Apr 17, 2010


I like surprises; do you? It was a typical Sunday afternoon; my wife Cathy and I had been at home leisurely spending the time between the Sunday activities sitting around reading the Sunday paper and checking our email. “Tom”, my wife Cathy called for me; “Please come here...the kids have something that they want us to open up.” I came down stairs to discover that my oldest daughter Elizabeth and her husband Chris had stopped over to visit and had a package for the two of us.  

Cathy opened the bag that my daughter Elizabeth had given to her. Inside was a simple frame that said “grandkids” and contained a photograph of a pregnancy test. Elizabeth was pregnant! And I was and am so very happy and couldn't wait to tell everyone! But, we had to keep a secret; that is, until now. 

What that photograph alluded to is that Elizabeth and Chris are going to be parents; this is their first child. Through all of the excitement and good news my heart was filled with gratefulness. Praise the Lord, I’m going to have a grandchild; did I say that already? I can’t wait to see this new child come into this world! Elizabeth has wanted to be a mom for so many years and I am confident that Elizabeth and Chris will make great parents.   

But what the photograph REALLY meant is that I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDPA! I am excited about being a grandpa because I love children of all ages; children are great! I love the smell of a new child, the feel of holding a baby in my arms. Whenever I can relieve a parent at church and can hold their baby, I like to do it; that is until my wife of some other person wants to take their turn. I love to watch them grow and discover life for the first time.    

I’ve been a new dad 6 times; and I still remember the first time I held each of my children. I remember the inexplicable joy and pride I felt as I had the privilege to hold a little one in my arms. As a dad I felt the awesomeness of God trusting me to hold a new life! I have really enjoyed being a dad to my own children as I used them as an excuse to not have to grow up as we did things like catch crayfish way too late at night up at the cabin. I enjoyed watching my own children play sports, and win championships, and create works of art, and learn to dance and to cook and to discover who they are. Six new babies have grown up to become six uniquely gifted adults who are full of life and full of love.   

And I still very much enjoy my children as they are now adults. My heart still “lights up” when I receive an email or a note from them; even if it is to request me to do something for them. I deeply enjoy having family gatherings and meals with them to celebrate birthdays and other milestones in each of their lives. I really enjoyed events we spontaneously spent together like laying on the lawn to watch the sky change colors as a storm rolled in or getting a cup of coffee. Spontaneous gatherings like this past Christmas when almost all of us were able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning together to avoid a blizzard that had put a halt to travel plans to other parts of the country. 

But, I must admit, my time with my own children at home went by way too quickly; they really do grow up and move out of the house way too fast! You who are parents, take my free advice and slow down! Enjoy your children; this time with them at home really will go by way too fast. Love your children and hug them, and kiss them on the cheek. Let them know that you love them; they (and we as big kids) never get tired of hearing that.    

One of the things that I like about children is that they can see right through all of our facades and measure us up and then vote on who we are. I like that because kids seem to like me and let me know it. I think that children see through all of my masks and use their superpowers to melt my suit of armor, and let me know that my secret identity has been discovered; that beneath my hard-shell I really am a nice guy who likes people; especially kids.   

I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDPA; did I say that already? I’m really excited because grand parenting is the chance for us to get it right; to reset the bar, to do it over again. Grandparents are parents who have learned to slow down and enjoy life at a slower pace. Grandchildren give us an excuse to once again be outside when it is raining and to walk through mud puddles instead of being concerned about getting wet.

Grandpas get to show this new world to their grandchildren for the first time. Grandpas get to drop everything to spend time with their grandchildren instead of having to be in such a hurry. Grandpas get to buy ice cream cones for their grandchildren and not be concerned about “spoiling their dinner”.   
Elizabeth and Chris sent me an email this week that said; “We appreciate your support and are proud that our baby is going to have a great grandpa“. Children truly are a blessing from the Lord!  

Psalm 127: 3-5 says; “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. 5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Pastor Tom!
    "Grandpa." Has a nice ring to it.

    Tim S.

    PS Tell soon-to-be "Grandma" hi.