Monday, May 13, 2013

Are You A Carrot, An Egg, Or a Cup of Coffee?

Whether you are a mom to your own children, your students, or fur babies, (or all three!) I hope you had a relaxing and special Mother's Day.Yesterday, my sister and I hosted a dessert party for my mother. We were surrounded by our children, our husbands, and three precious dachshunds, lots of goodies, love, and laughter.  My mother is a pretty incredible, resilient, inspiring, and strong woman. I admire her faith, her selflessness, her abounding energy, and her heart.
L-R: My niece, my sister in back, me, my mom
 Every year, my mother gives me a Mother's Day card. Inside the card she gave me yesterday, was this thought-provoking narrative. Her priest had shared it at Mass and she was so touched that she went home, did a little research, and printed a copy for my sister and me. I sobbed through the second half of reading this. We are all struggling with something... we all have pain, suffering, loss, heartache, trauma, and messes in our lives.  Without going into detail, Mother's Day is hard for me... God used the words from this story to minister to me today and to remind me that He is my strength, my rock, my song. Whether you are a man or a woman, may you be blessed with this little story as well.  I choose to be coffee, and not just because I have a slight addiction to my java!
  
An Analogy - A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee...

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.......

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 though just 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 a 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 inside 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 a 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?

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.

You might want to reflect on those people who mean something to you; Those who have touched your life in one way or another; Those who make you smile when you really need it; Those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; Those whose friendship you appreciate; Those who are so meaningful in your life.

May your reflection on this strengthen you and  - May we all be COFFEE!


~author unknown
 
Coffee and Cream

 

8 comments:

  1. Thanks, Lauren, for posting this! I love it! It really makes you think of how we react in different situations. I like to say that I am coffee, though I always start out as a carrot.

    Stay strong, like a good cup of coffee! Happy Belated Mother's Day!

    Andrea
    Reading Toward the Stars

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    1. You are quite welcome, my sweet friend! Today is a rough day, but I will strive to be coffee, preferably a grande blonde roast from Starbucks! :-) Lauren

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  2. Very thought provoking! I would like to think I was coffee, but am often a carrot (even in the classroom, I get soft sometimes!)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Alison
    Teaching Maths with Meaning

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alison... today I am struggling with being an egg. I'm not proud of it and desire to be coffee. I think I will drink lots and lots of coffee today in hopes that I can work towards an attitude adjustment! :-) Lauren

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  3. What a beautiful post Lauren,

    Thank you so much for sharing...this post came at a good time and I will share it with my friend who really needs it.

    :) Shelley
    The Perks of Teaching Primary

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  4. Oh I love this! What a wonderful metaphor! :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing this today on Face Book. It was perfect timing for me and someone very dear in my life.

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    Replies
    1. You are so welcome, Kathy. I am happy to pay it forward after my mother blessed me with this when I needed it the most. :-) Lauren

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