Seahawks Pull Out a Victory with Attitude & Faith

I can’t believe what I witnessed on national television yesterday!  The Seattle Seahawks broke the record for a comeback win in conference championship game history.  Down by 16 points at half-time, they beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime!

The anticipation was high in our city (Seattle), in our work places, in our churches, and in our homes the last week for the NFC playoff game against the Packers.  Confidence was high, and people were downright cocky at times.  It was all in good fun as we hoped for a chance to defend our Super Bowl Champion Title in Arizona next month.

Seahawks back 2 backPatience is a Virtue

After the first half of play, Seattle was down by 16 points:  16-0!  How could that be?  No team had ever come back to win a post-season game by that large a margin.

Who was that team playing on the field?  It was as if they were stripped of all their magical football mojo and someone else was playing in their place.  Turnovers…sacks…no first down conversions.  It was painful to watch.

But they say patience is a virtue.  Indeed it is.

The Seahawks won the game (final score 28-22) in overtime, scoring 14 points in the last 4 minutes of the regulated game.  They did it with special teams, an onside kick (something I had never heard of) and playing like I’ve never seen football played before. Even the sportscasters were in a state of shock!

I know a winning team when I see one.  And I know what it takes to persevere through hardship and fight to come out on top.

As I watched the game seem to slip away, I had a thought start to break through in my mind.  It was this:  “The game is being stolen from us!”

A Change in Attitude

It was at that point that I decided to get a hold of my emotions and start to pray for a shift in the outcome of the game.  (Later that night while attending a recovery meeting at church, the other women also admitted praying and how they saw God show up in the final minutes of the game.  It went from hopeless to hopeful.  It was a miracle!)

I couldn’t believe it when I started to see a rapid fire turn of events on the field.  The plays all started to go our way.  Even with Seattle still at 2 touchdowns behind and 4 minutes left to play, the sports announcers started to say that the game wasn’t over yet.

I’m not going to recap what happened in the last few minutes of the game or how Seattle won in overtime.  There are hundreds of sports writers who are doing that.  My perspective as a fan of football and a believer in the power of our minds, is that the Seahawks ‘never quit, never doubt’ attitude is what won this game.

Post-game prayer huddle

Russell Wilson and Seattle Seahawks in prayer after the game.

In the post-game interviews and comments, Russell Wilson, Seattle’s quarterback, quickly gave God credit for the victory saying, “God is good, all the time, every time.” He also predicted the game-ending touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse minutes before.

Russell was confident.  He bolstered his teammates throughout the game and he never gave up.

He is a true inspiration to others—his teammates, his community, and to kids everywhere.

That game was about to be stolen!!!!  It is not unlike what Satan does to us every chance he gets.

He plants the seed of doubt.

He puts obstacles in our way to discourage us and to tempt us to give up.

And after a winning play (insert accomplishment or whatever gives you pleasure), he tries to sideline us and steal that joy!!!

No Joy Robbing Allowed!

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were not going to let the Green Bay Packers steal their joy, or that of the 12th man contingent.  They fought to the finish.  They fought the good fight.  And in the end if they lost that game, I would still have praise and pride in this team for giving us 12s the most exciting football game I’ve ever watched.

We know who wins the game of Life.  Jesus wins in the end.  So even during times when Satan wants to keep you down and steal your joy, remember it’s not over until it’s over.  Ultimately Jesus wins, and so do you.

Fight the good fight.  Don’t let Satan steal your joy in the process.

Seahawks 28, Packers 22, no joy robbing allowed!  We are Super Bowl bound!

~ This post is happily shared with Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I borrowed the title for this post from the 1969 song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.  Not that the Rolling Stones are a source of spiritual wisdom or Godly counsel, but these words are in line with scripture.  The song goes on to say “but if you try sometimes, you might find, you’ll get what you need.”

Click above image to view concert performance of this song by the Rolling Stones.

Click above image to view concert performance of this song by the Rolling Stones.

