Here at Liv & B we want to offer you a different variety of lifestyle advice, and guidance, and empowering stories. As a mom of 2 teenagers, life is never dull, boring or perfect. I for one am always second guessing myself and hoping that I haven't ruined them for life.
I have recently asked a friend to write a monthly column on being a mom and the different challenges we face and putting faith into our lives as moms to get through things. We aren't perfect and and we can always lean on others for support. Grace Lanier is a lovely person with a faith based heart and gentle soul. She has children and loves to share her stories of having faith in the family. Her post this week is all on "choosing joy". We hope you enjoy this article and please feel free to leave comments!
We all want what is best for our children. We all have had temporary blinders on where we think our children “deserve” or “have earned” a spot on this or that team. Last week, my younger son tried out for club teams in soccer. The tryouts lasted several days where he gave his all. And then we waited. Waited for a phone call. A phone call that finallycame 3 days later. Phillipians 4:6 reminds us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God”. Pretty sure He had my number on this one, as it was so hard to wait…and encourage my son not to worry…and not worry myself…and to know that when the phone call finallycomes it may or may not be news we want to hear. During the tryouts, one parent lived vicariously through her child and got caught up in it all. She forgot it was not about her, but about the child. Guess what? We are all guilty of this to varying degrees during different challenges. What do we do when this happens? We pick ourselves up again and try to do better next time. We try to forgive ourselves and remember that we are human. I often tell my children “I am one man.” What I mean is, there are all these balls that I juggle in the air every day, and chances are one of them is going to get dropped. If it happens, I apologize, and keep going. Onward!
For me, this ball, this tryout was easier. This time last year we were still new to the state, and the club (yes, tryouts are every year), and I didn’t have “my people”. My people – the ones who listen and encourage and call it like it is. What a true blessing this year to have several moms to go through this trial with. Back to the phone call – a friend of mine got the call that her son didn’t make the team he had hoped for, but made a different, strong team. Her son’s answer, and I quote (with permission) “Well, at least I made a team. I bet some people who tried out didn’t.” Wow. Nothing like receiving an education from a twelve-year-old boy. He gets it. He nailed it. As moms, though, we are trying to think our way through this situation by preparing for any reaction. The mom then shared with our group “My stomach is unclenched and I’m ready to enjoy my Saturday!” Yes ma’am. Please do. This trial goes down in the win column.
The truth is, tryouts are a first job interview of sorts, a chance to engage in real life skills. And just like in real life when you do everything right – sometimes you get the promotion, the job etc. – and sometimes you don’t. This test is exactly “a whole lot” on a twelve-year-old, not to mention his mom, but we are better for it. James 1:2 encourages us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds”. Because it is a parent trial. Will we handle this challenge the best way for our children? Will we get caught up in the details? Hopefully we will rise to the occasion, and our children can do the same.
I am blessed. One of my true joys is to watch my children play soccer – but for me it could be any sport or “thing” theychoose, as long as they work hard and enjoy it. It is oh so very tempting to get caught up in the endless carpools (so thankful for friends to share this portion), laundry, hurried dinners, lost gear and time outside in the extreme weather (still not sure which type I dislike more). Goodness knows I have heard complaints about every single one of these items (plus more) come out of my mouth at one time or another. But, I try to overlook the temporary challenge, and see the joy.
Wondering how the story ends at our house? Me, I am back out in the heat going through tryouts with my oldest son. He has been through it before, even in another state, tried out in junior high and in high school. He is back at it, and will be better for it. Time will tell about his phone call. Back to the youngest and his phone call. It finallycame 3 days later. It was the news we wanted to hear. This time. Will we be so lucky with our oldest? Don’t know.
So today. Today let’s choose joy. Let’s choose to find joy in the fact that our children are healthy enough to participate, and we are mom enough to make it happen, along with a big heap of God’s grace.
Love Grace xoxoxo
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