Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Give ‘em Trouble

Posted on: April 10th, 2013 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

Louisville Women’s Basketball

It was by far the largest upset in women’s basketball history. When fifth seed Louisville Cardinals defeated number one seed and defending national champion, Baylor Bears, in this year’s Sweet 16 round of the NCAA 2013 Women’s Division I championship, time stood still as people gawked in disbelief.

The Louisville women won five games to get to the final national championship battle against Connecticut, but it didn’t come easy, and no one expected them to be there.  There was one team, one person, in the way: Baylor Bears Brittney Griner.  Like David and Goliath, Louisville needed to defeat Brittney, whose 6′ 8″ frame, a giant among women, practically shut down every team she played against.  The odds were stacked against them.  Brittany, the giant, took away the hope of many young ladies.  She shut down other teams’ offensive strategies, blocked them from scoring, and was an obstacle to their success. (more…)

Hospitality II: Stranger Danger

Posted on: March 14th, 2013 by Alaina Pompa No Comments

New FamilyI’m never comfortable meeting new people, and any big parade to welcome me and my family, honestly, would make me feel even more uncomfortable.

When I looked back at our last Thanksgiving holiday and the act of hospitality I experienced, I realized how much making friends usually involves taking some risks. It was just as risky for us to attend as it was for them to invite us.

So I’ve made peace with allowing people to see the mess that is my home and my life. My family regularly makes a practice of inviting people over to share meals with us.  But I will be honest that the people we invite are usually people we know and who are a lot like us. Every year my husband and I casually talk about having an open house and inviting the neighbors to attend, but so far we have never done it.

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Hospitality Part I: What is Biblical Hospitality?

Posted on: December 18th, 2012 by Alaina Pompa No Comments

Welcome

Why is it that we so often take something simple and make a big production out of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a big party and Hobby Lobby as much as the next girl, but is this what Paul meant when he said we are to “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality,” (Romans 12:13)?

As I began to learn about biblical hospitality one thing I notice is how often meals are shared.  This is exciting for me because I love to eat almost as much as I love to breathe.  In Jesus’ time a shared table meant a shared life.  To break bread with someone conveyed your acceptance of them.

The second idea to notice is the number of times hospitality revolves around home.  Our homes are private and personal.  In your home people will see the drapes you have chosen, the colors you like, the books you read, if you have kids, and if you have pets.   There are clues around a person’s home that reveal what makes that person tick.  Of course people may also see the stains on your carpet, the cat hair on your couch, the dishes in your sink and that your toilet could use a swish.  But this should not prevent us from inviting people into our homes, because hospitality is about people, not perfection.

Chaos

In 2007 our family moved to Florida where we didn’t know a soul. As a mom with young kids who works from home, I didn’t get out much.  In an effort to connect with other moms I joined a MOPS group.  In fact, I was so desperate for friendship that I joined three.

As Thanksgiving approached that year, I realized this would be the first year in my life that I didn’t have plans for a holiday that had always been about family and friends.  Then a mom at MOPS invited our family to join her family at her neighbor’s house for dinner.  All three of us had recently moved to the area and no one had extended family to share the day with. My husband and I were hesitant to go because I didn’t really know this mom, and I didn’t know her neighbor at all, but we accepted anyway.

Dinner was a potluck jumble of barstools, folding chairs, card tables, blue jeans and babies.   Nothing about it was coordinated or fancy.  There wasn’t even a formal table, let alone a tablescape.  But you know what?  It was perfect. 

Food, a friendly invite, and my new acquaintances was all that was needed to make us feel welcome.  If you’re considering hosting a gathering, don’t fear the fancy.  Keep it simple.  An open door is all you need.  Let perfect happen on its own.

This is the Stuff – Francesca Battistelli

Posted on: August 14th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

THIS IS THE STUFF THAT MAKES US EXPERTS.

Embracing Difficulties to become an Expert

Posted on: August 14th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk 4 Comments

 

Lisa’s path

Have you ever traveled on a difficult path and was a better person for it?  I was on that path recently, but it taught me some surprising lessons.

It was a chilly 40 degree spring day.  Somehow I was talked into waking up too early to mountain bike on unfamiliar terrain through the woods.  A disastrous concept at best.  I was with my girlfriends, Terri and Amy, at Hartman State Park, which is known to have one of the finest mountain biking trails in Northeast Wisconsin.

When I say “best” trails, to the extreme bikers, this means bike paths with narrow 3’ openings between “concrete” pines, hundreds of roots to “jump” over, and 2’ boulders to meander around.  There are steep cliff edges to avoid, rises in elevation that leave you burning, roller coaster drops that send you careening off the beaten path, climaxing in breathlessness.  That, my friend was the Easy track!

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when we decided to bike that day. I went flying over the front of the handlebars within the initial 30 minutes of our adventure. (more…)

Saved from a Raging River

Posted on: August 7th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

Two thousand and ten. The sun was bright, the air dry, and the rivers raging. It was one of the most exhilarating times of my life and one of the deadliest.

I embarked on a Colorado trip with 11 other adventurous women.   It was a June summer day as a big yellow school bus brought us to our destination: Class IV and V advanced white-water rapids. I thought I was in for a fun ride after the tour guide gave a most hilarious, side splitting, last minute training, on how to hang on to your oars, ride the river, and stay alive. I exited the bus, unconscious of the fact he wasn’t kidding, more concerned about hitting the outhouse before squatting in a raft for four hours.

THE 2010 COLORADO CREW

I was blissfully unaware that I was in for the ride of my life. Six of us more daring girls corralled into the same boat, with an oar in one hand, a sticky wet suit, a blue helmet, and an uncomfortably large inflatable vest. Our guide, a single 23-year-old young lad, maneuvered the boat from the rear. His clothes looked dirty, tattered and slept in. I just hope you know what you’re doing, I thought.

I started our journey in the front of the boat riding these unexpected 5’to 8’ high treacherous waves, banging into the rocks, soaked through from head to toe and chilled by the 45 degree water. Wet suits are just that. Wet and cold. I held on to dear life with my oar, while we all ironically laughed and screamed “go faster!” Each time we came to a calm section of the river, we all giggled with glee never having experienced this swelling of fear and fun in combination before. This was definitely the most fun I had ever had in my life.

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