Boiling Point

Monday, January 13, 2014

Did you know if you place a wooden spoon over a boiling pot, it won't boil over?

I recently had my eyes opened to this simple fact and it has been a game-changer in my kitchen.  I made hardboiled eggs the other day, and sure enough, the bubbles spurted and blurted and I watched as the steam rolled off the top of the pot while the water stayed confined to doing its job:  cooking the eggs.

I don't know how long I have been boiling water all wrong!  Needless to say, a long time.  There have been countless, unnecessary messes all over my stove simply because I didn't take advantage of the resources that were right in front of me the whole time.  Who knew?

Even little helpers need help
As I watched the water boil, I thought how often I allow my own frustrations to surface, spill, and pour out all over into a giant mess when I try to live life unassisted.  I drive myself CRAZY with expectations, obligations, and unpredictable changes that I feel helpless to control.  Then, a friend calls and offers to watch my girls, my husband hugs me and prays for me, or someone just emails me an encouraging note.  And, I'm helped.

And the tensions ease.  My soul returns to calm, my blood pressure drops to normal, and my peace is restored by the touch of an outside helper.  I'm surrounded by wooden spoons, if only I allow them to help.  I have wooden spoons at my arms-length, if only I'm humbled enough to reach out and ask.

Who is your wooden spoon?

It's vital for me to have people in my life that I can call on for the tiniest and largest of reasons.  I mentally seclude myself and the pressure rises, but when I speak openly and ask for help, I'm almost always genuinely refreshed at the willingness and generosity of others to show up in my time of need.

Asking for help also models humility to my children.  I must keep this in mind!  We all need each other.    I hear so many mom-friends offering help to others in various ways, extending themselves beyond reason and spreading themselves thinner than tissue paper.  (I am one of these!)  But, let's remember that we are in a super-amazing time of life that can work as a  beautiful exchange program - helping and asking for help - both of which our children need to be taught.

As life gets crazier (because, who are we kidding? This ship is never slowing down) let's keep reminding each other that we're not in it alone.  No one has it "all together".  None of us are actually pulling this whole parenting thing off without a hitch.  It's difficult and the world doesn't slow down around us when we just want to sit on the couch and fold laundry during nap time.

Today, take a moment to ask for help for something.  Take a moment to offer help to someone.  If nothing else, we are breeding opportunities for gratitude.  That alone, is worth a moment to thank a wooden spoon in your life.

Don't wait until you've reached your boiling point.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Emily-just what I needed to read today-thanks!


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