Spiritual Agility

Recently I went from a 62mm wheel to a 59mm wheel. The smaller wheel allows for quicker, more agile movements where the larger wheel gives more speed. 

So, as I was switching back into my smaller wheels I was also doing my Bible reading and took a picture. I love the look of God’s word next to my skates. Growing up in the church, most pictures of Gods Word, or Bible studies are always full of flowers, pretty colors, sunshine…yada yada yada. But the Bible is not all sunshine and roses. It’s to use in battle, to build God’s power into our lives and use it. And…to make us more spiritual agile. To learn how to respond to temptation quickly and effectively. To recognize the Spirit, and to move with the Spirit. Yes, the Bible brings comfort and praise, but it also is the key to working out the power in Christ…the power he healed with, the power to walk on water, and the power that raised him from the dead! I just don’t get that when I see a picture of a Bible laying in a bed of flowers…but next to my skates that have taken a beating, and are worn and torn, but new wheels, ready to hit the track once again, more agile…now that gets me excited about reading God’s Word!

Here’s some BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH “BIBLE” stuff to work out on:)

“Because you have satisfied me, God , I promise to do everything you say. I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as you promised. When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed. I was up at once, didn’t drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders. The wicked hemmed me in—there was no way out— but not for a minute did I forget your plan for me. I get up in the middle of the night to thank you; your decisions are so right, so true—I can’t wait till morning! I’m a friend and companion of all who fear you, of those committed to living by your rules. Your love, God , fills the earth! Train me to live by your counsel.”

Psalm 119:57‭-‬64 MSG

I want more…


Show me more about you Lord. Your goodness, your grace…and your wrath. That in one sentence is hard to say, and something I’m hesitant to pray. The goodness and grace, yes…but God’s wrath, who wants to pray for that unless it’s of course for people we hate. So what does this have to do with the Grapes of Wrath? Well, that’s the name of my travel team, so for obvious meaning…we bring the heat and gonna bring serious wrath and crushing to our opponents. But wanting more…that’s in reference to my journey with Christ…to keep showing me more about Him, His Word,  and eternity through my derby journey. So in the book of Revelation, the great wine press is mentioned along with the wrath of God at the end times. And the wrath of God is mentioned plenty of times throughout God’s word. And, well bringing the wrath for derby sounds fun…but for eternity? Nope. Doesn’t sound fun. Sounds depressing and how do I as a warrior for Christ warn others about God’s Wrath? Or do I? Well, let’s see if God answers my prayer and gives me more…wisdom and eternal perspective for God’s wrath. Tomorrow my team heads out of town for a tournament. I’ll be playing my heart out, giving it my all to bring home the win with my teammates. Together we will do our best to bring the wrath on all opposing teams. Let’s see what eternal perspective I skate away with this weekend. Stick around..

Revelation 6:16-17 (NET)

6:16 They said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?”

Slowing down the enemy 

Or in derby…the jammer.

Probably my favorite and one of the better things I do as a blocker. Catching the jammer and slowing her down, long enough for my blockers to get to me to goat or hit her. When I started derby I was sure I’d want to be the jammer, not only because you get to wear a star on your head but it’s the one everyone cheers for, the one who scores the points. But once I started scrimmaging and experienced the ability to stop the jammer, hold her, mess up her plan, and hit her out…that is the thrill of derby for me that makes me feel badass…something I never felt before. Wasn’t long before God started to show me that I’ve been badass many times in my spiritual life…slowing down and messing up the enemies plans! Times when my ex husband was high and would threaten me and our son, times when I was terrified for our safety, times when I didn’t know what to do. I prayed. On my knees. And when I didn’t know what to pray, I would read chapters from the book of Psalms out loud. I sought out counsel for my hard times, I applied tools I had learned could help with an alcoholic husband. I was badass by doing all those things. But it was so slow, with very little victory and the exhaustion and fear made it hard to see where I was going. Does any of that sound familiar? The enemy. The one who doesn’t want us to find the hope in Jesus Christ. That enemy we CAN stand in his way, we can mess up his plans by our choices, prayers and trust in God. As I’ve learned as a blocker, I don’t need some awesome hit that sends the jammer across the track, all I need to do is hold her…slow her down…keep her from scoring more points. So in life. Your prayers, your bible reading and your doing the word of God DOES effect the enemy! Sometimes my holding results in a painful hit on the jammer, sometimes me. Sometimes I have to let her go once we reach out of play but it’s given good time for my jammer. Sometimes my teammates come to strengthen my hold on her, and sometimes the opposing team come to hit the shit out of me for their jammer. So in life…being badass with Christ is hard and will hurt at times. Don’t let that stop you. You count and you matter. Don’t forget that❤

