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Friday, April 21, 2017

A Conundrum

"a confusing or difficult problem"

This soccer season has been one of the strangest and frustrating to date.  We had almost two weeks of rainouts and trying to reschedule the games is getting  irritating.  Several reschedules conflicted with games already on the schedule so we had to divide the girls playing up from junior high so that each team had enough players.  It has worked alright so far.  The junior high team has to do without their main keeper and one game only had 11 players. 

This last week there were two games going on at the same time. Junior High killed their game and WON 3-0!  They played so well and had a ton of fun doing it.  While their game was going on, high school was playing on the opposite side of town.  The high school game did not go as planned.  This opponent is always out for blood and has injured several of our players in the past.  This game was no different.  They started the game with very physical attacks/tackles with no intervention from the refs.  After multiple tackles from behind two of our girls were injured.  We ended the half down by one point.  The girls were already pretty beat up from a game last week and were getting trampled on the field.  They were frustrated and upset by a "Christian" team being so ugly and hateful.

We started the second half of the game and it only got worse.  I decided after another nasty take down that enough was enough.  When I saw one of my players coming to do a throw-in weeping, I had had enough.  This was a soccer game and should have been at least somewhat fun for them.  They should not have to be on the field scared to play.  I told the ref that I was pulling my team and the game was over. 

The other teams' coaches were livid.  They said some choice words and we walked off the field.  I explained to the parents my decision and we left.  I have never abandoned a game before and hope to never do it again, but the safety of my players has to be the most important factor; not winning or losing. 

The week carried on and that team filed a 'complaint' against me.  It was an ordeal but one I would do again for my girls.

Jr High had two more games that they won and High School had a game against a tough opponent that they won as well. 

There has been backlash from my decision and our team has a bad reputation around here for playing dirty.  Which makes me laugh because all of the refs we have note that we play a physical but fairly clean game.  They compliment us on the integrity of our team and yet the Christian schools around here spread rumors about us and say that we are awful.  No one is perfect and we make our share of mistakes but it is frustrating when rumors are spread and the truth dies.

Yet, the public schools we play have no issues with us...

A conundrum indeed.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Dream

I have always had very vivid dreams.  I can remember dreams that I have had as far back as seven or eight years old.  Some of them good and some of them not so good.  Generally though they are almost always very real.

This is still holding true.  Last month I had a dream that was so vivid that I would have sworn it happened in real life.  It touched my soul and came at a time that I desperately needed it. 

In my dream, I was searching for Steven and the girls.  We had been separated for quite some time and I was lost in a large office building.  The building was deserted and was completely silent.  The lights in the building were all on but it was eerily quiet.

I started walking through the building looking for my family, slowly at first.  I was sure I would find them quickly and so I was not worried about it.  However, after the first few offices were found empty I started feeling a little panicky.  I searched the entire first floor of the building and found no one.  Not one trace of life.  I was utterly alone.

I decided to move on to the second floor, sure that I would find someone. By the end of the second floor search, I was beginning to feel desperate.  I didn't know what else to do so I kept searching.  I looked in every room, calling out for my family.  Utter loneliness and hopelessness started to take over and I thought of giving up the search.

I continued to search, crying out for them for several more floors before giving in to despair. I wondered the hall of the last floor I had the courage to search, just walking up and down the hall.  Despair overtook me as I opened the final door I had the heart to. 

When I opened this door I could instantly tell it was different.  The light in this room was warm and inviting.  The air was alive and I could tell that someone was in this room.  When I opened the door completely, I was met with a man.

This man was warm and inviting.  His smile encompassed his entire face and peace radiated off of him.  His eyes were ablaze with love and welcome.  He brought his eyes to mine and I couldn't help but sigh. I hadn't found my family but I had found what I was really searching for.


I fell into the arms of this man as he called out to me.  "Renita, come here."  The sound of his voice brought even more peace as he held his arms out to me.  "Stop searching and come here."  His arm enveloped me and I fell to pieces there.  He held me up as I cried and my knees buckled under the weight of my grief. 

He continued to hold me and let me cry it out.  After some time my tears started to dry up and I pulled back to look him in the eye.  In his eyes, I saw love and acceptance but also something else.  I saw hope. 

I stared into the face of Jesus and felt such peace and love that I was overcome with my guilt.  I couldn't look at him anymore.  I couldn't let Him see how unworthy I truly was.  I tried to hide my face from Him and get away from Him.  He wouldn't let me go.  He wrapped one hand around my wrist and put the other under my chin, pushing it upward; forcing me to look at him.  "Renita, I love you and I already know everything.  Let me in."

