Our son Thomas has been working hard in graduate school, so when he arrived home last weekend, I wasn’t surprised to see a big pile of laundry rather than a suitcase of clean clothing. He just finished a 36-page written examination that took 5 weeks to complete, and he apologized and explained he just didn’t have time for much else- so could he use our washer and dryer? Of course, we replied- and he dutifully started a load. However, he made plans to hang out with his college buddies who live in Royal Oak- so before we knew it, he was out the door, and on his way to have some fun. And like so many times in his life, I dutifully finished up his laundry.

Laundry is actually a chore I enjoy, and now that I don’t help him with laundry often, I smiled thinking of how we’ve transitioned from tiny baby things to college t-shirts and jeans. When he arrived home, there was a freshly folded basket waiting on his bed. He gently protested, feeling a bit guilty that he had forgotten, telling me I should have waited for him. But really, tackling the extra pile and going the extra mile was one of the best parts of my day. The simple act of service was motivated by love.

When was the last time you went the extra mile? I bet you have things you’ve done at Vista Maria- tasks that fell under the “other duties as assigned” portion of your job description.  Like all of us, perhaps you grumbled about a few of them. We’re all human. But I would also guess that a few were motivated by love- or in Vista speak, love in action. True zeal. Whenever you do something for our youth and families, for your co-workers, it’s an opportunity to forward our mission and show your zeal.

Last week I celebrated my one-year anniversary at Vista Maria, and it’s been wonderful getting to know you, our programs, and the people we are blessed to serve. I see you going the extra mile in so many ways- thank you. I’ve been thinking a lot about year two, and what I’d like to see in our future. Paying attention to our culture and making changes that improve our culture is at the top of my list. Our new strategic plan is the guide- it’s posted on our intranet site, so be sure to look if you haven’t already. You’ll start to see us working on culture initiatives, such as a fresh look at DEIB at Vista Maria, in the next few months. Let’s roll up our sleeves, go the extra mile and show our zeal together!