This has been a special week in that it was our first time to keep our grandsons overnight! Their parents went away for two nights and three days to celebrate their anniversary, so we were asked if we could keep their twin sons in their absence. We agreed to, of course, but I’ll be honest- I was a little nervous about it! Why? Continue reading “My Gigi Life”
This week were some great reminders to slow down and take one day at a time. Being a Gigi is a blessing because I can stop everything I’m doing and just be with my grandsons. When my girls were home, it wasn’t possible to do that every day! There were meals to cook, laundry to wash, floors to sweep, school lessons to prepare and a million other things! I was a busy woman, just like you, Momma. Do you ever wish it was different?
It’s easy for moms to wish away their child’s life.
“Things will be so much easier when she’s walking!” “I can’t wait for her to start pre-school.” “I’ll be glad when these terrible 3’s are over!”
And so on. Each day as a mom is challenging, but you can’t imagine how fast it will be before you attend their high school graduation and are staring into the face of a young adult.
I’m not kidding.
Everyone tells you those things, and you nod and smile because you’re going home to a toddler who will have wet their pants for the fifth time today, poured their finger paints into the toilet, and refused to eat a bite of anything because they consumed a whole bag of potato chips while hiding in the pantry! But trust me, friend, the years will fly by and they will be gone. Graduated. Married. On their own.
And you won’t lose your marbles about all that IF you spent those 18 years or so loving them, spending time with them, and teaching them about your Jesus to the best of your abilities. Oh, you will know that you made lots of mistakes, but you know those are covered by God’s grace, and with that, you are okay!
In the meantime, you have today. What will you do with it? How about just love on those little and big ones? How? Let me give you a few suggestions:
- Show loving gestures – hugs, pecks on the cheek, a pat on their back, a hand squeeze
- Spend time playing with them each day.
- Play a game
- Go outside and push them on the swings
- Ride bikes with them
- Play store, library, or Sunday school
- Have a scavenger hunt
- Bake together
- Work in the yard together
- Work on a dinner for Dad together
- Take a walk
- Jump rope
- Blow bubbles outside
- Help them with homework.
Just be together each day.
- Leave notes of encouragement. Write on their mirror with dry erase, or leave a sticky note where they’ll find it. Leave a note in their lunch. Mail a card to them.
- Allow one child to stay up late for time with both Mom and Dad once a week.
- Have a bed time routine that is special. Tuck them in. Read a book or Scripture. Sing a song. Pray with them about their concerns.
- Do a chore they are assigned as a gesture of love.
- Stop and pray with them in the day about something that is troubling them.
- Talk to them and sing to them about Jesus!
- Love their daddy!
Imagine yourself walking along with your child in a grassy field. As you walk across the deep growth, you hear a noise. You look a few feet in front of you and see the source of the sound – a rattle snake shaking its tail, ready to strike a venomous blow.
You stop your child, point towards the reptile and say,
That is a rattlesnake! Rattlesnakes are poisonous. They can hurt or kill you.
Then you proceed forward with your planned walk, leaving your child and yourself open to true danger.
You’re shaking your head right now because you know you would hever do that. You know that on sight of the poisonous snake, you would REMOVE both your child AND yourself from its presence just as quickly as possible. Even if your child didn’t understand what was happening and didn’t want to leave, you would drag him off, knowing you were saving him from sure disaster.
Now let me ask you – if you would do that with a snake, why won’t you do that with your child’s sin? What is keeping you from doing whatever is necessary to get them away from their sinful/deadly behaviour?
So often I see parents look at their child after they’ve disobeyed, spoken disrespectfully or been defiant and say something that sounds like the parent describing the poisonous snake –
That is not nice.
Those are ugly words!
You are not obeying!
Then they continue to walk towards “the snake.” No action is taken to stop the forward movement – the continuation of their sin!
Proverbs 29:15 reminds us how to train a child to “run away from the snake.”
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.
You can use words to teach, but it needs another element added to it to get the lesson across – it’s a rod, a paddle. Loving, firm discipline connnected with teaching them what God’s Word says about their sin is the only way to get them to understand the danger of going their own way. Words alone will not get the job done because children are foolish.
Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
This is what God tells us! He made our children and He knows their sinful hearts. Why do we think we can try to discipline another way – a way that eliminates a spanking? No one enjoys having to spank their child, but the end result is rest (v. 17).
