Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Acceptance, Support, & Unity

The Pizza

Last week I had to attend a Red Cross certification course.  My children waited outside reading books for 3 hours!!  I promised them pizza when I finished.

I went to the drive-thru to order 4 hot-n-ready pizzas for my children who had HUGE appetites.  (My boys would be wrestling in a tournament that night, so I wanted to feed them well.)  At the window, the man looked past me at Jackson in the passenger seat.  Then he asked, "Is that Jax?"

I was highly surprised.  We weren't even in the town where we live!  We were 25 minutes away in Daytona Beach!  I asked him how he knew my son.  He answered, "He's in my Meteorology class at college."  Jackson had the hugest smile on his face.  He tries really hard not to draw any attention to himself in class.  He takes good notes, thanks the teacher after class, and quietly slips in and out of the classroom.

We were both surprised that he would even recognize Jackson- let alone know his name!!  I handed him my credit card and was shocked when the receipt reflected only half the price!  I thanked him profusely - we all did!  His classmate pointed at Jackson and said, "No… thank him!"

I have a feeling this fellow student was proud of little Jackson taking a class with adults and handling himself well.  He wanted to reward him… to let him know he was accepted among them.

Rolling the Mat

My boys wrestled in two different wrestling tournaments this weekend.  On Friday night, our school was in charge of it.  Late Friday night, after we came home, tears dripped from Jordan's eyes as he shared this story with me:

After the wrestling tournament on Friday, Jordan, the youngest member of the team was helping to roll up the mats.  He overheard a girl say, "He's doing it wrong!"  Then his teammate quietly responded to her, "I know, but don't tell him because it will hurt his feelings."  

After Jordan told me the story I asked him if he was crying because the girl said he was doing it wrong or because the boy stood up for him.  He teared up again and said, "I'm crying because he was so nice to me."

I hugged little Jordan and felt deep gratitude for the support he had received and continues to receive.  Those wrestlers cheer for my young boys and coach them on how to be better.

Tyson All Alone

Tyson related this story to me after Saturday's wrestling tournament:

Tyson was sitting high in the bleachers all by himself.  While he sat, a middle school kid several years older than him made his way all the way to the top of the bleachers and said, "You're sitting alone.  Are you ok?'  Tyson assured him he was ok and that he was just getting mentally ready for his match.  The boy responded, "I just wanted to make sure you were ok."  Then he jumped down the bleachers to go practice.  

What a way to show acceptance, support, and unity within a team!!  These are middle-school aged boys who hardly know my kids… What a difference these small gestures make in the development of a young child!!

Wrestling Report:  Substitute Coaches!!

Remember last weekend when Jackson lost every match?  Remember when I said the boys had been highly inspired by other athletes?  Well…this weekend, Jackson won every single match on Friday night and every single match on Saturday!!!  

On Friday, Jackson placed 1st, Tyson placed 2nd, and Jordan placed 2nd.

On Saturday, at a different tournament…

Jackson placed 1st again, Tyson placed 1st, and Jordan placed 1st!!  All three boys pinned every single opponent!!!!!  

We were yelling and screaming.  Even more special, Abe is out of town, but Abe's parents and our primary president and her husband and children drove over an hour to come and support our boys.  The primary president's husband wrestled in high school, so he and Abe's dad crouched by the sidelines guiding the boys along through almost every match.  Again… these same words come to mind… the acceptance, support, and unity of our church family helped our boys achieve great things this weekend!!

I thank God for the opportunity to see the power of these simple acts reaping MAGNIFICENT results.  

The Run

Because the kids were doing so well, I decided to devote more time at home training them to become even stronger.  We've been running a few miles a day on top of their wrestling work-out.  Mariah bikes half-way with us and then runs home while I push the stroller with her bike balanced on top of my double-jogger stroller.    

She was struggling to keep up with the boys on our last run.  I looked up, and this is what I saw… 

I could have dropped to the ground and cried right there.  It was a joyful moment to watch 8-year old Jordan pulling his little sister along so she could keep up.  He encouraged her just as he was encouraged by the older kids over the weekend.  

She giggled as she ran.  

I believe it's human nature that when a person feels accepted and supported, they want to pass that on to others.  Thank goodness!!  Let's keep passing it on!!!