Monday, October 24, 2011

Inspiration: Fried Grits

Today's post is from fellow blogger, Jeff Jeffords, he writes a encouraging blog called Fried Grits. I've been following him for a while and love his anecdotes. Check this one out about Fried Grits.

I love grits. I’m talking about legitimate grits that Grandma simmers to perfection and lovingly seasons with butter, salt and cheese. Grits go best with bacon, eggs, fresh fruit and steaming hot coffee. Grits are certainly a substantial dish. It’s no mistake that the term grit interchangeably defines fine granules and determination. For years, my Grandma Jeffords has recycled leftover grits into tasty fried grit cakes. Grandma chills the grits in the fridge then dices them into bite size chunks and fries them in an iron skillet. Fried grits convert a hearty dish into bite-size portions. For me, fried grits represent the incremental, hearty investments that Grandma consistently made into my life.

Like Grandma says; “grits stick to your ribs.” For as long as I can remember, Grandma has been relentless about feeding her family, and feeding them well. While I was in college, I would often call Grandma on Sunday afternoons to catch up. One of the questions that she would inevitably ask me is, “are you drinking enough milk”? The question always made me smile, but it turned out that this was actually a brilliant question. She didn’t badger me about what my major was or how my grades were, but because of her relentless sincerity, I didn’t want to disappoint her. She was influencing me to do my best. Like always, she was steadily reflecting Jesus and cultivating grace in my heart.

Throughout my life, I’ve observed a remarkable capacity within my Grandmother to renew her mind and maintain her focus on the important things. The substantive stuff that sticks to your ribs and establishes character. Through the ups and downs within the lives of children, grandchildren and great grand children, she has always been a steadfast presence. Her home is like an anchor that renews your mind and challenges you to be a man or woman of substance. It takes some life experience to truly appreciate that.

Achieving our goals has everything to do with establishing the right foundation through a consistent, prioritized focus each week. I sometimes have a tendency to overwhelm an individual week with more than I can actually get done and that’s a recipe for neglecting the important stuff for the sake of the “urgent” stuff. Think about it. If we don’t have work goals and relationship goals each week then our weeks take on a life of their own and begin to dictate our schedule. Setting bite-size weekly goals are about aspiring to do significant work and having the grit to take charge of our weekly schedules. We must realize that though we may end a week feeling that we didn’t get it all done, we can’t let that spill over into working too much and stealing time from our key relationships. Don’t miss the simple, yet important, things that happen every week in the lives of those closest to us. I speak from some experience.

Something amazing happens when we become focused and not frenzied. The richness of the simple things in life start shining through. Wise people like my Grandma understand this. There’s immediate returns on resolving ourselves to be priority-driven, but the long range returns are priceless. The long term results craft our legacy. Legacy is birthed within the hearts of those that our lives touch. The principle of Fried Grits is this; A life well led is life that cultivates grace within the hearts those closest to it. Hearty investments made over time leave a mark. We just need to eat our grits one bite at a time.

What’s your favorite way to prepare grits? If you don’t like grits, don’t tell me. I might unfairly and harshly judge you;-)

-Jeff Jeffords

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