Mobile Minutes: Coffee Encounters


It’s always enjoyable knowing that nothing but strange things tend to take place at coffee shops.

Tonight was no different.

While making repairs to my laptop [it was due up for some spring cleaning] Dur and I saw a women walk in wearing a Minnesota Women’s Soccer shirt.

Now, the Starbucks up here is a snare of Kansas City Shock if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Darco mans the register, that’s the first hit. Likely afterwards you’re going to get me in the corner, and if you make it past me it’s only a matter of time before Dur gets you. That’s just how the store works up here in the north. We didn’t plan it, but we all three spend so much time there it only makes sense.

Anyways…

So, this woman walks into the store and Darco nails her; seeing the soccer logos on the shirt. That starts the chain reaction of sports, soccer, and the Kansas City Shock. Eventually the young woman sits next to Dur and myself and we start asking the ’20 question’ game. Through this process a question kept brewing in my head, she was new to the area, went through some fascinating troubling times, and was recreating herself [sound familiar]? That’s when she made note of the softball team at the church she’s going to, which gave way to the question I was begging to ask; church involvement.

“Oh, I go to Missouri Valley. It’s a really small church.”

Missouri Valley = MoVal

Somehow, someway, shameful to myself I’ve missed this woman over the past month. We spent some time sharing our stories of getting to MoVal, love for soccer, her unique love for cultures and travel, and some humor in between. The whole time I’m in disbelief that we’d been at the same church [of 70 people] and completely missed one another.

The story itself is absolutely fascinating, and made for some good laughs. However, personally it really helped as well. I was really, really dialed into MoVal today. I felt comfortable, directed, and alive. It was a great realization to be back ‘home’ after this weeks spiritual findings. More importantly, I had complained to my girlfriend earlier this weekend that I couldn’t hear God, He was silent. Since those moments; it feels like my ears have just now been unclogged. The passion of the people, the messages that I’ve received, the questions, the meetings, everything in the past 48 hours continues to show me that this is God’s plan, it’s His program, and He’s going to do amazing things. I’m just humbled to be able to be a part of it.

It was such a blessing to meet random people, and make random connections [especially if they can understand why soccer fans must have scarves] in His name. The coffee tasted that much better tonight.

This week appears to be daunting; it’s hard not to be fearful. However, God is going to do something amazing. It’s going to be big, insane, and awesome. I haven’t felt this alive in watching Him do His thing in months.

Let the sparks fly.

-D-

O: Deep Breath


Will someone please tell me how it is already April?

A letter greeted me at my apartment today; a reminder that my lease renewal is up at the end of this month. Fascinating considering that it feels like just yesterday I stepping into this place for the first time. Yes, I will be renewing it for another nine months. While I do find the constant commute to KC a bit annoying at times; being removed the ‘bulls-eye’ of business can at times be very refreshing.

It’s already Sunday, and I’m still awake. I took today and was productive; cleaning up for the past several weeks that I’ve been running all over the place. Kitchen, bathrooms, dining room, and living room were all addressed. I’m still needing to work on the office and bedroom. Got a brief run in, and then took some time at a U-8 Peeps Soccer game. I cooked my own lunch, and had some leftovers.

I lived life.

I looked at my budget and cringed, noted bills, and hung up my recent diploma from Subway. Lit a new candle, and drank some coffee. Had burgers with my girlfriend for dinner, and complained about weight, health, and fitness following.

I guess this is what is called ‘real life’.

Regardless of how you term the notion of what ‘real life’ is, it comes and grabs you whether you’re ready or not. It’s insane to think that just over a month from now the Kansas City Shock will be in full swing. Tickets are being sold, and some very…weighted…topics are on my desk.

I see MC and Jim every-so-often, but living apart [even thirteen miles] has proved to drastically limit our interaction time [and home cooking]. MoVal is churning along after a great Easter weekend last week, and Dur is getting ready for coaching courses in California later this month. Jo is back on Facebook, and my girlfriend talks to her rather frequently.

