Monday, November 15, 2010


“Flower Hitter.”

That was my nickname in elementary school.

It’s not meant to be flattering.

You see, every Friday afternoon in 6th grade, we would take time off from our studies, we’d leave the stuffy confines of the classroom, and go outside to play softball.

I had kind of a love/hate thing with Fridays.

I loved it because we girls got to wear pants to play softball. Yes, these were the days when wearing anything other than a dress or skirt to school was taboo (if you were a girl – somehow, because of the current trends in fashion, I felt that I needed to clarify that…)

So, the teacher would dismiss the girls about 10 minutes before “softball time” to go and change into PANTS!!

Fun, right?

Yes – but I also hated Fridays.

Why? Because I was terrible at softball.

Every time I would get up to bat, EVERYONE would "play shallow." The outfielders would move WAY in – almost to the baselines. The shortstop would pull up even with the pitcher. All of this “jockeying around” was unnecessary really. I almost ALWAYS struck out.

It was customary to do a little “trash talking” – hence, I became “Flower Hitter.”

“Hey, batter, batter – C’mon, “Flower Hitter” – see if you can get it to me. Swing, batter, batter. Awww, “Flower Hitter” struck out…”

Evidently, in those un-politically correct days, such heckling was not considered bullying, hazing, or cruel.

But, it hurt…a lot. (Got your hankies out?!)

This stigma stuck with me. I love sports – I really am a fanatic – but to this day, I’ve never been much of a baseball fan.

Fast forward to college.

A bunch of people in our college group at church thought it would be great fun to play…softball…on Sunday afternoons. Oh boy… I thought my “Flower Hitter” days had been pressed tightly between the pages of the past – never to be resurrected again!

What to do?

I asked my best friend, Jim, if he would meet me at the park a couple of hours ahead of time. He agreed. And, special friend that he was, he patiently pitched ball after ball at me – coaching me on the intricacies of hand-eye coordination.

I started connecting – I started to have confidence.

And then…it was game time.

My first “up” was scary. Everyone scooted in. I started hearing the voices again from my past. “Flower Hitter” was here…

I whiffed the first two pitches…

Oh no.

But then I looked over at my friend, and he gave me a “thumbs up” and a great big ol’ smile.

I steeled myself, I squared my shoulders, I planted my feet – the ball came in – and I SWUNG…


The sweetest sound ever heard!

I ran like a banshee around first, and came into second base standing up! A solid DOUBLE!!

I glowed…

I can’t remember my hitting average that day, but I do know this. No one played shallow anymore when I came up to bat. “Flower Hitter” meant something different now. It meant I could hit a ball to where the flowers grew in the outfield!

My spiritual lesson in all this?

It’s the lesson of how to approach life. There are many challenges we face as believers. We’re called “up to bat” so often. And the enemy is right there – heckling, jeering, taunting, bullying. He tells his little devil team to "play shallow." This one’s a “flower hitter,” he cackles.

But we can beat this guy!

Do what I did –

1. Ask for help. “I will strengthen you and help you.” (Isaiah 41:10)
2. Practice, practice, practice. “Forgetting the past…I press on to reach the
end of the race…” (Philippians 3:13-14)
3. Have a buddy to cheer you on. “The church…became stronger…And with
the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew…” (Acts 9:31)

Before you know it, we’ll be “hittin’ taters!”

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this one. Once again, I suspect we are two halves of a whole something-or-other separated at birth.

    (Of course, since you're over fifty and I'm not...
    Never mind.)

    I have a similar story that I almost included in my simple pleasures post about my big sister. She was the one who encouraged me to face my baseball fears.

    I relate to every part of this, even the pants at school part. I love how you compare Satan to the jeerers. That's exactly what he does to me, especially on certain topics.

    You hit the flowers with this one, Sharon.
    (Hey! I think I just thought of a name for your devotional book: Aiming for Flowers and Hitting Taters. Pretty good, huh? )

    I'll title mine Snaps for Jesus.

    Another wonderful post.

  2. Flower hitters surely smell sweet, right? ;)

    You are so right that we need to listen to our encouragers and to the truth that God will strengthen us! Great analogy!

  3. Hi Sharon -

    This is dynamite! It hit a home run with me because the Lord ministered to me last night about some of what you have said here. Glory.
    Thank player, Sharon!!!

