About a year ago, I woke up on a Sunday morning and went “D’oh!” then quickly wrote a Sunday post and included some thoughts on perseverance. In that blog, I talked about my son and how he managed to swim a full 25 yard freestyle race for the first time. His coaches were standing at the end cheering him on. He didn’t win, but he did finish.
Last week, I mentioned that our swim team took first place in our district. One thing my husband and I noticed was that our coaches were always at the other end of the pool, cheering all of our kids on. I won’t say that’s why we won*, or that the other coaches weren’t around, but every time – every time – I looked out there, at least one of our coaches (and often another swimmer or two) were at the end cheering them on.
And they didn’t cheer just for the “good” swimmers, the ones who would win or place highly in their races, but for all of the swimmers. They didn’t encourage just the kids they usually work with (the kids are loosely divided into five different groups – bronze (upper/lower), silver (upper/lower), and gold – based on their age and ability and the coaches tend to work with the same kids most of the time). They stood there for the better part of six or more hours**, encouraging Every. One. of the sixty plus swimmer we had there that day.
That’s not to say the coaches on the other teams don’t encourage their kids and they may well have been on the side with the starting blocks, but there’s usually about a million swimmers milling around back there and it’s hard to pick out the coaches from the stroke judges, etc.
But, for us, it reminds of one of the things I love most about our pool and our team. They spend hours every week at the pool. Early mornings. Late evenings. Whiny kids. Annoying parents. (I really do try hard not to be one! But we all know they’re out there!) Kids who won’t listen and goof off instead.
But they’re there. Helping kids figure out flip turns. Explaining (and showing!) how to do butterfly properly. How to count the number of strokes so you don’t hit your head on the wall in backstroke (and putting a hand in the water to help buffer it). Figuring out which kids will swim best together in the relays.
Asking not that the kids win, though they certainly want them to try, but that they do their best.
That they finish the race.
(See this post from last year’s event.)
This is why I named characters after some of our coaches/lifeguards. Why I set a book (and eventually a series) at the Serenity Landing Aquatic Center. Because they’re awesome.
In the great swim meet of life, we have friends and family who cheer us on. People who walk alongside us as we struggle to finish that individual medley we’ve never done before – or a race where our goggles fell off. But God? He’s omnipresent, but He’s not exactly…visible. We can’t hear Him cheering us on. Or can we?
Because, even though my kids may not be able to hear their coaches over the roar of the crowd in the indoor natatorium – or while their ears are under water ;), all of those things they’ve spent the whole summer hearing reverberate through their heads.
And just like the voices of their coaches, God’s given us words of wisdom and encouragement. As we go through life, verses pop into mind just when we need them. Those words of encouragement. The little pick-me-ups when we need a boost to swim a few more strokes until we touch the wall. That snippet of a sermon or a song or – dare I say it? – a book (fiction even!) that’s just what we need to hear.
He may not be visible or have an audible voice, but He can definitely speak to – and encourage us, coaching and cheering for us – just when we need it. Often even before we do so that we recall those words when the time comes.
Pretty cool, huh?!
*Having a lot more swimmers than the other teams helped a lot – usually the team that came in second this year has nearly three times as many swimmers as they did this year and they’ve won first for a long time. Generally, the more swimmers (especially 15-18 and 6 and under as those groups are much smaller), the more points you’ll end up with (in individual races, the top 14 spots get points).
** Okay – it wasn’t six hours straight because they went to help get the next set of swimmers organized or sat to the side for a bit when there was a group of heats where we didn’t have any swimmers.
All right – so that was WAY deeper than I meant to be on a Saturday evening, but there we go ;). (And those two posts I linked to from last year are pretty good, too. I know for me they were a good reread.)
As always, if you’re a winner, contact us at:
prizes at inspyromance dot com
The winners of an ebook of their choice from my Royal Wedding post are Trixie O. and faithdp24!!
Monday: Sally Bradley talked about the playful side of romance.
Tuesday: Elizabeth Maddrey talked about a family reunion – and how her in-laws support her writing.
