You might want to grab a cup of coffee….this post is going to “take a minute”… ;)
Soooo….who’s mad at me for not updating ??!! [hanging my head in shame.] I’m sorry…I truly am. I have been a little overwhelmed, as we have been dealing with a series of….not really “setbacks” so much as problematic “snags”. For the past several months, Mia has been contending with an unexplained increase in pain as well as random high fevers. When she has a ‘flare up’, she spends about a week in bed until it passes. We are working closely with her pediatrician, her surgeon and now a rheumatologist to get some answers. We are trying to figure out if it is related to her hip dysplasia. We are blessed to have these people as well as all of you on our “team”….Team Mia. And, do not worry, God is in control, and I promise to do better at keeping her blog updated with what we find !!! ;) Never for a moment am I ever NOT grateful for your love and prayers! We all are. ;)
Now, while we are on the subject of “teams”, I want very much to share something with all of you.
Here in the USA, American football is very big….REALLY big….particularly on the College level. I am not pointing any fingers, since I myself have a love for the game. I grew up in a football family….my Dad coached, my brothers played, my Mom gave of her time/talents as a team Mom, and I cheered. I have a respect for team sports which my Dad shared with us…many things you need for life can be learned in playing a team sport. Things like teamwork, respect for authority, determination, perseverance, endurance, humility. (Yes, humility….take a string of losses and it will save you from an ego swell! Haha) So, while I’ve never actually played the game, I ‘get it’, I love it, I watch it, I learn from it! And, while neither my husband, nor I ever attended the University of Georgia, we are very much “Dawg” fans…both my Michael and I have family members who have graduated from UGA, and…well, once a GA family, always a GA family !!! ;)
While I have followed GA football for many years, and I have always had a healthy respect for past players and Coaches….I have a confession….none have touched my heart as much as our current Coach, Mark Richt has. I have not met him personally, but I have yet to hear from anyone who has met him that he is anything other than a genuinely good man. I think it is probably his courage to share his faith that first made me pay attention when he talked. With his permission, I want to share with you 3 little words, with 1 BIG message! “FINISH THE DRILL”. These are the words God gave Coach Richt to use to motivate his players and the other students….little did he know that God would use him and his words to motivate many others beyond the football field. Myself included. When I first heard those words, “Finish the Drill”, I had just begun a personal battle to lose weight. (they helped and I did….but, that’s another story for another day !! haha) That phrase resonated within me. “Finish the Drill”. When Mia was diagnosed with her hip dysplasia, again they surfaced, and in my heart I heard, “finish the drill”. We were given a brand new “drill”.
By its definition, a “drill” is (according to the online dictionary), “A task or exercise for teaching a skill or procedure by repetition.” And, here’s the important, critical thing….in order for a drill to be effective, you must have a GOAL !!! What is your goal? What are you working towards?
My earthly goal is simple. To have a happy, healthy little girl who can live, love and enjoy her life while glorifying God through it. For me to reach my goal it will take many drills to build my faith and to teach my Mia. And, in His infinite wisdom, God will allow me (and you!) to do it again and again and again until we get it right, and it becomes a part of our very nature. I’m grateful for this! So, so grateful.
On the surface, drills can sometimes seem pointless…and, they are exhausting! However, a specific drill is used in a specific situation to develop a specific attribute or ability. A drill done hard enough and long enough will rock you to your core, and make you reach into a place deep within your heart and soul to find the strength to finish it. (Football players everywhere are shaking their heads in agreement right now! hahaha…”death crawl”, guys ???!! hahaha ) Drills can lift you up, and take you to a higher place if you let them. That is what they are designed to do! That is their purpose! They ‘invade’ you, they permeate your being, mold you and push you to greatness.
And, let’s face it, the old adage is true, ‘anything worth having is worth working for.’
“Finish the Drill” means, knowing what (and who) you are fighting for and not losing sight of that. Despite how tired you may get….how many ‘blows’ you may take…how many setbacks you may have. You must start strong, stay strong, and finish STRONG! And, you can do this, because He promises to do it with you! He, God, is our Coach. He will lead us and guide us, encourage us and push us, because in the end that is what a good Coach does, but more importantly it is what a loving Father does. He hand- picked each of our drills…knowing the best one to develop in us what we would need to accomplish our goal. He has picked yours too. Whatever your “field of battle” may be….whether its hip dysplasia, some other illness, an addiction, a hurting heart….He knows. I promise you, He knows. And, He is with you, always! Will it be easy? No. Will you get tired? Yes. Will you want to give up? Absolutely!….. Will it be worth it? YES!!!!
I found an article recently, where Coach Richt talks about his job, and he is quoted as having said, “…I couldn’t do this job without His [God’s] strength, power, and wisdom. We all have a limitation to our knowledge and our strength, our stamina—whatever it is, we all have limits. Once we hit the limit, if we have nowhere to turn, that’s when we have despair and depression. But if we know God is there for us and we are connected to his power, we can keep going.” This statement is true in coaching… true in football....true in every, single aspect of life. If God didn’t believe you could do it, He never would have chosen you for the job. He does not ever set you up to fail. He says, “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
The field of hip dysplasia is an ugly place. Particularly here in the last few weeks, it has felt especially rough. Unfortunately, we have new people, new children taking the field for the first time, just beginning their fight. We have some who are deep within the 4th quarter. Others, like ourselves, are praying and waiting to hear the buzzer to signal that we’ve at least made it to half time. And, as I look around at my teammates, many of them are beaten and bruised. They are weary, and frustrated. And, we are all so very tired. So now, NOW is the time for you to reach within. Now is the time for you to dig deep and find within yourself the courage to continue. As one of my most favorite lines from one of my most favorite movies says, “…it’s all heart from here”. (Facing the Giants….if you haven’t seen it, check it out, and you will LOVE this scene !!!) Make the choice! Choose to fight! Choose to keep going! In time, you will win!
Know that throughout your battle, God will pick drills especially for you, yes, and sometimes, you will win….sometimes you will lose. How many W’s or L’s you have aren’t nearly as important as the amount of heart with which you fought, the experiences you drew from having fought, and the people you touched along the way. He will also give you incredible teammates, people who share the same ‘field’…those who will fight with you. Just remember to look around….. You’re not alone….not only are there teammates for you to rely on….there are many who are cheering you on, and your heavenly “Coach” and Father will never let you down!
Whatever the battle, fight hard and fight smart!
Protect your mind….do not allow things like doubt, fear and anxiety to take root and set up residence. They will deter you from your goal, and interrupt your drill. Exercise your knowledge!
Protect your words…..words have power! What you say, you will bring in to existence! If you say you “can’t”, then, you “won’t”….it really is that simple. Choose to stay positive. Exercise your will!
Protect your heart….safeguard against despair and depression. They have no place in a fighter like you. Exercise your hope!
And, protect your Spirit…..it is where God dwells with you, and in you, and through you. Exercise your love!
I want to thank Coach Richt for allowing me to share his ‘motto’ with all of you. I am grateful for the encouragement and strength I have received from them, and since they are words which I believe have been inspired by God, I hope that you will find in them the strength you need to look deep within and find whatever tools you may need in your personal battle.
When you get tired….when you feel you can’t take another step…when you feel that you are losing hope, remember…..I believe in you….I believe in the one who made you….I know you can do it !!!
Now, go….live life….have faith…….and FINISH THE DRILL !!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)
Oh, and lest we forget…….GO DAWGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)
With a Mamma's grateful heart,