Tag Archives: pole vaulting

Simple Moments…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from 1 Chronicles 28:9

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him.”


When we get up each day, we don’t know what the hours might bring. But, there are many places in the Bible where we are assured that God will be with us through each moment. If you seek him, you will find him. To me, the beauty of that is found in its simplicity. Each day is filled with many simple moments where God asks us to join him on the journey. It is our job to take hold of that softly spoken call with a whole heart and a willing mind. To patiently trust in God’s plan and to draw peace from his strength.

In some of those moments, God places medals on our hearts as we seek to follow him. In a special few, a medal might also be placed around our neck. One thing is certain, we must respond to God’s ask in order to journey with him. One of my greatest blessings as a parent is to watch my kids learn to lean on their faith to find peace and honor on their journey as Christian Athletes.

My favorite blonde cowgirl defended her title and brought home gold this weekend at the Nebraska State Class B Track and Field Championships. She vaulted with powerful beauty, soaring more than 11 feet 3 inches in the air, with a heart full of the peace and confidence that comes from deep faith. Meg has always felt God’s call to fly with abandon, but this year she led with her heart to find a deeper purpose.

The night before she left with the Haymaker Track Team for Omaha, she told me of her goals and plan. She quietly looked me in the eye and said,

“Mom, I’m going to share Jesus’ love and joy with others in the pole vault pit and on the track. I don’t know how I will vault or run, but I do know that I can take advantage of the opportunity to get to know my competitors and support them on their journey. That way, if I don’t come home with a medal or a personal best, I still know that my trip to the track meet was meaningful.”

Throughout the competition, I watched her share smiles, hugs, and encouragement with others. She stayed true to the bracelet on her wrist which reminded her that Jesus would love first. Over the two day meet, there was only one moment when a state track official placed a medal around her neck, but there were hundreds of moments where God led her heart to share of his love.  It was seeing this shared fellowship with other athletes during competition that filled my heart with gratitude.

Athletes face many pressures on their journey. I’ve watched all of my children and hundreds of others whom I have been blessed to coach, to fight for confidence in the moment of competition when expectations are high and the fear of failure is a reality. The pressure can draw them inward to a place of insecurity that is in direct contrast to what God asks of us. God asks for our hearts – for us to share them – in order to honor the gift that Jesus brought to us on the cross.

Over the past year, I have watched Megan figure out that the overriding call is one of love and fellowship. When we focus on that, then the pressure of competition doesn’t define us and drive our efforts. Instead, it allows Jesus to fill our hearts with the love that carries us to victory. When that happens, fear is replaced with faith as we trust in the simple moments that we share together.

 

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She Believed!

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration for this week comes from Ephesians 3:16-18

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.”


For me, living with grace allows for my faith to be stronger than my fear.

There are many things in life that can bring fear to our hearts and minds — for example, new experiences, worry over how others view us, and concern for those that we love. For competitive athletes, races – meets – and games often bring a new level of fear.

Physical toughness and dedication to training play a huge role in an athlete’s success. But, victory requires more than just physical fortitude. Mental toughness and emotional/spiritual fitness often dictate continued success on the athletic journey.

“Am I good enough?”

How often do each of us ask that simple question? Four words that represent an 800# gorilla that can ride heavily on our backs. Recently, as the District Track meet approached, I watched doubt take hold of my favorite blonde cowgirl. Hampered by a pulled quadricep muscle that stubbornly refused to completely heal, Meg’s confidence plummeted and fear threatened to override the faith that lives inside her heart.

She struggled as a christian athlete.

I searched deeply to find the right words to share. I found them in the above verses in Ephesians 3.


As her mind healed, her leg seemed to follow suit. Two days before the Nebraska State Track meet, Meg looked at me and said:

“Mom, I’m good. I’m ready for Burke Stadium — I’m ready to compete.”

