Thursday, April 30, 2020

Thoughtful Ideas for Mother's Day to Encourage & Equip

With Mother's Day just a week and a half away, consider giving the mothers you know a book from one of the Grandmas with Heart. You will find them at this link - along with information about where to get them. 

And, since today is the last day of April, I want to take one last moment to remind you of our Book of the Month - The DNA of Grandparents & Parents Who Hand Down the Faith. This book would make a wonderful Mother's Day - or Father's Day gift . . . or a gift to yourself to encourage and equip you to hand down the faith. 

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - God's "Explosive" Joy

With the stay-at-home orders for the past month and a half or so, our grandchildren/ children are likely to be feeling "cabin fever". Consider trying the following activities with them - especially with the nicer weather outside - and arrange to either meet up (you could keep a distance since these projects are outside projects) or arrange with their parents to connect on-line and do these projects "together" virtually. "Will it Explode/Make a Mess" with the Diet Coke/Mentos experiment, Elephant Toothpaste experiment and the exploding Watermelon (using rubber bands) experiment will actively engage the children you love; and yes, a mess was made in all three experiments!

Along with making a fun mess, you will be able to talk about how these experiments remind us of how when we make the choice to love, know and walk with God, our lives will have many surprises, and His joy will flow - or explode - out of us!

If you would like to try any of these experiments with your grandchildren, you will need the following supplies . . .

Encourage Your Grandchildren With - It Makes My Heart So Happy to Be Able to Spend Time With You

For many of us, the children we love have been staying away from us for the past month and a half. If they were used to seeing you and spending time with you, they are likely experiencing feelings of sadness and are missing you. If you are a grandparent who has not been able to see your grandchildren lately, take this opportunity to encourage your grandchildren in simple, but meaningful ways by the things you say to them. Right now, before you do anything else . . . well, maybe after you finish reading this post . . . on a post-it-note, write down three things you want to be certain to communicate to your grandchildren over the coming weeks. Put the post-it-note inside your Bible, where you will see it and remember.

Over the coming weeks, as you spend time with your grandchildren, be sure you communicate these three things to them - in as many ways as you are able. For example . . .

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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. 

Thank You & a Gift to Help You Connect with the Ones You Love

Thank you! Thank you for reading Grandma's with Heart blog and facebook page. Thank you for sharing our sites with those you know. We are so thankful to you for making Grandmas with Heart a part of your day, so, I thought it would be fun to give you a thank you gift which you will be able to use with your grandchildren - no matter their age or location.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tell the "Whys" - Every Part of God's Creation Has a Purpose (Frogs)

With the children we love finishing up this school year at home, consider arranging a time to share this information with them. Not only is it an opportunity to learn cool things about frogs, but it is also an opportunity to hand down the faith. 

When I was a child my parents had a house on a lake where we lived all summer (and most weekends). It was at this house where I learned how to catch frogs. I thought frogs were very cool animals, but had no idea how amazing a frog actually is, and how it shows us so much about God. Lets take time today to learn about how a frog shows us something we need to know about God.

Let Them Come

The children we love - and the teens, young adults and parents of our grandchildren all belong to God's kingdom. Not only do they all belong, but Jesus wants them to be there. These are the reasons why we have the great responsibility and high honor of handing down the faith to them.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Pray for Our Grandchildren . . .

While I pray for a number of things when I pray for my grandchildren, I always pray and ask God to protect their hearts and minds.  Each day when we pray for the children we love, we need to ask God to help them remember and believe the truth about Who He is and to remember and believe the truth about who God made them to be. 

You Are Their Teacher - Chosen By God

Teaching children has become a much more visible "job" for parents - and some grandparents - with the closing of schools due to Covid-19. While teaching children their ABC's is now something which is happening in their homes, teaching them to know the Lord is something which needs to be part of their home life at all times - with their parents and grandparents as their teachers. This is God's best plan for the handing down of the faith from one generation to the next - for grandparents and parents to teach the children they love about the One who loves them the most and how they are able to know, walk and talk with Him.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tell the "Whys" - Every Part of God's Creation has a Purpose (Platypus)

With the stay at home rules in effect and since our grandchildren are finishing out this school year at home, consider sharing with them some fun facts about an often favorite animal - the Platypus. When my grandsons were little, they were fans of the Platypus - mostly because they liked "Perry the Platypus" from "Phineas and Ferb". But today I want to share with you how the Platypus is another wonderful example of why we are able to believe God is real and the Bible is true!

