Saturday, June 30, 2018

The "Meanwhiles" in Our Lives

Life has its wonderful moments - sometimes they last for longer than just a moment. Life also has its difficult and challenging times; sometimes times which are even horrible. This is true for us and for the ones we love.

I'm writing a new book (The DNA of Praying Grandparents & Parents) and in it I take a look at Joseph . . . today I thought I'd share a bit of it with you. 

"In just one day Joseph went from most loved son of his dad to a lowly slave – not a great day. His brothers took his special robe their dad gave Joseph, tore it, dipped it in the blood of a goat and gave it to their dad. Jacob assumed Joseph had been torn to pieces by a fierce animal and said; 
'I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.'
We might think this is where Joseph’s life ends – as a slave in Egypt; it certainly sounds like a horrible ending, but it was actually just the beginning. In the last verse of Genesis 37 we read . . .

Engage the Generations

Did you know Children's Ministry is a great fit for equipping grandparents? Did you know studies show most children go to church every other week? This means out of 336 hours (the number of hours in two weeks) children are at church for just one to three hours (depending on if they also go to the mid-week Children's Ministry - read the book, The Question Nobody Asks About Our Children for more info on this.). 

Even in a best case scenario where a child is at church every time the doors are open, they are only there for six out of 336 hours. How is a Children's Ministry possibly able to hand down faith if a child is only at church for one to six hours out of 336? Which also leaves us with the question; "Is it the 'job' of the Children's Ministry to hand down the faith?" And, "If it is not the Children's Ministry's 'job', then whose job is it?"

Friday, June 29, 2018

Free Cards to Download & Snail Mail

Many of you downloaded the card I shared with you last week which you are able to mail to your grandchildren with a note from you. (If you did not, you will find it at this link.) So, I thought it might be a good idea to share the first card, from this series, with you again, in case you did not see it to download and use it with your grandchildren. You will find it at the following link.

I have two more cards in this series (so far) and will share them in the next couple months. All grandchildren tend to enjoy receiving real mail, so sending them notes from time to time is a great way to connect whether they live near or far and no matter the age. It is also a great way to hand down the faith as you are able to include a personal note with the cards!

Feel free to share these cards with your grandchildren and tell other grandparents you know, so they are able to do the same.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Hand Down the Faith & A Blessing

Whether our grandchildren live near or far and whether they are old or young - or a mix of ages, we need to hand down the faith on purpose. While this may seem like a daunting task, one which we may not feel fully equipped to do well, it is not difficult. Handing down the faith involves the following . . .

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Two Most Important Things

There are many things we want our grandchildren to learn in their lives - to love God, follow Him, make wise choices, live as God wants, pray, read their Bibles, trust God, well . . . the list certain may go on from here! But, if we focus on the two things Jesus said were the most important, we will find all the other things are "covered" as well.

Show Real Love - Forgive

What is love, really? It is more than a "feeling", it is an "action". "God so loved the world that He gave"! (John 3:16) This is what love is, really. It is grace in action. God loved us enough to give us grace . . . He forgave us! He is our Example. We need to remember grace when our grandchildren do something wrong - as all children, no matter how sweet and adorable and wonderful they are - will do. So what does this look like? Well . . . 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How to Nurture a Child's Mental Health

Linda Ransom Jacobs shared this graphic on facebook and I'm happy to share it with you. (When you have time, check out her blog - https://blog.dc4k.org - you will find a wealth of information, ideas and resources to help with any child, but especially those who experience the divorce of their parents.)

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

Connect the Generations

Sitting on my counter this morning is a jar of fresh, homemade strawberry jam made by my mom. She sent it home last night and tomorrow when my grandsons are here, they are going to enjoy some of their great-grandma's jam . . . which is their favorite jam!

My family is very blessed in how we have four generations living nearby - very nearby as my parents live across the street from me and my son, daughter-in-law and grandsons live 20 minutes away. My grandsons not only know their grandparents, they know their great-grandparents as well. When I tell them our family history, they are able to picture some of the people in the accounts.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Watch Your "Flowers" Grow

Whether you have a "single flower" or "dozens" in your "bouquet", be sure to water them generously with love and you will be able to watch them grow. 

Your love will help your grandchildren grow in confidence, the way they treat others and as they learn new things, but the most important way for them to grow is as they grow in their own walk with God. Share your love for God, His great love for them,d hand down faithfulness and cover them generously in prayer, so your grandchildren will grow in the most important way . . . closer to God.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

A Prayer for Those You Love to Hope in & Seek God

If your sons, daughters, their spouses and your grandchildren are people who love, follow and walk with God, be very thankful. But, keep in mind, all it takes is a difficult situation, a time when a trusted leader lets them down or friends who are not people who love, follow and walk with God to cause the ones you love to fall away.

