Posted by: the warrioress | September 10, 2013

My Little Swimmer

GIRL SWIMMERIt came over me late this afternoon, the guts my little daughter has. This is a young woman who astounds me sometimes. I mean, I look at her in awe and I don’t know if she even has a clue of how much she impresses me, or of how much I admire  her.

Like most teens her age, she probably doesn’t think she’s good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or anything else enough. The fact of the matter is though, that she’s one of the most gutsiest, bravest, courageous people I know.

She attempts new things even though she’s scared to death inwardly. She wades right in, no matter if she’s getting laughed at, teased, or treated with outright scorn.  She tries. She gives what she wants her best shot. She doesn’t let comparison-type thinking screw with her self-esteem and make her quit. This girl is not a quitter.

I can see self-doubt in her eyes and on her face sometimes; I can hear it in her voice, but there’s something there that made her go ahead and join this competitive swimming class and try to make the team. Back in high school, I never would have had the guts to risk people’s judgment, (coaches, and team members alike) to succeed in a sport that I had never even attempted before.

Certainly I, her mother, encouraged and even insisted that she give this a shot, because knowing how to swim well is important, but inwardly I didn’t know how all of this would turn out. Throughout the day today, like most days, I was praying for her, as I’ve prayed many times before in the last three weeks since school started back. I pleaded with God to let her be successful in this, to be with her and help her be the best she could be, to make her coaches and teammates support her in this competitive swimming endeavor she is attempting.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I believe there is something very important being learned here by my young daughter– and by me. I have realized yet again, how blessed I am to be the mother of this brave girl. I love her more than I’ve ever loved anyone on this planet, in this life, except for God. She is so good enough, no matter how this works out. I don’t care if she makes the team or not! What matters is that she tries — that she does her very best and is determined enough to get in there and work at it, team or no team.

How could anyone not be impressed with her striving?

Even if there isn’t a spot on that swim team for her at the end of this training/observation period, I hope she knows that there is no way that her coaches and teammates won’t admire her. Inwardly, they can’t help but take notice of how stubborn and determined she was to try.

That counts. It really, really does.

J., I love you more than you will ever know and I’m so proud of you. You amaze me! Your inner strength is tremendous. Your beautiful, glowing little face so determined and thoughtful about everything, moves my heart.

You’re a success, J., even if you don’t think you are.

All of us, (me and the family), are so proud of you. Whether you make that school swimming team or not, you’re someone we’re proud to have on OUR TEAM — our family team. You’re a winner and we love you, baby.

I am proud of you, daughter. And God is proud. God bless and keep you and may He keep you striving for the stars — because one of these days, you’re going to grab one and make it all yours. Just don’t give up. Just do your best because no one can ask for anything more from you in this life.

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Responses

  1. She is a winner from top to bottom! I know she will do good.

    L,

    Ed

  2. Hey Adrienne,

    I too, a godless atheist, have a child on a swim team — just started last year. And I totally relate to your feelings about your daughter. I don’t pray for my son, but I give him lots of hugs, long talks, encouragement and such — much like you, it sounds. Do I think about him often: about his development, how to improve my parenting, how to understand his always-changing world, how to best to offer support to him and his teammates. Of course I do. I am in my head a lot about loving my son. That is partially what you are doing in your prayers too, I imagine. But different from me (though use to do the same), you feel you have a friend in your head who is instructing you, encouraging you and giving you peace while you do all that. Well, that is how you see it. I may do exactly the same in my head (minus imagining a friend), but label it different. I don’t need to tie complicated knots around child rearing — I can talk to you in simple terms about the simple struggles and joys we go through. I don’t need sanctimonious clothing to be honest and open to you about such a normal human activity. We are doing the same thing.

    But your theology knots label me (a loving parent) as going to hell, whereas in your system (your knotted web), you feel that you will live forever in joy remembering those great years with your daughter whereas my years with my children will feel like nothing as I suffer in hell forever.

