I am a die-hard soccer mom. Have been for more years than I care to think, considering all six of our kids played the game. I get what it’s like to stand on the side-lines and scream “Shoot” at the top of my lungs. Or to gripe about a referee that is obviously blind or prejudiced against my child’s team. After years of watching, I understand offsides, goal kicks, throw ins, PKs and passing to space.
I don’t understand cheer moms.
But Saturday morning I had the incredible privilege of watching my granddaughter, Sydney, perform with her cheering club at a Central Florida competition. Syd slept in rollers for three nights running so we could figure out which ones would keep her hair the curliest, a requirement for this performance. We arrived at the convention center at 7 a.m. so each girl could be made up so you could see their eyes from a football field away. And after waiting an interminable amount of time, they finally went on stage to perform.
And it went off without a hitch.
What was particularly enjoyable was watching all the parents as they cheered their daughters’ teams on to smile bigger, flip higher, be more precise in their moves. And from the tiniest performers to the most practiced and advanced, everyone had a cheering section. Everyone was cheered, applauded and enjoyed. No matter how many mistakes a team made, how many trips or drops happened, everyone was celebrated.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if every one of us felt celebrated every day?
I asked Syd on the way home if she had been scared or nervous. She said a little, but she really enjoyed the competition. And I don’t think, at eight, she was thinking of all the hours of practice, the mistakes made, the corrections applied. I think what she enjoyed was being part of a group that was doing their best and was being rewarded for their efforts by effusive applause and whistles and screams. That made it worth it all. Her effort was noticed and appreciated.
We all want to be noticed and appreciated. We want to know that we count for something, not just for what we do but for who we are. God knows each of us completely and values us because He made us. In love. “Oh yes, You shaped me first inside, then out; You formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank You, Holy God–You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made.” Psalm 139:13 Often God’s efforts on our behalf are ignored–we’re unhappy about what we are, what we have, what we are able to do. But He never ignores us. His love isn’t based on what we bring to the table. We are each fearfully and wonderfully made for reasons far greater than we can imagine. What I long to do is remember daily that I am loved and enjoyed by the God of the universe. Because I am His.
Whether I’m a soccer mom or a cheer mom.