If you were a fly on the wall at my house, you'd be sure to hear your share of fussing, complaining and whining. Maybe even a slammed door or two.

But enough about me.

In the pressure cooker that's parenting, I have exploded more than once. And it's harder to clean up than spaghetti night with a toddler.

So after years spent indulging in fruitless self-flogging, I finally let go of my obsession with getting it all 'just right.' I confess...I'm not a perfect parent.

Whew. That felt good.

Now, when my son saunters in with his 42nd tardy of the school year, I let it go. When I hear myself hollering "Whatever!" at my teenage daughter, I move on.

Having it all together is overrated anyway.

And I've determined not to waste God's grace. I'll never get it just right. You won't, either. So read on, sister. If you see a little of yourself in me, I hope it helps to know that you're not alone. Nope. If you're a mom, face it. You're never, ever alone.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Ray of Hope

Baseball makes everybody a little nutty at my house. What else would cause a grown man to sport a Mohawk and then convince his young son to do the same? What mother and wife in her right mind would allow it? Heck, I even took the razor to ‘em myself!

We’ve been Tampa Bay Rays fans for years. And if you know a thing or two about the Rays, that’s not been an easy task. A couple of years ago, we went to 12 straight home games without seeing them win! Twelve!

Conversation during twelfth loss:

Me: Remind me. Why do we come here again?

Mike (husband): It is good family time.

Me: Well, let’s start saving the 50 bucks and bond at home.

Usually, fans jeer the opposing team’s players. We got so bad that our fans (all six of them) began jeering our own.

My son, however, never said a discouraging word about them. He always had hope. Always thought next time they’d win. After a particularly embarrassing loss, however, he finally cracked.

As we walked out into the dark parking lot, my little baseball boy, decked from head to toe in Rays gear and clutching his baseball glove, looked at the ground and shook his head.

Micah: Daddy, it’s really hard to be a Rays fan.

But the next game he kept right on believing.

Then, last year, something amazingly unexpected happened.

They started winning. Gasp. A lot. After years of disappointment, discouragement and heartbreak, we watched them break out and tear a path to the playoffs. Even longtime baseball watchers were amazed at their speedy rise to the top.

Before I knew it, my boys were sporting a couple of “Rayhawks” and heading to the World Series.

In parenting, just like in baseball, it sometimes seems like all struggle and no payoff. But I find it helpful to remember that the present isn’t necessarily a good predictor of the future. A couple of years ago, it was difficult to envision last year’s amazing Rays run.

My job is to be like Micah -- always believing, always hoping, always expecting the best.

Whatever battles I may be fighting today, a World Series run might be just around the corner.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Corinthians 13:7 (New Living Translation)
Melinda

6 comments:

  1. Ohhhhh how I needed to hear these words today. And yesterday. And the day before that. And.....

    Sometimes I feel like we aren't even gonna' make the play-offs...

    Thanks for the blessing of these words.

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  2. wow! Do I EVER understand! As a life long Cubs fans it takes a lot of believing and holding on to hope to make it for that next game. But we show up and keep on hoping for the next time. One of these years...it's gonna happen.

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  3. I love the way you can relate things to parenting. It always gives me a new insight and perspective on things. I would say "Go Rays" while I was here, but we happen to be Red Sox fans :) lol

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  4. Great post! We are big sports fans in my house. Just recently going through some challenges with the kids as they play their own sports. Thank you for this reminder. I will be taking these thoughts back to my family. Blessings!

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  5. You give me hope for my losing Cincinnati Reds. Now that is a parenting story from me - I went into labor with my first child at a Reds game. I call that loyalty! LOL

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  6. Oh, Melinda, you know this is right down my alley. I LOVE the comparison! And of course the darling pic of hubbie and son. Say, does your daughter get into baseball?

    You hit a homerun with this post, for me!

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