on a boat - Fiji Islands 2009
I always knew that I would marry a Youth Pastor. I didn't aim to do it, I just knew that it would happen. Destiny, perhaps. I had previously studied Christian Ministry, Church and relationships was something I was deeply passionate about. When I had the opportunity to move to his church so we could do ministry together I jumped at the chance. I wanted to be involved in his daily relationships with people, rather than just hearing about them.
Graeme is a people-person and before our vows we discussed over and over again how we wanted our marriage to be something that would bless other people. We wanted to be active in hospitality by welcoming people in to our home regularly. When Graeme said this I knew that was a big responsibility for me. People often needed to be fed and so far I had no experience in that area, unless you count two previous stir frys and some packet noodles. However, this was something I was passionate about and eagerly looked forward to the day where we could use our home and marriage in this way.
Shortly following our wedding and honeymoon in Fiji we returned to our new rented townhouse. We had few possessions, most of what we did have were gifted or borrowed from friends or from our own childhoods. What we had was simple but we were happy. There was never a day when we felt like we had "less than enough". We always made do.
Once we had dumped our suitcases in our room Graeme was on the phone making arrangements to have people over. While in Fiji we loved having a holiday together but were deathly bored. We were used to quickly moving to-do lists, people to see, things to arrange. We were glad to be home and were eager to get in the swing of things.
We quickly found out that the Primal Band were coming to Christchurch and began arranging transport, venues and concerts for them. As Primal Youth Pastors it was our joy to host our national band, they always drew a good crowd and it was an opportunity to connect our youth church with the larger national movement.
The boys of the Primal Band ended up sleeping on our lounge floor for the weekend they were in town. They were smelly, had lots of musical instruments and were a lot of fun to be around! We loved them completely.
Sunday afternoon approached and we had the whole band at our home, people started to get hungry and it was my first opportunity to use my new kitchen. I had all the ingredients to make a lasagne and an Edmonds cookbook propped up ready with instructions.
Laughter came from the kitchen while I read and re read the recipe. I had no idea how much it would take to feed thirteen people but I aimed to make two lasagnes hoping that would be enough.
"Graeme" I shakily called out, hoping he would hear me from the lounge. He came into the kitchen to find me standing in the middle of the room with tears running down my face.
"What?" He said, putting his hands on my hips.
"I didn't add the pasta sauce!" He looked clueless and I realised I was all in this alone. My lasagne was fried mince and sheets of uncooked pasta. A complete disaster! And for the Primal Band of all people!
I pulled the hot dishes out of the oven, wiping my frantic tears away and dumped two tins of sauce in and mixed it around. It was the best I could do, we had nothing else.
I displayed the dishes on our "bar" that was really just a huge box to hide the staircase. It proved useful in the moment. Quickly realising that what I had made was not enough I threw a loaf of bread into the offerings and stood back as 13 hungry people helped themselves.
They loaded up small plates, obviously aware there wasn't enough. They thanked me and ate in silence in the lounge while I stood in the kitchen too nervous to eat. No one commented on the meal, I cleared away the dishes and held back my tears.
"I'll do better next time," I thought "I'm new at this."
FOR MORE IN THE JOURNEY:
Read how I started dating Stalker Boy