Sorry for the dead airwaves, friends. Doing the food for our church's women's retreat had my schedule full beyond reason. Last week I did nothing but take care of mine and Ezra's basic needs (Stephen fended for himself!) and food planning and prep for a weekend of feeding 125 women.
I want to tell you some things I learned.
I learned that, if you consider your service as a gift, it can be hard to not be offended when people don't receive it that way (like asking for something more, like hot chocolate, when you literally made over 100 cupcakes, 3 apple pies, gluten-free brownies, and gluten-free lemon bars).
I learned just how emptied I can be. Praise God, I came to the end of myself. Because, for heaven's sake, I needed to know.
I learned how carefully I must watch my thoughts when I'm tired. Of course a college girl's "worst night of sleep in [her] life" involves going to bed at 11 and waking up every 2 hours until 8am. She doesn't know that I never ever get a night of unbroken sleep, and that I just got kind-of-five-hours of sleep so I could get up and make breakfast for her. I shouldn't expect her to know that, and I shouldn't be bitter that she's a college student and not an exhausted mother who's overextended.
I learned that it really is sad when I refrain from speaking love and blessing in my friends' lives because it makes me vulnerable to them. I never have had super-close friends, and I think this is a big reason. I love having close friends, but I honestly believe no one would want me as a best friend. And I really am okay almost all the time with all my friends having closer friends than me.
I learned that there is still joy to be had when you have nothing left.
I learned that, when the rubber meets the road, the Holy Spirit is there to help me not be a horrible person to others (even as the battle rages inside).
I learned that people really like to eat breakfast casserole with ketchup, and people will come ask you even though 3/4 of the women have already gone through the line and surely someone would have asked before, right? RIGHT?
See what I mean up there? I have no grace. I mean, okay, I have a very teeeeeensy amount. Just enough to not be snotty out loud. I suppose that really can be summed up in that I learned that college students just don't realize that the woman who's been in the kitchen LITERALLY FOREVER (I went there) probably doesn't need another person coming and asking for something. Eat your casserole and you're welcome.
I learned that some people will come help you even though it isn't their turn to help or they're stressed about getting back and studying.
Some people will go out of their way to compliment your cooking and ask for the recipe.
Some people will tell you it makes them feel loved (happy day!) and give you a hug.
Most of all, I learned that women really, REALLY like liquid creamer. ;)