Childish Ways

Where would we be without our best friends?  I have to admit that I have the most amazing ones!  Near and far away!  Many of my closest friends came from gymnastics.  They were the ones I spent many hours in the gym with and this was great bonding time.  We have things in common that only gymnasts have and this is a bond that doesn’t seem to break.

Every summer I lived in a town just outside of my home town because we didn’t have gymnastics in the summer.  This incredible family was kind enough to house me and my teammate for the entire week and then my parents would bring us home for weekends, and off I went again on Monday morning for another week of training.

Of course, if you know anything about girls, three girls is never a good number.  It is the law of nature that two girls will gang up on one of the other.  Unfortunately, this situation was no different.  My billet and I would gang up on my friend and teammate.  We didn’t really gang up, but we found entertainment in tormenting her, the point that it would be probably called bullying now-a-days.  In all honesty, however, it was all in fun, just at the expense of one of my closest friends!

We loved to find pleasure in her pain.  We would chase her down and give her Wet Willies, if her clothes had a hole in them, they were game for us to chase her around and rip them, we’d flick her in places that would really hurt a young girl.  We did things that are totally shameful looking back.  We loved to mentally torment her.  It got so bad that she refused to train with us, and would ask to go anywhere we weren’t.  But, we loved this girl.  She was the sweetest thing.  We just loved to find fun in driving her crazy!

I also have a great high school classmate who I considered to be one of my best friends growing up, and again, I treated this boy so poorly.  I truly I adored this guy!  He is now a pastor of a church and hopefully being the spirited person he is, forgives me for all the cruel things I would say and do to him! How cruel right?  This was my teenage mentality.

It’s amazing how some people stay with this teenage mentality.  Finding pleasure in making adults lives miserable.  Trying to create drama in their lives for their own entertainment purposes.  It is very immature.  I’m very glad that I have come to recognize this and stay far away from any drama as possible now.  I’ve apologized profusely to these people that I grew up with and called them friends.  Gladly they still want me in their lives and forgave me for my silliness!

It is said in 1 Corinthians 13:10-12, “But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

I have definitely given up my childish ways.  Sometimes I have to admit they sneak back to me when someone hurts me, or my family, but then I have to remember that I’ve put that part of me behind me and I am not letting that person back in my body.

I’m proud to say that this friend that I tortured at gymnastics is still one of my best friends today.  The two of these gymnasts stood up with me in my wedding, and even though they might not be in my daily life, they are in my daily thoughts and prayers.  They are both incredible woman, and I have always loved them the same!  I’m just very thankful that the one I tortured loved me for my childish ways and has forgiven me for all the torture I put her through!

Have you let go of your childish ways yet?  If not, say a prayer and ask that God will turn you from your childish ways and help create you into all that he created you to be!

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Bikini Season!

Bikini Season!  Does that make you cringe as much as it does me?  I look at my daughter and reminisce that at one point in my life I looked like that and didn’t realize what a great body I had.  She’s built just like me, and silly me, hated my body when I was younger.  I was muscular before muscular was cool.  The boys called me She-ra at school.  For those younger individual who have no idea who I’m talking about, she was the girl Hulk super-hero.  It was an insult for me.  I definitely didn’t have a feminine physique because of my long hours of gymnastics training.  And 25 years later, I just have the shadow of what I once was.

I got my prom dress made purposely to cover my manly shoulders that was least favorite part of myself.  There are girls that are built like a boy, and sadly, I am one of them.  I look at my daughter, who has the boyish body that I had and wish I had that body back.  It bothers me whenever any of my gymnasts talk poorly about their physiques.  We are all built the way we are built for a reason.  These girls train hard and are stronger than most boys their age.  Weight to strength they are amazing!

We all have our insecurities about ourselves.  Maybe you don’t like your body either. Perhaps you hate your nose, or your eyes.  My poor son is five foot five and has bigger feet than his six foot father…they call him “Feet”.  We all have parts of our body that just doesn’t seem attractive to ourselves, and as hard as we try to accept and love ourselves for what we are, it is hard!

We all want what we don’t have.  Right?  We all want to be curvy when we are straight, we want to be straight when we are curvy.  My daughter has beautiful curly hair, and wants it straightened.  I have straight hair and would love for it to be curly.  There is no making us content in what we have, until we don’t have it anymore.

