjoyed time on the land.  On our way home we talked about what the Lord had done just for her.  She knew it wasn't a coincident that her friends happened to be our new neighbors.  She knew she had been blessed once again by a God who cares about His children. 

And Grandma's prayer was answered.




Saturday, December 10, 2011

The generous heart of a grandchild

How refreshing it is to be the benefactor of a grandchild's innocent generosity! There is nothing quite like it.

It happened to me the other day, and it will always be one of my treasured memories.

We had been running into road blocks trying to buy a certain piece of land, and I think our grandchildren must have sensed our discouragement. I must have been saying "if we get the land" instead of "when we get it".

Noelia looked up at me with innocent sweetness mixed with underlying determination.  "Grandma, you can have my money to buy the land."

I was touched; how could I gently refuse her generous offer.  "Sweet heart, you need to save it so that when we get the land you will have almost enough to buy a pony."

She wasn't satisfied. "No, I want you to buy the land with it.  Nathanael wants you to use his money, too."  Apparently they had already discussed it between themselves.

I was floored.  It didn't matter that what they had to offer was like the widow's mite.  To them, this was more important than their lifelong dream of owning ponies.

I realized two things.  One, our grandchildren had given much thought to their grandparent's dilemma, and had worked out their own solution to the problem.  And two, they really, really want us to have that land. (see Old Fashioned Grandparents)

I guess it's a craving they inherited from their grandma.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Old fashioned Grandparents in an old fashioned setting

Have you ever done something "crazy",  but deep down you knew it actually made good sense, especially when you thought of it in terms of your grandchildren?

To most of the world we are considered at the retirement stage of life: Sit back, pick up your knitting needles, and enjoy doing very little. 

The problem is that inactivity is neither healthy, nor fun, nor is it very productive.  Yes, knitting may be a useful way to spend an evening, and the grandchildren will enjoy the socks or sweater, but is it enough?

For us, even though my husband has just gone through a major health crisis, being couped up in the house (trailer) is losing its charm.  Even the joy having the grandchildren over for breakfast and homeschooling does not completely quiet the restlessness in our souls.

Our grandchildren need a place to visit to run and be free.  They need a place to interact with more of God's wonderful creation.  They need to feel a part of a team effort to see the land bring forth in abundance.  And personally, I think their grandparents need it, too.

My husband and I are looking at buying a piece of property in the country.  We took our grandchildren with us when we went to see it.  They were enthralled.  "You've just got to buy this!" is what I heard several times that day.

I find I want to be the old stereo type grandma that my grandchildren can spend time with on the farm.  I want my grandchildren to be able to feed some chickens, cuddle a bunny, and maybe even milk a lamb.

I want them to pick some beans and try their hand at selling produce at the farmer's market. I believe they would be good at it.  And maybe some day I could even help them start a small farm based business from Grandpa's and Grandma's farm.

Why do I want all this for my grandchildren?

I believe that raising food is going to be an important skill to have in the next decade.  Our food supply is being changed from what God created, and is now mainly man modified distortions.  It is getting harder and harder to find real food.

Somebody has to take on the responsibility of keeping seed and livestock going after its kind, and yet very few of our grandchildren are being taught the basics of farming.  Most children have no knowledge of how to be self sufficient. Great Grandpas and Great Grandmas have sold their farms and moved into little apartments or trailers, or even big houses in town, and this generation of kids has never been privileged to spend a summer on the farm.

So, this grandpa and grandma are in the process of trying to rectify that problem, at least for our own grandchildren.  We look forward, Lord willing, to being old fashioned, hard working, living off the land, farming grandparents again.



Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Poem for Grandparent's day

 Grandparents, We Love You

We're blessed to know that we are loved
By someone wise and true,
Someone who loves us as we are
That someone, of course is you.

You listen not just when we smile,
But even when we grumble,
Although you sometimes have to say
We shouldn't always mumble.

We want you to know we love you too;
 We really do adore you.
 We appreciate the things you do,
And thank God daily for you.

Happy Grandparent Day

Dedicated to each of my dedicated grandparent friends who follow this blog.








Friday, September 2, 2011

Hugs and Tweets

This article was published in the Grand magazine over a year ago, but I wanted to bring it back for Grandparents day.  I think it is important to all grandparents, but especially Christian Grandparents.

