I arrived home from Iceland last Friday. Our son John, Rachel and their boys were waiting for us. They had prepared dinner. It was delightful to see the children and their joy at seeing grand Dad and grand Ma. The boys ran about the kitchen excited to see us. I could see they had grown in a week. Joseph said Hello Granny. He has four grannies, two of them being great grannies. It is amazing he doesn’t get us mixed up.
John and Rachel wanted to hear what adventures we had while away. When Brendan came home for trips to other countries me and my children were eager to hear his stories about what he saw and how God used him to help others. Now Brendan is taking me with him on his adventures.
This week I will see my grandchildren who live in other nations. My son Aaron and his family are visiting from Slovakia.
Aaron and Marta have three children. They call our home the Ireland house. They arrived yesterday. The children were amazed as we walked from room to room and eventually got to the bedroom where the two girls will stay. Once again the corridors are full of the sound of little children playing. Our home is ideal for them to play hide and seek. A little child can squeeze into a small space, under a coffee table, or in a kitchen cupboard.
Children have a disposition to explore and try out new things. They can easily occupy themselves, chasing each other outside, climbing walls, trees or making mud castles. Us adults often instill fear into our child, afraid little Johnny may fall and break a bone, afraid of the child climbing the stairs, “Don’t do that?”
When I was young my brothers and sisters played games or went for walks to give our mother space. We did not have computer games, television, dolls, Mexicano, Lego, iPads or DVDs. I loved going for walks through the fields to find out what was over the hill at the back of our home in the country. I loved paddling in the stream that separated my dad’s field from his neighbour’s, on hot days.
Mummy was busy in the kitchen making a meal for us all, or feeding the new baby that had arrived. We would return home when we were hungry. None of us got lost or injured. If we scaped a knee we would give it a rub and continue playing. We didn’t visit the accident and emergency at the hospital.
I remember having a cut on my forearm. I was not rushed off to the doctor’s surgery. I walked around protecting the injured part and the wound closed over in a week or so. No penicillin or stitches. In those early days seed of believing that God heals were sown. If I had a cold I learned after a few days I would be well again. If I fell off my bicycle and grazed arms and knees, in time the cuts would heal. God made our bodies with an immune system that fights off infection and replaces cuts and bruises.
I now believe that the simple food our mother made us kept us healthy. We ate home made bread, soups, stews, porridge, eggs and milk from the farm. In the summer we would have salads, some fruit or the odd apple tart. The fridge and cupboards were not stacked with cereals, chocolate, coca cola, crisps, biscuits or sugary snacks.
What I learnt when I was growing up helped me rear my own children. I did not have a fridge or freezer. My food was bought fresh and eaten. I did not keep excess. There was no eating in between meals.
When my grandchildren arrived I had a pot of soup and homemade bread ready for them. What I learnt from my mother, I did for my own children and now for my grandchildren. They will play happily while they are visiting grand Dad’s Irish home.
As we sat at night praying and reading the children’s bible with our own children before they went to bed, so we will do the same with our grandchildren when they are visiting with us. We will tell them stories of how God answered prayers for us. Brendan will tell them about his adventures when he travelled in other countries. I will tell them that God healed granny from cancer; how God provided our new home for us with space for them to come and visit and many other examples of God’s goodness to us.
Exodus 10 v 2 says,
You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvellous things I am doing, to prove I am The Lord.
Today Brendan and I leave to go to Canada. We will see our Canadian grandchild. We will have experiences and new stories will be created to journal and recount at another visit of our children and grandchildren.