Friday, January 29, 2010

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team!

I could probably live the rest of my life without playing another sport. Don't get me wrong, I love a rollicking game of bowling every now and then. And our family reunions are not complete without the ringing of horsehoes. But I'm not a sport-lover. However, I have a kid who is. "Justice" loves anything that involves competition. In fact, when he was young, that is often how I would get him to do something he didn't want to do. "I bet I can get my bed made before you can," I'd say. Off he would run to beat me to it. Of course, I always used the time to sit down on the bed and read a page out of a novel, just so he could win.

Now that he is older, he wants to play every sport offered. I recently had to put my foot down on adding wrestling when I discovered that he would be triple-booked on Thursdays. So now we have entered into the season of middle school basketball. Tuesday night his team played their first game. They start their season later than surrounding schools due to the lack of a gym for the middle grades. But they looked good. They were a little rough and by the end of their second game, they looked like they could benefit from a little extra conditioning, but that's not what I took away from the night. I learned (again) that God loves me just because I'm HIS.

"Justice" scored the first basket of the season and the game just seconds into it. He rebounded, he raced up and down the court, he scored, and he even made a foul shot. He is not, by far, the best player on the team, but he had a decent night. Of course, we hooped, we hollered, and flashed a thumbs-up when he looked our direction. But the night didn't go that way for the whole team. They lost their second game. They lost bad.  Regardless, we were proud of the way "Justice" conducted himself. As my husband told him on the way home, "You looked like a basketball player."

He tried his best, followed the rules and represented his team, his school, and us as his parents well. That's why we were proud. Not because he scored the most points (he didn't). Not because of his amazing 3-pointers (there weren't any). Not because he didn't make any mistakes (there were several). But simply because he did his best and because he is OURS.

That is how God feels about me too. He notices when I try my best. He gets the glory when I follow the rules. He is blessed when I represent His team, His Son, and His Spirit well. That's why He loves me--because He's my Father.

Nikki Studebaker Barcus

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meet the Cast of "Characters"

Welcome to Day 2 of my blog experience. I want to introduce you to the cast of "characters" that comprise my home-zoo. I'm not using the actual names of my children, but bestowed upon them names indicative of their personalities (okay, let's just say it--their oddities). It is my hope that as I talk about them, you will learn a little more about who they are and why they make life so, uhh..ummm..INTERESTING! :)

"Justice" is my 12-year-old son. I call him this because he is a typical first-born, follow-the-rules-type guy. He is accurate to a fault and wants to make sure justice is doled out (except when it comes to him). He is a sports nut and a natural student, pushing himself to excell at every undertaking. He is my mini-me. His favorite characteristic about himself are his freckles. He teaches me to guard my words for accuracy and truth. "Here is my servant, who I upheld, my chosen one in whom I delight; and I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations." Isaiah 42:1

My 9-year-old daughter I'm calling "Jewel". She is a priceless treasure who has a heart for anything art-related, but excells in writing. She has many facets and, as one friend says, "She is her own person." Her heart is full of love for Jesus and she regularly introduces others to him. She's my messy, left-handed, head-in-the-clouds dreamer. She is an animal lover who is on a constant vigil to add a cat-any cat- to our home.
She teaches me to be true to the song God put in my heart. "Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel."  Proverbs 20:15

Rounding out the under-age crowd in my house is "Jot", my 7-year-old son. On this blog he will be known by this name simply for it's meaning: the smallest character. Anyone who knows him would agree that not only is he our smallest guy, but he is quite a character. He will attempt anything the other two come up with and what they don't think of, he does. He loves to make people laugh and is the most tender-hearted of the crew. He is a natural investigator, often attempting to figure out the mechanics of appliances and conducting "science experiments", which unfortunately usually involve bodily fluids or once-live things. He might be small, but he is mighty. He teaches me to laugh and explore the world God's given us. "Gideon said to him, 'Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me...I'm the runt of the litter'. God said to him, 'I'll be with you...'" Judges 6:15,16

Now you've met the characters, come back next time to see what lesson I learned this week from Justice's first basketball game of the season.

Nikki Studebaker Barcus

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

Today is the first day of a new journey. I hope I make it to the end--whatever that is. My goal is to post a few times each week just about stuff. Isn't that what most bloggers do anyway? Write their random thoughts for the whole world to see?

So, I invite you into my own private (not so private now) musings. Maybe you can learn from the lessons God is teaching me. Maybe you can get a good laugh. Maybe you can think to yourself, "My life and my thoughts are no where near as crazy as these. I must be normal!"

Either way, grab your latte to go, buckle your seat belt, and pull your mini-van in line behind mine.

Nikki Studebaker Barcus