Of Preteens and Curve Balls

“Mom, watching Grizzly bears are for little kids!”

I’m not sure when my boys first decided that being seen with me, their Mom, was uncool. But this morning was no exception.

Disgruntled may be a mild term when I “dragged” them out of the house. It’s an opportune time, I reasoned, for mother-son bonding. We had three hours to hang out during my daughter’s VBS session. However, I forgot the stores wouldn’t open for an hour.

STRIKE ONE.

Can’t go wrong with Italian Sodas.

HOME RUN! Oh, no . . . foul ball—a little more month left than money. Oops!

Well, the surprise library visit to watch the Guinness World Record holding magician will be a hit.

Guess I didn’t know the record he held was for bouncing bubbles. Read the fine print K.D.! Maybe the fine print also stated his primary audience—preschoolers. My boys didn’t crack a smile when he dangled nine spoons from one arm and one from his nose while pulling out a six foot spoon from his bag.

STRIKE TWO.

What’s on my windshield? A parking ticket?!

 “Way to go, Mom!”

A few sparks erupted, but not the holiday ones.

STRIKE THREE.  “You’re out!”

Good thing I imagined this Ump, or I might have tackled him!

Good thing I imagined this Ump, or I might have tackled him!

Finally, we arrived home. Then I discovered . . .

9330cd9c1ac6d921820401e11faf527amy blouse is inside out! Lovely.

STRESS

We all experience stress—frustration in relationships, work, finances, sickness, unmet expectations, or just the daily grind.

The Apostle Paul shared the following while chained in jail:

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . . I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”          Philippians 4:12-13

Did he say in every situation?

Positive Paul—confined inside a smelly cell—knew excruciating poverty, abundant wealth, and everything in between. But he learned to find real joy independent of changing circumstances. How?

He threw all his energy into knowing and obeying Christ (Philippians 3:8, 12-13).

Paul also knew the guilt of striking out because he once persecuted Christians. But as Christ transformed him, he shared how to overcome the guilt of failure:

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”  – 3:13

When our hope is in Christ, we can look forward to what God will help us become.

How do you respond to life’s curve balls? If you—like me—blow it, don’t give up. The game’s not over.

Let’s keep our eyes on the ball—Jesus Christ. He supplies inner strength and joy, even when facing unpleasant circumstances.

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