Category Archives: Grandbaby

A Divided Heart ~Wise Wednesday 6/28/17

“When a child is born, so are grandmothers.” ~Judith Levy Pixabay

Divided: separated; shared; to diverge; cleave………..

I have decided that being a grandparent causes you to suffer from a “divided heart”. Beginning at the instant you learn your child is having a child, it’s as if a magnetic force immediately draws your thoughts, dreams, prayers, and overwhelming love in the direction of that tiny, beating heart, hidden from the world. 

Fast forward to that breathless moment when the miracle that will call you “MiMi” (replace this with whatever your grands call you or will call you) is placed in your arms.  Everything else fades away. Cradling this precious armful, older heart to brand new heart, it seems they beat in unison, filling a place you didn’t know was empty, and nothing is ever the same again.

Time is both precious and tormenting. The longer you want to savor the sight, breathe in the scent, and caress the tiny fingers and toes of this new person in your life; the faster the minutes, hours, and days seem fly by. All too soon you’re faced with saying goodbye. Your stomach clenches.  Tears flow.  A heart divides.

A temporary condition?  Afraid not. A one time thing? Nope! Carson is two now: my heart?  Still  pulled in different directions.  We’ve recently been blessed with Owen: my heart? The chasm has grown.   The struggle is real! While my very being wants to wipe every tear, experience every milestone, calm every fear, and read bedtime stories every night with my grandsons; I’m also drawn home. My normal: the routine, responsibilities, schedule, and those that wait for me, beckon. Yes, a heart divided….wanting to cling to one place while yearning for the other.

Pondering this heart situation, it has occurred to me that we suffer in a similar way as Christians.  

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV)

Above?  Earthly Things? Earthly things? Above? A heart divided! I  often find myself torn between a heart that is focused on me and my wants and one that is looking to follow God’s plan for my life. Maybe you do, too. And while we want to be home with Christ, where our fears will be calmed and our tears wiped away; to get there, we are faced with saying goodbye to THIS home. We cling to our earthly life and yet yearn for Heaven. Thank goodness God sent Jesus to bridge the gap of our broken hearts! Jesus said:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.” “I am the way the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:1-4, 6-7 (NIV)

I wasn’t prepared for the powerful love that comes with being a grandparent. I’m blessed to only live four hours away from the boys and technology helps keep us connected in-between visits.  Goodbyes will always be hard. As my heart continues to pull me in different directions, I pray it reminds me to always stay connected to the One who, with the greatest love of all, is preparing a place for me where my heart will be divided no more.

 

 

 

 

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Step into Adventure

I watched him as he teetered.  I couldn’t tell what he was thinking but the expression on his face proclaimed he had more confidence than he should. His loosened his grip. I held my breath.  Setting his sight on where he wanted to be, he let go…momentarily suspended in air…only to wobble and fall.

I’m in awe of how fast my grandson is changing! He’s no longer as dependent on us as he was.  He can crawl and get to whatever he wants now (whether he should or not)! He’s right on the verge of walking.

I’ve told my daughter and son-in-law that once he takes off they’d better be ready for an adventure! It certainly won’t be the only adventure they’ll embark on, though.  His first day of school. Getting his driver’s license. Leaving him in his college dorm room.  Seeing him hold a baby of his own. (sigh)  And everything in between!  Yes, life is a constant adventure!

And isn’t that true of our Christian life too? I hate to admit it, but in my adventure with God, confidence is what I proclaim to the world when in reality there are times I teeter into doubt.   I don’t know about you, but I often feel wobbly when stepping out in faith and I see where I want to be spiritually but frequently fall short.  Being a slow learner, it’s taking me a while to realize that when my eyes are on me (ugh! There are 6 “I’s” in the above paragraph…count them!) it’s easy to trip over my own performance and down I go! That’s when I’m reminded to look up!

The adventure of walking begins with baby steps and a firm grip on fingers of love. It takes time and encouragement.   The adventure of walking with God? The same exact thing…..

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV)

Trudging through difficulties at work or home?  Treading into the unknown of an unexpected illness? Dreams and plans hit a bump in the road? Barely able to put one foot in front of the other? Or maybe you’re planning a wedding. Considering a new job. Looking forward to retirement. Tip-toeing where you’ve never been before. Shaky steps for sure!  Listen to this….

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

What a promise!  God takes us from baby steps to walking… running… and even soaring!  And have you noticed what I have? We don’t have to “tote” our performance. Our delight and hope in the Lord are enough.  So, are you ready to step into the adventure?  Yes, we may stumble, but when we grasp tightly to the hands of grace that loved us enough to go to the cross We. Will. Not. Fall.

