I was watching Rocky with the kids. It was a post-Christmas day and we were all exhausted. Nothing beats Rocky IV when you need a little pick me up.
When the scene came for Ivan Drago and his fight with Apollo, the kids were all confused about the idea of “throwing in the towel.” I had to pause the movie and explain that when a trainer or coach “throws in the towel,” they are in effect forfeiting the fight. It’s a way to stop the competition. That’s how someone quits or decides they are done with the fight. We all watched the scene where Ivan delivers the final blow to Apollo as Rocky drops the towel. Fight over. Apollo’s dead.
There have been days in the past year where I have felt like I’ve been in the fight of my life. When I was uncertain of what to do, no matter what, as a parent you can’t just quit. You don’t even have the option to “throw in the towel.” Blow after blow, our only option is to get up and keep moving. Keep fighting. Even if most of our battles are happening only through prayer and in the heavenlies.
I read in a commentary yesterday that “when you feel like throwing in the towel, pick up the towel instead.” The author was talking about how Jesus, King of Kings, came not to be served but to serve. Even as Jesus faced certain death, He picked up a towel and washed the feet of His disciples.
I wanted to share this perspective with you because it is a vital part of why we do what we do through BelieveWithMe. Serving together as a family has been a powerful healing tool through so many of the challenges we have faced. If all I had to focus on, as a wife and a mother, were fixing the problems or dealing with the challenges– I would be constantly overwhelmed and downcast. But when my family comes together, with so many of you who have volunteered, shared, prayed or donated to give bouquets to the widows of our fallen soldiers at Christmas, or help us renovate a home for the parents of Jordan Schumann (KIA Afghanistan July 5, 2011)…suddenly our own personal struggles seem smaller. We gain strength as a family to face them with a better attitude. The heartaches I have pale in comparison with those who lost a loved one in the service of our nation’s military. And that perspective is vital if we want to be “successful” in parenting and finish our fight still standing.
When we are overwhelmed…when we face problems in our life…in parenting…when the threat of depression or heartache stalks our very soul…then serve. Don’t throw in the towel…pick it up to serve someone in more need than you. As a family, come together to serve somewhere. It takes our mind away from the present pain and gives strength and perspective to face the challenges in our own lives with renewed resolve and joy.
(The picture in the post is of my kiddos and their coffee stand at the end of our driveway over New Years. They raised awareness for BelieveWithMe and nearly $900 for The House That Love Built!)