Taking After Grandpa

Taking After Grandpa

Every weekday morning, my Granddaughter descends the steps to the sight of her Grandpa eating his morning cereal and reading the daily paper.  “Good morning Grandpa” is followed by her request for breakfast and strawberry milk, or “Cow Juice with pink stuff” as we call it.  Grandpa quickly leaves for work, and I get ready to serve her breakfast. 

Imagine my surprise one morning when I went into the dining room, waffles and strawberry milk in hand, and found my five-year-old Granddaughter intently reading the funny pages of the paper.  She was so focused that she didn’t see me grab a camera or even react when I took two or three shots, flash included.  (With apologies for my photography) Talk about responding to what has been modeled for you!  Oh, and yes, she could actually read the funnies.  

It wasn’t a fluke.  We sat down at the same time the next day, and I was reading the paper while I ate.  She looked at me somewhat indignantly and said, “Where’s my paper?”  Whether we knew it or not, we had taught her that reading the newspaper was an important part of a morning routine. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with reading the daily news.  But, I couldn’t help but wonder what the result would have been if we read our Bible every morning at breakfast.  I often withdraw to my room and read the Word in privacy so I can concentrate.  I’m going to have to rethink that strategy. 

It also started me thinking.  What else does she see us do on a regular basis?  Like every other kid on the planet, she is watching the adults in her life.  Carefully.  Not only watching, but imitating. 

What are you modeling for the little ones in your life? 

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

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A House Divided

August 11, 2008

I live in a divided house right now.  Of course in one way, we’ve been a divided house since my first-born went to college.  She went to UGA and my dear one took some classes at GaTech.  Every fall, they have a standing appointment to watch the annual game together.  And, every year, my dear one suffers the razzing of his daughter when his team goes down in flames.  At times like that the comparison of team IQ’s doesn’t help. 

I wish our division related to football.  Instead, it involves a major family decision.  You know, the ones you don’t make unless you are in agreement?  The funny thing is that I thought we were on the same page.  So did he!  Until it became obvious that we weren’t. 

Families are such an amazing thing.  We’re all different, but we all function best the same way: in unity.  It became apparent in our discussion that we really weren’t that far apart, but even the smallest gap meant that we weren’t in agreement. 

No agreement. No action. 

Now, you should understand that none of this means that the two of us are fighting or in strife.  We just aren’t in the same place.  We have a different thought process, different emotional needs, and different perspectives.   

We are in agreement not to let this divide us.  I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I guess it’s like agreeing to disagree. 

It’s hard not to argue when you don’t agree.  But, what I’ve decided to do is trust that God knows what He is doing and to stay open to hearing from His Spirit.  If either one of us is in error,God will reveal that.  Or if one of us is out of God’s timing, He’ll reveal that too.  I have no doubt of my dear one’s ability to hear from God or his willingness.  In the meantime, we keep the rest of our relationship in harmony.  It’s not important that one of us gets our way.  What is important is the power of unity in a relationship.  Unity keeps us out of trouble, confirms God’s will in our life, and provides a powerful blessing.  Stay in unity, even when it’s hard.  Oh, and “GO TECH, GO DAWGS, or ROLL TIDE, ” whichever is important to you!

Psalm 133: 1-3

Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!  [It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.

My dear one and I are of an age where we are rapidly approaching the “empty nest” time of life.  Or, so we would like to believe. 🙂  We are on our fourth teenager, and her entry into high school starts in two days.  Our household itself is still large.  Basically, there are seven of us under one roof; ten, if you count the dogs.  I have three in college, one of whom isn’t ours, and now one in high school.  Those three will graduate by or before the youngest hits college, and well, that puts us in countdown mode.  As the mother of four children who range from 14 to 29, this has been a long time coming. 

For two days, we have had an empty nest trial run.  All of our children are out-of-town for various reasons.  It’s so quiet. 

I love it.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I also love it when they all gather here to swim, eat, celebrate, or just hang out.  But, I can handle the quiet.  My dear one and I are happy to just be in each other’s company.  A lot has been written about what couples go through when the last child leaves the nest.  I’m sure that it will be an emotional experience for us too.  But not of mourning or loss.  You see, my goal is to raise independent children.  Anything less is a disservice to them.  With that goal in mind, while my marriage has involved children, it has never been child-centered.  Our relationship with each other as husband and wife has always been the foundation of everything else.  Oh, there are times that we’ve been caught up in the hectic schedule of children, but we have always seen our relationship as paramount. 

Based on my experience I would say that there are three primary things that you need to have to “empty-nest-proof” your marriage:

1. A spouse that you spend exclusive time with on regular dates or other activities.   

2. To see the goal for your children as independence.  Then, when they hit those milestones, it is your victory too.

3. The ability to live your own life, not your children’s. 

So, when my children are out of the nest, I will have done my job.  I look forward to the times I will still spend with them and the additional grandchildren that I am expecting to be blessed with through them.  But, I also look forward to spending more time with just my dear one.  After all, he is my best friend and the love of my life.  Read the rest of this entry »

I promised to share our family’s funniest memory in my last blog.  My younger daughter, after reading that blog, asked what the family’s funniest memory was….

OOPS! 

That’s when I realized that this incident had happened before she was born!  All those times we teased her father or mentioned super-glue, all of the rest of us had a point of reference that she didn’t. 

So, I told her the story. 

I think she’s still trying to figure out what was the big deal.

Okay, so maybe you had to be there. Funny has that problem sometimes.

Our relationship with God is like that.  God has a different point of reference than we do.  He knows more.  WAY MORE.  We don’t always get the big picture.  We see things from one point of view, from one side or another, and the challenge is to transcend that limited reference point.  

These are the times when things happen we don’t understand.  These are the “Why?” moments for some of us.  Me, I’ve never been big on asking God why, but on trying to understand how he will use something.  But you may come at life’s situations in a different way.  Which ever it is, we need the whole picure.  And it’s the one that only God has. 

So, when I really need a point of reference, I have to go to God.  But, only if I want the big picture. 

Get the big picture.

Joshua 5:13-15

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries?  And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?  And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy. And Joshua did so.