I have a love-hate relationship with baseball season.
I’m not talking about Major League Baseball—not the Yankees and the Red Sox. I’m talking about 7-8 coach pitch baseball. Coaches pitching to 7 and 8 year old boys. This was my son’s 2ndyear playing ball and his 1styear as catcher. The regular season ended last week and has provided an opportunity for me to reflect on this love-hate relationship.
I love how happy my son is being on a team, while exercising, and learning a sport. I love watching his eyes dance when he catches the ball or hits a run. I’m content being behind the camera catching the intense moments of concentration. I adore that the coaches pray with the boys before practices and games. I’m grateful that he hasn’t been on a team that chose white uniform.
Despite the “love” part of being a baseball-mom, I have some issues with baseball season. I hate 7 pm games, which means I’m in a dinner dilemma…to feed before or to feed after??? I hate that late weekday games equals cranky mornings…for the kiddo and for me.
And I have come to hate the group texting with parents for snacks and practice times. Each time my phone indicates a text message; I start dreading the massive text chain. Why? Probably because I’m a very organized, type A personality, who has been in the military for over 20 years. I have a hard time with loose schedules and lack of pre-planning. I want lists of snack responsibilities. I want to know who has scoreboard or dug out duty for each game. I want to know when the team party and photos are scheduled. Not knowing these things in advance makes me cringe.
Not knowing makes me less gracious.
Grace has been defined in several different ways. Typically, we think of God’s grace in relationship to His providing a way to salvation through acceptance of His son.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” ~Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
Essentially grace is God providing for us even when we don’t deserve it. Knowing about God’s grace is not enough. We have to accept God’s grace. Then the hard part…we have to demonstrate God’s grace by showing grace to one another.
Grace for others is demonstrated in our thoughts, words, and actions.
If we think dreadful thoughts, we aren’t illustrating grace. When I have grouchy thoughts about a 7pm, mid-week game, I’m not demonstrating grace in thought. We are given guidance on our thoughts in Romans 12:2 (NIV), “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
If we speak negative words, we aren’t speaking grace. When I complain to my husband about the lack of snack organization, I am not demonstrating grace in speech. We are given guidance on our voice in Colossians 4:6 (NIV), “Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
If we roll our eyes or have huffy behavior, we aren’t acting in grace. When my Type A personality encourages me “take over” team mom responsibilities, I am not demonstrating grace in action. We are given guidance on our actions in Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV), “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
If we act in grace, then we honor the grace God has provided for us. I need to work on turning my thoughts, words, and actions into grace-filled examples of God’s love for each of us. I need to turn my love-hate relationships into love-love relationships. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
I want to have grace flowing from my heart….not just behind the camera, but rather in all of my thoughts, words, & actions.