The Lesson of the Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

Years ago when I pretended to be Pioneer Woman of my small town’s newspaper, I caught wind of a story that circulated at the elementary school.

Second Grade Students wrote about “How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.”  I giggled at the teacher’s assignment but after reading some of the papers, I asked her if I could visit her class and talk to her students in order to feature them in my next column.

This is what I learned!

I learned generosity from a kid, Chad, who wrote:  “I put the peanut butter & jelly on each piece of the bread, and then I add more peanut butter & jelly and put it together.”

I learned organizational skills from a girl, Sunshine, who named each ingredient and wrote about shutting the refrigerator door when you take out the jelly and putting the peanut butter back after you make the sandwich.

I learned that specific details assure success from a black & white thinker named Jason who wrote:  “Only use Skippy Peanut Butter and strawberry jelly.”

One kid, Tony, who is probably a rich engineer today, wrote:  “You take two pieces of white bread and cut off the crusts.  Put jelly on one and peanut butter on the other and then put the pieces together and get a knife and cut it but not in half, cut it sideways.”

These cutie patooties wrote about the same thing yet their methods varied.  But in the end, I knew how to make a PB&J sandwich!  I just wanted to scoop them up and take them home with me.

I wonder if that’s how our Father feels about us, His cute kids. His assignment is to go and tell our stories for the glory of God.

I ponder unique writing styles of Christian authors.  Specifically, I mull over the variety of motivational gifts I see in them and how those gifts influence the way they write.

For example, some blogs are written by writers with a gift of administration. Their leadership gets me in line and tells me what to do in a Biblical way, not a bossy one.

Some writers have the gift of teaching.  They use a lot of scriptures to support their claims and they excel in the details of the Bible making the meaning crystal clear to me.

Like teachers, some writers are exhorters.  They teach using Biblical concepts but more on the practical side with stories to illustrate their point.  Their posts call me into action.

These are just a few of the Motivational Gifts listed in Romans 12, but I think you get my drift.  I definitely see how we, as Christians,  are wired with different motivation that flows out of us.  God put it there!

Do you know what your motivational gift is?  Some Christian websites offer a free test and explanation of each gift for full understanding. 

I’m an exhorter.  Of course I am….who else is going to tell you a story about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to illustrate a point?

Check it out:  Romans 12, Motivational Gifts


  1. I hope you don't tire of me saying so, but I so love how you weave the 'everyday' into spiritual life lessons!
    ....Of course, you had me at the mention of peanut butter!

    All in all, it's kind of neat thinking of myself as one of God's 'cute kids.' Thank you for putting such a smile on my face, tonight!

    Love ya,

  2. Now I want a peanut butter sandwich :) So true about the variety of the Christian authors out there and their techniques to reach people. I have also thought of this when it came to the 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible. They all tell about Jesus but from their unique perspective. I equated that to my work as a medical transcriptionist. Sometimes I will get reports done by several physicians on the same patient. Its the same patient but they write from their own unique specialty. Cardiologists will focus on the heart more, pulmonologists the lungs, etc., but its the same patient. Same thing with the gospels. One Jesus, just portrayed 4 different ways in the unique style of the authors of the respective gospels inspired by the Holy Spirit.


  3. What a lovely post! I am now in the mood for some peanut butter. :) Your posts are so inspiring and I enjoy them so much. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Beautiful, I couldn't help but laugh. How uniquely designed we are and fit for His Use all for His own glory and not ours.
    I love this post! It is 100% beautiful no kidding.
    Thank you Mary.
    On another note, how are you?
    Great I suppose.
    Many Blessings to you

  5. Oh I just the peanut and butter and jelly stories from the kids. I am quite sure our Lord loves to hear his kids telling stories about Him....sharing Him with others and for everyone...a different way! So funny, I remember sharing with some ladies at a ladies retreat I spoke for that we each have a story to share with others about Jesus...and it begins with...Here is what He done in my life and is still doing...JUST TELL YOUR STORY! At the end of the retreat time a lady came up to me that she had sitting on a bench at Walmart waiting on her daughter when a another lady came and sat by her. She said the conversation started with a friendly greeting and turned into coffee at Starbucks simply because she was telling to tell her story. WOW~ Love this post today....And I am quite sure you know what I AM! LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  6. What an awesome analogy sister Mary! As I turned on my computer, I had no option but to visit you as soon as I saw the title "PB & J" favorite simple sandwich! Yum...Amazing how you remembered each kid and how great that would be to see where they are now and for them to see you wrote about them! Because their ways in the end are teaching us, too... And may we remain...not childish but "childlike" in blessing others with what He gave each of us...I love this and I'm gonna' go make myself a PB sandwich...I don't know yet what "J"...But I know there's only one "J" that stands out!Hugs and prayers...My tummy grumbled and agreed! But my spirit was fed first!
    Be strong the Lord's mighty power! Love you sister!

  7. Oh, the delightful things we can learn from kids! This story made me think about how I like a peanut butter sandwich. I actually like peanut butter and butter sandwiches. With generosity applied to both ingredients!

    Yes, I think that God must get a kick out of His *kids* - we are all so unique, and each blessed with a unique spiritual gift bestowed upon by His generous Spirit.

    I just want to pass on my *sandwich* - whatever He calls me to say, I want to be faithful in saying it!!


  8. Mary, I love this post. I used that topic for over ten years in my fourth grade classroom. Why didn't I think to learn all of the things you did?:)

  9. Just like each one of us might create a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich a bit difference, we are also unique in our blog writings. I love the way you exhort and pull the two pieces of bread together. Thanks for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  10. O, this post is so sweet and wise. Thank you.

  11. Really a great post. Thanks. It really is true what the scripture says..."out of the mouths of babes..." Thanks for sharing! Good thoughts.

  12. As usual, you shared some wonder things. I sure like peanut butter and jelly... or at least I used to. Some of what you described is very much how I was in the past and how my heart has approached so many people and so many ways to teach or expand the Love of the Lord to them. Thank you for sharing. Bless you.

  13. I appreciate how you always seem to find a life lesson based on Biblical principles in every single scenario. Wonderful lesson. I think our Father does smile at the design from His perfect hand.

    For the record I'd say you and share the gift of encouragement too... and thanks for spending yours on me often. You are appreciated, sister.

  14. Isn't that the truth! We each are so unique but vital in the functioning go "The Body". I am always in awe at the gifts demonstrated in the church and the wisdom God uses in placing them. Great post! You've got me wanting a PB&J sandwich now! LOL

  15. The lesson of generosity. I love that.

  16. Great post, interesting how you were able to pick up the gifting of these children. I am an exhorter also, always wanting to help someone get to the next stage of growth in any area. God opened a door for me to teach a bible study and I am loving it.


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