On April 1st, I jumped on a freight train and have been holding on for dear life. The church calendar brings with it many celebrations which involves the planning, the meeting, the gathering, the shopping, the emailing, and the phone calling that leads up an event or special day. Then there’s the follow up which is just as important, because folks need to know that their participation matters.  Because it does.  When you only know a handful of people, the freight train can feel like it’s headed downhill, picking up speed at every turn.

Yesterday, I felt that train headed uphill and I felt like I belonged for the first time.

Maybe it was because so many greeted me with a smile and called me by my name before and between services.

Maybe it was because someone asked me about my Mother since it was Mother’s Day.

Maybe it was because someone came up and said they would have liked to be a part of VBS, but that safety and security training was not for them. (Safe Sanctuary training)

Maybe it was because one of the young men in youth said, “Sure” when I asked for help with Children’s Church. (He was fantastic as we sat around a table of little people chit-chatting, tracing and cutting handprints for Mother’s Day cards, talking about the latest Lego movie.)

Maybe it was because longtime members chose to sit beside me at both services and offered words of affirmation after the Children’s Moment.  (Now we all know that we don’t do what we do for the words of affirmation, but when you start something new, it let’s you know you’re in the ballpark.)

Maybe it was because there were two handwritten notes left on the desk in my office.  One with a bag of sunflower seeds and words of encouragement.  Another a list of supplies that are needed.

Maybe it was because I was introduced to someone’s sweet thing.

Maybe it was because someone kind remembered that baby girl is coming into town on Fantastic Friday “Noodle Night” and mentioned trying to relieve me early so I can spend a few precious moments with her.

Maybe it was because all these and more were like a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek from the LORD whom I adore and desire to please with all my being.

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