What I learned about perseverance from a 7 year old

Spring means it’s time for soccer season at the Jones house.

What I learned about perseverance from a 7 year old

This past Saturday marked the first games of the year. It was an exciting day too!

Our son, Colton, is just now old enough for soccer, so he played in his first game ever.

It’s our daughter’s third season, so it kind of felt like “old hat” for her. But what happened in Kaylee’s game was anything but yesterday’s news.

That’s because Kaylee scored three goals.

Three. Goals.

I don’t tell you that to brag though, not at all, but rather I tell you that because I want to share the rest of the story with you. And what it taught me.

You see, Kaylee hadn’t scored a goal in two years.

In fact, she was the only player on her team that didn’t score a goal last year.

As you can imagine, she was extremely disappointed. And it was hard for me to swallow as her father too.

I was worried that may happen again this year, so in an effort to save her from the same grief, I tried to give her an out. I probably asked her a dozen times…”Are you sure you want to play soccer this year?”

Her answer was always a firm “Yes.”

She enjoyed playing in the past and wanted to stick with it.

I mean, it would have been easy for her to give up. It would have been easy for her to say “It’s too hard…I’m not going to play anymore.”

But she didn’t.

And as a result she scored in her first game of the season this year. Man, I jumped to my feet when it happened too!

I cry at SportsCenter, so you can imagine how emotional this made me.

I was bursting with pride…and in that moment a million thoughts ran through my mind.

I was proud of Kaylee for sticking with it…for refusing to give up on something just because it was hard.

I was relieved she said “yes” all those times I asked her if she really wanted to play.

It had taken two years, but her perseverance paid off.

And as I sat there in shock when she scored her second goal and her third, the lesson of Kaylee’s perseverance hit me.

I was reminded that sometimes hard work doesn’t pay off for a while…years even. But when it finally does, it’s that much sweeter.

I mean, I wouldn’t have been nearly as excited for Kaylee if she had scored tons of goals last year. But the fact that she didn’t, the fact that she accomplished something that didn’t come easy for her, made it so much more awesome.

You know, I like to write the same way Kaylee likes soccer. But lately it’s been difficult. Lately, I’ve thought about giving up. I’ve thought “It’s too hard…I’m not going to write anymore.”

But when Kaylee scored those three goals, I knew I had to leave those thoughts behind. I knew I couldn’t give up.

I’m supposed to be the one setting the example for my kids, but Kaylee is the one that impacted me that day.

It’s funny…every month our Upward soccer league reviews a different life application with the kids. Guess what this month is.

You guessed it. Perseverance. And the definition?

Refusing to give up when life gets hard.

And sometimes life is hard.

There will always be bumps in the road, but if we give up, we might miss out on something great.

If Kaylee had answered “no” when I asked her if she wanted to play soccer, then Saturday never would have happened.

Kaylee didn’t give up, so I figure I shouldn’t either.

I’m going to try to follow my daughter’s lead.

I hope you will too.


I'd like to hear from you! Do you have an example of perseverance to share? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sheila

    I’m glad you’re not quitting 🙂

  • Doug Grote

    Stephen! Great article and thanks for sharing! Man the things we are reminded of through our kids. Even better how God brings everything together! Too cool.

    • Thanks, Doug! You’re so right! I’m pretty sure I learn more from my kids than they learn from me! God is constantly teaching me things through them.