Why Having a Bucket List Will Do You Good

My dad was a traveler. He was an expert in his field of martial arts. That brought him to teach, judge, coach and compete all over the US and internationally. I remember taking weeks to look through all the gifts he brought me back from faraway places like Japan. It was long before the rise of Hello Kitty in my world. I discovered the round-faced cat with tiny pens and plastic pouches from a cardboard box in my dad’s room. That was fun.

Over the years, my dad continued his travels. He told me and my brother that he wanted to see the seven wonders of the world. He was doing a pretty good job checking off his bucket list. Yes, that is my first memory of the bucket list! Of course, neither he nor I called it a bucket list. But that is in fact what it was.

There began my love of lists of all sorts.

My mom made her lists for the week and month at the kitchen table. She planned her days and checked the list items off. I watched her. She was diligent, resourceful and had plenty of time for us.

There began my love of calendars and planning.

I am not alone. Most of you love these things too. It’s hard to resist a good list with a good pen and a good plan.

If I am losing a few of you, here is another version for you: Lists are mini dreams for your day just like vision is big plan for your life. So whether you are drawn to lists or larger than life vision, you understand the idea of taking time to make it all happen.

Crossroads excite me.

When life puts you at an intersection, I want to be there with you. I want to be there to help with the decision that leads to the glory of your Father. I’ve learned well that outcome doesn’t belong to me or us. But unknown outcome does not take away from the truth that God loves the heart, soul and effort we put in deciphering and following his will.

If you read the blogs of my summer revelations (Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3), you know that God in his sovereignty wiped out (floored, removed, pulverized, with nothing left but dust) my plans.

By God’s grace, I didn’t run to anger and bitterness. I stood in awe and silence of his majesty, wisdom, kindness and love. I stopped my life for about two months (in part because I was too sick to do otherwise). Then, I unraveled my life to a place as close to a beginning or a start over as I could.

Once the dust settled and shiny objects stopped calling to me, a few things remained.

  • My love for others.
  • My need to learn to love myself as God loves me.
  • My need to learn to better care for myself.
  • A massive desire for creativity.
  • Great joy in spending time with people through gifts of hospitality.

Hence, the bucket list materialized.

My bucket lists are intentional guides to help you live out love, self-care, creativity and hospitality in every season.

Today, I’m sharing some pics and notes from my Advent Inspired Bucket List. I know that you really don’t want to see remnants of Christmas in February. Perhaps my timing will work out better next year.

Truly, I worked on this list through December and January and am putting it to bed (mostly) after today.

I say (mostly) because I have not made the red velvet pancakes with the natural dye I bought just for that bucket list item. I figured time has been kind to me since red goes well with Valentine’s Day.

These are the kinds of things bucket lists teach you.

If you can’t get to the garden with your friend, share your hopes for the New Year over the phone. Thank you for sharing that with me Stephanie.

Be flexible.

If your people are too busy to go to the Farmer’s Market, go with your mom instead.

Be resourceful.

It’s okay to frame a new pic rather than an old one. You still hit that bucket list item.

Don’t make a list a rule. Life is more than lists.

I didn’t bless a foster kid this year, but I went to Mexico to serve kids who really needed it.

Take the opportunities as they come.

Dear sisters, be intentional with your life. Let these bucket lists guide you.

Enjoy the New Year Bucket list!

New Year Bucket List

My love to you always,


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