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When I was a child, I had such fond memories of visits from grandparents. My Pawpaw was so funny and would play silly games and make up silly names for each one of us. I was called “Tadpole.” I am not sure why that was my name, but I felt so loved and so proud to have a special name that my sweet Pawpaw would call only me.

My children never experienced that kind of grandparent bond. My parents had quite the issues and baggage. There was a lot of bitterness, anger, and resentment…basically lots of crazy dysfunction. The family was splintered and broken. Communication was difficult. There were no loving visits to grandparents or even a desire to see and know their grandchildren. This brought a tremendous amount of pain not only to me but to my children.

My daughter, at age six, had gone to a children’s movie with me and on the way home she looked at me sadly and asked, “Why don’t I have a grandma like Annabelle? Her grandma takes her fun places and spends time with her.” My heart broke, as tears rolled down my cheeks, I tried my best to explain, in a way that she could understand, that some people have awesome grandparents and some people just have awesome parents. I wanted her to feel loved and special just like my Pawpaw had made me feel.

I could not make my parents be the grandparents that my children needed, but I could be the grandparent to their children that they always wanted for themselves. God has a way of restoring even the most difficult situations and hurts.

When our children started having children, we were beyond excited. We knew this was the beginning of a whole new legacy. We prayed over each child daily. We would make plans to visit and spend time with them, even though they live quite a distance away from us.

My husband and I decided that we wanted to begin making lasting memories and to create special traditions with our grandchildren that they would share with their children. We wanted a healthy whole family with sweet, loving memories of grandparents that absolutely adored them…thus Grand Camp was created.

Grand Camp is a yearly tradition of having all the grands for a week all to ourselves. They would share cousin time, grandparent’s time, and just enjoy spending special time together. And yes, we have silly names for each one of them and sometimes they even make up their own silly names they want us to call them.

We have five amazing, handsome, sweet, kind, rowdy, energetic, little boys, ages from four to eleven. Are we exhausted and tired at the end of Grand Camp? You bet we are, but our hearts are overflowing with love for them and a deep appreciation for God’s hand of mercy and grace…a God that brings healing and restoration even to the most difficult situations.

In Psalm 147:3 it says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

God restores to us what the enemy tries to steal. When you put your faith and trust in Him, He has a way of transforming all your hurts and pains into joy and laughter.

Here at The Beautiful Basics, we are cheering you on. Be strong and courageous and be the person God has called you to be. You are loved!


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