Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Give Everything You Have!

Coaches OFTEN talk about giving everything you have in sports..."Leave it all on the field!" I have to confess that I was EXTREMELY proud of Chloe, Jaden and Luke at the Triathlon on Saturday...they had to swim 25 yds...ride their bikes for 1.3 miles and run a 1/2 mile.

During practice (YEP...we practice for the triathlon...the older actually ask to practice!) Luke didn't think he could do it...it was quite a struggle to get him to finish...QUITE difficult. At the race he really stepped up...his run was what most impressed me...we were so proud of him...and it was his first race ever!!

I cannot say enough about the week that Jaden had last week...we once again spent time thanking God the night before the race that Jaden could even do it...1 month ago--we asked his doctor if we should have him try the race...she said: "he can try it...might be good to have a goal out there for him." 1 month ago he could hardly run...he had an AWFUL time after he had broken his leg...he didn't want to do the race...mostly because he didn't think he would finish as well as what he would like...So he worked hard and raced yesterday...

THE BEST PART of his race was how he felt afterwards...he felt like he wanted to throw up! He had left EVERYTHING on the race course...he gave his best!! And he finished 2nd in the 7-8 yr. old group and had a fast enough time that he would have finished 5th in the 11-12 yr. old age group. I am so proud of his effort more than his place...he gave EVERYTHING...wish you could have seen the look on his face when he had someone coming from behind trying to catch him...PRICELESS!!

THEN there was Chloe...3 years ago...actually 2years ago she had to walk several times during her run...YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN HER SATURDAY! He was MOVING on her bike and on the run. (Not mentioning the swim...cause OF COURSE she rocked that!!) I was a PROUD PAPA when she was sprinting the last 100-200 yards...she GAVE EVERYTHING and blew her time from last year away by 45 seconds...YEP...she felt like throwing up too!

So proud of the kids...giving EVERYTHING they have!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

How are you refueled?

Some years ago I went through some of those personality tests...one of them revealed how you were energized or how your personal energy tank was refueled. Some people LOVE to spend time with people...and when they do, it restores them...fires them up--refuels them. Others are simply DRAINED when they meet with people...it just saps all of their energy and they just HAVE TO get away-by themselves to restore.

How about you? How are you energized? What refuels you? Does spending time with people fire you up or drain you...do you need time to get away...to get by yourself?

Personally...I am refueled by spending time with people...I like to have quiet sometimes, but not nearly as much as I enjoy a good meeting or time to hang out. My tank gets FILLED up by spending time with people...that is why I feel SOOOOOOO good today...Last night I had the chance to talk with a friend a hadn't talked with in over a month and then this a.m. I had my first meeting in a month with a friend...MAN--it was sooooo good! I left my conversation this morning just ENERGIZED! Spending time with people just charges my batteries...especially when the conversation is focused on our walk with God...his church...and vision/direction of our lives. GREAT STUFF!!

Understanding how we get refueled can help us understand better how we need to recharge...if you are a person who gets recharged by people...you better MAKE TIME for that...and if you are recharged by being alone...make sure you make time to be by yourself...

TODAY...it was just good to be with friends...good to hear what God is doing in their life and wondering where we will be in the next 1-5 years...no answers from he conversation...but just good to be hanging out together!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BLAZIN' Hot day in and out of the pool!

Yesterday was Chloe and Jaden's Conference Swim meet...it was HOT! REALLY--REALLY hot out there! Arlington Swim Club did a good job of having everything ready and running...5 teams were involved...it was a fun day!

Having a great meet at the end of the season depends on how you prepare during the season...WAY TO OFTEN kids (well...PEOPLE) want to have results without the work that goes along with it...they just want to go do it! Chloe and Jaden work hard at their swimming...Chloe does EVERYTHING that the coaches ask and several times this season Jaden is quite coachable...he would ask to swim longer with the older kids...

Then this week as they prepped for the meet...we talked to them about the heat...and got them to drink a lot the day before the meet and told them to eat WELL at the meet...to flee sugar especially...we told them that we would get them treats AFTER the meet! Excellence is planned neglect...if you want to be excellent and at your best you have to give something up...SO...yesterday they both gave up sugary snacks and ate really well...

