Monday, May 13, 2013

Running, Basketball & Friends

So much has gone on from last Sunday until today.  On Sunday, May 5th I had a group of 24 people, who I consider super important in my life, run the Lupus 5K with me.  It wasn't my first 5K but this race meant so much more to me.  My mom and I both have lupus and I have missed this race every year.  This year I was determined to fit it into my schedule.  When I set out to enter the race I never expected the response I would get from family and friends.  I had a huge support group! For some, it was their first 5K to ever do.  Each person had a different goal.  Others just wanted to run without stopping.  Some wanted to beat a certain time. Some just wanted to finish the race.  This race wasn't just about lupus.  This was about rising up against life's challenges.  This was about running towards a goal and not letting anything drag you down. 

Sure we all face different obstacles and we all have our way of dealing with them.  Some of us sprint towards the finish line while some of us have to stop and catch our breath before moving forward.  But in the end, we all cross the finish line.  It was so cool getting to see the people I knew making their way towards the end.  All I could say was "That one is on my team!"  Isn't that how life should be?  We should all run this race together.  We should all encourage one another daily.  Whether we finished first or we finished last, we all had the same smile to go along with our sweat.  I feel like God is looking at us as we go through this thing called life.  He wants us to get to the finish line.  He wants to look and say "that one is on my team."  He rejoices when we don't give up.  He gives us strength when we want to quit. He breathes into us when we can't seem to catch our own breath.  He sends people along the way to lift us up and motivate us when we need an extra boost.  I am so thankful for every person who took time out of their Sunday to run with me.  There is power in numbers and I am so glad you are on my team.  We did it!

After the race there was no time for slowing down.  We headed to Canton, TX on Wednesday for the Little Dribblers National Tournament.  I got to travel with some of the same people who were on my 5K team.  This time our goal was different.  We were there to cheer on our kids as they played for a national championship title.  As parents, we were so excited to see our team play and we were anxious as to what the other teams might bring onto the court.  We have a great group of boys with big hearts who reflect the parents that are raising them.  We fell short of the title but the experience was great.  We played some giants with some fancy moves and a lot of swagger.  Our boys aren't quite so big and play what I would call "clean" basketball.  But I watched them get out there and face these giants.  At times they were intimidated but they gathered their composure and faced them head on for four quarters.  They missed some passes, took some falls, and had some shots blocked. 

I can only relate this back to life.  Sometimes we face things that are bigger than us, problems that are too big for us to handle.  And though our knees may tremble and our hearts beat fast, we stay focused.  We ask God for courage and strength and He gives it to us.  We may not always get the trophy but greater is our reward in heaven.  Always play with integrity and with heart.  God doesn't look at the outside but at the inside.  Just as God beams with pride when He sees us so did we when we looked at our boys.  Sometimes we only point out what they could have done better or what they didn't do.  But they do so many things right and I want to remember that.  They got back up, they sunk some beautiful shots, and they rebounded several balls.  Again, this experience was about more than basketball.  It was about community.  We all cheered for eachother's kid and truly wanted each one to do their best.  I couldn't be happier being a part of a group of people who share the same values and who truly desire to see the best in each kid.

Through these experiences, I was able to see God's love for me.  He loves me so much and he has sent so many wonderful people in my life to display His love.  Talk about divine appointments!  I truly believe that so many have come into my life for a reason.  I have had happy moments, sad moments and even moments of frustration.  But these people have been there with me through it all.  We don't always agree but we have a common purpose.  We are all seeking to be the best friends, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands and children of God that we can be.  God wanted us to fellowship and to encouarage one another daily.  I am so thankful that he has picked some of the best people for me and my family.

Lord I thank you for each person in my life today.  I pray that they know how important they are to me.  And Lord if they don't know, help me to show them.  Help me to never take them for granted.  I pray that you watch over each one of them and their families.  Lord bless them abundantly because they are your children.  Give them the desires of their hearts as they delight themselves in you.  Thank you for showing me how much you love me and my children and using them to show me just that.  Lord help me to keep my eyes and heart open to receive anyone else you bring into my life.  Thank you Lord for loving me, my friends, and my family.