Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Last Four Months

The horn sounded for the final time. Another basketball season has come to an end. It is a strange feeling of sadness and relief. Had you asked me four months ago when it all began, I would have told you I couldn't wait for it to end. But last night as I sent my girls home for the last time, I wish we had more time.

In the fall I received an email asking if I would coach the girls JV basketball team at CCHS because my sister didn't have the time this season. I prayed about it for a week or so and, needless to say, my answer was yes. I've been an assistant coach for softball and basketball before, but never have I shouldered sole responsibility for a team. This was a new experience and I was quite nervous. My nerves were not settled by the team's lack of commitment in November. After a practice where only two of my fourteen girls showed, I sat in my car completely discouraged and on the verge of tears. Enter December and the contracts. Once each girl signed a commitment contract, knowing absences would effect their grade and playing time, they all began to show up to practice.

After that, the daily lesson of patience really kicked in. I was one coach to fourteen girls, fourteen different personalities, who didn't all get along with each other. Last season there were two of us to nine girls, so this was quite an adjustment. If not for the grace of God, I'm not sure I could have survived it. Don't believe me? Feel free to ask any of my girls. I'm sure even the varsity players could vouch for me on this. However, I did survive and there were no more tears, maybe some frustrations, but it seemed no matter how upset I was one of them would always crack me up and that was the end of it. That is the stuff I'll miss: the endless laughter, the dancing during warm-ups (even when I told them to stop), the air ball push ups, the "Bacon" shooting competitions, and, of course, ultimate lightning. I would be remiss if I didn't tell you we finished league 5-5. Last season we never won a game, didn't even come close. There is nothing like the excitement of my girls after a win.

The winning meant nothing, though, without the attitude. I can't tell you what a blessing it has been to watch these girls grow up in the last four months. Even in the worst of losses, they never quit. They played with heart and heads held high from tip off to final buzzer. That is what makes me most proud to be their coach. There was nothing more I could ask of them then to give their best. Such willing hearts. I learned from them every day we were together and I hope in return they learned from me.

In the beginning I longed for the end, but now I want more time. I will forever be grateful for the impact that fourteen goofy girls had on my life. I don't know what the Lord's plan is for next season, but if I never coach again I think I can say this was a great ending.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Future Is The Present

So this is the New Year and I don't feel any different - Death Cab for Cutie

Here we are, 2011. Every new year I make resolutions of a new me and every new year I fail at whatever goals I have set. This year is much the same, however, this year I have an answer to failure: support. So many times I fail or give up because I'm in it alone, but 2011 is different. I have found the support and accountability that I've needed to succeed in multiple aspects of my life.

This year, I desire to know my Jesus more. The Lord has placed some amazing people in my life that hold me accountable and encourage me which is definitely something I had been lacking. It doesn't make life perfect or easy, but it is a blessing. I am in a Bible study group with some truly awesome women who love Jesus which encourages me to dig deeper every day. I know that God is continually working in my life and changing my heart. My prayer for this year is that if I am to fail at everything else, let me succeed in this area of my life.

The second big resolution is one you may have heard from me before. It is time to get healthy and in shape, that means shedding some pounds. I know I have to be serious about this because the older I get, the harder it is to drop the weight. Thankfully I am not flying solo on this mission. Along for the ride are a few friends with the same goal, but who also need some encouragement and accountability in their quest. There isn't much to say about this other than I AM COMMITTED.

Some of my other resolutions this year will most likely be covered in future posts, but here is a small list: read more, write more, complain less. Now that you know my resolutions, feel free to hold me accountable. What do you want in this New Year?

Friday, December 10, 2010

How great is our God!

Isn't it amazing how God works? Its beautiful and refreshing to see the evidence of His love poured out in our lives. He always seems to send a blessing my way in the exact moment when I need it most. Today, for instance, was not my best day, nor has the week been the brightest, but in my time of feeling down, a coworker blessed me. She asked me if I knew the song "How Great Is Our God" which opened the door for a great conversation. It made me stop wallowing and think, "Yeah, our God really is great!" Any time I have the opportunity to talk about God at work, my mood instantly picks up. What a blessing to have fellow Christians in the workplace. That conversation reminded me of a few of my friends who are always faithful to text me a Bible verse in a moment when I need to be encouraged and uplifted. To them it might be a random act, but to me it is God working. How great is our God that He would change my mood, which in turn changed my day. How great is our God that He would love us...that He would love me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

She only drinks coffee at midnight....

"Meet Virginia" comes on the radio and instantly my mind transports back to a sixteen year old me sitting on the lunch table outside the high school ministry office listening to him play guitar and sing. This holds no importance in my current life other than a fond memory of a time when he was everything and all I could do was smile. Our lives took very different paths, but I listen to the song with a smile and remember what it felt like to be sixteen without a worry in the world other than how to make moments like "Meet Virginia" last.

Music possesses the ability to impact our lives even when we are unaware of it. It embeds itself in our brains and makes itself known sometimes when we least expect it. When I was seventeen I worked at Tilly's. They played the same cds over and over and over again, so much so, that to this day when I hear certain songs, I begin to sing what would follow it on those cds.

