What Grounds You?

Are You Grounded? and grand-parenting by Jeannie Bruenning

Are You Grounded? and grand-parenting by Jeannie BruenningWhat grounds you? she asked the small group that had gathered for an evening of reflection. I had to chuckle to myself. The word grounded had surfaced frequently over the past week.

Our new grand-parenting life has changed our vocabulary a bit. Questions like, Do you have homework? What time will you be home? Who’s driving?, are now regularly asked.

The word grounded was one of those words I assumed had run it’s course. We didn’t use it much with the kids were teens. Being grounded was simply a challenge for our oldest and our youngest never needed to be. I remember the few times we did use it as a punishment, it quickly translated in more work for me.

Grounded is typically connected to a negative situation. A plane is grounded due to weather, kids get grounded for punishment. Grounded, stuck, imprisoned…it’s a force that prevents movement.

This past week I pulled the old punishment out of retirement and used it in hopes of reinforcing an important lesson.

When I was asked, “So, am I grounded?” I wanted to respond, “God I hope so!!! I want you to be grounded in the…

  •  knowledge of who you are and the an amazing human you are becoming.
  •  understanding that love surrounds you every day, all day.
  •  belief that there is nothing you have to do to make God love you more.
  •  faith that nothing is impossible and your life is unfolding before you and will lead you to amazing, unimaginable places.”

My response was, “Let’s call it house arrest and see how the weekend goes.”

We all need to be under house arrest from time to time. We need a force that prevents us from movement. It’s in those time of quiet, stillness, times when nothing seems to be happening that allow us to become just a little more grounded. It’s in those times we can figure out, “What grounds us?”


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Define Your Purpose is a study in finding passion and purpose in everyday life. It’s a great step in becoming more grounded. 

Living Unstuck, finding your joy.

We Were Given a Gift

jeannie bruenning

A few months ago Jeff and I were given a gift we never expected. If we had been asked three months ago if we wanted such a gift, we would most likely have laughed. 

The gift is a human. She’s 4’8”, but claims to be 4’9”. She’s lived less than a one-third our life span and is required to go to school every day. It’s been 16 years since we’ve had a 16-year-old in our home and when we stop to think of the reality of it, it makes our eyes twitch, heads shake and hands tremble. 

But she is our gift. She’s a beautiful soul that loves life and whose favorite word is “EXCITING!” She offers abundant hugs, is generous with her thank-you’s, and says, “Oh Hoppy!” at the appropriate times. 

We were awarded temporary custody of our grand-daughter because a lawyer and a judge felt she needed a break from home life. There are gaps. There are holes. There are missing pieces that Jeff and I get to fill – and fix – and help heal. Of anything we have ever done in our lives, this moment in time out shines them all.

We continue to hear comments about how wonderful it was that we were willing to take this precious, crazy, fun, life loving soul in. To which I have to ask, “Given the option, wouldn’t everyone do this?”

Three months ago Jeff and I were two old – but not that old – couple deciding what time to meet on the front porch. We were beginning to joke about senior moments, now we discuss 16-year-old adventures. Life used to be nice, but as the song says, “Nice is different than good.”

Today, life is good – which is different than nice. In fact, it’s way better. 

We are now grand-parenting to prepare, rather than parenting to protect. We get to be a part in preparing this human for life, for independence, for a future filled with possibilities.

A willing soul will find plenty of opportunity to impact lives. Scary opportunities can turn out abundantly rewarding.

Most of all,  good is so much better than nice.