As a 5-year-old, there was this swing in Maine that captured my heart. It was a different kind of swing, made out of wood, with a spot for your hands and feet. It was located right by the water, so I could swing for hours as my grandparents sat by the lake. I couldn’t get enough of this swing while on vacation with my grandparents. So my grandfather came up with a plan. To my surprise, he made a blueprint of the swing and then started crafting one in his basement workshop. And to my delight, a couple months later, I had my own Maine-like wooden swing set up in his basement! I was ecstatic, cheered like a 5-year-old girl, and then rode it as much as physically possible. At that point, I knew my grandfather was the man!
Fast forward and I am now in my late 20’s and he is in his late 80’s. Today, I want to share three ways with you that he has lived his life in a way that is set apart/different than most. Now, to be fair, I am 10,000% bias because my grandfather and I are super tight and have been best buds since I was in my mom’s tummy. We’ve shared countless memories of laughing together, playing together, living together, eating together, serving together and I still love every second. My grandparent’s house is my favorite place to be and always has been. He has influenced my faith in more ways than I can name and he has been one of my biggest cheerleaders throughout life. If you are a grandparent, this is also a reminder as to how extremely significant your role is to those grandbabies!!
Now onto how my grandfather is the man… and set apart.
My grandfather serves in a way that was set apart.
In this stage of his life, his biggest disappointment is that he can’t continue teaching Sunday school due to his physical condition. He says, almost every time I see him, “Man, I love those kids, I miss teaching them.” He taught the first graders at his church, every week, for over 40 years! My grandfather used his creativity and handy man skills to create countless games for the kiddos. He was a volunteer that actually looked at the lesson ahead of time thought through the content. He served outside his church walls in a variety of ways as well. He led huge, free kid events for local neighborhoods and also continues to serve in a ministry that reaches out to Jewish communities. My grandfather is always a reminder for me, to serve more intentionally and gratefully – because one day my service will look different.
My grandfather’s marriage is set apart.
My grandparents celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary this September!!! Did you catch that? 65 years!! They have made a commitment to choose one another day after day. Because of that dedication, my grandfather is still with the cute chick he met in Rumney, NH in his early 20’s. He always says he picked my grandmom over another girl, because when he kissed my grandmom fireworks went off, whereas kissing the other girl was like kissing a sack of potatoes! J And here they are 65 years later. They serve together, attend church and adult Sunday school together. They do friendship together. They sit side by side. They eat all of their meals together. Now, probably more than ever, they work as a team, leaning into each other’s strengths and abilities. And you know what I love? They still hold hands, a lot. My grandfather’s marriage is set apart.
My grandfather cares about Heaven & Hell in a way that is set apart.
My grandfather truly cares about people’s eternal life. He talks about it, writes poems about it and prays about it. He reminds me that Heaven and Hell are BOTH real… and that God will use me to make a difference in people’s story – in the most important part of their story. For me, it’s easy to be scared of this topic with others, to back away, to just pray – but my grandfather has shown me that opening my mouth to speak, in love, is sometimes what a person needs to take a next step. Starting as a young child, I remember watching him read the Bible every night before bed. My grandfather has taught me to have courage in what I know to be true and to love people boldly by influencing their faith. The way my grandfather cares about eternal life is set apart.
When we live our lives, set apart, it makes a lasting difference, for generations to come.