Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A carrot, an egg, and a few coffee beans...

My inbox often has a forward in it from my Aunt Mary Lou; some make me laugh, some make me cry.  The other day one came to my inbox that took me a few days to get around to reading.  The title caught my eye I gave it a minute of my day and read.  I hope you'll do the same.  (personal note from me after the story) 

A carrot, an egg, and a few coffee beans...

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."  "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water."Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? 

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

(Don't quit now...just a few more lines, read them and think, really think about what they are saying.  Someday you may have a day you need to reflect on these words...)
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Through life, I've always encouraged Anna to be the 'salt' among her friends.  you know salt in the bible is used metaphorically to encourage followers to be like salt--adding seasoning, just a touch to enhance the lives of those we touch.  So whether you want to be salt or coffee, be the one who enhances all you touch, allowing them to experience life as a crazy blessed child of the King!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart...

December 31, 2010 started out to be a really bad day for my dear friends, the Sticht family of Summers, Arkansas.  They were visiting family and friends in Phoenix when they received word their home had been destroyed by a tornado and Grammie was seriously injured when her home was also destroyed.  (Nell Porter, loved by many passed away due to injuries sustained on January 4, 2011.)

Not much to be joyful about is there?

Being joyful is a matter of perspective for you see, my friends could have been there that morning and been destroyed just like their home.  Even though their physical bodies were unharmed, their sweet hearts are hurting; in the midst of their pain, what a joy that wonderful people from their community and from our homeschool community have descended upon them like angels--cleaning up the debris, seeking donations, offering shelter, holding sales and most importantly giving hugs, love and lots of support!

An account has been set up for them at Arvest--donations can be made at any banch to the Sticht Family Arvest Cares Account 16608373.  If you have some art supplies, Legos, Star Wars figures, a gift card to a book store or a boys bicycle you would like to donate, please let me know!  (John and Logan had bikes they had only had a few months that were twisted beyond repair.)

...remember we are always crazy blessed and even though sometimes we have to look for it there should always be joy in our hearts!