Thursday, May 28, 2009

The wide world of sports

Growing up in a house with 2 brothers I have been apart of my fair share of sports. Whether it was watching the boys play, actually playing with them, or watching sports on TV, sports have been a staple in our house. I grew up watching the Denver Broncos play on Sunday with my grandparents and then later on my parents. Do I have a connection with the Broncos? No. Do you have a connection with whatever team you cheer for? Probably not, you just like them. Sorry, I just felt like I needed to put that in there. Most people don't understand why a girl cheers for a football team for which she has no ties to. I mean my family is from Colorado so I guess there will always be a loyalty there. OK, that was not where I was going with this post. Ultimately, I love sports. Do I know what all the positions are called? No. Do I know what the different plays are called? No. Do I get into it like a guy does? No. But, that doesn't mean I can't like sports. And, it doesn't mean I am stupid when it comes to sports. Once again, not the point. Wow, my focus is terrible tonight...

If you know me now, you probably wouldn't think I have ever played sports or would like them. But, I played softball for the longest time, competitive cheer for a little bit, cheered, and I danced (I know it isn't a sport, but you go try it lol). I would have played basketball, but I just couldn't get past the whole shooting the ball with someone guarding you thing lol. I think it is fun to still play some of these things, however I must be the one who initiates it not you asking me because I will say no every time. FYI I guess lol.

It's not just football though. My brothers played basketball, baseball and golf. I haven't quite found myself at a golf match yet and probably won't, but they like it. However, I have attended tons of basketball and baseball games. I really do like going to these. It is almost as if for however long the game is, there are no worries anymore. You just enjoy watching the game; maybe not so much at times lol. So many emotions can arise from a single game and they leave memories that last a lifetime (Although don't dwell on your glory days please lol).

Tonight I was once again reminded how much I love sports. My niece is playing T-ball this year. She is 3 years old. It is the funniest thing I have ever seen and it allows for plenty of laughs along the way. While her game was going on, probably about 3 others were being played and 2 others on the other set of fields. Baseball, America's favorite past-time. I understand why. I think I am looking forward to this summer watching her play. After that, we went to my little brother's basketball scrimmage. They are in a summer league where they just scrimmage a bunch of teams over a 2 week period. He transferred schools last year so he is playing with a bigger school. However, this league definitely has small schools attending. Many of these schools my high school played so it is kind of fun to watch. It makes me laugh when I watch small school coaches. They are so intense. It doesn't matter if it is in a game or scrimmage, if they are winning or losing, they want their players to play to their fullest potential all the time. They get out of their chairs, yell a little, walk around, etc. It is so funny. I never thought about it until tonight, but they all do it. Maybe that is why I like small school is just fun. I mean our team was losing, but they were having a great time...way to go guys lol.

OK, so this is probably the most random post, but go to a game soon...just see what happens :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Expiration Date

The Bible never goes outdated. There is not an expiration date that tells you when the content of the book becomes too old to use and when you need to purchase a new fresh one. It saddens me to tell you I am writing this because of a very loving, conservative Christian woman whom I call Grandma. She is wise beyond her years, but she mentioned something tonight. She said something about how she knows what the Bible says, but they probably didn't know what we would be going through at this point in history. Side note: This is not verbatim and like I said, she is a great lady so please do not hate her lol. This comment got the wheels rolling in my head and led me to really think. Every time I read the Bible I know it is fresh. I know it is real. I know it never goes bad. God didn't know what we would be facing at this point in time? He planned this time! The Bible allows us direction for these times. God has purposely given us His word so we can be set apart. So we do not conform to the world. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2 This has spurred me to think about what God has instructed us to do through His word. Look for upcoming posts on this topic :) Until then, go pick up your Bible...the expiration date isn't up.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank You

The message is simple tonight - Thank you to all the past and present service men and women and their families for their daily sacrifices so that we can enjoy freedom. This Memorial Day is so much different than the past. I have a brother who is home for a 2-week leave from Iraq. I am kind of ready for the next 5 months to be over and him be home for good. We cannot do enough for these soldiers who are putting their lives on the line everyday. Trust me, they do not ask for anything. But one thing I ask of you...If you see a solider in uniform, please tell them "thank you." You don't even have to wait for a holiday, do it any day! This simple act of kindness will leave them with a smile on their face and something they can talk about for a long time :) I am continually amazed by the humility of these soldiers. Sorry I can not successfully and completely articulate what I am feeling tonight, but thank you soldiers! God bless and we will be praying until you safely arrive home!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Moving On

There comes a point in everyone's life when you feel like it is your turn to fly. It is your turn to do something more than just the ordinary. I have lived around this town all my life. I love it. However, thankfully, I believe if in a year I do not get a job around here, I will be OK.

