'A Lemon a Day'...Nah
~By Sharon Czerwien
Do lemons often make it on your grocery list? Not mine! I rarely buy them; so I am glad that the old adage about an apple a day is not referring to lemons!
When I do buy lemons, though, my kiddos and I use them for (mostly) strange purposes. Every six months or so, I buy a bag of lemons for more than just a traditional batch of lemonade. My children get to play with the lemons in our front yard or on our backyard concrete slab. (I always plan the activity around a pending round of rain.)
I let my kiddos throw the lemons on the ground. They can stomp on them, roll them, chase after them, or toss them off the stairs. I sometimes allow them to squeeze the juice on baking soda for an outdoor chemical reaction.
I am not (too) crazy, as I learned about a similar idea from a book. My kids have just taken everything to the next level!
Some of the following comes from an excerpt about lemons from my recently published book. I appreciate what I learned about lemons from Carol Stock Kranowitz:
Carol Stock Kranowitz wrote a book for children with sensory needs, called The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun. She includes a neat idea for a ‘press and squeeze’ lemon activity. You hold a lemon with the purpose of squeezing it with your hand or foot. You can press on the lemon firmly and roll it back and forth. Kranowitz states that, “Rather than damage the fruit, the pressure actually improves it by breaking down the pulp to yield more juice.” 
Amid a personal bump (or a painful squeeze) in life, I must ask myself:
How is my attitude when I am squeezed and pressed and thrown about by life’s trials? Do I have the right perspective? I do not always think long-term about the spiritual fruit I could bear by having proper responses. What is the better way? Afterall, trials are a guarantee.
Are we wasting the trials by grumbling through the trials? Are we allowing them to cloud our thinking that we forget God is up to something good?
I will leave you with an encouraging verse. It is all about the right perspective!
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 1:6-7)
We can show our faith amid a trial. With proper and God-honoring responses to our trials, we can show forth our genuine faith in God’s good plan.
Of course, this is much easier said than done. We sometimes need a good reminder about perspective. The next time that you see a lemon in the store, remember what Ms. Kranowitz shared about lemons in her book.
Trials do not have to damage us to the point that we become unusable. Sometimes pressure yields in us an example of faith.
So, grab a cold cup of lemonade (or throw a lemon outside if that makes you feel better). Either way, remember the lesson of a lemon!
 Carol Stock Kranowitz, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder (New York: Penguin Book, 2003), 132.