"Grandma, do you know what we haven't done for a long time?" Noelia pulls me toward her as she speaks. The long time refers to at least half a day. I wrap my arms around my six year old granddaughter, and she squeezes tight and then flashes her adorable smile. She'll ask for a hug at least four or five more times during the day.
 
Nathanael probably won't ask. At eight, he is too old to voice the need in words, but he may pull me over to him, and when he does he won't let me go. And frankly, I don't really want to let him go either, not now, not five years down the road.

Our grandchildren are growing up in a totally different world from the one we were raised in, and the experts are telling us that their brains are changing to match their world. Texting and tweeting, Face Book and chat rooms, these are the main socializing tools our grandchildren will be familiar with. They will need less of the affection part of the brain in their new environment.

Maybe that should thrill me. They are, after all, going to have the world at their fingertips. What an awesome privilege! They'll have all that knowledge at the click of a mouse; they'll have friends by the hundreds on a social network instead of just the one or two next door like I had when I was a kid.

But it doesn't thrill me. To be honest, it scares me. I love my grandkids. I want them to feel more than the touch of a key pad; I want them to know a hug is more than just a cute little animated picture on a computer screen; I want them to feel the warmth of loving arms around them; I want them to have a clear understanding of what affection is all about.

Can a grandparent make a difference in the brain structure of their grandchild? I believe they can. If we start when they are all innocence and a sponge for love and be there for them, be the lap they can climb on, the best friend they can touch and hug, the understanding ear that listens, we stand a much better chance of keeping their affection as they grow into texters and tweeters. And that affection may keep the vital part of their brain, the socializing part, from shrinking away.

If we can keep a strong personal bond with them through their teen years, until they are ready to find their life's mate, maybe they will be more prepared to relate to that one special person with the affection they will need for a good relationship.

Some day, when my grown, good-looking grandchild leans over, gives me a great big hug and says "Hey, Grandma, I want you to meet someone special." I hope I will be able to look the adoring future mate in the eyes and say, "you've found yourself someone who really knows how to love!"

Since writing this over a year ago, one of  my grandsons did find his someone special.  The poem: A Grandson Getting Married was written for his wedding.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Clip of Grandpa Bruce preaching about Grandpa Abraham

We are many miles away from our grandchildren right now, but we haven't forgotten about being grandparents.  

Bruce talked about Abraham, in his role as a grandparent, in his first sermon after his illness.  

Here is a 2 minute clip from the sermon: 


 

We hope to be back with our grandchildren before Grandparents Day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Christian Grandparents are hurting for their Grandchildren on Grandparents Day

Are you hurting as your grandchildren gearing up for their annual trip back to Egypt this month?  Does this coming Grandparents Day hold a sadness because you know the precious souls of your grandchildren may be lured to their spiritual death by the public school system this year?  Do you feel more like crying than smiling when your children wish you happy Grandparents Day?

If so, what can you as a grandparent do to prevent it without pushing (a fault I admit to) or nagging (another nasty trait of mine)?
  1. First and foremost: pray.  Hold your children and your grandchildren up in prayer daily.  Be thankful for them and the blessings they are.  Pray for wisdom for your children and for yourselves in your dealings with them.  
  2.  Offer to help financially.  Are you holding on to a retirement fund that could be put into a Heavenly bank account?  Or perhaps you are giving your money to places that are not baring fruit?  Donating tuition fees to send your grandchild to a good Christian school could make an eternal difference in your grandchild's life.  Most parents would gladly send their children to a reputable Christian school rather than have them exposed to the rotten elements of the modern public school.
  3. Offer to help with homeschooling.  What are you doing with your time that is producing eternal results?  Homeschooling grandchildren rewards you both in this life and the next.  Spending time with your grandchildren will encourage a lasting bond that is invaluable.  You will become their hero, the person they go to with their questions and their problems.  Think of the influence you could have in their lives if you would be willing to sacrifice your time to teach them.
  4. If your daughter or daughter-in-law can't afford to stop working but would like to be a homeschool mom, it might be worth the cost to subsidize their income so she could stay at home and teach her children.
  5. Read up on and share as much as you can find on homeschooling.  Share, but don't push (much harder said than done).  Their are so many statistics that point to the importance of homeschooling, but it is necessary to exercise extreme caution in how the information is presented.
  6. Do a search for blogs about homeschooling.  Read the blogs that make homeschooling exciting.  Share your excitement.
  7. Check local Christian schools. Get a list of graduates and how they have fared after leaving the school.  This can be very impressive.  Take your family to any productions the school puts on.
  8. Keep cheerful no matter how hopeless it looks, and keep praying.
  9. Believe God will answer your prayers, and keep praying.
  10. Be willing to sacrifice everything you have: time, money and health for the spiritual life of your grandchildren, and keep praying.
Never forget, Grandma, Grandpa, God loves your grandchildren even more than you do!

