Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Basketball is like life!

Several months ago I was asked to help coach the Young Women’s Basketball team for the ward. I felt quite ambivalent because on one hand I was excited beyond measure to coach something that had brought me so much joy, and on the other hand I was scared that I would not be able to express my knowledge in an understandable way (as basketball has always come quite easy and it has always made sense).

With this ambivalence, I held the first practice and shared some of my philosophies about basketball and the elements of the game that I thought were vital. We spent time practicing rebounding and defensive stances, pick and rolls, and swimming through screens. I felt great about the practice and felt sorry for the team that we would be meeting for our first game!

Our first game arrived and the whistle blew to start the game. To my shock, my pupils did not know what a jump ball was or where to stand. I took a deep breath in and an insight hit, “This was not only the first time most of these girls were playing church basketball, it was MY first time playing CHURCH basketball!” I had tried to give them knowledge without a foundation and without that foundation we scored our first basket with 30 seconds left in the half. All I could do was take feverish notes and try to choke back the urge to run out there and do it myself!

That first game ended with heads hanging low and an 8 to 36 loss, but the lesson was clear, “GO BACK TO THE BASICS!” and have a humble coach! The next practice we did just that, we went back to the basics and walked through all of the fundamental scenarios that they would hit, such as, jump ball, out of bounds plays, free throws, and where to be offensively and defensively. It was a comfort to know they had some fundamental skills to take into the next contest.

As all truly great stories go, these terrific kids continued to grow and develop through the next several weeks and we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the Championship Game against the same team that had beaten us that first night. I am happy to report that my girls won the game 38-28 and will be seated 1st place going into Region play!

This little basketball season hit at the same time as the cancer diagnosis and the beginning of treatment. Shockingly, it became a metaphor in my mind! Like that first practice, I was going through life with a pre-loaded belief about how my life was going to go and I was leading a blissful existence. When we found out about the cancer, I was stumbling around trying to figure out what was going on (much like the jump ball scenario) and it would be quite easy to say that I went through most of that ‘first half’ without scoring.

Through a lot of soul searching, additional information, and a load of fasting and prayer I realized that I needed to GO BACK TO THE BASICS! Even though this diagnosis had sent us, our family and our friends into an unknown ‘state-of-affairs’ it became crystal clear in my mind that this trial, like the trials that you are all going through, has a specific and basic purpose---“To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39) I did not need to get into the details of how or why or what. I simply needed to trust Him. I needed to trust Him when He said, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven;” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

It had become really easy for me to “TRUST HIM”, because my life was going so smoothly, but could I really trust Him when I did not know the outcome; when I could not control the outcome of the ‘game’. I am happy to report that even though I do not know the end of this trial; and let’s be honest, I do not even know if I will survive this trial, but I know this—I feel peace because I do TRUST HIM (John 14:27). It is an amazing feeling to have the opportunity to ‘live like you were dying’and have the foundation necessary to trust the process. Think about the conversations that we sometimes ‘save’ or that just plainly go unsaid because they are uncomfortable or just too hard emotionally.

Well, it’s been a great blessing to have had a lot of those conversations despite it all! To truly love deeper, and see things clearer, and to recognize the incredible amount of blessings that are meted out by an All-knowing and All-loving Father. No matter the outcome, I choose to trust Him and to follow through on the things that I feel in my heart, and in that way, much like my girls, I will walk away with the CHAMPIONSHIP!

Mom's heart moment: Isaac has really taken to my new hair-do.  In fact, when we are in public he often tries to remove my hat (thank you very much!) and when we are at home he cannot fight the impulse to kiss the top of my head and is continually saying, "Cool hair mom!".  Recently, he has added yet another behavior to his liking...he tries to lick my head.  I'm not sure if that healthy or not, but it's sure cute!


  1. I love your positivity! Ecclesiastes 3 is actually my favorite scripture! I love what is says about there being a time for 'everything'! How amazing that our loving Hevenly Father gives us these opportunities to experience all these different emotions! We are truely blessed! I did not want to accept the fact that without sadness we would not know happiness, without sickness we would not know health. But it is so true! I can now say that I would not want to go through life without knowing sadness, sickness and pain, because without it I would not know the complete happiness and joy that I feel in my life now! I believe this because someone very special taught me this! And that person was YOU! Thank you! My testimony has been strengthened because of that! I was curious and looked up the meaning of Trust! TRUST: reliance on another person or entity. Having faith in others and believing them. ...! I thought how neat is it that we have someone who knows all things and we can put our complete trust in him and believe in what he's doing! Becky he believes in what YOU'RE doing! Just like in that song! You are so strong! I love you! You are my HERO!

  2. So.....Isaac is licking your head!?! That, I can't wait to see!haha......thank goodness for our little boys to keep us smiling! Miss you guys! Much love, Kris.
    ......if you are feeling well enough and your crazy schedule will allow, you should come stay a weekend with us....