So, today for your family who is walking with God and for the ones you love who are not following and walking with God make Lamentations 3:24-26 your prayer . . . 

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Grandma's Love

The love of a grandma (and grandpa) is special. It is a love which is strong, unending and grows more and more each day.

This saying is absolutely true - we do not have to see or talk with our dear grandchildren every day, but we do absolutely think about and love them every day!

As you think about your grandchildren today, be sure to pray for them. Pray they will grow in their love for God and others and know the joy and peace God offers!

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Just Wait Until Tomorrow

Don't you just love the truth of this quote! Today, tomorrow and forever, our love for our grandchildren just grows and grows!

Take time today to thank God for the gift of your grandchildren and remind them how very much you love them.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

God cares!

This Summer as you enjoy the outside - especially when you do so with your grandchildren - remember this verse, share it with your grandchildren and take it to heart. No matter what you are facing in life, God cares!

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Free Card for You to Connect with Your Grandchildren

A couple months ago we posted a link where you would be able to download a free card you could use for mailing - snail mail - notes to your grandchildren. (You will find it at this link). Today we are happy to provide another free card for you to download - you will find it at this link

Using the "old fashioned" snail-mail from time to time is a wonderful way to stay in touch with your grandchildren - whether they live near or far - as children of all ages love to get real mail for them. Sending a card and writing a personal note to encourage them in their walk with God is a powerful way to hand down the faith, so feel free to use these cards with the children you love!

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Prayer for Our Grandchildren to be Fruitful

Dearest Lord Jesus,
You are the true vine. Our grandchildren, like us, are the branches. Let them always remain in You and You in them; for apart from You, they can do nothing. Let them bear abundant fruit, and may the fruit they bear be offered to the glory of God (Paraphrased from John 15:5-8).

We pray in Your Name,
Amen.
(Submitted by Sherry Schumann)

Friday, June 22, 2018

You Matter, Have Value & Purpose

Someone I love is going through difficult times; she is feeling unloved, unwanted and without value. She of course is loved, wanted and has immeasurable value, but when you experience difficult times, it is often hard for you to see these things. 

She is a grandma, and the only one in her immediate family who is doing anything to hand down faith, so when she told me yesterday how she does not see any value or purpose to her life, I told her she has tremendous value to her grandchildren, because if she does not tell them about Jesus, who will? 

Model It

I do not really have a lot to say about this quote; it pretty much says it all on its own. I will say, the best way to have our grandchildren be kind, patient, loving, gentle and compassionate people is by modeling it to them by being these things to them as well. Take time to do this today whether in person or through tech.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Thursday, June 21, 2018

It is Selfie Day & Share Your Faith History

Today is Selfie Day and since my three wonderful grandsons are at my house, I did what I rarely do, just for the fun of it . . . I took a selfie with them!

Pray When Your Heart is Full & When it is Empty

Don't you just love this quote? As we commit to pray for our grandchildren, and are purposeful about teaching our grandchildren to become people who pray, consider this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Yes, we pray when our heart is full, but we also pray when our heart is empty.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pray for Your Grandchildren to Find Their Refuge in God

Proverbs 14:26 says; “Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” Today, and in the week to come, as you think about your grandchildren, consider making this your prayer . . .

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Meant to Be

I love this song from Steven Curtis Chapman; it is, in fact, one of my favorites, but I can not listen to it without crying every single time. The lyrics are so true - each of us, our grandchildren included, are meant to be. God has great plans for them and this world is so much better with them in it than it would ever be without them.

You will be able to watch it at this link - get ready to cry! The message of the song touches my heart each time I hear it and makes me feel so thankful for my grandsons - they were meant to be and absolutely make this world so much more than it would be without them in it!

Enjoy!

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Unconditional, Constant Love

Today at my house is a day with three boys. They are active and sweet, but since they are still young - four, six and nine - there are times when their voices rise and they do not show love to each other. I know, shocking.

Well, not so shocking. While my grandsons are dearly loved by me, I know they are not perfect and they do not always make wise choices. But, I love them whether they are being wise and kind to one another, or not so wise and not so kind. They are my grandsons and I love them. Period.

God loves us no matter what, so when we show this unconditional and constant love for our grandsons, it makes it easier for them to understand the unconditional and constant love which God has for them.

Just a reminder - whether you are spending today with your grandchildren or not. If you are, be sure to tell them you love them all the time. If you are not, call them, email or facetime to share this important - and essential - message with them. It matters.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Monday, June 18, 2018

Be Prepared for God to Do a Big Thing

I love this quote - as you connect with your grandchildren today and throughout the week, share this truth with them. If things are going well, challenge them to not limit God and to watch for all He has planned. If they are experiencing difficult times, encourage them to watch for all God has planned as well.

