Saturday, February 16, 2008


Yesterday at Nordstrom’s I saw several tennis togged women shopping. Seeing them reminded me of days gone by when I was one of those tennis women running loose in the Galleria with time and money to burn. Well, truthfully, I had more time than money. Even though it has been 6 years since I gave up the game, politics, and frustration of playing competitive tennis, people inquire if I still play. Most make the assumption it was my knees that no longer could take a beating, but it was actually my heart. Not my physical heart, but my heart attitude, spirit and love of the game. When I quit playing tennis I played at the Open Championship level. It was about as high as I was going to go playing league tennis. If I had been more into my own game and glory, and desiring to climb up the ladder, I could have played more HTA tennis which led to state and national levels. I didn’t do that because my ego was assuaged, it is due to the fact that I had played softball and volleyball traveling all around the state and country. That path held no allure for me. To put it biblically, I was content in Jerusalem and could not care less about going to Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world to play tennis. I only went out of state once to play in a tournament and that was at Hilton Head. And if you know me very well or know the Hilton Head area well, I was more into the place than the tennis. Tennis was the vehicle that got me there and whether I won or lost, I would be in Hilton Head the same amount of time. I quickly did away with the tennis (lost matches) to take in the beach and shopping. I have totally digressed, but seeing those women yesterday reminded me of the days when time decisions, my coming and going were mine to make. They reminded me how emotionally worn out I had become from the stress of staying at the top of the league, keeping my game sharp, and smoozing the captains so that I didn’t have to play with teammates that clearly weren’t as good as me, she says sarcastically now. My role on the team had become one of peacemaker and glue. When you have that many women together who have athletic abilities but never played any kind of team sports, you gots to have some glue and humor to hold the whole mess together. At the University Club I had been involved in all the leadership positions of our in-club group, beginning at Secretary and moving on up to being President. I was nominated to be on the Board of Directors for the whole club and lost by ten votes. The scuttlebutt had been I had actually been elected but the powers that be didn’t think I would bring enough power i.e. money to the post. So it was thought the significance of the 10 votes is the ten fingers or two hands that destroyed evidence of my victory. I was on our Tennis Committee and played a part in some major decisions for the club and probably contributed to the inevitable ouster of the head tennis pro and all the incompetence that came with her.

You can see from that long paragraph that nothing is as it seems on the surface. There are always tensions, give and take, heartache and despair playing havoc deeper beneath where most people don’t take notice or take notice and fain ignorance. The thing that had brought joy so many years had gone joyless. The situation had deteriated into the fact; I couldn’t even choose joy when it came to tennis. It had become a weight and burden too much to bear. I was looking for a way out and saw none. Of course there came the Word from the Lord asking me if I could “fry up some fish” while waiting for further direction from Him. (John 21) And I answered of course. That answer, that step toward God made all the difference in my attitude as I finished out my time on the court. Because I made the one step, God put into motion a series of steps that resulted in a huge life course change for me. And as they say, the rest is history.
I am feeling the rumblings of change again. I don’t know what direction they are taking or from what the sense of change is coming from. One sign I can see is in me. You would not know it from the length of my posts lately but I want more quiet, more time, and I find myself less socially active. Just looking at my cell phone bill, the minutes are down considerably. It is a season and as in all seasons, you have to know what part of the transition you are experiencing. I think I am coming to an end of this season of quiet and hibernation. These feelings certainly can be from a sense of the actual seasons and spring seems to be right around the corner here in Houston.

The message of sacred ordinary and embracing the moments seem to run hand in hand with those feelings and sense that God is about to do something. I just noticed it is the placement of an a or a c that marks the difference between sacred and scared. Only, I haven’t made that scared first step to see the sacred for the entire God ordained steps to fall into place. I am still trying to seek direction from Him on what that first step needs to be. So I find myself being asked, “Can you fry up some fish, can you serve breakfast while you are seeking a direction?” And of course I am responding with a yes, but maybe not so much with the same gung ho yes I made several years ago. My decision is, am I facing a sacred ordinary or a scared ordinary?

I think seeing those tennis ladies also reminded me of friends who I played tennis with. There was one friend who I think of quite often and wonder what if anything she is up to. She left tennis before I did. Tennis was one of her longer endeavors. In reality she began a lot of things that she never finished. She had a whole room in her house dedicated to lost interest. I cannot tell you how many times I talked with her about the Lord. We had great discussions and moments of almost clear clarity in understanding the Good News, but she would never accept Him. She told me that if she did, I would no longer be her friend because she knew I would be off to another conquest for the kingdom of God. I thought she knew me better than that. She had seen it happen to many friends who became Christians only to be abandoned by the person who introduced them to Christ. She never saw any evidence of change in her friends lives. If the truth be told, I think she was afraid of making any kind of commitment because her choice of jumping from thing to thing to thing. Because materialism and money is her love language, that is a huge reason she stays with her husband and doesn’t look around. Besides the fact he is drop dead gorgeous. Well that spiritual thought just disintegrated didn’t it?