I’m learning that as I watch my mom struggle in the hospital, not being able to eat due to a bowel blockage.  She has been in the hospital for over a week, and when we visit, she makes it clear how much she would just love to go to the bathroom.  Imagine wanting to be able to go to the bathroom.  Something very gross, when you think of it, but something that we take for granted at the same time.

We all want what we can’t have.  We all take what we have for granted.  Just like I did with my body when I was younger, but how I would love to have it back now.  Just like my mother wanting to use the bathroom because she can’t.  We all have things in our lives that we take for granted.

Think about the blessing you have in your world that you take for granted.  Your husband or wife, your children, your parents, your pets, your house, your job, your car, the food on your table, the heat in your house, the clothes on your back, your health, your ability to go to the bathroom.  The list is endless.  The simplest of things are precious if we lose them.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  God wants us to give thanks in all circumstances.  Even in times we can’t use the bathroom properly.  Give thanks for the manly body you may have.  Give thanks for the nose that is on your face.  Give thanks for the beautiful curly hair you have.

We are all made exactly like God wanted us to be made.  There is nothing we can do but accept that fact, and embrace it.  When we are thankful for these things, instead of harboring embarrassment for them, it is pleasing to the Lord.  He is our creator, and just like an artist being criticized for his painting, you are criticizing God for his creation, which he feels is a master piece.  Give thanks for that masterpiece and hold your head up high for the person he created you to be.  You rock!

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Best Friends Best Dads!

I have this amazing friend, who I admire very much.  Maybe it is because we share a lot in common, or maybe it is because we are married to best friends, and our life journey with them has been quite an experience and we can relate to one another because of our husbands similarities.  Nevertheless, I respect this person, and as long as I’ve been married to my husband, she has been in my world and with me through the ups and downs.

When we first got married, the four of us had a great life!  We were inseparable and had tons in common.  Our husbands coached hockey and baseball together, I coached gymnastics, and she coached woman’s hockey and field hockey.  We all loved sports.  My husband and I were married three years before we decided to settle down and have a family and of course, our family came only three months after our Besties started a family of their own.

We would still hang out all the time, but life started to get in the way a bit.  When we finally would get together, the two of us would admit that we chose the best fathers for our children.  Then we would joke and say, they might not be the best husbands, because we really were convinced they loved each other more than they loved their wives, but they were stand up fathers!  Undeniably!

Time has ticked away and now we both have more than one child and they are all different ages, have different interests, into a multitude of sports and life is really getting in the way of the four of us hanging out like we used to.  Still, we keep in touch and try to get together when our schedules permit, but sadly this isn’t as often as we would like.

Thank goodness for Facebook, because I can keep track of her and her family on there.  They are a busy family, just like ourselves, and the other day she was in Boston with her daughter for hockey, and posted a status update about how she was surprised when her husband showed up in Boston and surprised her and her daughter because he wasn’t supposed to come.

Instantly I was brought back to our lives many years ago, on how we would joke that they may not be the best of husband, but the two of them are the best dads in the world!  I had to make this comment on her status.

How many of you feel the same about your husband?  They may not be the best husband, but man-oh-man, they are the best fathers that you could have ever chose for your children.  How many of us take for granted all that these incredible men do to help make the family work.  They might not be skilled at organizing, or keeping the cleanest of homes, but when it comes to being a father, they know exactly what to say, what to do, when to do it, how to say it, and when to say it.  They are just naturals!

Ephesians 5:33 says, “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  Respecting your husband includes honoring them as the father of your children.  Realize that the two of you were joined together for a reason, and that was to produce the off springs that you were so graciously blessed with.  These children are meant to be in this world and have a purpose to fulfill.  As their parent, you are to respect their fathers and realize they have something to give the child that a mom just can’t.

Instead of being the criticizing women that we are created to be, give thanks and praise to your deserving husband or father of your children on this special weekend that is dedicated to all the great fathers in this world.  They might not be the dream husband that you thought they were going to be when you married them, but they are the father of your children and they should be respected and honored for the job that they do.  Even if they may not do things the way you like things done.  Children always love their father, so why not embrace it and love them for giving you the children that you’ve been blessed with.  You couldn’t have made your amazing children without their help!

