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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chopped, Project Runway and Fences

This was my view as I sat in Andrew and Taylor's house working on their scrapbook.  You are looking through their Savannah room (aka screened-in back porch) out to their back yard.  Their yard backs up to green space.  As I sat here for a few days and savored the view, I pondered life with a fence or without.

When my mother was living and able she would often come and stay two weeks at a time with us.  She usually came with an agenda for how she wanted to help me.  She would dust all my ceiling fans and base boards or take care of all the laundry for two weeks.  On several occasions she mended everything in my mending pile.  For every visit she would bathe the children and put all manner of baby powder on them.  She even had special towels that she bought, I think they were called bath sheets, so she could get powder on the grandchild and then cover them all up to get them warm.

She set a high bar for visiting motherness and grandmotherness.

Because of my back I will not be able to follow exactly in her footsteps.  Sometimes that makes me sad.

Limitations- I don't like them.

As I sat looking at the beautifulness of A and T's backyard, I realized that the fence next door is really beautiful also.  It limits some of the view but there is protection there too.  I can't see into the backyard next door, there could be a wonderful junglegym or swingset or a tent or a picnic table with a party going on.

What am I going to do with my limitations?   I need to stop banging up against the beautiful fence and stop and see the beauty around me.  I need to take stock of all that I have been given and not complain about what I don't have or can't do.

There is a TV show on the Food Channel called Chopped.  The contestants are given a basket with four, usually unusual, ingredients.  They must cook a meal using their four ingredients in a limited amount of time.  They also have a well stocked pantry at their disposal.  It is interesting to watch the thinking process of the contestants, some get panicked, some know about their ingredients, some know similar ingredients and some when they don't know what to do they make excuses.

The series Project Runway also reminds me of Chopped but with clothes designers.  They are given limitations with their garments and we watch to see what will they be able to produce.

I think we like these shows is because they, to a point, mirror life.  We are all given limitations- health, money, jobs, surroundings, singleness, rough marriage, family that doesn't get along, and the list can go on and on and on.

What are you going to do with your limitations?   We all have them!  Some folks don't think so.  They are quick to tell you about theirs but don't believe you when you say you have them too. The people I enjoy the most don't complain about theirs all the time.  Sometimes we need to share our struggles but just not all the time!

One antidote for our limitations I am realizing more and more is gratitude. When I stop and realize all that I do have then I get my eyes off of what I think I don't have. Kaitlin and I were talking about our limitations and she was struck with the story in Acts 16 about Paul and Silas.  They were in jail, they had unwashed wounds from being beaten, their feet were in stocks, I mean talk about some limitations and yet what were they doing...singing hymns and praying. Wow!  God the creator can use our limitations to bring salvation to others.

 Count your blessings, name them one by one!  I am thankful for so many things

My Salvation
My husband-he is amazing
My children that I birthed and others that are in and have been in our nest
My friends
My back- I am having to be like the designers on Project Runway working with my limitations and what am I going to produce?  Do I want you to say oh yea, Ellen, she had the back problem or Oh Ellen, didn't she embrace life?!?

Here's to embracing life- go make something beautiful today!

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