Keeping Score

“Drop Your Hands!” has been one of the most powerful 3 words spoken to me in the last 7 years. What does that mean?? To me it meant, I was trying to make everyone happy! I love things to go smoothly, especially for my family and others around me for that matter. I love in the “game of life,” and in golf, for all balls to be hit in the fairway and on the green which is so UNREALISTIC if you know golf and life. It has always been hard for me to walk away from, ignore or let go of someone else’s frustrations (what I call bad shots), sadness and anger (the feelings you get when you make doubles and triples), or predicaments (the unplayable shots out-of bounds, hazards, etc. that require you to make an alternate plan). Somehow over time, like developing a glitch in your swing or a strong grip in golf, I found my eyes off my target and on to other people’s target, especially the people I love and are closest to me. I tried to take the place of God in their lives.

To further elaborate, I tried to make things right, smooth and perfect for them, thus they would be happy, and I, in turn, would be happy. “The ultimate People Pleaser!” The more balls that anyone hit in the air, the more I tried to give them the perfect lie. I was asked, “How’s that working for Ya??” My response, “Terrible!!” The more I tried to make things right, good and perfect, the crazier my life became. The high expectations, “the unplayable lies,” people had of me were taking their toll on me. Reminding you here, that I was responsible for taking it on. That’s why I desperately needed to “DROP MY HANDS!” I NEEDED TO PLAY MY OWN BALL.

It finally took me to a point of anger, frustration, and looking in the mirror and saying to myself, “Who are you?” Seriously, when you become a “people pleaser,” you totally and utterly lose yourself, playing everyone else’s shots–good and bad. I even took pride in someone who is very near and dear to me and, was a person who had seen my life up close and personal saying, “You always have your CAPE ON!” Now I know exactly what she was trying to say to me. Or how my life looked to someone “looking in!”

From those powerful, but 3 simple words that were instruction for me, I took a step back and started to “Accurately gaze into the Personal round of golf of MY LIFE!” I realized that as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, and friend, I do have certain responsibilities and healthy desires to help and please, but over time this had gotten “way out of bounds” from my “fairway of life!” I would get up in the morning and everything was driving me to “people please” instead of “God Please”. I had a to do list for a mile long, which sometimes was appropriate and sometimes wasn’t. It took time for me to take a “step back” and examine my game, with God’s help, and make wiser decisions and club selections. I had to look at my own targets and shots to get things back to a clear shot to the “Green of my LIFE!” which, in turn, would ultimately help everyone “own their own game!” The results have been amazing, life giving and freeing.

This is what I learned and want to share: Psalm 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” And Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield to them that put their trust in HIM.”

1. Everyone gets angry in life. Just because someone else is angry doesn’t mean I have to “own their anger!” As in golf, everyone gets angry but it would kill your shot if you owned someone else’s anger over “their bad shot or decision!”

2. My job as a mother is to teach my kids how to get along without me, to be responsible and let them “hit their own shots”. Let them own the outcome. This is in the context of teaching and training and giving advice as a parent, especially if asked, but taking a step back and leaving the ultimate decision up to them. If they fail or make a wrong choice, then “they are responsible and not me. They have to look at their own stats” and own their frustrations and redirect their decisions to better ones with better outcomes. THAT is how they LEARN. Sometimes mistakes are the “greatest teachers.” As in golf, we can give our children lessons from the best teachers, we teach them the rules, and we provide an environment in which they can succeed. At some point we have to turn it over to them and allow them to be responsible for their game and its outcome.

3. No one really likes to be told what to do, adult or child. In a child’s case, you should ignore their dislike and be the responsible adult or parent. But in a young adult’s life and in all other adults, at some point, you step back and allow them the right to choose and accept the shot they hit! As I have caddied, I have realized a “seasoned golfer doesn’t want much advice and I don’t want to give it, otherwise, I might be blamed for a bad shot.” Before God we all become individuals responsible “individually for all choices!” It was pointed out to me that on the “Day we all give an account before a HOLY God” and sign our “SCORE CARD”, no one was going to be signing my scorecard but ME, meaning, I was RESPONSIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE for every shot (choice) I hit, no one else. Thus that meant, everyone in my life would have to do the same and I wouldn’t be there beside them pleading their case.

4. God is the ultimate “CADDY” and “SCORE KEEPER”. I realized I needed to start everyday, or as a golfer would start every “round of golf,” with God driving my ball (my schedule and choices). God is the one that knows the “perfect club selection”, “perfect distance”, “wind direction”, and He has the “perfect read of the greens” so why in the world wouldn’t I want to please Him first instead of “People Pleasing”?

God rewards those who DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM.

PROVERBS 3:5-6, “TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS (SHOTS) STRAIGHT.

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