    Doesn’t that seem a little odd to you? Not only me, a dirty atheist, but also loving Hindu mothers, loving Jewish mothers, all of them working with their children as you do yours will have an eternity very different from yours, it seems. Is Yahweh proud of those children? Or just until the age of accountability when they say they don’t believe the Jesus stories?

    BTW — I answered your comment on my post — but this comment reflects a similar response.

    I wish you and your daughter the very, very best. This was a very sweet post. Your fine daughter is very fortunate to have you as a mother — and you, her! (whereas my poor son only has an atheist father and will probably burn eternally for my stupid sins).

  3. Sabio, this part here stands out to me:

    “Doesn’t that seem a little odd to you? Not only me, a dirty atheist, but also loving Hindu mothers, loving Jewish mothers, all of them working with their children as you do yours will have an eternity very different from yours, it seems. Is Yahweh proud of those children? Or just until the age of accountability when they say they don’t believe the Jesus stories?”

    Sabio, do you intentionally sound bitter or are you actually feeling bitter about what the bible says about the choices we make in believing or not believing?

    I can’t answer your questions here, much as I would love to have the answers for you. I’m not God. I know God through my relationship with Him though, and He is not as you portray Him here. He is merciful, patient, and very loving. He doesn’t want anyone in hell.

    Then there’s this last little dig:

    “I wish you and your daughter the very, very best. This was a very sweet post. Your fine daughter is very fortunate to have you as a mother — and you, her! (whereas my poor son only has an atheist father and will probably burn eternally for my stupid sins).”

    I get what you’re trying to imply, Sabio. I understand what you mean about our theological differences causing rifts, knots, unnecessary complications about something like parenting that we could share if these were not “in the way.” It’s your perception, though, that’s causing these rifts, in my opinion. It’s clear that we can interpret the bible as saying what we think it’s saying, but only God knows if we are right in that interpretation. He is more than capable of judging us, certainly, but I believe He wants to love us more than judge us. How all of that will actually turn out in the end is something no one can say for sure.

  4. @ War,

    Do come back to my post and see how another Christian views salvation and Christianity. You might not think him a real Christian or hopefully, I am wrong.

    Oh, and no, I am not “bitter”. I am being dramatic to hopefully make the ugliness stand out. But I am being honest.

    You said your God is not as I portrayed him in the comments — how is that? Don’t you believe Yahweh condemn people who don’t believe in him to eternal torment? He may be all loving to you, but that is because you believe and confess believing. Sure, he wants everyone in heaven, but that won’t stop him for burnin’ folks who don’t believe what he wants them to. Right? Do I misunderstand your flavor of Christianity?

    I was sincere in my last comment — but how can we honestly talk to each other as honest real people sharing common concerns and love for our kids if you really believe that in the end I will burn?

    Yes, yes, I get that you say, “only God knows” and such, but in your posts and among your comments it shows that you are pretty certain you know and your faith is based on that — us non-believers burn? Correct or not?

    Or, do you feel that even if I die a firm atheist, I may still go to heaven. Or if that holds for the billions of others who don’t believe like you? Is there a chance for them?

    Christians often say, “I can’t judge” to the face of a nonbeliever, but we all know what they are doing. I children hear the nastiness of what is whispered at Christian dinner tables. Through the mouth of babes.

    Do correct me if I am wrong and perhaps you really are a Universalist or an inclusivist. I may be wrong.

  5. Sabio,

    You are being intentionally dramatic to make the ugliness stand out, hmm? What is standing out is that you can’t stand what is written in that bible and that it’s serious enough that you regularly confront it through your own blog and the comments here upon mine. Were you truly apathetic and unbelieving, you wouldn’t bother is my guess. At any rate, onto the rest of your comment.You said:

    “Sure, he wants everyone in heaven, but that won’t stop him for burnin’ folks who don’t believe what he wants them to. Right? Do I misunderstand your flavor of Christianity?”

    No, you don’t misunderstand my flavor of Christianity. What you (again intentionally, I think) misunderstand is the fact that you and everyone else has been presented a fork in the road, a choice if you will. You’re being advised IN ADVANCE to take the narrow fork in the road to the left. It is highly suggested you do this. Taking the wide road to the right is the wrong way because it leads to no real life at all, and most especially it leads to a life devoid of God. You are also told that when you take this road to the left, you are set apart from the rest of “the world,” so you already know this when you take the road. You get to choose.

