Friday, May 31, 2019

Let's Spend Our Time Wisely

This is one of the times of the year when we tend to stop and think about, "time". We think about it in regards to how quickly it has been passing as our dearly loved grandchildren are no longer cute little babies with chubby cheeks or even toddlers, preschoolers or young children. Our grandchildren do what grandchildren do - they grow up and some of them have been celebrating this growing; milestones in the time of their lives as they graduated, whether it be from grade school, high school or even college.

Let Them Hear It From Us

Josh McDowell spoke at the first-ever Legacy Grandparenting Summit and while there were many things he said which stood out for me, things which I will be intentional about doing with my grandsons, there is one thing which I believe is the most important. What is it, you ask? It is for me to be sure they hear, know and believe the truth about how no matter what, they are created in the image of God and have infinite value, dignity, worth. Josh said we need to love our grandchildren the way Jesus does and communicating this message is a great place to begin!

Inspire Cartwheels in Their Hearts

Last year my seven-year-old grandson 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 am definitely able to picture 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. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Wake Up, Relinquish, Trust, Remember, Tell & Love

I don't know about you, but there are certainly times when I find the "relinquishing the lives of loved ones" to be a difficult thing. I do trust God, but when I do not see what He is doing, or He seems silent, it honestly is more challenging to trust and relinquish.

I know God loves me and the ones I love and I do believe He has a clear and eternal purpose for us; but, when I do not understand what is happening, it is difficult to hold on to these beliefs.

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 it 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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Even When We Are Old . . .

I LOVE the last part of this verse/prayer in Psalm 92 . . . 
"Even when you are old, you will be fresh and able to say how God is your Rock and all He does is good and right!"
There are times when we feel older than others, but whether we feel old or not, the truth is we are not getting any younger. However; it is not a bad thing for us to get older - better than the alternative by far!

Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind

Simple to say, simple to remember, and actually simple to do, as being kind is not difficult once you make the choice to do so. Encourage your grandchildren to be people who are kind, because when they do this, they truly will be successful in what matters the most - in the type of person they are.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Share the Joy

You will absolutely discover solid truth in this quote from Cathy Jacobs - there is a lot of joy in being a grandparent and, for some reason, it is not often talked about.

However; if you get a group of grandparents together, it is likely someone will start talking about their grandchildren and pull out their smart phone to share photos of their sweet grandchildren. Talk about the new, "grandma brag book"!

Well, rest assured, there is nothing wrong with sharing the joy you experience as a grandma - or grandpa - and your photos as well . . . you are allowed! Statistics show 90% of grandparents talk about their grandchildren - and enjoy doing so! I am certainly one of the 90%.

Celebrate Your Grandchildren & Be Sure They Know You Love Them

Sunday June 9th is Children's Day! (If you look it up on Google, it says the USA celebrates Children's Day on the second Sunday in June - this has been the official date since the 1800's - I really did not make this holiday up!!!)  

My grandsons look forward to it each year; typically they choose the menu and usually a water gun fight finds its way into the activities somewhere! We will have fun for sure!    (Like I really need an excuse to celebrate my grandsons, but Children's Day is a fun day to do so!)

Monday, May 27, 2019

One Week & You Will be Able to get the Kindle Copy for Free

Just a reminder - in one week, on June 3rd, you will be able to download your own free Kindle copy of Science the Bible & Fun. If you would like to see what it looks like, check it out at this link.

Hold Tightly to the Promise & Live It

Proverbs 22:6 is a verse we all know and to which we hold tightly. We want to know the time we spend training and teaching our children will bring about the results we want. We want to know if we train and teach the children we love to know, love and walk with God, they will continue to do so all of their lives.

This verse is a promise - easy for us to hold to when the children we love do grow to love, know and walk with God; it may leave us with questions and uncertainties when the children we love turn away from the faith they knew as a child.

But, regardless, it is a promise; look at it in a few translations with which you may not be as familiar . . . 

"Often When You Think You're at the End of Something, You're at the Beginning of Something Else."

This morning when I got around I turned my computer on, as I do pretty much each morning. But this morning I had a message which said it was updating and it would take awhile - which it did; almost two hours. So, I spent the two hours reading in Luke and praying for family - a wonderful two hours for sure!

I love this saying; "Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else." Life often does not end up the way we think it will - whether it is the activities of the morning, or a major turn in our lives. This is true for us and it is true for our grandchildren as well. Part of handing down the faith involves sharing with our grandchildren how God has shown His good plans for our lives and helping them understand and believe He has good plans for their lives as well - when things go as they think they will and when they do not.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Be in Awe of God

Does this photo cause you to pause, look at it more closely and wonder at how a tree is able to possibly grow in the way and place where this tree is growing? I find this tree amazing. I look at the photo and think there is no way possible for a tree to grow - and apparently thrive in such a rough place. It leaves me feeling a sense of "awe"; I am left "fearing" the tree and more accurately, God who made it possible for this lone tree to thrive in this rough place.