I heard someone this week make an absolute statement about something that isn’t an absolute. Just the sheer assuredness of this person making the statement jettisoned me back to a much younger and idealistic time in my life. Just because someone says something forcefully doesn’t make it true. (Look at the resigned DA in Houston and Roger Clemens if examples are needed.) I questioned the absoluteness of the statement and the person did concede reluctantly there were other factors that could play into the situation being talked about. It did surprise me because this person is more of a monologue person than a dialogue person. I thought surely my comments would be dismissed or maybe by conceding somewhat was my dismissal.

Dana shares a change coming up for her on her blog. The funny thing about losing weight, it doesn’t make as many people happy as you would think it would. Even skinny friends aren’t that happy for the change. Weight loss is one of those funny things, it shows outwardly all the work that has been done inwardly. There is something about weight loss that reminds people they are stuck and haven’t made a change, whether is weight related or not. So Dana lean in for the blessing God has for you.

The skies are clouding up, there is going to be a weather change here very soon. I have been writing in stages having just returned from the Play grocery store. I bought some stuff for dinner tonight and perused the discounted Valentine’s candy. Didn’t see anything I could live without.

Dena emailed from the Mumbai airport. They are beginning their journey home. Just from the emails she has sent this week I see that this trip is a marker on her journey. I look forward to hearing about her trip and the insights she has gained from this travel.

Oh, go to Ali’s blog. She is doing an Irish give a way that sounds wonderful and her posts are good reading. I will be giving away another SPA gift card soon. Maybe a change will be in order…maybe a gift card for a massage. Dana’s imaginary friends will probably try to enter. In a comment on Ali’s blog, Diary of a Reformed Workaholic, Dana has threatened me (teasingly) with her Uncle Tony. Don’t forget Dana, I have a friend who has an Uncle Vito. And of course that makes me think of a song…everyone was Kung Ku fighting….well, it seems like I’ve only just begun, to blog. White paper and promises. A kick for luck and we’re on our way….. OK, this must stop right now. Oh, I am talking to myself. Talking to myself and feeling low…sometimes I’d like to quit seems like I’ll have a fit. Hanging around… OK…I really need to stop…wait a minute Mr. Postman…wait….Mr. Postman… Must fight urge to write and parody old songs…Fight it… I fought the law and the law won.


Dana said...

Geesh for a moment you had me thinking you were leaving...

I've noticed your absences at lunch. You are missed, but it is understood.

IMAGINARY? So you think it's just my imagination, once again, running away with me?...I'll just bet Ali would second that 'friends' and I, we have joy, we have fun, we have seasons in the sun...If it is just my imagination, and in reality, they don't even know me...then I'm alone again, naturally.

jsi said...

"A sacred ordinary or scared ordinary" - an exceptional, poignant statement.
My oldest daughter (11) wants to be on the tennis team this summer and I am getting our rackets prepared. Am I really ready for this? I think so...
Your tennis experience sounds as if there are story upon story, sharing upon sharing to be found on this very persoanl subject for you.

Ang baylis said...

Wow, what a powerful post! I'm sad I didn't meet you in Houston! Are you going to San Antonio in August?

You said something that is going to linger in my mind for awhile. When you said this, " She had seen it happen to many friends who became Christians only to be abandoned by the person who introduced them to Christ. She never saw any evidence of change in her friends lives." I pray I am not that kind of person. Thanks for reminding my of that.

It's so exciting to think about what God is about to do in your life! Oh, and I sure would have loved to see you play tennis. I love the game... and I love Hilton Head, too!

I hope you keep writing!
Angie xoxo

Lisa Pierre said...

more posted songs, please

Anonymous said...

Wow, Nancy-What a great post...I love the "sacred ordinary or scared ordinary." I dreamt about this salad rom the Bistro the other night. How pathetic is that? Dreaming about the Nord's shoe department is completely normal...but some salad with artichoke hearts...Mercy!!! I sooo miss that place. Hey, are you going to be in San Antonio???
Missy from OKC

Anonymous said...

"The thing that had brought joy so many years had gone joyless."

Made me think about our conversation last week. Enough said....right? :)