The Victory is Suh-Weet

I had written a post a few weeks ago entitled…Snatching Defeat out of the Hands of Victory.

I never posted it because, well, it talked about how My Girl’s volleyball team consistently gets to the semi-finals and then completely falls apart. It’s not that they don’t have talent…they do. This IS travel after all…players are recruited based on skill. But most of them don’t seem to show up to win.

I didn’t post the original post because in re-thinking it, I realized how much I (me, the mom, an ex-volleyball player myself) hated to see my daughter’s team lose.

Yesterday, HRH and I got out to My Girl’s tournament late in the afternoon. Just in time to hear they had (again) made it into the semi-finals by winning their bracket.

They always win their bracket.

They always make it to the semi-finals. And then fall apart.

For the semi-finals…they whooped up on the other team. The other team had players that really wanted to win. And they cussed. A lot. They were not happy to lose, trust me. Because this then meant that instead of “playing” the final…they had to “work” the final. Line judging, refereeing, etc. Believe me, I know they hated it because My Girls’ team has to do it every tournament (see above on how they get into the semi and promptly lose the semi).

It was so fun to watch My Girl’s team pull together and win.

They met their arch rivals in the final. Each girl seems to know at least one other girl on the rival team. My Girl actually played high school JV with a couple of them this year. I have actually coached with the rival team’s coach.

In the final, we lost the first game. We won the second game. Decisively. Third game we traded points all the way to the end…and lost 15-13 (3rd game we only play to 15, but you do have to win by 2).

All of this was great. I was happy, excited, clapping, whistling, cheering.

On the way home My Girl (with silver medal around her neck) said to me, “mom…I know you were disappointed”.

What? Huh? Me?

Uh…no. I was thrilled!

“But mom, when they made the winning point, I looked over at you and I could tell you were mad.”

Mad????

Uh…no. I really was thrilled. I think I was thrilled. Wasn’t I thrilled (looking to HRH for help…no help there as he continued to drive and refuse to look at me)?

Maybe not so much.

I instantly felt convicted. No…you were NOT thrilled. Admit it.

You were disappointed.
Frustrated.
Maybe even angry that they didn’t win the gold.

But, uh…no…I don’t think I…I mean…I’m positive…I meant to be excited…

I couldn’t see the tremendous victory in winning the semi-finals and going to the finals. I missed the joy of coming in second place, out of all of the teams there, winning one game against and going point for point with the team that always whoops up on everyone else. I didn’t get it.

Man am I an idiot. Where did this drive for perfection come from? I don’t remember this room in my homey pit…and trust me…I have gone through my pit room to room to room on my own and with the help of my best girlfriends.

I had heard the rumors that I’m a Type A personality. But I never believed it. I’m actually kinda lazy.

“Believe it.” That’s what I heard this time. That is what He was telling me.

It was like the scales came off. My quiet time this morning, in every way, shape & form (from the preacher on the radio, to my short devotional, to Day Three of Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself study) was ALL ABOUT ME…selfishness, idol-loving…hideous words that I hate to hear.

But had to embrace as my own.

And so I did. Begging Him to fill me with His Spirit. Helping me to die to self. To live in Christ. To see how to be more selfless and less selfish.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s “lesson” includes. Sigh.

But I’m ready. I’m open.

Victory is Sweet!

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It’s Like a Yo-Yo, Dude. Word.

I liken it to a yo-yo. I am This Girl….flick of the wrist…now I’m back to That Girl….flick of the wrist…This Girl…flick of the wrist…That Girl…flick of the, well, you get the point.

It’s the yo-yo thing. I have it in every avenue of my life, I believe. Eating. Relationships. Marriage. Work. Exercise. You name it, I’m back and forth, lovin’ it, hatin’ it, doing’ it, avoidin’ it.

Unfortunately, I also yo-yo my faith. Oh, it’s always there. Simmering just below the surface. But sometimes, it’s like a slow simmer, few bubbles bursting forth. I talk the talk and maybe crawl the walk. The iPod is on my Fave Travis playlist or maybe The Pit playlist. I flip open my bible, sure enough. I even read some scripture. Kinda blah. Kinda boring. Kinda pathetic.

Praise God, sometimes it’s like a big ole fat rolling boil…bubbles bursting forth everywhere. Bursting with the desire to WORSHIP. Bursting with the desire to PRAISE. Bursting with the desire to STUDY. Bursting with the desire to LISTEN (ok, not so much this one, but it COULD happen).