I have one simple example that has been running through my mind a lot these days as we transitioned our son Evan from college graduate to gainful employment 500 miles and two states away from home.  It started when he was a senior in high school going through the daunting college admission process.

Playing the College Game

Evan had taken a very challenging schedule of AP classes throughout high school.  Before that he attended the full-time gifted program offered in our school district.  It was a place ripe with talk and preparations for students to attend the top colleges in the nation.

We, and my son, bought into that dream until just before the first colleges started to send out their admission decisions.  We knew the odds were not necessarily in his favor, but we also knew how bright he was.  After much prayer, I started to have an inner sense that he may not get accepted.

usnewsbestcolleges2012_360_191God’s Ways are Higher

The morning before the first decisions were to be posted online, my devotional reading was based on Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I knew God was preparing me for the rejection, which in turn helped me to provide guidance and encouragement to my son.  The rejections and waitlist letters came one after the other.  It was a difficult time for him, and for us.  There was much disappointment.

IMG_8136Four years later, with the clarity of time and perspective, we can see how God turned that heartache into a huge blessing for my son.  It started with an award of a scholarship and direct admittance into the department that he ended up majoring in earlier this month.  That major was not something he had previously considered as a career.  Yet this week he started a full-time position in his chosen field at one of the top companies in the computer chip industry.

A Lesson in Trusting God

Shortly after these events happened and while still in high school, Evan submitted an essay for a scholarship with the writing prompt of ‘trust.’  His essay quoted Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  While he wasn’t awarded that scholarship, his essay did reflect a humbling posture and ability to move on with a new sense of purpose.

I thank God that Evan didn’t get what ‘we’ wanted for him.  Instead our son got the educational opportunities he needed to succeed.  He (we) also got a valuable lesson in seeking God’s will and trusting Him.  He learned firsthand that the Lord provides us with what we need, and not necessarily what we want (from Matthew 6:25-34, not the Rolling Stones).  I hope and pray he carries that lesson with him as he launches into this new season of adulthood.

Congratulations Evan and to the Class of 2014!

Congratulations Evan and to the Class of 2014!

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

 

Life Lessons From the Seahawks

I am not a football fan per se, as I referenced in my last post, but the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl victory last Sunday and the legacy they are leaving, warrants another post.

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Inaugurating a New Football Dynasty

Ever since that victory, our city (Seattle) has been going crazy, crazier than before.  No one could possibly predict that the Seahawks would dominate the Broncos with what appeared to be such ease, by outscoring them 43-8.  For Seahawks fans, it was the icing on the cake, as it helped to erase the wounds from our first and last Super Bowl appearance in 2006, when so many Seattleites still believe they (we) were robbed of a Championship title due to poor officiating.

Seattle hasn’t won a World Championship title since the former Seattle SuperSonics NBA team won in 1979.  There has been a lot of fan heartache in this town in the last 38 years.  Wednesday’s mass crowds estimated at 750,000 people lining the streets for the Seahawks victory parade, put an end to the waiting and the disappointment.  It brought (or fed) Seahawks and 12th Man fever.  It brought the national spotlight to our city and our team.  It brought hope for the start of a football dynasty in the decade to come.  And it feels good…

Onward to Century Link Field (Photo by Rod Mar)

Onward to Century Link Field (Photo by Rod Mar)

The 12th Man Factor

How does a team like this command such attention and respect from the community?  How does it garner so much support from their fans?  It is because the Seahawks have cultivated a relationship with their fans and given them first class status by virtually putting them right on the field with the players.  They are The 12th Man!

Certainly you’ve heard about The 12th Man.  It is the collective name given to Seahawks fans.  Opposing teams dread playing against the Seahawks at our Century Link home field because we hold the Guinness World Record for crowd noise, a mere 137.6 decibels.

I’m not as crazy as most fans.  On the day of the victory parade, I chose to watch from the comfort of my home instead of standing outside in subfreezing temperatures for hours.

One friend who attended shared her thoughts with me:  “I observed how nice people are to each other if they have one thing in common – Seahawks.  It’s really touching seeing the emotions going around.  It was awesome and thanks to the Seahawks for getting families and communities together.”  Well said.

