The wet grass stuck to my boots as I trudged across the wet soccer field. 45 minutes early to the game, per the coach's instruction, I set up my red chair and took my place on the sidelines. It was a gorgeous, autumn Saturday for soccer. Hot pink socks, new to the team for the month of October, adorned the fast legs of #14, the boy I had come to watch. Our preparation for the game had started earlier in the week as we had talked about the competition. "You're going to play great!" was the mantra that I had repeated over and over. At home, we prayed for the game and "oiled" him up for the game (Young Living Oils); in the car Michael played his favorite playlist, songs to inspire him. He was ready. I sat in my soccer spot, delighting in watching my son do what he loves. Not only is he skilled at the technique of soccer he is also a strong team-player, an encourager, and a coach-able player. I love the camaraderie that the collective parents share as we cheer on our boys. Saturday soccer has become one of my favorite activities. The game ended in a tie, both teams fighting hard. As I packed up my chair and headed back across the field, my heart welled up with gratitude for these opportunities that Michael has to play well, to be coached by an incredible coach, and to get to have fun with his friends.
My minivan is literally my favorite thing, and the seat I sit in is one of my favorite seats. Really, I view it as a place of honor that I was chosen for, a location from where I fulfill this calling on my life of motherhood. From this special seat, I navigate around our lovely town carpooling numerous kiddos, getting groceries, taking friends places. etc. Saturday, I got to take Meredith to a birthday party for one of her good friends. My sweet girl is just the best kind of friend. If I was 11, I would want Meredith on my team of friends. She is loyal and kind, she looks to meet the needs of others, and she is constantly thinking about her friends. I love listening to her process the relationships that she has. Nearly knee deep in middle school, she has keen observations about what her friends say, what they wear, who they are, how they feel. She has extreme empathy and is less worried about herself fitting in and much more aware of how to help her friends fit in. I love how much she loves her friends. God created Meredith to be a good friend, and it is a blessing to watch the joy in her spirit when she gets to be with her special friends. .
It's now Sunday morning, the day that we go to church. . "Who is coming to church this morning?" the text says. "Everyone" I write back. Marky has been rehearsing since 7:30, pumpkin spice latte in hand to assist with the early hour. I arrive at church and we make eye contact across the sanctuary. She moves towards me and I give her a hug that somehow I know that she needs. "You're going to do great", I say. Her shy smile and shallow breathing show me that she is nervous. We part ways and I take my seat on the cushioned pew. I have sat in this seat countless times. I have worshiped in the place countless hours. The comfort and peace that our church gives our family is a blessing. When Marky was 8, she told me that her 2 favorite places in the world were Grandma's house and our church. I feel the same way. It's a safe place to be, a familiar place to go. I watched Marky take her seat at the piano on stage, a piano that I have sat at many times myself. I listened to the notes that she played, oblivious to all other sounds. This sweet child of God, serving Him with the gifts that He has given to her. I'm standing now, arms raised, praising my Lord who has made Marky's life so beautiful. In this very space, many years prior, I begged God to help me and my girls. I cried out to Him to take the pain and shame of divorce, and turn it into something beautiful for my daughters. Sunday, I felt God tell me "I heard you. Just look at her.." God was so faithful to answer those cries for me and my girls, and on Sunday, from the fingers of my daughter, I heard Him whisper "I love you."
Many different seats this weekend to enjoy this life I've been given. Kids to celebrate and cherish. Evey moment giving an opportunity to say "That's my kid! Aren't they amazing?"