Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lion's heart

So.

We're smack dab in the middle of baseball season. Manic May, y'all.

I have a color-coded calendar. And a color-coded menu. Me, the furthest from type A, is color coding things....yeah.

But in the midst of this busy season- where hurried is the life we lead, sometimes

                   ....sometimes....

God has me sitting on the sidelines and he shows me a calm ray of sunshine. Things that our overbooked calendar can show.

Life lessons.

So, last Saturday...I'm at the end of 6 hours at the ball fields.  Adubya had a game at 9am, MiddleC had a game at 11:45.

Abudya's team won. It was a fun game to watch.

Onto MiddleC's game. This is where I tell you that they are undefeated this season. They have learned and played together so well as a team, I have been so proud of them.

This particular game was out of the ordinary. Are starting and Backup pictures were struggling on the mound. Walk after walk. Even our bats weren't as hot as they had been in every other game.

Our team was having an off-day.

We were at the end of MiddleC's game. In his age bracket, they usually only play through the sixth inning. At the bottom of the sixth inning our boys were tied 3 to 3. The coaches and umpires talked and said that we had extra time before the next game started, so we would play through the seventh inning.

Our team was up to bat first. In this inning we score 2 runs. The score is now 5 to 3.

After the third out, I see MiddleC running up to the pitcher's mound. He had such determination in his eyes. All he had to do was hold off any runs, and they would win the game!

He knows he's capable of this.

I know he's capable of this.

But, ohhhh, did my mama's heart fret on the sidelines.

Batter one: walk

Batter two: walk

Batter three: hit, caught, out

Batter four: walk

Walk.

Walk.

Walk.

Walk.

I could see him struggling.  I could see him not give up. He kept trying. Harder and harder.

Walk. Score.

Walk. Score.

Tied.

Walk. Score.

End of game.

They won.

He exhaled.  His shoulders left their determined strength on the mound, now slumped.  He was trying to hold it together.

And then the coach walks up to him and gives him encouragement.  His teammates join in trying to bolster his heart.

Cue: tears.

My heart hurt for him. Physically hurt. I'm watching on the sidelines- it's not yet my turn to comfort. Mom's don't belong on the field, but

Oooohhhh, did I want to scoop him up.

He cried again when he came to me.  And here are the words God gave me in this moment:

MiddleC, it takes a special kind of kid to even walk up to the pitcher's mound under that kind of preasure. It takes a special kid to STAY on the mound in the midst of a struggle. Someone who will walk into a pressure cooker, and someone who sticks with it: that takes courage. Lots and lots of courage. And while I would have loved to be able to brag about a huge victory today, that's not the story that was written. It didn't go the way we wanted...but if we had won, I wouldn't have had a beautiful glimpse at something.

What, he asks.

Your lion's heart.  Your courage. Your determination. Your amazing ability to admit fault, even with an entire team riding on your shoulders. You are fierce, you are strong, and you have an amazing courage. I have never been more proud.

So, I learned something on Saturday. MiddleC has the heart of a lion. He has courage under the hardest of 9 year old circumstances.  Thank you, God,  for giving me this glimpse in the midst of his heartbreak.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Counting mine {474- 481}

474. Payday for the kid: having him walk into the bank to cash his check, and watching him joyfully fill his tithe envelope first.

475. Watching the eyes opening of fellow friends when you tell them about how amazing Jesus is.

476.  Holding a sweet baby less than 24 hours old

477. The daddy who see when his little girl needs to get out of a situation  with unkind girls. He walks her to the concession stand for a ring pop, and on the way fills her head with kind thoughts.

478. Sunday nights

479. Getting a text from the best inviting me to birthday breakfast

481. Gluten free stuffed french toast.

Counting Mine {461-473}

461. Pure friendships. Ones that are happy for your successes, sad for your struggles, open armed, and lack drama.

462. Fun afternoons of coffee, friendship, and political talk....even if you're on different sides of the aisle.

463.  Finding a cute outfit in the back of the closet (on laundry day!)

464.  Baby snuggles

465. Leasurely walks on a beautiful sunny day

466. Walking through a store at the perfect time when the employee is putting stuff on the ultimate clearance, and finding 14 pairs of underwear and 2 bras for $5.

