There is no challenge of faith quite like parenting. You take on the monumental responsibility of raising little people; caring for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs; and figuring out how to do that on top of everything else you already do. It can seem daunting. As I’ve transitioned to becoming a grandma, I’ve had new adventures, but I’ve also gained a long-term view of God’s faithfulness in the parenting years.
So, first, a few things I’ve learned since becoming a grandma:
- I’ve learned to look for the obvious. During one visit I called my grandkids for dinner and spent 5 minutes searching for the 2-year-old… he was already in his high chair. He had climbed up himself.
- I’ve learned that stairs are meant for one child at a time, no matter the respective ages of your grandchildren.
- I’ve learned that sugar highs look the same at Gramma’s house as they do at home (actually, maybe a little worse). For some reason the kids seem to expect a little more grace (and a little more sugar) here!
- I’ve learned not to take every explanation at face value (no explanation needed).
- And I’ve learned what a “Code Adam” looks like at Longwood Gardens (don’t worry… we found him!).
Rest at ease, no grandchildren were harmed in the writing of this blog. These stories are true, but there are logical (and mostly benign) explanations for all these incidents. Look for me on a Sunday morning; I’d be happy to fill in the details!
Actually, most of these lessons are refreshers. I have five grown children who kept me busy learning parenting lessons for many, many years. They stretched me, challenged my pride, found my every weakness, and sent me running to God for help (and occasionally under my covers to hide).
We walked through some challenging times when our children were younger, we learned some hard lessons, and we made a lot of mistakes. There were health concerns, injuries, willfulness and disobedience, doubts, and fears. There were times we didn’t understand God’s processes in our family and the future seemed filled with question marks. We wanted the best for our children and didn’t always know what that looked like.
That said, perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned since becoming a grandma has come through hindsight–the “I-see-it-more-clearly” vantage on our parenting years. It is that settled, I-can-bank-on-it, realization that God is who he says he is.
Of course, we know that from God’s Word. But there is something to be said for the record of God’s faithfulness written on our lives. Thankfully, God gives us both. He gives us wonderful truths and precious promises in his Word and then illustrates those truths with story after story of his faithful care for his people, all recorded in the pages of Scripture. And though sometimes veiled to our eyes, he is writing a record of his faithfulness in our lives too.
And so, if I had just one encouragement to give younger moms with children still at home, it would be to trust that God is indeed faithful, and so fight for hope in his faithful care.
In seasons where his processes in your family seem veiled for the moment, know that they will not remain so. There will be a day when his hand is clear, and whether that comes sooner or later, we are never without a record of God’s faithful work because we still have his Word. There is life in its pages. There is peace to be found. There are promises to cling to and instruction for our hearts and souls. In Psalm 77, the psalmist, while struggling with a deeply troubled soul, determined that he would remember God’s wonders, ponder all of his work, and meditate on his mighty deeds. Like him, we can find hope in the stories of God’s faithful care.