The memory associated with a song can also put a negative spin on a song you once loved. For instance, John Mayer's "St. Patrick's Day" has been tainted by the past. "In the dark, on the phone, you tell me the names of your brothers/and your favorite colors, I'm learning you," croons Mayer in the second verse. While it is a very sweet couple of lines, it reminds me every time of someone I was once very close with. Things did not end on a positive note (let's just say we don't speak anymore), hence the negative connotations it holds for me. However, it is John Mayer and if you know me, you know it will never be completely soured. On the other hand, I will never be able to listen to John Legend again.

There is something inexplicably special about music. The way it makes you think or feel in that moment you first hear it. The way it can take you back in time no matter how long its been. The way it can draw people closer together. The way it can help you forget. There is something so serene about getting lost in a song, I will never have the words to describe it. But I will tell you one thing for sure, if there is music attached to a memory of you, it is safe to say I will remember you for all my life.

Monday, August 2, 2010

One song ends, another begins

Every song has a CODA, a final movement. Whether it fades out or crashes away. Every song ends. Is that any reason not to enjoy the music? The truth is, there is nothing to be afraid of. It's just life.

The quote is from the third season of One Tree Hill, my favorite television show. It always reminds me of the way people say "no regrets," and though it is referring to the end of a loved one's life, it has come to be personal to me in the end of friendships. Living with no regrets is easier said then done but our society is full of actors who have taken role, and sometimes even believe that they have no regrets. Some people have recently drifted from my life and the initial response was to be hurt or saddened by the turn of events, but that has changed. I have embraced the OTH quote. As much as I wish the song would play on repeat forever, I am better for having heard it at all. The song was one of the best in that moment. I won't every forget it, but I won't search for repeat. To that song: I will always be here for you when and if you need me, but I won't sit around waiting for you to play again.

With that said, let's talk mid-year resolutions or as I referred to them at New Year's: changes. I know it can be sort of a joke because nobody really takes New Year's resolutions seriously, but changes can happen at any time. I've come to an age where I realize it is much harder to recover. Whether it be from an injury, illness, or a late night, my body is aging and I have to take better care of it. One major aspect is diet. I will still indulge in my occasional Del Taco and TK Burger, but I must forego the fast food diet that has been so easy to succumb to as of late. I am here, before you, committing myself to a healthier lifestyle. It doesn't end at food. The gym. My relationship with the gym is comparable to that I have with guys. I can see the benefit of being in a relationship, but I can also think of every reason in the book to avoid it. Unfortunately the latter always wins out. But here I am saying I will take care of myself with all of you as my witnesses because now I am accountable to an audience, however small it may be. With diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity in the family, this is one thing I can't afford to waiver on any longer. So there you go: Be healthy. That is my DAILY resolution.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I apologize to my wonderful followers, all 2 of you, for my lack of blogging. I will try to be better. So far, 2010 has been a whirlwind of a year. Everything is going great, though.

I've been in my job now for just over two months and it has been great. People keep asking if I like working in DCD and all I can say is that I don't know any different so it suits me just fine. I'm working at learning all that I can to be the best in my department (which I don't think I'm that far from because people tend to make things more difficult than they really are). My manager gave me an assignment the other day and told me that she wouldn't give this to just anyone. She knew that I would do it without complaint and that I would do it quickly. I've had a few people tell me I work too quickly, but I can't help it. If I have work to do, I'm going to get it done. I can't sit there stretching it out for 8 hours just so there is something to do the next day. I will do my work and your work if it means getting it all done in a timely manner. That is just how I am...thank you parental units for a good work ethic, it gets noticed by my superiors at every job I've ever had.

Personally, life is great too. Hockey ends this weekend and baseball season is in full force now. I've been enjoying life with my current friends, but missing some of the old ones and hoping to be better at hanging out with them (Kyle and Kimberly). Being back in the church has been great too! I can really tell the difference in my life and my happiness now that I'm back. Its just another way of God showing me that I should have never left. His plan for me does not work if I walk outside of it, but with Him, it is beautiful. I've been reading from the devotional entitled Come Away My Beloved. It is like a collection of letters from God. If you've never read it, I suggest picking up a copy. Each one is very short, but very poignant. I'm considering diving into some C.S. Lewis books...any suggestions?

Last night I did something fun:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Return of Me in 2010

Wow. Its been about a month since my original post and so many things have happened. I can already see the changes happening in my life and it is an adventure I look forward to each day.

First, the motivation was found. I finally became proactive in the job search and it paid off (literally). I interviewed with American Medical Technologies on a Thursday morning and had a job with them by the afternoon which began on a Monday. Tomorrow will complete two weeks of my new job and I am enjoying it thus far. I'm still learning a lot, but I think it is something I can do and do well.

Second, I finally made it back to church. In the last couple weeks the Lord has taught me a lot. He has put someone in my life that challenges me to be better. I am blessed to have a new friend who knows my faults and loves me in spite of them. It is encouraging to hear and see what the Lord does in her life as it blesses my life immensely. I haven't been in a position to be an example to the youth in a long time, but I am finally getting there again. God used my basketball girls to show me this. He used them to teach me even more patience because if you know them, you know it is needed in huge amounts. He used them to show me a lot and because of that I will always love my girls. They have had a huge impact on me that I didn't know was possible from a bunch of high school kids. I am excited to watch them grow into beautiful women of Christ and I hope and pray that I will be able to coach again next year.

Third, well, there really isn't a third for this post, but I think there is a rule about having no less than 3 points, but what do I know?