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« When You Want More from Your Life | Main | God's Creatures, Great and Small »
Friday
Mar102017

A Food Reflection

When I was young, about six or seven, I developed hives.  Although I don’t recall what caused them, I well remember that I was put on a restricted diet, at least for a time, to discover their source. 

Now, I was the youngest of five children in a family which had limited financial resources.  My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and my dad was a laborer in the mill.  We weren’t poor, exactly; we just didn’t have any money. 

When my mom did her weekly grocery shopping, she would buy one bag of chips for us. To share.  A bag of chips was a big deal.  Her challenge was how to fairly distribute the chips among us kids.  The simple equation looked like this:  one bag of chips, five kids, one on a restricted diet.  Solution?  My mom actually counted the chips out. I don’t know how she determined the number per kid; I just know I never received enough. 

Never. 

Throw in the “restricted diet” factor, and there was one potato-chip deprived, Irish kid in that household crying her eyes out. 

I clearly remember walking down the ally behind our house. 

Alone. 

The weather was warm.  I was crying. 

Again. 

I was angry. 

I made a vow to myself that day.  With fists clenched, I vowed that someday I would buy a large bag of chips and eat every single one of them all by myself.  And…I have.  I have devoured many bags of chips since that warm day in the ally fulfilling that childhood promise to myself. 

I cursed myself that day without realizing it, of course.

“Never enough” has driven my eating for most of my life; as a matter of fact, it became a theme throughout my life beyond just food.  There were other factors, too, I know, but for a memory so strong that it is still fresh in my heart over sixty-seven years later tells me that it has deep, deep roots. 

Of course, there a lesson in all of this. 

I feel the need to mourn—hives, poverty, unfairness—and to forgive my mom. 

For what?  I’m not completely sure.  Maybe for not seeing how desperate I felt.  For how hungry I was for more than just chips. 

The truth is, with things of the flesh, there will never be enough. 

Never. 

Fortunately, that empty little Irish girl grew up and has learned that she does not live by chips alone. The emptiness in my heart, in my life, was filled the day I met Him. 

Jesus is enough. Totally. 

It has taken me a very long time to understand, but, now, with a heart overflowing with gratitude, I release this memory to Him, choosing to relinquish the power of “Never enough” over my life.  

Because He is.

Myra

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