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EP 160: Lessons Learned from My Grandmother

Inside: My grandmother is a beautiful woman who had a huge impression on me in my calling and role of being a homemaker, wife, mother, and grandmother.

Cherishing the Love of My Grandmother

Whenever I am asked, “Who has made an impact on your life?” my mind is drawn to my grandmother. My grandmother is a beautiful woman who had a huge impact on me as a homemaker, wife, mother, and grandmother. 

Grandma was born in 1912 and came to America from Croatia as a young girl. The Statue of Liberty was the first site she saw as she approached the shores of America with her mother. Her father was already in the States working and setting up a home for them.

Listen in to EP 160: Cherishing the Love of My Grandmother (23 minutes) or read part of the episode below (I do share much more in the podcast episode):

Resources Mentioned:

Titus 2 Blog Posts & Podcast Episodes

EP 145: The Influence of Godly Mothers and Grandmothers

History of Modern Feminism

Teach Them Diligently Conference

Sharing some of the lessons I have learned from my grandmother that I have brought into my mothering and my grandmothering Click to Tweet

Glimpse Into Her Life:

Grandma was the oldest in her family and didn’t know much about toys or playing outside. She was the second mother in the home, and she loved taking care of her brothers and sisters. This was a time when large families were not uncommon, and there were no people called “teenagers.” You were either a child or an adult.

Grandma had three daughters, my mother being one of them. My mother had some hardships and went through a divorce at a young age, so we lived with my grandma and grandpa in my early years. I loved being in their home and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else at that time. I was cherished and loved by my grandparents—they are an example to me of the kind of grandparent I want to be to my grandchildren.

I want to share some of the lessons I have learned from my grandmother that I have brought into my mothering and my grandmothering. Grandma Katherine, as far as I knew, never professed Christ. She lived to be 102 (she passed away on April 22, 2014) and lived her final moments in a nursing home. We shared the gospel with her many times, and she always listened with kindness but didn’t seem to have an open heart toward the Lord. My hope is others shared with her and that she repented and believed before she passed away. I hope I will see her one day again in Heaven. 

Although she was not a Christian, she was raised in an era when Judeo-Christian values were common and accepted in the culture at that time, and the role of a wife and mother was not questioned.

Lessons Learned:

She loved her family and would do anything for them. Grandma was never too busy for you and always made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. 

Taking care of her home was a joy. I loved listening to her sing as she cleaned the house or cooked in the kitchen. I never heard her complain about her work in the home. 

Her mother lived with her (along with my mother and me) and cared for her for many years—she had a multi-generational view of the family.

There was always time to sit and chat. Sitting at her kitchen table with a cup of tea with lots of sugar and cream was a favorite for me.

There was never a doubt about the love she had for my grandfather – they were crazy about each other. She spoke so lovingly about him and I so appreciated that even after he was gone. She modeled to me how to love my husband well. 

I don’t remember ever hearing her complain about anything.

She encouraged my love of reading and my children’s love of reading. Books were a favorite gift from her. She always wrote her name and the year in them, and I have appreciated carrying on that tradition. I still love opening a children’s book and seeing it was a gift from Grandma either to me or my own children. 

She ran a home on a tight budget, and you would have thought they were very comfortable by the way they lived – she knew how to stretch a dollar.

They lived with one car, and she would drive Grandpa to work if she needed it that day. I remember so many mornings when she got me up, and I’d crawl in the back seat in my pajamas as we took Grandpa to work. 

Grandma stayed physically active and was always a go-getter, starting when her feet hit the floor in the morning.

Throughout her lifetime, she shared her home and cared for so many numerous relatives, including siblings and grandchildren, and I was one of them. When her mother grew old, my grandfather built a bathroom on the first floor to accommodate her living with them. Grandma’s life was one that modeled self-sacrifice and I just knew as a little girl growing up in her home that I was well loved. I so loved being in her home. 

She instilled in me a love of cooking for my family. I am thankful for the many recipes she passed on to me over the years. I still love pulling those recipe cards out and seeing her handwriting. I don’t sing when I cook like she did, but I always have my favorite music on in the background. 

She was always dressed first thing in the morning – I don’t remember her ever sitting around in her pajamas.

She was such a blessing to me as a new wife – I knew I could call her for anything from cooking to marriage advice. I spoke to her every day for years as her health was still good. It got harder as she got older. I so miss those calls. She would be so concerned if we missed a day to make sure everything was okay. We moved out of state when Doug and I were married after three years, so I didn’t get to see her as often, but I was thankful for phone time. 

She always had time for me and was delighted whenever we called or visited.

I loved coming to their house as she would be waiting outside for us when we arrived, and when we left, she would stay outside and wave at our car as we pulled down the road.

Lots of hugs and kisses and “I love yous” – always.

Special favorite treats were always awaiting our arrival. My kiddos always remember her having those cheese balls ready for them when they came over. 

Grandma always had pleasant or kind words to say.

Sleepovers at Grandma’s were always a favorite – at any age.

She never missed a birthday card to send out – to anyone!!

Cherishing the love of my grandmother image 3

Contentment in Christ:

As I look at her life and at the women of today, I see the simplicity of that time. The role of a mother was cherished, and women had joy in taking care of their families. It didn’t need to be taught because it was already caught. The era of modern feminism changed that, and it is so sad that we don’t have more women like my grandmother who didn’t question their role; they just lived it out beautifully.

As Christian women, we have the joy of the Lord in everything we do. I think about that often as I begrudgingly go about a task and think my grandmother, who didn’t have Jesus, would have done this with great joy and pleasure. I have Jesus, so why am I going about it with a bad attitude?

Do we overthink things? Do we think we deserve something better or more fulfilling? Where does our contentment lie?

May we find our contentment in Christ and who He has designed us to be and go about our day with joy and love in taking care of those He has given to us as a gift.  My husband, children, and grandchildren are a gift – do I view them as gifts from the Lord?

I pray I can have an eternal impact on the lives of my children and grandchildren, but my impact for Christ will be lost if I do it without love. The Gospel and its message must always be our priority, but they must be shared and lived out in a home where there is love for Christ and love for one another.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:34-35

A Peek at the Memory Book Mentioned in the Podcast:

Grandma's memory book


  1. Laura Lane says:

    “Father God. I ask you to do whatever it takes to save Marci’s grandmother. I am so thankful that she was such an excellent grandmother to Marci. I ask that her excellence be crowned with the acceptance of the gift of eternal life. I ask that you speak with her by your Holy Spirit even right now.
    I ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

    Don’t give up, Marci! While there is breath there is life. While there is life there is hope.

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  2. HappyMrsBass says:

    I just love this Marci! It is so amazing the amount of influence one woman can have in our lives. And it is great that she has beautiful outlook on life. I have never lived close to my grandparents, so my experience is a little different – but if/when I have children, they will have two wonderful grandmothers close by to learn from and cherish! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

    Oh, and I will be praying for her salvation! Love you!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing about your precious grandmother. I was loving her and your article so much until I came to where you said that she isn’t saved!! A sadness just came over me…but thankfully she is 100 and still living with opportunities to get saved. I will pray and pray that she does.

    You have been so blessed to have had a grandmother around for all these years. I will sometime share about my grandmother who influenced my life with only ONE year!!

  4. Thank you so much Ashley <3. I love my grandmother so much and they are such a gift to us.

  5. Ashley Ditto says:

    This made me cry! Grandmothers are so special!

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