Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18 NIV
My heart swells when I look into the eyes of my grandchildren and see who God created them to be. It’s not that I can see into the future, but their undeniable, unique, God-given personalities spill out of every one of my six grandchildren. What a joy to watch their quirks, their talents, their individuality blossom with each new growth spurt–both physical and emotional.
Fortunately, we live within 15 miles or less of one another, so witnessing these little beauties mature comes more easily than if we lived a long distance. Even so, keeping up with all six poses a different challenge. Time.
This summer I’ve seen friends and family members host “Grammy Camps.” Some opt hosting the whole tribe of grandchildren all at once away from the parents for an enjoyable (and exhausting) week of catching up while others simply plan individual date nights (or days) throughout the summer for each of those special grand-kids. Either way, its spending intentional time with the next generation.
For our family, my husband and I carve out special weekends for each of our school-aged grand-kids throughout the year rather than cramming it into our few precious weeks of New England summer. For two days and nights, that grand-kid rules (of course within healthy boundaries). They choose what/where we eat, request special activities (games, crafts, park-time, blowing bubbles) or places to visit (a movie, a store, a kid’s museum, the beach, whatever is within reason and budget). Of course, some want to duplicate the same experiences as their siblings, so as not to miss out on anything, but even so, their personalities mix it up enough that each weekend is unique. We get to concentrate on knowing and encouraging that one grandchild for who they are apart from the whole family mix.
The younger preschool grand-kids get little Grammy dates. I’ll take them for a few hours alone during one day, or babysit for them at their own homes for an afternoon or evening. I guess sleeping over has become a potty trained right-of-passage for some.
As a Christ-loving Grammy, (or Grams as our grand-kids named me), I count it precious identifying God’s fingerprints on each one or providing that space where little seeking-hearts feel safe to ask big God-questions. It’s not an intentional devotional time where those conversations arise. Rather, it’s in those quiet rides to the restaurant or movie theater or bed time routines where there’s space to think.
Scripture repeatedly commands us to remember and pass on what God’s taught us through His Word and through His faithfulness in our lives to the next generations:
Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 MSG
We must be intentional not only with our teaching but with carving out time that invites questions and living out by example. Whether we live close by or far away from your grandchildren, we must be intentional in building a generational bridge so that we might pass on God’s faithfulness and His teachings.
Prayer: Papa God, you built the foundations of this earth around family. Help us to honor our family covenants and to intentionally make time to encourage our children and grandchildren in Your ways. Amen.