Life lessons seem to come from the oddest places sometimes, don’t they? A knick-knack passed down from a grandmother maybe. Or a sign on a wall somewhere with a quote that makes you stop and think. I, however, realized the other day that I’d learned a couple of lessons from our cutting block.
Early in our marriage, my husband and I bought our first home.
It was tiny. It was cheap (as far as houses go but it was all we could afford at the time). It was NOT pretty. It was NOT in the best of shape (not that we knew that when we bought it). It SEEMED ok. And our not-so-great relator at the time talked us out of getting an inspection. We had a broken toilet in our one and only bathroom right after we moved in. We had mice. We remodeled the bathroom at one point and what was supposed to be simple, resulted in a full gutting and a Terminix visit. It was a lot of work!
We really tried to make the best of it, though. It WAS home after all. We decorated it cute. We tried (and mostly failed) at some decent landscaping. We did what two very inexperienced homeowners could.
After a couple of years, we decided to really invest in the house and remodeled the kitchen. We did most of the work (and by we, I mean my husband) but we did have custom cabinets put in and new granite countertops. When the countertops were cut for the sink, a large piece of granite was cut out. The company took this leftover piece and turned it into a cutting block by adding rubber feet and cutting it to a perfect square. I LOVED it.
We moved from that home but we kept that cutting block. And when I looked at it the other day, I thought about all the lessons I’ve learned from it.
- Stay strong – Even when life is rough, circumstances change, and day after day you may get a little beat up, stay strong.
- Beautiful things can come from broken stuff – What was meant to be a piece of trash, a leftover, was given new life. A chunk of rock was given a new chance to be a beautiful cutting board. Sometimes a cabinet can have a second life with a fresh coat of paint. And maybe, just maybe, a broken marriage can find its way back to being whole again.
- Belonging – This cutting board belongs to our family. It has a history. Seeing it in our new home almost 20 years later, it just feels RIGHT. It doesn’t even really match the new kitchen, yet it just belongs. Just like our family, belongs here, in our home.
Most days I don’t think anything of it. Some days I’m thankful for it. Other days, I grumble because it’s hard to move to clean under it. And then other days, I pause. I reflect on the life it’s had. And how in a weird way, it resembles mine. Ours. We are strong, we are beautiful and we belong. Just like the old cutting board.