Someone needs to create an app for sports moms. It should say things like
Let. It. Go.
Picture yourself on a desert island…
And of course it will say all this in a calming, peaceful voice that will play through your earphones as you sit in the bleachers. Seriously, this is a fantastic idea; and I could be a real life commercial since I would have that thing on repeat during tournament weekends.
But moving on…
It’s ironic that I sat through our pastor’s sermon on Sunday morning and nodded my head a lot like I had already mastered the subject matter. He preached on blame and responsibility, and how God’s people are called to respond to life’s trials in righteousness. Problems might not be our fault, but pointing fingers and fault-finding will keep us spinning in circles.
I realized we’ve basically nailed this concept in our household because No Excuses is a common mantra we tie into every possible situation. Check. Check. Got it. Amen. And I tucked that sermon away in the Been There, Done That file, then headed out to the baseball field.
It irritates me that baseball continuously exposes my selfish ambition. Can’t I just have one game without walking into a chance to practice some recent Jesus lesson I’ve learned? No sooner than I passed the Sunday Sermon with flying colors, the baseball bleachers once again revealed the gaps between my human and God’s holy.
I began to notice that when Luke pitches, it’s super easy for me to get snippy about the team’s defensive errors. (Blame others? Who? Me?) I mean, my 9 year old pitcher is clearly Major-League Material who makes no mistakes or something. (And yes, I understand that there are greater problems going on in the world, and I need to get a life.) (Also the Major League comment was sarcasm.)
Luke was on fire until the bottom of the 5th inning. We were ahead 5-4 when he walked the two batters who eventually scored to put the opposing team 2 runs ahead. And that basically sucked. Because we didn’t recover, and we walked away with second place. Again.
So I blamed the coaches. (And yes, Larry is one of them.) It was their fault. They should have pulled Luke after the first walk. Because duh, don’t they know that when he throws 4 balls in a row, that’s a big fat sign that he’s tired? And what about that other kid’s infield overthrow, and that other error…? For crying out loud, I need to get a grip.
And I seriously wanted to take back my prayer that win or lose, Luke would walk away with stronger character. (Don’t I know better than to invite opportunity like that?)
Lord, have mercy. I probably should have listened a little more closely to the morning’s sermon. Because this blame-shifting fool needed to chill out a little bit…and remember…
WHY MAKING EXCUSES FOR MY CHILD ISN’T AWESOME:
1) For. The. Love. IT’S LITTLE LEAGUE. For you, maybe it’s not baseball; but it’s an equally irrelevant issue in the bigger scope of life. Seriously moms, we need to lighten up and stop proving the veracity of shows like Dance Moms.
2) Excuses leave zero room for growth (for parent or child). My blame game isn’t even about baseball. The competition just brings my issues to the surface so that my gaps can become a space for grace. When we see parts of us that don’t line up to the truth of who we really are in Christ, it’s a chance to grow. We embrace our weak spots because that’s where God shows up big time.
If all we do is fill our kids’ gaps with lame excuses, where does God show up? How will they experience grace? And how will they GROW FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE?
3) Excuse-making parents teach their children that you deal with imperfections by COVERING THEM UP. Do we want to grow double-minded people-pleasers or whole-hearted young men and women rooted in their true identity?
Let’s teach our kids to handle life by maneuvering our own wins and losses with grace and confidence. Sigh. That’s a much better role model than Psycho Baseball Mom Who Blames Blind Umpires and Poor Coaching. (Sometimes I wish these were fictional stories.)
And about that prayer for stronger character. Once again I see how God uses losses to give this baseball mom a
throat punch growth opportunities; and how he uses them to teach Luke a lot more than winning ever will.
So yeah. Leave it to God to turn Sunday sermons into bleacher moments.
The End. And amen.
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