February 24, 2017 at 10:04 pm Elliot Jane Morris was delivered into the world and placed in the arms of our youngest son and his tender wife. I remember my own experience and know the joy that was complete in their arms after nine long months of expecting the love of their lives to live and breathe moving from the womb into this world. Olivia was spent and very sedated. It had been a very long nineteen hours of intense but non-productive labor resulting in a cesarean delivery.
At 10:35, Mike and I were invited back to the recovery room to see her, Elliot Jane. We had already been using her name and now we would speak her name out loud with the affection and joy of grand parenting.
What? Grandparents? Us?
I will tell you how I feel about that later, but for now, let me tell you how my heart nearly exploded when I came into the room and saw my tall, handsome, youngest son holding a swaddled up baby in his arms smiling from ear to ear. He was so proud and I was overcome.
Psalm 145:4 rang out in my soul the moment Kyle looked at me and held her out for my arms to embrace. At the very exchange of hands, my soul magnified the Lord.
One generation shall praise Your works to another!
Oh, God. How magnificent You are!
We held her only briefly and found our hearts completely undone; unraveled by the honor of seeing with our own eyes the faithfulness of the Lord extending to the next generation in our family tree. I began to consider grand parenting from a different perspective.
My friends who are grand parents have told me for years how wonderful grand parenting is and how much they love spoiling the little ones then sending them back to their mamas and daddies.
I have had friends laughingly tell me how it is the best thing ever to give the grand kids annoying gifts that will drive their parent’s insane.
I have also witnessed grand parents undermine the parents authority by directly opposing decisions made in the child’s best interest.
I have seen friends be wounded to the core of their being by parents who refuse to give them the respect that parenting well deserves.
There are no perfect parents. I was not a perfect parent, but I wanted to be. I prayed so hard and long to be a mother who would raise our boys to know the Lord and His affection for them. I wanted them to know Jesus and how He gave His life for them. But while I sought to teach them well, I know I fell and failed almost every day. And I see it; Kyle and Olivia will feel the same way for Elliot. They will want to be the very best parents they can be, but will feel like failures when life gets hard.
Since the word of the Lord came to me that night at 10:35 pm while embracing the new life of Elliot Jane Morris, I have asked Him what He means for me to know and learn.
Here are some things the Lord has been whispering to me:
- Grand parenting is meant to be a relationship that comes along side the parents of children to teach them the ways of the Lord.
- Grand parents must learn to honor and respect the parents God has designed, called and chosen for these children and to demonstrate this admiration as a way of supporting the family unit while strengthening the family tree.
- Grand parents are a source of wisdom and knowledge for the parents of children to be received when mutual respect and honor is shown toward the parents.
- Grand parents must never seek to undermine the role of the parents. We must not seek to manipulate and divide a family.
- Grand parents have the ability to demonstrate healthy relationships even if there have been problems in the past. We have the privilege to ask for forgiveness, mend broken places in our family tree and to be the kind of people who repair what has been fractured in relationships. In Christ, we can do all things.
- Grand parenting is a place of honor and in this place there is no room for jealousy or competition between one family tree and another. When families blend with the intermingling of our children and their children it is a beautiful thing not to be destroyed by the root-rot of bitterness, envy or jealousy.
There is much more for me to learn and to meditate on when it comes to learning how to be a supportive and healthy part of our sons’ lives with their wives and children. I am asking God to teach me and to fill in the gaps of my lack with His grace.
Maybe you have a story that you could share that would help me in my new journey as #MamaDee.
If you have words of encouragement to offer, would you leave a kind comment below?
Thank you, friend.
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