Here’s some BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH “BIBLE” stuff to work out on:)
“Remember what you said to me, your servant— I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me. The insolent ridicule me without mercy, but I don’t budge from your revelation. I watch for your ancient landmark words, and know I’m on the right track. But when I see the wicked ignore your directions, I’m beside myself with anger. I set your instructions to music and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way. I meditate on your name all night, God , treasuring your revelation, O God . Still, I walk through a rain of derision because I live by your Word and counsel.”

Psalm 119:49‭-‬56 MSG

Strategy…commit it to memory 

Last night’s practice was all about new plays, new strategy for a new season with a new coach.

Not only were our plays given a name, but also printed out for each teammate so we would have no excuses to not have it ingrained in our brains. We tackled 3 of them last night, broken down into steps so that we didn’t just memorize but had a complete understanding of the play, each position played , the purpose and the hoped for outcome. We all loved it, taking it all in and repeating the name of the play often. I wore my son’s old tshirt he wore back in his middle school days and taking it off last night all sweaty from an almost 3 hour practice…I thought how the blood of Jesus was shed so we could live life eternally. And how the Word of God isn’t just words to give us a little pick me up, but strategy that if we commit to memory we can live life on purpose. This is so much of what will be in my derby devotional I hope to get published. I can’t believe how I’ve realized the Word of God is like a playbook since I’ve started playing roller derby, and how I approach the Bible, it’s words and committing it to memory.  I hope that is something I leave behind when I leave this earth…to inspire others to look at the Bible as a playbook on life and commit it to memory. And you can’t do that if you don’t open the pages and read. Just read it;)

Here’s some BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH “BIBLE” stuff to work out on:)
“Let your love, God , shape my life with salvation, exactly as you promised; Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word. Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever— your commandments are what I depend on. Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me, guard it now, guard it ever; And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom; Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!— relishing every fragment of your counsel.”

Psalm 119:41‭-‬48 MSG

Pain if I do, pain if I don’t 

It’s been 11 years that I’ve had RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and I spent the first few years of it angry and depressed about it. Then…I catapulted into peri menopause 7 years ago. Well not only did that add to my depression and anger towards constant pain, I now wanted to punch throat anyone within hitting distance near me!

So this video is a clip I grabbed last week to show my team how I am working on my forward facing blocking. The first 2 days after that gym session I had good muscle pain, but then over the weekend the inflammation hit and again I found myself thinking I’m never gonna do that again. But I forgot, what I forget almost everyday…one of the main reasons I started and have stayed with derby. With my RA, I experience pain in most of my joints as if I’ve been in a car accident or my wrists, or shoulder, or rib is broken and that happens WHETHER I DO ANYTHING OR NOT.  In fact, my hands get flare ups the day after I fold laundry as if a car ran over them. Sooooo, when I started derby I realized that the hard hits and the bruises I got actually gave my mind strength and body a reason to hurt. I do have to watch flare ups and be mindful of when to get recovered but for the most part, RA hasn’t limited me but instead given me a reason to keep going cause the pain ain’t going nowhere. That brings me to why does God allow pain? That’s a loaded question and for today, I’ll keep it short. There is purpose in pain. Whether we like it or not, pain brings about more action then pleasure ever did. Pain is the signal that something isn’t right and something needs to happen now. It’s taken me 11 years to look at pain in a different way then just hating it. Without the pain of Jesus’s death on the cross, there would be no resurrection.  Without the pain of carrying my children and labor, there would be no birth. Without the pain of brokenness, there would be no healing. Some pain is completely uncalled for and unnecessary, such as RA-that for no apparent reason attacks a perfectly good joint. Unfair. But I choose to find what good can come from it and become stronger. And derby…wow has it shown me how to do that. Yep I’ve been hit for no apparent reason, fallen in pain and got back up. Determined to be on guard and not let those unfair hits take me out or off my game. I’m not gonna let RA do that either for this life given me. I’m sorry for those who also live with pain and I hope others find strength the way God has shown me. Because one day, the pain will be gone and I’ll dance the streets of gold…and definitely hip check a derby sister!

