Today begins the first official practice for our Jefferson County Patriots. In just 33 days, we begin our 2014 football season against Knox Central. Exploding popcorn kernels inside paper bags, bass drums blaring, snare drums snapping, American flags scattered along fence lines and fans decked in navy blue & red will all sidle right in close to gaze their eyes on the oversized Patrick the Patriot paint stained down in front. 100 yards at its finest.
Our & we. Those are the pronouns of teamwork. These small words are the ones strung and folded in throughout the 365 days of team building. These are the tiny words breathed in a collection of households scattered across Jefferson County. The households where a whistle hangs with the car keys by the door. Where a summer respite from classroom leadership finds these very households up before the sun where that same leadership continues turning players into more. Where men spend their off-season thinking on ways to better serve. To better lead. To better approach the idea of success all through the lens of a game. Where 4o hour work weeks aren't clocked in, but so very put in. Where stipends don't equal sacrifice and efforts aren't glorified by bonuses. Where dinners sit covered in aluminum foil and warmed in the oven from August-November. And yet, our & we are still the words used.
I can't tell you the life of a coach's wife is what I always dreamed to be. Dang, Tami Taylor makes it look so good. Never in my little girl mind did I imagine the soul binding commitment that marriage really is. All I loved was rocking baby dolls, boy & girl twins to be exact, sweeping the floors with an apron on and smiling quite contentedly for our yearly Olan Mills family photo. My sweet little 7 year old mind could not wrap itself around anything but clean floors, pretty pictures and twins. And that's pretty much what I came to the dating world with when I accepted the interim position of Coach Cobble's soon-to-be wife back in 1997.
I took the official position 12 years ago this past June. And soul binding is just exactly my prayer for us. I've talked about our marriage before here. It's important that I interject I've done minimal official research on what it takes to make a marriage, in the words of JJ, "DY-NO-MITE". But Kenny and I have done our share of practically testing the methods of marriage. We've lived good. And we've lived ugly. And I can honestly report that there is no amount of floor sweeping, baby rocking or Olan Mills family photos that can make the ugly any better. Marriage is an all-in deal. It's not just showing up for the pretty parts. For the good happens before the sun in the kisses goodbye as the whistle and keys leave the house.
Good comes from the trust you gift your spouse. In the belief that he is right where his passion holds him best. And that passion exercised can magnify greatness in others and glory for God. And by you choosing to be right behind him in what he believes best is your contribution to our & we.
It's the encouraging words when you are tired. It's in the sacrifice you feel daily running a lopsided household for a concentrated 4 months out of the year. It's listening to fair-weathered fans turn sour and voice nasty because they paid for the ticket stub pressed in their pocket. Fully realizing, they care little about the massive sacrifice your family makes for team. It's being there and building up knowing that's what makes the soul bind even more.
I wish I could say that I knew all of this way back when. But I didn't. I let me get in the way of us.She got in the way of our. I let time slip for the sake of selfishness when I could have capitalized on commitment sooner. On how teamwork feels when we're all-in. 12 years has brought me to a place of graciousness for the passion my husband has. It has taught me the power of attitude and the effect it has on the collective. I have learned that my time invested in his passion brings us to a better place. A place where we both live authentic in the gifts God has given us. That my dinners warmed over & waiting in the stove are evidence of the good. In the sacrifice we both make to bring out the best in us, our family and our community. A man completely supported in pursuing his heart is a man that brings that much more to a wife and to his children. I can give that to Kenny. And, in turn, he gives that to me. And to think, all I wanted was a good Olan Mills family portrait.
Our & we. They're big words in little form. They sit quietly beside larger words like effort, energy, sacrifice and teamwork. And yet, if they're not present, those big words can't happen best. 12 years as a coach's wife and a quick 6 season DVD crash course of Friday Night Lights has served me well. It has me just as excited for today and a home kick off just 33 days away. Our & we. I wouldn't have it any other way.
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