The more you dwell on the peanut butter the worse it gets

Peanut butter.

Oh, those words conjure up one of my momma’s favorite childhood stories. Peanut butter not being her favorite subject, but the adventure and lesson she learned from a jar was one she never hesitated to tell.

Just a young thing, she and her friend Fern snuck a loaf of bread and a big jar of peanut butter. They crawled under the bed, which must have been near a space heater because they would slather a piece of bread with peanut butter and then warm it up on the heater. When the spoon hit the bottom of the jar and the bread was gone, the bellyaches began.

That’s when the story became a yarn for the ages or I should say a distaste for the ages. I never saw her make a peanut butter anything and if I pulled out the peanut butter, the retelling of the tale would begin. The jar would go back in the cabinet.

My momma hasn’t been around to tell the story for quite a few years, although it wouldn’t surprise me if she weren’t sharing a repertoire of favorites with a heavenly twist.

So, I had forgotten about this until my friend used “peanut butter” to describe anything offensive, hurtful or simply a struggle or a trial. The more she thought on the “peanut butter” the bigger the jar seemed to get.

That’ll preach. I’ve learned a lot from my friend. So much so, I wanted to make sure y’all got a taste of her “peanut butter” remedy from her own pantry. “Instead of dwelling on the struggle God compelled her to thank Him for the “peanut butter.” You can fill in the “peanut butter” blank with your thing.” In all things give thanks.

Whatever the mountain, she found herself saying, “Thank you, God for the mountain. Thank you for bringing me to the mountain. Thank you for what it’s teaching me. Help me God to love the mountain (aka peanut butter).

She added, “Express gratitude even when you don’t feel like it; even when it feels hypocritical. Verbalize it; don’t just think the thoughts. It becomes easier over time and before you realize it, God begins to change your affections toward the thing you wish would disappear.”

And in a final spoonful from her jar of wisdom, “Your praise, worship and thanksgiving should not be determined by your circumstances. They should be steady.”

This precious young lady has taught this ol’ gal so many things in the brief time she has lived here … now it looks like she is going to share her faith, love and wisdom with a whole new state and town. This ol’ friend and mama is sure going to miss her.

Thank you, Lord for peanut butter.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.