"Don't think too small about what God could do in your life - be prepared for God to do a big thing!"

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Please Share - What is Your Focus this Summer?

Summer is a wonderful time to help our grandchildren, of any age and any location, focus upon God and His Word. Pray about a Scripture to make your focus and then post it around your home - use sticky notes, paper, take photos and write the verse on it - whatever and however you like. Talk with your grandchildren about the message of the verse, make a Scripture prayer and blessing out of it and then share it throughout the Summer with your grandchildren. 

For my grandchildren, this Summer we are focusing upon a few verses which fit together nicely. First of all, Galatians 5:22 - "The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace." Then, Matthew 22:37 - "Jesus replied:‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . . . Love your neighbor as yourself.’"; Nehemiah 8:10 - "The joy of the LORD is your strength." and finally Isaiah 26:3 - "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

With these verses as our focus this Summer, our Scripture prayer and blessing is as follows . . .
Thank You Father for Your love, joy and peace which You show to us. Please help us experience and live Your love, joy and peace. Please help us love You and others with our all, find our strength in Your joy and know we will have Your perfect peace as we trust in You. Amen.
What is your Scripture focus this Summer?

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day Prayer

And He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:6).
Dearest Lord Jesus,
We pray with thanksgiving for the fathers of our grandchildren. Give them wisdom, courage, knowledge and the skills they need to be good parents and strong role models. Help them to draw safe and healthy boundaries for their families. Let them be attentive to and able to provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our grandchildren. Let them be consistent and firm, discerning in discipline. Let them shower their loved ones with forgiveness and grace. Give these men hearts overflowing with love for You and their families.
We pray in Christ's Name,
Amen.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Please Share - What Does Your Summer Look Like?

Do you have your grandchildren with you for part or all of the Summer? According to grandparents.com, 81% of grandparents do. I have my grandsons at my house two or three days a week while their parents are at work and then either Friday or Saturday for our weekly sleepover.

What does your Summer look like? How much are your grandchildren at your home in the Summer? Please share in the comments below.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

What is Prayer? & Exodus 14 Personalized Prayer - Stand Firm, Be Still

What is prayer? We talk a lot about prayer here on Grandmas with Heart, but what is prayer, really? Is it the words we say to tag on the end of an activity or day; or the words we say at the start of an activity or day? Yes, we know it is taking the time to talk with God, but do we pray as a way to let others know what we are thinking - or what we know; or do we just truly talk with God, and others may be listening in? Is prayer the thing we do to put the final touch on "something" or is it the foundation upon which we build the "something" - the main ingredient? Is prayer the thing we take time for, because we are believers and we have to, but we really think we know what to do and what we want, so the words are just what we "say"?

What is prayer?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Hold On to the Promise of Isaiah 55

As you go though this day, I want to share this wonderful verse and amazing promise from Isaiah 55 with you - 
"My word will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I purpose, and will succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
If you have children and/or grandchildren who have wandered or who have not yet made the choice to follow God, take heart, be encouraged and hold on to this verse and promise. If your children/grandchildren are following God, again, take heart, be encouraged and hold on to this verse and promise! 

God's Word does not return to Him empty and it does accomplish what he plans! Be faithful to share God's Word with those you love - it has the power to do what you can not - draw them to God and help them know and walk with Him.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

Please Share . . . The Funny Things Your Grandchildren Say

Typically I post at least once a day on this Grandmas with Heart blog, but for the next week I'm going to ask you to please contribute with your comments. It will such a treat to hear from you and get to know you a bit as you comment to each day's special post; starting with today . . .

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Help Your Grandchildren Look for God's Love

God's love for our grandchildren is absolute, but He not only loves them, He lavishes His love upon them in big and small ways every day! Take time this summer to help your grandchildren see the many ways God does this. Help them learn to look for God's love, in big and small ways . . .

Reminders

Five years ago when my oldest grandson was four, we were talking and I forgot something. He said; "That's okay, grandma. When you get old you get holes in your brain. This is why you forget things; because you are old." Little rascal!

At any rate, as we get older we do forget things from time to time whether it is from being older or just because we may be too busy and forget some things. We all forget things from time to time and we all need to focus upon remembering what truly matters.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Grandmas See with Their Heart

Don't you just love this saying! It matters for us to see our grandchildren with our heart and for them to know we always see them through eyes of love.

After all, this is how God sees us - through "eyes" of love. So, make time today to see your grandchildren through eyes of love and show your love - whether they live near or far. It matters and makes a real difference.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Invest in the Welfare of Our Grandchildren

Of course we as grandparents are invested in the physical welfare of our grandchildren - we care about their well-being and even 72% of us take care of our grandchildren on a regular basis, 81% have our grandchildren with us for part or all of their Summer vacation and 13% are primary caregivers for their grandchildren. Yes, we do care and invest in the physical welfare of our grandchildren.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Inspire Cartwheels in Their Hearts

My almost-seven-year-old grandson recently learned to do cartwheels - he has such joy when he is "cartwheeling" across the yard! Joy, absolute joy! 

