Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sheltering: A Mawmaw's Way

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies. ~Rudolph Giuliani

When Melanie asked me to care for Morgan during their trip to Africa, I was delighted.  I knew how much fun we could have in ten days.  And we are having fun!
Yesterday we went to JoAnn’s and picked out material for a skirt and nightie.  Oh my, so many choices.  Once she decided, she didn't change her mind.  Pink with aqua tea cups for the nightie and pink with ladybugs for the skirt.  When I finished the nightie this morning, her face was priceless -- all girly and joyful.

As grandmothers and grandfathers, we have a wonderful opportunity to leave a heritage for our grandchildren.  I love how I can be hemming a nightie while having a conversation with Morgan about things that please Jesus.  

Here are some principles to follow as we shelter our grandchildren:

1.  Follow Mom and Dad's rules.  I know, it's hard.  Grandmas give in much easier with grandchildren than with their own children.  If Mom says one glass of chocolate milk, don't offer two.  If bedtime is at 8:00, put them to bed at 8:00.  

Grandloving
2.  Respect the "other grandma."  I've seen too many families where the grandmothers are in competition.  Don't put your grandchildren in a place where a child has to choose one over another.  I'm privileged because my grandchildren have a lovely "Nana." But even with "not-so-lovely" grandparents, one could model disrespect if making fun or saying unkind things.

3.  Pray for your grandchildren.  One of the hardest things for me in losing my grandparents was that I knew Grandpa and Grandma Cessna prayed for me every day.  When an opening comes to talk about God, walk into it.  This morning we were talking about Shawn and Melanie being in Africa.  Morgan said, "They are working for God."  An opportunity.  When we take the opportunity to talk with them about spiritual things at Morgan's age, then they will feel free to talk to you about them when they are teenagers.  RB's mother lived with us during her last year of life.  Emily always slept with her.  Some of her favorite memories are of Grandma quoting Scripture as they went to sleep.

4.  Make time for your grandchildren.  My parents shine at this.  My girls couldn't wait until Granddad came because he read books to them.  My mother colored and had tea parties.  My father picked Emily up from school during visits to our house.  It was a treat for Emily.  The last time they were with us was in November; she lamented that she was in college now, and Granddad couldn't pick her up.

5.  Keep in touch.  If you don't live near your grandchildren, you can still influence them.  Kids love to get mail. My Grandma sent me a monkey postcard every time she went to Florida. Teenagers love mail, too, but their mail is more like a text on their phone.  A friend of ours lost his son.  In order for Grandpa (living several hundred miles away) to be a presence in their grandchildren's lives, he learned to text. Keep up with technology -- meet them where they are.

6.  Teach a skill.  My mother took Melanie with her to china painting class.  Another time she took her to a lake where they set up watercolors and painted.  We may not be an artist like my mother, as I’m keenly reminded when recalling how Ethan asked me once to draw a horse.  I asked him what I drew and he said, "I don't know, but it's not a horse."  Woodworking, needlework, cooking...whatever you like to do, they'll love to do it with you.

When I look into the eyes of my four grandchildren, I want to do my part in giving them a desire to live for God -- the God of my grandparents.  Loving them is easy.  I've felt the warmth of little arms around my neck this week and heard the whispered words, "I wike you, Mawmaw."  This Mawmaw heart 
is full of joy and oh, so blessed.

34 comments:

Mrs. Smith said...

Pamela, you are in my prayers as you wait for your husband's return, and for this special time with your precious grandchildren, and also for everyone's safe return. Thinking of you this week.

Cathy said...

Wonderful things to do with grandchildren ~ Yours are beautiful. Blessings ~

Ross said...

Thanks for visiting my site.It must be great to be a grandmother! I have a few years before that seeing as my kids are only 4 and 8. What type of chronic pain do you have to deal with?

Bobbe Brooks-Fischle said...

Yes, yes--exquisite truths and post. Thank you for sharing your heart and touching ours!

LDH said...

What a special time with sweet Morgan! And what a delight to pick the fabric and have you create those adorable jammies and skirt!

Wonderful guidelines as we love our grandchildren! My grandchildren have dear grandparents , ones that are dear friends to us as well.

I think there are certain extravagances we have with our grandchildren that makes the relationship special but also the responsibility to train then in Godly ways that includes respecting/obeying their parents and the choices they make for them.

I enjoyed visiting and reading your post! :)

Kindly, Lorraine

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I pray that the Lord blesses us with grandkids some day.

Fondly,
Glenda

Bruna said...

Grandparents are so important in the lives of children. I miss mine. They are all in Heaven but lived to almost 100!

Keeping you in my prayers as you wait for the return of your husband from Africa.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

DoleValleyGirl said...

Pamela, This is a beautiful post! What a wonderful testimony you have of God's covenant faithfulness to you and your family! I pray that one day the Lord will bless my husband and me with grandchildren, but until that day arrives (Lord willing), I know that we can still pray for God's blessings upon our future generations.

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment on my post about Ann Voskamp's book. I agree with you that it's one that has to be read slowly. While there are many gems of wisdom in her writing, I'm just not sure what I think. I guess I'll have to finish her book before I come to a conclusion. :)

Many blessings to you and yours,

Lisa :)

Christie Elkins said...

