Thursday Interview with contributor Lynn Leissler – Part 2

Last week we talked with Lynn Leissler, author of the story “Are All the Grown-Ups Thirsty?” in the new book releasing in August, Grandparenting Through Obstacles. Lynn had so much to share we’re continuing this week.

GTO: Lynn, tell us, what do you think is the greatest challenge faced by children today? And how can grandparents help them with this challenge?

Lynn: I see several, but the greatest is the lack of firm moorings. Sadly, in our culture we are more concerned with hurting their feelings than in molding their souls. A spiritual foundation is absent in so many homes. So when children hear conflicting messages, it’s easy to fall prey to untruth, peer pressure, fads, or their hormones. Also, parents are insanely busy and the kids get less focused attention.

GTO: What can you tell our readers to encourage them not to give up on their kids or grandkids no matter how bad their situation might look?

Lynn: I once read this quote: “Never give up on anyone…or believe that they are beyond help or hope…no matter how cold, negative, destructive, or unloving they may be. Who is to say that which is barren today will not be fruitful next year?” –Or the year after that. We as grandparents never know what tiny thing will touch our kids’ or grandkids’ hearts. My daughter, who doesn’t stay in contact, called on her birthday. She didn’t ask for anything, but just wanted to hear Mom’s voice, to connect. I praise God for that tiny good thing. We tend to desire momentous events, but often it’s a passing kindness, a casual word that embeds in another person’s heart and soul.

GTO: That’s beautiful, Lynn. What advice can you give our readers to help them become more intentional about imparting spiritual truths and values to their grandchildren?

Lynn: It depends on whether their parents are hostile or open. Either way, Jesus’ method is quite efficient. Parable teaching. For little ones who smell a daffodil, you might say something like, “Boy, God sure likes yellow, doesn’t He!” You can always respond to their questions and comments with, “I’ll pray…” or “I did pray.”

If their parents are hostile, don’t push, or you’ll gain an enemy. Instead, pray like crazy for openings from your grandkids. And when those openings come, shoot up an SOS prayer for wisdom. Walk softly with your response, for you don’t want to come across as putting down the parents. And watch for God’s opportunities and surprises!

 GTO: Wonderful advice, Lynn! Thank you for sharing your insights with us. May God bless you, your children, and your grandchildren.

Please come back next week for another Thursday Interview with another contributor to the book, Grace Hewson. We’ll look forward to hearing what Grace has to say.

In the mean time, will you please let the grandparents in your circles know about this blog? Or Share this page’s link on Facebook and Twitter.

Please Like our Facebook page at Facebook.com: GrandparentingThruObstacles.

Also, you can Follow us on Twitter: @GParentObstacle.

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Thursday Interview with contributor Lynn Leissler – Part 1

Last week we talked with Abigail Paul about the importance of “small moments” in the lives of grandchildren. This week we’re talking with Lynn Leissler, author of the story “Are All the Grown-Ups Thirsty?” in the new book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles, due out next month. That was the question she Lynn’s four-year-old granddaughter, Renee, asked when she saw the communion cups passed at church one Sunday morning! It turned into a wonderful teachable moment for Lynn and her granddaughter.

Lynn has so much to share with us that we’re going to feature her next week, too. Let’s get started.

GTO: Welcome to the Grandparenting Through Obstacles blog, Lynn. We’re excited to have you with us today and next Thursday. Tell us, why did you decide to share the story that you did in our book?

Lynn: Things in my granddaughter Renee’s life were in total upheaval, and what happened gave me hope for her and for me. What happened showed that in spite of her early life, she has a good mind. Plus, it was so cute that like any grandmother, I wanted to share the story.

GTO: What are you hoping our readers will gain or learn from your story?

Lynn: All events, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, are teachable moments—on a grand scale or mustard seed size. Be there! Be available, even when it isn’t convenient! Grandkids count more than a clean house. Celebrate the triumphs, commiserate in the sorrows.

GTO: Awesome advice, Lynn. Tell us, in what ways do you believe God has used you most in ministering to your grandkids?

Lynn: God isn’t a significant part of any of my children’s lives—from a son who is a declared atheist, to Renee’s parents (father and girlfriend) who are quite casual when it comes to spiritual matters. I take Renee to church and we talk about God. And I believe she sees me as a safe zone. I could have hosted visitations with her mother (my daughter) here at my home, but chose not to.

I want my home to be a place of refuge where Renee and I have our special rituals, learn to bake, and she gets a ton of love and attention. Also, since her father isn’t with her mother, they don’t talk much about her mom. At Nana’s, she can talk about her mom and ask questions. I tell her stories and show her the photo albums. For no matter how horrific her mom’s life is at this moment, she is Renee’s mommy.

For the other grandkids, there have been tough times and I keep showing up, loving and playing. That counts!

GTO: You bet that counts, Lynn. You have a lot of challenges in your family to meet in order to influence your grandchildren for Jesus Christ. Thanks for sharing how you’re doing that and giving other ideas and encouragement to do the same.

We’ll talk more with Lynn next week on Thursday. Until then, look for those special, teachable moments in your own grandchildren’s (or children’s!) lives. Then take the opportunity to talk to them about Jesus.