When the Ground Shakes
Our lives changed a year ago last January. The birth of one tiny baby girl shifted our world. It led to more travel, more Face Time, more photos, more fun.
Now the ground is trembling under our feet again.
We found out Friday that we have another granddaughter due this October!
The only thing I don’t like is the physical distance between us and them.
We’re three hours away, which isn’t far compared to many of you (more than half of all grandparents are more than 200 miles away from their grandchildren), but much farther than I’d like.
I want to be an intentional and present grandparent, despite the distance. That’s why I love this new book by Wayne Rice, Long-Distance Grandparenting: Nurturing the Faith of Your Grandchildren When You Can’t Be There in Person.
If you also are looking for a resource full of encouragement and practical tips on how to be a long-distance grandparent, this is it. Rice says that “distance can be an opportunity” and that it’s possible to have an even better relationship because you’re not taking it for granted.
(But this book can be just as useful for grandparents who live next door to their grandchildren.)
Rice emphasizes a strong prayer connection.
“The most important and reliable connection between a long-distance grandparent and his or her grandchildren is prayer.
With God, there is no distance at all between us and our grandkids.”
Rice shares specific requests we can pray for each grandchild, and also how we can use those prayer needs to boost conversations with our grandkids.
He also encourages us to be a planner. If we don’t already know how to best use a calendar, now is the time.
“One of the reasons why some long-distance grandparents neglect to visit their grandkids is simply because of poor planning.”
Other suggestions include:
- how to create a grandparenting budget
- tips for visits with your grandchildren (before, during, and after)
- ideas for grandparent camps/mission trips/service
- how to use both snail mail and technology to keep regular communication strong.
Rice includes a 10-point summary at the end of the book, culminating with #10:
“Remember, something is always better than nothing. Don’t try to be the perfect long-distance grandparent. You will not only fail but your grandchildren may want to have you committed. Be yourself and do whatever you are able to do.”
It would be impossible to do all the things suggested in this book, but even implementing a few new ideas makes the book worth the read.
I’m still a rookie in the grandparent department. I have a lot to learn about being a grandparent in the way that fits both my personality and my individual grandkids.
I’m especially grateful that I have examples of wonderful grandparents around me, including the advice repeated in this book:
“Remember that your God-given role as a grandparent is to pass your faith in Christ on down the line.”
Hearing the fast, strong heartbeat of our newest grandchild last Friday made my own heart beat faster, too.
I also want it to beat stronger.
* * *
Are you a grandparent? Or been blessed with wonderful grandparents? What advice can you give new grandparents? Please share in the comments.
My thanks to Net Galley
for the review copy of this book
- 8 Books I Recommend + Video Review – April 2019
- On the Blog – April 2019