Tag: coach’s wife

Pursue Retreat Recap

Pursue Retreat Recap

Pursue Retreat Recap

We’re just a few days past our first Pursue Coaches’ Wives Retreat and I’m so thankful for how smoothly everything went! I knew we were in good hands partnering with Illini Land FCA because we’ve attended other events that Liz has put together. Regardless, it’s one thing to attend an event and quite another to work together to put the details together, get the word out, prepare the talks for sessions and everything else that goes on behind the scenes.

If you’ve never put together a retreat your head may be spinning, so I thought I’d give you a recap of some of the behind-the-scenes things we did to prepare for our first retreat and a few things we’re already doing to prepare for next year.

Preparation

Before the retreat, we had a lot of different things to figure out. Thankfully, many of them were quick because of previous relationships our FCA group has with local venues. We knew which hotel set up would be best and we also knew the window of time we were looking at which narrowed our weekends down considerably.

Once our date was set (January 31-February 1) we needed to figure out a lot of the details:

  • Colors
  • Theme, Verse, Name
  • Design
  • Schedule and Format for sessions
  • Speakers
  • Promotion
  • Vendors
  • Extra activities
  • Food
  • Cost and what would cost include

Thankfully we had a small team and we were on the same page about things, When we needed to make decisions we could do so quickly. We also chose to keep things simple. For example. Rather than worrying about creating a program with outlines, we opted to provide people with a custom spiral notebook. They will get a lot more use out of the notebook and it was a lot easier for us in the long run. Liz created personalized name tags for each attendee which included the sessions they signed up for on Saturday. This reduced confusion significantly and was a very welcoming touch.

Another way we chose to make things easier is that we opened a block of hotel rooms, but left reservations up to registrations. They were free to stay at the hotel or make other arrangements. Regardless, we didn’t have to deal with pairing up roommates or figuring out who was staying at the hotel.

This also kept registration costs much lower. Our registration costs included the event, t-shirt, journal, pen, dinner, snacks, and a sundae bar. Breakfast was provided by the hotel and the event ended by lunchtime so our guests we fed well the entire time they were with us.

One thing we thought of late was a group discount. That will happen right away next year.

Promotion

This was the most challenging and frustrating part in many ways. Social media algorithms are a beast to battle but we were doing so over the holidays which made it even more challenging. We created videos, a Facebook event, and promoted the event and website link on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and through Email.

We shared about the event in targeted Facebook groups, Instagram stories, tagged people, we even did a registration giveaway. With all that, we still had people the week of the event who were hearing about things for the first time. (sigh)

The lesson I learned for next time: You can never promote enough. Just keep sharing and sharing and sharing. The Illini Land FCA team had a Facebook Header and I think that would have been a good thing for us to switch out on our pages. Next year we will hopefully have more people help us promote as well since we have previous attendees.

Pursue Retreat

Before the retreat, we also had several meetings to discuss different aspects of the sessions and to fine-tune our talks. Since the team was spread across 3 states this meant chatting over video calls, voxer, and a lot of emails.

On the day of the retreat, we divided our tasks into set up (thanks to Liz and Robbie for doing the majority of this work and making things look absolutely amazing) check-in, vendors, and making sure people were feeling welcome as they entered the event.

Thankfully women are pretty chatty and we didn’t have to do much to entertain women as they arrived but we were ready to make everyone feel welcome if needed! We also planned some activities to fill in the silent times that we didn’t end up using. We had an area for women to paint their nails, and another to spend time relaxing and coloring while they chatted.

Our schedule included group programming Friday night and breakout sessions on Saturday as well as a Q & A session. Everything was well-received, although I wouldn’t be surprised to hear women say they prefer more breakout options rather than the Q & A. We started Saturday morning with a lesson on the BOAT Bible Study method which is a great way to inductively study the Bible.

Preparing for Next Year

It’s hard to believe we’re already talking about next year but at the retreat questions were already coming my way about next year’s event. After a few days of rest, I sent a request to some of the team asking them to join me for a month praying about the word purse. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God has given me that word for 2020 and the thought I can’t seem to shake is that there are more Biblical lessons to learn around that theme.

One thing I know for sure is that God was present at our retreat and I am so incredibly thankful for all the ways he covered that weekend and brought the right group together for an awesome first retreat. I’m incredibly thankful for the leadership at Illini Land FCA who heard about a dream and kept it moving forward. And I’m excited to see all that will happen as this retreat continues to grow!

