Upcoming National Grandparents Day

Lillian Penner, who leads Grandparents @ Prayer would like to remind everyone to celebrate this year’s National Grandparents Day by praying for our future generations:

 Christian Grandparenting Network is asking grandparents all over the world to unite in prayer for their grandchildren on Sunday, September 8, 2013. This date is the official United States National Grandparents Day designated by a Senate proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978.

            Our grandchildren are living in a desperate moral and spiritual climate navigating in a world hostile to truth. Satan has launched an aggressive attack our families, schools and our nation to desensitize our children to truth and righteousness. Perhaps at no other time in our history is a call to prayer more urgently required than it is today for our grandchildren.

The mission of Christian Grandparenting Network (CGN) is to promote effective grandparenting, which is intentional about assisting our children and grandchildren to know and follow Christ wholeheartedly. CGN is issuing a call to all grandparents to join with other grandparents in their churches, community and around the world for an intentional day of prayer on behalf of the next generation.

            Will you stand in the GAP to join grandparents worldwide on Sunday September 8 to pray for the next generation that they may walk in the truth? Will you volunteer to plan an event with your friends or in your church?

To join the movement  go to https://www.facebook.com/GrandparentDayOfPrayer?ref=hl, “Like” our fan page, “Click” on the free download button to get the chapter “Communicate your Faith to your Grandchildren” from the book Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren by Lillian Penner, National Prayer Coordinator for Grandparents Day of Prayer.

For more additional information and resources go to www.gocgn.com or contact Lillian Penner lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net.

We at GTO sincerely hope you will get involved in this prayer effort and help move our children and grandchildren one step closer to the Lord.

GTO interview on Generation W blog

Recently I (Renee) was interviewed by novelist Julie Momyer on her Generation W blog. We talked about Grandparenting Through Obstacles–how it all began and how we hope it will help grandparents who are struggling to reach their grandchildren for Christ.

Instead of copying the interview here, I’m going to send you to Julie’s site. She has some great articles and other fun things just for women!  So, here’s the link…enjoy!

http://juliemomyerblog.com/2013/03/29/author-interview-renee-gray-wilburn/

Fighting for Your Grandkids’ Future

Recently, I had an online magazine for grandparents hit my inbox. The magazine, which will remain unnamed, normally has uplifting, interesting, and helpful articles and resources for grandparents, so I’m typically anxious to look it over when I get it. This time, what I saw on the cover really agitated me as a Christian conservative. This blog post is not going to be so much about what I saw but rather about the questions the cover story led me to ask of our reader grandparents.

The cover was a head shot of Al Gore and the text next to him said that he was “fighting for our grandchildren’s futures.” We all know, of course, that Al Gore is the grand champion of global warming, which has now been re-titled to the more politically correct “climate change.” Your opinions on global warming and its destruction of our planet may stand anywhere in the broad spectrum of possibilities. As a Christian, I believe God when He says (in essence), “It’s not over til I say it’s over,” and who are we to think that we can single handedly destroy what God has created? But that’s a blog for a different day, different place.

For now, I’d like to look at the phrase “fighting for our grandchildren’s future.” For Al Gore, our big fight lies in the assumption that the earth is going to burn up and our grandkids won’t be around to see our planet when they’re older adults. Other fights include the trillions of dollars of national debt we are currently in and how that is now squarely resting on our grandkids’ shoulders. Or, for Christians, the fight might (should) lie in the fact that God is being removed from society at a rapid pace and therefore our sense of all morality has been thrown out the window. And there are many, many other fights as well.

So, what is it for you as a grandparent? Is your fight more personal, or can it be found on a national or global scale? Is it financial, spiritual, ethical, environmental, or something else?

What is it that irritates you so much that when you consider how it’s going to affect your grandkids you want to put on the gloves and go fight? Then, ask yourself, “What am I going to do about it?” You can either just stay mad and complain, or you can get moving and start training for your fight.

Our world is not what it used to be when we were growing up. While we’ve had many technological advances, which have positively affected numerous fields and industries, the decay throughout society is rampant. As Christians, we understand that the root of the decay is spiritual, and while, ultimately, we must get at the root, we also need to fight against the fruit that we see in our everyday lives.

And one thing’s for certain: If we don’t start getting in the fight, our grandkids’ future is going to be rather dim. Be intentional about your grandparenting, make the moments you have with your grandkids count, and get in the fight to help make their world a better place.

Vacationing with Grandkids

As the weather begins to warm and the end of the school year draws near, thoughts begin turning to summer vacation. Whether you’re a grandparent who lives near or far from your grandkids, summer is a great time to plan a special getaway for just you and them. Here at GTO, we’d like to help you in your travel plans! We’ve compiled a short list of resources that are geared to intergenerational travel, with many targeting Christian families.

It is our hope that you will take some time this summer to connect in a special way with your grandchildren, and use every opportunity to draw them closer to Christ.

Road Scholar Educational Adventures: www.roadscholar.org

Road Scholar is an educational travel organization for adults 55 and over. In addition to their regular trips for seniors, they also offer vacation packages for grandparents and their grandchildren all over the world.

