Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ojai/Ventura, CA: Sportsworld

Things have been busy in my life! This
week I was in Ojai and Ventura speaking
at schools in the area for Sportsworld.

While I was speaking on Tuesday, Tommy
(my husband) was having surgery on his
knee. He tore his meniscus and had
that fixed. The week I was out of town
was the 1st day avaialable for surgery
that his doctor had open. Thank goodness
for his mom and my mom! They took over
all my duties at home and more while I
was out speaking.

I spoke 15 times in 3 days! Good thing
I change my story a little bit each time
I speak. John Jenks (a P.I. from Ojai
drove me around- Tommy and I met him a
few years ago) had to listen to every
talk I gave! My goal was to keep him
entertained since he had to listen to
me so much :)

Every school (Matilija Jr. High, Balboa
Middle School, Anacapa Middle School
(where Olympic teammate of mine, Kim
Maher, went to school) and Meiners Oaks
Elementary School) was so great to
work with! The staff at every school
was so friendly and the students were
all so well behaved! I love the feedback
forms we have the kids fill out after
we speak- they are so encouraging to read!
Students want to make good choices!

The only school I took pictures at was
Balboa Middle School in Ventura

This was with some of the staff I met
during lunch

I spoke to all 6 PE classes at Balboa



Future stars

Great P.E. staff!

It is pretty amazing to speak to 3000 students in
such a short time. We stopped by the softball
fields one afternoon because a student asked
if I could come and talk to her team. I was
also able to talk to some of the women at
Ojai Valley Community Church during their
Bible Study. Pastor Paul Bergmann is a former
NFL athlete and also used to speak for
Sportsworld. We are hoping to join together
this summer and put on a clinic/speaking
engagement in Ojai. I am always so thankful
for the wonderful people that I get to meet
when I travel and speak!

This is how the rest of my week went:

Tommy is recovering well- he'll be up and
running in no time. I came home Thursday
night (I stopped by the park where we feed
the homeless and have a cool story to share
in another post) and found out that Drew
was in a lot of pain. We spent Friday at
the Dr.- he had to get a boil lanced (the
pain was horrible!). Dr. May is the best:
after Drew was finished, he was still upset.
Dr. May pulled out his wallet and gave
Drew $2 and said, "Go buy the biggest candy
bar you can find." I felt so bad for him
so after the candy, I took him for ice
cream. He deserved a lot of sugar for
what he had to go through! (yep- those
are gummie worms on top of the ice cream:
more sugar)

On Saturday, I met my "team" for the
Mud Run we signed up for in June. Let's
just say, "they are all runners" and
I'm not really feeling like a runner!
I think I need a ball to run after or
something. We ran 3 miles and it was
definitely hardest for me! Trying my
best not to be the weak link!

I'm speaking to another group of Chinese
students this week, but this time I'm
going to bring a ball and glove and bat
to show them what softball is :)

Speaking to Chinese students

As I finished my playing days, I literally
felt my passion change from competing to
speaking. I felt that it was weird because
I had no confidence at all in speaking.
I felt like God had put on my heart a
desire to share His love with others.
I have always loved to encourage others
and whether I am sharing my faith or
motivating students to be their best,
I am filled with joy when I know that
people walk away encouraged.

I have spoken at a lot of different
events throughout the years. A week
and a half ago I spoke in a different
atmosphere than I ever have before.
I spoke to Chinese high school students.
They were here for 2 weeks in LA and
a friend asked if I would come and talk
about my Olympic experiences. I brought
the medals and talked to them but I'm
not sure how much I connected with them.
It was definitely one of the hardest
settings I've ever shared in due to the
language barrier (and the fact that most
of them acted like they have never heard
of softball before even though China
is one of the top 4 countries in the world
in softball). Either way, we had a fun
time taking pictures at the end :)

It was fun to join a friend in ministry:
Priscilla Miller sang worship and her
husband, John, played the guitar

Grace Soeter (to my left)helped set up
the speaking.
She works with international students.
These were the teachers helping them
to learn English.


My translater for the day (one of their
leaders): goofing around

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sanctity of Life

It's Sanctity of Life Month

We heard a message today at
church about protecting life,
and fighting for the rights of
unborn babies is one of
the ways we can do that.

It made me reflect on the lives
of my children that God blessed
me with. As I started looking
back at some pictures, so many
memories of my pregnancies came
rushing back. The early (tired)
days after having my little guys
brought me smiles! I don't have
pictures of Jake on here as a
baby (he was born before digital),
but here are a few fun pics of Drew
and Luke. I miss these days :)
-minus the no sleep!

