Friday, April 9, 2010

Hollywood, Swing the Bat!

Anxiously, the coach watches his batter. Full count. And a pitcher who can throw a strike when it matters most. Coach shouts, "Hollywood! Hollywood, swing the bat! If it's close, swing at it. You can do it."

Hollywood looks in his direction and nods nonchalantly.

She waits for the pitch.

Standing in the circle like she's posing for a photographer. Cleats dug down into the red dirt. Knees slightly bent. Her bat in position. Perfectly poised to get a hit. Wants it real bad.

But inside she feels the pressure to perform. Very scary.

Especially for a ten-year-old.

Especially one who got nicknamed Hollywood when she wore her mama's razzle dazzle sunglasses to practice one afternoon and adamantly refused to remove them.

Cause you know how bad the glare is when you're playing leftfield. Right?

Besides, I'm thinking that all girls need a little glamour every now and then.

So, Hollywood sure can look the part, but can she hit the ball? Well, uh, that depends. Are you talking about at practice or at a real game?

She's got plenty of potential.

But honestly, she struggles some at games.

Maybe tonight will be different...maybe she'll knock a homerun...or at least get a base hit...here comes the pitch...it's smokin'... Hollywood stands ready....

The umpire kicks one leg forward. Foot flexed. Right arm goes into an upper cut. All in one merciless, melodramatic motion.

"She's Oouuutt!" he shouts.

And my sweet, little Hollywood never swung the bat.

I really didn't care if she hit the ball or not, but I so wanted to see her take a swing.

But sweet girl, you and I understand, don't we? Swinging can be scary. And pressure to perform according to some self-imposed standard or one set by others can paralyze us.

And sometimes we think of God like He's an umpire. Calling strikes. Just waiting to strike us out. Willing us to go back to the dugout and stay there and feel like a loser.

How sad when we think like that.

That's just so not our loving God.

He's cares about us. Although we may not see our potential, God sees it. He doesn't demand a perfect performance.

Our participation and our obedience bring Him joy.

"...For the LORD delights in you...(from Isaiah 62:4).

Even when we strike out. He's ok with that.

But He does want us and Hollywood to swing the bat.

Batter up, sweet girl!

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22 comments:

  1. It did my heart good to hear this. Thanks, Deb! :)

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  2. Deb,

    Ah such is the life of us with our heavenly Father. He only asks that we step out in faith and try and if so will be with us every step of the way. In time I am sure she will be doing great.

    Make sure you stop by my blog for a chance to enter in both book giveaways as one ends tomorrow.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  3. Thank you for this post. It's a truth we all need to be reminded of.

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  4. What a great post! Thanks for the reminder.

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  5. Hi Deb,
    Another beautiful post! It was fun getting caught up with you. I took a blogging break while my kids were on spring break, but man I feel like I missed so much! That's okay though, it's all still here. I can relate to the baseball analogy. But I am lucky enough to know that we can never strike out with God. Even when perhaps we deserve it! Amazing, if you really think about it!
    Kate
    PS- here's to hoping you are a winner of the scholarship to the writer's conference! You deserve it!

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  6. Just swing!! How disappointed we are when we realize that we don't even know if we could have hit because we never swung. This coming from a non-risk taker who has to be convinced to get up to the plate. Working on letting go, though!

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  7. Great post. I love that God gives us more "at-bats" so we can try again. Love the story and your inspirational words.

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  8. That is an awesome story! Thank you for sharing it.

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  9. Wishing you a beautiful week!
    Kate

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  10. Deb,

    We are all a little like Hollywood. We need to take the swing even though it's scary. We may strike out but He will always be there to help when the next ball comes our way.
    A wonderful post.
    Had a ball Sat.

    Love Ya,
    Next To Big Sis

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  11. I am so glad I stopped in. What a wonderful post! I felt I was there with Hollywood. Thanks for sharing!

    until next time... nel

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  12. Boy, that brought back memories, "Hey! Batter! Batter! Batter! Swing!" - no not from the country music song, but from real life!

    It is so wonderful that we have a God who does not heckle or punish for swinging and missing it? It took me a long time to realize that I can swing and not beat myself up about failing or making mistakes.

    Hollywood will swing - when it's time. "It's Time" is just not always the world's game time - it during God's game time:)

    But you already know that, you wise lady:)

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  13. You are so right, Deb. There have been times in the past when I thought God was a heavenly policeman, a powerful being who called all the shots!

    You have a lovely way of bringing the message home.

    THe verse you quoted (Isaiah 62:4) is one of my favorites.

    Love
    Lidj

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  14. This post was thought-provoking for me. I'm reading a book that talks about praising our kids with an effort mindset (so they grow) rather than an ability one (so they just glory in their accomplishments and remain where they are.) I thought of that when reading about Hollywood.

    And perfectionism? It all boils down to a fear of failure. But with Him and with grace, we really have no such fear, do we? What a blessing!

    Great post, Deb.

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  15. awesome post. love the way you use everyday stuff to hit your message home. ☺

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  16. I've made progress in this area, but I can very much relate to the feeling of not wanting to take a swing because it's better to not try than to try and fail! Great post ...

    Sorry it's been so long since I've made contact. This last month has just been crazy. I'm going to try to call you tomorrow night (Monday 4/19) if you'll be around. I miss ya! ;0)

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  17. Hi Deb,
    Just stopped by to wish you the most wonderful of weeks!
    Kate

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  18. Hi, Deb! Loved this post!!! I sure needed it due to my perfectionist tendency.

    Thank you for reminding me that the Lord is not looking for perfect saints. He's looking at us with love and is always standing by us, cheering us on!

    Much love,

    Andrea

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  19. allie ( HOLLYWOOD )April 20, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    nonna why did you have to post a blog or whatever about me striking out.why couldnt you post a blog or whatever about one of the times that i hit the ball.next time please post a blog or whatever about me hitting the ball.

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  20. oh wait maybe you should post a blogh or whatever about me saying or whatever.

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  21. *adjusts cap, digs heel in, and prepares to swing for all it's worth.*

    oh yeah. reminds me of an AWESOME song by... hmmm... by who??? oh yeah, Geoff Moore and the Distance. Have you heard it? It is SOOOOOO awesome. Let me see if I can find a link for you.

    Here it is.

    http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#home%20run%20geoff%20moore/all/1

    love. it.

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  22. Hi Deb! Ann Knowles from your table at the SCWC.
    I just love your blog and the easy, casual way you get across some very meaningful lessons that help a lot of people.

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