Saturday, May 10, 2014

mother's day is all about baseball and what we're becoming

Today I sat watching Boy 1 swing his bat through the chain link backstop with a grimace on his face. His left thumb is injured slightly, and this game is more about learning to play through the pain than it is about anything else. Mental toughness has never been my strong suit, and as he squared up to the plate, I prayed silent pleas to heaven that he didn't inherit my lack of grit in the face of difficulty.

That's probably a prayer I should have thought of eleven years ago, when God breathed the boy's gene pool into existence. Yes, I should have asked for gritty mental toughness and thousands of other things I didn't know I would wish my children could be blessed with, like patience, self-control, wisdom, and a knack for cleaning toilets.

When I was pregnant, I mostly just ate peanut butter and chocolate chips on a spoon and prayed my babies would slept through the night by week four. (FYI: They didn't.)

The truth is, I am just like that baseball-loving kid out there, hoping for a ball placed deliciously in the sweet spot, or a wild one three feet over my head that sends me walking to first base. If I can't have glory, I'll take a merciful back door out of the spotlight, thankyouverymuch

But life has very few of those kinds of pitches. Most of the time we get ordinary balls tossed our way and when we swing for the fences, we pop-up a foul ball instead.

The swinging changes us, though. We swing and we swing, until one day we realize we are becoming a hitter, like my son is becoming a hitter. Right now he's becoming a hitter who can swing bravely even when he's scared and hurting.

I'm still becoming, too. We all are. Life is all about who we're becoming, and because of God's mercy, we're becoming something glorious. We swing and swing through the days and we become patient and wise, kind and bold, brave and grateful, because His love changes us as we play through the pain.

Happy Mother's Day to all the becomers out there. Well done, beautiful women of greatness. 

You leave your vanity at the door, let go of your right to sleep, and potty train with brave hearts. You sing Amazing Grace at bedtime, do dishes until your hands prune permanently, and hurry home from the office and it makes a difference in the lives of your children. You sew precious lovies back together, clean up vomit, and rush out for the "right kind" of cereal when you want to sit for twenty minutes and pin pointless things on Pinterest instead. You give pep talks before school dances, wisely pray for certain boys to stay away from your daughter (or vice versa), and navigate the difficult world of the internet and teenagers with great faith and energy.

You deserve a parade, but all I can offer is this blog post. You are dazzling and your children will never realize how blessed they are until they have children of their own. But then it won't even matter to you because then you'll have become a grandmother and you will be happily holding your grandbabies.

Or so I hear. For now, I'm staring through the chain link and I'm thinking that this boy of mine has every bit of what it takes to hit that ball. And his mama is never going to stop swinging with him, because she's decided to become gritty and tough at long last.

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