Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bucket List, April 2016 Edition

I've been getting so inspired from the travel bucket lists that I've been compiling for this blog that I just want to share with you all a general list of many of the items that are on my overall bucket list for life. In thinking about this topic, I looked back on this post from February 2012, in which I wrote some of the items that were on my bucket list at the time. I'm happy to see that I've accomplished some of the items on the list since that time . . . I've seen a play on Broadway and been to Italy, and I've worked on a professor's research project on issues of neuroscience and the law, and I've graduated from law school (not summa cum laude though!) and passed the bar exam on the first try. I've run a half-marathon (well, four half-marathons). It's also interesting that some of the goals I noted back then aren't things I care that much about anymore, such as reading 100 classic or award-winning books. I know at the time I was meaning books like A Tale of Two Cities and Pride and Prejudice. Well, to be honest with you, I think books like that are usually really, really boring! I do want to read tons of books in my lifetime, but I'd prefer them to be the kind of books I actually like--novels, and mysteries, and books on travel and running and psychology, and memoirs from the lives of interesting people. In looking at some of the other goals from back then, I've decided that riding a roller coaster will probably NEVER happen (just like sky-diving is never going to happen), and I am not exactly going to be debt-free by December 31st unless I win the lottery. But that's okay.

Four years later, here are a number of the items on my current bucket list, in no particular order (including traveling to every place noted in those earlier posts!):
  1. Do a mud run (not Tough Mudder, something a little more manageable)
  2. Go stand-up paddleboarding
  3. Take Korean classes
  4. Become legitimately fluent in Spanish (I've gotten close a few times, and I think a few more classes should do it)
  5. Run a full marathon
  6. Go surfing in Africa
  7. Read the Bible from cover to cover in 40 days (obviously working on this one right now)
  8. Go skiing or snowboarding
  9. Swim with whales, sharks, or dolphins
  10. Run a night marathon under the midnight sun in Norway
  11. Go to Antarctica
  12. Have a traditional Bedouin meal and camp out under the stars in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan
  13. See the pyramids
  14. Ride a camel
  15. Sleep in an igloo
  16. Go ice-hole swimming in Finland
  17. Go scuba diving
  18. Go snorkeling
  19. Eat street food in Bangkok
  20. Get a standing ovation
  21. Have a scholarly article published in a major family law publication
  22. Teach family law and legal writing classes at a law school
  23. Go to Rio de Janeiro and see the Christ the Redeemer statue
  24. Go to Africa to visit one or both of the children I sponsor through World Vision
  25. Attend a service at the Brooklyn Tabernacle
  26. Give a waiter/ waitress a tip that is at least $50 for no special reason 
  27. Hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim (and watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon)
  28. Learn more languages, like Arabic or Italian
  29. Visit every state in the US--I really only have a few to go, and if I went to all the states in the Northeast, I'd only have 7 left to go to. 
  30. Join the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  31. Mentor younger lawyers. This has become a cause dear to my heart in the last year or so! It's so needed. 
  32. Go on a solo vacation that requires air travel
  33. Go on an Alaskan cruise
  34. Run an 8-minute mile (it may not sound that hard but for me this would be huge because I'm a slow runner), do at least 35 military-style pushups without a break, and hold the plank position for 5 minutes
  35. Fast for at least 30 hours
  36. See the Sydney Opera House
  37. See an amazing Northern Lights show--I've had the privilege of seeing the Northern Lights, but I want to see them again where I can get a shot like this one:

I'd love to hear your bucket list ideas!



Saturday, April 16, 2016

Life Lately

I blinked and somehow, it is already mid-April, and I just filed my taxes, and the weather is finally really getting warm. The first few months of 2016 have flown by, for the most part. I'm in a season of transition and change right now. I'm looking for a new job, so that has been keeping me really busy, and I'm hoping to have some updates on that fairly soon. Meagan and I have been doing a challenge to read the Bible through, from cover to cover, in only 40 days. We started the challenge on March 28th, which means we only have until May 6th to get it done! For this month, I'm not really able to watch movies . . . or read other books . . . because I'm reading the Bible ALL the time. But I believe this is going to be a life-changing experience to fill my mind and heart so deeply with the Word of God, in such concentrated doses, for this period of time. And since I'm in a season of change and growth anyway, I want to seize this opportunity to make this a season of spiritual renewal as well. And I have found in my life that I have never had more strength than in those times when I was reading the Bible till the pages ripped. I need that strength, hope, and guidance in my life right now, so I'm seeking it out even though it's really hard to read that much every day. But I've already been blessed by this challenge, and I would strongly encourage you all to give it a try too. Meagan is coming down to visit me for the weekend two weeks from now, and so HOPEFULLY we'll be caught up on our reading by then!

And just in general, I want this time to be "40 days to a new me." At the end of these 40 days, I want to have read the Bible from cover to cover, gotten a new job, deep cleaned and organized my entire apartment (working on that little by little), started training for my half marathon in June, and gone on vacation to the beach. As far as other plans for later in the summer, I want to do one of those mud runs! And run at least two half-marathons. And go to San Diego and Mexico with Meagan. And finally, finally finish reading every novel Jodi Picoult has ever written (plus a whole stack of other books). I want to go surfing in San Diego and watch the sun set over Scripps Pier (look this up--so beautiful!) I want to take a Korean class and an advanced Spanish class. Those are just a few of my plans for the next few months.

My life should settle down a lot more hopefully in the next month or so, and I'd love to share more with you all about what God is teaching me during this time. But for now, I'll leave you with this: "He who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord will be compassed about with mercy and with loving-kindness." Psalm 32:10 (Amplified Bible)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Yet I Will Rejoice

These verses have been speaking to my heart lately:

"Though the fig tree does NOT bud and there are NO grapes on the vines, though the olive crop FAILS and the fields produce NO food, though there are NO sheep in the pen and NO cattle in the stalls, YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights."

--Habakkuk 3:17-19

This is just so good. YET I will rejoice. Even now I will rejoice. If the worst happens, even then I will rejoice. Though all seems lost, I will rejoice. I really can't add much to that message.

Looking for some more inspiration from the books of the minor prophets (or perhaps you've never read them)? Here are some more beautiful and hopeful passages from those books to encourage you all to dig right in, if you never have:

  • Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."
  • Hosea 6:3: "Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him! He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring."
  • Joel 2:13: "Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love."
  • Micah 7:18-19: "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."