Sunday, September 6, 2015

Snuggles, Slobbers and Sticky Fingers

What an amazing experience it is to be a grandmother (or “Nana”…rhymes with nah-nah) to three fabulous boys!  We are so very blessed to have our 4 year old (Jacob) nearby but the other two (Henry, age 5 ½ and Gus, age 16 months) live on the other side of the country.  This month, however, I was able to personally love on these guys because of their time with us in our home.  During their visit we crammed in beach time, family adventures, bike rides and a visit to the fair.  After a few days, this dear family headed back to Portland… minus one; Henry stayed on for a 6 day “Nana and Cha Cha camp”.

 
What a special time.  LOVED having Henry plop into bed with us early in the morning and snuggle up. (He had his own bedroom and went to bed with stories and prayers and snuggles but when early morning came, into our bed he popped.)  Our universe centered around that young man and we took time to play!

Cha Cha, Henry and Uncle Drew had some camp time (at Charlie’s deer camp in the woods) where they did “guy” stuff.  Charlie and I and Henry had more camp time where he got to shoot a rifle, use a bow and arrow, “drive” the side-by-side, make the tractor shovel go up and down and even use the “outdoor bathroom facilities”, if you get my drift.

He and Cha Cha went fishing and Henry got the biggest kick out of storing the worms in our refrigerator. He and I had an afternoon at the zoo.  On my birthday we took him with us to a restaurant for dinner and he had perfect manners.  (Thanks to the vigilant teaching of his parents!)  His uncle Beak took him golfing.  We went to our garden at the farm (where friends of ours live) and he helped pick tomatoes, enjoyed the  animals and rode the pony.

From the farm we went to a nearby Lake Michigan cottage to visit friends; Henry loved being in the water with his new little buddies.  We took all 5 kids to the lighthouse on Stonington Peninsula and climbed up to the top. (Breathtaking view of Lake Michigan!)  On the way home we stopped and had ice cream as the sun was making its final descent.

As if this were not enough, I had the enormous pleasure of flying back to Portland with Henry; because he has traveled so much in his young life, he knows the ropes and was a wonderful travel companion!  In fact, twice he asked to go into the cockpit and both times his request was granted!

Once back in Portland I got to enjoy the “slobbers and sticky hands” part of this adventure when I had the opportunity to spend time with little Gus again.  Nothing like slobbery kisses and food everywhere!  What a doll baby.

Well, have I totally bored you with my grandchildren stories?  Through all of this I am reminded of God’s great blessing of what it means to play an integral role in the life of family.  What a joy for me to hear, “Nana, I love you.”  What a pleasure to have little Gus put his head on my shoulder demonstrating his love and trust.  How special it is to have my beautiful daughter-in-law email me when I’m back home to tell me she missed me.  What a joy to have my son, now doing a great job at being a husband and dad, tell me he loved me as he dropped me off at the airport. (He thanked me for our time “entertaining” Henry but really, it was the other way around!)

I am very aware that not everyone has this beautiful family situation and ALL families go through stressful times.  But in God’s Word, there is much said about being a part of community because community can be very much like family.  In the book of Acts we see the early church forming.  Acts 2: 42-47 gives us a picture of what it is to have close family/community ties.  God made provision for ALL of us to experience the blessing of family/community through Christ and His church.

We LOVE our church family!  We celebrate important dates with them… we often babysit for some of our families… we serve and are served… we grieve over losses and celebrate at weddings.  We gather together in small groups to study and share and discuss.

I LOVE being a grandmother and am grateful for the little ones God has put in my life.  But when I can’t be with them, I still have family around me.  God has provided ….and He will provide for you.  If you have not yet found that community of faith, pray about it.  God will guide you!  If you live in my area, please consider joining me and my family at Grace Church in Gladstone, MI.  (www.gracemichigan.com) Know for certain that it is God’s desire for you to be a part of His family.  And maybe, if you desire, you will have opportunities to enjoy “snuggles, slobbers and sticky fingers” as you align yourself with God’s family.

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