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In a nut shell : I'm a full time working mom, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a breast cancer survivor of almost a decade and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Friday, April 22, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade

We have all heard the old saying, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Well what happens when life hands over the deed to a lemon tree grove? You get busy opening up a lemonade stand is what you do! That’s exactly how I see this journey breast cancer has led me on. Not much you can do when you have lemons taking over your life right?

Well you can do something more than juggle lemons around and that’s a fact. Life can seem crazy, out of control and at most points in our day largely overwhelming. But just because life may appear beyond our control does not mean we do not have a say in how we slice and serve up those sour lemons it’s presented us with. The key is to size them up and to figure out how you are going to put them to work for you! The thing is you're not going to get around them, it's all in how your plan makes use of them in your life!

Now when cancer came knocking on my door it was not the first time life had shown up with a basket full of lemons. Life had banged on my door with sour fruit long before breast cancer had signed over the deed to this grove of extraordinary tart infused craziness. As a child and into my adult years I was faced with many chronic illnesses. I have dealt with everything from diabetes over the last 30 years, to Bell’s palsy and a mini stroke but still I have found there is a subtle sweetness which we can find just under the peel of life if we are willing to just bite down.

Lemons aren’t necessarily on my list of favorite top 10 fruit to eat, so having more than one lemon tree in  my life is a bit of an overkill really but I have found they can add sweetness and flavor to many of my favorite dishes or beverages.  Yes, the juice can sting, especially if you have any little bitty cut on your hands, making it painful to work with those silly lemons life has brought home to you. Yet we all know lemons can create some of the best combinations we have ever experienced too. See once you have squeezed all the sour, tart, yet wonderful juice out of those lemons in your hands you find you have a wonderfully transformed concoction before you. 

It’s all about perspective… you can see a grove of sour lemons in front of you or you can see a means to a large scale lemonade stand! Personally, I have chosen to make this grove of lemons my home, I have built my life around them. Sometimes they bring me pain and other times they offer me a clear perspective on my life and the blessings which surround it. I have also learned to carry around a bit of sugar with me too, just in case I need to sweeten the deal a bit. I have also found that no matter where I go, as far away from this grove as I possibly can, my home is still inside this lemon tree grove.  I have in spite of the stress or the ultimate outcome of owning the deed to an out of control wild lemon tree grove found my family is at the center of who I am and they are OK with the lemon pies, lemonade, and lemon drops we feast upon on a regular basis. Together, we have pruned and harvested the fruit around us, sometimes with apprehension and other time with awe.

Either way, lemons are not always a bad thing. I am personally glad I have been given the deed to this place, I see hope here, possibility within these borders, upon these branches.  Sure there may be fences to mend from time to time, trees to prune, fruit to pick and droughts to deal with but in the end it’s what you do with the life you are given , lemons or not! So friend, what are you going to do with this new deed life is waiting to hand over to you? Are you going to take life’s lemons by the bushel full’s, grab up the over following baskets around you and turn it into something extraordinary or are you going to let those lemons turn you sour? It’s all about choice and perspective my friend. Do you smell the sweet, subtle struggle in the air…its opportunity my friend, that's what it is. I'll tell you what, I can guarantee I have a few great recipes back at the grove house for you! Come on, we can turn this new adversity into something pretty amazing if you are willing.

~ Christina

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