Every now and then, our church gets together and has a potluck. Because potlucks are fun and festive and it’s always exciting to see what other people bring out of their kitchens. We have a fairly small congregation, so our potlucks are pretty casual. There are egg rolls and shrimp salads and cakes and jello molds and we pile all those things on paper plates and mingle and laugh and chase kiddos around.
*Aforementioned jello. It looks like there’s something wrong with this photo, but no, Jello is just that hard to photograph.
It’s not that I don’t want to organize it – it’s that I’m surprised I was asked at all. There are other people at our church who are more organized and better at party planning than I am. And when I say “other people” I mean: it is likely that my toddler would do a better job of organizing this kind of thing, if she had access to email.
Of course, then it would be a My Little Pony themed potluck, so maybe it is all for the best.
In true-to-myself style, I have decided to take something I’m not naturally good at and decide to do a harder version of it. Go big, or go home, right? So, this year, we’re going to have a sit down, candle lit dinner in the sanctuary, after church.
Our pastor Damon, and his wife Guia are wonderful and thoughtful and a little mischievous. They were fully aware I was hesitant to take on this task that a well-caffeinated monkey could do. But the thing they told me that turned around my attitude was this: “give yourself permission to fail.”
The thing is: I’m not a perfectionist by any means. And failure is not something that generally hangs over my head as an end-all-be-all threat. I feel like learning from failure is important and necessary. How else do we learn?
But taking on a project when others would genuinely be so much better at it is… harrowing? intimidating? Hearing that advice from Damon and Guia, and knowing that they just want to have a good time with people they love (and really, isn’t that all we ever really want?) that took a lot of the pressure off.
I’m not planning to fail. I’m not going to shrug it all off until the last minute. But in the (more than likely) event that I overlook an obvious detail – I’m going to extend myself a little grace and be cool with it. If people are fed and have good conversation and the church doesn’t burn down, I’ll call it a success.
I’ll let you know how it goes.