This is one of those blog posts so get ready –
When I was a little girl, I would dream of marrying a rich man.
No kidding. I knew I would work, I knew I wanted to be a mom of two boys, I knew God and my mom loved me. (And yes, that means I really wasn’t sure about my dad or my brother, but that’s another story.)
I would tell my mom that he would be tall and handsome, and he would be wealthy so I wouldn’t have to worry about money ever again.
Those truly innocent dreams of my 5 through 9 year old self were a reflection of how I envisioned my life to be easier, not to have to worry like my mother, and to have a man who loved me and took care of me.
The last one in that list was an actual thing that I could see my mom struggling with. My father didn’t spend quality time with us the way fathers are supposed to, and I am the classic-text-book case of not having a father that loved his wife, did not take care of his family and was only there part-time because of selfishness and insecurities.
I could have written that textbook of the problems that come from not having a father around, but, as I’ve stated in previous posts, he’s gotten better the older he gets and will do almost anything he can for his grandchildren.
To quickly finish the story, my husband is the man of my dreams.
He and I got married young (19 and 20 years old,) and we first lived in a one bedroom studio apartment with second-hand furniture, a 16-inch black and white television, and a card table that we used to eat on. Those were some of the greatest memories of my entire life. I remember eating lots of potatoes, because I am not a great cook and because they were so inexpensive and I remember the love we felt back then between us because we didn’t have anything else.
My husband and I both graduated college, got good jobs, have purchased homes and he makes a lucrative salary selling rubber stamps on remarks.rubbermarks.com. Please feel free to check them out for custom rubber stamps of pretty much anything you could imagine. We are very proud of that website and they are having a give-away this week with ten (10) ways to enter!
What happens when you do all that?
What happens when you try to plan?
This entire subject is a bit difficult to talk about for me.
At the end of her life, I would often ask my mom the question: “What did you expect?” and that question would come when she and I were at an impasse of how I had to take time off from work to take her to a doctor’s appointment, or to the store late in the evening when I wanted to be at home with all three of my kids and my husband. I would usually ask her that question after she told me that she was “sorry” I had to take her places.
She never actually answered that question.
I kind of wish she did. I would have been blessed by the answer to know if she planned to marry another man, if she wanted to get back together with my father, or if she really thought her children would always take care of her.
I would tell her often, “This is the way it’s supposed to be” and I would tell her that because I believed it, and I knew if she heard me say it, it was going to make her feel a little bit better about her need for someone to take care of her.
<Big sigh.> I miss that woman but I’m glad she’s free.
Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
The bible tells me that the Lord has plans for us, and I truly believe that.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalms is my favorite book of the bible because of its wisdom BUT it also has a ton of warnings.
Psalm 94:11New International Version (NIV)
The Lord knows all human plans;
he knows that they are futile.
I think one of the hardest things to do as I have gotten older is to begin dreaming again.
Many times as a believer I’ve been challenged with the choice to do one thing for myself or do something for someone else in need and one of the greatest examples of this for any parent is usually things you do for your children.
And those are the moments for me that the Lord whispers in my ear that he is my parent too. He wants me to feel the love of a parent sacrificing everything and anything so that I can enjoy this life. I now know, and feel that it’s okay to dream again.
I’ve gotten better at dreaming and my screen shot above is my proof. I started a bucket list on my cell phone. (I can’t get the credit for doing it as it was a friends idea first.)
There’s a few more ideas in my head, including seeing a volcano and lava flow in real life, which our family hopes to accomplish in August in Hawaii. I also want to start a Pinterest board with my bucket list items, including ones we accomplish.
My understanding of “bucket lists” is to think of things you really want to do before you leave this earth. There’s a tinge of excitement that I have when I see this list, but with all the cautiousness of a well-trained Christian woman who knows that our time is short and we do not know when the Lord will take it from us.
I’m not writing this blog post for other people to read and have some profound moment of clarity. I’m writing it for myself and my children, so that they know that if I make it to retirement age and beyond, I did everything I can to 1. serve the Lord, 2. take care of them, and 3. enjoy the life I’ve been given. Three things my mom taught me and personally lived.
I believe there is a balance and I know the Lord wants us to enjoy his creation (lava flows), what others have done through his/her talents (Michelangelo’s art), and being a steward of the money we earn that is really His to begin with (hence, giving, giving, giving.)
With however much time I have left on this earth I want to live it to the fullest. I pray and hope continuously that my family and I get the chance to do the things that please the Lord, as He is what it’s all really about anyway.
Is there anything on your bucket list?
Do you or did you have a hard time making a bucket list too?