Monday, July 5, 2010

summer baseball. part two.

A few years back, a couple of games of summer baseball totally solidified in my mind the idea that God multiplies our good intentions for our benefit and for the benefit of our children.

A woman I looked to for guidance when I was soon to become a mother told me this story...

She had eight children. Going anywhere with eight children was like transporting a circus to a new city. One morning she awoke with a champion ambition, excited to take her children on a walk to the local Dairy Queen, which was about a mile away.

She arranged them for the journey and set off on what turned out to be a completely rotten day; a nightmare of unceasing fighting, whining, complaining, mess-making, and so on. You can bet she never tried that one again.

At the time she felt ashamed at her sub-par adventure and counted it a total bust. Years later, though, her children would sit around the Christmas tree reminiscing in the following fashion...

"Remember that summer that mom walked with us like every day to the Dairy Queen and let us pick out whatever treat we wanted and we were so excited and happy? That was my favorite summer!"

God really does accept our offerings when we try to be good parents, even when we think we have fallen short, and He will take the little we give Him, and give it back to us multiplied in miraculous ways.

The summer of my nineteenth year, I was dating Duke and I confided in him that I felt as if we should make a special effort to spend time with my young siblings. We decided that baseball was surely the way to go.

We cleared the local Goodwill of virtually all of their equipment and vowed, along with my brothers and sisters to become extremely proficient players. We walked to a field and soon deemed ourselves quite horrible at sports. We went back, at most twice more that summer.

My siblings talk often of the summer we played baseball. They speak of how incredibly good we became as a team of players. They tell funny anecdotes about our games. Even the youngest who was only three at the time chimes right in with her fond memories of those simpler days.

Family folklore and the grace of God has transformed our humble endeavor to build family relationships into a treasure chest of unity and shared experience.

My babies may not speak forever of those times that we took them to play baseball in an enormous, green field with fences as tall as mountains.

They probably won't rave about their awesome parents who always let them eat whipped cream straight from a can.

But then again, they might.

Keep trying. Even when it feels like you spent your whole outing keeping the kids off the field so they don't get hit by a foul-ball. Even when they run away from you as fast as they can the moment you ask them to come. Even when you feel as if you are failing.

Keep trying.

Because God multiplies our good intentions.


Vashti said...

So uplifting and so true. It is quite often that I want to abandon whatever fun activity I had planned because of messes or crankiness or whatever, this is a good principle to be reminded of. I know I needed to read this.

aproapealb said...

Beautiful post! This kind of things happen to me when I try to make an original gift to my boyfriend. Last summer, I planted orange trees for him several times in a pot, but they didn't get big enough till the day when was his birthday and he doesn't have enough light in his house, so I had to keep them to my place. I was pretty upset. And this has happened with me with a painting that I tried to paint for him but wasn't that beautiful, with a trip to Venice that I had planned on a special day but got cancelled 2 weeks later and with other stuff.
But I think he will remember my intentions of orginal gifts with a smile on his face. :)

I feel encouraged by your post, as always. Thank you!

Stephanie said...

As my children have already worn me as thin as can be this morning I decided to take a break and see if you had any wisdom for me to help out my frail motherly self. And you did. Thank you for your words and thoughts on this blog. Don't stop! I can't imagine the number of women you are helping to make it through their rough mornings.

Kat & Paul said...

absolutely love this. i must keep this as my perspective