Thursday, December 8, 2011

3 Games of Uno

One of life’s greatest joys is having grandchildren. The Bible says in Proverbs 17:6, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” I am so very privileged to have 12 crowns named (in order) Mark, Micah, Brooklynn, Alexis, Dominic, Corban, Ethan, Marissa, Haylie, Jaclynn, Gianna, and Jaydon…whew! (and since this was originally written we now have twins Madelyn and Colton, and Connor). One of the definitions of a crown is a distinction or reward for achievement – I would like to liken having grandchildren it to the icing on a cake. I had the wonderful privilege of being a mother, (that's the cake part) enduring the pregnancies, labor, sleepless nights, teething, illnesses, disciplining, and teenagers! Thankfully I have also enjoyed the immense pleasure of seeing them saved, grow in grace, develop a walk with God, get married, and become parents…giving me my grandkids - the “crowns” mentioned in Proverbs 17.

One of the blessings in being a grandparent that I did not anticipate is how much I could learn from those precious little munchkins. Most recently the Lord gave me a great picture of how much the Lord enjoys our coming to His presence through my oldest grandson Mark. Mark is 7 ½ years old and loves to play games (or should I say “win” games?). When we go to visit he always likes to have us play a board game, a video game, or perhaps one of his favorite games - Uno.

On a recent visit he wanted to play a game of Uno, but we were unable to play because it was just too late. He had to go to bed, and we were set to leave early in the morning. Mark was so disappointed and pleaded and pleaded with us to please stay long enough to play a game. That was not possible as we had obligations and had to be home at an appointed time; so being the nice Grammy that I am I told him that if he got up early enough I would play with him in the morning. That seemed to suffice and he went to bed for the evening.

What I did not expect was the precious sight we found in the morning…you see Mark, wanting to be sure that he did not miss the opportunity to play a game with me got up sometime in the middle of the night and camped right outside our bedroom door! When my husband got up at 5:00 there he found Mark all curled up in a blanket on the floor in the hallway –is that not the most heartwarming compliment? He wanted so badly to be able to play a game with me before we left that he sacrificed his comfort, and even his sleep! So, at 5:00 am through burning eyes I sat with my grandson and played 3 games of Uno. We both had fun, and he won 2 of the 3 games we played.

So, what lesson did I learn? Well, the Lord reminded of Proverbs 8:17 which says, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” The Lord promises that when we seek Him early we shall find Him. I love spending any time I can with all of my grand babies, and I especially love when they want to spend time with me! On that day Mark and I were able to spend a little extra time together because he sought me early – and the fact that he sought to spend that time with me made me feel all the more loved and pretty special. Now, my challenge is this: how often do I sacrifice sleep and comfort to get up extra early just so I can spend extra time with the Lord? How often do we earnestly seek Him early? It seems that more often we seek Him “at our earliest convenience” instead of early.

Lord, thank you for this precious and practical lesson you’ve taught me through the love of my grandson and thank you for letting me not only seek you, but find you. I pray that perhaps all of us can learn from the simple lesson and that we’ll all be encouraged to seek our Lord early and enjoy the time we are able to have with Him when we do.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Pink Camouflage Tent

It has been such a long while since I have written a new “Tender Touch.” I have been very busy studying for my Ladies’ Sunday school class, Ladies’ Bible Study, and for our Wednesday night Bible Pals. This morning I have been considering how great it feels to be able to give, and also the importance of seeking, so that you’ll find.

I am sure you’ve all probably figured out the reason those thoughts are flooding my mind is because it is December and Christmas is upon us! I love this time of year. I especially love being able to spend extra time with my family – I love my kids and grandkids so much, they are all so precious to me. We were able to have 3 of our married children and their families with us for Thanksgiving. We had a great time together on Thanksgiving, and then on Friday we went to cut down the Christmas tree…all 18 of us went to cut down one Christmas tree! (How many Italians does it take to get a Christmas tree?)

On Saturday, as the kids were on their way out of town we went to Bass Pro Shop and had the kids’ pictures taken with Santa. Now, this is probably going to sound ridiculous to you, but one of the things that especially warmed my heart was seeing our granddaughter Brooklynn, (she is 6) hand deliver her letter to Santa. I didn’t know she had written a letter, and here she was all prepared for her visit with her letter in hand. For some reason when I saw her handing her letter to Santa it brought tears to my eyes – she is so cute. After they had their pictures taken I asked Brooklynn what she had asked Santa for and she responded mostly with what you would expect – except then she went on to add that she had also said, “and for my Dom, can you please bring him… because he would really like that, and for my little Jaclynn, she would really like…” I was so moved that she included in her letter things she would like for her brother and sister to receive.

While we were at Bass, Brooklynn spotted a pink camouflage tent that came with a sleeping bag, compass, and a flashlight! She was so excited about it, and was really hoping she could get it. Because Brooklynn was with them, her parents did not buy the tent, and asked if we could go back and get it a little later – and of course, sadly they were out of stock. The tent was not available on line, and so I began looking and found some other pink tents that might work – but they were not camouflage, and they did not include the other goodies – they were not THE tent. I called the store again, (even though they already told us we couldn’t get it from them, or order it online), and I asked where the nearest store was. Now, as a Grammy, of course I would go to nearly any extreme to get something, but the nearest store is 360 miles away! So, I called to find out if they could deliver the tent to my son’s home and success- they could do that…the tent was available and the deal was done! I am sure it sounds silly to some of you, but I was so happy that I was able to locate and get that pink camouflage tent for our little Bookie – so, the lesson is…

Luke 11:9-13 "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

Now, the gift will be from “Santa” (daddy and mommy), so I had to check with my son to see about paying the extra shipping charges. When I talked to him his response was, “yes, get it – she has her heart set on it.” The extra cost of $15 is really minimal compared to the joy she’ll have when receives the gift she really wants. So, how much more does our heavenly Father want to give us gifts when we ask Him? It made me so happy to have a part in helping my son to get his daughter the gift she wanted and I am so thankful to know, or at least have a glimpse of how much God wants to give me the things I ask Him for– aren’t you?

Have a wonderful day!