BIG RED BLUES

For many years now my family has been crazy for all things football. Our love of the Arizona Cardinals has grown exponentially over the years, especially as the team has continued to improve and succeed in the league against so many odds.  We can’t get enough of our Cardinals team and have developed a fondness for many of the players – so much so, that the more we get to know them through media coverage, they almost feel like family to us.  Which is why the loss to the Carolina Panthers yesterday felt so personal.

Watching “my boys” suffer such a devastating loss yesterday and witnessing the death of our dream to play in the Super Bowl was almost more than I could bear.  Even now nearly 24 hours later I’m struggling with a sole-searing sadness that has rendered me in such a state of grief, I fear that I may need to seek professional counseling.  I’m thinking a prescription for an anti-depressant may be in my future.

The loss to the Panthers and the bid for the NFC Championship feels really personal to me.  The Arizona Cardinals are Arizona’s team; they are OUR team … they are MY team – and win or lose, I will forever be a faithful Arizona Cardinals fan and staunch supporter of MY team.  But because of this devastating loss, I don’t want to talk about the loss to the Carolina Panthers any more.  It’s just too sad. I don’t want to sit around and imagine all sorts of “What if” scenarios.

The season is over and I feel cheated out of our much-deserved victory after the incredible season we had.  I know that as a middle-aged woman, if I am feeling such devastation, I can only imagine how the coaches and players on the team are feeling today. While I merely watched the tragic ending of the season from the comfort of my own living room, they all were living the letdown up close and personal.  I keep telling myself “it’s only a game!”  But to each and every member of that team – this is their life, their careers and their livelihood … so yes, to them – it’s much more than a game.

My heart goes out to each and every member of the team. We feel your pain.  As much as we the fans wanted to win the NFC Championship and a chance to play in the Super Bowl – you wanted it more. Watching post-game interviews, your pain at losing was heartbreaking to witness. You are a team that cares about your fans as much as the fans care for you. You are a team with style and grace and class which is why it’s been so easy to fall in love with you.

Thank you for a great season! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.  There’s always next year!  No worries … your fans will always be here for you in a sea of RED!

Blessings and good wishes from a Forever Faithful and Loyal, Lifetime Cardinals Fan …

Kathy K. 

 

 

 

 

 

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It Just Can’t Be “UN”

Last year was a bit of a stinker for me.  It felt as though everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  My year was fraught with many difficult circumstances that at times, felt nearly impossible. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been surprised at the outcome of 2015 since late in 2014 God forewarned me to batten down the spiritual hatches for the upcoming year.

Each year I try to spend a little extra time at year’s end praying and seeking God’s guidance on issues I may need help with in the upcoming New Year. (You know – bad habits, self-discipline, insecurities to name just a few.)

Nearing the end of 2014 God repeatedly spoke in my heart telling me I was to be “unshakeable” in 2015.  The Scripture given me that went hand-in-hand with that unshakeable attitude was Psalm 16:8, which says: I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.   (ESV)

Quite honestly, when I received this word and Scripture I was a little freaked out. So freaked out, in fact, that I sheepishly asked God if I couldn’t please have a different word.  I’ve walked with God long enough to know that if God was asking me to remain “unshakeable,” it meant that my life was about to be shook up – and like a lot of people – I don’t always appreciate change.

True to form, my life began shaking last year on February 2nd and didn’t stop shaking until somewhere around mid-December.  Repeatedly throughout the year, God would quietly whisper to me, “I set the Lord ever before me; I will not be shaken.”  To which I repeatedly responded, “Oh yeah … I’m supposed to be unshakeable this year!”

What my unshakeable shaking year taught me was I believe I am a tad spiritually bi-polar which can best be explained in Romans 7:15-16:  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 

I really wanted to remain steadfast, strong and unshakeable throughout all of the changes happening in my life, but my human weakness was overcome by too many changes happening all at once and I repeatedly failed.

Recently I learned the easiest way to peel and separate a garlic bulb is to place a fully intact bulb of garlic in a jar with a lid and shake it for all you are worth. With enough shaking, the cloves will not only separate, but will actually shed their outer skin leaving perfectly peeled cloves. No muss, no fuss, no stinky fingers with that annoying lingering smell of garlic that lasts for days. Who knew?

Last year was my year for God to put me in a jar and shake me for all I was worth so that some of the garbage in my life could fall away.  Clearly I’m not perfect yet and have a long way to go but the shaking was God’s way of trying to regulate my spiritual bi-polar disorder. Because God loves me too much to leave me in my sin, He continues to try and separate me from the things that still have a hold on me.

To quote Joyce Meyer, “I’m not where I need to be, but thank goodness I’m not where I used to be!”

As 2016 progresses I’m praying for a little less shaking this year but I’m open to whatever path God chooses for me.  While some things simply can’t be undone, I’m hoping to eliminate some unwholesome attitudes and plunge headlong into the New Year with an unequaled passion for serving Christ.

Wishing you God’s unimaginable blessings for an unbelievably Happy New Year!

Kathy K.

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