Have a happy Grandparents Day - September 11 in Canada, and USA


Monday, July 18, 2011

Looking for a series of Good Books for young Readers

I have a question?  I am trying to stock my library of books for my 7 and 9 year old grandchildren to read for themselves.  I have seen information about Andi's Pony Trouble (Circle C Beginnings #1)  and it looks like my grandchildren would love it.  Have any of your kids or grandkids read this series, and if so, how did they like them? 


My grandchildren love horses and I thought they would be good but I want to know whether they teach Christian values, and whether they will hold the attention of active children.

I would also be interested in hearing about other books that you have come across that are worth while reads for kids.

I would be delighted if you would leave a comment stating your favorite books for children. If you have done reviews of any really good books for 7 to 9 year olds that teach values while holding the child's interest, feel free to add a link in your comment to your blog book review page.
Thanks so much.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Burden of Christian Grandparents

If you've been a parent for long enough, you have probably known the weight of a burden.  By the time you become a grandparent, you would love to just forget the burdens and enjoy the sunset years, but if you are a Christian grandparent the burden has probably gotten larger. 

You now have not only children who desperately need your prayers to help them become the parents and spouses God wants them to be, but you have an ever enlarging family including precious grandchildren whose lives are in the process of being molded.

Your kids may tell you that the responsibility for these young lives does not rest in your court.  They may say it in love, or with a touch of annoyance; They may say the responsibility is theirs, or they may tell you to leave their kids in God's capable hands, but the truth is God has given you the burden to pray and care and do everything you can to direct your grandchildren to Jesus because He has created you with His own loving parental nature.  You have actually inherited this caring concern from your Heavenly Father.

But just like your Heavenly Father does, sometimes you have to step back and say, "OK, if you receive some bumps and bruises along the way that's normal.  I'll cry with you and help with the bandages, but I won't say 'I told you so;' I'll just be there."

I don't think it's an easy thing for God to do either.  He knows the end from the beginning.  He knows what a mess we all make of our lives on our own.  But He usually won't step in uninvited.

The one thing Christian grandparents can and should always do:  We can pray, and prayer does change things. Prayer is not a last resort, but the most important thing we can do for our children and grandchildren.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Legacy of a Father and Grandfather

"He was a very godly man who always thought twice before speaking once." That was my daughter's comment about her grandfather.  My dad left us a legacy that means more than anything else he could have given us: He left us with a love for our Heavenly Father and a desire to serve him.

Dad wanted to be a missionary to Africa, but the Lord had other plans. How could he have known that the job of raising a family and showing by example could have reached so far and made such a great impact.  

Africa has been touched and so has Mexico and Columbia and Brazil and China and Malaysia and more.  Sons and grandsons are in ministry, and every one of them can point to their dad or grandpa, Henry Peters, and say "that's what it means to be a Christian."

I've asked myself the question, "why were we so blessed to have such a godly father, such a wonderful grandfather for our children?"  I can only say that with that gift comes an awesome responsibility.  If we let the legacy die here we will be held accountable.  God doesn't give gifts to bury in the ground but to use for his glory.

"To whom much is given, much is required."

To read more about Henry Peters see the Guest Post by my daughter Susy

Or see my book "Susie's Calling"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A book for Quality time with 9 to 12 year old grandchildren

My grandchildren have always loved having Grandma read to them, but as they get older they change.  There comes a time when their need for active adventure exceeds their ability to sit still and listen.

Watching them at play, I realize that God has given them the instinct to be problem solvers, not just passive listeners. They become detectives; they hunt down villains; they solve mysteries; all preparation for what they will some day become.