Happy Father’s Day!

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Sport Emotions in Men

I get a kick out of my husband’s friends, especially when they are all together chatting about sports.  They all have their favorite teams, and their sports that they are most passionate about and they love to raz one another about which team is the best, and which team won the most Stanley Cups, or World Series rings, etc.  It’s kind of painful to listen to, for us females that might be around at the time.

Some of these men are very passionate about their beliefs in their prize team that they cheer for.  They also get very angry if someone insults their favorite player, or the team’s ability or team manager, or the fact that all the players were on steroids and that might be the reason that they won so many World Series rings.  The list of arguments is tiresome, but these men never seem to tire in defending their precious team.

It’s very much the same as these people that call themselves an “Atheist”.  There are so many nowadays.  And vocal.  Oh my goodness they are vocal.  More vocal that Boston Red Sox fans!  Way more vocal than any Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or Agnostic.  Why do you think they are so vocal?  From the ones I’ve run across, most are angry, angry, angry individuals.  My heart actually breaks that these people have such a bitter heart.  It must be hell just living in their brains!

Nobody believes or rejects God for intellectual reason.  People believe or reject for emotional reasons.  In recent psychological studies, one of the largest people groups exhibiting anger towards God is Atheists.  They are angry at God—angry at something they don’t believe in. Don’t you find this bizarre?  Obviously, they have a chip on their shoulder about God.  Really is this why you became an Atheist?  Or could it be that you were emotionally scarred somewhere in your life?  Maybe you were praying for a parent to live and they died.  Maybe you were praying for a marriage to survive and it died.  Maybe you were praying for healing of a sick child, and they were never healed.  Whatever the reason, I am sure it was heartbreaking.

We all make emotional decisions, and people make these decisions based on what they have been exposed to.  My mother wouldn’t take a drink of any alcoholic beverage because she grew up with an alcoholic mother and was exposed to the devastation that accompanies this.  Some people never want to get married, maybe because they went through their parents splitting and are scarred from that or maybe they had a bad experience with the opposite sex.  Either ways, these decisions are based on emotional circumstances.

We all face emotional experiences, and we’ve all been let down tremendously once, twice, or even more in our lives and we believe that it is God that is letting us down.  If this produces incredible anger inside of you, you will turn away from God.  And you will be very angry.  Atheists will tell you that they reject God for factual evidence, but they rarely do.  There are multitudes of facts that there is some higher force in this universe.

All scholars agree that Paul is a good historian who wrote books of his accounts of Biblical times.  In 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 he reaccounts, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel preached to you, which you received, which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.”  This is documented as the truth by many scholars, but now you have to do with it what you want to do with it.

Just like my husband’s friends getting all emotional over their sports team, many people get all emotional over religion.  People can think their beliefs are for scholarly reasons, but unless they have a degree in philosophy and are well educated in this area, the way they believe is based on emotional reason and not intellectual reasons.

Just like why a male cheers for a certain sports team.  Their opinions are based on emotional reasons.  Just like philosophers will admit, there is proof of Jesus, but then it is your decision on what you do with it.  Don’t let anger of your past stand in your way of all you’ve been created to be, because as much as you want to deny it, Atheists don’t believe in God probably because they have been emotional scared by something or someone.  It’s very sad, but true.

Thank You!

Can you believe this is my 100th blog that I have posted?  I’ve written more than this, but some were back from last fall, and I didn’t start my blog until the first of February, and they didn’t go with the season that they were written during, but will eventually be here.  It blows my mind! I can’t believe that I have published 100 blogs!

It especially should blow other people’s minds.  Those who have known me on a personal level for years would be astonished too.  First of all, I am no Shakespeare, or do I claim to be, but writing was, by far, my worst subject in school.  I avoided it at all costs!  I actually hated Shakespeare, because he was way over my head—all the symbolism and crap.  Hated it!

My teachables for my Education Degree are Physical Education and Biology, but when they pulled me out of the gymnasium for me to teach French as a second language because I also had a French background I was very intimidated.  I wasn’t intimidated to teach French to ten year olds, I was scared to death to teach Literacy.  My own mother tongue.  I thought to myself, “I can’t teach children how to write, I don’t know how to write myself!”  I remember having so much anxiety over it all, and the wonderful leads at my district reassuring me that I knew more about writing than a ten year old—but sometimes I doubted even that!

