Friday Findings #4: Birthday Bucket Lists

[box] One of my personal challenges in life is to keep learning and trying something new. This series is a documentary on some of the things I am learning, whether it be as a child of God, wife, mother, homemaker, teacher, friend. I invite you to learn along with me![/box] bucket list2For this week’s Friday Findings, I was reading Audra Silva’s post on making a bucket list on her birthday of things she wanted to do the following year.  Her goal was to try to do as many of them as she could before her next birthday. Being the type of person I am, that idea really captured me. Although this year’s birthday has already passed, I thought: Why not start one anyway? In any case, it is a fun idea that I didn’t want to wait to try!

As I thought about what I would put on my list, I wanted to differentiate for myself what I considered “Bucket List”-worthy and what were merely goals. For me, things that belong on a bucket list are things that I would probably not do, things that I think are fun, but not essential, practical or realistic. My goals, on the other hand, are things that fulfill some bigger purpose or move me towards my vision. They’d be things that I would make a priority.

With that said, my goal (ha!) then is to do five of these things before my birthday in June. I’ve included ten things that I’d like to do at this moment in time. By my next birthday, I may or may not want to do these anymore…and that’s okay. I can make a new list then or add unfinished ones onto it.

  1. Get my eyebrows threaded.
  2. Get a pedicure.
  3. Go to a Messiah sing-along at Christmas.
  4. Go on an overnighter with some girlfriends.
  5. Host a Lord of the Rings marathon for New Year’s Eve.
  6. Go on a weekend overnight trip with another family—San Diego, Mammoth…somewhere in California.
  7. Go to a bed and breakfast at the beach for a personal retreat.
  8. Take ballroom dancing lessons.
  9. Take my first class towards a graduate degree in spiritual formation.
  10. Go to a scrapbook convention or retreat.

As I was making this list, I noticed that I would hear that little voice in my head say: Do you really need to do this? None of them are really essential to happiness. But maybe that’s the point. I have realized that I have, over the years, become so goal-oriented and serious about life that I actually had a hard time coming up with ten just-for-fun things to do.  I have become too practical to do things that were not useful or purposeful.

Along the way, I have convinced myself that God was like that too. I began to get a picture of Him as a God who did not want me to do anything that was too enjoyable or worldly, that this world and this life was only something I needed to grit my teeth and make the best of, doing only what was “spiritual.” In my desire to live a life worthy of the kingdom, I have realized that I had developed an attitude of being "too good" to do things that were just for fun. I know, prideful, ain't it?

As I worked on this list, I am reminded that my Father is not a stingy God who only gives me what I need or a workaholic God who expects me to always be productive. I don't think He has a problem with things that are just for fun. I know I enjoy doing that for my kids and take great delight in blessing them. Can I do more than God?

So thanks, Audra, for a fun challenge this week! Even if I only get to experience one of these things, it is a reminder that our Lord gives good gifts and that I can look forward to something fun in the year to come!

What would you put on your bucket list?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

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