Cruise Director Grammy
by Sharon Betters
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
"Ahhh, here come the cruise guests!" my husband exclaimed as Dan and Laura dropped off their three younger children for the day so that they could enjoy biking around Washington, D.C. with their older two kids.
Chuck tells me the grands think I'm their Cruise Director, as in, "What can we do now, Grammy? What games can we play? Can we bake cookies again? What's to eat?" His words challenge me to think about my time with our grandchildren. Am I just waiting on them and spoiling them? Well, yes, I guess I am, but all that waiting and spoiling has a purpose.
Such fun times are helping me to reach a goal planted in my heart before any of these young ones were born. Some of Jesus' last words to His disciples were, "I go to prepare a place for you..." and as a young mother, that promise seemed to be a call of action for me. Jesus' words helped me to outline a plan for our children. Just as Jesus is preparing a place for us, the ultimate Place for His family, I have the priceless call to prepare a safe place right here for our family. No doubt my efforts are often flawed, but I haven't given up hope that each member of our family, from adults to grands, sees our home as a safe place, and even more, that they see us as a “safe place” too.
I want them to KNOW that no matter what, they are unconditionally loved by us. The older the grands get, the more challenging this goal becomes, as their busy lives make it more difficult to have quality time with each of them. I'm hoping all the fun "little person" times we shared are building blocks into a lifelong friendship. All those special moments of reading stories, baking, playing games, shopping trips, naps with Grammy, Dollar Store adventures, neighborhood walks, s'mores in the backyard, beach times, cousin sleep-overs - they are all stepping stones in a pathway I hope will lead them back to us when they need a second opinion or reassurance that their parents are the best and adore them even when they might have to say no, or when they wonder if God is real and really loves them. There will be moments when the lights go out, where they will need someone ahead of them who is a credible witness of the hidden things of old, things taught to us by our God. He tells us not to hide these stories from our children and so I conclude He wants me to share those hard times, my times of failure and how the Lord kept the promise of His presence and forgiveness. What greater way to tell the next generation of His power and the wonders He has done, and to show how He traded our weakness for His strength? When we share His faithfulness with our lives even more than with our words, we influence those children not yet born, our great grandchildren and even those grandchildren we will not meet on earth. We tell them so that they will put their trust in God and will not forget His deeds, but will keep His commands (Psalm 78).
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
And so, while I may look like a Cruise Director at times, I'm actually intentionally laying a foundation for influencing not only the children I can see, but my great, great grandchildren - those not yet born. Maybe even my great, great, great......well, you see what I'm saying. Our together times have a parallel unseen goal that is even more important than having fun.
The day with the three littles included picking zucchini from the garden, reading stories, baking zucchini bread, a picnic on the porch, swimming, and a trip to the Dairy Queen. We didn’t talk a lot about Jesus but one day it’s my prayer such fun times reap eternal fruit as our children teach our grands we are a safe place to run when life gets hard or they just want another perspective on how to navigate middle school or a teen break up.
I am looking forward to more of those Cruise Director moments.
Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a non profit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children and fourteen grandchildren.
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