Tag Archives: grandparenting

Becoming a Mom After Infertility

A baby miracle
Faith Quilt

Twenty-eight years ago my husband and I found out we were going to have a baby. We were ecstatic!  We waited ten years for our daughter to be born.

Years of waiting, wishing, and wondering had been difficult. The inability to have a child is devastating. One of the worst things to be faced with is being asked the question, “Don’t you want children?” You just want to cry or scream at the person asking.

In 1987, my husband and I went to Israel on a tour. We went with a group of ministers and their families. One day they formed a prayer line. A minister friend of my family approached me and said he felt impressed for me to go through the prayer line to be prayed for to have a baby. That same morning my oldest brother had a dream that I was in a room with several ladies, and we all wore maternity clothes.

In October ’87 I knelt down in the middle of my bedroom one day, held out my hands, and said, “God, I believe you’re going to give me a baby, but I just want to know when.” As soon as I got the last word out, the words came to me, “Your joy is going to come in January.”

Another time in a church service, I thought of the scripture about leaping for joy. Eyes closed, I moved out into the aisle and started leaping for joy (not joy that I presently felt but faith that I would receive that joy).

My mother called me one day and said she had gone to a craft fair and bought a little baby quilt. She called it my faith quilt.

Cristen “Chrissie” Joy was born one year after my prayer in the bedroom. Now I have two little granddaughters that I call my grand-joys. I happened to be babysitting and was holding the baby on the sofa when I noticed the “faith quilt” beside her. I grabbed my phone real quick and took a picture.  The smile she gave me makes me get choked up and teary-eyed with joy when I see that photo.

I share this testimony because I’m thankful, grateful, and so full of joy for the miracle of the little girl God blessed us with, the little girl that is now a woman of God and a loving mother. When she was born, my mother said, “You were my miracle. Now you are having your miracle.”

I wasn’t expected to live the day I was born, but people from our church stayed after service that night and prayed until the doctor called my dad and said, “She’s going to make it.” Twice within the first six months of my life, I stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital. The second time I had not breathed for six minutes.

During my pregnancy, I was put on bedrest for three months. In an emergency room one night, the physician told me that even she had thought I had lost my child and was amazed that I had not.

God had a purpose for me to live. He had a purpose for my daughter to live. I’m so grateful to Him.

You may be reading this and have experienced infertility. Possibly, you didn’t have that child you wanted. Life seems unfair. Some women have many children (my grandmother had 10), some have one or two, and others never conceive. My heart grieves for the sorrow you have suffered. There is no easy answer. But there is one thing for sure. God created you, and He has a purpose for you.

Several factors can cause infertility such as:

  • Irregular or abnormal ovulation
  • Too little or too much weight
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Fallopian tube damage

There are options couples with infertility can choose from. Treatments are available. Adoption is also an option. Both can be very expensive, yet rewarding for many couples.

Incidentally, my husband and I found out in January 1988 that we were expecting. Our “Joy in January” came true!

An addition has been born into the family. Chrissie, her husband, and their little daughters have a baby brother to spoil. This Grummy is over-the-top excited about her new grandson!

Want to share your amazing birth story on Grummy’s Adventures? Contact me at grummysadventures@gmail.com.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/infertility/causes/8-health-conditions-that-can-keep-you-from-getting-pregnant/
  2. http://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/infertility/treatments/guide-to-fertility-methods/

God’s Little Girls

A Little Girl at Heart
Me as a toddler

Sometimes I wish I was a little girl again. In such moments, I miss my mom and dad and the comfort I felt from them. Now my parents are gone, and I’m having one of those moments. Am I okay with this melancholy? I don’t think so, yet somehow I find contentment in spite of it. What I’m not okay with is the finality of them being gone and not being able to see them or talk with them. It’s part of life. I know. Still not easy.

Grandmothers with their granddaughters
My Two Little Grand Joys

I was thinking these thoughts when lying down with my three-year-old and six-month-old granddaughters. These words suddenly popped into my mind as I observed the two of them sleeping, “We are all God’s little girls.” No matter how old I am (50+ and another + tomorrow on my birthday), I’m still His child. He cares and comforts, encourages with peace and joy, and answers prayers. He lets me be a little girl to Him. In fact, He encourages it.

