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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is Your Life Difficult?

 ~ carrots, egg, cup of coffee ~ 
It seems one day, a young woman went to her mother and told her how difficult her life was and how she, desperately, wanted to give up. The girl just didn't know how she was going to face today, much less tomorrow. The struggles and the fight were so great, she seemed so defenseless and new problems arose more quickly than old problems could be solved; or so it seemed. She was tired, exhausted in fact, and wanted to give up.
Her mother carefully listened then took her daughter into the kitchen. The mother filled three pots with water, put each pot over high heat and when the pots came to a boil, she placed in one carrots, in the second pot she placed an egg and in the last pot she placed ground coffee. For about fifteen minutes she let the pots boil, all the while listening to her daughter's tales of woe.
When she turned off the burners, she placed the carrots in a bowl, the egg in another bowl and the coffee in a third bowl. She looked at her daughter, "what do you see?" she asked.  The daughter looked askance at her mother and in a tight, small voice she replied, "carrots, egg and coffee."
Her mother asked her daughter to feel the carrots and when the daughter poked at the carrots, she said they were soft and mushy. Then, the daughter took the egg, tapped it on the counter and peeled the egg, noticing it had become hard boiled. The mother asked her daughter to sip the coffee and the daughter obliged her mother and said, "it's delicious but what does all this mean?"
The girl's mother explained how the carrots, the egg and the coffee grounds had all faced the same adversity: boiling water but each reacted differently. The raw carrots were hard and un-bendable without breaking but the boiling water softened them and they became weak. The fragile egg had been protected by its thick outer shell but the boiling water hardened the inside of the egg and made the shell fragile. The ground coffee reacted differently. After a while in the boiling water, it was the water that changed into a fragrant, aromatic beverage.
The mother looked at her daughter. "Are you a carrot, an egg or coffee grounds? When adversity knocks at your door, do you respond as the carrot? It seemed strong but, when faced with adversity, the carrot became soft and lost its strength. Are you the egg? The egg starts with a gentle inside, a malleable heart if you will, but with the boiling water, the egg became hard on the inside. Oh, it still looked much the same on the outside but on the inside it's hard and tough. The coffee grounds didn't change as much as they changed their surroundings. They became better, not bitter, in adversity and changed their surroundings."
How do you handle adversity? When times are difficult...and they will become if they haven't already... how do you respond? When your situation becomes overwhelming...and it will if it hasn't already... how will you respond? Where do you go, to whom do you turn when life is bleak and dark? I turn to Jesus but you knew that already, didn't you? -smile- If it weren't for Him, I'd have stayed in bed this morning. If you'd like to talk about Him, e-mail me and we'll talk; there's no better friend than Jesus.
Blessings ~ proverbs ~ adversity ~ better, not bitter ~ Jesus ~


  1. Great life lesson :-)

  2. Hello Sandra and Dave:
    What a marvellous story this is and what wise advice from a mother to a daughter.We rather think that in difficult times we have been all three, carrot, egg and coffee, sometimes simultaneously and that does not make a pretty meal!!!

    In the end, we believe that the strength to face adversity must come from within but how one finds support for that varies with each individual. To have a strong faith is a treasure since that is unfailing in its support whatever the adversity but sometimes holding on to that faith can be challenging.

    We think of you both often knowing that your situation is so very, very difficult at present and each day must bring its own, sometimes seemingly overwhelming problems. But, Sandra, we know you to be the best of coffee blends, carrying a sweet aroma with you wherever you travel. We trust that this can sustain you in your darkest hours.

  3. This so powerful. Thank you.

  4. Wonderful, that is so great and I have never heard it before.
    As always I would want to be like the coffee.
    I will have to tell my kids.

  5. Well, this was just fabulous! I sure would love to be that is what I work toward, anyway!

  6. It is a great story! Thank you for sharing it!
    I would like to be coffee....:o))

    "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
    I Peter 5:7

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this story - Hoping I'm coffee - know when I am coffee - it is 'cause Jesus is the brewmaster of my life - without Him - I cannot imagine a life worth the effort (sorry I'm a little tired today - but it'll all be fine after a good hot shower and some fried fish for supper!)

