Friday, July 20, 2012

That's Why I'm Here by Chris Spielman

Many football fans know the accomplishments of Chris Spielman on the field.  While this book does talk about his football career, it's mainly about his wife's battle with cancer and the legacy she has left behind.

What makes Stefanie Spielman's story so inspirational?  Her attitude.  Chris says, "You need to know that Stef never viewed cancer as an unfair or undeserved penalty that took something away from her.  She saw it instead as an opportunity to complete a mission that God had designed especially for her...It became our mission to make her diagnosis public in hopes of helping others.  We saw it as our calling, our divine purpose.  We wouldn't have chosen this path, but now that we had to walk it, we determined to use our experience and our lives as an opportunity to serve men and women who might need our help."  They were able to use Chris's celebrity status to increase awareness and raise lots of money for cancer research.  Stefanie was also able to use her struggles to comfort and encourage others in many different ways.  The Spielmans' credit their faith in God as the sustaining force in their family and share that faith in the course of the book in a non-pushy way.

Football fans will not be disappointed...there is about 60 pages of pure football memories from the time of Chris's youth up until the end of his career.  I found some of it to be interesting, but personally could have done with a shorter re-cap :)  It is neat to see Chris's growth from a man obsessed with football to a man focused on how God would have him help others.  He says "The first part of my life focused solely on winning, or trying to win.  If I didn't win, it made me more obsessed to win the next time.  Now I look at life differently.  It's not what you accomplish that's most important.  It's what you experience and overcome along the way.  Instead of always looking for the end result, I've learned to embrace the journey."

Whether you read this book for the football stories, or you read because you can relate to the battle with cancer, you will come away with something outlook that we can't always choose what happens to us, but we can choose what to do with it.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

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