Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Moments with Mimi--Picking Your Battles

I must admit that this is one of those weeks when fatigue has left me a little battle weary.  Spring Break, where are you???  Mimi's post was a great one for me to read this week!  

For those of you on Spring Break already, I hope you are having a great time!!!  If you are like me and Spring Break isn't here for you yet, HOLD ON!  It's coming! :-)  

One more thing, a sweet lady from my church is raising funds for her husband.  I know she would love your business if this is a fund raiser you are interested in participating in!  Just be sure to follow the link shown here by March 29th:

Thanks so much!  Shannon :-)  
Picking Your Battles 

Several years ago I tried explain the concept of “picking your battles” to a friend who has asked me about raising her children. I remember saying to her, “All battles cannot be won with children and some are not even worth the effort – so pick them carefully if you want to win often.” 

My question when raising my own children was always, “Is this really a hill worth fighting for, or just a bump in the road worth smiling over?” 

Unfortunately, I tend to like coming out the victor in all battles…whether simply over a dirty glass being returned to the sink or settling a longer, more intense drama. I want there to be meaning, purpose and lessons learned from each battle I face. At the very least, I always want to be able to back over my shoulder and smile with contentment at a job well done…a battle well fought. 

Several weeks ago while my 6 year old grandson was here, we began playing ball in the front yard – just he and I. I thought we were just passing the time before he left to go on a cousin adventure. I would be the pitcher and the outfielder, and he would be the batter and runner. 

I must admit, he could hit the ball with quite a wallop – and his running skills were superb. I, on the other hand could throw the ball adequately, and my outfielding ability proved to be a little less than superb. In addition, I was not in uniform. I was wearing jeans and sporting a brand new pair of boots. 

His fly balls were hit WAY over my head and into the neighbor’s yard on more than one occasion. I finally took a new approach and started just throwing the ball to try to tag him out, but unfortunately, this required even more distance running on my part. After lapping the bases several times, he declared that HE was WINNING! He explained that it was because he had the most runs. Yep, this was my hill, and it was time to have a battle !!! 

I stopped and quickly responded, “Well, I guess you are winning; I have not even had a chance at bat.” He replied, “Mimi, that is because you have not gotten me out yet.” I exclaimed, “William, that’s because I do not have any outfielders. I am the only one running for your balls!!!!” He replied, “Well, I don’t have any other base runners either; what does that mean?” 

I stopped a minute and thought. What that means is that he IS winning, against a Mimi running in boots retrieving all of his hit balls 30 yards away. He owned the victory. Each time he crossed home plate scoring another run, he would jump up and down laughing, pretending to be high fiving the other team mates…that we didn't even have! 

Sigh…I had to ask myself, “Was this really a hill to die on or a battle worth winning? Should I point out all of the unfairness and inequality in the rules of our contest? Or should I just congratulate him on his win? Was this a time for a sit-down explanation of rules of the game?” 

Nope…instead I just conceded. I told William what a good ball player he was and that I was going to work on my fielding skills before next time. As we picked up the bat and ball, he commented that I was a pretty good pitcher after all and grinned up at me. 

In that moment, I knew that although I had lost the ball game, I had really won the battle that was most important. Why? Because sweet William asked me where to put the ball for next time, because our game was fun! 

I came in through the back door, and looked over my shoulder at him and smiled with contentment. As I had told my friend years ago, “All battles cannot be won with children and some are not even worth the effort – so pick them carefully if you want to win often.” 

And yet, I realized one more thing about battles that day in my front yard…it is not always about being right and winning. It is sometimes about gaining wisdom when losing! 
 Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne) 
Psalm 18:39 You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.

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