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Fact: Warriors Drink Lots of Lemonade

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This whole “warrior” thing isn’t always that easy. It’s easy to write about, sing songs about, and declare proclamations of strength with bracelets and t-shirts, but living it, well, that’s a whole ‘notha ball game.

Here’s a question I’ve been wrestling with: how much would it take to break me? In the midst of the tough stuff of life, I find myself wondering what my limit is, what my breaking point would be. When life throws hundreds of lemons my way, making lemonade isn’t always the first thing that crosses my mind. Lately, the first question popping to the forefront of my thoughts is centered around how many more lemons I can take.

And then, Proverbs 24:10 stopped me in my tracks and exposed that I’ve been asking the wrong question entirely.

“If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place.” {Proverbs 24:10}

My question in the midst of the battle has been centered around the aftermath—the getting out of the battle alive part—when, in truth,  I should be focusing on a much more vital question: what did I do to prepare for the battle? 

Foundation is everything. How I trained or didn’t train makes a world of difference in combat. And here’s the thing about training—I can’t hide how I prepared or didn’t prepare. On game day, it will show up. Ask any athlete and they’ll be the first to tell you a lack of training off the field shows up on the field. The same is true in life.

While I’ve been dodging lemons left and right, I missed out on the opportunity of making a gallon of some extremely scrumptious lemonade. I could have been sitting poolside with a refreshing glass of lemonade with the latest Nicholas Sparks book in hand. But today, I’m re-assessing my foundation. I’m lacing up my boots and headed into training because the next time lemons are thrown my way, I want to be ready to make lemonade and not dodge perfectly good ingredients.

A few verses earlier in Proverbs, Solomon writes this:

“It’s better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day. Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel.” {Proverbs 24:5-6}

Training isn’t about physical fitness. It’s about my mental aptitude and being ready for the moments that threaten to knock me to the ground—the moments when the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart; when your hard-earned savings are wiped away by thieves; when your parents of 50 years reveal they’re getting a divorce; when the doctor shares the news that your best friend is suffering from cancer. Being ready for the difficult moments of life stems from how I strategically planned to walk through them. And how do I do that? By surrounding myself with truth. The truth of God’s Word and solid advice.

One of my favorite verses is found in James and lays out pretty clear instructions for suiting up for battle:

“Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” {James 4:10}

The only way I’ll get on my feet is by starting on my knees. I can’t show up to battle alone anymore. That’s a guaranteed way for me to not only burn out, but to also lose entirely. If I’m not filling myself with the truth of Jesus and what He is saying to me first, there’s no way I can show up ready to fight and make some great lemonade.

Today, I’m kneeling. I’m suiting up my armor. I’m diving into the Words of Jesus and strategically planning for war. This time when the lemons come, I’ll be ready. No more counting and wishing they would disappear, lessen, or stop. Rather, my battle cry is “keep the lemons comin’ because this girl wants to make some scrumptious lemonade.”

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