How Much Weight Can 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 you get what you need.”

~Lorna (Parsons) Stremcha

A piece of me: Mrs. Cornfield

Fear is an emotion that holds us back. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose weight, change careers, leave your spouse, break up with your partner, start a new school, go to college, or introduce yourself to a neighbor. Fear does not discriminate; it doesn’t care how old you are, what color you are, what gender you are or what religion you are. We all face fear at one point or another. As a child growing up in and out of foster care with abuse and alcoholism, fear was an emotion I had to learn to deal with.

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

The four of us introduced ourselves and she asked if we wanted 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 wanted 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 we each tried to earn pennies, crowns and shillings for Saturday’s Bible school. Every Saturday afternoon after lunch we would cross the country road, knock on her door and be greeted with a smile. Mrs. Cornfield would arrange us in a circle and we would listen as she read from the Scriptures. She lifted her collection plate, moved on to the person on the right, and we placed our collection of coins in her dish. It didn’t matter if it was a penny or a hundred. Every penny mattered. And most importantly, we knew we mattered. Every Saturday after our Bible lessons, she gave us cookies and Kool-Aid.

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

So what does this have to do with fear? It’s simple: realize that you are never alone, even when you have to flee your home in the middle of the night. If you seek, if you ask, there will be someone in your life who will help you find the courage to overcome your greatest fear. Maybe she will be called 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 fail to see those that open for us.”

Today, looks really tough. Do some deep soul searching. Use the great mind you have been given. Think of the doors that have been slammed. 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 go inside. Allow yourself to go places you want to go, meet people you long to meet, and go on adventures you want to go on. 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 do you want to see today?

A. A door from the past.

B. A door of the present.

C. A future door.

Which door will you open?

A. A door from the past.

B. A door of the present.

C. A future door.

Which door will you go through?

A. A door from the past.

B. A door of the present.

C. A future door.

What did you discover about yourself? Why?

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