    So, my feelings about those who DECIDE to take the wrong road are mixed. I have great sympathy, and feel sadness for their decision, which I firmly believe is in error and the biggest mistake they will ever make, but I have to accept and respect their right to their own decisions, so I do.

    “I was sincere in my last comment — but how can we honestly talk to each other as honest real people sharing common concerns and love for our kids if you really believe that in the end I will burn?”

    I know what the bible says and how it is commonly interpreted in this regard. I believe we can talk to one another honestly and share a host of things, but at the end of the day, we are traveling different roads BY CHOICE. You’ve made your choice, Sabio, and I’ve made mine. Our paths diverge at the end of the line and there is nothing I can do about it, short of sharing my take on why you need to get back on the right road YESTERDAY.

    I am not a Universalist, nor an Inclusivist.

    I believe deep within my heart that what the bible says is truth. I trust God’s judgment, plan, and intent. I no longer question any of these. There was a time in my life where I did, but that time is long past me now. It isn’t that difficult to know God. It’s not that hard to find Him if you diligently seek with all of your heart — I know, because I have and I found Him. For those who choose to reject God & His son, I feel great sorrow; I don’t understand their erroneous thinking or decision, but it is their own and as such they are responsible for it and the end result of it.

    Could you still go to heaven? I haven’t the foggiest idea. I don’t know, short of what is written in the bible, how God will judge heart by heart, especially the hearts of former believers like yourself. I hope and pray the best for you when you stand before Him, Sabio; I sincerely don’t know what else I can do.

  6. Efchristi (Ed),

    She is a winner! I just hope she knows it. I’m going to keep telling her and thank you for doing the same. love, Adrienne

  7. @ Adrienne,

    Yes, you are right — I can’t stand much of what is written in the Bible. But I am not a bigot, I also can’t stand much that is written in other ancient texts made into scriptures: I can’t stand much of what is written in the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Buddhist Canon, the Mahabharata and so forth. So please don’t feel singled out. Heck, these are ancient texts from times when horrible things were considered common sense. I mean, Just look back to the early 1900s in the USA and South Africa when treatments of Blacks was horrendous and consider “common sense” by the majority. When I watch old movies with my kids, I have to explain why everyone smoked, women were treated as silly play toys for men and blacks only played stereotypical rolls. And you and I both hope that in the future, our great grandkids will look back and shake their heads at how we treated gays. They will admit we had made progress with race and sexist bigotry but that it still had a long way to go. They will explain to their kids that they should ignore our generation’s stupidity was they try to enjoy our movies.

    I read the Bible with that view in mind. Now if a god had made all our movies, even the old ones would be missing horrible bigotry. But neither did a god make our movies nor write the bible- so they are all filled with the stupid human biases of that time. I know that somehow you believe otherwise, but that is a big source of our disagreement. You’ve decided to give the Bible a pass because it serves your religious desires.

    Thank you for agreeing that “God will burn folks who don’t believe what he wants them to.” and thus confirm that you actually do have an opinion about the final state of non-believers in your Biblism.

    Personally, I have met wonderful, wonderful people who totally reject the Bible stories and its various salvation schemes. I have met many horrible people (and history is replete with them) who believe as you do. This information alone makes your stance above seem like so much nonsense to me. Sure, I may be wrong — but I will act like I am not. Sure, I may be wrong that Allah doesn’t want me to blow myself up in markets — but I will act like I am not. Sure, I may be wrong that Amida does not want me to leave my family and join a monastery — but I will act like I am not.

    Making a choice on all the silly options pushed on us, even if we aren’t certain, is the human dilemma, eh?

    I partially agree with you when you say, ” at the end of the day, we are traveling different roads BY CHOICE.” But I think though most people may *think* they made a “choice”, they are often deluded. Look, 95% of the planet (including you) believer exactly the some flavor of the religion of the environment they were born in. Yet they all think they chose their religion. Right !


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