Monday, October 26, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: Pebble's Ripples

 The Pebble's Ripples

Without a faith in God that assures me He is at work for my best and that of those I love, many times I would have given up. The older I get, the more my life does not flow, as I had perceived it would.
We all make decisions and speak words, many times without much thought-or perhaps with much thought(?) that affect the lives of others. As a pebble tossed in a pond sends out ripples, our actions and words, our life pebbles, can touch another with life changing and soul scarring ripples.
In this my final few decades of life, as the last chapters of my life story are being written, and the pages of the past begin to yellow and take on that musty smell common to old and neglectfully forgotten books, it has felt as if I am standing on the opposite shore of all other lives that touch mine- and rocks are being thrown. I am losing my shoreline to the erosion of the choices, misunderstandings, and unkind judgments of others.
I could stem the damage being done, but at what cost to an innocent? I refuse to throw the huge boulders needed to stem the raging waves that are eating away at what should be my peaceful sandy shores. Yet, I like to think that these boulders will enhance my foundation of faith and trust, and one day I will realize that a shore of peaceful sand held a misconception of importance.
Unfortunately, knowing these things does not remove, or even diminish, the pain that holds me captive behind the growing wall of rocks amassing my life’s shoreline. However, I believe one day I will put on the harness of a rock climber and with the aid of my faithful  belayer (Christ) I will scale that imposing wall of rock and all will be chaos free. Then, as I stand atop what was meant to bury me and defeat my spirit beneath its crushing weight, I will see the entire vast array of what my life was purposed to be.
Until then my prayer is that I will choose to toss out into life pebbles of love and understanding, pebbles causing truthful and gentle ripples in the waters that caress the lives of others more often than choosing, inadvertently or selfishly, those that cause demolition and destruction. My biggest fear is that I would callously cause another life to withdraw from riding on the sparkling waters of life because my pebbles’ ripples caused too much pain. I pray I will never force another to retreat from rippling the hopeful and promising waters of their life by my choices.
Often we are not aware of how our ripples interact with those of another life. The pebble leaves our hand, hits the water and the ripples subside leaving what looks like calm waters; but water moves beneath the apparent surface stillness.  Our self-righteous shaming moral judgments and selfishness, done thoughtlessly or with intent, can shatter a hurting soul.
My hope and prayer is that the ripples that rise and fall from the pebbles I have tossed are ones that tug at the heart. I pray that as God orchestrates my life and the lives of those around me, that the swell from my pebbles will continue to touch those of others for years to come in a kind and gentle way.
I pray that God in His graciousness would send others into all our lives to toss pebbles that gently rock and comfort us and assure us of His unconditional love, especially when we are struggling.  Most of all, I pray that the pebbles you and I toss create ripples of the same beauty and love as those of Jesus.   

 October 26, 21015

© Copyright 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: 31 Days of Family Life-storm

Back from a weekend of a much needed adventure with my lovely married daughter. We had a fun time sitting up late chatting around a camp fire and saddling up our horses and riding some awesome trails. The trees were at peak color, the weather fantastic and the company grand.

Now to get on with this 31 days of writing. Today's prompt is Storm.

I love a good storm. Rain. Snow. That's about what I see in Minnesota. I am fortunate, I don't need to worry about Hurricanes, or many tornadoes. But rain with thunder and lightening I love. And snow-blowing wildly about, drifting and crazy-that is spectacular after the storm. Spectacular after the storm.

 I stop and breathe deep after a rain. I walk out in the cool damp air, the ground giving way under my steps. I marvel at the colors, exquisitely  vivid after their drink from heaven. I survey the branches strewn about and gather them for a quiet evening of s'mores. I accept the fierce winds, flashing sparks, and  bellowing thunder as an instigation for renewal.

After the howling cries of the blowing snow, I marvel at the beauty that lies before me. The white intensity glistening, too brilliant for my eyes to behold. Soft wisps of white dancing on the last  breaths of the wind.

 The storms of family and life can be like a good refreshing rainstorm. We can embrace the coming renewal from the storms of life. We can accept the winds to come and the earth to shudder under life's thunder and flashing lights. We can see these storms as a cause for renewal-with our relationships, and with our savior.

We can look for and  anticipate the spectacular of the outcome. We can be in awe of the diamonds in life we are given. The spiritual growth glittering in the sun as fresh snow, sharp and crisp, glitters in the sun lying beneath the frigid air.

Storms can truly bring a spectacular renewal to our lives. We only need to accept the storm, wait it out, and open our eyes.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: day 7 of 31 Days of Family Life- Love


In romance novels it is
tingling touch in the firelight.

In reality
love is exhausting
late nights.

Crying and

Scratches and scrapes.

Gum in your hair.

Poo in their underwear.




when you DON'T feel like it.

 Love is knowing you will make it
because you promised you would.

And He is who you trust.
And He is love.

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 6 of 31 Days of Family Life-Possible

I am trying to catch up-only to get behind again as I am going on a weekend adventure with my lovely daughter this weekend, Away from internet. I will have to play catch-up again on Monday.


How is it possible
 that I could go from knowing to no longer knowing?

How is it possible
 to have been so confidant as a young mother
  to being this uncertain the 4th time around?

Oh I still know what I should do,
 and generally do it-

but I know the possibility
 of controlling the outcome is unrealistic.

Expectations most possibly will disappoint-
 unless our expectation
  is to submit to His perfect possibilities.

