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When Life Gives You Lemons . . .


I’m not good at making lemonade. 33 and I had never made it before.

I don’t think I’m good at motherhood.

I’m a mess . . . Can’t even qualify for a hot mess, just a mess.

I have commenced drinking coffee. Me whose head already spins in circles . . . finally acknowledging that strong drink might be the only hope for making it through the morning mayhem of eggs and diapers, schoolwork and tying shoes. That barrage hitting me bleary headed, still trying to make sense of the day before . . .

The past few yesterdays haven’t gone as I had hoped. How can a woman, thirty some years accustomed to this world still sprout so many dreams in just one day, all to watch them trickle away? And still the mundane must do’s won’t all fit between sun up and sun down. I can’t find the path to talk of grace and hope right now so I rest in knowing  L’Engle says true faith is full of heavy doubt – that’s how you know you really care. The fact is I’m deflated, uneasy and my coffee’s gone cold.

We stepped off the roller coaster and have come smack up against reality. If grief is a coma, then awakening is slow and muddled. Just kids we were married and bearing our first child by our first anniversary. Lying,wrapped in each other, I ask him how we got here, how have ten years flown by? What to do when you realize you can’t go back and undo all the mistakes made, can’t grasp all the opportunities you didn’t recognize til now. How has picking wedding colors and assembling cribs turned to college plans and career paths? The panic sets in, I’m always quick to find my way there and to it’s friend despair. He holds me, reminds me we still share the same bed, we hold three healthy children, we care enough to speak our minds, we work hard and we love our God and in this world that is more than most have or even hope for.

Seems I’m always driving now, red light sitting and a motorcycle’s roar takes me back to days of fast freedom. Remember rockin out at the straightedge show and the good and the fierce they embolden my heart heavy with a world of work and worry. Modest Mouse stirs me up and the Lord’s courage appears in the unlikeliest ways. Isn’t that how He always comes? The music washes over, I’m living by songs recently, heart a great yearning ache. The melody draws it out, that deep cry, for . . . for I don’t even know what. I try to walk through the week worthy, stumbling back together with His body. Unworthy. Powerless. It’s all I can think, feel. Tired. Uncertain. And when I am all of this – HE. IS. He is POWERFUL. Washes it all away, brings me in, asks me to ask Him. Breaks my heart, Heals my soul. I’m crying and I’m laughing and I’m opening my eyes . . .

The past few weeks have shared a glimpse of other’s lives. Chances given to covet, peeking at easy street, heaven on earth never works as well as it looks I try to remember. And seeing all the harsh struggle and how we’ve all fallen down, still so hard to get back on our feet. Taking looks at dishonesty, uncertainty, lives destroyed, dreams lost, people hanging on, honest hard work  and unquenchable creativity. It all just weighs heavy. Presses down and gives weight to the letters, the message inscribed.

“Keep Calm and Carry On”

Each generation carries the weight of the whole world so the next can play under their wings. A few years of innocence till they shoulder the load. Heaviness presses down.

Our Lord steps in, takes the burden. We are not of this world and so we can smile at the days to come. What a crazy path we walk with hearts lit with passion and death the certain destination. We must hold the days with open hands.

And so my son asks to make lemonade. He who hates singing and too much attention has taken to heart the school musical – “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

So we squeeze sour juice til our hands sting and the pitcher’s full. Stir the sugar in and drink, proud of what we have made. This is all we can do, receive what is given, add the sweet, drink it up sitting round the garden with the ones you love, and give thanks. Give thanks for a cold drink on a hot day. Sing thanks for little hands working next to yours. Shout thanks for food to fill bellies and roof to shelter from the rain. Pray against the dark and breathe thanks for the good and the love,

and make lemonade as much as possible.

“Alright don’t worry even if things end up a bit too heavy – We’ll all float on alright – Already we’ll all float on” – Modest Mouse

Makin Lemonade from sharon mckeeman on Vimeo.

4-2-12 . 85mm . indoors midday

  • Sharon - Hi! Awhile ago I stopped looking at other photography blogs. I decided to stick to the few I started out with many years ago. It helped me stay focused on my work and stop comparing myself to others. It was bad. ANYHOW! Tara Whitney was one of the blogs that made the cut. 😉 And randomly, as I was reading the comments I read yours… saw we have the same name and I just CLICKED! And I happy I did!ReplyCancel

    • Sharon - I am so glad that you stopped by and thank you so much for your kind words Sharon! They are so encouraging and it’s fun that we share a name 🙂 Checked out your blog, love it and will be following along 😉ReplyCancel