Today we have an special interview with author and grandmother Janet Chester Bly.
GTO: Janet, you and your late husband Stephen wrote The Power of a Godly Grandparent/Leaving a Spiritual Legacy by Stephen & Janet Bly (Beacon Hill). What prompted you to write this book?
JCB: When we first became grandparents, we wanted to be all we could be for those precious little ones. As we looked to other grandparents as role models, we wanted to pass on to others what they were doing right to impact the next generation. Many of the ideas for this book come from not only grandparents, but also parents and grandchildren who contributed their experiences.
GTO: Please give us an overview of some of the chapters.
JCB: Chapter 1 “The Power of Seeking God First”
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God … and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33 KJV). Grandchildren are part of the ‘added things’ in our lives – not the first thing. There is one first thing – The kingdom of God. If our grandkids see us put God first, rather than just talk about it, they get the message through us that God is important. When we love them, in spite of the circumstances of his or her birth or anything else out of their control, we show them Jesus.
Chapter 9 “The Power of Sharing Spiritual Truth”
This chapter shares some dos and don’ts of conveying spiritual values. We advise to make it natural, sincere, and consistent. We talk about dealing with grandchildren who are unresponsive to the Gospel.
Chapter 13 “The Power of Praying For Your Grandkids”
Make a picture prayer journal for each one. Develop a monthly prayer calendar. Pray for their education. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their careers. Pray for their wisdom. Pray for them in their trials. Pray for their health and safety. Let them know that you pray for them. Ask them for prayer requests. Share with them a prayer request of your own.
GTO: We know Stephen went home to be with the Lord and you must miss him terribly. How has his home-going affected your grandparenting? What have you done differently or learned to do? How did you help your grandchildren deal with it?
JCB: My husband passed away on June 9th, 2011 and I’m still learning how to live in my world without him in it. He left a huge hole in our family and we’re trying to get used to not having our leader in so many ways as part of holidays, decisions and the spark for all sorts of activities.
I feel inadequate as a “single grandparent” to be what we were as a couple for them. I can’t toss the little ones up. I can’t build play gyms for their yards. I can’t talk or do sports as well. Lots of things are different. But I discuss their grandpa and what he did when it seems right to do. I show them all the love that I can. I let them know when I’m sure their grandpa would be so proud of them. His and my photo together is in each of their homes and even the little ones mention him sometimes. Even the 4-year-old knows he is in heaven with Jesus.
One of the hard things was selling Grandpa’s pickup, so they no longer had that reminder when I drove up in it. I am so thankful for the books that he wrote, a heritage for them all for many decades to come. I’m making sure they all have copies of every one of them.
GTO: Any updates on your life, coming books, or projects in process that you’d like to share.
JCB: My three sons and I finished Stephen’s last novel that he had started, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. Set in 1905 on the Oregon coast, ex-lawman and Arizona rancher searches for his missing U.S. Marshal friend and grapples with the strange game of golf on behalf of a charity celebrity tournament. It’s full of adventure, humor and a bit of romance.
Can a committee write fiction? We had the passion and four months to find out. Completing Dad’s novel became a family affair. You can find the story about the process on the blog at our website: http://www.blybooks.com/
I’m also working on an epistolary novel (a novel in letters) set in the latter 1800s, with the working title, The Passions of Jennifer Ashby.
GTO: Thank, Janet, for visiting with us today and for sharing your story. I know it’s going to touch someone out there. Find out more about Janet’s books at these links …
“On A Western Trail” blog: http://BlyBooks.blogspot.com