Bringing back the lemonade stand
"You just don't see lemonade stands around anymore."
One of my neighbors made this comment as she walked her two small children down the street to our lemonade stand. So it made me think... what happened to the good ol' fashioned lemonade stand?
When Jude and I started making our Summer 2016 bucket list in May, he had me put down lemonade stand. I don't even know where he got the idea, but he had been asking to do one for months. I went ahead and wrote it down as just another "list item".
Honestly, I never intended to actually follow through with this bucket list item.
To make a lemonade stand, a legit lemonade stand, it would take so much work and TIME. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I have this weird personality trait I have a hard time shaking. I like to do things a certain way and I get an idea of exactly how I would like for it to look. Perfectionism meets type A personality equals a hot mess that is always a work in progress.
This summer has been so full of wonderful things, but just never enough hours in the day. It would also require me to "get out" in front of the neighbors and be friendly and social to most strangers and probably feeling a bit awkward at times. Let me be clear, this is not a bad thing at all, it just goes against the grain of my introverted tendencies.
Thankfully, just when I have talked myself out of it and my feelings of exhaustion and mommy self-pity start to settle in, God gives me the reality check and the mommy fuel I need.
The last thing I want my kids to remember me as, is the task Mom. You know the Mom (I can comfortably settle in to any day) that gets the house clean, food on the table and keeps the kids alive and well. Again, nothing wrong with this either, there are some days where this is necessary and some days where it is just plain enough for that moment and day. However, I want my children to have memories of us doing things out of the norm to create purpose and character in their lives.
We can always make excuses not to do the things that take time and effort, or the things that make a mess, but these moments with our kids are so fleeting.
My sister came over one day and started talking about fundraising for the St. Jude marathon in Memphis. We are running a 5K in December. Somehow a lemonade stand came up and all the sudden I was excited to get that bucket item checked off the list. I was excited because it became an opportunity to give meaning to a project for the kids and to teach them how important it is to be the hands and feet of Jesus and how we can make a difference to support an organization that is dear to our hearts.
I have always been interested in supporting St. Jude, but once my sister's niece was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia at 17 months old (only 4 months older than my youngest Gwyn Estelle) and sent to St. Jude in Memphis, I took on a deeper interest. It has been amazing to see the care they have received from St. Jude while there. Paisley is in remission, but still fighting a battle and needs our prayers. You can follow Paisley's story through Facebook. Just a head's up, you will cry while reading their story. I cry every single time I read an update. Not only because it is a hard thing to see a child go through, but because I have a child close to her age, I know this family and how much they mean to so many around them and I have seen their faith poured out before everyone that knows them. God has been so good to this family and I have no doubt that He will bring them through this storm with an incredible testimony that will give Him all the glory. I have seen what a blessing St. Jude's has been to the Collins family and that makes me excited to support such a great organization.
We have prayed for healing in Paisley every single night and day and my kids are constantly asking about her and lifting her up in prayer as well. When I mentioned that all our lemonade proceeds would go toward the hospital that is helping Paisley, my kids did not even question the idea. They were excited and could not wait to get started.
On a Monday late morning, we headed to my Dad's house (because the man with the saw won't let his daughter have one of her own) I brought all my random pieces of wood and scrummaged through his scraps and we threw together this simple lemonade stand in about 4 hours. We left my Dad's house around 2:30 and set up shop in front of my house at 4:00. We had no idea what to expect, but the response was incredible. The kids raised $125.00 for St. Jude Children's hospital! They waved at all the cars, they were all super helpful in making sure everyone got their lemonade and cookie (or banana bread, lots of baked treats) and they learned several valuable lessons that day. My favorite part was watching the smiles on the faces of those who gave and the smiles on the kids faces.
Mom's and Dad's — let us continue to raise children who are filled with compassion. Children who are driven by their hearts to do good in the world regardless of the circumstances. Children who refuse to believe in "reality" or a statistic, but believe, without question that people are good and God is greater. We need to see our children with a heart for God's people now more than ever.
A lemonade stand can teach a child so much with such a simple concept. Entrepreneurialism. Service. Compassion. Drive. Best of all, they can see what it means to be part of making a change in the world.
We watched a video on the kids of St. Jude and how donations help the families. We had a great conversation and then I showed them the donation they were able to contribute.
On December 3, I am going to Memphis to participate in the St. Jude Marathon to run the 5K. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.
Please join me in praying continually for healing in Paisley Collins and the other families that are affected by such a terrible circumstance.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." — Ephesians 3:20,21
Let's bring back the lemonade stand.