Today we welcome a fellow Women's Ministry team co-laborer and one of our loudest cheerleaders, Fran Thomas, to the blog. When Fran speaks, people listen! When Fran writes, people read! She has THE BIGGEST HEART for Jesus and a burning passion for reaching women from all walks of life. She roots all of us on, pointing us directly to Jesus, with each and every breath she takes.
Hello there precious people! What an honor to bring you my heart, through words, today while cheering on my buddies, Audra, Laura, Rebecca and Tammy and the life-giving work they are spitting out day after day through this blog. Can we just stop and thank God for them and their commitment to serve Him with beautiful, strong words of hope and encouragement through scripture? I pray you are reading their content daily. There is nothing like coming alongside other women and the God honoring work they are doing because it matters!
Girls, We all applaud your love and obedience to Jesus Christ. Press on. Keep on pressing on! We are better because of you and this page!
Ok, let me tell you a tiny bit of who I am so you can have a better understanding of where I’m coming from with my post. My name is Fran and I’ve been married to Chip for 23 years and we have three wonderful boys ages 21, 19 and 16. I’m that parent on the other side of parenting and living through a new level of experiences and perspective with these young men. I remember seeing those moms years ago when all of my chunky boys were wild, rambunctious, loud, clutching all manner of balls and trucks thinking, “Whoa. Who are those moms? One day I’ll get there and be like them.”
We all secretly stare at “those moms” and wonder what’s it’s like down there, don’t we?
I’m going to give you an analogy of this season of parenting we are in. This season may apply to you in the next year or two or maybe you will be making a mental note of this season for later. The day will arrive and you need a game plan. We can live in the moment of today while preparing for what is to come.
Having a house full of boys, I have grown up as a mom on some sort of ball field. I barely have any memories of us as a family that does not include my boys running around hitting or running after some kind of ball. It’s simply in the DNA of our family.
*Insert free nugget* It is good to take a yearly inventory of what makes up your family’s DNA. I like the school calendar approach when it comes to looking at that.
As the boys grew, our sports of choice were narrowed down to football in the fall and baseball in the spring and summer. That means December, January and part of February were our quiet, resting months. That is only 2½ months out of the year involving rest and we loved it that way. No judgment, right? I loved and needed that season of rest, but I really, really loved the seasons of football and baseball.
Some of us are meant to be boy moms and I’m one of them. Fixing a girl’s hair makes me an absolute nervous wreck. I can’t do it. I’m shaky and act like I don’t even know what a hair brush or flat iron is. Don’t even throw in some kind of curling option. I’m out. Peace. I can barely pick out my own clothes, fix the hair on my own head and pick and choose makeup for my insecure 47 year old self so the thought of helping out a young, darling, impressionable girl makes me want to hide in the closet. “Good luck honey! Yes…you look fabulous!”
I ain’t doing it! (Thank you Heather Land)
And please google Heather Land if you don’t know who she is.
Back to the analogy. God can use all things to pour Himself into our kid’s lives and I’m thankful He used a game like football or baseball to do just that. He was good to us there. He is good to your children, too, wherever they are. Pour away Lord, Jesus. Pour away.
A few nights ago Chip and I were watching a football game. Our tv literally NEVER leaves ESPN or the MLB network. The announcer was describing the previous play as we watched it on replay and said, “The quarterback let the route develop before he threw the pass.”
He let the route develop.
The quarterback let the route develop.
Hmmmmmmmm. Say that one out loud and think about it for a minute.
He let the route develop. Did you say it out loud? It’s so much better when you do.
This ball lovin’ momma took note of that statement, y’all! I heard so much more than what the announcer said.
I immediately hopped up and knew those words, that phrase, that image, had to be put into the notes section of my phone. This was goooooood stuff worth thinking about. ESPECIALLY WITH MY TEENAGERS AND YOUNG ADULTS.
Here is what happens, mom. Our precious, beloved, wonderful children step out onto a new field when they leave our house, go to college, or move into the next phase of life. The field is green, hopefully well-watered and taken care of, but not all fields are. The field is full of people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, talents, strengths and weaknesses. There are some really excellent teams on that field full of strong players and coaches. Some teams are more average with a little less coaching and expectancy from their players. Then you have the team that just stinks, is apathetic and doesn’t care. Do they have a coach? Anyone showing those players what to do? Teams of all kinds are all around in this season of your kid’s life. You wonder what team your kid will land on. No matter the scenario, there is always a lot of action on the field. There are a lot of moving parts and dynamics happening during the game. There are also all those fans yelling at the players. What are they saying? Can you hear what they are saying? Why are they yelling so much?
Remember the route? The route on the field?
Develop the route. Every child’s route will look different and it is always under development.
Mom, imagine you are the quarterback throwing the ball to your child, the receiver. You are Peyton Manning. You are patient, skilled, watching the receiver from your position on the field.
We must realistically know the route ahead and we must be patient to let the route develop.
No receiver has caught the pass 100% of the time.
People are coming. The rush. The pressure is on the receiver. The pressure is on you, the quarterback. Decisions will be made in a split second. The route you thought you knew fails. The pass is incomplete, intercepted or even a loss of yards occurs.
Your child is going to get tackled, possibly hurt, ok, probably hurt. He will run the wrong route, forget the route and miss the ball.
Your child, the receiver will miss it. He will. It’s ok. A true fan doesn’t leave the game or a player quit the team because the route was missed.
Let the route develop.
So, what happens next? What happens when the route fails or was underdeveloped?
Your child gets back up, runs to the huddle (you) and you redirect the offense with a new play. You regroup. You don’t freak out. You don’t yell at him. You stay calm. You remind your receiver who they are and whose they are. You pat them on the back. You encourage them. You love them. You shake the dirt off their shoulder. You give them Living Water to drink. You breathe life and hope and truth back into them.
Your precious, wonderful, beloved child of God will get back up with the help of Jesus because Jesus beautifully lives in the cutest quarterback in town. That’s you, momma. You are the QB!
GO TEAM! We got this!