The day of the Class B Pole Vault competition @ Burke greeted us with gloomy skies that offered periodic cold rain showers. But, I knew that Meg was ready. I could tell from my seat in the stadium stands that nothing could dampen her fire. She carried God’s guidance in her heart with Jesus’s confident love flowing deeply in her body, and the Holy Spirit’s inner strength surrounding her as she journeyed into competition.

They delayed the Pole Vault competition twice due to hard rain: once during warm ups and once close to half way through the event. Meg didn’t miss a beat. She vaulted perfectly — not once missing until after she had already won the competition by clearing 11’2″ on her first attempt.

Her mind was calm.

Her soul was on fire.

Her body responded with strength.

I cried as we watched her realize victory. The joy in my heart came not from the gold medal that she proudly wore around her neck, but from the sparkle in her eyes that told me the depth of her faith.

She was good enough. God carried her when she needed Him the most and the end of the journey brought magic as she believed.

 

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Packing her FAITH to fly…

My favorite blonde cowgirl trades her horse for a pole vault pole tomorrow afternoon to compete in the Nebraska State Track and Field Championships. I’m pretty proud of Megan as she has had an awesome freshman year track season! It’s been a lot of fun to watch her work hard and pack her FAITH to fly 🙂

My Feed Yard Foodie video for the week highlights her pole vaulting prowess. Please help me to wish her the best as she tackles one of her favorite off farm challenges @ Burke Stadium in Omaha.  Go Meg!

 

 

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4 Wheel Drive…

When my favorite blonde cowgirl was about a year old, her Granddaddy nick-named her “4 Wheel Drive”. Her smiling antics combined with an incredible natural sense of balance and lack of fear put a distinct twinkle in his eye. In the years that followed, it warmed my heart to watch them together: wading through trout streams, rock climbing along the river and playing with his beloved dogs.July_2006_114[1]

Granddaddy made a valiant effort to keep up with his 4 wheel drive despite the fact that she always seemed to remain a few steps ahead of him, looking over her shoulder with an impish grin. That grin proved to be contagious, and their times together left my dad laughing more than his serious and quiet nature normally allowed.

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Cancer took Granddaddy out of our lives about 18 months ago. I remember a friend telling me shortly after he died that grief would come in stages, eventually settling into acute and distinct moments when his presence would be painfully missed. I had one of those moments on Saturday at the Nebraska State Junior High Championship Track meet.

My favorite blonde cowgirl aka 4 wheel drive decided last winter that she would compete in the Pole Vault her 7th grade track season. My favorite farmer Pole Vaulted during his high school tenure, so it seemed a pretty natural fit. In typical Meg fashion, she embraced the season with that big smile, fearless drive, and quiet determination that warmed her Granddaddy’s heart.

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Her season of 7 regular track meets became augmented with a trip to the state meet. Megan ended the season clearing 8’ — earning 9th place overall, with a love of vaulting and a tremendous acquisition of new skills due to a talented young coach.

Every time that I watch her sail over the bar, I think of my dad and his 4 wheel drive. My heart hurts just a little bit because I know that we will never get to share that moment together. Instead, I have to imagine the twinkle, the big smile, and the victorious celebration whistle. While I am sure that the bleachers in heaven offer a great view, it just isn’t the same.

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I grieve for myself, and for my blonde cowgirl who may never fully understand how proud her granddaddy would be. The focus, determination, and strength that are required for the Pole Vault epitomize the qualities that my dad held close to his heart. Combining those with Meg’s contagious smile creates a powerful package.

I am certain that each one of us has lost a loved one and finds moments of loss amidst times of great joy. The regret and disappointment that comes from not being able to share is strong. I think that part of the grieving process is learning to accept that a lost loved one’s role in making new memories is different. It requires an added component of faith – a peaceful acceptance that the love, pride, and presence can still be felt albeit in a less tangible way.

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I struggle with this, but I also know that this journey is inevitable — happening regardless of my desires to change the past rather than to look to the future. My pole vaulting blonde cowgirl carries a piece of her Granddaddy with her each and every day.

Perhaps that is part of the reason that she carries a perpetual twinkle in her eye?

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