Sometimes, I'm ashamed to admit that when things come easily my way it is also easy to take them for granted. But, other things that come harder - are taken more seriously, valued more and treated more carefully.
Around Christmas, a friend (thanks, Heather!) gave me a bunch of un-shelled pecans. I've had intentions of getting them shelled but have never started. I tried calling David's aunt who owns a pecan farm to find out about sending them somewhere to have them shelled for a small fee - but they were already closed for the season.
So, last Saturday morning - I decided to just dig in and do a few here and a few there as time allowed. We like pecans! And, they are expensive - I did not want to waste this gift and resource that God had provided.
And, as I was working hard cracking and shelling - pulling off those sometimes stubborn shells - I was aware at how I did not want to waste even the little pieces that came off unexpectedly. I wanted to preserve the hard work I was putting into them! And, I was thinking how I did not want any of them to get wasted!
This is a good lesson to me - if someone had handed me a huge bag of shelled pecans (or whatever else) and I dropped a little piece, I probably wouldn't think much of letting it go. But, knowing that I had invested my time and energy into them made them more valuable in my eyes.
And, it shows me that this is not a bad thing! It made me think of the pioneers who worked so terribly hard for everything and I know they used everything. They did not waste anything - they did not have that luxury.
I want to be a good steward of what I have as well - and appreciate the reminder of the value of investing myself along with my energy and strength. These pecans will taste all the better to me because of these efforts!