Monday, November 21, 2011

How Many Irons in the Fire?

This might be the wrong analogy, but "irons in the fire" is a common phrase even in our modern day when we don't have to put our irons in the fire to heat them up.  Nope, we plug them in, choose the best setting and wait while they heat up.  I think the saying "irons in the fire" comes from the fact that many, many, many years ago, people had to actually put their irons in the fire to heat them up before they could use them.  Then, when they got cold, they'd have to put them back into the fire to reheat and do this over and over again.

Unless they had many irons in the fire.  If they were fortunate enough or had planned well enough, they might be able to afford many irons to put in their fire. Then the trick would be to keep track of which iron was put into the fire earliest so they'd know which one was the hottest, which one needed more time, etc.  Thus, we have the phrase "many irons in the fire" and we use it as though we really know what we're talking about, when most of us have never actually put an iron in a fire.

Or maybe it came from the use of branding irons, which ranchers heated to brand their cattle or other livestock.

Either way, I DO have a point to this topic.  I have found that I work best with many irons in the fire.  For years, I fought this, thinking I was only allowed to have one real passion if I were to do my passion justice. But, rearing eight children has taught me that having many irons in the fire - or many interests and passions going at once - actually helps me work better.  So, I've stopped fighting this thinking in my life and embraced my many, many passions. And the cool thing is, I don't feel like I'm cheating any of them, or myself by pursuing many at one time.

My passions are many.

I love writing and it's likely my favorite. I love to teach writing and have a successful class going through Community Education that I LOVE.

I love helping others through abuse recognition and recovery.  It's very satisfying to help someone who is going what I went through, then they see me living in victory and it helps them.  This makes II Corinthians 1:4 come alive!

I love cooking.  I do that nearly every day.

I love baking.  I do that nearly every day as well.

I love photography.  I am an award-winning amateur photographer and love the challenge of photography. The satisfaction of that hobby is all over the walls of my house.

I love scrap booking and paper crafting and the creative process.

I love home schooling. I have 4.5 years of that left and I realize that I'd better get my other hobbies in full gear when that ends. I've been home schooling 25 years now.

So, having many irons in the fire is no longer something I will fight. I will embrace my varied interests and passions and give each one its due and never feel like I'm cheating any of them, or myself.   I've realized it's ok to have all these irons in the fire because I am blessed to have so many irons in the first place!  My irons represent opportunities and opportunities abound!


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