Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Dear Coach,

In high school, I hated you. My parents hated you, tooespecially my dad. You and he had a few very tense conversations after you kept me seated on the bench for yet another volleyball game. 

Those games broke my heart. All I wanted was time to play. I worked so hard and volleyball was my passion. 

RELATED: Youth Sports Parents: Instead of Raising Star Athletes, Let’s Raise Team Players

I sat on that bench feeling inadequate and incompetent. I tried to cheer and clap for my team, even as the sweat-soaked tears stung my eyes. Wondering if this next game would be my turn. Maybe this would be the moment. Over and over again until the ref whistled the end of the game. 

But you didn’t put me in. There were better players on the team, and you and I both knew it.

Your job wasn’t to make every girl on the team feel good about herself. Your job was to coach a great, competitive, and elite team. And our team was really good. 

I sat on that bench my freshman year, then again my sophomore year. 

RELATED: Dear Youth Sports Parents: The Only Words Your Child Needs to Hear From You Are, “I Love Watching You Play”

FinallyfinallyI had an epiphany. What if volleyball wasn’t the right sport for me? What if my dream of a college scholarship wasn’t in the cards?

Junior year, I made one of the hardest decisions of my life and decided not to try out for the team. Four years of hard work down the drain. I cried about it. I groaned and griped and felt so sorry for myselfas only a 16-year-old can do. 

But eventually, I dusted myself back off. I picked myself back up. I found a new dream. 

Dear Coach, thank you for not putting me in.

Thank you for keeping me as the lead bench warmer game after game. It helped me realize this was not the sport for me. It helped me find a new dream and reach for new heights . . . somewhere else. Somewhere destined for me. 

You could have put me in to make me happy. You could have put me in to make my parents happy. But you taught me an important lesson about growing up. We don’t get playing time just for showing up.

We aren’t owed anything just for being present. 

That’s not how the world works. That’s now how growing up works. Not school, not relationships, not work, and absolutely not competitive sports. 

RELATED: Sometimes the MVP Never Makes it Off the Bench

I’ve come across so many hurdles and so many rejections since high school. I like to think my volleyball experience better prepared me for them. Because you didn’t put me in, I had to find a new dream. And it hurt at first, and it was hard. But I did. 

And I’m better off for it. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Celeste Yvonne

About Celeste Yvonne: Celeste is a popular blogger and personality who writes about all things parenting. Celeste openly speaks about her struggles with alcohol, and two years ago she announced her commitment to becoming a sober mom for the sake of her health and her family. Her piece about a playdate that went sideways when another mom started serving mimosas has reached over 14 million people. Celeste lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband and two boys ages 3 and 5. Follow Celeste at http://www.facebook.com/theultimatemomchallengehttp://www.instagram.com/andwhatamom or http://www.andwhatamom.com

There’s No Such Thing As a Good or Bad Body

In: Living, Motherhood
Little girl sticking her tongue out with her brother and parents, color photo

Maybe it was the ’80s or just my situation, but growing up, I noticed a lot of body talk among adults. Mostly by the women, but sometimes by the men.  My gorgeous grandma always dressed up and was always on a diet. I remember a babysitter who was supermodel gorgeous not eating this or that because she didn’t want to get “fat.” Once, during my freshman year of college, my grandpa commented that I “had gained some weight.” As an adult, a compliment I often heard if my weight fluctuated slightly was, “You look great, you’re so thin.”  Or the...

Keep Reading

“Do You Still Want the China?”

In: Grief, Living
Grandmother and young granddaughter

My grandmother sits in the same plush chair that my grandfather sat in before he passed. The red reclining chair, next to the old brick fireplace where an oversized picture of our extended family smiles down from the mantel above.  Recessed lighting illuminates her freshly washed white hair, a startling contrast to the dark brown perm of her past. In lieu of her signature sapphire blouse, she wears a striped blue bathrobe, the hem settling around her calves and accentuating her swollen legs.  She clasps her hands together and closes her weary eyes. I wonder if she is ready to...

Keep Reading

Winter Can be Lonely; Please Check In On Your Friends

In: Friendship, Living
Winter street

Winter can be hard for a mom.  In the summer months, she often sends her kids outside, the warm sun beaming down and the windows wedged open as she listens to everyone run around the backyard.  She cherishes the opportunity to gather everybody for walks in the springtime, bright tulips peeking through, whenever the weather is nice.  Autumn offers respite with its crisp leaves and bearable temperatures.  But winter? Sometimes winter is hard. RELATED: The Lonely I’m Hiding Is Heavy Though beautiful, winter can feel like a ceaseless parade of dark nights. Winter can feel like isolation.  Winter can feel...

