Archives for October 2013

How Can You Let Your Kid Play Football?

Kyle Materdei

For me, winning isn’t something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowds roar. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream. – Emmitt Smith

People often ask me “How can you let your kid play football?”

“How can you handle the anxiety? What if he gets hurt? Did you hear about Brett Favre’s memory loss?”

And I respond with, “Yes, I know the risks and they are big. But, when I weigh the good versus bad…football wins, hands down, every time.

Let me explain:

  • It’s About Attitude

I learn perseverance from my own kid. Each week Kyle plays in two football games –a JV game on Thursday and a Varsity game for J Serra Catholic High School on Friday nights.

It was great fun at the beginning of the season (when we won every game), but as we draw towards the end, the beatings and abuse are taking a toll—physically on Kyle and emotionally on me.

As Kyle walked out of the house this morning, he moved more like an old man with hemorrhoids than a studly sophomore athlete.

While Kyle has avoided any major injuries (thank you Jesus), he has about thirty mid to minor boo-boos. He has torn tendons in his hands, what looks like multiple broken toes, four black fingers, bruising from elbow to wrist, and muscle aches from top to bottom.

This is what happens to our boys during Trinity League play—total body annihilation.

And yet despite the pain, his mental strength is greater.

  • It’s About Courage

Yesterday Kyle went up against St. John Bosco, a team ranked anywhere between second and fifth in the country and first in California. Let me say that again…Ranked 1st in California (and folks we got a big state).

Tonight he starts in the Varsity game—against beasts as big as any college line.

His opponent under the lights this evening?

A three-hundred and fifty-three lb senior guard with multiple offers from around the country. Sounds like hell to me—but Kyle’s pumped.

Seriously?

Each week, I watch my barely fifteen-year-old boy playing against these monsters and I try not to cringe with each tackle. I close my eyes, I pray and I repeat over and over “It’s in God’s Hands.”

Generally, Kyle is the one beating up dudes, but last week the two-hundred and ninety lb lineman from Materdei flat-backed him once or twice.

  • I learn to Trust God With my Kid

Only the football mom knows the inordinate amount of time it takes between her kid going down and the moment he moves.

It’s the space of how long I can hold my freaking breath.

Either I let go of control or I lose it. So, I learn to release and rest in the arms of the one who gave me this child to steward.

  • It’s About Excellence

This game has allowed my son a safe place to let out his aggression. It’s taught him teamwork, mental toughness, invaluable life lessons, responsibility, ownership, and crazy loyalty. As I watch him get up each morning before dawn to put his football clothes in the dryer—even though he gets home from practice as late as 8:00pm, then eats, showers and works on homework until 11:00pm—I am in awe at his discipline.

Where does this well of dedication come from—this inner drive for excellence and unrelenting persistence—despite pain, despite injury, despite pure exhaustion?

I like to think I have a strong work ethic–but Kyle’s dedication is more than the sum of me hustling multiple jobs, more than my old single mom status, more than pastor’s wife exhaustion and more than the sleepy mom who slept on the floor of her toddler’s room for the fifth night in a row because her kid is scared of ghoulies. (Dang You Scooby-Do!)

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will. – Vince Lombardi

My question to you is, “How can I not let him play football?”

If you think about it, please pray for my kid (and me) tonight at 7:00pm (and the next two Fridays at the same time!)

 

 

5 Tips to Stay Crazy in Love

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One of the best dates with my hubby was actually a dare.

We were DARED to go to Fashion Island, dress up like fools, sing to the crowd, and then ask some older married couples the secret to a long and satisfying marriage.

Dressing up was a kick, singing (or maybe screeching) at the top of our lungs as rich people averted their eyes and a dog in a stroller howled at us was a wee bit more difficult(and humbling), but approaching the couples for advice was downright fun and eye-opening.

Why, oh why, don’t I listen more to the wisdom of people who fought the good fight (relationally) and won?

Hollywood’s advice stinks, celebrities ditch relationships on a whim, and Disney and Playboy aren’t making it any easier on us either.

Want to know what these awesome couples said?