Here’s some BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH “BIBLE” stuff to work out on:)
“God , teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me— my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway! Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot. Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way. Affirm your promises to me— promises made to all who fear you. Deflect the harsh words of my critics— but what you say is always so good. See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways!”

Psalm 119:33‭-‬40 MSG

Make a way for others

God works through people and he uses us for His good.  I love this as a blocker…to make a way for our jammer to get points! In roller derby, blockers play both defense and offense and can switch back and forth faster then you can say roller derby. Derby is a fast game which requires quick thinking and quick feet. Most of the time I focus on defense, keeping the other jammer from getting thru our blockers (called the pack) and scoring on us. But when that jammer does get thru we all quickly look to see if our jammer needs help/offense. Here is a captured few seconds of what that looks like play by play:

My jammer has just been knocked down so I hold my place next to the opposing blocker near her while she gets up…

I hold back the opposing jammer and take the hit for my jammer allowing her to squeeze by me…

I keep holding the opposing blocker while my jammer (star on her helmet) gets free!

Jammer is my teammate Alaskan Thundra. Photo Credit: David Webb

Here is why I love blocking so much. We can’t always be the one to go on that mission trip, or preach from the pulpit, or visit the sick in the hospital…but we can help to make ways for those who do. Such as giving, donating, and tithing. And it won’t necessarily feel good either! Neither did taking that hit for my jammer. But, our actions to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, a hug to the lonely are ways for God to “get thru.” Does he need you making a way for Him? Can God reach others without you? Does a jammer always need her blocker, can she get thru without you? Well, I think the better question is…why are you playing? To stand on the track and watch the chaos around you and get called off the track cause you aren’t playing? Or would you rather play and feel the excitement when you do. The rewards, the bruises, the falls and the high fives. That’s why God wants to use us, he knows life is better if we participate. The blockers aren’t the ones with the star…but that’s not our focus. We know the star needs and wants us so they can score points for all of us, our team. Doing life with Christ puts you in a team…His team. Let’s make a way for Christ to get thru to others!

And now a song/video  to inspire you by my son,  Surfing SandWaves 💙Tell the World

God and the F word

Unlike in theater where an encouraging statement is “break a leg” (we actually do that on occasion,) in roller derby we give a slap on the ass with a “Fuck Shit Up!” or we like to post on our social media #FSU. So cussing, adult language, slang words…what does God think about it? Before I get into it, that should always be what you ask if you want to work out the POWER of your relationship with Christ. Not what others think, or even what you might think…but what does God think. It’s simple really, God thinks that what is going on in your heart is most important, because He cares about us, our desires and what we care about. Our heart, our mind and soul will go on for eternity, not our bodies so that’s where God is looking. Your heart and your mind. With that said, if in your mind and heart you are bitter and angry towards others and want to Fuck shit up, well He knows that. If in your heart and mind you have trained and worked hard at a sport or job and you say I’m gonna Fuck shit up and then celebrate with those around you encouraging them, well God knows that too. And if you say Fuck you bitch to your friend you love dearly who just called you out on something and you own it, He knows that. And if you say Fuck you bitch to the lady in the store line that won’t move fast enough for you and you have no thought as to her personal life, well God knows and sees all that. And to think down of someone who says “I can’t do this shit” but in their mind they are willing to try and trust God, or to look up to one who says “I can do this with God’s help” and then doesn’t and won’t even try…God knows and sees the heart, and from the heart He makes us more like Him.  These are the things I like to look for in others. And I’ve gotten to know God through His word and I know that often to reach us…he uses our language or what we are familiar with to speak to us and it is Him and only Him who can genuinely change our hearts to reflect His. For my kids when  they were little and my little now, I say cuss words are adult words and when they are old enough they will know how to use them, similar to driving a car. I don’t hush others around my kids, nor refer to cuss words as bad words. I want my kids to know how to look at the heart too and be able to tell the difference of how cuss words along with all other words are used. Words do mean things but the motivation behind them is where the power and source lies. Any word can be used to intimidate or bully, or encourage and build up. For me…a good part of my life was with pageant girls and traveling the United States as Mrs. USA and rarely were cuss words used by girls trying to use proper manners. And this present season of my life I am surrounded by strong women in derby who drop f bombs and hug or hit a bitch. I have found amazing women in both walks (and not so amazing in both walks) and I like to use my manners with some and not use my manners with others cause I know my heart and trust God with it. God and the F word…talk to Him for reals about what is in your heart and mind and trust Him with what He tells you to do about it. Which means you’ve got to also know God’s heart and desire. So the next time you say or hear a word that offends you or others, let it be a window into your heart and let God take a peek. And don’t dwell on what you think others should or shouldn’t do…

The F word…sometimes you just have to say “Fuck it” and put your Faith in God. Because Faith begins when we reach the “I give up” phase and give it to God.

