Writing Lesson from My Grand-Daughter

lessonsI visited my Atlanta grandkids back in June. Two of those darling grand-daughters (Emilie and Audrey) I usually see only once a year, and I swear they grow a foot each time I see them!

I love their creativity and watching them grow from baby dolls to tea parties to playing school. This year, while Audie played Barbies with her little sister, Emmie and I played school. Guess who played the teacher?

One hint. It wasn’t me.  😉

First Assignment

I was told my first assignment would be a writing project. Hallelujah! I thought. I might pass this subject.

I was instructed to choose a character–any character–about which I would be taught how to write a biography. Cool. I’ve never written a biography. I chose Eve.

“From the Bible, Grandma? Really?”

Well, she said any character, right? Yep, Eve was my pick. But as Emmie began listing the questions that would form the foundation of my writing, I realized why she was a little frustrated with my choice. We started with questions about her CHILDHOOD:

  • Name: Eve
  • Birthdate: Ummmm…
  • Birthplace: Garden of Eden

See what I mean? About that birthdate…I can’t put “0000” because she was actually born in [something] B.C., but who knows what?

How about you? What’s your story? Fill in the blanks…

The Open-Ended Bombshell

After himming-and-hawing about the birthdate, my 10-year-old grand-daughter rolled her eyes and moved on. (Grandmas can be so trying.)

“Now we form the body of the story with Eve’s major life events.”

Are you kidding me? My precious Emmie had 5 index cards in her hand, and I could write a 400-page novel on Eve’s major life events! More himming-and-hawing on my part, and she said, “Try to keep it short, Grandma.”  😛  So here’s what we came up with:

  • Married Adam on the day she was born
  • Walked with God every evening in the Garden
  • Talked to the serpent and disobeyed God
  • Was banished (with Adam) from the Garden for their sin
  • Had two sons named Cain and Abel
  • Older son, Cain, kills Abel and was banished from her forever
  • Has a third son named Seth

Okay, we used 7 index cards, but all things considered, we condensed her story pretty well. Don’t you think?

If someone looked at your life and only had 5-7 index cards, how might they condense your story into 5-7 lines?

Last Question

I was ready to hang up the chalkboard and call it a day’s work, but not my little Emilie. We weren’t finished with the story until we finished-off Eve.

“How did she die, Grandma, and how do you think she would want to be remembered?”

Wow. That last question sobered me. The Bible doesn’t tell us how Eve died, but we all know how we remember her–she ate that darn apple! (Fruit, actually–the Bible doesn’t specify apple.) Because of her sin (and Adam’s as well), death entered the world.

But how would Eve want to be remembered? Emilie and I thought she would hope for something like this:

“I hope people will remember that even though my sin brought death, I was also the first woman to give birth–and bring life to earth.”

~ o ~

“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.”  Genesis 3:20

How about you? What do you hope people will remember about you when you’re gone?

Lessons From a Child

When I sat down with my grand-daughters to play that day, I can almost guarantee I hadn’t expected a theology lesson–but I got one. I probably didn’t have time for my devotions that morning either, but the Lord used the dailyness of our play-time to teach both Emilie and me a lesson or two.

For all you busy moms out there…relax. Teach your kids about Jesus while you’re playing with them, and they’ll teach you. If you don’t have time for a regimented quiet time every day, stop beating yourself up about it. Make the effort, but give yourself grace. Jesus did.

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Today’s Question:

  • What do you want people to remember about you when you’re gone?

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Comments

  1. What a wonderful memory your granddaughter will have of this time spent with you!

    I absolutely love that at such a young age Emily exhibits so many characteristics of a great teacher. Her “curriculum” for your assignment was very clear and organized and the questions she assigned you to answer show great depth.

    I also love that, even though you are an accomplished writer, you allowed yourself to be put in a teachable position to listen and learn from someone so much younger and inexperienced than you. It’s amazing what we can learn when we allow ourselves to just stop and “be” in those moments.

    OK, now i have to get started answering that thought-provoking question: What do I want people to remember about me when I’m gone???

    • It’s all about making memories, isn’t it, Becky? Our family always tried to keep the memory-making thing in mind…even if the memories were less than pleasant in the moment…because most of the time, we would be able to laugh about them in years to come. A flat tire on vacation? My husband would say, “We’re making memories!” I burned dinner dor the third night in a row? “Making memories!” 😉

  2. One word….WOW! What a precious story and what a precious granddaughter. I am sure she will remember this special time forever! I do not have children of my own but those I have taught in Sunday School & Vacation Bible School are my spiritual children and yes, through the years they have taught me a lot! I hope people will remember me after I’m gone having a giving spirit and a love for children in helping to lay a spiritual foundation for them to eventually come to a personal relationship with Jesus. I definitely think you are doing that with your grandchildren! How exciting! Thanks for the thoughtful post…Linda

  3. I have to admit, y’all, that I’m not a real “kid person.” I was never into babysitting as a teen, and I loved my own kids…but other people’s children were a little annoying. Ha! 😉

    Now that I’m a grandma, however, I think I see all children differently. I see their value as a whole for our world. The innocence they bring to society. The joy and celebration that would be gone if they left this world. They teach us so much just by being children. What a privilege to learn from them…

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