#SheriFootball – Before I Die

I love football may be an understatement.

Football mirrors life.

Whether it is in the boardroom or in the family room, football is the best reality TV show. Each of us can relate in some way to the game – major paydays and layoffs, tragic addictions to personal triumphs, penalties and evictions, faith and family, victory and defeat, hall of shame and Hall of Fame, injuries, illness, heartache, humble beginnings to overwhelming success and adulation. It’s all there played out on the football field.

I love everything about football. Not just the game. I watch the NFL combine, the NFL draft, spring training camps, I have visited my team’s summer training camp, pre-season, regular season, bowl games, the Heisman Trophy Award program, post season, the SuperBowl, and not to mention all of the pregame and postgame shows, or any show for that matter that highlights the players and the game. Whether it is reading the sports pages, to my iPhone apps, or video streaming, I’m there.

Who better to talk about the triumph and tragedy of football than #SheriFootball?

College football?

Michigan Wolverines. Hail to the Victors. The Maize and Blue. #GoBlue

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Professional football? 

Detroit Lions. They have never made a SuperBowl appearance.  That’s 50 years. #OnePride

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I love these two football teams. Another understatement?  My family and friends think so.

Go ahead. Make all the jokes you want about Jim Harbaugh’s crazy recruiting stunts the last few months. As for Lions jokes, I have heard them all. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I will die a Wolverines and Detroit Lions fan. Now that a woman, Martha Ford is running the team; we may now be on the road to a SuperBowl. Maybe not next season, or the season after that, but hopefully, before I die.

Before football’s preseason starts I publish, “Sheri’s Rules for Football Season.” Each season brings new rules of interaction during football games. This year will not be any different, so you will want to stay tuned to The Blogging Owl later this summer for the 2016 edition. Even my mother has learned to obey the rules (well sort of), unfortunately, my two dogs, Barkley LeRoy and Penny Louise have not. They, along with Vinny Sal will have new rules – so stay tuned.

Now with all of this talk about football, you might think I am a rabid fantasy football player. Wrong! I dislike fantasy football. I’m not into video games and football pools either.  I like the real game because football is life.

Football is  essential. Duh!

#SheriFootball – Before I die, please Lord, a SuperBowl.

Transforming: Beauty in its time

Transformation

This spring my youngest son will be graduating from high school. In the fall, I will have both sons in college. I am facing an empty nest with my husband, Vinny Sal.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

The second half of my life I vow will be transformed in spirit, mind, and body. As much as motherhood was, and is, the most fulfilling part of my life, I want to rid myself of that gnawing sense of living a mediocre life, an unexamined life. 2015 was a revelation of being busy and bored at the same time. I want to close that gap of who I am today and who God created me to be.

“Spiritual transformation doesn’t take place on Sunday when we get want we want. It takes place on Saturday while we’re waiting. It’s what is forged while we’re waiting, hoping, trusting even though we have yet to receive that for which we long for.” – Pete Wilson, author of Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?

This quote reminds me of football. Young men play countless games from childhood through college hoping to play in the NFL on Sunday. Yet few make it on the football field. While others receive what they long for in other ways as a coach, an assistant, a trainer, a sports analyst – whatever connects them to the game they love – football. I may never be a successful author, or an author at all but my Saturdays will be waiting, hoping, trusting that God is here in my current circumstances transforming me into who He wants me to be – a blogger? I no longer will allow my circumstances to distort my perspective and miss God and who He wants me to be.

I read many great books in 2015. One book, in particular, set me on a life-changing course in an unexpected way. On the back cover of the book, “Just Listen – Discover the Secret of Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone” by Mark Goulston, MD, it reads, “Is there someone in your life who just won’t listen, no matter what you say? … If only you could get that person into a calm and receptive state of mind, you’d probably be able to work out your differences…. Just Listen will get you there.” I read this book with the intention that it would help me to get through to other people. Instead, the book opened my mind to get through to me.

“The most successful people are those who don’t have any illusions about who they are.” Dr. Goulston quotes Bud Bray, author of “Is It Too Late to Run Away and Join the Circus?” In chapter 9, Dr. Goulston offers a challenge to the reader: ask friends or relatives how they perceive you. I carried out this experiment with my husband, two sons, close friends, my pastor, a long-time previous boss and other associates. I was astonished to the similarity of their responses. I am grateful to those who accepted this challenge to honestly share with me the top three descriptive words from the list given to them. The book, Just Listen, transforming my mind meant checking my dissonance of who I think I am at the door.

“Reach boldly for the miracle. God knows your gifts, your hindrances and the condition you’re in at every moment.” Bruce Wilkerson

#Vegan2016 – transforming the body not for vanity, but for fueling the spirit and mind to close that gap for who God created me to be. To be the best I can be in spite of any hindrances and conditions. In the words of one of the best coaches in football today, “Be better tomorrow than you are today,” Jim Harbaugh, Head Coach of my beloved University of Michigan Wolverines.

“The empty nest is not an empty life.” A Sparrow Sings

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV