Tag: coaches wives

On my 42nd Birthday

On my 42nd Birthday

For the past several years I’ve started the year by going through Powersheets tending sheets. The tending sheets are structured to set goals and include asking questions such as:

  • What are the things that fuel me?
  • What will be most important and what won’t?
  • What are your motivations?
  • What are your fears?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What is the big picture? 
  • Where do you want to be when you are 80 years old?

Until this year the last question stumped me. 80 has felt so far away, and with so much life yet to live, how do you answer this question? This year I finally have an answer and it’s come in the form of two goals. A word and an image.

An Image

While processing the tending sheets we were at church and during worship, God drew my attention to a family visiting that weekend. The grandmother was worshipping so boldly, with her whole body engage. She wasn’t aware of anyone around her, her worship; was only for God. Within a few seconds of observation, I knew where I want to be when I’m 80 is right there. Worshipping God with my whole heart without a care in the world. Not only during worship, but I want God’s presence abundantly clear in my actions as words as well.

A Word: Authentic

I’ll likely fail every day striving for peace and harmony simply because people don’t like to hear the truth and even the simple act of typing out a Bible verse word for word will offend someone. However, authenticity is a character trait that reflects Christ in the ways I believe best lives out Mark 12:28-31 (NIV) which says,

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’”

When I consider the word authentic in combination with the question “Where do you want to be when you are 80 years old?” The picture that comes to mind is sitting on comfortable furniture with coffee asking a younger woman deep questions about her faith, listening, and pressing her to think just a little deeper.

Happy Corona Birthday?

I’m not gonna lie folks, we don’t do much to celebrate birthdays in our house. We usually go out to eat, there are a few presents to open, and we connect with friends and family other the phone. It’s sweet and simple which is great considering I don’t even remember how old I am some years. Remember that whole post I wrote about turning 38 only to have my mom call me and tell me I was actually 39?

corona birthday

This year, well this year it really stinks to have a birthday in March and it’s probably going to be the same for part if not all of April as well. But I’m not going to complain about Amazon delivery delays and not getting to go out for dinner because while those are disappointments, they are delays. Packages will eventually show up, some restaurants will open up for business, and our shelter in place order will open up someday.

Like many, I’m discovering the days are busier than I’d prefer, but there are also fewer distractions unless I choose to incorporate them into my routine. My Lent devotional through the lense of COVID-19 is encouraging me to reflect on questions like, “What does it mean to love your neighbor?” I’m focusing on my image and my word of the future rather than the stress of the day.

I’ve started our spring cleaning routine and we’re re-evaluating needs vs. wants. Our boys have grown out of another phase of life and the crafts we’ve hung onto for rainy days aren’t necessary. We finally unpacked the games we hastily packed this summer during our unplanned move, and we may even play them in the days to come.

My “to read” book pile continues to grow which is both exciting and frustrating. There are so many amazing authors publishing authentic work right now and I’m hungry to read and support other female writers. However, right now, work dominates my days and my mental stamina wilts in the evenings.

Is this a season of life? Is this the stress of the moment? Is this my forties? Only hindsight reflection will offer insights. In the meantime, here’s the 42. The year I press into learning more about how God pursues us and how he calls us to pursue him. The year I finally have a word and an image to answer the question “Where do you want to be when you are 80 years old?”

Supporting Small Businesses and Ministries

Supporting Small Businesses and Ministries

Supporting Small Businesses and Ministries

Since 2016 I’ve worked for a small Inbound Marketing agency based in Melbourne, Florida. We partner with clients in many different industries all around the globe with a multi-tiered approach to help each client tell their individual stories. I’m passionate about storytelling. It says so in my work bio. 😉 I love my job for many reasons, above all, over the years I’ve developed a passion for helping small businesses and business owners thrive.

Today there are a lot of business owners and employees who are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders wondering how long the COVID-19 global pandemic will continue. The stark reality is many companies will not survive this crisis. As a coach’s wife, I’m acutely aware of how generous small business owners are to their local communities. They are the lifeblood of many athletic teams, PTA fundraisers, school trips, church fundraisers, recitals, community concerts, and plays. Now is the time for community members to give back to the businesses that have supported so many events over the years.

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that there were 30.7 million small businesses in the U.S. in 2019. Freshbooks reported in 2018 that 15 million Americans were self-employed full time and estimated that by 2020 the number would rise to 27 million. Clearly that number is now going to change.

Here are a few stats from 2018 that put small businesses and entrepreneurship into perspective:

freshbooks 2018

62% of small business owners don’t work with any staff.

20% earn less than $20,000 per year.

Life is Changing Rapidly

In the past ten days, our family shifted from packing for a getaway and meet up with our family in Minnesota at a water park in the Wisconsin Dells to sheltering in place and hunting for toilet paper online and in every store within our county. It’s jarring how quickly things can shift.

If you’re a small business owner you may have also seen a lot of your customers pause orders recently. It’s hard to know how to budget for business when you can no longer rely on projections and yearly spending trends. You’ve also likely had to make quick decisions about inventory or when and how to change your business model to adjust to daily changing rules with social distancing.

