Dear Scottie Pippen, I've been a fan since watching you beside Michael Jordan in the nineties when your team dominated world basketball. I need you to know that you are no longer my favorite forward.
Aleksandra's middle school team remains undefeated with only one more game to play. To put this into perspective, the team did not win a single game last season. These girls and their coach are epic.
Yesterday I was able to catch the final three minutes of her game. The girls are scrappy fighters. I love watching their intensity. They never let up. They press, they steal, they rebound... and my daughter is right there gaining some insights for life.
God has seen fit to give me two daughters that absolutely takes life head on. I was meek as a child, never engaging in competitive activities. This was something that I had to overcome as an adult... sometimes it causes me to overreach. I sat watching the game with Sterling in my lap. Her mind was engaged on overdrive.
She saw friends in every direction, she noticed the bugs in the air, the birds in the sky outside the window, the snacks by the door, the necklace around my neck, the phone in my pocket, the moles on my arm, thoughts of dinner, and Frozen, and when is her mom coming home?
She has gone from telling everyone that her mother is "never coming home," to saying she'll be back in "two weeks." I think today I finally convinced her that it is two more days. She's making it hard on her mother. She is highly skilled in working people's emotions to get what she wants.
Sterling has not missed a beat. She's a strong trooper. She has cried for her mother on two occasions: the two times we've connected on a video call. She cries and whines and clutches the iPad... and then after the theatrics, immediately follows up with a question, "What surprises are you bringing me?" Her methods work.
She has perfected the art of human expression and she can work it to get what she wants. A sad face, a tear, a sideways-head-tilted-sparkly-eyed smile... all are tools that she has mastered.
These girls can teach me a great deal. They chase life and they use every little bit at their disposal to grasp with open hands. There are days when I have to be less like the shy quiet little boy that I remember, and more like the aggressive ball-busters that are my daughters.
Live is meant to be lived with boldness. I woke up this day ready to hit the court with passion. After all, I also serve on an undefeated team.
For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.