Dodge Ball

By no stretch of the imagination would anyone call me an athlete. I didn’t grow up playing sports. My depth perception is dismal. I’m not competitive.

But I can win at dodge ball.

My strategy is simple: avoid. Do what the game implies. Dodge the ball. I lay low and don't make any flashy moves and sidestep any whizzing orbs that happen to come my way.

The same tactic allows me to win, occasionally, when I play Hearts with my in-laws. They’ve played as a family since Corey was young. Being that I grew up Baptist (read: Uno was the only deck of cards allowed in our house), I didn’t learn until I got married. But every once in a while, I win a game for the sole reason that I never try to shoot the moon.

Play it safe. Don’t bet big. Don't get cocky. It’s not necessarily bad advice. There are times when it’s wise to know your limits, to not get carried away. (In other words: Take me to Vegas. I will stand next to you and yell, “CASH OUT!” every time you are up more than $5.) (For real. Just ask Corey.)

But this cautious realism isn’t always a good thing.

Lately, I think I’ve been looking at life like a big game of dodge ball. I sit on the sidelines, unwilling to try if I can’t do it perfectly. I stall on decisions and put off emails and avoid writing blog posts (ahem) if I don’t think I have the time or the energy or the emotional capacity.

To reiterate: There’s nothing wrong with knowing your limits. It took me a long time to realize that saying no to something meant saying yes to something else.

But I also think it’s possible for a strength to overreach and become a weakness. In me, right now, this ability to postpone without guilt and defer the important things isn’t a gift.

It’s laziness.

Time to stop making excuse and get back in the game. And if the ball hits me? So be it. At least I'll know I'm giving it my all.


I wrote this a few weeks ago, for my journal. It could apply to many aspects of my life, but it specifically applies to me and writing and being intentional. What typically happens is this: I sit down, after a long day, intending to write. Instead, I decide to drive-thru Pinterest/Twitter/Facebook (the trio of time suck) just to see what's going on. And 45 minutes later, my voice is silenced and my energy gone. I go to bed and justify the whole mess to myself as I fall asleep.

It helps to play along with carnivals like Just Write and 5 Minute Fridays, because it tells my inner editor to shush it, which is necessary for those of us who are perfectionist freaks. Sometimes, our inner critics needs to take a vacation in order for us to get in the game, where we are bound to make mistakes and look foolish and do something we'll regret later.

To that end, I'm adding my voice to the 31 Days chorus that is held in harmony by The Nester. Starting this Saturday, October 1, will be blogging 31 Days of Sabbath. As you may know, Sabbath is my word for 2011, and while I'm excited about the daily discipline to write, I'm honestly just as excited about sharing my Sabbath lessons. God has opened my eyes this year to truth that permeates everything. (Which also makes it difficult to write about. It's hard for me to quantify it, to paint a clear picture of how my life is changing. And my inner editor is never pleased with posts that aren't clear.) (I'm sorry, did someone just pin something at Pinterest?)

Undoubtedly, I'll post more than just Sabbath posts in October. But I'm hoping the 31 Days of Sabbath are small jewels for you. Just promise me you'll ignore the imperfections. I'll try to do the same.

Here's to a few dodge ball bruises.


  1. I look forward to hearing about what you've been learning!

  2. I'm so glad you're diving back into the game with all you've got. I'm a play-it-safe girl too, and that little thing you said about sitting down to write only to be sucked into what everyone else, yes. So bravo to you, for showing your inner censor who is really boss--at least for 31 days! :-)