If you’re considering putting together a conference or event I encourage you to start by finding a team that believes in the same mission you are striving to accomplish. Find people who have different strengths than you but who also understands the vision you’re presenting. It’s important to have people who can unite around the same mission. But it’s also incredibly valuable to have a variety of strengths, gifts and experiences come to the table together.

Gift Ideas for the Coach’s Wife in Your Life

Gift Ideas for the Coach’s Wife in Your Life

gift ideas for the coach's wife in your life

It’s February which means it’s time to think about how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your favorite coach’s wife! I’m a huge fan of meaningful gifts and I’m also a huge fan of creating amazing experiences like when Ordell recently surprised me with a getaway. But today’s post isn’t about my favorite things. Instead, I’m featuring some of my favorite people as well as some ideas you might want to consider as you hunt for gift ideas for the coach’s wife in your life.

Experiences

Dinner and a movie is always great, but what about checking to see what theatre? A high school theatre performance is a great way to support your local community and add variety to your date night.

Try a new restaurant, check out a concert, or consider something even more adventurous. One year for our anniversary I surprised Ordell with a date at the gun range. I hadn’t ever shot a gun before, and we haven’t been back to the range since, but going to the range together helped me learn about something that Ordell enjoys doing outside of football and we discovered that I’m actually a pretty good shot!

Coaches’ Wives Specific Gifts

Friday Night Wives has a great book written by Jordan Harrell that is a wonderful source of encouragement called 31 Days of Prayer for the Coach’s Wife as well as an adorable line of clothing including one of my favorite tshirts May Your Coffee Be Strong and Your Season Be Long

Fly Fox Apparel has this ADORABLE tote for all those game day necessities as well as the cutest mugs, home decor and apparel for the whole family.

Gifts

favorite pens

These journal planner pens are my favorite and they are the perfect addition to the gift of a journal, book, Bible, Bible study, planner, or even an adult coloring book.

Is your wife a health enthusiast? What about gifting her a new outfit from Zyia Activewear? This is a great way to tell her that you want her to feel confident and comfortable in this high-quality workout gear. You could pair this with a few online fitness and nutrition sessions with Caitlin Caserta owner of Confident Fitness

Plan for a Future Getaway

There are some amazing opportunities for you to invest in your marriage by attending a marriage conference. In addition to spending quality time together on Valentine’s Day surprise your wife with a future getaway. FCA has marriage retreats at different times of the year including one in May in Central, IL. Coaches Outreach hosts retreats all summer long over various weekends.

Regardless of how you spend valentine’s day make sure you spend part of the weekend together, even if that means hanging out on the sidelines of the basketball court or the wrestling mat.

Where Everybody Understands

Where Everybody Understands

AFCWA where everybody understands

Last weekend thousands of coaches and hundreds of their wives headed to Nashville, TN to attend the annual American Football Coaches’ Association Convention and American Football Coaches’ Wives Association Convention

I have been a member of the AFCWA for 15 years. I know this because I attended my first convention when I was pregnant with Elijah. It was in Louisville and Elizabeth Smart played the harp at the luncheon. This was also the year I met Carolyn Allen and discovered she is just as kind and down to earth as her book led me to surmise.

This used to be the one weekend where I knew no explanations were needed. Every year I would look forward to conversations that didn’t start with a lengthy explanation as well as multiple questions about football. It’s almost always been my experience when interacting with coaches’ wives at the convention they ask wise questions and receive experienced answers.

The advice is thoughtful and kind and generally without an agenda or judgement attached. Seasoned wives offer advice with the understanding that younger wives are scared. Many women learn their husbands loose their jobs while they are at convention. Many learn they are moving, others receive promotions and will return home to new responsibilities.

For me, this weekend was the only place where I was able to gather varied perspectives about the coaching life, receive encouragement, and connect with coaches’ wives in person I rarely see any other time of year.

The American Football Coaches Wives Association board members work very hard all year to connect with coaches’ wives around the country. They volunteer their time and the committment is for multiple years. It requires a financial committment to be present at the convention which isn’t cheap, so there is certainly a sacrifice. The board has expanded over the years, as have the sponsors. The impact of awarding a scholarship to a coach’s wife pursuing her education is one of the first things that led me to pay attention to AFCWA and I’m thankful I did because it connected me with some amazing women. I’m also thankful it continues to be an important part of AFCWA.

Much has changed in 15 Years

Over the past 15 years I’ve learned about multiple opportunities for coaches and coaches’ wives to get away, many of them much less expensive and MUCH more restful! If your husband is attending the AFCA convention I certainly encourage you to find the time to join him if you can. However, you should know you won’t see your husband much if at all.

