Tuesday, February 21, 2017

30 before 30: A Bucket List in Retrospect

So that 30 before 30 thing? Where you list 30 things you want to do before you turn 30? I was all into the idea. I love bucket lists! But for the past year, every time I thought about it I couldn't come up with much! And here I am, freshly turned 30 this month!! (I know! Still getting used to this new decade myself... ;) )

 Since I didn't make a bucket list for the past year, I spent some time thinking on all the things I've already done before turning 30 and I had a great time coming up with this list! What a wild, wonderful life! Though I certainly struggled mightily at times during my single years, I'm so grateful I used much of that time for adventures as well. I see so much how God used my travels, my jobs, my relationships, and my experiences to mold me (and prune me) in ways that continue to help me even in this new vocation. Somehow I have a feeling the next 30 will be a little less crazy...then again, marriage and parenting are their own crazy adventures. ;)

1. Kayak in the Caribbean.
2. Get cornrow braids in Mexico.
3. Move out on your own.
4. Get your nursing license at a young age and be able to legally give narcotics before you can legally drink alcohol.
5. Become a CPR instructor.
6. Be a church youth leader for three years and have your heart begin to stretch by your love for the teens.
7. Go on a cruise.
8. Break an engagement and break your own heart as well. Hurt deeply. Find God deeper still and feel heart widen.
9. Drive a motorcycle.
10. Learn to water ski and wakeboard.
11. Swim in the ocean.
12. Hike the Rockies.
13. Hike the Smokies.
14. Shoot a gun with aim like Annie Oakley.
15. Get a convertible and realize your favorite thing in the summer is driving in the open air.
16. Go white water rafting in the moutains of Tennessee.
17. Cook over an open fire.
18. Fly alone to Paris...get lost in Paris...learn the metro system in Paris out of necessity and experience deeply that God is with you in your greatest fears.
19. Ride alone on a train through France to Lisieux and kneel in the convent where one of your favorite saints knelt. Pour your heart out with tears to a random nun who speaks broken English and then gives you a relic and some words of encouragement. Realize again that God is everywhere.
20. Visit a ranch in Texas and learn true virtue, patience, and hospitality from one of the greatest families you've ever met.
21. Perform ultrasounds on women considering abortion and watch their lives be changed by seeing their babies in their wombs. Cry with them. Walk with them. Love on them. And feel your own heart widen.
22. Be on a radio show
23. Go to a third world country and experience Mass on a rooftop.
24. Have your heart broken by an orphan baby boy you will never forget.
25. Have a spa day with Haitian women who were dying. Laugh with them. Rub lotion on them. And realize you're not so different from each other. Feel your heart widen, stretch, and break once again.
26. Fall in love. Oh, what a ride. The love that had mountaintops and valley lows. The love survived two breakups and vocation discernment and fear and grief and uncertainty. The love that grew despite it all.
27. Get married to the one you fell in love with.
28. Experience the hardest loss yet: the loss of your miscarried child. Feel the grace seep through all the broken cracks of your heart. Know that yes, it is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. We will see you again, little one.
29. Get pregnant again and this time give birth naturally (oh, pain like you've never felt before!) to a daughter. A daughter. Oh, your heart is so full, so full.
30. Realize anew that God is so good, He uses everything we give Him (the good and the bad), His grace is everywhere...and life is beautiful.

Here's to the next 30 years, God willing!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Belated Birthday, Laura! What an adventurous and wonderful life you've led thus far. It's just amazing to pause every once in a while to look back to see how far life takes us, isn't it? I can't remember what it was, but something reminded me recently to really use and soak up these adventurous single years getting to use my time however I want. And you reminded me of that too. I'm going to work on that after all these reminders! You've done some incredible things, and I'm so happy for you in finding new ones in your vocation as that's changed over time. Cheers to 30's!