It’s been almost two years since I hosted a shower for my daughter’s first baby and our seventh grandchild, Jack. As I sat in my living room that morning watching the young faces in the room light up with each gift that was opened, I pondered this new role the youngest of my three daughters was entering. She had seen her two older sisters become moms to six wonderful new lives. Now it was her turn.
Seeing my daughters become mothers has been a most amazing experience. They have each said to me at various times, “I knew I would love my children, I just didn’t know how much.” Over the years, I have watched them become attentive, faith-based parents who are the daily link to the next generation. They struggle and juggle the ups and downs of their lives, which bear God’s handprints.
So I have intentionally looked for ways to encourage, mentor, and live alongside them and their children. The mother-daughter example of Lois and Eunice working together to teach and nurture faith in young Timothy continues to nudge me in new ways of connecting to my daughters and grandchildren. (See 2 Tim. 1:5.)
Technology has played a bigger role in my Lois-Eunice model of grandparenting than I anticipated. Group texts have become our private prayer chain. Words of encouragement or assurances that we will be praying are interspersed with texted prayers for the concerns my daughters write. Late last night, an urgent text was sent asking us to pray about a difficult conversation that would take place the next day. Instinctively, I bowed my head, hit the microphone icon, and prayed into my phone, sending a prayer to my daughter in an audible voice text.
Thanks to technology, I have breakfast with my grandson Jack two or three mornings a week. Sitting in his highchair, clad in his pajamas and sporting his wonderful tossed curls, Jack sees my face on his mom’s phone. His face lights up as I chatter to him while his mom feeds him breakfast. I catch up with her between his bites. Now he’s learned to kiss the phone—actually trying to kiss me—when it’s time to go. His sweet “bye-bye” and hand wave end each of our visits. Distance prevents me from cuddling him as often as I would like, but breakfast with Jack is the highlight of my morning.
School schedules make me work harder to stay engaged with my teenage grandchildren, but technology has helped me there too. Two of my older grandchildren do online devotionals and have friended me into their devotional group. I am routinely astonished by their insights, comments, and questions regarding their Bible reading. Sometimes I respond with a question, a prayer for them, or with a message telling them what an amazing insight they have given me. Of course, technology is also the perfect way to send Grammy a link to exactly what you want for your birthday.
Being with them is still what I enjoy most. Sometimes I do this by attending their concerts or games or taking them out for breakfast on late-start school days. We’ve explored new places together and even painted one of their bedrooms with interesting colors. These times together allow us to have meaningful conversations and they become an intentional demonstration of my interest in them.
I don’t know how Eunice and Lois raised Timothy, but I know they did it as a team. Both generations were involved in deepening Timothy’s faith. Mom Eunice didn’t exclude Grandma Lois, and Grandma Lois didn’t skip over Mom Eunice. Prayerful engagement with both generations is a challenge I am embracing.
“I believe with all my heart that vulnerability and authenticity are the only way to find wholeness in Jesus Christ. … I believe in the holistic, healing love and salvation in Jesus Christ, who walks with us in the valleys and brings beauty from ash heaps again and again and again. I am here to tell you that I have been on the mountaintops and in the valleys, and I have discovered that we need a reset in our souls. We need to share stories so that others will too. When we’re free to be real, that’s when the real joy comes.” Read more.