Then it is possible to be amazed
 beyond our expected possibilities.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 5 of 31 Days of family Life-Home

My goodness how is it possible that 3 days have passed since my last post? I thought I could do this 31 days of writing every day, but it looks like I may need some "grace" in my failed attempt. The prompt for Day 5 is Home:


Home is a safe place, with warm fires and bread baking,
 and soup.
You can stretch out at home. 
Wiggle your toes. 
At home there is evidence that you exist- 
art on the refrigerator, 
books on the table, 
dishes in the sink, 
and shoes at the door. 
Home lets you experiment 
on becoming who you will be 
without giving up on who you are. 
Home offers another chance to get it right, 
even after you've done it wrong multiple times. 
A home with children is filled with grace,
children just naturally offer it -
every time it's needed. 
And I need it often.
Thank-you my precious little one.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 4 of 31 Days of Family Life-Embrace

 Now that's a word.
First thought is: Embrace, as lovers embrace.
 I like that. Warm. Exciting.

Yet from there I moved to Embrace your life,
your gifts, your calling.
Not so warm or exciting for everyone.
Maybe terrifying.

I mean after living more than half my life I know the possible outcomes.
And they're not all pretty.
There's some trepidation sneaking in here.
Along side trepidation, there stands uncertainty.
Uncertainty allows despair to get all clingy.


Move into that life; embrace that fear.
Grab hold of those gifts, shake off that uncertainty.
Hear Him calling? He's expecting you.

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 3 of 31 Days of Family Life-Capture

I am a day behind. Life got in the way yesterday as I took my grandchild-almost adopted daughter- trail riding and we enjoyed some of God's beauty in nature and each other.

Yesterday's prompt was Capture.

Oh if I could capture joy and hold it each day, what a treasure that would be.

 I'm trying hard.
Looking for those little snippets placed in each day.
That toothless smile.
The giggle when I nibble/kiss her sweet little neck.
The "I love you Mama," breathed as she snuggles into her cozy bed exhausted from a day of play outside.
A walk in the woods with that small precious hand in mine.
Her silly way of charming the chickens-they follow after her as chicks after a mother hen.

But I get so tired from late nights, and the wandering restless little one.
All the spills, the messes, and the refusals.
It's hard work to grow a little one.
I tend to forget the joy in the midst of mess.
It so easily slips through my fingers.
Perhaps I need to start a Joy list, just to remember.
I need to remember. . . that smile, the I love you, those fingers, her sillys. . .
It's the best medicine.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22, ESV)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: Five Minute Friday-Family

I believe all families are messy, even those that look perfect from the outside are messy -and that's okay. I mean how can a number of people live within the same house and not make messes within the walls of their relationships? How can any of us pursue relationship with another and not take a misstep on occasion? From the smallest of babes to the eldest of us, we have needs and desires that clash. We often use words that hurt those we love the most, and in our imperfection we fail showing the small niceties to our family that are so easily given to others. 

Messes are a given in family life, but they don't have to be our ruination. No, instead our family messes can build our communication and deepen our relationships if we let them. All it takes is offering others our love and forgiveness, time and time again. Whether it is our biological family, or our church family, or a close group of friends-relationships need our attention and time. Family. Relationship. Important. And worth every moment of perseverance necessary to  build and strengthen the bonds.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: 31 Days of writing; a challenge every October, every day

You're welcome to join me in experiencing 31 days of writing for five minutes a day on Family Life- specifically Parenting as a Grandparent. This is an extension of the Five minute Friday group writing on a specific word prompt. Come here each day to find the days thoughts on Family Life while parenting as a grandparent.

Day 1: 31 Days of Family Life: Calling
Day 2: Five Minute Friday: Family
Day 3: 31 Days of Family Life:Capture
Day 4: 31 Days of Family Life-Embrace
Day 5: 31 Days of Family Life: Home
Day 6: 31 Days of Family Life:Possibility
Day 7: 31 Days of Family Life: Love
Day 12: 31 Days of Family Life: Storm

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 1 of 31 Days of Family Life- Calling

31 Days of Family Life: Calling

Family has always been important to me. I remember as a child wanting to be a mother. I knew I'd marry and have children; you could say I felt it was my calling from a very young age. I loved children, babysat often, and sought out kids in every setting. Now as a mother/grandmother, I still believe mothering to be  a divine calling.  However, not every woman is content to mother. Many other occupations and endeavors are calling for a woman's time and attention. Society can cause a mother to doubt the importance of the call to motherhood. Mothering is difficult and demanding. It asks a woman to put the needs and desires of another first over and over again. A woman can get lost mothering. I know I did. When the calling of motherhood seemed more like a call to suffer trials and persevere through heartache I felt myself slipping- but I found: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  And I claimed that verse, not only for myself, but for my children.

Now as a grandmother, once again mothering the grandchild, I can become discouraged as I see my peers free to indulge themselves in life. Their Grand-parenting is limited to a day here or there, piling on the fun stuff, while I'm once again called to the role of parent. I don't send the child home after spoiling her, I am the parent. I'm not called in as support staff, I am the full-time 24 hour staff. I get tired, lose patience, feel selfish in my desire for quiet, and time to pursue. . . What? Something of little Kingdom value? Indulgence in earthly things? Over and over I struggle with this, yet I know the eternal value of this little life I have been entrusted with and I realize my life is His and not my own. After all, I am called to give glory to God, " Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them." (Isaiah 47:7, NLT) and I am called to eternal glory in Christ,  "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5:10, ESV) What can be better than to be called to glorify God with our life and be called to glory for eternity in Christ Jesus? Nothing. Yet it isn't always easy to fulfill His call. It will stretch us, purify us, burn out the dross that tarnishes the hidden corners within us, and although we are all given a choice to follow His call on our life (that thing called free will) one can be sure the call is immutable. "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29, ESV) We can deny Him or ". . .We can walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we (sic) have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3, ESV)

I'm still working on this last one, I think it is a not done till eternity thing.