I’ve always liked the phrase, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
We Army Wives, do a lot of that. I’m not here to lament my life married to the military. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am proud of what my husband does to secure our freedom at home and to bring relief to far the corners of the globe.
However, recent news events have cast a dark shadow on the conduct of our armed forces. Truth be told, this is an isolated event and there are countless good works being done in remote villages that never see the light of our televisions back home. It wasn’t big news a few days ago when over 400 Afghani women gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day and were provided protection by Afghan police who had been trained by our Soldiers. It is never big news when our Soldiers build a school or a road, or they collect medical supplies needed to deliver healthy babies, or when we provide training on logistics or tactics that give them hope of self-sufficiency.
I do not watch the news.
I’ve made this conscious decision for a number of reasons, but mainly because I simply cannot make that much lemonade. The stories are mostly bitter and I don’t have the energy to search for the sugary-lining in all of them. I don’t remember a time when a story I watched or read made me happy like a cold glass of lemonade on a warm summer day can. Do you? Honestly, with two small boys and a husband currently deployed, some days it is all I can do to squeeze the joy out of my own life.
I had volunteered to bring cornbread muffins as part of our snack for PWOC. As the freshly baked mini-muffins were cooling, my oldest son saw them and was so excited, thinking he could eat some for snack before bed. I was rather unkind and told him if there were some left over after my meeting he could have them. The first one came out of the pan nicely, but the next one split right in two. The one after that crumbled completely. So, I gave him the scraps I couldn’t possibly serve to my prayer sisters. Out of the 20 muffins I baked, only 5 of them passed the test. As my son was making a glutton of himself with the crumbled pieces and the dog was having a feast with what fell on the kitchen floor, I realized I was going to have to bake another batch.
Then, I quickly thanked God for extra mix, because running to the store after bedtime is not an option while your husband is deployed.
I whipped up a new batch with the last of my mix and popped it in the oven while simultaneously getting the boys brushed, prayered and in bed. I know what you are thinking…that I burned the second batch. Nope, they looked beautiful, right until I started taking them out of the pan. Nearly half of these were ruined, too. That is when I thought, I guess I will just make cornbread stuffing.
Instead of some divine revelation relating this life event to a lesson, all I found were more questions.
Who is getting the crumbs in my life?
Who isn’t even getting crumbs because I am ashamed of what I have to offer?
Are there good things in life that aren’t getting any press?