One of the definitions for "fear" on Dictionary(dot)com is;
"Thave a reverential awe"

"Nobody is Perfect, But God Will Use Even Our Imperfections."

This is the truth and it is sadly missed by so many in our world today. Just as with the people in the Bible, we make mistakes; but God uses us anyway in important ways. It is essential for us to be sure our grandchildren hear this message over and over again. Just look at the following examples . . .

Prayer for Our Grandchildren to Give Their Burdens to God

Lord Jesus,
Our hearts ache for our grandchildren, who are burdened and heavy laden. Some of them contend with the challenge of learning disabilities, while others grapple with the demands of scholarly perfection. Some are exhausted from hectic schedules, while others are aimless, getting into trouble, because they have nothing to occupy their time. Some of them live in homes turned upside-down by broken marriages, while others are being raised by single parents. Some of them are emotionally abandoned, while others are smothered in their parents’ love.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Watch the Ones You Love Blossom

I live in West Michigan, just 30 minutes from Lake Michigan. Each year, about this time of year, the lilacs bloom. Since lilacs are my favorite flower, when I saw this quote from Gary Chapman, I knew I wanted to put it with a photo of lilacs.

There is a lot of truth in this quote. We do all blossom when we feel loved and we do wither when we do not feel loved. It is true for us and for our grandchildren. Please take this quote to heart and whenever you see lilacs, or any flower blooming, use them to remind you to take time to express your love for and to your own children and grandchildren - you are never too old to hear you are loved.

Help Your Grandchildren Experience Joy - Encourage Their Play

With Summer Break upon us, what better time is there than this to encourage children to play, imagine and enjoy being a child! God created children to do all these things, so encourage their play and creative spirit and make time to play with them; because in so doing, you will make a great difference in their lives!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Rebuild the Foundations

With all the unprecedented tornadoes and flooding in the news this week, first of all, I want to say the people who have been, and continue to be impacted by these tornadoes and flooding are in our prayers.

Secondly, I decided to re-share a post I originally shared with you last year . . .

Grandparents Belong To & Impact the Future

Next week is my grandsons' last week of school . . . and I am confidently able to assure you, they are without a doubt ready for their summer break! I am ready for their break, too, as the boys will be spending time at my house this summer while their parents are at work. We will definitely have a fun summer!

So, with the last week of my grandsons' school year upon us, and likely the last or close to the last for your grandchildren as well, I thought it would be fun and interesting to spend time looking at some of the things Mr. Rogers (from Mister Roger's Neighborhood) said when he was alive. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Blessings Not Measured by Dollars

As my day began this morning, I was thinking about blessings . . . big and small, and I most certainly have many! I have an amazing husband (we met on a volcano!!!), two grown children, and a daughter-in-law of whom I am proud and love with all my heart. Three sweet, rascal grandsons who fill my heart with joy! Yes, my blessings are many and I am ever so thankful!

Love is . . . the Greatest of All

There is no doubt Love is the greatest of all . . . especially God's love. Nothing is bigger, stronger, better, more faithful, more enduring, more amazing than God's great love.

The biggest responsibility - and joy - we have as grandmas (grandpas and parents) is to be sure the children we love know God loves them. Nothing matters more. Nothing.

Heritage; Leave a Legacy of Faith

When I was a child I looked forward to visiting my grandparents; and especially to sleep-overs! I have many wonderful memories of riding in my grandpa's car on the way to their house in the country for a sleep-over (they lived in the country about six miles from my home in a small, "Norman Rockwell-type-town"). My grandpa always asked me to sing my Sunday school songs in the car on the way to his house . . . and I sang them at the top of my lungs! (I never failed to embarrass my older sister when I sang in Sunday school, because I sang loudly - very loudly, but my grandpa loved to hear me sing - which amazed and delighted me!)

I remember the aroma of fresh-baked bread in my grandma's kitchen . . . and being given a fresh-from-the-oven slice of bread with Peter Pan Peanut butter on it . . . is there possibly a better, or tastier treat???!!!

I remember praying with my grandparents and seeing them read from their Bibles. I remember my grandpa always had a smile on his face and was quick to laugh - or sing a silly song - and my grandma was sensible, sweet and oh, so filled with love!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Free Book for You

With Summer break just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share with you the kindle copy of my book, Science, the Bible & Fun for free! Yes, for free! Starting June 3rd and going through June 7th you will be able to download it for free.

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - God Made You Unique & Oh, So Valuable

The month of May is National Mental Health Month, so I want to write today about something very, very important. Suicide. I was shocked to learn suicide is the second leading cause of death in the United States for children, youth and young adults ages ten - 34. Yes, this statistic included children as young as ten. I have a grandson who is ten.

