Wednesday, January 11, 2012



You heard me right – it is not a bowl of cherries.

Have you ever looked at a bowl of cherries? "The Hub" loves cherries. And so, he often eats an entire bowl at one time. A bowl of cherries is beautiful. All those pretty, deep red, perfectly shaped, deliciously sweet cherries – all piled together – like they're posing for a still-life artist.

Yes, they present a lovely picture.

(Of course, even a bowl of cherries ends up being a huge pile of pits in the end – but I don't want to get too cynical here…)

My life isn't very often a lovely picture. It isn't all uniform, and neat, and colorful.


When it comes to my life – pasta prevails.

A tangled, intertwined, snarled pile of noodling problems, struggles, turmoil, and frustration. Sure, there are some good moments along the way – even spaghetti has sauce! But it's often just a confusing mess.

What is the proper way to eat a bowl of spaghetti?

Some aficionados are real pros. They expertly wield a fork and spoon like a surgeon uses a scalpel. Twirl perfectly into one *eatable* wad of noodles. Insert into mouth – no stragglers – and chew to your heart's delight.

I have not mastered this technique.

I slurp and slop my spaghetti like an amateur. I make a saucy mess of myself. I've even taken to chopping up my noodles into bite-size pieces. Seems kinda like cheating to me, though. Evidently, I'm a pasta purist, even if I can't wrestle it into submission.

This is how I seem to deal with my spaghetti life.

Daunted by the twisted and jumbled mess that real-life living is, I muddle my way through.

But truthfully, isn't this the way it is for all of us?

We all struggle with a life that doesn't quite play out the way we would like. We can't control all the events, or people, or relationships, or circumstances. (Disclaimer: You can't – I've tried). As much as we'd like to run the show, we don't.

Why am I so dismayed – and comforted – by that fact?

I am not in control.

There is a part of me that really bucks up against that truth. Some part of me wants to be in control. I'd like to dictate how things happen.

I'd like everyone in my family to be healthy, happy, and financially stable. I'd like my marriage to be the perfect picture of communication and cooperation. What else? Dogs would live to be 100 (in human years), there would never be natural disasters, nothing would ever break or break down, and there would definitely never be death or taxes.

If I ran the world, things would be perfect.

There's just one problem.

I'm not perfect.

(I know – I've shattered your perception of me. But keep it a secret, OK? I've still got some people fooled…)

It's hard to look at a life that's not perfect, isn't it?

I ponder this…

How did God feel after that whole Garden of Eden *apple* debacle?

Because, after all, He had created a perfect bowl-of-cherries world. Without pits. It was all good – very good – by God's standard. Life was pretty, perfectly shaped, deliciously sweet. All according to God's holy standard, His wise design.

And then, it turned into a bowl of spaghetti.

I'm sure it broke His heart.

Does God long for Eden, like I long for a perfect life?

Oh, I'm sure that He does. And I happen to think that's why we long for a perfect life. We have God's image stamped on us – He has placed eternity in our hearts. There is something in our spirits that longs for a return to the beginning to the way "things were supposed to be."

It's programmed into us.

And that's why life is hard – at least in part. We know that this ISN'T the way it's supposed to be.

God knows it, too.

And He's done, and is still doing, and will do something about it.

He sent His Son, so our relationship to Him can be restored. And through His Son, one day all things will be remade. Everything back to perfect order, all working in perfect unison – no mess, no problems, no worries…

So, in the meantime, what to do?

Well, for me, the thing that makes the most sense is to trust the One who has the original blueprints. The One who invented the recipe of life. The One who masterfully cooks the whole of my life – the good, the bad, and the ugly – into a beautiful sumptuous meal.

Yes, I'm still going to thrash around in the spaghetti. I'm going to make a mess with the sauce. I'm going to slurp and slop in my poor attempts to master life.

But I'm also going to let God teach me.

Teach me how to let go of the past – the things that I can't change.

Teach me how to live in the present – and be satisfied with His daily bread.

Teach me how to hope for the future – when all things will be made right again.

And I will pray for the peace to accept that my longing is proof that there is another day coming – a wonderful forever – when life will be a bowl of cherries.

Just perfect.

No pits.

How does God help you with your *spaghetti life*?

