Monday, March 23, 2009

Facing My Giants

There are certain situations that intimidate me. Areas where I know I'm weak or ineffective. I work on those areas and try to make them stronger, but some of it just does not come naturally to me. Once in a while an occasion will come up that showcases these weaknesses, and I dread it when that happens. I know no one can be good at everything. (Although I also know people that come uncomfortably close to being good at everything.) There are some areas where I really shine. I am (I think) an above-average writer. I thrive on public speaking. (I know, that makes me weird.) Put me in front of a group and I will soon be in my element. One-on-one I'm not as good at, but I'm working on it.
So what areas intimidate me? Are you ready for my deep dark little secrets?
Creative get-togethers. I've been invited to two scrapbooking parties in my life. I enjoy the concept of scrapbooking, but I'm not very good at it. I just don't get really great ideas about how to display things on a page. My efforts always look amateurish and silly. At one scrapbook party I spent the entire time writing. "Journaling" they called it, but it was writing. I can do all sorts of things with words if someone gives me a blank page. Pictures and decorations? Not so much.
The other party was actually a tag decorating party. My immediate thought was, they make tags already. Why do we have to decorate them? A friend who is aware of my limitations bought me a tag decorating set so I could hold my head above water. Mine still looked kindergarten ready.
I was also once invited to a baby shower. The mother-to-be was in another city, so everyone brought their gifts and wrapped them at the shower. I've wrapped hundreds of gifts--no problem there--and I wasn't worried until I got to the party. There were all sorts of ribbons and stickers and fun things to decorate your presents AND design cards. I bribed someone else to wrap my present for me and I spent my time writing funny stuff in my homemade card. Which had no decorations on it.
There's not getting around it. I didn't get the craft gene.
The other area of intimidation? Are you ready for this? Pot luck suppers. Church fellowships. That sort of thing. And we go to a church that fellowships at least once a month. Sometimes twice a month. And they have themes. You can't just bring the one dish that you perfect for these occasions. One night it might be chicken night. Another night we all do soup and chili. Another fellowship might have a tex-mex theme. I'm really out of my element here. But I'm the pastor's wife. There's no getting around this one. I've got to bring stuff.
So I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone. But I still have a few rules to make things easier on myself.
1. I never try new things. If I haven't made it several times I don't bring it to a fellowship.
2. I don't aim for the best on the table. I don't care if no one ever asks me for my recipe. I just don't want to have my dish still full when everyone else's is scraped clean on the buffet table. I definitely aim for middle of the road here. I just want something good enough to blend in.
3. I keep quiet about what I brought. There's no sense in making a big deal out of mediocrity. I don't mind not standing out for greatness as long as I don't stand out for the worst dish ever.
So there you have it. Some of my weaknesses. Areas where I long to measure up, but I'm afraid I never will. What about you? Where's the end of your comfort zone? And what do you do about it?


  1. I don't feel very comfortable speaking in public. I have done it, but feel much better while in a very small group and when we are all sitting down in a circle or something. I am a lot better in one-on-one. It was especially bad when I had to do it in the States (I am not great speaking english in case you haven't notice it :)). Sometimes I even had pastors asking me to stand up in the pulpit and give my salvation testimony because i was from Spain (you know, a result of missions now being a missionary) and they supported the missionary that lead me to the Lord. I knew it was special for them so I did my best, but one time they were even shouting "Amen", I wanted to run....

  2. Contrary to the opinion of some, I don't like to be in the spotlight. My comfort zone is behind the scenes. Being the star of the show has no draw for me. I'd rather be a supporting cast member. Better yet, just let me be the gopher!


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