Spring is in the air. It’s warm enough outside that my hoodie is more than enough insulation. Flowers aren’t yet blooming, but the plants to which they are attached are turning green. Parts of the lawn are stretching out and turning a lovely shade of not-brown-any-more. Birds are flitting wildly from budding tree to budding tree, building their nests in anticipation. And I swear I saw the Easter Bunny gathering up his egg coloring materials.
That’s not what excites me about Spring, though. At our house, Spring means football. The Pancake Man gets all padded up, psyched up, and in the mood to smash things. He works out all winter between regular fall season and spring season and he’s ready to go. Every Saturday brings with it the anticipation of watching him crush his competition, the readiness to hear the crunch of helmet on pads, the thrill of seeing our boy dominate tempered by the breath-stopping search for number 78 when a black uniform goes down.
I love this sport. Not just for the violent crash of wills—although it is fascinating to watch this dance of structured chaos. I love this sport because it highlights how amazing we are, what we can withstand, what we can push ourselves to do. It makes those who play the game recognize their limits and push beyond them. It makes my son, the Pancake Man, push himself harder than an old school drill sergeant ever could.
This boy has been through too much, seen too much. He’s been told that he’s dumb and fat by those who should have lifted him up and protected him. He’s been pushed down and set aside far too often. Because of his passion for this game, he’s come back swinging. The Pancake Man isn’t a fluffy little boy any more; he can pick me up and throw me over his shoulder like a backpack. He’s not buying into the “you’re dumb” theory and he fights for his grades.
My Pancake Man doesn’t stop with football and what he needs to do to excel at his game. He teaches Sunday school for the first and second grades and just began taking a turn leading Kids Church. He is stepping out of his comfort zone. He’s not just stepping out in faith—he’s taking a flying leap and trusting that he won’t fall. He’s found his passion, this boy of mine, and it’s leading him to places he never thought he’d go, never dreamed he could, was told that he never would.
So bring on spring! It’s not just a pretty time of year to me. It’s football season! This is a not-so-subtle reminder that we were meant to be more, do more, than we’ve been told. It’s yet another promise of all God can do when we let go, when we give up trying to control.
And most especially when we stop listening to those who would bring us low.
Kelly Heuer resides in Idaho and asserts that she is foremost a wife to her best friend and hero. Five children (plus a few extras) call her Mami, and she considers being a wife and mother to be her most important job and ministry. She is her church’s Music/AV Coordinator and serves as a song leader among other roles as needed. A missionary kid, Kelly lived in the Dominican Republic for 14 years learning to read and translate legal documents in both Spanish and English. She says one of the most important revelations of her time there was learning the value of writing in alleviating the pain of both internal and external struggles. She says while others might describe her as a survivor, she calls herself a fighter, a thriver, a winner. Kelly’s heart is to help women worldwide to go beyond survival and be freed to never again fear enslavement.
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