Prayer at the Pole

Today was humbling. My two high schoolers asked me to drive them into school a little early today. Trying to get out the door on any given day is always a bit stressful. Questions that shouldn’t need to be asked to three teenagers are still needed. “Did you brush your teeth?” because, yes, someone always forgets that they do indeed need to brush their pearly whites daily. “Did you remember your lunch?” and the famous cringe worthy one, “Did you finish your homework?” You may be wondering if I do actually ask those specific questions to my children each day and the answer is, YES! In fact I received at least one no to each one of them this week alone.

I set my alarm a little earlier and prepped the lunches the night before trying to ensure a peaceful run out the door in hopes of actually making it to school at the desired hour. Thankfully we were successful in our routine. (It may have had to do with the fact that I misread my daughter’s text and thought we were supposed to arrive twenty minutes earlier than the original time.)   I do pride myself on being prompt, but I am a realist. I have three teenagers and sometimes things happen. Someone forgot something, somebody’s hair wasn’t cooperating and the perfect outfit wasn’t so perfect, so they had to change. All these things happen moments before your scheduled to walk out the door.

The reason for an early drop off was to meet with their fellow classmates at the flagpole. The  meet at the pole was today and I was given the privilege to see them openly share their faith with the student body. As they all assembled together, adorned in red to signify the blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins, they locked hands and bowed their heads in prayer. It was beautiful to see and it brought tears to my eyes to see God’s love being put on full display for all to witness. To watch your children growing into the people that God desires for them to become is truly amazing and humbling. I can’t take credit for their achievements, as it is God who has instilled in them their gifts and abilities. He is molding them and I am just grateful to have a front row seat to ride along and be a part of this journey with them. Being their mother is the greatest adventure.

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Adventures on the Sideline

 

Recently, I was sitting on the sideline watching my son play soccer enjoying the afternoon fall weather. The boys were playing well, the sun was shining, a cool breeze kept the sweat at bay and I was able to watch my son shine at something that he is passionate about. Of course, as you may have guessed this story doesn’t end in victory or cheers. In fact it isn’t even really about the game itself, but the fans, the parents, the ones who come to support the players and “cheer” them on.

My blissful state was interrupted by, “That Parent.” You know which one I’m talking about. The one who yells so loud that nothing can be heard over him. He is the one who takes it upon himself to attempt coaching from his cozy chair, the one who criticizes every player on the field except his own and the one who offends every other parent in attendance. Yep, you know whom I’m talking about.

While watching the boys play, he began berating them from his spot in the crowd. Guffawing loudly at a missed pass. Yelling derogatory remarks when shots were missed or taken too early. Having a fit when his son was open and the player with the ball didn’t pass it to him. He was aggressively encouraging fouls and making offensive remarks about the other team’s players. The other parents rolled their eyes at the usual antics, a mother from the other team attempted to yell over him, I became annoyed and angry.

As I sat stewing I began missing out what was happening on the field. I was unable to recall a skill move my son had made that he was so proud of because my focus was elsewhere. I was upset and fighting an internal battle of speaking up or sitting quietly.

It is moments like these that as I sit in reflection that I realize that I allowed this one person to distract me with feelings of anger. I let my mood be swayed by the negative influence of one person. My reaction in that situation was the only thing I could control. I am reminded of a passage in James 1:19-20 which says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” When deciding how to react I think of Proverbs 15, which tells us, “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”

It is not always easy to return anger and rudeness with a smile. After some prayer and spending time in God’s word I was able to see the situation in a new light. I chose to surround myself with friends and family. I brought along some ear buds to listen to music and made an effort to smile and greet every parent including “that parent” with warm sentiments and kindness. No, my actions haven’t changed much about his behavior, but my behavior has been changed as a result and my attitude much improved. I am not worried about what he is doing, but instead what my child and his teammates are doing. I am able to be filled and maintain a joy while celebrating the victories and sharing in the losses. I am focused on what is most important, the kids.

Adventures of a Soccer Mom

soccer ballRecently, I have delved into the world of travel soccer.  When my boys were younger we spent Saturday afternoons cheering them on for a mere 60 minutes.  Games were followed with orange slices and treat.  They had practice that only took place twice a week varying between one hour and an hour and a half.  It was a great way for the boys to learn the sport and be a part of their community.

Tack on a few years and a love for the sport and I have arrived at my new destination.  Welcome to the world of travel soccer.  A sport where I  leave my house at five in the morning to drive to a field in the middle of nowhere that I hope houses restroom facilities and is close to a coffee house. (This is usually never the case)  I will spend the entire weekend on the field before heading back to work early Monday morning without a voice because of all the cheering I did.  I will spend three hours sitting in my car or on the field three to four nights a week watching them practice.  It is exhausting, time consuming, expensive and most importantly amazing.  I have witnessed them grow into strong, dedicated athletes that have a passion.  We spend hours on the road talking with one another, laughing and singing.  It has allowed me a front row seat to witness their accomplishments and given me the opportunity to be their biggest fan.  It has it’s challenges, but it is always an adventure.