I have a weird fear of cooking for other people. Cooking for my family is fine. Jeremy is gracious and somehow, our kids think that I’m the greatest cook in the world, bless their hearts. But the thought of cooking for other people is super stressful to me. A long time ago, I came to terms with the fact that I will never be one of those super homey and hospitable Pastor’s wives, who invites the congregation over for a Sunday meal. I’ll happily be the Pastor’s wife who will buy you pizza, or take your family picture or watch your kids, but the whole cooking thing just isn’t me.
So, you can imagine my surprise, when I feel really truly that God is calling me to cook dinner for six or so 5th and 6th grade boys every Wednesday. It started casually last week after Hangtime, when Christian had friends over for his birthday. It was easy then, because Michaelangelo’s of Eastport technically cooked up the meal and it was so delicious. And as the boys sat around our dining room table, happy and awesome, I knew that this might have to become a thing.
Wednesdays, as you know if you’ve read my blog in the past month, is an incredible day for us. It’s the day that we have our after-school program, Hangtime. It’s a beautiful afternoon of kids and leaders and helpers and all kinds of fun. And afterwards, I’m usually pretty tired. But then Wednesday nights are our church’s Stockade program, for 3rd though 6th grade boys. And Christian and his friends love it. But there happens to be this hour and a half gap that needs to be bridged for a group of the students. And I’ve realized that cooking dinner for these guys helps to bridge that gap.
So, tonight was our first official dinner night. Now really, I shouldn’t complain. Because one of the moms sent over a big BJs pack of chicken nuggets. So all I had to do was cook red potatoes and make coleslaw to go along with it. And all in all, it was awesome. None of the boys complained about my “cooking.” It was fun and funny to hear their conversations as they ate. And after ruling out letting them play manhunt in the rain (because yes, they wanted too, but all I could think of is what if someone got hurt), we ran over to the church to hang out for a bit before Stockade started.
I’m not writing this post to tell you how great I think I am for facing one of my silly fears. I’m writing it to say that it’s good to challenge ourselves at times. Even if we are afraid of being a little uncomfortable. God calls us to do the uncomfortable things and then brings so many blessings when we do. I don’t know that anything great will ever come out of these Wednesday dinners. But I do know that I want our son to want his friends to come over to our home. And I do know that I want to be willing to be a part of whatever God has for these kids. And if it means being a little out of my comfort zone, I’m learning to be okay with it.