Our oldest daughter, Abi, spent four years living in East Africa. During that time I became involved with a Facebook group named Parents of Missionaries—their goal was to provide support, encouragement, and prayer for parents whose children served overseas. I benefited from being involved in that community. During the years of interaction with that group, I noted that many POM’s not only had children across many miles, but in-laws and, subsequently, grandchildren, as well, which added to their challenges.
In 2017, someone in the POM group shared a link to a blog and Facebook page entitled, Grandparenting with a Purpose. The title of the specific post that day was, “Help! I’m a Long-distance Grandma!” Having recently been promoted to that status, I quickly continued to read! (Our first grandchild had been born several months prior and he and his parents were 350 miles away!) The main focus of the article (and blog) is calling grandparents to be purposeful in building relationships with their grandchildren and their exhortation is that one of the main tools to accomplish that is prayer.
I signed up to receive the blog and free resources that were offered. At first, I felt like the prayer topics were “too old” for Judah—he was just 2 months old at that time, but then the Lord convicted me of the power of long term prayer in the areas of salvation, character development, and others. It’s my desire to be a committed praying grandma!
Along with praying, I also wanted to develop a good relationship with my little grandson (and future grandchildren). Once again, he was so young, but I knew in my heart that I needed to be intentional and purposeful in planting the seeds to grow that relationship while he was still little, if I wanted to reap a harvest when he was older. It’s my desire to be a relational grandma—despite the distance!
And recently, I read a book about what matters most as grandparents—the salvation and spiritual growth of our grandchildren. It challenged me to examine my role through the lens of Scripture and opened my eyes to apply a biblical approach to my grandparenting—centering on the gospel, not just tradition or culture. It’s my desire to be a gospel-centered grandma!
My journey is still in its beginning stages—Judah is just 2 1/2 and his baby sister 9 months—so I am learning and searching for ideas to guide and help me as a grandparent. I definitely am not an expert, but my hope is to spark these desires in other grandmas and grandpas, as we grow together. Will you join me?
Listed below are helpful resources – just click on each picture for more information.
Some books you may want to check out are:
By God’s great love and grace, Denise Snyder is a Christian, wife, mother, and grandmother! She retired as a homeschool mom in 2014 after successfully graduating each of her four students. Trained as a registered nurse, she has utilized that skill set in volunteer roles at Miracle Mountain Ranch, Matthew 25, and A Hope Center. In her spare time, Denise enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and cycling on a tandem with her husband, Jim. She has recently developed a passion for growing in intentional, gospel-centered, long-distance grandparenting, as God has placed her in that honored, yet, challenging position.