The last time I felt like this was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. I had decided it would be best if I went to OBU. At the present time, I had no clue what I was going to do with my major, if I would make much money, and had basically talked myself into thinking I hadn't made such a wise decision going into something I still had so many questions about. I thought OBU would put a little more distance between the parents and myself and allow me to further and deepen my relationship with Christ because I would be surrounded by Christians. I had talked to some of the admissions reps and was going to major in secondary education. Once again, I am beyond grateful that my God directs my path not I.

I am about to start my senior year, and I still don't know what I want to do with my degree. Not because jobs are absent, but because there is so much to do! As for money...I hope that isn't where my happiness comes from. I have been blessed by the many people who have came into my life while I have been at college. The opportunities and the activities I have been involved in have made my experience here indescribable. Sometimes those have been more beneficial than is true though. Real-world application at its best :)

Whether I am blessed to stay around this town after a year or if it is time to go somewhere else, I think I am ready to see where God takes me. Until then, I will seize every opportunity until the time comes to move on.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Letter of Surrender

Dear God-

You're everywhere. You're in the warm, crisp summer night. You're in the pureness of a child. You're in the flowers and the things of the nature. You're in the encouragement and smile of a good friend. You're in the magnitude of buildings and structures of the world. Sometimes I wonder how all these can bring curiosity and peace at the same time. It is in these times I realize You were the one who enabled these things, plus so much more, to be about.

You have been tugging on me lately; Slowly drawing me back to You. I know I can never truly be complete unless I am complete in You. I have fled so many times thinking I could make it on my own. But, in the darkness, You have shown me Your light. You have shown me Your agape love. You said "You will never leave nor forsake us." Joshua 1:5 Although at times I feel like I am walking this path alone, You have always been there walking beside me, holding my hand, and at times carrying me.

God, I do not want to be like Peter when You walked on water. You said, "Come" and he walked towards You until he saw the wind. "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" "Wind" occurs everyday, but I don't want to doubt You. I want to place my whole life in Your hands. I always think something should go a certain way, but time and again when it doesn't go my way, You have directed me in a path much more fulfilling and honestly, more of what I desired. My prayer is that I will always walk by faith not sight. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

I have doubted, but I don't want You to ask me why I didn't have faith in You. I can not tell you what my future holds, but You had already decided that before You formed me. My mind is cluttered with uncertainties, but I know the peace that transcends all understanding. With that I can find rest. Whatever may come, Lord, I know it is in Your plan and I surrender.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I am

We had a great sermon at church today. Not saying they all aren't great lol, but there are some that just hit when you really need it. For the special music, a lady in our church sang this. I have never heard it before, but I really liked the song. 2 Cor. 12:10 says, "...For when I am weak, then I am strong." Probably a lot I could say, but I will just let it be what you want it to be.

Nichole Nordeman-I am

Pencil marks on a wall, I wasn't always this tall
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed
You watched my team win
You watched my team lose
Watched when my bicycle went down again
And when I was weak, unable to speak
Still I could call You by name
And I said, Elbow Healer, Superhero
Come if You can
You said, I Am

Only sixteen, life is so mean
What kind of curfew is at 10pm?
You saw my mistakes
And watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I'd never love again
And when I was weak, unable to speak
Still I could call You by name
And I said Heartache Healer, Secret Keeper
Be my best friend
And you said, I Am

You saw me wear white by pale candlelight
I said forever to what lies ahead
Two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
Too much it might seem when it is 2am
And when I am weak, unable to speak
Still I will call You by name
Shepherd, Savior, Pasture Maker
Hold onto my hand
You say, I Am

The winds of change and circumstance blow in and all around us
So we find a foothold that's familiar
And bless the moments that we feel You nearer

When life had begun, I was woven and spun
You let the angels dance around the throne
And who can say when, but they'll dance again
When I am free and finally headed home
I will be weak, unable to speak
Still I will call You by name
Creator, Maker, Life Sustainer
Comforter, Healer, my Redeemer
Lord and King, Beginning and the End

I Am
Yes, I Am

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring '09

If you know me at all, you would know this semester has not been a piece of cake. Although I have really liked some of my classes, there have been a few that has totally made this one heck of a semester. Looking back, I think I might miss some of these classes, or at least they gave me some memories. I thought about writing a “top 10” of why I would miss this semester, but I thought you should get a glimpse at all of them. So here’s to you, Spring ’09…

