I recently taught some special needs adults about the importance of bucket lists. For my Grad Writers, it was wy for them to write about the future and let them have goals. My Students did not disappoint. They had goals like learn how to fly a plane or be season ticket holders at a local stadium. They planned on going on trips and really make an impact on the world. I was very proud how well the lesson went over.
Papa Bear encouraged me to have a bucket list when I was a teenager. It had things like touch an alligator and see a blue whale in the wild. The bucket list was left on an old computer never to be seen again. It’s funny throughout out my life, I have switched from being the present focus to future focused.
When I was 15, my family moved from Sunny Southern California to the industrial, melting pot of Northern California. I remained anger at God and my parents for over a year, and with that anger came the fear of planning the future. I wouldn’t expect anything. The only thing I knew was I’m going to finish high school and then go to college. I wanted to be a teacher at that point but had one math class that I couldn’t pass (I’m horrible at math), and suddenly my plans changed. It was years before I felt like I could plan my future. However, except for my bucket list, I had it tucked away in a personal file on our 1 family computer.
Before I met Jman (I was 18) Papa Bear encouraged me to think of a few things that I wanted in a partner. A wish list or a bucket list that I told God, I had people balked when I said to them about this great advice that my dad, logical engineer dad had given me. I had only 3 things. He had to be a virgin, He had to love God, and he had to get along great with Sis. Jman came along, and God answered my prayers.
When Jman and I got married, we jumped into dreaming mode, dreaming about the time when we could own a house, dreaming about what trips we wanted to take, dreaming about a time when we wouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck. We made a list of names our future children would have and where we would visit. Then in September 2011, a week before Our first wedding anniversary, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, and suddenly all our future plans turned into the moment by moment plans. We couldn’t plan anything really because either I didn’t feel well enough to make something or doctor appointments. We took one trip that year to Sacramento for Jman’s birthday, and we went to a car museum, stayed at a nice hotel and just relaxed. After cancer treatments, it took me a year to feel like myself again. But planning took a back seat. Now there were cancer treatments, and we moved twice, and it really wasn’t until last year that I recreated my old bucket list.
Last year was a year focused on prayer. Jman and I were finally ready to start our family, and make plans. We live in an apartment that was ours, and both had good jobs, in the minds we thought it was a good time. God changed our plans, It had always been on my heart since cancer that I might go back to school. God said this wasn’t just you thinking this, was me directing. So I went back to school. God said look toward the future and decide what really matters, so I did, and I discovered that decisions need to be made. I learned to listen to God’s still and small voice and know what my plan is. Right Now I plan to go to school and learn and do my best. And for the first time, these plans are not desert valley road that stretches as far as the eye can see. I see a hallway with closed doors that I can’t open yet, but that’s okay. I have no problem waiting to open these doors. God has the key and the plan.
So I have a bucket list again, and it has places I want to visit, things I want to do, however, I also know that God can change these plans and I am okay with that. I have a list of hopes and dreams.
Psalm 103:20 20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.