Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I have a passion for not cooking

I'm a people pleaser. I admit it. I like to help other people and I like to see them be happy. Because of that, I often find myself in stressful situations trying to juggle all my "yeses" at one time.

(Cue Jimmy Fallon's thank-you note music.)

So thank you, Lysa TerKeurst, for writing The Best Yes and teaching me that saying "yes" to baking goods for a fundraiser is not helping anyone. At all. 

You see...I am not a cook. I don't pretend to be - even after staying at a Holiday Inn Express. And I don't play one on tv. It's just not my gift. I know, I know. All you cooks out there are shaking your heads and judging me - "It's not that hard. Just follow a recipe, for the love." I hear you. And I see your heads shaking. And I'm ok with your judgement because I know cooking is not my gift, nor is it something I enjoy. Even slightly. (And now you're worried about the well-being of my family, right?)

And those who really know me, know that. They know I have a limited repertoire from which to pull things from and they really don't ask me to cook anymore. They offer up the "Will you take care of the paper goods?" option when planning get togethers - because cute napkins and plates? Now you're speaking my language. Or maybe a "Could you grab some drinks?" because that I can do also. And if I compliment them on something they've cooked, any instructive explanations are quickly prefaced with "It's so easy!"

I get it and I own it, people. 

So each year, our local church has a bazaar (and some of the white elephant gifts truly are truly bazaar!) and all the sweet ladies in our community bake their best cakes and pies and can their yummy fruits and vegetables. And I, well, I contribute nothing. They asked me to make cookies our first year in the FUMC Louisville family, and I'm pretty sure my sweet husband ended up buying them so he didn't have to listen to me cry about how no one bought my cookies. Bless him. Seriously.

Every few years, some new poor soul will get the task of calling all the church ladies and asking them to make something for the bake sale...and she -- because the "Do Not Call" sticky note next to my name has obviously fallen off -- calls me. There's the awkward moment where the people pleaser in me wants to shout "YES! I'll be happy to make some cookies or a pie or bake a beautiful cake!" 

And then reality hits. (Cue deflating balloon noise falling to the ground) 

The reality is that my sweet husband will likely be forced to hear me stress over what to make for several days before I throw together some list of obscure baking items to I have to find at the grocery store and then stress for a few more days about messing up whatever delicacy (I use that word with air quotes and eye roll inserted) I've decided to try before I FINALLY deliver said goods to the bake sale...only to have them sit unpurchased because people KNOW I don't cook.

So, as sad as it makes me because the proceeds of the Bazaar benefit MISSIONS, for Pete's sake,  I have learned to say to the sweet lady, "No, I just can't contribute to the Bazaar in that way this year." And, hopefully, that dear sweet lady will find that sticky note before next year so neither of us has to face that awkward moment again. Amen?

I own it. I cannot cook. And saying "yes" to helping with the Bazaar in this way would be beneficial to no one. But, I can do other things in my church family that are my best "yes" and don't cause unnecessary amounts of stress and strain on myself (or others).

I'm (slowly, and often painfully) learning what my best yes looks like and how to find JOY in saying "no" rather than being overwhelmed with guilt from letting someone down. It hasn't been easy and I sometimes slip up and a reflexive "yes" sneaks in before I can stop it.

Do you struggle with finding your best yes in similar situations? Are you able to say "no" without feeling guilt? Would love for you to share your suggestions!

Sidenote: The FUMC Louisville Fall Bazaar is Saturday, November 1 in the Family Life Center. There will be lots of yumminess - that I didn't make - so do swing by and check it out if you're in the Louisville area. 

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