The nerves continued up to the time I did my reading, complicated by the return of Hacking Up Lung and mild fever (whoohoo - performance-related illness right on schedule), but from all accounts I nailed it.
I could hear myself coming over the mic but that was about all.
I do think the prep work I did helped. And I was rolling out all the tricks. I chanted the reading (to practice projecting and using Serious Mom Voice), I retyped it with the breaks in storytelling that I wanted to take, I did Gaile's deep breathing exercises, and took Ellen's advice to ask the Holy Spirit to speak through me.
I also kinda liked sitting in the chair by the pulpit. Program, hymn book, prayer book, cough drops, tissues ... all the supplies. I could see the kids flopped out on their carpeted area and thought, I'm with the family. It's okay.
There were definitely two services for me ... Before and After. Got some great Christmas singing in. I love singing The Old Reliables at St. Mark's; we really do make the rafters ring.
The reception was quite a scrum, but I did get some nibbles and some socializing in. idasusan's cheese puffs were excellent. (Susan, if you're reading, I want the recipe and so does cat_herder.) One of the minor amusing bits of the reception was introducing some people who are on my LJ friendslist to each other.