Snow has melted, proposals have been made, and marriages are on the eve. My monthly magazine from my alma mater greets me with the same news of budget moves, new hiring’s, and expectations for the future. I run when I get the chance, and as of late I’ve really fallen short of my own expectations. I’ve argued with my girlfriend, and as of this evening…came out the humbled loser. I still make mistakes and I dream of getting this website turned into book[s] when the time allows itself.

I try to listen to dub step music just to give life a different age; almost as my way of reaching out to my youth and breaking free of the grips of this new reality. However, even there the melodies and drops start to blend into the next and the next.

I’m not sure what I dream of anymore. A few nights ago I woke up from a dream, and it was disappointing. Very realistically I had become the President of the United States of America, and was able to give the opening address to open up the Summer Olympics [the US had obviously finally found a way to get the Games]. It was a new world, set in a distant times. Magnetic bullet trains, and vast vegetation surrounded my experiences. Phone calls, family, and all around joy brought about by the Games and personally because somehow…I was the President. Compared to the several, consecutive nightmares that have befallen me in the past, this was a nice change of pace. However, as goes with any good dream; sometimes waking up is the worst part. Outside of that though; I dream about the day’s events; meetings, soccer, business, Subway, traveling, cities, etc…

Life is calm. I’m not suggesting that this is a negative aspect, but it is a change of pace from the rapid past three years. I suppose I’m transitioning in a pattern, a cycle, maybe maturing? I wouldn’t safely suggest that idea at this point.

I do not necessarily see all of these adjustments in past weeks as a negative change, but due to the transition of life [and lack of writing] it’s something that has definitely caught my eye as needing to be penciled into the daily accounts of this individual life.

Surrounding suburbs entertain me, and specific greasy spoons in downtown entice me; marriages aren’t forbidden, and the hostility of what once was is nearly non-existent. I still don’t want a two-story house, but that’s because I hate stairs. The white picket fence could be alright; I guess.

Am I losing motivation? Ambition? Passion? I would hope not, but the fear does seep in from time-to-time. I hope I’m not losing my edge, or becoming too old to wear my hat backwards.

With thunderstorms in the forecast tomorrow, in my world the seasons officially change. Boston comes up next weekend; as I head out of town for a few days.

Perhaps I’m just meandering around, but…I hope that in my personal world; a bit of fresh air and some deep breaths can kick me back into high gear.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Better Block


I had the most fascinating day today.

…if you’ve ever in my life time have made a comment about me and the involvement of politics please save your ‘I told you so’ for later…

This morning my girlfriend, Dur, and myself found ourselves deep in Kansas City, Missouri at our favorite location on an early Wednesday morning; 1 Million Cups. This is my first day going out in the world since being sick and we made it one wild day. After an hour there, and spending some time talking to some business friends of ours we split to Blanc burger to enjoy some quality food from Kansas City.

Afterwards [and some coffee later] Dur was dropped off for work, and my girlfriend and I went to an event in our city that we were curious about: Better Block.

The concept of Better Block is unique:

Take an area of a downtown area [like a city block] and spruce it up; clean up some downtown storefronts and invite local businesses to ‘rent out’ the area for day and practically throw a festival. The final product is to show citizens what a rebuilt, lively downtown can look like. Given the city I live in is older than Kansas City; it could be royally sweet if cleaned up correctly. My girlfriend and I got a tour of some of the buildings [none of which I had ever been in] and the creativity within this city on the architectural side is breath taking.

Prior to this, we had, had a meeting in the regional development office for a few hours and taking the knowledge from the Kansas City Shock; myself and my significant other introduced ideas of social media influence, soccer concepts for the festival, and even the introduction of some of the start up businesses we work with in Kansas City.

We caught the ear of the right person.

Walking to the buildings from the meeting I was able to walk with the director for the regional development office. We spent some time going over my past, the city, and then we entered into politics; both of us being political science students in college. By the time we had entered the first building my questions had been answered, my foot was in the door, and this much had become evident:

I’m entering the world of politics.

