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One Epic Drama of Motivation, Perseverance, and Focus

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Sadness descended upon me when the book ended. I like I was saying goodbye to a boatload of dear friends. Literally.

The Boys in the Boat is a compelling drama involving the lives of nine American athletes and their journey to Hitler’s Germany in the 1936 Olympics. Author David James Brown—almost poetically—weaves the personal lives of these young men into the gripping events leading up to World War II. Incorporating romance, suspense, history, drive, and dreams, he brings the reader to practically sit inside the boat with these University of Washington boys on their heroic adventure to the Langer See in Berlin.

Inspirational Quotes: Motivation

A smorgasbord of quotes from George Yeoman Pocock, the team’s shell builder, add intrigue and insight into the overall wonder of the manuscript.

Rowing is perhaps the toughest of sports. Once the race starts, there are no time-outs, no substitutions. It calls upon the limits of human endurance. The coach must therefore impart the secrets of the special kind of endurance that comes from mind, heart, and body. (p. 71)

Rowing a race is an art, not a frantic scramble. It must be rowed with head power as well as hand power. From the first stroke all thoughts of the other crew must be blocked out. Your thoughts must be directed to you and our own boat, always positive, never negative. (p. 105)

Good thoughts have much to do with good rowing. It isn’t enough for the muscles of a crew to work in unison; their hearts and minds must also be as one. (p. 297)

To see a winning crew in action is to witness a perfect harmony in which everything is right…. That is the formula for endurance and success: rowing with the heart and head as well as physical strength. (p. 321)

Insightful Lesson: Perseverance

When you row … your body burns calories and consumes oxygen at a rate that is unmatched in almost any other human endeavor, Physiologists, in fact, have calculated that rowing a two-thousand-meter race—the Olympic standard—takes the same physiological toll as playing two basketball games back-to-back. And it exacts that toll in about six minutes. (p. 40)

Invaluable Take-Away: Focus

“M-I-B, M-I-B, M-I-B!” This command shouted from the coxswain … was a reminder that from the time an oarsman steps into a racing shell until the moment that the boat crosses the finish line, he must keep his mind focused on what is happening inside the boat. His whole world must shrink down to the small space with the gunwales … Nothing outside the boat—not the boat in the next lane over, not the cheering of a crowd of spectators, not last night’s date—can enter the successful oarsman’s mind. (p. 89)

In summary, I agree with author David Laskin: “This is Chariots of Fire with oars.”

Living With Eternal Intentionality®

When did you last read a book that left you sad for it to end?

Describe the inspiration you gained from its contents.

What was one lasting, invaluable take-away?

7 I Will's For Today's Busy Mom


You know, I find myself feeling so deeply for today’s mother. Her challenges in managing a 21st century household are unprecedented. Insistent demands seem to multiply like rabbits, and activities squeeze their way into already overflowing calendars. While she ramps up to coordinate the demands of the day, her own soul starves for nourishment and rest.

I believe that mothers possess the world’s best, most influential profession. However, rarely do we benefit from a 360-job review to objectively access our strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and flaws. Too often, our major assessment tool tends to be introspection, and that never works, does it?

So, Mom, to replenish and move forward with confidence and freedom, I invite you to pour a cup of coffee, find a quiet corner, and hold a conversation with yourself to reflect on Seven I Will’s of Grace.

Seven I Will’s of Grace for Today’s Busy Mom

1. I will move forward with confidence and freedom in my own shoes, and quit comparing myself to other mothers.

2. I will resist thinking so much about my children’s future that I miss their present.

3. I will refuse to criticize my children’s dad.

4. I will release my unrealistic goal of trying to be a perfect mother, and focus on being a loving mother.

5. I will bring God more and more into every equation, situation, decision, and crisis.

6. I will accept God’s forgiveness for my past mistakes and move forward with His Holy Spirit’s equipping.

7. I will celebrate—like never—before the awesome privilege of being a woman of influence as I invest in the lives of the next generation.

Happy, Blessed Grace-Filled Mother’s Day!

Living With Eternal Intentionality®

From the list above, which I Will draws your heart like a magnet to the truth it contains?

What do you think is God’s view of you as a mother?

How does your answer match with the words of Jeremiah 31:3?

I have love you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.


Isaiah 40:11c?

… He gently leads those who are with young.

On this Mother’s Day, will you give yourself the blessed gift of grace? (He does.)

Hey Mom! A Hack, A Book, A Poem

When a resource comes from my daughter, I automatically give it a 5 star review. She is godly, intelligent, wise, and resourceful; I value both her wisdom and her research. From purchasing a vacuum to investigating appropriate plants for the subdivision entrance, she can be trusted. So, with joy—and inclusive of her comments—I share my latest favorites (A Hack, A Book, A Poem) from Hey Mom!

A Hack

Comment: Hey Mom! You are not going to believe this method. It will save all kinds of frustration.

Ingenious Duvet Cover Trick:

A Book

Comment: Hey Mom! I sent you a link to the biography I’ve been listening to on the life of Queen Mary. It’s really good, and the author has all these very British anecdotes, which I think you would get a kick out of. For instance, she talks about how the queen always had an umbrella with her, and she would inconspicuously poke the king if he got too long-winded in his speeches!

Anyway, it just made me think of the wife of a leader, and plus, you like the British. Also, it spans a fascinating time in history—through both the World Wars.

I think my take-away, though, is that while she was a great queen (she was loved) and an excellent wife, she had her drawbacks as a mother. Tell me what you think.

Matriarch, Queen Mary and the House of Windsor

By Anne Edwards, read by Corrie James

A Poem

Comment: Hey Mom! One of the ladies in my Bible study read this prayer to us the other day; I thought you would like it. She was a hospice nurse for many years, so the last line, God be at mine end, was particularly meaningful to her. She said that people die very differently from one another. And, she told us that you can tell a difference with those who are looking forward to seeing their Savior.

God be in my head,

and in my understanding;

God be in my eyes,

and in my looking;

God be in my mouth,

and in my speaking;

God be in my heart,

and in my thinking;

God be in mine end,

and at my departing.

-The Book of Hours, 1514

Living With Eternal Intentionality®

“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds …” (Hebrews 10:24).

Which younger person has God placed in your life to provide you with resourceful information?

How does He use this relationship to infuse you with encouragement and inspiration?

If you are the younger person in the relationship, are you patient when one from another generation asks for your much-needed assistance and input?