Over the years in baseball I have had many experiences, good, bad and a lot of in between. There are some that have stuck with me, like this one...
One hot spring training day after a long game with three little boys crawling all over me, bothering people around us, fighting to the point of throwing little punches, spilling drinks and ketchup on our clothes, I was done! I just wanted my husband to walk up and take those brutes and let me go to a spa. We all know how that scenario works out. I walked out to the batting cage area where the wives gathered to wait for our hubbies and was reminded that there was a cookout for the organization that night. This was not a night that I wanted to see people who we were supposed to impress.
I saw two veteran wives sitting on a bench talking. They had almost 100 years of experience combined, raised four children and now were great grandparents. I plopped down on the bench as my boys ran circles in the grass. With a simple question of “How are you?” from the older women, I was sent into a diatribe of how awful my life was. No husband at home helping me, packing up from Spring Training to move on to the season, my boys acting of control, sitting through the entire game alone having to man handle three brutes...I need a spa day! The ladies looked at me with slight smiles and began to talk about how they miss the days of having little kids. The days when their husbands were still young and in the height of their playing or coaching careers.
One said, “Honey, I have lived in this game for over 50 years. I thank God for the experiences that made me who I am. There will be a day when you know you don’t have to be at the game all nine innings or at every game. Do what you know you can to survive and show love to your children, not putting expectations on them that you shouldn’t. And the same for your husband, be careful how high your expectations are compared to what he can actually do. Enjoy what you have while you have it. It is over before you know it. Many have come before you and survived and many will come after.” Then the other lady turned and pointed to a pregnant wife standing with another wife with no kids yet. “You are an example for those girls and the way they will do this life. Be a good example.”
I thought about their words and began to ask myself some hard questions. If I were to ask those younger wives to describe who I am and how I represent a wife in this game would they use words like complainer, unrealistic expectations, greedy, fame hungry, worrier, focused on shopping, controlling? How am I living my life in this game? Am I putting expectations on my husband, my mothering, our children that are to impress and be accepted by others?
Am I acting in a way that glorifies God? I began to think about what should be replacing these negative actions and how to begin to glorify God in whatever I do. Praising God for giving my husband the gifts He has given him to be a part of something very special. Thanking God that we have a roof over our heads and food on our table. Worshiping a God that is in control. Praying for God’s Will in our lives, job, finances, giving, and relationships.
We are standing on the backs of those who came before us…and they survived. We are not the first to pack up and move. Not the first to be released. Not the first to get bad press. Not the first to be booed. Not the first to raise our children with our husbands away. We can learn from these women. We can stand in the assurance that God is in control. We know that everything we do should be to glorify the one who is in control and has paved the way for our husbands and our families to live in this life of baseball and survive. Because of His abilities we are able.