Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bad Bananas

Photo Credit:  ppdigital at
On the phone the other day, I jokingly asked a couple of my good friends, “So we’d still be friends if I, let’s say, lost my left front tooth and didn’t replace it?”  There was an excruciatingly long pause after my question.  What the?!  Surely they were just taking a big drink of water or finishing up chewing a bite of supper or something?

I mean, really.  Certainly our years of friendship mean more than a missing front tooth?  Right?!  Of course, I knew I completely caught them off guard with my question and sort of expected a delayed response or a comical one at the very least.  I got both.  One of my friends said she would still be my friend, but wasn’t sure she could ever look at me again.  The other one said she wouldn’t be able to be seen with me in public any longer, but we could remain friends – (phone friends, I’m guessin’?)

Both conversations ended in much laughter and I was lovingly assured that we’d still have our wonderful friendships (if I got an implant, that is – hee hee).  Unfortunately, my question was rooted in truth (pun intended).  In middle school, I caught a line drive with my teeth instead of my glove on the pitcher’s mound.  Nice catch, Heather!  Some oral surgery and two root canals later, my teeth are still managing to hang on.

However, at my most recent dentist visit, I was informed that my body has shunned my left front tooth and doesn’t think it should be a part of my smile.  Apparently, it could just be a matter of time before I’m the one awaiting a tooth fairy visit.  Ugh!  Don’t think for one second that I’m not praying harder than ever that my tooth will prevail and keep on keepin’ on!  I am deathly afraid of dental work and I think that would be putting it mildly.

Well, how ‘bout that!  All of a sudden, after 25 plus years, my body decides it doesn’t like the not-so-perfect tooth.  How lucky are we that our bodies don’t reject a tooth for every bad decision we make along the way?  Break a commandment?  There goes an incisor.  Treat someone meanly?  Oops – lost a canine.  Spread nasty rumors?  See ya later molar.  Aren’t we lucky to have a merciful God?  We’d all be running around without teeth, huh?  We’re so blessed that God doesn’t decide to get rid of us even though we fail Him again and again and again.

We’re not perfect…but that can be a good thing.  I was reading a friend’s facebook post the other day and this particular one really inspired me.  Nicole wrote this, “I almost threw out some badly bruised bananas this morning, but instead I made banana nut muffins.  Each time I bake these, I think of how we are sometimes like the bruised, bad bananas.  But no matter what shape we're in, God never throws us out.  Instead, if we let Him, He chooses to use us in ways that are better than we could have imagined.”

Bad bananas.  Hmmm…I like it.  There is also another produce item that has always intrigued me.  Watermelon.  Summer time equals watermelon around here and we are always in search of the perfect one.  I don’t know about you, but watermelon shopping can be tricky.  You never know what will be waiting for you on the inside of one.

Here’s what I found out while researching watermelons:  First, we have to look for a light yellowish or white area somewhere on the melon (the “sugar spot”) to indicate the belly of the melon rested on the ground to ripen.  Second, the outside color should be glossy green and not pale.  Then, we need to hold the melon up and thump it quickly like a drum.  The sound should vibrate evenly through the entire melon.  (At the very least, we will be getting some grocery store attention during all of this…)

Finally (this is a new recommendation that I haven’t tested out yet), I hear that if you find small black bits on a scar of a watermelon, you’ve found a goldmine of sweetness.  The black bits are supposedly drops of juice that have made their way out of the watermelon. The black sugar bits can be found on the ends of the watermelon, too.  The more bits, the better.

Now, I’ll go ahead and confess.  I don’t think I’ve ever purposely chosen a watermelon with black bits, or even a scar for that matter.  I don’t know why.  I just figure that if it’s flawed on the outside, it might be flawed on the inside.  Boy, was I wrong with that assumption!

This makes me think about a book I am reading right now called, “Relentless Hope” by Beth Guckenberger.  She writes, “It’s so the enemy’s tool – to divide us, to make us feel like we are the chief of all sinners, to want us to be disqualified.  I can only imagine God is heartbroken when we focus on our failures and not on his redemption.”

