When you enter an Italian restaurant because of
Yelp’s raving 4-star review or a friend said have
dinner there, do you get excited? I do.
I get all smiley faced when we go out and have
dinner. There are two reasons for this:
1. I don’t have to cook.
2. I know what will be “on my plate” for the evening — fun and possibilities.
It’s like taking my 6-year-old goddaughter, Starr, to the park
and later on for ice cream.
She knows that for the next five hours, she will not be bored.
The waiter hands us our menu and I look at it, inspect it,
turn it over many times. I survey the room to see
what everyone ordered. I take interest in the list of wines and
types of desserts available. I get giddy about all the choices.
I can almost taste the anchovies on the Caesar salad, the texture of
the pasta . . .oh, the anticipation of what will
be 10 inches from my face.
Why can’t all of life be that way?
Two months ago, Aunt Lucy and Aunt Miranda showed
up in my life. They were on the menu, but I know for sure
I didn’t order THE SPECIAL OF THE DAY: 2 old ladies.
My husband said, “It’s admirable and compassionate
of you to care for your aunts rather than have a JOB.”
Hearing that, I got despondent. I tossed and turned half way
through the night.
If its so admirable of me to care for others
then why am I not jumping up and down on the couch? Why am I
popping a blue pill before I meet and greet them.
I told him the morning after, “It’s mighty of me to look after 40 of my relatives. Any person can do that. I feel like I’m not using the
talents God gave me.”
Throughout the day, I nurse thoughts of slipping back to bed.
I can feel my hands surrendering and all my grandiose plans
slipping away through my fingers.
But, every day my plate is full. Thank you, God.
I took the time to write today.
When I stare at my daily plate, visions come to me.
I arrange each item I see. The mundane activities, the side dishes, sit on the edge of my plate. They are my relatives, cleaning toilets,
balancing my checkbook, making appointments, and writing email.
The center of my plate holds where I get the nutrition that feeds my soul. My boys, husband, friends, gym, church. And Ruth, my daughter-in-law, because she sends me photos of my grandson.
The center is the best part. It makes me happy. These activities feed me.
Why do I need to have all those other parts on my plate, too?
I have been thinking about what this all means for the last four weeks.
I think it’s my lesson again in giving and loving unconditionally.
And to not stress out too much. To relax and find enjoyment, even
in the mundane chores of life.
I thought I was done with this lesson, probably God thinks I need a
What is on your plate?
What are you teaching me at the moment?
Its doesn’t feel good for you to expand my heart, stretch my
arms, so I can hug more people, but I’m sure its necessary so
I can be the kind of person you want me to be.
One day this entire plate of food will become tasty,
interesting, and inspiring. I won’t pick over the side dishes.
I trust that my favorite dessert, tiramisu,
Thank you. Amen.