So, when I read this quote from Mr. Rogers about inspiring cartwheels in my grandson's hearts, I have a very definite picture of what this looks like!

I want to inspire joyful cartwheels in my grandsons' hearts and believe I am able to do so by praying for and with them, encouraging them, laughing with them, playing with them - by loving them with my all. 

On Children's Day we had dinner at my house and my grandsons were able to sit and listen as their parents and grandparents took turns sharing what they love so much about each of them. Their eyes twinkled, they had the biggest smiles on their faces as they listened to the four adults who most influence them tell why they loved them. They had "cartwheels in their hearts".

As the Summer begins and you spend time with your grandchildren in the coming months, or connect on-line if they live far, be sure to take advantage of opportunities to inspire those "cartwheels" in their hearts with those which just come along as well as times you plan. This is part of what it looks like to hand down the faith and it matters!

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

Those "Twists & Turns" in Life Are Really a "Straight Line"

I love this quote - it is so true. It is like the old saying about hind sight being 20/20. Looking back we are able to see God's "fingerprints" all over our lives when at the time we did not see what He was doing.

I am able to see the straight path behind me which brought me to where I am now - at the time it had plenty of twists and turns for sure! It would take much longer than I want to write here, but the "nutshell" version is because my grandparents bought a house on a lake for them to enjoy in retirement on weekends and the summer when I was just a little child, I ended up working for Gospel Light Publishing, Group Publishing, Kregel Bookstores, Zondervan and Big Idea - at the time all of these things just looked like twists and turns in the "road" of life. These things and MS put me in a place where I met Linda Ransom Jacobs and she recommended me to Larry Fowler when he began the Legacy Coalition. I know - starting with my grandma, involving MS and bringing me to where I am now with Grandmas with Heart! A lot of "twists and turns", but looking back it is a very straight line which shows how God was working in my life from the time I was a little child to bring me to where I am now.

Look at your life. How has God worked in your life? Maybe there were things with you - as there were with me - which at the time did not seem to be God working in your life, but looking back you are able to see a "straight line" for you as well. Pay attention. Look back. Remember and tell your grandchildren your "Faith History" and how God worked in your life to bring you where you are. God does not do things by mistake and He does not waste opportunities. Help your grandchildren learn to watch for their own, "Faith History" and how to identify the ways God works and leads in their lives. It may look like "twists and turns" at the time, but looking back it will be a clear "straight line" and make complete sense!

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Be a Grandma Who Smiles

Our grandchildren learn from what we say, but they learn far more from what we do. If we tell them God loves us and gives us joy, but then we do not smile - or worse yet are cranky - they will at the least be confused and at the worst end up not believing us.

And, it is true - especially with our young grandchildren, they picture God as they see the adults around them. If we are loving, kind, forgiving and smile - they will see God as loving, kind, forgiving and with a smile on His face.

Let's be grandmas who let the love and joy of God flow through us by the words we say, the things we do and the smiles on our faces.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

Appreciation & Love

Don't you just love this quote . . . "I believe appreciation is a holy thing - - when we look for what's best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we're doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we're participating in something sacred."

More than teach this to my grandsons; which I definitely will do on purpose, I want to model this to them. I want them to learn to look for the best thing in the people they are with; I want them to love others. And I want them to know love is more than just the words - although saying the words is a great thing to do as well. But love is about actions and love gives; love shares what we have with those who need.

Appreciation and love. I want my grandsons to be people who truly appreciate others from the heart and who love with their all, so I will model this to them. It is about handing down the faith and it maters.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Happy Children's Day


Your Grandchildren Need You

As the Summer begins, your grandchildren's schedules change and your's may as well. You may find you are spending a fair part of the Summer with them - 81% of grandparents say they have their grandchildren for part or all of the summer and 70% say they see their grandchildren at least once a week. So, if Summer means more time for you with the grandchildren - or if your grandchildren live far and you will not be seeing more of them, keep what Jay Kesler said in mind . . .  
"Young people need something stable to hang on to - a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them."
Your grandchildren need YOU. If you are able to spend time with them over the Summer, take every opportunity you have to do so. If you are not able to be there in person, again, take every opportunity you have to connect - through snail mail (this is great for all grandchildren), email, facetime and over the phone. You make a difference. Your grandchildren need you.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

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Welcome to "Grandmas with Heart"!

Welcome to "Grandmas with Heart"! We (Linda Ranson Jacobs, Debbie Guinn, Joani Schultz, Sherry Schumann, Nohemi Murray, Cathy Ja...