Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Story of Ellie Egg....and Friends

Pretty eggs ready to visit lunch
Ellie Egg (purple egg in left top corner) brought her friends to lunch on Tuesday. She had heard there were some issues at school with her people friends. She sacrificed herself and her friends to prove a point. THIS is their story.

At lunch, Ellie Egg's best side showed her beautiful smile and curly hair. All looked right with the world. However, what her friends didn't know was that she had a really bad morning. She got up later than she should have. If she didn't hurry, she was going to be late! Her dad got mad for apparently no reason at all...and she cracked a little. Her brother said the yolk's on you as he pushed her in the back...and she cracked some more. "Go ahead, tell on me...nobody will believe you anyway!"....crack. Her mom forgot to give her lunch money....crack. AND then she got to school.....and hid behind her smile.

She has a group of pretty close friends. They gathered around her and asked her if she was OK. Of course, she said yes. Who really wanted to hear all her problems anyway? They all had their own stuff going on too, right? As long as they were watching out for each other and spending time hanging out in their carton, they felt pretty safe....and overall, they were....pretty much.

There's another group of eggs. They're not quite as friendly. Sometimes they feel left out. They don't feel like they fit in. They dress differently. They don't want to stand out, but they sure don't blend in either. Sometimes they say words they don't mean....but they have a reputation....people think they're bad eggs. So they act like it. Not many eggs have taken the time to get to know them better....or realize that each one of them has cracks too.

So things get said to Ellie and her friends. Ellie and her friends say stuff back. Most of it is not very nice. Feelings get hurt. More cracks. Some friends are stronger than others. Their shells crack and they're pretty firm underneath. Some of them though? They crack...and break....and ooze. The sad thing is? They can't be put back to the way they were. No matter how many nice words, people caring, friends surrounding.... things will never be the same.
Proving that words matter. The results


Moral of Ellie's story (People version) 
short version:  WORDS MATTER

Long version and explanation:

Ellie and her friends went to school to help the lunch girls SEE the effects their words (and other people's words) have on them. I think the girls thought they were going to get ice cream (nope, sorry that's end of the year celebration!) because there was a plastic tablecloth, bowls and napkins on the table when they walked in. They were told it was going to be a surprise. The eggs (I dyed pretty quickly the night before) looked pretty good when we started. They were briefly told about Ellie and that she represented a lot of teenagers...and adults too. Sometimes what we see on the outside (smile) does not show what is really going on (cracks on the other side). The girls were given permanent markers. They decorated their eggs with a face....and with words that have been said to them....or they have said to others. The eggs briefly went back in the carton. I beat a bit on the carton showing them that they were pretty safe when they stuck together. Then the girls got their eggs back into the bowl with a knife or spoon to hit the spots where the words were. It didn't take long for the eggs to crack and break open. Some were hard-boiled. Some were not. It was obvious they couldn't be put back together. I gave them something I wrote previously about eggs and becoming hard boiled:  Becoming Hard Boiled  We put them back in the carton and I snapped another picture. The girls asked if I'd put it on Facebook. So I did....and went into more detail with the story above to put on my blog. I really worried that they wouldn't want to listen. I didn't give them enough credit. At first, they joked around and wanted to save them and throw them at somebody. They all participated and, hopefully, got the moral without hammering it in too much about bullying, etc.

Moral is still: Words matter. (and I have a pretty awesome group of lunch friends!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I build walls not to keep people out, but to see who loves me enough to climb over. This is a paraphrase from a teen friend. I tried finding the original quote and I found something similar, but I like hers better....and I couldn't find a name to attribute the saying I'll use hers.

This was at the end of one of our Tuesday middle-school lunches. I had some time to think it over while I picked up crushed cereal pieces (ah-hem, ladies) off the floor. First of all, I felt honored that she chose to tell me. Next, I felt.....sad. Sad because I think how often have I not climbed the wall? Not just hers...but other walls as well. Sad to think that sometimes without meaning to I have built a wall and probably pushed someone away.

Sometimes when I come to lunch and lay out food, the girls swarm to the table like piranhas! Sometimes there are whines of "I didn't get any!" They move and the table is mostly empty. I think why do I do this? It takes time, it can get kind of expensive and would they even show up if there wasn't food?!?!?! That's kind of how I felt when I got there recently....and then I hear the girls start talking to each other. Then one or two talk to me and we get into some really serious concerns. Occasionally, I get hugs before they walk out the door...or one comes back for something and makes a little comment that may not seem like a big deal, but it is.

Everybody needs somebody that is willing to scale that wall. It may be a wall of hurt, pain, self-preservation or hiding from being close or letting someone else actually see the real princess (or the monster....depending on the day!) that lives behind that wall. How often have I tried once, not got over and given up?

As a parent, there have been days when I have been too tired, too complacent or too busy to attempt to climb my kid's wall. I need to stop making excuses. There are only so many days and ways that we will be given the chance to get over the wall our kids often build.

We can try to batter down the wall....and find another wall. We can try to climb over the wall, find it too difficult or time consuming....and give up. We can look for cracks in the wall. We can take time to build a ladder that will eventually let us see over the wall.  We can hope to be lucky enough on some days to find the secret door and be asked in without having to climb over. THOSE are days to cherish!

I urge you to do whatever you can to see past, climb over, get through the wall even if it takes numerous tries. Our kids are SO worth it!

Since kids learn by example, take a look at yourself too. Do you have a wall your kids can't get over?

Hebrews 11:30 (NLT) It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.

Pray and have faith that whatever walls you may encounter they can come crashing down....even if they have been there for years!

And we don't do it alone......

Ephesians 2:14-15 (NLT)
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.