Eleven years ago I gave birth to my son, Manoah. On the day he was born, I made my mom a grandma. The baton of motherhood passed from her hand to mine, and we now held the same name — Mom. I remember seeing her eyes glow as she held my son, perhaps the same way they did when she held me decades before.
Only a few days later, I pulled up to my parents’ house, parked my car, and exhaled in complete exhaustion. My mom was waiting at the front door. Somehow she knew I would be arriving. (Moms have a sixth sense of anticipating their children’s needs.) She hurried out, unbuckled my crying son, brushed her hand across my face, and said, “It’s going to be okay.” With those words, I sobbed right there into the steering wheel.
After a few weeks, I was bouncing my screaming baby in the kitchen. My mom insisted I nurse. I stubbornly snapped back, “I am putting him on a schedule, and I can’t nurse him for 16 more minutes!” I was impatient; she was gracious.
When I became a mom and my mother became a grandma, we both grew and changed. Sometimes it was easy. Sometimes it wasn’t. So often I want relationships to be settled and tied with a nice bow, but that rarely happens. For most of life, the hearts of those we love are like the tide, constantly pulled in and apart from each other. Faith is trusting that God is the commander of the seas bringing even gravity under His authority. He is gently guiding relationships together for good. It is hard to trust that God is at work when relationships are changing and bending in directions that feel different and new. But God is in the fiber of all friendships — even when we don’t feel it, understand it, or see it. He is always kneading hearts together for His glory.
We must trust that the Spirit moves into the secret places of our souls and does a sanctifying work. As transitions take their due time, when things feel “off,” or the other person is silent, cling tightly to God’s promises. God may move us through patches of blindness before we see the entire story. Take heart. His love is relentless to redeem every relationship. Right now is not forever. As relationships carve out new rivers, trust that Jesus is leading each one and everyone to the same ocean of fresh waters.
For new moms and grandmas: offer each other endless amounts of love. Let forgiveness be close on your lips. Let grace be your common ground because you can only grow when you meet each other in the tender soil of love. God is inviting you into a new season.
Grandmas, you are the backbone and greatest support system your daughter (in-law) has. She needs you.
She needs your stories, gentle laughter, and back-pocket recipes.
She needs your hands to hold babies, stir soup, and wash dishes.
She needs you to pick her up when she can’t stop crying and to guide her with your wisdom.
She needs your encouragement when she fails.
She needs your love when she least deserves it.
She needs you to listen.
She need your prayers — prayers for her marriage and for her children. Prayers for resilience, patience, and courage. Please keep praying.
Your daughter (in-law) may not be able to say that she needs you, but she does. Underneath it all, she is still a little girl longing to please you. She needs you to look her in the eyes, hold her face, and say, “My goodness, I am so proud of you.”
When relationships evolve and bend into new roles and identities, let grace guide you, lean deeper into Jesus, and let your groaning be your prayers when you don’t know how to pray. God is with you. He has ordained, ordered, and allowed each relationship to develop into its own unique design. It will not look like anyone else’s. Each relationship is its own beautiful, hand-crafted, and God-created relationship. Trust that God is the Divine drafter of your story and the intersection of your eternal story with others.Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
As one who longs for Norman Rockwell type relationships, this line really spoke to me: ” For most of life, the hearts of those we love are like the tide, constantly pulled in and apart from each other. Faith is trusting that God is the commander of the seas bringing even gravity under His authority.” As the mom of two adult children, I can speak to the truth of this statement. I am not a grandmother, yet, but look forward to that day. Thank you for this loving reminder to go forward, gently, with grace. Though my gut response may be to jump in with advice and direction, your words remind me of just what my job and greatest help will be. I’m going to save this post and pull it back up on the day I become a grandmother….truly wise words to live by. Thank you!
Anjuli paschall says
Wow. I want Norman Rockwell relationships too. It’s so hard to release relationships and let God have His way with them. Blessings ❤️
Lynn Koukal says
What a beautiful encouraging message for us grandmothers
Michele Morin says
I think I came sort of awkwardly into the grandmothering role. My son married young and so I still have teens living at home as I lean into the love of (and responsibility for) another generation. Stretching my heart beyond known boundaries, God is growing me as this mum of four boys discovers the delight of daughters-in-law, and He has given the gift of grandchildren as a firewall against the slippage into selfishness and small living that can accompany this season of life.
It’s a blessing, Anjuli, to read about this journey form your perspective. I’m going to look for your words on Instagram!
Anjuli paschall says
Oh blessings to you ❤️
Beth Williams says
I think we all want “Father Knows Best” or “Andy Griffith” kind of life. Easy simple & problems solved by end of episode. Life isn’t always like that. I have never had children. I did have to mother my aging parents. It was hard. God gave & taught me grace & patience to handle their changing moods. Mothering is a tiring, but rewarding job. You eventually get to see the fruits of your labor. For me I had some good times with my dad for a few months before he died. Everyone needs mentors to help them on their journey. New mothers are no exception. Just give advice gently, offer to help in any way they need it. Most of all just love the new moms & their children.
