Ladies’ Luncheon ’09

Thanks to those who prayed for the ladies’ luncheon. Everything went very well!

I had mentioned before that a lady in my church knew of someone who did a one-woman dramatic interpretation of one of my all-time favorite books, Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose. It is about a young missionary wife in the Philippines at the time the Japanese took over during WWII. Her husband and most of the other men in their compound were taken captive, then later the women were sent to a separate prison camp. At one point she was accused of being a spy and put on death row. This might not sound like a cheery ladies’ luncheon topic — but the main emphasis in the book is the triumph of faith — how God met her needs, physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, through all that she experienced. As I told the ladies, I don’t think Darlene would have wanted anyone to exalt her, or even her faith, but she would have wanted them to see the One she had faith in and to know that He could meet all of their needs, too.

It would take too long to tell of the connections between people involved — and most of you wouldn’t know them, anyway — but the Lord did open doors for this young lady to come and present this drama for us. The same lady who told me of her volunteered to do the “leg work” for the program part, talking to the drama coach at school about using props, etc. That was a blessing to be able to just turn a major portion of the luncheon over to someone else! I’ve never been able to do that before.

The title of the book comes from Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I wrestled for a long time with whether to use that as our theme verse or I Peter 1:7: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” That verse was certainly manifested in Mrs. Rose’s life as well. But I went with Hebrews 11:1 since it really was the theme of her life.

I chose a rose as the motif, since the author’s new last name after she remarried after the events of this book was Rose, and pink, because I like pink roses, and gold to represent the I Peter 1:7 passage.

Here is one of the tables:

Ladies' Luncheon 09

One of the centerpieces a little closer up:

Ladies' Luncheon 09

This may sound silly — but one of the things I was most pleased about was the little gold curlicue things in the vase. I got the idea from some more extensive gold swirly things around a candle at a bridal shower recently. I was going to borrow the whole idea, but candles of the size I needed and amount I needed would have been too expensive. As I wandered around Hobby Lobby, I noticed the flower stems were on sale half price, so I went ahead and got the roses, then also found these curly things on stems in kind of an orange-red color. I tried spray-painting them gold, and thought they came out great.

At one of our ladies’ meetings we worked on these bookmarks as favors:

Ladies' Luncheon 09 favor

The base of it looks brown here, but it is gold. We decided they’d look best laminated. Our church has a laminating machine, but…it just didn’t work on these. The plastic peeled right off. The gold card stock was a little heavier than usual, and our machine is old. It has to warm up to 250 degrees to adhere, and it got there, but when I ran these through the temperature dropped to 245. I was kicking myself because I could have laminated these the week before, but I didn’t think there was any hurry — I figured it would only take me an hour or so to do. An hour and a half later with it still not done — and the day before we were to decorate — left me very frustrated. I took them to Office Max, and they were able to laminate them, and at not too bad a price, though one way they tried it didn’t work because of the thickness. But we finally got them done, and I loved how they turned out.

Moral of the story: do as much as you can as much ahead of time as you can even if you think you have plenty of time.

We often have a heavier, dinner-type meal (baked chicken or something similar), but I saw on the caterer’s menus an assortment of wraps, and decided to try that this time along with a broccoli salad (which I had never heard of, but it included bacon and shredded cheese, and you can’t go too far wrong with those 🙂 ) and a fresh fruit tray and brownies. I thought everything tasted great.

We had a lot more volunteer help to set up and clean up, so that was a blessing. I mentioned cheerful helpers as one of my five favorite things last week. I don’t know if people realize just how much of a blessing that is when they just pitch in, and then do so with a smile. And my dear husband and oldest son agreed to help in various ways, being there for the caterer to set up while we were in the program and then helping put the pulpit and chairs back on stage afterward.

I had stopped in at the rehearsal after we decorated the night before where the two sound men from church were working with getting the lights and sound cue recording all coordinated. Everything came together really well, and the young lady did a tremendous job with the program. I should have forewarned people to have tissues handy. 🙂 There were several things that spoke to my heart again even though I have read the book a number of times. I was really glad the banana story was included — if you’ve read the book, you know what I am talking about; if not, I’ll let you discover it. It’s one of my favorite parts.

