Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crunch, Crawl, and Climb till you find your dream

For years, my brother and I have talked about hiking the Grand Canyon, and finally, we just decided to do it.

We each signed up for one of those bonus miles credit cards to help pay for our plane tickets. (If you want some serious advice on how to use bonus mileage offers to your advantage, check out The Art of Non-Conformity blog of Chris Guillebeau, the man who finished his quest to travel to every country in the world this year. Specifically, the following two posts might be helpful:

Then, we started training. Or, I should say, I started training. My brother is probably in the top 1% of Americans who are supremely fit. I’ve been on the fitness track ever since I graduated from college, but I would never call myself a fitness buff.
The two biggest challenges we’ll face are heat and altitude. Florida excels in the heat department, but it scores an F for “Flat” on the altitude scale. So, I purchased my rucksack (50% off – so proud of myself for finding that good deal), filled it with bricks and water, and have been hiking around my neighborhood for the last several months.
Yep, I get stares.

So what. People who stick to their goals often raise a few eyebrows.

Whatever mountain (or canyon) personifies or embodies your dream, I want to encourage you to go for it. Just remember, the path won’t always be easy. In my own opinion, there are three Cs the journey will require:

1.       Crunch: Whether physical crunches to burn your abs or wallet crunches to create your budget, pain and sacrifice are often requirements for achieving goals.

2.       Crawl: Don’t expect immediate results. Practice and perseverance are twin companions for those who are training to reach their dreams.

3.       Climb: Remember that with God, all things are possible. After the mountaintop, there might be a valley, but He is always right there by your side to see you through whatever successes or failures you face.

Be a “goal-getter.” See you back here next time – hopefully with some stunning pictures to share.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Reading: What’s on your list?

I love summertime.

And summer reading.

This summer, I have some extra reading on my list. Since I will be teaching full time at Spring Hill Christian Academy next fall, I’m pouring over the teacher’s editions for an English class, American history class, and three computer classes.

Today, I read about the Lost Colony and the one, cryptic clue left concerning the fate of those first settlers; the Plymouth Pilgrims and Mayflower Compact; and don't forget Pocahontas and Squanto. 

Who says history is boring?

Aside from “required reading,” I'm also chipping away at the list below. My goal is to finish by August. 
  • C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (fiction/fantasy)
  • Jen Hatmaker’s Seven (devotional) – If you're interested, check out my review.
  • Dani Pettrey’s Shattered (fiction/suspense) – This is the sequel to Submerged, which I reviewed back in January.
  • Chris Guillibeau’s $100 Startup (business) – Read his book The Art of Non-Conformity first. He is a secular author with some practical, brilliant ideas. 
  • Elisabeth Elliot’s Keep a Quiet Heart (devotional) – I’ve read it twice, but it’s just that good.
  • Another book or two from Dee Henderson’s O’Malley Series (fiction/suspense)
I’m half way through the list, and once I’m done, I’ll be able to add more.

What does your summer reading list look like? What “must reads” would you recommend?