May Twenty-fourth; How Does Your Stove Top Appear?

Not long ago, I had this wonderful old kitchen stove. It had belonged to my grandfather and was huge. It had side by side ovens with a large counter type space on top beside the burners. This stove was closing in on forty years old. My husband had wanted to replace it several times but I refused as I loved this stove for many reasons. Then, sadly and unexpectedly, the burners began exploding. Loudly. The first to go had me ducking and seeking cover. I thought a bomb of some sort had gone off in my kitchen the moment I stepped from the room. The burner had exploded and blown a hole in the pot of water that was on it heating.

The bad thing about this, the burners were not the plug in type that one could pull out and replace. They were built into the stove. Trying to replace them would cost me over $400. I checked. While I hated to do it, I felt since it was beginning to deteriorate, it was best to replace the entire stove. I’ll never get another to last that long, but I doubt I will see 103 years of age anyway. The kitchen stove I have now is functional, and so far doesn’t have anything exploding so we move on. 

Before my husband died, our son went through a time of eating vegetarian. My husband hated it, I found it enjoyable. It was easy to get creative with meals and there were/are plenty of options. As time passed after my husband’s death, my son moved back more toward meat, proving that it was an effort to get his dad to eat more healthy. Sadly, it came too late.

taco chili

Not all stoves, are physical. We can metaphorically see our life as a stove. What are we cooking up in our life?

Before we begin, it is often helpful if we have a recipe. While I realize that there are those who have perfected some things to a fine art, here we will consider beginners.

Recipe equals plan. What are our plans? What are our considers for our future? For work, for vacation, for family, for life?

Once the plan is in place, we need the proper utensils. Cooks of course use pots, measuring cups, spoons and others, depending on what is being prepared. For life, each plan has its own set of tools. The educational, that will help in comprehension of what to expect. Those that will be a guide along the route. The hands on tools that will bring accomplishments. The different tools needed for work, smart phones, computers, transportation, coffee. The ones for vacation, luggage, proper clothing, surf boards, boats, fishing gear, tents..the list limited only by imagination.

Ingredients. Proper mindset, trust, self esteem and belief, hope, courage, compassion. The ingredients all depending on what’s cooking. Are you planning a quiet moment alone? A time with family? A charity event? A gathering of friends? Each demands a different main course, mind and heart set. Are you planning a boisterous event with loud music or a quiet time of prayer and meditation?

Presentation. The life we show after all of the ingredients have been blended, and prepared. We can walk boldly, bravely, facing each challenge with self assurance. We can act with intelligence, compassion, courage. We can act in manners that help us to be a good difference in a world in need.

But there is a truth that needs to be told. There are those, who have endured a life, in which some of the ingredients have been spoiled, contaminated, damaged. Their presentation is not one in which the masses would gush over, photograph and demand to know how it was prepared. Their presentation is one where a portion may be half done while another burned. They do not need to be judged or ridiculed. They need the acknowledgement that their presentation matters, their contribution, their ingredients, their plans are just as important. They don’t need condemnation, just one to walk along side of them, believe in them, and share some of the abundance of what they have on their stove. Together, the possibilities of something amazing being prepared is greater.

One who is preparing a meal with a special dish may seek to keep that recipe a family secret. Quietly and diligently protected. Maybe not quietly at times. Life though is different. In life, we need to share the recipe. We need to offer the tools, the guides, that will help another. We need to share the good we have in ways to help. Not simply scrape off the burnt part of the toast, but check the settings or even repair the toaster. Encouraging and loving others, those are the best ingredients of all.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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