I have had 2 jobs almost consistently since I was 18. But that streak will end in a few days.
I had my last choir rehearsal with the gang at Westwood Wednesday night. But we didn't sing a single note. Instead, they surprised me with a farewell party. It was fitting, not only because I like to eat, but also because it brought back memories. Ethan was born on a Monday in 2004. I led worship the first time as interim the following Sunday. Within a couple weeks, the choir threw us a surprise baby shower. So you could say we began and ended our time there with food.
|Photo credit: Deb Ingram. Cake Credit: Deb Ingram via Edgar's Bakery.|
We did eat a lot. But we also laughed a lot remembering the past 9 years.
|The After picture. The Before pic is not suitable for public viewing.|
|The Shawn Action figure. It does not include swivel arm battle grip.|
This is one of my favorite things on my shelf. Back in 2004 Millie Caffee made a
figurine action figure of me including my Penske logo shirt, Birkenstocks, pigeon toes, and hand on my heart as I led worship.
|One of the many memorable comment cards I received over the years.|
I received this comment card after wearing a Clone Trooper helmet into the service to promote our Fall Festival in 2010. I was glad to have inspired someone in such a powerful way. I'm not sure who wrote this, but I think his name starts with an "A" and ends with an "ustin Cranford".
|Another memorable note from a worshiper|
Unfortunately, not every note was always encouraging. But in this person's defense, he or she was right. At the time, I was trying to do too many songs. When I focused on better songs and less "filler" songs our services got better. Note: this person's name is not "Happy". I added a random sticker to protect his or her identity.
Warning: The next paragraph gets serious for a minute. One of the best parts of the night though was when we were finished cleaning up. I was overwhelmed. Having just packed up or thrown out almost 10 years worth of ministry stuff was a lot to deal with. I asked my fam to sit with me around the desk and just pray. I thanked God for the wonderful memories, friends, and ministry we'd had there. I thanked Him for blessing us in so many ways. I asked Him to continue to bless Westwood. I prayed for our future church family and ministry at Northside. I think my voice only broke with emotion a couple times. It was a powerful moment that I'll never forget.
Ok, the serious moment is over now.
After everything was packed, The Lovely Kristi headed home and the boys and I stopped for milkshakes at Sonic. I ordered a peanut butter shake. I drank it as I drove home and quickly realized there was something crunchy in it.
IT WAS BACON YA'LL!!!
Now, I was aware they had a bacon shake. But I had not asked for it. So basically, I got a bacon surprise! After such an emotional night, you know what can help make things all better?
I'll tell you... surprise bacon.