Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday: YOU are the Lemonade

I recently pointed a friend to this post when she was looking for the sugar to add to the lemons in her life. When I read it again, I thought it might be a nice way to finish off the week…

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[originally posted: November 17, 2008]


Did you ever have a lemonade stand when you were little? I never did at home because we lived on an acreage, and there isn't a lot of traffic on country blacktop roads. The traffic that did go by were farmers who didn't believe in speed limits... so a folding table at the end of our driveway wouldn't have been the safest place for a kid.

There was one summer, though, when I was staying with my cousin Stacey for a week... she had lemonade stands all the time. We got our fancy signs made and my Aunt Darlene helped us whip up some sugar-filled concoctions for the cars that passed by. And then we waited. And waited. And waited.

Every once in awhile people came by with their 50 cents to buy a glass, and a few times they'd hand us a dollar… telling us to keep the change. We were crazy excited and thrilled that our hard work was paying off and people seemed to be pleased with our little venture.

And then HE stopped by. This random man who pulled his car to the side, asked for two glasses of lemonade, drank them, handed us a $20 bill and got back in his car. Stacey and I were INSANE with excitement. We ran into the house talking over one another, relaying the story, running out of breath and celebrating our windfall... it was a good day to be in the lemonade business.

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day who has had a lot happen in her life. She made the comment that she didn't think she was turning her lemons into lemonade.

I get that. Me and my Pollyanna-self is always trying to take the lemons and find a new way to mix them up until something sweet comes from them. But I started wondering, what if it's more than that? What if all these lemons we're handed in life... the sour things we have to take, squeeze, stir and add bits of ourselves to in order to make them digestible... what if that's just the first step?

What if WE are the lemonade?

It's important for us to look at our lives, the gifts and burdens we're handed, and be open to the ways we can add sweetness. The ways we can intentionally help someone else, make our own selves better and try to do our best in any given situation. Turn our lemons into lemonade.

I know I couldn't do any of those things on my own. There is no way I would have the perspective, strength or fortitude if I didn't ask God for help in those everyday areas of my life. Our lemons turn to lemonade because He's given us the gifts to make that happen.

But have you ever thought about it from God's perspective? That He sees all of the challenges we have in our lives and He lets us walk through them for a reason? He could easily make every obstacle we face easy... smooth out the rough road ahead of us and make every day simple. But He's watching us as we work through the sour patches... as we take the lemons in our lives, squeeze all the juice from them, add in the sweetness of our faith and trust and acceptance, and press forward.

Maybe while we are going through the rough patches with as much grace as we can muster, He is smiling – seeing the big picture.

Smiling because He knows we will sometimes break even with our 50 cents, sometimes exceed our own expectations with a dollar tip, and have those magical times when we are graced with a windfall of $20 just because we persevered. He is smiling, and pleased with the sweet concoction He's created in each and every one of us.

Maybe we don't just take our lemons and make lemonade.

Maybe to Him we are the lemonade.

Just a thought.

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