At the beginning of the year, I created my 2020 Vision Board and part of my goals for the year was to be more intentional in my relationships. I especially wanted to be intentional in how I interact with my new grandson who arrived on March 14th.

As a new parent, I did not have anyone come alongside me and offer me help or advice, and, at the time, I was likely too proud to admit that I needed help. My husband and I had only read a couple of books on parenting, and looking back, they were likely some of the worst ones we could have possibly read. We were given advice that in no way resembled a Jesus’ approach to love and parenting.

There are many things that I would do differently if I had it all to do over again, but I don’t. The next best thing is to be an intentional Gran to both my grandson and his parents.

To begin with, I have a much more open line of communication with my daughter than I ever had with my mom. She and I talk every day. I share insights and ideas that she can choose to try or not. I am also grateful that her mother-in-law is also very intentional and supportive of them as well. I try not to overwhelm her with too much at once, but more important than what I share, I continue to remind her that she needs to find what works best for her and her family. My main intentional goal is to leave her feeling encouraged and hopeful with ideas that can help her in her parenting.

I also want to be intentional in my interactions with my new grandson. Each day I tell him “You are loved. You are precious. You are kind. You are smart. You are adorable.” I want him to know those things, not just because I say them, but because of other things I do to show him. Even though he is only two weeks old, I want to read stories to him and treat him in loving ways – which obviously isn’t very hard when he is so cuddly and sweet!

What good would all my past mistakes be if I wasn’t intentionally taking action to improve and then helping others learn from my mistakes? I realize that we all learn from mistakes, but my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson will have plenty of their own mistakes to make. I just hope that I can help ease the process of some of their parenting and life by sharing what I have learned from mine.

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