I’m on the planning board for Better Block, working with the media director, and am also going to start plugging this group into our connections within the Kansas City area. Imagine if the ideas of innovation and development in Kansas City spread to our neck of the woods, it’d be continued development for the entire region. Needless to say, my head is busting with ideas, concepts, and the overall irony of how my life has played out.

Those closest to me, reading this, combined with the events of the Kansas City Shock are sitting back knowing what all of this is:

The first step.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Unwanted


I slept in today…

Mistake number one.

I sleep with my phones on silent.

Mistake number two?

I woke up around 9:32 AM to an array of text messages and missed phone calls.

I thought that was why I placed my phones on silent to begin with.

That’s when I started to read messages from Dur, explaining to me that my girlfriend had called the ambulance and her [my girlfriend] mother had been taken to the hospital. Immediate thought: stroke.

So, this resulted in me flying out of bed, calling my boss, canceling my meetings, and realizing that I’d be working on Sunday. Why? I wasn’t working today, I needed to get to the hospital.

For the next ten hours I spent more time in the hospital then I had in nearly six years. The whole time keeping close eye on my girlfriend.

I love protecting.

Seriously, it’s one of my favorite past times [and full time]. I absolutely love keeping track of her. Most days we run around, going nuts, and shaking the whole world apart, but today…she needed me to actually be a man. Aside from the moments that she was in the room with her mother [who is currently in ICU], I was by her side, never missing a step. More hugs then I can count, and always keeping my hand on her.

I couldn’t let her out of my sight. Suddenly, in one swift move, it felt as if I could trust no one we were coming in contact with. It was an incredible feeling, over protective, helicopter mode that I’m not known for.

But it was perfect for the moment.

I didn’t do anything amazing, save the day, or anything of those likes. I just know I did the right thing today by never stepping away from her.

As for her mother; she was getting a bit better by the time we left. Remember, with my girlfriend it is her and her mom. No husband, my girlfriend is the only child, and that’s all. She’s had too much CO2 built up in her body and isn’t getting enough oxygen in, and some irregular blood pressure with some kidney issues as well. That’s all I know. Tomorrow, we both have to work in the morning, but by the time I return home it’ll be round two of being a hawk over her.

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


Ever wonder if creating a women’s soccer program in Kansas City was a bad idea?

Following this:

It all started in Indianapolis two weeks ago. Three of our staff members [and a short moment with Dur] headed to the NSCAA National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. I stayed back in Kansas City to work on business [and I was also told 'owners' have nothing to do there]. Upon their return, I got an earful about the ladies from Legacy Football Club, and also about the crew from the Boston Breakers. Two programs that over the past year we have developed very strong ties with. I was also informed about how many people at this convention [trust me, it is huge] knew about the Kansas City Shock. A positive from the marketing standpoint of our program.

That was the normal part.

So, Dur comes into Starbucks after her adventure to Indy and asks me if I knew someone named Amber Gwinn. Well, this immediately sparks interest because I do know an Amber Gwinn. Amber was the assistant coach at Southwest Baptist while I was working in the athletic department. Between her and the head coach [now Survivor celebrity] Ben Wade, I learned a ton about women’s soccer. It turns out that Dur met her in Indianapolis. Additionally, it turns out that Amber coaches in Reno, it also turns out that Amber is in direct contact with Jenn and Vanessa of Legacy; also based out of the Reno/Sparks area. Needless to say, the women who easily intimidated me in college [I think I spoke to Wade more then I did her of all the time I was there...out of fear] has connected digitally on Facebook and Twitter, and I just chuckle at the connection of how that comes about. Weird stuff, right? While all of that was going on, our director of merchandise was chasing down Puma at the convention [compliments of Legacy, who run all of their gear through Puma]. Well, in Kansas City currently Sporting Kansas City runs through Adidas, FC Kansas City runs through Nike, and guess what? Yes, even though it was never the initial plan, it looks like we’re going with Puma. Puma is looking at getting into the Kansas City market [a soccer hot spot] and they carry the color orange that we’ve grown to love. Factor in Boston Breakers also running Puma prior to joining the new league that’s been formed, and the stage was already set for a fascinating introduction for Puma with us. Of course I can’t steal Jamie’s [director of merchandise] thunder, so that’s all I can say on that topic. Though very cool.