Linking up with “livefreeThursday again this week.  To read about more of life’s adventures click to go to http://www.tsuzanneeleer.com

A Baby Bottle Lesson

 

"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21 NIV

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV

My baby bottle years have been way behind me, that is, until my grandson was recently born.  Now, I’m reveling in every moment of holding him close in my arms while he drinks from his bottle.  This precious time is a blessing and a joy and believe it or not it has reminded me of a truth about myself:  I am a planner. (That’s a nice way of saying I’m a control freak)  At home, when I was teaching school, on vacation, at church events, in retirement, and on and on; I’ve wanted things to go the way I thought they should go.  A lot of my energy has been spent organizing, designing, formulating, and figuring out how to navigate life with as few disappointments, unwelcome surprises, or bumps as possible along the way.  Now don’t get me wrong, in day to day life, my strategies have been useful in accomplishing many things that had to be done,  but being so wrapped up in doing things myself I believe has caused me to be missing out  in my relationship with God.  Here’s where a bottle feeding helped me see a little more clearly.

Being almost five months old, my grandson has started trying to help feed himself.  He clumsily brings his hands up and attempts to wrap them around the bottle,  In doing so, more times than not, his hands get in the way and the flow of milk stops or he pulls the bottle completely from his mouth.  The result is usually a leg kicking, arm flailing, red faced yell.   In my hand I have everything he requires to be nourished and to satisfy his needs.  I offer it to him freely and with love.   All my grand baby needs to do is open his mouth and accept the life giving gift.  Do you see where this is leading?  Here’s my ah-ha moment……

How often have my attempts at planning life out my way actually hindered my receiving what God was freely and lovingly offering me?  Thinking I know what’s best, have I pushed unseen blessings away?

Have I faced times of famine simply because I’ve strived to do things on my own? 

Watching Carson trying so hard to feed himself has caused me to pause and reflect.  I’m reminded that God has me, and he has you, cradled in His arms and He’s offering us His very best for our lives.  

Life certainly can cause us to kick and scream while teaching us that we’re not in control. It’s time for me to give up my clumsy attempts at directing my purpose and my path.  I need to do less planning and more praying.  Let go of my timelines and trust God to provide everything I need at just the right moment. Maybe you’re ready to give up your control too.  Together let’s loosen our grip and open ourselves  to “drink” in the life He has waiting for us.

I have written this post as part of #livefreeThursday.  The prompt was “I give up”. Want to read more? Go to http://www.tsuzanneeller.com

I’m Wrecked

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I’m wrecked! Derailed! A goner! Why? Because of a little “bump” in the road that changed everything….my first grandchild! Life has been forever transformed.  My priorities are altered. And my heart?  My heart literally overflows with a love like I’ve never known.  I ache when I’m away from him and joy fills every part of my being when I hold him close in my arms.  My thoughts and dreams have shifted and oh, when I look in those precious little eyes I see hope for the future. Yes, this MiMi is a wreck! And it’s a great wrecked!

You know?  It occurs to me that God knew that I’d be wrecked by this new little miracle, but even more importantly He knew that you and I would be wrecked when he sent the miracle of His son…a little “bump” that changed EVERYTHING!  The birth and death of Jesus forever transforms lives.  His sacrifice shows us  love greater than we’ve ever known and priorities are changed when we accept His gift of that overflowing love.  Thoughts and dreams shift from being ours to becoming more like Him.  We ache for Him when we drift away and the joy we experience when we’re held in the arms of Jesus defies understanding.  Yes, Jesus came to make our lives a wreck.  To stop us in our tracks, spin us around, and put us on a new course. a course that leads us to Him.  And when we look into the eyes of Jesus we too see hope.  But not just hope for the future.  We see precious hope for eternity.  Yes, I’ve been wrecked by Jesus and that’s the most wonderful wrecked of all!

~I have written today’s post as part of Live Free Thursday hosted by Suzanne Eller. Her subject today was “Wrecked”.  Check out other writers entries at www.tsuzanneeller.com

Small Things Change Everything

Our First Meeting

Our First Meeting

How can something so small change everything?

