Grandmother’s Hands

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about hands lately. It seems like an odd topic, doesn’t it? Truly, they are pretty remarkable pieces of creation and the Bible refers to hands in so many ways.
In the Old Testament, when Moses’ hands were lifted up the Israelites kept winning the battle against the Amalekites. Isaac blessed his sons, Esau and Jacob, by laying hands on them. In 1Kings, Solomon spread his hands and lifted them toward the heavens as the temple was dedicated. In Psalm 134 David implores his fellow Israelites to lift their hands in holy praise to God and in the New Testament believers are encouraged to lift their hands in prayer.
Through our hands we have the ability to communicate love and care. I remember my Grandmother’s hands. When she was visiting our home, she would come upstairs to say good night to me and my siblings. She would sit by our side and scratch our backs. We would beg her to not stop and she would patiently sit and keep scratching. It was a relatively simple gesture, yet one I so fondly remember and one that communicated love. She wasn’t a wealthy woman – she didn’t buy us many gifts, but with her hands she knit us mittens, made old-fashioned donuts, repaired torn clothes and lovingly held us.
I have decided that I also want my hands to be instruments of God’s love. I know I can do that in many ways – through a kind touch, by cooking a dinner for someone in need, by writing an encouraging note, or simply by scratching my grandchildren’s backs. And, by doing so, I hope that others can feel the marvelous love of the Lord.
Have a good week,
Kathy

It’s All About Self Control

During the month of August, Self-Control is the topic of the prayers in our book, My Grandmother is… praying for me.  So, each morning as I am praying for this trait to be developed in my grandchildren, I’m thinking, “what about me?”  I know that I need prayers for this character trait as much as anyone!  Many of the verses in Proverbs about self-control are directed towards the tongue.  James 3 indicates that the tongue is almost impossible to control, and implies that if we could control our tongue, we could better direct the course of our lives.

My Own Experience

Picture of son and his family

Stephen, Emily and our granddaughter Abby

In the past month, I have had the opportunity to be with my son and his family who live in China, but were visiting here in the States.   I am sure you would not be surprised to find out that they live their lives quite differently than I do mine.  My life is quite orderly – I like plans, schedules, routines and deadlines.  At my house, we eat dinner at about the same time each night, I exercise regularly, go to bed early, and keep a planner that directs my daytime activities.  Their lives, however, are much more flexible – they are more spontaneous, adventurous and, dare I say, FUN!  They are relational and easily serve the needs of others because of their adaptability.  The difficulty is that I often want them to function just like me.  I want them to be aware of the details of their days, the plans they need to make, and the particular commitments they may be obligated to meet.  And, I want to tell them that they should live life my way, to convince them of the benefits of structure.  But, that is all about me trying to control them and not expressing love and affirmation for who they are. Now, I know that we all may need to change a bit – sometimes they may have to be more scheduled, and there are definitely times when I need to “loosen up.”  But, I also recognize that God has created each of us uniquely to serve how and where He has called us and that it is His business to change us into His image.  He doesn’t need my help through nagging, confrontation, begging or subtle jabs.  He just needs me to loosen my control and trust that His work is being completed in each of us as He deems best.

Check out the month of August for more about prayers for Self-Control in My Grandmother is…praying for me!

Have a great week!

Kathy

Ask the Grandmothers

We are pleased to announce a new feature on our blog! Each week, we’ll highlight readers’ questions for Ask the Grandmothers.

Please send your questions for us to answer. You may leave it in the comments or send an email to mygrandmotheris [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Today’s question for the Grandmothers:

Hi, ladies! I’m a new grandmother and so excited. Lately, I’ve felt a burden to pray for my grandchild. I’m anxious about that, though, because I’ve never had a consistent prayer life. In fact, I don’t feel that I’m a good “pray-er,” at all. How would you suggest I begin the good habit of prayer?

Thanks,

Wanting to Pray

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Dear Wanting to Pray,

First of all, I am delighted that you are even asking this question.  Many of us have trouble knowing how to pray and it is good to think about the best way to start.

My advice would be to begin in a manner that you will remember and find easy to use.  I would recommend finding a Bible verse that you know and like – maybe something like the Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12 – and pray through that using your grandchild’s name.  For instance, you could pray “Lord, I pray that Jennifer would do to others, that she would treat others, just like she wants to be treated.  Amen.”

You could use this verse for several days and then find another one that you like and change your prayer.  This would be an easy and effective way to begin praying for that dear grandchild.

Kathy

Dear Wanting to Pray,

What is prayer?  Is it not simply speaking with our Creator and Redeemer?  I would encourage you not to make it complicated.  It has more to do with your heart’s motivation than grandiose words.  Remember Jesus commended the prayer of the tax collector who simply said, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.” (Luke 18:13, 14)

Acknowledge your feelings of inadequacy before the Lord and ask Him to help you.  He has promised the help of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26).  Then simply pour out what is on your heart concerning your grandchildren.  Remember we have Jesus, our high priest, who always lives to make intercession for us. (Heb. 7:25)

It is because of Him that our feeble inadequate prayers become agents of powerful transformation in our lives as well as that of our children and grandchildren.

Pam

Hi, Wanting to Pray,

Kathy and Pam have shared some of the why and what of prayer, but I would also encourage you to get our book!  It is full of specific prayers for us to pray for our grandchildren.  We deliberately kept it short, but, hopefully, substantive for those who need a little encouragement on how to pray.  Substitute your grandchildren’s names rather than the “he” or “she.”  This could be a first step to get you started.  May the Lord bless your efforts!

Susan

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