These conventions run parallel to each other. In fact, there are many times when I didn’t see Ordell other than to sleep the first two days. So, it’s something to consider when you are paying that much to getaway with your spouse!

If you would prefer a getaway that focuses on the coaching life where you and your husband will see each other I suggest you consider one of these events.

If you aren’t one for large crowds you may also want to consider whether this is the venue for you. The convention is a wonderful place, however coaching is a cut throat business and I will be honest it’s not pleasant to encounter the wife who you know spoke poorly about your husband to help elevate her own without your husband around. Those things happen at convention as well on occasion and it wouldn’t be fair to only present one side of the experience. 

And if you’re looking for a less expensive coaches’ wives retreat that doesn’t require you and your husband to leave the kids don’t forget there are other options for those too! There is still time to join us at the Pursue Coaches’ Wives Retreat!!

Coaches’ Wives: Your Community Needs You

Coaches’ Wives: Your Community Needs You

coaches' wives your community needs you

There is something that has weighed on me for years. Until recently I wasn’t sure what to do, but then I had the opportunity to spend a week with my friend during her husband’s deployment.

They haven’t lived in their current city very long and they aren’t near family. My friend works full time, volunteers, leads a ministry, and works hard to raise her two young daughters. Deployment adds stress to her marriage as she and her husband strive to parent their daughters, care for each other well, and focus on their daily tasks.

This makes for long, stressful weeks. A Military Times article states only 19% of military spouses report having excellent or very good support during a spouse’s deployment. In 2017 the same survey results reported 23% of spouses had the same response. While neither is great, the drop is important to note.

You may wonder why I’m sharing this here. I’ve explored the similarities between what military families and coaching families deal with for a while now and I believe there is something coaches’ wives should consider.

Did You Notice the Outcry from Bad Memories?

Recently our country faced an extremely tense and confusing political situation. For days we waited and watched Twitter to see when Iran would follow through on their threats to retaliate against our military. Would the United States enter yet another decades-long war costing thousands of lives and wounding hundreds of thousands more?

As reports of troops deployed began to appear something else started to make the rounds as well. Wives of veterans began to share posts. Articles about how hard deployment is, photos of their husbands deploying 20 years prior, stories of fear they fought as they waited for reports after bombings on military bases. Military families across the US are experiencing trauma from their past deployments. And it’s our job to listen.

And while listening is a great first step, we can’t stop there because veterans may be facing bad memories, but there are families of troops that still deploy regularly and with this month’s announcement that is going to increase rapidly.

Coaches’ Wives: There May Be a Wife Who Needs You

I’m not going to put words in the mouths of military wives (they are doing an amazing job speaking up for themselves) but I do want to try to highlight why I believe coaches’ wives are uniquely qualified to step in and encourage and support military wives.

First, those who serve in the military are sacrificing everything for our safety. Regardless of the benefits, they may receive it’s never enough. They are sacrificing their lives, their health, their time with family, and often their mental health.

Coaching families may not have the same stresses as military families dealing with deployment, but the similarities are there and we speak a very similar language.

Consider these examples:

Moving: I wrote a post The Fear that Lingers with Coaches’ Kids and talked about how even when our boys knew we were moving locally they still instinctively had a moment of fear. Several military wives and women who grew up in the military commented that most of what I wrote translates exactly for their lives as well.

Preparing: A military wife posted: Is nesting before deployment a real thing? If not I may need to get a pregnancy test! I knew exactly what she was referring to because I “nest” at the beginning of every football season. We joked a little about it, but I also made sure to let her know we’re praying for her family. Their sacrifice is different, but I understand the stress she is facing.

The unknown: As coaching families, we often hear rumors that we’ll be facing job searches soon. How much longer will we live in our home? Where will we go next? Military families deal with the same rumors.

Building community far from family: Coaching families go where the job is and military families go where the orders move them. Both require that we build support systems in our local communities that often don’t include family.

Burdening expectations: Recently a military wife shared with me that she realized she was still carrying unnecessary guilt due to the language the military uses during deployments. Wives are told that when their husbands are deployed they need to do everything they can to let them focus on their deployment. They shouldn’t fight or upset their husbands because if their husbands are distracted lives could be lost.

THINK ABOUT THAT. What kind of unrealistic expectation does that place on a marriage during deployment when a wife, carrying the burden of everything going on at home is also afraid of distracting her husband if she SAYS THE WRONG THING?

