Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

What do grandgirlies like to do? Chat, go out to eat, watch a movie, chat, play games on the iPhone, shop, chat, make dinner.

My week in California began and ended with the girlies but in-between-times it was fun to do some adult things and visit with friends that I rarely see. Usually we are on such a hurried and compact schedule that there is no time for a leisurely cup of coffee or lunch. Mel and I even had two days to play without any consideration for keeping track of the time other than pick-up at 3:00. I don’t think that has been the case since Kate was born eleven years ago.

Saturday was a favorite day because it was just the girls and me (Mom and Dad were off to a retreat.) We babysat Eleanor during the midday so her folks could have a couple of hours off and later returned home to make dinner — THEY made dinner.

I enjoyed watching the give and take of chef and sous chef between Kate and Tori as they switched off and prepared their menu item. Allie set the table and decided which ice cream to have for dessert. I supervised and cleaned up.

As a grandmother, it is a great joy and real privilege to love and encourage my girlies. Praying with them before bed warms my heart as each girl brings her hopes and dreams before the Father. Listening to them read or study for a test reminds me of how much they are learning. Attending a school program and watching Tori play the part of Amelia Earhart thrills me with her ability to speak and perform well. Sitting beside them on Sunday morning at church confirms that we are one in God’s family.

Life is not easy and some days are better than others. There are days when discouragement attacks each of us. School is hard, the promotion at work fades, fatigue overwhelms, health fails. But I’m so thankful to the cloud of witnesses that have cheered me on during my life’s journey. What better role than to to do the same for my loved ones?

Give me an “F.” Give me an “A.” Give me an “M.” Give me an “I.” Give me a “Y.” What does it spell? FAMILY.