Friday, March 28, 2014

What I Learned in March

1. 2.5 seconds is a lifetime, and a loss is never easy to swallow. 
Following the 14th Region semi-final game between Breathitt and Perry Central, I was in shock.  I may still be in shock, and it is almost two weeks later!  I was tasting the win.  I had retreated to a prayer corner next to the locker room, had done my talking with Jesus, and felt like all was right with the world.  I could see it in Wallace's face, in the girls face. 
Yes, it was only 2 points, but we were leading.  And so little time on the clock.
But Kayla Rankin wasn't ready to let her Senior year come to an end.  She jumped over our players, grabbed the ball with authority, lobbed it up at the basket...
So, we were going to overtime, right?  Because I wasn't even really looking...

Except we didn't, because she got fouled.  Or at least that was what the ref said... I'm still debating.  I may or may not be a slightly sore loser.

So Kayla wins it, no time on the clock, by drilling her free throws... and I realize just how long 2 seconds can be. Congrats to my Ladycats on a great season, though!!!

2. March Madness just may be the best time of the year.
And it is much more fun with Wallace than not. This time last year, our bracket challenge was done long distance... but this year I'm enjoying every minute of it.  My final four: Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona... with Florida and Michigan in the final game, Florida winning. His final four: Florida, Villanova, Michigan, and Creighton... with Florida and Michigan, Michigan winning.
He's still ahead in the bracket challenge, but since all of my teams are alive and all of his are not... I'm feeling pretty victorious. 
And can I say that there is nothing like sitting all day and watching college hoops? Seeing Duke get beat... Seeing Kentucky finally live up to the preseason hype and beat an undefeated Wichita State... Cinderella teams like Dayton.. I love it!!!!
And how exciting it was last week to watch Kendall on TV? 
Yep, nothing like March Madness...

3. Playing hooky is okay... and sometimes, necessary.
My spring break and Caleb's are never at the same time, and I may be slightly jealous that they have that to look forward to next week...

But little man stayed at home with me one day. We watched movies and talked. It was glorious.  I love that kid.

4. Paying close attention to one's calendar when taking classes is essential.
I forgot an assignment in the midst of my shock following the semi-final win.  Thankfully, Bowling Green is an hour behind  us, so I had an extra hour to submit it, and got done just in the nick of time.

5. I could read all day, nearly every day of my life, if given the opportunity. 
I dream of books.

6. Walking outside in the sunshine is preferable to the treadmill, even if Dance Moms is on DVR.

7. Grief is kind of like awakening from a sleep.  This semester has been rough.  I've struggled with losing Grandma, all of the snow and cold weather, overwhelmed with work and school and sometimes just life.  And logically I've tried to talk myself out of feeling this way, rationalizing that I know where Grandma is and death is expected and it could be so much worse... but it's still a process. God is good, and He is faithful, and I know He is seeing me through.  I'm still having to grope my way through some things, but faith is sometimes doing things just by feeling, anyway... and not my feelings, but by holding tight to the Hand of the One who will never lead me wrong.

Thank you, Jesus.  You keep teaching me...

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Monday March Madness Musings- #ClimbingTheLadder

Almost 21 years ago, there were four Mamas pregnant in a church.

Three of those Mamas had their babies on October 8th.

One of those Mamas had their baby early, really early, on October 19th. 

And in September, Brittany made five.

It was once said it takes a village to raise a child, and in Eastern Kentucky, we pretty much believe that....and we may just lay ownership to a bunch of kids.

As the older sibling of one of those October babies, I watched them grow up.  They played softball and soccer and cheered and played basketball. They were angels and Mary in Christmas plays and then we blinked...

Those babies grew up and are now all lovely college students. Though they are as different as daylight is from dark, they have remained best friends. While they are attending three different colleges, they still stay in touch and love and support each other in their endeavors.

And this weekend, one of them is going dancing.

That smallest baby... born early...  will be traveling to Texas to play in the NCAA tournament.

She started dribbling from a young age.  She lived in her brother Nick's Bulls tee-shirts, and suffered through tea parties with Kami. 

She showed her boy cousins how to play basketball, and labored through her Papaw Ern's boot camp.

Calm and cool on the ball court, she plays with a finesse that almost makes you forget she is out there... until she's fighting for a basket.

Her Mom's Word this year for her- Nikao- Greek for Overcomer.

That's just what she is. 

