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.

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Creating Teachable Moments with Grandchildren

Last Thursday, Dianne interviewed one of our contributors, Lynn Leissler. In the interview, Lynn stressed the importance of taking advantage of teachable moments with your grandkids. And Lynn made a very good point when she said that “all events, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, are teachable moments.” This is a key point to grasp if we are to be successful at impacting little hearts and minds for Christ.

Too often, we’ll try to wait for just the right moment or perfect environment to make a spiritual connection for our grandchildren. But, as many of us have discovered, these moments may never come–or at least not frequently. Sometimes, we must create them ourselves. Once we get the mindset that Lynn rightly has, we’ll start viewing any moment as a teachable moment. But how can we realistically stay in this mindset?

The first step to walking in this mindset is prayer. Every day that you are with your grandchild, ask God to show you immediately when a teachable moment is upon you. Ask Him to open your eyes to the little things around you that you can share with your grandchild and use to make a connection that will help teach her about God or somehow bring her closer to Him. I guarantee that you will be amazed at the things you start seeing and paying attention to!

Next, be ready to share. There are days when the grandkids will tire you out, make you grumpy, and get on your last nerve! Resolve to not allow such distractions to keep you from your mission of bringing your grandchildren closer to the Lord. This is why it’s so important to be intentional about your spiritual role in your grandchildren’s lives. If you live each day to purposefully impact them for Christ, you will be able to overcome the temporary challenges that get in your way of sharing those teachable moments.

Finally, purpose to make it fun! Get your grandkids involved in looking for these moments where they can relate events to God or His Word. When you’re in a situation, ask them, “What do you think God may want us to learn from this?” or “Is there anything in the Bible you can think of that relates to what just happened?” When you’re out and about with your grandchild, have him see how many things he can somehow connect with God. As he mentions them, talk about them and try to think of a relevant scripture that will help reinforce that connection.

How could this be a teachable moment?

Not only is it more fun when your grandkids are involved in seeking out these moments, but by doing so you are teaching them how to be sensitive to God and how to look for His fingerprints in the world around them.

How about you? How do you deal with teachable moments? Have you had any special ones lately that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them!

Please stop back this Thursday when Dianne will continue with Part 2 of her interview with Lynn.