I am a sports mom. I have spent countless hours sitting on bleachers, watching my children play varying sports. We have been to cheerleading competitions, softball and baseball, basketball, and flag football games. Sometimes, I have had to sit between two fields so that I could watch two of my children play at the same time.
I am also that mom who goes absolutely crazy when my children succeed in sports. If they hit the ball, make a basket, strike someone out, or score a touchdown, you can be sure I am hollering and cheering louder than anyone else.
As parents, we rearrange our routines, and even our meals to accommodate practices and schedules. We make our kids sports a priority, and we are not alone. I do not regret this. Sports teaches my children to respect authority, the value of working hard, the dynamics of being part of a team. These are all very important skills for a person to learn.
My husband and I carved out hours in our weeks to teach them about sports, yet, we would put church as a secondary event. If we didn’t have something else, we would go. Even after I swore I would never be that parent, I was. We decided to make a change. We didn’t want them to grow up resenting church for making them miss out on opportunities, but we didn’t want them to think it was okay to put church on the backburner.
We want our children to have a strong religious foundation. We include a Bible curriculum in our homeschool. We pray before every meal and we pray before bed. They see us read our Bibles, and do Bible studies. We have started doing a daily Bible devotion, thanks to our church.
It’s paying off. Last week, I got the privilege of watching my daughter be baptized. This is something that she has been talking about for a while. She met with the youth pastor, and he agreed that she was ready. We treated this event just like we would any sporting event in her life. We invited family to watch. We sat on the front row. We took tons of pictures and videos, and we cheered for her when she was done.
I have seen my daughter score winning baskets. I have seen her strike out multiple batters. She hit a homerun once. Granted, it was only 5 inches in front of the plate, and occurred because of many errors from the other team. She has won many pageants, including a national one. Her cheer team took first place at a competition in their first ever season.
I have seen her be very successful, however, I have never seen her have as much joy as she did after being baptized. I have never seen her so excited for an event. Likewise, I have never been so proud of her as I was watching her take that next step in her faith. Watching her stand in front of our church and profess her faith in Jesus was the single greatest accomplishment I have ever witnessed her do. She hit a home run in that moment and knocked it way out of the park. She knocked it into eternity, and I couldn’t be more proud.