Sharing God’s Unconditional Love as a Grandmother: Elizabeth

Ahead of Mother’s Day (Sunday 12 May), we will be sharing stories of Christian mothers and what this day means for them. Whether Mother’s Day brings feelings of joy, grief or a mix of both, we hope that this series can be a celebration of all the mother figures that God has blessed us with.   
In this Mother’s Day interview, 95-year-old Elizabeth shares the opportunities that God has given over her lifetime to serve Him as a mother, grandmother and now great-grandmother. Speaking from her retirement village, she shares her greatest joys and challenges in parenting, and how sharing and modelling God’s unconditional love is her “chief role” as a grandmother. We hope you are encouraged by this story! 

Photo: Elizabeth Foord
  1. Please introduce yourself! 

My name is Elizabeth Foord. My husband is now with the Lord, but I have four wonderful children – a daughter and three sons. I also have eleven grandchildren, six of whom are married and five great-grandchildren.  

I live in the Castle Hill Anglican retirement village, and so I attend the chapel in here now. My main hobbies are reading and talking to people; and until just a few months ago the thing I enjoyed doing most was leading a ladies bible study. 

I serve the gospel in this season of life by coming before the Lord each morning when I wake up: I thank him for a new day and I ask him to help me to walk faithfully, in a way that might bring glory to his name and help people see what it is to be a Christian.  

Because I am now almost 95 and am not very well physically, I don’t have an enormous amount of energy, but I’m very grateful that God has given me many opportunities to serve him in different ways and I’m very grateful that he gives me many, many opportunities to talk to people that I meet – that I either know or maybe haven’t met before – and to so often be able to simply share the gospel. 

  1. What has been your greatest joy as a mother? 

My greatest joy as a mother has been to see my four children all become very committed Christians, with three of them now being in full time ministry.  

  1. What has been your greatest challenge as a mother? 

I think my greatest challenge has been to live a totally Christ centred life; trying to live in a way that shows my children how much I love both them and the Lord. 

One of the most difficult things I had to do as a mother was leaving our young-adult children in Australia, while my husband and I served in ministry in Southern Africa. When leaving them I was concerned for them spiritually, but they all grew both as Christians and as people. I could write a whole book on the way God provided for them during this time.  

  1. How has knowing God the Father influenced the way you parented your own children? 

Well, the example that He has set for what love is, is so huge. Because He loves me everlastingly, he was willing to give his son to die for me. I know that He’s the sovereign Lord of the universe and that anything that He does or allows in my life has only been for my good. God never makes mistakes in the life of His children who are committed to him. I ask God daily to help me to try and emulate this example. This means to be a mother who loves, and who is kind, and who is forgiving. 

  1. How has God used you in your role as a grandmother? How can grandparents continue serving their family for God’s glory? 

I think the primary thing that he has done is enabled me to pray for each of my grandchildren – and now great grandchildren – every day. I haven’t got thousands of dollars to leave to them when I die but I’m very grateful to God that my grandchildren are all happy to talk to me and tell me things that they want me to pray for. That’s the most effective thing I can do.  

I believe that the chief role of the grandmother is to pray for their grandchildren and to love them unconditionally. My own grandmother, whom I never met as she lived in England, even wrote to me as a little girl and told me she prayed for me every single day. Grandparents can serve their families by putting God first and seeking to live for him; to obey him and love him – to be the ones to set that model.  

  1. What is one piece of advice that you would give to new mothers this Mother’s Day? 

I think, to realise that God has given you your beautiful children as a gift. That they rightly belong to him, and so: to pray and to live in a way that will help them to see that the most important and fulfilling thing they can do in their life is to put the Lord Jesus Christ first. 

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