    I posted new photos last night. And a new post today, "JEWISH MATTERS."

  4. This is so good, Sharon. I actually was
    very good in softball though I don't like
    sports at all.
    I'm so glad the Lord is always there to
    strengthen and help us in every area of

  5. Hi Sharon,
    Good post, good comparisions, I was and I am hopeless at any kind of sport. I was never wanted on anyone's team at school. But now I am glad to be part of the Jesus Team, and you are right, Satan does oppose and hit back. Praise God we are already on the victory side.

    God bless - Nita

  6. Standing up cheering!! Yeah!! I can relate to those early days of being a flower hitter. You brought this around with a spiritual application that we can all use in our daily lives. Thank you for being such a blessing.

  7. I love your post I do everyday, Sharon!
    You know, although I was actually pretty coordinated in sports, I think we can all identify those areas in our life where Satan knows exactly where to attack, and rub salt in those wounds of our yesteryear...thanks for the encouragement for the day....Satan can go to know where!
    Love you!

  8. Fabulous, again fabulous story. I know exactly how your felt! I can't belive it. And the answer is true as well.

    I still can't throw a ball very hard!!!!!!

    love, sandie

  9. I wasn't very good at sports either so I can totally related to your thoughts and I can also remember the time when girls could not wear pants to school :)

    I think we were on the same wave length sort of with our blogs today. I think the point is we need to remember who we are in God's eyes and not let anyone get us down with the words used or the enemy's thoughts he places into our mind. Very good words today Sharon :)


  10. Great devotion. I'm so glad I never got to play baseball when I went to school. I was terrible at all the ball sports.

  11. Debbie - Yes, I believe we were separated at birth. The age difference - (BTW, thanks for bringing that up) - frozen embryos maybe?! Satan is a terrible heckler...especially on certain topics - don't I know it! But I'm kinda sick of listening to him. Let's get "up to bat" in SPITE of what he says - you with me?! (Love the title! Really. And yours just HAS to be "Snaps for Jesus." I'm going to be the first one to buy it - but only if it's autographed!)

    Glowin Girl - Glad you liked this! Yup, "Flower Hitters" do indeed smell sweet - with the pure aroma of their Savior! And I'm going to make it a point to listen closer to the encouragers! I like what they're saying better than the hecklers in the bleachers!

    Sandra - YAY! I just love it when God gives me a "timely" message! And thanks for the "star player" name! That felt pretty good! (Went over earlier to your blog - and saw the photos, too - beautiful!)

    Sandy - Even though you were good at softball, I know that you would NOT have been one of those people "playing shallow." You are an encouraging friend, and I'm so glad I know you! God is always there to help and strengthen - we're so blessed!

    Nita - I love what you said - we're on the Jesus Team!! And that game is ALREADY won! The enemy will try to convince us otherwise - his taunts are so effective. But, we have a better Coach, don't we?! (FYI - I would have picked you for my team - ANY day...)

    Joyfull - Oh thank you! I heard your cheering! It makes me happy to have God use me to speak His words to others. I am blessed to be a blessing!

    My replies will continue in the next comment - (because I hate that stupid Google - URI Too Large thing - what's that all about anyway???)

  12. Janet - I'm with you. Not a big Satan fan. And one of his FAVORITE ways to attack and defeat us is by bringing up the PAST. He does indeed wound us, and then delights in the salt-rubbing. He's got his day coming, though. I have a feeling that we'll be on the winning team that day!! Love you, too!

    Sandie - Glad you liked this one. I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone - but it makes me feel better that you understand. I used to be able to throw a ball pretty good (it was just my hitting that was terrible). However, I can pitch a fit pretty good...just sayin'

    Betty - I read your post. It was really special. And yes, we were thinking along the same lines. You have the KEY! Remember who we are in God's eyes, don't listen to people who put you down, don't believe the enemy's lies. Play the game with all your heart, pay attention to the Coach - and know that we win this game!

    Andrea - Thanks for that! I so appreciate your visit, and your kind comment! We're all in this together, aren't we? Playing for the Lord with all our hearts...

    Lynda - you got to miss the humiliation, huh?!? LOL. I'm sure you know what I was talking about though. And I know that you are on God's Team, and that you are a star hitter!!

    Thanks everyone! So glad you came over to visit today!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)