Usually we have some type of little game and door prizes, but I really wanted to give away some copies of the book this time. We had enough in our budget to give away 20. I love getting good books, especially the kind that feed your soul, into other people’s hands.

On a personal note, we had invited my mother-in-law, but she is really uncomfortable in social settings. Whenever I would mention it, she would start out saying she didn’t think she would go, but I would gently try to reassure her that it was in the same building where we have church and we would eat where she had joined us for a church dinner once, so it wasn’t all unfamiliar territory. I also mentioned here last week that a lady at church had begun going to see her once a week or so, and my mother-in-law really likes her and communicates well with her. I asked this lady if she would mind sitting with my mother-in-law since I would have to be up and down and wouldn’t be able to be with her all the time, and she very graciously agreed. When my husband reminded his mom of the luncheon the night before, she almost went into a panic, but he reassured her again. I wasn’t going to try to insist that she go if it was really going to be traumatic for her, but I felt if she would step out of her comfort zone, everything would be ok and she would enjoy herself. And she did — step out and enjoy herself, both. I was very proud of her!

And for me…I tend to get so nervous the day or two before these things, even though everything is going well. I have asked the Lord to take that away, but I guess it is just part of the package, and I just try to ignore it and carry on. Once we get started I am more or less fine: it’s just the time previous that my body reacts nervously in ways I’ll spare you the details of. There were some problems along those lines, but everything turned out ok.

All in all, everything came together very nicely, and the Lord’s help was evident in every way, from the ideas to the people and things needed, to good health for all involved (especially during allergy season!) and most of all in the program itself . Thank you again to those who prayed!

And even though I immensely enjoyed it…I am glad it’s over. 🙂

15 thoughts on “Ladies’ Luncheon ’09

  1. I’m so glad it all came together for you so well! Your decorations and bookmarks are beautiful. It was nice to read about your MIL coming, too – I’m glad she decided to go and had a good time.

  2. Everything looks lovely. I am glad it went well. (Not surprised, though!)

    I once cooked for a large ladies group (80 people) for our church. It was a very special retreat and the meal was supposed to be luxurious and elegant. I planned everything to the tiniest detail and told the presenters I needed a 20 minute heads up before they brought the guests to the dining room (which dozens of volunteers made look magical).

    When the 20 minute word came down, the appetizers and the salads were chilling in the fridge, the Alfredo sauce (from scratch) was simmering in a crock pot, roasted chicken breasts gently simmered in a bath of broth — all was ready — so I dropped the asparagus into the steam bath. And put the pasta water on to boil. About 5 minutes later new word came in the form of an apology, they meant an HOUR and 20 minutes.

    I had visions of the Alfredo sauce separating, the chicken disintegrating into mush and soggy, limp asparagus. I turned everything down as low as I could, and stormed around the kitchen raving like a crazy person. The only bright spot was, I hadn’t yet put the pasta in the water. Someone ran for the pastor, who came and pulled me outside.

    He took me to the garden and told me to sit. I told him I didn’t have time to sit, I needed to figure out how to salvage MY dinner because “I was told to aim for six and now they’re saying 7:30 and it will all be ruined! MY DINNER WILL BE RUINED!”

    Pastor told me it wasn’t my dinner. I wasn’t in charge. God had everything under control and would I please just sit down. I sat and we prayed.

    The meal was perfect. God is an amazing chef.

  3. I can just imagine, Quilly! I’d have been a basket case. I do frequently have to remind myself this is all the Lord’s and give it back to Him.

    I’m glad we don’t cook for this, though!!!

  4. I know you are relieved it is over for another year but it sounds like it was a success. I was wondering if you would do a tutorial on the bookmarks. We need to do table favors for the state convention of our club and those look like a good idea. I like to give something people will want to keep. So many times we get silly things that get thrown away.
    Mama Bear

  5. I knew it would be perfect! We always have to have those little last minute snafu’s — it makes us really appreciate how WELL things really did go! Without snafu’s we would start thinking we could pull this stuff off all by ourselves!

    I’m glad your MIL came too! They always have a good time once they are out and about with other familiar people. But the do need SOMEone they are familiar with – and it was good of you to anticipate that and take care of it for her… And very sweet of your friend to agree.

    I am leaving Neenah this morning. Heading south to Milwaukee — and then to… we shall see!

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