My Drew boy!

And Baby Lukey

CCCH: love my church

I love my home church: Calvary Chapel
Chino Hills!

I am so grateful for my pastor: Jack
Hibbs and his wife Lisa

We are blessed to learn the Bible
(book by book) from a teacher who
studies the Word of God and waits
on the Lord

Pastor Jack is passionate about
Jesus first! His love for the Lord
is infectious. He is a people
person and lives out the joy of
the Lord.

At our church we are being kept up
on events in our culture that are
happening around us. We need to
be aware of the battle we are facing.
We need Jesus to be at the center of
our lives, but Jesus met people where
they were at. He knew what was going
on around them in their culture. We
are able to be pro-active because we
are informed regularly of current issues
that the church faces.

I love that no topic is off limits in our
church! Pastor Jack teaches the Bible
and even the hard stuff to approach!
The Bible brings light to the hard stuff!

We have amazing guest speakers and worship
leaders/bands. We have many different
ministries at our church because our pastor
allows people to step out and use the giftings
that God has given them.

Recently we had Jay Smith speak (lives in
London and is a Christian Apologist who
engages Muslims for a living and shares
Jesus with them). We also listened to
Carol Everett today who was an abortion
clinic director in Texas until God opened
her eyes to who He is. In the past we
have had 3 Former Islamic Terrorists and
Sy Rogers (lived as a woman for 2 years
waiting for a sex change and God radically
transformed his life!) speak at our church.
Brigitte Gabriel (American Congree for
Truth), General Boykin, David Barton, Ken
Ham (Answers in Genesis) and Tony Perkins
(Family Research Council)
have spoken numerous times and speak
nationally and internationally. Our
eyes have been opened in many areas that
I would normally not be exposed to. We
all have Jesus as the center!

I guess I just wanted to say I am so
thankful for the teaching we get. We
get challenged, encouraged and our
knowledge of who God is and what the
Bible teaches is growing at our church.

We are filled up, so we can go out and
make a difference! I'd love to hear about
your church and the blessings you receive

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Surprise. . .

I know I'm a couple weeks late but
I'll share some pictures anyway.
Jan 3rd we celebrated my mom's
birthday and my wedding anniversary
by having lunch with our family
at The Cheesecake Factory!

I had the Reeses Peanut Butter
Cup Cheesecake and it was sooo
good! Good thing I only go there
once a year.

It was fun family time.

We sang "Happy Birthday" to my mom

Tommy's Dad (Papa) had to fly home to
Boston that night so we were happy to
celebrate with him in town.

Now for the gift. . .
I am not a very good gift giver! I'm
too practical. I try, and every once in
awhile, I will surprise my husband. This
was one of those years.

I loved his face

when he opened his Teddy Bruschi (Patriots)
signed and framed photo. My husband is a
Boston fan to the core, so this made him very

Yay- I surprised him.

He gave me my gift late and yes, he is
a much better gift giver than me! He
surprised me with a trip to Seattle, WA
in March with my best friend, Kristi, to
go to a Beth Moore Conference! I am so

Future in Photography?

Jake (9) took my camera and asked if he
could take pictures. Then he said, "Mom,
you can put these on your blog and write
funny comments next to them."

I guess he doesn't realize that I'm
not funny!

I think he did a pretty good job. . .

Busy All the Time, and Thankful at the Same Time!

Last I wrote about was visiting the Fred
Jordan Mission in LA last week. Today is
Thursday- ahh, I enjoy my Thursdays when
I'm home. It's the one day I have when
the kids are at school and I actually have
5 hours to myself. The biggest thing is
that it can be 5 hours at HOME! That is
a true treat.

Last Thursday I spoke at Upland Christian
Academy to the HS students. I enjoyed
sharing about being "Set Apart for God".

I compared Daniel (who was set apart in
very hard circumstances and was blessed
in many ways for his obedience to God)
and Lot (who lived in a worldly society
and did not make one single difference
for God in another person's life- including
his family- even though the Bible tells
us in 2 Peter 2:7-8 that he was a righteous
man). That is amazing to me- we can know
God and be righteous and make NO difference
in another person's life if we are not
set apart. I desire to impact God's Kingdom
while I have the chance. All the glory
is God's and I want people to know that
God changed my life and He can change
their lives too- for eternity!

