20 Life Lessons Shared By My Grandmother

My grandmother was the most amazing woman I have ever known. She was not just my grandma; she was also one of my best friends. Nothing was ever too much effort for her and she had no problem going out of her way to help other people in need. She also never had a bad word to say about anyone.

My grandma owned a crèche and every Friday she would give Good News – where she told Bible stories to all the children there. She was also in charge of our Sunday school and once a month she would go to a rural area a couple of kilometers outside our town and go tell Bible stories to the children there and talked to the adults about Jesus.  She would also always take sweets and cold drinks with and Decembers she would make sure she had presents for everyone there and enough food so that the people from this rural area could have a proper Christmas party.

I went on many holidays and road trips with my grandma and always had fun and lots of laughs. My grandma had such a good sense of humour.

My grandma passed away on 25 February 2015 and I miss her so much, but I take comfort in the fact that I will see her again one day in Heaven until then I have some really amazing memories and a whole lot of life lessons that I have learned from her.

1. Get Rid of All the Negative Things in Your Life

Do a proper ‘house-cleaning and get rid of all those unnecessary things that you gather. This includes spiritual and emotional baggage.  We fill our minds with thoughts that prevent us from moving forward. Habits that limit us. Diversions that takes us on the wrong paths. Negative people that drain us. Fear that paralyses us. Time that sabotage productivity.  We concentrate so much on things that bring negativity into our lives that it doesn’t leave any room for positive energy in our lives.

2. Pick the Flowers of Life, Not the Thorns

What are you gathering in your heart?  Do you pick all the thorns of disappointment, failure, and loneliness on your path of life?  Or do you pick the flowers of God’s grace and His immeasurable love? Do you feel the sunshine of His presence and happiness?

3. Every Person Needs a Good Friend That Understands Them

Everyone knows what it feels like to be hurt. So I’m sure you can understand why people would want someone by whom they can shed a tear.  Everyone needs the understanding, warmth, and compassion of a good friend. Always try to be a good friend and lend a shoulder when someone needs you too.  John 15:12 – My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. If you go out looking for friends you will find that they are very scares but when you decide to be a friend you will find friends everywhere.  I do not have any riches to give to my friends but I do find happiness in loving them and for my true friends, this has always been enough.

4. Prayer Changes People Not Pressure

Don’t expect more from a person than what they can give. It will only harm the relationship.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the person doesn’t need to change. No one likes to be forced to change in order to be accepted.  God won’t change a person just because you want them to change. Pray to God and let Him work in His own way.

5. Love Cost Nothing

Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if we could buy anything our hearts desire to give to our friends and family?  Unfortunately, this is not always possible, but there is something that you can give away that costs nothing – Your Love!  Love is your most precious possession and it doesn’t get less when you give it away. Instead, the more you give your love away, the more you will have to give. Go ahead and try it.

6. You Were Not Designed For Other People’s Approval

You were not designed to need other people’s approval. In God’s eyes, your appearance is not the standard in which you are being measured.  That which people can see does not count. God looks at your heart.  Start seeing yourself as God sees you. It is His opinion that counts.

7. Faith Doesn’t Indemnify You against Storms

Jesus told His disciples to sail to the other side and then went to sleep. While He was asleep in the boat, a hectic storm started raging.  The disciples thought their lives were in danger and quickly went to wake Jesus up.  Jesus got up and told the storm to stop raging, and then he asked his disciples: “Where is your faith?”  Faith does not indemnify you against storms; it only equips you. Remember when God is with you, you will get to the other side.

8. There are 3 Types of People in the World

The Critical One: They are the first to blame you and the last to help you. Stay away from them.

The Cautious Ones: They avoid you in difficult times so that they won’t be associated with you when things get tough. Never put your trust in them

The Persevering Ones: You can always count on a real friend’s love. Recognise these people in your life and build your life around them because they are presents from God “

“A Friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, blesses you with love, and encourages you with hope” – Unknown

9. Remember to Look Forward

Wise men said that if we do not learn from our past we will keep repeating our mistakes.  Sometimes it is good to look back in order to learn, but if you keep looking back in the rear-view mirror while you drive, you will in up in a ditch.