It’s a question I’m asking myself because life as I’ve known it has been permanently altered by a tiny baby being born….my grandson!  This little guy with perfect fingers, soft hair, and a cute nose has made most everything else fade into the background.  My priorities have changed and things I used to think were important aren’t now. My heart is overflowing!  Yes, one gaze upon this small miracle has forever redefined who I am.  I am still a daughter, sister, woman, teacher, friend, wife, and mother, but now for the first time I am “Mimi”!   All the paths I’ve traveled have been leading me to this destination.  I’ve had no map.  It’s been a journey of hard lessons, great happiness, accomplishments, disappointments,  adventure, heartache, forgiveness, and strong love.  Step by step, climb by climb, slips, slides, and sometimes by just hanging on for dear life I’ve gotten to this place of overwhelming joy.  He is my child’s child. She, who I held in my arms, now holds the future in hers.  The depth of emotion I’m experiencing leaves me breathless and my prayers for them roll down my cheeks.

I know I’m not alone.  Maybe you are also a new grandparent or parent with a wee bundle of your own.  Maybe a minute spot on an X-ray has changed everything.  Maybe a tiny seed of friendship has grown to true love. Maybe a still, small voice has guided you on a new path.  Small things DO change our world.  I’m reminded now more than ever that God knew the effect of small things when he sent his Son, a tiny baby to change all of us.  What a gift!  Perfect little hands that would one day be nailed to a cross. A miracle that would redefine who we could be and change our priorities. A life’s beginning who’s journey would be full of overflowing forgiveness and great love. I look at the world around me now and I wonder what the future holds for my precious grand baby. I don’t know of course, but what a comfort to know that He, the creator of all small things holds it and us safely in His arms and THAT changes everything!

Home

"There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am." John 14:2-3 NLT

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:2-3 NLT

I got up this morning, poured my cup of coffee, and sat down in my chair at the window to watch the activity taking place at the bird feeders.  This is my routine pretty much every morning I’m home, however, this morning was a little more exciting (in the bird world, at least) because the Wrens are back and building a nest in the bird house.  It’s an amazing thing to watch as the tiny bird approaches the small opening in the bird house with a GIANT stick, often three times their size and yet, it still manages to maneuver it through. All the while the other half of the couple is chattering anxiously and excitedly flitting here and there. It’s hard work creating a home one stick at a time!

Home……it’s what’s been on my mind lately.  I recently traveled to help my mom prepare to move into a new home.  It’s a lovely condo with lots of light and storage. But even though it’s a positive move it has still caused her feelings of doubt, anxiety, and heartache.  At the same time, she’s experiencing excitement about redecorating, the joy of having friends close by, and a peace knowing she’s found the right place

In a few weeks my daughter, who I can still picture smiling up at me with a toothless grin and a head full of curls, is about to have a baby of her own.  She and her husband will be navigating their way to recreate their home as a family of three instead of two.  Doubt? Anxiety? You know it!  And as a parent I know that there’ll be some heartache too, but right there mixed in are great excitement and abundant joy!  (I can hardly wait!)

Add into the mix, my son, who is about to be married and join two lives into one home.  Again, its a time of mixed emotions. There are so many questions to be answered, plans to be made, and priorities to set. If ever there’s a time with a myriad of feelings, it’s planning a wedding, but the promise of this new love brings such delight!

My home was built over one hundred years ago and has seen better days. Now common sense would tell you that we have enough going on in our lives right now, but I’m not always sensible, SO….my husband and I have been looking into making a change in our home too.  We’ve given consideration to building a new house, one board at a time….. TOO STRESSFUL! Tearing down our family home and putting in a modular has been an option….. this caused me some heartache, though.  Remodeling where we’ve called home for many years is still being considered.  All three options are exciting and all three have also caused my husband and me a great deal of anxiety!

Home…..some of its definitions are:  shelter, a dwelling place or retreat, any place of residence or refuge, a place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.  These are all so true but for me there’s something more about home which cannot be defined.  It is that gravitational-like pull that draws me back. It is memories of times past and hope for times to come. It is love.

Yes, every emotion on the spectrum is experienced in a home…some good, some not. It is where we teach and learn about life.  It isn’t perfect but it’s where we begin and where we end. And in the midst of it all we have the promise that a Heavenly home awaits us. A place where there will be no more heartache or anxiety, only excitement and joy as we have never known before!  They say “Home is where the heart is”.  I have definitely put my whole heart into creating a home for my family and more importantly into building in us, one prayer at a time, hearts of faith, so that on some sweet day we will all finally be home together, forever.

A Glimpse of a Miracle

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;"  Psalm 139:13-14

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” Psalm 139:13-14

A Glimpse of a Miracle

I gazed upon his perfect face

His hands, and little toes

I thought I caught a glimpse of her

Around his button nose.

He kicked, he yawned and then he blinked

In awe I took it in.

I’m pretty sure his dad and he

share a handsome chin.

A miracle right before my eyes

Tears of joy ran down my cheek.

For where once only God could see

I was blessed to take a peek.