Their sacrifice paid off!

Chloe improved ALL of her times in each race...I loved watching her track down 2 swimmers in her 100 IM--showed her heart and desire to be her best! She won 2 of her other heats...scored points for her team and beat some swimmers that she had not beaten all season! PLUS she is an AMAZING teammate...several times she would stand at the fence cheering on her teammates! AMAZING job to Chloe!!

Jaden came in to the Conference Meet as a top 5 swimmer in each of his races...he ended up winning 3 conference titles yesterday and came in 2nd on his other race...the one he lost may have been my favorite...he was ranked 4th coming into the race and was tracking down the leader at the end...he cut 7 seconds off of his time in that race...7 seconds!! Crazy! Loved his attitude after that race too...his understanding that shaving that much time off is a HUGE accomplishment!!

Both of our kids had a FANTASTIC meet...and the biggest reason was because of the work and discipline they had in practice and then their willingness to be disciplined on race day so they could be at peak performance. Proud of those 2!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Journey Moves Forward...

A good friend asked me Friday night..."how yuh doin' man?" I think I gave him a blank stare at first...THEN Luke had to go to the bathroom...so he gave me a few minutes to think...I came back and talked to my friend for a few minutes and the question has been in my head for the past 3 days--how am I doing?

Sunday morning came and we spent our 2nd Sunday at Living Stones Church...a FANTASTIC--Jesus centered--community impacting place--the pastor and I are really good friends and the church has similar DNA to Grace Community...As I worshipped during the last song tears came to my eyes...I don't even remember the song...but the point was "God...I'm lifting my hands to you...submitting to you...to your plan...your direction..." And I don't know what that means...or what it will look like.

Here is what I know about our new journey right now...
-God is in control
-I am REALLY...REALLY...REALLY enjoying my family...REALLY! I have NEVER had time like this to spend with my kids and there is NO POSSIBLE WAY I AM GOING TO WASTE A SECOND OF IT!!! We are making some memories!!
-I will be teaching school in August. AND I am already praying for my students...parents...staff...etc. God opened this spot and I WILL NOT MISS OPPORTUNITIES!
-Awkward...good word to describe how I feel about a lot of areas of life...this is a strange season right now.
-AMAZING time meeting with Pastor Bob Combs in Ohio...he has been a life counselor of mine...just loved the conversation--he doesn't tell you what to do...but his questions and comment pierce the heart
-Conclusion from my time with Bob...(that is another blog post!)
-What is aching my heart...that the people of Grace have to find a new church home and that they ACTUALLY find one and plug in...I pray for them often and by name
-Did I mention how much fun I am having with my kids?!?!?!?!?!
-Read the book: Plan B and am in the middle of "Church in the making" LOVE both books. (Oh...go ahead and read between the lines on the 2nd book...Yes I would LOVE to be back in full time ministry again if God provides the right opportunity!)
-Started a new workout plan...running and working out--been wanting to do this for some time.
-Next steps in ministry: NO CLUE! Not sure about church...not sure about the future...church planting? Lead pastor somewhere? A VERY attractive thought is to be on staff with a healthy, thriving church and team for a season (or longer)...Not sure but am definitely praying along these lines
-Missing Grace...all of it...already talked about our people, but I miss the guys in Goshen--realize with my time off that the past 2 years has been quite hard being part-time...my relationships with those guys had slipped a great deal...not our love for each other, but the fact that we rarely spent time together--face to face time matters...missing the guys-need to get over there and play some ball with them
-NO NEW STUFF: I have added things to my life for YEARS! I LOVE to be active...love to be involved and I have promised my family to not just JUMP into things for a season here...that I won't just say YES to things so that I'm busy...but say yes to the best things for reaching people and my family and my health...
-Next step? Digging Deep into the Word...Figure our our church home...wrestle through with God and Kelsey on our next ministry spot...Reflect on the past 7 years-lessons learned?...Prepare a plan to personally grow this upcoming year-I want to be intentional about the time that I have been granted right now.

Much of what has been going through my head is hard to put in words...I don't really know how to express all that I have been feeling...BUT I am CONFIDENT that this time of awkwardness will continue to develop our family's character!