We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)


Grandgirlie, Tori, is in North Carolina this weekend with her Cheer Squad competing for the championship at the National Finals. Last year, the team won it all so there is a bit of pressure to finish well.

The old adage, “Practice, practice, practice” resonates in each team member when they run onto the floor knowing they have done the work to win. They even got a little extra practice at the airport while they waited for a delayed flight.

But it also comes into play when the unplanned happens. I watched Tori (via live streaming) move right where she was supposed to be even though she had been unintentionally struck in the eye during the routine. She never missed a beat. She may have a shiner tomorrow but that is for another day.

We watch and learn from a little girl’s endurance under trial and see from her actions the strength of character to carry on.

I thought I had everything all planned and organized in my life until a doctor’s prognosis tripped me up this week. It’s not life threatening but it will change my life. I have macular degeneration and it’s progressing more rapidly than I would like. I watched both of my parents struggle with it, especially my dad. Things that I take for granted now, such as driving, will become impossible. I think the loss of independence is what I will miss most.

Yet, last year has taught me again and again that my dependance must be on God alone. He’s not going anywhere and I know I can grab His hand whenever I need it. However, it changes my perspective: Live each day to the fullest. Don’t put off something that I want to see or do. Love extravagantly. Be grateful for little things. Show appreciation.

In His great mercy, God is developing my character, giving me strength and confident hope in all that He has for me.

Way to go, Tori!