It gets better.

The following weekend myself and Darco headed out to Las Vegas for the Women’s Premier Soccer League conference. First of all, Las Vegas is a terrible, nasty city. I couldn’t handle that thing for more then a few hours at a time. Regardless, I spent all Saturday in a conference room listening to the league president chat. Afterwards he took us to the standard Las Vegas buffet [my stomach is still recovering], and we sat and talked. By the time I was preparing to leave, he makes mention of Weber Creative Arts. Yes, our beloved Weber Creative Arts in Kansas City that kills our graphic design stuff on a daily basis. He wants to know if they’d be interested in doing design work for the league office. I’m serious! I told him that I connect the two groups, but while I was walking out I was simply thinking, “Remember when that married couple [who I went to college with, who knew K8 that put us together, who also knew Amber Grwinn at the same time] started working on our designs, and filed for their own company?” Needless to say, I was thrilled to send that e-mail to them when I returned to the hotel.

BUT IT GETS BETTER!

The next day, Darco and I took a brief 6.5 hour trip through…well…nothing from Las Vegas to Reno/Sparks. Why? Simple. Jenn and Vanessa live in Sparks, and earlier that week I had received a message from Vanessa saying that there was going to be a dinner waiting for us when we arrived. When you’re hopping airports and cars, a home cooked meal you take every time. We arrived in Sparks right around 4:00 PM and headed over to the house of Paul and Jamie. When we arrived we found a house COVERED with girls who were ALL keepers [no wonder Jenn enjoys them so much] running around, eating food [it's a soccer girl problem], and creating chaos. It was awesome! The couple, Paul and Jamie greeted us and started chatting. What I hadn’t realized was that this was the same Paul that a few days earlier on Facebook stated on the Kansas City Shock Facebook page that we needed to stop at the Death Valley Candy and Nut Company. Darco and I had made a specific goal to stop there [THEY HAVE GUMMY, GREEN ARMY MEN!]. It was awesome knowing that the guy we went out to get that trip on video was standing in front of me [eye-to-eye, this family is so tall]. We talked shop, our program, Legacy, and family. That’s when the really cool stuff started to happen. Paul travels a lot, getting shoe companies to sell specific types of shoes from Germany and Austria [I hope I got that right]. He has a lot of business in Kansas City, and is a die hard Sporting fan. He also has done a little business in St. Joseph [remember, he lives in Sparks] at a store called Browns Shoes. This store just happens to be managed by my friend Tom, the same Tom that was with me in Guatemala and the same Tom that is an elder at MoVal. Paul brought up Tom’s name, and this is after I looked at Darco in the car and said, “I’ll give it ten minutes before Tom’s name comes up”…jokingly. I had no idea how serious that would be. The concept of Tom and Paul knowing each other from the business side [Tom's a bit fuzzy on it] is mind blowing, but when I told Paul that Tom and I were part of a group of missionaries in Guatemala this summer, he perks up, “Oh yeah, I’ve got some friends that are full time down there…” and starts rattling off all of these people they know in the mission field. That’s the same time Jenn pipes up and says, “Yeah, Shawn takes gear down to Guatemala for clinics.” “Really? We’ve got all sorts of stuff from cleats and stuff…” While all that was going on, the missionaries mentioned in the conversation [who I've forgotten names of...I'm sorry] triggered a conversation from back home. These names are known by the community that I live in as well [did I mention that this was going on in Nevada], as it turns out Jamie and Paul are actually from the Chicago area originally and were deeply involved in the area. Most notably for me was this:

Halfway across the United States I was in the presence of some seriously compassionate Christians.

