God knows I am a broken record. I spice up our conversations with new material now and then. But, most of the time, I default to what He has heard me say a million times before…my most fervent heart’s desire:
Please help our kids recognize the gifts and abilities you’ve given them, and give our kids the desire and discipline to use and improve those gifts in a way that honors you.
Please help the kids to know you speak in real time, and to be able to distinguish the sound of your voice.
That’s it. Those are the two blessings I have asked God to lay on my kids for as long as I’ve been working the mother gig. I heard one time that you’re not supposed to keep asking God for the same thing over and over, because He knows. That has not stopped me.
The reason I ask God to give our kids some special help with hearing Him is because I have found this particularly difficult to do in my life. Scott and I are both very indecisive (for different reasons); coming to a concrete resolution on what manner in which we should proceed on any matter, large or small, is excruciating. Ask our kids. Figuring out where to go for lunch, or what yard game to play is always complicated.
Scott is burdened by his desire to make the EXACT. RIGHT. CHOICE. One of his worst fears is regret. I am burdened with something else. I want EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. TO. APPROVE. Wait. I take that back. Scott is also burdened with making the world happy. Poor guy. He suffers a double whammy of decision making impairment.
I guess I am saying our only real trouble with making choices is that our choices must be PERFECT, and the choice must make everyone in the world happy.
How can we go wrong?
Let’s agree we have some issues.
I want our kids to have finely tuned God radar, because hearing is hard. There is so much background noise.
I am one of those loons who believes God knows us. Like, not just He is vaguely familiar, because He created us type of knowing either. I think He actually participates in our lives. He CAN direct our paths. My belief should solve our decision making problems, shouldn’t it? If I know God is leading and I am following, no second-guessing, hand wringing, or anxious thoughts are required.
When Scott and I made the decision to move to Sauk Prairie we were hardly confident in that decision. This feels like it could be right. Do you think it is right? How do we know it’s right? I don’t know. Maybe it’s not right.
It was right.
Scott has made three big career decisions in our lives. All three have been painful. The source of our pain was leaving something that made us happy. It’s easy to close the door and leave a place you don’t like. It’s scary to leave a place you love. Very uncomfortable.
This summer, Scott and I started talking about what it would be like to have both our sons wrestling in college, and how we would feel about not being able to follow them and watch them wrestle. Then, we talked about how Scott would feel about NOT being a head wrestling coach at Sauk Prairie anymore. Hmm. Two bad choices.
At the end of the summer Scott was given the honor of inducting one of his former wrestlers into the Hall of Fame. This young man was a Division 1 wrestler all through college, and is now a teacher and a coach himself. His wife and children delighted me with their gentle, funny ways; it was plain this young man strives for (and achieves) excellence in every facet of his life.
Scott shared with his former wrestler a bit about our crossroads. This young man asked Scott two questions, and shared one statement:
Will your sons have more than one college wrestling career?
Is it possible for you to be a head wrestling coach again?
I was a 22-year-old man wrestling in college and I NEVER grew out of my desire to have my parents watch me wrestle. It meant everything to me, and it would have felt like there was no point without them.
Sometimes you hear God’s still small voice coming out of the mouth of a young man you trust. God used this young guy to give Scott some clarity. Once the wisdom of these words settled into Scott’s heart, he started to accept a new future.
Scott is stepping down as head coach of the Sauk Prairie Eagles after 14 of some of the most amazing and fun-filled years of our lives. Our legs were shaky and our hearts raced at the beginning of this journey. We had three little kids, and little confidence that we were capable of honoring God with what he had given us in this new place.
He carried us.
I have a montage of memories playing in my mind. Memories of the faces we have grown to genuinely love and consider our family in the past years. When Eddie was sick, our Sauk Prairie wrestling family covered us with their generosity and care. Their love helped sustain me.
Many of the young men that Scott coached are still in our lives; we find ourselves cheering for them as they succeed in life. They give us advice.
In my montage I see a little, stocky Eddie, his shadow, Zeke, and the pack of rascals the boys hung out with then, watching the big Varsity Boys wrestle. I see these little guys doing push ups after every varsity win. Now I see these same boy faces on older, stronger bodies. They’re wearing Varsity Eagle warm ups, and they are fighting together to win a Team State Title at the Field House.
Some of my dearest friendships were born in the bleachers as we all cheered for each others’ sons, while rooting for a common goal. I won’t get tired of replaying these memories.
The timing for Scott’s decision is right. Not only because Scott wants to watch his sons wrestle. We also can tell it is time to rest.
Do you know what happens to your body when you are…say, faced with an angry bear? Or, see a truck barreling down the road, aiming for your offspring? There is a biological response that takes over called “Fight or Flight”.
When you see that bear, adrenaline floods your nervous system, your pupils dilate, your heart rate increases, you are temporarily possessed with unique energy to improve your odds of survival. You are hyper alert. You want to know the only thing you can NOT do in fight mode? Sleep. Or, relax.
Fight or flight mode is designed for rare occasions. It is a back up plan meant for emergencies, it cannot be sustained as your default mode.
Scott does not possess the inner workings to exist as head coach in a state of Zen. Scott’s been fighting a bear for 14 years. He needs a nap.
I have always been a fan of introspection. I want to know the hows and whys of things. I feel like there is so much to learn there. I have always been interested in more than just the facts. That is why I wanted to share with our friends and family how we got here.
It is silly though. In the larger scheme of life, Scott’s decision to step down as head coach affects no one. Statistically speaking, the impact of this decision in the scope of humanity, registers a “0”.
“Scott coaches? Good for him. Who is Scott, by the way?” (Direct quote from nearly every person in the world).
What I have written here is for the people we love and care about who have some of the same pictures I have rolling through the montages in their minds. I have written these words for all the people rolling up their sleeves, pitching in and working together; to all the people who donate so many hours and so much effort to help grow something special.
I’ve also written these words for the sweet, tough faces of the ones who are right now watching the big kids, doing push ups, and planning their own dominant reign as an Eagle. All these people have their own stake in something good, and my words are for them.
Keep working and planning, my friends. That dream will be yours.
We are not going anywhere right now. Scott hopes to continue to serve the Eagles in whatever way is useful and helps the kids grow; any way that does not include being in charge.
We do not know exactly what God has for us next, and we know for SURE that we are not enough. But, thankfully, we do know God is.
In some cases, words just grossly under perform. That is the case now, as I try to find the right way to express gratitude for the treasure of people, lessons and memories we found when we walked into this community and wrestling program. These have been some of the best years of our lives.