I was debating about writing this today. I have had a horrible migraine all day, the nausea from it has not subsided, the pain is horrible even as I write and my vision is so-so. I am battling a bit of depression and I am easily moved to outbursts of tears for no reason. At the moment, I don't feel much emotion about anything. I just want to crawl up in bed and do nothing. So, why on earth would I choose to write now about the man I love the most and an event that meant the world to me?
I choose to write it now for all those very reasons. It’s easy to write when I am up, have butterflies in my stomach and I am on cloud nine, but today I writing the things I know to be true regardless of emotions.
First of all: Thank you Kelly, Kate, Cindy, Pastor Jeff & Joyce, Jimmy, Jim, Drew, Tom, Glen & Deb, Bob & Linda, Josh & Alison, Matt, Paulie, our children Chris, Aaron & Miriam for seeing in Bob the light of Christ and surrounding our family on a night that, to us and hopefully for you, was a big deal in the Koehne household.
Last night, my family and several people that are dear to my husband and I were treated by The Phoenix Suns to come to the last home basketball game to witness my husband, Bob, receive the Spirit of Cotton award. It’s a big deal. Why? Because there are a lot of awards a coach can receive that reflect on their stats, wins and documented success. This award, however, acknowledges something beyond wins (this was his 2nd losing season in 20 years. go figure!)
“The Spirit of Cotton Award, named in memory of former Suns’ head coach, Cotton Fitzsimmons, who passed away in July 2004, honors a high school coach in Arizona who consistently demonstrates the best qualities of a coach, educator, mentor and community leader.”
This award came because his players and students believed him to be a man that carried those exceptional qualities and shared that with the Suns Charities organization.
As the women that has been married to Bob Koehne for over 20 years, I know firsthand how deserving he is of this award. As a wife it is encouraging when others see what you already know to be true.
From the heart of his son "My dad has been an absolutely amazing coach, mentor, educator, and example to me all my life and I'm so glad he is receiving this award. I can't think of a more deserving man."-Aaron Koehne
With that said. The greatest thing about this award is the way in which my husband received it … “It is a privilege to be able to coach young men each year and teach not only the game of basketball, but more importantly, life lessons. Oftentimes, success in sports is measured in wins and losses, but the longer I coach the more I recognize true success in high school athletics is measured in the development and maturity of the young men I have the opportunity to coach and mentor.”-Bob Koehne
For Bob, this award was not given to him, but to the team and to the school as a testimony to the opportunity and platform that the Lord has given him and so many others to witness and train up the next generation.
Bob is an honorable man, full of integrity, forgiven and forgiving. He has dedicated his life to serve the Lord, to me his wife, to our children, to Christian education and coaching basketball (as evidenced on the night of our middle child’s birth, which I will now publicly admit, that I sent him off to coach the game with my blessing.)
If I seem to be bragging a bit about my husband, it is true. And even if I wanted to, I don’t even have the energy today to exaggerate, simply stating the facts. Even though awards, trophies and accolades will fade the heart of what is true will remain forever. Bob is a forgiven man who loves the Lord and serves those God puts in front of him. He takes his forgiveness and forgives others. He pours into the lives of so many so that they can pour into the lives of others. He is a wonderful man. That is true no matter if I am up or down, on the high side of being bi-polar or the low side. Facts are facts. And for this wife, remembering that in my ups and downs is crucial.
Our reality is that we have nothing to boast in except Jesus Christ and it is because of Him that I boast in what God has done through this man, my husband, your colleague, your coach, your child's coach, your friend, your brother in Christ... Bob Koehne.
Enjoy some more photos from the night. Well done Bob Koehne! Well done Valley Lutheran High School. Soli Deo Gloria
Phoenix Suns Charities Link
Feeling kinda down tonight. Part of it is that I am literally very tired. Part of it is my natural body rhythm after I have been on the road and I begin to decompress. Most of it, however, is the new reality that I am walking into.....#PreEmptyNestSyndrome
Spent the evening sending my daughter, my last of three, my baby-girl off to her senior prom. I am not a highly emotional person when it comes to milestones, but this one got me. Prom seems to be one of the first of the many last events as the school year comes to a close.