While coaches’ wives certainly don’t need to worry about a conflict leading to the type of tension seen on the battlefield we are very familiar with burdening expectations. Whether it is the parent who expects you to act as your husband’s secretary and mouthpiece or that family member who places unrealistic demands on your time during the season, the reality is that we understand what it’s like to bear the brunt of other people’s disappointments and expectations for us about our husband’s job.

Why Should I Reach Out?

The truth is that we have an opportunity to not only build a relationship with a family in our community who needs support but to build a bridge where the media has worked to create a divide.

There are some sections of the media that are strategically trying to create a division between athletics and patriotism. The rhetoric is exhausting but the only way to fight against hateful words is to prove with action that their words are lies. The best way to prove those know-it-all opinionists wrong is to actively and intentionally serve one family at a time the best way you can.

Actions speak louder than words. Coaching families value, appreciate and respect the tremendous sacrifice of military families and it’s time to show the military wives in our communities a little more activity how far that gratitude extends. We don’t need to make a public spectacle of our gratitude. That’ s not helpful. But as coaches’ wives, WE KNOW what is helpful, loving, and caring in overwhelming situations.

Still looking for a little guidance? Check out this recent article 6 Ways to Help a Military Spouse Dealing with a Surprise Deployment

Veterans who Coach

One of the main reasons the media rhetoric surrounding a division between patriotism and athletics is false is that many veterans adopt second careers as coaches. There is a significant overlap within these careers on the other side as well in that it is not uncommon for high school and college athletics to enlist once their playing careers are complete. Military and Athletic ties run deep and because of this, I believe it’s a natural fit for coaches’ wives and military wives to pitch in and support each other when they can.

The Most Important Reason to Reach Out to a Military Wife

I can list many additional reasons why I believe you should consider reaching out to a military wife in your community. Instead, I’ll say that the most important reason to reach out is that just like you, my coach’s wife friend, military wives are used to doing things without asking for help.

They are also used to not having the option to share openly about stressful situations, and they understand that there are days when cereal is a perfectly acceptable dinner. You have more in common with the military wife in your community than you realize and my guess is that you will enjoy spending time together as well as helping each other out in stressful seasons. It’s a special thing to have a friend you can count on when family is far away. It’s even more special when that friend just gets the why about your crazy life.

So, here’s my encouragement to you. Stay attentive to who the military families in your community are and reach out to them and let them know you are glad they are a part of your neighborhood. Do more to thank them for their service. If your kids are similar ages invite them over or meet up somewhere to get to know each other better. You’re resourceful, you know what to do and if nothing else, rely on the Golden Rule. Remember, your community needs your support just as you need the support of your community. Show your local military wives your home is a compassionate and safe space where they can talk freely. You know how important it is to have someone to listen when your husband isn’t around. Military wives need that too.

Editors note: This post was originally written September 2019 and was updated for accuracy January 2020

One Word 2020: Pursue

One Word 2020: Pursue

One Word 2020 Pursue

I’ve participated in choosing One Word for several years now, and I have found that each year has challenged me to consider different aspects of my relationship with God and to take a deeper look at my choices with intentionality. Past words Growth, Still, Ready, and Inquire have created filters for the seasons that have helped to block out the white noise and keep my focus on God.

Each year I’ve used the process outlined by the oneword.org Pick a Word outline. And with prayer and a few weeks of intentional listening, the word would become clear. This year was different. In the planning for the Coaches’ Wives retreat in partnership with the Illini Land FCA we met to decide on programming direction.

Liz texted me and said “I feel like we need to name this retreat Pursue” and I knew in my gut she was right. The group chose Colossians 3:17 NASB which says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” as the theme verse, so Purse fit, but Liz was honing in on this word for more than one reason. Colossians 3:17 is the last verse in a section of with the heading Put On the New Self even though these headings were added much later, they summarize the sections well.

Colossians 3:1-17 is a call to righteous living. It begins this way “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

Psalm 63:8 TPT

Our retreat will focus on encouraging coaches’ wives to courageously step into their full calling and to pursue living out their strengths, gifts, talents, and skills. Additionally, we will encourage wives to look to the Bible and learn from the Lord from other people’s stories.

Pursuing these disciplines isn’t a one-time thing. It’s sometimes daunting when we remember we will never finish learning about God. Our Creator is more complex than we can even begin to put into words. However, as we pursue understanding more of his character and heart we will naturally align ours with his and pursue the things that delights him. These are all good things and they will invite us to flourish in the totality of who God has created us to individually be.

As I reflected on the word Pursue and all the applications for the retreat I knew that this word was just as much for me as for the retreat. 2020 is going to be a busy year, the discipline of pursuing God to keep my soul close to his heart feels like the perfect focus for this season.

