Spread Your Wings And Fly

Spread Your Wings And Fly
Spread your wings and fly

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

C Is For Cheerleader

      “Give me a C. Give me a H. Give me a double E, R. What’s that spell? "CHEER!” Okay that was lame. Maybe that’s one reason I never went out for the Cheer leading squad, many, many years ago. That, and I was in no way athletically inclined, and have two left feet. Neither are good qualities for an enthusiastic, leader of cheers.
    This past week, my husband and I had the opportunity to attend an exciting, Junior Varsity Basketball game at our local High School - OACS. GO HORNETS! Since neither of our sons played basketball, it had been over thirty five years since I attended my last game. The sights, sounds and smells were all the same, We however were much older. Our nine year old granddaughter was about to attend her first game, as a junior cheerleader. So of course, her papa and I had to be there to cheer her on, as she cheered on the team.
    Oh my goodness, she looked so grown up. How could that have happened? One day she’s running around, our beautiful little girl, and the next she’s sitting with the cheer leading squad, blond hair pulled up in the appropriate pony tail, wearing her blue and gold tee-shirt, and tentatively cheering her first game ever. I might add, she did fantastic. All the kids did.
    Sitting on the bleachers, as unwanted pain from an injured collar bone gripped me, I couldn’t tell you much about the game. I knew by the score board that we were winning, but don’t ask me much else about the game.  What I do remember is watching the young boys playing their hearts out. Running back and forth, attempting to block the other team, shooting baskets - missing many, but make enough. I remember watching them fall and get up, make fouls and keep on going, and ultimately proudly, and courteously, celebrating their win. I also remember the cheerleaders.
    Whether sitting on the bleachers, or standing out on the floor, they cheered the team on. If  a player made a basket, they cheered. If he fouled, they cheered him on. If he made a mistake, they cheered him on.  I heard no jeering, no shouts of condemnation.  No, “what are you doing?.”  What I did hear, not only from the cheerleaders, but from the spectators as well, was encouragement. Oh, there were a few shouts to the ref, but these were too few to mention, and  were from the other team.
    Watching the game, got me to thinking. If only our lives could be like a basketball game. Standing on the side-lines would be our own personal cheer leading squad. When we do something great - they shout cheers for us. When we mess up, and perhaps fall down - they are there to cheer us and encourage us, never making us feel stupid or worthless. I know for myself, I am my own biggest critic. If I mess up, I can beat myself silly. My self-esteem drops to the basement, and all I can see is my mistake. I assume that is also what others see as well. “How could I have done that? How could I be so stupid? I’ll never try to do that again.”
    Perhaps we should all try to look at life as a basketball game. There will be times when we shoot perfect baskets, the ball swooshes neatly through the net, and the crowd cheers. There will also be times in our lives, and the lives of others, when we make mistakes. We drop the ball. We miss the net all together. We trip and fall for all to see. These are the times when we not only need to be our own cheerleader, but also when we need to be a leader of cheer for others who need encouragement.
    When I was a teenager I will admit I did not appreciate our cheerleaders. They were the popular girls. The girls all the boys wanted to date, and most of the athletes did. They were pretty and entities onto themselves. I, as a teen, was intimidated by cheerleaders. Now, as an adult, as a grandmother, I can see the vital role cheerleaders play. They encourage and uplift our team, when our players are at their most vulnerable. Our cheerleaders set a positive example for all the spectators, who may or may not, become too personally involved in the game, and the outcome. And last week, our granddaughter had the opportunity to also uplift and encourage, not just the players, but myself, and I am sure many others, as we watched our team give its all. I hope we can also do the same.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Banister Friends"