I know that time goes fast, but I'm just not ready for it to go this fast. I look at my friends who are the same age or older than me chasing after toddlers longing to get past the diaper stage. My words of "Cherish every moment, they will be gone in the blink of an eye" seem pointless and un-reassuring. Yet, here I stand, just barely in my 40's with a son graduating college next week, a daughter about to enter college and a middle son in the midst of it. How did this happen?
Even more amazing of "How did this happen?".... Is how did these kids happen to turn out so amazing? When people ask me about my kids, I tend to say "They are NOTHING like me when I was their age!" That is a huge compliment. My children love the Lord, love each other (more now than when they were younger) and respect their parents. They are active in school activities, Bible study, serving others in need....They don't drink, they don't smoke and they don't do drugs. See they are nothing like me when I was their age.
And honestly I don't know how that happened....not sure how I didn't completely screw them up. Kudos to their Dad and his constant presence in their lives. The other thing I know is that for reasons beyond what I can imagine, the Lord had and continues to have His hand of protection on them. There really is no other explanation. Basically, He protected them from me when I couldn't.
Back to the point....I'm down, I'm a bit depressed, but still I rejoice at the gifts my babies are and always will be as they grow, walk out their calling in life and begin to impact the next generation. I have to constantly trust that God loves them more than I do, so His hands are truly the safest place for them to be. But it's still hard to see my baby girl grow up.
Most days, I just want them to curl back up and crawl up on my lap and cuddle with their Mama. But instead I get to send baby-girl off to prom (glad that she went with friends and no date...totally not ready for that!)
To my Miriam Evangel: I love you and I am so proud off you. Walking you off to your last Prom was pure joy and such an honor. My heart is full and in awe of the young women that you are and the women that you will become in Christ!
Trusting God for the future.
The past..treasured in my heart forever.
There is something so crippling beautiful at the moment when God is victorious in spite of our failing ..."My flesh may fail, but my God, He never will." The fact that he uses me still boggles my mind.
With the bread of tears turning to joy, I write this blog entry today. Each day I read through the Bible, the Word of God. It is life to me. I cry EVERY-DAY in His Word, because it is so powerful. It moves, it convicts, it redeems and it changes me....EVERYDAY! Yet, how quickly I get up and forget all that He has said, all that He had done. I am like one of those ridiculous Israelites who witness with their own eyes His miracles and then so easily forget.
Today I read through three chapters in Joshua as they prepare to take the Promised land, I read a Psalm that pierced my soul as I began to sing it out loud. I read 2 chapters in Luke when Jesus spoke of the narrow door, the wedding feast and healed the sick. He spoke truth to Pharisees and challenged ME to give it all up for His sake.
It was there in Luke 13:24 "Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able" that the study notes read "Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to salvation ALL other hopes are misplaced." I highlighted this study note, I circled it, I claimed it as the message I would share next time I am out on stage or at an event, which happens to be tonight. I said "God I will tell your people!!"
I was charged up. I sat at my piano as I often do and began to sing the Word of God. I sang Psalm 80:19 "Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!"
While I was singing, I heard a peculiar scratch at the door (my doorbell doesn't work) so I stopped and peeked through the glass and there were two ladies there (beautiful ladies) so I stepped outside to talk to them. They asked if that was me singing and said how beautiful it was. Then they invited me to their church event at the Kingdom Hall, to which I responded "No thank you, I am not a Jehovah Witness, but I am a follower of Jesus Christ" to which they said..So are we..etc. and then off they went. I went back in my house closed the door and instantly my shoulders drooped, I let out a sigh and my heart melted.
I had JUST told God moments before, I would give it all up that I would be strong and courageous, not only that, but I would be VERY strong and VERY courageous, tell those people he puts in front of me "Jesus Christ, the son of God the tribune God, is the ONLY way to salvation and that ALL other hopes are misplaced!!"
I stood their in awe of my epic #FAIL. I felt defeated, I said God why do you use me, I fail so much. I looked back out and they were down the block now under the supervision of some seasoned mentors. I hesitated as typically they do not take anything we hand to them. I held back. I screamed to to the Lord, "GOD BRING THEM BACK, BRING THEM BACK, LET ME SEE THEM WHEN THEY COME BACK AND I WILL TELL THEM!"
In perfect #EPIC God fashion, they looped back the other side of the block. There was a distance between them and their mentors, not a big distance, but I didn't care. I knew that God went before me.
