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!!!!

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