12th man flag Space Needle

The Seattle Space Needle is awash in Seahawks colors, with the 12th Man flag flying proudly. (Photo credit: Anthony May, antmayphoto.com)

Life Lessons

Putting all of the hype and hysteria aside, there are some real lessons to be learned by watching the Seattle Seahawks this season, or merely by watching the Super Bowl.  I’m not talking about football lessons and strategies specifically.  I am talking about lessons that can be applied in life.

  1. Why not us?
    By now, you heard this phrase repeated all over the media.  When Russell Wilson, Seahawks 25-year-old starting quarterback, was interviewed in pre-game and post-game shows, he repeatedly shared the philosophy handed down to him by his father, “Why not you, Russell?”  At 5’11” he was an unlikely professional prospect, but his father instilled a positive influence and confidence in Russell from an early age.  Russell shared that with his teammates throughout the season.  It permeated the culture of the Seahawks.
  2. Loyal Fans
    The Seahawks have fostered an environment of loud and proud fans with the honoring of The 12th Man by hoisting the logo ‘12’ flag at each home game.  This prominent display acknowledges the role the Seahawks fans contribute to a positive home game advantage.  The fans and players are united and bonded with a winning focus for each game—at home or elsewhere.  The 12th Man was a relevant factor in the Super Bowl, with fans not only from Seattle supporting the Seahawks, but also residents from the New York and New Jersey areas where the game was played.
  3. Team approach
    The Seahawks players modeled a team approach to winning.  Each game was viewed as a championship game.  The players were a collective force to be reckoned with—one game at a time.   In most of the interviews I viewed or articles I read it was pretty obvious that there were no egos behind the scenes or individual attempts to steal the limelight.  They led with positivity and humility.
  4. Gratitude
    The Seahawks were not only grateful to their 12th Man contingent, they were also grateful to God.  Russell Wilson (and other Seahawks) have made their faith evident in some very powerful youtube videos. He has openly expressed how he is using the talent God has given him and encourages the same in others.  His first televised words after the Super Bowl were:  “It’s a true, true a blessing.  God is so good.”  His gratitude runs beyond his faith though as he also gives back with weekly visits to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital.

These are just a few of the lessons and the role modeling that the Seattle Seahawks have imparted on their journey to become the 2014 NFL World Champions.*

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

When we embrace these positive characteristics and attitude, we can influence our world and our lives for good. And like the Seahawks and their 12th Man tribe, we all need a support team around us to encourage us, build us up when we fall, and keep our focus on our goals for success.

WHY NOT YOU?!

Congratulations to the 2014 NFL World Champion Seahawks, and thanks indeed for bringing unity in our community.

Seattle vs Parade Population

*No offense to Peyton Manning, the Broncos team, or their run for the Championship title. They may have modeled or exuded some of these same winning characteristics.  But for now, let’s just allow the Seahawks and Seattle to bask in the limelight and the thrill of victory.

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

The Road to Spain, Update 3 ~ Physical Readiness

I often refer to my trip to Spain as a pilgrimage.  But what does that mean?  Dictionary.com defines a pilgrimage as a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion.

My Pilgrimage

Why do I consider my trip a pilgrimage?  The connection I have to my Spanish family was influenced by events that were deeply personal and spiritual in nature (as referenced in Journeys to Mother Love).  It is on this trip that Rosa and I will personally meet face to face for the first time—three years after having hosted her son, Pedro, in our Seattle area home.

Santiago de Compostela, the final destination for "The Way of St. James", a pilgrimage in Northern Spain visited annually by 100,000 people.

Santiago de Compostela, the final destination for “The Way of St. James”, a pilgrimage in Northern Spain visited annually by 100,000 people.

How do you prepare for a 6-week pilgrimage 5,300 miles across the globe?  It is not that much different than preparing for a marathon or any long-term goal, by pacing yourself over time and with lots of discipline.

