Goodbye Friday Lights

October 28, 2013

I see it in your eyes as you are standing there after the last home football game. You have a knowing and I can see it there as we hug on you after the last of the crowd goes by. It’s friday night, it’s the ending of a season in your life and you are soaking in the last moments of it. With clear eyes and full heart you are saying goodbye to high school football.
I wonder if you hear my past words somewhere in your mind. “It’s your gift,”  I’ve repeated those words for years now.
When you were just months into the very first season of football. I said them. A mother that tries to preach with encouraging words since she really doesn’t know what playing on that field is like. “It’s your God-given gift. We all have been given talent from above. God makes us each unique, gifted with a talent to use in this world and I think your’s is football.”

A mother can encourage with words like these and I’ve said them often over the years as you’ve grown from that small little football player with the white cleats when everyone else wore black ones.You had style from the start. You were called “White Shoes” by a beloved coach in those early years. Those shoes stood out so that my worried eyes could easily pick you out of a pile of boys all sprawled out on that field.  I’d see the white shoes pop right back upright and my heart breathed relief each time you’d keep on running. And always after my  proud words used  to encourage you’ve  been humble. No matter the points scored, no matter the game played, always and still humble even as a senior shining under the Friday night light.

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Still wearing those white shoes to honor that sadly missed coach who was called home to heaven too soon. I see it in your clear eyes and full heart, you are saying goodbye to high school football  as you think of all those little eagle moments. Your eyes show the knowing that lessons learned on the gridiron have gone way beyond what the score board shows. You know God works in ways you will never understand. Like the calling to heaven not only that little eagle coach but also a too young, much loved team-mate. Life is full of loss and saying goodbye is hard.

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And while your team shows amazing character by the never quit attitude and the amount of heart played with each play,still you know that it’s not really about winning or losing. You say “YOLO.”  I say it’s about using the one life God’s given you to live as full as you can because that’s how God would have it, living full in the gift. He gave you talents to live life full, to run fast, to play hard, to never give up and to just keep living. To keep popping right back up no matter how knocked down you feel. No matter the hurt of all the loss,games, coach, friend, loss is hard and it hurts. But God is always there.  In all seasons.   

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And in this Senior season God would have it that those white shoes may not have carried you to the goal of a state championship season. But  instead, those white shoes have taken you from a small sometimes scared little boy, to a young man filled with courage, character, heart, grit and pride of team. You play for The United Eagles. Because united is how your team plays. Always together, a brotherhood of boys learning life is to be lived with a heart full, and the huge amount of courage it takes to keep getting up after you’ve been on the losing end of a hard-fought game. With clear eyes full heart you are saying goodbye to high school football.

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So, as this season comes to a close and our Friday nights will never be under the lights again, I will look back on these days and remember a humble clear-eyed full heart boy filled with a love for his team, a heart filled with a love for His God and I will remember how quickly that young man grew up right before my eyes while running hard in those white shoes.

We will miss the season you shined under the lights, but look forward to  the plans God has for you in the next season. With tears in my eyes and my full heart hurting just a little, I say goodbye with you to this football season and…hello God in the next season of life without White Shoes on the football field…

 

 

Photography courtesy of Snapshot Reiter

Copyright © 2011-2013 Hello Butter images & content

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Like It’s Last

August 25, 2012

“Play each game like it’s your last, and don’t forget to pray” I hollered to him as he was leaving for the Friday night lights. He just smiled at me big with an agreeing yes and hopped in the truck to go live life full as a young life should.

For five years we have been living this new motto of living each moment to the fullest. Last night was just another reminder of why.

Claire had a seizure while watching her big brother run fast and play hard. Life is like that. Hard times come from no where. Hard times can hit you at any time, any place and almost always when you least expect, even on the sidelines of a football game.

I hate these seizures! They can have a tendency to make me want to seize up in life. When Claire suffers through one, I suffer along with her. Any one who is witness to these horrific episodes also suffer with her. But then, there is Grace! I can only stay calm when I am breathing His Grace.

“And don’t forget to pray!”

Knowing the only way to live each moment full is by breathing Grace and praying for the peace that can only come when living full in God. Which means living full in the knowing that He is in control of this breathing life.

We are reminded life is fragile and passes so quickly. We have to play each game like it’s the last and yes it can be very hard, but the reward is God’s peace, joy and a heart full of love.

We breathe Grace, live love and just keep on playing and praying.

He holds our lives in his ever capable hands, even when I am holding her while we wait for her to wake up to shine that smile so bright. And wake up she did, all smiles, all better, all happy and all ready to say hello life with her reassuring thumbs up smile this morning I can say… Hello God in each play of this game…Hello Butter

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