Thursday, June 26, 2008


I bruise easily.
I am aware of this.
I have done it all of my life.

Recently I have caved under the pressure of, well, let's face it the rest of the world and have fallen in love with the game known as futbol. Honestly, this new obsession has taken me by surprise. I had heard rumors of my chums playing soccer (as we Americans call it-it just doesn't sound as cool, however.) and casually agreed to play one sunny, Sunday afternoon. Once I felt the sheer delight of taking on players double my size, scoring my first goal, and running around like a crazy, "gazelle" (as I've been told I do) it was all over...I am in love with soccer. There are however, a few things I have come to grips with as a result of playing this beloved game.

#1. (As mentioned above) I am and will be forever covered in bruises.

There is NO way around this. Some may believe that bruises become a sort of trophy of athleticism, a sign of how hard core I am, or merely another opportunity for God to display His creativity in the amount of colors that can be seen currently on my thigh bruise. I, however, gaze upon my bruised infested legs and am once again reminded that it is quite possible that I may never be thought of as a lady. I mean seriously, try sporting a pretty little skirt and some heels (which we all know I rarely can handle) with massive, multicolored bruises up and down your legs. I highly doubt a real lady could hack that. I promise you on my wedding day my knees will have bruises on them. With all that said, I have come to realize that love requires sacrifices. And so it is, I love soccer and I will be bruised.

#2. I am under some delusion that I am not a small person.

I rarely think about how small I am. Honestly, I tend to think that in general good things come in small packages and have accepted the fact that, yes, I am done growing. I never thought this over-acceptance could be an issue. But, I was wrong. In the heat of the game, I have repeatedly run full force at players (majority of them being men) in an attempt to get the ball. The funny thing is it is not until they are JUST about to plow over me with momentum that all of a sudden I recall that I am a small girl. When the reality check is triggered by the mere mass of "Player A" about to take me out, I quickly blurt out,"Ooo, sorry!"(FYI "Player A" is not fat, I used the word "mass" simply to convey to you the severity of the situation). As this encounter repeatedly occurs, I ask myself a few questions: What exactly am I apologizing for? Is it for being small? For playing soccer with zeal? Taking on a grown man double my size? I don't really know. After further analysis, all possibles do not necessitate an apology and therefore I will never apologize again.

#3. I am and never will be David Beckham.

I cannot, " Bend it like Beckham" and I need to accept the truth and move on. I can't actually even kick the ball successfully with my left foot which means that on the half the field, I kick like a gimp. Shame. As I take some time to let the realities of these statements sink in, I must focus on the positive. I can still CLICK a little Xhosa! (That is Khosa for you non-clickers.)

The truth is I will forever be changed by the game of Soccer.
I will be bruised.
I will try to remember I am small.
For I love soccer,
and I am pretty sure it loves me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Reason I Was Created.

Do you ever have those rare moments that overwhelm you so much with joy that you stop, take a breath, and think to yourself, "THIS is the reason I was created?" I was just recounting one of those amazing moments with a dear 180 student the other day...When I had the privilege of living in Mama Africa I would daily walk down the hill from my house to the classrooms where I taught darling African children and breath in that moment. Gazing across the green rolling hills of rural South Africa as the sun rose, the freshness of the new morning created by my Jesus, Preschool babies yelling, "Miss!" and the droves of blue-uniformed darlings doddling down the road to school. Taking it all in I would smile so big I would almost squeak. That is a delicious memory that I cherish. Walking away from this recent coffee conversation I found my heart a little sad that those mornings are in the past. But alas, Jesus knew what I was thinking and this is the best part of the story...

That night at church I found myself lost in worship, delighting in Jesus and feeling like a little child so full of joy I could burst. In the midst of it all I heard Jesus use the same words I had used earlier that morning. He said, "Jen ( I love when He calls me that!), THIS is the reason you were created." What a relief to know that the call of God on my life is not conditional upon location (Africa or the States) it is simply to know and love my Jesus. That's it, phew. Loving Jesus? THAT I can do.