We have not been shy over the years to admit that we are a God Believing company. While we have zero no plans to push religion down your throats, we personally recognize the amazing blessings that we have been gifted from the softball fields over the many years, some so beautiful in fact that they could only come from God Above. And no matter what or how you believe, we think everyone can agree that ALL OF US have been blessed beyond measure…
Some days, remembering those blessings…the big and small…helps to defeat the oft frustrations and pensive moments that also come along with being a sports parent/family.
Today, we share just a random few of these with you, in the hopes that as we start this new season, we will talk about and remember our blessings more than our troubles.
- The sunrises and sunsets. How many of both, we would have slept through, had it not been for softball. No matter how much we sometimes say we wish we could sleep in, the reality is that we are blessed during these predawn hours. (Every Saturday we post our sunrises and encourage you to share!)
- The friendships made along the way…There are sooooo many people that our family (and yours) would have not met had it not been for softball. Sure, some test us and push us to our limits, some become the truest of friends more like family than anything else, and some touch our lives for only a short while. But each and all, are valuable.
- Let’s be honest. Marriage and family life can get boring, routine sometimes. So thankful for the gift of softball to ignite and start so many new conversations, and laughter, and pride, and happiness when it seems there is nothing else to talk about.
- When its too darn hot outside and you feel like you are going to melt, you go into the air conditioning. When its too cold, you return to the heat. But with softball, you withstand and persevere because, well…. you have no choice, and you quickly learn to appreciate ALL of them. The hottest days make me thankful for that simple breeze, while the coldest days make us thankful for that burst of sun that warms our skin.
- Being able to see, visually SEE and FEEL self confidence blooming in these young women. If you stay with a team long enough, you essentially get to watch these kids grow up right before your eyes, and it is a beautiful thing to stand witness to.
- Realizing that at the end of the day…ALL OF US are MORE ALIKE than DIFFERENT! The softball field is an amazing leveler of people.
- Sharing something REAL with our kids. The ability to be an integral part of their lives. On the softball fields, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles..family…are welcomed into children’s lives with open arms! As their worlds today become so complex and virtual, the softball field is still one very REAL place to bond.
- How amazing a simple cherry icee or sno-cone tastes on a super hot day, even as it melts down your hands and makes you sticky. Or a cup of hot chocolate as the evening drapes the field and a chill is in the air.
- The sound of happiness that echoes from field to field. Next time you are on the field, stop and listen to the sounds. It is the sound of happiness. Cheering and roaring crowds and laughter and JOY is all around.
- Every parent is constantly tested to do more, and be a better parent, every time they visit the softball field. (Sometimes we win, sometimes we fail!) We may think it is just the kids that are growing, but WE TOO are growing as well and making sometimes hard choices in order to teach our kids how to be the best grown ups they can be.
- Tradition. Softball quickly becomes a tradition, that will turn into memories. You will be surprised that when the cleats are hung up, how much of an impact these days have had on your life and how well you and your children will remember them.
- Watching the kids pray. On their own. Because they want to. And inviting other teams to pray with them after a game.
- The little moments that make a lifetime…. The first home run. The first stolen base. The first no hitter. That amazing play from the knees to get the last out. That perfect hit at the perfect time that won the game. That trophy after a long day through the losers bracket. There are just millions of tiny moments that are just such an amazing blessing to be able to watch.
- The laundry. Yes, the massive piles of laundry. The laundry is there to remind us that all things in life, except for our children, will wait…. The laundry will wait. It is a sign of a life well lived. The dirty socks and Iron Out above the washing machine, all reminders that life is being WELL LIVED, and that we are making the most of the dash.
- The pictures. The pictures are a BLESSING! Each and every picture on your phone, on your computer, on your wall – they are blessings. When your memory is FULL and you can’t find one thing you would delete, you know you have been blessed!
- The closet full of softball shirts. They may not be worth much, they may not be a $350 dress, but they sure do represent my life and time spent on the softball fields. Each one has a memory attached to it.
This is such a short list. But we believe that God is present on the softball field. We believe that each parent praying behind the chain link fence, each little girl praying before she goes up to bat, every team that wishes and hopes for something more, that every heart that gets touched, and every time a friendship is made – God is present on the softball fields. And we, for one are thankful for the blessings.