Since hearing Isabel Allum speaking a few weeks ago I am really trying to be more thankful - or as they said on UCB the other morning, "cultivate an attitude of gratitude"! I am trying this in various ways and I have to admit it is making me happier!
We are about to move cities, so when I went into the city centre today it was possibly for the last time. I went into Starbucks and was delighted to see my usual barista was working. This woman is a total delight, she always smiles and is ever so helpful. From "simple things" like carrying my drink to the table for me whilst I handle the pram, to going the extra mile and taking my drink and food order but waiting until I have fed my daughter (this is back when she was still on milk) to make it. So I would order and pay, then go and sit down and feed eBear, then when I I was ready I would give her the nod and she would make up my drink and toast the fruit toast and bring it over to me, so that I could still enjoy a hot drink - not watch it go cold as I fed! Honestly, she is a real gem!
As I drank my drink today I felt I really wanted to tell her how much she brightens up a drab day in town, but being an introvert I am not good at expressing things out loud. So after I left I headed over to the Christian book shop and picked out a thank you card with a small text written in it, not an in your face "I love your servant heart and so does Jesus" [although this is true] but more subtle, at the bottom of the page it quoted Ephesians 1:16a [NIV] "I have not stopped giving thanks for you". When we stopped to have our lunch I wrote out a message whilst eBear chomped her food. As I headed back to Starbucks I could not work out if I hoped this angel barista would still be on shift or not. I was not bothered about her knowing it was from me, I just wanted her to know someone noticed she went the extra mile and was thankful for her. When I got there, she was still working. I simply popped the card on top of the counter and said "this is for you" she picked it up beaming and said "ah, thank you! Can I open it?" I said 'sure' and as she headed out from behind the counter she asked "have you just been going around town being nice to people today?" [this was in reference to three take out teas I had ordered earlier, an act of random kindness didn't go quite so well - carrying three teas whilst pushing a pram, yeah, I didn't think it through!] I laughed and said "no, I just wanted to say thank you for always being lovely. We are moving so I may not see you again so before we go I wanted to say thank you for always being so kind to us." at which point she clutched the card to her chest and thanked me, then hugged me saying "Oh don't say that! You're one of my favourite customers, you can't be leaving! You always come in smiling and happy" she gave a sideways look before saying more quietly "not many people do you know!" then laughed and asked where we were moving to. I told her and then said I just wanted to make sure I said thank you for always brightening our day and being so kind when we came in, at which point she hugged me again saying how lovely it was to have me come in smiling and she would miss me. I left her happy and smiling, saying I had made her day and she had still not opened the card and seen her tip with the instructions "please treat yourself as a thank you for how you've treated us!"
It has really blessed me to know I have made her day. The fact that I have found out that I have made a difference to her day when I have been in and smiled has also blessed me. I have always seen it as a one way blessing - that she has gone the extra mile as she severed me and made my day that bit easier. I have never considered my actions towards and conversations with her may have blessed her day! Anyway, if I may, I would love to encourage you to bless your barista today. It could lead to great conversations and bless you in return!