One of our granddaughters burst into our house this week, looked around at all my fabulous fall decorations, then nearly burst into tears, “Mimi, oh no! I can’t believe it’s not here! Why isn’t it here?”
I was truly in the dark, “What? What’s wrong?”
“The THANKSGIVING TREE, why isn’t it in your house?”
Relieved I hadn’t ruined her life permanently, I assured her, “Honey, the THANKSGIVING TREE doesn’t go up until after Halloween!”
She processed very slowly, then, “Ohhhhhhhh, I thought you forgot this year!” In relief, she collapsed on our sofa!
Our “Thanksgiving tree” tradition began a decade ago, when I saw the brilliant idea at a décor store. Now, I put up our pre-lit artificial Christmas tree a month early, and simply cover it with fall foliage. It saves me so much time when decorating for Christmas! The day after Thanksgiving, I simply pull off the foliage and put on the Christmas decorations! PLUS, it makes our house look amazing!
As our ten grandkids were getting old enough, they began coloring seasonal pictures to add to the Thanksgiving tree. A couple years ago, we added Thanksgiving scripture verses. By the time Thanksgiving Day arrives, the tree is truly the most spectacular part of our house!
I had no idea the impact this tradition would have on our grandchildren. I have heard the kids say things like, “Our Mimi and Papa are SO thankful. You should see their Thanksgiving Tree!”
Yikes! This certainly keeps us on our toes!
What we DO, with the children in our lives, speaks volumes. Most of the time, our actions are much louder than our words.
The NYC Dads’ Group’s latest blog reads, “Nothing shines a brighter light on who you really are than the behavior of your kids. Once your little mini-me starts interacting with the public, you become an open book. So you might want to start changing how it reads… now.”
The article was noting how the author’s three year old was beginning to use swear words in public. As much as the parents tried to TELL the child not to use certain words, the child was simply imitating what he had seen and heard his parents DO!
The Urban Child Institute claims, “Our children are mirrors, reflecting images of what happens around them. In addition to sharing genetic similarities with parents, they reflect the gestures, language, and interests of all the adults in their lives.”
Yes, this means grandparents!
I don’t say this to brag; but perhaps, it will help prove my point. I am called the “God Mimi” by a couple of our grandkids! The first time I heard it, I was speechless. Our granddaughter simply explained, it is because I am the grandma who prays with them before they go to sleep at our house. This is how they describe me to their school friends.
Who knew a three minute nighttime prayer would leave such an impact? I LOVE the title! I’ll take it!
When it comes to DOING things that can spiritually impact kids, Grandparents may be able to intentionally invest more time than parents.
Do you want to influence the kids in your life with God’s Word? Do you want them to value it? Then, let them see YOU reading the Bible. Hang scripture around your home. We have verses painted on the wall in our grandkids’ playroom. We leave open Bibles lying around.
Sometimes, it’s easier to DO something while our grandkids watch, than to try to tell them the lessons we hope they will learn.
Jesus spoke of this when He said in Matthew 7:20, “By their fruits (actions) you will know those who belong to God.”
Words are a dime a dozen. It is a person’s actions that leave a profound effect.
As a teacher, in a classroom of 40 or more kids, I am being watched more closely than I could have ever dreamed. I’m so much more aware now that my actions, in certain instances, can be more important than what I say. I constantly remind myself to be intentional.
Yes, this is a lot of pressure. Thankfully, God’s Word is FULL of assistance when it comes to behavior:
10 favorite Bible verses on behavior:
“Walk straight, act right, tell the truth.” Ps 15:2
“Cultivate thankfulness.” Col.3
“Blessings on all who play fair and square!” Proverbs 11:26
“Be strong and courageous. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed.” Hebrews 13:1&2
“Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.” Proverbs 18:15
“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.” I Thess. 5:16
“Show the fruit of the Spirit : love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you.” Eph. 5:1
(Scripture from The Message)