I truly don’t think that God wants us to focus on our failures…our scars…our bruises.  My friend, Dorian, has St. Augustine’s quote at the top of her blog – “A Christian should be an Alleluia from head to foot.”  She also says, “I’m about 12% Alleluia on any given day, but I’m working on it.”  I just love that.  It makes me smile every time.  All of us are striving to do better – to be better.

We can always better ourselves.  We can persevere.  The little turtle reached that Ark only through perseverance and determination, I’m certain.  Surely he was overwhelmed and discouraged along the way as all the other animals seemed to effortlessly pass him by?

My daughter’s teacher, Donna, read an amazing story to all of us mommies at a Mother’s Day celebration in May.  The tears were flowing that day and I couldn’t make them stop.  The story she read hit close to every mom’s heart in that room.  So as not to forget the story, I bought the book - “I’ll Do Better Tomorrow, I Promise” by Maurine Reynolds Adamek.

Let’s just say that the little boy in the book gives his mommy a day full of challenges – picking all the yellow blooms off the tomato plants, pulling up the baby carrots he mistook for weeds, cutting his sister’s hair, releasing his pet mouse from the cage, letting the water overflow in the bathtub – just to name a few.

The mom in the story kneels by her son’s bed that night with tears streaming down her face.  The son (who wasn’t actually sleeping…) thought the tears were for all of the trouble he had caused her.  But, then, she whispers in prayer:  “God, forgive me for today…for not being more understanding when those problems came my way…for not handling situations in the way You wanted me to…for getting angry and losing my temper, things I know You don’t want me to do.  And, God, please give me more patience, help me make it through another day, I’ll do better tomorrow, I promise…in Jesus’ name I pray.”

I think of the bruised, bad bananas and the scarred watermelons.  Aren’t we so like them?  If only we’d give ourselves a chance to do better.  If only others would give us a chance?  A chance to see what’s on the inside?  From now on, if someone says there is always “one bad banana in the bunch,” (and they just so happen to be referring to us), I think we should take it as a compliment.  God isn’t through with us yet.  He has plans to make us into something absolutely wonderful.  Let Him.


  1. OH MY GOODNESS..............what an awesome "sips"......I know others will benefit for helping to see the "whole picture, the "better picture, and much needed "God picture"..........and through a "bunch of bananas"!?!?!

    1. Thanks so much ;-) I know, isn't it strange where we might find God? Bad bananas?! Who knew?!

  2. For the record, I am only 8% Alleluia today, and I'm not sure I'm even working on it.

    Am also very paranoid about my teeth now!

    Otherwise, though, loved this column. :)

    1. Oh, Dorian! You always have a way of making me laugh and I thank you for that! Don't worry about your teeth - just don't play catch with them. Thanks for reading my lengthy column - I just cannot keep it under 500 words. I. Will. Try. To. Do. Better. ;-) hee hee

  3. Heather, I love reading your sips. They make me laugh sometimes , but more important they make me think. Thank you for taking the time to write. I love you

    1. Awwww! I love you back, Mary! I think of you often and pray for you. I'm so glad that you enjoy my Sips - I enjoy writing them. Thanks for reading ;-)

  4. What a great read. You have become an insightful young woman. "Aren't we so like them?". Yes. Spots, blemishes, scars are the rewards of a life lived. Beauty is not in perfection; it is random and unexpected, ugly and exciting, off kilter and a bit messy. Wouldn't it be wonderful to just enjoy enjoy being in those moments of life. But, people find it hard to just be here now and be somewhere else later. Now is messy, scared, blemished, spotted; later promises to be beautiful and clean. Lies. I'll be here in the mess.

    1. Spots, blemishes and scars are certainly the rewards of a life lived. Your description of beauty is great ~ Thanks so much for stopping by!

    2. You are welcome little girl. Blog some more. Did you hear Taylir is getting married? Tell John and Steph and Aaron I said hi. ~Doug

    3. Hey Doug - Yes, I will tell them you said hello! And, yes, I saw that Taylir was getting married (saw the ring pix on facebook)! How exciting! Did you see Uncle Erol's new ride on my "Vintage Beauty" post? He's in love! ;-) Take care ~