I panicked, as humans do. I freaked out, even while proclaiming God has it all figured out. And it all worked out fine.


If you notice a deep groove in the screen protector of my cellphone, that would be because I’ve been trying to refresh my mobile email (because I don’t use Push, to save battery life…) for about 24 hours. Here’s why.

Before I left work on Monday, I thought I should check with the coordinator of a meal packing event my church is doing on Wednesday, that was my brain-child and a year long effort in the making. We’re doing a private event, just for our church, to pack weekend meals for local students facing food scarcity.

If every teen who registered for confirmation signed up for this event, and brought 1 family member, we’d have about 200 people. But I’m smart, and I realize that when you make a big change like this, technically giving confirmation families a “night off” even if it’s just a “night out,” they may not drive 1 city over to serve their Lord (and neighbor) even if you make it free… Excuses abound, I get it. Believe me. I’d be making them too, but I get paid to do this (kidding! Kind of!)

The coordinator said they recommend trying for about 150 on a private event; but that seemed too big to me, so I told the coordinator let’s plan on 80 total people. No, wait, let’s make it 100, I’ll give these parents the benefit of some doubt here… And 1 month ago, the coordinator said fine, and ordered the food on pallets for us to pack, in this warehouse.

And then my little fingers got to work. Sending text reminders, mass emails, social media posts, website blurbs, push push push – remind remind remind; beg beg people to sign up. Announcements in the church bulletin, pastor announces it before worship… and then text some more, then individually email each family, one at a time, 100 families to herd them like a literal shepherd in a sheep pen, while watching online registrations sort of climb.

Last week we were some where over 100, maybe around 120, which was nice. Then over the weekend, on Sunday night, when I strategically figure families are finally looking at their weekly calendar, around 8PM I sent out the final text blast to everyone and ba-boom, we get a ton of registrations. Probably 40 came in that night. Bringing my total to 166.

With that number, I contacted the warehouse on Monday, just giving them a heads up. I’m not naming the organization here because their customer service could probably been a notch or three better……….. but a higher-up in the company had to reply to my note because the coordinator was out of the office. The higher-up tells me, well we only had you down for 100 and I’m not sure we can take more people than that, as the food was only ordered for a certain # of packers, etc. But the higher-up would have the lower-down respond on Tuesday.

So I spend all of Monday night in a panic. Pacing, freaking out, contacting people who it was safe to tell to please believe in miracles and please pray a miracle might happen (for those who don’t know, poor little Lutherans don’t seem apt to believe in literal miracles or the virgin birth or the resurrection, or the devil or other things, which is nonsense, but whatever, who cares, we’re all going to heaven apparently too…) because I have no plan-B for if 70+ people (more like 100+ people when all the last minute registrations arrive…) can’t go to this……….

I’m telling myself and Kelly – I know what the Bible says. Worrying can’t add a single hair to your head. It can’t extend your life by one day. I can’t do anything about this. It’s out of my control. Let go and let God! In a few weeks it will all be a distant memory and you will know you freaked out for nothing! 

I reach out to people online who are helping me learn Spanish from other countries even, asking them to pray! I’m thinking dude, I’m too good at my job! Does no one see this! I’m the master wrangler! I’ve changed from a honey badger who doesn’t care at all, in one night, to the cowboy on the stallion whipping more votes than a congressperson! Look at this numbers! Who would have thought! But what if it doesn’t work! What if they can’t accommodate us! Why didn’t I contact them last week??

Randomly, a Facebook friend who doesn’t know about this, posts the meme in the image above – and I tell her that’s the scariest timing on something I really needed to see! A friend from Mexico sends me a picture of Luke 18:27, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” YES! Okay, keep ’em coming!

I worked on my two-strand yarn crochet blanket last night, crocheting as if the world were about to end. Nervous, worrying, still freaking out.

This morning, I get a notification of WINTER STORM WARNING for Wednesday, with the greatest impact being morning & mid-day. With the possibility of up to 10 inches of snow. Okayyyyy well that’s one way to cut back on numbers. I send two more emails to the coordinator before 7AM saying we’ll do anything – we’ll clean your bathrooms, just put us to work. We’re eager to help. Don’t you know Lutherans? Hearty folk! We’ll attack your dust bunnies! If we have too many people, we’ll just be done early, it’s fine!

Heard nothing. For all the hours of the morning until just before 2, I call the office. The receptionist just keeps stating what is on their clipboard, and kind of talks to me like I’m out of my mind (maybe my honey badger transferred to her today?), but she says she’ll leave a note for the coordinator who is unreachable right now. Two more hours go by.

Finally I get the call that it will all be okay. It’s correct, the coordinator says, that with the huge snow storm coming, our numbers will surely drop (and don’t call her Shirley, just kidding), and they can get us more food, and we should plan on coming even if the schools close, because the kids still need food on the weekend. Duh.

Boom. Easy. Nothing to worry about. And even as I was about to hit “publish” on this post, yet another last-minute God-love-them-all & God-bless-their-little-Lutheran-hearts family just registered with 3 who will come tomorrow.

Someday, when I’m no longer a pathetic youth director whose main job these days seems to be writing emails that I’ll have to resend with more and more urgency to get families attention, I’ll look back on this and say… Who am I kidding, I’ll be glad when it’s over!