Sermoncitos, a family tradition



A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how
things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make
it and wanted to give up. Her mother took her in the kitchen...filled
three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came
to boil. In the first she placed carrots, the second - eggs and the last
- ground cocoa seeds. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.
In about 20 min. she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots and
eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the cocoa out and
placed it in a cup. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you

"Carrots, eggs and cocoa," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. They
were soft. The mother then asked her to take an egg and break it. After
pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the
mother asked the daughter to sip the cocoa. The daughter smiled as she
tasted it's rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean,

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same
adversity - boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in
strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the
boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile.
It's thin outer shell had protected it's liquid interior, but after
sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground
cocoa seeds were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water,
they literally CHANGED THE WATER!

"Which are you?" she asked the daughter. "When adversity knocks on your
door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or cocoa?"
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with
pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I
the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?
Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup or a financial
hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my
shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with
a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the cocoa seeds? The cocoa actually changes the hot water,
the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the cocoa, when things are at their worst you get
better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you
elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a
carrot, an egg or cocoa?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make
you strong,enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you
happy. The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

This week's message was given to us by LouAnna Fifield, a dear friend
that has influenced many, including us, by her living example of the of
"cocoa seed" analogy.