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Saturday, October 4, 2008

I morphed into a soccer mom

Grace and James have been playing soccer for quite some time now. When we made the move to Anna, James signed up for soccer, but Grace was told there would not be a team for her. We begged and pleaded for her to be allowed to play on the boys team, to no avail. She was devastated. She gave up her school, her friends, and her sport because of our move. Then the season began, and it turned out that James was playing on a coed team that Grace should have been allowed on. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to place her on the team because we had not registered her in time, because we were told that there would not be a team for her. Can you say unfair!!! However, James's soccer coach has graciously allowed her to practice with the team and has tried hard to include her. She sits on the sidelines of every game cheering on "her team."

Then today came. The coach's son was out of town, so he let Grace play in his son's place. Illegally I guess, but I don't really care. I don't remember the last time I was so excited about a sporting event. My heart was racing, my blood flowing, the adrenaline pumping before the games even started. This was even a double game day. Grace was allowed to play in both games for the entire time. She kicked some butt!!!! In the first game, the ref had to threaten to yellow card her. I was a little worried since she had never played with boys, but she more than held her own on the field. I think maybe they were a little scared of her after she mowed down that one guy.

I found myself frantically screaming on the sidelines, along with the other parents who have taken Grace's misfortune to heart, "Don't you let some smelly boy take that ball from you!" and every time she got her foot on the ball, "You go, girl!" Today everyone cheered for her...she was the underdog that was given a chance and it was beautiful to watch.

James found a new level of play as well.....after all, when your little sister is on the field, you can't let her show you up. He shot several goals, none of them were exactly successful. Yet, it was a big deal that he was playing with speed and confidence and attempting great things.

We were creamed in both games. Horribly, terribly defeated. the second game a kid scored a goal. This is our first goal of the season. We usually don't even get down to the other end of the field. I went insane. Jumping, yelling, dancing, squealing. That's when I realized the truth....I am really a soccer mom. I drive the right car, live in the right house, wear the right clothes, and scream passionately for my kids to kick some other kid's butt. And take great delight in it when they do.

Seeing Grace made me think about God. I am the underdog living in an unfair world....But God let me into the game of life and he is going insane cheering me on. "Don't you let that smelly old satan steal the game. You go, girl!" Pretty cool, huh!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who Am I?

Matthew 16:13-20. Jesus asked the disciples who they thought he was. Peter said that he thought Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus was excited that Peter found the right answer. I've read this many times, but here's the part I had not really noticed. vs. 17-18, "My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I'm going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock."

It was in the wake of Peter's relationship with Christ and recognition of who Jesus truly was that Peter found out who he was meant to become. God saw beyond the whole 'are you willfully being stupid' aspect of Peter's character into the foundational believer that Peter would become.

It is in knowing God intimately that we discover who we are. I think I blogged on this once before. Not sure, I've kind of lost track. Then there was vs. 25-25, "Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self."

Yeah, all this to simply say, I cannot foresee the future that God has for me. He continually speaks in riddles and circles about my own life until I am dizzy with confusion. But at the same time talks to me intimately about others. Sometimes I think that he is going to teach me to love teaching so that I will be content with where I am, but other times I think he is saying that I am not at all where he called me to be. Lately he seems to be saying both at the same time. I am certain that right now, today, I am in the place on the planet that he has planned for me. But I am almost as certain that this is only a short-term assignment. That's what I don't understand. I don't see anything beyond where I am right now. That's the whole I'm really confused and frustrated part.

That's why, in this chapter of Matthew, I was reminded that the great quest in life is not finding is finding Christ. It is only as I discover Christ and become intimately intertwined with his will and purposes and teachings that I can find myself. The hard part is the waiting and being patient with simply seeking to discover Christ. It is challenging for me to not be exceptionally frustrated with the conflicting voices in my head.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Laughin' Hard and Lovin' It

I laughed so hard today that my belly is sore. You know those kinds of laughs, where the tears flow and the chuckles turn to snorts. Except mine kind of turn into strange sounding wheezes. Thought some of you might could use a good laugh so here you go. Two quick stories. Oh...and both of them are not appropriate....this would be why they are watch where you read them.

Carpet time: The kids all created family trees this week and were bummed that I did not do one. So I brought in a shutterfly book of our family vacation a year ago to California. It was all good until I came to the picture of the Hoover Dam. As soon as I showed the picture and said, "Here I am at the Hoover Dam", a student began squealing with laughter, and rolling on the floor. He has an extensive vocabulary and so he announces to the rest of the class, (shouting) "Mrs. Kemp said Dam. She said the D word." Now all my students who did not know the D word do now. I wasn't sure where to go from there, so I just addressed it calmly and matter of factly. "Now boys and girls, you remember how you all laughed at the sight word 'but' last week, and we talked about how it was not the same kind of butt that you sit on? Dam when used to refer to a large concrete wall holding back water to form a lake is also not a bad word. However, you may not say this word at school when talking about anything else." I mean, what else is there to say? I just tried not to laugh until I could get out into the hall and shut the door so they couldn't hear me!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Random stuff

Matthew 15:15-16. Peter is telling Jesus he just doesn't get it, what is Jesus talking about? Here's Jesus's response, "You too? Are you being willfully stupid...." Yeah, pretty sure that's what God's saying about me, too. However, Jesus explained himself more fully to Peter. I'm glad that stupid isn't a disqualifier from revelation. I am determined to push and to be persistent until God shows me truth.

Here's a laugh for those of you who are tired of hearing me whine the last two days. Shawn is under the weather, so I came home early with plans to cook. It went like this. I stood in the middle of the kitchen randomly opening cabinets and the refrigerator. I finally abandoned the idea of really cooking and fed my children ramen noodles and cereal.

Another blurb: Grace is back home from adventure camp. She started a fire with flint and is a good shot with a bow and arrow and went canoeing...I am excited that she had a good time. She is rapidly growing up. I am so proud of the woman I see growing inside of her. I'm pretty nervous about the journey between here and adulthood.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Phil. 4:8 - a practical lesson in learning to focus your mind in the face of temptation, difficulty, etc. Shawn has been saying for years that this is the best passage of scripture when put into practice for dealing with unruly thoughts. I have seen his list and heard him talking through it, but have been too lazy to really think it out and make my own list.

So here's my list.

Whatever is true.
*God loves me.
*He sings songs over me.
*I am God's masterpiece.
*Christ died so that I will not be condemned.

Whatever is noble.

Whatever is right.

Whatever is pure

Whatever is lovely

Whatever is admirable
*doing what's right
*going the extra mile
*maintaining confidences

Yeah, I'm not sure that this list is specific enough yet to really be useful on refocusing my thoughts. I think I may have to try plan B. Shawn said there is a plan A - resist temptation, and a plan B - run from temptation. God said it in my head like this, "You gotta know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em, know when to walk away, know when to run....." Really, does God have to use Kenny to talk to me.... EWWWW!