“Now we shall possess a right definition of faith if we call it a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit…..If then, we would be assured that God is pleased with and kindly disposed toward us, we must fix our eyes…on Christ…We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ.  We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else.”

John Calvin

I need faith. We all need faith. Anyone that takes a step back to look at life can see the injustice of the world, the improbability of success, the blessings of God that we do not deserve. I take a step back every new year and spend some time alone evaluating the last year and praying/planning for the next. This year when I spent the holiday with friends at a wonderful mountain cabin in the smokies I had several things on my mind. Among them my wonderful family, the upcoming soccer season, and the uncertainty of life.

snowmen from hiking in the smokies

My family is quite wonderful. A few highlights from the Christmas Holiday included one of my stocking stuffers. On my posted Christmas list on the blog (see the post entitled “how the world turns”) I listed needing a crocheting needle since I’d lost 2 needles in one of my eight moves in the last couple years. My mom sneakily got me a needle (in the perfect color – GREEN) and snuck it in my stocking with everything else. Thats love right there. So small and seemingly insignificant, but sweet love.

A second family highlight is how awesome my brothers are. Not to make a short story long, but I enjoy our adult relationships: where we can fight fair and work through real issues in life, have forgiveness for the mistakes we make, learn, converse and discuss things happening in the world. It was hard, sweet, and refreshing all at the same time.  (I could go on and on about my Dad too, but I’ll save that for another post)

On the upcoming season and the uncertainty of life…

Faith is the gift from God to know that God sent love to us. I can be a doubter. I can doubt this season will go well. I can doubt I’ll find a team, or a job, or a life that I love. Or I can trust that God has good intended for me, not because I love him so well or am so great of a person, but because He loved me while I was a sinner. Its crazy love at that. But I have faith that soccer or no soccer, coaching or not coaching, working or not enjoying my work, living or suffering that Jesus loves me. Not in a far off “I won’t punish you too much” kind of way, but in a “if you’d get past yourself for a minute and saw how much I(God) love you you’d never be the same” kind of love.

This New Year time for me was refreshing to get away, relax, rest, play with friends, sleep, pray, read, make lots of fires… Taking a step back to get a focus on life, to reaffirm the path I’m on to pursue soccer as long as makes sense and then move on to giving the game back to others what has meant so much to me. I am hoping that it will be a long while till that happens, but as we all know…

Life is uncertain. Live it on purpose.

Who to protect for the WPS expansion draft – San Jose Pro soccer |

Who to protect for the WPS expansion draft – San Jose Pro soccer |

Check out the story… who do you think should be protected?? Lots of drama going on behind the scenes I am sure. Expansion Draft is scheduled for November 4th.

Are you ready to run with the Red Stars?

The Chicago Red Stars slogan for the year is

“Are you ready to run with the Red Stars?”

Well, are you? How can you know if you are ready unless you know who we are and what we go? So here goes a look into what its like to run with the red stars.

Day 1. For this new Red Star my first day consisted of a 11 hour drive to the great city of Chicago. Now while I LOVE road-trips, they are more fun when you have people with you and are on vacation. Some enjoyable moments for me… KFC in Kentucky (well almost, I thought I was in Kentucky, but actually the last town in Tennessee. oops, good try?), wondering at the windmills in Indiana, lots of great me time with my ipod, and of course that Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard I stopped for when I needed a pick me up!

Day 2. Being excited and slightly nervous about joining the team (for those of you that don’t know me I am more of a quiet person that takes a bit to warm up to my wonderful extroverted self) I woke up super early [5:15 AM] and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I headed to my Dr’s appointment for an entrance physical to get cleared to play. Thankfully since I was way early the World Cup was on in the waiting room. ++interruption, I love soccer. And done++ Both docs cleared me, and after watching the last 15 min of practice the trainer cleared me to play.

Meeting the team was great… except we have a few jokers on the team. Jess tried to pass herself off as Anita. Little bugger. But since the girls had already helped me with names I called her out! Yes ma’am!! Anyway, Kelsey took me in and invited me to hang at the home front since I was currently residing in a hotel. Great afternoon of food, fun, soccer, and family dinner!!

Day 3. First Practice! My first practice with the team was also my first day at Toyota Park. What an amazing arena to compete it. We were on the practice field and I got my first chance to play with the team. It all seemed like a blur trying to remember everyone’s name, learn the new coaching styles, and make some saves!

Day 4-6. With the team on the road I had a little time to explore my new city! I coached at a Red Stars camp in Indiana and had a great time with the campers even though we were run indoors due to a massive thunderstorm! Through FCA I’ve met lots of awesome people… and had the fortune to get introduced to new friends in Chicago!! My new friend Jess took me to a Church near me and helped me meet several people I now call friends. With the new friends comes new activities… my church friends play Ultimate Frisbee in Lincoln Park on Mondays and have dinner afterwards. All my explorations of the city were so much fun!

A week in the life of a Red Star! Hope you enjoyed the run!

Welcome to Chicago!!

Hey Blogworld!!

What is shakin?! To those of you who are not on twitter or my facebook fan page you may not have heard the news… drumroll please… I was traded to Chicago this last weekend! Unfortunately the paperwork didn’t go though in time for me to be with the team over the weekend, but I have spent the time becoming a little more familiar with my new home.  ++disclaimer No pictures to upload for now, so my excellent word choice will have to do as an adequate description++

I’ve never lived in a city before so this is quite an experience for me. No parking. No massive stores. LONG commute to practice. One grocery… 6 blocks away that you are supposed to walk to. BUT… amazing restaurants, busy night life, lots of eligible bachelors, local coffee shops, parks, active people. Did I mention the food? I am going to have to take up running or something like that to keep me from blowing up (and all you know what a statement that is for a goalkeeper). I am loving it so far, though its barely been a week. I found a church and some new friends my 2nd day in the city. Loving doing cool stuff with them already like ultimate frisbee in Lincoln park (no, I did not play. I’m not allowed). Looking forward to a beach trip this weekend maybe!

The team is amazing. Love my Red Stars. The transition for a player joining a team mid-season can be uncomfortable, but everyone here is amazing. Practices are crisp, to the point, and fun. The team is fun, and are really great people. The coaches are on point. Loving Nate the gk coach, its fun learning new things everyday. But the Red Stars have been a great change for me. As much as Atlanta was close to home and has a lot great things with the girls on the team, the stadium, the owners it was time to move on. Looking forward to this new stage. Keep following me on Twitter @whitgk or my fan page on facebook (Allison L Whitworth). Thanks for the support and I will try to update here soon!