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Friday, September 7, 2012

Racquetball and Motherhood

Racquetball and Motherhood - they seem at first to be an unlikely pairing.  However, there are many more parallels than I would like to admit.  I usually play racquetball twice a week with a group of men, all of whom are better players than me.  I feel out of my league motherhood wise at least twice a week, if not more often.  Most days, I play racquetball hard, give it my all, and still lose.  Every once in a while, I win, usually in doubles, every now and then in cutthroat (3 players) and very seldom in singles.  When it comes to mother hood, every once in a while. I feel like I have a great mommy day, where I gave it my all, my emotions didn't rule me and I was successful in handling Emma's unexpected behavior.  I win more often in parenting doubles as well.  John brings the balance and sense of perspective that  I often lack.  Three player parenting is where we have the most success - remembering to include God in the everydayness of our lives - the mundane and the miraculous.

Every once in a while, on a really bad racquetball day, where nothing goes right, it brings me face to face with my very worst self.  My inner voice tells me to quit, I am stupid (among other things), and I am wasting everyone's time by playing.  I plunge into a downward emotional spiral that easily bleeds over into other areas of my life.  I recognize that voice, but can't always silence it.  I am certain it stems from building my self esteem at an early age from performance, both athletically and academically.  On my worst mommy days, that inner voice would have me believe I am failing miserably, that Emma deserves so much more than I have to offer and so does John, for that matter.

I could walk away from racquetball and at least avoid the confrontations with my very worst self, but it wouldn't really solve anything, just remove the outward circumstance that reveals a soul still so in need of changing, maturing and growing in my dependence on the Lord.  Walking away from motherhood isn't an option.  Even on my worst days I take great comfort  in knowing God knew these days were coming and He still chose me to be Emma's mommy - me - flawed, broken, incomplete, imperfect me. And I do trust Him, even when I don't trust me.

Better days always come, both in racquetball and mothering, when my perspective is right and I am able to enjoy the journey and not worry about keeping score.  I realize anew my identity is Christ, not my performance, whether it be racquetball or motherhood, or a number of other things that I somehow try to use to measure my worth.  I have worth, eternal worth, for one reason alone: because God loves me.  That's it - He loves me.  I can't add to it or take away from it - just learn to accept it and revel in it.  He loves me.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Grandad's Lap

another poem from years gone by that touches on the substance of part of our discussion in Weds night Bible Study.

Grandad’s Lap

one of the best memories
that i hold
is as a three year old
climbing up on Grandad’s lap
while he sat in the rocking chair

he’d wrap me up
in my favorite beach towel –
the pink one with the seahorses on it –
and we’d rock

i don’t remember
whether we talked or not -
it really isn’t important

what i do remember
is the security and love
and well being with the world
i felt
as i sat there
with my Grandad
and we rocked

even now
it’s that picture in my mind
sustaining me
as i bring my hurts
as well as my joys
to You
and climb up on Your lap
and from that perspective
learn what real security
and love are

© 1978 kathy jo schramm

The Pruning Time

Discussion at our weekly women's Bible Study reminded me of something I wrote several years ago.  I decided it might be worthwhile to share it here.

the pruning time

there are times
when i feel
i have to work so hard
and grow so much more
than others
just to be me

i am tempted to rebell
and say it's unfair

and then i remember
You are working
towards perfection
with me
You are working
    not for the moment
    or for the day
  but for eternity

this is
one of those times

there are also times
when i feel i have grown
  so much
and You make me realize
if i am going
to look back to
where i've come from
i must also look forward to
where i am going
and who i am called to be

i get so discouraged
because it looks so far away
so impossible
out of my reach

then You remind me
that the only reason
i've come so far
is also the only reason
i can go on....You

this is
one of those times

i've made
a commitment to grow
and You are showing me
that for healthy growth
there's a need for pruning

it's necessary
to cut back
the places where
scars have formed over wounds
in order for a full blossoming to come

i know You would
have me fall short in nothing
through You
and i thank You
for this time of pruning

@1978  kathy jo schramm

Friday, February 3, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Real

Flawed, humbled, joyful, frustrated, interrupted three times in six words - that is the texture of my life these days - and also unpretentious, authentic, impacting.  Motherhood is the most real life experience I have known, amid a wide variety of life experiences.  Even marriage has not taken me to the deep places within that motherhood has.  I have found and seen some not so nice places within me that I never knew existed, but I have also found a depth of joy, compassion, contentment that I had never known either.  Even on the worst days - there is no where else I would rather be ... (interrupted again as my daughter plays cymbals on my arms..)