Monday, May 28, 2007

The Pineapple Story

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I learn a valuable lesson from something really ordinary. This time I learned a lesson from a pineapple. Let me tell you about it.

A few weeks after we arrived here in Mexico, I was privileged to help host a tract team of young people. The 4 girls that stayed in our home were a real blessing to me and I enjoyed hosting and fixing meals for them.

However, I won’t forget the night they arrived – my friend and mentor, Collette Burch, brought them over and after helping carry in their bags, she handed me the hugest pineapple I have ever seen and said, off-handedly, “Here’s a pineapple to help with their breakfast tomorrow.” No big deal, right?

But to me, standing in the foyer of my new home, with this monster pineapple staring back at me and the prickly skin pressing into my palm, it was a big deal. To be honest (embarrassingly so), I had no idea how to get this pineapple from its “monster” condition into a nice cut-glass bowl, sitting on my breakfast table. To my mother – this is not your fault. I’m sure you showed me how to do this many times and I was distracted with which tree to climb next or which football play to draw in the dirt – I was a hopeless tomboy.

But I quickly thanked Collette with a smile and carried my pineapple to the kitchen, still wondering about a plan of action. Yes, I could have asked her for help – probably should have. But my independent nature took over and I decided to not appear helpless in yet another way in this new place, this new country….I would figure this out on my own.

So the next morning long before the girls were up, I was in my kitchen with the biggest knife I own in my hand and this massive pineapple, now chilled, sitting on the countertop. With a deep breath, I began.

Later on, as the girls expressed their delight at the delicious, incredibly sweet chunks of pineapple, I sat back with a smile and wondered – “Did I really do that right?” I wasn’t sure, but it seemed passable, anyway. A few days later, I put aside my independent, I can do this streak and asked Collette, “So how do you cut up these huge pineapples?” She very efficiently told me several rather easy steps and I compared them to the “hacking away” job I had done in my kitchen. I had done some parts of the job correctly but others, I had not. How much better if I had simply much easier it would have been to say “could you give me a couple quick pointers?”….of course, she would have done it gladly.

In how many areas of my life is God standing, waiting to help me and I independently, knife in hand, forge ahead without asking His advice? How He longs to help me, how He longs to show me the right way, His way, to deal with the circumstances I am facing, but I never slow down to ask.

Lord, forgive me. As incompetent as I was with that huge pineapple, even more incompetent am I to walk this road You’ve called me to walk. Only through Your guidance and Your instruction, do I have the ability to accomplish Your purposes in my life.

I have cut up and eaten many Mexican pineapples since that morning, and I don’t think I ever make the first slice without remembering His desire to guide and help me, if I’ll only ask.


~Heather~ said...

I enjoyed your story...and it has a good lesson. I know the feeling, in a new country...It seems that there are so many NEW things to learn...that one HATES to ask about yet another thing. I've been there! =)

Love the new family pic...really nice!

Love, Heather =)

Lavy Country said...

Congrats on finishing school for the year! We can't wait. We have a few more weeks to go related to some vacations we took throughout the year -- advantage of homeschooling. I now will think of you when I see a pineapple. I will make it my special time to say a prayer for you. I liked the story it reminds me of how silly we are sometimes trying to figure things out on our own. Looks like you have a busy summer planned. I hope you enjoy it all! Have a great day -- stay cool.
Love, wl.

The Going Blog said...

If it was as pretty as the one you have posted then I think I would have used it for the center piece :) I've heard that pinapples are a symbol of hospitality or a welcome to my home sign. Have a great day!

Katie and the boys said...

Thanks for the story! Your story was an encouragement to me. I know God wants me to stay home with the boys; and I am excited with the possibility. I am like my mother says "little Ms. Independant." I am completly trusting God on this one. Thanks for the encouragment! I guess I need to put my "knife" away.

Anonymous said...

Dear Melodie, Aren't you glad we have a patient Heavenly Father, who works with us... or maybe in my case I should say "in spite" of us! '~' Praying for your hearts today. we enjoy your blog and want you to know you all are a special family to us. Keep encouraged and thanks for sharing your heart! God Bless you, Laura Hausman, Salonta, Romania

Springer Family said...

You have such a beautiful way of writing! Your willingless to learn everything inspires me!

Janella said...

Melodie, I have enjoyed your beautiful and chilled pineapples! Thanks for sharing the lesson you learned. I can definetly apply it in my life. I'm so glad that God's way is always the best, but like you said we MUST put our knife down.Love, Janella

~Heather~ said...

Thanks Jordan, Cameron, and Logan for signing my post on Mommy's blog. WE'D LOVE TO COME AND VISIT Y'ALL THERE! We could talk in Spanish, and we'd love to go and see the Volcano, we girls love things like that. So glad y'all are done with school for this year...I'm almost done. Have a wonderful day, and come see us anytime. =)
Kimberly in Colombia.
PS Melodie, We are blessed to be able to get most American type foods here. (Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part we can get what we want. I cannot get good choc. chips, P. Butter-- unless we drive to the NORTH and pay $7.00 for a small jar, and most stores don't have good marshmellows, theirs taste like GUM or somthing. =) God put us in a good place, for we have a mall right down from us. So, that's how I can get some of those specialty foods, for I shop in the 2 groc. stores there in the mall. (They are the closet groc. stores to me, and since we have no car, and it's not safe for me to do the buses and taxis alone, I'm very glad that I have those 2 groc. stores.) Sorry for the things that you cannot get, that's sad. Susan (Marty's sister, my cousin) had her baby last night by C-section at 10:00 PM. If you want to see pics go to Christa, Susan's youngest sisters blog. Praise the Lord that he arrived safely!!
Take care, love ya,
Heather =)

Stephanie said...

Appreciated your beautiful words and message. You are encouraging us even from far away! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I enjoy reading your blog. Your family is so cute. The boys are growing right up. I am Renae who traveled with PV mixed quartet and we sang for a youth revival at the church you used to pastor - several Springs ago. I just met your parents (Melodie), they helped in my brother's wedding. (Wesley Deaton).
Y'all have a good day!