How Much Weight Should A 14 Year Old Boy Lift Excerpt: A Piece of Me: Mrs. Cornfield Lose the Baggage, Lose the Weight

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Excerpt: A Piece of Me: Mrs. Cornfield Lose the Baggage, Lose the Weight

Excerpt: Lose the Baggage, Lose the Weight….a woman-to-woman recipe for life

“Knocking on the door doesn’t always get you what you want, but sometimes gives you what you need.”

~Lorna (Parsons) Stremcha

A Piece of Me: Mrs. Cornfield

Fear is an emotion that holds us back. It does not matter whether you are trying to lose weight, change careers, leave your spouse, break up with your boyfriend, start a new school, go away to college, or introduce yourself to a neighbor. Fear does not discriminate; it does not care how old you are, what color you are, what sex you are, or what religion you are. We all face fear at one time or another. As a child who grew up in and out of foster care with abuse and alcoholism, fear was an emotion I had to learn to manage.

In the fifth grade, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mrs. Cornfield. We were living in the country outside of Twin Bridges, Montana, and Mrs. Cornfield lived across the road. Mrs. Cornfield was an elderly lady caring for her terminally ill husband. Eager to get to know our neighbors, my brothers, my sister, and I walked across the dirt road on a Saturday afternoon, took a few deep breaths, and knocked on her door. Within a few short minutes, a small, fragile woman with a smile and a twinkle in her eye opened the door and invited us into her country home.

The four of us introduced ourselves, and she asked if we would like some cookies and Kool-Aid. Of course, we said yes. Then she took a book from the table, held it up, and asked if we would like her to read from the Bible. We all nodded yes. She then asked us if we would like to study the Bible with her on Saturdays. We said, “Yes!” She then explained tithing.

During the week, each of us would try to earn pennies, nickels, and dimes for Saturday Bible school. Every Saturday afternoon after lunch, we walked across the country road, knocked on her door, and were greeted with a smile. Mrs. Cornfield would arrange us in a circle, and we would listen as she read Scripture. She’d lift her collection plate, pass to the person on the right, and we would put our collection of coins in her dish. It didn’t matter whether it was one penny or a hundred. Each penny mattered. And, most importantly, we knew we mattered. Every Saturday after our Bible lessons, she would feed us cookies and Kool-Aid.

As Mrs. Cornfield helped us manage our fears of abandonment, abuse, and alcoholism, we helped her manage her greatest fear: losing her husband to cancer. As we prayed in the circle together and lifted our Kool-Aid glasses in thanks, we all found strength from God every Saturday afternoon. To this day, the four of us speak of Mrs. Cornfield and her loving kindness and the lessons she taught us. The world certainly could use more Mrs. Cornfields. Helen Steiner Rice wrote: “What more can we ask our Savior than to know we are never alone- That his mercy and love are unfailing and he makes all our problems his own” (Hope Springs Eternal, 1978).

So what does this have to do with fear? It is simple: realize that you are never alone even when you must flee from your home in the middle of the night. If you search, if you ask, there will be someone in your life who will help you find the courage to conquer your greatest fears. Perhaps her name will be Mrs. Cornfield.

Exercise: Open a Door

Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes another opens; but we so often look so long at the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

Today, really look hard. Do some deep soul searching. Utilize the great mind you’ve been given. Think about the doors that have been slammed shut. Walk away, and don’t look back. Open your eyes, really open them, and see the many doors waiting for you to step through. Choose one. Knock on the door and walk inside. Allow yourself to go places you want to go, meet people you long to meet, and take adventures you desire to take. Just knock. Knock on the door.

Create these places, these people, and these adventures through imagination. Every goal, every dream begins in the mind. Circle the letter or statement of your choice.

Which door will you see today?

A. A door of the past.

B. A door of the present.

C. A door of the future.

Which door will you open?

A. A door of the past.

B. A door of the present.

C. A door of the future.

Which door will you walk through?

A. A door of the past.

B. A door of the present.

C. A door of the future.

What did you discover about yourself? Why?

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