Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome New Belles

This past Saturday we held tryouts for our competitive cheerleading squad - Liberty Belles. It was a great day and I was so proud of all of the girls. We now have three different levels in our program and Coach Rose and I are so excited to begin to know the new girls and continue to know the veterans.

Draw your sword

On Sunday I entered church at 8:30am mentally anticipating my day: church service until 11:00, teaching kids' church until 1:00, a quick meeting for a women's event until 1:15, a meeting with my kids' connect group until 2:15, calling the cheerleaders to deliver the tryout results until 4:00, quick dinner and then running out to the Sonics game at 5:00pm - whew! I was trying not to get overwhelmed as I found my seat. I turned to quickly greet a woman I have recently begun to know and noticed that her spirit was troubled.

I asked her how she was and with some gentle prodding she shared with me a hurt she had experienced over the last week. Her story was so similar to those I hear often from my female friends. The micro details vary greatly but the overriding theme is similar, "I have always struggled to feel like I measure up to other women. I sometimes don't feel valuable." I too have struggled and still do struggle with this issue. I battle it with prayer, the Word and faith confession, "I am who God says I am. I was created by my Heavenly Father in my mother's womb. He knew the good works I would do before I was born. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God loved me so much that He sacrificed His own son just so that we could have relationship."

It was during my conversation with her that I was reminded about the greatness of God. There are billions of people in the world, but my dear friend at church was so valuable that He saw fit to place us together weeks ago so we might begin a friendship. She is so valuable that this Sunday the Holy Spirit dropped her right into my lap so that together we might encourage one another as two women who fight the same battle. As I listened and then spoke I heard the woman next to me quietly praying. Her knowing glance let me know that she was asking God for wisdom on my behalf. Unbeknownst to the people around us, there were three women in church drawing their swords and fighting off the enemy.

The enemy attacks women because he knows the power we have to encourage, to love, to bring healing to the world. Our husbands, our children and our girlfriends need strong women who know their value to encourage them through life's difficulties. A women has the power in her tongue to make her husband feel like a king or a mouse (in just a few words!). The creative power of women has immeasurable value to the business world. If the enemy keeps women fighting each other instead of fighting together against a common enemy - the victory will be elusive.

Gather your girlfriends and draw your swords!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Patient, Consistent, Faithful

This past week I reviewed the vision I wrote for myself and my business for 2008. As we move into the 2nd quarter, I wanted to reflect on my vision and adjust my direction if necessary. At the bottom of the list of items that will define my year I wrote these three words: Patient, Consistent, Faithful. Now before you laugh let me acknowledge, to those of you who know me, that this is my goal for this year.

Patient, consistent faithful. Big words. Big vision and goal. I believe Liberty Bell Spirit Squad is achieving these words and I am working on it.

As we approach our next tryouts this Saturday, March 29th I am so excited to meet the new faces of our Belles. Patient, consistent and faithful are traits I would use to characterize our 07-08 Belles. I can't wait to see how the veteran squad members function as examples to new members. Years down the road, I hope these cheerleaders look back on their time on a competitive cheerleading squad and use the triumphs, disappointments and relationships to help them have victory in their lives.

Patient, consistent, faithful.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Big Day - March 15th

This past Saturday our cheerleading classes participated in the Seattle St. Patrick's Day Parade (link to picture). It was great fun and unlike last year, IT DIDN'T RAIN! We are so blessed to have a great coaching staff and wonderful parent volunteers to help us pull off a very safe parade experience for our little cheerleaders.

It makes me chuckle to think back to our first year at the St. Pat's parade when we had 8 actual cheerleaders and 12 of my dance team pretending to be cheerleaders to give us some volume! I was the only coach and I coerced my dear friends to walk with us and act like coaches too. Ha! My how times have changed.

Also on Saturday our Belles squad competed at the Galaxy Challenge Cheerleading Competition in Covington. I was unable to be there, but Coach Rosie informed me that this was their best performance yet. [maybe I should miss more of them?] What a great way to end a season full of victory! They took first in their division and earned almost 70 more points than the last time they performed in the same setting and division. WOW!

I can't wait to see what the Belles do next year - better watch out for us!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Belles Season Ends

This past Saturday the Belles junior level 2 squad met for our last practice as an intact team. Our last competition of the season will be Saturday March 15, 2008 at the Galaxy Challenge. Coach Rose and I watched this group of girls interact on Saturday with such pride. We had the girls perform the competition routine in small groups of 5-7. It was under this level of scrutiny that I noticed how much each of them had achieved during this season.

One particular girl danced nearly alone in her small group. She smiled and gave it her all as she danced in front of the rest of the squad. I recalled during her tryout a year ago how she would only look at the floor in front of her and how she would bite her lower lip. I was amazed at her showmanship on Saturday. She made eye contact with her audience and smiled while she danced. This is VICTORY in my eyes!

I am so grateful to be a part of each girl's life if only for a short while. More than the competition, I LOVE this part of coaching. More than any awards, the achievements that each girl made this year are so valuable. I hope they cherish the achievements as I cherish being a spectator to the process.

Monday, March 03, 2008

KZ Connectz

Recently my church has begun a small group Bible study in our 3rd-5th grade program. I am fortunate enough to lead a handful of young ladies once a month in fellowship, prayer and some great lunch. I have 3 boys of my own and two stepdaughters, but I feel like these young women are additions to my family. They are as different as they come and I ADORE each of them. My hope is to help each of these women come to the knowledge that she has immeasurable value simply because she was born.

I want to encourage you to reach out to kids beyond your family. You have something precious you can pass along to another generation. We are called to be examples (although imperfect) to the next generation.

Belles Update

Once again, I have let far too much time pass since I posted. However, I wanted to share a little bit about what is going on with Liberty Bells.

The biggest change is that our Belles program is expanding to four squads: Tiny, Mini, Youth and Junior. We are so excited! The tryout for the older girls will take place on March 29, 2008. Interested parties can email me:

We began our competitive squad two years ago as a test. Could we offer something low cost, only practicing 2-3 times per month and still be competitive with the rest of the all-star community? The answer is yes! We recently placed 4th at the PacWest Sonics Cheerleading Competitive at Junior Level 2. This is our first year, so we can only go up from here! You can check out how we did:

I can't wait for next season!