In the spirit of Thanksgiving this week, this archery parent is not only thankful but grateful. Being thankful is a feeling of being pleased or relieved. Grateful is showing an appreciation of kindness. One is a feeling, the other an action. Therefore with a grateful heart, this archery parent gives thanks to archery.
Archery gives far beyond what can be taken. Give and it will be given unto you. The archery family that we have gathered are beyond friendships expecting in adult life. By being available to give to those that support the archer, relationships have developed out of kindness and respect. These are friends that know our darkest moments in life. They have shared tears and triumphs. Archery has given to this parent the truest friends (outside my sister) that have seen the real-life battles in our life and carried us through.
Archery has giving courage in my weakness. Four years ago, when travel was added the stretch began. Ever stretched a rubber band to the point of it either snapping or that the fingers are in pain? That is the closest analogy that can be given. This parent had the first panic attack while at a tournament. Thankfully, the following morning after a very rough night, his JOAD coach took him to the tournament in my place. Yes, it was later that morning that my feet walked the field. There were more “attacks” to follow in the coming years. This archery parent is thankful. These days, still do not love traveling, however, there is strength in the prayers offered and in knowing that God has put this path in front of these feet for a reason. Grateful for learning courage in weaknesses.
Archery has strengthened the relationship with the archer. Travel lends to time together. This time allows a parent to have conversations, share laughter and experiences that years later will not be regretted. The archer is a unique individual, learning to understand how he handles success and mistakes (never failures), helps any parent lend navigations skills that can grow the archer into a person. This archery parent is grateful for the time with the archer.
Archery keeps things in perspective. Let’s be real, it is just a game. Archery allows breaks from real life and offers a cocoon. This world is rough. The mere fact that we live in a country to allows travel to fling arrows around, should offer a grateful spirit. Yes, it is stressful and expensive and time-consuming and and and….What a blessing to be able to go out in the woods for a 3D or sit behind targets watching our youth share in a passion!
Archery brings joy. Joy in the biblical sense. It is an attitude of the heart. Going into anything with the spirit of giving, the spirit of learning, and the spirit of prayer will lead to joy. Praying with other parents has happened several times on the field. Prayers of the archers joined together on the field happens. The time when the bows are down and the scores have not begun can open the doors to a grateful heart. This parent is thankful for the moments of joy. Focusing on the moments of joy found carry us through the moments or even hours of bad tournaments.
This grateful archery parent gives thanks to you! We need each other. We need to show what mankind in unison can do. May you be blessed with joy on Thanksgiving.