I love the beach y'all...especially St Simons Island. I have been here with my 3 youngest since Saturday while my husband and oldest are on a Mission trip in Ecuador. My kids are at an age that they like to swim and ride waves...the entire time we are at the beach. While I braved the cold a few times to ride waves with them, most of my time has been spent standing on the shore making sure they don't drown, and if the waves aren't too rough I will sit in my chair and watch them. I have enjoyed listening to their shrieks from the cold and shrills of delight after they caught a massive wave. It's also given me time to sit back and people watch from behind my aviators.
I have noticed one thing that has broken my heart. Over and over. It's spring break in the south and a slew of families have happened upon my beloved island and many of them have young teenage girls. These young girls have unashamedly walked the shores back and forth in their barely there bikinis and repeatedly stopped in the surf to take pictures. They take photo after photo to get the perfect angle, lighting, pout, and hair blowing in the wind. Then they get together picking the perfect photo...I'm sure they edit it or put a cool filter on it...then they are posting it to some form of social media...for all the world to see. Them...in their barely there bikinis.
I asked myself what makes these girls put themselves out there like this?? What are they needing? Attention? Admiration? Likes? I have taught middle and high school girls for the last 16 years...I know teenagers. This society is so different than when I was a teenager, but one thing remains the same. Worth. Where do they find their worth and what makes them feel important? Far too many times it's in attention that they get from something they wear, say, or a way they act. How many followers they have on IG or Snapchat. While I didn't or currently don't find my worth in those things, I can somewhat relate because I found my worth and identity in sports. What newspapers were writing about me, what colleges were recruiting me, how many points I scored a game, or did I PR in the triple jump. When you find your worth in any of those things it only leaves you feeling one way...empty.
Moms, can I urge you to pour into your girls lives? To teach them character, modesty, and through the scripture, teach them their identity isn't about their body, their brains, or their sports. To find their identity in the God that made them and loves them...not because they are anything special...just because He is good and He wants to Glorify Himself through their lives. To help them choose swimsuits that are modest...ones that are cute, but ones that don't show off every part of their body. There are so many companies out there that sell modest tankinis and one pieces. There are options! To not take suggestive pictures and put them out there for the world to see. Teach them that once they put them out there, they can't be taken back. Never before has sex trafficking been as prevalent...are you guarding your daughters accounts? Do they have secret ones? Are you checking their messages?
Dads, can you protect your girls? Can you be the dad that is invested in her life...that has long conversations about boys and her future. Can you tell her no when she wants to wear something that is too revealing? Can you teach your daughter how a man should treat her by the way you treat your wife. Can you pour into them spiritually and have daily Gospel conversations with them? Open conversation is the most important part of parenting...if they can't come to you, they will run to the world! Dads love your daughters and teach them that they are a gift...just because of who they are.
Young girls...would you protect your hearts and bodies. Guard them with everything you can. Don't belittle yourself and cheapen your character by posting inappropriate pictures or wearing inappropriate clothing. Dress with dignity and honor. Honor God with your whole being...and that includes your clothing. Let your parents into your lives. Talk to them...share your hearts with them. Get deep in the Word of God. Understand that the Gospel is what it's all about...that your very life and breath is to honor and glorify God. I beg you to view things through a Gospel lens and examine your motives and choices with that.
My heart...y'all my heart hurts for these girls. So confused...so misled...so desperate. My prayer
Is that Godly women...grandmothers, moms, aunts, teachers, friends, and sisters would be that voice of reason in these girls lives. That we would stand in the gap when no one else is investing in these girls. That women would invest in these girls futures instead of shaking their heads at them. So many have never been taught any other way...let us be the voice that God would have us to be!
Proverbs 22:1-6 "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
The rich and the poor meet together;
the Lord is the Maker of them all.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it."
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
Friday, November 11, 2016
Three years ago, my husband made this shovel for the Alexander High School Football team. Every game they run out of the tunnel with one of the players carrying this shovel. Coach Combs picks the player that had the most impactful play or biggest hit from the week prior. Some may say, "that's odd that they carry a shovel," but there is so much meaning behind this piece of iron.
My husband has been the team chaplain for as long as I can remember, and for the past several years has helped out as much as he can. He loves it y'all. They haven't always been successful...have really had some rough seasons, but three years ago my husband knew this was a special team. He wanted to challenge them at the beginning of the season to dig up some bones...and thus the shovel legacy began. You see, the story that motivated this shovel is the story of Joseph.
In Joshua 24: 32 the Scripture tells us that "As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph."
On the shovel are these three words: Legacy, Lead, Finish.
"Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
Joseph asked the Israelites to make sure that they dug up his bones when they left for the Promised Land. He didn't want to be buried in Egypt, but he wanted to be buried in the Promised Land. He knew he wasn't going to see the Promised Land in his lifetime, but he wanted to be there when they finally reached it. The place where God had promised them good things. Joseph left a legacy with his people; they knew what he wanted, where he wanted to be, and they respected him for that. His people honored his wishes, and when they exiled out of Egypt, they took a shovel...and they dug up his bones.
What does this have to do with football? There have been people who have gone before this team...that have left blood, sweat and tears on this field. They wanted it so bad, but for whatever reason, they hadn't won the championship. They didn't want to be known as a losing program. They all just wanted to be winners. Ric told the boys that they had to know what they were playing for...for the Cougar Nation, the ones that have gone before and the ones that would come after. They have to decide what they want to accomplish, and what mark they are going to leave behind. What will their legacy be?
"Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.”
Moses was a great leader. He led the Israelites out of captivity and took them on a journey to the Promised Land. He led through great times and many difficult days. He led them when they were victorious...he led them when they were defeated. Moses wasn't allowed to lead the Israelites into the promised land, and he passed the baton onto Joshua.
Ric shared with the players that they need to be leaders. On the field and off the field. My husband's goal in working with these boys week after week isn't to make them good football players. No, it's to prepare them to be great leaders in life. To grow up and be great husbands, great fathers, and to live lives that honor God. The football is awesome...but that eventually ends. Be Godly leaders!!!
"As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph."
When the Israelites finally reached the Promised Land, Joshua took the bones that they had been carrying the entire journey. The bones that had been buried back in Egypt had been dug up, carried, and finally buried where Joseph wanted them to be. Joshua finished the task that had been started so many years ago. Even though Joseph wasn't there when they crossed into the promised land, he was a part of it. Because of the work that the men that followed after Joseph had done, he was part of the story, part of the victory, and was present with them.
Ric shared with the boys they needed to be finishers like Joshua. The path had been set...the bones had been dug up bone by bone with every victory they had...they were leaders, and now it was time to finish. All of the Cougars that had gone before them may not be there physically, just like Joseph wasn't, but they had paved the way for the victory. They could be as proud of it as the boys playing right now.
This shovel gets carried out every game...they have dug up a ton of bones...and now they are ready to finish. Let's cheer those Cougars on to the finish...and when we win the State Championship this year, I hope they take that shovel and dig a big ol' hole with it!!!
This is last years highlight video. Around the 47 second mark is the shovel...and y'all I get chills when I see Justin Hall dig that shovel into the ground! Let's FINISH!!!! Go Dig up some BONES!! Go Cougars!
AHS Football Highlight from Michael Catron on Vimeo.