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Monday, February 20, 2017

My Plate

My daughter, Brooke, is quite a bit younger than our other three children so she truly was the baby of the family growing up. But at three years old she developed this booming voice and outsized personality that would crack us all up. In my mind, I see her as this tiny little girl who slept in a tiny plastic bed and said the funniest things in the loudest voice. Actually, that loud voice served her well when she became a high school soccer star, because referees would sometimes blow a call and she would be forced to let them have it.

She was so cute and so funny and that included at dinner time as well. She somehow got this idea that she had to finish everything on her plate or she would get in trouble. We never asked her to finish her meal, but if there was any food left on her plate, she would get all stressed out about it, saying, “I’m tired. My stomach hurts. Daddy, will you finish my steak?” (Or my hamburger, my mashed potatoes, my ice cream, or whatever it was.) And of course, being a loving father, I was always willing to make those tough sacrifices. I’m surprised I didn’t blow up like a balloon trying to ease her stress over having too much on her plate.

Which reminds me of that old saying, “I’ve got too much on my plate”. I don’t know where it came from but it certainly applies to most adults, especially those of us living in Southern California. When we are kids, life is simple. But the minute we make a friend, life becomes more complicated because all of sudden we have to learn to share. Then we grow up and take on a spouse and things become even more complicated because we have to learn to compromise. The next step of course is having children of our own. Now we have to learn to share, to compromise and to sacrifice. And if that’s not enough, we have to go to work in high paced environment, fight traffic, get along with our neighbors and pick up the dog poop. And if you’re a typical wife and mother, you have to do all of that and also feed your family a delicious meal every night, while of course, making sure you don’t put too much on their plate!

I don’t know what the best solution is when you have “too much on your plate”, but I was definitely feeling that way yesterday and stressing out about it. But isn’t there another old saying that goes something like, “God won’t give us more than we can handle”. Well, that may or may not be true, but I think it will only work if we fully trust Him. I mean think about it the next time you have problems to solve and too much on your plate… If He truly is our heavenly Father, then He probably won’t mind at all helping us with our steak, our mashed potatoes, or our ice cream. (Or any other problem we may have!)
 One day, someone showed me a glass of water that was half full. 
And he said, “Is it half full or half empty?” 
So I drank the water. Solved that problem!
~ Alexander Jodorowsky

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