I married a baller.
No, not like “the Rock” kind of Baller (although I’m sure my man wouldn’t hate the comparison), but the kind of baller that at one time or another has played, coached, or binge-watched every sport known to man. (Maybe you married one of those too, and we can hang out every Sunday afternoon from now until we die. Call me.)
So when Shane and I embarked on this little journey called “life” together, I knew at some point we would most likely produce a little baller of our own. It seemed inevitable…and became even more of a probability once we realized we could only produce boys. However, while the first two willingly participated in many sports, there never was that burning fire inside that drove them to diligently practice for hours on end or force themselves to do every day tasks with their non-dominant hands. (apparently, that is a thing)
And surprisingly enough, my baller husband was ok with it. I expected him to be all “Crazy Sports Dad,” but he had seen so many of those throughout his years of playing and coaching that he had determined not to become one himself. I was impressed.
Then came Kid #3.
If you look up baller in the dictionary, I’m sure you will see a picture of Hayes, or at least you should. Straight from the womb, this kid was on fire. So of course, we registered him for every sport possible as soon as he was eligible, because he was chomping at the bit and that’s exactly what he wanted. Happy dad.
It was pretty great until we realized we had more to work on than just form and technique.
For instance, take (age 5) when we told him he needed to stop hogging the ball and let others have an opportunity to score. After clearly struggling with the decision, he reluctantly kicked the soccer ball over to a delighted girl in pigtails who then proceeded to kick it straight into the stands. Face red and arms crossed, Hayes immediately looked over at us from across the field and yelled, “THAT’S THE LAST TIME I EVER DO THAT!!!”
Proud parenting moment right there, let me tell you.
Or how about the times his older brother advanced in either stripes or belts before he did in jiu jitsu, and he cried big…ugly…tears…while complaining loudly about the injustice? Fun times.
I’d love to say that we were able to take these teachable moments and imprint upon his little baller brain that it is important to be a team player, cheer your friends and teammates on to success, and win or lose graciously. However, if it were that easy, there would be no Tom Brady’s, Lebron’s, or Cam Newton’s now would there. (no offense, Cam, we still love you)
No, there have been plenty of highs and lows, bad attitudes and ego trips in his 8 short years; and I am sure there will be many more to come.
So when we started off the football season this year, I was nervous…especially after he made the first touchdown and celebrated like he had just won the Super Bowl. I wondered if he would be able to give up the spotlight and cheer for his teammates, put the team first and fight together for the win; but to my surprise and relief, he did!
Somewhere along the way, he began to see that working together and celebrating each other is important. It’s what makes people love being part of a team. It’s what makes someone a true baller.
“Someone else’s success does not rob you of anything.” – Christine Caine
So why do we grown ups often forget this important truth ourselves?
When something good happens to a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker, our worth does not become less because of it. Yet so many times, we feel like another’s success somehow magnifies our failures.
“We have an enemy, and it’s not each other.” – Lysa TerKeurst
Satan would love nothing more than to use the good things in a person’s life to alienate and damage relationships. By whispering lies, he manipulates our emotions to keep us from working together toward a common goal and building each other up. Don’t you see? If he can divide us, then he can conquer and render us useless in furthering the Kingdom. It’s been his plan all along!
But God has a better plan,
“Two are better than one…for if they fall, one will lift up the other.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” It happens to be a favorite in our home; because as a family of five, nothing gets done unless we work as a team.
But the truth of the matter is we are all on the same team in this life. We are all working towards a common goal. My weakness may be your strength, and your weakness may be my strength. So why not capitalize instead of compete? Can you imagine what we could accomplish together if we started celebrating each other?
The devil certainly doesn’t want us to find out. He will do everything in his power to keep us divided. But thanks to our gracious Heavenly Father, he isn’t on the throne, and we don’t have to listen to his lies. The battle has already been won, our Almighty God is victorious, and we are His team. Let’s act like it.