What Does This Look Like?

I think that we sometimes step into seasons expecting that since we are committing more intentional time focusing on God that things should somehow be easier. But, that’s not always the case. Not that this means life will be miserable, but I think we can consider stories like the Israelites in Joshua and the lives of the disciples and know that life will not automatically become filled with riches and glory. In fact, if you find yourself in the presence of someone demanding those things you need to walk away as quickly as possible. But that’s a side note.

In Joshua 1 Moses has just buried Moses at the top of Mt. Siani and Joshua is the new leader of the Israelites. They have wandered in the desert for 40 years and are ready to take the land they were promised by God.

God speaks directly to Joshua and says these words which are recorded in Joshua 1:1-11:

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide:  “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.  Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.  No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (emphasis mine)

Pursuing the Lord Begins with Listening

Joshua spent years in God’s presence watching and listening as he served Moses. He saw every miracle Moses performed at God’s direction. Still, when Joshua took command God began by telling him THREE times to be strong and courageous.

God knew what was ahead for the Israelites. He knew how hard the years ahead would be, but he also knew success was possible with obedience. That obedience would require the Israelites to take courageous steps of faith previous generations weren’t willing to take.

“Be careful to obey the law”, is the other thing God says to Joshua. We now live under the New Testament laws, which doesn’t cancel out all of the Old Testament laws, but Jesus’ death does allow us to live under a new covenant (Luke 22:20).

We aren’t only supposed to be careful to obey the law, we are to meditate on it daily. We should know God’s boundaries so well that when anyone twists God’s words for their benefit we identify it quickly and redirect our focus back to God.

Matthew 6:24 NIV says  “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” While someone may be tempted to take this verse legalistically and say point out that Jesus was only referring to money, the Exodus 20:3 begins lists the first of the ten commandments which is “You shall have no other gods before me.”

It is vital that as we pursue God we seek the truth even when it’s not the popular opinion. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who believed the Israelites could take the Promised Land the first time, had the other then spies listened the nation wouldn’t have wandered in the desert for forty years.

Coaches: Surprise Your Wives

Coaches: Surprise Your Wives

Coaches: Surprise Your WIves

Years ago I could tell that my husband was in need of a break, but as I looked at our calendars it was clear finding time was going to be a challenge because as a newer head coach he was still trying to figure out how to balance work and family. I packed our bags and booked a hotel in St. Louis and arranged for one of the coach’s wives to meet us at Elijah’s Upward basketball game on Saturday afternoon.

Instead of heading home we moved the car seats over and headed into St. Louis for dinner, dessert, and a restful evening. The next day we took our time heading back after grabbing our favorite Trader Joe’s goodies and for years I’ve known that if I ever do something like that again I need to figure out a way to pack Ordell’s laptop. It was the one thing I couldn’t get into the car without raising suspicion.

He Finally Surprised Me

Last month Ordell planned a 24-hour getaway for us that was a complete surprise for me and I have to admit I was pretty impressed. Not only did he pull off a complete surprise as far as the initial getaway, he also had additional surprises along the way.

The timing of this surprise trip was similar in that I’ve been buried in a project that has taken a lot of my focus and at the end of a very busy and extremely long football season (June-October) we needed time to have fun. Although we’ve been diligent about our weekly date nights on Wednesdays even those grow stale after a while when you are lulled into a routine of exhaustion.

Our weekend included exploring a new spa, a gluten-free bakery, middle eastern food, and some shopping. Ordell planned every detail of what we did while we were away focusing on many of our favorite things. Everything was preplanned so I didn’t have to make any decisions on than choosing a menu item. Similarly to when he was feeling exhausted in other areas and needed time away, this was a huge part of what made our time away special.

So here’s my suggestion coaches, surprise your wives.

  • Be intentional with a plan.
  • Take care of all the details from the hotel, to the date, to what will happen with the kids while you are away.
  • Prepare a budget so there aren’t any regrets when you come back either.
  • While away serve your wife. Let her sleep in if that is something she never gets to do.

I have to admit, the most shocking part of this surprise is that both our boys were in on it and neither one spilled the beans. I’m not sure if this is a good thing, because them not being able to keep secrets well has been a great comfort of mine. However, now that they are old enough to help arrange rides to and from school, I know this was helpful for Ordell.

I’m also deeply grateful for our local family members who were willing to stay overnight with the boys and carpool them around. It takes a village to pull off a surprise when you are busy, and in both our cases we needed help to make sure our boys were in good hands so we could relax while away.

