When Life Gives You Lemons...

With the first day of school just around the corner (next week to be exact), we are all asking ourselves if summer was everything we hoped it would be.

As we start getting ready for school and reprogramming our brains for all of the changes that entails, I've been doing a lot of reflecting and soul searching. I'm not talking about the lavender bath, yoga, hot tea type of soul searching. While those things are helpful and enjoyable, the turbulence in my heart is a feeling that sneaks up on me at the end of every summer as we approach a new school year. 

I start to ask myself these questions:

Was this a summer my children will remember?
Did I spend enough heart to heart time with these young boys who are rapidly growing at an inconceivable speed?
Did they grow spiritually?
Did we bond together as a family on a deeper level?
Do my kids have the confidence and bravery to not erase their fears, but trust in God to alleviate the grip they have?

Do any of you start asking yourselves questions like this? Maybe it's just me, but I have such a burden for the concept of "not letting a memorable moment pass by without realizing it". My summer started out with what was supposed to be a fairly minor surgery/procedure. After a bad infection and a second unforeseen surgery to boot, I think it's safe to say the lemonade was in abundance around our house. 

Watching our family trudge through the summer we have had has caused me to reflect and thank God for the trials He has allowed. That probably sounds a little crazy, but as a Christian, God is my lifeline. When I look into the faces of my sweet boys (one of which is receiving a face palm in the picture above), I am grateful now more than ever for the bond we share. 

Out of all of the places to sit in our living room, when I see these little brothers choosing to be close, my heart wants to burst! They are 6 and 7 years old, about to enter 1st and 2nd grade. 

Last summer, we spent almost every single day at our community pool. The boys did extra chores to earn money to buy treats at the pool and made some really sweet friendships with neighborhood kids.

This summer? I was able to go to the pool a handful of times and actually get in the water even less. The reason I'm reflecting upon this today is because I know that no matter how many lemons are thrown our way, each and every delicious one is part of God's plan for our lives. 

When the youngest takes an interest in styling his hair everyday, I gave him free reign and saw his confidence blossom. 

My older son has incredible ambition and I was able to witness that blessing within the first few weeks of summer. He was given a summer reading project and knowing there are prizes involved, he read and read and read until the project was complete. He finished the entire project within a couple weeks and for a boy who really does not enjoy reading, I saw his perseverance. 

Isn't it true that children teach us some of the most valuable lessons in life? All we need to is pause and listen. If you have been asking yourself any of the questions up above, I want to tell you that you're not alone. Maybe it's been health problems, financial strain or even relationship drama that has threatened to steal your joy. 

I know for a fact the devil has tried to steal mine. I can't say I fought and won every single time, but through prayer, reading the Bible and reaching out for encouragement from people who truly love me, I've been able to salvage my joy. God has taken my brokenness and made it beautiful.

He can do that for you too. As you gear up for a new school year (whether you have children or not), I want to encourage you to STOP the running, LISTEN to their voices and CHERISH the memories. 

Oh, and one more thing:
Look for opportunities to come alongside a friend whose flame is dim and fan it.

Let me know in the comments section some of your hopes for the upcoming year. If you do not write them down here, write them down in a notebook. Will you do that? I'm challenging myself here too. 

I've given God back the reigns that I held onto and am remembering His life-changing promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. 



  1. These are great photos and I so agree with you! I hope your week is awesome!

  2. I get this same feeling toward the end of every summer.


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