I don’t remember what my grandma got me for my 6th birthday, or 7th, or 11th, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t the cool item I wanted that year. I also don’t remember much about the toys I played with at her house or what kind of car she drove.
But here’s what I DO remember: My grandma was present at every one of my important spiritual and life milestones – sacraments, birthdays, graduations. My relationship with God was important to her because her relationship with God was important to her. In fact, one of the strongest memories of my grandmother was her faith. It was evident everywhere.
She had a book room with tons of books written by Christian leaders and martyrs. As I grew older, she would allow me to take a book home on my birthday. She seemed to know what to recommend at every stage of my life.
I remember the family Christmas celebration my grandparents hosted each year. We re-enacted the Nativity story with all my cousins playing the different roles of people in the play, reading through the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke, singing the Christmas songs, wearing homemade costumes, each of us taking our turn to play the main characters. She put up a hand-sewn stocking for each aunt, uncle, child, and grandchild. She even had extras for guests! Guess what I don’t remember – what was in my stocking.
I remember what my grandma smelled like because she always pulled me in for a close hug, a kiss on the cheek (yes, with lipstick), and a blessing on my forehead. She combined physical touch with gentle expressions of faith that have stuck with me even after many years, including:
- Her presence at significant spiritual milestones.
- Her interest in my intellectual and spiritual development.
- The way she helped expand my view of life, just a little at a time.
- Her appreciation of the simple enjoyments of life.
- The yearly traditions which demonstrated the reason for the season.
There is plenty more I remember about Grandma, but these snapshots of her life and personality show there is something extremely powerful about a grandmother’s faith.
- How can you use your natural, God-given gifts to impact your grandchildren? (Reading, writing, creating, debating, baking, etc.)
- What are some tangible ways in which you can show Christ to your grandchildren when you are together?
- Can you plan a Christmas show with your grandchildren that will illustrate an element of your faith? Perhaps a play re-enacting the Christmas story?
- Prioritize attendance at the special moments (birthdays, sacraments, plays, sports, graduations) in the life of your grandchild(ren).
- Make a list of your talents and how you can apply them.
- Make a list of your grandchildren and what action you will take with each one based on their unique personality.
Molly Kilpatrick is a Minnesota native now living in Lansing, Michigan with her husband. She has worked with high school and university aged youth since 2007, and currently works as a Mission Director for Kairos North America and University Christian Outreach serving college-aged youth.
Copyright © 2019 Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club