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  She burrowed underneath the bright pink comforter, pulling the princess pillow over her face as she hid her pooling tears. “Mommy, should I join the competition team?” Ah. This again. She loves to flip and leap, cutting cartwheels across the den, contorting her body on the trampoline, and walking the beam on planks of the hardwood floor. She loves it, but last year she stayed a level below her ability because she didn’t want to compete - didn’t want to perform in front of people. My girl loves gymnastics, but others’ judgment and watching eyes strike terror in her heart. I wonder where she gets it. definesworth After being encouraged again to join the competition team, she had a decision to make. Should she join and compete this year or stay where she was? "What if I get a low score?" she whispered. Her muffled voice made its way through the pillow to my ears, and the underlying message of her question went straight to my heart. Her little-girl voice asked what my big-girl heart feels: "What if I'm not good enough?"

  I've been to some pretty crazy Clemson football games in my day. For 36 years, more if you count the time I spent in utero, I've been going to Death Valley and watching the Tigers compete against all number of opponents. I've seen wins and losses, and I've seen coaches come and go. I've tailgated early and tailgated late, and I've eaten way more than my fair share of junk food. Clemson football is a way of life in my family, and yes, I love and understand the sport. I've seen some pretty crazy games and taken part in some pretty crazy days. Like, for example, this one. Clemson versus Notre Dame, October 2015. Pouring rain, thanks to the remnants of Hurrican Joaquin. Notre Dame scored with seconds left in the 4th quarter to come within two points. They went for the 2 point conversion and were denied. A goal-line stand meant another Clemson win! Instant classic and a game I'll always remember because this is how we looked. Then there's this one. Clemson versus Alabama for the National Championship, January 2016. 4th quarter, tied at 24. Alabama turned a gutsy on-side kick into a touchdown and went up 31-24. Clemson answered with a field goal, 31-27. Alabama scored again,...


  When the world seems to be falling apart, what are we supposed to do? When the news is filled with murders and protests, what do we tell our children? When our nine-year-old asks, "Mommy, what happened in Charlotte?", what are we supposed to say? I don't know. I have way more questions than I have answers, and my silence on it all has been a sign of my hesitance. I haven't known what to say or how to say it, so I've stayed silent. But silence does nothing to make anything better. And I don't want my silence to be complicity. Regardless of your thoughts on police shootings and the guilt or innocence of those gunned down, you cannot deny that our country is facing enormous race issues. You can have a million opinions on why this is so, and you can pronounce a side that is right and a side that is wrong, but first you must be willing to admit that a huge problem exists. It is real, and it matters, and pretending it away or just hoping it will get better is never going to work. People are killing and people are dying, and race is part of the problem. People are hurting and...


  Sometimes, we forget what we wish we could remember. And sometimes we remember what we wish we could forget. Have you ever tossed restlessly at night, replaying events and words that just won't go away? How often I've prayed, "Lord, remove this from my thoughts. Take this out of my mind." Over and over on an endless loop, I see mistakes I've made and hear words I can't take back, and my memory becomes a weapon destroying my peace. Sometimes, it's not the memories themselves that are the problem. It's the lies we tell ourselves about the memories. We tell ourselves we're defined by what happened, and we believe the untruth that the words we said will never be forgiven. We live held hostage by the things that once were, and we refuse the grace that offers to redeem them. We remember what we need to forget, and we forget what we need to remember. We need to remember there's nothing too wrong to be made right again. There's nothing unforgivable and nothing unredeemable. There's nowhere too far gone, and there's no one too out of reach. We need to remember what Satan wants us to forget, and we need to forget what Satan wants us...