When Mom Becomes Grandma

When Mom Becomes Grandma…                                                                                                                                                

She receives a card from daughter for her birthday that reads, “Happy Birthday, Grandma.” For a second she thinks it’s a mistake, because “I’m not your grandma.” And then she realizes. The gift is on layaway. Nine months. We celebrate with cookie cake.

She gets all choked up in the store getting ready to purchase the first baby outfit. She picks the sleeper with little yellow ducks. Because ducks. And because God has not yet revealed whether boy or girl. She prays that he/she will come to know the Lord at an early age. It’s a holy moment.

The first sonogram picture makes it more real. He looks like a little bean. Daughter becomes Mama Bean and son-in-love becomes….well, Bean Daddy, of course.

They sand the old dressers. She paints them in cascading blues. Her kids had them in their room growing up, just as she had them in hers when she was little, just as Great Grandma had them in hers before that. Fourth generation dressers. Soon to be filled with onesies. Dinosaur onesies.                                                                                                                                            
She writes a song. It’s for her daughter and the baby. She cries at the piano. So much emotion welling up. It’s not just the hopes and dreams for Baby Oliver, but also for her own grown son. And all that being a mama has meant. She sings it as a surprise at the baby shower. Everyone cries. We cry because we’re moms.

And now she graduates to GrandMom. A Mom, only much grander. With credentials.

People send gifts. Handmade gifts. Made with love. And lots of stitches.

Wall hangings, blankets, quilts, and a beautiful layette made by dear Mother. The Great Grand Mother.

She feels the baby move in Mama’s belly. Making contact. He’s really in there.

She helps Mama get things ready. The due date is not far off now. So much preparation. Sweet anticipation.

Babies need a lotta stuff.

And yellow converse sneakers.

A week before due date there’s a fire in the attic. Everyone is O.K. We begin the painstaking process of sorting, cleaning, clearing out. The nursery was perfect. Everything just so. Baby clothes already washed and put away. Pictures hung on the wall. Rocking chair quietly waiting in the corner. And then there was smoke…

She takes the laundry home and begins the first load. Everything must be rewashed. Books wiped clean of soot one by one. Books signed and personalized to Baby Oliver from dear friends. Gratitude fills her heart in handling each one and reading the special inscriptions.

Though displaced from their home, insurance covers a hotel stay near the hospital until baby comes. A friend sets up a go-fund-me. A former teacher puts out the need and a truck load of baby items appear. So lavish a love drop she actually took inventory…one gently used bassinet, a stroller, two car seats, a playpen, a high chair, baby bath, clothes, shoes, hangers, teethers, bottles, booties, swaddlers, 400+ diapers, 2,000+ baby wipes, and one large stuffed Mickey Mouse.

She revels at God’s goodness and the kindness of so many. Of course. That’s Who He is. She’s been on the receiving end before. And it’s just so beautiful to see Him in action through the Beloved Community.

Since Mom and Dad won’t be able to bring baby home for awhile, some treasured friends lovingly prepare to host them in their spacious basement, complete with private bathroom, kitchenette, and room enough for three. There’s even a couch for Grandma. We transfer personal belongings to make them feel right at home. They can stay as long as they need.

Relieved. Baby has a quiet, comfortable place to spend his first days. Like his name which means the olive tree, it is a peaceful offering. The Biblical olive tree symbolizes fruitfulness, beauty, and dignity. Extending an olive branch signifies an offer of peace. She jokes, “Perhaps he’ll be a peaceful baby.” Even if he’s not, it won’t matter in the least.

We finally get the long-awaited call. It’s showtime! Son-in-love says, “Come!” We’re on our way in a flash.

She’s honored to get to be in the delivery room. Amazing. Mom and Dad did so good. Ollie, too. That first newborn cry. You never forget that. She did the best she could with the camera. And tried to balance capturing the moment and being right there in the middle of it at the same time.

