Tuesday, July 27th
Last week during staff meeting I had been chosen to take over as head cook for today and tomorrow while Billy and Geri had two days off. No pressure. I had to learn all about the "system" in one day yesterday to be fully ready to feed 70+ people today...and know how do it just the way it had been done the past 5 weeks. Ummm....yeah. I had the "know where things are" part okay...even the "feeding lots o' people" part...as for the "doing it just like it had been done" part...not going to happen. I am not someone else nor am I going to be in 24 hours time. That just isn't who I am. I don't expect it of others...we all do things differently in our homes, and the same is true when in the kitchen somewhere else.
My policy is more of an open door policy...come in, hang out, help some if you want or not...just feel free to come and go as you want. As long as I get things done well and for the most part on time, we're all good. If you are really lucky, you'll get to lick the beaters or snack on whatever it is I am making along the way...or eat cookie bars while they are still warm. :) Those are the perks for keeping the cook company. As for helping, here's the recipe and the stuff to make whatever...go and make it the way you know how or ask if you haven't a clue. I had to ask my Texas team members how to make sweet tea the way they liked it. I don't make it at home, so I was clueless. I asked, they answered and they liked it. We were all happy. I'm not one to have to have my hand in everything once I've assigned it to someone else...at least I try not to be.
When feeding a group of people, I like simple. Simple presentations, simple recipes, simple clean up. Especially when the dishwasher is two hands and a rag in warm, soapy water, simple is better. Simple doesn't always happen, but I do enjoy when it does.
Also, when feeding a group of people I like familiarity...something I know how to cook, even if in alot larger quantity than normal. One never knows how a group will eat...large or small amounts, preferences of one thing over another, demanding or easy going...all the variables that are not in your control affect how a group eats. Another variable out of your control are the resources in the kitchen itself. Storage, appliances, pots/pans...you make allowances as you go. My potato salad ended up in three different serving dishes before I found just the home for it. You just have to pray and do what you know how to do...and be flexible along the way. As long as there is enough food and a variety of options within reason, call it good and stand firm in it.
Walking in Tuesday, especially after my Monday, I determined that I would make the most of my day and serve the people as best I could. Did that mean it was the exact way every other Tuesday had gone previously? No. I wasn't here at Calvary every other Tuesday, so I had no reference point for such a feat. Did I serve exactly what had been served every other Tuesday...no, but everyone was fed and they had something warm to get them full for the work outside in the chilly weather. As best as the newest team member could, I walked in and owned it. May the Lord get the glory for being my Rock and my source of courage this day!!!
After lunch, which some teams ate in and some ate out, it was beautiful outside. Not a typical day in AK for me at all. Warm and sunny? Miracle. Kim and I went for a walk and enjoyed it while it lasted. There's a couple of parks just a short distance from Calvary. Pretty much in people's back yards...or front yards, depending upon how you look at it...and overlooking the water. If I had thought the flowers of AK were beautiful before, they were stunning today in the sunshine. Most of them had droplets of water still clinging to them from the rain showers that so often have fallen the past days. A reminder of just how special the sunshine really is! It was so nice to be out of the kitchen for awhile...and today it was to enjoy the beautiful weather, not to walk off tears in the pouring rain. Big improvement!
Today when I saw the teams head off for their parks, I missed being involved in that part of GraceWorks' ministry. However, my assignment this week didn't allow for me to go off and join a team and I accepted this. Doesn't mean I didn't miss it, but I am still serving God by serving others and that's all that matters. He has shown Himself merciful up to this point and He is faithful beyond my understanding...all I have to do is be obedient in the task He has called me to this week. So, after a nice walk, I returned to the kitchen.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for a new day and new mercies in this day. It wasn't an easy one, but a better one. Thank you for loving me enough to stretch me and give me opportunities to grow...all the while drawing me closer to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.