Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lessons From Russia Ball

There’s a game I played often as a child called Russia Ball. You could play by yourself or with friends. The basic game followed a set of 10 tasks, such as throwing up the ball and clapping three times before catching it, that the player completed in order. You added an extra bounce with each of the tasks to make it harder.

For Russia Ball, adding bounces of the ball to the various tasks often resulted in wild misses and gales of laughter. In our own lives, we sometimes add too much and the resulting mess is nothing at which to laugh.

At the end of the day, I often wonder how so many things conspired to go wrong or at least not the way I had planned. Most times, I can trace it back to my making things unnecessarily complicated. Kind of like adding to many bounces to the Russia Ball game when you should just stick to the basics.

Monday was a prime example of that. I had my lengthy to-do list for the day and knew what I thought I needed to accomplish. Then one of my daughters needed to go to the doctor, and we all know what a big chunk of the day that will take. In my case, it took two hours plus: travel to and from doctor’s office, wait time at doctor’s office, office visit with doctor, wait for prescription from doctor, delivery of child to school and chat with school nurse about medication, and stop by pharmacy to pick up prescription. Oh, and did I mention I’d have to go back to the pharmacy tomorrow because the cream was not in stock? Add to that Monday’s early dismissal from school, plus piano lessons afterschool, and my available time for “my” tasks just shrunk in half.

But on Monday, I managed to remember about halfway through the day that this is what God wanted for me this day. These hassles were what I needed today, that I needed more than performing my “Russia Ball” list of things. And Monday turned out to be a better day than it could have been if I had let myself stay in the frustration that had enveloped me early on.

Does it always turn out as well as my Monday ended up? For me, no! I fail more than I succeed in remembering that complications are often my own doing and if I would submit more to God, I would have less of the frustrations and more of the peace.

As I hear my girls laughing and the slap, slap of the ball as they play Russia Ball, I remind myself once again of the joys of less complicated life.

If you want directions for playing Russia Ball, send me an email through my website,


  1. I'm definitely wanting a simpler life lately. I've been getting rid of "stuff" and no more than one thing out of the ordinary scheduled a day any more.

  2. That was such an encouraging post, Sarah. I've been reminding myself a lot lately that God is the one who orders our days and He won't give us more than we can handle. Thanks so much!