If you don’t have family nearby consider swapping with a friend. I’m sure you will find that someone else will happily hand over their kids so they can have a kid-free night if you offer!

Start Somewhere

Is an out of town overnight out of reach with time or budget or both? There are a ton of ways to surprise your wife and show her you are intentionally thinking about the things SHE loves without leaving your house.

  • Send flowers
  • Show up with a babysitter and take her out for dinner
  • Arrange for someone to clean the house while you are out for the day
  • Take a day off work and send the kids away for the day

So coaches, take time every once in a while to invest in your marriage by surprising your wives. I guarantee you will both appreciate the effort.

Hey Coaches’ Wives We’re Cheering for You this Winter!

Hey Coaches’ Wives We’re Cheering for You this Winter!

Hey Coaches' Wives We're Cheering for You this Winter!

We’re heading into basketball, wrestling, hockey, and indoor track season! As an athletic trainer, I loved the transition to indoor sports. It was so much more convenient to throw a few water bottles on a cart and roll them into the wrestling room or gym rather than to pack everything up and haul it all outside.

In the Midwest indoor seasons start just as the weather invites everyone to bundle up and stay in so it works out perfectly. No more winter coats and no more hand warmers tucked strategically into boots, gloves, and pockets. Ah…it’s really a great time of year.

So Winter Coaches’ Wives we know you are kicking things off just as things are winding down for the fall sports and we want you to know that we see you!

We’re Cheering for you this Winter!

Wrestling tournaments that will last all weekend mean late nights followed by early mornings. Do you need someone to hang with your kiddos? Give us a call. We know what it’s like to need a break.

We know your season overlaps with two major holidays. This may mean you miss time with family. We want you to know coaching families stick together so you always have a place at our table.

Most of all, you have a safe place in the stands near us. We know the crowd can get loud and opinionated when things don’t go our way. Coaches’ wives stick together regardless of the scoreboard. We know your husband is doing his best to rally the team regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Please Ask for Help

We want to help you in the most specific ways you need. We understand that every season brings unique challenges. We won’t know how to help you unless you tell us exactly what you need.

  • Is there a night of the week that is particularly crazy?
  • Do you need help with carpooling?
  • What about a listening ear?
  • A quiet space to get away from the craziness?

We’re supporting you as best we can. We’re cheering for you any way we can this winter. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we’ll step up when we can because coaches’ wives stick together.

Dear Coaches’ Wives it’s Not Fair; Have Faith Anyway

Dear Coaches’ Wives it’s Not Fair; Have Faith Anyway

Dear Coaches' Wives it's Not Fair; Have Faith Anyway

It’s November which means for some coaches soon those dreaded conversations are going to start. It doesn’t matter that the team was plagued with injuries or that the star player refused to go to class making him ineligible for the latter half of the season. It doesn’t matter that a team is underfunded in scholarships or understaffed for the conference.

When a team doesn’t collect enough wins year after year many programs look to head in a new direction with the coaching staff. Rarely does the timing feel fair to coaches’ wives. We know how hard our husbands work and where the weakest links truly exist.

That player who regularly skips weight lifting because his alarm didn’t go off again and then complains that he isn’t getting enough playing time? We know the truth because there is one on every team. It’s not fair that he gets to spout off on social media while the coaching staff stays silent. I understand.

When it’s Time to Move on You Need to Have Faith Anyway

This is hardest when you know that the next coach is going to have an amazing season because of the awesome recruiting the current staff accomplished, or the bonds the upperclassman have who will lead the team well next season.

Regardless you need to remember that at every level where coaches are paid football is a business. Coaches are employees and there is an expectation of work production. It’s not fair, but it is what it is. Still, you can cling to the knowledge that God knew your time was ending even if you aren’t ready to accept things.

Have faith he is moving with you to your next opportunity and that there is a reason for the timing of everything. Embrace your new community. Don’t be afraid to bloom where God is planting you. Don’t dwell.

When Staying is Hard You Need to Have Faith Anyway

Maybe your situation isn’t about moving. Perhaps you are the ones left behind. Whether it’s because your husband receives a promotion or he interviewed for a different job and it went to someone else, you have to come to terms with living another year away from family or in a town you didn’t choose to live in other than for a job.

There are plenty of reasons coaches’ wives eagerly anticipate moving. Are you having a hard time finding your footing in your community? Is work scarce? Is it more expensive than you anticipated? Is there someone on staff that grates on your nerves? Have you convinced yourself a new location will make you happy when the truth is you need to learn to be content in all circumstances? (Philippians 4:11)

You’re disappointed and feeling like life isn’t fair because you see all these other families moving and you’re stuck in your community for another year. I get it, I’ve been there. You need to have faith anyway. You never know, there may be someone pretty amazing you need to connect with this year. Look up! Don’t miss out!

