The Grand Mother

Last month, I received a new title: Gigi. That's my own personal name for Grandma, and in assuming it I stepped into a whole new realm that I never even dreamed existed. Other women who had attained this rank had told me that there was nothing like it and absolutely no words to describe it and I had actually found that to be true. When I had my own babies, each one reached out their tiny hand and grabbed onto a part of my heart and each time I thought there was absolutely no way that there would be room for any more love inside. But unreservedly every baby reached out and found more love that I had to give.

Then along came this new one, this baby of MY baby and everything shifted. Yes, there were the cliches that ring true: I can give her back when I'm done and her cries don't mean I have to rush around to make things right and I'm not losing any sleep, blah, blah, blah. But the truth is there's a catch to that whole handing her back thing. I can't fix it, only mommy can. The cool thing is that I got to teach her mommy how to take care of her, and I never set her down and pulled out an instruction book and drew diagrams on a white board. I just lived it out. I was a living example of how to take care of babies and how not to take care of babies and a bunch of stuff in between.

Its so cool because right now, my grandmother is still alive. She was born in 1927 in Texas and her mama was from North Carolina and the family all moved to California where she met my grandfather and had my mother and my mother had me and we all moved back to North Carolina and I got married and had a bunch of babies and the story goes on. 5 generations from Johnnie Faye to Macy Elise and all of the wonderful and terrible mothering that has gone on in between.

The truth is that I'm still learning how to be a good momma. My Emari asked me the other day when she saw me reading, "Momma, why are you always reading stuff about how to take care of us?" Red-handed she caught me. When I run into a parenting dilemma, I run first to my Bible, I pray, I ask for guidance. But I also look for help from other women who have been through and lived to write about it. Colicky baby? Food allergies? ADHD? Rebellious teenager? Not sure if they're gonna turn out ok and how to live with yourself if they don't? Countless women have trudged these trails and placed markers along the way.

I'm not alone, I can look behind and see those who have posted signs and warnings and helpful hints, I can look forward and see that I still have so much to forge for myself, and even further into the distance the narrow way I must walk to show those behind me how to mother, and wife and live for Christ.

2 Timothy 1:5-7 That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.


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