Nancy Moser

Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane (Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novels are Masquerade and An Unlikely Suitor. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at and and her historical blog:



Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
                                                                              Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)

Our kids do dumb things.

So do we.

The clincher is kids do dumb things because they don’t know any better. We adults do dumb things because we have forgotten the unwritten rule that shrewdly ushered us through many temptations: the Grandma Rule. Don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to know about.

The rule stops us in our tracks like a sharp yank on the collar, doesn’t it? Grandmothers are our consciences. A conscience with gray hair, worry wrinkles, laugh lines, and pink lipstick that marks our cheeks with a kiss. And that crevasse between their eyebrows? It didn’t pop up overnight. It was formed by a lifetime of knowing looks. One look from a five-foot-nothing grandma has the power to halt a six-foot-something adult and make him stare at his shoes. World wars could be avoided if the Grandma Rule were made law.

Yet grandmothers have another side. Their gentle hugs, the scent of roses, and the taste of freshly baked cookies generate the feeling of security as capably as curling up in a crocheted afghan on a rainy day.

A grandmother’s love contains both comfort and bite; tenderness and strength. Their favor is light, their displeasure a heavy shadow. When they scold, we feel as low as a bug under a shoe. We are so eager for their approving—and forgiving—smiles that we rarely make the same mistake twice.

Thus, we have the Grandma Rule.

Would our teenagers dare cut class or say a cuss word if Grandma would find out? With the image of Grandma hovering close, would they risk watching a movie they shouldn’t, or wear that outfit that makes us cringe? Would we parents snap impatiently at our children, leave the dirty dishes in the sink, or fudge on our taxes if Grandma were in the room? I don’t think so.

The Grandma Rule urges us to do the right thing in return for unconditional love. Funny . . . isn’t that how God works too? We try to be our best to please Grandma.

Do we try to be our best to please God?

We should. It’s in our best interest, and I know that God and grandmothers are in cahoots—I think they’re involved in hourly updates. Although my grandmothers are gone now, I hope they know their prayers on my behalf were not in vain. Their consciences have become mine. At least most of the time.

But I can do better. Grandmothers accept no excuses, and neither should we—from ourselves or from our children. It’s not that hard to do the right thing. We can be our best if we do our best by following the Grandma Rule.

Doing so will make Grandma—and God—proud. There is no higher incentive.

Or higher reward.


Nancy Moser