I had a big long rambling post written and deleted most of it because I wasn't making the point I wanted to make... bottom line is that life is stressful and has been for a while. This passage from a devotional I receive daily in my email from the Upper Room really hit home for me yesterday.
If carrots, eggs, and coffee beans are boiled, the effect on each item will be different. The carrots will soften, the eggs will harden, and the coffee beans will change the color of the water and spread a delicious aroma. The boiling water symbolizes problems or pressures in our life. The carrots, eggs, and coffee beans symbolize different human reactions to problems or pressures. The soft carrots represent people who grumble, complain, and pity themselves when faced with problems. The hardened eggs represent those who become stubborn, rebellious, and angry at God during tribulations. But the coffee beans represent people who obey and trust God, changing the atmosphere around them while spreading the fragrance of Christ.
I've been a mushy carrot. I was giving in to the weight of all these little things and I was downright pitying myself. Yes, the frustration is sincere. Yes, the stress is real. Yes, I've been handling it with as much grace as I could and it's been a process, a growing and changing and ebbing and flowing kind of year. So maybe some time to wallow in mushy carrotness was allowed and maybe realizing how overcooked I was is what I need to get back into gear.
When I'm a coffee bean, I know I'm changing the atmosphere around me. I've gotten that feedback before in various situations. At work, for example, I often get feedback that my positive attitude in the face of pressure and high stress situations is appreciated and noticed. To me, that's grace, that's being a coffee bean.
Which are you? A carrot, egg, or coffee bean?