trading tea for elephants

"Pete was a perfectly predictable pig.  He was also a perfectly practical pig.  And a perfectly uncomplicated pig."  I have read this line and all the ones that follow more times than I could ever count.  These words belong to one of our family's favorite stories, "Pete and Pickles" by Berkeley Breathed.  A story of a practical pig named Pete whose life intersects with an extravagant elephant named Pickles.  Although Pete continuously exclaims that the steps he is taking to change his life are "ridiculous", he finds himself rescuing Pickles from a circus cage.  It goes against all things rational and comfortable and causes his predictable life to be challenged.  Pickles causes Pete's life to be more exciting, more interesting.  He finds himself trying things he never would have imagined doing previously.  But it also makes his life more chaotic.  His choice to add Pickles to his life almost results in the end for both of them.  However, instead of ruin, they find a beautiful friendship and a better life together than they had alone.

One of our favorite lines in the book reads, "Tea was on the schedule for today. Not elephants."  Kevin and I will often quote this line to one another anytime our plans get changed or our lives erupt into chaos.  It has become more than a line in a book to us.  It is a blueprint for our family.  Our desire is that we would always chose elephants instead of tea.  While sipping tea is nice and comfortable and easy and there is definitely a time for all those things,  we never want it to come at the expense of missing a chance for an elephant opportunity.

There are times when I think it would be so much easier to just stick with the tea.  In my heart, though, I know we are called to so much more.  When you take a risk in life there is always a chance that it could go horribly wrong but there is always the other side of the coin.  If you stay comfortable you could miss out on the most incredible blessings.

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