Beautifully written! I love how you take delight in being a grandparent. I have 3 children and my brother has 1 and another on the way, so our parents are thrilled! Bless you and your ministry as a grandmother!

eph2810 said...

What wonderful suggestions to get involved with your grandchildren. I like what you said about honoring your grand-children's parents.

Thank you so much for sharing your grateful heart with us.

Love & peace,
<>< Iris

Aliene said...

Yes, grand parents have opportunites to guide their grand child if they look for them.. I am home schooling my youngest grandson through high school. It is a privilege. He is a blessing to my husband and me. I hope we are building memories for him to cherish and pass on to his children.
Thanks for sharing this post. Blessings!

Denise said...

Beautiful post.

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

Lovely post! I think the most important and precious thing is prayer. Blessings to you and yours!

Kathleen said...

My mother in law is the best grandmother in the world to 18 grands and I follow her lead. My mom was simply never the "grandma type".

Grandma's house is where some of mom and dad's rule are flown out the window. It is fun time. The kids stay up a little past their bedtime... They have chocolate instead of white milk... The listen to 3 stories at bedtime instead of one. They make messes while making cookies.

My daughter insists I have fun with the grandkids but they must listen, be respectful and obey.

I do have rules that are instilled. No back talk, when grandma says it's clean up time they clean up... They must at least try a bite of all foods on their plate.

You have a great list but I don't agree with #1 fully for reasons I explained. I like being a "fun grandma" :)

Have a wonderful day!

A multi-dimensional life said...

This is so touching. Mawmaw is liked...mawmaw is loved...and blessed! What priceless memories you are making together.
Morgan is going to benefit greatly from time spent with you and from your prayers.

Special moments with my grandma are forever etched on my heart. My other grandma died before I got to know her, but she held me in her arms when I was a newborn and my mother told me that she prayed for me...for my salvation! I get chills when I think about it! Her obedience to God and her prayers have made a huge difference in my life. It's so exciting to know that I'm going to spend all eternity with her in God's presence! May your joy increase and may your husband and children be kept safe! xo

peggy aplSEEDS said...

what a heartwarming post. you have described exactly what i want to do/be when i become a grandmother! thank you for sharing,
hugs, peggy aplSEEDS

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Your children and grandchildren are so lucky to have you! Thanks for sharing your special times with us.

God bless,

Kathy M.

Maggie Ann said...

What precious advice! You are a godly lady....your post is a blessing to read. Sewing together...how special. And sewing gives such immediate (well, after some hours) pleasure to be able to wear a new piece of clothing. Our daughter used to sew herself a new piece of clothing every week when she was in high sch. My husband made the comment to her that if she sewed he would buy her the material. Little did he guess just how she would put that promise to use! smiles...Maggie

Elizabeth Griffin said...

I love this post! You are a fantastic grandmother and I wish more people could hear your advice.
- Elizabeth

Rhonda said...

I love being a Nana ...it is the greatest reward of being a Mom....sometimes I think the son < daddy> gets a wee bit jealous b/c he is my baby boy ...but he'll understand if the Lord tarried for Hunter to grow up and get married and have a grandchild of his own....he'll understand then.

Kristin Bridgman said...

This made me smile:) I had many wonderful memories with my grandmother! Sounds like your grandchildren are blessed too with a wonderful grandmother making wonderful memories.

Jan said...

Very wise comments and you are so blessed to be near your lovely Grands.
My daughter's were born in UK and Wales, and son's afar, and though most now live in Australia, they are still a long way away, and I am thankful for media available these days.
Enjoying your great page.
Blessings, Jan

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh my gosh, your grandchildren are beautiful!!! And you must be having so much fun with Morgan!! Thank you so much for your prayers, Pamela...I hope that everyone recognizes when they receive a "hug" from heaven! XO Cindy

Just Be Real said...

Pam very nicely presented. Blessings.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

great advice and the time you spent with your granddgt...sounds wonderful. Have a beautiful week......

Jean Tuthill said...

Grandchildren are wonderful, I love mine so, all 6 of them. Yours are beautiful and it's great how you include them in your everyday life, I try to do that, too. Have a wonderful day!

Lisa notes... said...

What wonderful tips, Pamela! I hope I'll remember these when I get the blessing of being a grandmother. You sound wonderful at it.

Lisa said...

Your grandchildren are very blessed. :)

Karen said...

great wisdom! Bless you.

Anita Johnson said...

Great notes for this new grandma! Thanks for sharing, Pam.

Melanie N. Brasher said...

These are GREAT tips! #3 made me laugh. I thought those competitive problems ended with age, but your point is a reminder that we are sinful and constantly in need of grace.

Your grandchildren are SO blessed.

Nancy said...

You are making memories she will never forget....Your list of suggestions were wonderful and everyone so important....We do have an opportunity to influence our grandchildren for the Lord and it's a wonderful responsibility....

Great post....

Blue Cotton Memory said...

What an amazing time you are going to have! Wishing you such blessing and joy! BTW - I just became a grandmother this month:) I am so looking forward to this relationship!

http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/blessing-for-a-granddaughter/

Charlotte said...

Grandchildren are such a blessing. Unfortunately I don't have grandchildren so I can't really give any "tips"or advice. Thank you for sharing yours.
Blessings,
Charlotte

 
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