Our God-Given Responsibility

1 Samuel makes it very clear for us - we are disobeying the Lord if we do not pray for our grandchildren (and grown children), and we must always teach them how to live right. When we never stop praying for them, and always teach them how to live right, they will then be able to choose to . . .

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Another Free Scripture Blessing/Prayer Print for You

Our grandchildren - and grown children - are experiencing something we never experienced when we were their ages . . . having to spend 24/7 in the same house with the same people. On top of this, they have not been able to go to school or in many cases to work, spend time with their friends or go to places they enjoy - church, out to eat, to the movies, etc. This 24/7 time with the same people, "trapped" in their house may cause even people who normally get along to experience frustration and end up not showing the most grace and patience to the ones with whom they are "trapped".

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - Live a Life Which Builds Others Up

It certainly comes as no surprise, children enjoy participating in things which are fun. So, if we are able to "inject" a touch, or more, of fun into our efforts to hand down the faith, we are more likely to get our grandchildren to participate and, most importantly, they are more likely to remember, understand, and take to heart what we are teaching them. Fun is not a bad thing - in fact, it is a very effective tool when it comes to handing down the faith.

With this in mind, I thought I'd share with you a fun activity - another Mystery Bag activity which you may use with your grandchildren to engage them in learning about the power of their words. You will need . . .

Friday, April 24, 2020

Hand Down the Faith with "Mystery Bags" - God Knew What he Was Doing When He Created Our Grandchildren - 3-D Hand Rocks!

A couple years ago it became a "fad" of sorts to decorate rocks and place them around parks and other public places where people would find them and be able to take them home. Today's "Mystery Bag" builds on this idea with a fun way for your grandchildren to decorate unique rocks to keep and to give to others - with an important "point" to go along with them.

You will need -

They Learn by Watching

I was blessed to grow up living just down the street from my grandparents on my mom's side and next door to my grandparents on my dad's side when we were at our summer home. I remember many hours spent in their homes on visits and sleep-overs. I remember going to church with them. I remember seeing them read their Bibles and listening to them pray. I also remember how both sets of my grandparents dearly loved and were committed to each other. I was also blessed to see this love for one another in my parents.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Nurture Their Dreams

As we are able to connect with our grandchildren, whether in person or through tech, we need to watch for signs of discouragement - especially in our older grandchildren. With COVID-19 and the stay at home orders, they have not been able to get together with their friends for a month or more and may feel lonely, sad and depressed. While we always need to be people who nurture their dreams, now it is even more important to help them learn to look to the future and dream about all the blessings God has before them.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us - and them . . .

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - God is Our Amazing Creator

I originally shared this post with you a year ago - what a difference a year makes! Now with the stay at home orders, all of our grandchildren are homeschooled and most of us have become "distance grandparents". This "Mystery Bag Project" will help you connect over the phone to work on it together - and learn more about God our Amazing Creator. 

Be a Bubushka for Your Grandchildren

I recently read in my  Grandmother's Bible a devotion by Joni Eareckson Tada. In it she said, "When Ken and I were in Russia . . . we met many Russian 'babushkas'. The praying grandmothers . . . the stalwart saints of whom Stalin had cruelly said, 'If we can get rid of these old women, we will have the youth in our grasp.' Stalin failed. And thank God for praying grandmothers who served as a link, spanning a generation lost to atheism and connecting a new generation of young people who are asking open, honest questions about Jesus."  

Then the prayer for the day, "Father of all ages, as gray hairs  abound, may righteousness abound. May I never resent the encroaching years, but view them as an opportunity to deepen my life of praise and intercession."

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Don't Grandparent Alone - Trust God to Take Care of Them

As grandparents we absolutely have to trust God to take care of our grandchildren and grown children. While there are many things we are able to do to hand down the faith, there are also many things we are not able to do. Thankfully, God is able and willing to do everything!

