Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scared of the Ball

Kid-Pitch Baseball.  That awkward age when boys are learning to pitch, and are encouraged to throw the ball fast - but their accuracy stinks.  Jacob's first introduction was last year.  While he played on a coach-pitch team, he was asked to fill in a few games on another team.  He ended up getting hit in the back by a fast pitch.  Because of the symptoms he was experiencing, he was taken by ambulance to the ER to check  for kidney damage.  Scary stuff for him and for me!

Fast forward to this season...before the season officially started he has been hit twice.  Once in the thigh while running bases, and once on the hip during a pitch.  Besides some nice bruises, these hits have created a fear in my sports-loving son that he is having difficulty conquering.  He wears under armour to protect his kidneys now, but the mental resistance remains.  We have tried talking to him rationally, praying with him, encouraging him, and yes...we have even resorted to bribery!  It's not that we have dreams of his becoming a professional baseball player and are forcing him to play against his will.  We just don't want him to quit because of fear.  He has so much fun at practice and he is very talented!  When he decides to get up to the plate, I don't care if he steps out of the box or strikes out.  I am proud of him for being courageous.  I am proud of him for putting the interest of the team above his own and for trusting in God for his care.  But when he flat-out refuses (which he has done) and instead opts for an automatic out for his team, that saddens me.  I don't want him to get hurt any more than he does.  In fact, my stomach is in knots when it's his turn to bat just because I sympathize with what he is going through.  So what is a mother to do?

While mulling all this over this morning, I think I understand a little better how God might feel toward us when we don't try....when we don't trust him.  Fear is present in so many areas in life, not just baseball.  No matter how protected we try to make ourselves, there are still times we're going to get brusied by life.  People don't always throw straight and sometimes that ball hits us.  Yes, it hurts...but we also heal.  Sometimes if we would only stick with things and fight through the fear, we would find the joy on the other side that comes with playing the game.  I don't think God cares if we succeed.  I think it makes him proud simply by us being obedient and using our talents for His glory.

Please pray with me for my son, both for his protection and that he would find the courage and strength to persevere and come out victorious.  Thank you friends!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill

The Passionate Mom is the best book on motherhood that I've ever read...and I read a lot of books!  What makes this book unique and memorable is that Susan used the biblical story of Nehemiah to draw parallels between his task of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem with our task of parenting.  She writes "Nehemiah loved his people, and he knew they needed a wall to protect them and provide them a future hope...Our children need walls.  That's why God gives them moms."  There is much wisdom to be gleaned from Nehemiah's experience.

Each chapter talks about a "brick" in the wall and the character qualities we need to develop to hold them in place.  The bricks are Perception, Pondering, Passion, Prayer, Patience, Preparation, Purpose, Planning, Problem Solving, and Perseverance.  Not only do our kids need protection, but they also need to be prepared to leave that wall of protection one day.  Therefore, the idea of "gates" is introduced along with many helpful ways we can let our children experience freedom at a safe pace.  Susan's website, www.imom.com, provides many helpful tools such as conversation starters and contracts for cell phone use and driving privileges.

This book is well-written and encouraging.  Susan is authentic and freely admits that she does not have motherhood mastered.  There are "confessions" throughout the book to show readers that she is on a journey too.  She is simply a mom who God spoke to through the book of Nehemiah and she is sharing her insights and experience.  I plan to re-visit this book from time to time as my children grow.  I think any mom with children still living at home would benefit greatly from this book and the resources on the website.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.