You aren’t Promised a Fair Life – You Need to Have Faith Anyway

For some reason, many Americans believe that life is about fairness. Interestingly, fairness has a fluid definition. Each person believes life is fair when they receive what they want when they want it which is odd since this principle doesn’t hold true for Christians in most countries.

God never promises us life on earth will be easy. In fact, we read quite the opposite in the book of James.

James 1:5-8 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. v. 12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial. But what about those verses about faith just before? When we ask for wisdom in faith God will give us what we ask for, and James writes this with confidence because it is something that is a part of Jewish history and a part of his family’s story.

James is the brother of Jesus. He would have known his Jewish history growing up attending temple, and certainly knew his brother’s story well. Hebrews 11 summarizes stories of those who gained God’s approval through faith. (v. 39)

Hebrews 11 :1-3 says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith, we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

  • Faith is the assurance of things hoped for
  • Faith is the conviction of things not seen
  • By faith we understand

Hebrews 11:7 Noah was warned by God about the flood and told to build an ark which wiped out all of humanity other than Noah’s direct line. By faith Noah trusted God would sustain them and in Genesis 9 God creates a covenant with Noah.

Hebrews 11:8 Abraham by faith trusted God’s promise that he would have as many descendants that number the stars in the sky even before Ishmael and Isaac were born. v 11 By faith Sarah, past the childbirth years, became pregnant.

Hebrews 11:23 Moses by faith was hidden by his parents rather than killed at birth by Pharoah’s command and given to the Egyptian Princess. By faith, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.

Hebrews 30 Joshua by faith led the Israelites around the walls of Jericho for 7 days until they fell down as they began their battle to take the Promised Land.

John 19:30 Jesus by faith said “It is finished” while hanging on a cross sacrificing his life for our sins. Trusting God’s plan was best even though it hurt at that moment more than anything we could begin to imagine.

It Takes Courage

Having faith rather than clinging to the desire for a fair life takes courage. When we exchange the false narrative that we can have control for the conviction of things not seen there is a steadiness that grows.

We exchange anger and frustration for peace, anxiousness for calmness, fear for trust, and sadness for joy. This doesn’t mean that we won’t have moments of mourning. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel disappointed. However, we will understand that God is present with us as we mourn and there will be an underlying understanding of a bigger picture.

When You’re Tempted to Cling to Fairness

So here’s the thing Coaches’ Wives. As November wraps up you may find yourself tempted to yell “It’s not fair!” and I want you to know I understand.

But I think you are stronger than you give yourself credit for, and so I’m going to encourage you to dig deep starting today. Start reading over some of these stories from Hebrews 11. Read the Gospel of Luke or John. What does it look like to have faith that’s so courageous God inspires people to document it for all believers to study for generations?

Find your people. Tell them you may need them to remind you to have faith this month. Ask them to hold you accountable now, and if you aren’t praying together regularly, now is the time to start.

You will get through whatever this month holds. And if you need some extra support you know where your Friday Night Wives are hanging out. Come find us. Hear our stories. We’ve been there.

Living Out Our Primary Calling Anywhere

Living Out Our Primary Calling Anywhere

Living Out Our Primary Calling Anywhere Acts 1:8

“Prayer and Waiting is NOT what I signed up for.” We were walking out of Bible Study Fellowship and I needed to get on with my workday, but I knew this statement was headed somewhere fast.

“I mean, I’ve been praying and waiting for things to change for months now. What if I never get the house of my dreams? What if we don’t get to retire when we planned? I REFUSE to live in a house that isn’t up to my standards and for that to happen things need to go a certain way.”

I was having a hard time figuring out a response. With eight moves under our belt, the most recent three months ago I’ve yet to choose a house based on anything other than proximity to the football field, the current needs for our family, and affordability. I’ve never selected a community to live in based on a dream location or even a preferred one. And while I’ve heard rumors that coaches retire I’ve never actually one.

“Oh, you don’t get it.”

“Well, you’re right,” I responded. “I don’t, because I chose to marry a football coach that meant saying no to a lot of other things. But can I ask you something? Didn’t our teacher say that Acts 1:8 is our primary calling?” My friend agreed she had heard the same point. I asked why she was so upset with the encouragement to wait and pray on God’s guidance and then she said something that left us laughing hysterically.

“Because I just know it’s my luck that while everyone else will get to go travel the world I’ll be stuck right here in the middle of a cornfield.”