467.  Finding the perfect gift for the birthday girl- within budget

468. Coming out of a mental fog

469.  Snuggles with the dog

470. Morning thunderstorms - on a day where we had no where we needed to be.

471.  Getting a genuine smile from someone who doesn't smile much

472. Seeing friends I haven't seen in...well, too long

473. Unexpected inclusion

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Love

His love for me put Him there .

His love for you put Him there.

His love for the best people put Him there.

His love for the worst people put Him there.

He didn't want to do it.

He knew what was coming, and prayed, begged, his Father to "take this cup from me."

But he did it.

Love isn't always sunshine and roses.

It's not always feel good.

Sometimes, most times, it's service and sacrifice.

This was the ultimate service.

This was the Ultimate Sacrifice.

This was love.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Counting Mine {447-460}

447. Remembering the phone charger

448. And when you forget the charger, remembering the external battery.

449. Remembering to charge the external battery

450. Great clearance sales  that fit like a glove

451. Taking a chance and buying a dress off amazon, and having it fit well.

452. Early morning snuggles with Ally

453. Wine

454. A night with friends and wine

455. No wine hangover

456. The smell of the dirt in a freshly turned garden

457. The song of a Robin

458. When the 13 year old declares that he will do his own laundry from now on

459. A cavity free check up

460. The start of baseball season

458. Hitting your water intake goal three days in a row

460. Date nights that include lots of laughter

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A final farewell

We've tried to say good-bye before: you and me.

But I kept needing you.

We met 14 years ago...

This shiny newness....neither of us knew what was coming. How our paths would walk together for so long.  Your usefulness in so many different ways.

Your reliability: unparalleled.

Your durability: unmatched.

You held my children. All 3.

You allowed them rest. You were there for clapping at parades. For the first big walk around the new neighborhood. For the off-roading of the baseball fields. You were there.

Dear old friend, you were no frills. Not a trendy name; no bells and whistles. I loved you for it. Nothing broke, nothing stolen, just a sturdy companion.

They are 13, 9 and 4 now. Grown enough to walk almost everywhere. And, well....you see, the back of my van is getting full already with folding chairs and sports equipment. We are moving into an entirely new chapter. You were one of the last holds I had on the old one. I loved you for hanging in there so long.

I watched as somebody bought you. I hope and pray that they take good care of you, trusted steed. I pray for their littles, and for this amazing chapter of life they are in. Oh, the chapter of bringing babies into the world. The crazy sleep-deprived diaper/feeding scheduling chapter. But also one filled with amazing discoveries and big surprises (see aforementioned 4 year old).  What a joy. What a privilege. What a chapter.

Farewell, old friend.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Top ten: things I learned or loved this week

1. An afternoon spent getting to know a new friend (and her sweet baby) over coffee is a great afternoon indeed.

2. I love getting emails from my son's teacher when she's advocating for him. It means he is loved by her.

3. I also have no problem sending a reply that essentially says "dude, I give up."

4.  I'm less and less impressed by all the protesting or pandering....not that I was at all impressed in the first place.

5.  It's never never never fun to be the one who is disregarded.  But always good to be that person once in a while. It keeps one mindful about inclusion.

6.  Sweet baby head smell. Enough said.

7.  Crabby kid= a kid who needs more sleep. Every crabby remark results in 5 minutes subtracted from bedtime. MiddleC has earned a good night sleep tonight.

8.  Filling their tank fills my tank. One-on-one time with these kids is so so beneficial to our relationships.

9.  A nice pair of earrings is icing on the cake of a great outfit. Also a great way to dress up some yoga pants. Just sayin.

10.  Sunshine. I love it. Please send more.