Our chopping block is a “beautiful thing.”

One of Ryan & I’s favorite shows on the Food Network is called Chopped. The premise of the show is that four competitors are given a basket full of odd ingredients (i.e. baby octopus, bok choy, animal crackers, etc.) & they have to create quality & tasty dishes which, as you can imagine, is very tough. First round is to create an appetizer dish within a certain time limit. Then, each dish is judged by a panel of experienced & knowledgable chefs lined up on a chopping block looking table. One dish is “chopped” and that competitor is out of the game. The next round is the entree dish. Same thing…given another basket of weird ingredients to make an entree dish within 30 minutes. Judged. One dish is chopped and on to the final round. Dessert. Two competitors are left and fight to win this kitchen battle. There is always sweat, sometimes blood, and often times tears. The unchopped winner gets $10,000 and usually has a neat story as to what their plans are with the money. Is it weird to cry while watching Food Network? This show gets me every time!

Watching this show the other night got me thinking about my Dad. He taught me a lot during his life here but I continue to learn from him even through his death, his legacy.¬†You see, he made Ryan & I this chopping block a few years ago. He wanted to make us something when we moved into our house in Tyler as a “house warming gift.” He knew we loved cooking & this made for the perfect gift. My Dad was a master craftsman. God blessed him so much in this way, he was a true talent. He could take an old, plain piece of wood and make it beautiful. In fact, he used to say that one of his favorite things to do was “making beautiful things for people he loved.” He was giddy about it anytime he had the opportunity to use this gift of his to give to others. This chopping block has sat on our kitchen counter and has been used almost daily for the past several years. And every single time I use it or look at it, I think of Dad and brings a smile to my face, sometimes tears to my eyes. I love that we have this gift that is so much more than just a piece of wood – it holds so many sweet memories and reminds me of my Dad’s love.

I want to/need to give more to those that I love. I can’t build a darn thing, I’m not talking about wood here. I am not a crafty person! But what I can do is give more freely of quality time, more love, more support, more memory makers, more laughter, more shared meals, more of a shoulder to cry on, more help to those in need. These can be “beautiful things.” I pray that what God blesses me with, I can in turn be a blessing to others. I want to live with my hands and arms wide open. This was actually one of my New Year’s resoultions: Give more. Any selfishness of mine needs to be chopped.