I was overcome with His love and jumped into His arms again.  I held on tight to my Savior, thankful for His love.  He let me stay in His arms as long as I needed to and then released me.  "Stop searching everywhere else for what you want, come to me and let me give you everything you need."

I realized then that what I was truly searching for was right in front of me.  He was what I was searching for and just couldn't see it. Jesus had met me where I was and gave me what I needed. Again.

I left His arms filled with peace, knowing that I had what I needed.  I took the elevator down to the first floor, walked out of the building into the arms of my family.

The dream ended there but when I woke up I was still filled with peace and felt like I had really just been held in the arms of Jesus.  I can still feel His arms around me and His peace surrounding me. 

What a beautiful gift from a God who knows me better than I know myself.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Is it over yet?

This has been a week for the books.  We finally got a stretch of good weather and have had all of soccer games so far!  On top of that I have had work and Naomi has had gymnastics...

Here is how it has gone so far:

Monday: me (and Naomi)-work from 9:30-11:30 am, Beth-work 11-3, high school soccer training from 2-4, jr high game from 3:30-6:15, Sarah-work 5-10:30, me-work 6:30-8:30, Naomi gymnastics 6:30-8:30.

Tuesday: me(and Naomi)-work from 8:30-11:45am, Hannah dr apt 10:40, prom dress shopping 12:30-1:30, soccer games from 2:30-6:30, me-work 7:00-8:30, Naomi gymnastics 7:00-8:30,

Wednesday: me-work 9:30-11:30 am, trip to the mall-12:00-1:00, soccer training 2:00-4:00, Beth work-5:00-10:30, Sarah shopping w/friend-5:00-?, date night-5:00-6:00, Steven rehearsal 6:30-?, Renita catch up on life at home-6:30-until she falls asleep!

Thursday-me(and Naomi) work 9:30-11:15am, high school soccer game 4:00-6:45, junior high soccer game 5:00-7:30

Friday-Good Friday...and rest.

Saturday-catch up on house work, soccer paper work, get ready for tournaments, do laundry, spend time with family, take a nap

Sunday-church, family time, Easter, lesson plan for the week of gymnastics

This week may just kill me and it isn't going to ease up next week either.  But, soccer season is only about three more weeks...I can do it!

On an up note, our teams are doing very well.  Junior High played a tough game on Monday against a very good team and came away with a 1-2 loss.  Tuesday both teams played and Junior High won 5-0 and High School won 2-0!!  Our teams were complimented by the refs on the integrity with which they played last night.  The other team was, shall we say violent, and the refs were impressed that our girls did not retaliate or play dirty as well.  I love our girls!!

This is a season of busyness and it is making me stronger, right?  oy vey but it just might kill me first!

Friday, April 7, 2017

It's in her blood

Naomi loves theater.  She was able to perform with a group for nursing homes and care homes.  They got together once a month to perform.  She was so awesome!  I love watching her do theater. 

Here is her song from Honk!  She was the Cat.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Week in the life

Last week we were supposed to have a full week of soccer.  Games on Monday, two on Tuesday, two on Thursday, and one on Friday.  Well, we had our game on Monday for Junior High and ended with a 0-0 draw.  They did a great job and learned a lot.  Tuesday they played again and ended up winning 2-0!  They didn't get the full game because of weather.

The High School game was cancelled by the ref because of weather.  Thursday both games were called because of rain and soggy fields.  Fridays game was cancelled, who knows why.  It was a frustrating week.

This week looks to be about the same.  We had training on Monday and it was gorgeous outside.  Today, Tuesday, it has been raining ALL day.  We are supposed to have games tonight...but I am not holding my breath.  I hope we can have them.  Thursday and Friday we are supposed to have games as well, but the weather forecast is not giving me warm fuzzy feelings.

Here's hoping we can play some soccer!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Taking Time

Sometimes in the busyness of life you lose sight of anything and everything.  The focus shifts to the 'have-to's' and 'right now's' and the 'just need to breathe's' get pushed by the wayside.  It is almost impossible to stay the course and not let it rule you.  I know this about myself and yet I can's seem to change it.  I see it coming and it still happens.

Here is where I am.  I am there-too busy and letting the calendar dictate what I focus on.  I hate that.  I need some down time and time to just be alone.  Time to be quiet.  Not time to nap, per se, but time to sit and be relaxed and still.

With my schedule, that doesn't happen very often if at all. 

