Monday, January 9, 2012

Oregon Trail Qualifier...

The thing about speech tournaments is that you never know how they're going to turn out.  You might have a speech perfectly memorized and mess up and not break to out rounds, and you might be memorizing a speech as you walk in the door and place 1st.  You might have an apologetics box full of cards and not place as highly as somebody who has only seven cards.  This is just part of what a tournament is.  All of the students who have done more than one tournment have come to grips with this.  It may not always seem fair, but that's a tournament.

The thing about speech in general is that you never know how you, as a speaker, are going to do.  You might pull a card in apologetics that happens to be your favorite and totally fail, or you might pull one that you have been avoiding for ages and totally own the room.  You might have years of experience or this might be your first speech, and either way, you have no clue how things are going to turn out.

My third round of Persuasive was great.  I had lots of friends in the room, the judges were responsive, I wasn't making mistakes...and then I started to cry.  In this speech I talk a little bit about my cousin, Caroline, who died two years ago when she was hit by a car.  I did just fine the first two rounds, and I was doing just fine my third, and then I recited the poem that she wrote, and, when I finished the poem, I started crying.  I actually had to pause for a little while and I sort of choked out my conclusion.

It's so strange, I started writing this speech in October.  I knew that I'd be using Caroline's poem from the beginning.  I've read it dozens of times, practiced my speech over and over and over and over, read it to people, read it to myself, and have written it out about a million times, and it still hit me like that.  I finished the poem and all I was thinking was, "This is Caroline's, she should be here."

In the end, more often than not, we speakers learn far more than anyone else does.  As I gave my speech the message hit me over and over.

Yes, being a Semi Finalist in Apologetics is a blessing, but I learned so much through that experience that qualifying for Regionals is just a cherry on top.  Yes, second in Persuasive is wonderful, but the crowning glory, my true, "success," at this tournament is to be found in judge comments, not in that medal.

"I'm sorry about your Cousin, Caroline.  You honored her very well." ~Round 1

"Very good.  Would not change a thing.  Please don't change a thing!" ~Round 3

"This speech was refreshing and challenging.  Your cousin's example really made your point 
come alive.  Thank you so much!"  ~Round 3

"Compelling." ~Finals

"Well crafted and inspiring... You brought the passion and empathy of personal connection...May you continue to use God's given gifts, abilities, talents,passions for His glory." ~Finals

They got it!  They got the message!  God is good.  Man, He is so good.

Over and out,


Thursday, January 5, 2012

One last First

You know what I just realized?

This is my last first tournament of the season.



By the time you read this, I will have finished my last first round of the season.

My mom will have probably just told me to eat.  I will have said that I'm not hungry, I never am at tournaments.  She'll insist, and I'll eat a handful of trail-mix, or some chili mangoes and peanut butter, or a granola bar.  Somebody will say that I need to eat more, and I'll laugh.

What a strange thought.

 "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven"
~ Ecclesiastes 1:3

Over and out,


Sunday, January 1, 2012

True Prince

You guys must know by now that I have been crazy...about an upcoming speech tournament.  This past week I was freaking out like I have literally never done before in my life.  I was nearly sick a few times, could barely eat anything all week and was, in all honesty, wondering how God could ever help me to pull things together in time.

I had a Duo to memorize, block and figure out voices for.  I had a twelve and a half minute Persuasive that needed to be cut down to ten minutes and memorized and I had a ton of Apologetics cards that I needed to get done.

All by January third.

Now, I know that this can be done, and is often done by "speechers."  I've done close to this before, myself.  I don't know what it was, but something was keeping me from trusting God.  I was at the point of almost asking my mom if my sister and I could drop the Duo; I had actually asked my sister about it.

And then, as always, God came through.

He did a miracle, actually.  It still blows my mind.  Really, it's totally unbelievable.

I was sitting on FaceBook a few days ago and a friend of mine asked how ready I was for the tournament.

I'm an honest person. hehehe =)

So, he offered to help me cut my Persuasive.  He asked for a deadline and I told him the next night, which he said was totally fine.

He had my impossible speech cut by eight o'clock the next evening.

It is now almost exactly ten minutes.  Our Duo is now blocked, voices chosen and both speeches are being memorized.

This may not sound like the perfect miracle to you, but I can't even tell you what this did to my trust in God.

I've probably posted on this blog about trust more than anything else.  I guess it's probably because I struggle with trust more than anything else that I can think of right now.  I like to have things under control.  I like to be able to take care of things, and have them work out perfectly.  I never thought I was much of a control freak, but now that I really think about it, I totally am.

When my life starts to fall apart and my plans crumble, my first instinct is to loose it.  I end up paralyzed by my fear of failure, and as the result, I end up getting nothing done, instead of trying harder.

Right at the last minute, though, my True Prince rides in on His glorious white steed, sweeps me off my feet, tells me that all is well and fixes everything that I thought was un-fixable.  Every time.

This is the God I serve.

Over and Out,


P.S.  Sorry about the lack of posts lately, life sure can get crazy sometimes.  I'll try to post again soon.  =)