Friday, October 3, 2014

Dear Coach


We have been blessed to have some amazing coaches in our daughters' lives.  People that spoken into my girls in a way that I couldn’t.  I’ve also heard the horror stories of coaches who have damaged kids by their words and actions. Here’s what I want to say to coaches everywhere:
 
Dear Coach-
Thank you for the time you put into our daughter
…for believing in her and helping her to see what she is capable of
…for pushing her through her fear
…for your patience when she still doesn’t do the move you know she should do
…for building her up with your words
…for just plain smiling at and laughing with her 
 
Thank you for understanding that she’s just a kid
…and we need to work together to protect her body from injury
…and she’s gonna have days where she just doesn’t want to put forth the effort
…and that her needing down time doesn’t mean she doesn’t still love the sport
…and that by trying other sports, it may strengthen the love she has for the one you coach
…and making playing your sport fun—not just competitive
…and that the values you are instilling in her on the field will help her throughout the rest of her life
 
Thank you for putting up with us parents
…and know that while we act like we can coach better, we know we really can’t
…and know that we are committed—even during those times we have to choose family over sports
… and dealing with me yelling at her to “Take the shot” when you’ve coached her to play as a teammate and not a ball-hog
…and know we love that you are a “2nd voice” in our daughter’s life
…and know that we support you—even when our daughter is mad she didn’t get to play as much as she thought she should have

 
Sincerely,
Parents of crazy hormone-imbalanced girls

Things that Bring me JOY


We are a month away from November when all the gratitude posts start and I have mixed emotions about them.  I love that we take the time to look for things to be grateful for—I mean, really—is it that hard to find 1 thing a day when we’ve been given so much?

It also makes me roll my eyes and makes me want to make a sarcastic list—kind of like this one: http://aroyaltradition.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-non-sappy-thanksgiving.html.  And I laugh at my cousin who posts that she’s thankful for vodka (after all—she does have 6 kids!).

BUT….I also have random thoughts on days about things I love that I should probably share.  Things that encourage me and may also encourage someone else.  You know—those things that make you smile or give you an extra skip in your step, or even bring on a few tears because of the depth of emotion they make you feel.

So, here’s my list…

·         Ellie Holcomb’s cd“As sure as the Sun.” I first heard “Broken Beautiful (#3) on the radio and wrote it off as one of those “too happy kind of songs.”  And then I listened to the words---------------and they reached me in a dark season.  As I’ve moved out of that season, I find that the words to all of the other songs on this cd, speak to me almost as deeply.  Maybe because they are all taken from Scripture and talk about the beautiful way God loves us and rescues us and just speak TRUTH.

·         My animals.  I know this borders on the “roll your eyes” line, but if you know me, you also know I’ve never really considered myself an animal lover.  But y’all, I find myself getting offended when people talk about how dirty chickens are.  They obviously don’t know mine!  And how do you not love 2 big yellow labs who always love any attention you give them? I feel a sense of peace when I’m sitting in the backyard , petting them (yes, chickens DO like to be petted) and my heart overflows with gratefulness.

·         Nights at home.  I’m a doer.  I like to stay busy and absolutely love getting involved in a new cause.  But, those nights when we can just eat dinner as a family and watch TV or sit by the fire pit in the backyard?  Those fill my soul in a deep way that I need, but don’t realize how desperate I was for them until I have them. 

·         Amazing women leaders.  God has used women in my life in a big way.  Which is kinda ironic considering the fact that I haven’t seen my mom since I was 14.  He has surrounded me with women who lead and LOVE in so many different ways—some out front, some alongside, and some from behind. Because of the internet, I’m even able to learn from those who live in California and Tennessee and Austin.  Women are amazing and watching them step out in faith and owning who they are in Christ makes me feel like I'm gonna burst!

·         Having my daughter’s friends over for dinner.  Yeah, yeah, yeah--I know I should put out an effort every night to cook a good meal for my family.  The reality is that if I do it 2-3 times a week, its success in my book (the other nights are why God gives us leftovers and sandwiches and frozen pizza).  On Wednesdays, one of Hope’s friends comes over after volleyball practice and I take them to church.  The dynamic of having someone else at our dinner table reminds me of the gift of hospitality God has put inside me.  This will sound goofy, but it makes me giddy to plan what we are having and to buy the lemonade she likes and acknowledge to her when she says you bought it for me, didn’t you (in an off-side joking manner) that YES!  I did buy it specifically for her.  The other element is that I get a front row seat to watching my daughters interact with their friends.  I just love it!

·         Fridays.  Yep.  I love Fridays.  I love the thought that I have time all alone.  I’ve always thought I’m an extrovert.  And part of me is—I get lots of energy from being around people.  But I also love that time when nobody else is in the house except me and Spot the turtle.  I can turn my music up full blast.  Or not at all.  I can read or clean or text or play cookie jam on my phone. I can write cheesy blog posts.  Or dream about what I would say if I were a fabulous blogger.

BY no means is this list exhaustive.  And you probably noticed I left out the obvious ones—Jesus, my family, the Bible.  Of course those things bring me joy more than anything I’ve listed above.  But they border on the sappy and I just can't do them justice in one little blog post.  They each deserve their own book.

What things bring you joy?  I want to hear about those weird things—not the obvious ones…

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lovepacs-Aubrey…Are you crazy???