While sitting down for dinner [and working on a very stout dark ale that I'm not overly familiar with] we discussed everything from youth soccer, travel, soccer, food, soccer, all the way to business; including questions about the Kansas City Shock, our business model, and the future of our program and Legacy FC. Somewhere within that conversation I brought up Pro Ebiria, a glove company for goal keepers. The Kansas City Shock’s very first sponsor back in July of last year, and we continue to do business with them to this day. They make the gloves for the keeper for Sporting Kansas City. Pro Ebiria just released a youth style glove [size and all] at their usual exceptional price, and the president of Legacy FC just happens to be a former keeper at the Univ. of Nevada [Jenn] and coaches goal keeper clinics and camps. Well, as you would imagine, because I love working with local businesses [see Weber] I pitched Pro Ebiria to Jenn. Now those two are in contact with one another; imagine if Pro Ebiria is selling youth gloves to a youth program out in Sparks, Nevada? Huge marketing potential, helps a local business, they’re amazing gloves, and hopefully assists a growing program out west.

After having my mind blown from that amazing few hours; Darco and I traveled back to Las Vegas that night [another 6.5 hours of two lanes and desert] and arrived in Las Vegas at 5:30 AM [we got to airport by 8:00 AM to depart, a miracle in itself].

At this point, if you’ve kept up with the whole process, you’re probably pretty entertained. Don’t worry though; there’s so much more…

The following days were a whirlwind, including a literal meeting every single day [I was off from Subway for the week]. Tuesday was very stressful, and a rather disheartening meeting over a very, very important aspect of the Kansas City Shock. However, while leaving in the pouring rain our head coach contacts me, tells me a magazine is doing an interview with her; Dos Munos, a bilingual Spanish/English piece that is distributed through Kansas City. For us, that’s a huge deal; we have made it a professional and personal goal to get a stronger access into the Hispanic community of Kansas City. This was a massive step in the right direction. I definitely didn’t realize what kind of first step that was.

The rest of the information is monumental huge, but for fear of press leaks I can’t be too descriptive…for now.

I was contacted by another team of a different women’s soccer league a few days ago, I think Wednesday, they’re curious on what kind of work Weber Creative Arts can do. Alright, now this is where I start to freak out. I mean, the league office has already contacted Weber Creative and this other team from an entirely different league is contacting me about them as well. I mean, realistically, that’s how you grow a business. To see something like that take off; on the personal level it is huge, but on the business side with the program that helped kick start Weber; it’s unspeakable. I hope that as time progresses I’ll have more information about that to share. Additionally, since the first meeting this week fell through, I got a tip for another meeting set up by our general manager this morning. I had no idea how big of a meeting it would be. I want to share this information with so, so badly and I hope I’ll be able to soon, but just trust me when I say it is monumental. Factor that in with an amazing meeting yesterday with the owner of a company called The Soccer Lot; he has built a mobile platform for 5v5 soccer that can be played in an area the size of a basketball court. What happens if we install those outside of our home games? What happens if they open up in Sparks, Nevada? Boston, Massachusetts? Of course, I’m completely speculating, but the possibilities to assist another growing business in Kansas City is never ending!

Did I mention that I had a meeting inside Kansas City City Hall this week? No? That happened to. I was able to speak with the adviser of Mayor Sly James for about an hour on the Kansas City Shock; strictly looking for recognition and nothing else. First, I couldn’t believe that they responded to my inquiry. Second, I couldn’t believe I had a meeting at City Hall [across the street from one of my Subway's]. Finally, I was meeting with the right hand man to the mayor of Kansas City; people that is no small position! We talked start up businesses, technology, growth, and economic development. In a very scary sense; I felt right at home. What will that meeting translate into? I have no idea, but something will come up; it’s sure to.

I want to take this point to make three clear points:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read this extensive piece of information
  2. All of this took place in the matter of just under two weeks
  3. YOU CANNOT DENY THAT THERE IS SOMEONE A LOT BIGGER THEN ME, THE STAFF, OUR PROGRAM, OUR CITY THAT IS DOING SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THINGS! 

