Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Value of the Effort

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!

19 comments:

Ginger said...

Yes, just as in making children work for their money; if an allowance is just handed over, they don't appreciate it. I am battling mine over his license (he's had his permit almost a year.) He has to get a part-time job in order to pay for the insurance. He knows now exactly what it will cost, and he will value it more in the long run if he pays.

Alison said...

What a lovely post. And on a side note, you take absolutely beautiful pictures.

Mom said...

It is so true that we appreciate more what we have worked hard for! Nothing like the feeling of enjoying the fruit of your labor - enjoy! Love, Mom

Melissa said...

I have felt that same way. Love your story and the reminder to value all that God gives us - big or small.

More than Survival said...

Amen, Sister!!!!
Enjoy those Pecans!! It is absolutely true that when we WORK hard for whatever we have we actually ENJOY them so much more!! This is something I am trying to keep in my own life and also instill in the lives of my children.
Heather

Wendi said...

I agree that the more we work for something the more valuable it is. Since going to an all cash system I find that I appreciate the things I buy. Makes such a difference saving money for a treat rather then just putting it on the credit card.

Enjoy those delicious looking pecans!

Katie said...

Great reminder, Monica, and so true! I take way too much for granted, whether I worked hard for it or not. Each breath is a gift and I am ashamed I don't treat each day like it's numbered...because it is!!

(Pecan pie is my absolute favorite...do I smell a recipe coming our way??) :-)

Dawn said...

All my growing up years, my mom paid me for shelling pecans. $1 for each quart I picked out. I had some SORE fingers, but I still love to do it! I spent many a happy hour with my precious grandmother shelling and picking out pecans. It is a very special memory for me!! Dawn(love Samuel's haircut...been meaning to tell you. He looked so cute last night!!!)

Bevy said...

You bet they will ~ taste better.

I love pecans...but I've never had to shell them.

I love all your pictures, too.

Anonymous said...

For one year we lived in South Carolina and were blessed with a pecan tree in our back yard. Being from Wisconsin, I did not know this was a pecan tree at first! However it was such fun to gather, shell and then gift these wonderful nuts from our backyard! I agree it is a lot of work and they were so beautiful to me because of the effort involved. It was a year where Christmas gifts would have been impossible, but God provided a treasure in our backyard! I enjoyed your pecan story- thanks for the blessing!
Jen

debra said...

Great lesson, isn't it? Things are generally so easy for us these days that it's nice to have to make an effort for something. Especially something as wonderful as pecans! Enjoy.

Heather said...

I feel that way, too. When we're careful about staying within our budget, little things like treats or special trips mean a whole lot more.

Shannon@Idylwild said...

I firmly believe this is why southern women love pecan pie SO much! Once we've shelled all those pecans and made the pie crust...we're invested in that pie!

Naturalearthfarm said...

I just read a fable to my children and the moral was just that through hard work and consistency comes reward.
Warm wishes,
Tonya

Anonymous said...

Monica, I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you and your wisdom. I receive many blogs, but I usually don't have the opportunity to peruse them all, however I anticipate yours. I have gleaned many useful craft ideas and lots of other great wisdom you have given over the years. I have been blessed by it. I know it gets wearisome at times, but you are a blessing to many! Thank you so much for your ministry!

In Him,
Terri S
Madison WI

Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan said...

A great post. I really enjoyed my visit to your blog. Wishing you happiness, Katherine

Manda said...

Pecans are my fav. nut... I don't think I've ever wanted to try a "certain" pecan, as I do right now.
YUMMM

Tina Leigh said...

This post strikes my fancy...as my husband and I have a pecan farm. When we first bought our farm we only had 50 trees. We had to pick all the pecans up by hand (we have a harvester now an over 1000 trees). For several years we worked for months picking up pecans every waking moment. I also have the same thoughts you have every summer when we pick & put up fresh produce, like peas & beans & such. The fruit of your labor. Then you can not (or at least I cant) help but to think about the connection between farming & God...it runs hand in hand to me. Simple things like this are made to keep people close to God ...helps to keep us thankful & in awe of His greatness! Now get them pecans in the freezer. Even if you havent cracked them all...put them whole in the freezer before they go bad!

Spectrum of Amber said...

I love that you wrote about this! My husband's family shelled pecans together after our Easter lunch this year, and it was my first time doing it. I never realized all the work that went into it, and I certainly don't take those pecans for granted. I'm going to go grab a few of them now and enjoy them - one for me and one for you!