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matthew 18:2-3 NIV)”

Rather than dwell on the sadness or digging deeper the hole of lonesomeness for Mother and Daddy, I focus on being a loving grandmother to my two little grand-girls. When I’m visiting them, here are a few ways I love them:

  • Make them laugh and play with them. My three-year-old and I have a thing we do, certain goofy looks. I’ll get her attention, we’ll stare at each other, then bust up laughing. It’s hilarious.
  • Sing to them and with them. Singing with creates a playful atmosphere. Singing to can settle fussiness.
  • Prepare foods they like, especially healthy fruits and vegetables – and on very special occasions, my Pecan French Toast (my toddler grand REALLY likes it and would eat way more than she should if she’s allowed).

The most recent visit has included assistance with toddler grand’s potty training. This is territory I haven’t experienced in 20-something years. Any suggestions that work? I’ll be glad to pass them along to the parents.

I’ve read about several ways that have proven successful for others: set timers for potty time, do the potty dance, go bare bottom, go potty at the same time with the toddler until it becomes a habit to her/him, etc. Then I’ve read that the training can take three days or one week. Parents and toddlers can surely become frustrated with potty training. What I have discovered is that what works for one may not work for another and a toddler may seem afraid to go in the potty.

Parents and toddlers can surely become frustrated with potty training. It’s not supposed to be a marathon. What I have discovered is that what works for one may not work for another. Who knows why some learn early and others later. No matter what the reasons, whether toddlers are afraid to go in the potty or just not want to. This, too, will pass. Eventually, they will learn.

Occasions when I’m grandparenting from a distance (way more often than I prefer), the best way of spending time with them is through FaceTime. The girls get grabby with the phone, so that is becoming a more challenging way to have grand-girl conversations. I love to mail fun surprise to them in packages. Grandparenting from a distance certainly requires creativity – and as many trips as I can make.

Loving my grand-girls brings me joy. I may not have the same energy level as they do, but I can keep up with them in one way – forever being a little girl at heart.

Little Girls at Heart
Me as a little girl

 

Making a Difference in People’s Lives

Happy Birthday to Chrissie, my daughter!

Misspelled words
Chrissie and Ivy

This past Sunday morning I was able to hear Pastor Jim Kilgore,  Life Church in Houston, teach on making a difference in people’s lives. Pastor Jim commissioned my daughter and son-in-law as missionaries in that service to the field God has called them to. Am I proud? Yes. Proud of my daughter, the miracle baby God gave my husband and me. Proud of my son-in-law that God gave to my daughter. I’m proud of the parents that they are, and I’m so in love with their beautiful baby girls (my Grand-Joys). But even more, I’m proud of the awesome Sovereign God I serve.

You know what I love about Chrissie? She loves God and loves His Word. I like to talk to people who like to talk about God’s goodness. Chrissie is one of those people. We enjoy talking about His miracles, direction, and purpose.

About those little girls God gave to Chrissie and Elvin, let me tell you a little funny. You know how babies speak certain sounds, their baby talk? I have been on a mission. One of the baby’s sounds is “Guh.” So, when she and I talk, I tell her to say, “Guh-Gr-ummy!” I told her mommy that she’s going to say, “Grummy” first. The first part of that story, though, is how the term “Grummy” came into the family. When Chrissie’s oldest daughter tried to say “Grandmommy,” it would come out “Grummy.” She had already learned what to call all the other grandparents.  Finally, I had a name – Grummy, and I’m sticking to it.

God gave me joy when He gave me Chrissie. In fact, about a year before she was born (I had prayed and prayed for a baby for years), God spoke to me one day and said, “Your joy is coming in January.”

“God, is that you?” I asked. I knew I didn’t just think those words. Sure enough, January arrived and I found out that I was going to have a baby. On the following October 6, my Joy was born.

You’ll read a lot about joy in this blog. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and the joy of the Lord is my strength! One of my joys is reading to my granddaughters, making sure they have books to read and learn from. Often, I think of Lois and Eunice in the Bible, Timothy’s mother and grandmother. Timothy was what he was because they prayed for him. Grandparents can truly make a difference in the lives of their grandchildren.

Grandmothers with their granddaughters
My Two Little Grand Joys

You and I can make a difference wherever we go. What is your purpose? Find a place to do what God wants you to do.