Sierra Club:  www.sierraclub.org/outings

The Sierra Club has many family outings as well as local outings to choose from. Also, each year they hold a week-long grandparents and grandkids outing in July in Tahoe National Forest, California.

Oceanwood Christian Camp: www.oceanwood.org

Held on a beachfront property in Ocean Park, Maine, Oceanwood camps have something for everyone–including a special Grandparent Camp in July, complete with Bible studies and live music, plus all the usual summer camp activities.

Pilgrim Tours:  www.pilgrimtours.com

A Christian tour company hosting hundreds of tours, including trips to various Bible lands. They have special pricing and packages for grandparents and their grandchildren.

Woodloch Pines Resort:  www.woodloch.com/grandparents

Voted one of the best family resorts in the country by TripAdvisor, Woodloch Pines, nestled in the hills of Pennsylvania, has many options for celebrating family time, including their specially designed G3-Generation Grandparent program.

 GrandCamps: www.grandcamps.org

Grand Camps hosts two camps each summer: one in Colorado in mid-July, and the other in Minnesota in mid-August. Their motto is “building a legacy that matters,” and their goal is to help grandparents connect with their grandkids in a spiritually meaningful and fun environment.

Beaver Camp: www.beavercamp.org

A Christian camp, exclusively for grandparents and their grandkids, held in Lowville, NY for 3 days and 2 nights each summer. The camp includes hiking, crafts, nature study, boating, fishing, swimming, ropes course, group games, as well as Bible studies.

Creation Museum: www.creationmuseum.org

A biblically inspired 70,000 square foot museum that aims to bring Bible to life with exhibits such as a “Dinosaur Den,” planetarium, botanical garden, the Garden of Eden, and much more. Located in northern Kentucky.

Holy Land Experience: www.holylandexperience.com

Located in Orlando, Florida, the HLE is a Christian them park that includes over a dozen exhibits, live shows, and architectural recreations of Bible lands–all aimed to help its guests learn about the Bible and Jesus. Weekly church services and Bible studies are also held at the park.

These are just a few of the many options available to help grandparents and grandkids spend some time together this summer. Whatever you choose, we pray that Jesus will be at the center of your experience.

Are You a Helicopter Grandparent?

Today we’d like to share with you a wonderful post from Cavin Harper at Christian Grandparenting Network. If you haven’t checked out The CGN website yet, we encourage you to do so. It is filled with resources, insightful articles, and podcasts from Cavin’s “Not on My Watch” weekly radio program–all designed to help you become a better and more intentional grandparent.

In this article, Cavin shares on the downsides of being a “helicopter grandparent.”

Are You a Helicopter Grandparent?

Joyce likes to hover. She hovers over her daughter by examining and critiquing everything she does. When her grandson was born she hovered—“That’s not the right way. Let me show how to do it, dear.” When the child was sick or had a runny nose, she would drop by with the recommended remedies and makes sure they were probably administered. At every stage of development, Joyce was there with her advice and ‘words of encouragement’, which translated mean, “Let me show you how to do it.” Her daughter feels like she is still treated like a little girl. Even her grandson, now eight, feels smothered by Grandma’s attention.

Hovering grandparents (or parents) are like a helicopter always looking over another’s shoulders and beating them with the constant battering of wind and chatter. I have talked with many parents, especially mothers, who resent the constant ‘hovering’ of a mother or mother-in-law. Men are not exempt from the hovering offense either. Men do like to ‘fix’ things, after all.

Wise grandparents understand their boundaries and even discuss them with their adult children to make sure that they are not violating those boundaries. Our goal as grandparents is to build up and enable our adult children to be the best parents possible. Interference and giving advice are not the approaches that will help them succeed as parents. There are times when it is necessary to give advice, but mostly it should be given only when asked.

