Tuesday, March 8, 2011



That was my oldest son’s season record one year – the year he played Club Roller Hockey.

And one of those "wins" was actually a forfeit. Seems that 12 and 13-year-old boys can’t grow full beards and look like college linebackers. Who knew? Turns out that "Mr. Actually 15-years-old" had done a little creative math – and his coaches had pulled some shenanigans with his birth certificate – (don’t you just hate it when the adults cheat???)

So, chalk one up in the wins column.

We traveled all over Southern California for games. Picture about twelve middle-school-aged boys, two coaches, and a host of family members along for the ride…

I remember eating at a restaurant in Thousand Oaks one night – "Table for 30, please…maybe in the back."

But I digress.

The traveling was fun.

The losing was not.

I remember B’s dad, their coach, trying to rally the troops – to keep up their morale. It was like watching a Sherpa tell a pack of exhausted climbers, "C’mon, Mt. Everest is a cake walk!"

I tried to tell my son to just have fun.

He didn’t buy it.

He knew who had the "killer instinct" in the family. And it wasn’t Coach Sherpa. It was the "short and sweet" lady in the stands – who was known to "occasionally" shout out, a la John McEnroe…

"What?! You’ve got to be kidding me! Hey Ref, leave those glasses at home again???"

Yeah, I was one of "those" moms.

But it was hard to watch a group of nice young boys try so hard – just to be defeated.

At one point, I finally gave my son the "Losing Builds Character" lecture.

You know the one. It includes such highlights as:

"Just do your best – that shows your character."
"It takes character to be the bigger man."
"Anyone can win. It takes character to lose well."
"Everyone loves a good sport – it shows character."
"It is better to have played and lost, than never to have played at all." (Actually, maybe that was the talk on love. Hmmm…)

I’ll never forget my son’s dear face, as he finally looked at me, let out a big sigh, and said…

"I think I’ve got enough character to last me for a while. Now I’d like to win."

I had to smile.

Because truthfully, I was having a hard time watching him build character – I wanted to win, too.

Do you ever feel discouraged as you live out your faith?

Does it ever feel like the score is woefully lop-sided?

Do you ever wonder why it has to be so hard?

Here’s some great, (but sometimes dreaded), verses from Romans 5:

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment."

Yup, those verses…

But, these words of Paul hold a tremendous message of en-couragement.

We are reminded that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome. We will experience difficulties – we’re going to lose some games, friends.

But we aren’t suffering in vain.

The difficulties will help us grow.

We don’t have to like hardships and trials – just like my son and I did not enjoy losing – but we can rejoice in them because God is at work in the midst of them.

He is using life’s troubles – AND Satan’s attacks – to build our character.

Because God really cares about our character – and He’s promised that there’s a trophy that awaits us at the end of our season in this lifetime…

So play hard – hang in there – do your best…

Perseverance is learned through difficult times, and perseverance will strengthen us. It will deepen our trust in God, and it will give us greater confidence about the future.

And that is a winning proposition.

Because here’s the only record you need to care about:

God and Me – 1
The Enemy – 0

Are you thanking God for the "tough stuff"?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Oh my yes I do have those times when I don't welcome the pep talk from my fellow believers. Put there is purpose in all things and it produces something in us that we can't obtain with always winning.

  2. Hi Sharon,
    I am, thanking Him, excellent post, in line a lot with my thinking today. Romans 5 one of the first scriptures I learnt. Hallelujah - Praise God.

  3. Hi Sharon -

    You, "a la John McEnroe"? Who knew? (smiles)

    We all must learn such lessons as you instructed your son. We are sometimes challenged by what is best...

    2 Corinthians 2:14 - KJV
    Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,...

    1 John 5:4 - KJV
    For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

  4. I have had and expect will have these times - but God doesn't give up. sandie♥

  5. So thankful we have a God who is a win-win!

  6. I know its in the tough times when we do the most growing, but sometimes I'd like a few winning seasons or longer ones before the "losses" start coming, but I guess that's when we trust that God does know what is best :)


  7. Ouch. This one hit a nerve this morning. I've been particularly whiney of late. Oh, I'm too careful to do it in too openly, but God and I kno all about it. I even mentioned to Denise that "I need to email Sharon about something..."


    Can you write one about those of us sitting on the bench who really just want to get into the game?


    Debbie the bench warmer

  8. Wanda - Oh, I know what you're saying! But I agree, though it's hard, the struggles do make us stronger, and produce a depth in our faith and our...character!!

    Nita - Romans 5 is a great reassurance, I agree. Difficulties do make us more like Christ, because they force us to rely on Him more. Glad this spoke to you today.

    Sandra - I love how you said that we are sometimes challenged by what is best. That's just so true. Loved your Scriptures - you always have the most appropriate words from His Word. Thanks for that!

    Sandie - Yes, indeed, God never gives up. I am so thankful for that - cuz I've had some losing seasons in my life!! (P.S. LOVE the new photo - such a cute Chatty!)

    Anita - YAY! Love how you put that! God is win-win. Absolutely. There are only winners in His Kingdom - even if we're a bunch of characters!

    Betty - I'm with you. I find "losing" hard, both in reality, and spiritually. I guess maybe I need to change my perspective. That what I call "losing" really isn't that - it's just more training to be fit to claim the victory that's already been won.

    Debbie - I'd love to hear from you. I've been struggling with some stuff lately, too. You're not whining, friend. You're just longing...
    Mrs. Benchwarmer, all I've got to say is this - don't get used to sitting there. You're going to be playing. I just know it. I will be in touch soon, if I don't hear from you before then. PLEASE don't doubt yourself - I'm not letting the enemy take my friend out of the game...

  9. I FORGOT!!

    GOD BLESS all of you! :)

  10. "Do you ever wonder why it has to be so hard?"

    I'm not sure I do wonder why it is has to be so hard. The tears come, then I realize, it is hard. I can't do this on my own. BUT the harder than hard part is taking ownership that the difficulties are more often then not bought on by myself.

    Like today...

    I HAD to do something today. I said to myself "In God's Strength" because I knew I could accomplish this with Him. Even knowing this - I didn't act on it. I rolled over and ended up staying in bed ALL day, because I just didn't have the energy or the will to bother.

    My biggest fear, to disappoint God. To be turned away from Him because of my constant repeated failures.

  11. Kerrie - My dear, dear friend. I have had days myself when I have stayed in bed - I understand how that feels. But let me say this very true truth - God will NEVER turn away from you. Our repeated failures are why He came to save us - and when we feel that we disappoint Him, it's really just more opportunities for Him to shower us with His abundant love. Don't buy into the enemy's lie - that we are worthless and inadequate. Those kinds of lies work all too well on me. Look to the One who loves - the One who said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." And I add this little addition - even when we mess up, even when we're weak, even when we stay in bed all day. When we are too tired to move, that's when He loves us the most...

    Hang in there - and keep in touch.

    Blessings to you - my friendship and my prayers.


"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.)