Okay, I admit it, as I write this short story I am unashamedly nibbling away on a “Rocky Road Biscuit Brownie”, purchased today at a gorgeous health food/home food bakery store. I am guilty as charged for falling for the overwhelming temptation of a dark chocolate, marshmallow & biscuit temptation. As I was out on my morning run, I succumbed to its alluring ways…and moments later it sat in my running bag as my après-running treat! And hours later, that’s just what it is. However, let me add, it is accompanied by a strong and hot cup of organic Chinese green tea; so all is good! As I munched this delicious treat, I mused to myself at its interesting name.
I decided that really the only “Rocky Roads” we want in life, are of the chocolate variety (for me the dark chocolate) but if only life was as simple as a chocolate “Rocky Road”. For many of us it is paved with seasons of “rockiness”, when we would much rather a smooth surface!
“Rocky Road” started as a flavour of ice cream; described as that hard-to-resist combination of chocolate ice cream laced with chunks of nuts and marshmallows. William Dreyer came up with this cleverly named ice cream flavour way back in 1929, and it was, and still is, a best seller. Its popularity is probably why the chocolate-nut-marshmallow combination is now found in so many desserts too.
So, when you saw that the title of my story was “Rocky Road”, what did you think of? Was your first thought of a chocolate/marshmallow tray-bake combination or were you far more concerned with the “Rocky Road” that your life may be right now? Do you dream of days where there are less obstacles and far more blessings? If you do, then you are not alone. I promise!
May I interject with some raw honesty? As I sat writing this blog today, right at this moment my thoughts have been completely thrown asunder by the news of the death of a dear friend. We knew he was ill but never thought that he would leave us. So strikingly ironic that I should be writing about the “Rocky Roads” of life and then receive this news. Somehow it impacts the next part of my story even deeper. When life is rocky, we have a Master Helper who comes alongside us to carry our load. When our hearts ache for those we love, He gently wraps His great arms of compassion around us and helps us trust Him through the tears. When life falls apart at the seams, He somehow weaves the tapestry of His design and allows us to see just enough so as to have hope, even one day at a time.
And today as we grieve the loss of an amazing brother and friend Joseph Fitzgerald, we can know that though this road is rocky, and hard to understand there is a faithful God who sees our hearts and cares about our loss. Jesus wept remember!
So I guess all I can say is whatever season you are in, whether life is rocky or smooth, make sure you have the Master Weaver as your friend, for then no matter what the road may hold for you, there will always be a road map to look to and trust in. All I know at times is that “GOD KNOWS”, these are often the final words whispered from my tired lips as I close my eyes to sleep each night. And He does know!
Within a week of each other, two of my friends have gone home to Heaven far sooner than any of us would have thought possible. Both of them incredibly talented musically and vocally, in abundance! And as another dear friend (John Edwards) said today, “Now promoted to the choirs of Heaven…” That is a beautiful thought John!
But it’s hard today to grasp that we are saying goodbye to another gifted friend. Our loss is Heaven’s gain it is true, but what a wake-up call to make our lives count!
Forgive, love, live, laugh and make a difference; for none of us know what tomorrow holds! If you love someone let them know. Carpe Diem…SEIZE THE DAY!
Make things right with God and each other! Remember in Luke 24 v 32, ‘They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’ ~ There is a Friend walking this “Rocky Road” with you, and that Friend is Jesus. Listen, He is speaking softly to your heart, as you walk along this road.
You may actually make someone’s “Rocky Road” a little bit more bearable simply by the love you share and the encouragement you give!
Oh I am also leaving you with the “Rocky Road” recipe. Make a tray-bake and share it with someone who needs some kindness on the rocky road of life…..
Yum…is there anything better than finding some chocolate that you forgot you had?…I did just that today. Even better it was a Rolo, and better still, it was the last one. I looked at it and mused, surely I should be giving this to someone else? But there was just me here, and just me who really wanted some unexpected chocolate. I deserved a treat after all.
There are times in life when you really want to give something away, when you have such a desire to touch someone’s life with hope, peace, joy, affection, words of support and strength. But there are days when you have to be that word of support to your very own soul too. So I popped that lovely sweet last Rolo into my own mouth and just savoured it.
I let it melt in my mouth.
Knowing that it was the last one made it even more special, but also caused me to take time to really get the most out of it that I could. If there had been another two in the tube maybe I would not have appreciated that last one as much.
But for me it would have been more special to give it to someone I love, because I love romantic gestures. Life is about reaching out to those around us and making a hard day somewhat easier for them to bear.
I have been blessed with some real treasures in my life, who brilliantly shine their love and warmth into my life on a daily basis. I am grateful for them.
But today I just needed the last Rolo. I needed to give something to my own heart.
“It is just a chocolate Rolo Denise!”, I hear you say. Ah yes I agree, but it was the value on it, which changed it for me. I could have quite easily wrapped it up and decorated it in a nice gold wrapper and posted it off as a surprise to someone dear.
Today I needed to let myself receive. Sometimes we forget to give to ourselves.
For the past few weeks, a line from a famous U2 song has floated through my mind at random times of the day…”And you give yourself away, and you give, and you give…”. Yes what a gift it is to give to others. What a precious thing to have those in our lives who unconditionally give to us. They call you up just to simply say they were thinking of you. Or they drop you an email to let you know you are loved. Precious! But when was the last time you gave something to yourself? Did you feel guilty being kind to yourself? Sometimes we forget to wrap love around our own selves, to listen to the cry of our very own heart for quietness and stillness, for understanding and focus. Well as I lay on my bed and savoured that last Rolo, I allowed a very small piece of chocolate remind me in a big way, that it is OK to take time out for the simple small round chocolate things of life, as well as the grander more important events too.
I would have happily given that last chocolate away, but it was nice to give it to myself.
So time and chocolate are my lesson today. Take the time to enjoy something that you give to yourself. Take the time to give to others because everyone is battling something more than likely and chocolate shared is always more fun!
If there is something you need to change in your life, than do it! It may mean that you are quiet or it may mean that you become more vocal than you have been in recent days.
You know what needs to happen in order for you to be more YOU these days than you have allowed yourself to be.
I recently sat down and watched the movie My Fair Lady, with my Mum. I loved it. The innocence and the beauty of a life that realized her worth, her potential and her creativity. But when the intermission came, I paused, because it just made the second half all the more worth waiting for. The intermission told me that what was coming next was worth pausing for, worth pausing for effect, worth taking a few quiet moments to either put the kettle on or think about what had taken place up until that moment. Maybe you need an intermission in your life. Maybe you need to hit the pause button, and think about your position. It is so true that life has no remote control, you have to get up and change it yourself.. I know this full well having broken my TV remote several months ago. So when I do watch TV, which is only now and them, when I really want to change the station I must get up to change it myself! So must you, in your life….take the time to pause, savour that last Rolo, then get up and change the station. Time ticks by so fast.
There are some things in our lives that we simply cannot change and these things we surrender to the hands of God, who is all knowing. There are people we wish we could change but we cannot, and we must simply give them time. Time is a gift, that is for sure. So today, give yourself time, savour that special moment, learn in all your giving to give also to yourself.
Be a friend to your own dear heart too, for it will make you an even better friend to those around you.
So go and buy a packet of Rolo. Open the bottom end of the wrapper first, and give yourself the last one, then go and share the rest with those you love!
There comes a time, and this is yours….There is no remote for life, get up and change it yourself, but remember dear one, you’re not on your own!