A few months ago I wrote about two best friends who became sisters, and who then stayed best friends forever. It’s one of my favorite stories of all time, and if you haven’t read it, I’d be honored if you’d check it out here.
But the last few days, I’ve had a strong desire to share the other half of the story. I told you about precious Dorothy, and we had a service challenge in honor of her. I rocked my light blue fingernails for weeks, and it was an honor to look down at my hands, smile, and remember to treat everyone I met like a long-lost brother or sister.
And now … it’s time to continue our story with the second half of the dynamic duo.
When we left off our story, it was beautiful Ann’s wedding day. She and Dorothy were in the hallway outside the chapel. They were hugging each other, squealing, bouncing up and down in the hall in their puffy dresses and yelling, “We DID it! We DID it! We GOT HIM!”
That’s where her story ended last time. But in reality, it was just beginning.
Ann and Dave were blessed with six beautiful children. They began a legacy of faith and of love. They served at Church, they served their neighbors, they served at home. They lived near Dorothy (and her sweetheart, Chuck) and they raised their babies together. Quietly, in her own sweet way, Ann blessed her children with the love that every child deserves.
And then, many years later, came the most important day of Ann’s life.
I – her favorite grandchild – was born.
(I know you think I’m either kidding, or a little full of myself. But here’s the truth: deep in my heart, I’m confident that I’m my Grandma Crockett’s favorite.)
(And her 14 other grandkids are equally confident that THEY are her favorite.)
She makes each one of us feel that way.
What a priceless, precious gift.
I live far away from my grandparents now, but when I’m back in town and talking with my Grandma, one look into her loving eyes has me convinced that she’s never happier than when I’m there. As I have gone through the greatest challenges of my life, she has cried with me. As I have gone through my happiest seasons, she has rejoiced with me. She has celebrated my graduations and my wedding and the births of my babies. She has worried about me. She has prayed endlessly for me. And with every step forward I take in my life – with every accomplishment – I am absolutely confident that she couldn’t be prouder of me. My heartbreak is hers; my joy is hers.
If only everyone could have this kind of love. What a place this world would be!
As I began working on this week’s challenge, I reached out to some of my cousins. I asked them how they could summarize Grandma’s love. And the answer: “I think Grandma serves in her kitchen!” And it’s so very true. If you asked her is she were an accomplished chef, she would laugh and shake her head. And I don’t know what exactly makes an accomplished chef. But … well … perhaps a lifetime of …
Baking thousands of cakes to celebrate births and birthdays. Preparing tray upon tray of enchiladas at Christmastime. Lovingly filling huge Rubbermaid containers full of cookies for her grandkids to sneak into. Stocking her home with her grandchildren’s favorite nacho cheese, chilling mugs for root beer, buying jars of pickles for her salt-loving granddaughters. Spending countless hours kneading dough for her legendary rolls (which are devoured in seconds). Rolling out pie crust with little helping hands nearby, and saving the scraps to make a special cinnamon sugar cookie just for you. Making sure that her babies (and grandbabies, and great-grandbabies) were fed and nourished and happy. Making sure that every person who leaves her kitchen is full of food, and full of love.
If she isn’t a master chef, I don’t know who is.
So this week’s service challenge: Be like my grandma, and serve from your kitchen. Cook, bake, sautee, frost, blend … whatever your heart desires. It doesn’t really matter what you cook.
Just cook with love.
Bake cookies for your neighbor, bring dinner to a new mom, drop off a pie to someone who needs encouragement. Make your daughter’s favorite dinner, grill your wife’s favorite steak, bake your son’s favorite bread, whip up your husband’s favorite brownies.
Serve from your kitchen this week.
Make someone feel like they’re your favorite.
Make someone feel loved.
Just like grandma does.
How are you going to participate in this week’s service challenge? Who gets to feel like they’re your favorite this week?