Wednesday: Valerie Comer posted a snippet from Sweet Serenade.
Thursday: Heidi McCahan reviewed Beth Vogt’s new release, Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
Friday: Diane Lil Adams talked about her husband – and how he won her over to romance.
Saturday: Heather Gray brought a bit of Christmas in July!
Monday: JoAnn Durgin
Tuesday: Autumn MacArthur
Wednesday: Staci Stallings
Thursday: Deb Kastner
Friday: Narelle Atkins
Saturday: Special Guest Blogger Christina Coryell
News & Notes
When a Man Loves a Woman (Seven Brides Seven Brothers 7) by Belle Calhoune
Enchantment (The Lewis Legacy Series 6) by JoAnn Durgin
Love in Mistletoe Springs BOX SET by Ginger Solomon, Lee Tobin McClain, Kimberly Rose Johnson, Gail Sattler, and Lee Carver
More Than Friends (The Macleans: Catriona) by Autumn Macarthur
Sweet Serenade (Riverbend Romance 3) by Valerie Comer
Time and Tide by Lynette Sowell
The Lifeguards, the Swim Team, and Frozen Custard by Carol Moncado
Orphaned Hearts by Marion Ueckermann
His Perfect Catch by Narelle Atkins
Nursing the Soldier’s Heart (Village of Hope 2) by Merrillee Whren
Believe in Me by Autumn Macarthur is on sale for 99¢ July 12-17. Merry Christmas in July!
Belle Calhoune is pleased to announce that she’s signed a 3-book deal with Love Inspired for a series set in Alaska.
Hand-Me-Down Princess by Carol Moncado available to preorder for a special price of 99¢.
Kept by Sally Bradley has won the Grace Award, a reader-driven award, for best romance published in 2014.
Splash! BOX SET by Narelle Atkins, Valerie Comer, Autumn Macarthur, Heidi McCahan, Lesley Ann McDaniel, Carol Moncado, Lynette Sowell, Jan Thompson, and Marion Ueckermann is now available at 99¢.
Summer of Love BOX SET by Leah Atwood, Valerie Comer, JoAnn Durgin, Kimberly Rae Jordan, Lee Tobin McClain, and Staci Stallings is now available at 99¢.
Love Brings Us Home BOX SET by Hallee Bridgeman, Valerie Comer, JoAnn Durgin, Kimberly Rae Jordan, Staci Stallings, Lynette Sowell, and Debra Ullrick is on sale for 99¢.
Raspberries and Vinegar (A Farm Fresh Romance 1) by Valerie Comer
The Wedding List (Love in Store 1) by Autumn Macarthur
To Protect and Serve (Courage 1) by Staci Stallings
His Baby Bond (Sacred Bond 1) by Lee Tobin McClain
Greater than Rubies (Jewel Series 2) by Hallee Bridgeman
Finding Mr. Write (CANDID Romance 1) by Carol Moncado
Good Enough for a Princess (The Montevaro Monarchy 1) by Carol Moncado
Autumn Macarthur says
A great reminder, Carol. We all do better with encouragement, and in God, we have the ultimate coach!
Diane Adams says
I loved reading your post and making the comparison between the coaches and God. The kids know the coaches are there, after seeing them stand there cheering so many times. And I know God is there for me, even when I can’t see Him or hear Him. That’s a promise He made – to always be there – and He always keeps His promises. Thanks for the reminder.
I actually felt the excitement as I read your post! And I think I smelled chlorine?
Wonderful reminder, Carol!
Trixi O. says
My kids were never in any kind of sports, but I loved how you shared about the coaches encouraging all the kids and being there for them! I’d want to be on that team for sure :-) And I loved the analogy to God, how He’s always there to encourage, lift-up and whisper His love in our ears! Such an encouragement :-) Loved this post today, Carol!
I also noticed I am one of the winners of one of your ebooks….yay me!! Do I send an email to “prizes at inspyromance dot com”?
Thanks for the encouraging post today and, as always, looking forward to this weeks posts!