Life on a Segmented Plate

Thanksgiving is next week! It’s my favorite holiday, even above Christmas. I love food and family, so naturally, family gathered around food is a perfect fit.

We normally host a small portion of our family and I excitedly prepare for days. There’s the homemade bread that needs to dry out for the homemade stuffing, the real cranberries with a tad of orange peel and brandy mixed in, pineapple bread pudding, green beans, sweet potato casserole…and don’t forget the turkey and ham (unless I forget to pull it out again). My taste buds are tantalized!


With all this fine food, there is one small problem…When I sit down to eat I don’t like my food to touch.

Nope, I don’t want my spiked cranberries running into my sweet potatoes. Now, the turkey, dressing and gravy, no big deal, but the green beans and pineapple pudding need to stay separate. There are just some flavors that don’t need to mix.

Thank you segmented plates!

And now that I’m thinking about segmented plates, I’m thinking I could use them beyond just Thanksgiving. How about life on a segmented plate?!

For there’s people and situations that naturally blend well together like turkey and dressing, and then there’s those cranberry and sweet potato situations that I’d rather not mix. I’ve tried it once and didn’t like it.

If you followed my posts in October, you know I’ve struggled with homeschooling recently. With this  writing ministry the Lord has place on my heart, it makes more sense to send the kids to school and use that time to write. Segments.

In a segmented life there’s a place to write, for the kids to go to school, to clean the house and buy groceries, to go to church, have lunch with friends, a date night with Adam and quite alone time, all without them touching one another. It sounds beautiful.

But anytime I think about changing things up, I get this check in my spirt. Like I’m not supposed to. I get this impression God is serving me a round plate and saying, pile it up and enjoy!

No Lord, I don’t want these areas touching. It doesn’t taste good. I’d rather everything have its place and I’ll eat it one at a time like I do at Thanksgiving.

The problem is God wasn’t meant to dwell in a sectioned-off space of my life. He seeks to seep past any barriers, into my whole life…into my homeschooling, my writing, my cleaning, my alone time, my marriage, my mothering.

When He is confined to a certain section, I fall into religiosity. I do church rather than be the church. I do school, rather than pray and seek His guidance. I run on auto-pilot without thinking and considering He may have a plan for this. I’m hesitant to share my faith because it’s not time –I’m at at gymnastics, not Bible study.

The other problem for me with living a sectioned life is that when I focus on one thing for a long period of time, it becomes an idol. I am a passionate person and invest 100% of my effort in whatever I’m doing. So whether it’s writing, organizing, doing a craft or remodel, I feel like I didn’t have enough time to do everythingjust right…the way I wanted.

But the fact is, there’s always one more thing to do….that seems to be most important.

So, to keep that in proper perspective, God has given me a plate of life with no segments.

By having this plate of life, I’m forced to mix and blend flavors I would’ve never tasted before. I find out there’s a few new combinations I like, while others I don’t. I don’t have to complain about the sweet potatoes mingling with the cranberries, I can just leave it be. It creates a semi-barrier on its own. That way I’m free to enjoy the food around it.

I pray that God will infuse my whole life, and not just remain in one section.





4 thoughts on “Life on a Segmented Plate

  1. Alisa says:

    Love this Julie! I actually like my food mixing together, but in life I’ve often thought my goal should be to get all the boxes–segments–working and behaving as they should on their own–“No, you stay there. And You belong over there, not here” 😉 Love your words on the thoughts that I’ve often had inside me!


  2. jenniferkindle says:

    Absolutely love this!!! I’ve noticed in my own life that when it all mixes in, it’s the intruding flavors that add value to the sections I didn’t want disturbed.

    I seriously have an unfinished post about how the only reason I have anything to write is because these children, who take so much of my writing time away from me, are the reason I have anything of value to write about.

    I’m going to ponder this for myself today, ” if God put it on my plate then surely he designed the perfect flavors to come together to form an explosion of awesomeness like no other combo we could’ve ever dreamed up.”

    You wrote for me today….great reminders tucked in those sentences or yours.


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