10. Think Before You Do

The future lies in front of you like an untouched path in the desert or one on which white snow has fallen.  Think carefully before and how you are going to walk on it because every step you give will be clearly visible behind you.

11. Focus on Your Opportunities

Other people and circumstances don’t determine your attitude, you determine it.   You must learn to focus on your opportunities, not your rights.

12. Prayer is the Most Powerful Energy in the World 

We do not always realise what the power of prayer is.  It is one of the most powerful sources of energy in the world. It can change a person’s outlook on life radically. Hate can change into love. Misfortune can change into blessings. Despair can change into joy. Confusion can change into certainty. And stormy water can become still.  Yes, prayer can change a person’s life drastically. Try it, you will be astounded.

13. Make the Right Choices

Making our own choices is one of the biggest abilities that God gave us. It gives us the power to choose what we want to do with our lives.  It can also cause a little bit of distress because it means that you are responsible for the choices that you make.  May you choose life and light instead of darkness.

14. The Bible Reads You

There’s a reason why the Bible stays the most read book in the world.  Many people read many books, but the Bible reads you.  A lot of people say that they do not get anything out of the Bible, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  FB Meyer said: “Do not read the Bible like you read the newspaper, read it like you would read a love letter”

15. Do Not Wait To Do Good

The Bible says “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbour, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you. – Proverbs 3:27-28”  To postpone things can be misleading. Before God can “promote” you, He first looks at what you have done with what He already gave you.  It is not about money. You can help others with any of the many talents God gave you. Sometimes someone just needs a few words of encouragement – do not wait to offer it.

16. Let Your Dream Be Bigger Than Your Worry about Rejection

Are you worried about being rejected?  You will never be successful before your dreams become more important to you than your fear of being rejected.  Successful people also fear rejection but they believe that their goals are worth more than rejection.

17. Laugh Out Loud Often

My grandma had an amazing sense of humour. She could always see the funny side of just about everything and she often laughed out loud. Her laugh was contagious and soon everyone would be laughing with her. I’m not sure where she heard this joke, but this is one of the many jokes she told me:

“Three women were having tea together when they decided to share their weaknesses with each other. The first woman admitted that she sometimes drinks too much and becomes very drunk. The second woman says that she’s very jealous in fact she has been jealous of her best friends beautiful house for years now. The third woman doesn’t say anything. The other woman told her that it is not fair that they shared their weaknesses but that she was unwilling to do the same. The third woman took a deep breath and said: ‘I love to gossip and I can’t wait to get out of here so that I can go tell everyone about your weaknesses.”

18. Be God’s Pencil

‘I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world – Mother Teresa.  My grandma believed this and she never seized an opportunity to tell other people about God, but she never forced her religion onto anyone and she never judged people who didn’t share her love for God. She also made sure that her life was an example of Gods love.  She showed love to everyone, even those whom no-one else really wanted anything to do with.  I remember how she would get up many times in the middle of the night to go look for a young woman who was an alcoholic and who was causing trouble. This woman wasn’t family, but no one else wanted anything to do with her when she was that drunk, so my grandma drove around looking for her and then took her home. It wasn’t always easy. I went with once. The woman swore at us and jumped out of the car many times, but my grandma stayed calm and eventually got her back to safety.

19. God Won’t Change You against Your Will

God never changes people against their will.  Before there can be a change you have to cooperate with God. He wants you to subject to His will before He can change you.  Your transformation can only begin when you are sincere in your desire to change and what seemed impossible can become a reality through the power that God will give you.

20. Don’t Wait For Perfect Conditions 

Perfect Conditions?  You will never find it.  “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap” – Ecclesiastes 11:4. Waiting for everyone to agree with you? It will never happen. When David said that he was going to fight against Goliath, his brother, a soldier in King Saul’s army told him to go home before he brings shame to their family. David refused and won the fight against Goliath with the help of God

Me and My Grandma Many Years Ago in Durban

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