Yesterday morning, I added my daughter’s Water Polo schedule to the big calendar in my kitchen. I filled in weekday boxes and wrote into the corners of weekends, which were already crowded with soccer games and tournaments. By the time I had transferred everything, my hand had a cramp and my heart was racing. When I remembered that baseball and track still needs to be added, I almost started hyperventilating.
See, I know what each one of those little marks on the calendar means. It means having a uniform clean and snacks packed and (hopefully) being somewhere on time. It means thinking ahead and having dinner in the crock pot. It means passing back an encouraging word and a meal to the passenger in the seat behind me as I zip over to the field or pool. It means carving out an hour (or four) to sit and cheer and take pictures. It means working through the emotional aftermath of victory or defeat–along with the character flaws which may have surfaced on the deck or field or plate. It means being in six places during one evening. It means listening to complaints from the one in tow who doesn’t happen to need to be anywhere. It means no relaxing meals as a family, and no weekends to sit and play games together. It means stress.
As I felt the last drop of the spring season (which hasn’t even begun yet) dribble away, I noticed the time. The bus would be here in 15 minutes. “Cade!!” I yelled in drill sergeant fashion. “Come eat your breakfast! Now!!”
Cade entered the kitchen with a frown. He said, “Mommy, what happened? You were all cheerful before… And now you sound mad and stressed.”
He was right. Just moments ago my demeanor had been sunny. And with a swish of the calendar page, I was mad and stressed. Mad because I don’t really feel like driving figure eights around our community for the next two months. Stressed because I know I already gave up control of my spring when I signed my kids each up for a sport.
Did you catch that word ‘control’? Here’s a funny thing about Control Girls. When we feel like we’re losing control, we get more controlling. In these moments when we feel like the calendar (or something a lot more scary) has swallowed us whole, you would think we would throw up our hands and say, “Oh well! Guess I’m not in control after all.” But instead, we do the most illogical thing. We get more controlling. We clench our teeth and raise our voices and order everyone around like drill sergeants.
I think God gave me spring sports as just another opportunity to recognize that I am not in control. But not so that I can turn into Captain Control Girl! Even on the days that are completely filled with scribble, God wants me to experience the peace that only comes from surrendering to the One who truly is in control: Him.