Tuesday, September 6, 2011

an introduction and a giveway

Hi everyone!
I'd like to introduce you to Courtney from A Work in Progress. I found Courtney's site a few months back after reading a post she did for (in)courage. Courtney and I are teaming up to do an online book discussion through our blogs on the book, "The Power of a Positive Mom" by Karol Ladd.

I'll share more on that tomorrow and throughout the week, but for now I want to save this space for Courtney and a piece she wrote for me to post and it ties into the theme of this book. After being encouraged by her words, check out the details of the giveaway. I hope you will enter and come back to learn more about what we'll be doing with the book in the upcoming months.

And now...Courtney...

A Soccer Mom Experience

He didn’t hesitate; he jumped right in to play soccer with the big boys. He ran, chased the ball, and kicked. He was part of the amoeba-like mass, until suddenly, he broke free and made a beeline for the goal. He had his eye on the prize and he guided the ball straight toward the net. The kids yelled, and his teammates called his name . . . but it wasn’t to cheer him on. He was going the wrong way.

They hollered and exclaimed, but he did not stop. He scored, and the other team cheered. As my son looked around, another boy came up behind him and pushed him hard. “What are you doing?!?” he said with disgust. My boy didn’t answer. He hung his head as he realized his mistake.

The coach rushed over. This was only a summer camp practice—no need to take it so seriously. He gave my son a high five, “You scored a goal!” He told the other campers to relax. My boy was the youngest, after all, and the only one who hadn’t played soccer before. The players dispersed. My son stood still.

I wanted to run out on the field, swoop him up, and head for home.

But I didn’t. I just watched and cringed. I watched and felt sick, because I wanted to protect him from the uncomfortable emotions of shame and disappointment, but I knew that I shouldn’t. I knew that I couldn’t. I knew that I would do more harm, cause greater embarrassment, if I interfered.

So I stood still. I gave him a big smile and a thumbs up when he looked my way. I said, “You can do it!” as he ran back to the game. I said that for him and for me. He can try again and I can let go. I don’t like it, but I know that this mothering job sometimes requires that I let my children learn through experience. I cannot always shelter them, stop mistakes, or prevent heartache, but I can trust that the ultimate outcome will be okay.

How? I have to trust God more. It has been fairly easy for me to trust God with my life. But trusting him with my children? That requires more. That has forced me to dig deeper and search harder. That leaves me clinging to verses like,

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, and

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22.

The funny thing is, I didn’t go looking for those verses or think about the depth of my faith until I saw my son experience such a minor hurt on the soccer field. It was small, a mere blip on the radar screen of life, but it shook me. (God works like that, you know?) That incident helped me see that when it comes to my children, I am standing in shallow, stagnant waters of faith. I am at the beginning of the long “letting go” phase (they are no longer babies, they are venturing out into the world), and it is going to require a strong belief in God’s goodness and plans for them—no mater what.

I’m not swimming in deep faith waters yet, but I can see them in the distance. I’m aware that I need to get there. And it is all because my son kicked the ball the wrong way and some kid pushed him. It was a teeny, tiny experience, which God used to open my eyes. I suppose that adults need to learn through experience, too.

Have you ever had to watch your child get her feelings hurt or learn a tough lesson? How did you handle it? Where are you in the journey of trusting God with your child? 

 And now for the giveaway:
 Courtney and I each are giving away one copy of "The Power of a Positive Mom" by Karol Ladd. To enter, simply leave on a comment on this post and tell me when it's hardest for you to remain positive as a parent or share a tip on how to stay positive in the tough moments. You can also hop over to Courtney's blog and leave a comment there (she'll give you the details on where to enter and this means you have two chances to win!). You have until this coming Saturday, September 10, 5 p.m. to enter. Winners will be announced on Monday, September 12. And please join us tomorrow when we announce details on the book discussion. (Oh, and you can check out the book here if you'd like more of a sneak peek).


Suzanne R. said...

I cringed too thinking of Big Guy standing on that field. I haven't hit the 'letting go' phase. I'm finding it difficult to stay positive as we enter the terrible twos. I'm not that instinctive mother that knows just the right thing to do at the right moment. I feel like I'm tumbling through the day trying to walk a line between setting boundaries and allowing for inquisitiveness and self-expression.

Jen said...

Team sports bring up a whole other set of issues, don't they. The verse you quoted -- Jesus has already overcome the world -- it is one that pierces my soul these days, that gives me hope, that allows me to feel some sort of peace...

Michelle said...

My kids are too young for team sports yet but I think a lot of the same principles can be used in my everday. This looks like a great book.

Susan Hill said...

I struggle being positive when I'm upset at something I have no control over. I end up taking it out on the little people in our house. (Ya know...'cause I can. Ugh). So I make myself read my scriptures each morning and find that it relaxes me. I imagine they're like a 'positive' vitamin for me, and if I don't take them...I'm sorta 'yucky'. Maybe silly, but it somehow works.