Eventually, with the guidance from the Literacy Leads in my district, I wrapped my head around teaching this very scary subject.  I had to be very prepared and spent many house on SmartBoard presentations for all the different traits of writing.

I know for sure that my English teacher from high school would never believe it if I told him that I wrote blogs and loved it!  This poor teacher earned his wage trying to teach me how to write, and sadly he always learned more than me.  He learned many ways on what didn’t teach me how to write.  I skimmed by English with the bare minimal pass, which I think he generously gave me out of the kindness of his heart so he didn’t have to try and learn more ways on what wasn’t teaching me to become a writer.

Writing is just one of those things that I wasn’t built for, but now I love it, which is the reason I know that there is a higher power out there, helping me write these blogs.  Many times I sit down to write something, and an entirely different story takes over my brain and is typed out by my fingers.  Other times I have to research what he wants me to write on because I have no idea what he is asking for, like my blog on Newton’s Third Law.  Over my head!

I realize that I am just a tool for the Holy Spirit to relay a message to someone, somewhere that will read my blog.  I am humbled to know through the statistics on my blog that he has reached over 20 different countries; Czech Republic; Brazil; Norway; Cuba; Mexico; Barbados; Bangladesh; India;  Neverlands; United Kingdom; Indonesia; Norway; Australia; Tanzania; Dominican; Guadeloupe; Austria; Italy; Philippines; Malaysia; Qatar and of course United States and Canada all through my blog.

2 Timothy 2:21 explains, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”  I definitely cleaned myself up from what a selfish and self-centered person I was.  Is that why God is using me through these blogs?  I will never know.  I just know that since I was obedient and started my blog, I feel he is using me more and more all the time to be a vessel for his work.

I will continue to write these blogs as long as he continues to fill my mind with these words he wants me to write.  For some reason they scream at me until I get them down on paper, and it is overwhelming by times, but the feedback that I get from people is fantastic and worth every bit of the work.

Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy lives to give five minutes of your day to read my blogs.  If you are drawn in to read the blog, trust me it is for a reason.  He is trying to reach you about something he wants you to hear or think about.  Sit and meditate and see what else he says to you.  We are all here for his reasons and to serve him.  Hopefully I found mine with these blogs.  What is your reason?

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Bulldozer Parents

Helicopter Parents.  Every heard of them?  Well, the new thing is “Lawn Mower Parents.”  Parents who try to mow the way for their children through life.  I prefer to call them “Bulldozer Parents” because they try to bulldoze the way for their children, instead of letting them experience hardship or failure they try to bully their way with everyone that their children come in contact with to make sure that they don’t fail.  If they do fail, they then write emails, make nasty phone calls, and try to find answers of why their child was treated the way they were treated, or failed what they were trying to achieve.

Do you know of parents like this?  Being in the school system, a coach and a parent myself, I meet these types of parents every day.  Don’t get me wrong, it pains me to see any child fail, and especially my own, but failure is a part of shaping a person for adulthood.

Think about your own life.  What things do you remember the most about growing up?  Is it all your successes or is it all your failures?  I know myself it is all my failures!  I remember one time, I was competing at the Atlantic Championships in Prince Edward Island, and there was a big storm that day.  It was such a big storm that the power went out in the building we were competing in.  As luck would have it, the building went black just as I was vaulting, and I smashed right into the vault.  Do I remember what I placed overall that year?  No.  Do I remember what I performed like on the other three events?  No.  Do I remember anything else about this particular competition?  No.  The only thing I remember is smashing face first from a full out sprint into the vault!  I only remember my failure!

Another thing I won’t forget is failing my Praxis exam for the writing component three times.  It was something that I struggled with and constantly failed at.  It is also something that I will never forget as long as I live, especially with the irony that now I write daily blogs spreading God’s word.

We are all children of God, and is God a Bulldozer Parent?  Absolutely not, and he tells us that in the Bible.  He wants us to experience hardships.  He wants us to learn to work through trials.  That is how we grow into become the person that he has designed us to be.

He explains to us in James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  We are all tested, and if we last through the test we will become what he is creating us to be.

