His Dream Coming True



My son has waited six years to play football. He has been watching football since he was in kindergarten. For some reason, he fell in love with the game. I use to be able to amaze people by having my first grader count by 7’s. Why did he know how to count by 7’s? Because that’s how many points you get for a touchdown and extra point. He could also count by 3’s pretty well too.

Even when he was in 3rd or 4th grade I would catch him on a Saturday morning watching Sportscenter rather than cartoons. He would also watch various college games too. He was basically a football fanatic. Men at church would ask him various things about the game, or how a NFL team was doing, or other similar questions. He wouldn’t miss a beat.

Adding to the mix was his love of playing Madden Football on his XBox. He got pretty good too. I would play him and he understood defenses, offences, etc. He knew what defense to play by just knowing how many receivers and tight ends I had in the formation. He would sit at the high school games and give running commentary onto how the team could change their formation to stop the full back from eating up yards.

He couldn’t wait to get out there and play. Since we are pretty engaged on Sunday mornings, he never was able to play Pop Warner football. That meant, he would have to wait and play football at the school, which meant, he would have to wait until 6th grade.

His day has finally come. He is now a sixth grader. The picture in this post is from the first scrimmage at the football jamboree. After two weeks of practice (which were a lot harder than he thought), they got on a bus, made a 45 minute trip, and lined up against two different schools.

The picture above is of my son before they went on the field. He is pretty easy to see. Just look for the only child wearing his helmet. The rest of the team had their helmets off since two other schools were on the field. Their time had not yet come. Yet, my son chose to keep his helmet on.

I told his sisters (who also made the trip) that it didn’t matter who was playing, Joshua was ready to get into the game. He was ready no matter what. His helmet was on, he was ready to go. Even though he was a bit afraid, he was still ready to get in the game.

His dream was to play football. Now, he is on the team. It is different from what he thought. It is a new thing. It is bringing many surprises…some good…some not so good. I don’t know if he will stick with it or not. So far he is.

I’m still learning things from this. I’m learning about dreams. I’m learning about dreaming for something that seems so far off. I’m learning that sometimes our dreams don’t match the reality of when they are realized. Sometimes realizing a dream is harder than we ever imagined (The 2 hour practices can be real tough in August heat). Sometimes it is just different. Yet, there he is wearing his helmet. Ready. Willing. Able.

Maybe it doesn’t matter if my dreams come true, or if they’re different, or harder. Maybe its more important that no matter what happens, or how different reality is from my dreams, I need to make sure to have my helmet on. You never know when you will get a chance to get in the game.

Summer Update

Summer here (not really, but it sure feels like it) and I’m trying to figure out a new summer schedule. My office hours and everything stays the same, but the kids are home. This means I don’t have to be at school to pick them up from school, practice, etc. So, my schedule is different. It isn’t better or worse, just different.

I’m working on several online projects, the main one being a complete redesign of UMSource.net. I was hoping to be able to make it ‘live’ before now, but, I feel like there are a few more things I would like to do to it first. Hopefully it will be up and running in the next few weeks.

Snow Daze

Well, I’m sitting here and we are getting like a foot of snow. They have blizzard warnings out and my kids have been home from school and they have already canceled school for tomorrow.

The bad thing is, I tend not to get a lot done when this happens. I was able to get my sermon written this morning but my big plan was to get quite a bit of the first draft of my DMin paper finished. That has not happened and is not happening. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Today is kind of lost for the most part.

I’m thinking that maybe later tonight I can spend some time at least thinking or research some of it.

On Being in Charge

Right now I have three kids in soccer. My son’s team didn’t have an assistant coach, so I told the main coach that I was willing to help and he ask me to “be with him on the sidelines during games” and help with practices. I’m assuming this makes me the assistant coach.

What I’m discovering is that I have a need to be in control. I find it very hard to stand back and allow the “real” coach to make decisions and run things the way he wants to. Neither one of us knows that much about the game….but I’ve been going to these soccer games for about three years and I have had up to four kids in the program at one time. I think that gives me over 100 games in the stands (putting it that way, for some reason, makes me very sad…and tired)

I’ll see how things go. I’m trying to stand back….listen…and tell the kids to do what the coach wants them to be doing. After the games, however, I find myself wanting to make changes, or use different strategies.

Since I’m having so many “issues” I’m sure this is good for me 😉 Although right now we are 0-2 🙁 but…I keep telling myself winning doesn’t matter….which is a good thing.

Nothing Tougher…

We sat there each knowing what the report would bring but unable to bring ourselves to deal with the realities. We wanted to hang on to hope even though all hope was gone. She had been in ICU for two days. The pressure on her brain was at 120, it was suppose to be 20-30. We all knew what was going on, but we kept praying just the same.

She was so young with so much potential. It was an accident. She wasn’t practicing dangerous behavior. No one knows what happened….perhaps she simply ran off the side of the road and over corrected, but it is all speculation. Yet, the accident was so bad, she was lifelined to a trama center. It was there we waited and prayed.

Ministry brings you into various situations. Many times you have entry to some of the most holiest times in people’s lives. Many times you have entry into some of the darkest times in people’s lives. I can’t think of anything darker than hearing the doctor say there is nothing that can be done for your 16 year old daughter…your only child.

There was nothing in my training that would prepare someone for such times. Perhaps that is because sometimes words just fail and the less that you say is the most healing. They say at times like this, silence and presence are the most healing balms.

Sometimes “getting over it” isn’t an option. Sometimes the prayer is to just get through it. Moment by moment becomes the only plan that you have for the future. Please remember this family in your prayers as they walk through this valley.

Also, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, check out Compassionate Friends. And if you have lost a child, you might be able to hook up with a local chapter and help a family in the healing process.