Tag Archive | choice

Crawling with Crullers

powdered donut 89691937If you’ve ever turned to chocolate or another form of sweets after a particularly stressful day, you understand that it works – albeit temporarily – to boost your morale. Well, other than a lingering cold, I had nothing particularly stressful in my life yesterday, so why did I eat not one, but two cream-filled Dunkin Donuts? It was not because I was hungry – I had just eaten a healthy snack of almonds. It was not because they were calling my name. I really had no desire for them, but eat them I did – at least I did not eat them together.

In trying to make better eating choices in 2013, I am trying to take baby steps to move forward to eliminate sugar from my diet – especially refined sugar and the kind found in the donuts. This is one of my first priorities. I’ve already moved to using honey and other forms of natural sweeteners, so I figured this would be easy. Evidently not.

I am trying to create more self-awareness in this area, however, so this is a start. Instead of making a giant leap forward, I realize I’m not even taking a baby step. I’m crawling, and I’m crawling with crullers, no less. But here’s the real lesson I learned and maybe it is helpful to you. I realized I had no plan and without one, I would do it again.

In this particular case, I did not get into my car and go to the store to purchase them. They were brought to the house as a thoughtful gesture and special treat from someone dear to me. Yet in these moments of weakness, I definitely realized several things – it was a deliberate choice to put them on plates and wolf them down. Was I thinking about the money spent or the thoughtfulness behind the gesture that I did not want to waste these fluffy, fresh, powdered pastries? Probably yes on both counts; nevertheless, I need a plan so that these demons don’t find their way into my mouth at the wrong time again. Any suggestions you have are warmly invited. In the meantime, here are some of the ideas that came to mind.

  • Receive the gift appreciatively and wrap it in plastic, freeze and serve later
  • Cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces before wrapping them in case a treat is warranted at a later date
  • Share them with someone else

Hopefully, today will be better and I’ll take a baby step forward on my way to the giant leap of living sugar free.

Who would tell lies about Rudolph?

In this age of commercialized Christmases, I thought it might be fun to look more deeply into some of the songs, carols and traditions of the season. I’m not sure how close any of these things will come to the real reason of the season, the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but it may prove interesting. Regardless, these traditions, real or imagined impact our lives, so let’s see where the potpourri of nostalgia leads.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

LITTLE_GOLDEN_BOOK_RUDOLPH_THE_RED_NOSED_REINDEER_CHRISTMAS_FRONT_COVERRudolph’s prominence and popularity may make you think this red-nosed member of the deer family has been around forever, and to the children of today, he has. But in reality he did not appear until Christmas of 1939. Though one account states that Robert L. May wrote the fable to comfort his daughter, Barbara, after the death of her mother and sold the rights to Montgomery Ward Department Stores to pay off the medical bills, this is a stretch of the truth. It would make a great Hallmark movie, but if you’re looking for facts, you’ll need to dig a bit deeper – makes you wonder why someone would lie about Rudolph, but I digress.

According to Scopes, Montgomery Ward tasked May to write the story for the purpose of distributing it to children who visited Santa. As a member of their staff, the rights for the story belonged to Montgomery Ward. Writing in verse and couplets, May did test the story on his daughter to ensure of its appeal to children. Initially, Montgomery Ward compensated him only as their copywriter, but deeply in debt because of his wife’s medical bills, May negotiated with Ward’s president, Sewell Avery, to restore the copyright to him in 1947.  The key to Rudolph’s success came later when May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, crafted the song made popular by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. (Today’s kids likely never heard of him, either.)

The story about the ostracized reindeer does contain a message of hope for all those kids out there who don’t travel in the popular crowds or are sought out because of skill or beauty. Rudolph had none of this, yet he had a purpose for life that would not surface until the year Santa encountered fog on Christmas Eve. This situation led to Rudolph’s discovery. As lead reindeer, his glowing nose allowed Santa to transport his sack of toys safely and deliver them to all of the good boys and girls around the world. He became a hero.

I guess this does bring us back to the real reason for the season after all. Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness for each person, regardless of their station in life, skillset or outward appearance also indicates He has a unique purpose for each one. Human beings aren’t cookie cutter creatures, and God has a plan for every one. Each one is special, yet all have a choice to follow God’s plan or their own. The story of Rudolph leaves Jesus out of Christmas, but you can gain some measure of truth from the illustration as you watch him wait for his time to shine.

What’s best for you?

In penmanship class in elementary school, the teacher had us write out sayings that she hoped would improve our character along with our handwriting. I guess there’s a lot to be said for repetition as a means of learning. I still remember this one. 

“Good, better, best.

Never let it rest.

Until your good is better,

And your better best.” 

This also pertains to the things we opt to do with our time. Each day, we make thousands of choices – what time to get up, what to eat, what to wear, what to do about situations that arise …. Each of these decisions impacts us differently. For example, if the alarm clock goes off at 6:00 AM and I hit the snooze alarm once or twice, I’m likely to be rushed or late for work. By not getting up when the alarm sounded, I actually elected the more hurried mode. At that hour of the morning, it may not have been a totally conscious choice; nevertheless, I can’t blame anyone else for the results. 

Now as an adult, I still struggle to keep moving from good to better to best with a measure of consistency, especially when it comes to organizing my day. My list is usually longer than is realistically feasible to accomplish, but all too often, it’s the little choices – like that of the snooze alarm or computer – throughout the day that throw me off track. 

One of my goals for this year is to live intentionally in order to make a difference in my world. This requires effective time management and wise choices. One of the things that helps me be more realistic is to use a timeline like those in an appointment book or on the Outlook calendar. With each activity planned for a designated block of time, not only can I visualize what can be accomplished, but I also see where it is critical not to get off task and how I can choose appropriately. My decisions for how I spend my time are progressing from good to better, and every once in a while, I even get one that’s best.   

How about you?