Here’s some BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH “BIBLE” stuff to work out on:)

I’m feeling terrible—I couldn’t feel worse! Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember? When I told my story, you responded; train me well in your deep wisdom. Help me understand these things inside and out so I can ponder your miracle-wonders. My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word. Barricade the road that goes Nowhere; grace me with your clear revelation. I choose the true road to Somewhere, I post your road signs at every curve and corner. I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; God , don’t let me down! I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how.”

Psalm 119:25‭-‬32 MSG 

Working Out

Last night at derby practice we worked on our fast footwork, this morning I worked out my upper body at the gym. Working out…pretty much a must if you want a reasonably healthy life. Very much a must if you want to build AND see the muscles built in your body. And we all know that we can help our working out by what we put or don’t put into our bodies…and whether or not we work out and eat right to see our six pack or so we can drink a six pack, working out will give us better quality of life. And so…working out the POWER of Salvation…the power is there if you’ve received his salvation. Just like your bicep muscle is there. But you gonna use it? Grow it? Feed it? Flabby arms or strong arms…you get to decide. I want the POWER of my Salvation to be strong, not flabby or weak. What we do with what God gives us matters. My tattoo reminder of the hourglass, the time I have with what God gave me will run out, and so I rely on His Power and Grace to lead me and guide me. Let’s workout!

Here’s some BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH “BIBLE” stuff to work out on:)
“Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life; not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road. Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders. I’m a stranger in these parts; give me clear directions. My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!— insatiable for your nourishing commands. And those who think they know so much, ignoring everything you tell them—let them have it! Don’t let them mock and humiliate me; I’ve been careful to do just what you said. While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me, I’m absorbed in pondering your wise counsel. Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight; I listen to them as to good neighbors!”

Psalm 119:17‭-‬24 MSG

Recover Time

I have a body that needs extra recover time after a game. Maybe I’ll explain why someday in another post, but for now I want to share how after a game or even a workout, recovery time is crucial. God didn’t design our bodies to always be on the mountain top sword in hand fighting 24/7. As much as I love the thrill of derby, I couldn’t play if I didn’t let my body recover. Bruises need time to heal…and you can see my shirt says leave me alone! Coffee cup in hand and a cuddly blanket, all good things that God wants us to do when we do life, to rest in Him and just stop. Being alone is a good thing and finding the balance when to press on and when to sit and rest is challenging when life doesn’t slow down. Slow it down, grab the word of God, read His powerful words written for you and rest and recover in Him because soon, very soon…life requires you to get up again.

Here’s some BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH “BIBLE” stuff to work out on:)

“How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, God ; train me in your ways of wise living. I’ll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from your mouth; I delight far more in what you tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches. I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.”

Psalm 119:9‭-‬16 MSG

One God, One Voice

My travel team Grapes of Wrath 4.22.17 Photo Credit: Chuck Gay Photography 

Since I started roller derby back in 2013, I’ve been writing about all the things I’ve seen that is similar to becoming and living as a Christian. I am working on putting it all in a Daily Devotional format. In the meantime, this is my first season to make a travel team and still, there is more that God shows me in my everyday life. This is the place that I will take others with me on this journey of actively playing while writing this book.  I’m starting off with a statement similar to how my travel team coach warms us up. “One skate, one voice” with a rhythmic skate stomp. The idea is to get out of our heads and focus on us as a team. That we skate together, not as individuals. And so there is but one God, and His voice is the only voice we should listen to. But to often we get distracted, sidetracked or focused on ourselves that we can’t hear His voice and we don’t do life together with Him and our sisters and brothers. So what’s it gonna take for you to get outta your head and get your mind on God? Let’s go on this journey together cause it’s a daily choice…

Here’s some BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH “BIBLE” stuff to work out on:)

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God . You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God , prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.”

Psalm 119:1‭-‬8 MSG