So beautifully written and so very true! My children are 11, 8 & 7 and I know exactly what your are talking about new motherhood flew by in retrospect but was slow at the time, boy the ups and downs emotionally with sleep deprivation and balancing toddlers with newborns was a feat! God has blessed me with a wonderful mother in law whom is all I have (on a regular basis) as I live in my husbands home country. My parents are in another country and do visit. I often wonder what our relationship would be like if I lived in the country of my birth and our relationship wasn’t so intense as when they visit for 4-6 weeks at a time we all live under the same roof. It’s not to say things are awful and my mother certainly helped me when I needed her and the kids were young, but one thing I do know is that no matter what a mothers love and bond to their children my mothers to me and as a grandma to her grandkids can never be broken.
Anjuli paschall says
You are welcome. Relationships with mothers are a treasure. Sometimes it’s a tricky relationship to navigate through the different seasons. But m, God is so faithful to grows us as daughters.
Becky Beresford says
This was so beautiful! It’s like I could picture my own story and my mom being there for me, knowing exactly what I needed (even when I didn’t! Ha). Those first days after having baby… those first weeks and months and years… it’s so hard and good and exhausting, but my Momma was there constantly, holding me up when I didn’t think I could do it anymore. Being a mom makes me appreciate her on a whole new level now. Thank you for encouraging us as we ebb and flow through these new seasons and new dynamics in relationships. He is “always kneading hearts together for His glory.”
Thank you!!! I NEEDED THAT!! (I am a Mom, Grandma, and my Mom is in heaven)
Anjuli paschall says
You are so welcome! Thank you for reading and following along!
This was so heartwarming, thank-you so much for taking the time to so beautifully piece together these words.
Have a blessed day all,
Paris Renae says
Grammy is such a wondrous role – my daughter-in-law is amazing, even though she doubts herself 🙂 Now my daughter is due in a few months and fear of letting her down in some way in our new role is haunting. Thanks for words that bring life – dispel fear…
Anjuli paschall says
Congratulations on being a grandma (again). Blessings.
Jenny K says
I loved your comparison of relationships to the tide and God as the commander of the seas. Thanks for this beautiful picture and graceful words of encouragement.
Anjuli paschall says
You’re welcome. Blessings to you and your family.
Thankyou! I thank God for your obedience to His voice. This is a right now on time word for me. I had grown weary. I kept clashing with my daughter when I thought I was only trying to help. I became a Nana two beautiful years ago to twin girls. On top of this I get the privilege of having them and my daughter live with me. It’s been a beautiful challenge. Thankyou for your honesty. Thankyou for this.
“Clashing”. You said it well. My daughter and I seem to do more of that than anything. Seems I just cant get it right.
I had looked forward to such a beautiful time grandparenting. Yes, this role is different than parenting.
I believe each generation we cultivate wisdom. We share that, graciously, with the generation that follows.
I loved it when mom simply touched her daughter’s weary head and said it would be ok. Those little gifts of love as we bring forth our first are priceless.
My mom would come over around 9pm-right on time, when my first child had colic. She would drive him around town to quite him-nothing else worked! What a blessing, since I had to be up around 5a for my 7a shift.
Miss ya, Momma!
Lynn Koukal says
I miss my mom, she’s in heaven now, but she was such a support for me as a new mother myself once. I rely on God’s grace in being a grandma now, and love for all its worth during these precious moments to share.
Melissa Henderson says
Beautiful!! I am a first time “Mimi”. We celebrated our grandson’s 1st birthday today with a dinosaur themed party. Our son and daughter-in-love are wonderful, caring, compassionate, loving parents. My husband and I make sure we tell them that we are very proud of them. Being a first time parent is hard. There is so much to learn. We pray for our son and daughter-in-love and our precious grandson. God has blessed us with a wonderful family.
I can relate to the push and pull, laughter and snaps as I navigate parenting adult children. Two back in the nest temporarily. We all need breaks-perhaps long vacations from each other at times! I try to recall how I felt at that age and give grace and grace again while still presenting how one should be treated, no matter what. Preserving dignity while loving as is is always good practice. Great post beautifully said. I bet your mom is proud as punch❤️ (; .
Miriam Trujillo says
Beautiful as a first time grandma to be to a princess Nov 2018 this hit home I couldn’t hold back the tears thank you I’ll be sure to keep this in mind as a new chapter in our lives begin
Blessing Miriam Trujillo
Kathy Frankenfield says
Thank you for this sweet piece. It gives me hope, as I am a Christian grandma to a young woman who was dedicated to the Lord at birth and raised in a Christian home, who keeps me emotionally far away and barely involved with my two grandchildren. My heart aches all the time, yet your words give me hope that the Lord wants restoration, and He is at work in ways I dont see.
Anjuli – I feel like your words are God given to my heart and perfectly timed as only he can do! My daughter recently shared with me that she is expecting. She is not yet twenty, delaying college and moved out within the same week of sharing this with me. She has been a homebody much of her childhood and fought me every step as I attempted to push her into new/responsible/growing moments. And in that one moment, all her courage become present and at the same time I felt our relationship crumbled (or so I thought in the moment). I was angry, confused, hurt, every emotion possible. I couldn’t why. It has been a few months now, and we are due to have a beautiful new addition to our family before Christmas. I can see now, God had to allow the valley to showcase the faith; to allow my daughter to grow on her own; to show me the foundation I spent years building was there and she was already standing on it. It is still a hard situation for me in moments, but we are growing together in new and breathtaking ways. I am thankful for your honest words that my heart is digesting with intention and love. We don’t always get to know the why, but with willingness we can see the collateral beauty of an imperfect situation.