Yep, that’s what I’ve been saying to myself the last few months.  And I thought I had talked myself out of jumping into anything new.  I have enough on my plate.  My daughters play too many sports right now.  My husband works too many hours.  My job is all over the place.  And I need time to play with chickens and collect their eggs…

But, when you have opportunities put smack-dab in front of your face, you have 3 choices:

·         Ignore them and always know you were disobedient to the Holy Spirit

·         Dip your toe in and do it halfway

·         Jump in with all that you have

My response the last year has been #2.  Kinda mention Lovepacs to people.  Talk about how great it would be to do it in Aubrey.  Plan to call our school counselor. 

But God is not always a God of logic.  He’s a God of faith. 

So I’ve moved from # 2 to #3 and I’m scared to death.

What if it totally flops?  What if nobody donates food?  What if I can’t find volunteers to help pack and deliver these?  What if the community doesn’t accept it because I’m still new here?

But, then, I step back and realize this is NOT ABOUT ME!!!  My job is to be obedient to what God is calling me to do and trust Him for the results.  Sound familiar?  I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before because I am constantly battling it!!!

Sooo, if you live in or around Aubrey and you want to help feed kids over long holiday breaks, I’d love to have you jump in with me and my family.  We have already talked to one school counselor and potentially have 30 kids who need food over Thanksgiving break.  I’m still scared to contact any other counselors yet—you can pray for courage for me.

For more information on what Lovepacs does, go to www.lovepacs.org.  It’s an amazing organization that started 4 years ago in a little community and has spread to feed thousands of kids.  To join in with Aubrey specifically, like the facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovepacsaubrey/

Lovepacs exists to be an expression of God's love by engaging our communities to serve children in need. 

"At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality."        ---2 Corinthians 8:14

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chicken-Butt Eggs


We love our chickens.  I know this may sound crazy, but they have as much personality as our dogs.  And now, we are starting to reap the rewards of having them: EGGS!!! 

The other day, Caroline and I were playing with the chickens and collecting eggs.  As we were walking back into the house, I asked her if she wanted me to make her some scrambled eggs.  She had this very hesitant look on her face and asked if I was going to use the eggs we had just collected.  I told her, "Yes," and she made that face kids make when you try to make them eat broccoli.

Here's how the rest of the exchange went:
Me: "What's wrong? You realize these eggs are not fertilized so we are not eating baby chickens, right?"
Caroline: "Yes, but it's just weird to me to eat these.  They came from our chickens' butts!"
Me: "You realize ALL eggs come from chickens' butts, right?  Even the ones in the stores. 
Caroline: "Yeah, but we don't KNOW the other chickens."
Me: "Yes, but isn't it better that we know where ours come from and know how good our chickens are?"
Caroline: "Yes, but the ones in the store have all the extra added stuff in them."
Me: "And that is exactly why these taste so good and are better for us--they don't have all the extra preservatives and stuff in them and we know what our chickens have been eating."
Caroline: "Well, it's still just weird."
Me: "Maybe a little, but I'm hungry."


And the circle of life goes on and on...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Things I discovered while Cleaning out my Office

I've spent the last couple of days going through piles of papers.  Seriously big piles.  Piles that completely filled the tall recycle bin in our copy room.  Papers that I don't need anymore and probably never really needed to keep in the first place. 

And in the process, I discovered a few things...

  • I'm a hoarder of office supplies ( and folders, labels, envelopes, etc.--you get the drift...)
  • I like fun-colored/printed folders
  • Calendars dating back to 2011 (yes, calendars is plural there--just don't ask)
  • Some sweet, sweet thank you notes
  • A napkin with training plans/philosophies on it (which, have all been implemented at this time--yay, God!)
  • Lots and lots of old "Maps" (our name for a weekly schedule) with hundreds of volunteer names on them
  • Precious artwork and notes from my daughter
But, the biggest thing I re-discovered is that I am blessed.  Some days, an office job doing data entry sounds really good.  It's got a beginning and an end.  It can be compartmentalized and not thought about again when I get home.  It might not take as much energy from me.

But, it would take me away from people.  Back in 2006, I remember being asked why I wanted this job--did I realize how hard it would be working with people day in and day out.  My answer then is the same one now.  "Yes.  People are a lot of work and it will be hard.  BUT, they also bring a lot of joy--more than a spreadsheet--and the rewards far outweigh the words."

Moving on/over is sometimes hard, but if we don't move, we stagnate.  And stagnate water not only looks ugly, it stinks. 

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"  Isaiah 43:18-19a

P.S.  Reading back through this, I want to clarify that I am not leaving Bent Tree; I am simply shifting my focus from what I've done for the past 8 years to helping to build the Kids ministry on the Frisco campus.  I'm cleaning in anticipation of an awesome replacement for me in Carrollton.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

He Knows my Name

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in His hands.

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go.

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call.

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in His hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Remember Who the REAL Enemy Is

Remember who the real enemy is.  A friend of mine reminded me the other day of that line in "Catching Fire" and it has popped up unexpectedly in my mind several times since then.  Here's a quick view of it in case you've been under a rock the past few years and haven't seen it yet: http://youtu.be/rwxcNayRTI0

It's so easy to get caught up in our conflicts with friends, spouses, co-workers, kids, etc. that we lose sight of the bigger battle.  Ephesians 6:11-13 reminds us of this:
 
"Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Can't you just hear Satan (in President Snow's voice) saying, "Let it fly!"?  Let it fly at the people around you who love you the most.  Let it fly on the unsuspecting customer service rep.  Let it fly on your boss.  Even let it fly on yourself.  But the real enemy is not any of those people. 

Praying for you (and me) as we put on our gold bracelet/armor--that we would not get so far into the details that we forget who the REAL enemy is...