Have you ever felt like life was piling lemons on you and you were beyond making lemonade out of them? That has been the reality of the past 2 weeks for me.
It started when I picked my son up from preschool. He was being super whiny which wasn’t helping my stress levels as I was preparing to leave for a conference I’ve anticipated for months. Then when I snuggled with him, I discovered his head was a little too warm and his demeanor was going down fast. With a 102 temp I went straight to the pediatricians office to nip the whole thing in the bud before I left. Instead of packing and cleaning up, I spend hours sitting in an exam room staring at a beach mural on the wall pondering how this might put a kink in my conference plans. By the time we returned home from the doctor’s office he was back to his sofa jumping, Curious George watching self.
The next day I was all packed up and began my 5 hour journey north. I had my coffee, I had my podcasts and I was ready. Apparently so were 3 police officers with radar guns. As I came over a hill, about 45 minutes into my trip, I noticed cars were slowing down and the police officers were directing people to pull over. When the officer showed me the radar gun number all I could do was stare at it in stunned silence. Moments later he was handing me a ticket. I was so shocked by what happened that I couldn’t even cry.
I just drove away.
It took me about 30 minutes to really process what happened. Then all the worst case scenarios started showing up in my mind and wasn’t really sure how the husband was going to take the news. I didn’t want to call him at work so I waited, marinating on the frustration, worry, and wondering for 4 hours.
Sometimes you need a good cry…
When I checked into my hotel I just sat down in the fancy red plush chair and had a little cry. In moments like these all those inspirational quotes start coming to mind. But frankly, if I got handed just one more lemon, I might throw it at someone’s face. It was a culmination of emotions from all the stinking lemons I’d been handed over the course of two weeks. A broken tooth, a messy house, a sick kid and now I was apparently a law breaker! I felt like I was literally falling apart!
Facing the Facts
With all the strength I could muster I picked up my cell phone and dialed my husband’s number. I told him the whole story. His response was simply, “So what? It’s not a big deal.” Instantly relief poured over me from my hunched over shoulders to my farmer tanned feet. For hours I’d been bent out of shape about this one minor life thing and my husband showed me grace. In that moment, my husband was reminding of who Jesus is.
The fact is, life is going to hand you some lemons. And when it does you can try and turn those things around and make yourself a little lemonade or even an Arnold Palmer. You can turn that frown upside down. You can see that glass as half full. You’ll probably be okay in a few days time.
When The Lemon Crates Show Up
But other times life is going to bring you a crate of lemons and set them down on your doorstep. I’m talking expensive, organic kind of lemons here. That’s when you want to just start grabbing them one by one and chucking them as far away from you as possible. You’ll never want to see another lemon again!
What I should have done with those lemons, was pick them up and take them straight to the throne of Jesus and set that box down at his feet. I should have just dropped the crate and walked away. In fact, Jesus tells me to.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (NIV)
Dear friend, could use some rest for your soul? Are you laboring and carrying burdens that seem like just too much? Go plop down in a big fancy red chair or even on your microfiber bath mat and bring those big things, little things and almost unbelievable things to the only person that can trade you peace for all your lemons. Once you’ve traded them, there are no takey backies. You’ve got to choose to leave them behind. When you do, you’ll be able to make yourself a big tall glass of peace and drink it in…nice and slow.
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