My goal is to be ready physically, mentally, and spiritually to meet the demands of this trip.  When I think of my trip and preparation in this context, the scripture that most readily comes to mind is Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform 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.” (NIV)

Getting Healthy

Body, mind and spirit—even in my normal everyday life I struggle with keeping a balance between these areas, so I knew this would be a challenge for me.  My first area to tackle was getting my body physically fit for the trip.

I’ve been making changes to my lifestyle in phases.  Phase 1 was to get my body clock back on a more normal circadian rhythm.  That basically meant I switched from working second shift to first shift.  (My most creative writing time is late at night.)  Phase 2 was to start a daily video workout routine, Slim In 6, at home.

A simple step-by-step approach to weight loss and heathy eating.

A simple step-by-step approach to weight loss and heathy eating.

The next layer of fitness, Phase 3, was to change my eating habits.  I heard about the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge (cleanse and weight loss program) through my friend, Linda Reed, who had great results.  She was so sold on the products that she signed up to be an AdvoCare distributor and fitness coach.

I had wanted to do a cleanse for several years.  However, it always sounded like such a difficult thing to do.  But this time I was highly motivated.  With Linda’s step by step coaching and encouragement, I completed the 24-Day Challenge last week.  I eliminated foods from my diet after years of trying to do it on my own.  I feel great and my energy level is much higher.

I won’t reveal my official results here (or yet), but suffice it to say, I am very pleased with the progress I’ve made in losing pounds and inches after five weeks of exercise and healthy eating.  I am continuing on with all of my new lifestyle changes at least until I leave for Spain.

The Temple of Our Bodies

The recent steps I’ve taken to prepare physically for my pilgrimage have reinforced my belief that my body really is a temple—a temple that houses the Holy Spirit.  I am making sacrifices to treat my body like one by making it a priority in my overall health.  The result not only affects my physical health, it is affecting my emotional well-being, although that is not what I intended to do.

40 daysI hope my physical preparations have inspired you to eat healthy too, and treat your body like a temple.  All it took was 24 days and an AdvoCare coach like Linda.

Now that I have Phases 1, 2 and 3 in place, I’m moving on to my next area of readiness—preparing my mind—with only 40 days to go.

Expectant Hope, Part 1 – California Dreamin’

The day started with expectant hope.  I had less than two hours of sleep yet I awoke feeling refreshed. When my head hit the pillow a few hours before, I prayed that no matter how many hours of sleep I had that I would feel refreshed.  Starting the day with answered prayer definitely put a spring in my step.  I showered, dressed and finished packing for my trip.  I arrived at my friend Linda’s house at 5 AM—a few minutes earlier than our appointed meeting time—more answered prayer.

Linda and I were heading to the San Francisco Bay area for a 4-day spiritual retreat, led by Tamara Buchan.  The days leading up to the retreat, I was stressed trying to handle the ever growing list of tasks to do before I left.  I couldn’t even get excited for the trip.  But once we got situated on the plane, I finally felt free to turn my undivided attention to this quality time with my friend.

I poured through the travel guide on things to do for our one-day pre-retreat adventure in San Francisco.  My one and only trip to San Francisco was over 20 years earlier and only a vague memory.  As I read through all of the sightseeing options, I was overwhelmed with all the possibilities.  We agreed on a few key sights—the cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Lombard Street and a sightseeing cruise on the Bay.

Waiting in traffic for an hour and peering out over the Bay, I wondered about our photo opportunities with the haze that was looming in the distance.  By the time our boat left the dock, the sky was clear and the sun was shining.  As the boat approached the Golden Gate Bridge, the photo opportunities grew and grew.  With one camera and two cell phones, we snapped away—capturing the bridge from different angles.  It was a picture-perfect day on the Bay.  We weren’t even bothered by not being able to hear a word that the guide said over the loud speakers.  It was enough to just take in the beauty of the day and this place.

An unexpected pleasure, checking off a bucket list item in San Francisco.

An unexpected pleasure, checking off a bucket list item in San Francisco.

