Not Your Typical Trip to Grandmother’s House
I recently spent a (short, but sweet) week at my precious grandparents house with intentions of getting some alone time with just the two of them now that I am older — to simply spend time with them, learn from them (mentally, spiritually, realistically), be a part of their day-to-day routines. The whole week was a continuous trip down memory lane + filled with a focus on whole body wellness — preparing healthy meals, going on walks through nature, spending time in the Word + in prayer.
"Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees." - John Muir
I used to spend a week every summer there visiting various museums, going to the pool, playing board games, and all of the typical kid activities enjoyed during the summertime. But times have changed now — I’m driving myself to their place; they’re no longer living in the same old house that I grew up visiting but are now in a new, smaller condo; we’ve moved from playing board games + hosting “tea” parties (one of my favorite memories — silver platters spread with heart-shaped Easy Bake Oven brownies + teapots full of bright red Kool-Aid) to diving deep into devotionals + spiritual conversations; rather than my Meemaw making our classic breakfast menu (scrambled eggs, bacon, cinnamon toast, strawberries with sugar, hot chocolate), I am now cooking the meals for them for the week. The changing of times does not stir up a sense of sadness or regret, but the memories that were made were so fulfilling + valuable that our maturation into this next phase of life only brings reflection on the past as a pleasant, precious pastime.
Most people admire the looks of my food creations, but my grandparents are of the select few who actually enjoy eating the uber-healthy, plant-based meals that I whip up in my mind + in the kitchen. The slideshow below gives you a glimpse into our summer menu for the week.
Meanwhile, while I was cooking + following along with my grandparents’ daily life, my brother spent time working on his new project of researching (by means of online sources, in-person interviews, flipping through old photo albums) + recording our family’s ancestry, which will be made into a detailed book for distribution to members of the family in the coming months. It was truly wondrous seeing the light spark in my grandfather’s heart as he recalled so many sweet memories + moments in his life that he had forgotten.
I had grown up watching my Meemaw + Pappaw have morning devotional time + prayer together, and I had always secretly wanted to join in the conversation, but I felt too young + inadequate to contribute anything. Now as I have grown stronger in my faith + more intimate in my relationship with the Lord, my desire to dig into the Word + study, learn, pray with them grew evermore intense. I regret not taking the time sooner, but I am grateful that I had the opportunity before I missed it again.
Even back then I had witnessed firsthand that just those mere moments of them together in the presence of the Lord was undoubtedly the reason for their unshakable, affectious marriage of 50+ years. Christ is in, through, at the very center of their relationship + life together. I pray that I can model this paradigm they have set in my future marriage (God-willing), but also reflect it now in my personal relationship with Christ in the present moment.
During the short week spent in their presence, I learned much about the heart of my grandparents — what fills it with joy + admiration, what breaks it due to intense care + selflessness on their part towards others. I got to experience what it is that makes them excited, elated, exhausted, emotional.
Also, this week God was certainly pressing on me + teaching me how to embody the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Peter 1:5-8). Specifically,
Patience: learning to slow down + not be go-go-go all of the time.
Gentleness: learning to speak + act in a way that is not quick or harsh, but seasoned with grace (Colossians 4:6, Psalm 103:8).
Loving: learning to share the love Christ shows me through my actions, words, encounters with others.
I am continually in awe of each of my grandparents + how effortlessly they embody these attributes + a life of Christ as a whole despite all that occurs in their lives. I intentionally sought out this time to spend with them alone, without any distractions or forms of entertainment, because I wanted to physically experience, learn, absorb all that I could from them firsthand so that I can follow directly in their footsteps; in the footsteps of Christ himself. I am beyond blessed to have a physical family who also doubles as my spiritual family + who I can look up to as mentors, guides, role models in my walk. My heart was overwhelmed with warmth + my soul with gratitude at the conclusion of the week, and I pray to God that I have the opportunity for many, many more moments like this to create memories + be molded into the person that is particularly pleasing to my Father in Heaven.