One of God’s greatest blessings in my life is that of being a grandparent! I am known as “Nana” to the three precious girls that fill my heart with so much joy. So many different names are used for grandparents today. There’s just something about hearing that term of endearment spoken by a grandchild that brings a smile to the face of every grandparent—a smile that begins in our hearts from a love much deeper than we ever could have imagined.

Conversations with grandchildren can range from the most serious to outbursts of laughter. Doors open for us to share nuggets of truth in the most unexpected moments that we pray will leave a legacy of faith in their hearts.

Some of my favorite conversations are those with our youngest granddaughter. She has the gift of gab. I believe she inherited it from both me and her other grandmother. A double portion of gab! She will share every detail of her day if given the chance. Recently, she was joyfully giving me a rundown of her day when she suddenly became serious. Her day included a moment when she became aware of a classmate in need of a friend. In that moment, she recognized the need and included this child in the game being played during recess.

My response to this act of kindness  was a simple statement. I said to her, “I believe that made God’s heart smile.” For a split second, she paused to process this and produced a big smile in response.

Another Nana statement that makes her smile is “that makes my heart happy”—just a special way to let her know that what she is doing is good. Until recently, I didn’t realize the impact that these simple statements had made on her.

Several months after we had discussed her act of kindness, my granddaughter made a special visit to her other grandmother, who lives in another state. It was a special time for them to share together, just the two of them. I received texts about their adventures and smiled, knowing that the stories being told were filling their time with loads of love and laughter.

One special text made me realize that the words of grandparents really do matter. During my granddaughter’s visit, her Mawmaw asked her if she was having fun. This was her reply: “Definitely, Mawmaw…sure makes my heart smile!” And this Nana smiled!!

Have you ever thought about the image of God smiling upon you? I wonder when we lift our voice in total trust to Him and cry, “Abba Father” if He responds as we do when our grandchildren call out to us with their terms of endearment? How much more does our Heavenly Father love us?

Smiles are a part of the image of God in us. When we smile, we allow the Holy Spirit to make the love of Jesus known to those around us. He is present in your eyes, your smile, and in your laugh.

May our grandchildren hold our smiles in their hearts as a reminder of our love and the greater love God has given them through His son, Jesus Christ.

 “[T]he Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:25–26).