Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Wife's Guide to Understanding Fantasy Football

Step 1: Research

Before embarking upon the actual process of Fantasy Football there must be a period of research. This is similar to examination of the Fall Fashion edition of InStyle magazine. Before shopping for fall clothing it is important to know the most recent trends, styles, and hot colors for the upcoming season. In the same way extensive research must be made to determine who the hottest players are in the NFL and who is predicted to continue to be “hot” and who might possibly make it to the “consignment store” (otherwise known as second string).

Step 2: Draft

Drafting the perfect Fantasy Football team is like assembling the perfect outfit.

Quarterback—perfect jeans from the Gap

Wide Receiver—perfect handbag from Masons

Running back— perfect Jacket from Ann Taylor

Lineman—perfect tank from Old Navy

Tight end—perfect top from Khols

Kicker— perfect shoes from Bakers

Defense—perfect collection of accessories from Claries

Even though each individual item was purchased at a different store they now make up one complete outfit. In the same way, each player is drafted from a different team and now makes up one complete Fantasy Team.

Step 3: Compete

This is most comparable to a social function where women are put in close proximity with one another to compare their individual “perfect outfits”. Examples of this behavior may include:

Hey Susie! Love the earrings!

Thanks Becky, picked them up on clearance for $9.95 By the way those shoes are adorable.

You like? Got them in a BOGO sale!

In this instance clearly Susie has “won” the accessories category and scored points, while Becky won the shoe competition. After analyzing each part of individual outfits, the one with the most points wins. In the same way, when two Fantasy Teams compete against each other each individual member of the team can score “points” for their team. Ultimately, the team whose members contribute the most points wins that week.

Step 4: Declaring a Winner

The competition described in Step 3 continues each week and win/loss records are kept for each outfit/team. At the end of a prescribed length of time the highest scoring outfits/teams are matched against each other in the Playoffs. Play continues until an ultimate Champion Outfit/Team is declared.

Special circumstances:

Injury Reserved: this would be comparable to the hem coming out of your perfect black pants.
Injury- Out for Season: this would be comparable to spilling a bottle of bleach on your perfect black pants.

Illegal Roster: this would be comparable to showing up at the most important event of the season wearing the same outfit as someone else.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Road Called Hope

I travel a road called Hope
Although I do not know the way
I simply seek to follow it
Through each moment of my day

It winds over the mountaintops,
Beside the raging sea,
And through the darkest valley
This road leadeth me

It is not my destination
This road I travel on
It is simply my companion
As I seek my true Home

I have been known to leave this path
And travel my own way
Into the mud and mire
That beckons me to stay

And slowly I begin to sink
Into the great despair
Of whispered lies and subtle words
That tell me Hope’s not there

But then I hear a gentle voice
Calling on the wind
“Lift up your eyes, reach out your hand,
Travel with Hope again”

Suddenly I am lifted up
My feet on solid ground
The mud and mire washed away
I hear a brand new sound

It is a song that comes to me
A song sung by the road
“We are not there, my child, my love
But together we travel on”

And so I place my trust again
In this winding path I see
Knowing that with Hope
I will reach my destiny

And when we finally reach the end
Of this journey that we share
I’ll take the hand of the One
Who walked beside me there

And enter into a place
Where Hope lives ever more
My eyes will see, my voice will shout
“My Hope! My King! My Lord!”

Forever we will dance and sing
Together on the road
Suddenly transformed from brick
To its gleaming, royal gold

And one by one we’ll gather there
Sharing stories of the way
A road called Hope led us one by one
To a new and brighter day

Where darkness cannot touch us
And despair no longer cries
And Hope is seen in every smile
As we walk by Jesus’ side.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Stage

She was beautiful. Well dressed, stylish hair and handbag. Adoring husband on her arm, and perfectly poised children at her side.

But, stop and look a little bit closer. Beneath the makeup were tear stained eyes. And just moments before exiting her flawlessly detailed car tempers flared and words were thrown like darts at the perfectly poised children.

Look even closer and you'll see a heart that is empty and yet so full. Full of anger, bitterness and shame. And completely empty of peace.

Yes, she is beautiful. She has been given great gifts of beauty and poise. She has worked years to perfect the image of who she appears to be. But beneath the surface she is ugly. Beneath the polished exterior lies a heart that is bound and broken. And lying just beneath that phony smile is a desperate cry for help.

I am intimately acquainted with this woman. It is me. (I argued with God on the beautiful part, but He told me not to disagree with His opinion). I guess I should say; it was me. Oh, don’t get me wrong… that old girl likes to rear her ugly head from time to time, but for the most part she is dead. Thank God.

Because trying to be her is exhausting. Yet for years that is what my effort was poured into. I had to dress the part. Look the part. Act the part. But then I realized, it was just a part.

I’m a theatre junkie. Grew up on the stage. I’ve been cast in many parts. Its fun assuming the personality of a fictional character, getting into costume, grabbing your props and standing beneath the spotlight. And the best part… the moment right before the curtain closes for the last time. That moment when the audience rises to their feet and applauds with gusto. Ahh, theatre.

But life really shouldn’t imitate art. At least not to the degree that we assume a role every time we leave our house. Life should imitate life. Because after the curtain closes the actor leaves the bright glare of the spotlight. Costumes are returned to the costume department, props are returned to the prop master. And then they sit in front of a mirror and wipe away every trace of the character they just moments before portrayed. Hair is brushed, and usually pulled back in a pony tail, jeans and sneaker are put on, and they walk out the door of the auditorium into the real world.

And that is where you and I live, in the real world. Sure you can spend your time and energy trying to play the part of a “perfect” woman. Or you can spend your time an energy becoming a different sort of woman.

Long ago a question was asked. “Who can find a virtuous woman?” It’s a good question. One we would be hard pressed to answer today. Who can find a virtuous woman? Do we even know what a virtuous woman is?

Virtue- morally excellent, good, righteous, chaste
And in the context of Prov. 31:10- strength, might, substance

A virtuous woman is strong, she is good, she is a woman of substance. Not just a shell of perfection with nothing substantial inside. A virtuous woman is valuable. She is to be treasured, she is to be praised.

It’s not easy being a woman of virtue. It takes time, it takes effort. It requires diligence and perseverance. But it is worth every ounce of energy. Because when the final curtain closes, the virtuous woman will have no borrowed costume to return, no props to turn in, no mask to remove. She will simply stand in the spotlight. Poised, confident, and beautiful. And the reward she will receive will not be a standing ovation, but a simple invitation to come and join the One for whom she performs. And hand in hand, they will exit the stage and enter eternity.