B is for "Banister Friends"
     Banister Friends? What are they you may ask? Very good question. In my search for a unique “B” word, I stumbled across the word Banister. I then began to ponder, what exactly it is that our banister does on any given day. If you live in a house with more than one story, as we do, you must have a stairway, very likely this stairway also has a banister. It may be elaborate, or simple. Ours is simple. What ever the case, the banister serves a very important purpose. To support. The dictionary describes a banister as: “the upright support of a stair rail - the row of supports and the rail together.” With me so far?
    The banister in our house, as I said, is simple. It quietly leads to a very old, very steep set of stairs. Along with its expected job - supporting the stair rail - our banister also carries an even greater load. With out complaint, it supports our wet hats, scarves, mittens and coats, which are carelessly tossed upon its white post, until we next need them, or decide to put them away. Whichever comes first. It supports myself and my family, as we grab its sturdy surface, preparing  to ascend the mountainous stairway. It has endured much abuse, as a result of moving furniture, mattresses and box springs up and down the steps. It does all this quietly, dependably.
    As my mind began to wonder, I reflected upon friends who also have the same qualities. In fact in looking the word “friend” up in the dictionary, one description is: “someone who freely supports and helps, out of goodwill.”  Interesting, an inanimate object - a banister - and a human being - a friend - both freely support. I was both surprised, and delighted, to discover that I am blessed with numerous “Banister Friends.”
    My church family is a collective group of amazing “banister friends,” and within the group as a whole, are several individuals who over the years have been a constant means of quiet support. I know that no matter what is happening in my life, whether good, or bad, I can turn to these friends, and dump my load on their supportive shoulders. My thanks to each of you. My family - sister, brother, sons and nieces - have all over the years been loving, supportive “banister friends,” and I don’t know where I’d be without them. My husband, has stuck by my side and supported me and encouraged me, during my good times and my bad for over thirty three years, and counting. He is quiet in his love, but huge in his support. He is my rock and my best friend.  
    But there is one, who is beyond all these friends combined. My absolute best friend for eternity. My Lord and Savior. Over my life time, I have dumped so much of my stuff, on his shoulders. I have cried out to him. I have laughed with him. I have pulled away from him. I have heaped piles of my “garbage” on him - and he never budges.  He promised that “He will never leave us or forsake us,” and He is true to His word.
    So let me ask you a question? Do you have someone in your life who has been your “banister friend?” Have they supported and loved you through the good times and bad? Often asking nothing in return.  If you can answer yes, then you are truly  blessed. Now another question. Is there someone out there who considers you to be a “banister friend?” If so, you are both blessed.
    As we rush about our day. As we run up and down our stairs, or pile things on our banisters, let’s try to take a moment and send up a prayer of thanks for all our “banister friends.” Thank you one and all. I am truly blessed.


I am now part of an interesting writing challenge, through a writing group I am part of. We will over the next few months, go letter by letter through the alphabet. Each week writing something to do with the letter for that week. Since I am a week late in joining this challenge, I am opting to cheat on the letter "A" and am posting a picture of my word, "Angels" rather than writing an article. I will say however, that I do believe angels are all around us - maybe the cashier who has a kind word for us on a stress filled day. Perhaps the kind gentleman who helps you pull your shopping cart through the sludge and snow. Or perhaps, one of God's angels, sent to do his usher us home while our loved ones grieve. What I do believe, is angels are in our lives, we may only need to open our hearts to see them.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Lion Roars

The lion roars outside my home. His breath harsh, and cruel. His claws striking all who dare enter his domain. He roams relentlessly,  seeking helpless victims - howling in satisfaction as we mere humans freeze in our tracks. He is king. His reign, he knows, is short. The day will inevitably come when his icy fangs will melt, giving way to Spring’s welcome embrace. But until that day, the lion roars. Some days he may lay silent, seducing us in his glistening beauty. But take heed. His fangs will once again strike. His roar will once again bellow, as the king fights the inevitable, to retain his frigid throne.

Okay, I may be exaggerating a wee bit. Today is the first real day of winter in our parts. We have been spoiled. Lulled into a false sense of relief. Each day that the temperatures remained above freezing, each day that it rained rather than snowed, we celebrated. Well, I didn’t celebrate the rain, especially when I was hauling grocery bags to my door, but at least I wasn’t trudging through six inches of snow. Well, that came to an end this morning.

Blowing snow slashed my face as I attempted to let the dogs out. The latch on the chain was frozen and I wasn’t too happy when I had to bundle up, grab my husband’s hammer and step into the raging storm, to dislodge the ice from the latch. The lion was roaring hysterically at that moment. If I didn’t make it clear before, I am not a lover of winter. I really hate windy, snowing, frigid, yucky, winter days, such as today.

But, with that said, I am thankful that we have not been attacked by winter’s cruel roar, as some of our country. Snow by the foot, or numerous feet, is not for me. So on this bitter day, when the lion howls outside my home, I am thinking of those who don’t have homes to protect them from his claws. Those who may only have a box between themselves, and the lions harsh breath. Those who may not be able to afford heat to keep their families warm, or who are forced to work outside during this assault. My thoughts and prayers go to those in Alaska and other parts of our country who are measuring their snow fall by the foot - or even yard.
Blessings to all