How to Win a Grandparent’s Heart

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

When our children were young we told them we had a plan for their lives. This involved several steps and many years. First they were to grow up and leave home. We figured by the time they left home we’d taught them all we cold. Next they were supposed to find a loving mate, who didn’t give Beth bad vibes, and get married. Finally they are supposed to have children so we can spoil them on a regular basis. It’s a simple plan for life.

Things are going along right on schedule. We have four children, three of them married (with good vibes) providing us with four grandchildren. Our youngest is still in college but looking to continue his part of the plan. The only problem with grandchildren, at this time, is that they live in our homeland and we live on another continent. This makes regular visits, our part of the plan, a little difficult. So when we do have the chance to visit we’re more than glad to spoil them.

A while ago, when we were visiting, I was sitting watching some silly show while Beth and Sonya worked hard in the kitchen. They were in the midst of baking cookies, a favorite of mine, and had the able assistance of our grandson Hayden. He was almost two at the time. The preparation process was interesting. I could hear dishes clink and pots clank as I busied myself in the living room. Then I heard a loud yell from the kitchen, OPA!

Not so sure Hayden wants to be a viking.Hayden repeated my name a few times followed by,”Opa, come here.” Now I’m not the type of person to perform on demand but when my grandson calls, I answer. I found Hayden stirring water in a bowl. He pointed to another bowl, handed me a spoon and said stir. I stirred, and stirred, and stirred. We added water, we removed water. We stirred until we had to vacate the counter in preparation for the cookie dough.

Oma took over the counter spreading the dough evenly in preparation for cutting. Hayden worked alongside of her. He took some dough and smashed it, crashed it, squished it, and squashed it all over the counter, his shirt, the floor and just about anything within reach. He was very helpful. Even the most helpful can sometimes get in the way of progress. Then it happened.

In the middle of mashing another lump of dough onto the counter, with bits and pieces flying everywhere, he looked up at Oma and said, “Hayden loves Oma!” He smiled at Oma, she melted and decided he could make as much mess as he wanted after that heartfelt declaration. It doesn’t take much to win a grandparent’s heart. Just the right word will do the trick. The occasional hug, kiss and wiggling doesn’t hurt either.

When the cookies were on the tray and being cycled through the oven Hayden went back to his mixing bowls. I was quietly occupying myself back in the living room, just a stone’s throw away. Then I heard it again, “Opa!” I tried to pretend I didn’t’ hear it. Then it was repeated several times, louder and louder, until I couldn’t resist anymore and came to see what was up. There was more careful stirring of water in mixing bowls. There were wet pants and shirts. There was more fun for Opa and his grandson in the kitchen.

By the time the cookies were done, the kitchen was cleaned (thanks to Oma and Mama), it was about time for Oma and Opa to leave for the day. No worries. It was a great day. Just couple expressions of love and joy were all we needed to be won over, once more, by our grandson. Like I said, it doesn’t take much.

I suspect my heavenly father is the same way. Sometimes we think He wants us to show Him some grand work we’ve accomplished for Him. I think all He wants is for us to show our love and joy to him. Simple expressions, thanks, calling for help even in the smallest of tasks, these are just signs of our love for Him and our trust that He will respond.

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