Yes! God is able to take care of the ones we love - and since He loves them even more than do we, He is willing to take care of them as well. This truth is essential for us to remember, so we do not make the mistake of trying to grandparent them alone. Do not limit what God will do by pushing Him out of the way and thinking it all depends upon you. It does not.

Encourage Your Grandchildren With - God Made One Version of You

Stop whatever you are doing right now . . . well, after you finish reading this post! When you finish, grab your phone and call your grandchildren, or send them an email or text. When you connect, share with them the truth of this quote from Max Lucado - God only made one version of them!

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

The month of May is National Mental Health Month, so with May just around the corner and especially with so many of us staying at home and our grandchildren experiencing the feelings of isolation and being away from their friends, 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 eleven.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Why 43% Matters

Do you know why the percentage, 43% matters? It truly matters, because according to the Barna Group, 43% of people make the decision to receive God's gift of grace and forgiveness by placing their trust in Jesus before the age of 13. Yes, before the age of 13.

This "statistic" matters and it shows how grandparents know something parents often do not. This is the truth about how very, very quickly our sweet, little grandchildren will grow up. We remember how fast our children grew up. It may not have felt like it at the time . . . the day-in-day-out work of raising children does make it seem like it is moving along so very slowly . . . will they ever be potty-trained???!!!

Nothing Will Ever Separate Us From God's Love

I love this time of year as it is the time when the checkered tulips in my yard bloom . . . they should be showing up any time, so today I want to share this quote with you.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Know & Hand Down a Joy Like No Other

This quote is something we know to be absolutely true - our grandchildren fill our hearts with so much joy. When we see their smiles, we experience joy. When we hear them call out to us, we experience joy. When they make the choice to believe in God, we experience joy. When we are able to watch them grown in their walk with God, we experience joy.

But, joy is not a "one-way street", because as grandmas - and grandpas - we are able to help our grandchildren experience joy as well. In John 16:24 we read . . .

Comfort Goes Both Ways

One of the wonderful things about comfort is it goes both directions. When we comfort someone, we experience a level of comfort as well. With the situation we, and the ones we love are living through right now with Covid-19, when we connect on-line or over the phone with our children and grandchildren, we experience comfort as we choose words to bring comfort to them. Certainly as we are able to talk and interact with them and see they are doing well, enjoy a joke they want to share or just see their faces and hear their voices, we are comforted. When they hear and see us, they are comforted.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Discover the Unique Characters God has Made Your Grandchildren

My grandsons are definitely, "unique characters". My oldest grandson loves learning new languages - he is teaching himself German, Hawaiian, and Spanish during this time when he is not able to go to school. My middle grandson is an amazing climber - he is able to climb practically anything! My youngest grandson has a "slap-stick" sense of humor - I love listening to him read the Garfield book we gave him - he laughs and laughs as he reads!

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

I have to say, I did not picture 2020 shaping up as it has. When I saw on the news how China and then Italy were closing down their cities, I wondered, "How do they do this? How are they possibly able to close down an entire city?" 

Well, today I know the answer as we have been living this "closing" for the past month. I absolutely never pictured such a thing happening. I'm sure my grandsons and grown children never imagined the ways COVID-19 has changed their lives either.

I love this saying from Mr. Rogers - it fits so well what we all are experiencing; "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.

Love Your Baby's Baby - It Is Important

Debbie Guinn was the Editor of HomeFront Magazine and is one of our Grandmas with Heart; don't you just love this quote from her! I definitely do.

We grandmas - and grandpas, too - have lived a few years and we have learned what is important in life; this helps us know how to love deeply. And, yes, one of the ways we show this deep love begins with loving our baby's baby. 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Be a Precious Gem to Your Family

Oh yes, we grandmas (and grandpas, too) are a precious, valuable gem; people of great value to our families . . . or at least we have the potential to be this for them. But, what does it look like for us to be this "precious gem"? Let's look at these verses for some insight . . . 

Make a Difference in the Lives of Children

Regardless of if our "history" included living through a global pandemic, or not, we absolutely will be judged by the difference we make in the everyday lives of the children God has given to us. Whether these children are our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, neighborhood children, children from church or nieces/nephews, if God has placed them in our lives, He absolutely expects us to make a difference in their lives.

So, how do we make a difference in their lives? Consider the following . . .

