By Sandy Kirby Quandt

During one particularly stressful year of teaching, I developed an unhealthy habit of eating Tootsie Roll Midgees. Not just one or two pieces at a time…one or two HANDFULS.

It was mindless munching in a failed attempt to ease the never-ending pressure of too many demands and not enough time.

As was my habit, I sat in my classroom long after the students and everyone except the janitorial staff had left the school, trying to find ways to help my students grasp essential concepts.

One of my sweet co-teachers stepped into my room and spied the pile of discarded candy wrappers next to the pile of uneaten candy on my desk.

I offered Paula several Tootsie Rolls as I continued to unwrap and pop the remainder into my mouth with record speed.

“What are you doing?”

“Going over these math scores again. Susan’s not happy with the results,” I said between bites.

“No. What are you doing eating all this candy?”


Paula held out her hands. I gave her another piece of candy. She shook her head.

“I’m here to save you from yourself. Give me all the candy.”

I looked at my friend, then back to my desk. I willingly scooped up the Tootsie Rolls and handed them to her. She must have been suspicious regarding my lack of resistance.

“Any more?”

After a moment, I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a sandwich sized baggie.

Paula smiled.

I sat for a moment. Then I walked to the closet. From there I pulled out a half-full bag of that chocolatey delight. It wasn’t just a small sized bag. Nope. This was one of the mega sized bags you need two arms to carry.

Paula’s eyes grew big as I sheepishly handed over my stash.

“Do you have any more?” I doubt she really believed I did.

When I walked to the front of the classroom and opened up the file cabinet, we both started laughing.

Paula wiped tears from her eyes as I handed over another 720 piece bag.

After all these years that moment in time is as fresh as if it just happened. But I’d like to explore the concept of surrendering all my Tootsie Rolls to what Jesus asks us to do.

Jesus asks us to surrender everything to him. Not just the candy on our desk that people see, but also the candy we’ve hidden away hoping no one will discover it.

We are asked to surrender our time. Our resources. Our talent.

We are asked to surrender our families. Our health. Our jobs.

Our hurts, scars, addictions…

We are asked to surrender our hopes, dreams, ambitions, wants, desires…all so we can become the person God created us to be.

It is my belief that as Paula stood in my classroom with her hand outstretched to receive all the Tootsie Rolls I’d stashed away to save me from myself, Jesus holds out his hand to save us, as well.

Jesus wants us to lay it all down. Hand it over to him and pick up only what he wants us to pick up in his perfect timing.

I survived the year, and even though Paula promised she’d hold onto my candy and dole it out a little at a time if I needed it, I realized those Midgees really weren’t what was going to get me through the stress of that year.

Jesus was.

And he did.

Dealing with stressful situations? Surrender them to Jesus.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you. James 4:7 (NCV)

I wish you well.


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Quit Fighting

Our backyard has an area of semi-tropical plants that Bear loves to explore. He has beaten down a path through the philodendron, asparagus fern, tai, and ginger plants. In an effort to ease his passage through the jungle, I cut the lower leaves of the ginger plant.

When I took the leaves out for the trash pick-up, one of our resident lizards jumped amid the pile. Startled both of us.

Knowing what awaited him if he didn’t get out of the leaves, I tried to coax Mr. Lizard onto a leaf I held out to him. Not without much effort, I finally managed to get him to see the wisdom of my offer. He jumped onto the leaf. I carried him back, safely, to his home.

This whole incident got me thinking about all the times I fight the wisdom of the outstretched hands Jesus offers me. Hands which willing allowed spikes to be driven into them. For me. For you.

All through the Bible, instances of people who strained against God’s hand of discipline, guidance, and mercy are recorded. We allow Satan to kid us into believing we know more than our Creator does. Pride. Adam and Eve are the first who come to mind, and the first to suffer the consequences. Jesus knows what’s best for us. We need to trust him.

But, like Mr. Lizard, or Green Boy, as I call him, we hesitate. We are afraid to make a change. We’re pretty content with things the way they are. We trust our own limited wisdom, and believe we’ve hopped into the perfect surroundings. Unaware if we stay where we are, our final destination just might be the trash heap. With no hope of returning to the safety of home.

We need to stop fighting Christ’s offer of love and deliverance. Just as I’m sure Green Boy’s glad he didn’t refuse my help, and end up miles away in the landfill, I don’t want to refuse God’s help, and end up there, either. Do you?

Seek God while he’s here to be found, pray to him while he’s close at hand. Let the wicked abandon their way of life and their evil way of thinking. Let them come back to God, who is merciful, come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness. Isaiah 55:6 (MSG)


I wish you well.



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