AgLe 4101 – My once a week course. We only had approximately 10 people in the class so we became real close, real fast. By the way, the whole class was discussion. I have never been one to contribute much to class, but I have definitely learned. T and I became the go to people when they needed someone to talk. I now realize it is not as simple to teach a class of students who do not want to participate. Mr. Weeks nicknamed me Flo from those Progressive commercials…I really don’t think I look like her though, but hey, she is probably rolling in some money; those are great commercials! Towards the end of the semester, I think this class was more like therapy than talking about leadership. Maybe that was because we started to apply it to our life. Quite possibly the best class I have taken at college. I will miss those guys :)

Layout – & Design; one of my friends got really excited to hear I was taking layout until she found out we don’t just ‘layout’ all the time…lol…it is still fun to say. OK, she isn’t really dumb, but…Whew! This class was fast, fast, fast. My head might still be spinning. OK, not that bad, plus I like the challenge. I definitely learned a lot I wish there were two semesters of it to go more in depth. C, B, and I shared some memories and inside jokes together. “Sheeeellly” and Seb became a real person here.

Features – What other school book allows you to read about “Strong Beginnings, Satisfying Endings?” Don’t take that dirty!! OK, maybe we did, which made reading the chapter even more interesting. Pun (too cute for words ;) ), pleasure, and others that I have forgotten. However, we did write them down once. I will miss popcorn reading with B….

EntoHaha…this class is the whole reason I am writing this blog topic. I don’t even know where to start. The best thing that came from this class was the clickers. It was kind of hysterical to answer a question then everyone basically drop their clickers on the desk multiple times. Maybe you had to be there for that one, but it was a highlight of our day. This past week, I had a small fear of getting an F!. If you really want to know why, talk to me in person as this is not the place to put this type of information haha. Oh man, the couple who sit in front of us on the first row... When is it ok to lick a guy’s ear in the middle of class? Well, it happened. C and I attempted to study at the library one night until we found out our other smart friend and her smart friends were studying on the first floor in the library. So, we went and ‘studied’ with them. I am sure they thought we were stupid lol. I don’t think I have made it to the library as many times within one semester as I did with this class. Do you think it is the beginning of a trend for me? Doubtful. How about, ‘Hey, Hey, It’s Eval Day!” This was the day we had been waiting for since we started!! I wrote a children’s book called “Lucky the Ladybug.” Hmm…probably shouldn’t get that published. Bug Bowl – Whirlygigs? WTF? I am still wondering why we were called that. However, I did make some new friends and everyday I was very productive. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I was given an hour and 15 minutes to get caught up on anything I needed to…I think I will miss that class HAHA

PR – You know, this class really did boost my confidence. He made me feel like I could actually write. Getting a 60/50 is pretty good don’t you think? Enough said…I needed that boost at the end of the semester.

MGMT – Assignments were great; Tests not so much. Staying up late in 266 with K and then finishing up on Friday mornings at work because we would always get caught up in an intense conversation and then decide it was too late to finish lol.

I can laugh at this stuff now, and I hope you did too. Fall’09 – you have a lot to live up to.

Monday, May 4, 2009


"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes."- Charles Swindoll

As I was passing an office today, I noticed these words posted on the outside of the door. This is not the first time I have heard this saying, but sometimes you need to hear it again before it can truly sink in.

I like to think of myself as a typically upbeat, positive, God-lovin' girl. However, lately I have felt my attitude has not been what it should be. It has been more about bitterness and how could they do this to me?? lol But, I believe we are given the opportunity to choose whether we are happy or not. Life happens. It is not always fair. But, I don't have to live like that. I can be happy :)

I read this last week, "This situation hasn't caught God off guard." So even when I am frustrated at something, God already knows it was coming...Heck, He planned that very moment! Today, I choose to be happy and blessed!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Soldier

I last saw him at the end of September. He arrived in Iraq on Oct. 12. Talk about a life-changing experience. I tried to act like I had it all together, but truth be told I was crumbling inside. I really believe from that point on, some things in my life had changed. I thought several people in my life would be there, but they really weren't. I learned how to lean on God. I learned how to allow Him to be my Healer and my Provider. I learned how much family really meant. Now, I still sometimes struggle with both, but nobody is perfect :)

Bryan and I have always been fairly close. In whatever he did, he always worked hard and never complained. Everyone liked him. Before high school, my life consisted of watching him play baseball in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. You know what? I loved it. I would much of rather been there than do anything that I was doing
lol. I am pretty sure I cried when they lost their area playoff game in basketball when he was a senior. I know, crazy huh? :) I mean I didn't even shed one tear when I cheered my last game or graduated from high school. He played the part of 'big brother' really well lol. He even allowed me to hang out with him, but there isn't much to do in small town Oilton, USA. So just 'hanging out' wasn't really my thing. However, being the younger sister, I loved being around him and his friends ;) Haha

Although he has always been a very determined person, I have never seen him put more into something as he has the military. In his unit, he was named Soldier of the Month in only his 2
nd month to be there. It is a joke over there because he has met people such as John McCain, George W. Bush, Kellie Pickler, Lewis Black, WWF people (I'm not really into that lol), Santa Claus, and he is actually friends with Beau Biden. He was recently transferred to Camp Liberty because many officers had recruited him so much. Kinda makes a sister proud :) He gets up early and stays late. I actually do not like to get up early and stay up late any day haha.

