Raising the Hoop

When my boys were small, they were given a made-of-plastic basketball hoop for their birthday. At the time, the lowest notch was the perfect height for them to toss a little ball into. It seemed impossible that they’d ever grow big enough for the tallest level.

Welp. I just looked outside. My nearly 7 year old boys are shooting hoops (even making some of them) with the hoop as high as it will go.

My first thought? How did they get big enough for that?

My second? I truly admire that moxie.

(Fun Fact: my cat when I was a kid was named Moxie. That darn critter bit me nearly every single day. My mom used to tell me it was because he wanted to play. I just thought he was a jerk.)

You know, those boys could have left that hoop lower. They would have made more baskets, wouldn’t have had to chase so many wayward balls after they brick off the backboard, could have saved their arms a little from the effort of tossing the ball higher.

But they wanted it to be a challenge. They wanted to grow in their skills.

That’s grit. That’s character. I’m proud of them.

There have been times in my life when I’ve just wanted to keep things easy. Growing is hard work. Learning something new or taking it deeper is exhausting.

It ups the risk for failure.

That, my friends, is scary.

But, if we never go for it, we won’t get better. We won’t improve. We won’t grow.

I don’t know what it is for you. If it’s some art form or a different level of math (which takes true determination, if you ask me). Maybe you want to read a book that seems a little deep or thick or wordy (Moby Dick, anyone?). Maybe you want to learn a new skill or try a different sport. Whatever it is, you will grow – inch by inch – if you keep challenging yourself.

If you don’t, you might just stagnate. Grow bored. Give up.

This is a challenge to myself just as much as anyone else. In my writing, my family life, my physical activity (read: working out).

What is it for you? I’d love to hear what you’d like to grow in.

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5 thoughts on “Raising the Hoop

  1. I’m a dig in my heels girl. My kids push me out of that and I think you are so right. I want to keep growing in my writing. Not getting scared and pushing the pause button all the time 🙂 Growth is good and needful and Jesus will always be near.

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  2. Definitely can relate to this. I don’t think of myself is a super-ambitious person or a risk-taker, but since I do value growth, sometimes I have to force myself out of my comfort zone and into the growth zone.

    With one caveat: I do think there is a difference between the growth zone and the danger zone. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast — or letting others do so — can sometimes be counterproductive.

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  3. So good Susie! I don’t want to stagnate as I get older…which becomes more apparent at my age….I want to keep growing, read more, write more, and learn more. I want to stay active and exercise my mind. Especially, I want to follow the Spirit and obey and trust more, even when I have fear or feelings of inadequacy. I want to grow in the Lord! Thanks for the reminder. And your boys….enjoy them!! They do grow up way too fast, let me tell ya! Mine are in their 20’s now, and I wonder how in the world I can have kids that old when I’m barely acting that old. Haha!

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