Monday, June 27, 2011

Confessions of a Rodeo mom

I'm not one to care about what others think about me, or the decisions I make as a parent.  Now, of course, I LOVE people, and I'm careful to show respect and grace and patience, and all those things.  But at the end of the day, I only have One person to please, and He is sure to show me loud and clear when I've done something outside His will.

All that to say...I still can't help but notice the look (or comments) I get when it sinks in with some folks that my six-year-old is a bull rider.  They're mainly looks of astonishment.  Shock.  Interest.  Curiosity.  Now, I'm human, and I'm halfway intelligent, and I've seen 8 Seconds (hehe), and I've seen major injuries occur right in front of me.  I know what can happen.

When Cole was two years old and told me he wanted to ride bulls when he grows up, I just brushed it off.  When he was four, he wanted to ride a sheep in the Tuttle rodeo, so we let him.  It was fun to him, but it shook his world a little, and the next night we went, he backed out in the chute.  The whole next year, he couldn't wait until that next rodeo, to get back up there and not back out.  So when he was five, he cowboy'ed up and went and won himself a belt buckle.  1st place at Tuttle rodeo, 2010....

....and he was HOOKED.

Since then, he's ridden sheep, calves, and mini bulls.  As a mom, it's still pretty easy to watch him because the stock for his age group aren't that rank yet.  And when I think about how crazy those animals can be down the road, I have to let it go. (Philippians 4:6)  Cole loves everything.  Baseball, basketball, football, music, painting, reading, swimming, exercising...I could go on and on and on.  But there is something different about rodeo.  Shane and I weren't in the rodeo and didn't even grow up around livestock or horses.  It's not something we've forced him into.  Cole knows more about rodeo than we do.  I struggle to explain the happiness I see in him when he knows there's a rodeo tonight...or next week, the happiness I see in him when he's there.

It's important to him to pray about his rides.  So many times we've bowed our heads together right behind the chutes, immediately before his rides.  (Now, you know this mama's praying for protection.)  But one night even the calves seemed like they were a little 'off' to me, and I was feeling a little uneasy about his ride.  Low and behold, I forgot to pray.  I was up in the press box with the video recorder in hand when I saw Cole hit a knee and pray right then and there.  Right around all the other lil cowpokes.  Wasn't quick either.  I've since wondered if in that prayer he was showing God he can count to 100.  :) On the way to a minibull event in Amarillo this past Saturday, we were driving through Elk City and I heard his DSi hit the floorboard and he said, "I'm gonna pray."  Then he proceeded to pray about the ride he would take that evening.

Not that he really has to ask before we tell him, but Cole NEVER fails to ask Shane and me at least a million times "Was that a good ride??"  I tell him every now and then that any ride that he can stand back up unassisted is a great ride in my book.  He didn't make the short-go that night in Amarillo.  But that ride was sacred.  Blessed.  Set apart.  Holy.  For His Glory.  Protected.

I know, at the very core of my existence, that God has wonderful plans for Cole.  And whether rodeo will be for just a few years, or a few decades, if He wants to use the rodeo to help Cole carry out the plans He has...who am I to try and stop Him?

Amarillo, June 25, 2011

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank Him for all he has done.  If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6, 7.

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