I paused today to think about what it would be like if God did the yo-yo thing. My heart started pounding in my chest and I had the panic-induced churning in my belly. Just entertaining the notion…imagine if it was reality.

I will never (no, not ever) leave you nor forsake you… Joshua 1:5

Woo-hoo!

I CLING (1. to adhere closely; stick to. 2. to hold tight, as by grasping or embracing; cleave. 3. to be or remain close. 4. to remain attached…) (Websters.com) to that promise.

I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.

Word.

The Whining Has Got to Stop!

And by whining…I mean me. I’m the big whiner around my house today. Yesterday. All last week. And the week before.

I have whined about everything…the weather (too hot, then too cold, now too wet). I whined about the trees being bare and then that they changed overnight and the pollen is like sand under my contact lenses. I whined about not getting enough sleep. I whined about being so sleepy that all I want to do is sleep. But mostly, I’ve whined about my husband. For some unknown reason, somewhere along the line, I decided that I was just absolutely perfect. And he’s not. And that was all there was to it. Everything he has been saying and doing has been irking me. And I mean…IRKING. ME. What he says. What he doesn’t say. What he does. What he doesn’t do. Am I the only woman who ever feels like this? Is this why Eve ate the apple? Adam was irkin’ her that day and she decided, “hey. What the heck. The talking snake said I could be even more perfect than God! I’m already better than Adam.” And then she went for it. I could so seeing me doing that. That scares me.

I was sitting in church yesterday, completely enveloped in my righteousness and my spouse sat down next to me. Since he plays the drums during worship, I knew I wouldn’t be ‘stuck’ with him the entire service. And then the children’s sermon spoke to me. And the pastor’s sermon spoke to me. And I realized, of course, that it was God speaking to me…softening my heart…drawing me back. To Him. To my husband. Back from my neatly wrapped up little selfish world I had built.

Jesus laid down His life for us. For me. His word tells me that no greater love is there than putting down one’s life for another. Who is my ‘another’? My husband first. Our children. Family. Friends. It’s amazing to me that even though my ‘to do’ list didn’t change, my load became lighter. Even though my husband didn’t change, he didn’t irk me yesterday. I changed. I was changed. I love that.

Doo-Doo

Anyone else have an interesting nickname or call someone by an interesting nickname? My sister’s three children (Andy, freshman at VT and twins, Lindsay and Courtney, both aged 14…get it…twins…same age…). ANYWAY…when Andy was learning to talk, my sister was trying to teach him to say Aunt Susan, or Aunt Sue. It came out as Doo-Doo. It stuck. The twins call me Doo-Doo now. My sister calls me Doo-Doo. Her husband calls me Doo-Doo and even my parents, yes…my parents…call me Doo-Doo now and again.

It was really funny to go shopping with my nephew and nieces and to get out of their eyesight…and hear, “DOO-DOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”. Sometimes it would just hit me as hysterical and I would pretend it wasn’t me and laugh with all of the other store patrons. Sometimes it was just down-right embarrassing and I would slink away and catch up with them later.

The time did come when the oldest decided Doo-Doo didn’t cut it and he tried…TRIED…to start calling me Aunt Susan. Not having it. No sirreee. No way. Couldn’t stand it. Just didn’t seem right.

So. I’m stuck with Doo-Doo. I’m introduced to EVERYONE my sister knows as Doo-Doo. Or, “this is my sister” and the friend will laugh and say, “Oh. You must be Doo-Doo.”

My children think it is hysterical that their cousins (and aunt and uncle and nana and grandpa) call me Doo-Doo. What kid WOULDN’T think it was hysterical?

I have to say I’ve learned to like being Doo-Doo…

The Ugly Cry

I’ve been doing a lot of crying this week. I’ve tried to avoid the VT coverage.

Honest.

I just can’t help myself at times. Plus I have the nephew “who was there”. I get daily updates from little sister on how he is doing (not talking about it, left school Monday).

We all talk about it. Everywhere we go.

Yesterday afternoon our youngest came home from school, ran up the stairs to find me. He intercepted me coming out of my room, having just blown my nose for the gazillionth time. I had even splashed my face with cold water.

