Wow, today has been a busy old day. This is the weekend of all of our Church Christmas Festivities. Due to a family wedding, Ros who is my good friend and the leader of the 5-11's kids work at church, left me in charge of the kids' Christmas play. To be fair, I didn't have to write the play, I just had to organise the rehearsals, direct the children, and organise activities for the kids to do after the service while the parents enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies.
It all went wonderfully smoothly, and with hindsight (all of 2.5 hours of it!) I am not sure why I found myself feeling stressed and nervous about it all over these last couple of weeks. Actually, that's not true. I do know why. I was in a position which required more of me than I am used to. This is a big part of what this year is about. Being challenged to do things I wouldn't normally do, to be put in situations that I am not immediately comfortable with, because the skills required are not my forte's. And that in itself is a bit stressful - also I think I felt like I was carrying the children a bit in all of this. Sure it was up to them to learn their lines, but it was me they and their parents looked to for answers and direction.
I am so thankful to everybody who helped me with this evening. One of the guys who has been leading kids work for many many years more than I have is absolutely amazing at seeing problems and finding solutions that I simply have to marvel at, and thinking of the things that I failed to - the wonders of team work - I love it.
Today has also been busy because I've been in the throes of preparing Christmas dinner and desserts for 17 people for tomorrow. I like to set myself a challenge with cooking and baking - to not just do the things that I know I can do, but to add a bit of excitement to the food I'm cooking, an element of surprise. This comes in the form of flavoured butters for the vegetables - an idea taken from Jamie Oliver which involves blending together different herbs and flavours with butter, which you then add to your vegetables when you come to cook them. Mmmmm...Then for dessert I've made an Italian baked marbled cheesecake and two chocolate banoffee pies. Whilst I am sure they will be delicious, I always find that when I bake something, I lose the desire to eat it, having spent so long with all of the wonderfully unhealthy ingredients! Though I'm sure when it comes to it tomorrow, I'll find a little space in my belly for some of each dessert!
Sorry for the lack of photos - I tried to put one in but blogger didn't seem to be loving it.