I’m a very competitive person. Here’s my Little Dribbler 3rd/4th grade Quitman, TX, Championship Team, the Gold Rush. I’m number 4. They didn’t just give us these trophies because we showed up. We earned them by beating other teams. Some of us also earned the coveted All Star trophy and went on to play in some tournament games together with girls from other teams. My rise to basketball stardom was short lived as we moved after my 3rd grade year to Mt. Vernon, TX, where there was no Little Dribbler basketball program.
Here is my high school tennis doubles partner. You cannot tell, but we are sporting our matching hot pink Head rackets. I didn’t begin playing tennis until the 7th grade, but I worked HARD to make the varsity tennis team. I remember coming home from playing matches against other girls who were vying for spots on the team with bloody feet and hands from blisters.
I loved tennis so much that I walked on and won a spot on the UNT Mean Green Eagles tennis team. We won the Southland Conference my freshman year. I played for 2 years, and then as I became more and more involved in Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), my focus began to shift, and I quit my junior year. The coach even called to ask me to come back, but I turned him down. Sometimes I wonder, “What if?”
Now as Mom to these 4 Cuties, I find myself falling into the trap of wanting them to be the best player, the best student, the one chosen for that special part, etc., etc….”Every one else” seems to have their children on top “club” and “select” teams, and I pray that we find what our kids’ natural gifts and talents are and that we will be able to give them opportunities in these areas. When I look around me, I sometimes feel like we are behind. When I was growing up, there seemed to be more time to play and be a kid, to try a sport and have fun. Now it seems kids must pick their sport at age 2 and pay top dollar for lessons and to be on a special team. I find this all very overwhelming at times. Then my mind can get carried away with thinking my kids aren’t even getting a “top dollar” education that it seems many are choosing for their children these days. They are not blowing the top off of the Texas standardized test given each year starting at 3rd grade. Many times I watch them go unnoticed at school and wonder if they are falling through the cracks.
Then the other day as I was vacuuming the kiddos’ rooms, I noticed this: An open Bible and AWANA workbook on Abby Grace’s bed right next to the bear I received when I was in 2nd grade from a favorite aunt and uncle. Abby Grace was a bit later than usual to breakfast that morning, and I had to go up and check to be sure she was, indeed, up. She said she “must have gotten carried away with her work”. As I vacuumed her room, I thanked God that while my children may not win awards and honors that this world deems successful, we are working on what really matters.
Lately, I’ve been asking myself questions like this, “When I get to the end of my life, will I say, ‘I wish I had missed church every weekend to have my kids play in tournaments; I wish I had worked harder with the kids on multiplication facts instead of memorizing scripture; I wish we had not hosted so many parties at our home where we share the Good News; etc’?”
- Lord, may they do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with You. (Micah 6:8)
- Help them to love You with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. (Mark 12:30)
- Show them how to love their neighbor as themselves. (Mark 12:31)
- I pray they will go and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Help them to hide Your Word in their hearts. (Psalm 119:11)
- May they always speak the Truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)
- I pray that others will recognize that they have been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)