Sunday, March 19, 2017

Grandma's Bible

Has there been someone in your young life that you respected and looked up to, someone that was extra special to you?

For me, that is my grandmother. She lived only a couple of houses away. I had the opportunity as a child to visit often. She usually had something baked to offer and always an ear ready to listen. I can’t remember her giving lots of advice, but she always seemed supportive.

For me, one of the reasons she is so special is that she was the person who took me to church. I knew by the way she acted that she believed and carried out what she read in her Bible. Sometimes when I would visit she would be reading it.

As a teenager I thought that owning her Bible someday would be great. If she had marked it up in any way such as I have mine, maybe I would learn something new about the Bible or about what was important enough to her to mark a certain passage. I thought owning that Bible would be like having a piece of Grandma’s heart and soul with me.

So, I asked her one day if I could have her Bible after she dies. “Of course you can!” she remarked, somewhat surprised by my request.

Grandma has been gone now for seven years. The person who has her Bible is not me. I have requested getting it several times, have been shown it by this person who possesses it, but it has not been turned over.

Evidently the person who now has this Bible feels a need of her own to keep it even though she knows how badly I would love to have it -not for the material possession of it, but for the emotional and religious reason.

I have given up the hope of ever owning Grandma’s Bible. But I will not surrender my memories of Grandma, the good times taking rides in the car, the things she taught me, the time we spent together mostly doing nothing except talking, occasionally baking a cake. I will remember her serving me cookies and a drink while we sat on her porch, she in her chair and me on the glider, watching what was going on in the neighborhood while we chatted. I will remember sitting around her kitchen table reminiscing about the good ole’ days when she grew up or when she met my Grandfather. I loved hearing stories of her playing basketball way back when. I had been amazed that girls were even allowed to play basketball when my grandma was in school for you see she was born in 1905. She also was not a tall woman, only about 5’2” or so. To think that my sweet grandmother had enough guts to play on a team amazed me.

But she had determination all through her life. She didn’t quit when times were tough nor did she give up hope. She was a joyful woman and people liked being around her even when she was in her 90’s and early 100’s.
Her life had been put on hold for several years while her youngest son recovered, not fully, from a car accident when he was in his 20’s. He lived with her the rest of his life, dying only a couple years before her. She cared for him throughout his life without complaining. That’s the kind of spunk she had.

Her belief in God and the way He chose things to take place in her life was evident. She trusted His word and knew He would guide her.

I may not have her Bible but I will always have Grandma in my heart. That is way more important than being able to hold onto a material thing.

Thank you Grandma for being the wonderful loving woman you were.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Thank you Coaches Nick and Nate Jacubec

Coach Jakubec,

As the grandmother of a special young man, I want to thank you.

Thank you for taking on the 9th grade basketball team.

Thank you for the respect you showed to your players and for earning their respect back. It showed throughout the season. I watched as you remained cool, never screaming or degrading any of your players, never showing disappointment in the way they played, and showing pride when any of them excelled.

I appreciate all the time you gave up in your personal life for practices and games.

Thank you for teaching -teaching the game to the team.  I know you put in a lot of hard work.

Thank you for learning -learning how to coach; learning about the guys on your team and recognizing strengths and weaknesses in each boy. Learning how to utilize those strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Learning how to instill pride and confidence in each player.

Thank you for giving each boy on your team a chance. A chance to be on the team, a chance to grow, to play and to shine. Thank you for creating a "TEAM".

I am proud of the season our team had and how well they played together. The boys deserve a lot of credit as do both of the coaches who worked with them.

I hope you enjoyed our family chant when my grandson was put in the game:

"Hey McCullough's, what time is it? "

"It's ANDREW.......time!!"

One more thing, a special request from  me....Can you guys move up with these boys and become their JV Coaches?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Manners, Morals and Pride

I can't get over the great feeling that was with me all day Thursday. Those feels are still washing over me today.

Feelings of pride in my grandson, Andrew. You see, his 9th grade basketball team finished playing their last game Wednesday evening. He didn't anticipate getting any playing time since it was a play off game.

Andrew has wanted to be on the basketball team for the past several years. He tried out for three years but this was the year he made it on the team. The coach told him straight up when he put him on the team that he probably wouldn't get a lot of playing time.