I work Monday-Thursday 8:45-11:30 am.  Then I come home and try and answer any questions for school I can.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons we have soccer training from 2-4.  Then I work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday evenings from 4:45-8:30 pm-when we don't have soccer games.  Wednesday is date night but that only lasts until 8:15 when we have to pick up the first kid from small groups, the last being picked up at 9pm.  Friday nights we can have soccer games, kids working, church activities, checking the AYSO fields, etc. taking up the evenings.  Saturdays we have to be at the AYSO fields since we are on the board and then any number of activities from any of the kids after we have spent several hours walking around.  Sundays are church, board meetings, small group, kids activities, shopping, getting ready for the week...

Do you see what I mean?  I haven't gone grocery shopping in ages because-when?  I am at a loss as to when to do many things that are important but just not the 'have-to' right now that something else is. 

One thing that gets pushed aside regularly is time for me to just sit with no obligations or constraints.  It simply doesn't happen.  I know it is becoming a problem when my moods are continually sour and I can't seem to snap out of my bad mood.  That is when I need to stop and pull-back a little. 

I am there today.  I woke up knowing that I was headed for a melt down if I didn't stop today.  My choices were go to church and do all that entails or stay home, do my Bible study and breathe.  I chose to stay home.

Steven wasn't happy about it-he doesn't really get the whole thing but here I am.  I have finished my Bible study, spent a little time being still, and now I can focus on what else needs done today.  I will make my lists so I don't forget something and start marching to the calendar's beat again.

If you need me, check my calendar to see where I am next!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

I only thought...

August of 2016...oh my.  I can not believe it has been that long since I have posted.  Well, yes I actually can.  Life seems to have gotten busier as the kids got older and I lost any semblance of control I ever had. 

I am just holding on. 


What has changed since August of 2016?  Well, we got a new dog.  I started working again.  Sarah is a Senior in high school.  Hannah is a freshman.  Naomi started gymnastics.  And so many more things.  I wish I would have kept up and then we could look back on it and remember; as it is I have to use my oh so faulty memory to try and re-create the memories.  Looks like the girls will be missing a chunk of their lives to my brain fade!

The new dog.  Beau.  Bethany adopted him from a place in Kansas City that sold him to us sick.  We got past that and then he ate a lava rock.  I am not kidding.  He ended up needing emergency surgery or he was going to die.  We chose to have the surgery.  Many people have scoffed at us for that and even downright questioned our decision making abilities; but they are not in our shoes and have no say in what we do.  We did it and I don't regret it.  He survived the surgery and is recovering nicely.  And by that I mean he is huge and into everything!  He is a cutie patootie and I am sad to think about Beth moving out and taking him with her!!! 

My job...I started coaching gymnastics at the Y.  again.  It started out as a few morning classes and morphed into every morning but Friday and every evening except Wednesday.  I soon stopped working on Friday nights because soccer started and time evaporated from the schedule.  I actually love my job, the people, and especially the kids.  I love teaching them new skills and watching as they accomplish what they didn't think they could.  I am now teaching a competitive team and love watching them grow and get better as gymnasts.

On that note, Naomi started gymnastics in August and has since moved up the ladder and is getting ready to start on Team!  She works so hard and is determined to compete.  She also helps me teach in the mornings and is loved by all the kids. 

Sarah is graduating next month.  oy vey  She just recently got back from a missions trip to Canada and is planning on one to Peru this summer.  God called her to missions way back when she was a pixie girl with white curls and He has kept that plan for her.  She is excited to start this next phase of her life but I would be lying if I said I was just as excited.  I mean, I am, but I am also thinking of my momma's heart and how empty it will be without my Sarah in the house every day.  Why do they have to grow and follow God's path for them instead of staying with us forever?!  She is an amazing young woman that I am proud to call mine.

Hannah is a freshman and we are starting to look at college classes next year.  She is killing me with math and science!  I am glad that she loves them but I will be even more glad to have her ask the hard questions of someone else!  Oh yeah, she just broke her arm during soccer practice!  It is a minor break and will heal quickly but does make taking care of her extremely long hair a challenge.

Steven is still at his job.  Praise God he has stability and is doing something he enjoys.  We celebrate 25 years this May and it really only feels like 10 most days.  What a blessing to have someone willing to put up with me for this long. 

Speaking of my love, he bought me a new laptop to replace my ipad!  So now I can really keep up with the blog and not jump through stupid hoops to make it work on the ipad.  I love my ipad but blogging on it was infuriating.  We'll see how I do!

My girls and my man for Father Daughter Banquet.

My love and I.