Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren
To read today’s portion of scripture, you can purchase The One Year Bible or find the following in your Bible:
“Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.” —Marcy
I greet my grandchildren almost the same exact way nearly every time they arrive. I burst out the front door and they burst out their car doors, and I spread my arms wide as they run up to the porch and I say, “I haven’t seen you in 100 years!” (Or 2 months, or six weeks or whatever springs to mind in that moment). I may have just seen them the night before, but I want them to know that their absence has weighed heavily on me, and the sight of their faces is medicine to my soul.
I was not prepared for the instantaneous change that happened in the delivery room as I stood holding my first grandchild. I cried for twenty minutes, until the doctor commented on it and I remembered there were other people in the room. A boy was born, and with him, a new identity for me.
Writer Pam Brown put it this way: “Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric.”
Gage, my first grandchild, confirmed this one afternoon as we were sitting on facing porch swings eating the cookies we had just baked. “Does your mom like to make cookies?” I asked.
”No … she’s not … you know, wise like you.”
I laughed. “What does that mean?”
”Grandma,” he began, “It’s rude if I say you’re old. So I’m just going to call you wise.”
He didn’t add “prehistoric,” but I think that was just his good manners kicking in.
There is nothing in this world as delightful as grandchildren. I can’t say no when Gage asks me to scratch his back, or Maddy asks me to rub lotion on her feet. “Oh, that’s magic!” she’ll say. I never tire of their stories and jokes. And I never fail to have delighted eyes when they walk in a room.
Noting this one day, my son said, “I think you like being a grandma more than you liked being a mom.”
I couldn’t disagree with him, because being a grandmother is so much easier. “Here’s the deal,” I began, “there’s no pressure on me this time. It’s not my job to turn them into stellar human beings—that’s your job. I just get to enjoy them.”
And enjoy them, I do. But Dave and I are also thinking beyond today to a time when we won’t be here to greet them at the door. Nearly all our financial decisions include thoughts of them. We’re managing our estate in such a way that we can bless them (and of course, our children) when we pass it all to them.
But there’s another inheritance we want to leave them, and this one can’t be spelled out in a will or tucked in a safe. We want to leave them an eternal inheritance—a legacy.
To that end, I carefully collected twenty years of Dave’s sermons, and every retreat or women’s ministry teaching I’ve done, and put them on flash drives. One of these is tucked in the Legacy Binder I’m putting together to make things easier for the kids when they have to deal with our estate.
And to be honest, it’s only for Gage and Maddy that I determined to finish these One Year Bible devotional this year. On the days when it’s hard to carve out time or the writing doesn’t come easily, I remind themselves that this is a gift for them.
I hope that Gage and Maddy never forget the feel of my arms around them, or playing cards together around the kitchen table, or my laughter. But what matters most to me is that they remember my love for God. Let everything else fade from their memories, but may that one truth remain. It’s the most precious inheritance I can leave.