On Tea Parties and Sweating

October 10, 2011

Mi Esperanza Te de Damas 2011

THANK THE GOOD LORD TODAY IS FINALLY OVER.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. I am just so extremely relieved. This afternoon has been looming over my head for months (I know, there has been a lot of this) and I had many a moment when I literally thought I was going to die of anxiety. In the end, more than a few pounds of salt were sacrificed by my forehead and technical difficulties mounted a fierce battle, but praise the heavens, I survived.

Mi Esperanza, for being such a tiny church (average weekly attendance hovers around 45 peeps and I don’t mean the gross marshmallow kind) and one that claims an unfortunately inordinate amount of Americans, really pulled off a fantastic Ladies Tea.

Women from the neighborhood, mothers of our OANSA kids, and even friends of friends of Paraguayan church members showed in numbers enough to pack out all seven rented tables. We had raffles with coveted prizes, crazy games, delicious Paraguayan food, a string quartet performance, and quite the charismatic MC.

And then there was my talk. Golly gee whiz. Just to preface this; I am shy and waaay more the written communicator than a verbal kind of girl. Suffice to say, speaking in front of large groups and presenting a spiritual sharing in Spanish no less is not exactly the business. I slaved for weeks fretting over a topic, and then panicked some more about how my talk might to be received (horrible or really horrible?). I know, I have fantastic self-esteem.

The moment of truth arrived despite my greatest wishes that I might conveniently and magically vaporize into thin air. Not only did my powerpoint presentation with the coral-colored template project in shades of brown diarrhea, the clicker gave me serial brain aneurysms as I tried to speak and advance slides at the same time. I could hardly bring myself to tear my eyes away from my paper since all my verbs were conjugated perfectly on the prompt, and I felt like I was word vomiting on double speed the entire time against my will. And boy, was I ever sweaty! I’m not talking a light beading of the upper lip. I was dripping big, fat drops of perspiration. I legitimately feared I was going to slip right off the stage. [Note to self: wear sweatbands to future presentations.]

But it was all over in due time, and soon enough I was able to slink off the stage to finish my Ultimate Sweating Extravaganza 2011 and wallow in a bit of oh-gosh-that-was-terrible-I’m-never-doing-that-again. Bottom line: I am still alive.

Okay, so there is better news than my survival.

Check out the Te de Damas in numbers:

56 = number of crepe paper flowers I cut and folded for decorations. I never want to see or touch one of those things ever again. I could practically hear God smirking when I won the raffle to take home the centerpieces…

83 = number of Russian tea cakes I baked in a tiny kitchen on a blazing hot day

4 = hours it took to bake all the cookies. The small oven could only hold one cookie sheet at a time.

38 = estimated number of kisses I gave. I feel sorry for all the poor cheeks that had to make contact with my sweaty ones…and I do mean the ones on my face.

47 = women in attendance–many of whom were Paraguayans AND had never been to church before!

1 = at-risk teenager who requested a copy of my powerpoint, so she can have the verses to read back through.

3 = strangers who approached me afterwards to share how they were moved to pursue “Confidence in God.”

7!!! = women who raised their hands to make a first-time decision after I gave my charla and J presented the gospel.

Seriously, His power is made perfect in my utter weakness. The sweating, the shakes, and the post-talk self-loathing were all worth it.

A El sea la gloria.

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2 Responses to “On Tea Parties and Sweating”

  1. Si Says:

    That is AWESOME:) Praise God indeed. Good stuff Lo!!


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