Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I clicked my posting link a few moments ago and through the joys of technology, was accidentally connected to facebook instead. So I took a quick glance at the many comments friends had on their sites (or whatever it's called on FB). One of my "under thirty" friends recently suggested that perhaps FB is the "morning paper" of their generation. I can certainly see why that would be the case. Much to catch up on with people from Washington state back through the plains states; a quick turn through NC and finally all that's happening with folks here in FL. Interesting.

But my topic this morning is a bit different from catching up with friends. I had such a great reminder yesterday about why we invest in friendships that I couldn't let it pass without at least mentioning it.

Yesterday I shared with you that I'm in "recovery" mode myself with so many things going on recently and not enough quiet time between. Unfortunately, the quiet time hasn't started just yet; clean-up comes before quiet in most dictionaries and so it is with church work. So, I hit the ground running again yesterday morning. One person needed a ride to the airport; another to the immigration office in Orlando.

And before I could get on the road, I had someone stop by my office who literally said, "Yeah, I hated to drop this bomb on you like this. I kinda wondered just how much stress you can handle first thing on Monday morning." They chuckled. I managed a weak smile. Hmmmm....some days are like that.

Anyway, we made it to the airport with time to spare and surprisingly (graciously) the immigration office was very near the airport. (Just realized that probably this was intentional: international airport - immigration office. Hello?! Sometimes I'm just like Sherlock Holmes. Smile.) And fortunately, I had no major role to play in being there so I indulged in a little "people watching" which happens to be one of my favorite sports.

Great fun trying to guess what country various individuals were from. Who was there with whom? Were they family or simply friends? Have they been in the US for very long? Are they working toward citizenship? What brought them to the U.S.? Obviously the workers enjoyed their jobs because they were kind and patient with everyone whether they were English-speaking or not. But forgive me, I digress.

I drove back to Winter Haven, thankful for the time with yet another person I had been needing to talk to. (Redeem the time!) I stopped at the front desk to check in with Amanda who keeps us all on the right track, confirmed lunch plans and headed back to my office to quickly scan emails.

When I pushed open the door, I stopped abruptly on the threshold. There on my desk was the most beautiful gift bag - hot pink, with black and white accents. Hot pink tissue paper alternated with pink and white polka dot paper was shooting out the top of the bag like fireworks. I gasped with delight! (And, no, that is not an exaggeration.)

Last week I had surprised a friend by correctly identifying the little known fragrance she was wearing called Amazing Grace. It is such a light but distinctive perfume and, of course, I loved the name from the first time I learned of it. There on my desk, in the middle of all the "stuff" of Monday, was my very own collection of Amazing Grace - perfume, shower gel, lotions! A gift from this friend. What a decadent and delightful blessing.

Tears sprang to my eyes. Yes, the perfume was lavish and I will definitely enjoy wearing it. But the tears came because the gift itself was such a delightful departure from everything else I've been surprised by lately. Only the Lord knows just how much I needed that little "Ahhhh" moment. A kiss from heaven!

It seems that we're more often surprised by things like spiders, spills, unexpected bills (oh please, how cute was that?!) And just every now and again we could all use a surprise of delight instead of difficulty.

Because the unexpected kindness of my friend was such an encouragement, I hope to recreate that moment for someone else today. (Isn't that called: paying it forward?) Maybe there is someone you can be a delight for as well. It doesn't really need to be more than a note, an email,a single flower left on a desk or windshield wiper. Sometimes Frank writes a little love note on a scrap of paper and tucks it in my favorite coffee cup to be discovered later - sure makes for a nice start to the morning.

Don't worry about trying to recreate the fireworks gift bag sort of surprise; sometimes simple is all that's called for. And do remember that my mom always said, "What goes around comes around." If nothing else, you'll enjoy a great smile just thinking about the face of your friend when they discover your gift of delight! Ahhhhh!

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