Last night, we had our Relief Society Birthday Celebration. (a.k.a. Enrichment, a.k.a. Homemaking.) This was the extent of my amazing decor:
I was in charge and had a great committee to help me:
I think it turned out nice. My motto is "do nothing until the last minute." No. Just kidding. My real motto is "Make sure the food is good and don't worry about decorating." We had soup, salad, and Fazoli's bread sticks and ladies in the ward shared temple experiences.
As I came home last night and fell into bed, I remembered back to twenty years ago when I was 16 years old. The Relief Society in my ward was doing a fashion show of antique dresses and outfits for Enrichment. The lady in charge (who shall remain nameless but I remember her distinctly to this day!) decided to have the young women in the ward be the models. We were all asked to come to the church the day before and get fitted in outfits for the show.
At 16, I was the same size I am now. 5'9, decent sized chest, long legs. Do you see where this is going? The antique clothes were made for ladies 100 years ago who were five foot nothing and probably flat as a board. To say the clothes were short and tight on me was an understatement. They had me try on outfit after outfit and they would sit and snicker and whisper about how inappropriate I looked. Finally, I burst into tears and told them I wasn't doing their stupid show and ran for my car.
When I got home, my mom asked me what was wrong. I explained what happened and I couldn't even finish before she was in her car heading to the church. She marched in and told those ladies off and reminded them that the church is about people not programs and told them she wouldn't be coming to their lousy fashion show. Boo-yeah! And for those of you who don't know my mom..everyone loves her. She was the toast of the ward. So that was a big deal!
My darling mom:
To this day, I try to think about that experience when I plan things for church. But I also know that people aren't perfect..in any organization. We all make mistakes. We all get caught up in trying to make our event perfect. We all want to succeed and we offend people along the way.
Recently, I attended a testimony meeting where a woman spoke of God's grace. Grace isn't a term we often use in the Mormon church but it basically means we all get to return to His presence because the Atonement. She reminded us that the Atonement is a gift. We are not EARNING our way back to Him--we are PRACTICING our way back. I loved that.
So as I go forward in the future, my goal is to put people first, events second and forgive others along the way. Oh, and thank the Lord every night that I am no longer in cub scouts!!!