I have received advice from more well-meaning people than I can count, surely we all have. The majority of that advice is worth exactly what we paid to receive it ‘” nothing, nada, zip! Entirely unsolicited, well-wishers lavish us with their sacred words of wisdom and unwanted advice on more topics than I care to remember.
Unwanted advice had been given to me in the form of dire warnings such as; “If you don’t get married soon you will never have kids . . .” (I married 3 times and had 72 foster kids) or “Wearing makeup gives men the wrong idea . . .” (what?). I’ve also been told that certain advice is for my own good, especially when asked; “Aren’t you kind of old to be going back to school or to be raising kids?” (I forgot I wasn’t young anymore?)
But my favorite is, when specifically requesting an opinion, I am politely told; “Mom I love you but go tell it to Dr. Phil!” (I don’t think Dr. Phil does crafts, does he?) Yet the best advice I ever received was from my grandmother, and I have successfully passed it onto every one of my kids.
We called my grandmother Nana and she wouldn’t necessarily advise us; however she found sneaky ways to give us advice, tricking us all into reading the Bible. Her ways were devious, rivaling the most cunning CEO or investment banker, yet my grandmother was really a loving, humble Sunday School teacher.
I can remember as a child, my sisters and cousins would spend weekends sleeping over at our grandparent’s house and we’d all help Nana prepare for her Sunday School class before escorting her to church. Her interactive Bible story-telling techniques included crayons and a long roll of paper for us to illustrate, mural-style according to the scriptures she would have us read.
While explaining the Bible stories to us, Nana would bake cinnamon toast from her homemade bread, insuring there were always delightful scents wafting around us inside her kitchen. These fun family weekends spent coloring Bible murals, smelling and eating Nana’s homemade cinnamon toast as she explained the King James Version of the Bible scriptures we read, left a strong impression.
My grandmother’s advice to read the Bible has given me a great source of strength and truth, providing me with answers throughout my life, and I have passed it onto my kids. I did everything I could to buy age-appropriate Bibles for the children who came into my home.
I wanted my son and my foster kids to grow up knowing God was there for them even if I could not be. I wanted each of them to have their own Bible in the hopes they would read it and find the same source of strength and guidance from their Heavenly Father as I have, through His inspired word.