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Put Some Elbow Grease Into It

Kimberly Adkins

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I remember standing at the kitchen sink as a young girl, in our ramshackle old house with my saint of a Mother who was raising two kids on her own. At the time, I didn't appreciate all the sacrifices she had made for my sister and me, and I sure didn't appreciate the fact that it was my turn to do the dishes again.

"It won't come clean, " I complained with all the heart of an indentured servant forced to do horrible chores against her will. She turned her head to me, raised her eyebrow in a way that would have done Spock proud and simply said. . . “Put some elbow grease into it. "

I gritted my teeth and bore down on the old cast iron skillet with all the renewed fury a 9 year old could muster against a piece of cookware. And do you know what happened? It came clean. As I grew older and wiser I encountered many situations in my life that had nothing to do with the scouring of old skillets, but I discovered the most amazing thing. If I braced myself, lowered my head and rolled up my sleeves, everything always turned out alright in the end.

Now I find myself at a point in my life where I am forced to see through a great change that is quite intimidating. I could sit around feeling sorry for myself, or I could hide my head in the sand and cry over things that are long gone. But I'll tell you what I'll do instead. . . I'll put a little elbow grease into it, and know in my heart that everything will turn out for the best when I'm finished.

Kimberly Adkins


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