The coach told him he was a hard worker and a nice kid. Both are true. Andrew has had to work hard for most things in his life from the first day of his premature life. Things don't always come easy for him. He has struggled through a lot of things in life that most people take for granted - breathing, eating, bad eyesight due to having been given oxygen as a baby. He has gone through more surgeries in his young life than most people go through in their entire life.

Yet Andrew is such a positive, caring, and kind person. He has a commitment to God that he lives in his life everyday. He sets the bar high for his friends and teammates, sometimes reprimanding in a nice way when their language or words are not the best.

Andrew is grateful and not ashamed to show it. He thanks me always when I do things for him, take him places, give him things, etc.

And grateful would be a good word to describe how he felt when he was put on the team. When the coach told him he wouldn't play much, he told the coach he didn't care. He just wants to be on the team. He worked hard during the practices and would have gone for more or longer practices if he could.

What makes me swell with pride over this special young man now is his manners and gratitude. After the game was over, he told his coach, "Thank you for having me on the team."

To that, the coach replied something like, "I would have you on my team any day, Andrew!"

How many kids take the time to thank their coach period? Probably not many.

You Go Andrew. You are my Brave Heart as you always have been!

Monday, December 19, 2016



The Team


Team (noun) –

a group of players forming one side in a competitive game or sport

Basketball Player Dribbling Ball Collection Stock Photo

To be part of a team, you have to work hard at the sport. You have to practice, hone your skills, practice moves, learn plays, and then practice it all over again and again.

You have to give it your all, more than you think you have to give sometimes.

To make it on a team, you have to try out! To make the team, you show you give all you’ve got for the team; that you will continue to give all you have, even when times are rough, when you’ve had a bad day, when things are not going the way you wish.

So once on the team, show respect for your teammates and the coaches. Work together to better each other, all of you. Stick together.

Build each other up. Help each other improve in the areas each of you are lacking. Accept criticism if it is the kind that will make you better.

Have faith in each other, in the ability of each player to do their best moves. Accept that everyone is not good in all areas. Each player has something special to give to a team, yet seldom is one player an expert in all areas of the sport.

Remember, tear down a team member and you tear down the pride of the whole team. Each member of the team tried hard to get there to do his or her part to earn the win against the opponent. The opponent is never one of your team members.

As the definition above says, “A team is a group of players forming one side in a competitive sport.

As a team, be one side. Be one team. Support each other on and off the playing field.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's Not All About You!!

Wow! That's an eye opener statement.
Has anyone ever told you that?
Better yet, have you ever taken the time to say that to yourself or to just realize the truth in that statement?
I started attending a class at church about rejection. It is based on the book, "Uninvited" by Lysa TerKeurst. 
In Chapter 3, Lysa tells a story about a woman at the gym who hates her. Lysa gave many reasons why this woman hated her, i.e., Lysa stepped into this woman's space when she got on the elliptical next to the woman, she tried to stay in sync with the woman's motion, trying to keep up with her, and then, Lysa took a phone call while working on the elliptical next to this woman.
The woman finally had enough and left the elliptical and went to the treadmill instead.
Lysa carried the thought in her head that this well-toned woman hated her for what she had done.
One day, she saw the woman at the gym and the woman smiled at Lysa, as if she recognized or knew her. Or maybe she was saying to Lysa, "Good job coming to the gym today. I have seen you here before."
Lysa then realized that all the hate and rejection she had assigned coming from this woman was only her "perceived rejection" conjured up and running in her head.
So you see,
 It is Not All About You!
I have been in positions where I think I am doing something nice for someone or for a cause. I remember making suggestions at my past job for things that I felt would help the company. My boss would say something like, "That's a great idea!" and then dismiss me.
I would walk away feeling like I had added something of value to the company. I would wait to see if the idea was implemented. Most times nothing came of them. Sometimes they were but someone else got the credit. I made the suggestions to help the company but felt left out or ignored when the ideas were not used.
Maybe they were great ideas but the timing was off or the company didn't have the time or resources to pull them off.
So really,
It is Not All About You!
One morning, in the midst of a conversation about all the stress my husband was going through, I interjected my thoughts, analysis and solutions as I perceived it.
My husband stopped talking and said, "This is not about you!"
He explained that sometimes a person just wants to talk, let off steam, and have someone listen. He didn't want my "I know what you should do and say" opinion.
I realized then,
It is Not all About You!!
In trying to be a good friend, when she has a problem, I feel I have to offer a solution. What do I know? I am not living through what she is.
Sometimes all my friend wants is an ear. Guess what?
It Is Not All About You!