a useful snake tip.

i’ve been coaching a passel of first and second graders, and last night was our very last soccer game. the other team was feistier than we were, but i think it was the uniforms: neon green does that to a person. you end up break-dancing and going on a goal-scoring streak and whatnot.

i was more than a bit deflated after the match, and not because we got pummeled. my Words of Coaching Wisdom at every quarter were pretty much BE KIND TO EACH OTHER. if you have something to say and it’s not kind, DO NOT SAY IT. we are ONLY SPEAKING THINGS THAT MAKE SOMEONE ELSE FEEL GOOD. now run out there and play hard.

don’t get me wrong, i’m severely allergic to losing, myself, but i ache watching them gnash at each other on the field. i walked away from those sidelines and that season wishing i’d been a wiser, more inspiring version of myself. i like those kids so much. i want them to like each other.

sunday we got to share in morenci about God’s passion for the people of africa, and we were a whole bunch of jangled nerves and operating on little sleep, but still He showed up in our frailty and kept the message intact. and it was such a precious time with old and new friends both, except here’s the secret thing they didn’t tell us about Sharing Our Hearts’ Weight With Dear Friends: it makes it awfully hard to leave all these good folk come next july.

i’m giving you ample warning: you all might need to hitch along. start stockpiling the sunscreen.

mike delorenzo :: AIM
mike delorenzo :: AIM

the past year or so our snake population has grown ambitious. used to be they were but a rumor to me; the kids would scamper in breathless describing the massive snake out by the shed (massive=bigger than your finger). but lately we’ve found them hanging out by the back door, possibly casing the joint for a hostile takeover.

the problem is, they’re really cute. just these skinny things sizing me up, and sometimes they snap at us in the most adorable sort of way, but mostly they curl back and swivel to the damp safety of the daylily leaves.

i can’t decide if this is good preparation for kenya or not: it might actually be smart to not think those guys are darling. so the rule i have established with myself goes like this: bright green = RUN AWAY. i’m totally prepared.

* * *

here are a few ways you can pray with us this week:
-for todd and me and the kids, that we’ll love each other well. that we’ll be patient with each other, especially when we’re worn out.
-for the older four kiddos as they finish up this last week of school: that they’ll have extra chances to champion and uphold the people around them, and that they’ll take those chances.
-for the families and children in and surrounding the school in kenya, that even now God would be preparing us all to do life together.

now you: how can i be lifting you up this week? please leave me a note or an email.

thank you, my friends.

Author: nic

saved by grace.

11 thoughts

  1. I love that you’re a coach. I don’t so much like snakes but prefer them, infinitely, to mice and rats. I could never participate on Fear Factor b/c–if someone were to throw me into a vat of mice–I would have a heart attack. Throw in some beeps (as from an alarm clock), and I’d be in h-e-double matchsticks. 🙂 Sending love spiraling to you and yours. We will always take all the prayer we can get. That one thing I shared w/ you re my husband? June 6.


    1. We were told you can tell if a snake is poisonous or not by it’s bite marks:) We didn’t find much comfort in that. But that’s my tip!

      Love you all.


    2. brandee, i have been and will keep praying for this (and for your dear brother, too)! of course, when we started, june was a safe ways off. now that it’s creeping up i’m sure everyone is feeling a tad nervous, but God’s all over this!


  2. Where in Kenya – it’s a big place, Kenya. In or near Nairobi? In a compound? Hmmm, I thought you had the perfect, always getting along, angelic family. We missed you here in Muncie Sunday. 2 new young people joined the teens. The look SO YOUNG – indeed they are! The prayer would be for the teens to treat them kindly. It’s tough to be the new kid on the block.


    1. yep, i’m praying for the new kids–so excited to have them in the youth group!

      we’ll be in kijabe, which is about an hour out of nairobi. you’ll see just where it is when you come visit us. 🙂 (i have big plans for your life! but seriously, we’d LOVE to have you visit us, and please bring my hannah and olivia!)


    1. amy, the kids do just fine, but you do not want to see me break dance. it would injure you, just watching. 🙂


    1. thank you, uncle steve! we miss you and janie both…any chance we’ll get to see you soon? summer’s a great time for a family reunion… 🙂


  3. Oh my. Coaching is hard. In all parts… I know I feel like I sometimes spend a great deal more of my time teaching the kids how to be kind and respectful of each other, the things they are blessed to have, and me than I do teaching them even a small lick about art. And honestly I’m more often times shocked that they are hungry for that lesson. They don’t get (as a whole generation) very often. 😦 You should feel very very good about the fact that you chose to focus on that rather than focusing on goals scored and wins tallied. (You know even if if the back of your head you can rattle off those stats without calculating. ;))

    Eh, snakes… yeah… good luck with those. You should really come down to visit and I’ll help you get over the ‘cute’ thought. The inlaws have some ‘friends’ that have claimed their lake/pond that are not small, cute nor friendly. But very hissy and slithery and hungry. They’ll help you learn that run skill.

    Seriously, it’s summer… come visit for a week. 🙂 Bring the kids, we have beds. 🙂 Or air mattresses… whichever.


    1. jen, i’m so SO glad we’ve teachers like you manning the classrooms. gives me hope.

      and i just might take you up on your offer…but do you remember how many kids i have? (technically five, but they run around a lot and give the effect of twenty three.)


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