When I entered the world of motherhood,

I felt a lot like a brand new can of soup.

Filled to the top and overflowing,  my label quickly began to define me.

soup can






I loved all these names.

I was proud.

I was thankful.

I felt secure,  wrapped in a lining that announced to the  world exactly who I was and why I was here.

Day in and day out,

my soup-can life pressed forward…………………

And just like God had attended to the widow’s jar of oil, He faithfully kept my supply of soup  replenished year after year.

Along the way, though, I realized my can was becoming dented by life.

My label was beginning to peel away.

The security of the metal surrounding me was punctured time and time again as I found myself hurt by words, by actions, and  by the reality of living in a broken world.

One day,  I woke up and  realized  my label was so mangled  and  my can was so  banged  up  that I no longer knew who I was.

I began searching for meaning in a pantry full of cans that didn’t seem to match me.

Not that I wasn’t a mom or that I loved my kids any less, but something had changed.

My purpose was different.

Being a soup holder was no longer my role.

No one needed me to tie their shoes or kiss their boo-boos or plan their birthday parties.

Sure, they still needed food cooked  and laundry washed  from time to time,

but even those types of needs were becoming favors rather than necessities.

At first,  it was hard to sit on the  shelf of life  and feel anything other than expired, out-dated, and used up.

I watched  newer soup cans, labels bright and metal sturdy, and my heart ached for what use to be.

As I focused on all they were, I became more and more aware of all  I wasn’t.

Faded pictures and a few Rubbermaid containers had  replaced the hugs and laughter that once  filled every corner of our home.

The more I focused on all that was gone,  the more I noticed new  holes appearing in  my already deeply-punctured lining of tin.

What was I to do with my label-less life?

Where could I turn for help?

As I searched for meaning, I  began to notice more and more labels around me that had also been  shredded.

I saw more cans with dents and holes.

I began talking to them ; and as I  listened,  I realized that maybe, just maybe,

this peeling away of the outer covering,

this puncturing of the tin,.

was a necessary stage in the life of a can.

Labels, if clung to too tightly, limit potential.

Metal, if depended upon for security, leaves  no room for trust in something stronger.

My soup can is almost empty.

My label is nearly worn away.

Who I am can no longer be defined by what I once was.

 I have a decision to make.

Do I stay on the shelf and hide from a world that seems to move along just fine without me,

or do I move to a table and allow  light to shine from all my broken places?

                      Deep inside, I know  what I need to do.

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Now ………………..

how to get there…………..

that’s the question.