The Elephant and Me (That’s Just Gross)

Q: How do you eat an elephant?  A: One bite at a time.
But really, that’s just gross.

Some days I open up my mouth and surprise myself. Really. Sadly, it’s not always because what came out was brilliant or anything. Usually, it is more revealing. Although I have stood on a stage in a very skimpy bikini and (shudder to think back on this now)and even a thong at  “Guest Posing” events, I really don’t like being, or more specifically feeling exposed! But, God so often likes to let my mouth reveal much- about me, TO me and occasionally, others. It’s that whole Humility Training He enjoys enlisting me in. It’s usually when I am giving some of my best advice when I receive the “revelation”. It was on just such an occasion recently, when I opened my mouth and out poured words that made me want to…well…gag. Yet, there was wisdom and truth in there somewhere. One of my dearest friends and I were discussing  our mutual dissatisfaction in managing the domestic side of our lives. Balancing our busy lives, kids, random odd jobs, helping husbands and trying to keep up “appearances”. Appearances being the ultimate neat and tidy, company ready house we long for yet somehow is buried underneath our paper piles, dirty dishes, dusty baseboards (that’s mine!) and furrowed brows. It’s not that we cannot get there. It’s just we don’t seem to be able to LIVE there. Life is messy after all and busy. So, we long for that which seems to elude us and do the best we can to live, love and serve, longing (ever so inwardly) for Martha Stewart to stop by or Extreme Home Makeover to choose our home to be made into the organized, welcoming, Utopian home we know exists somewhere in our minds and also in the lives of our less domestically challenged friends. Phew. So, it was in this context when out from my mouth and to my horror these words came forth: “Well, you know the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!” It was the whole Personal Trainer mode again. My alter ego stepping up to the plate for a pep talk for both of us. Conviction usually, follows. You know,  I do know how to eat an elephant. I do know how to set goals. Big ones. I have succeeded at some. But you know, we all have things we struggle with doing, and we long for that which seems elusive. It’s just there are times when our plates are fuller than others. I think one of the best things we can do for ourselves is too pray, plan and then JUST DO IT. Take the first bite. Don’t keep looking at the elephant! He’s to big to stare at. Just take one small bite. If it’s tough to chew or swallow. Put it back in the oven. Maybe it’s not time for that particular piece of meat to be eaten. Maybe God wants you to slice that elephant up and portion it out over time. Maybe your elephant is too, darn BIG! Break that bad boy down. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Maybe it’s just to chewy. Add some tenderizer. God’s grace is like tenderizer. Give yourself some grace. Dice up that elephant. Scramble, slice and saute that elephant BUT don’t you give up. Life is busy, but it’s also brief. 
Don’t let the elephant in your life intimidate you. Get yourself some tenderizer, give yourself some grace. Take a small bite and chew. Pretty soon you will be rubbing your belly. Satisfied. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Just take the next bite I know you can do it. I’ll be chewing along with you, one bite at a time. I know, that’s just gross. But, together we can do it. By His grace.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus  the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. ~ Romans 8:1

Make today a Grace day, friends and enjoy the SONshine wherever you are!

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

5 thoughts on “The Elephant and Me (That’s Just Gross)

  1. Well said! So hard to start small, we like to see instant results 🙂 I'm domestically challenged as well. We are currently moving to a house 3x the size of our current home and I am wondering, is it going to end up being 3x the mess? Or does having a place for everything make a difference. I hope it's the later. Blessings,MelPlease feel free to stop by: Trailing After God


  2. I saw the title of this post on FB and had to check it out! Great post. This is something I have been struggling with (and recently wrote about)- for me, allowing God to help me view it as a ministry and service to Him has really changed the way I approach it. I have been enjoying a much cleaner house and more joy in my “domestic duties” lately. 🙂


  3. So often there is not just one elephant, but three that are before me! Do I really have to eat the elephant? We need a better analogy. I will eat a piece of fruit instead. But then again they say the skin is the best part do you suppose it is true for elephants? But if I only eat the skin off of the three elephants than I am left with an even bigger mess. See what you have done! Love you my friend!


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