Sunday, April 3, 2011

From Russia - With Love

Hello everyone!

I know that it has been some time since I last spoke to you all. But I have to tell you that I have been taking that time to get a closer relationship with God as well as set some quiet time aside to be able to hear Him, without having any distractions. I hope you all forgive me for trying to gain that closer relationship with my Lord and Savior.

I will tell you - when I first got to Kursk Russia, I struggled big time and said (as well as still say) that this is by far one of the toughest places that I have played in. I asked God for about a month of me struggling to be here, why did He have to take me so far away to be miserable? He let me know that He needed my FULL attention and believe me He definitely got it. LOL.
There is not very much at all to do here in this city. There is a small bowling alley, a theater that is Russian (no subtitles either), and a small grocery store/mall. To top it all off, I came here to a team that had just lost out of Euro-Cup so there were only 5 games to be played within 89 days! That's right 89 days! Five games in 3 months! Now if you don't see that as time to spend with God, then I dont know what else I could do!

Now with all this negativity that I have started this blog out with, i now have to share with you the positiveness in it all.

I have learned a lot since being here. I have learned about myself, about others, and a little about this culture. I was told by one of my coach's husbands that as a young child, Russians were taught that they only have one enemy and that is Americans! I say this to say that through the game of basketball, this sport that I am blessed to play, I am not able to see that with all the laughter and fun that we have with one another. There is definitely a language barrier, but we are somehow able to understand and respect one another greatly. My American teammate Michelle Snow (San Antonio Stars) has helped me out tremendously and I am thankful that the Lord allowed our paths to cross like this. I have been able to grow and be helped in growing and vice versa, and it has been great.  Michelle definitely has a great heart and loves helping others. The genuineness (say that 5 times fast!) in her is something that is rare. You don't find that too often, so I am truly happy that I got the chance to be her teammate.

This has been a growing experience for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed every last minute of it.

My mother and one of my friends was able to come over and visit. I am happy that i could help them with that experience. Neither one had ever been out of the country, and I can tell you they were only here for a week, but they will have a year's worth of stories to tell. My mom was supposed to stay with me the entire month, but she said she couldn't take it - LOL - so i think that her visit will go down as the shortest visit ever! She was ready to go after 2 days, but she stretched it out to 6, and to America she went back. I didn't argue with her though, nor did I make her feel bad about it, I knew it was difficult and it was her first experience so I understood. The good thing about all of that was that she got the chance to see what I have to go through as a professional and she promised never to question me whenever I say I am tired again LOL and i will definitely hold her to that!

Well everyone I am writing to you right now as we partake in a 16 hour train ride and it 3:45AM here so I guess I will get me some rest. I apologize again for the long wait but please know that during that time I did think about you all, and I grew into a better person. 

I know that the difficulties with my website kept you out of the loop with things also, but i am working to get that back up really soon. I appreciate all of your patience and more than anything your support.

We have just competed the first round of the playoffs and it was definitely a total team effort. I am so proud of my teammates and how big they stepped up. To come back and beat a team two games in the row to advance speak volumes for us. Loree Moore and Jessica Davenport led their team well.

Well now its time to prepare for the next round. So until next time...... I hope everyone is doing well.