In our home, as our plans changed I suddenly realized I needed to stock up on food not only for the week home but for multiple days because our spring break was extended for an additional week. We were able to fill in most of the food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries we needed even though it wasn’t our typical shopping day thanks to a great sale at the grocery store and online pick up at Sam’s Club. This was just one tiny quick action we took. Consider how many business owners must take.

Another choice we made was to make a library run and stock up on books. The librarian mentioned we should make sure to sign up for digital access to things. He’d already heard they wouldn’t be open much longer. He was correct, they closed the following day and it will be a few more weeks at least before they open. As we chatted I realized how much life was going to change so we headed to my favorite coffee shop and bought several gluten-free pastries. I wanted them to know that even though I wouldn’t be around for a few weeks I hoped to see them when soon.

You Know Small Business Owners

Will you do me a favor? Will you take a minute and think about your neighbors, friends, and family. Make a list of how many people have a side hustle, own a business, or work for a small start-up company rather than a large franchise. Now. take that same list and consider who you know who draws a salary from mission support. For the rest of this post keep those people in mind.

Small Businesses Need Our Support

I know that right now many people are facing incredibly challenging months as we wait out our local and federal government responses to the coronavirus. There are so many unknowns. Workhours have already been cut, layoffs are occurring, and many people are looking for freelance work only to realize that businesses are cutting back in areas rather than hiring.

I believe many small business owners will eventually receive some sort of support, but which businesses will qualify and how long this who global pandemic is going to last is unknown. The instinct in such uncertain times is to buckle down and cut as many costs as possible. However, when it comes to the small businesses we believe in, we need to take time to think beyond the next few weeks.

When We Emerge

At some point, we will receive the all-clear to gather again in restaurants, churches, coffee shops, museums, co-working spaces, farmers’ markets, bakeries, concerts, and athletic events. We’ll wander around on a Saturday at the Farmer’s Market, stop at a food truck for breakfast, grab flowers and the week’s vegetables before heading out to meet friends at our favorite boutique to check out the latest trends in clothing.

But let’s pause for a moment. After weeks, possibly months without income, are you sure your favorite business will have the capital to buy supplies and reopen? If everyone stops their memberships or pauses purchasing, how can we expect that services will be available for us when we’re ready to resume normal life?

Businesses Still Have Bills

Just like households have rent, utilities, and loans to continue to pay even though we are facing a global pandemic. The same is true for businesses regardless of the size. Payroll, bookkeeping, software, website expenses, inventory, and office rent are just a few typical expenses a small business owner will pay every month.

We have to consider ways we can continue to invest in the businesses we love now, or they may not be around when we emerge from this current crisis.

Ways to Invest in Small Businesses Today:

  • Don’t cancel your memberships
  • Use date night money for take-out or delivery
  • Allocate money to spend on small businesses that you would normally spend on gas
  • Buy gift cards for the businesses you would normally be eating lunch or having coffee in with friends
  • If you have a monthly subscription where you purchase items, see if any of your friends want to take advantage of your wholesale discount.

It’s likely many businesses are going to start to run sales. Set your notifications so you don’t miss any announcements. When a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal comes up, split the purchase with a friend. That way you both get to support a company you love and save money.

Take inventory of things around your house. I don’t know about you but I’ve been purging things like crazy lately just like we do every spring. It feels great to get rid of broken items and pass along things our boys have outgrown. As items in our house, break or wear down there are always things we need to replace.

As you replace broken items check out your local businesses. Even if you have to spend a little extra money consider the value of investing in that money in your community rather than elsewhere.

Don’t Forget About Your Favorite Ministries

One of the ways that people often tighten their belts in times of crisis is by stopping their giving to churches and nonprofit ministries. Just like small businesses the bills don’t pause for ministries during a crisis. In fact, in many cases ministries, finances are stretch thinner as people rely on extra support.

If you support missionaries financially or tithe regularly to your church it’s important to prioritize keeping these items in your budget even while we are all tightening our belts. It’s not an exaggeration to say that stopping your monthly giving could mean the difference between someone else affording their rent or paying for their groceries on a given month.

So, take a minute and review that list of small business owners. I encourage you to take some time to browse their websites as you’re hanging out at home this week. Make a list of a few items you need or want and figure out how to work them into your budget.

Make a list of restaurants and rotate where you order. Buy gift cards. Use them for future date nights and mark them for future gifts. You can use them to buy Christmas gifts for people in a few months or as a birthday or Christmas gift. Regardless of how you invest in small businesses in the weeks to come, my encouragement to you is to do so intentionally. You don’t need to go into debt to keep other businesses going!

If we all do just a little bit hopefully we’ll emerge from this horrible quarantine and discover all our favorite spaces waiting for us with adorable new seasonable outfits, the sharpest new lipstick colors, warm pastries, and delightful endless mugs of coffee that you don’t have to make yourself. Sigh…hang in there friends! We can do this together!

Are you a small business owner? Do you work with a ministry or nonprofit?

