Sunday, August 12, 2007

1st gymnastics meet!!

Today was Natalie's very first competitive meet in gymnastics. She is a level 4 gymnast which pretty much means a beginner. I need to tell a little about Natalie's history in this sport and a tiny bit about the transformation that has gone on around here in the last couple of years for you to appreciate this, though. When Natalie was about 18 months old we noticed that she just seemed to be a bit....what we lovingly called clumsy. It seemed like she and gravity were having a battle every day and gravity was winning. From the very beginning we would "tease" her and poke fun at the way she would always fall and sometimes hurt herself. We would speak that identity over her. Have you ever looked back on things in your life and wish you could take it back? Well this is one of those things. Things went from being funny to being a little more serious when she would fall. At one point she fell on a humidifier and got a severe burn on her arm and still carries that large scar to this day. She has had near misses with motorcycles and flying skateboards coming within inches of her face. Yet, we continued to speak this identity over her without even realizing what we were doing. We began to notice that she would say these things about herself too. She would say things like "I always do things like this. I'm so clumsy". It broke my heart. So we signed her up for gymnastics to see if it would help with some coordination. Not so much. So she quit. Well, one day the Lord grabbed me and rocked my world. A very long story for another time! But a transformation began in my life. Lets just say this. I always believed in and loved God. But now I had a deep relationship with Him that changed EVERYTHING in my life. I live different. I parent different. I love different. Everything is different. And I have a peace and a freedom like never before. I know....another time. Anyway, one of the things He allowed me to realize is that Satan loved the fact that we opened Natalie up to being "accident-prone". He loved the fact that she doubted herself and had little confidence. So Brian and I vowed to never speak that stuff over her again. I also had to repent of it. So there were nights that I would go in her room after she was asleep and cry and pray and speak a new identity over her, her true identity! That she is precious, valued, confident, etc. We told her that mommy and daddy without knowing it were hurting her and asked for forgiveness. forward to January of THIS year. Yes I said this year! Natalie asked if she could try gymnastics again. We said yes. So she did and I came home and told Brian that she really was different this time. She would pick things up quickly! After that session was over the coach came out into the hallway and asked if I would mind bringing Nat to a more advanced class the next day. Just to see what would happen. Sure! So she went and after that class the coach came out and said these words. "Natalie is really good. When I give her instructions she does them and does them well. I think she is ready to try being on team...if she wants to." WHAT???? Wow! The Lord totally restored us! Natalie has a confidence that comes from the Lord. Totally!! He gave that to her! And so many other things I could go on and on about. So she joined and has been training this summer for 10 hours a week! Thats alot but she loves every second of it. And she'll keep doing this as long as her heart desires. Gymnastics is NOT a cheap sport either but everytime a payment has come up...the Lord has provided!! Praise Him!! Today was her first meet and she did really well! We were very proud. She got pretty good scores for a first meet too, but she didn't care. She was most excited about the medal she got and the candy bag someone brought!!! Wow, this is a long post! Sorry! I can't help myself when it comes to the new things the Lord is doing in our lives! Here are some pictures of today and our little gymnast!

Warming up for her floor routine!

Most of the Level 4's being really bored waiting for their teammates to finish!

Natalie waiting to begin her floor routine

They all got to pose up there after they received their medals!


MattandSara said...

Oh my goodness! I'm blubbering like a crazy woman. I'm just so proud of her. I can't wait to come see her at a meet. She will be such a better woman because of the freedom she can walk in, knowing that she is EXACTLY who God designed her to be. Love you.

TriSara said...

That is a great story! I think it is really great that you wrote it down, too. It is always so encouraging to read testimonies. She looks like a gymnast, doesn't she! Very exciting, congratulations!

M Holly said...

Way to got Natalie! We are so proud of you. We will be at your next meet, "Lord willing and the creek don't rise", as Jo-Jo always said. You are such a beautiful young lady and we know that God has given you this beauty and your talent for gymnastics.

Papa & Mommy Holly

Kari said...

Oh, that brings back so many memories! I can't wait to see y'all sometime so I can talk to Natalie about all the tricks she's learning!

Chelsea said...

I am way behind on blogworld and just loved this post about your Natalie. What a testimony this is to the way the Lord delights in us each day in EVERY detail! You know He has been so proud of Natalie AND of you and Brian for the way you have turned this entire situation around for His glory.

I'm so glad that this has been so successful for Natalie---she truly looks like SUCH the gymnast with the cool leotard and everything! Keep on working hard Natalie!!

Kim, Aaron, Jake, and Jack said...

How cute is she!? Love it. I sure hope we are blessed with a little girl...not at all that I don't love all these boys I am blessed with...but girls are just so cute! I mean look at her!?