September 3, 2013


    So, folks. Life. And lemons. But mostly life. It happens to all of us, and it's happening to me right now. The lemons part, I mean.
When summer is faded and frantic I try to make more of family evenings and every sunrise...

When I'm dragged always down by temptations I bow to, then straining ahead towards the goal is fogged by guilt from the enemy...
When school turns scary next Monday and I host a tug of war for brains vs. ease to play...

(Those are flashcards, btw. sigh.)

    When little sisters ask patient, if I'm "doing my b'og" and this blog-love of mine turns all goopy and mucky, skeeter filled and humid. It's a blog, not a bog, my mind whisper says, and I tug a foot out of sucking, thirsty mud. My foot escapes, but boots must be tasty, or juicy, or something. I teeter, a one-booted crane, then topple and fall.  Sometimes, sometimes one step forward doesn't put me three steps behind. In my life, a step can leave me floundering, right where I am, covered with filth, mud-tied to the ground. If you dissected my mind-body right then and there, you would find a lemon or two rolling around in my head.

    Sometimes God gives me lemonade, ready-made when I write. He pours His words into my awe-struck mind, and when I read His words, taste the sweetness, the lemonade gives me chills. 

    But ready-made is meant for ease, for enjoyment, not growth. Ready-made is too effortless, too sweet for a girl growing strong. So this week when I found a pile of lemons rolling around in my brain, it was hard. This week words didn't flow easy-sweet, and I puckered up inside. Two tries, no lemonade. 
   The first time I tried to write all I got was four sentences and a presiding sense of melancholy. (Seriously, friends, it was basically my word of the day. Ask 'lil sis.) Trial número dos remained stuck somewhere between the truth and a lie, words that came from my mind but got mushed up so's I didn't know if I agreed with them on a page. Confusion, basically. 

    I tried, you see. I tried to whip up some ready-made. Twice I tried. 
But those tries, they were a knock off of what I longed for, God's ready-made. Two batches poured down the drain.

    Then God tapped my shoulder and soft smiled at me said, Ariel, blogs turn to bogs if what you write isn't what you are, what I've made you, put inside you. I'll give you words, but they may be small, yellow and sour. Ready-made isn't for growing strong girls. Here, have a lemon. Fresh-squeezed is refreshing - hard work, but refreshing.  So I wiped off my pucker and stammered out words of life, of lemons, of blogs and of bogs. And He made it lemonade. 

    Hard squeezed is different than ready-made, yes? Well, it felt different, to squeeze instead of pour. But now I'm stronger, after squeezing out my life, real, sour life out into the open. And now I know when ready-made is too sweet for my growth, I've got to swallow my pucker and squeeze out words of life, real and sour as it may be.

    Sometimes sweet doesn't cut it. Be real, girls. Use your lemons, sour as they may be, and trust God to do the magic making, the transformation to lemonade. If He gives you lemons, it's likely that He's fixing to make you stronger. Take on those hard things in God's power. Brace yourself and fight temptations in Jesus' name because your life, life to the fullest, depends on it. 

    Lord, just keep the lemons rolling in! This was the most awkward post I've put my hand to, but I know you've got a reason. Lemons. Wow. Boy would I have laughed if someone had told me the next post would be about them! So awkward. :P 

    So, girls, have you had an experience like this? When you totally let down your hair (that means you were completely real, not caring what others thought) and experienced God's power to transform?

    Lemons. Where to next, Lord?!?!

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