(SIDENOTE: See post below for a short - and sweet - explanation of the new blog look!)

Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I'm a very efficient spaghetti eater. I'm the twist it on the spoon kind of gal. At least, I am when someone is watching me. If I'm alone, I'm the wind it up and snarf it in kind.

    I'm the same about my life, I'm sorry to say. I can often seem on the outside to be the master of the spaghetti. When I'm alone or with the family, everyone can tell that that nest of noodles is the master of me.

    I don't know what to make of that analogy. It actually just popped into my head as I read this.

    I'm still out of town, but I will be pondering this to learn something from it.

  2. Now I happen to love spaghetti but I never can eat it without spilling some of the sauce on my clothes. And now that I think about it. It's a good analogy for life. Much of life is nice but there is also the messy parts that I would just well assume avoid.

    Nice new look Sharon.

  3. Sharon, You have such a wonderful way with words. Turning an everyday meal into a creative and meaningful devotion! I learn so much from you. Thank you! Be blessed. Love, Kerrie

  4. I love you, and your outlook on life.

  5. AMEN and thanks Sharon!

    Now I understand why my life is a MESS! THis one was meant for me. Both the bowl of cherries with the PITS and the bowl of spaghetti with the sauce or meatballs (like the song goes)"...and then my poor meatball rolled out of the door, it rolled off the table, and onto the floor and then my poor meatball rolled out of the door! It rolled in a garden and under a bush and then my poor meatball was nothing but mush... so if you eat spaghetti, all covered with cheese, hold on to your meatball and don't ever sneeze." Yep, Cowgirl of God, this
    one comes right to my level of analogy- it's great!

    Perhaps the bowl of cherries with the pits may have spoken more spiritual truths in my current mood and life.

    However, noodle winding is like my mazes... and the my continual messes of the past! Now the spiritual connection of how God looks at us, knows and has done something(the miracle of eternal life)after all He IS in control and perfect.

    This is the part I needed and ministered to me:
    "...I'm also going to let God teach me.Teach me how to let go of the past – the things that I can't change.Teach me how to live in the present – and be satisfied with His daily bread.Teach me how to hope for the future – when all things will be made right again. And I will pray for the peace to accept that my longing is proof that there is another day coming – a wonderful forever..." I too will leave it to the Master Architect with the blueprint, or the Master Chef, with all the ingredients for the perfect recipe... Though I'm not that great about making everything perfect, you got me at the disclaimer and trying to be in control. I can't even do that with my own life much less all the other stuff you cited, and I tried as well. Not too concerned about being an aficionado but I don't want to miss out on the grand feast day. So I've given up and resigned to twirling my noodles on my fork, slurping them into my mouth, and hoping I don't drip anymore sauce, I'll soak my bread in that... and try to figure out how God helps me or teaches me through the mess of spaghetti... to master my part and let go of trying to control that which slips through my fork or fingers. I will hold on to the longing rather than any perfection or trying to rope others in to His plan, partner... I'll take to the campfire and old rustic post and pray that I follow Him closer!

    Many blessings and much love,

  6. Ah, spaghetti! I eat mine with a knife and know, I cut it up! Great analogy. Even though life can be messy, the sauce makes it all worth while! I'm sure God has the perfect pasta meal awaiting us in heaven -- no mess, no difficulty getting it down, nothing but great flavor and a wonderful dinner table Companion!

  7. Great illustration...and life is just messy. I feel that Satan is the one who lies to us that it should be different so we become disappointed when something doesn't happen the way we planned,yet God knows what is need to form us into His image.

    I am reading "The Allure of Hope" by Jan Meyer and what you have written here is what is is writing on also...the desire for Eden that was placed in each of us, so we long for heaven.

  8. I have not mastered the spaghetti thing either. So much so that if I go to an Italian restaurant, I try to find dishes with another kind of pasta so that I don't end up embarrasing myself. :) I want the easy way.

    So much so is life. I want it to be easy, but "stuff happens". But thankfully, we serve a God who is always with us, through the good times and bad.

    Great post, Sharon.


  9. Maybe times in my life I have said to myself, gee I am so glad that I am not in God's shoes. What a hard yet awesome job. And 'ou are not alone - my whole life is spaghetti like - I've been trying to figure it out for a long time. sandie


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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