This year he is playing soccer for the first time. He has been a baseball guy, both fall and spring. I don't think it's very usual to start at this 'late age'. I know he's only eight, but it seems kids start as preschoolers around here.
But this past summer a friend of his, whose dad is a coach asked if he'd like to join their team. The dad saw Jackson pitching in baseball and saw that he has a strong hand-eye coordination. He took a risk on him and Jackson started learning the intricacies of soccer.
So we spent August in town, so the team could begin practicing twice a week. And I officially became a soccer mom. Honestly I didn't like the 'stigma' of what surrounds being a 'soccer mom.' I've had an internal bad attitude about the time commitment it has required not just for my son, but for our whole family. The late night practices to return home to begin dinner and bath when it's already time for bed. I wasn't sure if it was worth the investment.
But this past weekend I realized that my son's intensity is serving him well as the team goalie. His coach keeps marveling at how he shows no fear in the face of stress. He buckles down and throws himself at the ball, guarding his goal with everything in him.
Sometimes it's hard for me to watch. I feel stressed inside for him, for the pressure I know that is on him. But this is good for him. And it's honestly good for me. It allows me to see this strength of his used in a positive way. I enjoy watching the game and watching him stay strong through stressful situations. I'm proud of him. In a humble way of course.
Oh, and another bonus is that each time he gets involved in a sport I actually learn to like the sport. I was the odd man out in my family growing up, and honestly still am. The idea of watching sports on television is just a colossal waste of time in my opinion. I get jumpy and antsy and can't sit in the room. If I try it's like I'm staring at a blank screen. It's all a blur and none of it really registers. I don't share in the excitement or intensity everyone is feeling. But as I watch my son play, I get it. I feel the excitement and camaraderie. I find myself jumping up and down, cheering the guys on. It's actually fun.
As I watch his focus, I'm reminded that we are to channel this with our faith as well. I hope that he is never lukewarm about his faith. I hope he fights for what is right and and has courage for all the things God desires in his life.
I pray for these things daily for my family;
for godly wisdom.
May we take the sacrifice that Christ died for us so we can have everlasting life with Him seriously.
May the reality of the power of the Holy Spirit in each of us, be so alive that we feel it intensely, and we access it.
May we fight for Him while we're here and share his amazing love with others in the same way we breathe.
May we never sit back on the sidelines and not share this gift.
May we not buckle under pressure of the world, but hold fast to the Truth.
May this be true with the little things and the big things.
May we not let a moment pass and realize we didn't speak up, we didn't share, we didn't act. I'm learning it's the little things here and there. It's OK to step up and share and to say something. I've lived in the past not realizing how important it is to share the Truth. I thought I believe what I believe, they can believe what they believe. I didn't know.
But now that I do know, I'm taking risks outside what is comfortable. I'm thinking about these things a lot. The spirit is stirring in me to not be quiet. But it isn't just about words.
You know that famous saying from St. Fracis of Assisi, "Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary, use words."
Let our actions speak louder than our words. Let us not push people away by ever sounding holier than thou. I have been pushed away by people who spoke that way to me, I don't ever, ever want to be responsible for doing the same.
But let us love the way Jesus did and let others come to know of him because of simply the way we are, the way we live, the choices we make, and how we handle the adversities in our lives.
Let us live and love intensely for His glory!
"Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!"