Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who's your team??

With football season kicking off, I've heard many people discussing their favorite team - they believe in their team and where the colors with pride. For some it's the NFL, others college or high school, but for the real fan the level doesn't determine their enthusiasm. The fans who are die hards feel as though they are part of the team, they rejoice in the victories and experience the pain of defeat. I know, I've been a sports fan all my life!

But as this season begins, I've been thinking about teams in a whole different way. This past July we were blessed with baby number 5 and as I sat alone with him in the hospital just hours after he was born I had a thought I didn't expect. I'm a former basketball coach, who set aside dreams of a state championship to stay home and raise my children.

Two months ago as I gazed at my new little man, God put it on my heart that I didn't have to let my coaching dreams die, but I had to change the sport we'd be playing. Little Jesse made our starting 5 complete and instead of 3 guards and 2 forwards, I'm coaching 3 boys and 2 girls. No longer am I striving to win a trophy to put on the shelf, but my desire is to store up "treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matt. 6:20) I used to think it would be work to win that elusive title, but I realize one of my favorite old slogans is even more true - There is NO offseason!!

In the days since penciling in Jesse Clay as starter number five for Team Beran, I've thought of a few things. Many teams I've been a part of have had a team slogan -
words that united, phrases that brought focus or sayings that motivated. Team Beran has one as well, I don't believe it's one you will ever see on the back of your favorite team's shirt, but I pray it's something every member of our team believes - Have FAITH and Be CLAY!

As I coach my team, I hope I can teach them to have faith and help them understand that in God's hands we are clay. (And I thought it was a challenge to teach someone how to do a lay-up!) As our season moves on, I'm beginning to realize the challenge doesn't just come with the teaching, but is especially a part of the living. I always took my role as a coach seriously and enjoyed the privilege of impacting young lives while at the same time I valued the responsibility as well. I knew little eyes were watching and I wanted to set an example that was worthy of following. I pray the Lord will give me the same passion with the team I lead now!!

Well there is more to say, but it's time to huddle up the team and tackle the next thing on our game plan!! So as I close, though you will find me cheering for the Vikings, wearing my Hawkeye black and gold, and even standing on the sidelines in Riceville, this year I have a new favorite team...Team Beran!! This bunch doesn't have a mascot or any mega shoe deals, but they are my number one!! How about you, who's your team??

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Winner, another story and some advice

First of all, I have to apologize for not posting the winner of "A Confident Heart" on Sunday like I had planned. Though I would love to give a copy to each of you, I'm glad to announce that Angie is our winner. I will be in touch with you soon!!

Next I have another story to share, which I pray will encourage you to buy a copy for yourself or borrow it from a friend. This book will make a difference in you and your life. Let me explain -

Friday night my husband, myself and our 5 children attended our local high school's football game. This is the same school I graduated from and later I taught and coached there. Since our town is small, everyone has connections to the school and now as enrollment drops and it's future is unknown people have their opinions as well.

In the last few years my connection to the school has changed...God has put it on our heart to homeschool our children and this is something not everyone understands or supports. As a people pleaser this has bothered me and impacted me. Whenever I was back in the building or around former co-workers I found myself wondering, "what are they thinking?" Even if they didn't question our actions, in my mind I doubted God's call. It always seemed like it would be easier to do what everyone else did.

But God would confirm this time and time again, so I'd fight the doubt and obey. Today marks the start of my 4th year as a homeschooling mom, but Friday night I realized it is the first without fear. That night as we drove away I realized I had visited with many former teachers, parents and community members, but this time something was different - I wasn't consumed with the worry of what they thought or fear of doing the wrong thing.

It was then the idea of confidence came to mind...I had been obeying God, but now I had confidence to do what He called me to do. I honestly believe Renee's book is playing a part in the transformation God is doing in my heart. Friend, I know He can change yours as well!!

If you haven't read the book yet I'd like to share a little advice -
1) Pray first. Don't start without asking God to use this book in your life. Ask to open your ears to what He wants you to hear and strengthen you to walk this road.

2) Take your time. Though it may be tempting to rush through and enjoy Renee's story, may I caution you to slow down so you get God's message. Pretend the words of the book are a tea bag and let them soak!!

3) Be prepared. For the change and challenge that lie ahead. And for the attacks as you embrace God's truth and become who He made you to be - His daughter with a confident heart.

And then don't put your book on the shelf, pick it up and start reading again!!