Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tis the Season. . .

As we celebrated Thanksgiving and
were reminded to be thankful

 for ALL that we have
 and for All of our loved ones,
 we now look forward to Christmas. . .
 The time of year to celebrate the Birth
of Jesus Christ and to share JOY, HOPE
and LOVE with those around us!
 The Season always has a REASON
 and His Name is Jesus!

Merry Christmas EVERYONE!!!
Luke with baby cousin, Brooklyn

Busy Boys

My boys are always moving

 So, it's nice to go outside and let them
get some of their energy out
 by riding bikes and scooters.
 They love to go "fast" and race.
 These kind of days make me smile.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for Water

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with
your loved ones!  We had a great day, first
at the Fred Jordan Mission in LA where
many who are homeless and in need come to
get a nice, warm meal and also hear from
people sharing God's truth.  I was honored
to be one of the speakers and I shared about
Psalm 100. 

But, today I am thankful for water in my home.
I told the people at the Mission, that I learned
to be thankful for warm water in showers when
I was in Guatemala for 12 days and had to take
cold showers.  I also told them I am thankful
for clean water that I can drink.  And today,
our water line from our house busted and we
have no water inside.  And quickly I'm realizing
that affects going to the restroom (not being
able to flush), brushing my teeth, taking a shower,
washing my hands, rinsing dishes, doing laundry,
and more.  I don't think about how thankful I
am until something like this happens and I
realize how important it is.

And I'm thankful for my best friend's husband,
Josh, who is a jack of ALL trades and came
over and is saving the day as we speak.
Since the water line busted, all the water
was flowing out into the street until we had
somebody come and shut it off.  I'm thankful
for friends, and thankful for water.

Now I need to go find some bottled water
so I can brush my teeth :)

. . .

So. . . .

The problem was fixed by 8:30pm last
night.  We had a whole day without water
and it was interesting.  I went over to my
friend's house to take a shower and let's
just say that the boys were thankful they
didn't have to take a shower at all :)

Tommy worked hard and also, a worker
from the city came and helped us to unclog
the pipe once we had it connected again.

So, lots of mud later and a huge hold in our
yard, we now have running water again!
Thank you Jesus!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for so much, while many have so little

"Generous hands are blessed hands because
they give bread to the poor." (Proverbs 22:9)

I was watching Life Today on TV and saw
the video of these children in Sudan. It
really breaks my heart and brings me to
tears to think about how much we waste
in America while others are starving to
death, literally.  I can't see these images
and not respond!  My heart is given to
God and because it is, I believe He breaks
my heart for what breaks His. 

If I turn my eyes away and refuse to
acknowledge it, it doesn't change the
fact that it is happening.  So as we
approach Thanksgiving and I go out
and buy exactly what food I want to
put on my table, I am COMPELLED
to GIVE money that just might feed
20 children for 3 months.  They don't
choose what they want to eat, they
eat whatever they can get their hands
on.  I am thankful for those who are
there giving out the food, but they are
also watching these children die before
their eyes for lack of food.

If God moves your heart to give (and
I know there are so many different ways
and places to give and times are hard
for so many), then check out

These are real faces, real people,
real situations that we cannot fathom
when we lightly use the words, "I'm
starving" if we haven't eaten in 3 hours!

I just have to share- my heart breaks
for these children who know nothing
but suffering.  The Bible says that for
he who has much, much will be required.
I believe that call goes out to ALL in
America because we have been blessed
beyond measure.

Thank you Jesus for ALL your blessings,
but God, I pray that you will remind all
of us to be GIVERS and to pray for
those who have nothing.

Friday, November 18, 2011


He's our new family dog.  I went to the pet
store with my boys to get mealworms for
our pet gecko and somehow we ended up
coming home with this cute little guy. 
My husband was out of town so I was
texting him pictures of this dog that
needed to be rescued.  The things is
that he looks like a miniature version
of my mom's dog, Smokey, that went
to heaven earlier this year.  He's 2 years
old and he's the perfect size: not too
big and not to small. The boys love him
and fight over taking him for walks
(just another thing for brothers to fight
about right!).

He loves to cuddle and also gets in a
playful mood where he loves to chew
at his toys.  We'll see how this goes-
it's our first family dog ever!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Focal Point in Sports

A friend of mine is writing a devotional
for softball players and asked me to
write about different ways we can
worship God through our sport. 
Below is what I wrote for her:

I played softball for myself, my team,
and my own glory for a long time. In
college, when I began to live for God,
my entire perspective in life changed.
Romans 12:2 says  to be "transformed
by the renewing of your mind" and
that began to happen as I learned what
the Bible taught. The more I learned,
the more I realized that God has
a purpose in our lives and wants to be
recognized in all areas, even on a softball
field. After all, God is the One who gave
me the talent and passion to play the
sport of softball.

When you are on the field, emotions
can get intense depending on how well/bad
things are going. I wanted to have a visual
reminder or a focal point to keep my
mind on the fact that I was playing
softball nfor God. The verse I picked was
Philippians 4:13, and it was the first verse
I ever memorized. It says, "I can do
all things through Jesus Christ who
strengthens me." I began to write "Phil 4:13"
on my glove, on my batting gloves, and
even put a little cross on the knob of my bat.
That way when I went to pick up my
equipment, I would quickly be reminded
that I was out there to play my best for
God's glory.

