Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This Doesn’t Look Like Disney World

It’s always fun to dream about where to go on vacation.  Maybe somewhere warm and sunny or rustic with mountains.  I’ve pinned and researched all sorts of fabulous trips.  We could visit Mickey or relax in Mexico.

It plays out perfectly in my head and on my Pinterest board.  A happy family, singing in the car, dressed in matching Mount Rushmore T-shirts.  Ok scratch the shirts.  That’s too cheesy even for my dream.

But in reality it usually turns into a bad scene from a Chevy Chase movie.  And then the biggest bubble popper of all…the budget.

We had some ideas of places we wanted to go this summer and it just wasn’t possible.  We did end up going to my parents in Colorado at the last minute.  It’s not exactly Disney World or Alaska or Glacier National Park, but one night as I was walking around the block chatting with one of my kids I realized something important.

Vacation is less about where we go and more about who we’re with.  Wherever we are, when we get a chance to slow down, get away from the norm, and have more time with our family that’s what makes a great vacation.

I’m thankful for the walks we had around the block and hikes through Garden of the Gods. The talks along the highway. All things we don’t have the luxury of in the hustle and bustle of real life.

That can be accomplished at home or wherever your roam.  In Alaska or at Disney world or Grandma’s or the local KOA. 

It’s about people not place. It’s about experience, not expense.   And it’s about time not about tourism.  It’s about connecting, not conquering. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Heart Champs

It’s back to school time.  And for many kids and parents it’s also time to gear up for sports.  There are try outs, cuts, people who don’t make the level they want.  There are bench warmers and starters. 

I’m super glad that as an adult runner I don’t have to care about that stuff.  Because I am never embarrassed to share my time from a race.  Umm or come in behind someone I clearly should have been better than.  Or an 65 year old speed walker.  I mean I am totally ok with that.  So I may be a teeny little bit more competitive than I thought. 

But truly, for the most part, I run in races just for fun.  I know I won’t win.  Well, maybe a little part of me hoped I might be able to take Kara Goucher in the Grandma’s Half this year.  Bwahaha! 

But if just little old slow me can get competitive, is it a surprise kids on sports teams are?  Or their parents?

It’s hard to know who is worse really.  If you mess with me or my goals or my times, I might be annoyed, but if you mess with my kids…get ready for mama bear baby!

I’m already hearing and reading a lot of great things about the young athletes in our world.  No doubt there are a lot of talented kids out there.

So even though athletics are great and kids can learn a lot through them and stay fit, let’s not get carried away.  Because what is the most important thing in life?  Is it winning or being the best?

Not if you are a Christian.  As a parent, I want to raise champions of the heart.  I want to encourage humility, faithfulness, hard work, peace and love.  Those are things that will last and count for eternity.  Being the mom screaming from the bleachers at a basketball game is not the way to go about that.  Not that I would know.

A few years ago when our kids were in baseball, we had to play the same team three times.  They were three hundred times better than us.  Or so it seemed.  Their coach was a jerk and would run up the score.

The final time we played them, Mike and I were not watching as encouraging builders of heart champs.  As we stepped back from that game we realized this is little league.  They are in grade school.  These other kids are doing great. 

So I have to check my heart first as an “athlete” myself.  Am I competing for the glory of God?  Do I encourage others along the course?  Do I want to win at all costs?

Then I need to check my heart as a parent.  Do I want the best for my kid or for my kid to be the best?  What other lessons can we learn besides winning?  How about some of the fruit of the Spirit?  Wouldn’t sports be great with a little love, joy, peace, patience and humility?

At the end of the day, I care about my kids’ hearts.  I want them to be following and reflecting Jesus.  It means more than the score or the finish or the place on the team. That’s what Champions of the heart are made of. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23