“Check”, I thought as we departed the boat.  I don’t have a physical bucket list (list of things to do before I die), but that would definitely be on it.  I’m not sure why, but I have always wanted to have my picture taken with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.  It is iconic.  I was there before, but with no photo to prove it, the experience and memory had faded.  This was truly satisfying.

We ended the day with a leisurely late night dinner—sharing our hopes and dreams.  I needed this day.  I needed these reminders of the little things—basking in the beauty of God’s creation and man’s architectural wonders.  I have expectant hope.

Each day can be a bucket list kind of day.  It all depends on how we view it.  Do you view each day as a gift from God or as a painful reminder of what-ifs and what might’ve been?  I have expectant hope that He is going to use me in bigger ways this year.  I am nervous about it all—yet excited about the possibilities.

My trip to California is an investment in my self-care and to prepare me for the next steps toward the dream that God has put on my heart.  I’m stepping into more unknown territory with expectant hope.  I’m ready to see where God leads me and what I can check off my bucket list next—whether it be just living another day or traveling to Spain this summer.  I’m doing some California dreaming—and checking off an unexpected gift on my mental bucket list.

Have you done anything fun from your bucket list?  What was the last thing you checked off?

Goal Setting 101

As I worked on my 2013 goals, I had a sense that it is time for me to slow down.  But how can I do that?  I have a big year ahead of me.  I am traveling to Spain this summer for an extended stay. I need to continue my memoir writing to be prepared for my visit.  I need to study Spanish.  I need to promote my book so I can earn money for the trip.  I want to publically speak about how God turns our healing into hope.  I want to continue blogging.  While all of these things are good, I cannot do it all.  I need to trust that God is going to point me in the direction of what is most important.

Realistic Goal SettingGoal Setting

On my first pass at writing down my goals, I came up with a very long list of tangible and measureable things to get done this year.  I also came up with a list of areas in my life to improve on.  Right off the bat, I can admit that I’m not going to blog once a week like I planned (witness my first post of 2013 is dated January 12), get the number of Facebook ‘likes’ I want or sell the books I need to cover my trip.  (I’m not being pessimistic; I’m just realizing that I’m not going to push myself so much to make it happen.)

With the addition of my physical exhaustion over the last few weeks, I’ve been running around with a critical voice in my head.  It’s been telling me I shouldn’t have pushed so hard to write for NaNoWriMo, I shouldn’t be blogging, and worst of all, I shouldn’t go to Spain.  Ouch!  Where did that come from?  D-O-U-B-T!  It creeps in so insidiously—especially when you are exhausted.  And it’s a sign that I really do need to slow down and refocus on what God wants me to do.

In setting my goals for the year, I want to make sure that they align with His will for me.  I expect to continue blogging; I know I will work on my memoir, and I will most definitely be traveling to Spain.  But I am letting go of making measurable goals around them and trying to be hyper-vigilant about meeting them.  I have to be realistic about what my mind and body will allow.

Renew and Restore

Last month when I started to realize how burned out I really was, a friend and mentor, Tamara J Buchan, reminded me that without a season of rest, we lose our effectiveness.  That is exactly how it feels to me right now.  I need time to renew and restore physically, emotionally and spiritually.  In light of that I have made a positive decision to attend her “Reclaim the True You Identity Retreat” in a few weeks (based on her book).  It will be the perfect opportunity for me to get in touch with God’s direction for my life and this year in particular.  Identity Crisis Book

Goal Collaboration

I’m still a work in progress and trying to find the right balance for my life.  In the meantime, it helps me to be reminded of the following Proverbs (TNIV):

  • Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3)
  • In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
  • Many are the plans in a human heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

When I collaborate with God to set my goals for the year, I know this next season will be fruitful and that He will direct my path.  How about you?  What goals are you collaborating with God on for 2013?

  • WELCOME to my site!

    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

    I am thankful to God for Making Me Bold in the process. Now I use my writing and speaking voice to help others on their journey to turn healing into hope.

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