Friday, December 10, 2010

Just a Little Effort

 My son and I were in the kitchen a few minutes ago. As he went to put something in the trash he got too close to the orange tree and got poked by a 4 inch thorn.He said he was OK, and then remarked that not everyone has an 8 foot tall orange tree in their kitchen.Had to agree with him there! So how does a family living in the midwest end up with an orange tree in the kitchen? Well, orange trees don't do well in cold weather, so while the tree lives on the deck most of the year, it comes inside for the winter.

In about 4th grade,my son stuck a seed from an orange he was eating in a pot of dirt. Wasn't even good dirt, but it was sitting there, an empty pot of dirt, because the plant had died.So this young boy, whom Most High had blessed with autism, stuck an orange seed in a pot of dirt, and Mom did not have the strength to tell him it wouldn't grow.Of course this leads me to the quote for the day...
No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.
My son  put that seed in that little pot of dirt, because we had recently had a lesson on growing things. In his 'Sesame Street Treasury' books, there was a hands on lesson about growing things, so we had suspended the avocado seed in the jar with the toothpicks, we had planted the sweet potato, and then he took the orange seed and put it in the little pot of dirt. Now he did not leave it at that. NO, he faithfully watered and tended his little garden, and I'll be darned if something didn't sprout up. He nurtured it through the winter, and by spring, there was a little orange tree about 4 inches tall sitting on my desk.
Now, by this time my son had grown weary of growing things. Not much attraction there for an instant gratification kind of kid. Growing things takes patience and nurturing and effort that doesn't always show results for months. Kind of like the habits we are building for our road to healthier selves. Those habits don't miraculously appear. As our quote for the day says, we can't just wet the clay and think that bricks will form themselves. No we have to mold that clay, and we have to form those bricks, and then we have to provide a safe place for those bricks to cure and harden before we can use them to build a road. Wet clay does not become a brick by merely wishing it so. I remember when I first started going to Weight Watcher meetings. There was a woman in my meetings who showed up every week, got on the scale, had a gain, and then whined for the rest of the meeting. Finally I asked her if she had talked to the leader and shown her journals to find out what she could change. OH no,she said, she didn't journal. I asked her how many days she went for a walk or got some exercise. Oh no, she said, she couldn't exercise.Well, do you drink your water? Oh no, she hates the taste of water. Finally I asked her what she was doing to try to lose weight, and she answered, well I joined Weight Watchers, isn't that enough. I hear you chuckling, it would be funny if it wasn't a true story. I guess no one had ever told this woman that you have to build your own bricks. I tried to share with her some of the things I do, and of course she had a reason, an excuse really, why she couldn't do any of those things. Of course, you know the rest of the story, in a few short weeks we didn't see her at meetings any more. It is sad, because with just a little brick building effort, we can see great results. It's not like we wet the clay and then have to be great sculptors. No, bricks are square, or rectangular, pretty basic shapes. So with a little effort we can build our bricks. That is our lesson for today...effort...a little boy whose mind works differently than ours, put an orange seed in a pot of dirt, and with a little effort on his part, watering, making sure it was getting the sun through the window, etc. I have an eight foot tall orange tree on my deck that I have to bring in for the winter.Just a little effort, that's all you need today. Not super human strength, not miraculous powers, just a little effort. Journal, or exercise, or pay attention to portion size, following the  healthy guidelines, drinking your water, finding time for yourself. Any one of those things requires just a little effort on your part, but that little effort will reap an eight foot tall tree in your future.It's worth the effort! YOU are worth the effort!

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