April 01, 2015

Random Musings from a New Grandpa

Written By Cary Schmidt

Our first two grandchildren were born this week. Surreal! It’s given pause for some reflection—some humorous, some serious. I thought I’d share it with you…

Here are TEN random musings from a new grandpa:

1. I’ve been waiting for 23 years to get my wife back. I think I just lost her again. She came into my study this morning, kissed me and said, “I’m going to the hospital.” I said, “Ok… love you, it’s been a nice life together.” She laughed and said, “Yes it has.” Then I said, “See you in eighteen years…” She replied, “Then let’s do Disney World again!” (She was referring to our 25th anniversary trip.)

I fell in love with her 28 years ago. Married her 25 years ago. Been crazy about her ever since. God gave us three little “romance killers” who stole our hearts and proceeded to do everything they could to disrupt the romance for 23 years. We survived, finally got our marriage back, and BOOM… more little romance killers have arrived!

Dana, I’m really gonna miss you. 🙂

2. I’m 46 years old, but suddenly the whole world seems a lot younger. In youth ministry, nobody ever aged, they just graduated and new youth came in. There was a sense of being in a blissfully frozen time-warp. Then one day, younger ministry leaders referred to me as “an older guy.”  I looked in the mirror and they were right… my dad, and traces of my granddad were staring back at me. (Who are exceptionally good-looking older men, I might add.)

Twenties—you blew by and dried the moisture still behind my ears. Thirties—you were wonderfully blessed and also exhausting. Forties—it’s been a short ride through the first 60%, but you’ve been the best part of life so far—even with cancer and total life-reorientation. Right now? “Now” is blessed—even with its hardships. No guarantee of tomorrow. Few regrets. Pausing to savor the big blessings of “now”—now that’s the art of enjoying the sweet goodness of God in this moment. And He truly is GOOD!

3. My wife looks as young as when she first became a mother. Me? Not so much. I’m not sure how she does it—maybe it’s that she still eats peeps at Easter. Maybe it’s her exceptionally good attitude. But she still looks like Lance’s older sister. People see us at the mall holding hands and think, “How nice, look at that grandpa and his adult daughter…” I’m seriously considering buying some of that spay-on hair advertised on TV—for thickness of course.

In truth, Dana is a hero to me. She’s a Proverbs 31 portrait, and those twins are super-blessed to have her as a grandma. I love seeing the joy on her face and the delight in her heart in all of this!

4. When I kiss my wife, I’m kissing somebody’s grandmother. That’s just a remarkable thought that frankly, leaves me wondering what else to write. I will not be dissuaded—kissing is still a priority, no matter how rapidly the romance killers multiply!

5. I’ve been involuntarily infected with a photo obsession syndrome. I walk into the hospital room, see these two babies sleeping, and instinctively my hand reaches for my phone and I start snapping photos. Dozens of them. It’s a subconscious, involuntary urge, like breathing or surviving—MUST TAKE PHOTOS! Every scrunching  face, every whimper, every opening of the eyes, every yawn—snap, snap, snap… more pics. I cannot resist—it is reflexive and defies reason.

I have no clue what to do with all of these pictures! I cannot possibly delete them. I have no practical use for most of them, but they fulfill some deep, gut-level addiction.

I can tell, very soon, I’m going to need a phone with more storage!

6. I am becoming OCD on posting these twins online. A long time ago I committed to use online media for encouragement of others and the advancement of the gospel. But oh, the urge to POST these kids! I’m just sure that the Facebook world really MUST see and WANTS to see these twins—the likes of which the world has never seen!

I will refrain and resist the urge, but it will not be easy!

7. Reading glasses are a part of my private world, but I haven’t gone public. It started with chemo—eyes were blurry. They never came back. The optometrist says, “Yep, this is the age—chemo or not!” So, yeah… microscopic text requires me to hold it so far from my face, that once I’m finally focused, it’s too far away to read! I’m really great beyond two feet—but then the text-size needs to be something like a street sign.

In public I fake it real well—been doing a lot of “enlarging” on my iPad.

8. My “8th grade son” and his “7th grade girl-friend” are now parents! I recall having a conversation with a guest-preacher at my son’s 8th grade teen camp. Hillarie was in 7th grade. They were playing volleyball. My friend asked, “Is there a girl he likes?” I said, “Well, sort of, and we think they’re going to end up together.” Then I pointed her out in the crowd. That moment seems like two-seconds ago.

Time-warp to now. Married adults, doing a fabulous job in ministry, with twins. Wow! Life is wonderfully but shockingly brief!

9. Chad and Charleigh have no clue how much fun we are going to have! Between two sets of grandparents, three uncles, and one aunt—we are pretty sure these twins will see their parents at least two days a month!

Holding Charleigh yesterday, watching Lance do some work, Hillarie steal some sleep, I had one overwhelming thought. These two little kids have no idea how “lucky” they are to have the parents they have!

10. Final thought—SERIOUSLY—the best thing about age, so far—God just keeps giving us more lives to love! As I study God’s Word, I see He IS LOVE. I see He calls me to LOVE HIM and LOVE OTHERS. He hangs everything else on these two huge commands.

I have no idea how long I have to be Chad and Charleigh’s grandpa. I hope, a long time—unless Jesus comes back. But I don’t presume a long time. Whatever time He gives, I want to love them (and others that follow them), love their parents, love my wife, love Haylee, love Larry, love our church family, and love the lost in the best possible ways to help them SEE and LOVE JESUS!

Every now and then I come across a grumpy old person. They complain, they bite, they devour. They are angry—deep down—discontented, frustrated, agitated. Life didn’t turn out the way they hoped. And it comes out of them—in person, online, in tweets, in blogs, in the pulpit, in life. It comes out and pours onto others. They are short with others. They are contentious. They are combative. They are murmuring, complaining, and just plain angry and unhappy.

I think they’re missing something really big about age. The older you become, the more people you have to LOVE and INFLUENCE for JESUS. But the angrier you are, the less you steward and enjoy these opportunities.

Helping others experience joy is one of life’s greatest joys. Loving others well is one of the most “like-Jesus” expressions of living! (Makes me think of a wedding that Jesus helped others enjoy one time!)

One day, we will each come to the end of our pursuits, passions, accomplishments, and misplaced quests for personal identity. Eventually we will come to the end of our time on earth. Then, all that will matter is how we loved Jesus, and how we loved those He placed in our lives.

Age well my friend. Discover the joy of loving others, and, like Jesus—love them to the end!

“…Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” John 13:1 

PS—Just one pic! Couldn’t resist!