Friday I flew to Clermont, Florida for
FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes)
Softball and the 1st ever Coaches Clinic.
I loved that we not only had top talent
(coaching and athletes), but we also
were able to share how to incorporate
our faith into our sport. Powerful stuff
was shared! Gator Coach (UF), Tim Walton,
spoke along with All-Americans, Jennie
Ritter and Kristen Butler. Scott Gilpin,
Roger Lipe and Jeff Duke (FCA) spoke and
Bob Pinto is heading up FCA Softball.
Last but not least, my former Olympic
teammate, Dot Richardson, taught as well.
I was honored to join this group and am
excited for what God is going to do in
our sport for His glory. Check out FCA
Softball on Facebook if you haven't already!

I returned on Sunday and had a lazy day
with the family. On Monday, it was back
to our homeschooling routine. Tuesday night
was a blessing to me as I joined 3 other
friends for a time of prayer. Prayer is
so powerful! God showed up in an awesome
way and we were able to bring so many
requests before God. We praised God and
thanked Him for who He is in our lives!

Two major prayer requests:
For Brielle
For Joanne

Asking God for miracles right now!

Today I was so honored to join the
Sister to Sister Mentoring Program at
our church. I am so excited to see
God do a mighty work in my mentee and
in myself as well!

I am grateful for all the opportunities
that God is bringing to me at this time.
But I also know how much I need to read
my Bible, spend quiet time in prayer,
and stay in my study. I can only give
out what I have first taken in from God.
I desire to live out this verse that
Paul wrote:

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I
urge you to live a life worthy of the
calling you have received." Eph 4:1

I want to be worthy of this calling
from God, right here, right now.

Child of God, wife, mother, speaker,
softball instructor, mentor, friend.

"I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me." Phil 4:13

OK, gotta run- need to do some
Bible study while it's quiet around
here before I have to run and get
my boys!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Skid Row in LA with Fred Jordan Missions


A Humbling Experience

Helping others

Encouraging women and sharing
the hope of Jesus Christ

The Fred Jordan Missions are a
blessing from God in so many

It's all about timing! On Sunday
I went to look for Jake after church
and ran into Norma Murakami from
A Woman's Care Center. She was
speaking with Debbie McClendon-
Smith from FJM and invited me to
join her and speak to the women
at the Mission today. I was only
able to go because my mother-in-
law is visiting and she watched
my boys for me.

We started with amazing worship
from talented singer, Heather Henry.

I also met Laurie Wilburn (Pastor
Steve Wilburn and her started Core Church in LA this past summer:
He was at Harvest Christian Fellowship
for 31 years). She is such a blessing.

It's all about the body of Christ
working together. It's about being
available. It's about obedience and
walking through open doors. It's
about loving others, no matter how
different they are from you. It's
all about Jesus!

This is what the Fred Jordan Missions'
Website says about Skid Row:

"It's filthy. Sad. Dangerous. Heartbreaking.
Depressing and destructive. It is an area
of the city dominated by flop houses,
welfare hotels, drug dealing and crime.

That's why the Fred Jordan Mission is
in the heart of Skid Row: to give a
spark of hope to those who have lost
their way."

I was honored to speak today and to
share my story. The women were
excited to hear about the Olympics.
They loved seeing the Gold Medals.
I loved sharing that God is the
One that gets ALL the glory.

We were able to pray with women
and a few chose to make Jesus the
Lord of their lives. Nothing more
important in the whole world than
that choice!

Isaiah 61:1-3
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me To
preach good tidings to the poor; He
has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to
those who are bound; To proclaim the
acceptable year of the LORD, And the
day of vengeance of our God; To
comfort all who mourn, To console
those who mourn in Zion, To give
them beauty for ashes, The oil of
joy for mourning, The garment of
praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of
righteousness, The planting of the
LORD, that He may be glorified."

The women on my right in this picture
came forward today to get her life
right with God again. I was able to
pray with her. She even told me
she would pray for me! Her name is
Willie May- please pray for God to
show Himself to her in mighty ways.

Amazing Servants of God and Sisters
In Christ

We were able to go to lunch afterward
and share our own stories with eachother
and talked about God's faithfulness in
each of our lives.

Laurie, Norma, Debbie, Heather and me

My cup is full today! Praising God for
allowing me to serve Him.

Tommorow I'm speaking at Upland Christian
High School. A whole different world from
where I was today. The same focus: It's
all about Jesus!

Extended Family

It's hard when family members live across the
country from you. Yesterday we were able
to visit with Tommy's Uncle and Aunt (Bob
and Grace) from Massachusetts. It was
fun to have them come over and eat dinner at
our house.

My boys are loving that their Nana
(from MA) is staying with us. We are
excited to have her here until the
middle of February!

They especially love Nana's AMAZING cookies!
They even get to help her make them.

It's always nice to just sit around and

We are grateful for our family!