Monday, August 8, 2011

Kitchen Lessons at Camp :)

Where to start..... There were so many lessons... I guess lets start with the two biggest.

1. Do everything for God's glory.  I know, I have written about this in my blog as well as talked about it with those of you I know personally and yet God brought it into the light for me to refocus on while I was at camp.  You see, I have this strange problem of wanting to please others and doing a job perfectly so that when the job is inspected there will be nothing for the person inspecting to say in the negative :)
However, the young man in charge of the kitchen and dishroom is a perfectionist.  Yes, I am too, but he is REALLY particular.  Now, I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but it made me work doubly hard because I knew that he would be inspecting my work and would make me redo it if something was not done properly.  For example: I used the meat slicer to cut up deli turkey for around 250 people.  Needless to say, when I finished there was a greasy piece of equipment that needed to be cleaned.  Having never cleaned anything like it before, he showed me how to take it apart and then how to clean it.  Therefore, I wiped it all down with soap and sanitizer looking for anything that I may have missed.  When the Head Cook came to inspect my work he was pleased but showed a few places that I had missed.  Since it was my first time, they were areas that I wouldn't have even thought to look at or check.  I cleaned those spots and moved onto the next job. 

However as I worked on other jobs in the kitchen like arranging food on a plate, cleaning and wiping down a mixer, scrambling eggs, cooking french toast, making muffins and so much more I thought about how I was to be doing everything for God's glory.  There I was, striving for perfection so that the Head Cook wouldn't find anything wrong with what I was doing and yet every job I do no matter what, should be done with that same amount of energy and perfection.  God is watching everything I do and all that I do is to glorify Him.  The jobs the Head Cook had me doing were to be done so that if someone checked them they would glorify God.  If God was going to come and inspect the job I was doing would I be leaving a drip of batter on the muffin pans? What about if He was going to inspect the counter space I had been working at?  If it was you and He was going to inspect your counter space, wouldn't you pick up every object of the counter and make sure it was in its proper place and clean?  No crumbs from the last bread job or smears from a dirty rag.  I know I would want it to look perfect for my King.   

2. Smiles mean the world to people. God gave us mouths to smile with because He knew how encouraging just a slight movement of the lips turned upward would make someone's heart glad.  He gave us eyes that twinkle with mischeviousness or sparkle with excitement.  I've always believed that a genuine smile comes from a heart that is filled with joy and is expressed through both the eyes and mouth.

To be honest, I was excited to be at camp, but also very nervous and feeling like an outsider.  I knew many of the people there, but camp had already been running for 5 weeks and everyone was comfortable with who did what and how to do it.  I was the "newbie" walking in with no experience.  I had met the Head Cook once before when he asked me to come and train, but otherwise there was only a waitress from our church that I new well and then a cook that I had been friends with several years ago but hadn't seen in years.

Although I like to meet new people, I tend to be on the quiet side. Allright, I admit, I'm what you would call shy.  Not so much one-on-one with someone but with a group of three or more people I don't know well, I tend to become very quiet.  This was going to be a challenge which I knew God would help me through.....

And He did, by sending me smiles.  Don't they always make you feel better?  There were several people in the kitchen that made me feel at ease as soon as I met them simply by smiling across the room.  Others were not as friendly, but as the week progressed they became friendlier and I think a huge part of it was God at work in their hearts, as well as the smiles that I kept sending their way telling them that I wanted to be their friend.

So, the lesson?  If smiles mean so much to me, then they probably mean a lot to others as well and should be used more often :)  Sometimes it can be hard and other times not so hard, but as Christians we always have something to smile about......our salvation.  No matter what, we should have a joy in our heart that radiates through our body language, our words and our actions.  A smile is a great way to start expressing that joy and thanksgiving for everything God has done for us!

There were many others but these two were the biggest that God showed me while working in the kithen.  He gave me several blessings in between and during the lessons that were great as well!  For example, I gained some new friends and renewed some old friendships.  I learned some interesting hidden talents people had that had all the kitchen staff holding their sides while we laughed and I was able to sing without feeling self-consious because everyone else was as well. ;-0 !!!    (Where there are homeschool girls gathered together, musicals are bound to come up in the conversation - and therefore singing -  and if we all grew up listening to the same music - Soundforth, The Wilds, Steve Pettit, etc., well you can imagine the menagerie of music that was sung throughout the week :]

God has used the Wilds as a wonderful ministry and blessing both to those on staff as well as those visiting and I am so thankful for the opportunity God has given my sister and I to be a part of it!

I hope this post was an encouragement to you! 

Thanks for reading :}

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