I believe those visual reminders
helped me when I was playing great 
and also when I started to struggle.
When I did well, I would pray and
thank God for the opportunity to be
on the field and for the talent He
gave me. When I got into a slump,
I would pray and ask God to help me
to focus on Him and to continue to
be thankful to have the ability to play
softball. I quickly memorized another
verse when I was struggling: Joshua 1:9:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong
and courageous. Do not be afraid; do
not be discouraged, for the Lord your
God will be with you wherever you go."
I leaned on that verse a lot when things
weren't going well and was thankful that
God was with me always. I know
how important those focal points were
because whenever I would get off track,
I would look at my glove and see
"Phil 4:13" and remember why I was out
there in the first place: to bring God glory.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

It's that time of year: time to bless others
and put a smile on a child's face!

Today we are going to the store to pick
up some goodies to add to our shoe box.
The goodies will go with a new pair
of shoes and a new shirt:
Under Armour of course :)

My boys and I prayed for the child who will
receive this shoe box and we wrote a
note and added a picture of our
family.  Our hope is that they feel
the love of Jesus and we are so
thankful for the difference that
is making, along with others
just like you and me! 
Click HERE to learn how
you can send a box and
put a smile on a child's
face across the world!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

Thanking God and praying for all the troops
and families who sacrifice so much for all of
our families here in America. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

National Coaches Clinics: Dallas, TX

This past weekend I was in Dallas, TX for
the first ever National Coaches Clinic.
My former Olympic teammate and friend,
Christie Ambrosi, has a passion to do a
coaches clinic that is different than all the
others out there.  This clinic includes coaches,
players and parents.  There are key note
sessions that everyone listens to, break out
sessions that they choose their topic, and
round table discussions where we get up
close and personal. 

The staff was impressive:
Sue Enquist: 11-Time Natl Champion as
a coach at UCLA and gifted communicator

Julie Adams: UCLA All-American and
Pro SB player

Christie Ambrosi: Gold Medalist, UCLA

Deb Hartwig: Just Softball Owner and
Right View Pro (technology)

Greg Loveless and Linda Loveless:
(a powerful husband and wife team
that speaks on nutrition, coaching,
the mental game and more.  Linda
is with Arbonne)

Chad Austin: strength coach

We are looking forward to the next
one in Phoenix, AZ : Dec 8-10

It was a great experience and you have
to start somewhere, but I would say they
started out with a bang!  The coaches,
parents and athletes had such great
comments about the weekend and
can't wait to invite more to come next
year!  Here are a few pictures:
Coach Sue Enquist: Kicking things off for the 1st ever
National Coaches Clinic in Dallas, TX

Dessert and Round Table discussions with attendees

Teaching Baserunning

Christie Ambrosi (2000 Olympic Teammate) and Julie Adams
(my teammate in 18U and friend)

The staff

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On the Inside

I just had to post this (sorry if it is hard to
handle).  Even though this article is from
6 years ago, and I'm sure there are many
more current stories about Joel, I thought
this was powerful.  I was listening to
a Christian radio broadcast today with
Pastor Bob Coy from Calvary Chapel
Fort Lauderdale and he was interviewing
Joel.  Joel currently is on staff there as
well and is married and has at least one
child (they said that in the intervew). 

Listening to him, you could hear joy in
his talk and he was very sacrcastic and
humble at the same time.  The whole
message was a reminder that it's what
is on the inside that matters most.  They
said many people look good on the
outside, but are a mess inside and he is
just the opposite: people see a mess on
the outside, but on the inside he is a
put together as anyone there is.  I just
know that this was 6 years ago and he
was talking today on the radio about how
he shares and helps others.  All the glory
goes to God and he mentioned that many,
many times.  When you love Jesus with
all your heart, what matters most is
completely different than what the world
says matters!

Joel Sonnenberg Encourages Burn Victims in Korea

We now meet a survivor of a fatal accident.

Burned beyond recognition in a car crash when he was
almost two, Joel Sonnenberg overcame much of
his pain. Now, the 27-year-old man is spreading
a message of hope and encouragement while
letting us realize the importance of looking beyond
the surface.

Ever wish you were someone else? A little prettier,
smarter or richer? Or, wished you had it easier?
Well, meet Joel Sonnenberg, who doesn't want
to be anyone but himself because he's grateful for
who he is today.

"Willingness says a lot. I'd rather have willingness
than someone who has all the right answers, the
right talents and no willingness to do anything.
I'd rather be the opposite," Sonnenberg said.

Joel, at the age of 22 months, was diagnosed
with a 10 percent chance of living upon surviving
a car collision with an 18-wheel tractor-trailer.

Despite the life-altering accident which left 88
 percent of his body covered in burns, Joel,
with the help and support of his parents and
community, learned to cope with his limitations.

"Those are just differences that I have to adapt
around. Just like you have differences, but yours
may not be as noticeable as mine," he said.

By focusing on his strengths and nurturing his
talents, he was elected captain of his high school
soccer team and was awarded with a college scholarship.

Although he has proved to the world and
himself that nothing is impossible, one thing
the 27-year-old hasn't adjusted to is the looks
he gets from people.

"It is a reminder every single day of why I'm living
and what focus I need to have. And that's not
necessarily always on myself. And that I can make
a difference in someone's life for the better," he said.

Currently visiting Korea upon invitation by a
Christian organization, Joel hopes to spread a
message of hope and encouragement by sharing
his life-story with those suffering physically or

But he's not content with being a role model
for the disabled. He wants to educate others to
look beyond differences, to see the people
behind the scars.