5 Lessons Learned While Sitting on the Sidelines

Over the past few weeks I’ve listened and watched as myself and the women like me succeed and struggle through the ups and downs of another football season. I’d like to offer some validation and solace in these moments.

There is a reason God is asking us to sit. I seem to always turn to the scripture, Mark 5:36 for just about anything. “Be not afraid, just believe.” Believe there’s a plan for all this chaos during the season. Listen to the world around you and find your place in it as we sit at games. Introduce yourself to the new wife who’s joined the clan, reach out to the student who needs the invitation to be mentored about life after school, or simply listen to your own thoughts and understand your purpose in this season.

Just because we’re “behind the lines” doesn’t mean we’re not front of mind. The picture at the top of this article is of my husband’s left hand. If you were able to back up about 20 feet and listen in, you’d see that he has several hundred students in front of him and the sound in the stadium is deafening. Sometimes I must remind myself that “in this picture” I need to zoom in and remind myself, he’s married to me. He comes home to me. This is his job and the place that makes his life’s work worth it. Sometimes I feel forgotten to meetings, events, practices, and the million things in between, but his vow to partner with me through this life isn’t a promise of quantity of time, but quality of soul sharing, and I need to focus on that.

You be You. That’s Okay. Some of us work in a building, others work at home. Some of us cook huge dinners for the team and others struggle with getting a bag of potato chips down our toddler’s gullet. We cannot make every game and event while juggling the life we have at home and at work. These strains make us human, and we take it out on others, even those that do not deserve it. Not a single person I know would admit to waking up each day and saying “Hey! Let’s fail this one, ok?”. I firmly believe if I were to give myself a little more leeway when defining what I should be achieving, I’d be much happier.  I cannot succeed at everything. It’s in our wiring to want to be perfect while making the world a better place – and being human, we fall short of that utopia, and that’s perfectly okay.

We protect our clan. We’re mama bears, don’t mess with us. But if that means staying silent as some unruly parent flexes their jaw muscles in our presence, we must remember that grace takes all shapes and forms. Humans are icebergs and we never know what someone is going through, and today they took it out on our partner. It’s hard to not strike back, especially when it’s it front of our kids and they don’t quite understand adult misgivings. The best we can do is protect ourselves, realizing that we do not know what that person is going through in their own life. While our husband doesn’t deserve the backlash, it’s temporary and unfounded at best.  My husband often tells me that he doesn’t sit at my desk at work to protect me, so I can’t do that at “his office” either.

Rise up in this is amazing space we have been gifted. Look around. There are usually only a handful of others like you. Just as our partner is saddled with extraordinary tasks, so are we. While his requirements for success sometimes act as a burden on the things we cannot do in life, we must remember this is what we were called to do. At the end of the day, this is our life too. We cannot forget that achieving our own goals in this space is far from impossible and sometimes even helped by this unique situation we have been destined to. Each season’s chaos may set us back a few steps but continue to forge on and succeed at your life – comparing ourselves to others and “the norm” only slows our progress.

The musician Macklemore has an interesting lyric from his song, Glorious.

“Another morning, a morning, don’t let self get in my way, I got my breath, I got my faith, and I remember why I came”.

Continue to remember why you show up – for your husband. Keep the faith that each day God wants to deliver you a happy person and family. Play on ladies, you got this.

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