Finding Joy with a Parent or Grandparent with Dementia

Ivy Joy & Papa Ivy Joy & PapaOne of the sweetest treasures I’ve found lately is spending time with my dad. Daddy is 90 years old and experiencing a form of dementia. I find joy just by hearing him say my name when he sees me. Seeing him, hearing his voice, watching him smile, and being near him means a lot to me.

My two-year-old granddaughter mesmerized him with her antics on a recent visit. He likes to wear hats. Little Grand saw his hat on a table, picked it up, and pranced around with the hat on her head. She would walk up to him where he sat in his rocker and talk to him. He watched her as she moved around the room, patted her on her hand or arm when she came up close chatting to him. I took pictures and videoed every little action and reaction between Little Grand and her Great-Papa, wanting to keep those special moments close to me for a lifetime.

After we visited Daddy when Little Grand was having fun with the hat, we all went to a cafeteria to eat lunch with my sister-in-law and niece with her children. While my niece’s children sat still at the table during lunch, my granddaughter (who had eaten too many Vanilla Wafers on the trip to see my family) was extremely hyper. She wouldn’t sit still for much more than five minutes at a time. At one point, my dad looked at me and slowly said (as if he was trying to choose his words carefully), “I don’t think you need to bring any more babies to the cafe.”

Every joy with a parent that has dementia means everything. My daddy is a preacher and has been since before I was born. His stories often get somewhat mixed up now when we talk, but that’s okay. I still want to hear them. They make sense to me because I understand that he’s remembering parts from different phases of his life, mixing them together.

The last conversation with Daddy was about church. He had just been to church, and our family friend who helps to care for my dad said that my brother (now the pastor of the church my dad pastored since 1969) had Daddy come up to the platform for a few minutes to speak. He still has that same enthusiasm he had when he was preaching and was sharing his excitement with me about a church being ready for revival.

Parents with Dementia
Daddy & Me

Dementia is disheartening to the loved ones of the family members of the one who has been diagnosed with the condition. It’s hard for the one who has it. My dad recognized that things were not the same for him in the beginning. He would talk to me about it, expressing his frustration. It seems to be kind of like a dream (more like a nightmare) when places, people, and things get all mixed up. It would be a miraculous joy for people with loved ones who have dementia if it was a dream and they could wake up out of it.

According to what I’ve read about dementia, it has various cognitive levels and includes impaired thinking and memory abilities. It is different than Alzheimer’s which can cause dementia. My grandfather had it, but back then we were told his condition was hardening of the arteries.

If you are a family member or caregiver of a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, join a support group and/or obtain information to help you deal it. There are different forms of dementia which can be confused with Alzheimer’s. Should you feel that writing about your Alzheimer’s or dementia story, there is a website you can contact. You’re also welcome to share experiences or daily joys you have found (or have missed) with me in the reply section on this blog page.

 

Finding a Well of Joy

Grandmothers with their granddaughters
My Two Little Grand Joys

This morning while I was making breakfast I was listening to Joel Osteen on the XM radio. He was speaking about having a well of joy, being filled with the Spirit, keeping a song in your heart, and not having a pity party. The Bible verse, Acts 13:52, says, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” When I looked up scriptures on the Internet about being filled with the Spirit and saw this verse, I noticed action on the left side of the page. It was an advertisement of a guy jumping around and the words, “Breakdancing Grow Your Business on YouTube  START ADVERTISING YouTube.” My first thought was the question, “What does breakdancing have to do with this scripture or anything else on this page?” The other things on the page were Bible Gateway, how to study the Bible, information about translating Bibles and recommendations by Bible Gateway, one of which was the NIV Sports Collection Bible–soft leather -look with soccer design. Ah, maybe that was it! Sports – breakdancing, an activity that brings certain people joy.

Joel also mentioned keeping your shoulders back, not slumped. It reminded me of my mother who used to remind me to hold my shoulders back, to stop slumping. Until this day, I sit up straight and put my shoulders back when I catch myself slumping.

I have a funny story about pity parties. One day while my daughter was running errands, I was watching my little two-year-old granddaughter.  We were sitting at the table eating, and she looked up at me and sweetly said, “You’re pitiful,” in a soft voice. Taken aback, I asked, “What?” Again, she said, “You’re pitiful,” smiling as she repeated the words. I was wondering what “pitiful” thing I had done but was a bit confused yet amused. I texted my daughter about the conversation. She texted back, “LOL. She is saying “beautiful”. I felt quite special then. Still, I get tickled when remembering that sweet memory with my little grand.

