Sometimes I say yes to more than I should. Sometimes I take on tasks which are more involved than what I originally thought. Maybe this is because I’m a people pleaser. Maybe it’s because I like to stay busy. Or maybe it’s the self confidence that my dad instilled in me. Either way, it’s a blessing and a curse. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of insecurities, but there are many situations I go into thinking I got this. How hard can it be? My dad taught me to dive right in, give it all you got. Don’t do anything half-way. All or nothing.
I took an art class. I come from a family of artists and my 9 year old son could create beautiful artwork, why couldn’t I? I lasted two months. I produced art that looked like a 3rd grader’s. I discovered I am not an artist.
I directed a children’s musical at church. I was miserable and I think the kids knew it. This undertaking required calling in support from my dad to help me construct a paper-mache camel head. Don’t ask. Somehow I lasted through the performance, but I definitely didn’t win an Oscar. I am not a theater director.
I worked as a dental assistant. I lasted six months. Turns out sticking your hands in people’s mouths is not as fun as one might think. Mouths are gross. I am not a dental assistant.
I was in charge of all the decorations for our church’s vacation bible school. I transformed (with the help of many volunteers) 8 rooms and a sanctuary into a tropical rain forest. I took it very personal when the fog machines didn’t work. I lasted through the end of VBS and vowed to never do it again. I am not a decorator.
But my most recent endeavor beats them all. I agreed to cook four meals for a women’s retreat at another church. How bad can four meals be? Well, when you’re cooking for 110 women, turns out it can be bad. I started getting nervous about 20 minutes after I committed to it. But once I say I’m going to do something, doggone it, I’m doing it.
The maximum amount of people I’ve cooked for is 30. Others told me it’s not that big of a deal to cook for more. TRY 80 MORE!! Those people lied. It is a very big deal, even if you have several amazing volunteers to help.
When I walked into the kitchen and started figuring out how I was going to begin to cook 15 pounds of cut up chicken, I began to get that feeling in my stomach. You know the one. The same feeling you get as you are slowly creeping up to the top of a roller coaster and you’d suddenly give your right arm to get off that thing. I wanted out. Not possible. I was doing this.
My friend Vicki, was the guest speaker and feeling the same way I was, as this was the first time she had spoken at a retreat. As we talked on the ferry ride over I was still pretty optimistic. “What’s the worst that can happen? The food tastes bad, or I run out of food.”
Well, the worst happened. I ran out of dinner the first night with 20-25 people anxiously waiting for the chicken stir fry as promised. What they got instead was leftover soup from lunch over rice or even better, a frozen pasta dish reheated. To say it was a bummer is kind of an understatement for me. I was horrified. I realize there are bigger problems in this world, but in that moment I could think of none. I was hired to do a job and I failed. Who cares if it tasted delicious if 25 people were only hearing about it while chewing on their reheated-less than flavorful-frozen dinner.
The women were gracious. Everyone was fed…something. The world did not end, however, the life of my twice applied deodorant did. We all survived. We did not run out of food for the next two meals. The women enjoyed what they ate and I was humbled.
Would I cook for 110 people again? Heck no. But will I say yes to something I’m not sure how to do and get in over my head again? Most likely. Old habits are hard to break.
|Obviously, this is before “the incident”, since I’m smiling.
|Meal #1. This is Amber. She saved my life in the kitchen.