Oh, Snap! Confessions of a Bible Study Teacher Who May or May Not Have Cussed Out the Referee

This mama gets real about BEING real—in this case, at a little league basketball game. Whoops.

It was sort of a normal Saturday morning. Until I made a fool of myself during Luke’s basketball game.

Not that making a fool of myself is all that abnormal … but you understand.

I woke up. Had my coffee. Did my Bible study. Prayed a little bit. (Looking back, perhaps I should have prayed a lot a bit.) Luke’s basketball game wasn’t until 11:00 a.m., so I even had time for a quick run before it was time to get ready.

All good stuff so far.

Once I got to the game, I grabbed a cup of coffee (because some days are two cups of coffee days), and complained a little bit to anyone who would listen. Because, oh yeah, although it was technically a normal Saturday, I failed to mention that I was irritable.

I would say that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but no, not really. It was more like I had been set off by a minor circumstantial issue that inconveniently threw my whole state of mind for a loop. Sadly, it was a small thing that should have had no bearing on my mindset.

But no one ever accused me of always being logical.

And y’all, truth be told, once my hissy fit switch gets tripped, it takes an act of God to set things back to emotional calm. (Sigh. This is not my favorite weakness.) I would prefer to leave my crazy out of the story altogether, except it’s one of the big details.

Following my small pity party, I grabbed a seat in the bleachers next to my fellow sports moms. Now, it did nothing for my sanity when it became obvious Luke wasn’t going to start. (I know. Get a life, right?) Sometimes it’s hard to remember the main purpose of this league is to encourage the winner in every child, and teams are set up on a rotation so that every kid plays and starts at some point.

It’s just that I think the team has better odds of actually winning when my kid is on the court. (How’s that for honesty?) Ironically, this has the potential to cause marital problems since my husband is the coach.

Basically, every Saturday during basketball season invites me to work on the ugly side of my competitive issues, while it also provides a space to practice healthy family dynamics. And this is truly a great thing on those days that I choose to go with Jesus and positive thinking.

So I eventually got over the fact that Luke was a benchwarmer. But not until I complained to my pastor. (Did I mention this league is held at my church? Minor details.) I’m sure he was proud of my ungracious attitude. Before you think I was tattling on my husband to the preacher, it wasn’t quite like that. It’s more like he was divinely placed in my path as I took a time-out walk to calm down.

By the time I got back to my seat in the bleachers, I was better.

But not really, because when our boys started to get elbows hooked to chins and chests, I wanted to wipe the floor with someone’s face. (Seriously, you guys. I’ve never physically harmed anyone. But Mom-Rage gets to me.)

It didn’t help at all that we were losing. And it especially didn’t help that the refs turned a blind eye to all the shoves and other shenanigans. I needed some grace in a big way.

At one point, I moved to the other side of the court, in an effort to distance myself from the heat of the battle. Didn’t help. In fact, that only gave me a larger audience when I furiously stood up and yelled across the entire room, “Take that kid out!!”

That was when Luke got shoved three feet by an opponent after he shot the ball. (I only halfway wanted to follow with, “Suckers!” when Luke’s shot sunk cleanly through the hoop.) But I’m classy, so I didn’t.

(If you say so, lady.)

The game really didn’t get any better, in terms of unnecessary contact and such. Instead of accepting it, like most of the other parents were doing, my blood continued to boil. I sat there and collected heat until, by the end of the game, I was determined to say something to the ref.

I wanted him to know just exactly what I thought about this game, because it would have felt so awesome to unleash my anger through ugly words thrown at a poor teenage referee, who didn’t have a thing to do with That Thing I brought through the door with me.

Still, I might have wanted to prove how our loss was all his fault. (Now I’m blaming the ref? That’s just dumb.)

So I boldly walked right up to him, with all the fury of a angry mother …

And then, I sort of chickened out.

The words I originally planned to say dropped somewhere between my head and my mouth. (And all of heaven sighed with relief.)

I still told him the game could have been called more fairly. But at least I did not become That Bible Study Teacher Who Cussed Out the Ref. Because, seriously. That almost happened. I should have just kept my mouth shut altogether.

Why am I even telling you this? Because this was not my best day ever. Clearly.

It’s just that … I’m a Jesus person. But some days, I grossly misrepresent him. I want to live in such a way that makes others want to know him. But to do that, I need Jesus. I don’t want to be the person who talks about him a lot, but doesn’t act a lot like him.

And that, my friends, means that he still has work to do in this heart.

Stay tuned …


P.S. “Coach” Larry, aka Husband Larry, apologized to the referee after I left. (Bless him.)

Amy Dalke
Amy Dalke is a wife, mom, and stepmom who blog with a lot of grace-filled sarcasm (yes, she does, I swear!), humor, and love for Jesus at AmyDalke.com. She would love for you to come hang out with her there as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +. Oh, and also? She wants you to know that God made you on purpose, for a purpose. He isn’t waiting for you to get your life on track before you start following him; and he’s not keeping your score. He just loves you. And he thinks you’re awesome