My middle son bounded into the kitchen a couple of weeks ago bouncing a basketball in a red morph suit. Some moms might have wondered what was going on, not this one. Happenings like these are commonplace in my household.
Hudson announced, “I’m the new mascot for Daws’ (his brother’s) basketball team.”
I replied, “Oh really? When did this happen?”
“I just decided it.” he answered, and off he went to complete his mascotting attire.
What I love the most about this is that no one asked him to be a mascot. He was self appointed! He made himself at home on the team’s bench, does push ups or a diving slide when they score, and gives high fives to the boys as they come on and off the court. At the last game I think he got just as many cheers as the players. I mean, who doesn’t love an enthusiastic mascot?! Especially one in a morph suit?
We all could sure use a mascot in life! Someone to be on our home team and encourage us. We also can become someone’s mascot…. many people’s in fact.
Here are 5 Ways to be Someone’s Mascot:
1. Cheer…loudly! There are plenty of nay sayers out there. Let’s be people who truly “rejoice with those who rejoice.” What a gift to to be in someone’s corner. Someone who doesn’t see another’s success as a threat, but rather has self appointed themselves as #1 cheerleader! Now that’s unique!
2. Sit with them on their bench. Sometimes the power of another’s presence is enough. At times words don’t come, or seem artificial. But being side by side in critical moments matters. I remember a friend just laying across my lap, tears rolling down her face. No words were spoken, and being together was enough.
3. Build them up in front of others. The whole goal of a mascot is to promote a team in the presence of a crowd. To build team spirit. Let’s be people who build unity among others by lifting up the strengths of individuals. How much better is this approach than gossip? That tears down and pollutes all of those around it. This tactic builds and strengthens all involved.
4. Add fun to the mix. I’ve never met a mascot who wasn’t FUN. Think of ways to lighten life a little for another. Add levity by texting something funny, throwing a mini party, or leaving a little gift on the doorstep.
5. Circle the court. Mark Batterson’s book, The Prayer Circle, talks about praying circles around our dreams and around people. One of the greatest gifts we can give others is to PRAY FOR THEM. One time, while doing a favor for a friend in her house, I walked room by room and prayed for her family. It was a gift to me and to her to cover their house in prayer, though she doesn’t even know I did it.
Being a mascot takes some effort and energy, but the rewards will be joy, strengthened relationships, and love.
Think of one person right now who needs some encouragement, or who you just want to pick to be their mascot over the next 2 weeks:
After these 2 weeks, if there hasn’t been something special that happens as a result of your efforts, then let’s pack up this blog and throw in the towel. But my guess is that you will both experience meaningful and rewarding connection. Pick that person and start mascotting (if that’s even a word)!
Have you ever had someone who acted as a mascot in your life? I’d love to hear ideas on how people have done this.
Get the word out. Teach all these things.
And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young.
Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.
1 timothy 4:12
My 4th grade son passed out Bibles to his entire class today on the last day of school….on his own accord. Months ago, he came and told me his idea, and then proceeded to let me know that he had saved enough money to buy them — over $100.00. My husband and I encouraged him, supported him, and then sat back and watched. His resolve never wavered about the idea, and today he followed through. On June 8, 2012, my son took a risk and stood for something.
I don’t know if you’ve been around any public schools lately, but I wouldn’t say passing out Bibles hits the top 10 list of the coolest things to do, especially for a 4th grade boy. However, in my book, it’s one of the most courageous things I’ve ever seen.
Courage. Conviction. Boldness.
That’s why he passed them out. That’s why he spent his money on his classmates. He wants them to have the opportunity to come to know the God who has touched his life in a powerful way. He’s passionate about it. If you knew my son, you would realize just how much it must mean to him because he is not someone who likes to draw attention to himself, or to be center stage in any way. He was being obedient to the nudge he felt God was placing on his heart.
A good friend of mine once said that her desire for her kids is to see them stand on her spiritual shoulders and far surpass her depth of faith. No question, today Dawson stood on my shoulders. As I watched my 10 year old place his hands over those books before school, and pray a heart-felt, sincere prayer for the classmates who would be receiving them, my heart was inspired, touched, and convicted. Am I willing to go out of my comfort zone in my faith like my son? Do I hear the whisper of God in my life and then follow through on what he is calling me to do, even when it puts me at risk?
There are some parents who may not agree with what my son did. There are some who will simply throw the Bible in the recycling bin. Some will keep it, and may even read a few words from its pages. Whatever the response from others, God is using this significant moment to help form my son’s heart and character.
At a time when the pressure is building to conform, my son stood. When it came time to put faith to action, he stood. Alone? No, never alone. With God. Standing on my shoulders.