Speaking of unexpected surprises, I got a nice one today.
Our faith development team consists of 5 staff people. Most Catholic Churches have, at best, one or two staff people to organize and develop quality faith development programs for children/youth/ adults in a parish. We are blessed to have a team of 5: 3 part-timers (I'm one of those) and 2 full timers. Of the 5 there is one secretary, one high school youth director, one junior high youth director, and two elementary directors. We have over 700 youth/children in our faith development program at STM and so it is a formidable task to provide for these souls. Teamwork is essential when we strive for the one ultimate goal of building the kingdom of God...we work hard together, play sometimes together, pray together, fight every now and then and love each other as God wants us to love. I really enjoy the people I work with, but it's on days like today....I realize just how much.
It's customary that we celebrate each of our birthdays with a birthday lunch. The three women on the staff all have February birthdays, so the two guys decided to treat us all at once to our birthday lunch today. Normally, the birthday person (or persons in this case) picks out the venue, we all agree, and then enjoy lunch together, away from the parish office and the hustle and bustle of a normal work day. But today's birthday lunch was a little different this time. The guys went all out!
We arrived at one of the nicest restaurants in town (THEY picked) and were surprised to see a beautiful bouquet of birthday balloons as the centerpiece of the table. If that weren't enough, at each of our place settings was a gorgeous long-stemmed rose. The three of us were really impressed at the extra effort shown by the guys and felt loved and appreciated. To put it bluntly, we felt like queens. We were so excited, that we chattered on and on like three teenagers at the prom! We ate a yummy lunch (I had a fried green tomato BLT), complete with dessert. We sat there for 1 1/2 hours and just. enjoyed.
In reality, what the guys on staff did was a small gesture, but those small acts of kindness can make all the difference in the world. I know I'll never forget this birthday, and hopefully never forget how lucky I am to work with such special people. Thanks, Jim and Rob. May you be as blessed as I was today.