On being a grand-mom {nonna}

Yesterday was Malakai day.

malakai day 1

Kai-Kai came to hang out with me. It intersected with my first day home in 17 days. And a more glorious Colorado day, I don’t think there could have been. Seriously – even a few puffy white clouds cannot dissipate the bluest of blue skies in Colorado. The sun was warm, the breeze was gentle and Kai was cuter than ever.

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Malakai Day 3

And I was thinking as my grand-boy and I were swinging and making pictures with chalk on the sidewalk, while we picnicked on a blanket in the cool green grass, as we climbed around on the play set and scooped up pebbles for throwing – I was thinking how amazing I am  as a Nonna.

Malakai Day lunch

Grilled chicken, peas, quinoa and blueberries for lunch. Animal crackers for dessert!

Yes. There. Can you believe I actually said that? Well, I did.

I am really a great Nonna.  :)

I am really good at this grand-mom thing, it turns out. But it isn’t of my doing. It is not because I am accomplishing anything or being especially productive or impressive at all.

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We enjoyed the neighbor’s beautiful autumn tree during our picnic

It’s mostly just because, I have realized, I just accept and receive the grandbebes for who they are. I enjoy them and embrace them and am in awe of them just as God has created them to be. I open my heart to all of it and feel giddy for the honor of getting to watch them and know them and see their lives unfold.

In short, I really do nothing other than enjoy them. I just sit around receiving everything they bring to life, the gift of them.

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Sandy-the-Dog wishes!

I am much better at being a Nonna than I was a mom.

As a mom, I doubted myself constantly. I was sure if I didn’t do every single thing right {I didn’t} my kids wouldn’t turn out {they did}. I was afraid it was all in my court: make sure they get good grades, are well-rounded, excel in athletics, become super citizens, are polite at all times, have the best of everything, never get hurt, {make me look good…true confessions}, and become who God wanted them to be. That last one – well, I was pretty sure God had a plan for them and if I didn’t work hard enough – I could totally mess up His deal.

“Direct your children onto the right path,
    and when they are older, they will not leave it.”  Proverbs 22.6 NLT

And yes, of course, we have a part, as the above Proverb encourages us.  But somewhere along the way (when they were almost grown…it takes me awhile), I began to realize that more than my children were “mine,” they were His. More than any love I had for them, more than any protection or experience I could provide, He had more, so much more – that He had known them from before…(see Romans 8.29 and Ephesians 1.4). My “hard work” in raising the world’s 5 most amazing kids was mostly ineffective, at best, damaging to them at its worst.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you…” Jeremiah 1.5 NLT

I really did do my best, the best I knew to do with my children. But I over-parented a lot, I obsessed over things that didn’t matter sometimes. I erred towards discipline and creating righteous little children along the way when I should have laughed with them more, let some things slide and just plain enjoyed them. Too often I was set on molding them into godliness (at a level I could never even seem to achieve) as holy human beings to be admired instead of receiving them as the gifts of God He created them to be. And just loving them like the Father loves me, foibles and all. How does He love me?

  • God is mindful of me, always thinking of me (Psalm 8).
  • He created my inmost being and His works are wonderful (Psalm 139.13-14, the whole chapter, really).
  • God loves me with an ever-lasting love and draws me with loving-kindness. That is some deep love (Jeremiah 31.3).
  • He chose me and does not reject me (Isaiah 41.9).
  • I was actually made in His image (Genesis 1.27).
  • His thoughts toward me are countless-like the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139.17-18).
  • He rejoices over me with singing, just like I do over Him, but better! (Zephaniah 3.17)
  • He sees me as His treasured possession (Exodus 19.5).
  • He will never stop doing good to me (Jeremiah 32.40).
  • He is my greatest encourager, believing the best in me always (2 Thessalonians 2. 16-17).
  • God comforts me in all my troubles (2 Corinthians 1.3-4).
  • He comes in even closer to me when my heart is broken (Psalm 34.18).
  • I am precious in His sight (Isaiah 33.4).
  • I am the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2.8).
  • We’re friends, God and I. He has called me His friend (John 15.15).
  • God delights in me (Psalm 150.4)
  • He carries me close to His heart, just like a shepherd carries a lamb (Isaiah 40.11).
  • He doesn’t count my sins against me, not keeping a tally of my failure (2 Corinthians 5.18-19).
  • He forgets my sins – as far as the east is from the west, He has removed my transgressions from me. Awe-inspiring.
  • I didn’t choose Him. He so loved me, He chose me and appointed me to bear fruit that will last. I can ask Him anything, anything! He is my Father. (John 15.16)
  • Nothing can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
  • He has always been my Father and He will always be my Father (Ephesians 3.14-15).

So that’s a good start on how to love our kids. And the grands.

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 Look at that little face. I think Kai was telling me, in this shot, “You’re doing pretty good as a Nonna.” As best I can, I’ll reflect the love of the Lord towards me back onto him. And I receive all he is, the gift of him. He knows.  He can tell…

This was in the kitchen upon my return:

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From the Kelley kids. They love their Nonna and their Nonna loves them. And I am really great at that!

Dear Gavin, Hunter, Guinivere, Gemma May, Averi-J, Amelie Belle, Malakai, Bailey-baby, Evangeline and baby-Faaland-to-be: You’re the reason I was born!  :)

 

8 thoughts on “On being a grand-mom {nonna}

  1. Lovely! I always said I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up until I became a grandma. That was what I was made to be, but when they test you in school it isn’t on the career list!

  2. Thank you for the reminders that it is Gods doing not mine. When Aaron was born I said Lord you have to help me cause I don’t know what to do.
    That included changing diapers and everything.I made some mistakes but God has always been there when I needed Him and will always be.I can always count on Him.Maybe one day I will enjoy being a grandma.

  3. THIS is one of my favorite posts of yours ever! First, because all that you said of yourself is SO very true… Second, because it is chocked so full of wisdom and things I needed to hear. I pray I’m slowly evolving into THAT kind of parent. Love you OODLES!

  4. My dear friend, you are a real blogger/writer. Like the Velveteen Rabbit because you are loved you have become real… And on being a Nonna, I second that emotion. I love the thought of being giddy in being one. Me too!!! God saves the best for last, doesn’t he? And your list on how He loves you? Better than the best chocolate!!! God bless you extra special for this post. As someone else said Lovely!!!

    1. Love you, Donna! You are an espresso-strength shot of encouragement each time you stop by! :)
      And how God loves us? Oh my – that list is just sooooo needed. I am still learning and no wonder I have struggled much of life with loving well. I didn’t comprehend His love. Committed to get it!

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