Joy Derived From Watching My Daughter Play Softball

I was an athlete when I was a kid. No matter what sport I was playing I really, really enjoyed playing. I know now that it was the competition. I enjoyed the challenge of competing. I hated to lose. I still hate to lose but I deal with it much better now than I did when I was younger.

My daughters have reached ages where they are now beginning to play sports. My 11 year old has not been into sports much but has decided she now wants to play basketball and softball. My 7 year old (turns 8 next month) has played T-ball for a couple years and has moved up to the “minors” this year. Instead of the tee, she will now hit off the pitching machine. Just in case you are curious the machine is set at 35 miles per hour. I am not coaching her this year. I don’t have time to be the head coach but I usually volunteer to be an assistant. I did so again this year but there were already enough assistant coaches. It is killing me not to be able to coach especially since my daughter wants me to but it may be better for her if I don’t this year.

Yesterday I was watching the team practice and a huge wave of joy and pride suddenly hit me. It actually caught me off guard. I have always been proud of my kids but it was something more (for lack of a better description) yesterday. My daughter will not be the best player on her team but nobody will give more effort that she does. I can see how much she enjoys playing.  I also noticed how coachable she has become (she is not that way when I try to work with her). I can’t describe the feelings of joy I had as I was watching her learning how to field grounders (it looks like she is going to be playing third base) and what to do with the ball in the different situations she will encounter in a game. I can see the competitiveness growing in her almost daily.

I know that sports are unimportant in the grand scheme of things but kids can, and do, learn many valuable life lessons from playing sports. There are so many teaching opportunities for parents that arise as a result of kids playing sports that it is well worth the time and money it costs (usually). I try hard to take advantage of those opportunities and it gives me a chance to spend some time with my kids doing some we all enjoy.

My joy is also greatly increased by the fact that I know God is dealing with this same daughter.  It appears it will only be a matter of time before the Lord calls her and she becomes His child.  That is much more important than anything else.  I don’t think I will be able to contain my joy when that happens.   I was unable to contain it when my 11 year old became His child and she loves to tell people about how I cried.

This has reminded me of the fact that children are a gift from God.  The joy and blessings we receive from them far out weighs any hurt or problems we might have from them (check back with me when they hit the teenage years…I might think differently then).   We are to be stewards of the children God gives us by  raising our children in His ways and preparing them for the tasks He is going to give them later in life.  Keep an eternal perspective and you can’t go wrong.

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