Life Stew

Life is a medley of different things all going on at the same time. Fear and joy and grief and happiness. All mixed in a pot that makes up your day. 

Yesterday I found out that my third grandchild is a boy. My younger daughter, who has been married for 11 years, is having her first child. After many years of thinking she just wanted to be a career woman, she and her husband changed their minds. He is due in March. 

So there is joy and so much to look forward to. 

While one child is on top of the world, one struggles. In the continuum of life, there seem to always be opposite forces at work. 

A few weeks ago, I learned I was the top Pinterest pinner in Oklahoma. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. How have I managed to spend so much time on Pinterest?

Best Pinterest Boards

Cozy Kitchens (7000 followers) – Brenda Kula’s spills out all over Pinterest, and people love it.  Think your favorite auntie’s take on Southern Living.


Okay, so now I'm your favorite auntie's take on Southern Living... Okay. I chuckled when I read that.

Anyway, every single day, life hands us apples and it hands us lemons. Sometimes it's far beyond that, and it hands us joy and it hands us grief.

In one area of your life, you're overjoyed with expectation. In another, grief hangs over you like a cloud. All at the same time.

I call this Life Stew. All mixed together in a big pot, being continuously stirred.

I lost my blog posts in late July, and started all over again. Yet some opportunities have come my way, regardless. So just when you think all is lost, you find out it is just the beginning of better things to come.

Stir the pot.

You never know what a day, a week, a month will bring your way. But the important thing is that you live in today. With every fiber of your being.

Let the other go. Just let it go. Regret is a word we use to relive what we cannot change. And have no power to change.

Mix your regret up into your Life Stew and it will become diluted by all the other things that are going on in your life.

Whatever you do, don't let what happened yesterday taint today. Do what you can about it, and put it to rest. Because none of us know how many todays and tomorrows we will have. So the best way we can use them is to live in the moment.

Stir your Life Stew, but immerse yourself in the muffins you have in the oven. Note how wonderful they smell. Listen to the birds outside your window. To the rain tapping on the roof. Feel life with all your senses.

And keep stirring.

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  1. The degree in journalism definitely shows in this beautiful post.

    I knew from the title that I would enjoy reading and I couldn't agree more about the teeter totter of life.

    I just bought The Book of Doing by Allison Arden and read the intro last night about how she came to write a book.

    YOU should write a book!

  2. Congratulations on the new grandson coming in March! I'm so happy for you and his parents.

    And I love this post. Every word is so very true and a message we need to remind ourselves of often. Your losing your old blog posts and beginning all over with determination is such a good metaphor for the whole message.

    Katherine Mansfield said: "Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it' it's only good for wallowing in." I'll join you in agreeing not to wallow, Brenda. Life may be the stew you wrote of but we'll just keep making muffins to go with it.

  3. Sounds like something scrumptious is slowly simmering away, on that cozy little stove! And, WE got a taste of it! Second helpings in store, I hope!

    Thanks for whetting our appetite for life! You are such a 'seasoned cook'!


  4. Brenda, I really needed to read this post today!! I have been trying to get my Mom to move closer to me and she keeps giving me 'tasks' to do before she will make a decision. I've now done all my tasks and it's back to her....I can't make her move as she really is capable of making her own decisions but I worry so much about her. Today I realized, I have to let go and let her make up her mind, I've done all I can. Back to working on my cluttered life again!


  5. Oh Brenda, what lovely news for your daughter and husband! A new grand baby on the way, maybe a quilt? One of those beautiful creations of yours for the little guy. For some reason your posting brought tears to my eyes, touched my heart ever so gently. Yes, dear, you do need to write a book or at least a column for some newspaper! We'd all be buying it and following you!

  6. Lovely post Brenda and congratulations on the good news of a new grandson. xo Laura

  7. I love this post! You have a way with words that I do not. My thoughts were very much like these yesterday, I posted something similar. Congratulations on the new Grandbaby! They are wonderful! I can also relate to things going well with one and not so well for the other!

  8. This is lovely and so very true! The same week in which I decided to end my 11 year marriage, was the same week in which I was offered a job transfer with the State of California.....5 miles from my cozy little home. I commuted 85 miles a day to work for ten years. I was in so much grief, yet so much joy...that is life stew for you. I am happy to say, this is my second week commuting such a short distance to work and I have to pinch myself all the time!

  9. Congratulations on that baby to you and your family! Beautiful post and so truthful - thank you for writing this today I so needed it. Another congratulations for being the top pinner on pinterest in OK! :)

  10. What a great post Brenda - you are so right in what you say, so much commonsense, only it sometimes hard to stand back and think like this - thanks for reminding us.
    Congratulations on a third grandchild on the way - so exciting for you all!
    Made me laugh re: your Pinterest achievement - should you laugh or cry! It is all too easy to spend way too much time on it isnt it?!!!! But well done anyway!
    Gill xx

  11. Congratulations to you and your family Brenda, how exciting!!! Beautifully written post, and happy for you Pinterest accomplishments too!!!

