little bit of lagniappe

reflecting on everyday grace

Archive for the category “Sports”

“When There’s More To Winning Than Winning”

There’s so much in our current culture that disgruntles me – celebrity mania, consumerism, selfish individualism, the “throwaway” mindset, impatience, distraction, excess —  all that suggests and confirms that we are our own worst enemies.

However, to counter that, I’ve always been a hopeful lady, and given the title of my blog, I do believe in everyday grace.  Here’s a story of everyday grace in the midst of grim humanity that my friend Meghan brought to my attention this past week.  It features a particular Men’s Division III basketball game between visiting Washington College (MD) and Gettysburg College (PA).   It’s a sweet story that I wish could bubble up across America and overshadow the greed that has corrupted sport.

Then again, maybe that’s what makes grace so good.  You have to look for it in the midst of the darkness, and it sho’ ain’t easy sometimes.  May we continue to seek and help each other find and embrace the light that can always conquer the dark.

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/22/147186116/when-theres-more-to-winning-than-winning

p.s. I love that this link doesn’t feature a video to watch.  Rather, we must listen, and I suggest you close your eyes.  As Derrick Gay taught me this past Monday during our Faculty In-service day, let us “listen to understand, not listen to respond.”

p.p.s. God bless you, Division III athletics; I will always have a special place for you in my heart… 🙂

Unexpected Gifts

Of the many gifts this past week and a half has brought, one of them has been the gift of our beloved Comcast going totally digital in my area.  While this 21st century move may cause many to respond, “’bout time,” it left this limited-basic cable consumer channel-less and therefore TV less.  I do admit that I am not a daily TV-watcher, but I have missed the sports, football Sundays, Jeopardy, holiday movie marathons, and the highly-anticipated chance to watch “Ellen” now that we are on Christmas vacation.

However, without the excess noise, temptation, and mindless, mind-numbing distraction, this “loss” has turned into the greatest gain.  In the past week and a half, I have been able to relish silence, candle-lit stillness, my favorite classical Christmas music, meditation, yoga, and reading at any and every spare moment. HUZZAH!  That which I always SAY I want to do every day, I’ve actually made time for and cherished…CHERISHED!

The book I just finished yesterday was Drew Brees’ (does he have a clone?) memoir Coming Back Stronger, which he completed in 2010 after the New Orleans Saints’ first Superbowl victory.  Although my parents gave it to me for my birthday last year, picking it up this year seemed serendipitous and timed perfectly; God knew that I needed the encouragement after a year of  much injury, transition, and the growing pains that come with it.

My boy Drew writes honestly and passionately about the opportunity that springs from adversity, and he speaks to his faith and the importance of trusting in God in all circumstances, as he had to come back multiple times from both knee and shoulder injuries.  What captivated me most was how he beautifully wove his story with the rebirth of the city of New Orleans, my hometown.  While many saw post-Katrina New Orleans as a landfill of hopelessness, Drew and his wife saw it has a seedbed of hope.

Overall, Coming Back Stronger was a fast and gripping read that left me inspired, hopeful, thankful, and yes, hungry for my hometown.  While a potentially odd read for the preparation of Christmas, I’d argue it was perfect.  In the midst of struggle, we are people of hope, and that hope we long for and need is on the horizon; JOY TO THE WORLD!

I wish you all a beautiful Christmas and the most peaceful of holidays.  Perhaps, you, too will be able to enjoy the freedom from cable and all the possibilities it can bring!

p.s. you can find out more about Drew and the charity that he and his wife began called the Brees Dream Foundation here.

p.p.s. If you can find another Drew Brees out there, you’ve found MY dream.  🙂

3-day Experience: Gratitude and Grace

 

Beautiful family and friends,

I wish I could even begin to express the power of last weekend’s Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, as it’s taken me all week to even attempt to do so. Alongside over 2000 walkers and 400 crew, my mama and I cherished every single step of our 60+ mile journey through the streets of Atlanta, starting in Stone Mountain early Friday morn and ending with the closing ceremonies at Turner Field (truly the home of the BRAVE) on Sunday evening.

Together with our incredible Team “Celebrate Life,” we battled hills, cheered until we were hoarse, met new friends, shared pieces of ourselves, picked each other up when we were hurting, and kept the light of life shining, believing every step of the way in the cause that bound us together. I cannot give adequate description to the stories of strength I learned about and heard, nor the faces of courage I met along our route, but in essence, the weekend was about GRATITUDE, THANKSGIVING, and amazing GRACE.

I learned most of this from my beautiful mama, whose hand I held for the majority of the walk. Her selfless support of others and willingness to tackle anything, even at the risk of hurting herself amazes me daily, and just when I don’t think I could possibly love her any more than I already do, my heart bursts open again. Daily, I am honored to be her daughter, and daily I celebrate the life she has lived and the light she has shared. As we approach her 5-years-in-remission mark in December, I pray that we’ll not take a single day – a single breath for granted.

WE LOVE.

WE HOPE.

WE HAVE FAITH.

WE GIVE THANKS.

Even in the midst of hurting knees, sore feet, broken wrists (again, my heroic mama!), and raging, tight hip muscles, our team battled together, kept the faith, and continued to fight, just like the countless folks diagnosed with cancer each day. In addition to enjoying the support of a team, I also had the great fortune of seeing and sharing time with a dear friend from Virginia, who, with her wonderful sisters and niece, served on the crew, and her smiling face and daily doses of encouragement added a special flavor to this first 3-day experience.

Because of your generosity and support, I am humbled to share with you the news that I raised over $4000, and as a 6-person team, we raised over $20,000. In all, this year’s Atlanta 3-day raised over 6.5 million dollars to make a committed effort to stamp out breast cancer forever (gasp)!

While these numbers flabbergast me, your incredible and equally generous prayers, loyal support, encouraging words, and surging cheers of HOPE all along the way lift me up as well. You were indeed with us in every step we took in our beloved, worn sneakers, which we will save and savor forever.

Thank you again for your incredible demonstration of love throughout this recent 3-day experience. We are already prayerfully looking forward to signing up for next year and are determined to be a part of this incredible experience — this worthy cause — for as long as possible! AMEN!

Maybe next year, you’d like to join us…?!

With great love and deep gratitude…

Team Celebrate Life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this Labor Day…

…I think of those who have labored for the sake of others.

While watching Sports Center earlier with my precious parents at my side, we stumbled across this story and now have a new hero:

Man In The Red Bandana

I wish that these kind of stories filled the airways and channels on a regular basis.  THIS is what our children need to see instead of the rampant trash that exists.

Regardless, we thank you, God, for the life of Welles Crowther.

We thank you, God, for the countless others who have sacrificed their lives in like fashion.

May we each live so heroically and fully as they.

Welles, your beautiful life and legacy lives on, brother.

While I never knew you, I now wear a red bandana in your memory and honor.

Your courageous life, like Abby Smith, another beautiful life recently reunited with her Father in Heaven, reminds me of a line from a favorite Wendell Berry poem:

“…here nothing grieves in the risen season.  Past life LIVES in the living.”

Amen.

 

 

 

p.s. thanks to my beautiful, amazing, and selfless mama, I now have 28 red bandanas to give to my 7th grade boys’ classes on Thursday.  We will end class honoring Welles and his courageous gift, and we will leave with his red bandana in our hands and his legacy in our hearts…

Welles lives on.

We have his story to tell; we have his courage to share.

“Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:37

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