But books are preparation, too.  They impart knowledge and wisdom, so our gifts of books to our grandchildren should never stop.

When my husband and I started working with junior aged children in the Sunday School years ago, we found that we could catch their attention easiest and have them learn the most if we had puzzles or coded messages for them to solve.  Each week we would prepare something for them to decode, and they loved it. But it was a lot of work putting together a coded message every week.

Last year I met (via the internet) a highly creative and talented writer who understands all about children and their love of adventure.  She also happens to be a forest ranger and a wonderful Christian besides.

Kim Jones has written a delightful book for young adventures.  Case of the Missing Mountain teaches children all about volcanoes, how they form, what some of the results are, and what conclusions we can draw by comparing what happened at Mt Saint Helen's with places like the Grand Canyon.  But it teaches through activities and experiments that children love.  The children can become mystery rangers, solving mysteries for themselves. 

There are plenty of experiments in this book that you can do together with your grandchildren and loads of discussion topics to use as teaching tools.  They will be learning and loving it.

Here is what Nathanael had to say about Case of the Missing Mountain:


Nathanael and Noelia each received a free book because they contributed volcano jokes for the joke page.  I received a book too because I knew I would want to do a review.

To buy this book in USA, see: The Case of the Missing Mountain (Mystery Rangers)

To buy in Canada, see:Case of the Missing Mountain, The

Friday, June 3, 2011

Grandpa can you tell me?

Dear Grandpa can you tell me,
Were you really a little boy too?
Did you play with frogs and balance on logs,
And find scary things to do?

Or were you always grandpa,
Were you always so old and so wise,
With your knowing grin and your stubbly chin,
 And your tongue that never tells lies?

If you were ever little,
Then maybe some day I can be
A grandpa like you, acting just like you do,
With a grandson as loving as me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grandchildren and Grief

Our granddaughter has just gone through a grieving process.  It wasn't the grief we were afraid she might have to face this year; that would have been devistating to her tender young heart.  But it was grief nonetheless.

About a year ago, Noelia befriended a stray cat that was hanging around the neighborhood.  She fed it daily and when they saw that it liked to watch them through their window, her daddy built a little house for the cat and set it where it could still sit and watch through the window but where it would be out of the wind and snow.

The cat would wander over the neighborhood, but every time their car drove into the driveway the cat would race back to welcome Noelia.  Fluffy was her cat.

But Fluffy was a female and unfixed females go into heat and get chased by males.  In Fluffy's case the males chased her across the street at the wrong time.  Fluffy got hit by a car.  And Noelia had her first real encounter with death.

She cried a lot. Her grandpa was there for her just as grandpa has always been there.  How traumatic it would have been if it had been her grandpa as it very well could have been this past year.

We are doubling our efforts to remind our grandchildren that death among Christians is not saying good bye forever.  We don't know for sure about little cats, but we do know exactly where her grandpa and grandma will be going some day, and we can give her the assurance that it will be the happiest place imaginable and that she will also be able to come someday because she loves Jesus too.

For now we have helped her through her grief by taking her to the market and finding her a cute cuddly bunny.  Her daddy built a pen, and her kitty's house has become a rabbit hutch.

And life goes on.

For more about Grandchildren and the subject of death, see: Sometimes Grandparents Get Sick
and  Lord Willing

If you have had any experiences with grandchildren grieving, we would like to hear from you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Granddogs and Grandchildren

We had another grand addition this week.  Our daughter, Samantha, has a new poodle and she seems to require just as much attention as the other grandchildren.  I don't worry about how her soul is fairing, and it doesn't bother me quite so much when she gets spoiled, but I am thrilled with the way the younger grandchildren follow our example in laying down the law for Remi and his new companion, Taffiny.
 
Nathanael and Noelia have there own dog at home and from what I have seen, they are firm about the rules they have made for her.  They know the importance of training, and at the same time they are being trained.  If we are rough with any of our granddogs, we can be sure that they will be rough with theirs, and maybe someday with their own children.  If they demand obedience I hope it will mean that they will be learning obedience themselves.  If they love to cuddle the puppies I hope it means that some day when they marry, they will want to have lots of their own real babies to cuddle.

All our granddogs are part of our family because they are part of our children's families. We love them too.  Who wouldn't when they are this adorable?
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