As a coach I carefully watch each athlete's movements. I keep detailed records of each one of my athletes. I can tell you that athlete R has a goofy elbow, athlete M has horrible shin splints when she runs, and athlete C is never fully confident that she is going to get the lift, even when the lift is over. I can tell you which days in the last year (that they have been training with me) that the athlete was sick and what they were sick with. I can tell you when their anniversary is, and what their favorite pass times are.
A good coach knows more about their athletes than just their numbers.
A good coach knows their lives, their stories, their dreams.
Parenting is no different.
The definition of a coach is someone who instructs or trains a performer or team. The definition of a parent is to raise, bring up, look after, take care of. Being a coach and being a parent really aren't that different, and yet I struggle more with one than I do with the other.
People ask me often if it is hard to run a garage gym ministry and have two children under the age of two. I will be honest, there are days where it is very challenging. The selfish side of me would love to get through coaching all of my classes without my son interrupting. I would love to get through my own personal training without having to stop to nurse the 4 month old. But that is just my selfish sin nature talking.
When an athlete comes in my gym I ask them how they are feeling, if anything hurts. I ask them about their weekend. I listen to their marriage struggles, personal difficulties, and parenting challenges.
Do I offer the same dedication to my children?
Today I was convicted about exactly that. I was trying to coach my beginner athlete class. It is loud, hot, and I am tired from being up with the 4 month old in the middle of the night.
As I was rubbing my pounding head, my not quite two year old went outside the garage and picked up a handful of crepe myrtle flowers from the ground and brought them to me. Instead of graciously accepting his precious gift, I barked at him to get out of the gym. Seeing his little face fall, as he is still trying to give me his flowers, my heart broke. God spoke to my heart through the big blue eyes of my oldest son. Today God reminded me that my job is to care for, teach, and minister to my family first. I need to remember my calling from God, and not worry about what other people will think. I can't make an idol of coaching exactly the way we would in the classes where there are no children.
That just isn't reality.
I had a very wise friend remind me recently that God has given me these precious little boys for a short time, and that time is flying by.
Lets do a little math right quick:
There are roughly 52 Saturdays in a calendar year.
That means that we have roughly 936 Saturdays from the time your child is born until your child leaves for college.
William is 20 months old.
We have used up 87 Saturdays of his life already.
We only have 849 Saturdays left with him.
That is it.