When my husband’s mother died, we stored a few of her belongings in a box labeled “Memory Lane.” Yesterday, my husband asked if we still have his mom’s Bible. I pulled it out of the box. In that Bible he found several bookmarks. On a slip of paper was a poem. (As far as I know, the author is anonymous. There are slight variations in other versions on the internet.)
In the dim and distant past
When life’s tempo wasn’t fast
Grandma used to rock and knit,
Crochet, tat and babysit.
When the kids were in a jam
They could always count on Gram
In the age of gracious living
Grandma was the gal for giving.
Grandma now is at the gym
Exercising to keep slim.
She’s out golfing with the bunch,
Taking clients out to lunch,
Going north to ski and curl;
All her days are in a whirl.
Nothing seems to stop or block her
Now that Grandma’s off her rocker.
This poem reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a dear friend. She was telling me about the delightful times she spends with her grandchildren. She loves it, but is sometimes tempted to be frustrated that she can’t get to other activities that interest her.
While a mom would not trade child rearing for a billion dollars, sometimes she looks forward to the day when, with kids grown and gone, she is free to do activities other than child rearing. She wants to join a ladies’ Bible study, devote time to a ministry, read, exercise, have lunch with friends, or travel. But then, the kids decide to live near home. They start popping out babies. Now Grandma is spending most of her free time with the grandchildren. It looks like her dreams are again on the shelf. Seeing other women her age who have time to pursue their interests may tempt her to envy.
But those other women may wish they had grandchildren or that they could spend time with the ones they have. Perhaps their children have remained single or moved to distant locations. They are missing out on wonderful opportunities and relationships that the grandma with local grandchildren enjoys. They may be tempted to envy her. What they need to do is to practice contentment under the sovereign choice of God, avoid wasting time, and devote their time to service to the Lord.
For those grandmas who can pour time into grandchildren yet miss out on other personal interests, remember Grandma Lois, of whom we read in 2 Timothy 1:5 and 3:14-15. What she taught her daughter, Eunice, and her grandson, Timothy, about God as a child bore fruit in his salvation (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14-15). He became a pastor, influencing many in his day and millions since then by the example he set such that Paul used it in his writings. Although she lived 2000 years ago, Grandma Lois’ influence still reverberates to Christians today. Build knowledge of God in your grandchildren.
Whether able to be involved with grandchildren or not, all women need to be content in God’s providence. With or without grandchildren, with or without “free” time, they need to pour time into the cup of service that makes a fitting gift to the Lord.