Monday, February 11, 2013

Lessons Learned From the Pinewood Derby

As I’ve said before, sometimes being a mom is hard. Like when your sweet 8-year-old son spends several weeks painstakingly perfecting his car for the pinewood derby, then bright-eyed and eager watches it fly down the track and then watches it end up coming in dead last. His head hangs down. His cheeks turn red. You can tell he’s fighting back tears. You can practically hear the thud his little heart makes as it drops.

Yes, sometimes being a mom is hard. It’s hard to watch our kids suffer, especially when there’s not a darn thing we can do about it, except give a reassuring smile, tell them we’re still proud of them no matter what, hug them tightly and remind them that there’s always next year.

I imagine it’s much like how our Heavenly Father feels about us. There are times when we simply have to lose. Because not everybody can always win. We can do our best, but sometimes we come in dead last, and God lets us have those experiences.

I’m grateful He does, and in the end, I’m grateful my son is having and will have those experiences too. Because just like physical muscles, spiritual muscles don’t grow unless they meet resistance. Just as we lift weights and fight gravity to build muscle, we must lift ourselves and fight adversity to build spiritual strength. We must learn what hurt feels like, because it is only through experiencing hurt and overcoming it that we grow and become more like the Savior. After all, isn’t He the prime example of overcoming hurt?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to compare losing the Pinewood Derby with the suffering of the Savior. Worlds apart, I know. But as difficult as it is as a mother to watch my son hurt, I am glad to see an opportunity for him to grow, and I just hope that he will take that opportunity.

Sometimes being a mom is hard, but sometimes it’s great. Like when your heartbroken son musters a smile and says, “I think the other cars were just scared of mine because it looks so fierce. They all just ran away.”

You know what? I think he’s right. :-)

(But even so, I already have an entire Pinterest board- secret, of course- dedicated to finding ways to make his car faster next year. I’m all for spiritual growth, but a win every now and then never hurts either...) ;-)


  1. That IS a pretty fierce looking car, if that helps at all ;)

  2. Oh, that is SO sweet. Have you guys seen Down and Derby? Kind of funny.



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