This got my attention; and I assume it has your attention as well.

Love Never Fails

When it comes to loving our grandchildren, our love for them will never fail. We will always love them; no matter what. Because of this . . . 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Teach the Truth - Intentionally & at Unplanned Times as Well

There are many important things for us to do as grandmas, and grandpas, too. Things which truly matter when it comes to handing down the faith for this life and beyond. But one absolutely essential thing for us to do is for us to make sure our grandchildren know, believe and remember the truth about Who God Is. There are many voices in our world today who tell our grandchildren God is not real, the Bible is not true and God does not answer prayer. Whether your grandchildren go to a Christian school, are homeschooled or go to public school, they will hear these messages from one place or another . . . and likely from many.

We are not able to keep them from hearing these things, and it is not our job to keep them from hearing them. It is, however; our job to consistently and faithfully teach them the truth, so when they hear something which is not true, they will know it is not true. Judges 2 shows what happens when we do not teach the generations who follow us the truth about Who God Is, so they will know, love and follow Him for themselves.

Love Always Protects, Trusts, Hopes & Perseveres

Several years ago when my grandsons were three and six, we were at a fast-food restaurant with a play place (not the one you are likely thinking of). The boys were playing on the play-structure - they both climbed right up to the top. Then my younger grandson looked down and decided he was not happy where he was. He asked his poppa to come get him, but poppa could not go up there to get him. My older grandson came to the "rescue"! He climbed up next to his little brother and guided him all the way down. He calmly and gently told him where to put his feet and what to hold on to until they reached the bottom! 

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Prayer for Those Who Wander

There are few things which break a parents and/or grandparent's heart more than to watch as their children and/or grandchildren walk away from their faith. If you do not know this pain, be tremendously thankful; the world in which we live makes it oh, so easy for them to be sidetracked, confused and derailed.

If you know this pain, be encouraged; God loves them more than you do and He wants them to love Him back and walk closely with Him. Find comfort in this truth.

Either way, consider making Jeremiah 24 your prayer for the ones you love . . . 

Build Strong Bonds

Yesterday I was able to take my grandsons to church with me. I was sitting in the area where the children are checked in to the Children's Ministry at my church and had the opportunity to notice several grandmas with their grandchildren. It was abundantly clear the grandmas love their grandchildren and I was so happy to see the love mirrored back to their grandmas in the eyes of the grandchildren. 

Love Rejoices in What is Right & True

When it comes to the truth it is essential for us to both model being people who tell the truth and who require our grandchildren to speak the truth. If a person starts being untruthful, they will not be able to be trusted and lying easily becomes a habit which is difficult to break. Of course we want our grandchildren to be trustworthy and people who speak the truth - always.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Encourage Your Grandchildren With - You Make My Heart Happy

I have another blog, grandma's cookie jar. One of the things I do on it is review items grandmas/parents may be interested in - such as a lot of books. A publisher recently invited me to review a new book for children, Pinky Got Out! (I'll be posting my review on Wednesday, May 22nd). 

My grandsons were at my house this weekend and when my youngest grandson saw it, he asked his poppa to read it to him. After they did this, I asked my grandson if he liked the book. He said; "It is the best thing ever . . . except for you, grandma. Nothing is better than you, grandma!" My heart is so happy!

Love Makes Peace & Forgives

There are many "aspects" of love which I want my grandsons to understand - Love is kind, patient, puts others first, etc., but one very important part of love, which is often overlooked, is - Love makes peace and forgives. Whether it involves making peace with and forgiving a sibling, friend or as they grow up their spouse, the truth is love makes peace and forgives. 

Prayer to be Equipped

Heavenly Father,
We come together today to glorify You and give You thanks for the blessing of our precious grandchildren. They are the, “crown of the aged” (Proverbs 17:6), and they bring us indescribable joy.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

"Keep a Firm Grip on the Faith"

The Bible presents Satan as a "roaring lion" and says he is looking for people to "devour" in 1 Peter 5:8. This sounds frightening; and if we look at the world around us it is easy to see how he is doing this with so many.

However; this verse does not tell us to run ad hide under our beds. No! It tells us to be clearheaded, alert, watchful, on our guard. The following verses say it this way in the Phillips translation . . . 

Love Honors Others & Puts Them First

While I want to focus on love this summer with my grandsons - God's love for us, our love for God and others - with the end of the school year upon us it provides us with a wonderful opportunity for our grandchildren to show love and honor to the people who have been their teachers for the past year. Consider helping them with some of the following ideas . . .