After the rod AND reproof are given, your child will be on the lookout for snakes himself because he doesnt’ want to “get bitten” again.
To really love your child, you must care enough to not only point out their sinful behaviour, but punish them when it shows itself. Don’t leave that child on their own. God gave them a parent to teach and train them…and that blessed person is YOU. Be on the lookout for the poisonous snakes in their path!
To continue with my theme of my 10th anniversary of blogging, I thought it would be fun to share highlights of my blog. Let’s start with food!
You don’t have to read my posts for long to know that I love to cook. We love good food made at home and it’s fun to find the best recipes to make for my friends and family. The recipe that has had the most hits on my blog is my recipe for Beef Enchiladas. That is for good reason, friends. This is probably my family’s favorite dish! You can find this recipe here.
Coming in as another sought after recipe is this one for Empanadas. Another beef recipe, this is a great do-ahead recipe that could be frozen prior to baking.
The blog post that has the highest readers was a post near and dear to my own heart. It dealt with how to know if your child is ready to be saved. Many parents struggle to know if their child is too young to trust Christ. Should they make them wait until they’re older? Do they need to know more before they pray? Here was my response to those questions.
Marriage posts are important to me because I know how the devil attacks the home and would love to destroy the union between husband and wife. Simple posts like this one on kindness in marriage shows that it’s really the little things that can make a big difference in a happy relationship.
This post on getting a toddler ready to sit in church must be a hot topic because it was another popular read. We all know that getting a 4 or 5 yea-old to sit quietly in church is like trying to corral kittens! I trust these ideas will help get those kittens to sit for a little while so Mommy and Daddy can hear God’s Word without having to leave the service (as often).
I trust that some of these most popular posts might help inspire you in your kitchen, your home and marriage, or your church service! Come back tomorrow where we’ll get a little more personal. =)
I have a dear friend whose son enlisted in the Marines. It was a lifelong dream for him. It was heartbreaking for his parents to see him leave. Here was his mom’s Facebook status the night he left home:
“Our son left today-Took his Bible, address book and $20- He also took many prayers that our special friends have been lifting up! Thanks for all the love, prayer and support you have shown our family. Our hearts are hurting and empty tonight. His leaving has left a huge hole in our home – we miss him already more that words can say.”
What new mommy realizes how soon her little boy will go from playing with plastic army men to being an army man? What young mother understands how quickly her little girl will exchange climbing the steps in their home to climbing the steps to her college dorm room? People tell you this disheartening news frequently when you bring a baby home from the hospital, but you can’t really comprehend the brevity of raising your family until you stand in the hallway and look into their empty bedroom.
It will come much sooner than you think, dear friend, so can I encourage you to prepare for that day? You may be wondering how in the world you could prepare for that…I’m glad you asked!
- Spend time with your children. Do without eating out, living in a bigger house, or going on vacations, if necessary so you can stay home and be with them while they’re growing up. I worked nine months when our older daughter was a preschooler. We thought the extra income would help. It didn’t – not really. It is the year I regret most. I learned my lesson, though, and stayed home the rest of her growing up years!
- Pour the Word of God into them every day all through the day in all they do. Make it a part of conversation.
- Pray with them each night – even after they reach high school. Go to their bed and pray about their concerns and burdens.
- Be fun to be around. Learn to laugh with your children. Smile at them. Laugh at yourself!
- Role play different scenarios. “What would you do if this happened or you were in this situation?” Teach them to respond biblically.
- Make a big thing of having Christian servants – Pastor, youth pastor, Sunday school teacher, missionaries, evangelists – in your home so they can see that serving God is a daily adventure to be enjoyed!
- Be learning about the character of God so you can apply the Truth to your own heart and then teach your children so they can learn to trust Him!
- Study the role of a mother in Scripture so you’ll know that your child needs to leave home. Pray about how you can prepare them.
- Be building a strong marriage so you won’t be looking across the table at a stranger when the last child leaves. You’ll also have your best friend to spend time with when you’re missing the child that has left.
- Stay close to the Lord while the children are home and when they leave. “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Heb. 13:5b The Lord wants to be your anchor!
I remember when I faced the Empty Nest, and I remember the hurting heart that came with it. It is a sad time, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with shedding some tears, but we must also realize it’s a blessing to watch your child fly out to do what you raised them to do – go serve the Lord! We wouldn’t really want them to stay with us forever; God has a great plan for them to follow. So prepare them now for that day and enjoy every day you have with them now.