Therefore encourage and build one another up just as you are already doing… 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB)
We all value those sisters who married another mister coach and how they get this coaching life we live, the crazy one where our entire livelihood depends on how coachable sixteen and seventeen-year-old kids are. We fall in love with men who purposely and purposefully stand in the gap for kids on the field, the mat, or the court because they believe in the power of encouragement and hope.
We are built to rally around a group of kids who need to mature, grow, and struggle. We are often the first to sound the call for assistance when someone in our community is in need. I am fairly certain it's a chromosome we coaches' wives were given when the good Lord was handing out genes.
I sometimes wonder if encouragers realize how good for our souls to be ones who encourage others. If life has given you two precious moments to reflect and see, what sometimes drains you also fills you. I hope you take two minutes to reflect now.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to continue encouraging each other, but what about those lonely days when you are the one who needs a little extra TLC? Do we get to tap out?
Only you can know the depth of your struggle, and if you need space to breathe, a counselor to guide you or just a good reset, but I am a firm believer in Robert Ingersoll's words, "We rise by lifting others." I think we can help ourselves when the coaching-wife-woes get to us.
When my world becomes very myopic, I look outside of myself for someone else to serve.
When my sweet, not-so-always-attentive Coach fails to pay enough attention, I look for a way to let him know how much he means to me. It may seem counterintuitive, but I can work myself out of a "you-don't-love-me" funk by loving him well.
When the duties of being a mom and wife and master of everything that happens at the house seem far too heavy, I make no-bake cookies for a friend or a friend of my kids. Or sometimes, I just sit down and write a few cards full of gratitude or encouragement to friends and colleagues. I always, almost immediately, feel better, stronger, capable of one more bath time as the sole wrangler of the naked babies-who think running from me before bath time is the greatest of all games.
One of my vicious fury-and-worry-storms calls for more serious therapy-a homemade pie, complete with made from scratch pie crust. It's a two-day process, but it allows my mind to concentrate on a process I can control rather than one I can't.
Creating, following a pattern soothes the worry and my constantly perseverating mind as I have to focus on the next step required to make Southern Living's apple blackberry pie.
The smile on the recipient's face allows light back into my world; the sense of a job completed eases my need for control, and often the HC of all glorious things (you may know him by his common name God) gives me a word or two of wisdom while I am rolling out that pie crust. In the end, I learned something about patience, or persistence, or grace.
It seems funny to write for a group of women whose whole DNA is geared toward helping others- and then encourage you to continue doing just that, but I hope you will - knowing that "He that began a good work in you will see it through to completion."
Note to Reader: We all bring our different life experiences when we read any kind of literature - but especially Scripture; consequently, the body of the work will resonate uniquely with each of us. My goal is not to put the Holy Spirit in a box by saying or implying - "Here's what these words mean…" Instead, I hope you read each devotional knowing that God wants to speak to you too. Our experiences may be different, but we can all learn from each other's lives. God will meet you where you are, the same way he meets me if you ask him to.