Friday, April 17, 2020

Everything is Possible for God & A Prayer for Those We Love

Pray. It is one of the single-most important things for us to do for the grandchildren God has given to us. It is one of the single-most powerful things we are able to do as well as we approach our loving God who wants us to bring our concerns and joys to Him. He promises to hear. He promises to listen. He promises to answer. And God ALWAYS  keeps His promises!

As a mom and grandma, there isn't anything more important to me than for my son, daughter, daughter-in-law and grandsons to grow to be people who know and love Jesus. This world is at times a scary place with all the changes we and the ones we love have experienced in the past month. As I think about the things I want to pray for those I love, I think about the things Jesus prayed for His disciples, and for all of us, as recorded in John 17. 

Jesus prayed His disciples would be protected by the power of God's name, so none of them would be lost. He did not ask God to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the evil one, so they - and we - will have unity and the world will believe.

I believe there is good reason to pray these same things for my family and others as well . . . 

Be a Grandma with Joy & Laugh Lines

A few months ago my grandsons and I were talking about the Fruit of the Spirit when my eleven-year old grandson said he thinks of his poppa and I when he thinks of the word "joy"; my eight and six year old grandsons agreed! This is one of the most wonderful things anyone has ever said about me!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Children are a Blessing & Gift from God

My grandchildren are completing this school year from home as in Michigan children will not return to their schools due to COVID-19. While they will be able to connect with their teachers through their computers (their school already had issued them laptops or ipads last Fall), they will not be able to spend time in their school with other children until Fall. This is certainly not what any of us thought this school year would look like.

Live a Life of Adventure

Don't you just love what Luci Swindoll refers to as, "a life of adventure"! She is correct - it, "is ours for the taking, whether we're seven or seventy." And today is the perfect day for you to live an adventure and involve the children you love in your adventure with you! Consider the following ideas . . .

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

We Have a Great Responsibility

While we are not able to share with our grandchildren what we did when we were their age and the schools were closed, we were unable to see our friends for months, people had to stay in their homes and our parents lost their jobs all due to a virus, we are able to offer them patience, understanding and share with them how we have had to deal with difficult situations throughout our lives. The exact things our grandchildren are experiencing are not exact things we have experienced, but we are able to understand this is a difficult time and share with them - if we know it - how their ancestors experienced the swine flu pandemic, or the challenges which came with World War 1 or 2, how their family fared in the Great Depression or how 911 impacted our lives. We are able to share with them what happened when we faced a health or work crisis; we are able to share with them how God has always been faithful to their family.

Hand Down a Heritage of Faith

As grandmas (and grandpas/ parents) who are committed to handing down the faith, we know at all times it matters for us to be intentional about handing down the faith; but especially now with all the challenges and concerns with COVID-19 which the ones we love are facing it is even more essential. We need to be solidly committed to handing down the faith and are able to do so in the following ways . . .

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Choose to Trust & Believe So We Stand Firm

God has promised to never leave us - Deuteronomy 31:8 . . .
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
He has also promised He has good plans for us - Jeremiah 29:11 . . .
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 
These two verses absolutely tell us the truth - and this is the truth for all times - when we experience blessings and when we are confused, possibly afraid and uncertain . . . as so many are right now with COVID-19.

Be Faithful to Use Your Influence - Be Part of the Global Day of Fasting & Prayer

Yesterday, today and tomorrow God has asked, is asking and will continue to ask us to do one thing when it comes to being a grandma (or grandpa/parent). He wants us to be faithful to use the influence we have to hand down the faith to the grandchildren/ children He has given to us. He does not ask us for specific results - it is His job to draw the ones we love to Him, closer to Him and back to Him - not our job. He just asks us to use the influence He has given to us to hand down the faith. 

So, how do we do this? Well, there are several ways we use our influence to hand down the faith, but prayer and fasting are definitely a vital part for us in doing this. So, today I want to invite you to take part in the Global Day of Fasting & Prayer.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Be the "Someone" They Need in Their Lives

The children we love are experiencing something none of us have ever experienced - the closing of their schools for the last trimester of the school year. For five months they will be out of their school classes. They have currently not been able to spend time with their friends for one month, and have at least one more month to go. For one month so far, they have been living 24/7 with their siblings, and even if they typically get along, this 24/7 sibling time may "get under their skin" and have them functioning on their "last nerve".

