Anna works as a teacher in her local children's school, preparing them for first grade. She is content with her life and gives as much of her time to her church as she can. Her church has a new minister, who is causing quite a commotion among the single female members of the congregation. Not only is he single, but he's handsome and single.
Anna knows she doesn't have a chance with him. Or does she?
Anna sighed as she caught little Bethany yet again. Bethany was convinced that escaping from the church nursery was her most important goal in life. It was her favorite place to be, but she sure loved to torment the adults in there with her. She would pull up on the gate that kept the children in, and somehow get her little fingers into the latch and get it open. No one knew how she did it. She had to be watched every second.
Anna kicked off her shoes and tucked them into the corner, smiling at the teenager who'd been assigned to help her this week. If not for the youth group, Sunday mornings here at Parkside Community Church would be extremely difficult to get through.
Parkside Community Church was in a quiet neighborhood in Arlington, Texas. The members were Rangers fans during the summer and Cowboys fans in the fall. In the winter, they turned into Maverick fans. They loved to have backyard barbeques and swim parties. They had potlucks and baby showers and weddings. The core members were a giant family, and it was a family that Anna was proud to be a member of.
Every Sunday morning a different youth rotated in and out of the baby room to be her assistant. She'd agreed to temporarily take on the baby room six months ago. She said she couldn't do it for more than a month. Of course, she'd known then that the month would stretch to at least two. Even she hadn't expected six months. She loved the babies. She loved serving, but she would love to hear a sermon for a change.
She sat down with Bethany and held her while she drank her bottle. Her helper was one who had worked with her multiple times, so she knew the ropes, which was a huge relief. Working in the hectic baby room with someone new was always difficult. Thankfully only three of the six babies were awake right now, and one was happily sucking on his fist in the baby swing.
"Isn't the new pastor dreamy?" Ashley asked with a far-away grin as she rocked little Matthew to sleep.
There'd been an uproar when the pastor-search committee had announced that they'd chosen a single man to be the new pastor, but their reasoning was sound. They wanted someone young and not set in their ways. They wanted someone who could be wholly focused on the church, at least for a bit, and not thinking about children or a wife. They knew it could bring trouble down the road, and they'd most likely have a wedding to contend with soon, but they'd made the decision they thought best for the church.
When the complaints continued, the search committee had calmly pointed out Jesus was single and no one would have questioned hiring him as pastor. The entire congregation had quieted. Anna had not heard a negative thing about him since he'd arrived.
Anna smiled. "That's what I keep hearing. I haven't had a chance to meet him yet." She looked forward to it, though. They'd had the same pastor here for her entire life, and she was looking forward to being present for a new pastor's sermons.
"He's been here over a month! You never miss church. How come you haven't met him?"
Anna smiled down into little Bethany's eyes causing her to grin around the nipple of her bottle. "I get here early to set up for Sunday school. I try to make the kindergarten class as interactive as I can. Then for the service, I'm in here with the babies. They're trying to find someone to replace me, but so far, no one has been willing."
Ashley frowned. "How come the moms of the babies don't help out in here? It's always you and someone from the youth group."
Anna shrugged. "I don't mind being with the babies. They make me smile." Which was true as far as it went.
"I still think their moms need to help out, too. What about Wednesday nights?"
"I'm too busy with the kids program to be able to get out and meet the pastor. I have to make the time, I know, but so far, there just hasn't been enough. Maybe before he's been here for a year, we'll meet."
"Well, he's gorgeous. He's young, too. Maybe he can wait two more years for me to turn eighteen before he gets married." The excited look on Ashley's face had Anna picking little Bethany up to burp her so she could hide her grin.
"Maybe he will. I've only heard good things about him."