Monday, January 2, 2017

My 2017 Nana Resolutions

Of all the joys in my life, my sweet six grandkids are right at the top! This season of my life is providing even more opportunities to bond and relish in the treasures that they are to me.

Since my home sold in Tulsa last September, I've known God's nudges for this new season of life and my grandkids have had my attention more than ever. My oldest grandson, 24 year old Braden, married the love of his life, Ruth, on October 1st, after graduating from firefighter and paramedic training, and Ruth graduating from ICIU neonatal school. They purchased their first home and now are settled in their careers in Georgia. They just had their 6th anniversary of their first date. I love that they found their true loves and that God gave me another granddaughter in Ruth. She is the answer to my prayers and dream-come-true for Braden AND me!

Barrett (aka Bear), age 21, my #2 grandson, who I adore, is in his 2nd year of Interns at City Church in Kirkland, Washington. He blesses me so much with his easy-going style and he told me on this trip, “Nana, the more in love with Jesus that I become, the more I am at peace with my life today and what He has for my future.” I’m so glad he was with the two younger brothers and I during this week of Christmas to New Year’s. We’ve had so many good talks and I've heard him give such wise and tender words to his two little brothers.

Payton, age 16, is so very special to me because he has carried on so many of his Papa’s loves – fishing, hunting, piano playing. I believe he often plays the piano with Papa in mind which, of course, draws me into his heart. He’ll often say things like “I remember when Papa…..or ask “Nana, did Papa ever….?” Several years ago, Payton chose to be home schooled. He wasn’t the typical athletic jock as sports held little interest for him, but being home schooled, he has been afforded the opportunity to volunteer countless hours at his church where he plays the piano for the youth and carries a church master key and is a servant leader in the stage crew and music departments.

My beautiful 15-year old Alexia (aka Lexi) was my first, and only granddaughter until Braden married Ruth. She has been such a bright spot in my life. She is girly as can be, has the most hilarious sense of humor, has her own style, and she, too, chose to be home schooled. Since birth, Alexia has been a free spirit which gives her the ability to be her own girl. She has so many artistic abilities, sings beautifully and is on her youth group’s worship team. I love her sense of humor and perfect timing of comic relief! She keeps us in stitches!

Brennan is my charming and complimentary (knows what to say to make this Nana blush) 12 year-old athlete. He is an outstanding, all-around baseball player, playing on select teams. He is the one closest to his daddy’s personality and keen awareness for business. I suspect he will follow in his dad's footsteps as an entrepreneur. He does a great job creating movies on his iPhone and just recently I was with him when he finished a school project that required a lot of computer graphic skills in creating a cereal box cover. It was no surprise that he won first place.

I’m savoring every moment I can with youngest, 10-year old, Bryson, who still loves sitting in my lap and letting me cuddle him. He loves being home schooled and has excelled because of the individual attention he has received from his “hot” (his words) for his mom, teacher and principal. His love for animals and their love for him is such a gift. He is passionate about his goats, horse, donkey, and his dog, Bentley, providing their daily care, without having to remind him. He is such a sweet boy and that sweet smile and heart melts my heart! He’s also a great golfer. That’s his game and getting better at it all the time.

If you’ve never stopped by my FB page or my blog at LivingInThePeaceZone.blogspot.com, well, you’ve just met my seven grandchildren and why I adore each and everyone of them.

But this post today is not as much about them as it is about me, and the influencer I can be in this new year of 2017. I desire to continue to be the most awesome, positive, loving, encouraging and devoted Nana aka Grandmother that I can possibly be to those seven precious grandchildren. Hey, I’m a grandmother. I don’t have to be humble. Bragging is part of the rules of grandparenting! LOL!
But this post today is not as much about them as it is about me, and what I can be in this new year of 2017 in continuing to be the most awesome, positive, loving, encouraging and devoted Nana aka Grandmother that I could possibly be to those 7 precious grandchildren. Hey, I’m a grandmother. I don’t have to be humble. Bragging is part of the rules of being an awesome grandparent.

But this year, I’m making not just New Year’s Resolutions, but making 2017 Nana Resolutions. Though I try to live up to the lofty ideal set by Hallmark movies (I love that channel – I’m a romantic at heart) and those crafty grandmothers who make costumes and projects, I know that I will inevitably fall short of the mark. Nevertheless I will do my best to be my best at who God made me to be. Here are my 2017 Nana Resolutions:

#1. Worry less and pray more. I will give my concerns for my grandchildren to God. I will pray that He guides their steps and He opens their ears to hear His voice, and, ultimately, that they make choices based upon what they know is right. And when they don’t….to worry less and pray more, because if Holy Spirit can’t get through to them, who do I think I am that I can?

#2. Disconnect my mind from my mouth. I know this is key. Sure the grandparent brain is packed full of firsthand experience of doing the wrong thing at the wrong time and we want to save our grandchildren (and their parents, for that matter) so much time and energy. But, I resolve to hold my mouth from unsolicited advice, opinions and/or judgments…..UNLESS, of course, I am asked to be an Advisor, then "Katie, bar the door, because I’m coming in, loaded for bear!!!"

#3. Give 100% focus and attention to my grandchildren when I’m in their presence. That means putting away my phone AND computer and look eye-to-eye in their sweet eyes and listen, full on, like they are the single most valuable and treasured, important persons in my world….AND THEY ARE!

#4. Be an example of showing them WHO my best friend is. Of course my best friend is Jesus. A best friend is someone we talk about a lot. We imitate our best friend. We tell stories about our best friend. I want my best friend to be their best friend so I'll continue to introduce Him, and share Him with them every chance I get. I'll teach them a lot about "What would Jesus do?"

I shared this with you today because I really do want to spare you from some of the mistakes I’ve made over the 24 years of being a grandparent. I’ve made some mistakes along the way, but by now, I’ve pretty well mastered the right things to do. Why is it so important? Because of all the jewels I could have around my neck, the arms of my grandkids are the most precious to me! I am embracing every moment that I can watch them in their own zones --- each of them individually and perfectly designed by their Master Designer. We're making memories, and Nana's counting her blessings. Of all the joys that life brings.....there is nothing sweeter, than being loved by little people and the big ones when they grow up!