Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Focused by Noelle Pikus-Pace
She's also very ordinary. If she lived next door, the difference between her and the rest of us is that she disappears for weeks at a time during the winter. But so does my neighbor. She goes to Singapore to see her family then comes home at the tail end of winter, missing the cold snap, complaining about the heat she had to endure. Cry me a river. But I digress.
Noelle discusses real life challenges, aimed at a teenage audience, I believe, yet uses those extraordinary experiences from her own life to teach a strong and memorable lesson. Regardless of her skill and talent, all her accomplishments, Noelle is just like any other young woman who struggled with insecurities and doubts that run the gamut of what we all suffered through. She wanted to be included in the group yet was rejected over and over again. She nearly quit even though she was one of the best in the country. She shares how she handled it and what she learned.
My personal favorite was on keeping your goals clear, focusing on where we want to go rather than the obstacles. This one reminded me of Peter who saw Jesus walking towards him on water. In his excitement and with great faith, he left the boat and began walking towards Christ. Then Peter got distracted by all of the obstacles keeping him from reaching the Savior and he sunk.
Noelle was clear of her goal when she started a very difficult track. She began strong but, at a very difficult turn, forgot to make the appropriate corrections because she was concentrating on the screaming voice in her head, "Don't hit the roof!" She got distracted and lost sight of her goal. You'll never guess what happened next.
She hit the roof. Of course she did! That's where her sights were suddenly set.
Every chapter has a life lesson with a story from her life. Unfortunately, I did the stupid Mom thing and ranted about the book to 16 year old daughter because I thought it would be excellent for her. Never do that, by the way. Teenagers are wired to do anything BUT what their mother thinks is a good idea. I'll give it a few months then reintroduce it by leaving it out but obscured by a magazine. Then she'll suddenly be interested in it.