Two sports. Same season. Vastly different results.
My daughter has been playing basketball in a non-school league, as mentioned in On the Court: Part I and Part II. During exactly the same timeframe, she’s also been competing on her school’s track team. In terms of success, the two experiences have been diametrically different.
In track, she’s been her team’s lead female runner in the 1600M, earning the highest place for the school in each meet even if she didn’t win. On the basketball court, however, her team has suffered excruciating losses, logging 30 and 50 point deficits with nary a win for the entire season. Continue reading
She seemed glazed and disconnected.
As I sat on the edge of her bed, my daughter expressed a lack of desire to spend time in Sunday school, youth group and even small group. Her complaint: boredom.
The same stories.
The same lessons.
The same characters.
She’s right. We read the same passages over and over again. Paul starts to sound like that friend from high school who insists on recounting his adolescent antics at every reunion. The mere mention of Mary and Martha’s disagreement makes me want to go clean my refrigerator. We must have heard the account of Jesus feeding the 5000 once for every person He fed that day. Continue reading
The night must have seemed exceptionally dark.
In Genesis 32, we find Jacob fleeing his uncle Laban and returning to his homeland to face the brother he’d deceived many years prior. He was fearful of this fated reunion, dividing his family and property into groups to prevent losing them all if Esau attacked (Genesis 32:7, 8).
The night before the two shall meet, Jacob separates himself from his family. In the dark of the night he wrestles with a man — who turns out to be God in an angelic, physical body — until the break of day. Jacob’s dark and sleepless night probed my heart this week, exposing the faulty way I’m prone to view my struggles: Continue reading
Did you bounce out of bed this morning? Or do your feet meet the floor with the enthusiasm of molasses? Today I want to introduce you to Hello Mornings, an online community that provides “encouragement and accountability for those pursuing the life-changing habit of getting up early.” You’ll find me there today sharing a post on how God convinced me it was a habit I needed to adopt. Be sure to check out all the resources they have to help you make the transition!
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my weekly post.
In last week’s post, my daughter’s basketball game illustrated the necessity of training our ears to hear God’s voice amidst the noise of our busy lives. The players on the court attuned themselves to their coach’s words and responded accordingly.
The faith illustration didn’t stop there for me, however.
The coach’s instruction, audible to those listening intently, was one simple word: “Doubles.” The girls immediately shifted their defensive strategy and double-teamed their tall, ball-carrying opponent.
We’re not meant to go through life alone.
Especially when facing challenges or a powerful adversary. God calls us to a strategy of ‘doubles.’ Continue reading
Posted in Friendship, Marriage, Parenting, Perseverence, Prayer, Reliance
Tagged Asking for help, Faith and Sports, Galatians 5, Galatians 6, Mark 6, Romans 8:28, Sharing burdens
My daughter plays basketball.
That, in and of itself, is a pure wonder to me since I still duck and/or scream when a ball is thrown in my general direction. (Go ahead, mock me.) I take delight in watching her play with her team the same way I reveled in her first steps as a toddler: it thrills me.
Being in the gym during a game is, however, an assault on my senses. It’s crowded. Cracked plastic bleachers force me to constantly shift in my seat. The visual stimulus of a rapidly-moving game keeps my eyes darting up and down the court. But it’s the sound that really overwhelms me. Continue reading
My skin isn’t thick enough.
Because I’m in my early 40′s you might expect me to have the emotional capacity to shrug off feelings of rejection. But I don’t. At least not all the time. A series of events colluded against my heart over the last few weeks:
- I’ve recently tumbled down the list of people whose opinion matters to my teenage daughter. Developmentally normal, I know, but I still feel the loss of her esteem.
- A heart-felt, oft-expressed invitation to come visit us was again turned down; our family’s hopes of sharing special time with people we love were dashed.
- Several of my children have experienced isolation from their peers, in some cases for their faith. My mother-heart feels their pain as my own.
- Our Easter Sunday was spent without the fellowship of friends or family. Continue reading
Posted in Forgiveness, Friendship, Parenting, Redemption
Tagged 1 Peter 2, Colossians 1, Colossians 3, Forgiveness, Luke 23, Luke 4, Mark 14, Mark 15, Mark 3, Rejection
I wasn’t sure I liked what it said.
My pastor suggested reading Psalm 63 as a daily practice during Lent. I embarked on it with anticipation, certain that I’d have the whole thing memorized by Easter just from reading it consistently. Day in and day out, I was pricked by just the first verse, the first few words:
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
– Psalm 63:1a NIV
The word earnestly was my sticking point. It seemed to be the critical word in the sentence and yet I was uncertain of its intended meaning. Continue reading
As Christians who live in light of our Messiah’s resurrection, I think we often gloss over all that the Lord endured in the days between Palm Sunday and Easter. While Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice on the cross is difficult to meditate on, such awareness is necessary in order to appreciate the incomparable cost. I encourage you to join me in taking a cue from the Jewish Passover celebration as a way to do just that — see what I mean by reading last year’s Maundy Thursday post here: The Cup of Deliverance.
For the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
– Hebrews 12:2b NIV
A $12,000 royalty check from book sales.
Not my book, mind you. Not my check. This royalty check went to author Patrick Wensink, whose book was an Amazon best seller last year. While a sizable sum, it puts him right at the poverty line for annual earnings, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. He shared the fiscal details of an author’s plight in an article last week. Ironically, the article posted on the same day I met with my tax advisor — the day I confronted my own meager earnings from 2012.
When I later read the article, it served only to spiral me further down into the depths of discouragement. If his earnings were so insubstantial even after time spent at the ‘top’, what chance do I have of contributing to my household income as a writer and speaker? The only thing lower than my book’s Amazon ranking was my spirits: Continue reading
Posted in Humility, Perseverence
Tagged Colossians 3, Colossians 3:23, Discouragement, Encouragement, John 13, John 13:4, John 13:5, Perseverance, Reward in Heaven, Service, Work