My parents took a week vacation to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. In the eyes of their grandkids it might have been a year. Everyday my kids would ask me if today was the day they would come back. Everyday I would say no, not yet. Yesterday was finally the day I got to say yes they are on their way back. The first words out of Naomi’s mouth was how soon can we see them. She then began to cry and with tears rolling down her face she said, Mommy, I really missed them!
My parents have invested amazing amounts of time and love into each one. I have seen my parents sacrifice sleep, time, money, and energy into their grandkids. Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” I have seen my parents practice this time and time again.
There have been times when all three of us girls have been at my parents house with our families. My dad jokes that his driveway looks like a used car lot. We can see the twinkle in his eye, the smile wrinkles around his mouth, and we know he is teasing. My mom is delighted when Griffy, Emily’s little boy, runs up to her and throws his arms around her legs. My dad is patient and lovingly teaches Titus as he “works” beside my dad helping with the chores around the house. I have seen the positive and eternal affect my parents have had on my kids.
My mother in law diligently prays for each one of her grandkids each and everyday. My mother in law lives apart from most of her grandkids. Her love and support often looks different than my parents because of the distance. That has not stopped her from having a lasting impact on the lives of her grandkids. She has unique gifts, talents, and hobbies that she teaches our kids. Her letters, notes, and gifts in the mail light up her grandkids eyes and hearts. Grandparent love comes in different forms and different ways according to different personalities and families, but it all matters.
This is my plea to you the Grandparents.
Dear Grandparents, I want you to know that you matter in the lives of your grandkids. I want you to know the gifts you bring them are precious treasures, because they have come from you. I want you to know the stories you read and all the time that you spend with them matters. You matter! I want you to know the eternal difference you have the opportunity to make in your grandkid’s lives. It matters to God the Father and it matters in the heavenly realm. Any love a child receives is an image of God’s love and it matters. When you teach them about the things you love you instill in them a passion to learn. When you share your hobbies and interests you teach them how to learn from another, how to take correction, and you help prepare them for their future.
Dear Grandparents, when you take time the time to read stories to your grandkids, you are entering into another world with them. Exploring, teaching, and imparting to them your experiences in life. Your sacrifice of time, love, and support matter. The treats you bring and the gifts you buy matter. They matter to the little hearts of your grandkids and they matter to God the Father.
Dear Grandparents, I know you spent what must feels like hundreds of years on us your children. You clothed us, fed us, worried about us, and loved us. We drove your cars, broke your coffee mugs, and started your gray hairs. Your sacrifice mattered then and it continues to matter now in the lives your grandkids. Your grandkids are asking the same questions they are asking us their parents. They are looking at you and asking if they have what it takes to make it in the world. They are looking at you and they are wondering do they matter in your life. They are looking at you and your response to them shapes them as much as what I the parent teaches them.
Dear Grandparent, you matter! You are important and I want to thank you for all you do to continue to invest in the little lives in my life. When they spend time with you and come home to me their tanks are filled. When they spend time with you and come home to me they believe a little more that they can indeed conquer the world. The most important thing to me is they come home feeling more loved, more brave, and knowing there is a village of people behind them ready to help them succeed! Thank you grandparents for all that you do! You matter!