Monday, June 16, 2008

Being hard on ourselves

This past week was rough. I was very busy, which didn't leave enough time to get done everything on the To Do list, at least not with much time to spare. It's difficult when life has a long To Do list, even if some of the things on that list are good, helpful, selfless, charitable.

Our church had vacation bible school last week and I signed up to make dinners for all participants and their families. We did not have a solid headcount so Handsome and I bought supplies for the closest number of kids we anticipated.

There were many more kids than what we anticipated.

Even though the meals were gobbled up and everyone was very complimentary, I was kicking myself for not over-planning. I didn't anticipate there being so many additional people there. So, when they ran out of taco shells, I took it as a personal failure that I only bought 60, instead of 80. (Although, with 80 shells, we would've run out of taco meat. Which wouldn't have made me feel any better.)

Having more kids participate in vacation bible school than were anticipated is actually a good thing! The fact that I wasn't entirely prepared for as many kids and parents who showed up hungry just helps me prepare better for next year.

Saturday, at our Mile High Hunt, the entire first part of the day was awesome. We had over 50 teams sign up and lots of people had really great costumes. It was a great turnout. Handsome and I were responsible for two separate routes. We each took lots of phone calls for the "Phone A Friend" option, for which participants paid $5 to get a phone call to help them figure out where they should be or where they needed to go. When the teams started rolling in at the finish line, we were responsible for scoring them, too.

The teams were either following an "A" route or a "B" route. Due to the fact that I didn't read which questions were different between the two routes, I scored each "B" route incorrectly on question #2. I was consistent in that, which should have alerted me to the fact that every single "B" route got question #2 wrong. But it was hectic and I was in too much of a hurry to get their cards scored.

One team, a "B" route team, couldn't understand what they did wrong. After looking at the answers, they thought they got every question correct, and their time was pretty good. So, they asked me, what gives? I got their answer card and showed them that #2 was incorrect. They challenged me on it and I realized my mistake. But, by that time, the prizes had already been distributed.

I felt awful. What could I do? They came over and demanded an apology, which I gave and asked what else I could do for them. But they were ticked off. Did I mention I felt terrible? Ugh, I wanted the whole world to open up and swallow me right then and there.

The leader of the event came over and asked what was going on. I explained that I made a mistake and scored their route wrong and, as a result, they should've gotten 2nd place. The leader said there was one prize that she forgot to put out for the raffle and, if the team was amenable, she would give it to them. It was way better than what the 2nd place team received anyway. They said okay.

So, all's well that ends well, right?

No. I worked it over in my brain for the entire rest of the day. In my eyes, my mistake totally negated all the hours that I had put into the event, planning, asking for donations, walking the route, writing clues, registering, phone-a-friend-ing, etc. I was inconsolable.

I asked God to take it from me.

Then I took it back.

We had a tug of war for at least 18 hours.

Then, at church, the pastor was explaining the ritual and meaning of Communion and he said something to the effect of "Whatever issues you're dealing with, however hard your week has been, however you are beating yourself up today, know that you're forgiven."

So, I'm giving it back to God. Apparently, He's already forgiven me.

And if HE can forgive me, then surely I can figure a way to do it, too.


Anonymous said...

gosh, just goes to show that we're all human, and even after a tough day, you can rest assured that you did your best. so don't beat yourself up about it, remember all the good you did and do, and realise that this tiny tiny mistake is just that...very tiny.

Take care x

Lindsay said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog. This is a great post.. I always tend to over plan for things.. I like to give people options is what I always tell myself when planning a meal or party.

I have learned over the past few months is to plan a basic meal and people will be just as happy.. I am sure that none of the kids will remember in a week that they ran out of taco shells at VBS.

Great message you had though.. to not let the little things that didnt go perfectly ruin the big picture!

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Yes, it's so hard to forgive ourselves! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a hard time. Sometimes I even think of dumb things I did ten years ago and then remember that it's not an issue anymore . . . it still hurts, though, and I think that's what helps us learn.