5 Things I Learned About Homemaking from my Grandmothers
When I think about my grandmothers, my mind is filled with happy memories and with gratitude for the godly influence they both have been to me. One grandmother is in heaven and one is still with us. I just got to see her a few days ago.
As I thought about the blessing it was to grow up with grandparents who loved the Lord, I immediately thought of several very specific ways my homemaking has been influenced from watching the lives of my grandmothers.
1. I learned from my grandmothers to pray about everything.
Many were the times my parents would receive a call from a grandparent asking everyone to “Please pray for _____.” And my parents would immediately gather all of us children around to pray.
When I was growing up we lived near my dad's parents, and I got to spend a lot of time with his mom (my Granny.) Many of my Saturdays were spent riding around in the back of her car as we scouted out yard sales. I don't ever remember a time when I rode with her that she did not pray before we left the driveway for protection as we drove. My parents usually did the same, and now with my own children I almost always stop to pray before we leave the driveway.
I did not get to spend time with my mom's mother (My Grammy) as often since she lived far away from us, but I still have letters and cards from her that I treasure. She always let me know in her letters that she prayed for me, and though I would not have been able to put it into words at the time, I knew that I was extremely blessed to have a grandmother who loved me so much and spent her time praying for me.
Now that I am a wife and mom, I try to set an example to my own children to pray about everything. I spend time in private prayer and I also spend time praying with my children. There is no better way for them to learn that God answers prayer than to learn to pray themselves.
2. I learned from my grandmothers to praise the Lord for everything.
While it's important to pray, it's just as important to praise God when he answers prayers. When we cry out to God in the midst of some crisis, it's easy to forget about it once the crisis is over.
I have heard my grandmothers praise God out loud many times. They set an example for me to remember that everything I have is from God, and I want to do the same for my children.
3. I learned from my grandmothers to love children.
We all have different personalities, just as my two grandmothers did. My Granny was always on the go (and still is!) The more kids she had around her, the happier she was. My Grammy was more quiet and subdued, and although I would have been too young to perceive it, I imagine her nervous system was not wired to tolerate as much noise and rowdiness. (Now that I'm a mom with constant noise in the house, I understand this perfectly!)
However, regardless of their personalities, they both heartily embraced their role as grandmother and counted it a privilege to be involved in the lives of their grandchildren.
I know that children are a blessing, and I choose to be thankful for them even on the days where I'm feeling overwhelmed.
4. I learned from my grandmothers that messes are okay.
I can remember my Granny quoting on more than one occasion, “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean,” meaning that she was perfectly okay with the mess in her house as long as it meant the children she loved were there to make the messes.
Looking back I can tell that my Grammy was the kind of person who needed things to be neat and orderly, but at the same time she understood that messes come with the territory of loving children. She never seemed to get frustrated when we made a mess, but she gently and kindly taught us how to help clean up after ourselves. I remember learning how to hand wash dishes at her house, and although I have had the opportunity to use a dishwasher almost my entire life, I still think of her gentle teaching every time I hand wash my dishes.
I've learned that I can both be okay with the mess and I can also gently teach my children how to live neatly.
5. I learned from my grandmothers that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Although as a child I didn't understand the importance of the things I was observing about my grandmothers, they were making an impact on me nonetheless.
I watched them serve their families, and I watched them serve people in their communities.
I never saw them be lazy and I never heard them complain. They did what they did because they loved people.
It is obvious that both of my grandmothers took seriously their responsibility to set an example for their grandchildren and to help guide them in the path of righteousness.
Their lives impacted me both through my direct interactions with them and indirectly through the things my parents learned from them.
And now my own parents (and my husband's parents) in turn take their responsibility as grandparents seriously to set an example for my children.
What a heritage I have! What a blessing to have had the opportunity not just to learn these things from my grandmothers through words, but to see that their words were backed up by their actions.
When the time comes, if I am still on this earth, I hope that I can be the kind of influence on my granddaughters that my grandmothers were to me. I hope I can teach them to love their families, to be thankful for them, and to depend on God for their strength each day.