Wise grandparents trust their adult children to make mistakes and learn. More importantly, they trust God to protect and guide. They know when to step in and when to stay out. Wisdom builds up. Hovering foolishly tears down. May God grant you wisdom so that you can land that helicopter and do some groundwork of building solid foundations for a strong home.

~~~~~~~~

In writing Grandparenting Through Obstacles, we quickly discovered that the issue of establishing boundaries and balance between parents and grandparents was a major concern of many grandparents. They’re never quite sure if they’re doing too much or not enough, or if they should even dare ask.

Because of this, we decided to devote one-fourth of the book to “Partnering with Parents.” In this section readers will learn of other grandparents who have struggled with the issues of boundaries and balance and how they successfully navigated through its troubled waters. We hope you will check it out for some creative ideas that may help you or someone you know.

Thank you to Cavin Harper for sharing his insights on helicopter grandparenting! You can check out his original article on this topic on the CGN blog.

Contagious Joy and Faith in Grandparenting by Author Karen Whiting – Guest Post

Karen Whiting, AuthorToday we have a guest blogger. Karen Whiting is the author of many books, a mom, and a grandmother. Thanks for stopping by today, Karen!

I only lived two houses from Grandma Doody. Struggles in learning to knit and do other things with Grandma helped shape my outlook on life. Here’s a familiar scene with grandma, my cousin Cathy, and me:

“Grandma, I messed up again,” Cathy cried. She threw down her knitting needles and half-knitted pillow.

“And I have one too many stitches on my needle.” I wailed.

Grandma said, “Well that’s why we call our club the rip and stitch club where we…

“Do more rippin than stitchin.” Cathy and I completed Grandma’s words.

 “I think it’s time for our tea and biscuits break.” Grandma said.

 “I’ll get the cups and tea.” I said.

Grandma let us set up for tea while she looked at Cathy’s mistake. She had to pull out a few rows of work and put the stitches back on the needles. Then she knitted a row to help Cathy catch back up to where she had been. She helped me too before she sat down for her tea.

Sometimes Grandma found a mistake in her work, but mostly it seemed she pretended to find one, way back near the beginning. She laughed as she ripped back rows and rows of work to help us feel better. Grandpa would come in, it seemed on cue to snitch a biscuit, shake his head, and tease her, “Why I’ll never get a vest to wear. I hope we’ll have a warm winter so I won’t be left freezing. Maybe you should let the girls knit it. They seem to be getting farther along.” We would giggle and after tea return to our work determined to do better so grandma could finish the vest.    

*  *  *  *

My Grandma reminded me of young David in the Bible. David explained to King Saul that “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). Over tea grandma shared stories of coming through the depression and two wars and how faith and ingenuity sustained her during troubles. I watched grandma care for grandpa as his health failed and he died. I saw her strength and dignity as a widow and her own battle with cancer when she still got us laughing.

Grandma’s contagious joy and faith in God taught me to keep a positive outlook. Persistence in little struggles helped me persist through the writing rejections to many published books, struggle as a military wife when my husband deployed, and cheerfully care for my dying husband.

I love creating things with my grandchildren and patiently help them press on in little things. I love laughing with them, yet also held them close as they cried at the loss of Papa and listen to their problems. I don’t live so near them, but when I am with them I am totally in the moment.

Some of my favorite books I write are inspirational craft books. I hope they become opportunities for grandmothers to talk with grandchildren and instill unshakeable faith in them.

~~~ 

Fun crafts to do with your grandchildren...and more

Fun crafts to do with your grandchildren…and more

Karen’s latest book is My Mini Dream Room

Make cool furniture, curtains, pillows, and decorations to create a mini room fit for any princess. This book is packed with mini-inspirational thoughts to encourage spiritual growth and spark imagination. Plus, girls will find room to journal their tiniest thoughts to supersize faith and fun.

Visit Karen Whitig’s web site today: http://www.karenwhiting.com/

Guest Post – “Touching Eternity” by Lori Wildenberg

SONY DSCToday we have a guest posting her recommendations on how grandparents she sees can and are touching eternity by influencing their grandchildren. Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator and is a co-author, along with Becky Danielson, of Empowered Parents: Putting Faith First (Bridge Logos, 2003). 

Thanks for sending us your practical, inspiring message today, Lori. Here’s Lori’s guest post:

Touching Eternity

By Lori Wildenberg

Parenting for grandparents. What? Yes! Many Nanas and Papas, Grannies and Pappies, Grandmas and Grandpas attend my parenting classes. They are highly invested and involved in their grandkids’ lives. These folks want to brush up on their communication with little kid skills or gain a better understanding of their own children as parents. Attending games, watching recitals, and babysitting are some of the many things today’s grandparents do.  Present day grandmothers or grandfathers are typically a big presence in the young ones’ lives.

But… what if you are one of the many Memas or Granddads separated from your grandkids by miles?

For most of my kids’ growing up years, they have not had the benefit or blessing of having grandparents live close by. But miles don’t change the hearts of the people involved.  

Connection is important to the kids and adults alike.

Of course visits and phone calls make a big impact but many grandparents want to do more. They long to make an eternal difference yet the distance is a huge road block to accomplishing their heart’s desire.

My colleague and friend, Kirk Weaver, of Family Time Training, passed along a great solution to this problem. He told me how, even at a distance, an older person can impact a younger one’s soul.  Letters. Yep. Old fashioned letters–the snail mail type–with a little cash enclosed. The money does come with a stipulation: ten percent must be given away to a cause, a church, or someone in need. More money will come the following month when the child communicates back how the funds were used. 

Think of all the great and meaningful conversations the grandparent and grandchild can have regarding giving, needs, wants, and worthy charities.  They could pray about where the Lord would like the money to go. This deliberate interaction has the potential to adjust a child’s thinking about money and about faith.

Money is a tool to be utilized, entrusted to us by a generous God.

So… long distance grandparents, you can touch your grandchildren’s eternity by getting out those stamps, envelopes, and a little cash. Make a plan to invest in the younger generation’s lives.

The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  

1 Timothy 6:10

What ideas do you have for impacting your grandkids future?

Lori Wildenberg, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting and Licensed Parent and Family Educator, is passionate about coming alongside parents and encouraging them to parent well.  She loves mentoring moms and dads and speaking on the topic of parenting. She is co-author of EMPOWERED PARENTS: Putting Faith First and co-columnist for the “Parenting Prose” column in Marriage Magazine. Lori lives in Colorado with her husband and four children. Visit http://www.loriwildenberg.com or http://www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com for more information.