Joyful Grandparenting, Part 1: Share Our Gifts

Six-week-old Emma had never said anything clever nor done anything noble or good. She required constant care and gave nothing tangible in return. But whenever I held her in my arms, I was overcome with love for my very first grandchild.

We experience this love as parents, but experiencing it with our children’s children is doubly sweet. It gives us yet another glimpse of how our heavenly Father loves us.

Since Emma’s birth nine years ago, we’ve been blessed with six other grandchildren, each as enjoyable as the first.

Grandparenting is a unique and significantly different role than parenting. It helps us understand God’s love in new ways and gives us an awesome mission in our senior years.

We might paraphrase Ephesians 2:10: “We are grandparents by God’s design, created in Christ Jesus to do good works in the lives of our grandchildren, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

What are some of these good works? How can we be deliberate and wise in fulfilling this special calling?
1. Share Our Gifts

Shortly after my 6-year-old granddaughter, Emma, started first grade, we began our “Bible Club.” 

One day a week I pick her up after school for a Bible story time that always includes a craft or fun object lesson. 

One week we studied Psalm 19:9,10 which describes God’s Word as more precious than gold and sweeter than honey. I bought chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil symbolizing both sweetness and wealth. Emma loved eating the lesson that week.

“How long will we keep having our Bible Club, Grammy?” she asked me.

“I’m not sure,” I answered.

“Maybe when I go to college we’ll have to stop,” she said seriously.

My heart smiled.

Teaching is one of my gifts, so it’s natural that I use it in my relationship with my grandchildren. Your gift may be cooking, sewing, music, gardening, athletics, or woodworking. Whatever it is, be deliberate about sharing it with your grandchildren in fun and meaningful ways. 



If you’d like to do a Bible Club but need ideas and materials, check out Ministry to Children, one of many online sites with ready-made lessons.

While I know we won’t continue our Bible Club until Emma’s college years, I’m eager to take advantage of these days while she enjoys it. Perhaps this use of my teaching gifts will be the most significant ministry of my life.

Why not leave a comment and share ways that you share your gifts with your grandchildren.

This article is part of an article that was published in Reach Out Columbia, September 2012.

I hope you've enjoyed my grandparenting tips. My home page is devoted to 1-Minute devotions for busy people. If you'd like to receive them in your email box, please click the mug to the left and sign up for a free subscription.  Thanks!





17 comments:

  1. What a lovely view of grandparenting! I am grateful to have reached the point where I am looking forward to it.

    I know when growing up, I adored spending time with my grandmother! I love your thoughts on being a grandparent and will keep them in mind.

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  2. Not only have my husband and I received an enormous amount of encouragement from our godly grandparents, but these days we are so grateful for the good influence our parents are on our children! Thanks for the thought!

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  3. What a grand idea. Leaving a sweet spiritual legacy of God's love in the hearts and minds of our children and grandchildren is so vital! And so fun to do as well! :) My nearby grandkids and I are enjoying Awana, encouraging Bible memory verses projects in the summer, Upward Sports, and are currently reading, slowly but surely, through the book of Luke together. Sweet Joys!!!

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  4. Such a great idea. Your Emma is a precious gal and you two clearly have a special connection. Sweet to see.

    Great to "meet" you, courtesy Connie's link up. I look forward to you linking to the GRAND Social on Monday! See ya there!

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  5. What a wonderful idea to encourage those of us who are older to do things with our grandchildren. I don't have any grandchildren yet, since God has not chosen that for me (yet). My son is 29 and it has been a blessing to see him remain pure for the girl he will marry. I have had to wait for many things in life, and I have always found it such an additional blessing when God has chosen to give me whatever I waited for. So, when I become a grandma, it will be so much more appreciated a blessing just for having waited a little longer.

    Since I don't have grandchildren, I enjoy the little children from our church family. I will suddenly have a baby plopped into my arms while the teenager runs off (who was watching the baby) to play soccer. They all know I watch the baby so the young mom can have a chance to play soccer too :-)

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  6. Those girls are darling and it is wonderful that they have you in their lives -- and vice versa! Being a Grandparent is the best!

