This coming Saturday is the 60th birthday of my friend Mark. Last night, his family, friends and co-workers managed to give him a surprise birthday party. It was the first time in their 35 years of marriage that his wife, Carole, had managed to completely surprise him.
Mark and Carole are special people. In the nearly 11 years that I’ve been in St Louis, they’ve become like an extra set of parents. They have helped us out with some home maintenance, invited us to their house for holidays you traditionally spend with family, making us feel like a part of the family. They have been small group leaders, mentors, confidants, and faithful warriors in prayer. Mark also shares my sense of humour – I suspect that could be because he’s half English.
They’ve brought up four wonderful children who have also become good friends. They are reasonably well balanced adults now, with their own individual quirks, but they reflect the great parenting job that Mark and Carole have done.
If you want to know how to have a good relationship and be a good parent, you can’t go far wrong by looking at Mark and Carole as role models.
I’m thankful for them both, and for their family, and for the many blessings they have been to us, and I’m honoured to have been invited to be a part of Mark’s celebrations yesterday.