Thursday, June 30, 2016

Go Ahead - Eat That Pie!

"Some people dig a fork into the pie 
but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth."  

Proverbs 19:24 (The Message)

I consider myself a pretty good pie maker. But it's taken me years to figure out what makes a good pie. There were times I wanted to throw the rolling pin across the room and give up. My husband loves pie and I was determined to figure it all out. I can't imagine going to all the work of making a pie and then being too lazy to finally sit down and eat it like the Proverb suggests.

In my early twenties, I learned my first important lesson about making pies when I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home. I was living in Oklahoma at the time and offered to make Thanksgiving dinner for my friends since I couldn't go home for the holiday. I had no idea what I was getting into.

I couldn't believe there would be that much difference between home-made pumpkin pie and the filling in a can. So in my laziness (and stupidity) I bought pumpkin pie in a can. It tasted terrible.

My Mother was THE best pie maker in the world and there is a reason she didn't use store-bought filling.  I think that was the day I decided that I would never make a pie with store-bought filling again. Why hadn't I paid more attention to what my Mother did?

Once I've made a pie, my husband finds all kinds of creative ways to hurry up the process of cooling it. Snow banks, freezer, van, whatever he can find that is cold enough! (If you cut into a pie before it cools completely, the filling is a runny mess.) A runny mess is ok if you want a delicious topping for your scoop of ice cream and don't mind the flakey pie crust as part of your ice cream, but my husband is a purist and wants his pie without anything else on it. I, on the other hand, try to find that perfect temperature when it's cool enough that it won't run, but it's still warm enough that it comforts your digestive tract all the way to your stomach.

So when I read this Proverb recently, I started pondered the meaning of it and Tom and I have had some interesting discussion as we reflect on our upbringing and our love of pie-consumption. How could anyone not eat the pie they made?

Take for instance my concord grape pie - my personal favorite. Years ago we planted our own concord grape vine so that I could harvest the grapes and make fresh grape pie. There's nothing else like it! It takes a lot of work to grow them yourself. If I'm going to go to the work of planting, growing, pruning and maintaining the grape vine, why on earth would I dig my fork into the final masterpiece and then NOT put it into my mouth?

Tom and I were not raised to be lazy. But we both realize that there are days we could choose to be lazy. In fact, just last weekend, I told him I just wanted to lay in bed and eat a big bag of peanut M&M's. I laughed when he responded, "Come on now, you're a motivational speaker, now motivate yourself."

All that is to say, I have times when I am too tired to keep going. I juggle a lot of things, just like you. Sometimes, if one of those things drops or goes awry, I can feel like giving up on everything.

So whether you struggle with laziness all the time or just once in a while, we concluded that laziness can overtake anyone for various reasons. I've chosen two that seem to be my biggest culprits.

1.) Discouragement.

For myself, I find that laziness can set in when I am discouraged. Once I've worked through the root of my discouragement, I am on my way to becoming productive again.

2.) Resistance.

Resistance can come at you from the outside or it can come from within your own soul. Either way, it's amazing how you can be so close to the final step of your dream and then encounter one last big battle of resistance.
  • The night before your wedding, you suddenly panic and fear you're making a mistake. 
  • You tear up your resignation letter and decide to keep your old job because it's more comfortable than looking for something more suited to your skills and personality.
Up until the final moments before I walked on to the stage for my first Portraits of White concert, I encountered resistance. In fact, I was in my hotel room with diarrhea about an hour before I had to head over to the venue. I was terrified. I wanted to hide from everyone. I questioned my own sanity in planning such an event. I had overcome many obstacles to get that far, but the biggest resistance now came from my own deep dark pit of self-doubt. Fortunately, I pressed through and the moment I stepped on stage, I experienced amazing confidence.

Like they say,

"Don't doubt in the dark what you heard in the light."

So if you find yourself digging into the pie, but unable to follow through to the last bite, take heart. Ask yourself what is really bothering you? 

If I would have not followed through on my Portraits of White concert, it would have most likely been because I was afraid I would fail. So for me, it's often rooted in fear.

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” - Steven Pressfield, "The War of Art"

Or perhaps you are simply encountering resistance.

“To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be.” - Steven Pressfield, "The War of Art"

Once you've identified the root of your trouble, stick your fork in the pie and then go ahead - eat it!

It's the 4th of July
go ahead and eat your pie!