Here are the tips we learned from couples married 45+ years who still hold each other’s hand and are madly in love…

1. Listen

After the first older gent we confronted at Nordstrom’s (who didn’t run away) stopped laughing at our outfits, he was glad to share from his heart. 

He said the single most important thing in his marriage was to shut up and listen more

Listening to your spouse, instead of always trying to prove your point, brings nothing but the best to your life together. When you listen, you’ll discover insight on how you can love the other person more deeply. You’ll see a picture of their heart—their hopes and dreams, hurts and fears. You’ll piece together why your spouse operates the way they do. You’ll discover belief systems and thoughts that affect your relationship. If you think you ALREADY know everything about them, you’ve already stopped listening. 

Both you and your spouse will continue to change, mature, grow and learn until the day you are called into eternity.  Don’t stop learning about the priceless creation God has entrusted YOU with to cherish.

The next man said this…

2. Recognize Your Spouse’s worth

Recently, a friend of ours had a tumor removed from his brain.  His wife has been blogging and sharing about their journey.  Many times, I have been brought to tears as she describes the beauty of character and humility of her husband through this trial.

Deanna values her husband’s Jon’s worth and she lives it loud.  (check out www.DeannaRamsay.com for her blog)

When you value someone’s worth, you don’t belittle or tear down that person. You also won’t take even one day for granted.  You will cherish their heart and build them up in front of others. When you see the true worth in your partner, you’ll appreciate what this person brings into your life on a daily basis.

And you will shout out loud (like Deanna) for the world to hear, because you know you’ve got a good thing.

3. Forgive

We met another older couple from the Middle East outside the food court.  The man was adamant on how “the forgiveness factor”  impacts marriage.

(He also suggested to the guys, to always let the wife win, hee hee!)

No matter how googly-eyed and in love you are, two imperfect human beings are going to hurt each other with insensitive words, selfish actions, and occasional neglect. Forgiving each other is the foundation for any lasting and loving relationship. Without forgiveness, small offenses and wounds accumulate like a fortress in your heart.

Commit to tearing down these fortress walls (on a regular basis) before you can’t see over them anymore.

The Middle Eastern man’s wife said this, “Divorce is not an option where we come from(Palestine), so take it (divorce) out of the equation and learn how to have fun together since you are stuck together.” 

4. Have Fun

I guess if we are stuck together, laughing is better than crying.  And my husband makes me laugh like no one else.  When we sneak away and go on a date, I fall in love with him all over again.  I like who I am with him and he likes who he is with me.  We are better together than apart and I always say (away from uptight church circles) that my husband puts the F and the U in FUN!

Science backs this couple up on their “fun theory.”  Laughing alleviates stress, improves communication, gets past image management, and releases feel-good hormones in the brain. It builds lasting memories, helps heal old hurts, and binds hearts together.

Maybe your spouse is like Tim –always busting you up, or maybe you are both serious in nature, but you laugh at the same dumb movies.

No matter where you uncover the F and the U and the N, laugh together and have some fun.  Apparently, laughing matters!

5. Find a Nice Gal

This comes from my father-in-law, but I had to throw it in.  He told Tim, no matter what; find a nice and kind woman.  I think what he meant was, bitchy women are great to have crushes, on but don’t marry them. 

I like this advice and it certainly applies to both men and women.  When it comes to the daily decision to love, kindness is king. First, it shows appreciation. It also builds up security. It’s difficult to be in a relationship with someone whom you have to walk on eggshells around because you never know when the next constructive criticism or putdown is coming.

What are some of your best marriage tips?

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Do I Have to Dress Up for Halloween?

My smallest child has asked me to do something out of my comfort zone.

She wants me to dress up for Halloween.

It shouldn’t be that big of a deal.  I did it plenty of times when my big kids were little.  I was a saloon girl, a cute kitty, and Little Red Riding Hood.  I guess, as an older more mature mom now, my frisky and whimsical side needs a serious kick in the pants.

Why does dressing up seems like…well, hard work?

But, I’m willing to make the effort for my three-year-old Kolby.  So, I started perusing the Halloween aisle and hunting down some online options.  Skanky costumes are out of the question–so that leaves me with very little to look at in the stores.  But, I’m on a mission for the Kolbster.