I’m living a dream, and from this site, by now we all should know that my credit goes directly to God for taking care of me and never ceasing to blow me away.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Disgusting Humanity


I woke up in a decent mood today.

I really did, even though the temperature had dropped nearly thirty degrees since last night, I was in high spirits as I got out of bed. It was Sunday, it was a day of rest, it was a day at Missouri Valley; it was a day of peace.

Not even close.

To each parent that deals with the children, spouses, and yourself somehow knowingly having a horrible attitude on your way to church; I feel your pain. I hate the disgusting state of this humanity as well. We know what we should be in my heart, soul, and mindset. We know that we shouldn’t honk at the driver on the freeway, snap at the people in the car, and overall just refuse to smile.

I’m guilty of all charges noted above.

I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t stressed, I had no excuse for any of my thoughts and/or actions.

By the time I started the car, after Dur and Darco decided which car we were all traveling in; while I stood in the pouring rain at 32 degrees, Dur was no longer talking in the car, Darco made mention of how she had ‘just yelled’ at Miranda on the way to the apartment and when I saw a slight smile form on her face when making that statement, my mood was set for the day.

What’s wrong? Why are you snapping?

I heard while heading down the interstate. I ignored the inquiries; not sure how to explain to each how tired I am of the moping, yelling, and confrontation between the two.

We had made it to church, primarily in silence, sat through Sunday School [Small Group, or whatever it is called now], headed into the main service, and my mood had already been altered for the day. At the same time, in a peaceful manner, many people had inquired where I had been over the past two weeks [traveling among other churches in the area, because I wan't Darco to see other types of churches outside of what she was familiar with]. I explained as tastefully as possible, hoping not to sound overly dramatic, but already the doubt was in my head that since my perfect attendance for the quarter had been tarnished that people were beginning to doubt if I would stay at that church. Going through the music, the words, the motions; I sat in ‘my pew’ and belted out the words that went with each pluck of the guitar. Some new friends were sitting in front of us, he had introduced me to his wife, and realistically; I had the standard greeting and shamefully I didn’t follow up with dialogue.

I didn’t follow up.

I was so consumed with myself and my day, all the way down to the trivial, pathetic fact that I didn’t get Starbucks coffee this morning, confrontation instead ensued in the car. Realistically, it was pathetic; absolutely disgusting.

The service continued with the preacher following suit of the coursework that we had been ingesting in the time prior to service taking place and most of it…in one ear and out the other, I was trying to organize  my agenda for the next week since a technology conference was taking place in Kansas City this week on Thursday, and as the business owner; deep in technology, I should go, but that’d require me to give up my quest for a years worth of free burritos from Freebirds, etc…

As you can tell really, really heavy stuff…

By the time I had gotten my schedule sorted it was time for the confession period, bowing heads, alter is open, and so on and such. I bowed me head in the pew because I had become surprisingly tired, and I had no where else that I wanted to look. I hope by now, you can see through the text that my selfish, disgusting heart was in the exactly wrong place. You wold think that such good church boy, the mission trip heavy handed person with plenty of notches in his belt, would straighten up and recognize the massive plank in his eye.

However, it continued to get worse.

The one moment my heart aligned correctly today, I just asked God to make something work for His kingdom, not needing me to do that obviously, and that I was confused nearly 24/7 and the progress I’m to take. Factor in the idea of me being a spiritual wreck today, it was evident that I was out of control.

As I looked up and the music ended, there stood a young, single mother with her new born at the front of the church. The pastor introduced her and informed that crowd that she had accepted Christ, she had become a Christian, and she wanted to share that with the world.

This lady also happened to be Darco’s best friend from high school. So, right next to me, Darco breaks down into sobs because her old friend found ‘the light’, after Darco had worked tirelessly to get her to come to church [after Darco's experience last winter]. It fit the description of making disciples of disciples of disciples, mindset. It was growth, it was God, it should  have been beautiful.