He may be in an office, but that doesn't make him 'safe.' Because I like to read the news, every time I see a headline regarding Iraq or Baghdad, I go read it. Typically they are about an American soldier dying, but names are never released. I mean, I know if he was hurt or killed, we would know immediately as he was identified, but I still cringe every time I read one of those headlines. I don't think anyone really understands that. For the longest time, I felt extremely guilty for having fun because I knew he was in Iraq. I was really excited to learn soldiers could drink 2 beers on Super Bowl Sunday because I knew he would get to have a little fun. And, I know they make the most of their time by playing flag football games, running marathons and half-marathons (which my brother has won several awards or should I say T-shirts for placing in these events) and whatever else they do lol.

Bryan will be home in about two weeks for his 2-week leave. As excited as I am he will be home, I have incredibly mixed feelings. As hard as it was to say goodbye the first time, how about the second? My niece is super excited. She told me several months ago she wanted to hunt Easter eggs with daddy, so guess what we will be doing? I never knew it could hurt so bad when a 3-year-old looks up at you and says, "I miss daddy." Or, when you are blowing bubbles says, "that is going to daddy in Iraq." She can even point on a map where Bryan is and where we are. Wow, that is a long ways!

I am not writing this for pity. I am writing this because I feel like people are at different points in their life and we all need to understand that. Sorry if writing a paper, doing homework, and taking tests do not always seem like that big of a deal to me right now. Sorry if I would rather be with family than practically doing nothing at my apartment. Sorry if I would rather be with my niece and nephew doing anything with them than being a regular college student who doesn't have to think about such things. I am starting to feel like what I felt before he left. However, in two weeks, it all starts again. I know my emotions will be hanging right on my sleeves. And be careful, a simple "How are you doing?" might result in me breaking down haha. Trust me, it happened when he went to Basic Training! lol. I try to be strong; I am pretty good faking that emotion, but sometimes I just can't. Sometimes people can't. I am not always good at relating to people, but I try. I hope you will give it a try too :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Greatest Love

"...God is love." 1 John 4:8

This seems so simple. To understand the God of the universe is love and He loves us. But, I need to share that I have been struggling lately with this thought. Not so much as if He loves us, but why does He love us? Over 2000 years ago, God sent His one and only son to live on Earth. To live among the liars and theifs and sinners, imperfect people like you and me. Although Jesus was tempted in every way, He lived a perfect life. He has been through the struggles and brokenness we face and yet remained sinless. He is our example. And still, because we are sinners, we hammered every single nail to His body to the cross. We did this to Him, and yet He still loves us and keeps pursuing us with a passion I can't offer Him. As much as I try, I seem to fail and I don't always understand why He continues to love me unconditionally. Recently, the all to common verse, John 3:16, has been used in many situations. How often do we hear this verse and casually glance it over because we know what it says? But, do you? Do you really know what this verse means? God sent His one and only son so that each and everyone of us who BELIEVE in Him will not die but have eternal life!!!! (I added a few of my own words) Christ has brought us from darkness to light!! In sin we are dead, but God has made us alive in Him...and it is fully yours, as a gift. Another verse that seriously has been popping up everywhere lately is, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." This is found in Psalm 51:17. I haven't really understood what this meant until lately, and I am sure I couldn't begin to explain all the ways it could be meant. To be honest, I didn't even really know the definition of contrite. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, contrite means a "feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming." God loves for us to just come as we are to Him and let His love pour over us. It is amazing the complete freedom you receive when you accept God's love and love Him back. God already knows what is going on in your life--He planned it, friend--just talk to Him and let Him break the chains! We all have our struggles, and although "He paid a debt He did not owe, and I owe a debt, I cannot pay," He would have still offered Jesus as a sacrifice so that even one may come to know him as God. By not accepting the love God has bestowed, I am rejecting Him. It is tough for me to swallow and grasp how extravagant the Love of God is, but I am so thankful for this unfathomable love. Thank you, God.

I am reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. There is a prayer that explains pretty much how I it is.

Jesus, I need to give myself up. I am not strong enough to love You and walk with You on my own. I can't do it, and I need You. I need You deeply and desperately. I believe You are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next. I want You. And when I don't, I want to want You. Be all in me. Take all of me. Have Your way with me.

You can't really talk about God's love without talking about grace so stay tuned for the next blog :)