Monthly Archives: May 2012

Life Verse #2

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Ephesians, one of my favorite Bible books, contains gorgeous descriptions of our Father in Heaven: the riches of His glorious inheritance, incomparably great power, mighty strength, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way, glorious riches, … Magnificent images of our powerful, lavish God.

Ephesians 3:20 is an important verse to me: “(God) is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” I know this verse relates to big things like changing lives or saving sinners from eternal separation from Him, but God showed me He can apply it anywhere He wants to—even on a soccer field.

On the night of the last regulation game, the conference title was on the line. If our team won, we’d win the conference—with an undefeated record.

As usual I prayed for protection for both teams, for my daughters to play well and score. Hattie, a sophomore, played sweeper, a defense position, but I knew she could carry the ball up the field and shoot if she had to.

 Anna, a senior, was a solid player but not a standout. Playing right mid-fielder, she’d scored one goal all season.

Less than two minutes into the game, Anna lobbed a beautiful kick from her position just over the eighteen yard line. As I watched the ball sail in a beautiful arc, it seemed to fly in slow motion. It spun just above the keepers yearning fingertips and sank into the upper left-hand corner of the goal. Did I mention that it was beautiful? The most beautiful kick I’ve ever seen.

Our team grabbed the lead and held on to that lonely but important goal all night. Nobody else scored on either team. Princeton won the game, secured the conference title (for the first time in the school’s history), and ended regular season undefeated.

When these seniors had started playing together on the eighth grade team, they endured the first game’s eleven to zero pummeling, the humiliation of a smart-alecky keeper sitting down in the box because our team couldn’t advance the ball past mid-field, and more character-building seasons than we like to remember.

When I’d prayed for a good game, a win, and maybe a score by my daughters, I never dreamed that Anna would be responsible for the game-winning goal.

God showed me the meaning of “immeasurably more” with a perfect kick in a high school soccer game.

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A Family that Reads Together…

I’m a book lover. I come from a family of book lovers. I married into a family of book lovers, and I’ve helped create four more.

We have books all over our house. Full shelves groan, piles grow beside the couch, tubs overflow with soft back, hard back, tiny ones fished out of cereal boxes, some so read and reread the covers have long since disappeared.

My then-teenaged cousins once teased my daddy because he mentioned something he’d read in Jack and Jill magazine. Daddy didn’t care if the magazine’s target audience was elementary school-aged children. He just loved a good story.

Several years ago, we gave my mother a complete set of The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, her favorite. During a February phone call, she mentioned reading The Long Winter, one of the middle books of that series. I chastised her with, “I thought you’d be farther along than that book by now.” She replied, “This is my second time through since December.”

My father-in-law reads Baldaccis and sends them to my husband and twin sons to enjoy. My sister-in-law reads as she eats breakfast and lunch. My nieces and nephews read voraciously, too.

Reluctantly, we’ve had to remind our sons to close their books at the dinner table. A friend commented about their reading instead of watching TV. They surprised her, choosing to books over NCIS or reruns of The Andy Griffith Show.

I can’t resist a used book sale and waited in line once—with my husband and one of my daughters—for 45 minutes to enter a former grocery-store-turned-used-book super center. I returned twice during the nine-day sale, grateful that the prices fell 50% mid-week.

We’ve stood in line for Harry Potter books. My daughters and I poured over the Jesus Calling devotional. We’ve shared the Hunger Games series, stealing laid-aside copies from each other when two of us were reading the same installment. We’ve enjoyed discussing the details of beloved stories just like members of the four book clubs I’ve participated in over the past fifteen years.

I’ve loved those book clubs, eagerly anticipating the meetings. Reading with my family, however, discussing story points, disagreeing on some parts, agreeing on others—that is a sweet gift. I’ve never thought of my family as a book club until writing this post, but it is. We don’t meet regularly, but oh, when we do! Fun, fun, fun.