  8. Sandra~
    Beautiful analogy!
    May I echo the sentiments of Jane and Lance Hattatt?
    I, too, am praying for both you and Dave~
    Extra Special Blessings, today!

  9. Thank you. I so needed to read this today.

  10. A lovely tale to read. I am so glad that Jesus is a friend of yours. I would have had to come after you, poked you out of your nest and told you "With God all things are possible". Friends don't hurt either.

  11. This makes a person stop and think. Thanks for sharing this Sandra.

  12. I love stories/parables so much..what a lovely one you've shared, thank you. I think that's why I love all my "Chicken Soup" books so much they never fail to touch my heart & make me a little more grateful, encouraged, uplifted...more tenderhearted. Even coffee isn't so great boiled too long however..sometimes life is just plain hard. I rather like a little quote I came across some time ago "Life is hard, God is good, Heaven is sure" Every blessing Catherine x

  13. I have always enjoyed this story, and I was actually looking for it a couple weeks ago to use in a science lesson/character lesson for the kids. Thanks for posting it! I still have to think sometimes... "am I carrot? am I an egg? BE THE COFFEE GROUNDS!!"

  14. Thanks for the inspiring story!

  15. I've had some very challenging days with many more ahead... thanks for the heads up... don't we all need that now and then?

  16. Some days I have Jesus and staying in bed.

    Love to you.


  17. Great post. Thanks for sharing this story.

  18. Memorable which always helps the moral of the sotry stick around so that it may be applied in a variety of circumstances....of course abiding change is in the heart....or it isn't.

  19. Wow!
    thanks for posting,I really enjoyed it.

  20. Hi Sandra...
    I rec'd your card today with your blog address. Oh what a beautiful view you have...I've always wanted to wake up in the morning to see a mountain outside my window. Alas that was not to be..I'm in the middle of a great big city.

    I heard this story many years ago but had forgotten..thank you for posting. I look forward to following your blog.

    Are you familar with the blog
    He is a beautiful black Newfie living in Minnesota with 4 cats and his people. His mom is a fiber artist, knitter, and spinner. She uses her G-ma's spinning wheel.
    Madi and Mom

  21. A great story that makes you think. Thank you. :)

  22. YOU are definitely the coffee grounds after
    all your adversity. i just came over to tell
    you that i linked over here today not even
    knowing what you had posted. THIS will
    bless everyone who follows the link.

    and i'm going to share the story with my
    mother in law who has been nursing my
    father in law in ICU for the past 6 weeks.

    from a carrot wishing to be coffee,

  23. What a great lesson!

  24. I adore the analogies sweetie.

    I'm so thankful we can turn to Jesus!

    God bless ya and have a fantastic weekend! :o)

  25. ♪♫ Without Him, I would be nothing!♪♫

  26. I have been all of those, depending on the situation. I think I look at the situation and say to myself 'will it matter in ten years time?' If the answer is 'no', then I'm fussing and need to shut up. If the answer is 'yes', then I need to be the egg because I start off with a very soft centre.
    Thank you for this inspiring story.

  27. Hi Sandra- such a story of inspiration---- thank you for sharing that.

    It's turning fall here- I imagine you are seeing some glorious color there also. Had to bundle up this morning ---- in the 30's last night! Frost on the pumpkin- so they say--


  28. Hi Sandra-thistle! So, the Willows FINALLY arrived in Canada! I was so worried! I've heard packages arrive in the USA much faster, so I'm hoping our Grand Tour will go faster now.
    I pray all is well with you and with your husband.
    Sending love and prayers your way!

  29. I just "happened" upon your blog.. & what great timing! It's so easy to be the boiled egg, but I want to be better not bitter. I don't know what I'd do without The Comforter! He lifts me up when I feel that I've lost my strength & reminds me that He IS my strength.

    I would love to share this on my blog if it's okay with you, but will wait until I get permission from you. I think there are so many of us who need this reminder & challenge.

    I look forward to visiting you again!


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