When I was a child, we would go and stay 2 weeks in the summer with my grandparents who lived in Kansas City. We were always extremely excited to spend that 2 weeks there! They would plan plenty of exciting things for us to do. Some of the memories that we shared at my grandparents’ house include: going to World’s of Fun (the local amusement park); going out for a pizza buffet and have a pizza eating contest; going to the local mall and riding the escalator (really, lol…we thought it was super fun); playing outside; camping in the front yard in a pop up camper; selling tomatoes from their garden; going on wagon rides; and playing croquet. But do you want to know the absolute best part of our trip there? We bonded with them! Our grandparents meant the world to us! They were not afraid to invest in our lives and they cared enough to spend time with us. They gave us good Christian role models to respect.
Now, my children have been blessed to have grandparents who are incredibly supportive of our mission of training up Godly children. They are also investing in the lives of THEIR grandchildren. This past summer, my parents held their 2nd year of “Camp Contented”. Camp Contented is a camp that they designed, especially for their grandchildren. The theme verse of camp is Phillipians 4:11, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances”. What a great thing to learn! I can think of a few people (including myself) who need to embrace this verse a little more!
At camp, they get to attend with the cousins that are closest in age to them. Sometimes a big group of them, sometimes just a few. It all depends on the year. They normally discuss what it means to be content during the week as well as talk about other Biblical truths. This year, they did wood working, horse camp, boating & fishing. My 15 year old son built his very own Adirondack chair. The girls built their names on a wooden plaque and decorated them with paint. However, the highlight of camp this year was horse camp.
At horse camp, the kids learned vaulting. (Vaulting is gymnastics on horseback.) Have you ever seen vaulting? The kids only went to horse camp for 3 days, but….they were so excited to learn to do tricks on that horse. At the facility my kids and their cousins were taught at, they use vaulting as a form of therapy with handicapped individuals. They use it to help increase confidence, build teamwork, increase their communication skills, etc. This works in non-handicapped children as well! My 10 year old who is not outwardly handicapped, but has epilepsy, tends to have a problem with self confidence. I loved watching her shine as she was one of the bravest children close in age to her, who was willing to stand up on the back of the over 6 foot tall horse! (and she’s scared of heights!)
My 15 year old son did it, too!
Being the mom of so many children, I love that my parents are willing to spend their precious time to invest in my kids’ lives! If you’re a grandparent or nearing that stage of life, consider sharing your talents and skills with your grandchildren. Look within yourself. What are you good at? What can you share with them? My parents have taught hunting, fishing, wood working, sewing, & piano to my kids. They attend ball games and plays. In addition, they love to have the kids over for game nights and camping nights. My dad has invested so much into my 15 year old son’s life, that my son wants to pursue the same occupation that my dad had all of my life, when he’s old enough. Above all, don’t forget to invest Scripture into their lives as well. Teach them the ways of God. They will love you and respect you for it!
If you’re interested in studying more about what God says about leaving a legacy that lasts through the generations, consider listening to Voddie Bacham’s sermon titled Legacy: Multi-generational Promise. You’re not too young to start planning ahead. Don’t wait until you’re a grandma to think about what spiritual legacy you want to leave your grandchildren!