People Who Laugh, Last

It is true those who laugh, last. Laughter is good for us and is a contributing factor to our quality of life. No matter our age we are able to be people who are quick to laugh and who, more importantly, show a spirit of joy in all we do and say.

With this extended "social isolating" and call for all of us to stay home, our grandchildren may be experiencing stress - the stress of the loss of what was their normal schedule/life with going to school, the stress of not being able to hang out with their friends, the stress of not being able to connect with friends at church, the stress of being in the same house with the same people 24/7. If ever they needed to be encouraged to laugh, now is the time, so consider sharing some of the following funny facts and jokes with them to brighten their day . . . 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

He is Alive! Happy Resurrection Sunday!

This verse from 1 Peter 1:3 says it the best - "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Prayer for Our Grandchildren to Understand, Celebrate & Worship Jesus

Heavenly Father,
We pray our grandchildren comprehend the true meaning of Good Friday. Let them understand that Jesus, in perfect obedience, offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.

Introduce Them to Jesus

Henrietta Mears was right - "It is our duty to do all we are able to do to introduce every generation to Christ." But, it is more than our "duty", it is our privilege, honor and great joy to do so.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

He Was the Lamb & Is Now Our Good Shepherd

Yesterday I was very blessed to read a wonderful post on John Coulombe's facebook page. John served for many years as the  InterGen and Second-Half Adults' pastor at First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton, CA. I met him and his dear wife through the Legacy Coalition - they are people who love their family and are amazing grandparents.

John's post was so inspiring, so today I am very happy to share it with you . . . 

God Gives Us the Perfect Preparation for the Future Only He Can See

As we all live through social distancing, the loss of work, the risk of COVID-19, people we know/love becoming ill - some even dying, spending time in quarantine - certainly these things are not at all the things we ever imagined we would face. But these things are part of our present and our past and we are able to be encouraged by this quote from Corrie Ten Boom -

The Reason is For God so Loved - We Just Need to Believe

Most children will tell you Christmas is their favorite holiday - which is something I'm quite certain does not surprise any of us. While I love the reason we celebrate Christmas - God sent Jesus as the Best Gift ever - Resurrection Sunday is my favorite holiday. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, Christmas would have no meaning. 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - Paper Airplane, Rocket & Cross

In just a couple days we will celebrate the most amazing day in history; the resurrection of Jesus. Without the resurrection our faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). The resurrection of Jesus is our core message, because it made God's grace available to us.

So, share the Good News of Jesus with your grandchildren. If they have not already put their trust in Jesus, take time to tell them how they are able to do this - consider using this simple, and fun tool as a Mystery Bag Project with them - which is an ideal activity to do virtually if you are not able to physically be together. You will need . . .

Positively Affect Your Grandchildren

During this time of "social distancing" we may not be able to meet with and see our family as we typically did. We may find we are all becoming, "distance grandparents" and if we were blessed to previously be used to seeing our grandchildren often, this may be one of the most difficult parts of social distancing for us.

But, while we may not physically be able to be close to the ones we love, through prayer we are able to hug them daily - and even many times throughout our day - and find ourselves drawing near to them . . . even from a distance. I love this quote from Stormie Omartian . . .

Remember: "This Too Shall Pass"

Today I want to encourage you if you are experiencing a "storm" in your life. Please remember, as T. D. Jakes said; "No matter how raging the billows are today, remind yourself; 'This too shall pass!'"

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pray for the Ones You Love to Walk with God

As grandma, there isn’t anything more important to me than for my grandsons to grow to be men who know and love Jesus. At times this world is a scary place; it seems evil is laughed at, discounted and accepted like it has not been before . . . at least in my lifetime. As I think about the things I want to pray for my grandsons, I think about the things Jesus prayed for His disciples, and for all of us, as recorded in John 17.
Jesus prayed His disciples would be protected by the power of God’s name so none of them would be lost. He did not ask God to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the evil one, so they – and we – will have unity and the world will believe.
I believe there is good reason to pray these same things for my grandsons; and this is my prayer based on John 17:6-21 . . .

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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...