My husband and our seventh child were born on the same day, 31 years apart, which is why Stephen is named after his Dad. This year, their birthday happened to fall on Sunday, so with the help of many others in our church, we threw a surprise birthday party in my husband's honor.
Being married to a pastor, I can tell you that they work a lot more, longer, and harder than anyone would ever suspect. It's a lot like parenting - juggling hundreds of things all of the time, with rarely a break ever. When it's not one thing, it's another. And just like parenting, the benefits of investing in the lives of others, seeing them grow and mature (spiritually) makes it all worthwhile and enjoyable. I know my husband considers it a great privilege to be able to serve God in his capacity as pastor, but I also know how hard he works and wanted to acknowledge that on his birthday.
We set a new Sunday morning attendance record of 295, which of course is always exciting. After the service, the men quickly turned the auditorium into a fellowship hall with tables and chairs, where we all enjoyed a wonderful meal together.
A man in our church had a house-warming party last year to which we were invited. He served pork that had been slowly smoked all night in a fire pit he built. My husband absolutely loved that meat, so I approached this gentleman and asked him if he could make enough of this meat to feed 300 people. Thankfully, he said yes, even though I know it was a ton of work for him. He had to build a much bigger fire pit to fit three whole pigs, and tend the coals constantly for 24 hours, even during the night, while temperatures outside were in the mid 110s. His efforts really paid off though, because the meat was just superb, and my husband was very happily surprised by such a royal meal.
"Stretcher coming through!"
The master chef with one of his victims
He's a nurse in real life, so that probably came in handy. Or maybe (hopefully?) not.
The taste test
Passed with flying colors!
The rest of our table hadn't been called to one of the buffet lines yet.
My husband was just thrilled with everyone being in church and then having a meal together, but he also received many gifts, all of which he loved and very much appreciated. One of his gifts was this award for being an SPLC-certified hate group ;-)
The kids in church also made him a super-awesome candy-gram.
There was a photo booth for the kids, cotton candy, birthday cake and desserts, and lots of other fun that day. Thank you so much to all who helped make this day possible!
Look at Boaz, the little man! I will have to keep my eyes on him!
35 candles - and he blew them out in one go!
I will blog about our family birthday celebration at home another time.