- Shar Durbin
Grandchildren and second chances
PLYMOUTH – Throughout our childhood years, we’re asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In my generation, the idea of being wives and mothers as our preferred career was looked down upon. Call me old-fashioned, but for me, my dream job has always been to be the best wife, mother, and grandma that I could be. I’m not saying it’s a must for all women, but it was for me.
As for being a wife Mike and I will be celebrating our 45th anniversary in August. Seminars and studies on marriage benefited us both, but I didn’t get a B.A., Masters, or PhD in it.
Not every woman wants or can have children naturally. There was a time when I couldn’t conceive. Many suffer that heartache. God’s Word has several examples. During that time, Mike’s 9 yr-old brother came to live with us. We weren’t officially foster parents, but experienced something similar.
Later, God gave us 2 sons of our own—no instructions—no warranties. I tried to be excellent and intentional. It was easier when they were younger. Once the teen years with sports and activities came, it was a challenge. As an empty nester, I thought of so many things I’d done poorly, and what I’d do differently. Most every mother I know thinks that, too. There are no do-overs raising your children. Except….
Being a GRANDMA!!! It’s so much more fun! What a gift from our heavenly Father! What an opportunity and responsibility! God blessed us with 4 grands: Iris (14), Ethan (12), and twins Silas & Abel (15 months). When the first 2 were little, we taught them Bible stories, praise songs, life lessons, and prayed.
Again, it’s more challenging as they age. God gave me the idea to make a daily journal for Iris’s 11th birthday. The introduction was my testimony and a challenge to write underneath each verse what God’s Word was saying. Nearly every visit she’d show me her journal. My prayer was it would get her started in daily one-on-one time with God. My “grandma heart” nearly burst when I learned she had Ethan join her in that special time every night. So, of course, he got a handwritten journal for his 11th birthday.
The twins are under my “grandma-care” 2 days a week. What a privilege/responsibility to help bring them up in the Lord! I pray I will teach them they are truly miracles (That’s another story).
What are some ways you are intentionally pouring into your grandchildren? It’s not too late to start. None of us are perfect wives, mothers, grandmas. Yet, our heavenly Father gives us new mercies every morning. We can’t change the past, but we are blessed with opportunities today to show our families love and purposefully invest in their lives.
That includes our children’s friends, too. Many of them come from broken homes. Recently, a friend told our son that he loved being at our house. We showed him what a “real family” could look like. And all I thought I was doing was letting our sons have friends over… a LOT. Our lives are living examples. May God show us through His love how we are to love the people He brings into our lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shar Durbin is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and her husband, Mike, have served the Lord together in various forms of ministry: as pastor & wife, missionaries in Brazil, associational ministry, and now serving BSCM churches. She enjoys using her gift of encouragement through conversation as well as making cards.