Find a well of joy each morning. Keep a song in your heart, whether in your mind or you’re singing aloud. Read a psalm from the Bible, think about good things like sweet times with your grandchildren, or do an activity – like breakdancing, things that fill you with a well of joy.

A Grandmommy’s Thoughts About Sincere Faith

Bible Reading
Bible Scriptures Thoughts

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5, KJV)

This post was started on Sunday, the day I like to talk about what I’ve been reading from the Bible. It’s also the day I love to use the vase photo.

The vase is special to me because it belonged to my mother. She passed from this life in 2008. I think of her all the time, her faith in God, and gifts God had given her. Like the time I called her and she said, “I was sitting here by the phone, waiting for you to call. I’ve been praying for you, and God said it’s going to be OK.” Like the time she calmly put me at ease when I (at sixteen) ran, panicking, into the house after I had pulled the car into the garage, scraping the right side as I did. Like the time she begged me to go with her to my grandmother’s in East Texas instead of riding with my dad and brother in the pickup, towing a car to Center (the pickup and car were totaled that day – and God spared our lives).

God had shown my mother something was going to happen that day of the accident. If it had not been for my brother feeling impressed to hold tight to my leg that day, I would not have lived. Yes, the vase is special. It reminds me of Mother’s faith.

Today I noticed things that I had never noticed when reading I Chronicles Ch. 4. I wondered how did I miss these things in the past. The prayer of Jabez is familiar to many of us, but today I saw it like never ever before. First, the chapter starts out with Ashhur, his two wives and descendants. Then all of a sudden, there’s Jabez who cried to God, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. WOW! God granted his request!

I needed to read that today. I had spent the morning searching for an important paper that I had to have today. I couldn’t find it anywhere!! For years when I haven’t been able to find something that I need desperately or right away, I’ve asked God to show me where it is. Every time, he has shown me or told me where to look. I had prayed, looked, prayed this morning….and finally was so overwhelmed that I stopped looking, stopped asking and got the One Year Bible out and started reading I Chronicles Ch. 4. Forgetting about the document, I kept reading and noticed particularly these things:

1) the short names that are actually easy to pronounce 

2) Ziph and Ziphah – this made me laugh because I thought why would you name two of your kids almost the same name. Then I said them aloud: “Ziph” “Ziph – ah”. They surely couldn’t have nicknamed Ziphah, or the two would have come running.

3) There were craftsmen, potters, linen workers, leaders.

4) Verse 22: “These records are from ancient times.” – and we think of I Chronicles 4 as ancient times.

5) The leaders’ families increased greatly. They found rich, good pasture, and the land was spacious, peaceful and quiet.

Jabez had faith in God, the God of the universe, the God who controls the universe. There is a verse I like in the Bible that says, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22, KJV). Jabez believed and received.

When I read the prayer of Jabez today, I thought about how I want God to bless me and enlarge my territory. What is your territory that you want God to enlarge? You may not know how to enlarge it, but God is bigger than this universe, bigger than your thoughts, bigger than your money, bigger than your credit bigger than your insufficiencies.

Timothy had sincere faith, but his Grandmother Lois first had it, then his mother Eunice. What can a grandmommy like me do to pass down her faith to her grandchildren? Let them see you practice it. Tell all the stories you can remember when you prayed and the prayer was answered. Tell your parents’ and grandparents’ stories of their prayers that were answered. Pray with your grandchildren about their prayers, believing with them. Always share praise reports like Jabez did.

Want to know the rest of the story about the document? After I read in I Chronicles, I walked into the living/dining room and without even thinking, I picked up a stack of magazines on the corner of a table. Between the magazines, hidden, was a folder with the important paper I had been looking for.

I Chronicles 4 brought new meaning to me today.

Ask God to bless you and enlarge your territory. There’s a catch, though. Believe it, ask it in Jesus’ name.

 

PS. This evening I did Face Time with my daughter, son-in-law, and my two sweet granddaughters.  “GRUMMY!” the oldest said. 

“WHAT?”

“Be right back…be right back, K?”

“OK.”

Coming into my view again, pulling something red with her, she held up Clifford so I could see. I told Clifford to give her a hug and sugars. He did.