  12. Oh Brenda I hear you. I always say life is messy. If you just wait one day something happens. Highs and lows. I am so happy about the new baby. But also sad that one of your girls is struggling. Hang in there and yes good things will come your way cause you are always so kind to us all.

  13. Congrats on your awesome Pinterest award! So proud of you (always). Life is a big stew, the goods and the bads, all of which make us who we are today. Congrats on the new grandbaby boy!

    Mary @ Ms. Redo

  14. I am very happy for you, too. A new baby is a blessing for the whole family. And I so agree with what you've written. I've had some really bad things happen to me in the past....but it doesn't have anything to do with the life I lead now. That amazes me something but I try not to dwell on it. I love pinterest and follow you. I just haven't spent much time getting my own boards together. It's fun though! Sweet hugs!

  15. LOL- Congrats on your Pinterest award (I think!;>) Life is certainly a stew, Brenda. Great analogy. xo Diana

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  18. You said those words perfectly. That definitely describes my life right now. It's a mix of good and bad. I'm so happy for you though to become a grandmother again. How exciting! You are such a good writer of words of wisdom from all of the trials and tribulations in your own life. You can give out good advice because you've been in those shoes and come out on the other side!

  19. Brenda, congrats on the upcoming grandchild, that's wonderful news.

    And congrats on being the top pinner, I was all excited about reaching 3000 followers on there, it's a big milestone for me, and then I saw your 32,000 + and just laughed. I've got a long way to go.


  20. A new baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :))))))))))))))))))))))

    I read the rest of your post but my heart really stopped there :) Enjoy! :)

  21. A new baby, what a blessing! Something to look forward to and someone new to love. Surprises often come from unexpected places. And, here I thought I spent way too much time on Pinterest, lol, you must be pinning some good stuff to be #1. I know I can spend hours on there, what is not to love about that sight, it is so, so wonderful, always something new to look and dream over.
    You go girl!
    Susanne :)

  22. Wonderful post!!! Congratulations on the new coming baby! There are so many ups and downs, but when we savor the small things there are so many more joys.

  23. My husband and I also waited 11 years before we had out daughter. (I'm the child of divorce and I think I just wanted to make sure the marriage would stick. LOL) Might have liked more, but that just wasn't the plan. Such an exciting time!

  24. Congrats on the future little grandson. That is great! Wow, best pinner. I didn't even know anyone is looking at that. I guess you never know.

  25. Exciting news about a new little grandson! Life as a that's an interesting way of putting it! Sometimes, I prefer that it barely simmers. ;-)

  26. Congrats on your Pinterest, I love that, I will have to go over and see if I am already following you your photos, they are so lifelike and wonderful...thanks for sharing them and congrats on the exciting news of a new grandson, yay.,Phyllis

  27. What a lovely post! I'll keep stirring. It's been a bad week but starting to look up now. Congratulations on Pinterest (and you do pin a lot Brenda...I know cause I'm on there every day and I'm always repinning your'd be my favourite aunt if I was 25 years younger....instead I'll consider you a sister!) xo J

  28. Life Stew...I love it and it exactly describes the fiber of my life right now~great post, Brenda!

  29. Congratulations for the grandchild!
    That post about little Maria was very touching. Please, keep us informed, if the police has found anything. I wrote a comment about things like that here in Brazil.
    There is something in both cases that we should pay attention. A person very close to the families was involved.
    A Doctor's employee was one of the killers of the 5 years old girl ( a womam!) , and the last person who was seen
    talking to the boy was a neighbor.

  30. Oh, Brenda...You are so wise....Balisha

  31. Life Stew is such an appropriate phrase. This moving column makes me think of a poem by William Butler Yeats, "A Prayer for my Daughter," which includes the lines,

    It's certain that fine women eat
    A crazy salad with their meat
    Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.

    So what you call Life Stew I've often referred to as Crazy Salad. Put them together, and you have quite a feast.

    Here's a link to the poem.

  32. Congrats on being a grandmother, my son and DIL didn't want children and then 10 years later they had girls and what great parents they are. I am so glad they have experienced one of the gracious things in life. Love your photos.

  33. Fabulous piece -- I wish some magazine editor would discover you -- they don't know what they are missing.

  34. Congrats on grandbaby #3.....very exciting for your daughter and SIL!

  35. Love the idea of a stew. It is so true. I really enjoyed to read this post. And congratulations for the baby-boy !
    Amitiés from France,

  36. What a powerful post! This one will be bookmarked for future reference! ;)

  37. A new grandchild? That's wonderful Brenda! I'm so happy for you and your family!

    Best pinner? That's fabulous, but when they start giving out an award for best blogger, you have my vote.

  38. You did such a good job putting this into I continue to struggle through a divorce this is exactly what I needed to hear.

  39. Congrats on the baby and Pinterest:)

  40. Congratulations Brenda...on the new grandbaby (boy!) they are such fun.
    ...and congrats on being the top pinner in Oklahoma! I find that interesting for sure. Who knew?!
    I'd like to know ...who holds that job at Pinterest. Official Pinterest 'bean counter'...hahahaha!'s fun.
    have a great week. Pat


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