After a final prayer we ended service with the crew talking about what they wanted for lunch, Darco disappeared to go chat with her friend, and the mood was finally set for a peaceful afternoon. I had caused enough damage, and we’d be good to go.

After Darco started to talk about how her and her friend never talk anymore, and she didn’t understand why they snap at each other via text message; of course, without tact I stepped in and spoke on texting one another versus speaking face-to-face [something the two hadn't done in weeks]. This conversation lasted ten minutes prior to a red light in which I heard, “You should have gone ahead and went, I have to be at work at 1:30.”

That’s all it took.

For the next ten minutes, Darco and myself exchanged a heated argument of time management, responsibility, and my absolute tiredness of listening to her inform me about what time she had to go to work on Sunday’s. This all being written mildly versus the complete action inside the car. By the time we got to the lunch destination, Dur stormed out of the car; slammed the door. Darco got out, telling her administrator at work [who happens to go to church with us] that she is reworking her Sunday hours because she is tired of fighting about grabbing lunch and getting to work on time, and I didn’t even notice the ice forming outside due to the insane amount of fuming that I was doing.

All around, just an absolute wreck.

It’s now 5:50 PM and I’m in my apartment, still slightly fuzzy due to the nap I just woke up from [in a hope to restart something...anything], and I’m just torn to pieces. Seriously, I feel absolutely awful because the greatest act that someone can follow through with in their life, a lady whose life reflected that of Darco’s came home, wanting to be part of this family, this church body, and I was so, so absorbed with myself, my life, my comfort, and my anger that after the incredible act; I nearly 90% ignored it, along with everything else going on in the building and just focused the day on me.

Realistically; I’m pathetic. Every complaint someone has about a modern Christian in the United States; I displayed today. I lived out the kind of life that I despise and speak boldly again.

I hope I can’t sleep well tonight.

-D-

O: Losing Myself


Confession: I cried this morning.

OK, it wasn’t the nasty, snot nosed crying like the goal keeper I listened to this afternoon from across the field [she wore that injury better then most Brazilians...soccer fans would get that joke], it was more of a brief moment of relief and gratefulness.

Thankfully, like any smart person who hates crying, I was in the shower at the moment of uncontrolled emotion. I was getting ready to step out and when I grabbed the towel and found my face being buried in it and a simple whisper:

Thank you.

It’s no lie for anyone who has kept score along this tiring journey of excitement, adventure, and heartache, that the realization of myself living on my own, in the city [it has 75,000 people, so it counts], that in many ways, many view this as a bigger accomplishment then releasing the Kansas City Shock to the world. It is what you make it out to be I suppose. Family friends and family see this far larger, and realistically it is just nice to have a place to call my own.

Yesterday, after MC, Jim, Dur, and my girlfriend helped with the moving process; my parents and I were found at the local furniture store; where a 50% or more leather sale was going on. To further complicate the identity of my own life. I’m not from the wealthiest status, and was not in good shape at all last year, but I have a crazy taste for modern decor, deco, etc…I thoroughly enjoy modernization. If my Sims could talk, they would use me as a reference to this style.

Of course, while at this furniture store something caught my eye. Black, leather chair, couch, and love seat. Set up in a display that reflects modernism and simple earth tones. In other words; I was looking for my check book.

It was about this time, mixed with a Facebook message that I had received a few days ago that I started to muster up the thought, “I can’t lose myself.”

I’ll be frank by stating, and my girlfriend knows this as well, that my number one fear is to wake up with absolutely no one and nothing. Why? Because I’ve witnessed it before and I never want to know that feeling again. However, as this moving process has taken place I’ve also started to note another growing fear; I don’t want to lose myself, my identity, my story.

