I sat in the minivan. Parked in front of third base. Kids buckled in. An older model blue Kia Sedona, my BFF refers to her as “ole blue”. Cars become sentimental and there is a reason. My BFF gets it, she has 3 kids of her own. So if your car isn’t sentimental yet have a few kids. It happens!!
It was my husbands last home game. School offcials had already pulled Coach into the polished conference room and announced he would be the one moving to the elementary school. We knew, school officials knew, but his players didn’t know yet. I knew it might be best for me to watch from the car. I didn’t know if I could bear sitting in the bleachers on that field knowing that it would be my last. My husband was handling this much better than I. Some of you may know the beginning of our story but in case you don’t I will give you a quick synopsis.
New coach moves to town to coach baseball team.
College girl comes home every weekend.
College girl’s little sister is dating the catcher.
Sister needs ride to baseball game. Big sister is willing because there is a new coach.
Coach and college girl meet.
You could say the rest is history 😉
Our first unofficial date was to the coffee house one night after a baseball game. Pancakes at 10pm. Baseball was the life for me. Ha!
Ronnie and I had a fairly short courtship. We didn’t even make it to the next baseball season and He had proposed.
And then we married before his third season. On open weekend of football season. I’m not kidding. And its not funny. Remember coach’s wife was the life for me :p
Parenthood came shortly after. I set on bleachers. Large and with child. I’m short and can’t breathe when I’m pregnant. Add steel baseball bleachers. I loved watching him coach though!! Big belly, shortness of breath, and swollen ankles. It was worth it!
Add a few kids into the mix and it really got interesting. By the time we had our third I was a pro at changing a diaper in the baseball grass. It got interesting though when I would change a diaper and look over to see three year old Max knee deep in the creek looking for a baseball. I forfeited a lot of games worried coach’s family was more of a distraction than a cheering section!
On those nights alone at home I would pray. Pray for my hubby, as a coach, a leader, someone the boys could learn from! If I couldn’t have him home with me I wanted God to be making the best of my man on the feild. I would run the bath caboose. Raise my hands in praise when I finally got them all in bed. Perhaps I felt a little like wonder woman. “My hubby may be getting ready for state playoffs but I just won the battle against 3 of his mini me’s.” Hear me ROAR!!! Bahaha!!
So there I was was. Last game. Kids kept asking me why we were staying for the whole game. “Mom, why are we buckled in the car? Can we get out? I want to see dad coach. Why aren’t you talking to us? MOM!!”
The whole ten years kept flashing before my eyes. My man. His passion. That field. All his work and no choice in the matter, it was over. Looking back it didn’t really seem real. I had wanted him home more our whole marriage so why wasn’t I happy about this? Ronnie was taking it with such an awesome perspective. He was being sent to where our daughter was finishing her first grade year. Our son would start Kindergarten there in the fall.
“Tarren, it’s gonna be good. I am gonna take the kids to school everyday. I get to help Max start Kindergarten. God has a plan.”
I rested there.
And it was good. Mountain View Elementary was a place of rest for us. The family of teachers took my hubby in like he had been there forever. He won over all the great cooks! They brought him cakes, and food, and loved him like nothing I had seen before. He also gained 10 pounds. Ha!! Ronnie was right down the hall from my kids and that brought me such comfort and peace knowing he was there. But afternoons were different. He no longer went to the field. He came home and every afternoon was the same. We took turns running kids to after school activities. We did homework but everyday felt the same. The bounce in his step was becoming less bouncier. My husband is a cheerful, positive, and light in our home. But I could see it. He was in a fog. Spring quickly approached. For the first time EVER, he would not be playing ball during spring break and we were able to plan a getaway.
We started to really pray about what the Lord would have for our lives. Ronnie had applied in his hometown before but doors had never opened. Just to keep things short, we began to pray about seeking God’s will for Ronnie in coaching. I truly believe Ronnie is made for coaching. And as his wife I knew he needed to believe it wasn’t over. So we began to believe it. God would bring it back, his passion, the dirt, a team, the field, all of it.
So we prayed.
That God would either slam doors shut in our face.
Or open them so wide all we could do is walk. It wasn’t just about me and him. We have three littles. This could change their entire life so we NEEDED clear direction.
Doors closed. More doors closed. And then one swung open. And another. And more. But that is another post.
A few weeks ago he came home. Cap on, school shirt boldly stating his role, baseball dirt up to his knees. We finished dinner and the bedtime routine. He sat on the couch, with his clipboard. Said he was gonna have to make cuts. I said “What? In middle school?! Well that’s awful! Can I coach the ones you are gonna cut?!” Yes i know it has to happen but the softie in me doesn’t like it. I want everyone to get the job but that’s not reality.
He told me he was gonna keep him.
The boy that needs to stay out of trouble. Coach said he isn’t really sure about his skill but he’s sure this boy needs a team. For privacy sake, Let’s call him Joshua.
Yes Coach. Yes. Speaking my language. I love this coach.
16-2. ouch again.
After the second loss my hubby met me at the other field. The one his son plays on. (Still can’t believe life is coming full circle over here! I am a parent on the diamond, no way. I am still 23. Right.) My hubby sits beside me. Look of defeat all over him.
God whispered the verse. Remind him Tarren. What is unseen. Eternal. Focus on me. And what is unseen.
So I gathered up all the guts I could and spoke it to my man.
People say this don’t matter. Its just middle school, this doesn’t go on your coaching record. This is not coaching career material. The scoreboard says lost. Loser. Defeat. The skill says you are behind.
God says what is unseen is eternal.
God keeps score based on the heart. His people. Focus on his people. Encouraging one another. Building one another up. Becoming a brother to your brother. Speaking life to the ones who don’t hear life much.
And then this week you won. 12-1.
Maybe it was Joshua’s first win. His parents probably won’t make it to a game but coach won’t miss a game. Coach believes in him, and maybe because of that he will start to believe in his self. Joshua has decided being a part of a team is pretty cool. He likes being around coach. Coach yells a lot but he yells because he cares. Life outside baseball can be hard but baseball is good. Baseball is structured and somewhat predictable. Joshua begins to see the fruit of self discipline.
Maybe tonight Joshua laid in bed and decided he was really glad coach kept him on the team. Even if his skill lacked.
God wants you on his team.
Even if you lack the skill.
Skill is seen, the heart is unseen. But with God that is where it all lies.
A step of faith for us. God’s plan unfolding.
Hey coach, I’m honored to be on this journey with you.
Baseball dirt and all. <3
“So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18