Saturday, March 20, 2010


This past week I've been teaching some awesome ladies that I work with at the YMCA how to swim. I got to talking with one of them about how I started swimming competitively at a really young age, and the crazy things my family did that revolved around me and Clayton's swimming. I let my mind drift back to those swimming days and thought about the investments that my swimming coaches made in my life.

I remember with vivid detail my coaches from when I was 5 to about 8. Coaches Aubrey, Dale, and Justin. They taught me to love swimming, work hard, and to be a part of a team. Some of the best memories of my life revolve around them and Texas Aquatics or the Aquadillos. I can talk for hours about them. I can remember specific races we traveled to, pools we swam at, cheers we did before races, and that Coach Dale got perms. They also took the time to teach me precise stroke technique, of which I am still very grateful.

The sad thing is that I can't tell you a single one of my high school coaches' names. But I can tell you what they taught me. Money talks, and if you don't win the race you don't matter. I guess it's no surprise I can't remember who they were, and that it took me a few years to step foot in a pool after high school.

It got me thinking about the impact you can have on a kid, even a really young one. It makes me so thankful that Back2Back invests in children of all ages and gives them such positive role models. Those coaches took the time to invest in my brother and I, and it's paying off 20 years later. I only hope that I can invest in the kids in Mexico the way my coaches invested in me when I was little.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Drops in a Bucket

I've been pondering what to write about for several weeks now. I'm obviously not in Mexico yet, and I haven't been able to do much work on fundraising, but God is definitely preparing my heart for the journey. How do you write about the work God is doing in your heart and actually do it justice? I sat with my friend Jenny for at least 2 hours at Panera this afternoon talking and still couldn't put adequate words to it. But I'll try nevertheless.

"Expecting stuff (or a significant other, parent, child, or friend) to fill you up is like holding out the dusty cup of your soul to catch the last drop of water from a broken faucet. It may feel a little wet, but there is nothing else coming to wash away the dust and fill the cup....You have been given an invitation to come and indulge in the feast of God's love. Don't settle for less...Don't expect cheese on a cracker to be enough when a five-course dinner is prepared in the next room. God has so much for you. His love is lavish. His grace is abundant. The invitation is free." Angela Thomas

The author goes on to talk about how your cup needs to be completely full of God first, and that when you get the drops of water from others it will cause your cup to overflow. While I'm still mulling this concept over in my own personal life, it has released me from expectations I place on myself when I am working with the orphan child. I often expect to be able to fill their cup fully, and that if I lend my listening ear, offer enough hugs, meet all the physical needs, and encourage them, their cups will run over. There are obviously many things wrong with that statement, and I often feel discouraged and ineffective in my plight to rescue these children. I am by no means powerful enough in my own strength to fill anyone's cup, I am flawed and make mistakes, and there are others out there dumping the water out of these precious children's cups faster than I'm filling. But most importantly, these children's cups need to be full of Jesus! While my flawed, conditional, earthly love is good and important, it can never be enough. They need the saving grace of Jesus, the perfect love of the Father, to fill their cups. Many of you who have prayed for me have often reminded me that it is not my job to save the orphan child, it's Jesus' job. It's my job to love them well, teach them who Jesus is, and partner with the Holy Spirit in the work that he's doing. I'm enjoying the freedom that comes from realizing (once again) it's not my job to save them, while feeling increasingly burdened to pray that these children's cups are filled with Jesus and the heavenly Father's perfect love and not just my drops in their buckets.

My mom told me to keep my blogs short. Mom, when have I ever done something the easy way?!? You'll read it all because you love me and I'm your kid, and I'll work on making them shorter for you or adding some pictures.