Category Archives for "college"

Learning To Embrace Life’s Milestones


Life goes by pretty fast.

This was so obvious to me this weekend.

Leanne and I took the day off on Friday, and we took the kids out of school for the day, so we could pay a visit to Messiah College and Grove City College for Hannah’s first college visits.  This hardly seems possible.  It’s a little early as Hannah is finishing up her sophomore year in high school, but we had some connections at Grove City College, and the timing was right to begin this journey.

The weekend was spectacular.  Both of the visits went very well.  We felt welcomed at these beautiful campuses.

I remember visiting Grove City College with my Dad.  It was the summer, so there weren’t any students on campus.  I didn’t know very much about the school, but there was something that seemed to fit just right when I visited to the school. My Dad and I drove seven hours to and from the school which gave us opportunity to talk about the college and about the college decision.  I remember my interview in Crawford Hall.  And I remember a feeling of excitement and fear.  I’d imagine this is what Hannah was feeling this weekend.

I need to get my parents perspective on the whole college visiting, selection, and sending process.  I’m starting to understand that there was probably a mix of thoughts and feelings related to the whole thing.  On the one hand, there is such excitement.  Our daughter will be ready for this.  She is smart.  She is a hard worker.  She is well-rounded.  And she is becoming more and more independent.  On the other hand, there is a mix of feelings that include fear and sadness.  How could it be that we are looking at colleges already?  Why does it seems like life goes by so fast?  Once we send Hannah to college, I know that things will change forever.  Am I really ready for this change?

Life is full of milestones.  These milestones represent a life well-lived.  It’s not always easy approaching these milestones.  It can be scary, and it can be thrilling.  Yet, we must learn to embrace these milestones.  These are the things that STRETCH us.  These milestones cause us to grow, and they take us to new places in life.

I’m thankful we still have a couple of years before Hannah goes to college.  I want to make the most of the opportunities during these years.  I want to celebrate at her track meets.  I want to soak in the sound of her orchestra concerts.  I want to watch (and help) as she approaches some challenging decisions along the way.  And in just over two years, I want to rejoice as we send her off to college to learn and experience new things.

What milestone are you facing soon?  What thoughts or feelings are you experiencing about this milestone?

On Track – Life Lessons from the Track & Field is now available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.  Click the link below to get your copy today.

As a reminder, I am offering a FREE pdf copy of the interior of the book to subscribers of The Stretched Newsletter.  Head over to the main page of the blog and sign up on the right hand menu bar to get your copy today for FREE!

Movie Review: Blue Like Jazz

Saturday afternoon, Leanne and I went to the movies to see Blue Like Jazz.  The movie is based on a book by Donald Miller, and it was directed by Steve Taylor (who I saw in concert when I was in high school).  The movie itself was funded primarily through individuals who gave money through Kickstarter.  All of this adds up to making Blue Like Jazz very different from most movies made today.  BLJ didn’t have the huge marketing and financial budget that most movies have these days.  Marketing has been be word of mouth and by the hard work of Miller and Taylor.

I read Blue Like Jazz several years ago.  The book, as I remember it, is a collections chaotic thoughts about Miller’s journey from a broken home and fundamental church background through doubt and disillusionment to a rediscovery of God and His love for us.

The movie takes the general stories and themes of the book and weaves them together to retell the story of college student, Don Miller, and his journey to rediscover his faith in God.

BLJ contains many chaotic conversations and scenes.  There are many things in the movie that had me scratching my head – ‘is this okay?’.  There’s cursing, drinking and drunkenness, discussions about sexuality and sexual orientation, and many other things in this movie that my have you feeling uncomfortable.  I would encourage you to hang in there.  These things bring clarity to the ending message and discovery.  I don’t want to give it away, but the last five minutes of Blue Like Jazz are powerful.  You need to see the whole movie though for it to all make sense.

This is not a “Christian” movie.  It’s a movie made by Christians.  Many Christians may decide not to see it because it’s too secular, and many who are not Christians may decide not to see it because it’s too God focused.  Here’s my take:  Give it a chance.  Go see the movie!  You could wait until it comes out on DVD, but I’d highly recommend that you find a theater and go see it.  Bring a friend along with you.  After the movie, go grab a cup of coffee together, and talk about the movie.  It’s different.  Blue Like Jazz will definitely have you thinking.  It’s not required, but you may want to read the book before you go see the movie.  Certain things in the movie will make a little more sense if you’ve read the book – like the rabbit chasing the sexy carrot scene.

Blue Like Jazz gets my recommendation.

Have you seen Blue Like Jazz?  If so, what was your take?  If not, do you like jazz music?

Top Posts of 2011 Number 1 – Top 10 Things To Do At Grove City College

We are down to the top Stretched post from 2011.  Sharing these top posts provides an excellent opportunity for me to take a small break during the holidays, and it also provides an incredible opportunity for you to catch up on things you may have missed over the past year.  I hope you’ll hop on over to the original post, so you can read the entire post and add your comments to the existing comments string.  Thank you for letting me take this break and for letting me take this opportunity to share these posts.  Your support for the Stretched Blog this year has been incredible!


And so, drum roll please,…the most popular Stretched post from 2011 was a fun look at my college experience shared right before Homecoming.  The post is titled Top 10 Things To Do At Grove City College.  Here’s an excerpt to get you going:

Top 10 Things To Do At Grove City College

Leanne and I are getting ready to head out to Grove City College for homecoming and Leanne’s 15th reunion.  I’m excited to go back to the place we first met.  My four years at GCC were extremely memorable.  Since I’m thinking about it, here’s my Top 10 Things To Do At Grove City College:

1.  Go to chapel (16 times a semester).  As much as that may sound dull, we were blessed with some great speakers at GCC.  I particularly remember John Guest, Tony Campolo, and R.C. Sproul.

2.  Look to your left and look to your right.  As Nancy Paxton would tell all freshman, your future mate may be in sight.  As it turns out, I met Leanne at the end of my junior year.  The rest is history, so they say.

To read the rest of this post, head on over to the original Top 10 Things To Do At Grove City College post.

Share one positive memory about your college or high school experience!