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for grandparents & those who love them

Do You See Struggle As A Way To Grow?

4 year old Jacob was not a fan of vegetables. That is putting it lightly. ‘Just try one bite’. That was my rule. Just one bite…that’s all you have to take.  So, at supper-time, night after night, Jacob sat. Grandma coaxed. Finally, Jacob would try one bite….of broccoli, beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower and even egg plant.

One night Jacob asked, “Grandma, what’s for dinner?”  “I made chicken nuggets,” I said.  Jacob was quick to respond,”Oh, I LOVE chicken nuggets!” …and corn on the cob…..”Oh, I LOVE corn on the cob!”….and broccoli!  Jacob put his head in his hands and said in a very frustrated tone, “Grandma, how many times do I have to tell you…..NO MORE YUCKY FOOD!”

We have that attitude about life.”NO MORE YUCKY….whatever!” No more marriage struggles. No more problems with our children. No more challenges at work. No more in-law conflicts. No more financial struggles. No more anything that makes me unhappy. NO MORE YUCKY STUFF!!!! (Please note: I am not referring to abusive situations.)

Why do we want our kids to try vegetables? Here are a few reasons:

  • Just eating junk food is not healthy.
  • Their body gets important nutrients from vegetables to help them as they grow.
  • Trying new things is a great attitude to cultivate.

So….what IF

  • you’ll only learn to love by living with someone who is hard to love?
  • you’ll only learn compassion for others by going through painful stuff?
  • you’ll only learn to trust God by facing fear?
  • you’ll only learn to be patient and wait …by waiting?
  • you’ll only learn to be thankful by going without?

But we DON’T WANT TO! We short circuit the process. We fight to GET OUT OF situations that make us uncomfortable. We cut people out of our lives that are hard to live with. We PUT OUR FOOT DOWN and refuse to live through  – what might be the very situation that will help us the most.

Next time you find yourself in the center of a struggle, instead of fighting like mad to get out of it, remember Jacob and the vegetables. Be willing to sit there and try one bite.

  • Work to make your marriage better instead of day-dreaming about leaving.
  • When an old fear or anger crops up….again…don’t shove it down….again.  Face it and deal with it head on.
  • Speak up and be honest with that person in your life that is hurting you.
  • Be strong for your kids instead of checking out and giving up.

Vegetables are good for you. And, unfortunately, YUCKY STUFF tends to be good for you, too. It helps you grow!

Sue is the author of

Books available at:  www.grandma-sue.com





Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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