Watching your children fail is very heartbreaking—I think my parents got used to it, because I failed a lot!  My parents never once went to the school to take up for me, my parents never once tackled a coach because I didn’t make a team.  My parents never once told me I deserved to be on a team when I didn’t make it.  My parents gave me the best advice!  You have to use your failures as a lesson and learn where you have to improve so that you will make the team next time.

Children are going to grow up sometime and have to realize they aren’t going to get the scholarship they want, or that they aren’t going to get into the university program they want to take.  Maybe they aren’t going to get their dream job.  As heartbreaking as it sounds, their marriages aren’t going to go the way they thought.  You are their parents, and your job is to teach them how to survive on their own, not bulldoze the path of their lives.  Are you going to go to the university and bulldoze their path there?  Are you going to bulldoze their marriage?  Are you going to bulldoze their jobs?  Hopefully, the answer is no.

Everyone has different parenting styles, and I understand that, but I like to model mine after that of our Father in Heaven.  He gives us trials to make us stronger, to sharpen our swords, to make us learn from our mistakes.  He doesn’t bulldoze our way, he gives us trials so that we will mold into the creatures he wants us to be.  Love your kids like our Divine Creator loves us, and do them a favor.  Let them fail!  It’s going to make them into the amazing people they were created to be!

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Proper Progressions

Gymnastics is such an amazing sport!  I love that you have to have a vision of what moves are next in line from progressions.  If certain gymnasts get rush through the progressions it is really detrimental to their careers as a gymnast.  They can have all the talent in the world, but if they skip steps in their progressions, they are never going to reach their full potential.

Many coaches don’t realize the importance of this, especially those non-experienced ones, who might not have witnessed the power of their lack of progressions.  Sadly, once they start to reach the upper levels this is detrimental to their development and can instill much fear into their little brains.  Then we have to retrain the brain and develop their confidence again, which sacrifices a year or more of their time in gymnastics and if you are familiar with gymnastics it is a sport for the young, and their careers are usually over by the time they are in their late teens.

Progressions are a great thing.  We have to progress and learn to handle the different body movements and be able to handle the power and speed that comes with growing as a gymnast.  Just like growing as a gymnast, we grow spiritually as well.  We progress through life, learning from the trials we are faced with.  Learning to deal with what comes from becoming an adult and the decisions that we make as we mature.

Just like rushing a gymnast can produce fear and insecurities, I feel the same is with spirituality.  Nobody can rush someone to becoming the spiritual person that they are made to become.  We have to progress at our own rate, learning from our failures, and our situations that life brings us.  Many times, people will resort to other things to deal with their insecurities.  Maybe you shop to hide your insecurities.  Perhaps you have resorted to drugs or alcohol to cover your uncertainties.  Some people even seek the thrill of infidelity trying to make themselves feel wanted and secure in themselves.

Whatever it is, we all have the free will to choose whatever makes us feel good, but somehow we seem to listen to our egos and make bad decisions before we realize our wrongs.  Just like in gymnastics.  Gymnasts and their parents think they are doing great until they hit the wall and they can’t progress because of a bad decision that was made by a prior coach.  Gymnastics is a sport that a gymnast can’t be rushed.  We can’t be rushed spiritually either.  If people aren’t ready to open their heart and receive the word of God, there is no forcing them to do this.

Just like coaches that think they know what they are doing but don’t quite grasp the concept of the sport, there are also many people who pretend they believe the word, and go to church but don’t live by the word.  Their hearts aren’t the hearts that God wants his children to have.  They are trying to do their best, but just haven’t grasped the concept of being a true Christianity yet.  Just like some coaches that just don’t quite grasp the progressions of the sport of gymnastics.

Psalms 32:8 tells us, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”  God is our coach.  He will follow us through all our progressions in life.  He won’t skip a step to make us who we are created to be.  Everything we are going through is for a reason.  Just like in gymnastics, there is a reason for every drill, every progression every conditioning program and every gymnast will progress in their own time.

God is the best coach for our lives that there is out there.  We just have to learn to listen to his instructions and trust where he is taking us.  You might feel like your life is over sometimes, just like my gymnasts that are frustrated in their gymnastics journey, but stay in faith and trust in his coaching and watch your life turn around and become all that he has created it to be!

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