Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ponderings about children inspired by a friend

My granddaughter a few months ago  (she will soon turn one!)
Welcome to the new readers who came over from my friend Sally Clarkson's blog.  Sally is such a precious friend, even though we have only spent time together once (when our two families took over met at my daughter's house), I smile when I see an e-mail from her!  There are some friends who make my life better just by breathing on this planet... and she is one of them... she is a kindred soul.

I have mentioned before my first memories of Sally... back when Christopher was a little guy playing in a park while I listened to a tape by Sally about homeschooling.  I loved every book she wrote and would often remark to Stephanie that I finally found another family "a lot like us" (well, except I am not musical at all)... another bookish family who loved all things British, good coffee, and spending time together... they even knew what it was like to have moved a great deal!

Stephanie and her hubby attended Joel Clarkson's graduation concert in Boston recently and our conversation the next day was all about how God places children in just the right family for the bent they are given.  All the Clarkson "kids" (now young adults... even Joy!) are exceptionally creative like their parents.  How amazing to find that combination of child raising and gifting and genetics to form... a family.

It was around this same time that Christopher and I had one of those late night conversations about life's challenges and how God allows us to gain strength emotionally and spiritually in those areas which we will need later in life.  My own childhood was at times filled with trauma and quite unsettled (literally) but the lessons learned then were necessary for the challenges faced as an adult.  My son is already finding how childhood challenges have made him stronger and wiser for the world he faces.

That is one reason I have written so much about families coming together in challenging times.  The society in which we live tries to tell us our children will not grow up to be emotionally secure adults if they face serious trials in childhood. 

The truth is just the opposite... when a family works together to face the trials and tribulations of life, the children grow up having experienced God's provision... whether groceries, or relief from the dangerous fever, or gas money for the car, or a new job, or wisdom for the exam, or the grace to go on when the answer is not what we desired.

Whether we are parents or children, aunts or uncles, a close friend of the family, a teacher or ministry leader, or a sibling... we all can inspire the next generation and encourage them toward their "bent" for which God created them.  Today's children and adolescents are growing up in a world I never could have imagined and how they need someone to come along side them to teach and encourage.

We don't have to be in the same town to be a part of a child's life.  We live 1,000 miles from our grandchildren and see them once a year but we take full advantage of our time together... and correspond with Elisabeth and David.  I still have a little book about trusting God sent to me by my mother's sister when I was just a little girl growing up in a non-Christian home.

When I see how much Faith loves flowers, I remember my father sharing his love of flowers with me when I was little.  Elisabeth takes cookbooks with pretty pictures with her to read in bed... like moi'.  I can see so much of my son-in-law's mother in Elisabeth, too. 

How much fun it was to see the boys playing baseball with Granddad last October, sharing his love of sports (although my husband will continue to be appalled that his grandchildren are being raised New England Patriots fans).

My children fully understand the need for second breakfast or afternoon tea ... and it is wonderful to know the next generation will know those truths... and that there are others who feel the same.  :)


Woman of the House said...

Your granddaughter is beautiful! Such a sweetie! How blessed you are to have so many lovely grandchildren!


I just spent the night at our daughters' apartment last night. They are both going through difficult things . . . with such maturity and grace. It makes every moment I spent pouring into them so worth it. And they now pour into me . . . on a regular basis.


Vee said...

Oh I love when babies grab their feet that way...

Thoughtful words...I'm not sure that I agree totally with every single point as there is some amount of protection that children need for peace of mind. But that's not the entire picture by any means.

Oh I'm so glad that your grands are being raised New England Pats fans. Does that also mean that they are Red Sox fans as well? :D

Heather said...

It is a wonderful thing to find kindred heart families to share and grow with! We have been blessed with a few such families over the years and they enrich our little clan in ways to great to measure! I can see in our family now how the trials we face are molding their characters in such admirable ways - though we are careful not to lay heavy burdens on young shoulders, we do share the lighter loads with them so that in learning to take their small burdens to God, they will be better prepared for the harder trials to come.

Kimberly said...

What fun! My best friend's daughter and I are buds as well. It is neat. We're all reading Anne of Green Gables together~even though we're a few states apart.

Mrs.Rabe said...


This post is great! We like to refer to it as 'Family Culture.' Each family having their own unique bent and quirks!

It's delightful, and while we share many other things with other families and friends, we are as a family unique and special!

God knows what He is doing when He puts a family together.

I am looking forward to seeing who my granddaughter is like and who she is!

Oh, and I can't believe your granddaughter is almost a year old - but then so is mine! In June! This year has flown by!

Blessings Friend!

freetobeme - Anita said...

What a charming, beautiful granddaughter.
A very thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing.