When Life Gives You Lemons...


It's been a challenging past couple years...

Just under two years ago, my husband and I got married and moved into our house we just bought. My husband's company closed an entire division of their business, and he lost his job he loved. He and a lot of other engineers were suddenly without employment, and the city we were in could not support that. A month or so later, my husband found out about an employment opportunity that sounded like a perfect fit for him. So we made the riskiest choice either of us had ever made - I quit my job, we put our house on the market, and we moved to another state without me having a job yet. My husband and I are not risk takers, and have a terrible time making decisions. But, we took a leap of faith as we felt this was a perfect opportunity for my husband, and that this was a part of God's plan.

Everything fell into place at first. My husband loved (and still loves) his job. It was a great decision for him, he's getting to work in the specific area of his profession that he always wanted to pursue. We also had an offer on our house within a few days of putting it on the market. Everything was pointing to this being a smart decision. But, then days became weeks, weeks became months, and I was still unemployed... Turns out my engineering degree wasn't doing me any favors in finding employment in our particular town. Now I know there are way worse things other people have to deal with, but this was a challenge for me. I've always been very career and work focused. I'm not someone who can even easily relax, I like to have something I'm doing or working on. Being alone in our apartment spending months and months job hunting in an unfamiliar city where we knew no one was rough for me. My husband worked long hours and had a significant commute, so I began feeling alone. I had worked extremely hard in college for my degree, and that only made me feel more discouraged and without purpose.

Eventually I found a job that was a bit of a stretch for my background, but it sounded like an interesting job, I was excited for a new opportunity.

There were a variety of benefits about my company and job. The staff was friendly and helpful, they have an extensive training program, a laid back environment, and most everyone was  passionate about the company. I truly enjoyed getting to know my co-workers and working at a place where everyone was excited to work. The issue over time wasn't so much that it wasn't a good job, but it wasn't a good job for me. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity, and continued to work hard. The challenge was trying to understand an unfamiliar industry that didn't make sense to me, it's just not how my brain is wired. I'm much more analytical and mathematical, and this job was at its core more about understanding human behavior. While it initially seemed as if it would be analytical, the work was not something that could be approached that way. I felt like a fish out of water.  I tried to overcompensate by just working harder and harder. The job lends itself to long hours anyway, and I got burnt out fast. Pile that on top of already feeling out of the loop and unsure of my work, and it was extremely frustrating. I was thankful for employment, but feeling lost.

You could say I had become pretty sour, and frustrated with my life. I am a person of faith, but I was struggling to see my purpose, and what the plan was. While it might sound petty to some, it was a real struggle for me and it felt like life was throwing us some lemons. Well, you know what they say to do with lemons...

One day I decided to try and change my attitude (easier said then done) and I started having a renewed sense of purpose in finding not just another job, but one where I could help others and be inspired. After some searching (and a lot of praying), I found a company that sounded perfect for me. The only problem? It was about an hour and a half away. So close, yet so far. My husband was already commuting almost an hour in the opposite direction. Talk about a letdown! A few days later, though, I was back on the site and noticed one of the positions I was interested in was a remote position - I could work from home!

After about a month long process of interviews, I just received the good news that I got the job! I am beyond excited to start this new chapter, it is definitely an answer to my prayers. It's utilizing parts of my background that I enjoy, some challenging new aspects that should be fun to learn, and it's for a non-profit so I can feel like I'm doing something to help others! I'm really excited about the job, and was so nervous during the interview process. The more I met people I would be working with, and learned more about the job, the more I hoped I would get it!

To celebrate the new job, and turning a sour attitude into something sweeter, I decided to try out a new dessert recipe. I literally turned lemons into...well not lemonade, but Lemon Cheesecake Pie! The slightly tart and sour lemon filling is a perfect complement to the sweet and rich cheesecake layer. It is delicious; one of my new favorite treats! The recipe is from Southern Living.

Like my job situation, this pie also has an unexpected twist! You bake it with the cheesecake on the bottom, and the lemon layer on top. After baking, though, the lemon is on bottom and the cheesecake is on top!!

Lemon Cheesecake Pie ingredients:
  • 2 refrigerated Marie Callender pie crusts (or you can make your own)
  • Cheesecake layer
    • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
  • Lemon filling
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 cup melted butter
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 tbs lemon zest
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tbs all-purpose flour
    • 1 tbs cornmeal
    • 1/4 tsp salt
Lemon Cheesecake Pie instructions:
  • Thaw pie crust
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg on low speed until smooth
  • Whisk together all lemon filling ingredients in a separate bowl
  • Split the cream cheese mixture between the two crusts
  • Spoon the Lemon filling over the cream cheese in both pies
  • Bake around 35 mins, or until set
  • Cool completely
  • Refrigerate once cooled

Below is the recipe card for this scrumptious cheesecake pie. Feel free to print, share, or save. Click on the recipe to get the file. You can find other recipes in the recipe box on the top of the right sidebar. Enjoy!