Do We Truly Appreciate? Ma Marraine, Part 1

by | Apr 21, 2022 | Appreciation, Gifts, Ma Marraine

I have been telling stories on my dad, my childhood hero, no matter how crazy he was. As I think about my next topic, my mind goes directly to my grandmother, my Marraine.

Marraine was my mom’s mother, and she was the exact opposite of my dad. She wasn’t crazy; rather, she did everything in her power to make others around her happy. She was soft-spoken, accepting and loving, and there wasn’t anything any of us could do that would make her stop loving us. No matter what, she would put us grand kids first. I remember how she scrimped and saved so that she could give all of her grand kids 500 Belgian francs for Christmas each year. The year my older brother stole mine, she scrimped and saved some more to give me another 500 francs! But perhaps the most important part of this story was that she didn’t turn against my brother. Rather, she forgave him.

No, my Marraine wasn’t crazy like my dad; but as I think back on her and the love she always showed me, I realize that I would do well to make her my hero as well!

I have to admit, that even though I said so many times that I loved her, I’m not sure I always appreciated her. Like the time she replaced my stolen Christmas money. I was happy to have the money again; but it wasn’t until much later in life that I fully appreciated the sacrifice she made to give that gift once, let alone twice! Nonetheless, my grandmother never complained, and she was always there for me with a smile and a loving hug. She was a true angel to me.

Why is it that it is only later in life that we finally begin to appreciate the love of our grandmothers — and others around us as well? Why can’t see see and appreciate them in the moment? Why is it that we often don’t appreciate them until after they are … gone?

I believe that it is simply a result of our “me first” mentality. Our society teaches that our motivation needs to be, first and foremost, “look out for number one”! When we receive gifts, we often don’t see them as gifts at all; rather, we see them as something that is our “right” to have. We feel we are somehow entitled to those gifts! And then, when those gifts, which are often for a season, are taken away, we feel like we have been robbed of something that we were entitled to!

Not only do we take people and the gifts they sacrifice to give us for granted, but we tend to do the same thing with the gifts of God. We see God’s blessings, His gifts to us, as things that we have the “right” to have. Yet the Bible teaches us that, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father…” (James 1:17a NLT). This means that everything we have is … a gift! Our health, our jobs, our kids, our relationships, even the very air we breathe. When we receive them, we need to recognize them as gifts and thank God for them. And if they are taken away, our response shouldn’t be that we’ve been robbed; rather, that we were blessed to have had those things for a season!

No matter what it is, whether it be a good job, good health, a great spouse, wonderful kids, a loving pet — or even a beautiful grandmother — let’s remember to see them as gifts from God. Let’s appreciate them. Let’s thank God for them. And if they are snatched away from us, let’s remember to be grateful for the times we had with them instead of complaining about those times being gone. And let’s also show our love and appreciation for these beautiful gifts … while we still have them!

In His love,
Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer ministries.

(To access the entire “Ma Marraine” devotional series, please click here!)


Do We Truly Appreciate? Ma Marraine, Part 1