I had always considered myself a soccer mom. My now 8-year-old son plays soccer in both spring and fall seasons, and while I’ve never actually provided the team snack, I’ve shown up to every practice and game cheering him on, so I fit the description right!? I even own a 4-Runner!! At least that’s what I thought until I got the dreadful message one weekday morning, while sitting in my nest of a chair, enjoying the quiet that the closed door on my bedroom provided.
My son’s fall coach wasn’t going to lead the team this spring season, and the previous assistant coach was taking the reins. She was looking for her own assistant, and for some reason she thought of me. My whole body went numb. I stared at the phone, not knowing how to respond, a sense of panic taking over.
For some, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But for this low-energy introvert it was a very big deal. I don’t have a sports bone in my body, and I spent my junior high and high school years with my face imitating a magnet, attracting every ball in P.E. Its seriously a miracle that I graduated without a broken nose!
Obviously, my first instinct was to say no, but for some reason I hesitated long enough to pray about it. For some reason, I said yes.
I wasn’t sure how it would work out. Our schedule was so busy already, and this meant that on some nights, we wouldn’t eat until after 7:00! To make matters worse, the wind picked up this year worse than ever before, threatening to set my nerves on end from the overstimulation.
How in the World was I Going to Make it Through Soccer?
One thing I knew, is that my son needed more good friendships. Because we homeschool, it is on me to step up and nurture my relationships with other adults so that our kids can become close. I saw this as an opportunity to make that happen. Not to mention, he was so excited about the prospect of sharing this part of his life with me, how could a mom say no?
We are All Called to Serve Others…Our Children Included
I’m not good with being self-sacrificial. I typically don’t want anything to interrupt the peace in my world. And I definitely don’t want to have to exert more effort than necessary. When I take those spiritual gift tests, the gift of service is the last one to score (if it gets any score at all).
But you know what? Regardless of your personality or spiritual gifts, we are all called to serve for the benefit of God’s Kingdom. We are all called to put others before ourselves.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Man…total conviction here. Do you know who is included in that word “others?” That would be a big, fat everyone else other than YOU!!! Like it or not, this would also include your children. It’s so easy to see their needs as less than yours, or to see that it’s their job to serve you…not the other way around.
But what an example we set by showing our love for them through our sacrifice for them. Wouldn’t it be beautiful, if they grew up seeing this example, and imitated it in the raising of their own children?
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
He Provides What We Need
We’ve been done with soccer for a couple of weeks now, and as I look back through the season, I can now see how He got me through. (Although I truly believe He brought the intense wind to my town just so that He could prove how completely He had me.)
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Somehow, I managed to show up at every practice and game and give it my all. Miraculously, I went from ducking (embarrassingly so) every time a ball came close, to participating in scrimmages, running after the ball and blocking it when needed. I even ran a practice by myself and even managed to teach the boys a couple of new techniques.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20
Looking back now, I realize that I was able to come home every evening after practice feeling energized, or at the very least…normal. God was with me every step of the way. He kept me from growing weary. He gave me what was needed so that I could in turn, give my son what he needed, by placing His needs before my own.
I didn’t need to “find rest” in the midst of coaching soccer. Because of whom God is, and because of what He’s provided for me, I was already rested.
If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11b