Keep Reading

Wear the Pretty Underwear

In: Faith, Grief, Living, Loss
Woman in evening gown, color photo

This week was monumental.  After 15 years, I finally finished a bottle of Victoria’s Secret perfume. I just wish I would have emptied it sooner.  It was one of those special occasion luxuries because it was not cheap. For years, I had saved this decadent perfume for date nights and holidays. It was too fancy for everyday use. And then, I was widowed without warning. My husband was here one minute, then gone the next. Impossible. Unfair. Traumatic. RELATED: What If Tonight Was Your Last Chance To Have Sex With Your Husband? But we were going to die in our...

Keep Reading

Some People Will Misjudge You; Let Them

In: Friendship, Living
Woman on beach with arms up

Have you ever seen a simple phrase but felt like it was impossible?  “Let them . . .” This is a phrase I’ve seen in many places. It doesn’t matter where it is found, overall it means the same thing. If you’re like me, then you struggle with it. It’s an everyday battle. Heck, it’s an hourly battle sometimes. You can say over and over that it doesn’t matter. Their thoughts don’t matter. Their opinions don’t matter. Their get-togethers don’t matter. Their talking behind your back doesn’t matter. Their choices don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the case is—it is...

Keep Reading

Loving Mom (Thanks, Amazon)

In: Grief, Living, Motherhood
Woman and mother smiling, color photo

I was online, searching old Amazon orders for a part we’d bought for our 1998 Buick Regal. The car was Mom’s. She’d given it up at 86 after I said her grandsons would be grateful to use it. She’d laughed with delight as Gabe, newly licensed, pulled away from her place in her Buick, heading home to California. It was a good car, but the original parts were wearing out. That’s why I scrolled through my orders, to see which window pulley assembly we’d purchased last time. As I scrolled, I was struck by all the gifts I’d ordered for...

Keep Reading

Donna Kelce Is Living the Boy Mom Dream: Her Two Sons Will Face Off in the NFL’s Biggest Game

In: Living, Motherhood
Donna Kelce in split Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs jersey

How many millions of brothers have grown up playing football against each other in their backyards? It’s impossible to know, really—but if you had brothers or are raising boys, you’ve probably seen a few of those pick-up games yourself.  Sometimes, the little boys tossing around the pigskin grow up to realize the dream of playing in the NFL. In Donna Kelce’s case, that dream became a reality times two: son Jason Kelce plays center for the Philadelphia Eagles, and son Travis Kelce is a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. And in two weeks time, those two teams—and Donna’s...

Keep Reading

You’re the Kind of Teacher Who Brings Out the Best in My Child

In: Living, Motherhood
Teacher with student high fiving

Dear Mrs. Izzy, I was a teacher, and I know how challenging busy little boys can be. The energy, the questions, the silliness . . . THE ENERGY. Sometimes they call it “gifted and talented,” sometimes “enriched.” When I taught middle school, it was called “Advanced Social Studies.” Whatever they were calling it, I knew one thing . . . this teacher was not interested in leading it.  People often think these types of classes would be easier on a teacher because the students are so excited about learning. I know the planning, patience, and persistence it takes to lead...

Keep Reading

Volunteer More—You Won’t Regret It

In: Living
Volunteers in kitchen smiling

I love volunteering. I have made amazing friendships and learned so much by volunteering. I volunteer in my community, I have volunteered to coach on occasion, and I volunteer in my church. I do it because it makes me feel good about helping others and bringing events to our small corner of the world. My personality has been made and molded to help others.  While volunteering, I have learned how to best set up a serving line that maximizes efficiency. I have learned how amazing and funny the kids in our community are. I have learned planning and organizing skills that have...

Keep Reading

To the Teacher Who Let Me Dance: Thank You

In: Living
Feet of a young dancer on darkened stage

If you would have driven through my neighborhood in 2008, you would have seen a strange and humorous sight: a 12-year-old girl dancing outside her garage, blonde ponytail flying.  You would have seen the long, bright orange extension cord hooked up to a silver boombox and the concentration on my face as I practiced the moves from class. I’ve never been a confident or carefree person, but as I danced, you would have seen a girl who was free and fearless.  But what you wouldn’t have seen was the teacher who made it all possible.  It was the great recession...

Keep Reading