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.

NaNoWriMo Lessons Learned, Part 1 – Writing Takeaways

30 days and nights of literary abandon is a pretty accurate assessment of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  As a result, November was a total blur to me!

By the end of the day on November 30, I reached my personal writing goals for the month: over 30,000 words (90 pages) on my memoir and getting through 6 tough chapters of personal highs and lows in my life.  I also kept up with my other writing and marketing commitments (another 30,000 words), dealt with some pressing family matters and celebrated my birthday.  Needless to say, I am thrilled with the result.

Writing a bookI started the month hesitant on what to expect, but knew I needed to get off the fence about my memoir.  I started it over a year ago and only wrote a few pages.  I needed this deadline to get moving again. My biggest fear was failure.  It had nothing to do with the possibility of not hitting the 50,000 word threshold.  It was about starting to write and then giving up half-way through the month.  I faced that fear and so much more last month.

As a former project manager one of the key meetings we held as a team at the completion of a project was the lessons learned debriefing.  It was a valuable tool to bring closure to the team, the project, and to move forward with new insights.  My NaNoWriMo project was also full of lessons learned for me—personally and professionally.  I’ll start out with the ‘easy’ lessons learned related to writing.

Writing Lessons Learned

  1. I am a writer. Despite my being published earlier this year, I had occasional doubts about my ability to write.  Over 30,000 words and six chapters later, I put an end to that thought.
  2. I can discipline myself to write.  I set up a schedule to write (or research my memoir) and stuck to it most days.  I now have a distraction free space in my home to continue.
  3. Writing takes a lot of work and is a big commitment.  No more giving lip service to it.  I’m committed to this project.
  4. Writing is a process.  I’ve heard that many times over the past year, but didn’t really understand it until this month.  (This lesson learned is worthy of an entire blog on its own.)  If you are a writer, you know exactly what I mean.
  5. Memoir writing should not be rushed.  There are many nuggets and insights to be gleaned from looking at your life.  By definition, a memoir is a reflection upon key life experiences that make up the person.  When you rush through the writing, it is easy to miss it.  I kept a separate journal of my ‘aha’ moments and processed as much as I could, but it was pretty overwhelming.
  6. Memoir writing is not for everyone.  It includes a painful process of self-examination.  You have to be willing to relive both the good and the bad.  You have to reveal your inner struggle and be vulnerable or else readers won’t be able to identify with your story.  (Again, not for everyone.)

This month long writing exercise was a great opportunity to jump start my memoir.  The result wasn’t necessarily pretty, but it served its purpose for me.  Stay tuned for Part 2 to read about the deeper more personal lessons learned while on my NaNoWriMo adventure.

The Barometer For Success

I am getting nervous.  In less than two weeks I will be an author when my first manuscript, “Walking My Mother Home”, is published.  What started as journaling and a strong desire to write after my mother passed away in February 2011 will be part of a real live book, Journeys to Mother Love, published by Cladach Publishing.

I am elated about this new venture.  I did my part, stepping out of my comfort zone to write this story and God has blessed it.  I’ve received positive feedback and encouragement from friends and family to pursue this dream.   Yet deep inside I am scared about what lies ahead on many different levels.

First of all, the story is very personal.  I wrote it from a place of deep pain.  I’ve been very protective with the manuscript and only shared it with a few people.  In fact, I didn’t even re-read it myself until after it was accepted.  And now I am nervous about telling my story.  It feels pretty vulnerable and risky.

Then there are the financial and promotional aspects of this venture.  I have invested a lot of my time and money into this project.  As a beginning author, I may be naive, but I’m hoping my personal sales from this book make enough money to cover the costs of my pilgrimage to Spain next summer so I can finally meet Rosa and write more of this story.

This all means I’ll need to personally promote the book and myself—build a platform, schedule speaking engagements, book signings, etc.  It’s been a large learning curve.  Thankfully, a friend recommended I consider working with a publishing coach.  I didn’t even know what that was.

Three weeks ago, I hired Athena Dean of Book Jolt, to help me with all of these decisions and the marketing.  These are all things I wouldn’t have imagined myself doing a year ago—and sometimes I’m still on the fence about all of this. Ultimately I do get to choose how much of this I end up doing though.

So as I prepare to launch my book, I am nervous about “success”.  I want the book to make money.  Like most authors, I really don’t want to promote myself.  I am stressed about all the things I still need to do to prepare for the launch.  I am trying to balance this with my other family commitments.

I’ve been pondering the words of a wise friend and mentor, Tamara J. Buchan, about this very subject.  She said, “Faithfulness to the Lord is the barometer of success.”  When I focus on success as being based on my faithfulness to the Lord, then I can release my stress and my desire to control the outcome. I have been faithful and that is what God rewards.  Maybe not how we want–financially, materially, etc., but with the kinds of treasures that really matter.  For me, that’s been
the relationships I’ve gained along the way.

I am nervous, but God has blessed me with amazing healing and is equipping me to take these next steps of obedience.  I am grateful to Him and feel called to share this regardless of how successful it may appear by the world’s standards.  I am gearing up to be faithful—and successful by God’s standards.

What’s your barometer for success?  How do you define it?

  • 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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