Forgiving one's enemies does not mean to be fainthearted, but to have a strong soul.
- Italian proverb
Today's guest blogger is Cassidy Doolittle. Cassidy lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband, Steve.
A former nurse in a psychiatric ward, she traded in her stethoscope and scrubs for swords and capes as she now spends most of her days wrangling her two little boys. She has been published in inspirational and motherhood magazines and is the Editor and Director of Author Relations for SozoWomen. Cassidy is passionate about really strong coffee and lemon poppy-seed biscotti shared with great friends.
“Three balls, two strikes!” the umpire shouted.
My sweaty hands gripped the bat, heart pounding, nerves shredded. What was I doing here?
The pitcher wound up and let a high lob fly. I swung blindly and, to my surprise, made contact with the ball. I sprinted as the third baseman bobbled the ball. I was going to make it!
Six steps, four steps, three steps! Then pain. Lots of pain. I lost my stride as my left thigh turned into a hard knot of injured muscle.
“Yooou’re out!” the ump yelled as I stumble-fell across first base, one step too late.
I limped off the field, quadriceps and pride stinging, angry I had ever been roped into this.
Rewind a few weeks to me racing around the kitchen getting dinner ready, teething baby gnawing on my ankle, busy four-year-old begging to play “pirates.” My husband comes home and the boys race and crawl to him, giving me a hands-free moment to try and rescue the blackened hamburger.
“Hey, can you change Andy’s diaper and walk the plank with Jake?” I say, without looking up from the beef. Steve grabs the boys and they play while he wrestles the baby out of a full diaper.
A few minutes later, we’re sitting down to slightly singed dinner while Jake is bouncing peas off Andy’s laughing face, and Steve asks, “Hey... are you up for subbing at our softball game? We’re short some people.”
“Come on, you used to play.”
“Yeah... more than a decade ago. Besides, I don’t have a glove.”
“You can borrow Carrie’s.”
“I don’t have cleats.”
“We’ll get some.”
Running out of excuses, I blurted out the trump card sure to save me, “I’ve got to watch the boys.”
“Kacie’s coming over.”
I sighed deeply and conceded, “Fine, but don’t expect much.”
As game day approached, anxiety churned my stomach. My husband’s a great athlete and he and some work friends put a coed team together. And by work friends I mean twentysomethings. Fresh, young, kidless, wrinkle-free people. Walking into that dugout among their lively chatter was one of the most insecure moments I can remember.
So when I dragged my left leg back to the bench, I just wanted to call it quits. But that’s when my husband gave me a solid high five and said, “Great job, Cass! You hit the runner home!”
Buoyed a bit, I limped to take my infield position and cheer Steve on as he pitched an incredible game.
That night, every time I batted, I got out. My leg was swollen and sore. I was 10 years older than most of the team. And I actually had a blast.
These are the busiest, most exhausting years of my life; little children and full schedules zap any extra time and energy. It’s far too easy to just become really great roommates with Steve and forget what it was like when we used to have a lot of fun together.
Though I initially grumbled and fretted my way onto that softball field, it’s turned out to be a great thing for our marriage. Yes, it’s hard to get a sitter every Friday at 9 p.m., but the fun I’ve rekindled with Steve during those two diaper-free, kid-free, sweat- and dirt-filled hours is priceless.
I’m very thankful God helped me get past my insecurity and busy schedule to remind me to “Enjoy life with your [husband], whom you love...” (Ecclesiastes 9:9)
Our fall league begins in September. Can’t wait.
Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny have been married for twenty-five years. They have five sons and raise their bevy of boys in an old Victorian near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Their sons, Logan, Grant, Samuel, Gabriel, and Isaiah, range in age from twenty-one to six with Shawnelle home teaching the youngest three.
Shawnelle has been writing for six years, contributing regularly to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional and other inspirational publications. She would say that life with her men moves faithfully, on fast forward. But it’s her heart’s desire, her passionate prayer, to see God’s goodness and glory in the fullness of her days. She longs to see Him in the unexpected moments, unexpected places, changing the ordinary to extraordinary and bringing quiet, sustaining grace.