Calling an Audible

Ok, Ladies. Today I am going to lend you some sports’ terminology that is not only relevant to our lives as moms, but will help you to communicate in a language that your husband will most likely understand. Woot-woot!

Yesterday, I called an audible. According to the urban dictionary (how fun is the urban dictionary y’all-so fun), calling an audible is:

To decide what to do at the last second after seeing all possible options and obstacles that come up. Comes from football, seen when the quarterback goes up to the line of scrimmage (where they all line up and get ready to play keep-away with the football), sees a defensive alignment he wasn’t expecting, and adjusts by yelling out a new play.

This is what happened yesterday at my house with my four little girls, minus the shoulder pads and helmets. We are in a season of total chaos, and let me just clarify that this chaos is being caused by really good things.

It’s harder to know when to call an audible when it’s good chaos, because I never want to miss out on the good things-you know? Well, this week, there have been so many good things creating all kinds of havoc in our household. We had one more really good thing that was packed with fun for my kids and I was struggling to find the energy to do it. On top of the lack of energy, my kid’s behavior was a wreck. I’m talking bad attitudes, constant sister fighting, whining, and blatant disobedience. I knew that the chaos had me too distracted this week to really focus in on my children's hearts. I had been parenting by the seat of my pants and it showed when I saw how my kids were behaving.

I kept looking at my husband and saying, “I think we need to change the plans for tonight.” His reply was, “So do it.” He has so much faith in my quarterbacking abilities. But I was having such a hard time making the call. I knew that it was going to make me really unpopular with people in and outside of my family. So I wrestled with the anxiety of it ALL stinkin’ day.

Finally, three hours before the last event of the weekend, I found the courage to make the call. I called an audible. We cancelled our plans, sat our children down to explain why this call was best for them, and then replaced our plans with a family night that included pizza and snuggling on the couch to watch Narnia. The night ended with very happy children and very relieved parents.

I was sure this call would bring on the tears. I was shocked when it didn't. There was some disappointment, and we told them that was ok. No one is happy when plans don’t go the way they hoped, and they didn’t have to pretend to be happy about it.

Why did I struggle so much to make the call that I knew was right? Because deep down, I’m a people pleaser. But if you are going to be a good quarterback, you can’t worry about pleasing people. You just have to make the call you know is right for the situation. At least, I’m assuming you do-I’ve never actually quarterbacked for a team.

But, you and I are the quarterbacks for our families, dear Mama. Biblically, our husbands are the heads of our homes (Eph. 5; 1 Peter 3), so they are like the coach who bears the responsibility for leading the whole team. But we women bear the responsibility of guarding our families when we see the lines of defense changing in ways that our husbands can’t. We must have the wisdom to not only see when the enemy is moving in, but to know the right call to make, and to know how to make the call in a way that does not demean or undermine our husbands. We must have sound minds, discerning hearts, courageous spirits and humble attitudes. Dear Lord, have mercy! Sounds like too much, doesn’t it? Not if we submit first to the Lord. His Spirit in us gives us what we need in order to make the right call in the right way. When we submit our plans to him, he establishes our steps (Proverbs 16).

We ladies don’t always make the right call. Eve made the wrong call at the tree in the garden and brought destruction into her home. I’ve made some wrong calls that have invited destruction into my home, as well. I’ve also made the right call in the wrong way and wounded my husband’s heart.

My prayer for you and me this week is that we would be women of God’s Word. The only way we can make the right call is if we know the playbook really well (ok, enough with sports analogies-they’re just so dang easy!). I pray that we would submit our hearts and plans to God and pray continually for his wisdom and discernment. I pray that we will have the courage to make the right calls, even when they make us unpopular with the people we love most. Finally, I pray we would be alert to what’s going on in the hearts of our homes. May we not be so distracted by the chaos, both good and bad, that we fail to see what’s happening in the hearts of our people.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts her…Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10-28