Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bucket List

Urban Dictionary says a bucket list is “A list of things to do before you die.  Comes from the term ‘kicked the bucket.’ I need to remember to add skydiving to my bucket list.”

I’ve never really made a “Bucket List.”  Not sure why.  Just didn’t feel the need?  Probably. Don’t have anything to put on it? Not Likely. Living every day to the fullest so its redundant? Hmmm… Maybe?  I don’t really know.  But I do know people who are very serious about their lists.  Accomplishing one per year, or posting it in their home or office and physically marking one off as it is met.  I love that spirit; that determination!  I like goals.  I write those down.  So, in a way, that’s like a “mini bucket list” I guess…

I am thinking about this today since I have seen the term (over)used this weekend on my social highlight reels media feeds.  A local little league team won a state tournament.  A 90’s Country Super Star and Oklahoma native played 4 concerts in 2 days (or something like that) in OKC. Summer beach vacations to exotic and “once in a lifetime” locations.  Bucket list: CHECK, CHECK, CHECK! I am so happy for everyone who got to check something off their list this summer!  It’s truly a priceless memory for you, and I enjoy sharing in the experience through your pictures.  THANK YOU for letting me in, just a little.

So, what about my bucket list?  What should I put on it?  What do I want to “do before I die?”  As a start, I’d say: Love Jesus.  Be more like Him every day.  Shine His light to others. Grow tiny humans into AMAZING adults - who love Jesus, want to be more like Him every day, and shine His light to others. [Work in progress, so ½ CHECK]

What else?  What experiences?  LOVE, truly love, others.  BE loved.  Be cherished, treasured, valued. To make a difference in someone’s life. Show grace every chance I can.  We all make mistakes, we ALL need grace. (Spotify totally “gets” me!  Grace Upon Grace by Brooke + Boggs just came on!) If you’ve met my husband and kids, and know them, you KNOW these things happen daily in our house. [Repeat these goals daily: CHECK] (*sidebar – don’t get me wrong!  We are NOT perfect, and I am pretty sure I am the least perfect among us – but, GRACE!)

Beyond that, my mind goes completely blank.  There’s nowhere I “need” to go before I die.  I am happiest in my home in the presence of the family and friends that love me best.  There’s nothing material I “need” to buy to fill a gap (although I have a short list of things I would like to have…).  And there is no one I “need” to meet before I die.  Because, the only guy I really want to encounter, I don’t get to see until I get to Heaven and fall in to his loving arms.  Where there is no pain.  No weeping.  No “need.”  [Until that day: CHECK]

God showed me what Grace truly looks like when he brought Britt into our (Mine, Emma’s and Lara’s) lives.  You see, the 3 years before that were filled with very little grace, and had been something no one would put on a bucket list.  But, God!  When I wasn’t looking, when I felt least loved, when mistakes made me feel worthless, God showered out grace by introducing me to my future husband.  And, because I don’t receive gifts well sometimes, I almost missed out on it.  Good thing my God moves mountains and has perfect timing!

Let me tell you about him.  Britt.  Giver.  Thinker.  Entertainer.  Loves Fiercely.  Laughs incessantly. Lives abundantly. He loves Jesus, and he loves us.  As the spiritual leader of our home, he makes sure we pray.  He encourages us to be in the Word daily. He drives us to church every weekend – even when we are sweaty and sunburned from long days of baseball.  He is insanely smart.  I may have scored highly on an IQ test as a teenager, made good grades in high school and graduated college with a double major, but my husband is infinitely smarter than I am!  This, in itself, makes the grace God granted an irreplaceable gift!  He is always the first to offer whatever he can others.  Generous beyond measure.  His time, his talents, his treasure – he knows they are not his and they are gifts to be shared. A lesson he is still teaching me and one I will never be as good at, but I marvel at his ability to be this way without a second thought and I strive to emulate him. He is the light in any darkness.  My husband loves to laugh, and God gave him the best sense of humor and the ability to share it so easily with others.  Everyone that spends time with him knows he is FUNNY, and truly appreciates it.  No one in our house goes a full day without a good, hearty laugh. And never at your own expense.  He knows how to laugh WITH you, not AT you.  He is loyal, committed, and honorable.  If he says he is going to do something, he does it.  And he does it well.  His word MEANS something.  And oh!  His LOVE!  It’s BIG!  It covers more ground than any of us deserve (Sounds a bit like Jesus, no?) Every single one of us is unlovable at times.  But it doesn’t matter to him.  When my demons are loud and my tears are real and my words harsh, Britt is right by my side.  When the kids’ dreams are fading in front of their eyes and their hearts are broken for any reason, he is the first to offer a shoulder and a wise word of encouragement.  When we’ve all had too much screen time and our phones/devices are growing out of our palms, he reminds us to put them down!  He puts every single need I or one of the kids perceives we have in front of his own.  His love language is giving gifts.  He loves to surprise us with anything that will bring a smile to our face.  Tiny and meaningful only to the receiver, or big and boisterous for all to see – same love in them all.

With a love like this in my life, the grace I have received, and all the other amazing blessings that surround me, it seems somehow selfish to pen a “bucket list.”  But, friends, there is ONE THING I “need” in this season of my life.  If you’ve followed our story, you already know what it is.  But I will ask again.  My amazing, wonderful, incomparable husband NEEDS A JOB.  Did you know it has been 11 LONG months (today) since he became unemployed?  It’s been a tremendous storm.  Unimaginable, relentless, devastating in so many ways.  But we have gained so much from it, too!  Incredible patience.  The generosity of friends and strangers alike.  Faith in our God and his perfect timing.  I believe in the power of prayer and I know a God that performs miracles daily.  The time has not been right yet, but I know it’s coming. 

Please pray with me.  For provision during this storm, and for my husband’s employment.  So many opportunities that fell through in the 11th hour.  So many discouraging phone calls and emails.  So many unpaid bills.  He has never had more than a moment of doubt, a minute of fear, or a second of sadness.  Unfathomable.  For me – Queen of Anxiety and Depression.  But I look at him and it makes me stronger.  He reminds me that this is not about me, or the kids, or even him!  It’s about JESUS and trust.  I trust you, Lord.  I trust you. 

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see
I try to win this war
I confess, my hands are weary, I need Your rest
Mighty warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face You're by my side
When You don't move the mountains
I'm needing You to move
When You don't part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don't give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
          ~Lauren Daigle, “Trust In You”

My amazing husband (that’s what I call him; that’s how is name is saved in my phone contacts)

came to check on me and see what I was doing.  He asked if I was writing him a love letter when he saw me typing.  My knee-jerk reaction was to say no.  But, yes.  YES!  YES – I WROTE YOU A LOVE LETTER!  I love you and I love Jesus in you.  I love who you are and what you do.  I love you as a man, a husband, a step-father, and a father.  And my love for you grows everyday.  I am so thankful for a God that provides, and shows us GRACE.

1 comment:

  1. Praying for Britt and his job search. When I was in Henryetta one of my good friends found himself without a job. He searched and searched, prayed and wondered if something was wrong with him and even worried that he was failing his family by being without a job. I know this because he talked to me as his pastor and friend a whole lot during those days. Finally a job opened up and as time passed he was able to say that God had a good job prepared for him and it just had to come at the right time. Waiting for the right time is difficult. Many people are praying for Britt and the right time and the right job to arrive in his life. And I just wanted you to know that I am a part of the many who are praying.