Here is what looks amusing… 

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Kolby can be Max in our favorite book “Where the Wild Things Are” and Mommy can be the boat.

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I can be Harry Potter and Kolby can be Hedwig the owl!

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This would be really funny if I was still Samantha Adams…but now I guess it’s just AWKWARD. Scratch this idea.

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I just love Bert and Ernie (Even if they are more than roomies now) But these two look a little bit SCARY, so I might need a more family friendly get-up. Kolby could be Rubber Ducky, Faith could be Zoey and Kyle could be the Cookie Monster.

 

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How awesome is this? Tim and Kyle can be Stormtroopers, Kolby can be R2D2, I can be Chewbacca and Faith can be the Princess.

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Seriously? This family is Bat-Ass. Kyle can be a bad guy and Faith can be Cat Woman.

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Kyle can get out his old Buzz Lightyear costume, Faith can be Jesse and Tim can be Slinky…Oh yeah!

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This is exactly what Faith would look like if I made her wear this get up. “Why do you all get to be apes and I have to be the sexy cave girl?”

TMDh0

I just had to include this. Wouldn’t this be great as a family theme? Baby T, Momma T, Daddy T, Boy-Teen T and Girl-Tween T…
I think this is the one!

10 Things Happy People Do Better

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On the cork pin-board at my Happy Place (AKA Starbucks), I noticed a sign –10 Things Happy People Do Differently.

So, I took a picture of it, and elaborated.  Because, although I have the eternal joy of the Lord, a few tips on happy never hurt. 

Here is what Happy People Do better:

1.  They Express Gratitude

When you are grateful for what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  My Sr. Pastor Kenton Beshore puts it this way, “Who is the man who is more content –a man with five kids or the man with none?  The answer is: The man with five kids, because he doesn’t want any more.”

If you aren’t happy now, you won’t be happy in the land of “IF ONLY…”

2. They Cultivate Optimism

Be the exact opposite of Bella in Twilight.  If Edward bails on you, recognize that Jacob is JUST as hot(although nowhere near close to my husband) and move on with your life. 

Expect good things to happen and keep your chin up during trying times.  Focus on the big picture, focus your eyes on Jesus, pray hard, and think positive.

3.  They Avoid Social Comparison

I love this!  Ladies, this means sometimes we might need to take a hiatus from Pinterest, Facebook, or Insta (as my kids call it), if we can’t stop the overwhelming feelings of “craft” inadequacy, or “travel” envy, or whatever your issue is…

Remember, MOST people only post their awesome stuff (or occasionally) the really bad stuff going on in their life.  All you get is  a snippet of their top 10%.  The rest of their life is lived in the 80% of normalcy.  Don’t compare your normal to their awesome.  It’s not apples to apples.  Also, I read some statistic recently, that said people lie all the time on social media. Don’t fall for the lie and don’t lie to look better.

Just be You!

4.  They Practice Random Acts of Kindness 

Helping people always makes you feel better.  One great way is to pay for the person’s drink behind you in line at Starbucks! 

5.  They Nurture Relationships

Happy people have friends.  Find a buddy.

6.  They Develop Healthy Coping Strategies

It helps to have healthy ways to deal with stress in your arsenal, before you lose it at Happy Hour and turn into Sloppy Sue. I made a Coping List a long time ago when I was a single mom (a word that says it all). 

Some of my “go to” ways of dealing with stress are: Taking a walk, hitting the gym, praying, pouring it all out into a journal, calling a girlfriend, reading, watching Little Bear with my toddler, drinking a cup of hot tea, and (now that I’m married) asking my husband to tell me ten times in ten different ways why he loves me.

7.  They Forgive

Holding onto anger and unforgiveness only hurts you.

8.  They Live “In the moment”

Put your phone down.  Interact fully with people.  Give your conversation or task all your attention. Be present.

9.  They Savor Special Moments

Now that you are focused on the moment, try not to hurry or rush through them.  Take mental snapshots of special moments and let yourself FEEL joy.

10.  They Commit to Goals

What do you want to do?  What’s stopping you?  Find a way to work towards what brings you joy.  For me, it’s writing, serving my family and glorifying God.  If I can do one or all of those things each day, it’s a pretty good day.

What makes you happy?

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