I crossed the street and mentioned to them how they enjoyed my singing and that I wanted to give them a CD with my voice on it for them to listen to. They took it, they kept it, they received it and then I said it....."Ladies I want you to know that your hopes are misplaced. Jesus Christ, the son of God who rose from the dead, the Triune God is your only hope of salvation, ALL other hope is misplaced!"
And with that, I departed, with THAT, I rejoiced at how "My flesh may fail, but my God, He NEVER will. I may be weak, but His spirit is strong in me."
Here is what I learned:
1. I forget so quickly... I need the Word of God by my side at all times, written on my heart and on the tip of my tongue. If I am in the word everyday, how much more to do I need it every moment.
2. As a singer, my stage & platform is NOT my stage and platform.
I thought God was preparing a word for me to share tonight when I sing at an event. No, he was preparing it because He knew who was walking down the street at that moment.
3. I fail all the time...God forgives, God redeems and God gives me another chance.
4. I am reminded that this life is short, there is no time to hesitate. God goes before me, whom shall I fear?
5. My assumptions don't come into play when I roll with the King of Kings.....I thought they would not accept my CD or my word, but God knew they would. So now I pray for the truth to bloom!
Why do I share this with you, this failure of mine? I share it because God is victorious even when we fail. Don't beat yourself up, keep your eyes open. God has prepared, in advance, amazing things for us to be a part of. Be ready when the opportunity knocks (literally sometimes at your door.)
I share so that my past (even though it was a short time ago) is not your future. God redeems our failures because He is just that kind of a God. Mighty to save!
I am on a mini retreat vacation in Chicago staying with my brother and his family. I have no plans...I sleep, I wake up, I laugh with my nieces, watch my nephews play baseball...oh and have a personal massage therapist come to the house...all in a day's work!
This morning as I was sitting at the breakfast table with my brother and sister, we talked we laughed and then I opened my bible and the first verse I read was “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord." Deuteronomy 23:1. Well, that was a buzz kill to our laughter. Then I read on through Word and got to the place where Moses addresses nocturnal emissions. At this point I thought, how can it get any better? (insert sense of humor.) Not really fun to write about these verses (trust me, there is a reason and I will get to it before I share the verses about women eating their children and their afterbirth) but there was something that struck me deep in my heart through it.
If God addresses things like this, lays out rules, guidelines and how to handle THESE situations....HOW MUCH MORE will he address our daily concerns WHATEVER they are. We simply need to "Seek and read from the book of the Lord.." Isaiah 34:15
2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
The Word that God has given us, His book, the Bible is life, truth and necessary. It will guide us, teach us, and comfort us in ANY situation. Open it.... you can't live without it LITERALLY.
I would love for you to share about an issue you struggled with and where you found God addressing it in His Word and how it helped you. I would also love to hear if you are struggling to find the answer. Let's search it out together, maybe someone else has struggled and found where God addresses your particular need. It's there!
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
I just finished speaking and singing at a Women's event in New York. It was amazing. The hospitality, the love and the whole day were so well thought out, prayed over and executed.
I was able to share my story, encourage others to tell theirs, sing, fellowship and pray with several women.
In response, I got to hear many stories of how God was working in their hearts and I love that. People often feel comfortable sharing with me at these events especially since I have just bared my soul in front of the masses and I honor that. I pray and as God directs me I speak truth.
It's a joy to walk along side women in that moment as God peels away layers of hurt, bitterness and shame. Today, because of the boldness the Spirit gave me and probably also a bit of jet lag and lack of filter, my response to someones sharing of all the things they were doing that were out of God's will was a simple....."STOP IT!" Every situation that was explained to me, the response was the same "STOP IT!"
As I think about it, it may seem harsh, but I know that the greatest gift my husband gave me when I was doing things that were clearly out of God's will was "Stop it!" From there, it's on me. I was told. So, I felt like sharing that same gift (along with other counsel...accountability partners, the Word of God, prayer) with my new neighbor.
Situations are different...addictions are tough, I know. BUT, sometimes, there are are situations where we just need to stop it and stop acting a fool!
*DISCLAIMER~ There is a good chance after I sleep for a few days, that I might re-think this post, but what's the fun in that. #SayItLikeYouMeanIt
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 #Truth
I'm not sure, but the fact that I was watching this video the other week, may have contributed to my new counseling tips. Enjoy, have a laugh! and if you are doing something you shouldn't.... #StopIt
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.