Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Breathe {inspiration for wednesdays}

Inspire and Encourage...Breath and Heart.  To put breath and heart into someone (who may be unable on their own) takes intention, consistency and a louder voice than anything else around.

This last weekend we got to travel with our daughter's volleyball team to a tournament in Spokane.  It was a HUGE tournament and our team is...well...let's just say we are up-and-coming but not really great yet.  I didn't expect much but thought it would be a good chance for the girls to get better individually and as a team.  Plus, I assumed it would be a good time to connect with other parents.

What ensued on the first day of play was nothing less than a slaughter of our team.  We played horribly, the girls didn't communicate with each other, and I watched the morale become the consistency of mud with each mistake made and point lost.  The girls were frustrated and the voices in their heads of "failure", "mistake" and  "I should have..." knocked the wind out of them and stomped on their heart.

Breath and Heart...we need them to survive, but sometimes the voices of failure are louder.  It is in those times we need a strong voice from the outside cheering us on.

On the second day, we were lucky enough to be in a gym with only 1 court (the gym the previous day had about 10 or 12 courts!) and small bleachers for the parents to sit on.  As the girls warmed up, something "magical" began to happen.  I am not sure if it is because we had reached a critical mass of bodies or if we had some pent up aggression that NEEDED to come out, but the parents began to cheer, yell, hoop and holler!!  We made noise, so much that other teams' parents were kind of mad at us, and our voices became louder than anything else on that court...including the thoughts in the girls' heads.

Inspire and Encourage...Breath and Heart.  We chose to breathe life into them when they couldn't do it themselves and didn't let negative voices strip away their heart.  We got louder, and louder, and louder.

It was a different team that played on that second day.  We still lost almost every game, but attitudes were better, communication was better, the scores were closer and they were able to shake off the mistakes and give it all they had out on the court.  They played with Heart and full of Breath!!

On the third day, we were in the same court again and we parents were ready to give every last bit of energy to being the loudest voices our girls heard.  In one of the matches, the ref even had us switch sides at the end of a set (with our girls) because he needed to "balance out the ringing in his ears".  The girls played magnificently, giving everything they had out on the court...and we sat on the bleachers, giving everything we had to put some Breath and Heart into them.

Inspire and Encourage...Breath and Heart.  Eventually both of these things need to come from within us.  We need to be able to shake off the mistakes and failures, take a breath and have courage to continue.  However, until that moment comes, we need voices of inspiration and encouragement (breath and heart) that are louder than the ones that want to beat us up.

Our girls won their division that day.  They are still not a great team...they have MUCH to learn. But I am hoping they are learning to listen to our voices - the ones that inspire and encourage - instead of voices of failure.  As I left the tournament, I was exhausted and my husband had no voice left.  We were sweaty, tired and felt like we had played alongside the girls!!

And then I thought that this is how life should be!  I wondered who in my life was listening to the voices of failure and mistakes and needed a MUCH louder voice to shout words of inspiration and encouragement at them.  I realized that sometimes I need to be a loud voice in someone's life for a LONG time...and I'll be exhausted, sweaty, and spent in the process.  But, it is all worth it...when the voices of inspiration and encouragement go from being loud voices outside their heads to being THE voices in their heads, then we have done our work.  We leave hoarse and tired but delighted to see someone living from a place full of Breath and Heart!

Who needs to hear you cheering for them today?

No comments: