Sunday, April 13, 2008

Start #2: Better, but still room for improvement

Hey guys,
This is my first post since Brianne has been talking care of all the action that has been taking place out here. She has done a great job letting ya'll know the ins and outs. I figured it's about time I give a little shout out. Sorry... I'll figure out how to do pictures when Brianne is around.

Life on the road. I forgot how much I don't enjoy 12 hour bus rides. We left Wednesday afternoon and arrived in Tulsa, OK at 4:30 am. After 3 games in Tulsa we arrived here in Springdale, AR. In all, we'll be on the road for a whole week. This is really the true test of what life is like as a married minor leaguer. For me, I have been living this life for the past 4 years so it isn't too big of a change since Brianne and I are use to a long distance relationship. At the same time this is the longest we have been apart since we got married. Lets just say life is much better when you get to spend each day with the person you are so in love with. I am missin her big time. The real challenge is for Brianne. Not only have i pulled her out of her comfort zone since we have moved away from SD (which she has never lived outside of), but now she is on her own in Corpus Christi. It is so awesome to see her faith grow right now. She is definitely outside her comfort zone, but is so evident she is leaning on God to get her though. God has blessed her with an awesome woman (a wife of another player) to make it through while i am gone. I can't be more thankful the she is in her life.

So my second outing was much improved from my first, but I still have more room for improvements. I felt so much more in control than I did last time. I was able to keep the ball down much better, but still wasn't able to make a crucial pitch to get out of a jam. Over the first 4 inns I yielded 1 run on 3 hits. I was on the verge of having a good start. My 5th was a little rocky though. I gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk. The end line score: 5 inn, 5 hits, 2 bb, 3 runs. Not bad but not good. I might add in there that i had an amazing sliding catch on a bunt attempt (which the announcer said was one of the most athletic catches he has ever seen) and i picked a guy off trying to steal 3rd.

It has been a slow start for me this season. Coming off an impressive end to spring I have been really let down by my performances. It is so tough to go from one extreme to another. As Brianne mentioned in the last post my emotions had been shaken a bit after my first. Baseball is a tough sport and will humble everyone at some point or another. Through it all I have been learning a ton about myself and my faith. I seem to grow so much more during season because I am faced with so much adversity. It is in these times that i have to cling to God's words to get me through. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4.
I feel God has been teaching me so much about what true success is. In human eyes it is solely based on performance. In order to reach success we must perform to a standard that humans have established as successful. I pressure myself with this so much because i know it is this success that is needed to advance my career. God continues to place an amazing verse (which is my life verse rightly so) that always refocuses me to a success that is valued by Him. Colossians 3:23-4 "Whatever you do, work at it with ALL of your heart, AS WORKING FOR THE LORD, NOT MEN, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. IT IS THE LORD CHRIST YOU ARE SERVING."
It is so tough to remain with this mindset when this game is only about worldly success and I will need to be successful to make it to the big leagues. In the end, I am reminded that God is faithful and has a distinct plan for Brianne and I. I must place all my faith and trust in Him and this plan He has already written.

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