She stays at Mama’s side while Daddy goes with the nurse to clean and check the baby. All fingers and toes accounted for. Mama squeezes her hand. He’s finally here. Oh, the miracle of human life. The wonder of Creator God.

7 lbs., 13 oz., 20.25 inches of baby goodness. And they actually get to take him home.

She sleeps on the couch to help with baby (using term lightly here). Lots of time to rock and bond. She learns that taking him outside often does the trick. He seems to sense a shift in the atmosphere and it soothes him. He is most precious. Mom and Dad are so good with him. Such good parents already. She is proud. And also not surprised.

She feeds Mom so Mom can feed baby. Lots of feedings. Diapers. Snuggles. And prayers uttered in hushed tones under the starry night sky.

After a week or so she manages a journal entry. Psalm 66:12 seems to fit…”We went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance.”

And we are all so thankful. Humbled. And totally in love. #OllieLove

A lot happens when Mom becomes Grandma. Her heart expands, her influence increases, her life becomes altogether bigger-better-more.

When Mom becomes Grandma she becomes even more blessed than before.

Grace and peace…

Grandma Cheri

The Secret to Spiritual WELLness

Up in the wee hours. Engaged in peaceful prayers and the sweet encouragement of a devotional I shared with Carpenter Husband before bedtime. Charles Spurgeon’s evening offering from one of his most popular works, Morning & Evening, lingers in my soul…                                           

“Tell the righteous it will be well with them…” (Isaiah 3:10). Here’s just a smidgen of the text…

He will be WELL FED because he feeds upon the flesh and blood of Jesus.
He is WELL CLOTHED because he wears the righteousness of Christ.
He is WELL HOUSED for he dwells in God.
He is WELL MARRIED for his soul is knit in bonds of marriage union to Christ.
He is WELL PROVIDED FOR because the Lord is his Shepherd.
He is WELL ENDOWED for heaven is his inheritance.

This is who we are. This is our position in Christ.

Nothing at all against the insurance company, but we are not in good hands with Allstate. Rather we are in the Good Hands of One who knows us through and through, whatever state we’re in. In all conditions and under all circumstances, IT WILL BE WELL with the righteous (caps mine). Righteousness not of our own, but of God Himself. Talk about an insurance policy!

Interestingly, I googled a bit about that famous slogan to learn it was created in the 1950s by Allstate Insurance Company’s sales executive, Davis W. Ellis, based on a similar phrase he used to reassure his wife about a doctor caring for their child.

Cameron with baby sister, Sarah.

I can remember when my children were little. I cared about every little thing. When they were with me and whenever we were apart, I was seldom not thinking of them, always wanting for their good. Though we each have busy lives of our own, that posture continues today, even as they are now in their latter twenties. Wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, it matters to me. And I delight in hearing from them.

A mother’s love is never waning.

Why is it so hard for us to believe that’s true for us sometimes? We become so self-focused and consumed with worry, living as orphans instead of chosen, adopted, adult children of God. Wholly loved. Always wanted. Blood-sealed in Christ. We forget this is not a month-to-month agreement or a contract that must be renewed annually. This is not some willy-nilly arrangement that could dissolve at any moment due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances.

No. This is a lifetime membership. This is forever kinda stuff. WE BELONG. No fees. No cancellation. Just incomparable benefits, including an out of this world retirement plan. Literally. Like soon and very soon.

At a women’s retreat in Minnesota recently, I prefaced the song, “You Go Before” saying, “This is a song about perspective.” Walk long enough with Jesus and we gain some.

Lord, when sin-sick, world-weary, and ridden with anxiety, give us this perspective, YOUR perspective… we are well fed, well clothed, well housed, well married, well provided for, and well endowed.  Yes, it is well. WE are well. For You have made it so.

Sun’s up. I’m thinkin’ blueberry waffles. Thanks for trackin’ with me.

Grace and peace…

Cheri