Fighting back from not one but two ACL injuries. Rehab and pushing through...Battling stress fractures... just when it seemed like she was ready to play, something else would happen.  Redshirting last year because of injury... So many prayers sent up for recovery and healing.

But what a difference a year makes.  Sunbelt Freshman of the Year.  Putting up with that microphone in her face and talking more than I can remember her ever talking.  Helping her team pull off some close games and just about giving her Mom a heart attack.

Baylor is tough... everyone knows that... but Kendall loves a challenge.  As we were watching the draw, Wallace said, "One thing I know about Kendall Marie.  She's a winner." And as she was being interviewed after the selection, she told everyone what we already knew... she'll not back down from any competition. 

When I was 16, Kendall's Dad Todd told me something that I will never forget.  We were at a church pool party.  It was the summertime and I was bored.  There really weren't any other kids there my age and all I wanted to do was leave to go hang out with my friends.  Being the melodramatic teenager that I was, I was complaining to my Dad about how "It just wasn't fair."  Todd smiled his quiet smile and said, "These are the best days of your life.  Don't wish them away.  Live today like it's the best."

Kendall... that's what I'm saying to you.  The best days of your life.  You've earned them. Saturday, get out there and dance like there isn't anyone watching...even though you can bet there will be a whole bunch of your church family tuned in, and cheering you on.  And I know that you don't like the spotlight, but just this week, let us all love on you a little more...

Because we are so stinkin' proud of you!

Go Lady Tops!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What I'm Reading in March

The ice is pouring outside my window right now, and all I can think of is how I want my Spring break to be extended by another day so I can read just a little bit more... and, of course, work on homework that I put off all week long!  And now that it is March madness, my reading will be balanced between watching hoops and checking my bracket...

Right now I'm reading several different books.  I'm on Allegiant, the third of the Divergent series. The movie for Divergent comes out in a couple of weeks, and I wanted to read the series before the movie hit theatres.  I read the first one in a day, and just finished up Insurgent last night.  I'm loving it.  Easy read, full of excitement, not what I usually like... but good stuff.

I'm reading Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury.  I LOVE Karen Kingsbury. Her characters are always likeable, she weaves God's Word right into her stories, and she draws you in and keeps you there.  This one is no different.  If you've read any of her Baxter books, you need to read this one, celebrating the Dad's 70th birthday.

My drivethru read is A Farewell to Arms.  A classic for sure... Ernest Hemingway.  WWI.  A nurse and a soldier.  Doesn't get much better than that.

I'm also reading Liz Curtis Higgs Thorn in My Heart.  To be honest, this one has been a slow one for me to get into. It's set in Scotland in the 1700s, and kind of resembles the story of Jacob and Esau from the Bible so far, but it has some period language and has been a slow read... but I'm persevering because I know she is good and it will get better.

I try to read the books on my Kindle based on when I bought them.  Many of them were free, so I get them and then just read when I have a chance.  I'll not disclose how many books that I have on my Kindle, because it could possibly prove that I am a reading addict... but anyway, after finishing up Made to Crave I went to the next Christian non-fiction book on my Kindle, and it was Applause of Heaven.  This book focuses on Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount, otherwise known as the Beatitudes.  I also had a book by Angela Thomas on the Beatitudes, A Beautiful Offering, so I'm reading these two together.  Applause of Heaven is by Max Lucado and is beautifully written. A Beautiful Offering invokes Thomas's real writing style and down to earth conversation.  Both are good!

I'm finishing up Freedom From Performing, another Christian non-fiction book.  It's set up in study form where there are six days worth of questions, so it has taken me a little longer to get through, because to be honest, some days I just don't read in it. 

Once Upon a Prince is a love story I'm reading for one of the book clubs I am in on Facebook. A light read and so far pretty good... but I've kind of put this one aside to finish that Divergent series!  Also am reading A Sound Among Trees. Set on an old Southern plantation, it is the story of the women of the plantation house... a newly married step Mom, her step grandmother in law, and a Union spy from the Civil War who may or may not haunt the house... not gotten that far to find out yet.

My to do list, besides articles on substance abuse?

Daughters for a Time (my free download of the month from Amazon... as a Prime member I can borrow one book a month for free... and have as long as I need to read it!) Lost Lake, another book selection from a book club. Ask Me Anything, Lord, a book club selection written by my friend Heather King.  Broken Wings, the last book in the Second Chances series by Terri Blackstock.  And so many more...

Happy Reading!