Friday, May 17, 2019

Intentional Love - Help Them Love God's Word

What does it look like to be intentional when it comes to loving our grandchildren? This is an important question for us to think about -- and for which to find the answers -- so we are able to be focused and intentional Christian grandparents. One way we do this (and the most important thing) is when we have the great privilege and joy of pointing our grandchildren to Jesus. But what does this look like and what do we do after they believe in Jesus?

I believe it begins with equipping them to be people who are able to grow in their walk with Jesus – for themselves, by having a love for God's Word. Yes, there is much we are able to do – and should do to help them, but they need to learn to grow in their own walk with Jesus; they must not just depend upon us to give them what they need to grow. A great place to begin is with helping them develop a love for God’s Word! How do you do this? Consider the following . . .

Love is . . . Thankful, Humble & Puts Others First

I want my grandsons to be people who are truly thankful, humble and who put others first, so this summer along with focusing upon how much God loves them, how they are able to love God and others with their all, this grandma will pay attention and notice when the boys show love by doing these things, too. 

Our world often makes it seem like putting yourself and the things you want first is the way to live, but we know the opposite is true. God wants us to have true joy and it is found, not by envying others, boasting and thinking of ourselves, but by being thankful, humble and putting others first. This is the truth, so I will model these things to my grandsons.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

"God Knows Something We Do Not"

I talk a lot about handing down a heritage of faith to my grandsons; this is something which really matters to me. I want my grandsons to grow up to love, know and walk with God all of their lives. So, we have conversations about Who God is and how very much He loves them. My husband and I do activities to get the boys' attention and talk about how much God loves them and they are able to love Him back. We want to help them understand these important truths.

Love is . . . Kind defines "kind" as; "considerate, helpful, gentle and  affectionate". God says, "Love is kind", so when we help our grandchildren learn to be people who are considerate, helpful, gentle and affectionate, we are helping them learn to show love to others.

This may seem pretty obvious, but it really just takes a quick glance at the evening news or a look at the news on-line - and comments - to see for ourselves there is a lack of kindness all around us. People do not behave in ways which are considerate, helpful gentle and affectionate. Sadly, quite the opposite.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Support Grandparents Who Bring Their Grandchildren to Church

Typically when you think about the adults who bring children to your church, you think of and picture the parents. There are solid reasons for you to do this as, for most of the children, it is the parents who bring them to church. But not all. In most churches a growing number of the people bringing the children to church are the grandparents.

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - God Has So Graciously Forgiven Us

The world in which we live is not always quick to show and offer forgiveness. People seem to want to see others, "get what is coming to them". But, God has so graciously forgiven us, so we have the wonderful opportunity to help our grandchildren understand what forgiveness is all about. As we model forgiveness to them, we will find we have the perfect opportunity to talk with them about how God forgives them and how they are able to forgive others as well. Consider this Mystery Bag Project to help your grandchildren learn about forgiveness.

You will need . . .

Love is . . . Patient

I have been writing this week about loving God and others with our all and how doing this changes our lives, and the lives of our grandchildren as well. I shared ideas about how to help our grandchildren believe and understand God loves them and how they are able to love God and others with their all as well.

I am absolutely convinced when we love God and others with our all this world will be a much better place for everyone. So, today and for the next week I'm sharing part of 1 Corinthians 13 with you along with ideas to help you show your grandchildren what this is and how to live it - what better explanation is there of what love is and looks like.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

We Have a Sacred Trust

We grandparents are not "insignificant" people in the lives of our grandchildren. No, not at all. We are the second most influential people in the lives of our grandchildren (second only to the parents) and as such we are able to influence our grandchildren in powerful ways.

God Teaches All Our Children/Grandchildren

I love this verse from Isaiah 54; I find it so encouraging as I focus upon handing down the faith to my grandsons. While I try to find engaging and interesting ways to teach my grandsons and hand down the faith, I know God's ways of teaching them are the best.

But what does it look like for God to teach my grandsons - or any of us? Consider the following . . .

Love Others With Our All

I have been writing about God's great love for us and how we are able to live as people who love God back and help our grandchildren do the same. Today I'm writing about what it looks like for us - and our grandchildren - to love others.

First of all, I believe it is important for us to be clear; the "others" Jesus is talking about includes everyone. In His account of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said our "neighbor" is anyone in need, not just those in our own small group of friends. Jesus wants us to be people who love all others.  Throughout Scripture we see where God told those who followed and loved Him, He wanted them to show His love to the widows, orphans, immigrants and people in need. This is still true today. When we follow His clear direction to love others, this means we love all others. Period.

We need to be people who love. Period. We need to model this for our grandchildren and help them learn to be people who do the same. Period. So, what are some practical ways for us to do this? Consider the following . . . 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Pray - it Makes a Difference

On this, the day after Mother's Day, I want to remind and challenge us moms and grandmas with this wonderful quote - tweaked a bit - from D. L. Moody . . .

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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...