Is That Really Necessary?

We live surrounded by stuff of all kinds. There are physical, emotional, spiritual clutters that keep us in bondage. It all requires time-time to care for, clean, maintain, admire, hate and other time consuming activities. Out of it all, what is really necessary? Imagine a fire, flood, tornado or hurricane was coming right at your home and you had only ten minutes to grab things. What would you save? Your loved ones of course. People always are more important than things. They cannot be replaced like Grandma’s dishes can be with others.

So why do we wear ourselves out with all the “stuff” in our homes? In the last year, I have been intentional about removing clutter and items that are not used from our home. Store bought wall art has been replaced by my own grandson’s beautiful face in framed photographs or by my own special photography. Mass produced knickknacks have been removed, donated to the local thrift store. Surfaces are clear, clean and bright. Closets are more than half empty since all the clothing we never wore anyway has been given away.

My point is that when we focus on what is really necessary, we have a lightened load. Shelter, food, clothing and transportation are really allĀ  that matters. Coming to this realization opens a whole new door to a place of peace, rest and free time to spend without little ones. Rather than dusting and cleaning stuff that is unnecessary and unloved, we can spend the time with people. THAT is very necessary indeed.

So when reaching for an item at the local store, reconsider. Is that really necessary? Probably not. Then hug your grandchild and let him or her know just how important they are and how thankful you are to have been chosen to raise them. Love is always and forever something we cannot get too much of.

Enjoy all the time freed up by choosing what is really necessary and letting go of what is not important.

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Fight For Grandparent Rights

Today is Election Day and I got out early to vote. If you have not done so, please make it happen. Every voice is important, especially the grandparent voice. While I was reviewing the candidates and their stand on issues I noticed a questionnaire that had bent sent to them. One of the questions was “Should grandparents be able to sue an intact family for visitation rights with their grandchildren?” (ncfamily.org). Only 16 out of 165 candidates answered yes. That tells me they are unaware that many children are being denied the support and love of a grandparent.
All to often, I hear a grandparent tell how they are not allowed to see or even call their grandchildren because of a parent’s anger, a step parent’s jealousy or insecurity, a method of controlling the grandparent or because of other issues, including hiding abuse.
A grandparent’s involvement can make a difference in a child’s life and even help a family stay intact. But that word intact does not mean a family is healthy, only that the parent’s (or step parents) are together in the same household.
The concerned and positive grandparent can influence and support the parents in many ways and possibly prevent the situation many of us have found ourselves in-caring for our grandchildren full time. Prevention is much more desired than dealing with a wounded and confused child who has lost his or her home. Sure we will take in that child and care for them if necessary. Visitation in the home may be a strong key to reducing the number of grandparents raising grandchildren.
Review the stand that your own Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and other elected official hold on this matter. Write letters or call them. It is possible to get them on the phone occasionally especially near elections. Politely educate them on the importance of a grandparent’s role in the family and in a child’s life. Many of them come from families that have never endured the wounds of divorce, drugs, suicide attempts and the myriad of other reasons that bring traumatized grandchildren to grandparents.
Remember to remain upbeat and positive. An out of control or angry grandparent will not be able to change a politician’s mind. Reminding him or her of the staggering numbers of grandparents raising grandchildren and how that affects society as a whole just might. Here in America, we have a unique and powerful opportunity to create our own future and to influence the destiny of our precious little grandchildren. Go Vote! Make a telephone call! Write a letter! Make a difference in a child’s life!

We all have a voice-use it!