Not too long ago I shared with you that I was standing in the gap for my nearly 10-year-old granddaughter, a gap that had been created in the midst of divorce by her father who abandoned ‘his little princess’. My daughter asked me to spend some time providing faith and spiritual mentoring and leadership to her daughter.
So once a week I pick her up for dinner, conversations, kindles, chess and the Gospel. Nothing fancy … so far we have hit Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Arby’s and Shane’s Rib Shack.
The first week we met she had just returned from her first meeting of a local home school chess club. So I asked her if she’d like to learn more about chess. So over each dinner we discuss the game of chess and then typically play one or two learning games of chess.
Quite frankly while I am also teaching my nearly 10-year-old grandson (he and his cousin were born 8 days apart), I am not seeing the progress I would like to see so I have sought out some help in the form of book.
After seeing the referrals or links to reviews on twitter (@chesschildsplay) and reading the linked reviews as well as the customer reviews on Amazon, I ordered Chess is Child’s Play: Teaching Techniques That Work by Laura Sherman and Bill Kilpatrick. So far I am five chapters in and am beginning to understand a number of things I should have done differently in teaching the grandkids chess and am now working to incorporate them in our lessons. So far very impressed with book.
Also my granddaughter and I both have kindles … unfortunately a divorced mom who has been for the most part financially abandoned by her ex doesn’t have much in the way of discretionary funds for putting books on that kindle … and quite frankly our local library systems are either not providing kindle books at all or have a very limited collection … hopefully over time that will improve.
My granddaughter loves to read so I am helping her pick out some age and content appropriate books for her kindle and picking her up a new book from time to time. Also watching all the Amazon kindle freebie lists as well … they have some many books they offer free from week to week. The Amazon Prime program may prove an option as well.
Tuesday we played checkers with each other on her kindle … so she is teaching me a few things as well.
Through all this some of the natural conversation barriers that exist between a nearly 59-year-old man and a nearly 10-year-old girls are breaking down and we are beginning to have grandfather – granddaughter conversations. I have already learned that the serious conversations are coming when she says ‘Papa ….’ and there’s a five second pause … so I try to put my listening ears on. Pray for us both … this is all such an incredible God-given opportunity.
She has expressed an interest in being a follower of Jesus Christ and being baptized so we have been working thru some of false and true conceptions she has about what that means. We all attend 12Stone and the children’s ministry there offers a great tool to assist parents it walking through just this kind of conversation for 6 weeks titled Casting Call. Worked through that with my nearly-10-year-old grandson back in the fall, along with another worksheet I put together, just prior to his baptism.
Since the Sunday worship service we attend starts at 1pm I am going to start a similar time (absent the Kindle … and a with little more solid biblical food) with my grandson this week over Sunday breakfast out … and sometime in the near future I have a nearly 7-year-old granddaughter awaiting her turn …
Oh Lord, give me the love, the wisdom, the time and the patience to plant and water the seeds of your gospel in their lives for a lifetime – Lord, nurture that seed into taking root and growing in their lives!