One way I support small businesses and nonprofit ministries is through my monthly blog post Wives Who Thrive. To learn more about this passion project read my invitation post here. To apply for a feature fill out this Google Doc so I can share your story!

wives who thrive
The Value of Being Present

The Value of Being Present

picture says 1000 words

I love this picture. But not for the reasons you might expect. This photo is from 2016 and someone took it after a heartbreaking loss. We were ahead most of the game and lost in the last seconds. Regardless of the outcome, the crowd was thrilled with the progress that young team made from previous seasons. We stood on that field optimistic about the season ahead. As optimistic as we felt after this game, the season ended up being one that broke our hearts in many ways. 

Athletic seasons are practically impossible to predict.  This particular season included season ending injuries, deaths of family members, and common challenges young team encounter. It is an interesting faith practice to have the majority of your family’s income determined by 18-22-year-old mens’ ability and willingness to prepare for a football game. Coaches can prepare their players, call all the right plays and still lose their job due to lack of accurate or excellent execution on the field each week.

Progress has many layers, only a few of which the scoreboard reflects. The evidence that momentum is present is something coaches measure on the practice field, in the weightroom, and in team meetings.  I remember the feeling of joy this night held as well as the ache for our team, wishing they’d had the W they truly fought hard for and deserved. But that’s not why I love this picture.

I Love This Picture Because it’s Us

There is very little to say after a hard loss. Nothing will ease the frustration. But one thing I can do is be present and this photo is my reminder that those moments matter.

As coaches’ wives we know our lives have unique aspects. For fall sports this means August thru November our weekends revolve around football games, weekends out of town, hosting people for game day, and even sometimes saying no things like family functions or church events. These days I’m either cheering from the sidelines where I pull double duty as team photographer or cheering from home while I take a weekend off to relax at home. Either way, I’m cheering on our team the best way I can that week. My presence by my husband’s side is always my choice. I love cheering on our team each week, but more than that, I delight in the opportunity to let this man I adore know win or lose I’m always his biggest fan.

In the midst of the season, it can sometimes begin to feel as if my presence isn’t enough. It is so hard to watch one you love have to carry a heavy load, and coaching always includes one. Coaches focus on much more than X’s and O’s and that W/L record. Player’s with low GPA’s, poor class attendance and bad behaviour may face game suspension. Each school sets different factors in these areas along with the guidelines from the conference requirements.

Coaches’ Carry a Heavy Burden

Study hall times are just part of the plan to support academic successes. Recruiting takes a significant portion of each week’s focus year round for college coaches. Helping to prepare players and parents for the recruiting process starts with Juniors and continues for Seniors.  With hundreds of schools to choose from high school seniors have a level of expectation that includes frequent contact, but don’t always meet the criteria coaches are looking for; this can lead to challenging conversations about accurate perspectives.

Leadership and character development also play a key factor in adding to the burden many coaches carry. Ordell works hard to surround himself with coaches who agree with his conviction to influence players using football as a tool. Regardless character development is a multi-tiered effort these days and players need mentors who can build personal relationships with them on and off the field.

To live life as an example of Christ is a key part, but not enough. All surveys and studies whether religious or secular report the same thing about Generation Z authenticity is vital. MCCP says, “This generation grew up with reality TV stars, candid photos of celebrities, no make-up selfies, and vloggers. They are used to behind-the-scenes access. Everything generation Z have been exposed to creates an expectation that they can see behind the curtain and get the real story. And this extends into every realm of life.”

Mentoring athletes on and off the field takes time and intentional relationship building.  Consider this quote from Rethinking how to pastor the ‘connected’ generation “Although misunderstood in some ways, younger generations don’t simply want to be consumers of society; they want to be contributors. As we learn to disciple young adults in their own context, we need to cultivate curiosity, encourage intergenerational engagement, and lead them to understand how the gospel transforms all areas of both their own lives and the world around them.”

As my husband’s partner I desire to lighten the heavy burden my husband carries as he leads a football program. My instinct is always to look to help, but I understand that’s not always possible. If he could delegate a task during the season so he could catch more than five hours of sleep on a regular occurrence he would. But when his job hits the time of year when demands are all-consuming daily sometimes, hourly, delegation isn’t possible. 

Presence is Valuable

I love this picture because it reminds me that sometimes my presence is enough. Listening, encouraging, commiserating. These actions are all encompassed by my presence. I succeed offering my support some some times better than others, but my intentions are always genuine. How do I know this is a helpful? Because in situations where we have opposite roles and the burden is mine to carry I rely on Ordell’s presence for comfort and to keep me steady. 

As we strive to balance a committment to prioritize our marriage and mutually support each other as we each pursue our callings, our presence matters. Whether we’re looking out at a crowd to find familiar face, exchanging a glance after a frustrating call on the sidelines, or simply standing shoulder to shoulder after a hard loss or an amazing win, the consistency of our presence FOR each other matters.

It might look like a sacrifice to an outside observer. The commitment to be present is a sacrifice. Saying yes to any choice to do something means saying no to something else. As a coach’s wife I see value in supporting my husband both for our marriage and ministry. I’m thankful for the chance to support my husband, even it if simply means holding his hand in a hard time, because standing next to him in hard times mean that I’m around to celebrate the great times together as well.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 24, 2016 and has been updated with fresh content.

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