Three of my daughters apparently take after their mother in the most unfortunate of ways.
Our family had the neat opportunity to attend a neighbourhood 3 on 3 basketball tourney today. What was truly remarkable was the vast array of different responses to this invitation.
My first born was ready to play. She figured out which of her brand new friends would join a team with her, they picked a name for their team, made a logo and matching t-shirts, taught the younger sisters some cheers to do on the side lines and then waited to go stomp the competition. She was not detered in the least by the reality that she didn't actually know the rules to basketball. "I can learn. We'll figure it out. I bet we can still really do well."
That's one response.
Then there was daughter 2. "I'm not playing. I don't think anyone will want to be on a team with me. I'll just cheer. If they don't mind me doing that."
Then there was daughter 3. "I can't wait to be a cheerleader! I'm so excited! I'll practice and get it memorized and do it the whole time they are playing." Except then today while the games are going on, despite her mastery and excellence in these cheers, she dissolves into tears of fear because "There are alot of people here I don't know and if I do the cheers now, what if someone sees me and laughs at me. I want to be a cheerleader but I'm just so scared."
Then there was daughter 4. She was too busy being the adorable cheerleader doing all the actions, all the routines, while flashing her brilliant smile to care if anyone was watching her or not.
Then there was daughter 5. She found the chip bowls and stayed there for a couple hours.
So out of my 5 lovely daughters, can you guess which ones were like me? And which ones were not like me?
Oh yes, I recognized my mother's voice speaking to a 9 year old me when I was telling daughter #2 "Of course they want you to be here. You are an amazing girl. Just have fun and hang out with them. Of course they want to be your friend."
And yes, I felt the stab of irony when I was telling daughter #3 "You don't need to be afraid. Go out there and give it your best. Do the cheers. No one will laugh at you. And who cares if they do? You'll know that I'm proud of you and that you've done your best. No one is even watching you. It is a little self-centered to think the whole neighbourhood will be watching you and you only in the middle of a basketball game. Just go for it. Have fun trying to be brave."
And yes, I sucked my gut in a little tighter when I was telling daughter #5 to use a little more self-control at the snack table.
Some day I'll get it. Some day I will bust out of all the lies and elementary school insecurities that cling on. I seem to recall telling my friends Kate T. and Catherine earlier this year that this would be the year for challenging my self and being brave to do the things the Lord is calling me too. And yet, here I am, kind of still not really pushing myself too hard. I want to be the girl willing to jump in with great enthusiasm and zeal to try the new thing and push my comfort limits a bit. And I want to be the girl who does what she knows she can do full out, regardless of what people might think or say.
I don't want to be a fool, jumping into arenas where I don't belong. And I don't want to be so 'care less' about people's opinions that I stop listening to wise counsel. But I do want, first and foremost, to listen to the Lord, and to do His will, unfettered by fear of man, and unenslaved to weak masters.
But now that I've put this down on virtual paper, and now that you've read it, I'm kind of committed to being brave and trying to obey the Lord in those potentially embarassing areas no matter what.
So, my prayer for this week -- a real small first step: Lord, show me one thing to do that would typically scare me silly that you want me to do for your glory. Then give me the strength to do it. And if we could start with a small thing, I'd be very grateful.