Sunday, January 16, 2011

a wonderful woman

The holiday season is the time of year that I really fall away from much reflection in the written form. My journal has a lot of dust on it and obviously I haven't written on here in a while. I can't pass the opportunity to share my grateful for a very wonderful woman who I just found out passed away on Friday. Her name is Maxine Howard. She and her husband Joe are staples at my church - Wabash Friends. They have worked in the nursery ever since I can remember, but I got especially acquainted with them during my time in 4-H. Maxine worked in the extension office when I was first starting out. Then when I was old enough to be in the queen contest I was able to experience the genuine care of Maxine and her husband Joe. They were on the queen contest board of directors and took such wonderful care of all the young ladies in the contest. This was not a small undertaking as it was not unusual to have at least 30 girls in this contest each summer. My senior year of high school (my 9th year of 4-H) I was fortunate to be selected as the 3rd runner-up on the queen's court. It may not seem like much, but that week of the fair was one of the best weeks of my entire adolescence. We were showered with so much love . . . and had an absolute blast! The following year was my last opportunity to be in 4-H and the queen contest. It was no secret that I had a very strong desire to be selected as queen. That title nor a spot on the court was in the cards for me that summer, which was a hard pill to swallow as a teenager. Needless to say the tears were flowing as I came down from the stage and I remember Maxine as one of the very first people to grab me and remind me of how special I was. Joe was certainly not far behind either. From that point on I have always looked forward to my hugs from the Howards when I was able to attend church. We also exchange Christmas cards every year to stay in touch. I got such a chuckle from my card this year because our return address labels have the name of our house on it - the Ganderson - and that's how Maxine addressed my Christmas card. I am so lucky to have known this wonderful woman, but I know my story is far from unique. It's such a blessing to know that these wonderful people are in this world making such a great impact. I hope you're having one heck of a party in Heaven Maxine!

Friday, December 17, 2010


I am just so grateful for this time at the national coaches convention. It is so nice to just be away first of all and it feels so refreshing to have my spirit for coaching renewed. Today I heard some great speakers . . .

- We started the day with the FCA breakfast. It was so great to hear the speaker share about a coach she wrote a book about while dealing with cancer. It was a great perspective to hear.
- I went to a session presented by the Fresno Pacific coach and so enjoyed his perspective on creating team culture. He also shared about a concept called restorative discipline and how we should really approached problems with players. I so needed to hear that perspective about an issue I am dealing with on my team.
- Terry Pettit is a hall of fame coach and a wonderful speaker. He presented a session on setting training with deliberate practice. I could've listened to him all day . . . such a great perspective on the game and an amazing speaker!
- Longtime coaches Russ Rose and Terry Lyschevich (sp?) did one of the presentations and their perspective was so unique. Plus Coach Rose is a hoot and kept us all laughing!
- Lastly, Steve Florio from IPFW gave a great presentation on how to get your players to think deeper and talk more effectively . . . right up my alley and he did a great job.

As a volleyball nerd, this is all obviously right up my alley. I've also enjoyed the conversations with colleagues and the ladies I'm staying with. It's been great hanging out with Brittany. We get each other very well and I appreciate her very much.

This is something I've always wanted to experience and I'm loving it. Very grateful for this opportunity!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


At this moment I am most grateful to have made it to my destination for the next few days . . . Kansas City. I began at the GR airport at 12 p.m. today and finally made it to my hotel around 9 p.m. central time. Geesh . . . but I got $15 of free food at the airport and $150 Frontier voucher so it was worth it to me. I'm excited to spend these days at the AVCA convention with some awesome ladies and learn a lot. Time for bed, though.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a need for speed

To be honest this weekend has been a rough one, yet glorious all at the same time. My roommate has been gone all weekend, which creates some extra loneliness in the house. I do like to just hang out at home, but that doesn't last forever because soon I start to feel like the single cat lady who nevers leaves the house. I am also realizing that the cats are all that I talk about in public . . . geesh maybe I am the single cat lady!!

I have enjoyed doing lots of Christmas things like watching movies, wrapping presents, and preparing my Christmas letter. I have decided not to do cookies, which is sad to me but is the best decision. I also enjoyed Laura's 30th birthday party this weekend. I love hanging out with friends who I rarely see, but when I do it's always a great time. They are all so fun and so genuine.

This morning my gratefulness was probably at its highest as I drove to church. I made a compilation of all my favorite Christmas songs and the cd worked in my car (which did not happen last year when I attempted this). And the speed limit is now 45 on most of Eastern . . . this is what I normally drive, but now I can drive without the fear of being pulled over. I do like to drive fast and as I was coming up with a title for this post I am realizing that a lot of my depression these days is a result of my need for speed in life. I have lost my contentment. I want my team to be great NOW, I want to find someone to share my life with NOW, and I want to be full-time in my job NOW! I have utter confidence that these things will happen (I know sometimes I am overly optimistic), but patience has escaped me. I feel like these things are happening all around me (mostly just the second one) and I honestly am having trouble being happy for others. I have always felt that I would be last in everything, but I just don't know how to survive these feelings and the beat downs from Satan. It is honestly SO HARD! I'm grateful for those who I have seen survive this and hope to share the same grace they have. I am grateful that God can rescue me from this as well . . . Thank you Lord for never giving up on us!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

free books

I am so grateful to live in the city and have access to the public library. This was something that I never got to enjoy as a kid growing up in the sticks. I normally take full advantage of this, but during season it was hard to find time for pleasure reading. There have been a few books on my list, though, and I just kept checking the library site to see if they were available. Both of them have holds, but sometimes you can get lucky and today I did! I found Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks at the Madison Square library. I drove there only to find that the library didn't open till noon so I had to go back, but hopefully it will be well worth it. I finally put a hold on Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury so hopefully that one comes soon. I'm really looking forward to escaping in some good books!

Monday, December 6, 2010

small town america

This weekend was so busy! I drove around 500 miles in my poor car. However, for a majority of those hours I got to listen to one of the local radio stations that I grew up with. Over this weekend every year they have a telethon to benefit an organization called We Care. This organization helped over 3700 families in the community of Kokomo wh owere in need last year. It's a little cheesy, but listening to it made me so grateful to have grown up in an area where these fundraisers work and are so powerful. I felt very blessed to have gotten to listen to it this weekend and yes, I may have teared up a bit when they were reading off the final totals. Over just the auction and the donations from other events this year they raised over $225,000. They will get in at least $50,000 more over the next week. Very cool . . . although it seems to happen a lot at this time of year and not throughout all 12 months it is nice to see others give till it hurts!

Friday, December 3, 2010


I am such a baby when I get sick! This has been a tough week to be sick because I am very busy, but it has caused me to be grateful for some new things . . .

I'm grateful for tissues with lotion . . . I ran out and now my nose is raw!
I'm grateful for sprite and orange juice as they are the only things that taste good when I'm sick.
I'm thankful that What Not to Wear never gets old.
I'm thankful for Nyquil because it always does the job.
I'm thankful for email because I lost my voice and sound like a man over the phone.

Hopefully I start to feel better soon . . . lots of driving ahead this weekend.