I gave him a smile and he said (with a wrinkle of his upper lip), “what’s wrong with your face?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“What’s wrong with your nose? It’s bright red and really gross.” He said this in the way that only an 11 year old boy could.

I decided to be honest.

“I’ve been crying because I’m sad about the Virginia Tech shootings.” Instantly, in a melt-your-heart moment, he reached out and patted my arm.

“Oh.” He said.

He threw his arms around my waist and laid his head against my chest.

“I understand,” he gently told me.

To bring me completely to my knees.

But Who am I…

David’s Prayer-1 Chronicles 29:10-14

10 David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
“Praise be to you, O LORD,
God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.

12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.

14 “But who am I…”

I am a strong woman

I am a pit dweller, looking up, reaching up, straining to grab hold of His mighty hand to lift me out

I am a pit dweller longing for what I’m leaving behind…constantly calculating the pros and cons of bringing a piece of my pit up and out with me

I am a mother of three amazing, funny, beautiful children who all know and love Jesus

I am a wife constantly tripping over my own selfishness, desperately trying to embrace my own selflessness

I am a musician, hiding behind my “busyness” to cover my fear of public performance

I am an artist, longing for the freedom of soul to express myself

I am a prayer warrior, an open canvas thirsty for the Word to paint the ever-changing landscape called my life

I am a Mary with a Martha heart, wondering if my “Maryness” is really a cover for laziness

I am desperate. Desperate to not be THAT girl…the one I hate, yet feverishly cling to

For all that David questioned, “But who am I…?”, He knew who David was. And David, by constantly looking up, reaching up, questioning, praising and yes…even by messing up, knew who he was, in Him.

Who am I? I am THIS Girl

I am His Girl

Praise Him, Praise Him

Too Much To Handle

My best girlfriends are pretty amazing. Here’s a pic of us. That is (a yucky photo of) me on the far left with a horrible cold. We were on a women’s retreat when this photo was taken. They are the crafty, organized, hands-on, server types. I’m the blogger. None of them had any interest in blogging.
It’s not that they don’t have wonderful things to say. They do. And they often do say them or write them to our group.
Until one of them surprised me with her own blog today…which I’ll be linking to my blog soon.
For our retreat, I threw out some ideas and a general agenda/plan for the weekend…they did the work. I love that in a best girlfriend (smirk). As it turned out, I was sicker than a dog that weekend and on top of doing everything, taking care of everything, remembering everything, they took care of me! I adore them.

One of them is our music girl. She sings; she has every CD any one of us ever mentions and or says we’re heading out to purchase; she is also our own personal video store.

One of them is the ultimate care-giver. She takes in and cares for anyone and anything. She grew up in foster homes. She has foster children. She wants to give back. And she cooks for us…Lordy…does she ever cook for us! She is the tea-party queeen.

One of them is the builder. She has the tools AND the knowledge. She built the closets in their bedroom. Framed ’em out and everything. Nothing makes her happier than to have a hammer or paint brush or nail gun in her hand. She can do anything with a power tool. Every group should have one of her.

One of them keeps us grounded. She is the most compassionate and sensitive person I have ever met. She weeps for the lost, the fallen. And she wants to help them. Not only thinks it…but acts on it.

And then one of us is the “mother hen”. She (I’m told) keeps us together, connected, thinking, won’t let anyone stray too far (although is inclined to stray herself at times, which the rest of the group gets very upset about…forgetting she is the same one that locks herself in the closet with a book and a flashlight and just “need my space”). She’s also the oldest and hates it or uses it to her advantage, depending on the circumstances and her mood…

It dawned on me that God blessed me with FOUR friends that all liked/loved/wanted to grow together because I was too much for one to handle alone. Not sure if I’m liking that revelation or not, but I’m loving His Action on it.

Virginia Tech…

My thoughts and prayers have been with the students, faculty and Hokie parents at Virginia Tech all day. My own beloved nephew, Andy is a freshman at Tech. We have many church members attending Tech as well as neighborhood family. They are all safe and well, Praise God. I am thankful that God taught me a long time ago to say three little words…I Love You. I tell my family and friends I love them as often as I can. I IM’d with Andy today to tell him that and I phoned him on his cell a bit ago to tell him. He’s all grown up now, my Andy-Bees, but he still readily tells me he loves me and I’m thankful for that, as well. This evening my heart is with all of the parents remembering the last time they told their beloved child, “I love you”…ever.