Today feels like I’m squeezing lemons to make lemonade…only to realize I’ve nicked up my hands while slicing the lemons. You know the tiny little cuts you don’t even realize are there, until the acidic juice hits and makes you want booboo kisses from your mama.
Today I want booboo kisses from my mama.
I’m doing the best I can – we’re all doing the best we can, really – making lemonade out of lemons. We’re trying to stay positive, not let the fear take hold – keeping our eyes focused on Jesus and our hearts connected to those we love. But this Covid-19 thing is real in ways we haven’t dealt with reality in quite some time. And by some time I mean ever.
So today it stings…in a variety of places.
It’s Day 2 of distance learning for my daughter, and the entire day has been one massive meltdown. It’s Week 2 of off-site officing for me, and even though we’re trying to use technology to stay connected I’m finding it difficult to juggle the new reality. It’s a Season of Unknowns for my husband as the majority of his income has gone the way of mandated quarantines – with closed restaurants and church gatherings, canceled theater performances and social distancing. But we press on, trying to make something palatable, refreshing even, out of the sour fruit.
I’m attempting to work each day – that is, while I’m not homeschooling my 3rd grader in core math that I don’t even understand, prepping the next meal for the restless natives or trying to keep my house from being swallowed up by the Piles Of Stuff monster. I thought being a mom who was also working outside the home was tough, but it doesn’t even come close to trying to work while we’re ALL AT home together. The disruptions are agitating, to say the least, not to mention the emotional tug of war between work responsibilities and wanting to engage with my family. How do I do it all well?
What I’d really love is the freedom to play – to be carefree and whimsical and imaginative, untethered from responsibilities or harsh realities – to do thoughtful things for my neighbors, to have a broader view of the kingdom opportunities this pandemic offers, to make these moments matter.
But today I find my heart still in survival-mode lockdown – trying to adjust to the new normal, trying to find different rhythms, trying to make sense out of what isn’t.
Maybe that lemonade is a bit too tart for your liking – just trying to keep myself honest here. Being a fixer by nature I can move too quickly to sweeten things up – and quick fixes are not what I’m looking for in this season. Otherwise, I’d be glued to social media or binging on some mind-numbing streaming service series or just staying under the covers for the rest of the day.
No, what I’m in search of is the grace to pivot.
See, I know God works in mysterious ways. I know that God sees the bigger picture. I know that He works all things for my good. I know an awful lot of amazing things about God in my head…and even in my heart. But all too often I’ve used them to placate, disconnect, and numb out from the stinging realities of life gone sideways. What I’m starting to realize is that when gospel knowledge becomes living breathing transformational salve for my soul – it’s the power of grace in action.
Grace tempers my snarky impulses to bite back. Grace soothes the prickly spines of fear and anxiety lodged in my heart. Grace reminds me that I am not stuck and this too shall pass. Grace lets me be myself, not some alter-ego superhuman mutant version of me – I can feel everything and nothing at all and think way too much about some things and forget all about others and admit that I’m far less competent than I’d like you to think I am – and yet Grace says that’s all okay…and God can still work with that and through that and in spite of that. Grace doesn’t pretend that life isn’t tart – that it doesn’t sting on abraded hearts – instead it brings perfect balance to the sour and the sweet.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.– 1 Peter 5:10
So I’m asking – no, I’m pleading with God – to give me grace for this mandated season of pivot. Grace for the painful present and the frightful future and all the glorious God-filled moments in-between. I pray that His grace will be like a tall, refreshing glass of cool lemonade on a swelteringly hot summer’s day.
And I pray the same for you, my friend.
May you draw near to the throne of grace with confidence, that you may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (paraphrased)– Hebrews 4:16 ESV
What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’– Zechariah 4:7 NAS