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  7. My daughter and I just had a discussion about how the role of grandparents has changed in the last generation. I can't imagine my parents or my in-laws being as involved with my kids as we are with our grandchildren. They loved them and we visited often, but they were not interacting with them nearly as much as we are able to do.

    It's such a great change. I can't wait to teach our granddaughters to sew. They're not quite big enough yet, but I know they'll enjoy learning.

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  8. Thank you for doing this series. I have looked and looked for a grandparent blog, sites or anything that I can sink my teeth into. I am a grandmother (of 4, almost 5) and love being Grammie-Goo.
    Looking forward to your series.

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  9. I'm so glad you shared this post in the GRAND Social! So thoughtful and wise. Thank you!

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  10. My heart smiles while I read this. Your granddaughters are beautiful! I wish my mom lived closer, I know she loves being a grandmother.

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  11. Love this post! We grandparents are needed people in our grand kids lives. Thanks for linking with me.

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  12. Thank you Gail. My heart is full of love for my 8 grandchildren and I try to spend as much time as I can with them. My favorite thing to do with them is read books, they cuddle up around me and listen intently. The other thing that they love to do with my husband and I are to hear real stories of when we were younger, or their parents were younger. They hang on every word. We of course dramatize it a little to make it more interesting. I made a CD for each of them of "Grandpa" stories when he was a boy with Grandpa as the storyteller. The LOVED it and listen to it over and over, hopefully I will get more recorded. Another thing I do a lot with my grandchildren is arts/crafts. I have a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to craft supplies. They love to make things with me. ~ Abby

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    1. Dear Abby,
      You are such a creative person, and I love your creative ways of spending time with your grandchildren. I'm glad they appreciate and enjoy hearing your stories.
      Thanks for sharing these ideas in a comment so others can enjoy them too!
      Blessings on you,
      Gail

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  13. Such a beautiful idea to have a weekly Bible club with your grandchild that she and you look forward to being together doing. Awesome. My heart breaks because of not being able to live close by to our daughters and families which includes our grandchildren. Especially on or around holidays. They both live states away. We travel there as much as possible and I am always working my imagination to come up with ideas to have fun and communicate via mail and phone. But 3 - 4 times a year of seeing them is so hard. I always pray that we can still make a special impact on our grandchildren so they remember us and will always know how much we love them. Today is Thanksgiving, so my heart is especially breaking being away from them. We are not of retirement age yet so cannot just travel anytime we want because of our jobs, but I am hoping in about 7 years we can more.One of my dreams is to one day do a vacation with our daughters and families all together, maybe renting a big house on the beach or something of that nature.. One of the things I have always done with my grandchildren when we are together is to paint and do art together. They all know that grandma usually has an art project up her sleeve that we will be doing and they seem to really look forward to this time. Also, I send letters to my grandchildren and also gave them a box of addressed to us and stamped envelopes so they can write back. They love getting a letter in the mail. And then sometimes I send them a box of fun things too. I love the mail idea, because handwritten letters is quickly becoming a thing of the past with texting and emailing taking it's place. Plus it introduces the children to the great feelings of handwriting and encouraging others along with that great feeling they have when they receive handwritten letters and notes.

    Anyway, it is truly a blessing that you live close by your children and grandchildren. Never take that blessing for granted. I love seeing all of these ideas from others here.

    Lee Ann

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    1. Dear Lee Ann,
      I actually share your sadness this Thanksgiving. This summer we felt the Lord calling us to be move even though we are officially "retired" and thought we were in our last home. But in September we moved 8 hours away and it has been hard not being able to see them all regularly. We won't be with any of them for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year and won't see them until January.

      So I share your sadness.

      But let me encourage you. When my children were young, my husband was in the Army, and we were never stationed close to our parents. But my children love and cherish their grandparents. All of the special things you are doing "long distance" still matter. Hearts can be entwined across the miles as well as in the same city.

      Gail
      P.S. I also love having crafts to do when the kids are around. In fact, I'm praying they can come visit us for their spring breaks (all 7 of them) and I'm already planning crafts : )

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