How Has The Clay of Daily Life Shaped You?

Being part of a very large family can be a wonderful experience.  Even if you were the only girl – as I was – raised amongst a heard of six “wild” boys. Yes, that’s right, a heard of “wild” boys all whom were older than me!

Given this scenario, I had no other choice but to be a tough WILD WOMAN in order to survive what I call, “The Clan of The Testosterones!” These were my brothers; practitioners of chaos.

Obviously, growing up with all those boys, outdoor activity and sports were high on the agenda! G.I. Joe was in and Barbie dolls were out!  My poor mother – but that’s another story!

Anyway, in order to be a member of this outrageously special tribe, I constantly had to prove my athletic ability with precise skill and precision in order to “keep up” and stay in the game. 

By the time I was four years old, I learned how to snow ski. In the winter months, my dad volunteered at the nearby ski lodge repairing and maintaining the rental ski’s so that my brothers and I could ski for free.  Although there was no money for lavish and expensive vacations, that didn’t stop my dad from being innovative and finding ways for us to stay active.  He was ingenious. I believe he knew his strategy would keep “The Clan of the Testosterones” out of trouble, and off the streets!

I, on the other hand, spent most of my time falling down on my butt.  But skiing taught me an invaluable life lesson: I cannot improve myself without falling down every once in a while.

When I was eight, I was a gymnast where I learned the importance of strength, agility and flexibility.  Here, I learned that you cannot gain strength from choices that do not stretch you.

I also learned how to give my brothers a good hard kick in the butt if they ever gave me a hard time!  (Wink)

From there, I tumbled my way right into track and field. There, I became a competitive sprinter and Junior Olympic Champion!

Invariably, running track taught me how to push myself beyond what I thought was possible.

There’s one thing that I know for sure; when we push ourselves day by day to be a little bit better, we change not only ourselves but the world around us.

Being a fast runner served me well because my brothers could never catch up to me.

In middle school, I hit the links after my dad picked up some old golf clubs at a garage sale for my brothers and me.  We were ecstatic.  Immediately, he taught us how to hit golf balls in the pasture behind our house.

In the summer months, my brothers and I would spend hours hitting golf balls and competing who could hit the farthest.  After spending a couple years perfecting my swing it paid off.  I toured competitively with the Northern California Junior Golf Association where I went on to win lots of tournaments!

Golf taught me how to focus my attention and how to develop mental and emotional toughness.  It’s a mentally challenging sport. It requires that you not only know the physics of hitting the ball, and what club to use when, but also intense focus and emotional concentration.

For example, a great golfer must be able to silence the inner critic after a “bad shot.”  Regaining clear focus is crucial.

Golf also taught me the importance of etiquette, keeping a tight schedule, and how to be prompt.  For example, when “Tee off” time is at 7:00 am, this means that you are to be on the tee box at 6:55am. If you are late to the tee box, you are automatically disqualified, no questions answered.

While this may have been a tough lesson to learn, it has instilled in me the importance of being on time for not only every tournament, but for every event in life.

My swing was WILD and WICKED, so my brothers made sure to stay “clear” of me when I had a club in my hand!  (Hahaha! )

As an avid softball player, I learned the importance of team-work and how my actions affect other people.  Let me explain. Sometimes, in order to be a team player you have to put your differences aside and get the job done. After all, if you can’t learn to work together with teammates while playing a sport you enjoy, how will you be able to work with co-workers you may or may not like while performing at a job you may not enjoy?

This lesson really came in handy when I worked in Corporate America.

What does this all boil down to?

Our everyday walk with God is what molds us and shapes us into the people we are today.  Our families, our surroundings, our experiences, and our choices, contribute to our character.

If you’re an artist, then you fully understand it takes time, trial and error to create something beautiful.  It also takes patience and dedication whether you’re painting a portrait, creating a sculpture, writing a song, or making something by hand.

It doesn’t matter if we’re mild, or part of a crowd of the wild.  God is the artist.  S/He takes us in His hands and shapes and molds us with the clay of daily life. We, are Her living work of art!

 

Be sure to check out this inspirational video by Scott Hamilton to see how God has shaped and molded his life.

I Am Second


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