Acts 1:8 says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

This was Jesus’ encouragement and charge to the disciples as he was preparing them for his final separation from them and nothing has changed for today’s believers. It doesn’t matter what job we choose, where we live, how many children we have. Married, single, any age, the call is the same. Tell people about Jesus.

Thankfully, Jesus spent three years living his life transparently with the disciples and four disciples wrote about their experiences. Even today we have a lot of information to study as we figure out how to best show people Jesus’ character in contrast to spiritual teachers of the time.

Jesus was such an excellent leader that many coaches build programs that highlight principles for living based on his character. They use athletics to teach teamwork, serving teammates, integrity, perseverance, sacrifice, and respect for everyone. All characteristics Jesus lived out.

In our coaching journey, there have been amazing opportunities for my husband to tell people about Jesus and to use the challenges of football to encourage players to sharpen their characteristics to look more like Jesus.

This calling is a good and hard one. It involves compromise that often means we live far from family, don’t earn an ideal salary, and don’t live in our preferred locations. Still, there is rarely a month that goes by without a reminder that Coach has made an impact through the years.

But it has often left me wondering. Have I considered the opportunities I have to also model Jesus’ character? As wives, we are often on the sidelines, in the background, or taking care of the home team. How does that reflect Jesus?

In John 13:1-17 we read a surprising story, especially when we consider the time period. Jesus is eating with the disciples and after the meal, he chooses to wash everyone’s feet.

Jesus didn’t care that he was the leader of the group or that it was the job of servants to wash feet. More than that, he didn’t take short cuts John 13:4-5 saysso he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

Jesus did every part of the feet washing from preparation to cleaning and when Peter tried to stop him Jesus explained that this was necessary. He didn’t complain and he didn’t make a show about announcing what he was about to do or ask for help. He simply got up from the table and began to serve his team.

There are so many moments when I’m exhausted during the season. I want to leave the dishes piled in the sink or ignore the laundry because it’s not my clothes that are causing the need for additional loads. But the reality is that Jesus teaches us that even these tasks have the ability to reflect his character when we focus our hearts on the big picture. Tell people about Jesus.

Are you wondering why my friend and I found her commentary about the cornfields so hysterical? On the other side of that particular field is a highway and just across from there is Target, a mall and every restaurant you can hope to eat at, so when my friend announced how tragic her life would be to stay home rather than travel to the unknown she was focusing on the few feet in front of her and discounting the reality of her community.

Every situation is different and there are certainly much harder places where praying and waiting exist.

  • Infertility
  • Job loss
  • Cancer treatments
  • False accusations

As the reality sunk in embarrassment rose to laughter. God calls us to challenging situations, and those are often where we see the most personal growth. But this growth won’t happen if we are so focused on the small hurdle in front of us we refuse to consider that our way is not God’s best plan for us.

Yes, hard seasons stink. However, James tells us to expect them. When we encounter a roadblock, why not pause to inquire whether it’s God interceding in the situation for an important reason? What if God is asking you to live out your primary calling just around the corner?

To the Coach’s Wife Who Thinks She’s Failing…

To the Coach’s Wife Who Thinks She’s Failing…

your not failing as a coach's wife

I always have high hopes for August.

When Ordell was coaching college and players reported to campus the first few days of the month I had a few weeks of days with a flexible schedule. I would purge our closets and storage areas, organize the pantry and put freezer meals together, and in my more ambitious months I’d paint a room like a bathroom or learn a new craft.

When I started working outside our home again, I tried to maintain the same August routines. Purge, stock up on freezer meals, and learn a new fun skill. But I failed, or at least I FELT like I failed. My August routine wasn’t the same, and I was frustrated.

I’m almost embarrassed to tell you it never crossed my mind that I couldn’t do the same things because I had sixteen fewer hours at home each week. Instead I increased my caffeine intake to focus more and sleep less.

I’m sure you’re aware this craziness only lasts so long, and what I knew but chose to ignore is that when your body is exhausted, you crave carbs and sugar. In tandem my stress, weight, and misery increased.

By the time I found an endocrinologist (after we moved and went through another football season) my hair was falling out in clumps and I could barely stay awake for more than a few hours.

My unwillingness to pace myself in personal or career goals almost left me bedridden, and I share my story in the hopes, my friend, that if you are telling yourself you are failing that you will stop right now and evaluate your situation.

You are doing a fantastic job! More than that, if you were doing half of what you are juggling you would STILL be doing a stellar job of getting through each crazy day. Ready the rest over at Friday Night Wives