Why? Because you don’t get to make up stories like the one that I’ve lived in the past year, year and a half. Knowing that people have been inspired, knowing that God has been saturated throughout everything; that’s what puts my mind at ease at night. All of this is so much bigger then myself. It’s bigger then any of us can comprehend. Realistically, I have the ability to bring in this new furniture to my  apartment, there’s going to be a new TV soon as well. I’m flying to Los Angeles next month, and I’m traveling to Chicago in October. It’s no longer about the financial risk, because I can literally do it now. The rough realm of my life, that storm that nearly drowned me, it isn’t over, but the waves have resided. Now, as I’ve expressed to my girlfriend, I face a temptation that is something I know is an overwhelming temptation: power.

It isn’t easy to confess to, because of its reality, but as a flawed human; I crave power. I love leadership, I love being the one to guide. I enjoy a “power suit” for a reason. I told my girlfriend a few months ago that the devil and temptation is like an allergy test. With the allergy test you are pricked with several little needles until you react to one of them. I believe temptation is no different. You are pricked with so many different things that can bring upon sin, and eventually you’ll react to one. I know what I react to; power. Power with jobs, money, influence, everything else an egomaniac can’t live without.

I remember looking at her, my girlfriend, and I said, “You watch; the Shock is going to take off in ways we can’t even envision and the temptation that is associated with it; it’s going to be nearly overwhelming.” I still believe that, I hope the Shock does take off, just because it is an amazing creation. However, already, i’m finding myself having to more and more careful.

Why do I do it? Why do I ‘need’ it? What’s the glory going towards? Is it my voice? Is it my dream? All these questions I have to constantly ask myself, in hopes of finding redemption in answers and grace in words that I cannot even begin to grasp or comprehend.

I suppose this is where I ask, “Is this the grown-up life now?” Is this what it’s all about? The constant temptation and fear of falling into the risk of power and greed? Of losing focus ? Forgetting your roots?

I had a high school coach send our company an e-mail a few days ago; it was asking if we were going to be like other clubs; requiring players to choose between high school athletics and club play. That’s the gist of the idea. Calmly and thoughtfully I replied back with my take on developments of programs, focusing on importance of community and education. In other words; I was attempting to tell this man that his fears were noted, but we weren’t in the political game. Realistically, it came down to the simple question, “Are you going to be rich kids club, or a community program?”

It was in that moment that I went back to my roots, I went back to my struggles, and I explained to him very clearly that based off my upbringing and my experiences. Why? Because I wanted that trust, and I want him and everyone else to know that our integrity based off my experiences far surpasses financial gains through political chess moves.

While drying off, after my moment of emotion this morning, through the crazy, empty 900 square foot apartment, I could only hope for one glimpse towards being humble:

The day that the leather, the trips, and even the soccer ball eclipse the determination to demonstrate the amount of grace shown to me by God, is the day that I’ve missed the target. May God take me away, in order for His legacy of His grace to maintain and that my selfishness dares not tarnish such an incredible story.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Time Delay


Those moments where I have to accept responsibility and short comings:

Was late getting to MoVal, caused the church to delay because Dur was getting baptized.
Went out to lunch with some friends from MoVal, and my girlfriend. Took too long eating, caused her to be late to work.

It’s only 3:00 PM, I have a very important meeting at 6:30, and I truly feel like I’m batting zero today.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Stretching Saturday


Sweat pants?

Check.

Loose t-shirt?

Check.

Apple juice. Grilled Chicken. Laptop.

This is my day. Non-stop Olympic action via the computer/TV, some excellently smoked chicken [compliments of Jim], and so much stretching…

Yesterday, on my first day off, I drove down to Springfield, Missouri and ran a 5k with Dur and my girlfriend. It was a rather difficult course; OK, a very hard course. The trail was great, but the 75 degree incline with a 85 degree decline in elevation was a bit much. Needless to say though, my girlfriend broke her PR, so we’re game on that.

However, after three 5k’s, the horrid heat, and a day of soccer this week. One, I’m ashamed that, that seems like I’m just beat from that minimum amount of running, but two; I am completely exhausted.

Looks like I need to up the millage; this was just rough…

-D-