When Jimmy Dougan asked Dotty why she was quitting the team she replied, “It just got too hard.”

“It’s the hard that makes it good,” he said into her eyes.

You can’t get a more quotable movie than A League of their Own.  Except maybe Napoleon Dynamite but that’s a different kind of quotable.  “Tina! Come eat your dinner.  Uuh!”

But seriously, folks.  It is the hard that makes it good.  In life, that is.

I was just daydreaming today about the time I met my Andrew.  We were both a lot younger (and more in shape).  We worked 60 hour work weeks for peanuts at a glorious place called Wolf Mountain.  It was hard work, friends, but I always look back on those years and am so glad I have a stock piling of the precious memories from that time.  Wolf Mountain was a Christian camp up in the foothills of Northern California.  We were science camp instructors and assistant directors in those days.  Our jobs included but were not limited to climbing huge ponderosa pine trees to fix pullie systems on the ropes course and purchasing large rats from the pet store to feet the giant Columbian red-tailed boa constrictor in the Herpotology center.  From early in the morning we faced heat, rain and pimples as we taught science classes to kids of all ages and walks of life.  We had the inner city kids who were so soaked in calogne they were walking mountain lion deterents.  And the weird homeschoolers who had no concept of raising hands or sitting still.   Or that time we had thirty autistic kids (I’m shuttering right now as I remember it).  When the morning sun rose golden on the chilly fall mornings and we trudged together to pray before facing a long day teaching in the rain only to end at ten that night after putting away the last of the climbing harnesses and putting out the large campfire.  The job was grueling at times but the memories I have of the brave things I used to do are treasures that I occasionally take out and admire before gently tucking them back into the hope chest of memories in my mind.

The same goes with every hard thing I have done in my life so far.  Having children was my next great adventure.   I traded my climbing harness and bow and arrow for a boppy and wooden train tracks.  My adventures are not nearly as exciting now but they are cram-packed full of meaning.  I’m doing something that is so difficult and so meaningful.  When we left behind our lives in California and became constant wanderers we traded comfort for challenge.  We gave up easy and tackled hard and it is the hard that made it good.  When I look back on the years of comfort I lived in, I feel blessed to have had them. God gives us calm before the storm so we can endure what it laid before us.  And he brings the storm because we become what he desires for us when the tempest blows.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising it’s shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1,2

Donald Miller wrote a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years which details how a person with a really meaningful story is one who wants something and overcomes great odds to acquire that thing.

I want Jack to live longer than the doctors in California said he would live so we left it all in pursuit of his life.

I homeschool because these years with my kids are fleeting and I want to soak up every possible moment.  (And because I don’t trust Common Core but that is a whole other rant altogether.)

I write because it gives vent to the cries of my heart and purpose in the midst of my doldrums.

Women through the ages have faced the odds in pursuit of something big, something mighty, something meaningful.  Queen Esther defied her own need for self-preservation to face unannounced a king who could crush her existence with a word.  She saved an entire race of people.  Joan of Arc ignored her social status and her gender in order to be God’s ambassador for France.  She saved her country and was murdered for it.  Rosa Parks sat silently in modest protest of the foolish notion that separate is equal.  Men and women of all color and distinction are now free to sit anywhere on any bus in America.

We are all called to one battle field or another.  The question is, are you hearing the battle cry or are you living for comfort? It is the hard that makes it good.

God is the God of all comfort, not the God of all comfortable.