We all have a sphere of influence around us. It is up to us as to what type of influence we will have on others and what legacy we will leave behind…and it is up to us to allow ourselves to pay attention and be positively changed by those in our circles. My hope is that watching eyes turn into knowing eyes.
I love being a mom, but I ADORE being a grandma. It’s a chance at a “do-over” but without the pressure of HAVING to get it right and just to let loose and have FUN. Grandma means enjoying and treasuring every moment while seeing the newness of life through a child’s eyes after having lived a whole lot of life.
I will never forget a walk around our block I took with my then three-year-old granddaughter. She stopped at every rock, every leaf on the ground, and every bug on the sidewalk to observe and inspect it. I was enthralled with her discoveries at every stop. I do not believe I would have ever looked at just how intricately beautiful a snail’s shell was, if it wasn’t for my granddaughter exclaiming, “It’s beauty!” to me. (I do know that they do not wash well in the washing machine. Side note: always check your kid’s pockets before laundering).
In my parenting days, I would have likely become annoyed at the time it was taking to complete this walk around the block, because I had more life to live, things to accomplish and cross off my “to-do” list so that the end of my day would be met with rest in the results of productivity. I may have found myself kindly and gently rushing my child along and encouraging them to move on to the final destination so we could get to the next thing on the agenda. The years have taught me abundant life is found more in the simple pleasures of the journey rather than the accomplishments.
I think grandparents are afforded more grace, with looser expectations. Oh such freedom that brings!
I love the way that my granddaughter (now six years old) looks at me and hangs on my every word when I share a story, a wise word, a compliment toward her, or even a gentle correction in a teachable moment. It is as if she is expecting it to be valuable. I pray it is and that it becomes a precious stone that remains at the final day when all that was not glorifying to God or with impure motive is burned to ash and taken away by the wind. I am consciously aware of how her watchful eyes of how I live my life are being soaked into her precious mind, heart and soul. She believes what I say, because prayerfully she witnesses me putting it into action…opposed to a “do what I say and not what I do” example. When I share with her about faith in God, my life does not reflect for her fear and anxiety. When I teach her about grace and forgiveness, my life does not reflect negativity and judgment.
One of the many treasured moments that bring life to this legacy that I desire to leave behind is the day that I caught her sitting in my “prayer and devotion chair”, wearing my reading glasses, with my Bible open on her lap and she was highlighting the entire page. Oh what warmth that filled my heart at that cherished sight and continues to warm my heart every time I turn to that colorful, scribbled page of my Bible.
I believe that her watching eyes will become knowing eyes when she is at the age of accountability and can choose for herself to follow Jesus Christ with a surrendered and committed heart. My prayer is that my true stories of becoming an overcomer through faith in Christ will compel her to also become an overcomer and know how to turn sorrows to joy, anxiety to peace, doubt to hope, weakness to strength and that she receives and gives loves well.
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.