Spring always brings flowers, sunshine, and rain in the South. It feels like everything starts blooming all at once and colors start filling the dreary woods and yards over night. The days get warmer and longer…flip flops come out and shorts become a daily necessity. People all over the South tend to get busier… and busier! The list of things to do is off the charts and most folks race from can to can’t trying to get it all done. Don’t roll your eyes…you know it true!
For me, the Spring brings one of my favorite past times: Travel Volleyball. I fell in love with volleyball in August of 1992. I tried out for the Jr. High school team at the beginning of my 7th grade year…that tryout was the beginning of a love affair that is still going strong today. Although, I admit there was a good eleven year pause during this love affair that I really wish I could take back.
Four years ago my college volleyball coach stopped me in the Walmart parking lot and asked me to consider coaching one of the teams for the local volleyball club in our area. I was way more than interested, so I told her I would think about it and let her know. After thinking about it for a few days, talking about it with Greg, and praying about it I decided that I absolutely did want to get involved by coaching. Now, two nights a week and many late Winter and early Spring Saturdays are filled with volleyball scattered all around Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia. I love it!
My family has had to endure the long practices, weekend trips, twelve to fifteen hour tournaments, and tired Mama a lot, because volleyball is my guilty pleasure! It is my hobby. I coach because I love to coach. I spend time with the girls on my team(s) because I love spending time with those girls. I watch game after game in between my own team’s games because I love to watch the skills and competition. Volleyball is fast paced and never (rarely) boring.
I want to share my love for this sport with you for a variety of reasons. First, this blog tells my story…and my story is full of volleyball! LOL Most of the time only a few people actually see me or know that I am consumed with this sport during the spring except for those who are also consumed with it! We are a tight knit group.
Second, I hope it gives one of you the courage to do what makes you happy in life. Like I said before, I coach volleyball because EMILY wants to. Yes, it affects my family. Yes, it makes me tired. Yes, it takes up a lot of my time. Yes, I am busier than I really should be this time of year….BUT, I enjoy it. Enjoying life MATTERS. Choosing to do the things in life that you as a person enjoys MATTERS!!
So many people…and by people I mean (mostly) WOMEN sacrifice who they are as individuals because they become wives, mothers, full-time employees, homemakers, and shuttle drivers. We all fall into that trap that says we have to put everyone else first and forget about who we are…what we like….the things we enjoy doing…all because someone else deserves it more than we do. Listen to me: I call bull crap on that kind of thinking!!
I spent several years putting everyone else first. I sacrificed my health, my time, my money, my happiness, my enjoyment in life because I honestly believed that I didn’t deserve to “waste” time or money on myself. That’s pitiful! How many of you can relate to that way of thinking? I’m betting a whole bunch of you can relate.
God says that we are made with a purpose. We are all created to LIVE life, not endure it. Four years ago, I decided that I wanted to do what made me happy…and thank goodness I did! Who knew at the time, that I would need my volleyball family and schedule to keep me busy this year? Who knew that the confidence and self-assurance I have in myself from playing a team sport would be the exact character traits I would need to believe in myself again when my world fell to pieces? I didn’t know it then…but I know it now.
Please don’t put yourselves on the back burner in YOUR LIFE! Please don’t fall for the devil’s trap that says you are “too busy, too broke, too unworthy” of enjoying things in your life ONLY for you. God gave you a personality for a reason. He designed you because He loves YOU. He gave you the blessings you have in life (family, friends, career, home, car, etc…), but He never asked you to sacrifice who YOU were in order to enjoy them. He gave you a desire to enjoy something that only YOU can get the full blessing from! Why do so many of us miss that point?
Oh, that’s right…because the devil does not want you to enjoy your life to the fullest. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy everything….and he is very successful in doing that to all of us hardworking, sacrificing, loving, busy women (and men!). He quietly steals our joy in lives and replaces it with stress, worry, and the mistaken belief that we are doing what we should be doing in life. That’s bull crap!
So, I’m calling all of you ol’ girls (and guys) out! Get out there and rediscover what it is that YOU enjoy in life. Think back to your childhood and remember what made your heart race…what made you excited about life? What dreams did you have that you secretly hid away when you became a “responsible adult”? Dig those babies up and start paying attention to them again. Give yourself a dose of the love and respect that you heap on everyone else. And, for goodness sakes DO NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!
Trust me when I say this: You are the ONLY person who can fully live YOUR life. Why are you allowing other people to live it for you?
I’m not telling you to neglect your responsibilities. I’m not telling you to leave your family or refuse to do things for them. I’m not saying that AT ALL. What I AM saying is that YOU have a life to live that really doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. God created you to enjoy certain things just because He knew YOU were the only one who would enjoy it the most! It makes Him happy to see you happy! He gives us life…and He gives it ABUNDANTLY.
Don’t let the devil guilt trip you into missing your biggest blessings. God sees YOU and He wants YOU to live YOUR life abundantly. It is OK to be intentionally selfish sometimes. It is not wrong to listen to your heart and choose JOY for yourself. It does not have to make sense, matter, or be up for discussion either. No one else knows what God wanted you to enjoy in life except for you and God…so why not ask Him to reveal it to you?
I am happy that I asked God to help me decide if coaching this team was what I needed to do or not four years ago. I didn’t set out with a specific goal in mind for my coaching involvement, but it hit me today that I have reached a goal. I know what makes me truly happy.
I think He wants some of you to find out what makes you truly happy as well. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t blindly walk through your life going through the motions because you think that’s what you are “supposed to do”. It’s NOT what you are supposed to do…and you are missing out on a whole lot of blessings by believing it is!
Get out there and find what you have been missing. Spend some time in prayer and ask God to show you what He designed in life just for you to enjoy. Then, open your eyes…straighten your shoulders…and allow yourself to enjoy whatever “it” is. Your families, co-workers, and friends will be so glad you did…and I know from personal experience: so will you.
My girls for the 2016 season: Katie, Kalea, Calli, Kalen, Tam, Bella, & Marley.
I’m including this next picture because it makes me happy…and it was taken after a volleyball tournament in Columbus, Mississippi. I don’t get to see my family at the farm as often as I would like, but this particular Saturday I was close to the farm and got to stop by when we were finished playing. Pretty good perk I’d say.
I am gonna do my best to persuade this little cutie to play volleyball one day as well!
Life is for the living…so get to LIVING Y’all!