Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thinker Sign

After a busy early morning when we had all headed off in different directions I returned to my home office and found this sign on the floor by the back door. It read "Pee here!"
Living in a house full of sarcastic jokers I had to think about what it meant.
The sign could have been dropped, blown, or carried by the kitten from its original site where perhaps someone was leaving instructions for someone else who had exhibited behavior indicating that they needed some direction (don't think about that too long).
Or, the sign was exactly where it was supposed to be, in fact, at it's original site, and was a warning. In other words, don't step here and/or put this rug in the washer.
I put the rug in the washer. Heavy duty, 2nd rinse. Got the story later.
According to Mitch, it turns out that the kitten was once again confused. Rugs, just like freshly swept up little piles of dirt, can look a lot like a litter box apparently.
Now I know what the sign means and it makes me laugh!
But it reminded me of how important it is to get to the bottom of things when we aren't sure that we understand the signs of life. Whether it's a comment made by someone, or a verse that we think we know the meaning of. Truth can never be over-rated.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keeping Track

The head count was complete. The wrestling team, the statisticians, and one extra fan bobbled in their seats, headed to the tournament early Saturday morning. They didn't even get around the country block when Coach's cell phone rang.

He saw that it was one of his wrestlers and thought the call was coming from the back of the bus.

"Dad, uh, you kind of left me at the school." Dexter said.

Turns out that one extra fan threw off that head count.

A couple weeks later Dexter was the first one home from an optional wrestling team ice cream time. A little while later I saw the other three vehicles file in the driveway, one right behind the other.

Everybody's home, I noted from my cozy chair by the window.

A short while later while Wes lounged on the couch wearing his brand new wrestling shoes, his phone rang. It was Coach/Dad.

Not everyone was home.

"Wes, you guys didn't leave me a car. Someone needs to come back and pick me up!"
"Rrrright." said Wes, making his way to the door.

Seven people. Seven cars. Sometimes seven cars that run. Sometimes we carpool. Sometimes for savings. Sometimes out of necessity. It gets confusing.
Glad God's keeping track of us!

Photo above from Medina Tournament: (l-r) Coach Trevor Lee, Westley Lee, Nick Goebel, Coach Dave Lee, Dexter Lee.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Laughing and Losing

Wrestling is an amazing sport.

If you don't know this about me, I live in the midst of wrestling, wrestlers, wrestling coaches, and ongoing wrestling conversations woven into the fabric of my daily life whether I like it or not. Six men live in this house with me, the one I'm married to is a head coach and absolutely passionate about the sport. This is admirable and respectable most of the time. :) Two of my four sons coach, two wrestle. Another of the boys' friends lives here, he too is a coach. All have wrestled, still wrestle. Twenty minutes ago, in the kitchen.

On Saturday six of us played our parts at an intense day of team duals. And here's where my blog story begins.

My high school senior, Wes, was wrestling an opponent who was illegally grabbing one Westley finger at a time when the ref couldn't see it. Wes was winning the match all along, but would scream out when this would happen. Wes began to get very angry and frustrated. The opponent smiled boldly in satisfaction. It was a flagrant display of bad sportsmanship. I saw his coach quietly signal him to stop, but he didn't seem able to bring the despicable grin under control. Coach talked with the ref about a separate questionable call as the Wes' temper began to flare. At one point during the match Wes yelled over at his Dad/coach, "He's laughing!"

"I don't care, he's losing!!" was Coach's response.

That made everybody grin. And Wes applied more aggressive grit than usual to pinning the joker, which he did in the third period with a move something like that pictured (photo from earlier in the season, Wes in blue). Later Wes told me that while he was pinning him, the kid was pinching Wes' butt. Classy.

These situations can get me flaring in the stands. Thankfully I was able to keep decent sportsmanslike composure. Even while demonstrating the illegal one finger move on an opposing team fan who was complaining about the "whining coach" who kept talking to the ref. That was a high point in my day.

I couldn't get the "I don't care, he's losing!!" phrase out of my head though. It was funny but it got me thinking about other things, as usual.

I've got this image of God coaching me in my constant wrestling match with the enemy of my soul, and I'm yelling things like, "He's lying!" "He's cheating!"

And God calmly says, "It's OK, he's losing."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Progress 2010

No. Not another cat photo. I know.

I promise you though, I'm not a cat lady. The felines just keep giving me all these parallel stories that can't be overlooked.

After all the fighting that the incumbent King cat, Ed, has been doing in resistance of the newcomer cat, today, I found him grooming the kitten (he insists this was photo shopped).

Honestly already, you say, where is the parallel story?

Well, after all the Christmas greetings in the mail and seeing a lot people at several holiday events over the past several weeks, I found my heart extremely heavy with the brokenness that I see. There have been insults, rudeness, guilt tripping "should-upons", martyrs gone wild, manupulating madness, sensationalized stories that cause a glazing over in my soul, and then there's beautiful blind denial. There's more, but you get the idea.

Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of good things too, but this year was particularly laden with crazy stuff. I tried to respond with love, but didn't always hit the mark.

I think the best response I can offer as I start 2010 could be summed up in Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror" song (seriously, listen to those lyrics).

Today I sat and examined some things I need to work on myself. I set a few goals. I went running. I made nice hand gestures at passersby. All that felt good.

I also looked over some goals I wrote down last year and saw the ones I hit.

The parallel?

Some of the things I wrestle with like crazy now will eventually be my friends if I stay in the process, like Ed and the kitten. It may take several scratches, headlocks and head thumps to the floor, but it will happen.