Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Becoming a praying grandparent...



"Cinderella, dressed in yellow, went upstairs to kiss a fellow..." the old jump rope rhyme took me back in my memory to the playground at Gladstone Grade School where we'd jump using those heavy plastic beaded school jump ropes.  My granddaughter, whose in the first grade, was chanting the same jump rope jingle I'd used fifty years ago, using her jump rope from the Target dollar section, and trying with all her might to beat her four jump maximum before tangling her feet up in the rope.

She's a miracle, that one, but they all are really.  She was long awaited, my daughter and her husband struggling through over ten years of infertility and three miscarriages before she was born.  We all prayed so much, our family, our son-in-law's family, people all over the world, and then she came.  She was worth the wait.

She and I were outside in front of my house trying to jump rope, she with her long legs and arms,  taking after her daddy's side of the family more than ours.  Her little sister is the one who takes after our side.  Though not so much in the oldest one's appearance, in her personality I occasionally see glimpses of myself.  This is the amazing thing about grandchildren, you catch wisps of the past in them, glimpses of your children, glimpses of yourself.

I think grandparenting may be the most surprising thing I've experienced so far in life.  Surprising in the power and intensity of the love that I feel for this little being who's not my own, yet still part of me.  I've had this conversation with other grandparents, and most seem to agree, that it almost feels like you love them more than you loved your own children.  That sounds horrible to say, and even worse to put in print, but let me explain before you pass judgement.  I've decided it feels like more because it's a less distracted love.  It's much more about pure enjoyment of them, and a lot less about work and responsibility and providing for. (I realize that there are many, many grandparents out there who are having to parent their grandchildren.  My sincere prayer for you is that God will richly bless you, provide for you, encourage you, and give you His wisdom and supernatural strength and endurance.)  From my point of view, this intensity of love differs not a bit between my grandchildren who came to us via the miracle of adoption, two of them, or the miracle of biological birth, three of them.  

It's a vastly different world that they're growing up in than the one I did, even than the one their parents grew up in.  It's easy to worry about what the future holds for our grandchildren in this sin-twisted world. While we may not be responsible for their provision and daily care, I do think grandparents have an important God-given role, one that can be an immense help to our children and grandchildren. Repeatedly in the Bible God connects three generations, calling Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The passing on of blessing from one generation to the next was an important Biblical concept that we see in the Word of God.  I believe it's very important for parents to speak blessing over their children and to pray diligently for them and with them.  I also think that grandparents can be a huge strength and support to their children and their children's spouses and a great encouragement to their grandchildren by continuing to speak blessing and to keep praying fervently for them. Our children don't have an easy task raising their children in this culture and our grandchildren don't have an easy task growing up in it.  They need our prayers for wisdom, for protection, for guidance.  One prayer that I've written down and been praying lately is, "Father, I pray that our children and grandchildren will have discernment between truth and deception.  I pray that each one of them would choose truth and walk in truth.  In Jesus' name, Amen."  I based this prayer on 3 John 4, "I have no greater joy than this, that my children are living their lives in the Truth." If you don't know what to pray for your grandchildren, Stormie Omartian's book The Power of A Praying Parent has great prayer topics in it that can be prayed for your grandchildren as well.  Put some of that powerful, overwhelming grandparent love to good use, not just in spoiling your grand babies, (which we all love to do!), but in keeping them covered in prayer.  

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18 comments:

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    1. I know you pray for those sweet grand babies of yours.

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  2. Elizabeth, what a beautiful post you have here as you share the delight of being a grandparent. I can remember the role my grandparents had in my life growing up. While my dad was building our house in the ranch we lived with them for many years. I always felt such tenderly love around them and am so grateful they are still in my life. I love you prayer and thank you for seeing the need to keep prayer a top priority in the lives of our loved ones. I bet your grandchildren adore you just as much as you do them! Happy to have found you today at #CoffeeForYourHeart

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    1. Crystal, how special to be so close to your grandparents. I wasn't near any of mine so didn't know them well. I'm so grateful to be a part of my grandkids lives.

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  3. All so very true! Grandchildren are one of God's most precious gifts to us.

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    1. I agree with you! I'm so very thankful for my grandchildren!

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  4. Grand-parenting has my heart!
    I pray for each of our grandchildren (7 and one on the way), everyday, all day.
    Each child has a day. I picked the day of the week they were born. So far, each child has their own day! Example; Monday is Ila's, Tuesday is Lulu's. etc. All day long I lift that child up! And not just me. My husband prays, too.

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    1. It has my heart as well. What a great system to pray for your grandkids! I may have to try that!

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  5. "a less distracted love" - I like that. It is a beautiful inheritance, a grandparent, great-grandparent - that prayers for the children they sometimes won't even get to know - but I've felt the effects of those prayers that came down to me! Sweet, beautiful post Elizabeth!

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    1. I didn't really know any of my grandparents well, so I'm so blessed to be close to our grandchildren.

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  6. While I could wish that ours lived closer to us, I'm SO thankful for the privilege of prayer. Thanks for this reminder...

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    1. When my grand babies moved across the US from us I literally went through a season of mourning. I'm so thankful they moved back!

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  7. It's a wonderful prayer, Elizabeth. I'm sharing this with my mom. My brother has two, beautiful children and I know she'll appreciate your words. Blessings!

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    1. I'm so glad you are sharing this and hope it's a blessing to your mother.

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  8. Grandparenting is definitely a whole new level of love. It's the love you feel for your child, times two. Two people, two levels of love is how I explain it. As Dr. Phil says, there is no love more pure than a grandmother's love.

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    1. I love the description "a whole new level of love". It certainly feels that way!

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  9. Beautifully written ,touched my heart as a grandparent to 3 littles. Love the prayer, I'm writing it down to pray every day. Blessings.

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    1. I don't know why I'm " unknown " lol.

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